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Courtney Hagle

Author ››› Courtney Hagle
  • Trump says he will begin mass deportation as early as next week. White nationalists and conservative media have spent years calling for this.


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    President Donald Trump tweeted on June 17 that “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” adding, “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

    According to The Washington Post, “Trump and his senior immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, have been prodding Homeland Security officials to arrest and remove thousands of family members whose deportation orders were expedited by the Justice Department this year as part of a plan known as the ‘rocket docket.’” Supporters of the strategy have argued that this move “will send a message to families that are in defiance of deportation orders.” This plan is not new for Trump; during his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump called for a “deportation force” to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants.  

    White nationalists and some in conservative media have spent years calling for mass deportations -- for example, neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer argued in March 2018 that “plans to deport millions of immigrants” are “the only way to save White countries at this point.” These are just a few of the conservative figures and white nationalists who have called for mass deportations in recent years:


    On his Fox Business show, Lou Dobbs asked, “Why are we not seeing an energetic removal of those under deportation orders?” Fox contributor and former acting ICE Director Tom Homan agreed, arguing that “I know it works because I have done it.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/11/19]

    The night before, Dobbs called for the removal of “hundreds of thousands, millions of illegals” in the United States. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/10/19]

    On Fox & Friends Weekend, co-host Ed Henry asked acting ICE Director Mark Morgan if the agency is going to “increase deportations.” Morgan responded that “we’re at a point where we have no choice.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 6/9/19]

    On Fox & Friends, Homan called for “over 100,000 family units” to be found and deported “to their homeland.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/31/19]

    On her podcast, Fox host Laura Ingraham agreed with her guest that “Operation Wetback” -- a 1950s mass deportation effort -- should be re-created to deport immigrants. [PodcastOne, The Laura Ingraham Show Podcast, 2/6/19]


    Far-right site Breitbart pushed a study claiming “mass deportations effectively deter the violent El Salvadoran MS-13 gang from expanding across the United States.” [Breitbart, 12/21/18]

    On Fox News’ Hannity, talk radio host Larry Elder complained that “no one is talking about mass deportations.” “The president campaigned on getting rid of bad hombres,” he added, urging him to follow through. [Fox News, Hannity, 12/20/18]

    On Fox & Friends Weekend, guest Mark Krikorian, executive director of the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies, claimed that the problem with the government losing 1,500 migrant children is that “we're never going to find them to return them to their own countries.” He said media reports claiming the Trump administration lost migrant children are a “classic propaganda operation.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 5/27/18]

    Neo-Nazi outlet The Daily Stormer argued that deporting “millions of immigrants” is “the only way to save White countries at this point.” The racist website went on to argue: “Anyone who ISN’T for mass deportation is by definition FOR the demographic replacement of Germans in Germany and Whites in most every country hit by mass immigration.” [The Daily Stormer, 3/28/18]

    On Twitter, far-right commentator Ann Coulter argued that “mass deportations” and an “immigration moratorium” would reduce mass shootings in the United States. [Twitter, 2/26/18]  


    One America News Network host Graham Ledger urged Trump to use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals database to deport DACA recipients’ parents. He called on Trump to “take that list and use it as a road map to go after their parents.” [One America News Network, The Daily Ledger, 9/15/17]

    On CNN, president of the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) praised threats of mass deportation as an effort to “reclaim our schools, our hospitals, and our communities once again for the American people.” He also said that undocumented immigrants “need to be thinking about going out and buying some luggage.” [CNN, New Day, 2/22/17]

    The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft complained that former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said mass deportations are “not happening.” Hoft claimed “you can never trust” Ryan and criticized him for thinking “he is leading the party and country and it was him who won the historic November election — Not Trump.” [The Gateway Pundit, 1/13/17]


    On Hannity, Coulter said that Trump “made a mistake” by walking back campaign promises to conduct mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/25/16]

    On CNN, commentator Kayleigh McEnany justified Trump’s plan to conduct mass deportations by saying that “he never committed to not deporting 11 million people.” She added that Trump “likes immigrants, … but he does believe in the rule of law.” [CNN, Erin Burnett OutFront, 8/25/16]

    The Daily Stormer praised Newt Gingrich for calling for the “mass deportations of hajis.” The article acknowledged that Gingrich specified Muslims who believe in Sharia, but concluded that “believing in Sharia law is a required article of the Islamic faith, so it’s very close to a call to deport every ethnic Arab. It’s one step away.” The neo-Nazi outlet called Gingrich a “gross opportunist,” but asserted: “The fact that this has entered the mainstream discussion is simply glorious. It cannot be overstated how absolutely fantastic this is.” [The Daily Stormer, 7/15/16]

    White nationalist outlet VDare argued that “mass deportation would pay for itself.” [VDare, 5/28/16]

    Fox Business host Charles Payne suggested that Trump’s plan to conduct mass deportations of immigrant families “might be the only solution.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/10/16]


    The Daily Stormer on Trump saying he’ll “bypass courts for mass-deportation program”: “That’s what we want to hear.” [The Daily Stormer, 11/23/15]

    Conservative website LifeZette pointed to a racist “Mexican Repatriation” policy during the 1930s as a possible model for Trump’s mass deportation. [LifeZette, 11/19/15]

    Fox host Sean Hannity claimed that people impacted by “Operation Wetback,” the 1950s mass deportation program, “didn’t look like they were all that upset as they were walking back into Mexico” based on “some of the images in the paper today.” In reality, the program has been described as inhumane and ended in multiple deaths due to exposure to extreme conditions. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/12/15; Slate, 11/10/15]

    Former Fox News host Eric Bolling defended Trump’s “deportation force,” calling it “good for Latinos.” Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle agreed that it would “secure the border.” [Fox News, The Five, 11/12/15]

    The Daily Stormer celebrated Trump’s announcement of a “deportation force,” claiming it would “remove invaders.” [The Daily Stormer, 11/12/15]

    Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum applauded Trump’s mass deportation plan and his comparisons to “Operation Wetback” at a GOP primary debate, calling it “one of the most thought-provoking exchanges of the evening.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 11/11/15]

    Coulter: “I'm warming to ‘mass deportation and a wall’!” [Twitter, 10/19/15]

    Hannity defended Trump’s plan for mass deportation, dismissing concerns as an “emotional argument.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/17/15]


    Media Research Center editor Tim Graham: “Love how they always say mass deportation is ‘unrealistic.’ Imposing thousands of kids who don't speak English? The essence of realistic.” [Twitter, 11/20/14]

    Washington Times staff writer Stephen Dinan complained the Obama administration was deporting criminals instead of millions of “rank-and-file illegal immigrants who are living here, working here, holding jobs.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/9/14]

    Conservative media websites The Daily Caller, National Review Online, and criticized President Barack Obama for focusing on deporting criminals instead of deporting all undocumented immigrants. [Media Matters, 3/27/14]


    Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked if America should emulate Greece in “rounding up thousands” of undocumented immigrants to deport them in an attempt to improve its economy. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/23/12]

    Bolling suggested deporting millions of undocumented immigrants to create economic demand for jobs. [Fox News, The Five, 6/14/12]


    Bolling said undocumented immigrants should be given “a one-way bus ticket back to where they came from.” [Fox News, The Five, 12/21/11]

    Asked if he would support rounding up undocumented immigrant children in public schools for deportation, Bolling said, “Sure.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 12/2/11]

    Bolling endorsed putting undocumented immigrants “on buses and sending them back.” [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 9/21/11]

  • How pro-Trump media spun Trump saying he’d accept dirt from foreign governments in the 2020 election

    Conservative media claimed that Trump was just “playing,” drew a false equivalence with the Steele dossier, and attacked Hillary Clinton


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    After President Donald Trump sparked outrage when he admitted in an interview that he would “listen” to any damaging information on his opponent even if it came from a foreign government, pro-Trump media quickly came to his defense.

    On June 13, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Trump whether his campaign would accept, or hand over to the FBI, damaging information on his opponent if it came from a foreign source. Trump responded that “maybe” he would do both, saying, “You might want to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with listening.” Trump also pushed back on the idea that a foreign government providing information on a political opponent is election interference. He conceded that “if I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI” but also asserted that “the FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of” what he characterized as “oppo research.” Trump also lied that he had never in his "whole life" called the FBI (he approached the FBI in the 1980s in a matter related to Atlantic City casinos).

    The president’s comments came on the same day U.S. senators questioned his son Donald Trump Jr. about his connections with Russia. At the center of the scrutiny surrounding Trump Jr. is a meeting he took in 2016 -- along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign head Paul Manafort -- with a Kremlin-linked lawyer to discuss “dirt” on former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The details surrounding the meeting are still in question.

    As criticism of Trump’s comments poured in, pro-Trump media rushed to defend the president. Many immediately pointed to Hillary Clinton, a common scapegoat for right-wing media; others drew a false equivalency with the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele on alleged connections between Trump and the Russian government to accuse Democrats and the media of a double standard when it comes to accepting foreign assistance during the election. But in fact, while it is illegal to accept contributions from foreign nationals for political campaigns (as Trump suggested he would do), “paying a foreign national fair market value for opposition research is generally not illegal,” as former chief counsel for the Federal Election Commission Lawrence Noble told The Washington Post. “It is considered a commercial transaction, which is not a contribution.”

    Nevertheless, pro-Trump media figures still defended Trump’s recent comments, deflecting to Hillary Clinton and the Steele dossier and lambasting the media for their supposed double standards:

    • On her prime-time show, Fox host Laura Ingraham said that it “seems like he’s playing.” She then referenced Trump’s 2016 comments during a campaign rally when he asked Russia to find dirt on Clinton, framing the comments as “obviously a Trump joke.” Ingraham and Her guest Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, said that the interview showed “you shouldn’t ever talk to George Stephanopoulos.”

    • On Fox & Friends, Fox host Sean Hannity cheered Trump’s comments as “the greatest set-up that Donald Trump has ever made” because he angered the “media mob.” He then drew a false equivalency, saying that “if you’re outraged in the media” about Trump’s comments, “how could you not be outraged Hillary Clinton literally empowered a foreign agent who produced a dossier for the Russian lies,” referring to the Steele dossier.

    • On his prime-time show the night before, Hannity had defended Trump’s comments, asserting that if offered campaign dirt, “you might want to listen.” He then claimed that “listening is much different than … lying, spying, and paying for Russian lies,” criticizing Clinton and chastising the media for not being more outraged at her.

    • On Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed “there is so much oppo research floating around Washington, D.C. Perhaps that’s what the president’s talking about.”

    • Fellow Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt dismissed the notion that Trump should report foreign assistance to the FBI, asking “What’s the FBI going to do?” Earhardt concluded that the FBI’s response would be along the lines of “you’re crazy.”

    • On America’s Newsroom, Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz claimed that “fake outrage from the left and the media is part of a pattern.” He pivoted to criticizing the media for not showing any outrage about former President Bill Clinton’s paid speeches when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

    • On Special Report with Bret Baier, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway responded to Trump’s comments by pointing to Clinton, asserting that she “took information from a foreign government.” She claimed that “if this is a huge problem,” then Stephanopoulos “should be asking” Clinton and the DNC about the Steele dossier. She also said the media should be asking, “Why they created this hoax conspiracy theory.”

    • On Fox Business, The Washington TimesCharles Hurt conceded that Trump’s comments were not good, but he urged people to first “think about what he has been through for the past three years.” Hurt also attacked Clinton over the Steele dossier and concluded that Trump is “in fighting mode” so “of course he’s going to say that.”

    • Fox host Mark Levin tweeted: “Uh, remember the dossier?” Levin then criticized the media -- calling them “these clowns” -- for being “appalled by Trump’s answer.”

    • Far-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec wrote that his “favorite part of the exchange was when ABC asked Trump about receiving intel from foreigners and he responded: Everyone in Congress does it #BloodMoney”

    • Media Research Center’s NewsBusters: “It's absolutely amazing how many liberals can't recall that Hillary Clinton paid a foreign operative to get foreign dirt on Donald Trump. They think they're the most intelligent ones.”

    • Right-wing blog RedState sarcastically compared Trump’s comments to the Steele dossier: “Democrats are Apoplectic That Trump Would Listen To A Foreigner With Dirt On An Opponent.” The blog post calling media reaction “extraordinary,” “considering that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $12 million to a foreigner to not only dig up dirt on candidate Donald Trump, but to disseminate it among the Washington political community, the Intelligence agencies and then to the media.”

    • Right-wing troll Kurt Schlichter claimed, “I don’t accept that something is a crime only if it applies to my side.” He also wrote that the left decided that foreign election interference “is not a crime, so it is not a crime,” apparently referring to the Steele dossier, and said, “You might call this whataboutism. But my whataboutism is a moral necessity.”

    • Wash. Examiner correspondent Byron York attacked Politico for being “duly shocked, appalled by Trump foreign oppo research comment.” York misleadingly claimed that the same thing is “done by pros! On Nexis! Steele dossier seems to have slipped the mind.”

    • Daily Caller reporter Scott Morefield compared Trump’s affirmative openness to taking “foreign-obtained dirt” to Schiff being pranked by Russian radio hosts.

    • Conservative commentator Harlan Hill accused Democrats of “LYING THROUGH THEIR DAMN TEETH.” Hill’s comment was addressed at “any democrat saying they'd refuse to use oppo dropped on their doorstep regarding an opponent -- simply [because] they didn't like who dropped the oppo on their doorstep.” Hill also tweeted, “Democrats loved foreign interference in American elections when we were talking about the Anti-Trump Steele Dossier, a FAKE produced by a Brit and sourced by the Russians.”

  • The DHS watchdog reported disturbing conditions at its detention centers. Fox News spent months describing them as humane. 

    The new report shows that immigrants in detention centers are facing "unsafe and unhealthy conditions," including "dilapidated and moldy" bathrooms and raw food contamination

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On June 3, the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security released a report raising concerns about the treatment and care of migrants in DHS facilities. For the past year, Fox News figures have been defending the agencies involved in that care as well as the facilities.

    The inspector general’s office and other groups have raised concerns about unsafe conditions in detention centers in the past, and the report details inspections of four facilities in California, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Colorado where immigrants face “unsafe and unhealthy conditions” in violation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) standards. Some issues include expired food, raw food contamination, moldy or dilapidated bathrooms, and segregation practices that violate standards and “infringe on detainee rights.”

    News outlets have also reported that solitary confinement is misused at various facilities, that ICE has deported former service members inappropriately, and that doctors have concerns about DHS practices and the conditions under which it keeps undocumented patients, including “shackling patients to beds and not permitting them to use restrooms.” Additionally, 24 immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration. Over the weekend, it was also reported that acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan has called for Congress to change the asylum law so migrant families can be detained for longer than 20 days while their claims are being processed.

    While some argue that these problems result from a lack of congressional funding, over the past 24 years, the amount of money spent on border security has increased 14 times. Immigrants’ rights groups like the National Immigrant Justice Center have also expressed concern over giving DHS more funding unconditionally; Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy said she fears calls to give more money to shelters are “another ploy to secure tax dollars to lock people up.” The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has also said that it opposes “sending Trump even one more dollar for the border without a slew of strict conditions.” Psychologists have also raised awareness about the “high rates of serious long-term psychiatric and physical symptoms” students held in migrant detention centers face, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and developmental and behavioral regressions.

    Despite the red flags that have been repeatedly raised about the treatment of migrants by DHS, ICE, and Customs and Border Patrol, Fox News has remained a strong defender of the agencies:

    On her show, Fox host Laura Ingraham said that while “it’s sad when your family gets separated” at the border, “there’s only so much of the love you can spread around.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/2/18]

    Ingraham claimed detention centers holding migrant children separated from their parents are “essentially summer camps” or “basically boarding schools.” She chided critics of these detention centers as “seiz[ing] on the separated children and turn[ing] the entire image into a political weapon.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 6/18/18]

    Former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan said the agency “should be applauded” for its policy of housing children in cages. He insisted that “those cages” are “designed that way” for “the safety and security of the people that are in there.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 4/4/19]

    On Fox & Friends, Morgan again argued about the description of the facilities as cages, insisting that they are just “chain link fence” for “safety and security.” He said criticisms of children being held in cages are “totally a false narrative” and “a talking point for the Democrats.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends3/7/19]

    Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed that “you can’t even really blame an administration” for the policy of separating parents from children at the border. In April 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero-tolerance policy," which caused the separation of children from their parents at the border. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/19/18; Politico, 5/7/18]

    Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy chided those who “have referred to them as ‘cages,’” telling viewers to “keep in mind, this is a great big warehouse facility where they built walls out of chain link fences.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/18/18

    On The Ingraham Angle, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich claimed that people who compare child detention centers to concentration camps “despise and hate the United States.” He also said, “It’s really disturbing to have people on the left who hate their own country so much that they would use this kind of language.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 6/19/18]

    On Fox & Friends, Fox regular Mark Krikorian asserted that detention centers “are not dog kennels” because “they’ve got cable from Central America.” He also claimed that while it’s not “the greatest thing in the world,” it “might actually be better than Honduras, where they’re coming from.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/31/18]

    Commenting on the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their families, Fox host Jesse Watters said that “some would say it’s a more humane policy” than keeping them together. [Fox News, The Five, 5/29/18]

    On Fox & Friends, Homan attacked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for pointing out ICE abuses. Homan insisted that Ocasio-Cortez “needs to do her homework,” claiming that “every time she opens her mouth, she’s wrong.” He asserted that “she ought to be saying thank you” to ICE agents instead of criticizing them. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/9/19]

    On Fox & Friends, guest co-host Pete Hegseth accused migrants of “child exploitation.” He elaborated that “the blame goes on the parents for putting these kids at risk” and praised “what our agents are doing” as “incredibly humane and incredibly difficult.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/31/19]

    While discussing the death of a migrant child from Guatemala, frequent Fox guest Brandon Judd said that “we’re going to continue to see these issues” if Congress doesn’t “give us the funding we need,” referring to Border Patrol. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/22/19]

    On Outnumbered, Fox contributor Katie Pavlich agreed that some of CBP’s detention policies are “not humane,” but she claimed that “this is the only choice” the agency has. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 3/29/19]

  • MSNBC anchor hosts conservative commentators to argue Democratic primary candidates should be “more moderate” and less “weird”

    George Will lies about the Green New Deal with no pushback at all

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle hosted two conservative commentators to claim Democratic presidential candidates and popular progressive policies are extreme and “weird.”

    On the June 5 edition of MSNBC Live, Ruhle hosted columnists George Will and Bret Stephens to discuss 2020 Democratic candidates. Ruhle allowed Will to lie without pushback about key aspects of the Green New Deal, repeating a common but false right-wing talking point that the Green New Deal will “require ending meat and airplanes.” Will also pulled out a list of common progressive policy proposals -- including many that poll popularly among Democratic voters -- and painted them as extreme and fringe. Will claimed that Americans will feel that “these people are weird” and that “they are not talking about things that I care about.” His advice to Democratic candidates: “Shift to the middle.”

    STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): Are you seeing any possible candidates that you think would be better for conservativism than President [Donald] Trump?

    GEORGE WILL (AUTHOR): Well, there is a sense in which all 23 Democrats would be better if there is a Republican Senate because the Republican Senate would virtually block legislative change. That is not all the change that we have, but they would block it. And it would take the Republican Party away from its current identification with someone who is, in temperament and in most policies, not conservative. There’s -- I hate to give the kiss of death to someone like former Congressman [John] Delaney (D-MD) or former [Colorado Democratic] Gov. [John] Hickenlooper, but they know where the public's pulse is. I am staggered by the amount of time Democratic candidates for president are spending talking about things they know are not going to happen. “Abolish the Electoral College,” they promise. No, the reason they want to abolish the Electoral College is it’s very good for smaller states, 13 of which are all that’s required to block a constitutional amendment. [Sen.] Kamala Harris (D-CA) says, “Well, we’re going to eliminate private health insurance.” She's walked that back a bit, but who knows. No, they are not. It is a very odd way to begin a presidential campaign by saying we’re going to offend 180 million Americans who have employer-provided health insurance and 20 more million Americans who have other sources of private health insurance and rather like it.

    RUHLE: Well, you could like John Delaney, you can like John Hickenlooper, but if the ultimate goal for the Democratic Party is to defeat Donald Trump, what’s the right move -- to shift to the middle or shift to the left?

    WILL: Shift to the middle. I keep in my pocket -- I'm going to need a bigger card. These are all the things they’ve said that cause the American public to say, “These people are weird, they’re not talking about things that I care about.” Terrorists in prison should be allowed to vote. End private health insurance. Pack the Supreme Court, abolish the electoral college, the Green New Deal -- which will require ending meat and airplanes -- impeach the president, reparations for slavery. The country hears these individually and they say, “I'm not for that.” Collectively, they say, “These are very strange people because they are not talking about things that I want to talk about.”

    RUHLE: OK, but George, you have the very strange things they have said on a tiny little card. The president has told, by The Washington Post’s count, 10,000 lies. And I don't think I'm getting over my skis to say he says very strange things every single day. And he is sitting in the White House. Why does very strange things disqualify someone?

    WILL: Well, if they think that the path to power is to emulate Trump from the left, saying strange things, I think they’re mistaken because people are going to go into the voting booth on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2020 and say, “Do I stick with the doofus I've got or pick the doofus I don't know.” I mean, give people a decent choice. I mean, look, what the Democrats did -- an astonishing achievement in 2016 -- was help elect Donald Trump by giving the country an unpalatable choice. Why do it again?

    RUHLE: “Don't be a doofus, please skip on strange.” That’s George Will’s advice to these candidates out there.   

    Ruhle also hosted Stephens, a conservative op-ed writer (and climate denier) at The New York Times, who argued that Democrats pursuing impeachment -- which has high support among liberals -- are “harming themselves politically,” and that “the real heart of the party” is “much more moderate, much more centrist.”

    STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): Bret, in your latest piece, you talk about Democrats and the impeachment debate and you compare it to football. You say, “It's a dumb and dangerous game of maximum brutality and minimal movement.” Elaborate.

    BRET STEPHENS (NEW YORK TIMES OPINION COLUMNIST): Yeah. Well, I just think that Democrats are going to be harming themselves politically and not advancing the debate if they take steps to impeach the president.

    RUHLE: So they should just let it roll?

    STEPHENS: No, I mean what I’ve been advocating is that there should be a vote of censure against the president for disgraceful behavior that brings some Republicans along who would be otherside backed into a political corner. I just have to make the point because it’s never made often enough: If you impeach the president, which the House has the votes to do, you will not convict him in the Senate. OK? That's the deal. What you’re going to do is suck up an incredible amount of political oxygen. You’re going to make Republicans feel like the president is being victimized, that Democrats are trying to overturn the results of the election, and you're going to wind up helping to re-elect Trump. And in my book, that's the worst possible thing you can do. I don't know what other people think, it might feel really good, but I don't want to re-elect Trump.

    RUHLE: Democrats think it's the worst possible thing to do but Democrats are not all on the same page. The Washington Post details how the fight going on between the moderate and progressive wings of the party are really divided, and this thing played out at the Democratic Party Convention over the weekend in California. I want to share this.

    Help us understand, what do you think the Democratic Party is doing?

    MATT BENNETT (THIRD WAY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS): Well, look. Who is the Democratic Party? It isn't the people at the California Democratic state convention. Last year they had a convention in California and they took a vote on who should be the Democratic nominee for Senate. [Sen.] Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) lost that vote 65-7. She then went on to trounce the same opponent, Kevin de Leon, by 35 points in the actual primary. So, the people at that convention do not represent even the Democrats of California, much less Democrats nationally. There is a huge disconnect going on in our discourse right now between the activists, the activists online --

    RUHLE: The Twitter Democrats. The Twitter Republicans.

    BENNETT: Exactly. And people who actually are going to vote next year, starting on February 3, for who our nominee is. And I'm just talking Democrats, leave aside Republicans and Independents -- Democrats in the real world don't sound much at all like the Democrats online.

    STEPHENS: And it's important, at the same convention, you had John Hickenlooper saying socialism is not the answer and being booed. Now, Hickenlooper is not going to be the candidate but guess what? That’s going to be a fantastic ad for the Trump 2020 campaign as to what the Democratic Party is going to be, even if Joe Biden or a moderate candidate is the nominee. And the loud voices on -- well, both sides, but particularly on the Democratic left, are creating a picture of what the party is about, what its values are for. It's completely at odds with, I think, the real heart of the party, which is much more moderate, much more centrist.

    RUHLE: They're creating daily segments for Fox News every single day.

    Conservative commentators have been telling Democrats to shift to the middle since immediately after the recent midterm elections in which Democrats won major gains in the House. Stephens himself used the 2018 midterms to tell Democrats to shift to the right -- even as his column hilariously undercounted Democratic gains in the House. Of course, Stephens has every right to never change his analysis, no matter how much evidence proves him wrong. But there's no need for MSNBC to reward his obstinacy.

  • Fox News hypes Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexico

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to impose tariffs on Mexico unless the country stems migration to the U.S., Fox News personalities are cheerleading the move while turning their anger on Senate Republicans for opposing the tariffs.

    Trump’s latest threat to impose a 5% tariff on Mexico, rising up to 25% if the Mexican government does not stop migrants approaching the U.S., has concerned experts and politicians across the political spectrum about the potential impact on the U.S. economy. Some Republican senators have reportedly discussed a vote to block the tariffs, but the move would need a two-thirds majority to override Trump’s veto.

    Experts warn that the tariffs could have a drastic impact; according to CNBC, “Texas-based economic research firm Perryman Group says proposed tariffs could result in job losses topping 117,000 in Texas and approximately 50,000 in California.” Economists surveyed by Vox said that the threatened tariffs could cost each U.S. household as much as $900.  Business leaders, trade groups, and other organizations have also expressed opposition to Trump’s tariffs: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that “imposing tariffs on goods from Mexico is exactly the wrong move”; Business Roundtable, “an association of chief executive officers, said in a statement that imposing the tariffs would be a “grave error” to tax imports from Mexico”; and anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam America called the proposal “shortsighted, harmful, and counter-productive.”

    Despite the negative impact that is sure to be felt by taxing imports from Mexico, some Fox News personalities have been very supportive of the president’s latest decision. Others have also expressed anger and betrayal towards Senate Republicans and businesses for not supporting the president’s move towards tariffs. Here are some of the ways that hosts and guests on Fox have been cheerleading tariffs on Mexico:

    On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade chided a “remarkably un-self-aware Congress” for causing “this mess.” Kilmeade expressed anger that Congress is “sitting there against the president on tariffs when he’s using everything possible ... to stem the horrific crisis at our border.” He advised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to “pretend it’s Brett Kavanaugh” and “push this forward,” referring to last year’s Senate confirmation process for the conservative Supreme Court justice embattled by sexual assault accusations. When co-host Steve Doocy suggested that “both sides are using it for politics,” Kilmeade insisted that Trump is sincere and that this has “nothing to do with politics.” [Fox Business, Fox & Friends, 6/5/19; The Hill, 10/6/18]

    On the June 4 edition of his show, Trump confidant Lou Dobbs claimed that “the republic itself is at stake here” and expressed disgust at Senate Republicans for opposing Trump, dedicating multiple segments to the topic. His guest Ed Rollins encouraged Trump to “stand tough” and said that it will be the “beginning of the end” for Senate Republicans if they don’t support Trump. Dobbs claimed that he “fear[s] for the republic itself” because Trump is trying to “secure American safety,” but Republican senators are “turn[ing] their backs on this president,” called it “appalling” and “an utterly dispiriting moment in our history.” Rollins agreed and added that “this would not be a Senate majority” without Trump’s presidency. Dobbs then played and harshly criticized clips of “so-called Republicans in the U.S. Senate” opposed to the tariffs, saying they “are working against the interests, not only of the nation, but the interests of the president and all of you who voted for them.” Dobbs repeated that “the republic itself is at stake here.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/4/19]

    Dobbs ran another segment attacking Republican senators for “selling out the security of the American people” as the chyron read “RINO resistance,” referring to Republicans in Name Only. His guest, former Trump State Department senior adviser Christian Whiton, called the Republican response “disappointing,” to which Dobbs responded, “Hell yes, it’s disappointing.” They criticized Republicans for not passing legislation to fund the wall when they controlled the House -- Dobbs placed the blame squarely on former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), calling him a “resident traitor” and adding that “now he has Mitch McConnell following.” Dobbs also said that Senate Republicans’ opposition is “the GOP committing suicide.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/4/19]

    Dobbs, hosting Sebastian Gorka, also said there will be “an uprising in this country against the business lobby [and] these pseudo-Republicans” if they oppose Trump’s tariffs.  Dobbs praised Trump for “being the only candidate who had the guts to take on the opioid addiction crisis” before chiding McConnell for “undercutting him with the same glee in his eye that you would expect to be in [Sen.] Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY).” Gorka said that Republicans who oppose Trump now will “pay the price” in 2020. Dobbs agreed and said that there will be “an uprising in this country against the business lobby [and] these pseudo-Republicans” if they oppose Trump’s tariffs. Gorka added that it’s a “betrayal of the American people” and said that Democrats just want “a constituency of illegal aliens beholden to them.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/4/19]

    On Outnumbered, Fox host Steve Hilton praised Trump’s “tough response” and criticized the “outrage amongst the traditional establishment types.” He called Trump’s tariff threat a “constructive, entrepreneurial piece of policymaking” and justified the tariffs because of the “emergency at the border,” saying that “it’s not an exaggeration to say that we don’t have immigration control in this country.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 6/4/19]

    Fox News contributor Tom Homan said that he agrees “with the president 100%.” Homan conceded that “the tariffs may have a short-term effect on the economy,” but his “concern is what price will you put on our national security.” He argued that Trump’s tariff proposals are justified because terrorists  want “to come to this country to do us harm … especially now when there’s chaos on the border and such a great vulnerability.” He added that he’s “not trying to be a fearmongerer, but this is more than a humanitarian crisis” and concluded that “the president is trying to secure our nation.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 6/4/19]

    On Outnumbered Overtime, ICE acting director and frequent Fox guest Mark Morgan said that while he is “not an economist,” he is “100% behind the president on this.” He claimed that “Mexico has shown for decades” that they are “on the sidelines,” adding that “they have not been true partners in this.” He also said that Mexico has not been working with the U.S. on asylum “because the cartels own everything” as “a multi-billion dollar industry,” so “Mexico gets to step back and just be facilitators,” saying that they “need to get in the game” and “the president is forcing them to do so.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 6/4/19]

    Discussing Trump’s tariffs on America’s Newsroom, frequent Fox guest Art del Cueto said that “something needs to be done” to force Mexico to reduce immigration, adding that “it’s not about race” because “illegal is not a race.” He concluded that “Mexico needs to assume that responsibility.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 6/5/19]

  • Fox News zeroes in on a new target: the homeless

    Ahead of 2020, Fox News dehumanizes the homeless in an attempt to boost Republicans

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox News has recently increased coverage of the problem of homelessness in America’s cities, using the issue as an excuse to chastise Democratic politicians and criticize proposals aimed at helping undocumented immigrants.

    The network has painted a grim picture of American cities as “almost Third World in their decay,” facing “a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization,” and filled with “drugged-out zombies chasing barefooted babies.” Fox has largely focused on the issue in cities on the West Coast -- mostly focusing on cities in liberal California, with a few segments on Denver; Seattle; and Portland and Eugene, OR. Every city Fox highlighted has at least one thing in common: Democratic leaders. And the problem Fox identified in each city is more or less the same -- the Democratic leaders and their “rich friends” prefer to push “social justice initiatives,” “socialist solutions,” and “liberal compassion” instead of properly addressing mental illness or engaging in punitive crackdowns on homelessness (Fox's preference). One Fox host even suggested the solution in Los Angeles is to “bulldoze the 50-block radius” and “institutionalize everybody.”

    Despite the attention Fox has been paying to the issue, the network has been silent about the Trump administration’s lack of serious interest in tackling America’s homelessness crisis. President Donald Trump’s White House “has twice proposed eliminating the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates efforts among more than a dozen federal agencies.” He has also proposed additional work requirements for federal housing aid and food stamps, and Trump’s tax reform bill “weakened the low-income tax credit, which is the primary tool we have to promote affordable housing.”

    Instead, Fox hosts, anchors, and guests have repeatedly used degrading and dehumanizing terms to describe the homelessness problem and thus to attack Democratic politicians such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Some Fox figures have tried to suggest that the real victims of homelessness are not homeless people themselves, but the “normal people” who are confronted with the problem in public parks and libraries. Others have tried to contrast the issue with unrelated Democratic proposals to provide resources for undocumented immigrants, implying that it’s not fair to allocate resources to other marginalized people while homelessness still persists. One Fox guest discussing homelessness in Los Angeles claimed that Democrats “want to take that nationwide in 2020 with this presidential election,” and another said that LA’s homelessness is “a template of what the Democrats want to continue.”

    It is clear that Fox plans to make this topic a part of its strategy ahead of 2020 by using the real and serious problem of homelessness to demonize Democrats and fearmonger about socialism. Below is a rundown of some of the network’s recent attacks:

    Hannity began an April 3 segment about crime and homelessness by saying that “liberal cities all across the country” are in a “growing huge crisis as a result of failed policies implemented by the Democratic leaders.Hannity stressed that these cities have “one commonality” -- “This is happening in big cities where they have massive amounts of taxation.” His guest Pam Bondi claimed that “Democrats abandoned our inner cities, our most vulnerable populations, a long time ago when they started talking about a centralized government, their socialist solutions,” warning that “they want to take that nationwide in 2020 with this presidential election.” Fox contributor Mike Huckabee said that the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles and other cities “is Third World stuff,” pointing to “rat infestation” and “bubonic plague.” Hannity repeated that there is homelessness “a mile from Nancy Pelosi’s, you know, gated community,” asking why “she can’t raise money from all those rich San Francisco liberals that she lives next to.” Huckabee agreed, stressing the “hypocrisy of liberalism, the insanity of liberalism” and adding that “this is a discussion about whether or not we're going to survive as a civilization if we keep going in this direction.” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/3/19]

    On The Five, co-host Jesse Watters described homeless people in Los Angeles as “drugged-out zombies chasing barefooted babies through piles of garbage with hypodermic needles and fire everywhere.” He then claimed that “you only have one solution” to homelessness in the city: “You bulldoze the 50-block radius and you institutionalize everybody and detoxify them, and then you let them out.” [Fox News, The Five, 6/3/19]

    On Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced “shocking photos" that "show just how bad the conditions are getting in downtown Los Angeles.” Guest Jim Breslow complained that he has to deal with homelessness in his community, “which is an affluent community.” The chyron during the segment read “LA plagued with trash, rats, and typhoid fever.” The segment ended with Breslow criticizing California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom for appearing “to be more focused on global issues” before praising Trump’s “America First” agenda. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/19]

    On The Ingraham Angle, guest Dr. Drew Pinsky described Los Angeles’ homelessness and its related health issues as “a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization.” Pinsky fearmongered that he is “hearing from experts that bubonic plague is likely -- it’s already here.” He described the situation as “medieval” and said “Third World countries are insulted if they are accused of being like [Los Angeles].” Host Laura Ingraham used Los Angeles’ homelessness to fearmonger about undocumented immigrants. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/30/19]

    On his prime-time Fox show, Sean Hannity aired a segment in which Fox News correspondent Lawrence Jones spoke to people in Portland, OR, about homelessness. Hannity used the segment to attack liberal politicians in other West Coast cities, pointing to the “beautiful, walled, gated community of Nancy Pelosi.” His guest, Pam Bondi, chastised Pelosi “and all her rich friends” for not doing more to address mental health and drug problems in San Francisco, such as building more shelters and public bathroom facilities. His other guest, Emily Compagno, complained that the “compassionate approach” to homelessness is “paralyzing these cities” and “wasting our tax dollars.” Compagno added that "the sufferers are not only those homeless" but also "the constituents whose tax dollars are being absolutely wasted." [Fox News, Hannity, 5/30/19]

    On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade criticized Pelosi for contributing to the “homeless capital of the world, where drugs run rampant.” Jones chimed in that there are “needles all over the ground,” and Kilmeade added that San Francisco “basically ha[s] a sewer for a sidewalk.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/29/19]

    In a “straight news” report on America’s Newsroom, correspondent Dan Springer described a “social justice initiative” in Seattle that requires “every department of city government look at how their policies affect the poor and people of color.” He claimed that “critics say it’s simply led to people skating justice,” pointing to Seattle’s homelessness problem. Springer said that “one likely reason” for the city’s large homeless population is because “Seattle doesn’t enforce its anti-camping law, so there are thousands of people living in tents, many of them addicted to drugs, which are often used in public.” He said that because prosecutors “won’t charge people with possession of less than a gram” of drugs, there is “no fear of jail time” and people are “not going to get hauled into court for getting caught not paying a bus fare and then not paying the fine” -- a policy that he admitted disproportionately hurt minorities and poorer people. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/24/19]

    On America’s Newsroom, a panel discussed a New York Times opinion piece on homelessness. Daily Caller News Foundation Editor-in-Chief Chris Bedford claimed Seattle’s homelessness problem is because “the police are not enforcing the laws.” Fox Business host Cheryl Casone said that in San Francisco, she was “appalled to find out they were actually giving out checks to the homeless there,” adding, “That’s a liberal policy that has obviously failed that city.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/23/19; The New York Times, 5/22/19]

    While discussing health care on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade and Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren pitted homeless people in California against undocumented immigrants. Kilmeade told Lahren that he “hear[s] there’s a massive homeless issue in California,” but the state’s population is “making a choice” by saying that “illegals are more important than the people on the streets who obviously need medical attention.” Lahren pointed to “veterans dying on VA waiting lists” and said, “But yet, they’re arguing over how much more they want to spend on illegal immigrants. It’s absolutely infuriating.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/22/19]

    On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs said that undocumented immigrants “should be thrilled” because “they are getting more benefits in many cases than destitute Americans.” His guest Michael Goodwin asked, “Where is the compassion for the Americans?” adding, “This is very much why Donald Trump won in 2016 -- the same dynamics of people putting other countries first.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 5/21/19]

    On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson aired a five-day series titled “Homeless in America,” in which his producer Charles Cougar went on an eight-day trip to visit seven cities in America. On May 16, Carlson discussed a Wall Street Journal article about homeless people living on boats in San Francisco, “and not quaint boats” or “yachts,” but “a ragtag flotilla.” He then turned to a segment about homelessness in Eugene, OR, where Cougar complained that while he was out to get breakfast at an "upscale bakery," he saw a “homeless man rifling through a trash can." He claimed Eugene’s “permissive cultura, its temperate climate, and generous social services attract vagrants and addicts from around the country.” The segment also showed b-roll footage of unsuspecting homeless people in Oregon and Carlson described citizens who are not homeless as “victims” of homelessness. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 5/16/19; Wall Street Journal, 5/16/19]

    On May 15, Carlson argued homelessness is the result of liberal leaders backing off prosecuting petty crime and described Seattle as “a kind of mecca for drug addicts.” Carlson shared “a video of a man passed out in a popular park,” a picture of “urine on a public staircase near City Hall,” and another picture of “human waste a few steps above that.” He claims this is because Seattle’s leaders have become “more lenient on petty crime” and that “because of their liberal attitudes and the mild climate, the city is a magnet for vagrants.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 5/15/19]

    On May 14, Carlson began his segment by saying that “California has more homeless than any other state,” but state leaders “don’t seem to care.” He berated the “leaders of the state of California” for not doing more to curb “this horrifying problem” of homelessness. He blamed California’s “strict building codes and environmental regulations” for the state’s homeless problem. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 5/14/19]

    On May 13, Carlson described the situation in cities “across the West” as being “almost Third World in their decay and disorganization and the chaos.”  His series began with San Francisco, describing its “flourishing drug scene” before airing footage of homeless people, including “junkies shooting up in broad daylight and homeless people wielding makeshift knives.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 5/13/19]

    On Hannity, Hannity claimed that “liberal cities are in a major crisis” and framed the homelessness issue as “liberal compassion in action.” Hannity emphasized the homelessness “within walking distance to Pelosi’s home and her office.” Like others on Fox, his guest Pam Bondi blamed San Francisco’s homelessness problem on city leaders’ decision not to prosecute petty crimes. Bondi and Hannity’s other guest, radio host Larry Elder, agreed that nonprofits and charity groups are best equipped to deal with homelessness, “not the government.” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/13/19]

    On The Ingraham Angle, host Laura Ingraham complained of “hundreds of thousands of homeless on the street, including too many just a couple of blocks from where we broadcast,” to criticize Democratic plans to provide health care for undocumented immigrants who pay taxes. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/13/19]

    On The Ingraham Angle, a chyron during a segment on homelessness claimed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is “tackl[ing] homelessness with murals.” Guest Shirley Husar called Garcetti a “joke” and pointed to mental illness and diseases in homeless populations. She claimed that in terms of its approach to homelessness, Los Angeles is “a template of what the Democrats want to continue to further." [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 5/9/19]

    On Fox & Friends, Trump 2020 campaign advisory board member Jason Meister criticized liberal cities for struggling to sell real estate. Meister began by pointing out that what all these cities have in common is that they “are run by Democrats.” Meister claimed that “the economic and policy environment right now in New York City, run by incompetent leadership like Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo,” is “forcing high net-worth individuals who create the jobs” out of the city, increasing homelessness. Doocy also pointed to the fact that the three cities mentioned in the segment -- San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. -- are “sanctuary cities”; his guest agreed that it “adds to that environment” that is “anti-business, anti-success, anti-wealth, anti-job creation.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/1/19]

    On Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson complained that homeless people are “blocking sidewalks [and] filling parks inside of what were once America’s most beautiful cities.” He claimed that homelessness is preventing families from going to parks in these cities, pointing to Denver as his example. He said Denver is “not yet world famous for its homelessness problem, but that may change,” pointing to Denver’s proposed “right to survive” initiative -- a law that would “allow any individual to engage in activities, such as resting and sheltering oneself in a non-obstructive manner, in outdoor public places.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 5/1/19; Ballotpedia, accessed June 2019]

    In April, Carlson claimed that “America’s homeless epidemic is getting worse by the day,” chastising politicians on “the left” for “virtue signaling.” He pointed to Denver’s potential “right to survive” proposal as an example, which would make it legal for homeless people to live in tents on public property. He claimed that “normal people” are the actual victims of homelessness and that these laws are aimed to “make their lives even more unpleasant,” adding, “If only families had a political party that was looking out for them.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 4/29/19]

    On Special Report with Bret Baier, anchor Baier aired Fox national correspondent William La Jeunesse’s report on homelessness in Los Angeles, describing “rotting food, trash, used syringes, [and] human waste” in the city. La Jeunesse described the health risks to police officers interacting with homeless people and reported that “homeless crime [is] up 50% according to LAPD.” The chyron during the segment depicted homelessness as a “festering danger” and a “disease threat” and described homeless people themselves as an “intractable burden,” claiming that the “needs of 55,000 homeless strain nearby communities.” [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 6/3/19]

    Video by Miles Le

  • On Fox, Laura Ingraham airs a deceptively edited clip of Rep. Ilhan Omar to accuse her of hating religion

    Ralph Reed: “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly” American “than bringing your faith into the public square.”

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On the May 23 edition of her prime-time show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham aired a deceptively edited clip of a speech by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to imply that she opposes people practicing their religious faith, despite the fact that Omar is a practicing Muslim.

    On May 22, Omar gave a speech on the House floor about the wave of anti-abortion bills being pushed in states across the country and criticized the hypocrisy among the “religious right” on such policy decisions. Omar called out “religious fundamentalists” who she said are “trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society.” She mentioned a recently defeated Texas bill that would have opened the possibility of giving the death penalty to people who get an abortion, saying, “If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom.” Omar also listed Republicans whose personal actions contradicted policies that they fought to push on the American public, and said, “How could it be that an entire century has passed [since women got the right to vote] and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.”

    On her show, Ingraham aired the clip of Omar saying, “I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people.” Ingraham also played a clip from earlier in the speech in which Omar criticized “those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith” when they are “the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.” Ingraham mischaracterized her comments by saying, “I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.” Ingraham also questioned Omar’s understanding of what it means to be American, saying, “This is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are.” Her guest, Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, agreed, adding, “There are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.”

    This isn’t the first time that Fox figures have questioned Omar’s understanding of American values: Hosts have repeatedly doubted Omar’s loyalty to America, going as far as calling her “anti-American” and suggesting that her hijab means that she’s against the constitution. It's also not the first time Fox has deceptively edited a video of a sitting member of Congress to misrepresent their words -- last year, Fox & Friends aired a deceptively edited clip of Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) to claim she was “confused” about Trump’s family separation policy.

    From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Did you know that we were talking about faith and that -- just the fact that we were talking about faith upsets a certain congresswoman. Watch.


    REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people. Those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives.

    [END CLIP]

    INGRAHAM: So I guess we are offending her by speaking about faith.

    RALPH REED (CHAIRMAN, FAITH & FREEDOM COALITION): Wow. Wow. So the people who poured out of African-American churches in the 50s and 60s and marched on Washington and sat at church counters because of their faith, because they believe that God's law and natural law required that they be treated the same as whites.

    INGRAHAM: Well America wouldn't have been founded if we didn’t have people of faith who prayed for strength and resolve in every battle, at the end of every war, to bring the country together. I mean, this is -- but this is a fundamental misunderstanding, purposeful or not, of what we are and who we are as a people.

    REED: Of American character. I mean, there are few things, Laura, that are more distinctly and characteristically American than bringing your faith into the public square and using it to impact the culture for the common good.

    INGRAHAM: Yeah, and inform who we are. I mean, what’s supposed to inform who we are? You know, Hollywood? Ralph, great conversation, I’m sure it offended all the right people.

    From Omar’s May 22 speech on the House floor:

    REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): I rise today to defy the horrifying attacks happening against women’s reproductive rights all across this country. Religious fundamentalists are currently trying to manipulate state laws in order to impose their beliefs on an entire society, all with complete disregard for voices and the rights of American women. The recent efforts, like those in Alabama and Georgia, are only the latest in a long history of efforts to criminalize women for simply existing -- to punish us when we don’t conform to their attempts to control us. A new proposal in Texas would go as far as to threaten women who obtain an abortion with the capital punishment. If that were not being proposed by -- If that was being proposed by any other country, we would be calling it a dangerous violation of human rights. But because it’s happening here, with the support of the ultra-conservative religious right, we call it religious freedom. It’s simply unthinkable. But this anti-choice movement isn’t only unjust, it is dangerous because history has proven that when abortion is criminalized, the number of abortions do not simply go down. The number of deaths and injuries to women increase.

    Let’s just be honest. For the religious right, this isn’t simply about their care of concern for life. If they cared about, or were concerned about, children, they would be concerned about the children that are being detained and those that are dying in camps across our borders. Or the children who are languishing in hunger and facing homelessness. This isn’t about religious morality or conviction, because we’ve seen time and time again those that talk about their faith and want to push policies because of their faith are the ones that simply are caught with the hypocrisy of not living it out in their personal lives. I just remember recently, not too long ago, a Republican congressman who had to retire -- Tim Murphy -- because he asked his mistress to abort their baby while pushing for a ban on abortion. Or I remember the anti-LGBT rights Republican Larry Craig who was found soliciting sex in a bathroom in Minneapolis airport.

    I am frustrated every single time I hear people speaking about their faith and pushing that onto other people because we know those so-called religious politicians, when it comes to their life, their choices, they want to talk about freedom. But when it comes to other people’s lives and other people’s choices, they want to talk about religion. I feel that we must point out how ironic it is that women now are facing these challenges to their freedom in the week that we’re marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. How could it be that an entire century has passed and we are still forced to fight for our rights as women, as human beings, and as Americans. This should outrage every single person. It certainly outrages me, and we can no longer stand for it.

    Update (6/5/19): On June 4, Ingraham once again played the deceptively edited video to claim Omar opposes people practicing their religious faith.

  • Wash. Post called out for needlessly scandalizing Elizabeth Warren's past work in bankruptcy law

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On May 22, The Washington Post published an article detailing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) work as a lawyer while she was also teaching, drawing mostly upon information Warren provided on her website and supplemented with additional Post reporting. While the article contained valuable information about Warren’s past career, the Post was criticized for its framing of the story, which seemingly attempted to scandalize the compensation Warren received as a bankruptcy attorney.

    Warren’s campaign released a list of 56 cases that she had worked on, revealing undisclosed information about an aspect of her career that she doesn’t often discuss in public. Warren previously disclosed 13 cases she was involved in when, according to the Post, she “came under pressure from her Republican opponent and the news media to discuss her legal work” during her 2012 Senate campaign. The Post also independently found that “a wave of Warren’s legal work came in the early 2000s as manufacturing companies whose products contained asbestos were forced into bankruptcy by waves of personal injury claims.” The article also described Warren’s work consulting “for more than a dozen committees representing claimants and creditors in these cases, often in partnership with the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, for an hourly rate of $675.”

    Digging into candidates’ career history is important in educating voters about them ahead of a presidential election. However, many media, political, and other figures were critical of the article -- particularly the headline's focus on Warren’s fee of $675 per hour.

    Adam Serwer, The Atlantic​

    Soledad O’Brien, Starfish Media Group

    Jared Yates Sexton, political commentator

    Matthew Miller, MSNBC analyst

    Keith Ellison, Minnesota attorney general

    Brian Beutler, Crooked Media

    Jason Linkins, ThinkProgress

    Qasim Rashid, Virginia Senate District 28 candidate

    Josh Marshall, TPM

    Journalist Helen Kennedy

    Dan Baer, Colorado U.S. Senate candidate

    Ben White, Politico

    Bishop Talbert Swan, pastor

    Harry Litman, The Washington Post

    Parker Molloy, Media Matters

    Matt Fuller, HuffPost

    Jessica Mason Pieklo, Rewire News

    Journalist Tom Watson

    Podcast host Aaron Mahnke

  • A Fox host lobbied Trump to pardon accused and convicted war criminals. Here's how Fox talked about the cases over the last six months.


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On May 18, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump is considering issuing pardons for several American military members convicted or accused of war crimes, including Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, former Blackwater contractor Nicholas Slatten, and a group Marine Corps snipers who were charged with desecrating the corpses of dead Taliban fighters. This news came mere weeks after Trump pardoned Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted of “unpremeditated murder in a combat zone” after killing a man he suspected was responsible for an attack on American soldiers.

    After the Times’ piece came out, The Daily Beast reported that Fox News host Pete Hegseth had been lobbying Trump for months about the expected pardons. Hegseth tweeted out that article, adding “#FreeEddie #FreeMatt #FreeClint” -- the last a reference to Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who “was convicted in 2013 of ordering the murder of two Afghan civilians who his own soldiers said posed no threat,” The Daily Beast noted. At no point did Media Matters identify Hegseth ever disclosing that he was privately lobbying Trump for pardons.

    In these cases:

    • Gallagher is charged with firing indiscriminately into crowds of civilians in Mosul, Iraq. Prosecutors say that Gallagher shot an elderly man carrying a jug of water and a girl wearing a flower-print hijab walking along a riverbank. Gallagher is also accused of fatally stabbing a teenage Islamic State fighter while another medic was tending to his wounds. A Twitter thread went viral about the charges against Gallagher, which were reported by members of his Navy SEAL team.

    • Golsteyn is charged with the murder of an alleged Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan in 2010. Army Times reported, “Golsteyn allegedly told CIA interviewers [in 2011] that he and another soldier took the alleged bomb-maker off base, shot him and buried his remains. He also allegedly told the interviewers that on the night of the killing, he and two other soldiers dug up the body and burned it in a trash pit on base.” Golsteyn was “cleared of a law of armed conflict violation,” but an Army board found his conduct unbecoming of an officer. The Army then reopened the case after Golsteyn in 2016 told Fox News’ Special Report that he killed the man.

    • Lorance was found guilty in 2013 of second-degree murder of two civilians in Afghanistan. According to The Washington Post, the charging document against Lorance “accuses him of impeding the investigation by asking a soldier to falsely state in the incident report that the platoon could not examine the slain Afghans’ bodies because locals removed them shortly after the shooting.” The New York Times subsequently reported that nine members of his platoon testified against him at his trial, and several of them contradicted Lorance’s testimony in interviews. One of his subordinates told the Times that Lorance “was just so aggressive. One of the first things he said to us was, we are going to go in Gestapo-style with night raids, pull people out of houses, make them afraid of us.” Adam Linehan wrote in a 2017 op-ed in Task & Purpose that members of Lorance’s platoon testified that Lorance asked them to shoot a young child who attempted to retrieve the bodies; Linehan also noted, “When people like [retired Army Lt. Col. Allen] West and Sean Hannity, who has also been one of Lorance’s most vociferous supporters, declare that Lorance is innocent, they are also leveling an insidious accusation at the nine American soldiers whose testimonies helped put him behind bars.”

    • Slatten is a former security contractor with the Blackwater mercenary company who was found guilty of first-degree murder in December 2018 for his role in the September 2007 massacre of unarmed Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad, by several Blackwater employees. Fourteen Iraqis were killed and a further 18 were wounded in the unprovoked massacre, which prosecutors said Slatten initiated by being the first to fire. Slatten’s conviction was a long time in coming, with the first charges against him and other Blackwater members thrown out in 2009. The case was later picked up with new evidence and Slatten was convicted of murder in 2014. An appeals court overturned this first conviction and ordered a new trial for Slatten, which initially ended in a mistrial. According to prosecutors, Slatten had told members of his team that Iraqi “people’s lives are not worth anything” and “they’re not even humans, they are animals.” He also expressed no remorse for the killings in a September 2017 interview with USA Today, saying that the only massacre was “a massacre of justice” against him and calling himself “a POW in my own country.”

    Trump has previously given pardons following pleas on Fox News. In fact, the lawyer for the recipient of one of Trump’s earliest pardons even credited a Fox-centric strategy for the eventual pardon.

    Below is coverage from the last six months by Fox News figures of these cases in which Trump is reportedly considering pardons. Trump has tweeted about at least one of these segments, even tagging Hegseth.

    May 2019

    On the May 19 edition of Fox & Friends Weekend, co-host Pete Hegseth aggressively endorsed potential pardons for Gallagher, Golsteyn, and Lorance, claiming that “these are the good guys.”

    • The conversation included Fox & Friends Weekend co-hosts Ed Henry, Jedediah Bila, and Hegseth.

    • Hegseth argued that the three service members “made tough calls on a moment’s notice” and are “not war criminals. They're warriors who have now been accused of certain things that are under review.” Hegseth also added that it’s “very heartening” to him that the president might pardon them.

    • Hegseth also deadnamed whistleblower Chelsea Manning, referring to her with her birth name rather than her affirming name. Like misgendering, which is labeling someone “as a gender other than one that a person identifies with,” deadnaming is a disrespectful practice that invalidates a trans person’s identity.

    On the May 14 edition, America’s Newsroom hosted Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, who argued that her husband “has endured a lot of suffering at the hands of the military and the United States government.”​

    During the May 14 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade expressed remorse about Gallagher’s trial because he is a “Navy SEAL who has already given so much to this country,” and co-host Ainsley Earhardt called him “a decorated hero” who “served our country.”

    • Kilmeade, Earhardt, and co-host Steve Doocy discussed Gallagher’s case.

    • While describing the Gallagher case, Kilmeade minimized the accusations, simply saying that during “his ninth tour, he got in some trouble -- got in some legal trouble.”

    • Kilmeade also commended Gallagher for having “sacrificed so much time away from his family” and serving eight tours.

    Earlier on the May 14 edition of Fox & Friends, Gallagher’s lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, accused prosecutors of withholding evidence.

    • Kilmeade said that “it must be painful within the military community to prosecute somebody that’s given so much to this country whether there was misconduct or not,” but he argued that Gallagher has been “brutally” treated and condemned prosecutors for “trying to take down one their own.”

    On the May 7 edition of Fox and Friends, Fox host Pete Hegseth defended Behenna after his pardon, claiming “they knew” the man Behenna killed was “the guy that killed the two Americans” but just “didn’t have enough evidence.”

    • Hegseth discussed Behenna’s case with Fox & Friends co-hosts Earhardt, Doocy, and Kilmeade.

    • Hegseth claimed that “ultimately, this is a platoon leader trying to keep his guys safe,” and said Behenna shouldn’t have gotten any prison time.

    • Hegseth complained that “the Army overprosecutes” war crimes and brought up Lorance, Golsteyn, and Gallagher as other examples, saying it was “wonderful” that the president is considering pardons.

    • Hegseth again deadnamed whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

    April 2019

    On the April 27 edition of Fox & Friends Weekend, co-host Hegseth questioned whether charging military personnel for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice may show a lack of “understanding the complexity of combat.”

    • Hegseth mentioned that military personnel are facing charges for their alleged misconduct while interviewing a war veteran who became a journalist.

    • Hegseth said: “There’s a lot of complex cases -- we cover them on the show. Matt Golsteyn, a Green Beret who’s facing charges; Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who‘s facing charges. Is there -- you know, are we not fully understanding the complexity of combat in some of those cases?”

    On the April 25 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Sean Hannity Show, Gallagher’s brother pleaded for donations to his defense fund and argued that he should not be tried for war crimes. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) compared Gallagher’s prosecution to the “corrupt” courts going after Trump.

    • Hannity interviewed Gallagher's brother Sean and then discussed the case with Hunter.

    • Hannity: “When you get to the actual investigations, a lot of it sounds like SEAL talk, maybe the best equivalent would be locker room talk.”

    • Hannity mockingly read The New York Times’ description of Galagher’s crimes, which included “stabbing a defenseless teenage captive to death, picking off school-age girl and an old man from a sniper’s roost, indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine-gun fire.”

    • Sean Gallagher then came on to defend his brother and ask for donations. He made his case by saying that “either you believe that this country is worth fighting for, and you want men to go kill bad men oversees, or you don’t. If you do, then Eddie is a hero.” He also said that we should “send all the lawyers to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    • Sean Gallagher said the “system is broken.” He also said that the charges against his brother are “political” and meant to “send a message” and that they’re throwing “Eddie under the bus.”

    On the April 13 edition of Fox & Friends Weekend, co-host Henry asked why “our American heroes” are “falling victim now to military prosecutors.” The on-screen chyron read: “The prosecution of America’s heroes.”

    • The segment included co-hosts Henry and Hegseth as well as guest Don Brown, who is a member of Lorance’s defense team.

    • Hegseth started the interview by saying that when he was in combat, he “had to make some of the very same decisions [as Lorance did] at the split moment. … Yet he’s charged with murder. Why?” In response, Brown said the “rules of engagement” changed under former President Barack Obama and now they “favor the Taliban over Americans.”

    • Brown chastised the “left-wing military justice system” and called on Trump “to take action.” He asserted that Lorance is “guilty of nothing except for being a red-blooded American patriot.”

    • Brown also deadnamed whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

    On the April 12 edition of Fox News @ Night, anchor Shannon Bream’s guest, a retired U.S. Marine Corps bomb technician, complained about the cases.

    • Bream’s guest during the segment was Johnny Joey Jones, a retired U.S. Marine Corps bomb technician.

    • Without mentioning the men by name, Jones mentioned “two high-profile cases of a Navy SEAL and, I believe, an Army Ranger or Green Beret on trial,” saying that they are on trial “even with storied and honored careers.”

    • Jones complained about the “idea that we need someone else to hold our men and women accountable,” referring to the United States’ laws regarding charging troops convicted of war crimes. He added, “That doesn’t sit well with us, and especially when we’re the ones out trying to enforce some sort of justice in the world for the things that have happened to our country.”

    On the April 12 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, anchor Sandra Smith hosted Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, who made a direct appeal to Trump.

    • Smith hosted guests Andrea Gallagher and Nine Line Apparel CEO Tyler Merritt

    • Merritt claimed there is a video with exculpatory evidence; he said Gallagher is fighting “a giant.” He continued: “If this crime was committed in Chicago, maybe he would be free and at home with his family. But we allow people to create and incite race riots, but they’re found not guilty. And you have an individual, a Navy SEAL, where you just watch the video, he is not guilty.”

    • Smith listed restrictions on Gallagher and asked his wife how hard it is for her family. She said, “It’s tantamount to confinement. … In civilian terms, it’s obstruction of justice.”

    • Gallagher said: “I just want to let the president know he is being lied to. There is corruption from the top down involved in this. … We have been tortured endlessly. … We need the president to take a good hard look.”

    On the April 2 edition of The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity downplayed accusations made against Gallagher, characterizing his actions as “a mistake” and blaming Obama’s “rules of engagement.”

    • Hannity interviewed Don Brown, a member of Lorance’s legal team, and played clips of Lorance’s mother pleading with Obama to pardon her son.

    • Hannity complained that “we’re going to send men and women out to fight for our country and ... then we’re going to try them if they make a split-second decision.” He asked why anybody would want to fight for our country “under these rules.” He sarcastically added, “Appreciate you serving our country. Sorry you made a mistake.”

    • Later in the same show, he again framed alleged war crimes by saying the perpetrators had to “make a split-second decision” and complaining that “men and women in the battle field that are being second guessed.” He also claimed to have new evidence that exonerates Lorance. Hannity asserted that Lorance is “not guilty of anything” and asked Brown if the president is aware of Lorance’s case. Brown responded that he knows “a guy named Sean Hannity who could walk it over there to him.”

    March 2019

    On the March 29 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Kilmeade interviewed Gallagher’s wife, Andrea, and brother, Sean, who complained that Gallagher’s treatment “is abhorrent” especially after he “fought for our country bravely and steadfastly.”

    • Kilmeade asked Andrea Gallagher what her husband’s life is like and noted that he had been kept in a “prison for sexual offenders.” Kilmeade also expressed outrage that Gallagher had been “forced to go over these hurdles” in preparing for the trial.

    • Kilmeade complimented Andrea and Sean Gallagher for being “two fighters on the outside” making sure Edward Gallagher is released and added that he “hopefully [has] one in the White House.”

    On the March 29 edition of Fox & Friends First, co-host Jillian Mele discussed Gallagher’s case with Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), who said that he took an interest about the case after it appeared on Fox News, and had since met with Sean and Andrea Gallagher several times. Both Mele and Norman extensively praised Edward Gallagher.

    • Right Wing Watch has since reported that Norman told Breitbart radio that he spoke with Trump shortly after the March 29 appearance on Fox.

    On the March 22 edition of Fox & Friends, the co-hosts interviewed Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL who argued that Gallagher’s treatment by federal officials “doesn’t seem like the proper way to treat somebody who served our country for so long.”

    • Crenshaw was discussing Gallagher’s case with co-host Doocy and guest co-hosts Henry and Bila.

    February 2019

    On a February 26 edition of Fox Nation's Deep Dive, the panel defended Gallagher and criticized the military's rules of engagement.

    • The panel included The Wall Street Journal's James Freeman, Fox host Hegseth, Fox contributor Judith Miller, and former Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill.

    • When Hegseth was confronted with the possibility that people in the military want the laws of war to be followed, Hegseth responded that “if only our enemies ever followed any laws at all.” He added that in war, leaders have to make a “tough call” and that he chooses to give guys like Gallagher the “benefit of the doubt.”

    • O'Neill criticized the Navy SEALs who testified against Gallagher, calling it “disgusting” to “see someone else on the same team testify against someone in combat.”

    On the February 14 edition of The Story, host Martha MacCallum reported on recent updates on Goldsteyn’s case, interviewing Goldsteyn’s attorney, Phillip Stackhouse.

    On the February 13 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Kilmeade introduced the segment on Goldsteyn by saying he went from “former military hero and decorated Green Beret to enemy of the state.”

    • The segment featured Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a lawmaker looking into the case, and Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Hegseth. The segment also included a pre-recorded interview between Hegseth and Goldsteyn and his wife, Julie.

    • Hunter reduced Goldsteyn’s alleged conduct to simply “killing bad guys the wrong way.” Hunter chastised what he called “compassionate combat” in which the government wants the troops “to kill the bad guys but in the right way, meaning they want us to kill guys compassionately and only under the rules of engagement that they say to.”

    • Co-host Earhardt expressed shock that a person can be tried for making a “mistake” and killing “a bad guy.” Hegseth claimed that he had to engage in “catch-and-release” practices while overseas to adhere to Obama’s rules of engagement.

    On the February 11 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, anchor Bill Hemmer mentioned a prior Fox interview of Golsteyn before interviewing Gallagher’s brother Sean.

    • Sean Gallagher said that “while the details are different” in the cases of Gallagher and Golsteyn, “the absurdity of the system is just the same.” He also said there was no evidence against his brother.

    • Hemmer brought up Sean Gallagher’s op-ed from February 7 in which he made a direct appeal to Trump to intervene.

    • Sean Gallagher attacked the Navy SEALs who reported the crime in the first place.

    On the February 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Kilmeade hosted Sean Gallagher to defend his brother Edward, mentioning a op-ed in which Sean asked Trump to intervene in the case.

    • Opening the interview, Sean Gallagher said, “We need the intervention of the president of the United States.”

    • Kilmeade said, “You have to wonder what’s happening here, because you would think in the military they would understand what your brother and others are up against. … It’s the battlefield. Isn’t the goal to kill ISIS?”

    • Sean Gallagher compared charges against his brother to charges against Trump, saying both were frivolous.

    • Kilmeade added, “The president doesn’t usually let these things go by without commenting, so hopefully he weighs in and steps up and will do a lot of good for a lot of people.”

    On the February 6 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, reporter Lucas Tomlinson mentioned an anonymous Navy SEAL officer he spoke with who blamed “millennial SEALs” for the charges against Gallagher.

    January 2019

    On the January 4 edition of The Story, Fox played a clip of a Navy SEAL complimenting Gallagher and interviewed Gallagher’s brother Sean, who argued that accusations against Edward from within the SEALs come from “a couple of malcontents.”

    • Host Martha MacCallum discussed the case with Sean Gallagher and Edward Gallagher’s lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse.

    • Sean Gallagher claimed that the accusations against his brother are false and come from Navy SEALs who were upset after Edward Gallagher reprimanded them.

    • Sean Gallagher also argued that the “overzealous, out-of-control prosecution” is trying to “make a career out of taking down a Navy SEAL.”

    On the January 4 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Doocy complimented Edward Gallagher’s “extraordinary Navy SEAL resume” and explained that Gallagher told his brother that his last tour “was like a Game of Thrones situation.”

    • Sean Gallagher repeated his contention that the accusations against his brother stem from SEALs unhappy with how he treated them.

    • Sean Gallagher also argued, “There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that clears my brother, that exonerates him from all of these charges.”

    December 2018

    On the December 19 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, guest host Dan Bongino discussed the Golsteyn case with Golsteyn’s wife, Julie, and his father, Jerry.

    • Bongino used their appearance to complain that former POW Bowe Bergdahl’s family appeared in the Rose Garden with Obama.

    • Julie Golsteyn said that her husband was “under fire for doing his job.”

    • Jerry Golsteyn complained about “a group of people, sitting in an office somewhere, … decide that you did the right or wrong thing.”

    On the December 18 edition of Hannity, guest host Jeanine Pirro downplayed a murder charge against Golsteyn, and both her guests stated that Golsteyn had been right to kill a man in Afghanistan he suspected of being a bomb maker.

    • Pirro downplayed the charges against Golsteyn as “killing the enemy under circumstances that apparently his superiors don’t like.”

    • Both of Pirro’s guests, Fox military analyst David Hunt and retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, said that Golsteyn was right to kill a man in Afghanistan he suspected of being a bomb maker. Hunt said: “Absolutely. I’d have done it and do it again.”

    On December 17, Fox & Friends encouraged Trump to interfere in the case against Golsteyn.

    • The segment featured Rep.-elect Michael Waltz (R-FL).

    • Kilmeade introduced the segment by describing Golsteyn as “a once-decorated war hero who fought for our country overseas, now a suspected war criminal and a murderer.”

    • Waltz said that the U.S. is putting troops in an “impossible situation,” adding, “We’ve set these guys up for failure with the rules of engagement as they stand.” Earhardt added that Golsteyn “said he was defending Americans” and that “he had to kill him to defend his own people.” Waltz then brought up “the power of pardon,” referring to Trump’s earlier tweets promising to review Golsteyn’s case.

    On December 16, Fox & Friends Weekend warned of the “very dangerous precedent” set by prosecuting Golsteyn for premeditated murder.

    • Co-host Henry said prosecutors were “jumping on” an “American war hero” for being “honest and transparent.”

    • Fellow co-host Hegseth complained that Golsteyn was still charged with murder despite unrelated actions earning him “a Silver Star, potentially even a Distinguished Service Cross, which is one step below the Medal of Honor,” and he claimed Golsteyn's alleged war crime was due to a lack of “paperwork” and a “catch-and-release” policy with terrorists.

    • Co-host Bila said she heard from “a lot” of “outraged” members of the military who told her that “you have to be able to defend these people who stand up for us” and decried the “very dangerous precedent” set by Golsteyn’s prosecution.

    Also on the December 16 edition of Fox & Friends Weekend, Golsteyn’s wife, Julie, said, “It is time for someone in Army leadership” to “step in and do the right thing” for her husband.

    • Opening the interview, co-host Hegseth said, “Thank you for your husband's service, thank you for your service.” Hegseth said he wanted to make sure that Julie Golsteyn knew “that we express that gratitude to you and your husband.”

    • After questioning whether the homicide Golsteyn is accused of was “cold-blooded murder,” Hegseth also agreed with Julie Golsteyn’s claim that the prosecution was “so disgusting” and claimed that “the rules of war get twisted” by “political leaders” so that “war heroes are being prosecuted like criminals.”

    • Julie Golsteyn said her husband “was lucky enough to survive war and has come home to be ripped apart by his own government and the Army leadership. So it is extremely disappointing and absolutely reprehensible what they have done to him … and it would be laughable, if it wasn't so serious and disgusting."

    • Julie Golsteyn also claimed her husband “did not confess to murder on television. He actually went on to Bret Baier to be an advocate for other men like Clint Lorance who are in prison for doing their jobs."

    On the December 4 edition of Fox host Sean Hannity’s radio show, Gallagher’s brother Sean dismissed the allegations against him as “concocted” “fabrications.”

    • Sean Gallagher claimed his brother's fellow SEALs “concocted these stories” of the murder of an ISIS prisoner because they didn’t like how he operated the platoon and said that the allegations were “fabrications.”

    Research by Bobby Lewis, Zachary Pleat, Brendan Karet, Alex Walker, John Whitehouse, and Tyler Monroe. Video by John Kerr.