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Ben Dimiero

Author ››› Ben Dimiero
  • 104 Actual Headlines From Alex Jones’ Infowars


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Alex Jones has claimed that his Infowars website will soon receive credentials to attend President Donald Trump’s White House press briefings. But Infowars has no credibility; it has repeatedly posted bizarre and dangerous conspiracy theories along with false claims and hoaxes.

    Jones and Infowars have claimed that the government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Columbine, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon, among others. The site’s editor, Paul Joseph Watson, apparently has no editorial standards and has repeatedly posted fraudulent information.

    The incredible number of events Infowars can filter through a conspiracy lens would be hilarious if the site and its proprietor weren’t influential with the president and his closest allies. Headlines about Lady Gaga performing a “satanic ritual” during the Super Bowl halftime show share space with stories labeling most major terror attacks “false flags” and warnings about the New World Order “opening thousands of portals to ancient demons” or staging an “alien invasion” from space.  

    Jones recently announced that the purported news organization would be attending White House press briefings and that it has hired widely discredited reporter Jerome Corsi as its D.C. correspondent.

    Infowars appearing in the White House briefing room would mean press secretary Sean Spicer would be questioned by one of Trump’s most sycophantic outlets.

    Trump and his campaign have repeatedly elevated the once-fringe website. Trump appeared on Jones’ program during the presidential campaign and apparently called Jones after the election to thank his audience for its support. Trump adviser and regular contributor Roger Stone told The Washington Post that Trump “has watched Infowars.” Trump has also tweeted a link to Infowars. 

    Here are over 100 headlines demonstrating the type of coverage and credibility Infowars would bring to the White House press corps. The headlines are separated into the following sections: 9/11 conspiracy theories, “false flag” events, fringe/bizarre/incendiary conspiracy theories, Sandy Hook, women/sexism, Obama conspiracy theories, environment and science, LGBTQ, culture, and pro-Trump. (These are just a sampling of the many terrible headlines on Infowars.)   

    9/11 Conspiracy Theories

    "False Flag" Events

    Fringe/Bizarre/Incendiary Conspiracy Theories

    Sandy Hook


    Obama Conspiracy Theories

    Environment And Science



    Pro-Trump Advocacy

  • Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Says President-Elect Trump Called To "Thank" His Audience

    Jones: Trump Says He Will “Be On In The Next Few Weeks”

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones, who believes the government was involved in the 9/11 attacks, numerous school shootings, and the Oklahoma City bombing, says President-elect Donald Trump personally called him to "thank" Jones' audience for its support during the campaign. According to Jones, Trump said he plans to appear on Jones’ radio show “in the next few weeks.”

    Jones is perhaps the country’s most prominent conspiracy theorist, and his support for and collaboration with the Trump campaign repeatedly made headlines during the election. Trump appeared on Jones’ show in December 2015 and praised his “amazing” reputation, promising Jones and his audience, “I will not let you down.” Throughout the campaign, Trump routinely echoed Jones’ talking points and conspiracies, causing Jones to marvel in August, “It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word-for-word hear Trump say it two days later. It is amazing.” 

    In a November 11 video, Jones boasted that the newly elected Trump “gave me a call, and I told him, ‘Mr. President-elect, you’re too busy, we don’t need to talk.’ But we still spent over five minutes -- he said, 'Listen, Alex, I just talked to the kings and queens of the world -- world leaders, you name it.' But he said, 'It doesn’t matter, I wanted to talk to you to thank your audience, and I’ll be on in the next few weeks to thank them.'” Jones added that Trump indicated it was not a “private call” and told him, “I want to thank your viewers, thank your listeners for standing up for this republic. We know what you did early on and throughout this campaign to stand up for what’s right.”

    Later in the video, Jones again drove home the point that Trump had taken “time out from talking to world leaders. He’s not calling other media, he’s not meeting with other media, he’s not talking to the media – he wanted to directly talk to you and thank you.”

    Trump is right that Jones and his audience were crucial boosters of his presidential campaign, starting in the primary. Jones previously said he convinced Trump to adopt the conspiracy that Democrats were going to “rig” or “steal” the election for Clinton.

    This year alone, Jones also: pushed the theory that Clinton is a “demon-possessed” “devil worshiper”; claimed the Clintons had murdered several people; sold the “Hillary for Prison” T-shirts that became a staple of Trump rallies; argued that Billy Bush was a CIA operative who “set up” Trump’s comments boasting about committing sexual assault; and claimed that President Obama’s real father is the communist Frank Marshall Davis and his mother was a “sex operative” for the CIA.


    During a Friday appearance on Jones’ show, Trump ally and adviser Roger Stone, who was a fixture on Jones’ program throughout the election, said he had spoken to Trump “at some length on a broad variety of topics,” including Trump’s appreciation for Jones and his audience. According to Stone, Trump “knows that you are the centerpiece of the resistance. He knows that he has gotten better treatment here than from anyone in the mainstream media, and he is very grateful and very thankful for your support and the support of your audience.”

  • CNN’s Final Humiliation: Corey Lewandowski Quits To Work For Trump

    The Network Should Have Fired Him Months Ago

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President-elect Donald Trump turned professional Trump propagandist for CNN, has resigned from the network amid reports that he is seeking a job in the new administration. His resignation just days after Trump’s win underlines the farcical nature of his employment as a “political commentator” for CNN during the election. And the nature of his exit -- proactively resigning to potentially go back to officially working for Trump rather than being fired by CNN for obvious ethical reasons -- should humiliate the network.

    CNN hired Lewandowski shortly after he was fired by the campaign in June. His hiring was immediately and widely criticized, both due to his history of open hostility toward -- and even physical altercations with -- the press, and the fact that he was likely prevented from criticizing Trump due to a non-disparagement agreement. The New York Times reported Friday that Lewandowski “has been frequently spotted this week at Trump Tower in Manhattan, chatting with senior aides and attending meetings,” and that he is seeking a senior adviser role in the administration and is in consideration for a leadership role with the Republican National Committee.

    CNN president Jeff Zucker repeatedly defended Lewandowski’s hiring, even as it became clear that he was still drawing large “severance” checks from the campaign, advising Trump on strategy, helping to prep him for the debates, and flying on the candidate’s plane while working for the network.

    Zucker’s defense for hiring Lewandowski is that he provided needed pro-Trump balance to CNN’s airwaves while supposedly being able to offer expert information from someone who had been inside the campaign apparatus. But CNN’s airwaves were already filled with Trump apologists, and Lewandowski’s reported non-disclosure agreement essentially prevented him from sharing any unique insight into the campaign. So what CNN viewers got instead was a lot of dishonest shilling on Trump’s behalf -- and given the nature of Trump’s campaign, there was no shortage of scandals for Lewandowski to spin to CNN’s audience.

    When video of Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women emerged in October, Lewandowski downplayed the seriousness of the comments by telling CNN viewers that “we’re not electing a Sunday School teacher” and stressing Trump’s leadership ability. (In a separate appearance a few days later, Lewandowski announced that “nobody cares” about Trump’s comments before pivoting to talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails.)

    When women came forward alleging that Trump had assaulted them, Lewandowski cast doubt on the veracity of the claims, suggesting it was suspicious that they had waited until so close to the election to come forward.

    When The New York Times published tax documents suggesting Trump had been able to avoid paying federal income tax for years, Lewandowski tried to obscure the nature of the report by accusing the Times of a “felony” for publishing its article and encouraging the candidate to sue the paper “into oblivion.”

    When a fellow panelist questioned Trump's years-long racist crusade questioning President Obama’s birthplace, Lewandowski questioned (to the horror of dozens of journalists) why Obama hadn’t released his college records, asking, “Did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn't from this country?”

    There are plenty of other lowlights from Lewandowski's CNN tenure, but you get the idea.

    Lewandowski’s resignation essentially confirms what was already an open secret: he never really stopped working for Trump -- his role just changed. Media Matters had for months been calling for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski over ethical concerns, but now that he’s resigned, CNN can’t even salvage a small bit of journalistic responsibility over the Lewandowski debacle.

    In effect, CNN just paid Trump’s close ally for five months to spin on Trump’s behalf while auditioning for a job in the Trump administration. The network’s journalists should be embarrassed that their executives had so little regard for CNN’s credibility.

  • STUDY: Compared To MSNBC And CNN, Fox News Devotes More Time To Trump Events And Less Time To Clinton Events

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO & BEN DIMIERO

    Since June 1, Fox News has devoted significantly more time than cable news competitors CNN and MSNBC to airing live coverage of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, live events, and press conferences. Fox has also aired less live coverage of similar events from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton compared to its rivals.

    In September alone, Fox News aired 7 hours and 32 minutes of live coverage from Trump events, compared to CNN, which aired 5 hours and 18 minutes of Trump events, and MSNBC, which aired 5 hours and 48 minutes of Trump events. Conversely, Fox aired only 3 hours and 25 minutes of Clinton events during the month -- far less than CNN (5 hours and 4 minutes) and MSNBC (5 hours and 14 minutes).

    Combined, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC together aired coverage of Trump’s events 71 times in September, totaling 18 hours and 39 minutes, and coverage of Clinton’s events 54 times, totaling 13 hours and 44 minutes. (Since most events were covered on all three networks simultaneously, each event could have been broadcast up to three times.)

    Trump holds a large lead in overall airtime since Media Matters started tracking coverage of live events in June. Across the three cable networks, Trump’s events have been given 65 hours and 3 minutes of coverage, compared to 49 hours and 47 minutes of coverage for Clinton events. However, the gap in airtime is due in large part to the sheer number of Trump rallies and events during the period studied. The networks together aired some live coverage from Trump events 186 times during the period studied while airing coverage of Clinton events only 137 times. Clinton’s events were covered on average for 21 minutes and 48 seconds, compared to 20 minutes and 59 seconds for Trump.

    Since June 1, Fox News has devoted far less airtime to Clinton events than its cable rivals have -- 13 hours and 52 minutes for Fox, compared to 18 hours and 18 minutes for CNN and 17 hours 36 minutes for MSNBC. The conservative network also holds a wide lead in Trump event airtime during the same period: 25 hours and 25 minutes, compared to 21 hours and 27 minutes on CNN and 18 hours and 11 minutes on MSNBC.

    Trump’s wide advantage in event airtime is apparently part of a strategy by the candidate. He has cut back on interviews with non-Fox outlets -- seemingly in hopes that the networks will simply carry his events, where he mostly has an unchallenged platform to pitch himself to voters. (He has not held a press conference since July).

    As Media Matters and others have documented, Trump has largely abandoned televised interviews with outlets other than the friendly Fox News. In July, Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz noted Trump’s shift in interview strategy and wrote that some of the candidate’s advisers thought “it doesn’t matter if Trump bypasses interviews on CNN and MSNBC as long as those networks, along with Fox, keep carrying extended portions of his evening rallies, with the added benefit that he doesn’t have to answer questions.”

    In an interview this week, top Trump adviser Roger Stone pointed to the cable news networks' penchant for airing Trump rallies as one of the ways they "aided" his rise, saying Trump "understood that his rallies, as long as he was drawing large crowds, would get coverage like a news event. Got wall-to-wall coverage on the cable networks."


    From June 1 to September 30, we tracked all live coverage of rallies, events, or press conferences featuring Trump or Clinton on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC between 6 a.m. and midnight. Timing for events began the moment newscasters stopped talking and switched audio over to the event and ended the moment audio switched back to the newsroom and newscasters began speaking again. All breaks in live coverage of events were timed separately and removed from totals. We excluded live coverage of the party conventions because the study defines the amount of coverage devoted to campaign events, and the conventions are considered unique events outside the media's normal day-to-day campaign coverage.

  • STUDY: Trump's "Retreat" To Fox News, By The Numbers

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO & ROB SAVILLO

    As the first presidential debate approaches, Republican nominee Donald Trump has almost entirely avoided potentially critical and challenging interviews on the broadcast networks and the major cable news channels in favor of being lobbed softballs by his friends at Fox News.

    CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter noted this week that Trump has recently been “retreat[ing]” to “friendly media ground.” Stelter explained, “Trump is saying ‘yes’ to Fox News almost every day but saying ‘no’ to most other major networks and news organizations -- a highly unusual strategy for a presidential nominee,” adding, “If nothing else, it limits the candidate's exposure to hard-hitting questions.”

    Indeed, according to a Media Matters analysis, since NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum on September 7, Trump has given seven interviews to Fox News, totaling more than 1 hour and 40 minutes of airtime. During the same time frame, he has not appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC. (Trump has appeared on the friendly CNBC show Squawk Box and on Trump supporter Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business program during this time period, but appearances on CNBC and rival Fox Business Network are not included in this analysis.)

    Trump was last interviewed by CNN on August 25, in a discussion with Anderson Cooper that ran under 15 minutes. Following that interview, Trump has given 13 interviews to Fox News totaling over 4 hours and 16 minutes of airtime. (Trump's Fox News interview airtime totals include his multiple townhalls with Trump cheerleader Sean Hannity.) Other than his appearance at the NBC forum -- which was moderated by Matt Lauer, who has since been harshly criticized for going easy on Trump -- and a 6 and a half minute interview with ABC’s David Muir on September 6, Trump has not given any interviews to the broadcast networks or Fox News’ cable rivals CNN and MSNBC following his appearance with Cooper. 

    Trump’s total interview time on Fox News would be even greater if a planned town hall scheduled to air on Hannity this week had not been postponed. A previous Media Matters study found that the roughly 22 hours of airtime Hannity devoted to airing interviews with Trump between when Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015 and August 23, 2016, was worth more than $31 million in free publicity.

    Trump’s attempt to avoid being subjected to rigorous fact-checking extends to his (and his campaign’s) attempts to work the refs in advance of the debates. While numerous media figures have highlighted the need for moderators to fact-check the candidates, Trump and his allies have argued the opposite. Trump has lashed out about the debates being “rigged” and incorrectly claimed all of the moderators are Democrats.

    Trump has also not given a press conference in nearly two months.


    From August 25 through September 22, Media Matters tracked every interview of Donald Trump on the three cable networks from 6 a.m. through midnight and tracked interviews on ABC's Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, 20/20, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos; CBS' CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes, and Face the Nation with John Dickerson; and NBC's Today, Nightly News with Lester Holt, Dateline, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. We included all original interviews only. Interviews were timed from the moment the guest was introduced to the moment the guest left the show. Trump’s recent interviews with the syndicated Dr. Oz Show and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon were not included in this study.

  • Sean Hannity Has Given Donald Trump $31 Million In Free Publicity


    Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been informally advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while serving as its primary media cheerleader, has effectively turned his nightly prime-time show into Trump’s second campaign headquarters. According to a Media Matters analysis, Hannity’s program has given Trump what amounts to more than $31 million in free advertising in the form of dozens of fawning interviews with the candidate since Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015.

    Hannity has devoted just over 22 hours of airtime to broadcasting interviews with Trump since the launch of Trump’s campaign. That airtime is worth more than $31 million according to advertising value calculated by media monitoring service iQ Media. That coverage includes 51 original interviews and over a dozen re-airings of previously aired interviews. This year alone, Hannity has aired thirteen and a half hours of Trump interviews, four and a half hours of which have come since Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican primary in early May, effectively ending the race.

    IQ Media uses Nielsen data to determine the viewership of a given program and price data for advertising from Sqad to come up with an equivalent advertising rate.

    These numbers only count the amount of time Hannity spent airing interviews featuring Donald Trump -- they do not include the countless time Hannity spends carrying the Trump campaign's water without the candidate present, including similarly fawning interviews with Trump family members, surrogates, and supporters.

    Hannity has repeatedly faced criticism for his obsequious Trump coverage, including from conservatives who have mocked Hannity for his “slavish” Trump cheerleading and accused him of hosting a “nightly infomercial” for Trump’s campaign.

    According to a previous Media Matters study, Hannity devoted far more airtime to interviews with Trump than with any of his 16 Republican presidential primary opponents. Just before dropping out of the race, Cruz complained that Rupert Murdoch and former network head Roger Ailes had “turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network.”

    New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg recently reported that, in addition to serving as “Trump’s biggest media booster,” Hannity has “for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.” Hannity defended himself by telling the Times that he’s “never claimed to be a journalist” and that he is “not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.”

    Hannity’s efforts to promote Trump's candidacy aren't ending anytime soon -- he’s slated to host the second half of a two-hour Trump town hall tonight.


    Media Matters used iQ Media to ascertain the monetary value of Donald Trump's appearances on Hannity from May 1, 2015-August 23, 2016. The study includes all original appearances in Hannity’s usual 10 p.m. EST time slot -- repeat and reaired appearances were counted if they aired on a new day between 6 a.m. and midnight (overnight reairings of Hannity were not included). Trump interviews during early morning post-debate Hannity specials were counted. Interviews with Hannity guest hosts and guest interviewers were included if they aired on the program.

    Graphic by Sarah Wasko.

  • STUDY: Fox News Airs More Trump Interviews Than All Other Networks Combined

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO & BEN DIMIERO

    In July, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continued to heavily favor Fox News for interviews. The conservative network aired more than two hours of interviews with Trump during the month, more than all other outlets we studied combined.

    Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz noted in early July that Trump and his advisers had changed the candidate’s strategy towards media appearances, largely turning down requests to appear on outlets other than Fox News. That strategy seems to largely remain in effect, at least in terms of Fox’s main cable competitors: CNN and MSNBC did not air any interviews with Trump in July, while he appeared on Fox 10 times during the month.

    During an interview with The Washington Post, Trump acknowledged his refusal to appear on CNN, telling reporter Philip Rucker, “I don’t do interviews with CNN anymore because it’s not worth it. It’s very biased against me.” (Despite Trump’s objections about CNN's coverage, the network employs several pro-Trump pundits, including his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.)

    Overall, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News aired a combined 3 hours and 14 minutes of interviews with Trump during the month, compared to 2 hours and 4 minutes for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    Since the beginning of June 2016, news programs on the broadcast networks and the three major cable news channels have aired 8 hours and 15 minutes of interviews with Trump, compared to 4 hours and 20 minutes of interviews with Clinton. The majority of Trump’s airtime has come from Fox News; the only qualifying Trump interview on MSNBC to air since the start of this study in June was a three-and-a-half-minute preview of a June 23 Lester Holt interview with the candidate.


    From July 1 through July 31, Media Matters tracked every interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the three cable networks from 6 a.m. through midnight, and we tracked interviews on ABC's Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, 20/20, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos; CBS' CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes, and Face the Nation with John Dickerson; and NBC's Today, Nightly News with Lester Holt, Dateline, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. We included all original interviews. We included repeats of interviews if aired in their entirety or if a significant, uninterrupted portion was aired on a different show. Previews of upcoming interviews were included if a significant, uninterrupted portion was aired. A significant, uninterrupted portion needed to be at least 3 minutes in length to be included in this study. Clips shorter than 3 minutes of past or upcoming interviews were not included. Interviews were timed from the moment the guest was introduced to the moment the guest left the show.

  • Newt Gingrich’s Media Career Has Been Full Of Ethical Violations, Outrageous Comments, And Email Scams


    Political commentator Newt Gingrich is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on July 20. 

    Gingrich, who served as House speaker during the 90s -- the “first speaker of the House to be punished by the House for ethics violations” -- turned to consulting and media commentary after leaving office.

    Gingrich was hired by Fox News in October 1999 and left the network in spring 2011 to unsuccessfully run for president. He became a host for the short-lived Crossfire revival on CNN in September 2013; the show was cancelled in October 2014. He returned to Fox News in October 2015 and had his contract suspended last week amid speculation he would be chosen as Donald Trump's running mate. (He was not.)

    Gingrich's media career has been marked by egregious ethical violations and outrageous commentary (to say nothing of his frequent trafficking in favorite conservative falsehoods like “death panels”). He has also repeatedly scammed subscribers to his email list with warnings about the Illuminati and promises of miracle cancer “cures.”

    Here are some of the lowlights from Gingrich’s career as a political pundit from Media Matters’ archives.

    Gingrich: Bilingual Education Perpetuates "The Language Of Living In A Ghetto"

    The Associated Press reported in 2007:

    "The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, Gingrich said. The former Georgia congressman, who is considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

    "The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. . . . We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said, drawing cheers from the crowd of more than 100.

    "Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that's true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English," he said.


    In the past, Gingrich has supported making English the nation's official language. He has also said that all U.S. children should learn English and that other languages should be secondary in schools.

    In 1995, he said that bilingualism poses "long-term dangers to the fabric of our nation" and that "allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous."

    Gingrich said days later that "my word choice was poor." 

    Gingrich: “Test” Americans “Of A Muslim Background” And Deport Them If They “Believe In Sharia”

    Gingrich called on everyone in America “who is of a Muslim background” to have their faith tested to see “if they believe in Sharia,” and for any who do to be deported. From the July 14 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I don't want to really tie this into politics, but every issue America is now dealing with, every issue that we have discussed in recent months and years about the Islamization of Europe, about refugees, about immigration, about open borders -- it seems to come together, and also political correctness and not recognizing radical Islamic terrorism as the enemy and evil in our time. From your perspective, what does this tragedy, this evil attack tonight, mean for that conflict and debate?

    NEWT GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Sean, as you know, I was in Paris just last weekend talking with people who are deeply involved in trying to deal with the Iranian government and other sources of terrorism. And let me also say Daniel Silva has a remarkable new novel called Black Widow, and the entire opening section is on the systematic Islamic attack on Jews in France, which is the worst it's been since the Nazis. So let me start with where I'm coming from, and let me be as blunt and as direct as I can be.

    Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door. But we need to be fairly relentless about defining who our enemies are. Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. It should be closed down immediately.

    Our forces should be used to systematically destroy every internet-based source. And frankly if we can't destroy them through the internet, we should destroy them with kinetic power, using various weapons starting with Predators, and frankly just killing them. I am sick and tired of being told that the wealthiest, most powerful civilization in history, all of Western civilization, is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians who, for example, recently burned 20 young women to death -- burned them to death because they wouldn't have sex with them. A group which beheaded recently in the Philippines two Canadian businessmen.

    And we're told to be reasonable, to be passive, to not judge. Well I just want to tell you tonight, everybody who watches this video, this is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and to tell us the truth, and that starts with Barack Obama. [Fox News, Hannity7/14/16]

    Gingrich Claimed That Obama Is Engaged In “Kenyan, Anti-Colonial Behavior”

    Gingrich claimed in 2010 that President Obama tries “very hard at being a person who is normal” but he actually engages in “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior”:

    Citing a recent Forbes article by Dinesh D’Souza, former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that President Obama may follow a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview.

    Gingrich says that D’Souza has made a “stunning insight” into Obama’s behavior — the “most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.”

    “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks.

    “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich tells us.

    “I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating — none of which was true,” Gingrich continues. “In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest.” 

    Gingrich Called Then-Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor "Racist" 

    [, 5/27/09]

    Gingrich later said that he didn't know whether Sotomayor herself was a racist, but her quote about being a wise Latina was "clearly racist."

    Gingrich: "There Is A Gay And Secular Fascism In This Country That Wants To Impose Its Will On The Rest Of Us"

    While appearing on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor to discuss Proposition 8 in November 2008, Gingrich claimed: “I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment”:

    GINGRICH: Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school. 

    Gingrich: Obama, Dems Threatening America As Much As "Nazi Germany Or The Soviet Union Once Did"

    From Fox News Sunday:

    CHRIS WALLACE (host): You also write this, and let's put it up on the screen. "The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." Mr. Speaker, respectfully. Isn't that wildly over the top?

    GINGRICH: No. Not if by America you mean the historic contract we've had which says your rights come from your creator. They're unalienable. You're allowed to pursue happiness. Just listen to President Obama's language. He gets to decide who earns how much. He gets to decide what is too much.

    WALLACE: But in fairness, we're talking not just about any company, we're talking about companies that the government has put billions of dollars in with his pay czar.

    GINGRICH: No, but he has said publicly, generically you know, some Americans earn too much. So he's now going to decide that?

    WALLACE: No, he -- well he's not. He has said that, I agree, that some Americans earn too much.

    GINGRICH: So, so you want a politician to become the arbiter of your dreams? A politician gets to say, "We're gonna raise -- we're gonna have a tax" -- and they proposed this at one point -- "we're going to have a punitive tax on those we don't like. We're going to decide that you have too much money, so we're going to take it from you."

    WALLACE: So -- but you compare that to the Nazis and the communists?

    GINGRICH: I compare that as a threat. Not in terms of the moral -- look, there is no comparison to Nazi Germany as a moral force. Or, by the way, to Mao's China or the Soviet Union, all three of which were evil. But as a threat to our way of life, the degree to which the secular-socialist left represents a fundamental replacement of America, a very different worldview, a very different outcome, I think this is a very serious threat to our way of life. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 5/16/10

    Gingrich Claimed President Obama Is "The First Anti-American President"

    From a March 23 appearance on Fox News’ Hannity:

    NEWT GINGRICH: I don't want to cry, and laughter is the second best choice. I mean, you warned in 2008, you were the one person who consistently talked about Bill Ayers, you talked about what was happening with radicalism in Chicago, you raised the issues of who Obama was really was, and you are probably the only person I know who's a major figure who absolutely got it right.

    So, Obama is a radical left, in many ways the first anti-American president -- I mean, you go out and you watch him and you think, you know, how can you stand in front of a mural of Che Guevara, who was a murdering thug, who was viciously anti-American? How can you be seen at a ball game with a dictator who, by the way, was arresting people while Obama was arriving? I mean, the dictatorship in Cuba has done nothing to accommodate the United States. Just as the North Koreans do nothing, just as the Iranians do nothing, all of them treat Obama with contempt, and it's because he earns it. He behaves in ways that are weak, and he allows them to take advantage of him, and I think that's just a fact. Now the question is, do we follow Obama with somebody who's equally susceptible to weakness and confusion? Hillary Clinton, who last night after the Brussels bombing, said we shouldn't really be afraid. I mean, is she just out of touch? I know she had Secret Service since 1992, but the fact is the rest of us don't have Secret Service, and we have every reason to be afraid. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/16]

    Media Matters put together a reel of lowlights from Gingrich’s career as a pundit when he was hired by CNN in 2013:

    For more of Gingrich’s outrageous commentary, see here and here.

    Gingrich Called For A New Version Of The House Un-American Activities Committee In Response To Orlando Shooting

    From a Gingrich appearance on Fox News after the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL:

    NEWT GINGRICH: Let me go a step further, because remember, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando involve American citizens. We're going to ultimately declare a war on Islamic supremacists and we're going to say, if you pledge allegiance to ISIS, you are a traitor and you have lost your citizenship. And we're going take much tougher positions. In the late 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt was faced with Nazi penetration in the United States. We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis. We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We're going to presently have to go take the similar steps here. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/13/16]

    Scamming Email Subscribers With Promises Of Cancer Cures, Warnings About The Illuminati

    From a Media Matters report earlier this July:

    Gingrich has spammed his email list subscribers with sponsored emails claiming that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and the “actual cure” can be found through a subscription newsletter.

    The Republican has attempted to cash in on his post-politics life by becoming a consultant and media personality. He has also made money by renting out his Gingrich Productions email list to shady entities. Gingrich list subscribers over the years have received supposed insider information about "Obama's 'Secret Mistress,'" a "weird" Social Security "trick," the Illuminati, and Fort Knox being "empty."

    Among the shadiest sponsored emails from Gingrich are a series of missives touting claims that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and “the actual cure” for cancer can be found by ultimately subscribing to a newsletter for $74. The emails are from Health Revelations and Health Sciences Institute (HSI), which are both owned by NewMarket Health, LLC, a subsidiary of Agora, Inc.

    The people behind the Gingrich-sent emails have been criticized as pulling off “an unbelievable, immoral con job,” skirting “the line between spammy and scammy,” and using people’s “faith as a way to sell them bullshit ‘miracle’ cancer cures and nutritional supplements.”

    Read the full post here: Trump VP Contender Newt Gingrich Profited From Sending Cancer “Cure” Emails.

    Read Media Matters’ 2014 post: The Illuminati, "Obama's 'Secret Mistress,'" And Cancer "Cures": CNN's Gingrich Has A Bizarre Email List

    Gingrich’s Ethical Quagmire

    In 1997, the House ethics committee voted 7 to 1 recommending that Gingrich “face an unprecedented reprimand from his colleagues and pay $300,000 in additional sanctions after concluding that his use of tax-deductible money for political purposes and inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented ‘intentional or . . . reckless’ disregard of House rules.” The full House later voted (by an overwhelming 395 to 28 margin) that Gingrich should pay the fine and be officially reprimanded.

    The Washington Post reported at the time, “The ethics case and its resolution leave Gingrich with little leeway for future personal controversies, House Republicans said.” Gingrich eventually resigned after the 1998 midterm elections, but his ethical problems didn’t end when he left office.

    Gingrich repeatedly used his Fox News contributor job to criticize cap and trade regulations and carbon pricing in 2010. However, Gingrich political organization received $350,000 in donations from major fossil fuel companies during the same period.

    Gingrich also used his Fox News position to boost the work and profile of the Center for Health Transformation, his for-profit organization. In one instance, Fox News hosted Gingrich and the CEO of a health care company which paid CHT to be a member. However, Fox News did not disclose the financial connection.

    During his hosting Crossfire stint, Gingrich violated the standards CNN had set out for him by discussing candidates that had received money from his political action committee without disclosing that fact. After criticism from Media Matters, CNN responded by loosening its standards. The move drew widespread criticism, including from CNN media reporter Brian Stelter.

    More recently, Gingrich wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal that attacked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and promoted a poll from the U.S. Consumer Coalition without disclosing that the anti-CFPB group was paying him as an adviser. The Journal eventually updated the column noting Gingrich’s ties.

    He was later called out for his shady financial ties to groups opposing the CFPB while testifying during a House hearing.

  • Roger Ailes' Legacy: Building The GOP's Communications Arm Under The Guise Of A "News" Network


    Roger Ailes is reportedly exiting Fox News, the cable network where he has served as CEO since its founding in 1996, amid controversy over his alleged years-long pattern of sexual harassment. Despite its "Fair and Balanced" slogan, Fox News under Ailes' leadership has embraced its role as the communications arm of the Republican Party. During the Obama administration, this partisanship accelerated as the network openly campaigned for Republican candidates, launched the tea party movement, became a farm system for Republican politicians, and served as the stage for Republican presidential primaries, among other egregious ethical issues.

  • STUDY: As The General Election Looms, Trump Retreats To Fox News

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO & BEN DIMIERO

    In June, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump far outpaced presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in interview airtime on cable and broadcast news programs. Trump also held a wide lead in the number of mentions on the three major cable news networks.

    Trump essentially clinched the Republican nomination in May, and Clinton followed by locking up the Democratic nomination in early June. As the race moves into the general election, Media Matters tracked the total mentions of each party's presumptive nominee on the three major cable news networks. We also tracked and timed each candidate’s interviews on all cable news programming and on broadcast news' morning, evening, and Sunday morning shows.

    According to Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz, Trump’s campaign has shifted its strategy in terms of media appearances by the candidate, largely scaling back on interviews with outlets outside of Fox News. The interview data from June shows this strategy taking form.

    Outpacing Clinton’s 2 hours and 16 minutes of interviews, Trump appeared for just over 5 hours of interview airtime during June (in March, for example, the networks aired nearly 14 hours of interviews with Trump). His Fox-focused strategy was also clearly evident during the month -- Trump’s interviews appeared on Fox News for a whopping 3 hours and 20 minutes. Trump’s Fox News interview total was by far the most by either candidate on any network.

    By contrast, the only qualifying Trump interview to air on MSNBC during the month was an approximately 3-and-a-half-minute preview clip of Lester Holt’s June 23 NBC interview that covered Trump’s criticisms of Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi terror attack, Clinton’s personal email server, and whether Trump would accept money from Wall Street, among other topics.

    Removing Fox News from the equation, Clinton had more interview airtime overall. On ABC, CNN, and MSNBC, Clinton led in interview time by approximately 12, 6, and 42 minutes, respectively. Trump led Clinton on CBS and NBC by approximately 24 and 7 minutes, respectively.

    Networks have been widely criticized for conducting interviews with Trump over the phone throughout the campaign. During June, he was interviewed by phone far more than Clinton: nine interviews totaling 1 hour and 17 minutes of airtime for Trump, compared to three interviews for 24 minutes for Clinton.

    Showing the extent to which news about Trump has dominated the media this election cycle, Trump led in total number of mentions by a significant margin on all three cable news networks. Overall, Trump held 65 percent of all mentions on cable while Clinton had 35 percent. The gap was largest on MSNBC and CNN, where Trump led by nearly 7,000 mentions each. On Fox News, Trump held an advantage of almost 3,000 mentions.


    Media Matters searched iQ Media's database of raw video for mentions of the words "Trump" or "Clinton" on all original programming on the three cable news networks -- CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC -- from June 1 through June 30, 2016, between 6 a.m. and midnight each day. We tallied each individual utterance in order to measure the amount of relative discussion of each candidate. While we recognize that this broad definition would includes family members in the counts -- for instance, a mention of "Clinton" may be of former president Bill Clinton rather than Hillary Clinton -- we feel that mentions of family members more often than not occur in discussions about the candidates themselves, and these mentions likely represented a small portion of the overall data.

    From June 1 through June 30, we also tracked every interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the three cable networks from 6 a.m. through midnight, and we tracked interviews on ABC's Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos; CBS' CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and Face the Nation with John Dickerson; and NBC's Today, Nightly News with Lester Holt, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. We included all original interviews. We included repeats of interviews if aired in their entirety or if a significant, uninterrupted portion was aired on a different show. Previews of upcoming interviews were included if a significant, uninterrupted portion was aired. A significant, uninterrupted portion needed to be at least 3 minutes in length to be included in this study. Clips shorter than 3 minutes of past or upcoming interviews were not included. Interviews were timed from the moment the guest was introduced to the moment the guest left the show.

    Charts by Sarah Wasko. Additional research by Media Matters research staff.