America's Newsroom

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  • Hate Group FAIR Hosting Annual Event With Anti-Immigrant Radio Hosts

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) announced that it will hold its “10th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington,” on June 22 and 23. In previous years FAIR has hosted speakers at the event who have used their own radio shows to push anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated FAIR as a hate group whose founder “has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population.”

  • From Right-Wing Media Myth To Oral Arguments In A Landmark Abortion Case

    Right-Wing Media’s Favorite Myths About Abortion Made It To The Supreme Court In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

    ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    In June 2016, the Supreme Court will release its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a controversial case that will determine the constitutionality of a Texas anti-choice law (HB 2) that severely limits access to abortion and medical care. Right-wing media have alleged that HB 2 is necessary to protect women’s health and prevent another “Kermit Gosnell scandal” -- talking points that made their way into Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller’s defense of HB 2 during oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

  • Meet Conservative Media’s Go-To Terrorism Pundit In The Wake Of The Orlando Attack

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    In the aftermath of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, conservative media are hosting Sebastian Gorka, an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and national security senior editor for Breitbart News, who blames “the policies of this administration, President Obama and Secretary Clinton” and “political correctness” for the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Gorka, who was a paid advisor to the Donald Trump campaign, was once arrested for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane, and he recently spoke at a conference called “Dangerous Embrace: The United States and the Islamists” that discussed how “Islamists have been brought into the innermost circles of America’s national security institutions.”

  • Fox News Hyped Ohio AG’s False Claims About Planned Parenthood But Didn’t Report That They Cost The State Over $45,000

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL LARRIS

    In December 2015, when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine argued that fetuses from Planned Parenthood were “steam-cooked and taken to a Kentucky landfill,” Fox News covered his baseless allegations. In contrast, no Fox News show followed up to note that Ohio taxpayers would cover $45,447 in legal fees Planned Parenthood incurred while fighting the attorney general’s misleading claims about its practices.

    On December 11, DeWine held a press conference in which he alleged that fetuses from Planned Parenthood were illegally “steam-cooked and taken to a Kentucky landfill.” DeWine issued his claims after the state conducted a five-month investigation into Planned Parenthood, spurred by allegations made by the now-discredited anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that abortion providers were illegally selling fetal tissue. While DeWine concluded that fetal tissue was not being sold, he said his office discovered that Planned Parenthood’s means of fetal tissue disposal violated state law requiring that fetal remains be “disposed of in a humane manner.”

    State media called into question DeWine’s so-called “investigation” findings. The Akron Beacon Journal wrote that “it is hard to overlook the political theater at work” in DeWine’s allegations. The Columbus Dispatch noted that no Ohio abortion clinic had ever been cited for improper handling of fetal remains. WBNS-10TV in Columbus, OH, also reported that the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection said that no intact fetuses were buried there, that the disposal company and landfill have not been cited for any legal violations, and that nobody from the attorney general's office had contacted the Kentucky facilities to investigate.

    But while Ohio state media dug into the substance of DeWine’s remarks about Planned Parenthood, Fox News instead provided a platform for DeWine to further his baseless allegations. Fox News co-host Martha MacCallum interviewed DeWine during the December 15 edition of America’s Newsroom, where he reiterated his claims that fetal remains were “taken to a landfill in Kentucky and dumped in that landfill.” He went on to say that his office “think[s] [Planned Parenthood clinics] are in violation of the law.” MacCallum told DeWine: “It strikes me that what this story and what the investigation that you’ve done, it sheds more light on the realities of this process, which a lot of people just really, frankly, don’t want to know more about because it’s very difficult to even think about.”

    In addition to Fox News, other right-wing media sites piled on with headlines about “steam-cooked” fetuses being “illegally dump[ed]” into landfills. (And neither of those outlets reported on the resulting cost to taxpayers either.)

    Shortly after DeWine made his remarks, Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block any attempts by DeWine to impede access to abortion services. After a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, DeWine ended the state’s legal actions with those claims. However, the process DeWine launched ended up costing Planned Parenthood $45,447 in legal fees, which Ohio state officials agreed to pay in a settlement -- meaning Ohio taxpayers ended up footing the bill for the attorney general’s unfounded claims, a consequence Fox News hasn’t covered. While Fox News has called for investigations based solely on CMP videos, the network doesn’t provide equal time when those investigations find no wrongdoing while costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

    By amplifying the false allegations while not reporting on the consequences, right-wing media are spreading lies and distortions.

  • Conservatives Spark Attack On Latino Civil Rights Organization For Helping Hispanic Homeowners

    Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim That Settlement Payments From Institutions Responsible For The Financial Crisis Create “Liberal Slush Fund” For Progressive Groups

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Right-wing media have spent years attacking the Department of Justice’s handling of multi-billion dollar settlements from financial institutions partly responsible for the housing and financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Conservative outlets falsely allege that the DOJ used settlement payments to create a “liberal slush fund” to disburse millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations like the nonpartisan National Council of La Raza (NCLR), even though these groups are certified housing counseling agencies.

  • Fox's MacCallum Helps Eric Trump Dismiss Trump U. Fraud Allegations

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following the release of unsealed court documents related to the ongoing fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits brought against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's now-defunct Trump University real estate seminar business, Eric Trump joined Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum to defend the business' practices with more lies and misleading claims. 

    Trump appeared on the June 2 broadcast of Fox News' America's Newsroom to discuss several topics, among them the recently released documents pertaining to a pending class-action lawsuit against Trump U. Trump repeatedly pushed the already debunked claim that the business "had a 98 percent approval rating." A New York Times investigation found, however, that the survey process for determining this approval rating was itself, in fact, "a central component of a business model that, according to lawsuits and investigators, deceived consumers." 

    Trump also compared allegations of fraud against Trump University to student dissatisfaction at "Harvard" and "every major university around the world." MacCallum did not push back on these claims, only speaking once after her initial question about Trump U. to note that, "any time you have a business, you're going to have some customers, and even some employees, who are disgruntled or dissatisfied." 

    From the June 2 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

    MARTHA MACCALLUM (host): Let's take a look at something else. This is a quote from somebody who worked for Trump University. I know this is a legal matter and it's being handled in the courts, but in terms of a political matter, take a look at this quote. Because I guarantee you, you are going to see and hear this on Hillary Clinton commercials going forward. "I believe Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money." This comes from a person who worked for Trump University. 

    ERIC TRUMP: You know, Trump University had a 98 percent approval rating. 98 percent, meaning at the end of taking the courses, people graded the university and they wrote a little report card about it. A 98 percent approval rating. We actually posted that on a website so, you have people that come back and buyers' remorse or whatever it is. You have people that come back after grading it an A-plus, I loved it, I learned so much for it, I brought this into my own personal life, it helped me develop as a person, it helped me start my first business, etcetera, etcetera. And then they come back and say that, so you know, I think we're going to win that case. I know we're going to win that case. We have every single one of those report cards, it just undermines quotes like that. I mean, the university did a great job. It did a great thing. It was highly, highly respected. 

    MACCALLUM: The good outweighs the bad essentially. That any time you have a business, you're going to have some customers, and even some employees, who are disgruntled or dissatisfied. 

    TRUMP: There's probably people that go to Harvard and say, listen I went to Harvard and I got a great education and I can't find a job, or I didn't become the success that I could have been. Sure, I mean you probably have that at every major university around the world. I mean, Trump University had a 98 percent approval rating, and I think that wins the day.