Research

Fox Gives Jesse Watters A Weekly Show

Fox Will Now Feature Watters' Poor-Shaming, Sexism, And Transphobia For An Hour Every Week

Fox News has announced that news correspondent Jesse Watters' monthly special Watters' World will now be a weekly show on the network. Watters has a track record of producing segments where he shames homeless Americans and mocks members of the LGBT community. During his segment and while guest-hosting shows on Fox, Watters has also repeatedly made disparaging comments about immigrants, women, Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

January 5, 2017 2:21 PM EST
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Trump Administration Echoes Right-Wing Media Claims That Intelligence Agencies Are Politicized

The Wall Street Journal reported Donald Trump plans to “restructure and pare back” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence due to his belief it has become “bloated and politicized.” Trump’s belief that the DNI has become politicized echoes right-wing media conspiracies attempting to delegitimize intelligence reports that found Russian government directed compromises of emails during the 2016 election cycle.

January 4, 2017 10:23 PM EST
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Headlines Tout Trump’s False Claim That Intel Briefing “Was Delayed,” Omitting Intelligence Community’s Pushback

Multiple outlets pushed President-elect Donald Trump’s false claim on Tuesday, January 3, that an intelligence briefing had been “delayed until Friday” because officials “needed” extra time “to build a case” regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election. While some outlets noted in their headlines that intelligence officials have said that there was never a briefing scheduled for January 3, many others simply framed their headlines around Trump’s false claim that the briefing had been “delayed.”

January 4, 2017 1:05 PM EST
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First Amendment Watch: December 2016

During his 2016 campaign for president, Donald Trump launched an unprecedented war on the press. Since his election, Media Matters has tracked his and his team’s continuing attacks on the media and their abandonment of presidential norms regarding press access, which poses a dangerous threat to our First Amendment freedoms. Following is a list of attacks President-elect Donald Trump made against the media -- and instances in which he demonstrated disregard for the press -- during the month of December 2016.

January 3, 2017 12:24 PM EST
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The Media Outlets Poised To Become Trump’s Personal Propaganda Machine

The President-Elect’s Media Allies Are Already Helping Him Control Narratives And Publicly Attack Enemies

After the 2016 presidential election, President-elect Donald Trump is coalescing a network of supportive right-wing media outlets, including an online publication owned by his son-in-law, a supermarket tabloid, and a new 24-hour news outlet that has been described as “Trump TV.” Since the primaries, these right-wing media outlets have helped push Trump's agenda and have attacked his political opponents.

January 2, 2017 8:31 AM EST
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Here Are The Most Racially Bigoted Right-Wing Media Segments Of 2016

In 2016, right-wing media’s use of racially charged and bigoted statements hit new lows, featuring widely condemned segments reliant on racial caricatures, bigoted attempts to blame progressives for the actions of white nationalists, and slurs directed against other media figures. Here are the most bigoted stories and statements from right-wing media figures over the last year:

December 31, 2016 11:07 AM EST
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12 Times Media Figures Fought Bigotry And Misinformation In 2016

2016 was a red letter year for xenophobia and misinformation. From smears about Muslims to hostility over LGBT rights, media have had to push back against a torrent of lies and distortion. Here are 12 times the media rebuffed right-wing lies and deceit.

December 30, 2016 8:54 AM EST
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8 Times Media Debunked Trump’s Outrageous Statements On The Economy In 2016

President-elect Donald Trump spread numerous falsehoods, myths, and outright lies about the state of the American economy in 2016. As the year comes to a close, Media Matters offers eight examples of journalists and media outlets debunking Trump’s outrageously misleading statements.

December 29, 2016 9:05 AM EST
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How The Media Elevated Anti-Immigrant Nativist Groups

Throughout 2016, media outlets were complicit in mainstreaming the “nativist lobby,” made up of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA, groups with ties to white supremacists whose mission is to drastically limit both legal and illegal immigration. Even though these groups have a record of producing shoddy research and pushing misinformation about immigrants, their agenda has now inspired many of President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Many mainstream media outlets contributed to the normalization of these nativist groups by repeatedly referencing them under the pretense of balance while failing to acknowledge their insidious anti-immigrant agenda or provide context about their nativist origins.

December 28, 2016 9:21 AM EST
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Trump Brings His Devious Social Media Director, Dan Scavino, To The White House

Scavino Uses His Twitter Feed To Push Conspiracy Theories And Harassment

President-elect Donald Trump’s newly announced assistant to the president and director of social media, Dan Scavino, frequently used social media while working on the Trump campaign to share links from sites that push fake news and conspiracy theories. He was also responsible for an anti-Semitic Trump campaign tweet and routinely attacked Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who cited Scavino as a reason she received death threats during the campaign.

December 22, 2016 4:17 PM EST
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Kellyanne Conway Heads To The White House With Anti-Trump Baggage And A Record Of Homophobia And Misogyny

Kellyanne Conway, who has been named White House counselor to President-elect Donald Trump after serving as his campaign manager, has long been a fixture in right-wing media and has a history of peddling homophobic, anti-choice, and misogynistic talking points. As a cable news pundit during the 2016 primary season, she attacked Trump for his “unpresidential” and “vulgar” language, for having “built a lot of his business on the backs of the little guy,” and for not releasing his tax returns.

December 22, 2016 11:25 AM EST
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Planned Parenthood Is Under Attack In Texas, And Media There Are Failing The Challenge 

Texas media are omitting crucial information in reports on the state’s move to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, including that Texas’ decision was largely based on debunked videos by an anti-abortion activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, and that the move will negatively impact women’s health. In contrast, reporting by online outlets geared toward women put Texas media to shame, explaining that the evidence behind the policy decision is misleading and that the defunding will have dire consequences for women’s health in Texas.

December 21, 2016 3:10 PM EST
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News Reports Uncritically Portray Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson As Climate Change Advocate

Several media outlets reporting on President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state have uncritically described Tillerson as accepting of climate change and supportive of a carbon tax. But these reports ignored scientifically inaccurate claims Tillerson has made about climate change, Exxon’s continued financial support of groups that deny climate science, inconsistencies by both Tillerson and Exxon on whether they truly support a carbon tax, and fierce opposition to Tillerson’s nomination from leading environmental groups -- not to mention the fact that Exxon is under investigation in several states for possibly violating state laws by deceiving shareholders and the public about climate change.

December 16, 2016 3:56 PM EST
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Conservative Media Freak Out Over Facebook’s Plan To Address The Fake News Problem

Right-wing media figures attacked Facebook for announcing that it would partner with third-party fact-checking organizations like PolitiFact and The Associated Press to combat fake news. The freakout from conservative pundits follows their repeated attempts to hijack the term “fake news” in order to discredit mainstream news sources.

December 15, 2016 4:10 PM EST
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Understanding The Fake News Universe

A Guide To Fake News Terminology

The fake news universe is vast and ephemeral, and to some extent its dimensions are unknowable. But Media Matters’ research team spent hundreds of hours trying to map out as much of it as possible. Below is what we’ve learned and how we’ve come to define many of the moving parts that create an ecosystem for fake news to spread and thrive.

December 15, 2016 11:11 AM EST
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