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Many right-wing pundits praised Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s pledge to “instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor” to “jail” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, a threat mainstream journalists compared to what “dictators” do in a “banana republic.” Yet conservatives’ support for Trump’s planned abuses of governmental power is particularly hypocritical given that during the FBI and Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into Clinton’s email use, right-wing media claimed the agencies were “politicized” and “corrupt.” It seems that a politicized Justice Department is fine so long as it achieves the right’s political goals.
During the second presidential debate, Trump warned Clinton, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” adding that she “would be in jail” under his administration.
Trump’s “unprecedented” threat was in line with what “dictators” do in “banana republics,” many journalists noted. CNN’s Dana Bash warned that Trump’s comments parallel the sorts of things “dictators and totalitarian leaders” like “Stalin or Hitler” did.
Yet conservative pundits cheered Trump’s dangerous attack with alacrity. Fox News host Steve Doocy called the threat “amazing,” Fox contributor Scott Brown cheered the line as a “home run,” and CNN’s Kayleigh McEnany applauded the threat as “a humorous line of retort.” Bill O'Reilly dubbed the attack "the smartest thing [Trump] did all night," and Trump ally and dirty trickster Roger Stone said Trump “scored.”
Aside from aligning themselves with a pledge hinting at serious abuses of governmental power, the right-wing are highlighting their double standard for the integrity of democratic institutions. Conservatives led a full-throated, but baseless, crusade against the FBI, DOJ, and the White House after FBI Director James Comey recommended that the DOJ not indict Clinton following the investigation related to her use of a private email server.
Right-wing pundits attacked the FBI and DOJ for their “disregard for the rule of law” and claimed the decision is evidence that “the government is corrupt.” They asserted that the “highly politicized” DOJ is “no longer … an effective, impartial enforcer of the law” and instead is allowing “corruption [to] fester and grow.” Conservatives even attacked President Obama for endorsing Clinton amid the FBI investigation, claiming that his support revealed “a man who sees the Constitution as an impediment to be disregarded.”
That conservatives attacked the FBI and DOJ for allegedly flouting the law after they failed to deliver the desired result -- a Clinton indictment that would land her in jail -- but openly cheer Trump’s dictatorial threat to jail a political opponent reveals that politics eclipse the law in the right’s quest for power. Though right-wing calls for Clinton to be jailed are not new on the campaign trail, the embrace of Trump’s newest threat has lifted the veil on the right’s hypocrisy in terms of respecting the rule of law.
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Right-wing media labeled the second night of the Democratic National Convention as an “anti-law enforcement rally” because a group of seven mothers, known as the Mothers of the Movement, were invited to speak about losing their children to gun violence or excessive use of force by police. While right-wing media figures have said that the Democratic Party “shows no respect for law enforcement,” the Pittsburgh Police Chief spoke prior to the mother's’ plea to “seek common ground” between law enforcement and communities, while one of the mothers lauded police, saying, “The majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.”
For months, media have repeatedly claimed that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was beginning to “pivot” to become a more “serious-sounding candidate” whenever he appeared to begin using “a more subdued tone” or briefly refrained from insulting his opponents.
Conservative media figures ignored known turmoil in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to claim that the termination of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski as a sign that the campaign is “about to get serious” and pivot to a more positive campaign.
Fox News Has Promoted Brown As A Potential Running Mate For Trump
Fox News contributor Scott Brown criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for a series of tweets condemning GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, alleging that Warren was “drunk tweeting” and accusing her of being unable to “stand on her own two feet.” Brown, who lost his 2012 Senate race to Sen. Warren and whose political ambitions have long been boosted by Fox News, has been openly pushed by the network as a potential vice presidential running mate for Trump.
Scott Brown, a former Republican Senator for Massachusetts, was hired by Fox News in 2013 after a failed Senate campaign, and left the network soon thereafter to run for office in New Hampshire. During his 2014 Senate bid, Brown received widespread support and praise from Fox, often with no disclosure of his prior affiliation with the network. Following his Senate loss in 2014, Brown re-joined as a contributor. Fox hosts have regularly hyped Brown, who is still a Fox News contributor, as a potential running mate for Trump during the 2016 presidential primary.
During a May 4 interview with Boston Herald Radio, Brown criticized his former rival Elizabeth Warren after she took to Twitter to slam Trump’s “toxic stew of hatred & insecurity” and pledged to “fight my heart out” to ensure Trump’s “racism, sexism, and xenophobia” “never reaches the White House.” Brown “lauded Trump and hit back at Warren in harsh terms,” according to Boston.com. Brown asked if Sen. Warren was “drunk tweeting” and slammed her tweets as “irrelevant,” writing, “She had her chance to make a difference … All she does is yell and criticize and demean and belittle people instead of working for the people of Massachusetts”:
As America began to come to terms with Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched into a series of tweets criticizing the businessman’s “toxic stew of hatred and insecurity.”
A day later, the man she beat to become the U.S. senator from Massachusetts fired back at Warren.
“Is she drunk tweeting now?” Scott Brown said.
The comment came in an interview with Boston Herald Radio on Wednesday in which Brown lauded Trump and hit back at Warren in harsh terms.
“First of all, what she said is completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter,” Brown said. “She had her chance to make a difference. She hasn’t even bothered to endorse anybody, so it just is a continuation of her phoniness and her inability to make decisions that really have her stand on her own two feet.”
Brown has addressed questions about his own tweeting in the past. In 2013, the former Republican senator posted a series of misspelled, dismissive tweets on a late night. “bqhatevwr,” he infamously wrote. Critics at the time questioned whether Brown was drunk when he sent the mangled tweet.
“I rarely drink, the last time I was ever drunk was my bachelor party,” he said at the time, according to the Washington Post.Herald Radio host Jaclyn Cashman on Wednesday agreed with Brown’s questioning of Warren’s drinking habits.
“I envision her with a glass of Chardonnay in Cambridge,” she said, as Brown laughed. “I guarantee that she was half in the bag tweeting last night.”
Brown, who endorsed Trump for president, said Warren had not accomplished anything of note in office.
“All she does is yell and criticize and demean and belittle people instead of working for the people of Massachusetts,” he said. “If it’s the new norm to go down there and yell and scream at people and divide people, she’s doing a great job at that.”
Fox News hosts and guests spun protests against GOP front-runner Donald Trump at recent campaign events in California as beneficial to Trump as a candidate.
Multiple current and former Fox News figures criticized fellow Fox contributor Erick Erickson for organizing an "anti-Trump" meeting aimed at finding ways to either deny Trump the Republican nomination or run a third-party candidate, calling Erickson a "Benedict Arnold" and criticizing his tactics as a "suicide mission" against Republicans that could help elect Hillary Clinton.
Fox News contributor Scott Brown's network colleagues are pushing him as a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The network -- where Brown has worked on and off as a contributor -- has been boosting the half-term senator's political ambitions for years.
During a January 16 event in New Hampshire where Brown introduced Trump, the business mogul responded to an audience member's suggestion that Brown should be his running mate by replying, "He's central casting! A great guy and a beautiful wife and a great family. So important!" On February 2, Brown officially endorsed Trump for president, calling him "a change agent."
Since his endorsement, Brown's Fox colleagues have regularly floated him as a potential Trump running mate. For instance:
Fox News has spent years trying to further Brown's political career. The channel spent significant time boosting his only successful Senate run in 2010. After he lost his reelection bid in 2012, Brown was hired by Fox News. He then left the network and received major but ultimately unsuccessful help from Fox in his New Hampshire Senate bid. He was rehired by Fox in 2014.
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As Mitt Romney is reportedly considering a third presidential run, several conservative media figures are calling foul, labeling the idea "too stupid" and suggesting another Romney bid would be "preposterous."
After repeatedly claiming he was done with running for president, last Friday Romney apparently reversed course, telling a group of Republican donors in New York City, "I want to be president." Since then, Romney's team has reportedly been working "to reassemble his national political network."
As part of his efforts to kickstart another run, Romney reportedly reached out to several conservative media figures.
According to The Washington Post, he recently invited Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham to his ski home to discuss "politics and policy," and also made phone calls to CNN analyst Newt Gingrich and Fox News contributor Scott Brown. In a subsequent appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Ingraham initially told viewers that between Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Romney, her support would "probably be a tie between Romney and Walker." Pressed by O'Reilly, she added, "I'll just say Romney because he's been through the grist mill before." (Ingraham explained that Romney had made her and her daughter "cocoa and soup" when she visited his ski house.)
During an appearance on Fox News' Your World, Brown said that when Romney recently called him, "I encouraged Mitt to run." Brown told Fox News viewers that Romney "was right" on a variety of issues and that he "absolutely" wants Romney to join the race.
But not everyone in the conservative movement is as supportive.
In an article for the New York Times, reporter Jonathan Martin writes that despite the "excitement among his loyalists in the Republican donor class" for another Romney run, "interviews with more than two dozen Republican activists, elected officials and contributors around the country reveal little appetite for another Romney candidacy."
Romney also faces a hurdle in several prominent conservative media figures and outlets that are less than enthusiastic about the idea of another Romney run.
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Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who lost his comeback bid to New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, is reportedly rejoining Fox News as a contributor. Fox's decision to rehire Brown comes after the network served as a launching pad for Brown's political return, and attempted to assist his failed New Hampshire campaign with fawning coverage.
The Boston Herald reported that Brown "is rejoining Fox News as a contributor" and "will make his first appearance Tuesday as the 'One Lucky Guy' on 'Outnumbered' (noon-1 p.m. weekdays), Fox News has confirmed."
The network spent significant time boosting Brown's only successful Senate run (in Massachusetts' 2010 race) -- during one segment, Fox hosts even played with a Scott Brown action figure. Fox first hired Brown after he lost his 2012 reelection bid.
Brown then used his Fox employment to collect a paycheck ($136,538) and position himself for another run for office, this time in New Hampshire. His Fox commentary sounded like campaign stump speeches, and he touted his ties to the state, claiming he had "long and strong ties to New Hampshire, you know, going back generations." Brown even credited his Fox employment for motivating him to run for office the third time, stating that "being on Fox ... really charged me up to get involved again."
When Brown finally became an official candidate in 2014 and formally left the network, Fox News still tried its hardest to bring him to victory. It aired an anti-Obamacare documentary that was so flattering to Brown that the campaign repeatedly screened it for voters. Fox hosts also parroted Brown campaign talking points, attacking his opponent Shaheen as "a rubber stamp for Barack Obama." One Fox host even got the talking points confused, praising Brown -- who was elected in 2010 -- as an independent who was "not a rubber stamp, an automatic rubber stamp for George Bush's policies."
Fox News has had no problem rehiring Republican contributors who left the network but failed in their political bids. Recent examples include Liz Cheney, who dropped out of her Wyoming Senate primary run; Angela McGlowan, who lost a Mississippi congressional primary; and Pete Snyder, who was unsuccessful in his primary bid for Virginia lieutenant governor.
Democratic New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is eligible for reelection in 2016 and may choose to run for the U.S. Senate, potentially setting up another round of Fox's ethically-challenged employment of Brown.