American Spectator

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  • Right-Wing “Porn Star” Attack On Former Miss Universe Falls Apart

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Conservative media figures are responding to former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s statements that Donald Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and publicly humiliated her for gaining weight by accusing her of being a “porn star.” It is unclear why Trump’s behavior would be mitigated by Machado later performing in adult films, but those claims nonetheless appear to be false.

    During the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton pointed to Trump’s record of mistreating women, specifically highlighting his attacks Machado. Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant from 1996 to 2015, doubled down the morning after the debate on the September 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” Trump supporters have sought to explain away Trump’s actions by seeking to undermine Machado’s character.

    In a September 27 article headlined, “Porn Star Campaigns For Hillary Clinton,” the Daily Caller falsely reported that “Snippets of an adult film starring Machado are available on multiple free porn websites.” While the headline remains the same, that language has been removed from the article, which now states that she “is in a sextape” that was released in 2005.

    The article features the correction, “The star of Apprentass 4 was Angel Dark, not Alicia Machado.” While the correction is nonspecific, it appears that the Caller based the entire premise of their claim that Machado is a “porn star” on the incorrect belief that she was featured in that film. According to The Daily Beast, which reported on conservatives’ smear effort against Machado, “there does not appear to be any evidence suggesting the existence of professionally made pornography starring Machado.”

    While the article no longer cites an example of her appearing in an adult film, it still baselessly claims that Machado made an “appearance in porn” and has a “background in pornography.”

    The apparently unsubstantiated claim that Machado appeared in adult films rocketed through Trump’s supporters in the right-wing media. Rush Limbaugh opened his September 28 radio show by describing Machado as the “porn star Miss Piggy.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed on his radio show “that she may have starred in an adult film, and available apparently on multiple free porn websites according to the Daily Caller.” He also said that Machado is “in all these porn videos” during an interview with Eric Trump. And CNN’s Jeffrey Lord repeatedly described Machado as a “porn star” in an American Spectator article headlined “Hillary’s Bad Judgement: Exploits Porn Star Surrogate.”

    This effort to shame Machado into silence would be despicable even if it were true. But it appears that the entire smear campaign is also completely false.

  • Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media figures are blaming for violence that occurred following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's canceled rally in Chicago on March 11, likening the group to the Ku Klux Klan and accusing them of "creating this havoc and ... putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy." In fact, several media figures have slammed Trump for condoning "violence in rally after rally," and at the Chicago event only helped provide logistical support for the protests, including printing signs and recruiting attendees.

  • CNN Analyst Attacks Jorge Ramos For "Race Card Playing" Even Though He's A "Blue-Eyed, Light-Skinned" "European Mexican"

    Jeffrey Lord Also Compared Charleston And Virginia Shooters To Ramos

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord attacked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for playing the "race card" even though he is a "blue-eyed, light-skinned ... European Mexican." Lord also connected Ramos to Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II and alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, claiming they all engaged in "dividing the country by race."

    On August 25, Ramos, one of the country's top Hispanic journalists, was booted from Donald Trump's press conference while attempting to ask the Republican presidential candidate questions about his immigration policy. Ramos was later allowed to return. Conservative media subsequently cheered Trump for his treatment of Ramos.

    In his August 27 column for The American Spectator, Lord criticized Ramos for being "in Iowa to score a blow for race card playing" by "rant[ing]" against Trump on immigration. Lord dismissed him as "a left-wing illegal immigration activist disguised as a journalist" who fulfills "every stereotype of the smarty-pants rude media type that millions of Americans have come to loathe."

    Lord then transitioned to an attack on Ramos' ethnic background. He cited a 2011 column by Ruben Navarrette Jr. stating that in Mexico, many of the most important jobs go to those who "have the lightest skin." Lord then wrote, "Now let's get back to Jorge Ramos. The blue-eyed, light-skinned Ramos -- let's be candid he is a European Mexican -- is the epitome of what Navarrete is saying."

    Lord proceeded to criticize the idea that America should be a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation, claiming:

    Ramos also penned a 2002 column in which he revealed that he wants to turn America from the "melting pot" of historical fame into a North American version of Mexico -- divided by class and race. In the words of Ramos, "the challenge of the United States is that it recognize itself as it is--a multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural nation."

    This is exactly antithetical to the American Dream. America is not supposed to be an "ethnic" or "racial" nation let alone a "multiethnic, multi-racial and multicultural" nation. "All men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence is about "all men." Period. Full stop. It says nothing about race or ethnicity. The nation is founded on principles of freedom and liberty -- ideas, not skin color or class structure.

    Yet that is not what Ramos is seeking. He is playing the Mexican version of the race card and wanting to transfer the rigid class structure of his native country northward.

    He continued by drawing a line from Ramos' advocacy to "slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan":

    It is no accident that his ideas get such a warm welcome on the American Left. As we note here so often, the political party that fuels the American Left is the Democrats -- the party that arose around the organizing principle of dividing Americans by skin color. From slavery to segregation to lynching to the Ku Klux Klan to illegal immigration, the beating heart of the American left is race -- race card-playing, outright racism.

    It is no wonder that Ramos, coming from a Mexican society that is itself hopelessly divided by out and out racism thinks it would be terrific to import this way of life to America. And it is no wonder that millions of Americans -- yes, those supporters of Donald Trump -- are furiously resisting. Trump supporters come from a wide diversity of ethnicities -- and in a country that is 100% populated by the descendants of immigrants from all over the globe -- Trump supporters are demanding a colorblind society of American social mobility -- where race and class remain the foreign notions that so many millions came here to escape.

    During an appearance today on CNN's New Day, Lord also connected Jorge Ramos to mass shooters in Virginia and Charleston.

    When asked about potential solutions to shootings, Lord said that "when you read this guy's manifesto ... he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race." He then connected the mass-shooters to Ramos, stating: "I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path." From CNN:

    LORD: You know, two things that are not being discussed here at all when you read this guy's manifesto, one is race and the other is value of life. And what do we have here? We have this whole Planned Parenthood issue going on in which basically they're selling baby parts, devaluing life.

    ALISYN CAMEROTA: But how is that connected to a man who's just, who feels slighted and decides that killing other people is the answer?

    LORD: Right. In other words he's not valuing life. He didn't value the lives of the people that he killed. And aside from that, he was into a race war. A reaction, which he mentioned, of the Charleston shooting. And that guy was motivated by race. So I'm suggesting here that instead of dividing the country by race, which is what we seem to do, which is what, for instance, Jorge Ramos was all about in that press conference. It's all about the race of people. We shouldn't be going down that path. This is a color blind country, that was Dr. King's goal, that's where we should be headed, and I think that is something that we should be discussing as well as mental illness and guns. 

    Lord has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. He engaged in a "profoundly ahistorical" crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, has repeatedly defended Trump's false anti-Mexican immigrant rhetoric, and pushed bogus conspiracies about progressives and Democrats.

    Despite his history, CNN hired Lord as a CNN political commentator earlier this month.

  • New CNN Hire Jeffrey Lord Is An Anti-Immigrant Lynching Denier Who Compares Opponents To Nazis

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNN has hired Jeffrey Lord as a political commentator. Lord has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. He engaged in a "profoundly ahistorical" crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, pushed bogus conspiracies about Democrats, compared his political opponents to Nazis and the KKK, and defended Donald Trump's anti-immigrant remarks.

  • CNN Commentator: Critics Of Trump's Megyn Kelly "Blood" Remarks Are Nazis

    Is CNN's Jeffrey Lord Comparing His Employer To The Nazis?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    New CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord accused Donald Trump's critics of engaging in a "Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique" by attacking Trump's recent "blood" remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly. CNN has heavily covered the story and criticized Trump for his misogynistic remarks. 

    In an August 10 column headlined "The Disgusting Big Lie About Donald Trump," Lord discussed Trump's August 7 remarks on CNN that Kelly was a bad moderator and "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" -- which many interpreted as a reference to Kelly's menstrual cycle. Lord compared those who had that interpretation to Nazis, writing that what followed Trump's comments was "the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels":

    What has followed has been 48-hours of the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." There was not a word said, not a hint, not a suggestion, that Donald Trump ever said Megyn Kelly asked her lead question of him because she was menstruating. Say again... not... a... word. Not one. This is -- there is no other word for it -- a Goebbels-esque lie. 

    Lord continued by attacking Republicans, RedState blogger Erick Erickson, and the media, again comparing them to Nazis: "In a stunning convergence of the Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique with today's left-wing political correctness, Erickson, the Republican Establishment -- of which Erickson is decidedly not a member -- and many in the media have made it a point to endlessly repeat Erickson's slander."

    Lord, a writer for NewsBusters and the American Spectator, announced he was hired by CNN on August 6. CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota stated that day: "Joining us is the newest member of our CNN family, CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord ... Welcome to the family."

    According to his definition, Lord's new employer and his CNN colleagues are apparently acting like Nazis. A Nexis search of transcripts reveals that CNN devoted numerous segments to Trump's blood remarks.

    Lord appeared on CNN over the weekend to defend Trump's attack. During one exchange, New Day Saturday host Christi Paul stated that Trump "took on a woman claiming that it was hormonal" and "did it in a sexist way, did he not?" Lord complained: "We have serious problems in this country. And this is what we are talking about?" Fellow conservative CNN commentator Ben Ferguson criticized Trump, saying: "It is absolutely sexist to say that it had to do with hormones of a woman." Lord responded: "This is what political correctness is all about and it's terribly wrong!"

    During Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter responded to Trump's claim that "only a sick person would even think" he was referring to menstruation by replying: "I guess I am a sick person."

    CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny cast doubt on Trump's explanation, stating on Inside Politics: "If this was out of character for him perhaps we could take him at his word but I think, you know, there's a long string of things -- a long string of his comments over the years."

    Lord also claimed that critics of the remark are "sexist." He said: "I would submit to you, it's because this is sexist. They're coming to the defense of a little lady as it were, which is unbelievably sexist. Megyn Kelly, I like her as I said. I think she's a supremely confident, a great reporter. And, you know, clearly, she's being treated by a different standard by a lot of these Republicans." 

  • Right-Wing Media Perpetuate Tired Myth That Frivolous Lawsuits Overwhelm The Courts

    Blog ››› ››› MEAGAN HATCHER-MAYS

    Despite the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States continues to make it increasingly difficult for victims of corporate wrongdoing to bring lawsuits, right-wing media still advance the myth that the court system is in desperate need of "tort reform."

    The idea that American plaintiffs are an overly litigious bunch that take advantage of the federal courts with meritless claims that contribute to grievous economic costs is a common stereotype that is often repeated by the conservative media. It also isn't really true.  But that didn't stop The American Spectator from repeating that idea in the September 2013 issue:

    AMERICAN LAW, AND especially its rules of civil procedure, seem to take it for granted that one of life's chief joys is the opportunity to sue someone else. Getting to court in other first-world countries isn't easy, but broad is the way to the American courthouse.


    The right to have civil cases adjudged by a jury is afforded constitutional protection in the U.S. Elsewhere, civil juries never got off the ground or were abolished as a sensible reform measure.

    Class actions, where lawyers bring a claim on behalf of thousands or millions of unnamed plaintiffs (who seldom see any part of the recovery) are rare outside the U.S.

    It's not surprising that litigation rates are so much higher here than elsewhere. Subsidize something and you get more of it. Differences in legal ethics matter. In America, much more than elsewhere, lawyers are encouraged to advance their client's interests without regard to the interests of justice in the particular case or broader social concerns. American lawyers' professional culture is unique in permitting and implicitly encouraging them to assert novel theories of recovery, coach witnesses, and wear down their opponents through burdensome pretrial discovery. Great stuff if you're a trial lawyer, but non-lawyers pay for this through higher consumer prices and foregone jobs.

    The Spectator claims that the fear of litigation keeps international companies from investing in the American economy. However, it fails to mention that, according to the nonpartisan Center for Justice & Democracy, tort claims (personal injury claims) "represent only 5% of all incoming civil cases today."  Moreover, the court system already has rules in place to block frivolous lawsuits from proceeding.

  • Right-Wing Media Mislead On The "Contraception Mandate" And Religious Freedom


    Right-wing media have mischaracterized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that requires certain preventive health care services be included in employer-provided health insurance at no cost as a violation of the religious freedoms of corporations who object to contraception. In reality, this mandate, currently before the Supreme Court, accommodates religious employers' First Amendment rights without allowing secular, for-profit corporations to skirt federal law, and there is no legal precedent that gives corporations the right to exercise religious freedom.

  • Why Candy Crowley Was Condemned As Terrorist, Assassin And Communist

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Question: If the snap polls, along with the pundit consensus, had indicated Mitt Romney had won Tuesday's debate, would anyone on Fox News have cared what moderator Candy Crowley said while the two candidates discussed last month's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya?

    It's doubtful.

    The hysterical, and at times deeply disturbing, reaction to Crowley's moderator role only erupted as way to explain away Romney's poor showing. Angry that Romney's weak performance might hurt his November chances, conservatives lashed out at the nearest target, Crowley. ("Shut your big fat mouth, Candy.")

    But conservatives didn't simply condemn Crowley's performance as a journalist. ("Disgraceful"!) They spent the week turning her into a mythical figure of liberal destruction; a potentially violent agent (a "suicide bomber") sent by Obama to dismantle the Republican campaign for the presidency. In doing so, unglued commentators attached Crowley to a sweeping campaign conspiracy.

    Is criticizing a debate moderator out of bounds? Of course not. Media Matters found fault with Jim Lehrer's performance at the first presidential debate this year. Is it completely insane to denounce a moderator by likening him or her to a political killer? 

    It is.

  • Right-Wing Media Hype "Really Thin" Accusation That Rahm Emanuel Leaked Cain Story

    ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

    The conservative media is divided on anonymous sources: Some right-wing media figures have been hyping a claim by an anonymous source that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is "likely involved with the sexual harassment" allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. At the same time, however, other conservative media figures have tried to cast doubt on the sexual harassment allegations against Cain by pointing out that they are based on anonymous sources.

  • Right Wing Makes Use Of NY Times' Shoddy Report On Green Jobs

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    A New York Times/Bay Citizen article cherry-picked statistics from a Brookings Institution report and reportedly misrepresented interviews to call the goal of creating 5 million green jobs in 10 years a "pipe dream." Conservative media have seized upon the Times article to claim that "even" the "left" agrees that investment in green jobs is a "a waste of money and time."

  • They Don't Get It: Unable To Take A Joke, Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Over "Moat" Comment

    Blog ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON

    Perhaps the reason most successful comics are liberals is because the right-wing media have repeatedly proven that they can't take -- or properly make -- a joke. They proved this point in the aftermath of President Obama's remarks on border security in El Paso, TX, yesterday, when he joked at Republicans' expense, stating that "they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they're going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they'll want a higher fence. Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They'll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That's politics."

    Unable to take the joke, right-wing media attacked Obama over the comment.

    Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade discussed Obama's comment during the May 11 broadcast of the show. After airing a clip of the president's moat remarks, he stated, "I guess you're allowed" to mock Republicans. Co-host Steve Doocy responded to this by interjecting, "He's campaigning." Kilmeade went on to criticize Obama's steps toward immigration reform. On-screen text during the segment read, "Obama's Partisan Attack."