Politico

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  • WSJ Vs.WSJ: The Pence Economy

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX MORASH

    The Wall Street Journal's editorial board praised Donald Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), for economic growth in Indiana during his time in office -- ignoring the paper's own reporting that the state's growth "resembles overall U.S. performance under Obama."

    The Journal’s editorial board heaped praise on Pence’s handling of the Indiana economy on July 20, pointing to the governor’s conservative policies as something “the rest of the country could emulate” -- dismissing President Obama’s economic record as part of the reason for the state’s success and ignoring the paper’s own reporting that the state’s growth “resembles” national trends. The Journal touted the point that under Pence, Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.4 percent to 5 percent, also noting that he cut income taxes from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent and has amassed a budget surplus (emphasis added):

    President Obama visited Elkhart, Indiana, on June 1 to tout the state’s economic recovery, taking credit for its success and claiming that it represents the 2016 election’s basic policy choice. He’s right, but the economic lessons speak better of GOP Governor and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and his predecessor Mitch Daniels than they do Mr. Obama’s policies.

    [...]

    All states have seen declines in the jobless rate, and Indiana’s has fallen to 5% in May from 8.4% in 2013 when Mr. Pence became Governor. The Indiana difference is that the rate has fallen even as the labor force has increased by nearly 187,000. Many states have seen their jobless rates fall in part because so many people have left the labor force, driving down the national labor participation rate to lows not seen since the 1970s. The Illinois workforce has grown by only about 71,000 in the same period, though it is roughly twice as large. Indiana is adding jobs fast enough that people are rejoining the workforce.

    [...]

    Mr. Pence has continued the progress, cutting taxes every year of his tenure even as the state has continued to pile up budget surpluses. He cut the individual tax rate to 3.3% in 2015 from 3.4% and it will fall to 3.23% in 2017, the lowest in the Midwest, according to the Tax Foundation. One reason the tax rate can stay so low and flat is because it applies to a relatively broad base of income with fewer loopholes than more steeply progressive tax codes.

    The Journal’s editorial board claimed the job growth seen in Indiana is “different” because “the [unemployment] rate has fallen even as the labor force has increased,” an idea dismissed by Politico on July 19, which wrote “the drop in Indiana’s unemployment almost perfectly mirrors the national trend. And the labor force has grown in all but nine states.” A report by the Associated Press (AP) also found that the state’s unemployment rate “largely paralleled the national mark.” The parallel unemployment trends can even be seen in the Journal’s own graph from a July 16 article that undercuts Pence's ownership claim of Indiana's recovery:

    The Journal’s rhetoric resembles praise Trump had for Pence’s handling of the Indiana economy -- which so closely mirrors the U.S. economy that MSNBC’s Steve Benen argued if Pence did a “great job producing economic results, by Trump’s own reasoning, it’s hard not to consider Obama an amazing success.”

    The Journal’s editorial board touted Pence’s income tax cut, but upon closer inspection by the AP, that tax cut works out to be a mere $85 for someone making $50,000 a year. The AP also called into question the budget surpluses the Journal praised, reporting that Pence’s surpluses drew criticism after an infrastructure crisis in which opponents blamed “a handful of roadway deaths on Pence’s desire to build a budget surplus at the expense of properly funding infrastructure.” (The willingness of Republican governors to raid infrastructure funding to fill budget gaps created by trickle-down tax cuts has been well-documented.)

    Pence has also been accused of politicizing Indiana’s health budget. On June 6, 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported on one of the Indiana towns facing an opioid crisis and how Pence’s “war on Planned Parenthood” inadvertently created an “exploding HIV outbreak” in his state. When Indiana Republicans cut funding for Planned Parenthood, they cost some parts of the state their only HIV testing centers, leading to an outbreak of the virus among intravenous drug users and their sexual partners and forcing the state to eventually provide emergency funding for needle exchange programs.

    Other Republican-led states have seen their economies falter after implementation of conservative policies; Kansas and Louisiana have been devastated by Gov. Sam Brownback's and former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s trickle-down economics -- Brownback’s Koch-backed tax cut program has been particularly destructive. Like Pence, Ohio Gov. John Kasich claimed his conservative policies led to an economic “miracle” for his state, but it is easy to demonstrate how Ohio’s economic recovery pre-dated his term of office and is also largely following the national trend.

  • Chris Christie’s Debunked Clinton Claim About Boko Haram Comes Straight From Right-Wing Media

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    During his speech at the Republican National Convention, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie echoed the right-wing media myth that as secretary of state, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton personally “fought” to keep Nigerian group Boko Haram off the terror watch list, which resulted in the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls -- a claim media fact-checkers debunked.    

  • Roger Stone Being Featured At Politico Event A Day After Claiming Clinton Involvement In Vince Foster Conspiracy

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Roger Stone

    Longtime Donald Trump adviser and notorious “dirty trickster” Roger Stone is scheduled to appear as part of Politico’s “Playbook Breakfast at the RNC” event one day after smearing Hillary Clinton as a “mentally unbalanced criminal” and suggesting she was involved in a conspiracy surrounding the death of former White House aide Vince Foster.

    Stone has a long history of violent, sexist, and racist rhetoric, including calling for the killing of several public figures. Stone is listed on Politico’s website as a guest for the July 19 event. NBC News managing editor of politics Dafna Linzer and CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston are scheduled to appear before Stone. Stone is currently banned from appearing on both of those networks due to his incendiary commentary.

    On July 18, appearing as the “co-host” of the “America First Unity Rally 2016,” Stone described Hillary Clinton as “a short-tempered, foul-mouthed, greedy, bipolar, mentally unbalanced criminal” and pushed the conspiracy theory that she had White House aide Vince Foster’s body moved from his office to Fort Marcy Park.

    Stone is an informal advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and at the rally said he was delayed due to “meetings" with members of "the Trump staff.”

    Stone’s rally comments are in line with his history of incendiary and false statements.

    He had several tweets that referred to African-American figures as “stupid negro,” “fat negro,” Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo” and “house negro.” Additionally he referred to African-American and Latina commentators as “quota hires.” Stone also made misogynistic comments on his Twitter account.

    Stone has called for the execution of Hillary Clinton and George Soros, and argued that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should be “shot” for “treason.”

    Stone has also targeted Politico staffers on his Twitter account. He tweeted in May, “Fact- more people watching Newsmax TV than reading the shit cranked out by dishonest 'reporter' @kenvogel at Clintonite POLITICO.” In a since-deleted tweet, Stone once asked, “Which female Politico Reporter goes commando regularly.”

  • Report: Employees At Fox “Knew About” Sexist Actions Against Former Host Gretchen Carlson

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Politico reported that Fox employees “were aware of some of the things” that former Fox host Gretchen Carlson alleged in her lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and that staff of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends “knew about or saw” host Steve Doocy make inappropriate comments.

    Carlson’s lawsuit alleges that Ailes “terminat[ed] her employment,” because she would not have a “sexual relationship with him,” and accuses host Steve Doocy of “creat[ing] a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way.” The allegations fit a longstanding pattern of sexism in Fox News' on-air programming, which Carlson herself has observed for years from her male colleagues. Ailes has also repeatedly made misogynistic and sexist remarks to his employees.  

    In a July 7 article, Politico reported on the “notable lack of major Fox News anchors and talk-show stars … stepping forward” to defend Ailes, and quoted a former Fox & Friends staffer saying, “Everyone on staff knew about or saw” Carlson’s former co-host Steve Doocy “make inappropriate comments.” Politico also noted that “Ailes has made public remarks in the course of his career that many classified as sexist,” and that “Carlson’s [lawsuit is not] the first suit to be brought against Fox News or one of its executives or personalities for sexual harassment.” From the piece:

    There was a notable lack of major Fox News anchors and talk-show stars, many of whose careers were carefully molded by Ailes and are fiercely loyal, stepping forward to defend the salty-tongued executive, as they have done in the past when he has come under fire. The lawsuit went completely unmentioned on Fox News’s broadcast through the evening and during Carlson’s former 2 p.m. hour. (Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News’ media show “MediaBuzz,” published a story about the lawsuit on Fox News’ website on Wednesday evening.)

    [...]

    Several Fox News employees, past and present, said they were aware of some of the things Carlson claimed in her suit.

    "Everyone on staff knew about or saw Doocy make inappropriate comments, but most people just rolled their eyes at it,” a former staffer for “Fox and Friends” told POLITICO.

    [...]

    Ailes has made public remarks in the course of his career that many classified as sexist. In 1994, appearing on the Don Imus radio show two years before the launch of Fox News, Ailes declared that Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace, co-hosts of CNBC’s “Equal Time,” were like “girls who if you went into a bar around seven, you wouldn’t pay a lot of attention, but [they] get to be 10s around closing time.”

    [...]

    Nor is Carlson’s the first suit to be brought against Fox News or one of its executives or personalities for sexual harassment, but they have never stuck — something Smith said informed her firm’s strategy for Carlson.

  • Fox News’ Parent Company Launches Investigation Into Sexual Harassment Charges Against Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, has initiated an internal investigation into claims made by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

    On July 6, Carlson filed a complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey in which she claimed Ailes had routinely made sexually charged comments to her as well as “demands for sex as a way to improve her job standing.”

    CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that 21st Century Fox announced that they have initiated an internal investigation into the claims:

     

    In announcing the internal review, 21st Century Fox praised Ailes and Fox host Steve Doocy, who was also named in Carlson’s lawsuit. The announcement declared “full confidence” in Ailes and Doocy and praised the duo as being “brilliant”:

    21st Century Fox released a statement on Wednesday, saying: "The Company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy. We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter."

    Ailes has also responded to the allegations which he described as “false” and “retaliatory” for the decision not to renew Carlson’s contract. Ailes’ statement included criticism of Carlson for “disappointingly low ratings that dragged down the afternoon lineup,” and described her lawsuit as “offensive.”

  • Nine Times Reporters Botched The Facts On Hillary Clinton's Emails

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Media outlets have had to correct numerous reports on  Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state due to flawed journalistic processes that favored anonymous sourcing and failed to prioritize accuracy. With the FBI calling for no criminal charges following its probe into the use of the server, Media Matters looks back at nine corrections from seven different publications.  

  • Media Fell For Bogus “New Information” Spin In GOP Benghazi Report

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Several media outlets falsely reported that the final report released by Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi contained “new information,” when in fact all of the “key findings” in the report had been previously reported. Committee Republicans reportedly released “embargoed ‘exclusives’” strategically to manipulate reporters into presenting details in the releases as new information.

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Benghazi Myths And Facts

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN & OLIVIA KITTEL

    After nearly four years of right-wing myths about the September 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound and CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya, and as Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the attacks release their reports, Media Matters has compiled a list of more than 50 myths and facts regarding the origin of the attack, the security surrounding the compounds, the Obama administration’s handling of the attack during and after its occurrence, attacks on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other lies and misinformation regarding the Benghazi attack.

  • 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.

  • Media Help Trump Rehab His Comments That Clubgoers Should Have Guns

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Reporters are helping presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to rehabilitate his extreme comments that armed clubgoers could have stopped the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida. They are erroneously portraying as a clarification his new statement that he was really talking about armed “guards or employees,” when in fact he has completely contradicted his prior remarks. 

  • Congressional Black Caucus Demands Bill O’Reilly Apologize For Saying He Wants To “Slap” Rep. Jim Clyburn

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Congressional Black Caucus has demanded a public apology from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, after O’Reilly stated he wanted to “slap” Rep. Jim Clyburn for his push to strengthen gun safety laws.

    The Congressional Black Caucus’ call for an apology comes after O’Reilly’s June 16 appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, where O’Reilly attacked Clyburn’s call for stronger gun legislation, saying “I just want to slap him, with all due respect.” O’Reilly continued, asking “What is it going to take? Do the ISIS people have to come to your backyard, do they have to put you in a cage?”

    Politico reported that the Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield stated “The Congressional Black Caucus is absolutely outraged” at O’Reilly, calling on O’Reilly to “disavow the statement and apologize” to Clyburn:

    The Congressional Black Caucus wants Fox News host Bill O'Reilly to disavow and apologize for remarks he made earlier Thursday on the network in which he said that he wanted to "slap" Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) "with all due respect" for focusing on gun control over terrorism in the wake of the Orlando attack.

    "The Congressional Black Caucus is absolutely outraged," Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told POLITICO, adding that the caucus is calling "upon [O'Reilly] to disavow the statement and apologize" to Clyburn.

    [...]

    "It's reminiscent of the reckless statements that are being made by the Republican nominee," Butterfield said.

    This is not the first time has O’Reilly faced backlash from congressional lawmakers for his attacks. O’Reilly has previously drawn criticism for his racial attacks on minority members of Congress, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), and Rep. Yvette Clarke (C-NY). Lee has previously condemned O’Reilly’s description of her as a “race hustler,” describing his attacks as “disgusting and divisive,” a “thinly veiled racial attack,” concluding comments similar to O’Reilly “should never be accepted in our national discourse.” Rep. Hanabusa has called for O’Reilly’s public apology after “insulting” comments on Asian-Americans, after O’Reilly claimed “Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They’re usually more industrious and hard-working.” O’Reilly has additionally accused CBC members Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. Yvette Clarke of wanting to “divide the country along racial lines, because that’s good for business.”

  • Ignoring Trump's Anti-LGBT Past, Politico Helps Trump Rebrand Himself As Gay-Friendly

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Politico fed into Donald Trump’s attempt to rebrand himself as an advocate for LGBT rights by describing his response to the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub as a “welcoming tone toward LGBT Americans” and saying that “in Trump, pro-gay rights Republicans see a new hope.” This comes two days after Politico reported that LGBT rights organizations don’t support Trump, and as other media outlets have highlighted, the threat Trump poses to LGBT rights and reiterated their view of Trump as an “enemy of the LGBT community.”