New York Times

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  • NY Times Editorial Board: Trump’s Claims Of A Rigged Election Are “Not Just Ludicrous, But Dangerous”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times editorial board criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump for peddling “ludicrous” and “dangerous” claims that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is “rigging this election,” writing that Trump’s insinuations “further demolish[] public confidence in the foundations of our government.”

    Trump has a long history of pushing widely debunked lies and conspiracy theories, many of which have been hyped by his allies. His current focus on claims of a “rigged election” tap into the long-standing right-wing voter fraud myths used to push discriminatory voter ID laws.

    The Times’ editorial board excoriated Trump for his “ludicrous” and “dangerous” claims, writing that he is “setting the stage for an upwelling of right-wing outrage, cuing up a crisis of electoral legitimacy” that will cause four to eight years of “catcalls and loathing” if Clinton wins. The board explained that while “Trump’s brain is a pincushion for conspiracy theories,” this assertion in particular could “further demolish[] public confidence in the foundations of our government”:

    Donald Trump is calling for volunteers to watch the polls in November, and he is making no bones about why.

    “Help me stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election!” says the application form on his campaign website.

    There are so many lies and delusions flowing daily from the Trump campaign that it’s easy to miss the times when the Republican nominee is being not just ludicrous, but dangerous. This is one.

    [...]

    He is accusing the government he wants to lead of being both victim and perpetrator of a vast conspiracy. And he is setting the stage for an upwelling of right-wing outrage, cuing up a crisis of electoral legitimacy. If Mrs. Clinton wins, get ready for at least four years, maybe eight, of the catcalls and loathing that plagued President Obama’s two terms.

    A more immediate concern is what happens on Nov. 8, when squads of Trump volunteers fan out to defend their candidate’s presumed victory. It does not seem far-fetched to expect that signatures will be pointlessly challenged and citizens intimidated and inconvenienced, that the ruckus of the Trump campaign will spread to polling places around the country.

    [...]

    Mr. Trump’s brain is a pincushion for conspiracy theories, so maybe it’s no surprise that he thinks the Clinton campaign will be sending African-Americans and foreigners into booths across the country to fake their votes over and over, millions of times.

    Now, more than ever, the country needs responsible political leaders and the courts to defend and expand voting rights, rather than sitting silently while Mr. Trump further demolishes public confidence in the foundations of our government.

  • NY Times’ Jim Rutenberg: Fox’s Hannity Acts Like A Trump “Adviser,” Ignores All Of “Journalism’s General Requirements”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times’ media columnist Jim Rutenberg wrote that while Sean Hannity uses his radio and television shows to “blare Mr. Trump’s message relentlessly” as he “veers into the role of adviser,” the last two weeks have shown signs of “the start of a possible reckoning within the conservative media” as others criticize Hannity for his Trump shilling.

    Hannity has repeatedly used his platforms on Fox News and talk radio to boost Trump by pushing the widely debunked claim that Donald Trump opposed the Iraq invasion before the war, repeating false conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, and other assorted false claims. According to Rutenberg, Hannity is “work[ing] in the full service of his candidate without having to abide by journalism’s general requirements for substantiation and prohibitions against, say, regularly sharing advice with political campaigns.” Rutenberg reported that “Hannity had for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging,” and that some in the Trump camp “believed Mr. Hannity was behaving as if he wanted a role in a possible Trump administration,” which Hannity denied.

    Rutenberg also explained that some other conservative media figures have turned to criticizing Hannity over his repeated falsehoods in support of Trump, with Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens lamenting that Hannity is contributing to a national debate that’s “divorced from reality.” Rutenberg also cited complaints from Wisconson talk radio host Charlie Sykes, who told Politico, “I feel dumber every time I listen to Sean Hannity. I don’t want to be that guy.”

    From Rutenberg’s August 21 column in The New York Times

    Mr. Hannity uses his show on the nation’s most-watched cable news network to blare Mr. Trump’s message relentlessly — giving Mr. Trump the kind of promotional television exposure even a billionaire can’t afford for long.

    But Mr. Hannity is not only Mr. Trump’s biggest media booster; he also veers into the role of adviser. Several people I’ve spoken with over the last couple of weeks said Mr. Hannity had for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.

    So involved is Mr. Hannity that three separate denizens of the hall of mirrors that is Trump World told me they believed Mr. Hannity was behaving as if he wanted a role in a possible Trump administration — something he denied to me as laughable and contractually prohibitive in an interview on Friday.

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity is unapologetic about his aim. “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.” After all, he says, “I never claimed to be a journalist.”

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity’s show has all the trappings of traditional television news — the anchor desk, the graphics and the patina of authority that comes with being part of a news organization that also employs serious-minded journalists like Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly.

    But because Mr. Hannity is “not a journalist,” he apparently feels free to work in the full service of his candidate without having to abide by journalism’s general requirements for substantiation and prohibitions against, say, regularly sharing advice with political campaigns.

    [...]

    That’s the ultimate result of the hyperpoliticized approach Mr. Hannity and so many others use in today’s more stridently ideological media: A fact is dismissed as false when it doesn’t fit the preferred political narrative.

    But while this informational nihilism appears to have hit a new high, the last two weeks have signaled the start of a possible reckoning within the conservative media.

    First there was The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens, who, after trading insults with Mr. Hannity over Mr. Trump, said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” that “too much of the Republican Party became an echo chamber of itself.”

    Those who spend an inordinate amount of time “listening to certain cable shows” and inhaling the conspiracy theories promoted on “certain fringes of the internet,’’ he said, wind up in a debate that’s “divorced from reality.”

    Then there was the conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, who lamented in an interview with the Business Insider politics editor Oliver Darcy, “We have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media.”

    That criticism was often warranted, Mr. Sykes said. (Just take a look at the decision by the former Clinton White House aide and current ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos to give some $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, for which he apologized last year.) But, as Mr. Sykes said, “At a certain point, you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.” Therefore any attempt to debunk a falsehood by Mr. Trump, he said, becomes hopeless.

    [...]

    Mr. Hannity told me his support for Mr. Trump makes him “more honest” than mainstream reporters who hide their biases. It turns out even “honesty” is a relative concept these days. For some people more than others.

  • Fox News Virtually Silent On NY Times Report Detailing Trump Campaign Chairman’s Ties To Pro-Russian Ukrainian Politicians

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    On August 15 between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., Fox News offered virtually no coverage of the August 14 New York Times report that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort allegedly received “$12.7 million in undisclosed payments” from former Ukrainian President Viktor “Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012.” CNN has reported extensively on the story. National security experts and foreign affairs and national security journalists are calling the Times’ report “serious” and “staggering,” with one going so far as to say, “This article alone should finish the Trump campaign.”

  • Fox News Is Wrong: Trump Is A Terrorist Recruiting Tool

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox News is attempting to downplay Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s remarks that President Obama is a founder of ISIS by likening them to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s comment that Trump “is being used to essentially be a recruiter” for terrorists. However, numerous national security experts have explained that Trump’s rhetoric is “the best thing the Islamic State has going for it” and Trump’s rhetoric has actually been featured in terrorist propaganda.

  • NY Times: After Ailes’ Departure, An “Icy” Split Inside Fox News

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times reported that following the departure of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes amid a sexual harassment lawsuit, “there is a continuing split inside the network” between “one camp of old-guard Fox News loyalists” who are defending Ailes -- and are “resentful” toward those “cooperating with lawyers” -- and “another contingent” who are “dismayed” by Ailes’ defenders.  

    Earlier this month, former Fox host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit that alleged Roger Ailes fired her from the network after she declined his sexual advances. Since Carlson’s lawsuit, an additional 25 women came forward to make similar claims, including Fox host Megyn Kelly. On July 19, media reported that Ailes would leave Fox News as a result of the allegations, which has created a rift within the network that Fox media analyst Howard Kurtz called “painful and embarrassing.”

    In a July 27 article, Times reporters Michael M. Grynbaum and Emily Steel, reported that “nearly a dozen Fox News employees” described an “icy” atmosphere amid the “continuing split inside the network.” The explained the split as between two camps. One of which is a “camp of old-guard Fox News loyalists” who are upset at Ailes’ “ouster” and are “resentful toward [network anchor Megyn] Kelly for cooperating with lawyers brought in by the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, to investigate Mr. Ailes’s behavior.” The other is “dismayed by the responses of stars like Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greta Van Susteren and Jeanine Pirro, who were quick to publicly defend Mr. Ailes after he was accused of harassment.” From the article: 

    The Fox News skybox here turns into a hive of activity as the network’s star anchors analyze the Democratic National Convention for millions of viewers.

    When the cameras blink off, however, the banter has been replaced by something rarely heard in the television news business: silence.

    Megyn Kelly and her co-hosts, including Bret Baier and Brit Hume, have not been speaking during commercial breaks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the anchors’ interactions, who described the on-set atmosphere at Fox News as icy. During ads, the hosts are often absorbed with their smartphones.

    Even as Fox News goes about broadcasting as usual, scoring its highest convention ratings in 20 years, interviews this week with network employees show an organization grappling with internal division after the abrupt exit of Roger Ailes, the once-omnipotent chairman at the center of a sexual harassment investigation.

    Nearly a dozen Fox News employees, who work in front of and behind the camera, were granted anonymity to speak candidly about highly sensitive matters inside a network where privacy is still prized.

    The hosts’ on-set interactions have improved slightly since last week’s shows at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which were broadcast immediately after Mr. Ailes’s departure.

    Still, employees say there is a continuing split inside the network, with one camp of old-guard Fox News loyalists — some of whom owe their careers to Mr. Ailes — upset at his ouster. Some are resentful toward Ms. Kelly for cooperating with lawyers brought in by the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, to investigate Mr. Ailes’s behavior.

  • Media Call Out Trump’s “Campaign Of Fear” After Convention Speech

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Media outlets and figures slammed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech in which he formally accepted the nomination, writing that it was “intended to instill fear and terrify people,” that it painted the U.S. as a “dystopia” and a “land of horrors,” and that it “offered no solutions beyond his messianic portrayal of himself.”  

  • NY Times Editorial Explains The Absurdity Of Trump Campaign’s Outreach To Latino Voters

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times editorial board excoriated the Trump campaign’s planned “Hispanic engagement tour” as a “farcical gesture” given Trump’s dehumanization of the Latino electorate and resultant widespread belief  among Latinos that Trump is “racist.”

    The Trump campaign’s announcement that it plans to reach out to Hispanic voters comes amid the whitest Republican National Convention in a century -- an event celebrated by white nationalists and criticized by the media for its hostility toward Latinos. The sudden interest in engagement is also surprising given Trump’s tendency to reject requests for interviews with Hispanic media.

    The Times editorial explained that, despite Trump’s sudden realization “of the limits of a presidential campaign based on chauvinism and fear,” it’s too late for him to repair the damage he’s done with the Latino community. The editorial noted that “a new Latino Decisions survey has 83 percent of Latino voters saying Mr. Trump is a racist.” From the July 21 editorial:

    But after the lights go down in Cleveland, when the yelling subsides, the balloons go limp and the delegates go home, the party will be alone with its message and its nominee.

    What next? Why, minority outreach, of course. “Donald Trump’s going to be doing a Hispanic engagement tour coming up soon,” said the party chairman, Reince Priebus.

    “Engagement” doesn’t seem likely, given public reactions to the Trump campaign’s message of suspicion and disgust. In some states, Mr. Trump is polling at zero among black voters. A new Latino Decisions survey has 83 percent of Latino voters saying Mr. Trump is a racist, and 71 percent saying he has made the Republican Party more hostile to Latinos. Those results track closely with other polls this month, one conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News and one by Univision.

    [...]

    The Latino electorate, meanwhile, isn’t going away or shrinking. Neither is the challenge of confronting immigration. Instead of a “Hispanic engagement tour,” which is almost sure to be a farcical gesture, Republicans could stop demonizing immigrants and start thinking about actually fixing the immigration system.

    This means getting back to where they were only three years ago, when an ambitious bipartisan plan handily passed the Senate. That bill was blocked by hard-core House Republicans fanning the same border hysteria and cultural anxieties that Mr. Trump exploits today. Republicans will eventually understand — even if their nominee does not — that there is no future in being the party of white grievance and racial exclusion. Not in these diverse United States. Whether that insight is reached through reflection and self-correction, or an autopsy of yet another failed presidential campaign, remains to be seen.

  • Editorial Boards Blame Republican Obstruction For Supreme Court's Immigration Impasse

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Numerous editorial boards slammed the Supreme Court’s “maddening” and “depressing” “nondecision” in United States v. Texas that upheld a federal court’s decision to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration that temporarily relieved millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The editorial boards blamed the impasse -- which “condemned” millions to “live in the shadows” -- on congressional Republicans’ obstruction of Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, as well as their failure to pass immigration reform.

  • Trump Claims Obama Supports Terrorists, Echoing Breitbart’s Debunked Talking Point

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump hyped a debunked talking point from a Breitbart News article to claim that he was correct to insinuate that the Obama administration supports terrorists. However, the memo cited in the Breitbart article never says that the U.S. and Al Qaeda worked together, and in fact Breitbart News' interpretation has been “widely debunked.”

  • Trump Ridiculed After Insinuating Obama Is Complicit In Orlando Attack

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Media figures criticized presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for “casually [and] darkly” suggesting that President Obama sympathizes with Islamic terrorists and was complicit in the Orlando terror attack, calling his comments “indefensible,” “distasteful,” and part of his “latest escalation in his years-long campaign to smear” Obama.

  • Exodus Of Minority Staffers Continue At RNC As GOP Embraces Trump

    Head Of Hispanic Media Relations Resigns Amid Trump's Latest Attacks On Latinos

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    The head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee, Ruth Guerra, announced her resignation amid reports that she was “uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump.” The announcement comes after a week in which presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump repeatedly attacked  the ethnic background of a U.S. District Court Judge, and criticized the first Latina governor in U.S. history, Susana Martinez.

    Trump has made insulting Hispanics a cornerstone of his presidential bid, including describing Latino immigrants as “rapists,”claiming that the Mexican government was intentionally sending criminals to the US, suggesting that Jeb Bush’s immigration views were shaped by his Mexican born wife, chalking up the beating of a Hispanic man by his supporters as them being “passionate,” and declaring “I love Hispanics” by tweeting out a picture of a taco bowl.

    Guerra’s resignation also comes a month after two high ranking African American’s resigned from the RNC. On March 31 NBC News reported that the RNC’s Director of African American outreach was leaving which was preceded by the resignation of the RNC’s Communications Director of Black Media.

    The New York Times reports:

    The head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee is resigning this month in what appears to be another indication of the lingering discomfort some party officials have about working to elect Donald J. Trump president.

    […]

    Ms. Guerra told colleagues this year that she was uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump, according two R.N.C. aides who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the difficulties surrounding the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.

    It is relatively rare for party staff members to leave the national committee in the midst of a presidential campaign unless they are going to work directly for the nominee.