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Right-wing media criticized the coverage Khizr Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, comparing it to the lack of coverage given to Patricia Smith’s speech at the Republican National Convention. But Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump directly attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan with anti-Muslim and personal attacks, fueling widespread outrage and blacklash.
West: Khan Should Ask For God’s Forgiveness For His "Damn Politicized Stunt"
National Rifle Association board member and conservative pundit Allen West published an attack on Khizr Khan, a speaker at the Democratic National Convention whose son, a captain in the U.S. Army, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.
West concluded a lengthy attack on Khan posted to his website, “I grieve for the loss of your son. However, I grieve even more that you used his sacrifice and loss as nothing more than a damn politicized stunt. May God forgive you for it.”
During a July 28 speech at the Democratic convention, Khan, standing beside his wife Ghazala, spoke about their son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 by a car bomb while protecting soldiers under his command.
Khan’s remarks received widespread attention after he condemned the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, asking whether Trump had ever read the U.S. Constitution and addressing the nominee, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
In a July 31 post to his website, West joined Trump and other members of conservative media who have attacked Khan since his convention speech. West is a retired Army Lt. Colonel whose service ended in controversy over his use of interrogation tactics in Iraq.
In addition to writing that he grieved Khan’s speech more than the death of Khan’s son, West also wrote of Khan’s decision to make his speech: “I tend to believe that if alive, your son would consider that type of behavior abhorrent and deplorable” and suggested that the elder Khan “will be remembered as a political pawn.”
West added that during his speech, Khan should have “taken the time to explain how humbled and thankful you are to live in America.” Khan actually did address his family’s decision to immigrate to the United States in his convention remarks, saying, “We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.”
West also wished that during the convention speech Khan would have called the chief prophet and central figure of the Islam religion, the Prophet Muhammad, “a murderous warlord, psychopath, and, by modern day standards, a pedophile.”
West was elected to a leadership position within the NRA during the group’s 2016 elections. He has also served as a Fox News contributor and the executive director of the think tank National Center for Policy Analysis.
West’s diatribe against Khan was praised by fellow NRA board member Ted Nugent who wrote on his Facebook page, “DITTO Allen West from all humans with a brain, heart & soul! Allen West would make a great Commander in Chief!”:
As chaos erupted on the floor of the Republican National Convention, Fox News figures spun the upheaval as entertaining “high drama” and “democracy at its best.” But other conservative media figures blasted the scene on the floor, calling it “ugly,” “authoritarian,” “chaos.”
Several conservative media figures lashed out at President Barack Obama after an attack on police officers in Dallas, TX, during a peaceful demonstration against the recent police shootings of two black men. Numerous Fox personalities blamed Obama for the attacks and right-wing media figures criticized his remarks in the aftermath of the shootings.
There they go again.
Conservative media figures, apparently disheartened by recent poll results showing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump heading in the wrong direction, are once again claiming biased or unreliable pollsters are unfairly weighting results against their party. If this sounds familiar, it’s because they did the same thing in 2012, spending months attempting to “unskew” polls showing Mitt Romney losing, only to watch him be soundly defeated on election day.
In the run-up to the 2012 election, conservatives consistently complained that polls showing President Obama in the lead were inaccurately counting the gap between self-identified Democrats and Republicans. According to this school of thought, the polls were being “skewed” to show Romney losing. One blogger, Dean Chambers, took the data in the polls and reweighted them with a partisan split friendlier to Republicans resulting in “unskewed” polls showing Romney easily winning. Chambers’ work -- which was more akin to wishful thinking than academic analysis -- was nonetheless widely cited by conservative media as evidence of a concerted effort to influence the results of the presidential election in Obama’s favor.
The polls were not skewed. An average of 2012 election polling predicted that Obama would win by 0.7%. In reality, the victory was by a margin of 3.86%. If anything the polls undercounted Obama’s support.
Polls can of course go up and down, and the occasional outlier is inevitable. But the argument that the partisan split that pollsters report as they survey voters is somehow skewed to help Democrats is a conspiracy, not actual analysis.
Despite this, conservative media are once again pushing the “unskewed” theme as recent polls show Clinton leading Trump.
This time, the charge against the polls is being led in part by the candidate himself. Trump recently responded to a poll showing him losing with tweets that complained “The @ABC poll sample is heavy on Democrats. Very dishonest - why would they do that?” and “The ‘dirty’ poll done by @ABC @washingtonpost is a disgrace. Even they admit that many more Democrats were polled.”
The ABC News/Washington Post poll in question shows Clinton ahead of Trump 51%-39%.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noticed the reboot of the “unskewed” theme and asked, “Has anyone seen Donald Trump and Dean Chambers in the same room together?”
Conservative media figures have also zeroed in on the ABC/Wash. Post poll for criticism. On Fox News’ Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said that in the methodology for the ABC/Washington Post poll “they actually talked to 12 percent more Democrats than Republicans,” adding, “According to the Gallup poll, there are 3 percent more Democrats in the country than Republicans, so it looks like they've got a favorite in it.” During the same segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade explained to viewers, “So far Donald Trump leads in most independent polls.” This is true, if by “most,” Kilmeade meant none of the last 21 polls included in Real Clear Politics’ general election polling data.
The methodology for the poll, conducted by Langer Research for ABC/Washington Post, addresses the partisan breakdown":
Partisanship can follow political preferences, and in this poll Democrats account for 36 percent of all adults and 37 percent of registered voters – a non-significant (+3) difference from last month. (The former is numerically its highest since 2009, the latter, since 2012.) Republicans account for 24 percent of all adults and 27 percent of registered voters, about their average in recent years, with the rest independents.
This accounts for little of the shift in voter preferences, however. Even using the same party divisions from last month’s ABC/Post survey, in which Trump was +2, he’d now be -8. The reason, mentioned above, is his comparatively weak performance among Republicans – 77 percent support – compared with Clinton’s support among Democrats, 90 percent.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll showing Clinton with a 13% lead over Trump prompted an outburst as well.
On Fox News host Sean Hannity’s official website, a blog post complained the poll “is heavily skewed.” On his June 27 radio show, Hannity cited the partisan breakdown and described it as a “misleading poll” because the media is “in the tank for Hillary.”
Hannity apparently didn’t learn his lesson about attempting to unskew polls in 2012, when he was saying things like, “These polls are so skewed, so phony, that we need to start paying attention to what’s going on so that you won’t be deflated.”
In a post purporting to highlight “More Polling Tricks” from an “EXTREMELY SKEWED” poll, conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit complained this week that “Reuters freighted their poll with 20 percent more Democrats than Republicans” and concluded that “we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.”
Hoft made a similar argument in September of 2012, complaining that a CNN poll showing Obama leading Romney “drastically oversampled Democrats to get this stunning result.” He then went on to cite Dean Chambers, who said that when “unskewed” the CNN poll showed Romney leading by eight percent.
Perhaps remembering how much egg the conservative media had on its face after the 2012 debacle, Fox News contributor Brit Hume tried to steer his fellow conservatives away from repeating their mistakes.
In an appearance on America’s Newsroom, Hume noted that Trump “couldn’t stop talking” about polls showing him in the lead during the primaries, but now “his supporters, the ones I hear from anyway say that the poll is rigged, and all the rest of it.” Then he told host Martha MacCallum, “I don't think your viewers should pay too much attention to that. Look at the polling averages. Look at all the polls put together, to see what you get. And I think the picture's pretty clear. He's trailing, but not insurmountably.”
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Allen West attacked his Fox News colleagues for their moderation of last night's Republican debate, calling their performance unprofessional, "petty," "petulant," and designed "to incite a spiteful environment."
In a January 29 post on his website, the Fox News contributor wrote that he didn't "think Megyn Kelly's opening statement about 'an elephant not in the room' was professional. The snarky intro question about the person who wasn't there was just as petty and petulant as his reaction of not appearing at the debate."
West also criticized moderators Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier for attempting "to evoke a little Trump bashing, but most of the candidates didn't take the bait -- kudos." He added: "Also, was it just me, or did Wallace, Kelly,and Baier purposefully promote a contentious atmosphere? It's one thing to present tough questions, another to incite a spiteful environment."
West concluded that while the debate had a "much more substantive aura ... the Fox Business News team of Maria Bartiromo and Neal Cavuto [sic], along with Sandra Smith and Trish Regan, did a much better overall job."
NY Times Reported That The Story Was Fabricated
Fox News contributor Allen West hyped a debunked story of an ISIS-inspired "stabbing spree" at a preschool while criticizing President Obama for not changing his strategy against the terrorist organization. The New York Times reported that the teacher fabricated the story so he could be transferred to another school.
During the December 14 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, West spoke with host Cavuto about President Obama's December 14 visit to the Pentagon regarding the president's ISIS strategy. West criticized Obama's strategy and stoked fears about ISIS operating in Europe, claiming, "in the last 24 hours we found out about another ISIS-inspired jihadi who went on a stabbing spree":
ALLEN WEST (CONTRIBUTOR): So, when you're dealing with an enemy such as ISIS that is able to command and control operations into Paris and, yet again, in the last 24 hours we found out about another ISIS-inspired jihadi who went on a stabbing spree, and we know what has happened in San Bernardino, and there's the potential for more of those attacks to occur. So we need to get in there and root them out and 50 special forces operators that are going around searching for partners, as Jennifer Griffin said, what kind of mission is that and how are we put our special operators in that type of position where they're going to go look for friends?
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): Well you know what it loses sight of in the case of both the Paris and the California attacks aren't so much the source of the activity, what might have been in the Middle East, to the fact there are cells or friends or sympathizers already in key locales, including the United States, including San Bernardino, California, and that the one thing he did not address.
However, West's claim of a "stabbing spree" was confirmed to be false earlier that day. According to The New York Times, French police said the teacher that claimed to be stabbed by ISIS "wounded himself alone in his classroom" and was "done so that [the teacher] could have himself transferred" to another position.
Fox News contributor Allen West criticized his employer for suspending Ralph Peters after Peters called President Obama "a total pussy."
During a December 7 appearance on Fox Business, Peters said of President Obama after his December 6 Oval Office address on terrorism: "I mean this guy is such a total pussy, it's stunning." Fox News subsequently suspended Peters for two weeks, calling the language "completely inappropriate and unacceptable for our air."
West, who has a history of incendiary remarks about progressives and President Obama, took to his Facebook page to criticize Fox News. West linked to an article about Peters' suspension and commented: "Oh come on!! He Spoke the truth and now look what happened to him..."
Right-wing media mocked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for linking climate change to terrorism during the November 14 CBS Democratic presidential debate. Sanders explained that if climate change continues to go largely unaddressed, "you're going to see all kinds of international conflict." Right-wing media called Sanders "insane" and "someone who doesn't understand what the real subject is." However, major studies and reports from foreign policy and defense experts support Sanders' assessment that climate change was a significant factor contributing to the rise of ISIL (or ISIS).
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Fox News contributor Allen West went to Walmart and thought he was the victim of "Sharia law" because a checkout clerk under the age of 21 couldn't sell him alcohol.
West, a former congressman and head of the think tank National Center for Policy Analysis, wrote a May 11 post originally headlined, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" He recounted a weekend trip to Walmart, where a "Muslim employee" manning the cash register was unable to sell him alcohol. (West knew he was Muslim because, "being the inquisitive fella I am, I used my additional set of eyes -- glasses -- to see the young checkout man's name. Let me just say it was NOT 'Steve.'"):
There was a young man doing the checkout and another Walmart employee came over and put up a sign, "No alcohol products in this lane." So being the inquisitive fella I am, I used my additional set of eyes -- glasses -- to see the young checkout man's name. Let me just say it was NOT "Steve."
I pointed the sign out to Aubrey and her response was a simple question, how is it that this Muslim employee could refuse service to customers based on his religious beliefs, but Christians are being forced to participate in specific events contrary to their religious beliefs?
Boy howdy, that is one astute young lady.
Imagine that, this employee at Walmart refused to just scan a bottle or container of an alcoholic beverage -- and that is acceptable. A Christian business owner declines to participate or provide service to a specific event -- a gay wedding -- which contradicts their faith, and the State crushes them.
Following publication of West's "Sharia" post, West's website posted an "editor's update" explaining what actually happened:
EDITOR'S UPDATE: We spoke to the Walmart store, and apparently employees under 21 years old are prohibited from selling cigarettes and alcohol. However, that isn't to say Walmart isn't selectively caving to Muslim demands, such as this case regarding Halal meat in Ohio.
The post no longer has the headline, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" and instead reads, "More ominous signs of Christian persecution." A screenshot of West's post prior to the editor's note, via Bing.com, can be found here.
West has a long history of toxic remarks, including about Muslims. He's also called President Obama an "Islamist" and "disgusting racist," attacked feminists for "neutering American men," and smeared Democrats as communists, Nazis, and anti-Semites.
Conservative media lashed out at President Obama for mentioning the Crusades and Inquisition at the National Prayer Breakfast after condemning the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) as a "death cult" that distorts Islam.
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