Right-Wing Media Largely Ignore Birtherism To Blame Media "Attacks" For Trump's Dropping Out


Following reports that Donald Trump will not be running for president, the right-wing media absurdly blamed "the media" for "attacking" Trump, largely ignoring Trump's embrace of birtherism.

Right-Wing Media Rush To Blame Media For End Of Trump's Presidential Candidacy

Doocy: "The Mainstream Media Went After Him With The Long Knives." On the May 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy reacted to Donald Trump's announcement by claiming that "[t]he mainstream media went after him with the long knives." Co-host Gretchen Carlson agreed, saying, "That's what they do to any candidate, specifically, mostly Republicans when they decide to run for this office. That's one of the main problems about good people ultimately deciding not to run for office, because that's the kind of attacks that you encounter." Doocy then noted that Trump "brought up the whole birther issue," which Carlson and co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed was a "mistake." Doocy responded: "You know, ultimately, [Trump] was right, though. He said the president could answer a lot of his critics if he simply would release the birth certificate, and the president did, and those questions have, for the most part, vanished." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/17/11]

Kilmeade: "The Mainstream Media Attacked" Trump And "He Didn't Have" An Opportunity To Respond. In a later Fox & Friends segment, Kilmeade complained that "the mainstream media" attacked Trump and that "he didn't have a chance to answer because he wasn't in the news cycle." Carlson mentioned "the birth certificate thing" as one possible reason Trump "tanked in the polls in the last couple of weeks," and later said "I don't think he got out because the media was too harsh on him." Kilmeade maintained that "I don't think any candidate...would have been able to withstand the attack he has gotten." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/17/11]

Doocy: "The Mainstream Media Was Really Attacking" Trump Because "He Represented A Threat To...Barack Obama." Doocy also claimed "the mainstream media was really attacking him and they didn't really go after him until he was number one in the polls. And as soon as, suddenly, he represented a threat to, perhaps, Barack Obama, and the mainstream media went right in after him." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/17/11]

Big Journalism: "As We Saw With ... Attacks On Donald Trump, "Obama's MSM Palace Guards Intend To" Destroy "Any Potential Threat To Their Precious President." In a May 17 post on Andrew Breitbart's blog Big Journalism, blogger John Nolte wrote:

As we saw with the dishonest racer attacks on Donald Trump, Obama's MSM Palace Guards intend to Alisnky [sic] any potential threat to their precious President with coordinated journ-o-list narratives designed to take these individual threats down one-by-one with phony charges of racism. This tactic is also designed to silence and chill criticism of the President through the use of racial McCarthyism. David Gregory knows that the record number of people on food stamps under this failed president is a devastating narrative and so, as one of Obama's Chief Palace Guards, his job is to make sure that narrative doesn't take hold. His problem, however, is that facts are facts, so all he can do is holler racism. [Big Journalism, 5/17/11]

In Doing So, The Right Trivialized Trump's Embrace Of Birtherism -- Which They Repeatedly Promoted

Hannity: "Can't They Just Produce [Obama's Birth Certificate], And We Move On?" On the March 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity played a clip of Trump speaking on ABC's The View and then discussed his comments with a panel of guests. At one point, Hannity said, "Can't they just produce [Obama's birth certificate] and move on?" Neither he nor his guests noted that the Obama campaign released Obama's certificate of live birth in June 2008. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/11]

Hannity Says "Don't Bring Up Race," Then Suggests Birtherism Is OK Because Obama Lived "In Indonesia As A Kid." During the panel discussion, guest and television host Jerry Springer began asking Hannity why "of all our 43 presidents" was it only Obama who faced questions about his birthplace. Hannity responded: "Don't bring up race. Do not bring up race. Do not bring up race. It is a constitutional requirement." After Springer responded, Hannity suggested that calls for Obama's birth certificate are OK because "[Obama] lived in Indonesia as a kid." [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/11]

Fox Nation Promotes USA Today Article On "'The View' Erupt[ing] After Trump Demands Obama's Birth Certificate." On March 23, Fox News' blog Fox Nation posted a video clip of Trump speaking on The View along with a few quotes from a USA Today article about the interview. [Fox Nation, 3/23/11; USA Today, 3/23/11]

Van Susteren Uses Trump's Comments To Promote The Idea That "There Are Too Many Missing Pieces" Surrounding Obama's Birth Certificate. On the March 23 edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren introduced a segment on Trump's View comments by saying, "Is Donald Trump a birther? Donald Trump is putting President Obama on the spot, telling him, 'Show the birth certificate.' But why is Trump doing that? Well, he tells the ladies on The View there are too many missing pieces." After playing a clip of Trump's comments, Van Susteren said, "Barbara Walters tried to change the subject, but as you saw, it didn't quite work," before moving on to the next story. Van Susteren did not question Trump's comments and failed to mention the June 2008 release of Obama's birth certificate. [Fox News, On the Record, 3/23/11]

Hannity Asked, "Why Can't They Just Release The Birth Certificate?" On the March 25 edition of his show, Hannity stated, "Donald Trump brought up the issue of the birth certificate, and it's getting huge buzz around the country," and later asked, "Why can't they just release the birth certificate, you know, and just move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/25/11]

Hannity Wondered Why Trump's Birtherism Is "So Toxic," Asks Panel For Their Birth Certificates. On the April 18 edition of Hannity, during a discussion about Trump's birther claims, Hannity asked why it's "so toxic to bring up" the birth certificate issue. He then asked his panelists for their birth certificates. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/18/11]

Hannity Promotes Trump: His "Popularity" Is Due To Taking On "Controversial Issues," Is A "Lesson" For Republicans. On the April 15 edition of his show, Hannity claimed that Trump's "popularity" provides "a lesson, here, for Republican candidates: Fight, fight -- take on controversial issues, don't back down, and battle." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/15/11]

Hannity Jumped Aboard "Trump 2012" -- Birtherism And All. During the April 15 edition of his show, Hannity helped to promote Trump's birther claims, later airing a graphic promoting a "Trump 2012" presidential run. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/15/11]

Palin On Trump Allegedly Sending Researchers To Hawaii To Investigate Obama's Birth: "More Power To Him." On the April 9 edition of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin said of Trump's claim that he sent researchers to Hawaii to investigate Obama's birth certificate: "More power to him." Palin later stated, "I think that [Obama] was born in Hawaii, because there was the birth announcement put in the newspaper, but obviously, if there's something there that the president doesn't want people to see on that birth certificate, that he [seems to] be going to great lengths to make sure that it isn't shown, and that's kind of perplexing for a lot of people." [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 4/9/11]

Doocy: Birth Certificate Produced By Obama's Campaign "Is Not The Exact Birth Certificate."After airing Trump's birther claims from an appearance on ABC's The View, Doocy stated during the March 24 edition of Fox & Friends that the Obama campaign "did produce -- before the election -- something called a certificate of live birth, which is not the exact birth certificate, but something that the state says indicates that he was born there." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/24/11]

Fox's Morris Reportedly Said Trump's Birther Claims Are "Within The Foul Lines." In an April 3 article about Trump, the New York Post reported that Fox News contributor Dick Morris said that Trump's recent "birther talk" is "within the foul lines," while "everyone else who spoke with The Post [sic] thinks it's a major tactical mistake." [New York Post, 4/3/11]

Trump Told Unquestioning Fox & Friends Hosts, "I'm Starting To Wonder ... Whether Or Not [Obama] Was Born In This Country." On March 28, Fox & Friends hosted Trump, who stated, "I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/28/11]

Ratcheting Up Birtherism, Fox Hosted Trump To Call Birthers "Great Americans." During the March 28 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Greta Van Susteren hosted Trump, who advanced his birther conspiracy theories. Van Susteren pointed out that Obama has a passport and one would need to submit a copy of their birth certificate in order to obtain a passport. Trump did not address this point, instead referring to birthers as "great Americans." [Fox News, On The Record, 3/28/11]

Fox Nation Again Celebrated Trump's Birther Claims By Saying He "Thump[ed] MSNBC Hosts On Obama's Birth Certificate." An April 1 Fox Nation headline read, "Trump Thumps MSNBC Hosts on Obama's Birth Certificate." Fox Nation linked to a video of Trump's appearance on MSNBC, in which Trump said, "I feel that there is certainly a chance [Obama] was not born in this country." [Fox Nation, 4/1/11]

After Hosting Trump Birther Theories, Fox & Friends Increases Promotion Of Trump's Weekly Fox & Friends Appearances. Following Trump's then-newly announced birther theories, Fox News began to increase their promotion of Trump's regular weekly segment on Fox & Friends. [Media Matters, 4/3/11]

Fox Nation Continues To Promote Trump Birtherism: "Investigators ... Cannot Believe What They're Finding." An April 7 Fox Nation headline stated, "Trump: I have Investigators in Hawaii... 'They Cannot Believe What They're Finding.' " [Fox Nation, 4/7/11]

Van Susteren Gave Trump Free Reign To Repeat Birther Theories. During the April 11 of her Fox News program, Van Susteren gave Trump the opportunity and airtime to push his birther conspiracies and discuss his efforts in Hawaii to look into Obama's citizenship. [Fox News, On the Record, 4/11/11]

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