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  • Stacey Dash Blames Obama And Hillary Clinton For “Politicizing” Orlando Shooting

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox News contributor Stacey Dash blamed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for “politicizing” the Orlando shooting in order to “advance an anti-gun agenda.”

    The June 12 shooting at the gay night club, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida was the worst mass shooting on U.S. soil. Equipped with a handgun, assault rifle, and another “device,” the gunman killed himself, 49 others and injured 53 more.

    During an interview with The Washington Examiner, Dash claimed a citizen with a gun “could have stopped this guy … but no, there was no good guy there with a weapon.” Dash claimed “nobody is messing with my Second Amendment” and that stricter laws wouldn’t have prevented the shooting.  

    An avid Trump supporter, Dash praised the candidate’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US, and claimed President Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is to blame for politicizing the tragedy. From the June 13 article:       

    Conservative commentator and actress Stacey Dash on Monday hit back at critics who accused her of politicizing the terror attack in Orlando and doubled down on her assertion that more "good guys" with guns could have stopped the carnage.

    "I didn't politicize this, the president did and Hillary Clinton did," Dash told the Washington Examiner in a sit-down interview.

    She said President Obama and Clinton are using the shooting rampage, which left 49 victims dead, to advance an anti-gun agenda.

    "Nobody is messing with my Second Amendment, so my feeling is this: Had there been more people there that were able to carry guns – good guys — they could have stopped this guy," Dash said. "They could have stopped him from killing anyone. But no, there was no good guy there with a weapon."

  • Conservatives Spark Attack On Latino Civil Rights Organization For Helping Hispanic Homeowners

    Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim That Settlement Payments From Institutions Responsible For The Financial Crisis Create “Liberal Slush Fund” For Progressive Groups

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Right-wing media have spent years attacking the Department of Justice’s handling of multi-billion dollar settlements from financial institutions partly responsible for the housing and financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Conservative outlets falsely allege that the DOJ used settlement payments to create a “liberal slush fund” to disburse millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations like the nonpartisan National Council of La Raza (NCLR), even though these groups are certified housing counseling agencies.

  • Right-Wing Media Lash Out Over President Obama’s Call For Protections For Transgender Students

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    President Obama is expected to announce “a sweeping directive” that will instruct public school districts around the country “to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity” in order to prevent discrimination. Right-wing media figures are already lashing out at the initiative claiming it is driven by “a fringe movement of nutters” and peddling the myth that protections for transgender students will lead to the sexual assault of girls.

  • The Right-Wing Media Figures Who Did Not Like Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech At All

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ & CYDNEY HARGIS

    As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivered what was billed as a “major foreign policy speech,” conservative media personalities attacked him on Twitter, calling the speech a “sickening display of revisionism,” asking if the candidate was “medicated” while giving the address, and declaring that “this is why we’ll need a third” party candidate.

  • Washington Examiner: Conservative Reaction To Tubman On The $20 Highlights GOP Issues With African-Americans

    "The Episode Illustrates Some Of The Broader Challenges Facing Republicans"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    This week the U.S. Treasury announced a plan to add faces of women and civil rights leaders to U.S. currency, including replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 with Harriet Tubman. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently commented that this decision was "pure political correctness," before suggesting Tubman could go on the $2. Trump's comments echo some of those in right-wing media, who have called the decision "dumb" and a "travesty" and said that it "ensures [our] enslavement."

    An April 21 article by the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein pointed to Trump's comments as an example that "illustrates some of the broader challenges facing Republicans seeking to win over black voters": 

    When the U.S. Treasury Department announced that they were bumping Andrew Jackson off the front of the $20 bill to be replaced by Harriet Tubman, most conservatives and Republicans praised the decision. But not Donald Trump.

    Instead, Trump derided the decision as "pure political correctness" and suggested maybe Tubman appear on the little-used $2 bill instead. Trump's comments followed those of Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, who charged that the Obama administration "went stupid" with the decision to bump Jackson, supposedly picking a "completely unnecessary fight" that was "dividing the country."

    [...]

    Typically, I'd dismiss Trump as an outlier for his comments, but it's harder to do that given that he's the Republican front-runner who has won more votes than any other candidate. The episode illustrates some of the broader challenges facing Republicans seeking to win over black voters.

    [...]

    If resistance to Republicans among the black community cannot be explained by ideology alone, then, what else can it be attributed to?

    Another aspect is that for all the official efforts at black outreach among national Republicans, and attempts at racial sensitivity by elected officials, whenever the issue of race is in the news, there's always a Republican or conservative media figure somewhere saying something off-putting.

    What gets communicated to blacks is that a lot of Republicans are resentful toward them and dismissive of any complaints about modern day racism. When the Republican front-runner, instead of using the Harriet Tubman news as an opportunity to celebrate an American icon, takes the chance to slam "political correctness," it's one other incident that reinforces this impression.

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

    ››› ››› DAYANITA RAMESH

    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."

  • How Right-Wing Media Attacks Against Celebrities Who Speak Out About The Gender Pay Gap

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    On Equal Pay Day, Media Matters looks back at how conservative media attacked female celebrities and athletes for speaking out about wage disparities in their industry and the need for a guarantee of equal pay for equal work. Right-wing media blamed wage inequality on women’s “self-esteem,” their willingness to sign and negotiate “bad” contracts, and so-called “fuzzy math” on the part of equal pay advocates; all while continuing to push the myth that the gender gap doesn’t exist.

  • 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."

  • Obama Photographed With Che Guevara In Background, Right-Wing Media Freak Out

    Flashback: Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, And Richard Nixon Have All Been Photographed In Front Of Communist Leaders

    ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Right-wing media rushed to attack President Obama over a photograph from his trip to Cuba in which he appears in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución, with a mural of Che Guevara visible in the background -- apparently forgetting that Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have all been photographed in front of images of communist leaders while on trips abroad.

  • "Do Your Job": Editorials Implore Senate GOP To Rise Above "Obstruction" And Act On Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS & TYLER CHERRY

    Newspaper editorials roundly urged Senate Republicans to stop obstructing the nomination process of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court vacancy. The editorials chastised "obstructionist" senators for their "stupendous show of political malfeasance" and warned that the obstruction is "out of sync with the nation's best interests," among other criticisms.

  • Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media figures are blaming MoveOn.org for violence that occurred following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's canceled rally in Chicago on March 11, likening the group to the Ku Klux Klan and accusing them of "creating this havoc and ... putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy." In fact, several media figures have slammed Trump for condoning "violence in rally after rally," and at the Chicago event MoveOn.org only helped provide logistical support for the protests, including printing signs and recruiting attendees.

  • SCOTUS Obstructionist Hugh Hewitt Once Lamented Conservative Media Effort To Deny A Vote To Bush SCOTUS Nominee

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In 2005, conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt decried the fact that President George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers didn't get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor, and argued when "conservative pundits and activists" stopped her nomination, they weakened the ability of Republicans to argue against future Democratic nominees.

    Hewitt's suggestion that even Miers, Bush's White House counsel, who activists considered insufficiently conservative and unqualified, should have gotten a vote raises questions about his current obstructionist position against any Obama nominee. (Miers was withdrawn by Bush before hearings were held.)

    The day after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Hewitt published a column at Washington Examiner calling for Republicans in the Senate to refuse to hold a hearing or vote on any potential nominee named by Obama. Hewitt justified his stance with the claim that "Lame duck presidents don't get to make successful nominations for lifetime appointments in an election year. Not in 2016. Not for the past 80 years." Since the 2016 election has not occurred, Obama is not a lame duck. Furthermore, PolitiFact has rated this talking point "fundamentally misleading" because it falsely implies there is a tradition of not nominating or confirming nominees during an election year.

    In any case, Hewitt's tone in 2005 was very different. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Hewitt wrote that Republicans' recent electoral successes "were attributable in large measure to the central demand made by Republican candidates, and heard and embraced by voters, that President Bush's nominees deserved an up-or-down decision on the floor of the Senate."

    "Now, with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers under an instant, fierce and sometimes false assault from conservative pundits and activists, it will be difficult for Republican candidates to continue to make this winning argument: that Democrats have deeply damaged the integrity of the advice and consent process," Hewitt lamented.

    According to Hewitt, "Voting for or against Ms. Miers would have forced Senate Democrats to articulate a coherent standard for future nominees. Now, the Democrats have free rein."

    In blaming conservative media for the failure of Miers' nomination, Hewittt singled out the National Review's The Corner blog, which he wrote "unleashed every argument they could find" against Miers.

    From the October 28, 2005, edition of The New York Times:

    OVER the last two elections, the Republican Party regained control of the United States Senate by electing new senators in Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. These victories were attributable in large measure to the central demand made by Republican candidates, and heard and embraced by voters, that President Bush's nominees deserved an up-or-down decision on the floor of the Senate. Now, with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers under an instant, fierce and sometimes false assault from conservative pundits and activists, it will be difficult for Republican candidates to continue to make this winning argument: that Democrats have deeply damaged the integrity of the advice and consent process.

    The right's embrace in the Miers nomination of tactics previously exclusive to the left -- exaggeration, invective, anonymous sources, an unbroken stream of new charges, television advertisements paid for by secret sources -- will make it immeasurably harder to denounce and deflect such assaults when the Democrats make them the next time around. Given the overemphasis on admittedly ambiguous speeches Miers made more than a decade ago, conservative activists will find it difficult to take on liberals in their parallel efforts to destroy some future Robert Bork.