Walid Phares

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  • Fox Business Makes The German Cinema Standoff All About Donald Trump

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In the middle of an unfolding standoff between police and a gunman at a movie theater in Germany, Fox Business host Stuart Varney repeatedly pivoted to promoting Donald Trump, calling the incident “a plus” for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    On the June 23 edition of Varney & Co., Varney dedicated two segments to the developing situation, speculating in each that the situation might benefit Trump’s campaign. First, Varney and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, a Trump apologist,  agreed that the situation -- initially reported as a “mass shooting” -- would “absolutely” benefit the GOP front-runner because he has “emphasized the need for strong national security policy.” 

    Next, Varney asked Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News judicial analyst, what impact the incident might have on U.S. immigration policy. Napolitano responded, “When a crisis like this happens, it should benefit Donald Trump,” because “he portrays himself as the stronger, sterner protector of our shores.” He advised Trump to “express outrage and … determination” to “one up Mrs. Clinton.” Napolitano has a history of pushing conspiracy theories and recently used the horrific mass shooting in Orlando to promote debunked right-wing media myths about gun violence. He is also reportedly a likely Supreme Court nominee, should Trump become president.    

    Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares echoed Fox’s promotion of the GOP candidate, saying that if the shooting was “politically motivated terrorism,” it will benefit Trump because it will prove that “terrorism is active in Europe.”

    Varney has track record of inserting praise of Trump’s foreign policy positions into his reporting. On May 19, when an EgyptAir flight crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, the Fox Business host framed the tragedy as “a plus” and “politically good for Donald Trump.” On March 22, he also let Phares erroneously claim the United States doesn’t have a vetting process for Syrian refugees, whom Trump has incorrectly labeled as a threat to national security.  

  • 8 Ways Right-Wing Media Exploited The Brussels Terror Attacks


    Right-wing media quickly exploited the terrorist attacks in Brussels by stoking fears about the U.S. refugee vetting process, calling for the profiling of Muslims, stoking anti-immigrant sentiments, hyping anti-Muslim fears, blaming political correctness for the victims of terrorism, crediting Donald Trump with being "right" when he said Brussels was turning into a "hell hole," calling for torture and waterboarding, and criticizing President Obama.

  • Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That


    Conservative media figures have wrongly accused Muslim groups and leaders of failing to denounce the violent acts of the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), despite the fact that numerous Muslim religious authorities, advocacy groups, and Imams have come together to denounce the Islamic State's un-Islamic crimes against humanity.

  • The Members Of Romney's Campaign Who Work For Fox

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    UPDATE: Mediaite reported in an article following the publication of this post that Fox says Chao is no longer a Fox News contributor. Mediaite wrote: "We reached out to Fox and they replied that Chao is, in fact, not a Fox News contributor." Fox identified Chao as a Fox News contributor as recently as September 6 during an appearance on Fox Business.

    If it's hard to differentiate Fox News contributors from members of the Romney campaign, it might be because they're sometimes one in the same.

    Four Fox News contributors are serving as surrogates or advisers for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. In many instances, Fox News has failed to disclose its employees' ties to the Romney campaign while hosting them.

    Another contributor, Karl Rove, is a co-founder and adviser for the super PAC American Crossroads, which is spending millions to defeat President Obama. Jay Sekulow frequently appears on Fox News to discuss legal issues and attack the Obama administration without being identified as a Romney legal adviser.

    The following are the Fox News contributors who are also members of the Romney campaign.

  • Fox News: Where Romney Advisers Are Undisclosed, Impartial Analysts


    Fox News has repeatedly hosted advisers to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney without disclosing that they are helping his campaign. Media Matters examined recent appearances by advisers John Bolton, Jay Sekulow, and Walid Phares, who have all appeared on Fox News and criticized the Obama administration.

    Bolton and Phares are Fox News contributors, while Sekulow is a frequent Fox News guest.

    Bolton, a Romney foreign policy adviser, said on Fox News that Obama's foreign policy is "confused and incoherent and incompetent" and defended Romney's foreign policy experience. Sekulow, a Romney legal adviser, has repeatedly appeared on Fox to attack the Obama administration on a variety of legal issues. And Phares, a member of Romney's foreign policy and national security advisory team, has criticized the Obama administration's handling of Syria and Afghanistan on Fox.

    Fox News routinely violates journalistic ethics. Last week, Media Matters noted that Fox News has aggressively promoted Karl Rove's Super PAC American Crossroads, often without disclosing Rove's connection to either American Crossroads or Fox News.

  • Rather than showing national-security press conference, Cavuto airs GOP mouthpieces

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Fox News covered less than four minutes of a 26-minute press conference held by White House homeland security adviser John Brennan and press secretary Robert Gibbs to discuss the recent interception of explosives in cargo from Yemen. The press conference lasted more than 26 minutes, and CNN and MSNBC covered almost the entire press conference.

    At one point while the press conference was occurring, Fox News host Neil Cavuto showed live footage of the press conference without audio and said: "I just want to bring people up to date here of Robert Gibbs, the White House press spokesman, is addressing reporters now along with the president's top security adviser. We are monitoring that, but I want to go back to" guest Walid Phares.

    Phares went on to rehash an old attack against the government for not using the word "jihadist" -- an attack that we debunked when he previously made it on Fox & Friends:

    While the press conference was occurring, Cavuto also had time to talk with Mike Huckabee, a Fox News contributor and the former Republican governor of Arkansas, and Bob Livingston, a former Republican congressman from Louisiana.