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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump retreated to Fox News’ Fox & Friends for a friendly interview following widespread criticism of his September 26 presidential debate performance which was deemed a loss for Trump, while his campaign surrogates took real interviews on other cable and broadcast news networks.
Journalists across the political spectrum lambasted Trump’s September 26 presidential debate performance, criticizing the false statements he made -- and that debate moderator Lester Holt repeatedly challenged -- on numerous issues including the Iraq War, birtherism, and his tax returns. Reporters noted that Trump spent much of the debate on the defensive regarding those issues and that he repeatedly interrupted both Holt and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Other media figures slammed Trump for bragging that he got President Obama to release his long-form birth certificate and for his false claim that Clinton’s 2008 campaign started the racist birther conspiracy theories about Obama’s birthplace. Voters and commentators proclaimed that Trump had lost the debate to Clinton, with some calling the performance “an unmitigated disaster” and a “terrible night” for Trump.
The following day, Trump retreated to Fox News to discuss the debate with the hosts of Fox & Friends. The show has a history of buddying up with Trump, giving him a platform to push false claims including that President Obama was not born in the United States, and Trump has lauded the show’s hosts in return. The show’s September 27 interview with Trump continued its softball history with the candidate. Rather than challenging Trump on any of his false statements, the hosts asked questions such as, “So how do you think it went last night?” and, “Do you feel that Lester Holt asked Hillary Clinton an equal number of hostile questions?” The hosts joined Trump in criticizing Holt, with co-host Steve Doocy claiming he “leaned a little over into the left lane” in contrast to Matt Lauer’s “fair and balanced” performance at NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum (for which Lauer has been widely criticized). Co-host Ainsley Earhardt even praised Trump for his response to Clinton’s accurate claim that the federal government had sued him for housing discrimination, saying, “I did like how you responded to that, though, because when they throw those things at you, and you’re -- being in the audience, I didn't know about that. And then when you explain it, then you’re like, ‘Oh, OK, well that makes sense.’” The hosts also gave Trump space to attack, without any pushback, a former Miss Universe winner and to insult her weight.
In contrast with Trump’s cocoon on Fox’s morning show, Trump surrogates took harder interviews at other networks. Hosts on NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning challenged Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), about why Trump took credit for spurring President Obama to release his birth certificate, about whether Trump “lie[d]” when he falsely claimed he never said climate change was a hoax, and why Trump bragged about possibly not paying taxes. On CNN’s New Day and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the hosts pressed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway over whether Trump’s birther answer was appropriate and whether he would apologize for his birther campaign. They also asked about Trump’s climate change stance and the quality of Trump’s debate performance overall.
Trump’s retreat to Fox News continues a recent trend. Fox media reporter Howard Kurtz reported in June that Trump was scaling back on interviews with networks other than Fox. A Media Matters analysis found that between September 7, when Trump appeared on NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, and September 22, Trump gave seven interviews to Fox News, totaling more than 1 hour and 40 minutes of airtime. During the same time frame, he had not appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC. Given Trump’s withdrawal to a network that repeatedly delivers softball interviews, it perhaps is not surprising that he struggled when he was actually fact-checked by a journalist at the debate. Responding to CNN host Carol Costello’s observation that Trump’s Fox & Friends interview did not include “difficult questions,” CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter noted that Trump had “mostly sheltered himself within conservative media” and said that he had “doubts about whether it's a winning strategy now.” And as The New York Times’ Alex Burns noted of the Fox & Friends interview, “[T]his is how you end up unprepared for real questions and real heat in a debate.”
Fox News used a misleading chart featuring incomplete data to defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s false claim made during the first presidential debate that “murders are up” in New York City. Fox’s chart used data from 2014 to 2015 to demonstrate a rise in murder rates, but did not include complete data showing that murder rates in New York City are down in 2016 from the same point last year.
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La Opinión reported on a Media Matters study that found that Latinos made up only a small fraction of guests invited on cable news shows to discuss Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage. The article featured input from Media Matters Hispanic media researcher Cristina López, who explained that this finding is representative of a larger tendency in the media to marginalize the Latino perspective in their reporting, which could have serious “negative effects” and “perpetuate damaging stereotypes” about Latinos.
The September 21 report focused on a Media Matters quantitative study of guest diversity on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC that found that only 11.5 percent of guests discussing Trump’s racist attacks against a Latino judge were Hispanic, while the majority of those discussing the topic -- 88.5 percent -- were non-Hispanic. The article cited previous Media Matters studies that confirmed the media’s “broader pattern” of marginalizing Latinos’ voices “even when the [Latino] community is attacked” and often relegating them to the single issue of immigration.
Media Matters’ Cristina López pointed out that a failure to effectively include the Latino perspective on issues that affect them “can have negative effects on the narratives that come out of news shows” and explained that “without the inclusion of Latino voices in the discussion of topics of the day, including those that most affect them, we run the risk of having imprecise information that perpetuates damaging stereotypes.” Translated from the September 21 article (emphasis original):
Latinos are the largest minority in the country and even when the community is attacked, they do not have a voice on cable news networks [to comment] on the electoral bloc’s most pressing topics, according to what a "Media Matters" study reported this Wednesday.
In statements to this newspaper, researcher Cristina López explained that the low representation of Latinos “can have negative effects on the narrative that come out of news shows.”
“Without the inclusion of Latino voices in the discussion of topics of the day, including those that most affect them, we run the risk of having imprecise information that perpetuates damaging stereotypes” about Hispanics, she said.
For López, it’s urgent that TV producers and executives improve the participation of Latinos and other minorities, especially in a hostile environment in which racist attacks have changed the current of the national dialogue.
“Latinos have demonstrated, with campaigns like #AskMeMás, that they are anxious and capable of discussing issues that affect them most and being part of broader conversations. The ball is in the court of the news channels,” López stated.
According to Media Matters, the lack of inclusion of Latino voices on national programs is not isolated but rather makes up a part of a broader pattern: after the massacre in a gay club in Orlando (Florida), none of the major cable channels included a significant number of Hispanic guests, despite the fact that 90% of the victims were of Latino origin.
And an analysis of Sunday shows, in English and Spanish, left proof that Latinos are only sought out to comment about immigration issues, ignoring the diversity of opinions about other topics of life nationally.
Although much is spoken about the importance of the Latino vote in this election year, the cable channels “rarely include Hispanics” in their news shows, Media Matters said.
Journalists: Debate Moderators Should “Be Well-Prepared Enough To Assert The Truth In Real Time”
Prior to the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, journalists are advising the debate moderators to “Be well-prepared enough to assert the truth in real time,” and arguing that a moderator should not “abdicate” their “role as a truth-seeker and a journalist” because moderators “play a constructive and vital role” in presidential debates.
As the first presidential debate approaches, media figures across the political spectrum are actively lowering the bar for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, both by setting lower standards themselves and by pushing the lower-standard narrative. Yet at the same time, many media figures are acknowledging that the press is employing a double standard in its treatment of Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Fox News spent less than three minutes covering a Washington Post report detailing how Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses.” By contrast, CNN spent over 23 minutes on the story, while MSNBC devoted nearly an hour of airtime to the report. Fox News has previously essentially ignored investigations into the Trump Foundation and his business dealings.
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reported on September 20 that “Trump may have violated laws against ‘self-dealing’ — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.” Trump spent $258,000 from the Trump Foundation -- to which he has not personally donated since 2008 -- to settle legal issues involving his for-profit businesses, which Fahrenthold noted on CNN “is against the law.”
A Media Matters study found that from the time the story was published around 10:27 a.m. on September 20 through 9:00 a.m. on September 21, when the cable news morning shows ended, Fox News spent two minutes and 58 seconds on the report. CNN spent 23 minutes and 52 seconds on it, while MSNBC devoted 56 minutes and 12 seconds to the report. Fox’s flagship evening news program, Special Report, spent merely 12 seconds on the news.
Fox News’ segments on the report offered few details on the investigation. The longest segment Fox devoted to the report was one minute and 41 seconds on The O’Reilly Factor, in which guest host Bret Baier allowed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to dispute the report.
This is not the first time Fox News has omitted coverage of unflattering investigative reports into Trump’s foundation and business practices within a day or two of publication.
Fox News entirely ignored a report earlier this month that Trump has apparently broken both the law and IRS rules with his foundation, and he has not donated money to his own foundation since 2008. The report explained that Trump instead lies to other charities and the public by suggesting that the foundation’s donations are his own money. In addition, Trump has spent money from the foundation “to buy himself a gift” on two different occasions..
Fox News also failed to cover an illegal campaign contribution from the Trump Foundation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, which “came as Bondi was reviewing whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University,” though she never took any action against Trump U.
Fox News also neglected to cover a report from Mother Jones revealing that Trump’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, “profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here.”
At the same time, Fox has scandalized reports about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s associated foundation, claiming she engaged in “pay for play” as secretary of state, despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing. Fox’s own reporting has in fact undermined many of these claims.
Methodology: Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of Trump and foundation or charity on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN between 10:27 a.m. on September 20 to 9 a.m. on September 21, excluding all mentions that took place between 11 p.m. on September 20 and 5 a.m. on September 21.
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A Media Matters study of guests brought on cable news networks to discuss Donald Trump's attacks on federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage found that Hispanics were critically underrepresented in these discussions, even though Hispanics are disproportionately impacted by the issue. The Republican presidential nominee made repeated racist comments against Judge Curiel between May 27 and June 9, yet Hispanic voices made up a mere 11.5 percent of guests invited to analyze the racially fueled attacks.
On May 27, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a lawsuit against Trump over his now-defunct real estate seminars, ordered the release of documents related to fraud allegations against Trump University, and Trump responded with unfounded accusations of bias. He claimed that there was a conflict of interest because Trump proposed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the judge was “Mexican.” The judge, who is of Mexican heritage, was born in Indiana.
Media and political figures across the political spectrum denounced the racist remarks. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who endorsed Trump earlier this year, called Trump’s attack “the textbook definition of racism.” Hispanic media figures, in particular, took issue with Trump’s comments. Yet in covering the topic, cable news networks hosted an alarmingly low number of a Latinos to discuss it, omitting important perspective from the Latino community, which has become increasingly concerned about issues of racial discrimination.
A Media Matters review of coverage from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC primetime shows found that Hispanic voices made up only 11.5 percent of the discussion of the topic, while non-Hispanic voices dominated the conversation, making up 88.5 percent.
The media have a pattern of treating Latinos as a monolithic group focused on the single issue of immigration and excluding them from discussions of issues that may deeply affect their communities. A previous Media Matters study that analyzed the diversity of guests invited to discuss the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL, in which the majority of victims were Hispanic, also confirmed this trend.
Media Matters searched the Nexis database using the search terms "trump w/50 (curiel or judge or mexican)" for weekday CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC programs airing between 8 pm ET and 11 pm ET from May 27 through June 9 and reviewed the transcripts for segments about Donald Trump's attacks on Judge Curiel. Segments in which two or more participants discussed Curiel were included, with the exception of packaged or live news reports from correspondents. All guests were coded for ethnicity.
Julie Alderman and Sarah Wasko contributed to this study.
Un estudio de Media Matters sobre las personas que las cadenas noticiosas invitaron para hablar de los ataques de Donald Trump hacia la ascendencia mexicana del juez federal Gonzalo Curiel, reveló que los hispanos fueron subrepresentados de manera crítica en estas discusiones, incluso a pesar de que el tema los afecta de manera directa. El nominado presidencial republicano repetidamente hizo comentarios que muchos calificaron de racistas contra el juez Curiel en los días entre el 27 de mayo y el 9 de junio, pero las voces hispanas constituyeron un mero 11.5 por ciento de los invitados que aparecieron analizando los ataques raciales.
El 27 de mayo, el juez Gonzalo Curiel, quien preside la demanda contra Trump sobre sus ya extintos seminarios de bienes raíces, ordenó hacer públicos los documentos relacionados a las acusaciones de fraude contra Trump University, y Trump respondió acusando al juez de parcialidad sin fundamento alguno. Insistió que era un conflicto de interés ya que Trump ha propuesto construir un muro en la frontera entre EE.UU. y México y el juez es “mexicano.” El juez, que tiene ascendencia mexicana, nació en Indiana.
Medios y figuras políticas a lo largo del espectro político denunciaron los comentarios racistas. Incluso el Presidente de la Cámara de Representantes Paul Ryan (R-WI), quien anunció su apoyo por Trump este mismo año, calificó el ataque de Trump como “la definición de racismo del libro de texto.” Latinos en los medios, en particular, condenaron los comentarios de Trump. Sin embargo, al cubrir el tema, las cadenas noticiosas de cable invitaron a un número alarmantemente bajo de latinos para discutirlo, omitiendo la importante perspectiva importante de la comunidad latina, que ha demostrado una preocupación creciente con la discriminación racial.
El análisis de Media Matters de la cobertura del tema durante los programas en hora estelar de CNN, Fox News, y MSNBC encontró que las voces hispanas constituyeron solo un 11.5 por ciento de las discusiones, mientras que las voces no hispanas dominaron con un 88.5 por ciento.
Los resultados del estudio reflejan el patrón mediático de tratar a los latinos como un grupo monolítico enfocado exclusivamente en el tema migratorio, marginándolos de otros temas que afectan profundamente a sus comunidades. Un estudio previo de Media Matters que analizó la diversidad de invitados invitados a discutir la masacre Pulse Nightclub en Orlando, FL, en que la mayoría de las víctimas fueron hispanas, también confirmó esta tendencia.
Media Matters buscó el base de datos Nexis usando los términos de búsqueda “trump w/50 (curiel or judge or mexican)” para los programas durante los días de la semana de CNN, Fox News, y MSNBC entre las 8 pm ET y las 11 pm ET desde el 27 de mayo al 9 de junio y repasó las transcripciones para los segmentos sobre los ataques de Donald Trump hacia el juez Curiel. Se incluyeron los segmentos con dos o más participantes discutiendo Curiel, con la excepción de los segmentos ya empaquetados o informes noticiosos de corresponsales en vivo. Todos los invitados fueron codificados de acuerdo con su identidad étnica.
Julie Alderman y Sarah Wasko aportaron a este estudio.