Research

The Muslim Ban Is A Religious Test Built On A False Premise

Right-Wing Media Adopt Trump’s Absurd Claim That His Executive Order Is Not A Muslim Ban

After Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, his administration and right-wing media allies defended the action as “perfectly legal” and “not a Muslim ban.” Yet mainstream media figures and experts explained that the executive order’s exception for religious minorities renders it a de facto religious test. Trump and his advisers explicitly called for a Muslim ban during the last year of his campaign, and the administration’s claim that the order’s religious exception is necessitated by disproportionate persecution of Christians in the Middle East has been debunked.

January 31, 2017 3:48 PM EST
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Infowars And New DC Chief Jerome Corsi Are A Perfect Match To Cover Donald Trump

Birther Joins Birther To Cover Administration Led By Birther

Alex Jones announced that WorldNetDaily reporter Jerome Corsi will be Infowars.com’s new Washington bureau chief. The appointment is fitting for the discredited pro-Trump website: Corsi was instrumental to the false claim that former President Barack Obama supposedly has a fake birth certificate, and he has a long history of producing shoddy reporting in service of bizarre conspiracy theories.

January 31, 2017 3:45 PM EST
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Cable News Hosts Anti-Muslim Extremists To Defend Trump’s Muslim Ban

Just a few days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning U.S. entry for refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, CNN and Fox News both hosted anti-immigrant extremists or members of designated hate groups to discuss the president’s move, effectively legitimizing and normalizing these groups. Neither CNN nor Fox correctly labeled any of the guests as belonging to groups that pursue fiercely anti-Muslim, anti-refugee agendas.

January 31, 2017 2:16 PM EST
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STUDY: Networks Fail To Report Consequences Of Trump’s Unprecedented Expansion Of The Global Gag Rule

Trump’s Executive Order Reinstated The Gag Rule And Quietly Expanded Its Scope -- CNN And Fox News Didn’t Report The Consequences

On January 23, President Donald Trump issued an executive order reinstating and secretly expanding the scope of the global gag rule, an anti-choice restriction banning the U.S. from providing foreign aid to nongovernmental organizations that privately fund or promote abortion care. A Media Matters study found that in a week of evening coverage on the three major cable news networks, only MSNBC reported on the disastrous consequences of Trump’s reinstatement and unprecedented expansion of the global gag rule.

January 31, 2017 11:37 AM EST
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Right-Wing Media Wrongly Cite Obama To Justify Trump’s Muslim Ban

Right-wing media figures echoed misleading claims from President Donald Trump’s administration that his executive order seeking to ban travel from seven specific, predominantly Muslim countries “came from the Obama administration,” citing what they call a 2011 “ban” on “immigration from Iraq” and the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015. But, as experts have noted, the comparison to the Obama administration's actions in 2011 and 2015 are “misleading,” as “The Obama administration’s 2011 review came in response to specific threat information” and was not an “outright ban,” and the 2015 legislation still allowed visa applications from those seven countries.

January 30, 2017 4:03 PM EST
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Former Breitbart Chief Now Writing America's Foreign Policy: Trump Gives Stephen Bannon Place On National Security Council

Media And Security Experts React To Bannon's NSC Appointment: "Unprecedented," "Lunacy," "Truly Dangerous"

National security experts and media figures denounced President Donald Trump’s “dangerous” decision to give his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a prominent role on the National Security Council. Bannon is an extremist anti-Semite who formerly ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart.com.

January 29, 2017 4:13 PM EST
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Trump’s Immigration Order Targeting Muslims Is Greeted With Praise By Conservative Media And Dismay By Experts

ACLU: The “Intent To Discriminate On The Basis Of Religion, Even Hidden Behind Pretextual Religious Neutrality, Violates The Establishment Clause And Equal Protection”

The executive action President Donald Trump has signed to limit immigration of refugees from a group of majority-Muslim countries was condemned by national security experts and media figures when he initially floated them. Those experts have noted that Trump’s plans are unconstitutional and antithetical to American values and that they would cost the U.S. billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

January 27, 2017 6:52 PM EST
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Google Takes Step In Tackling Fake News, But There's Clearly More To Do

Google AdSense Continues To Place Ads On Numerous Fake News-Purveying Sites, Despite Its “Misrepresentative Content” Policy

On January 25, Google announced that it had banned “nearly 200 publishers” from its advertising network for violating its “misrepresentative content policy.” Yet numerous notable violators of the policy that Media Matters already reported to Google remain a part of Google’s AdSense program, showing that while Google may be on the right track, the company still has more work to do.

January 26, 2017 6:29 PM EST
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Fake News Purveyors Echo Trump’s Bogus Claims Of Voter Fraud

Following President Donald Trump’s vow to launch a federal investigation into his debunked claim that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election, numerous websites that Media Matters has identified as purveyors of fake news cheered on Trump’s call and falsely claimed there is massive voter fraud in the United States, an argument that has been repeatedly debunked. Nearly all of these websites are supported, in part, by revenue from Google’s advertising service.

January 26, 2017 4:26 PM EST
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Voter Fraud Myths Pushed By Trump Have Long Been Propagated By Right-Wing Media

Throughout his campaign, and continuing now as President, Donald Trump has made a series of baseless claims alleging mass voter fraud in order to either preemptively cast doubt on the election results, or to dispute the fact he didn’t win the popular vote. Trump’s allegations, which ranged from “people are going to walk in” and “vote ten times,” to claiming “he would have won the popular vote had it not been for millions of illegal votes,” and most recently his decision to ask for “a major investigation into voter fraud” are based on a series of myths that right-wing media have pushed for years -- including the arguments that strict voter ID laws are needed to prevent voter fraud, that dead people are voting, and that there is widespread noncitizen voting.

January 25, 2017 5:45 PM EST
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22 Times Jim Hoft And The Gateway Pundit Were Absurdly Wrong

The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft said the Trump administration has promised that the site will “have a White House correspondent this year.” Hoft's website is one of the worst purveyors of false information on the internet, having repeatedly fallen for fake stories, published numerous articles with factual inaccuracies (later pulling some, but leaving others uncorrected), and pushed fact-free conspiracy theories about a wide range of topics including President Obama’s birthplace.

January 25, 2017 10:21 AM EST
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Renowned Liar Sean Spicer Lied About Lying To The Press

Despite his pledge that he would “never knowingly say something that is not factual” to the media as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer is using his position behind the lectern to tell lies to the press.

January 24, 2017 8:23 PM EST
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Conspiracy Outlet WND Is Still Pushing Its Anti-Muslim Fake News Story Even After It Was Debunked

WND Uses Fake News Reports To Fearmonger Against Middle Eastern Immigrants

WorldNetDaily (WND) writer Leo Hohmann is standing by debunked reports that Syrian refugee children sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, ID. Local officials said the reports were not true, and the state’s former attorney general called out Hohmann’s reporting and said his “so-called news” site plays “fast and loose with the truth.” Hohmann, who has a history of fearmongering about Muslims and refugees, claimed that the local officials are “covering up” the real story. WorldNetDaily also played an instrumental role in promoting the racist “birther” campaign against former President Barack Obama.

January 24, 2017 3:07 PM EST
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How Incoming White House Staffer Julia Hahn Attacked Paul Ryan At Breitbart

President Donald Trump is planning to hire Julia Hahn, a Breitbart.com staff writer, to serve in his administration, primarily under former Breitbart CEO and current White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Hahn, who has repeatedly criticized House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) while at Breitbart, is coming into the job as tensions are reportedly starting to cool between Ryan and Bannon.

January 24, 2017 12:06 PM EST
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Here Are The Media Figures Who Praised Renowned Liar Sean Spicer

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has attracted widespread criticism for “a series of false statements” he made about the size of the crowds at the presidential inauguration. Prior to Spicer’s meltdown, however, some media figures were full of praise for the “competent, thorough” “straight shooter.”  Later, other media figures credited him for a supposed “reboot” in his first official press briefing as White House press secretary.

January 23, 2017 6:12 PM EST
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