The Washington Times

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  • Trump’s “Women’s Card” Attack Against Hillary Clinton Comes From Right-Wing Media’s Playbook

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    After Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump swept five states in the April 26 primary​ elections, he attacked Democratic presidential front-​runner Hillary Clinton for playing the “women’s card” and suggested she wouldn’t be winning if she “were a man.” Trump’s attack follows right-wing media's long history of criticizing Clinton’s “gender card.”    

  • "Entitlement Nation Run Amok”: Fox’s Andrew Napolitano Peddles Lies About The Minimum Wage

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX MORASH & CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Fox News’ misinformation campaign against the minimum wage has shifted into high gear following the passage of statewide increases in California and New York. The network is now hyping worries from senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano that a $15 minimum wage is a subversive attempt to “bribe the poor for votes,” which will result in dramatic price increases and job losses while driving more low-wage workers onto public assistance programs.

    In an April 6 op-ed published by the right-wing Washington Times, Napolitano suggested that politicians are raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour “to win the votes of those they promised to help” while claiming that increased wages would have drastic negative economic consequences. On the April 7 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Napolitano claimed that raising the minimum wage would result in price increases that put necessities beyond the reach of low-wage workers, destroy jobs, and expand reliance on public assistance. Later that morning, Napolitano appeared on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. and claimed that “poor people will lose their jobs because they simply are not worth” a $15 wage. From Fox & Friends:

    CLAIM: Minimum Wage Increases Will Result In Job Losses, Price Inflation

    Counter to Napolitano’s claim that raising the minimum wage would lead to dramatic price increases, researchers at Purdue University concluded in a July 2015 report that increasing the minimum wage of fast-food workers to $15 per hour would result in only a 4.3 percent increase in restaurant prices. According to The Economist’s Big Mac Index, a 4.3 percent increase in the cost of a Big Mac in the United States would be roughly 22 cents. 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 price increases have not been large enough to “dramatically affect overall demand." Right-wing media have a long history of claiming that minimum wages destroy jobs and inflate prices, but the overwhelming majority of economic research shows no such relationship.

    CLAIM: Minimum Wage Work Isn’t Worth $15 Per Hour

    Napolitano’s poor-shaming stance on the supposedly lesser value of low-skilled and low-income workers mirrors similar comments from Fox Business host Charles Payne, who on multiple occasions has slammed minimum wage increases as rewarding and encouraging "mediocrity." In fact, according to ThinkProgress, a $15-per-hour minimum wage would not even be a living wage in many states, including California or New York -- workers today already need to make closer to $22 per hour. Furthermore, according to a report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), minimum wage workers have been undervalued for decades; if the federal minimum wage had kept up with increasing worker productivity since the 1970s, it would have reached $21.72 per hour by 2012.

    CLAIM: Minimum Wage Increases Will Expand Dependence On Welfare

    Napolitano falsely claimed that increasing the minimum wage would drive more low-income Americans into poverty by destroying opportunities for employment, and that it would result in an increased reliance on public assistance programs. On the contrary, according to research by the Center for American Progress (CAP) on an abandoned 2014 proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by July 2016, the wage increase could have decreased reliance on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as “food stamps,” by $4.6 billion annually. In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that a $10.10 federal minimum wage would lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty while injecting billions of dollars into the consumer economy. A December 2013 study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) similarly found that the modest wage increase would have directly or indirectly lifted wages for nearly 30 million American workers. Conservative media personalities like Napolitano frequently bemoan the supposed ill effects of raising the minimum wage, completely ignoring the heavy public cost that historically low minimum wages across the country already carry. An October 2013 report by the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center found that low wages in the fast-food industry alone cost taxpayers $7 billion annually by increasing the strain on public assistance.

    CLAIM: Minimum Wage Increases Are A Means of “Buying Votes”

    Napolitano’s claim that minimum wage increases are a political tool meant to curry favor and “bribe the poor for votes” is a common right-wing media theme. Fox News personalities, often led by Fox Business host Stuart Varneyfrequently claim that Democrats support policies aimed at alleviating poverty only as a means of “buying votes.” For years, Fox has claimed that the Lifeline program -- a Reagan-era telecommunications subsidy for low-income families -- was a Democratic plot to “bribe” and “enslave” American voters. In fact, tens of millions of Americans across the political spectrum rely on these vital programs, and Republican politicians are actually more likely than their Democratic counterparts to represent constituents who use food stamps -- a program that low-income families would be less reliant on if minimum wages were increased.

  • Conservatives Are Already Preparing To Cry "Cover-Up" If Hillary Clinton Isn't Indicted

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media figures have been laying the foundation to allege a "scandal" and "cover-up" if the FBI's investigation into Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's email server does not result in Clinton's indictment, thus setting her up for a lose-lose situation. Yet multiple law experts have explained that an indictment is highly unlikely.

  • Zubik v. Burwell: The Conservative "Abortifacient" Myth That Became The Latest Attempt To Block ACA Contraceptive Coverage

    ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    On March 23, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case brought by religious nonprofits challenging a process for opting out of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception mandate. These groups argue that the process of opting out of providing insurance coverage for forms of contraception that they falsely deem "abortifacients" poses a "substantial burden" to their religious beliefs, a claim right-wing media have endorsed.

  • Here Are The Big Players In The Inevitable Smear Campaign Against Judge Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    As President Obama reportedly prepares to announce Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, media should be prepared to hear from several right-wing groups dedicated to opposing the nominee, no matter who it is. These advocacy groups and right-wing media outlets have a history of pushing misleading information and alarmist rhetoric to launch smear campaigns against Obama's highly qualified Supreme Court nominees, using tactics including, but not limited to, spreading offensive rumors about a nominee's personal life, deploying bogus legal arguments or conspiracy theories, and launching wild distortions of every aspect of a nominee's legal career.

  • Myths And Facts On The Nomination Of Judge Merrick Garland To The Supreme Court

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT, TIMOTHY JOHNSON & PAM VOGEL

    Since the lead-up to President Obama's March 16 nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the judge has faced misleading and false attacks, as well as a concerted push for continued obstruction of any Supreme Court nominee chosen by Obama. Here are the facts about the nominee, previous lines of right-wing attack, and information on the nomination and confirmation processes going forward.

  • Debate Moderators Owe It To Florida Latinos To Bring Up Climate Change

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Moderators of the Republican and Democratic presidential primary debates in Florida are being urged to ask candidates about climate change. The topic is especially significant in Florida, a state at risk from rising sea levels where Latino voters make up an important portion of electorate and consistently indicate that climate change is "extremely or very important" to them.

    Democratic and Republican presidential primary debates will take place in Miami, Florida on March 9 and 10, respectively. The Democratic debate will be hosted by Univision and The Washington Post, featuring Univision's Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas and The Post's Karen Tumulty as moderators -- it will be cast simultaneously on CNN. The Republican debate will be hosted by CNN, Salem Radio, and The Washington Times, and be moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper, with Dana Bash, Salem Radio's Hugh Hewitt, and The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan joining as questioners.

    According to the Pew Research Center, Latino voters in Florida play a crucial role in "determining the outcome of the state's presidential vote." Latinos make up 18.1 percent of eligible voters in Florida.

    Climate change is one of the issues that the Latino voting bloc cares about the most -- even more than non-Hispanic whites, according to a February 2015 poll by The New York Times, Stanford University, and the nonpartisan Resources for the Future. As the Times noted, the poll indicated that a majority of Hispanics rate climate change as "extremely or very important to them personally," and 63 percent think "the federal government should act broadly to address global warming." More recently, a September 2015 Latino Decisions poll found that 76 percent of registered Latino voters in Florida are in favor of national clean energy standards, while 74 percent "strongly support" measures to combat climate change.

    Florida Latinos care deeply about climate change because they stand to suffer some of its worst consequences. The Latino population is more likely to live in counties near the coastline -- such as Miami-Dade or Broward, where Hispanics are more than 25 percent of the total population. As the Sun Sentinel has noted, in just the next 15 years climate change-induced sea level rise in South Florida will result in "a range of hardships, from endangered drinking water supplies to a degradation of public services." And according to some mapped projections of rising sea levels, large portions of these counties could be underwater by 2100.

    Yet, climate change has been repeatedly glossed over in presidential debates this primary season, prompting a bipartisan group of 21 Florida mayors to call on debate moderators to address the issue in the upcoming presidential debates in the state.

    As New Climate Economy's Helen Mountford wrote in a March 5 letter to the editor in The Miami Herald, "Florida is the right place" to make climate change a "major focus" of a presidential debate, since Florida, with its "more than 1,350 miles of coastline," is already experiencing the damaging effects of rising sea levels.

  • 21 Florida Mayors Urge Networks To Address Climate Change In Miami Debates

    Mayors' Letters Come Amid Mounting Calls To Address Climate Change In Presidential Debates

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    florida

    How many more groups, experts, and citizens have to push for debate moderators to thoroughly address climate change before they finally listen?

    A bipartisan group of 21 mayors from throughout Florida wrote letters to the hosts of the upcoming Democratic primary debate on March 9 and GOP primary debate on March 10, both of which will take place in Miami, urging them to ask the presidential candidates about climate change.

    Presidential primary debates have not yet thoroughly addressed climate change, even while important climate developments have taken place during the primary season, including adoption of a landmark international agreement between 196 nations to act on climate change, and the Supreme Court's move to delay the United States' flagship climate plan. Debate moderators have glossed over climate change -- so much so that the Democratic candidates have been bringing up the issue themselves.

    A group of Nobel Laureates and hundreds of other experts is calling for at least one presidential debate that is exclusively focused on science, health, technology, and environmental issues. And a coalition of 18 climate and civil rights advocacy groups recently asked CNN to focus exclusively on issues of "racial, climate, and environmental justice" in the most recent Democratic debate, held in Flint, MI, on March 6. That debate did address several environmental issues, including Flint's lead-poisoned water, but climate change "appeared only briefly," according to The Guardian.

    Now, 21 mayors in Florida have taken up the call. On March 4, the group, led by Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, wrote two letters to the moderators of the upcoming Democratic and Republican debates, expressing concern that "so little attention has been paid" to climate change in the presidential debates despite the "severe impacts it is having on our communities."

    The letters provided sample questions for the moderators to ask the presidential candidates, and said:

    We, the 21 undersigned mayors from throughout Florida, are concerned about sea level rise and climate change and the severe impacts it is having on our communities. We are equally concerned that so little attention has been paid to these issues in the presidential debates. It would be unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida to not be addressed in the upcoming debate you will be hosting in the state.

    The mayors added in the letter to the GOP debate moderator: "In particular, Senator [Marco] Rubio represents this state and should not be allowed to fail to provide, or side step, substantive answers to these questions."

    Additionally, the Miami Herald published a letter from New Climate Economy program director Helen Mountford on March 5 saying, "None of the 16 presidential debates so far have taken on climate change as a major focus." She added that Florida is the "right place" to do so: "With more than 1,350 miles of coastline, the state is already feeling the cost of rising sea levels." More from the letter:

    Any serious presidential candidate needs a clear plan to tackle climate change, because the reality of this threat is no longer up for debate.

    A majority of both Republican and Democratic voters and 97 percent of scientists understand that global warming is real. What should be discussed instead is how to accelerate the shift to clean, affordable energy.

    [...]

    Americans and American companies are taking climate change seriously.

    Now it's time for our presidential candidates and debate moderators to do the same.

    Image at the top from Flickr user stacyflower with a Creative Commons license.

  • Right-Wing Media Smear Sanders With "Historically Inaccurate And Ridiculous" Comparison To Nazi Ideology

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Right-wing media have been smearing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, by comparing his ideology to that of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party. Experts have called the comparison "inaccurate," "outrageous," and "a trivialization of history."

  • Right-Wing Media Smear Mosque Before Obama's Visit

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Right-wing media smeared the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) after President Obama announced that it would be the first U.S. mosque he visits in his presidency. Conservative media accused the mosque, one of the largest Muslim centers in the mid-Atlantic region, of having ties to terrorism based on cherry-picked, decades-old connections and former employees.

  • "The Guy Scares Me": Holocaust Survivors Warn About The Danger Of Trump's Right-Wing Media Approved Rhetoric

    Trump's Candidacy And Plans Have Been Hailed By Right-Wing And White Nationalist Media Figures

    ››› ››› LIS POWER

    On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivors warned about the demagoguery and rhetoric espoused by Donald Trump that they say echoes back to Nazi Germany -- the same rhetoric which has been sanctioned by right-wing media and praised by white nationalist media as "wonderful."

  • GOP Civil War: Conservatives Turn On National Review Over Anti-Trump Issue

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Right-wing media figures are criticizing the conservative magazine National Review after it released a comprehensive feature of conservatives blasting current GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. The critics are claiming the magazine's criticism is "intellectual snobbery," that the magazine is "irrelevant," that it has "lost touch with the electorate," and that it is committing "suicide."