Allen West

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  • Allen West Attacks Fox News Colleagues For "Spiteful," "Petty And Petulant" Debate Conduct

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    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."

    The rise of Donald Trump's presidential campaign has caused a civil war within the conservative media, with numerous pundits attacking each other over their conduct.

  • Fox's Allen West Hypes Hoax Of An ISIS Inspired Stabbing Of Teacher At French Preschool

    NY Times Reported That The Story Was Fabricated

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    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's Allen West Criticizes His Employer For Suspending Ralph Peters: "Oh Come On!! He Spoke The Truth"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    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..."

  • Ignoring The Facts, Conservative Media Call Bernie Sanders "Crazy" For Linking Climate Change To Terrorism

    ››› ››› KATE SARNA

    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).

  • Allen West Thought He Was The Victim Of "Sharia Law" At Walmart (He Wasn't)

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    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.

  • "Disposable FEMA Coffins" And A Deliberate Ebola Outbreak: 2014 On The Fringe

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Conservative media haven't had the best luck in recent years when choosing which fringe protests or figures to elevate into the national conversation, often mistakenly tying themselves to extremism and bizarre conspiracy theories. In 2013, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Drudge, and other conservatives helped promote a rally of truckers planning to clog the Beltway to protest the government. The protest -- which eventually fizzled -- turned out to have been organized in part by someone who thinks President Obama and Osama bin Laden are literally the same person.

    This year, conservatives threw their weight behind a Nevada rancher fighting against the federal government over grazing fees, only to be burned when he was videotaped giving his thoughts on "the Negro." 2014 also featured an unhinged conspiracy about President Obama trying (and apparently failing) to spark a domestic Ebola outbreak and a staggering amount of outlandish comments from Fox News contributor Allen West.

    Media Matters looks back at the year on the fringe.  

  • New Think Tank CEO Allen West Plagiarized Viral Internet Story

    UPDATE: West Is Now Trying To Hide His Plagiarism

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    UPDATE 1 (4:08pm): West has updated his piece but has not admitted to the plagiarism.

    The following sentence has been added to the piece, just before the series of paragraphs Media Matters highlighted as originating with the viral story: "Then I came across a widely circulated email and viral internet post about a number of stories that seem to have dropped off the radar of the mainstream media, and conveniently ignored by the Department of Justice."

    That sentence replaces one from the original version in which West had credited the research in the article to himself, writing: "I decided to do a little checking and scouring for some information. And it didn't take long to find proof of hypocrisy that reaches the highest levels -- the White House."

    The post now includes italicized paragraphs where West had previously committed mass plagiarism. He has also fixed the three plagiarized typos that were originally identified by Media Matters. There is no indication in the post that it has been changed.

    A screenshot of West's original post can be found here. A comparison of the original version (left) and current version (right) can be found here.

    UPDATE 2 (5:15pm): Following the publication of this post, Media Matters emailed West for comment. Michele Hickford, AllenBWest.com editor-in-chief, replied that "I know you've already written your story, but I have revised our post to indicate the copy that came from the original sources. I had inadvertently omitted the quotation marks when I originally posted."

    Media Matters subsequently asked Hickford for further clarification. Hickford wrote that "Allen West is the author of the post." She also said that "as editor, I had inadvertently omitted the quotes, and once I realized the quotes were omitted, added the sentence regarding the source of the original content to clarify." When asked why the post does not indicate that it has been revised, Hickford wrote: "We do not generally note updates to the stories unless substantive facts of the stories have changed. in this case, the specific shooting incidences remain unchanged."

    This explanation doesn't pass the smell test. West originally wrote that he himself did "a little checking and scouring for some information." West did not originally include any links or citations to the material that was purportedly intended to be quoted (and still does not do so). And West's editor "inadvertently omitted" quotation marks for five paragraphs (the sixth paragraph cited below has not been italicized).

    ORIGINAL POST: 

    Allen West heavily plagiarized from a viral Internet story in a piece attacking the Obama administration for purportedly ignoring the deaths of law enforcement officers. West lifted at least six paragraphs (including typos) from the story, which was previously posted on sites like Yahoo! AnswersFree RepublicFacebook, and the comments section of various websites.

    West is a Fox News contributor and former Republican congressman who was recently named the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a conservative think tank. Announcing his hiring, NCPA called West, who begins on January 2, "an outstanding choice for CEO. He is a visionary leader, committed to the free-market principles that form the foundation of the NCPA's research and education."

    West wrote a December 11 piece for his website responding to recent "black lives matter" protests. He wondered if President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have ever stopped to "consider if the lives of law enforcement officers matter" and claimed he did "a little checking and scouring for some information. And it didn't take long to find proof of hypocrisy that reaches the highest levels -- the Oval Office."

    He then heavily plagiarized from a viral piece that began appearing on the Internet months ago. The viral piece, which attacks President Obama's response to law enforcement murders, has been posted on various websites, comments sectionsmessage boards, and Facebook pages (including on West's fanpage by one of his followers). 

    The piece has been attributed to a wide range of people, including "a Retired Police Officer" or "a retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer." It's also appeared as bylined pieces on community commentary pages and in Letters to the Editor pages under the names Doug Oxford (Citrus County Chronicle, 9/20/14), Bill Jamison (Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, 9/5/14), and Nick Hale (Naples Daily News, 8/31/14), according to a Nexis search.

    The claim that President Obama has been indifferent to the deaths of law enforcement officers is wrong. PolitiFact called a variation of the claim "pants on fire" false, writing that "We found many instances of White House 'special recognition' for fallen officers." It added: "the meat of its accusation -- that Obama has ignored the suffering of law enforcement officers killed in action -- is demonstrably wrong. We found at least six instances in which Obama honored the lives of fallen officers in writing or in speeches."

    West alternated between lightly rewriting the piece and copying its text verbatim, including typos. His examples and the viral piece's examples appear in the same order. 

  • Allen West On Ottawa Attack: "Shut Down" Mosques Of Perpetrators And Deport The Imams

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Fox News contributor Allen West believes the Western world should respond to the Ottawa terrorist attack by shutting down "the mosques and Islamic Centers where these individuals are attending" and deporting the imams. West added that closing these places "of so-called worship" is "the only way we send a message into the Muslim communities" that we're "not going to tolerate these snake pits of sedition."

    West was speaking on the October 23 edition of BlogTalkRadio's REELTalk. Here's his reaction to the Ottawa attack:

    WEST: But I think, Audrey, the real thing that we're going to have to do is the mosques and Islamic Centers where these individuals are attending, when they commit these acts, we gotta shut 'em down. We have to send a message. The imam that's at that mosque or Islamic Center is deported. That place of so-called worship, which is just proselytizing, you know, hate and violence, they have to be shut down. I think that's the only way we send a message into the Muslim communities here in Western Civilization that we're not going to tolerate it. We're not going to tolerate these snake pits of sedition that are, you know, popping up all over the place.

    [...]

    We're not saying, you know, we start shutting down mosques and Islamic Centers. But the ones who are feeding us these violent jihadists, they need to be the ones that are shut down. Like I said, the imams, the mullahs that are there running these mosques and centers, they need to be deported. Because we have to say, this is, you know, a zero-sum game. We're not tolerating it.

    West is an Islamophobe. He believes that "Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that." He attacked Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is Muslim, as representing "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."

    The former Florida congressman has similarly claimed that "Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist" and "I don't understand where this president's loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?"

    Despite his long history of incendiary rhetoric, Republican candidates and organizations have been using West as a regular surrogate on the campaign trail.

  • Allen West: ISIS Is Using Media Matters' Online Intimidation Tactics

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Fox News contributor Allen West claims followers of the Islamic State are using the "progressive socialist tactic of 'trolls'" to harass members of the military.

    In an October 9 post to his website, the former Republican congressman highlighted reporting from Fox News about Islamic State sympathizers harassing military personnel and their families online. According to West, the online supporters "learned" from progressives how to "flood a website or Facebook account with vile and insidious comments."

    He continued, arguing that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is using the "exact same tactics" as Media Matters and the progressive website Daily Kos:

    It normally begins with some leftist central command, such as Media Matters or Daily Kos, to issue a call of attack -- and the mindless lemmings follow, normally completely devoid of any knowledge or understanding of a topic. It is the leftist progressive tactic of instilling fear, coercion and intimidation. And ISIS is following suit, using the exact same tactics.

    As Media Matters explained when a Washington Post piece floated West as the new head of the Secret Service, West has a constantly expanding list of incendiary commentary, including:

    • Calling President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder "the most vile and disgusting racists."
    • Claiming "Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamist sympathy ... I don't understand where this president's loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?"
    • Declining to dispute an audience member who falsely claimed that "Obama is a Muslim." Instead, West responded that he's "not going to get into that" but the president "has an Eastern orientation, I'll put it that way."
    • Arguing that the "Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party."
    • Accusing Democrats of being Nazis, communists, and modern-day slaveholders.
  • Conservatives Falsely Blame Undocumented Children For Deadly Enterovirus

    CDC: "No Evidence" For Claims About Unaccompanied Minors

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Right-wing media are falsely blaming the recent surge of undocumented children from Central America for spreading a deadly strain of the enterovirus. Conservatives are claiming the children are a form of "biological warfare" and President Obama and the government are "bringing in infected children and putting them in our public schools" because he's "so obsessed with winning Latino votes." However, the disease has been detected in the country for decades and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told Media Matters that there is "no evidence" of a link.

    Fearmongering about undocumented children spreading enterovirus D68 is the latest chapter in the conservative media's book of xenophobic smears. The right-wing media, in their efforts to oppose immigration reform, have previously blamed undocumented immigrants for diseases such as Hansen's disease (leprosy) and tuberculosis.

    This year, a surge of unaccompanied children fled violence-stricken Central America and crossed the border into the United States. Many of the children were relocated to various cities and are starting school

    The CDC has confirmed over 600 cases of EV-D68 since mid-August. The agency notes that "Almost all the confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing." While investigations are ongoing, the virus has been "detected in specimens from five patients who died and had samples submitted for testing." 

    Public health experts have debunked the alleged connection between the influx of undocumented children into the United States and the spread of EV-D68. CDC spokesperson Jeanette St. Pierre told Media Matters: "Currently, there is no evidence from testing at CDC that EV-D68 infections in the U.S. are a result of unaccompanied minors moving into the country."

    MLive reported that conservatives "have implied a link between undocumented children from Central America and the spread of enterovirus, but public health experts say that's simply not the case." The Michigan-based site, which publishes The Grand Rapids Press and others, wrote: