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Bobby Lewis

Author ››› Bobby Lewis
  • Fox News hasn’t mentioned possible election fraud in North Carolina for days. Here's what it covered instead.

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    In North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, Republican Mark Harris seemingly defeated Democrat Dan McCready by less than 1,000 votes. However, the state has delayed certifying the results pending an investigation of serious “claims of irregularities and fraudulent activities,” including “illegally cast or destroyed” ballots. Despite harping on baseless “voter fraud” myths for years, Fox News has virtually ignored this apparent case of actual election fraud. Since the state election board announced its review on Friday, the network has chosen to cover other news such as:

    Toy bananas “reveal surprises inside” 

    Actor Chris Pratt said “Merry Christmas” at Disneyland

    A teacher told children that Santa Claus isn’t real

    A Cleveland radio station is no longer playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

    HuffPost is taking on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    PETA called for vegan-friendly alternatives to common phrases

    “‘Meat-heavy’ menu slammed at climate talks”

    Rock band Hootie and the Blowfish is going on tour again

    Oregon is attempting to legalize psychedelic mushrooms 

    An all-male Princeton a cappella group has stopped singing a song from The Little Mermaid

    The Boston Red Sox are going to the White House

    Netflix has decided to keep Friends available for streaming

    Bill and Hillary Clinton are on a speaking tour

    A veteran panicked when he mistook a National Lampoon’s Vacation decoration for someone stranded on a roof

    The New York Police Department found a couple’s lost engagement ring and searched for them via social media to return it 

    Delta Airlines has increased the cost of in-flight alcohol

    A court has rejected a man’s request to subtract 20 years from his age 

  • After the U.S. used tear gas on migrant children at the border, Fox & Friends wants Trump to panic

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    On November 25, “hundreds of migrants” traveling in a caravan approached the U.S.-Mexico border near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, “prompting federal authorities to launch tear gas in an apparent attempt to get the group to disperse,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The crowd that was tear-gassed included children. According to the Union-Tribune, “Federal authorities said the migrants tried to breach the border at multiple locations, leading to a number of assaults on Customs and Border Protection personnel and dozens of arrests.”

    On Monday, Fox & Friends, which spent the days leading up to the midterm elections fearmongering about the migrants in the caravan, portrayed the migrants as violent invaders “storming our border.”

    The show began with the hosts talking about the “hundreds of people, many from that migrant caravan,” who approached the border and saying that Border Patrol agents fired tear gas on the crowd. They did not mention that tear gas is a non-lethal chemical weapon banned from being used in war and that children were among those CBP attacked with the gas.

    Guest co-host Pete Hegseth quipped that tear-gassing unruly migrants is simply “part of the way the world works.”

    The show hosted Ron Colburn, president of the nonprofit Border Patrol Foundation, to discuss what co-host Steve Doocy said were “hundreds of migrants” who attacked Border Patrol agents. (Doocy gave conflicting numbers, earlier saying “50 people” approached the border and “some” in that group “threw rocks at agents.”) Colburn said that the caravan “has a core of violence to it that basically communicates a sense of entitlement.”

    Colburn disputed reports that tear gas was used, claiming that the agent was actually using pepper spray, which he defended because “it’s natural. You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it.”

    Thirty-eight minutes into the show, Fox & Friends finally mentioned that children were among those attacked with chemical weapons, but the hosts and their guest, NRATV’s Dan Bongino, blamed the parents for putting them in the situation to begin with.

    Co-host Ainsley Earhardt compared tear-gassing children to writing a speeding ticket, telling the parents, “If you don’t want a speeding ticket, don’t speed.”

    Fox & Friends repeatedly framed the migrants as an “invasion” throughout the midterm elections. Even though the elections are over, and after a brief lull in coverage of the matter on Fox, the invasion fearmongering remains -- Bongino said today that he didn’t “mean to be hyperbolic about it, but clearly what happened yesterday were people trying to invade our border.”

    Fox contributor Newt Gingrich also argued that the migrant caravan is part of a “psychological war” waged against the U.S. government that is “very often guided, by the way, by American leftists who are activists and American left-wing organizations.”

    Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, claimed that the left’s “goal is to find some way to embarrass the U.S. government so we can't even control our own border.” He told viewers that “we have to be prepared to stand up to that and to do whatever is necessary” or “you are not going to have a country.” He concluded, “I bet you that the elite media spends a lot more time today on what's happening on the border than they're going to spend on the death of a young American who was killed by an illegal immigrant.”

    The Fox & Friends hosts continued their laser-like focus on what the New York Post called “border chaos” throughout the third hour. They picked up where Gingrich left off and attempted to shame “the mainstream media elite” for covering Border Patrol’s tear-gassing of children and other migrants instead of the murder of Amanda Ferguson, a Texan teacher killed in a hit-and-run accident by an undocumented immigrant.

    The tone of Fox & Friends’ caravan coverage this morning was clear. As Media Matters’ Matt Gertz noted, “It is impossible to overstate how much Fox & Friends wants its audience (which includes President Trump) to be panicked about the situation at the border this morning.” Considering that it was Fox & Friends coverage that spurred Trump into sending the military to the border in the first place, and that was far from the first time he has directly responded to the show, the cruel inhumanity could be about to get a lot worse.

  • Right-wing media rush to blame “incivility” from Democrats and the media for bombs targeting Trump critics

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & COURTNEY HAGLE


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Beginning Monday, October 23, several prominent Democrats and CNN were targeted with improvised explosive devices sent to them in manila envelopes. In the face of these apparent assassination attempts against leaders of one political party and a media organization -- many of whom Trump has spent years viciously attacking -- right-wing media opted to pin the blame for the attempted bombings on their would-be victims' "incivility."

    Fox’s Sean Hannity: “We can’t, of course, forget about Congresswoman Maxine Waters repeatedly calling for Republicans to be stalked, harassed, confronted” in public.

    Fox’s Laura Ingraham: “I found [it] disgusting” that “other networks” blamed Trump’s rhetoric for the attempted bombings, “yet we had Holder, … Hillary, Booker, Maxine Waters, … and Joe Biden” previously criticizing the president.

    Rush Limbaugh addressed Hillary Clinton while talking about the bombs he said were “supposedly” sent to Democrats, saying, “Mrs. Clinton, it's your party, forgive me, that is encouraging this kind of thing. … Mrs. Clinton herself who said that being uncivil at this point in time is entirely proper.”

    Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said comments by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton “plays into” their being targeted by explosives. Later, Kilmeade also blamed Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and pop star Madonna for their rhetoric.

    Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “I’m not saying it’s just Democrats," but “we saw what happened to you and your family in the restaurant, we have Maxine Waters that’s calling for” harassment, and “Hillary Clinton was saying that we won’t be civil.”

    Newt Gingrich said that cable news had “earned” the nickname “the enemy of the people” and rhetorically asked, “The culture of [CNN’s] building is so relentlessly hostile that what are you going to call them?”

    Washington Free Beacon’s Elizabeth Harrington said in a Twitter thread that “Hillary Clinton literally said there can be no civility a week ago” and that “her rhetoric is part of the problem.” Later on Fox News, Harrington doubled down on blaming Clinton for “stoking this” and said that the media also have “culpability in driving up this division, this rhetoric.”

    Fox contributor and Federalist writer Mollie Hemingway: “A lot of people on the left have been calling for incivility” and “mob violence,” and “our media are not contributing to civility.”

    Fox's Harris Faulkner: “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, though, called for the attacks of those people with whom you don't agree.”

    Fox Business’ Charles Payne complained that a Clinton adviser “was just on TV Sunday promoting in your face incivility.”

    Republican National Committee spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany misleadingly claimed that a CNN anchor endorsed a play "depicting the assassination of the president" and claimed that the network is "culpable for the rhetoric" that led to the attempted bombing spree. (The play was a production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that featured a Trump-resembling lead. The lesson of that work is that political violence is bad, and it’s common to base the titular role on real-life politicians.)

    Ryan Saavedra also tweeted comments from four Democrats -- three of whom received bombs in the mail. Donald Trump Jr. liked the tweet, but Saavedra later deleted it.

    Hollywood conservative James Woods blamed “Democrat #mob behavior of late” for false flag conspiracy theories about attempted bombings of Democrats.

  • Actual historian dismantles Dinesh D'Souza's lie about slavery and the Constitution

    On Fox, D’Souza dismissed slavery’s impact on the Electoral College by separating it from the three-fifths compromise, and Mike Duncan fact-checked him

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    On the October 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, pardoned felon and infamous serial liar Dinesh D’Souza responded to a tweet from New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by misleadingly suggesting that the three-fifths compromise did not indicate that the founders considered Black people less than fully human, because “the South wanted Blacks to count for a full person.” D’Souza also claimed that the Electoral College is “a different matter,” as it was merely about “the large states and the small states” vying for power. 

    As explained by author and award-winning history podcaster Mike Duncan, this is nonsense -- the three-fifths compromise was about artificially inflating “the political weight of the landowning white southerners” to increase both the number of representatives they received in the House and the impact of their votes for president.

  • Pro-Kavanaugh shills claim nominee is the victim of a "lynching." Have they ever seen a lynching?

    Lynchings were a cornerstone of a hundred-year campaign of racial terrorism in defense of white supremacy, but conservatives see parallels with a powerful, wealthy white man facing consequences

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Warning: This piece contains graphic images and descriptions. 

    An emerging right-wing media narrative that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the victim of a “lynching” betrays not only conservative media’s desperation to salvage the nomination after he was credibly accused of sexual assault and likely perjured himself, but also their selfishness and superficiality when it comes to race relations in America. 

    On September 27, professor Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high school party in the early 1980s. Right-wing media had already been building up a campaign against Ford since news of her allegations broke earlier in the month. But after her testimony, they dialed up their campaign to discredit Ford, with some of them eventually landing on the idea that the opposition to Kavanaugh is nothing but a “lynching.” 

    Attacking a sexual assault survivor with a reductive take on racial terrorism is, unfortunately, very on-brand for American conservatism in 2018. Fox’s Sean Hannity led the charge out of the gate; on September 17, the day after Ford went public, Hannity compared her allegations to the “vicious and horrible and nasty and unjust” hearings about Anita Hill’s sexual harassment reports against Justice Clarence Thomas and aired a clip of Thomas’ infamous “high-tech lynching” line. The Thomas quote was favorably recalled by several right-wing media figures, but they didn’t stop there: Several conservative and right-wing media figures took it upon themselves to make the comparison directly.

    On September 22, Fox’s Jeanine Pirro accused a guest of “setting this man up for his own lynching.” Similarly, the Family Research Council’s William Boykin told Newsbusters that he “thought lynching was made illegal and that the burden of proof rested upon the accuser, not the accused.” And Townhall published a piece (from a Black author) that audaciously began, “History is an easy and convenient thing to forget,” before comparing Kavanaugh to Emmett Till, a Black 14 year-old lynched in 1955 because of a white woman’s false groping allegation


    Mamie and Louis Till overlooking their son Emmett's corpse. (Time magazine)

    Perhaps the most depraved take came from National Review Editor-in-Chief Rich Lowry, who seems to compare Kavanaugh to the falsely accused in To Kill a Mockingbird, who is threatened with lynching. Lowry claims that a book famous for its themes of racial injustice “stands firmly for the proposition that an accusation can be false.” Lowry’s column completely ignores race -- the word doesn’t make a single appearance -- so it’s easy for him to twist Mockingbird into pablum about a man’s false accuser being “destroy[ed]” by an attorney who “doesn’t care about her feelings, only the facts.” In the original story, that same attorney also faces down a racist lynch mob outside the jail, but Lowry’s revisionist history inverts a hundred years of racial terror into a narrative that somehow vindicates Kavanaugh at the expense of his alleged victims. This take has spread throughout the right-wing Facebook echo chamber via a popular meme.

    In case conservative media have forgotten, lynchings are a uniquely reprehensible (and ongoing) part of American history. From 1882 to 1968, 4,743 people were lynched -- 72.7 percent of them Black -- for the express purpose of enforcing white supremacy. The victims were murdered in unspeakably horrific ways. Emmett Till, whom the Townhall piece compared to Kavanaugh, was found in a river, weighted down with a piece of a cotton gin. His face was so mangled by his attackers that he was unrecognizable. A sign marking where Till was murdered is regularly shot up by anonymous vandals. There’s also Mary Turner, a pregnant woman whose unborn child was cut from her womb and stomped to death (Turner was also set on fire and shot hundreds of times); Jesse Washington, who was doused in coal oil and hanged to death over burning crates, then carved into souvenirs and paraded around town; and Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, who were dragged out of jail, beaten, hanged, then turned into postcards. Kavanaugh, in contrast, is facing extreme public scrutiny as he interviews for a job at the highest court in land. And if he doesn't get it, he'll simply go back to his old cushy life as a federal judge. 


    A postcard made from an image of Clayton, Jackson, and McGhie's lynching, also known as the Duluth lynching. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Right-wing media’s increasingly racialized Kavanaugh coverage is especially rich considering their routine denunciations of “the race card.” When conservative media say Kavanaugh is being lynched, they are playing "the race card" with blinders on; their arguments invoking an era of racial terrorism are completely devoid of any meaningful racial analysis. They’re defending a credibly accused sexual predator by first inventing, then weaponizing, an alternative history in which one of the most infamous acts of racial violence isn’t racial at all -- it’s simply about attacking people.

    It’s no coincidence that right-wing media deployed a racially charged accusation of “lynching” at the same time the conservative movement has embraced Dinesh D’Souza’s laughable, brazenly dishonest version of American history in which the Democrats are “the real racists” and the well-documented party realignment around civil rights simply “did not take place.” The right’s attempts to put an accused sexual abuser on the Supreme Court -- after electing another one to the presidency -- only serve to highlight the profound moral and intellectual rot at the heart of American conservatism.

  • Right-wing media are pushing Rachel Mitchell’s flawed memo about Christine Blasey Ford’s report of sexual assault by Kavanaugh 

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT & BOBBY LEWIS


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    After professor Christine Blasey Ford testified on September 27 that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in the 1980s, The Washington Post published a memo from Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes prosecutor hired by Senate Republicans to interrogate Ford, explaining why she theoretically would not prosecute Kavanaugh.

    Multiple news outlets have noted that the conclusions in Mitchell’s memo -- among them that Ford’s claims are “even weaker” than a "'he said, she said’ case" -- cannot be seen as credible. The Washington Post pointed out that since there hasn’t been an actual investigation of the claims, Mitchell’s assertion of no corroborating evidence falls flat. Think Progress noted that while Mitchell questioned Ford extensively, she spoke to Kavanaugh, the alleged assailant, for just 15 minutes. Mother Jones reported that a former colleague of Mitchell’s, Matthew Long, dismissed her “willingness to author” the memo as “absolutely disingenuous,” and he asserted that the prosecutor “doesn’t have sufficient information to even draw these conclusions.” Long also criticized Mitchell for attacking Ford’s gaps in memory, noting that he was “trained by Ms. Mitchell about how trauma explicitly does prevent memory from happening” and concluding, “Ms. Mitchell knows better than that.”

    Additionally, as journalists and outlets have pointed out, a Supreme Court nomination is not a trial; it’s more akin to a job interview. The question of whether a prosecutor is willing to bring charges against Kavanaugh is not equivalent to that of whether he should serve on the highest court of the land.

    Desperate to undercut Ford, right-wing media figures have ignored the obvious problems in Mitchell’s memo and instead portrayed the document as credible evidence of Kavanaugh’s innocence:

    Fox & FriendsBrian Kilmeade: Mitchell “concluded that she would not -- this was a weak case and I never would recommend, wouldn’t think anyone would recommend, they prosecute this case.”

    Fox’s Laura Ingraham wrote, “Sex Crimes Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s report exhonerates (sic) Kavanaugh,” linking to a Gateway Pundit piece with a similar title. Radio host Bill Mitchell and Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton also shared the article.

    NBC’s Megyn Kelly: Mitchell “submitted a memo” saying that Ford’s case “doesn’t even satisfy by the preponderance of the evidence standard, … which is the lowest bar in any case. … And now we want the FBI to spend this week going back and scouring the Maryland neighborhood and … figuring out who renovated and when.”

    Fox contributor Lisa Boothe shared Mitchell’s report and wrote, “Can everyone please stop pretending like Dr. Ford is credible now? She is NOT credible. It’s painfully obvious. I feel like I’ve been living in the Twilight Zone.”

    NRA’s Dana Loesch quoted a Daily Mail article on Mitchell’s report, writing that “there is NOT enough evidence to back accuser's claims.”

    Former presidential candidate Herman Cain: “Even the lady that asked the questions during the judiciary committee [hearing], she wrote an eight-page report that said that there was no there there.”

    The Federalist’s Sean Davis: “This memorandum from Rachel Mitchell is a rather stunning indictment not of Kavanaugh, but of Ford and her story, which seems to change each time she tells it. The only consistent aspect of Ford’s story is how often it changes.”

    Townhall editor and Fox contributor Katie Pavlich: “I’d like to point out that nearly everyone in the media, minus a few (myself included), said Ford was ‘very credible.’ She wasn’t.”

    Gateway Pundit’s Jacob Wohl: “Sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell COMPLETELY EXONERATES Brett Kavanaugh,” and “finds Ford's allegations totally suspect, potentially fraudulent.”

    FoxNews.com’s Stephen Miller: “I believe Rachel Mitchell”

    Mark Levin: Mitchell, “a real sex crimes prosecutor,” did an “excellent job” of “exposing gaps & contradictions in Ford’s Senate testimony.”

    Townhall’s Guy Benson: Mitchell’s memo “is extremely compelling”

    Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow: “Mark my words, the media is currently looking for other sex crimes prosecutors to say they would absolutely take this case to court.”

    The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles: “I believe Rachel Mitchell. #IBelieveWomen”

    The Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson: “BELIEVE 👏 ALL 👏 WOMEN 👏”

    Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin’s site Twitchy: “RUH-ROH: Rachel Mitchell’s independent analysis spells even BIGGER trouble for Senate Dems and Ford’s attorneys.”

    Frequent Fox guest Morgan Ortagus: “A professional prosecutor is saying… there’s too many inconsistencies with the story. ... I know you’re shaking your head, but, I mean, she’s spent a lifetime as a career prosecutor working on this.”

  • Fox judicial analyst smears Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez’s “credibility” because NY Times “refused to report her story”

    According to Ronan Farrow, the Times didn’t report Ramirez’s story “because she was talking exclusively to the New Yorker”

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    On the September 25 edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co., Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said that Deborah Ramirez, who said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexual assaulted her in college, has “no credibility” because “The New York Times refused to report her story.” 

    However, according to Ronan Farrow, one of the journalists who reported Ramirez’s experience, the Times “pursued Ramirez aggressively” for the story, but “she declined to participate because she was talking exclusively to the New Yorker.”

    Napolitano’s lazy and uninformed smear dovetails with the broader campaign across conservative media, led by Fox News, to protect Kavanaugh and discredit his accusers at all costs. This effort recently included Fox (of course) airing a highly publicized sham interview of Kavanaugh with host Martha MacCallum -- a defender of Roger Ailes, who was ousted from the network for enabling and participating in longstanding and systemic workplace sexual misconduct

    Directing the White House’s media strategy regarding Kavanaugh is Bill Shine, a former Fox executive ousted for being Ailes’ chief enabler but eventually hired by the White House.