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Lewandowski: Trump’s Birther Comments Are “A Nonissue”
CNN political commentator and former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski whitewashed Trump’s birther history and falsely claimed the Republican presidential candidate “moved on” from his conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the U.S. After CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked if Trump believes Obama is a citizen, Lewandowski said “the birth certificate has been produced. [Trump]’s moved on.” However in 2012, Trump resurrected his birther conspiracy theory during an interview with former Fox host Greta Van Susteren, claiming that “many, many people” questioned the validity of Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Lewandowski recently revived Trump’s birther theory, asking if President Obama was admitted into Harvard University “as a U.S. citizen,” or “as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?”
CNN has received criticism for paying Lewandowski to comment on the election despite his continued ties to the Trump campaign. In addition to receiving severance from the campaign, Lewandowski is also reportedly prepping Trump for the debates and traveling with the candidate to campaign stops. In an open letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker, Media Matters president Bradley Beychok has called on Zucker to publicly address questions regarding the hiring of Lewandowski or suspend him from the network. From the September 9 edition of CNN’s New Day:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): Does Donald Trump believe that President Obama was born in Hawaii?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Look, of course, he said that. He said he's not going to talk about it.
CAMEROTA: No he hasn’t.
CHRISTINE QUINN: No he has not.
CAMEROTA: He says he hasn't talked about it. He's never said he believes that.
LEWANDOWSKI: He has said that Barack Obama has produced his birth certificate and he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. That's what he said.
CAMEROTA: Why doesn't he say, I apologize for saying that he was not an American?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, he asked a question. He said, produce your birth certificate. The birth certificate has been produced. He's moved on.
QUINN: But that doesn’t mean he accepts the birth certificate.
CAMOERTA: Let me play for you what he told Bill O'Reilly, who brought it up, OK? Bill O’Reilly, not just Democrats. Fox News is bringing it up because Donald Trump is so unresolved on this issue. Let me play this for you.
QUINN: He never said he was born in Hawaii.
BILL O’REILLY: Do you think your birther position has hurt you among African-Americans?
DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t even talk about it anymore, Bill.
O’REILLY: No, I know.
TRUMP: Because I just don’t want to talk about it.
O’REILLY: But it’s there. It’s on the record.
TRUMP: I don’t know. I guess with maybe some. I don’t know why. I really don’t know why.
CAMEROTA: That’s all he says, I don’t talk about it anymore, I don’t know why. I don’t talk about it anymore. He never says I now think I was wrong.
My question is, why doesn't he say I was wrong?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look it's a nonissue.
CAMEROTA: No, it's not a nonissue. It keeps coming up everywhere.
LEWANDOWSKI: He's not running against Barack Obama in this campaign. If he was, he’d win. If he’s runs against Hillary Clinton, which is a third term of Barack Obama, he’s going to win . So let's talk about Hillary Clinton, who's running for president of the United States.
CAMEROTA: OK last word.
QUINN: Let’s talk about Donald Trump. He has insulted the president of the United States, spread lies about his citizenship, and insulted the first African-American president of the United States. And now that he's running for president? That does deserve an apology. And yet again, Donald Trump can't admit that he's wrong and dog-whistles out there across the country to divide us, not bring us together.
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, the president has attacked Donald Trump multiple occasions from the White House. If he wants to apologize to Donald Trump, I'm sure Donald Trump will.
CAMEROTA: He's not saying he’s not a citizen. He’s not saying he wasn’t born here.
LEWANDOWSKI: He's said a number of egregious things, and he’s questioned his patriotism, he’s questioned a number of things about Donald Trump.
CAMEROTA: This is in a different category.
For information on Media Matters’ petition for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, please click here.
Media are attempting to scandalize a report from The Associated Press that revealed that “[m]ore than half the people outside the government who met with now-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money ... to the Clinton Foundation,” calling the report “breathtaking” and “disturbing,” because it “looks bad,” and the “optics” and “perceptions” are problematic, despite the fact that their programs also note that “it wasn’t illegal,” and there was no quid pro quo. The focus on the “optics” of the situation rather than the facts has led some in media to criticize the reporting, and explain that “consumers of the media [should] think twice about whether or not the narrative” media are pushing “fits ALL of the facts.”
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Media are promoting Republican gains in the House and Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections as evidence that the country has shifted to the "center-right" on political issues, despite the fact that ballot initiatives and national polling reveal broad support for progressive positions.
CNN host Chris Cuomo argued that professor of religion and author Reza Aslan's heated arguments against anti-Muslim bigotry on CNN recently demonstrated "what people are fearful of when they think of" Islam.
On September 29, Aslan was a guest on CNN Tonight, where hosts Alisyn Camerota and Don Lemon discussed what they called the "primitive treatment in Muslim countries of women and other minorities" while on-air graphics asked, "Does Islam promote violence?" Aslan responded saying he felt CNN was over-generalizing, arguing "you're talking about a religion about 1.5 billion people and certainly it becomes easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush":
ASLAN: You know, this is the problem, is that these conversations that we're having aren't really being had in any kind of legitimate way. We're not talking about women in the Muslim world, we're using two or three examples to justify a generalization. That's actually the definition of bigotry.
On a follow-up segment on the October 2 edition of CNN Tonight, which noted that the network had taken criticism& for the original interview, Camerota and Lemon acknowledged Aslan's argument but defended the premise of their original segment, saying it was important to "ask the question." CNN host Chris Cuomo agreed. He argued that while the hosts shouldn't generalize, and should distinguish the practice of the religion from the practice of individual nations, Aslan's "tone was angry," so he "wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith, which is the hostility of it":
CUOMO: Also, his tone was angry. He wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith in the first place, which is the hostility of it. Look, here's what you guys were exposing yourself to. This is the state of play in journalism today. The Muslim world is responsible for a really big part of religious extremism right now. And they are unusually violent. They're unusually barbaric in the places where it is happening. And it's happening there more there than it is in other places. Do you therefore want to generalize? Of course not. But you do want to call a situation what it is. It's not a coincidence that ISIS begins with an I. I mean, that's what's going on in that part of the world. Doesn't mean other faiths can't be violent and other cultures can't be violent, but you shouldn't be afraid of the question.
Watch the original CNN Tonight interview with Aslan here:
Right-wing media figures rushed to claim the Affordable Care Act will destroy 2 million jobs, citing a new Congressional Budget Office report, but that's not what the report found -- the CBO report projected that the law will give workers the freedom to voluntarily reduce their employment after gaining health insurance.
The CBO released its Budget and Economic Outlook for the years 2014 to 2024 on February 4, which projected in part that the number of full-time workers would decline by about 2 million by 2017. Right-wing media quickly pounced on the report to distort the CBO's projections about the ACA's effect on future employment.
In a post on her Washington Post blog, Jennifer Rubin claimed the report "confirms what critics have been saying all along: Obamacare is killing jobs and squelching growth." On Fox, America's News HQ co-host Alisyn Camerota claimed "a bombshell new CBO report" found that "Obamacare will be much worse for the economy than previously predicted," and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs added it is "another round of devastating numbers for all Americans because the result of this is there will be fewer jobs":
The CBO makes it clear that the decrease in workers is not due to jobs being lost -- rather, the ACA will allow workers to choose to work less. The projected change is in the supply of labor, not the demand for labor, and thus the CBO noted that the decrease would not lead to a corresponding increase in unemployment or underemployment (emphasis added):
The reduction in CBO's projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024. Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA. The decline in fulltime-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect. The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).
Fox News failed to air any of President Obama's speech on the economy, keeping in line with the network's history of refusing to cover Obama's remarks.
On September 20, President Obama delivered an address at the Liberty, Missouri Ford Motors plant. During the speech, he discussed topics ranging from the financial crisis, to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the need to raise the debt ceiling.
While both CNN and MSNBC provided significant live coverage of the speech - with 25 and 35 minutes of coverage, respectively -- Fox News did not air the remarks at all. Instead, America Live guest host Alisyn Camerota directed viewers to watch the speech online at FoxNews.com. While Camerota spoke, video of the president's remarks played onscreen, but audio was muted.
The network gave adequate live coverage to earlier remarks made by House Speaker John Boehner over efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, dedicating roughly two minutes of uninterrupted live coverage - almost the entirety of his remarks. CNN and MSNBC also aired Speaker Boehner's remarks, each dedicating around two minutes as well.
This is not the first time Fox News has failed to carry a president's speech on the economy. The network has repeatedly cut away from previous speeches, instead opting to cover other topics, such as the naming of the Royal baby.
Fox News reacted to reports that a suspect in the September 2012 Benghazi attack has been indicted by attacking the Obama administration. This included pushing the narrative that terror suspects should be tried in military courts, ignoring the far more successful record of civilian courts in such trials.
Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin falsely claimed that provisions in Texas' controversial abortion bill would make women safer. Her assertion ignores that the state already performs annual inspections of abortion clinics as well as expert testimony which argues that the legislation would actually "erode women's health."
On the July 8 edition of Fox News' America Live, Malkin joined guest host Alisyn Camerota to discuss the controversial legislation that would outlaw abortion procedures after 20 weeks with exceptions only for the life of the mother, require abortion clinics to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers, and require abortion providers to have permission to admit patients at a hospital within 30 miles of the provider's facility. Despite these sweeping restrictions, which would be some of the strictest in the country, Malkin claimed that the Texas legislation was simply a question of whether or not abortion providers would "abide by standards that will ensure safety":
According to Dallas News, however, the Texas Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) inspects abortion clinics every year, while it inspects surgical centers only every three years. Furthermore, in 2011, no pregnant females died of abortion-related causes in the state, while there were 116 deaths associated with pregnancy complications.
Medical experts including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) argue that the Texas legislation would "jeopardize women's health care as well as interfere with medical practice and the patient-physician relationship." Additionally, Dr. Lisa M. Hollier, ACOG's Texas district chairwoman said in July that "The bills would erode women's health by denying the women of Texas the benefits of well-researched, safe and proven protocols."
Fox News hyped the candidacy of its former contributor Pete Snyder, calling him "a really good guy."
On May 17, the Virginia Republican Convention began. Over the course of the weekend, Virginia Republicans -- as described by a May 17 Washington Post article -- are gathering "to pick nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general, and rally behind Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II for governor."
One of the candidates for lieutenant governor is Snyder, a former Fox News contributor, whose campaign website -- as of May 18 -- features that fact in a front page box. The box links to a page that details Snyder's experience at Fox and includes a laudatory quotation from Fox News chairman Roger Ailes:
On the May 18 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Tucker Carlson hyped the candidacy of Snyder, trumpeting his chances of winning and calling him "a really good guy." Co-host Alisyn Camerota praised Carlson's "shout out":
CARLSON: I want to say good morning to our old friend Pete Snyder. You may remember, Pete was a Fox News contributor for quite a while. And I just wanted to note, today in the Commonwealth of Virginia is the Republican Party's meeting where the nominee for lieutenant governor will be chosen. Pete is in the running. It looks pretty good for him. It's just neat when people you know and like sort of ascend up the ladder politically. This man could be the lieutenant governor of Virginia and when he is, I'm calling him for dinner.
CARLSON: A good guy. Pete Snyder is a really good guy.
CAMEROTA: That's great
CARLSON: It's just nice to see that.
CAMEROTA: Nice shout out.