Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Influential radio host and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) media surrogate Steve Deace praised Ted Cruz's decision to select former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina as his running-mate, claiming Fiorina "might be the best messenger for the party." Deace’s endorsement is a sharp departure from his sexist rhetoric about Fiorina which received heavy criticism from the media and from Fiorina herself.
Appearing at a rally in Indianapolis on April 27, Republican candidate Ted Cruz named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running-mate. In a series of tweets after the announcement, Deace lauded Cruz's vice presidential selection, claiming Fiorina "might be the best messenger for the party," and stating "Her presence is a living, daily reminder of Trump's struggles with women."
Deace has previously appeared as part of Cruz's Iowa leadership team, in promotional videos for Cruz's campaign, and has been described by the Des Moines Register as having "served as an informal, unpaid consultant" to Cruz.
Deace’s most recent comments are at odds with his prior sexist attacks on Fiorina, including a tweet stating "Fiorina goes full vagina right away" in her opening statement during the December 2015 Republican debate.
Wow...Fiorina goes full vagina right away
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) December 16, 2015
Deace initially defended his criticism of Fiorina, tweeting "I think a GOP presidential candidate's opening statement being all about her gender is disgusting." Deace subsequently apologized for the remarks, claiming his wife told him he had been "too vulgar and need[ed] to apologize."
Deace received widespread condemnation following his remarks including criticism from Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Fiorina during a December 16 interview on Fox News' The Kelly File. Fiorina rebuked Deace's sexist attacks and position as a prominent campaign surrogate for Ted Cruz, stating "I told my story, just like every other candidate has told their story, [...] it's inexplicable to me why this major surrogate of Ted Cruz thought that was playing the 'V' card." Fiorina continued, saying Deace "is more than a radio show talk host. He is a major surrogate for Ted Cruz and a major endorser, and this is why Ted Cruz cannot possibly beat Hillary Clinton."
The unfolding Republican primary season, which often resembles a soap opera with its endless drama and plot twists, saw a new media chapter when Fox News announced Megyn Kelly had landed her first interview with Donald Trump since the start of their public feud last year.
Scheduled to be included in Kelly’s first prime-time Fox TV special on May 17, the sit-down came after Kelly, the target of relentless Trump insults, made a hush-hush visit to candidate’s New York City office to ask for an interview. (Kelly also reportedly asked Trump stop personally insulting her.)
The Fox News green room commotions just never end. Recall that in March, after going on a Twitter tirade in which he denounced Kelly as “crazy,” Trump announced he was skipping another Fox News debate, which led to the event being canceled. Fox News headquarters answered back, claiming the GOP frontrunner had a “sick obsession” with Kelly. But that was awkward because Fox showered Trump with nearly $30 million in free TV time from May through December of 2015. So who’s obsessed with whom?
The Fox News vs. Trump saga represents a completely dysfunctional relationship: Much of Fox loves Trump’s right-wing politics; Trump loves to bully Fox. Now the latest love/hate chapter is that Trump has agreed to sit for Kelly’s interview, which is weirdly being hyped as a major campaign showdown. (Remember when campaigns were focused on voters, not cable news hosts?)
Kelly’s Trump interview represents good news for her, good news for Fox, and good news for Trump.
If he behaves himself, he might come across as magnanimous as he jousts with his foe. If Kelly uses the opportunity to aggressively challenge Trump, she'll likely garner more plaudits from mainstream outlets. (The interview also comes as Kelly is negotiating a new contract and potentially leaving Fox News for a less openly partisan outlet.)
And even if Trump flops, the interview will come so late in the primary season that it will likely have little impact on the final voting tallies among Republican voters.
The only interested partisan party not celebrating? The GOP. Because for the Republican Party, the whole Fox interview spectacle represents the latest Trump-fueled mess, as the marauding Frankenstein’s monster wreaks havoc on the way to the Republican convention this summer.
Indeed, the ongoing Fox News/Trump saga represents something of a Keystone Kops production for both the GOP and Fox.
Journalistically you’d think the spectacle would be something of a negative for Fox News -- the idea of Kelly being a target of Trump’s attacks and then trying to calm the waters by visiting his office to ask for an interview in person. (Has Anderson Cooper ever done that?) But Fox signaled a long time ago that journalism and truth telling aren’t what drives their operation. It’s ratings, and whenever possible, Republican propaganda that remain paramount.
Fox cares about ratings and buzz, and most likely Kelly’s prime-time interview with Trump can deliver both, especially since much of the mainstream media positions itself as Kelly’s collective publicist, churning out endless puff pieces about her. She and Fox News can expect lots of praise for her performance.
She’s an "independent" "rising star" with a "reputation for asking tough questions to anyone,” CBS Sunday Morning’s Charlie Rose recently stressed.
Note that Rose insisted Kelly’s “willingness to take on some of America's big name conservatives, quickly made Kelly a rising star" at Fox News, which makes no sense. Why would taking on conservatives at a proudly partisan and conservative network propel Kelly’s career? It didn’t.
But her strategic use of very occasional bouts of conservative pushback provides the press with anecdotal evidence it needs to push the narrative that reporters, and Kelly, were comfortable with: Journalism flourishes at Fox News!
The incident that set off the feud was Kelly publicly (and deservedly) challenging Trump on his long record of noxious comments about women at a debate last August. (He promptly freaked out.) The press accolades began pouring in. She’s a “feminist icon of sorts,” with “star power” that rivals Julia Roberts, claimed Vanity Fair.
The press turned a blind eye in order to promote Kelly. But readers of Media Matters know the unpleasant truth:
She has frequently hosted an anti-LGBT hate group leader on her show, made flippant comments about racism and police brutality, and promoted conservative falsehoods about Planned Parenthood and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Kelly is notorious in her own right for shaming and blaming black victims of police brutality.
Doesn’t it bother journalists that they’re holding up as a newsroom paragon somebody with an ugly record of supporting race baiting and homophobia? I’m curious which groups of people Kelly has to offend before elite journalists take notice.
But none of that likely concerns her now. Kelly has her Trump interview to conduct for her star turn special, which Fox will endlessly promote, and Trump himself might even benefit from it.
It’s the Republican Party that’s left asking itself how its 2016 presidential campaign devolved into a cable news soap opera.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump praised the media in his victory speech and in morning show interviews after sweeping all five April 26 GOP primaries, a sharp shift in his campaign’s history of attacking journalists and news outlets.
During an April 26 victory speech, Trump said, “I want to thank the media. The media’s really covered me very fair for the last two hours.” Trump continued, “They’ve been really very fair over the last few weeks.” The following morning, Trump made the morning news show circuit, telling the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the show's coverage of him has been "great." (Morning Joe has previously been widely criticized by other members of the media for their soft Trump coverage.) Trump added that hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had given him a "hard time" in some cases, to which Brzezinski responded, "We gave you a hard time on things we disagreed with, but we always thought your candidacy was successful." On CNN’s New Day, Trump asserted that “CNN’s doing a very good job" of covering the election.
During the morning of April 27, ABC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC all allowed Trump to phone in for interviews. Networks' unprecedented practice of allowing Trump to regularly do phone interviews rather than make in person or satellite appearances offers Trump an advantage against probing and hard-hitting interviews.
Trump’s tone towards the media is markedly different from his consistent attacks on the press throughout the entirety of his nearly year-long campaign. Trump’s history of attacking journalists and news outlets includes blacklisting multiple reporters from his events, kicking Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a news conference, and mocking a reporter’s disability after receiving supposedly unfavorable coverage. Multiple reporters and photographers have been reportedly threatened or injured by Trump campaign officials and security. Trump’s favorable comments to CNN directly contrast with his threats last month to skip a March 29 CNN town hall, where he cited “one-sided and unfair reporting” from the network.
Trump infamously attacked Fox News host Megyn Kelly for months after she asked a question about his history of sexism during the August 6 Fox Republican presidential debate, culminating in his boycott of Fox's January 28 debate. In an interview after the August 6 debate, Trump said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” during the debate, later retweeted a comment calling Kelly a “bimbo,” and called her “Crazy Megyn.”
During a February 26 press conference, Trump promised to sue the media for negative stories about him if he’s elected president, saying he would “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money." The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple called those statements a “threat to American democracy” and a “logical extension” of Trump’s attacks on the press.
In recent weeks several media figures have fallen for claims that Trump has evolved to demonstrate a more "presidential" tone, while other journalists have urged their colleagues not to forget his history of insulting and extreme statements.
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
For Sexual Assault Awareness month, Media Matters looks back at right-wing media's history of downplaying, and questioning the legitimacy of, sexual assault. Right-wing media figures have called reporting statutory rape “whiny,” claimed sexual assault victims have a "coveted status," said the sexual assault epidemic is "not happening," blamed feminism for encouraging sexual assault, and said attempts to curb sexual assault constitute "a war happening on boys."
New York radio host Mark Simone, a longtime friend of GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump, has used his show to shill for Trump and defend him from criticism on his radio show and during guest appearances on television. Independent of his support for Trump, Simone has also attacked immigrants, minorities, and Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
Loading the player reg...
CNN Money Reports Meeting "Raises Possibility Of A Kelly-Trump Interview"
Megyn Kelly met GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump at his Manhattan skyscraper, Trump Tower, Wednesday morning for a private meeting, CNN Money reported.
Trump has been feuding with Fox and Kelly since she questioned Trump about his offensive remarks toward women during a Fox News GOP primary debate in August. Trump said Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes” and “her wherever” after the debate, promoted a tweet describing her as a “bimbo,” and called her a “lightweight reporter.” Trump boycotted the following Fox News debate co-hosted by Kelly in January. Although Trump is a frequent Fox guest, logging more airtime than any of his competitors, the network pushed back against his frequent attacks on Kelly, saying his “sick obsession” and “vitriolic attacks” were “beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate.” CNN's report notes that Trump has not attacked Kelly since April 1.
CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that the meeting was prompted by Kelly reaching out to Trump’s office, and may indicate the possibility of a Trump-Kelly interview in the future. From CNN Money:
Donald Trump and the Fox News host Megyn Kelly met at Trump Tower on Wednesday morning, people with knowledge of the matter told CNNMoney.
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes was not in attendance, the people said.
An NBC reporter spotted Kelly entering Trump Tower shortly before noon.
Representatives for Trump and Fox had no immediate comment. But Kelly is planning to discuss the meeting on her prime time program Wednesday night.
Kelly reached out to Trump's office to set up the meeting, one of the sources said.
The face-to-face chat raises the possibility of a Kelly-Trump interview sometime in the future.
Kelly is known to be seeking high-profile guests for a Barbara Walters-style prime time special on the Fox broadcast network in May.
Later, during an interview on CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, Stelter said the meeting was "the culmination of Kelly reaching out to Trump, seeking a face-to-face," suggesting Kelly has been seeking a meeting for some time. From the April 13 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:
BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): A source tells CNN the Republican front-runner and Kelly met at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Trump's intense dislike of Kelly has been on display all throughout this campaign, so let's talk it over with the man with the scoop, CNN's senior media correspondent Brian
Stelter, host of Reliable Sources. So what is the scoop? She rolled up into Trump Tower incognito?
BRIAN STELTER: Yeah, there's a real mystery about this. She hasn't commented on it yet. Neither has Trump. But my sources say this meeting was the culmination of Kelly reaching out to Trump, seeking a face-to-face. It was on-again-off-again for a while. It finally it happened this morning. And it is intriguing because if you think about all of Trump's targets, all the people that he seems to dislike, Megyn Kelly would be at the top of the list. He has criticized her viciously at times. He says that she is unfair to him, that he can't stand to watch her show. So if he's out, maybe having a détente with her, it would suggest to me that at the same time we're seeing him talking about wanting to unify the party, find unity within the GOP, maybe he's even trying to break bread or make amends with one of his critics.
UPDATE: Fox News issued a statement on the meeting, confirming that Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes and Megyn Kelly contacted Trump about appearing on Kelly's upcoming special on May 23. The statement said the results will be announced on tonight's edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
New statement on Megyn Kelly/Donald Trump meeting from a Fox News spokesperson: pic.twitter.com/5rgZlHY1C8
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) April 13, 2016
Media Outlets Debunk CMP’s Fraudulent Claim That Its Work Is “Investigative Journalism”
Despite the indictment by a grand jury and numerous lawsuits over Center for Medical Progress (CMP) founder David Daleiden’s attempts to smear Planned Parenthood, right-wing media have claimed that CMP’s deceptively edited videos are “investigative journalism.” Other media outlets have rejected this claim, confirming that CMP’s videos are misleading, fraudulent, and, above all, not journalism.
After months of a coordinated smear campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her tenure at the State Department, Fox News is now suggesting that President Obama may be protecting Clinton from criminal charges due to a “personal conflict” because he exchanged emails with her over her private server. Fox asserted that Obama was protecting Clinton while admitting that the investigation has found that none of the emails between the two contained classified information.
On the April 11 edition of The Kelly File, Fox chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge conducted a supposed “fact-check” of Obama’s comment, “I continue to believe [Hillary Clinton] has not jeopardized America’s national security,” which he made during an April 10 interview on Fox News Sunday. Herridge
In Herridge’s report, she admitted that the emails between the president and Clinton “don’t contain classified information,” but she also included commentary from former Bush administration Assistant
Fox News has been on the offensive since the beginning of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, baselessly claiming that her private email use constituted a crime and that she negligently transmitted top secret information that put lives at risk.
Legal experts have consistently explained that “there doesn't seem to be a legitimate basis for any sort of criminal charge against” Clinton. In a March 20 column for the American Prospect, University of Michigan law and sociology professor and former Department of Homeland Security classification expert Richard Lempert explained that after analyzing Clinton’s conduct and “[b]ased on what has been revealed so far, there is no reason to think that Clinton committed any crimes with respect to the use of her email server, including her handling of classified information.”
In addition to the lack of evidence of criminal wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Clinton, a thorough State Department investigation concluded that past secretaries of state -- including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice -- and their immediate staff also "handled classified material on unclassified email systems."
Herridge has also repeatedly reported unreliable
Right-Wing Media Still Refuse To Acknowledge The Gender Pay Gap
Equal Pay Day “symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year,” according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. Despite efforts toward equitable pay in the United States over the past several decades, American women still face a considerable gap in pay when compared to their male counterparts. Rather than acknowledging the overwhelming evidence that American women are still paid less than men for the same work, conservative media have promoted myths and misinformation that obscure the truth about pay disparities.
To celebrate Equal Pay Day, Media Matters looks back at how Fox News has denied, downplayed, and justified the gender pay gap. From blaming women’s emotions to calling women “less ambitious” and suggesting they should be “better negotiators,” Fox personalities have blamed women and ignored facts in reporting on pay inequality.