Research

Pundits Defend Trump’s Dangerous Phone Call With Taiwan’s President

Experts In Asian Pacific Studies And International Relations Warn It “Raises The Risk Of Diplomatic Disaster”

Pundits are defending President-elect Donald Trump’s protocol-shattering phone conversation with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen as “terrific” and saying it will have “no cost to America,” but experts in Asian Pacific studies and international relations warn that the move “does not bode well for US-China relations” and “raises the risk of diplomatic disaster.”

8 hours 7 min ago
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Trump Picks Former Fox News Contributor Ben Carson To Serve As Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development

Carson Has Repeatedly Expressed Opposition To Government Aid For Poor Americans

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Dr. Ben Carson to serve as his secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson, a former Fox News contributor, has repeatedly said he opposes government efforts to eradicate poverty, and he has a long history of making off-color and offensive remarks during his stint with the network.

8 hours 55 min ago
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A Comprehensive Guide To The Select Panel’s Reliance On Anti-Choice Media

How A Discredited Anti-Choice Group Became A Primary Source Of Misinformation For A Congressional Witch Hunt Against Abortion Patients, Providers, And Clinics

Since its inception in October 2015, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has used numerous documents taken from the discredited organization Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and other anti-choice groups to allege wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Scores of media outlets have confirmed that the footage shows no illegal behavior by, or on behalf of, Planned Parenthood, while 14 investigations to date have cleared the organization of all wrongdoing. 

10 hours 34 min ago
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Conservatives Downplayed Fake News. Yesterday It Almost Had A Body Count.

While Right-Wing Media Dismiss Fake News, "Alt-Right" White Nationalists And Misogynists Use It To Harass

An armed shooter opened fire at a Washington, D.C., pizzeria in order to “self-investigate” a false conspiracy about the restaurant pushed by fake news websites and spread by fringe right-wing media outlets. Yet right-wing media figures have dismissed and downplayed the impact of fake news, calling it “satire and parody that liberals don't understand,” saying it is “in the eye of the beholder,” and claiming that concerns about fake news are “silly” and “nonsense.”

11 hours 51 min ago
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Television News Praises Trump’s “Symbolic Coup” In Carrier Jobs Announcement

Indiana-Based Company Convinces Trump To Give It Taxpayer Money, Still Moves Many Of Its Jobs To Mexico

Broadcast and cable news personalities rushed to credit President-elect Donald Trump for closing a deal with the Indiana-based manufacturer Carrier that provides the for-profit company with millions of taxpayer dollars while allowing it to still outsource hundreds of jobs to Mexico. Journalists and reporters framed the agreement as a “symbolic coup” and “unadulterated win” for Trump’s incoming administration even as they acknowledged that supporting a relatively small number of jobs at taxpayer expense is an unsustainable manufacturing policy.

December 1, 2016 4:31 PM EST
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First Amendment Watch: November 2016

Trump Ditched His Press Pool And Repeatedly Bashed NY Times And CNN On Twitter

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 as well as his breaking of presidential norms regarding press access, a dangerous threat to our First Amendment freedoms. Following is a list of President-elect Donald Trump’s attacks on the media -- and demonstrations of disregard for the press -- from Election Day through the end of November.

December 1, 2016 8:18 AM EST
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Architect Of CIA's Waterboarding Program And Fox & Friends Host Mislead About Torture

Fox host Brian Kilmeade praised waterboarding, claiming it “yield[ed] tremendous results,” during an error-filled interview with psychologist James Mitchell, the man who created the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” program. Mitchell and Kilmeade promoted numerous misleading arguments about the supposed effectiveness of torture as a form of interrogation while promoting Mitchell's upcoming memoir. Fox figures have previously spoken out in support of reinstating waterboarding as an interrogation technique, even though experts have condemned the practice, saying that it constitutes torture, is illegal under American and international law, and “yielded no intelligence.” 

November 30, 2016 4:14 PM EST
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Morning Joe Hosts, After Carrying Water For Trump And Meeting Him Privately, Aghast That Anyone Questions Their Impartiality

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, have met privately with Donald Trump while Scarborough is reportedly advising the president-elect, yet both still reject media criticism of their overly positive coverage of the former reality show celebrity. On the November 29 edition of Morning Joe alone, the hosts carried water for President-elect Trump on five separate topics, including criticizing journalists for scrutinizing his extensive conflicts of interest and reporting on Pro-Trump “fake news.”

November 29, 2016 3:40 PM EST
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Why Won’t Fox News Ask Potential Trump DHS Head David Clarke Why Inmates Are Dying In His Jail?

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke -- a frequent Fox News guest -- to head the Department of Homeland Security. In April, an inmate in Sheriff Clarke’s Milwaukee County Jail was found dead of “profound dehydration.” Since that incident, three other individuals, including a newborn infant, have died in Clarke’s Milwaukee County Jail, but in more than 40 prime-time appearances on Fox News since the first reported death, Clarke has not once been asked about the disturbing trend of people dying in his jail. Clarke’s tenure as Milwaukee County Sheriff has been filled with controversy and legal action, and on Fox News and Twitter, Clarke has a history of using incendiary rhetoric directed at government officials and protesters.

November 29, 2016 3:22 PM EST
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Media Fail To Explain The Impact of HHS Nominee Tom Price’s Health Care Agenda

Major newspapers gave little attention to the harmful impact Rep. Tom Price’s (R-GA) policies would have on the American health care system when discussing his expected nomination to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a future Trump administration. However, experts agree that Price’s preferred positions on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare and Medicaid, and reproductive health care access would harm millions of Americans.

November 29, 2016 2:54 PM EST
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Conservative Media Wrongly Pin Democrats' Election Losses On Climate Change Focus

In the aftermath of the election, conservative media figures have alleged that Democratic candidates’ emphasis on climate change was a reason they lost, claiming this focus alienated or drove away voters. But numerous polls conducted in the run-up to the election indicated that a majority of Americans consider climate change an important issue and favor government action to address it, and an exit poll similarly revealed that most voters in Florida view climate change as a serious problem. While these polls indicate that a focus on climate change didn’t harm environmentally friendly Democratic candidates, a plausible explanation for why the issue may not have helped them is the lack of attention it received from the media, including during debates.

November 29, 2016 1:01 PM EST
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Trump Lies That Millions Voted Illegally, And Mainstream Outlets Uncritically Echo Him

Media outlets failed to hold President-elect Donald Trump accountable for his false claim that “millions of people” illegally voted in the 2016 presidential election by failing to state in their headlines and tweets -- which are what most news consumers see -- that the allegation was a lie. The claim, which Trump used to dismiss his loss in the popular vote and to attack a recount effort in Wisconsin, was originally pushed by far-right “conspiracy-theory hawking” websites. Even though fact-checking organizations debunked the idea, numerous mainstream media outlets writing about the issue on social media and in headlines either reported Trump’s lie without noting that it was false or hedged by writing only that it lacked evidence.

November 28, 2016 12:33 PM EST
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Media Should Not Sanitize Trump Immigration Adviser Kris Kobach’s Extremism, Ties To White Supremacists

Kobach “Wrote The Book” On Muslim Registry And Was Behind Anti-Immigrant SB 1070

A reported architect behind President-elect Donald Trump’s extreme immigration proposals, radio host and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has received significant media attention following the announcement that he was joining Trump’s transition team. However, media outlets are failing to note his ties to hate groups and nativist organizations and his attacks on immigrants and LGBTQ people.

November 21, 2016 4:30 PM EST
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A $25 Million Settlement Just Tanked Right-Wing Media’s Fraudulent Defense Of Trump University

President-elect Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits alleging his for-profit business Trump University used aggressive sales tactics and unqualified instructors to scam students. Throughout the lawsuit’s litigation, right-wing news outlets helped shield Trump University from criticism by enabling Trump to lie about the institution and aiding his racist attacks on the judge overseeing the case.

November 18, 2016 6:41 PM EST
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Right-Wing Media's Failed Attempt To Downplay The Impact Of North Carolina's Anti-LGBTQ Law In Governor's Race

Right-wing media outlets are attempting to deny the impact of North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law House Bill 2 (HB 2) in the state’s still too-close-to-call gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper. Mainstream journalists and political scientists have repeatedly pointed to the “politically obvious” costs of the discriminatory HB 2 as a “key issue” in the governor’s race, the outcome of which could mark a potential “watershed” moment for LGBTQ equality. 

November 18, 2016 3:31 PM EST
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