The Washington Post

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  • As Polls Show Rising Support To Confirm SCOTUS Nominee, Wash. Post Lauds "Remarkably Successful" Opposition

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    The Washington Post credulously called the efforts by the discredited conservative group Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) to prevent the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland "remarkably successful." But polls show the general public is increasingly at odds with JCN's position. Indeed, just last week the Post reported that the results of a new poll was evidence that "Democrats are winning the message war over Garland." The Post promoted the notion of JCN's success in an interview with chief counsel Carrie Severino, who was given a platform to rehash debunked smears about Garland's judicial record on guns and government regulations.

  • Right-Wing Media's Worst Attempts to Downplay Sexual Assault and Diminish Survivors


    For Sexual Assault Awareness month, Media Matters looks back at right-wing media's history of downplaying, and questioning the legitimacy of, sexual assault. Right-wing media figures have called reporting statutory rape “whiny,” claimed sexual assault victims have a "coveted status," said the sexual assault epidemic is "not happening," blamed feminism for encouraging sexual assault, and said attempts to curb sexual assault constitute "a war happening on boys."

  • Washington Post: North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law Will Not Go Unpunished

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Washington Post article reported on how the "disease" that is House Bill 2 (HB2), a new North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, reflects a dire level of misunderstanding of LGBT people in general. According to the Post, the law's outright bigotry has stirred backlash from celebrities, lawmakers, and businesses, leading to serious economic problems for the state.

    The law was sparked by the "bathroom predator" myth that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity could put people in danger. Despite the fact that that myth has been repeatedly debunked, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory did not hesitate to sign HB2 into law, following suit with similar legislation passed by Mississippi and Tennessee that permits discrimination against LGBT people. The law's passage represents a vast misunderstanding of LGBT people, which has sparked protests and boycotts to dismantle anti-LGBT legislation. 

    The April 12 article compiled the opinions of protesters who were shocked and disgusted by the law's blatant discrimination towards transgender people, one businessman reflecting that "it's a big sign of how uneducated America is." Despite right-wing media outlets denouncing these boycotts, the Postwriter showed optimism for change by highlighting the effectiveness in protesters' tactics, noting that "as in all other times when bigotry raises its hideous head, better angels will prevail":

    The law in question was hurriedly passed last month and signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in response to what one state official called a restroom free-for-all, referring to sudden hysteria over the possibility of transgender individuals using the “wrong” restroom. How would anyone know? Will officials now post monitors at public restrooms to check birth certificates and human bladder-evacuation portals? This would be riotously funny if it weren’t so patently discriminatory.


    “I feel like a traitor going to High Point, putting capitalism before human rights,” he said. “I don’t feel good about that, and I know it’s wrong.” Wooters isn’t only baffled by the bigotry of the legislation but also by whatever generates the fear behind it.

    “Why do people feel they have to be afraid? It’s a big sign of how uneducated America is.”

    Another local designer, Jamie Merida, owner of Bountiful, told me he decided to go if only to make his case to vendors that they have six months to straighten out this mess or he, too, will be off to Las Vegas next time.


    Although North Carolina has been noted in recent years for its increasingly hard-right politics, it is still shocking that a state that boasts several of the nation’s top colleges and universities and is home to the famed Research Triangle, could codify what is so plainly a discriminatory law. In comments Tuesday, McCrory, feeling the pressure, softened his defense of the law but stopped short of opposing the provision on bathroom use by transsexual people. As in all other times when bigotry raises its hideous head, better angels will prevail. Either the courts will overturn the law or the state will come to its senses, if only for economic reasons.

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Megyn Kelly’s History Of Right-Wing Media Misinformation

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Megyn Kelly, the host of Fox’s The Kelly File, is often billed as a “straight news” anchor known for occasionally "bucking ... the conservative party line" on Fox. Here’s a look back at some of her most egregious misinformation campaigns and out-of-touch comments regarding race, LGBT issues, gender, reproductive rights, Islam, immigration, climate change, and Hillary Clinton.

  • Bob Woodward Says Questions Remain Unanswered About Clinton's Email, Doesn't Say What Those Questions Are

    Despite Press Conferences, Presidential Debates, And Televised Congressional Testimony, Woodward Says Clinton Needs To Tell Voters, “I’m Going To Answer All The Questions” About Email


    Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward asserted on Fox News Sunday that Hillary Clinton still has questions to answer about her emails – despite Clinton holding multiple press conferences on the matter, supporting the release of more than 50,000 pages of emails to the public, facing email questions during several presidential debates, and answering more than 50 questions about her emails during 11 hours of televised testimony before the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi.

  • How The Wash. Post Kicked Off The "Qualified" Argument Between Clinton And Sanders

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    The Washington Post Fact Checker clarified an article written by other Post reporters whose headline falsely suggested that Hillary Clinton called Bernie Sanders unqualified to be president. Before the Fact Checker had weighed in, the misrepresentation spread to other outlets, and Sanders reportedly cited it as justification for questioning Clinton's credentials in response.

  • Wash. Post Reporter: "It's Pretty Remarkable" That Cable News Channels Have Shunned Trump Ally Roger Stone

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    A Washington Post reporter said it's "remarkable" that Trump ally Roger Stone has been "blacklisted" from two major cable news channels over his history of sexist and racially offensive comments. 

    Roger Stone -- a notorious "dirty trickster" -- has a terrible track record of violent, sexist remarks against the Clintons, racist tweets, and dedicating a book he co-wrote to a Holocaust denier. In February, CNN banned Stone from appearing as a guest, following his series of incendiary tweets against the network's personalities. MSNBC has also banned Stone from their network, something Stone blamed Media Matters for. 

    In an April 7 blog post for the Washington Post's The Fix, Callum Borchers wrote, "it's pretty remarkable" that Stone, a vocal Trump ally with a "regular television presence," has been banned from major cable news networks. Borchers noted that Stone still appears as a guest on Fox News:

    With many big-name conservative commentators vigorously opposed to -- or, at least, highly skeptical of -- Donald Trump, cable news channels have looked to the end of the bench for articulate, telegenic supporters of the Republican presidential front-runner.


    A good Trump surrogate -- or at least one who won't send a TV segment careening off the rails -- can be hard to find. Media outlets aren't really in a position to scratch names off an already-short list.

    So it's pretty remarkable that two of the three major cable news channels have blacklisted Roger Stone, the veteran Republican strategist who is one of Trump's most vocal allies and who had been a regular television presence.

    CNN banned Stone in February, after he tweeted sexist, racist comments about two of the network's on-air personalities. On Monday, MSNBC edited out a Stone interview that was part of that day's episode of "With All Due Respect," a weekday program that airs earlier on Bloomberg TV. The Stone interview was included in Bloomberg's broadcast but cut from MSNBC's. The liberal press watchdog group Media Matters was first to flag the edit.

    An MSNBC spokesman said in an email to The Fix that "Roger Stone will not be a guest on MSNBC because of his now very well-known offensive comments."

    Fox News Channel has not banned Stone, according to a spokeswoman; he was a guest on "Mornings with Maria" on Fox Business Network on Monday. The Washington Post also does not have a policy against quoting Stone.


    Now two cable news channels have decided to run him off their air. The search for Trump backers who are suitable for television continues.   

  • Media Criticize Trump's Plan To Force Mexico To Pay For His Border Wall By Threatening To Block Remittances

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    The Washington Post reported that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he would compel Mexico to pay for his proposed border wall by threatening to block money that Mexican immigrants send to their home country, commonly known as remittances. The Post called the proposal's legality "unclear," while other media outlets, including the digital news division for the largest Spanish-language network, Univision, also cast doubt on the plan's feasibility and ethics.

  • Wash. Post Report: Leaked Poll Proves Most Businesses Support Raising Minimum Wage

    Data From GOP Pollster Counters Right-Wing Media Claim That Businesses Oppose Raising Wages

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX MORASH

    Time to raise the wage

    The Washington Post reported on leaked documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy that disprove right-wing media claims that businesses are opposed to raising the minimum wage.

    On April 4, The Washington Post reported on a leaked poll conducted for the Council of State Chambers of Commerce, which shows that the vast majority of business executives who were questioned said they support raising the minimum wage. The poll, conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, found that "80 percent of respondents said they supported raising their state's minimum wage, while only eight percent opposed it."

    An advocate quoted in the Post's piece noted that other polls have found similar results to the findings uncovered by the Center for Media and Democracy. The advocacy organization Small Business Majority found that 60 percent of small-business owners supported raising the minimum wage to at least $12 per hour, confirming similar findings from a July 2014 report produced by the American Sustainable Business Council and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, which found that a majority of businesses support raising the minimum wage.

    Right-wing media have repeatedly pushed the myth that businesses are opposed to raising the minimum wage while spreading debunked claims that raising the minimum wage leads to job losses. In one instance, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed that a minimum wage increase in Seattle had cost the area 1,000 jobs in food services in the month after the increase went into effect, when in reality 1,800 jobs had been created since the start of the year, regardless of the wage change.

    But economists have also repeatedly debunked the claim that raising the minimum wage would kill jobs. Researchers at Cornell University found that raising the regular and tipped minimum wages for workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries has "not had large or reliable effects" on the number of people working in the industry and concluded that business groups opposed to wage increases should just embrace "reasonable increases." Recent strong job data out of Washington state, where the cities of Seattle and SeaTac are in the process of phasing in the highest municipal minimum wages in the country, undermined right-wing media claims that raising the minimum wage kills jobs.

    The Post reported that Luntz said the polling data shows that it's "undeniable that they [business executives] support the increase." He told state chamber executives that if they're "fighting a minimum wage increase," they could suggest other "poverty-reduction methods like the Earned Income Tax Credit" in order to "defuse" the support (emphasis added):

    Whenever minimum wage increases are proposed on the state or federal level, business groups tend to fight them tooth and nail. But actual opposition may not be as united as the groups' rhetoric might make it appear, according to internal research conducted by a leading consultant for state chambers of commerce.

    The survey of 1,000 business executives across the country was conducted by LuntzGlobal, the firm run by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and obtained by a liberal watchdog group called the Center for Media and Democracy. ... [[is this an in-line ellipsis?]]Among the most interesting findings: 80 percent of respondents said they supported raising their state's minimum wage, while only eight percent opposed it.

    "That's where it's undeniable that they support the increase," Luntz told state chamber executives in a webinar describing the results, noting that it squares with other polling they've done. "And this is universal. If you're fighting against a minimum wage increase, you're fighting an uphill battle, because most Americans, even most Republicans, are okay with raising the minimum wage."

    Luntz then provided some tips on how to defuse that support, such as suggesting other poverty-reduction methods like the Earned Income Tax Credit. "Where you might find some comfort if you are opposing it in your state is, 'how big of a priority is it against other priorities?'" he said. "Most folks think there are bigger priorities. Creating more jobs rather than raising the minimum wage is a priority that most everyone agrees with. So when you put it up against other issues, you can find other alternatives and other things to focus on. But in isolation, and you ask about the minimum wage, it's definitely a winner."

    *This post has been updated to reflect the 2014 report was jointly produced.

  • Nightly Newscasts Ignore Distressing New Study On Climate Change And Sea Level Rise

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS


    A new climate change study "jolts sea-rise predictions," according to The Washington Post, with sea levels projected to increase so much that The New York Times says they would "likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today." This disturbing news made the top-fold front pages of the Post and the Times, but it was completely ignored by the broadcast television networks' nightly news programs.

    The study, published on March 31 in the journal Naturefound that global warming could cause the Antarctic ice sheet to collapse, in part through a process previously "underappreciated" in sea level rise models. Combined with ice melting in other areas, the study projects that sea levels could rise about six feet by the end of the century, an estimate roughly double that of the most widely cited worst-case scenario. This amount of sea level rise would put hundreds of millions of people in cities and coastal areas around the world at risk of inundation, including New York City, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, and other major U.S. cities. (As Gizmodo bluntly put it, "Florida is screwed."). The study also projects that seas will rise nearly 50 feet by 2500, which as the Post's Capital Weather Gang noted, would result in even more catastrophic consequences:

    In the study's projection for 2500, almost the entire state of Delaware would disappear. Much of Manhattan and Brooklyn would be reduced to just slivers of their current selves. The southern coast of Florida would end north of Lake Okeechobee. California's Central Valley would flood from Modesto to Colusa, and the state capital of Sacramento would be entirely under water.

    The new study does come with a silver lining, according to the Times: "A far more stringent effort to limit emissions of greenhouse gases would stand a fairly good chance of saving West Antarctica from collapse, scientists found. That aspect of their paper contrasts with other recent studies postulating that a gradual disintegration of West Antarctica may have already become unstoppable."

    The nightly newscasts' failure to cover this study follows a paltry year of climate change coverage on the broadcast networks in 2015. A Media Matters study found that ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively devoted less time to covering climate change during their nightly news and Sunday show broadcasts than they did in the previous year, even though 2015 was a landmark year for climate-related news that included the EPA finalizing the Clean Power Plan, Pope Francis issuing a climate change encyclical, President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and 195 countries around the world reaching a historic climate agreement in Paris.

    Unlike the network news broadcasts, CNN and MSNBC both aired segments about the new study. On CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper, Tapper introduced a segment about the study by stating that the West Antarctic ice sheet is "disintegrating so fast your kids and your grandkids, well, they might not be able to dream about living in New York City or Philadelphia or Washington or Miami because there might not be a New York City or Philadelphia or Washington or Miami at the turn of the century":

    Similarly, on MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, Hayes reported that "there's new evidence that ... the nightmare, worst case scenario" about global warming "will unfold in decades rather than centuries," and interviewed Columbia University climate scientist Radley Horton to discuss the sea level study's significance:

  • A Timeline Of The Anonymously Sourced FBI Agent Numbers That Distorted The Clinton Email Server Investigation

    The Numbers Have Changed From 150 To 12

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Since January, numerous outlets, including Fox News and The Washington Post, have cited anonymous or discredited sources to claim that up to 150 FBI agents were investigating Hillary Clinton's private email server. But the number of agents has been a moving target, with the Post later correcting itself to say it was "less than 50" and NBC saying March 30 that the number is closer to 12. NBC's source -- also anonymous -- called the earlier figures "ridiculous" and said, "You need an act of terrorism to get 50 agents working on something."