Pat Robertson

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  • The Worst Islamophobia Of 2015 (VIDEO)

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC WUESTEWALD

    Fleeing from terror and indiscriminate violence in parts of the Middle East, millions of people have packed up and left their homes to start safer lives for themselves and their families elsewhere. But if you tuned into Fox News anytime in the last year, you'd think the refugees themselves -- many of them Muslim -- were responsible for the violence. In fact, painting Muslims as terrorists, radicals, and tacit supporters of ISIS, baseless demonization of Islam was the channel's modus operandi in 2015. And it wasn't just right-wing media. CNN also joined the smears, asking a Muslim human rights lawyer if he supports ISIS, questioning a Michigan mayor if she's afraid of her majority Muslim-American city council, and forcing responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris onto an innocent French Muslim.

    From berating a teenager for his interest in technology to inventing so-called "no-go zones," watch how the media fearmongered about Muslims in 2015:

    As Columbia Journalism Review explains in their annual list of the worst journalism in 2015, the media has a special responsibility to get these stories right and not perpetuate Islamophobia, as inaccurate and "reactionary coverage" can "influence policy makers to take drastic measures under the guise of popular fears."  

  • Conservatives Falsely Blame Undocumented Children For Deadly Enterovirus

    CDC: "No Evidence" For Claims About Unaccompanied Minors

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Right-wing media are falsely blaming the recent surge of undocumented children from Central America for spreading a deadly strain of the enterovirus. Conservatives are claiming the children are a form of "biological warfare" and President Obama and the government are "bringing in infected children and putting them in our public schools" because he's "so obsessed with winning Latino votes." However, the disease has been detected in the country for decades and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told Media Matters that there is "no evidence" of a link.

    Fearmongering about undocumented children spreading enterovirus D68 is the latest chapter in the conservative media's book of xenophobic smears. The right-wing media, in their efforts to oppose immigration reform, have previously blamed undocumented immigrants for diseases such as Hansen's disease (leprosy) and tuberculosis.

    This year, a surge of unaccompanied children fled violence-stricken Central America and crossed the border into the United States. Many of the children were relocated to various cities and are starting school

    The CDC has confirmed over 600 cases of EV-D68 since mid-August. The agency notes that "Almost all the confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing." While investigations are ongoing, the virus has been "detected in specimens from five patients who died and had samples submitted for testing." 

    Public health experts have debunked the alleged connection between the influx of undocumented children into the United States and the spread of EV-D68. CDC spokesperson Jeanette St. Pierre told Media Matters: "Currently, there is no evidence from testing at CDC that EV-D68 infections in the U.S. are a result of unaccompanied minors moving into the country."

    MLive reported that conservatives "have implied a link between undocumented children from Central America and the spread of enterovirus, but public health experts say that's simply not the case." The Michigan-based site, which publishes The Grand Rapids Press and others, wrote: 

  • Republicans And Right-Wing Media Championed Discredited 60 Minutes Benghazi Report

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ & ELLIE SANDMEYER

    Republican and conservative media figures lauded a report from CBS' 60 Minutes on the September 2012 Benghazi attacks, using it to advance their attacks on the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton. But that report has since come under fire following the revelation that the piece's key Benghazi "eyewitness" had previously claimed he was nowhere near the compound on the night of the attack.

  • Media Figures Say Guns Don't Kill People, Video Games Do

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Several media figures have reacted to the mass shooting in Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard by downplaying the role access to firearms had in the killings, instead blaming video games and their purported effect on mental health. But studies have either debunked or failed to find a plausible link between playing violent video games and real world gun violence.

    Much of the connection between shooter Aaron Alexis and video games appears to come from Mike Ritrovato, who says he knew Alexis. Ritrovato told The Los Angeles Times that "if [Alexis] had anything bad about him, it was that he was a 35-year-old man playing video games." Ritrovato also told ABC News that Alexis was often late to work "because he was staying up all night playing video games."

  • Pat Robertson: Murder In Video Games Like Grand Theft Auto Is As Sinful As "Performing The Act" In Reality

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    In response to a viewer question asking if negative actions in video games were seen as sinful by God, Pat Robertson referred to games like "Grand Theft Auto" and said, "if you're murdering somebody in cyberspace in a sense you're performing the act, you like it or not."

    After noting that he has never played a video game, Robertson went on to explain that the "danger" of media like video games, television, and books is that you can "lose your sensitivity to God."

    Robertson has previously warned viewers about the dangers of Harry Potter, television shows like Medium, and the "demonic" Twilight series.

    From the August 2 edition of CBN's The 700 Club:

  • WATCH: Conservatives' Offensive, Bizarre, And Outlandish Arguments Against Marriage Equality

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI, BEN DIMIERO, JOHN KERR & COLEMAN LOWNDES

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The decision is sure to raise the ire of conservative media figures that have spent years railing against marriage equality.

    Right-wing figures have warned that marriage equality could lead to legalized pedophilia, marriage between people and a wide range of animals, and the complete destruction of America.

    Some lowlights:

    Below is a list of 30 of conservatives' most offensive, bizzare, and outlandish arguments demonizing marriage equality, which Media Matters originally published in March.

  • Christian Broadcasting Network Duped By CFL-Poisoned Foot Hoax

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    The Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club irresponsibly aired a photo that it said "allegedly shows what happened to a man after he stepped onto a broken CFL and his foot became infected with mercury poisoning." But the photos, which have circulated online, are believed to be a hoax because the damage they show is unlikely to have come from the small amount of mercury present in energy-efficient compact florescent lamps (CFLs).

    The November 27 edition of Pat Robertson's The 700 Club aired graphic images of a foot that was "allegedly" injured from stepping on a broken CFL:

    The images originally came from e-mails highlighting what appeared to be a flyer from Caterpillar equipment dealer WesTrac, but that Australian company said that it did not create the document. The images were later circulated in a Salisbury, MD, fire department newsletter, but according to the website Snopes -- which specializes in exposing online hoaxes - fire department officials later stated that they believe they were duped by an "Internet-falsehood":

    Although attempts were made to verify the validity of the information, initial Internet searches provided no compelling evidence to dispute the information. We now believe that the information we used as the basis for our April 2012 Newsletter was an Internet-falsehood which started circulating numerous years ago and had an ulterior motive and purpose.