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Cristiano Lima

Author ››› Cristiano Lima
  • Media Incorrectly Equate Biden's 1992 Comments "Bemoaning Politicization" Of Hypothetical SCOTUS Nomination To GOP's Ongoing And "Unprecedented" Obstruction

    ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Media outlets have dubiously likened Vice President Joe Biden's 1992 speech suggesting the Senate Judiciary Committee might not hold confirmation hearings for a hypothetical Supreme Court vacancy following a resignation during an ongoing presidential campaign to the unprecedented determination by Senate Republicans that they will not consider anyone President Obama nominates after Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

  • Wash. Post's Erik Wemple Doubles-Down On Criticism Of Morning Joe's Donald Trump "Puff Session"

    MSNBC Hosts Were "Essentially Giving [Trump] A Pass" By Glossing Over His "Record Of Offenses And Outrages"

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    The Washington Post's Erik Wemple defended his criticism of MSNBC Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for their "puff session" interview with Donald Trump during the network's exclusive February 17 town hall with the Republican presidential candidate.

    In a February 17 piece, Wemple criticized MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for not questioning "Trump's shameful record of racism, bigotry and rampant disrespect" during a one-hour presidential town hall that evening. Wemple asserted that "any hour-long session with Donald Trump that doesn't ask him about those obscenities is a puff session" and that the MSNBC duo's failure to challenge Trump was a "journalistic shortfall." Wemple joined a chorus of media critics calling out the "softball" treatment of Trump. After receiving direct criticism from Scarborough and Brzezinski, Wemple issued a satirical apology in which he reasserted that he stood "by every word of our review of the Scarborough-Brzezinski Trump town hall."

    On the February 21 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Wemple again doubled-down on his criticism of the MSNBC hosts, saying that "it's the media's role" to keep bringing up Trump's "record of offenses and outrages of racist, and sexist, and bigoted nature":

    BRIAN STELTER (HOST): The campaign trail wars have nothing on the cable news wars. The latest example, dueling town halls. CNN airing a town hall with three GOP candidates while MSNBC set up an hour-long town hall with Donald Trump moderated by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Now, Scarborough was criticized for some of the questions in his town hall. Let me show you one of the examples here. This is from Erik Wemple of The Washington Post. He said that "MSNBC and Morning Joe hosts let Trump skate on bigotry and racism." Well, Erik Wemple of The Washington Post joins me now in Washington. Erik, I want you to respond to Scarborough because, as you and I both know, he's been the subject of media coverage, including here at CNN, describing a -- maybe a cozy relationship with Donald Trump. He's been defending himself and dismissing those criticisms. Let's take a look at what he said about you on his show the other day.

    [...]

    So he says he's being tough on Trump. You said he let Trump "skate."

    ERIK WEMPLE: Right, I mean, I think that there -- it's one of these great Washington situations where both sides can sort of claim, "hey, look at this question, look at at that question." My point here Brian is sort of a larger one, and that is if you allow Donald Trump -- if you engage him only on like say Social Security, Iraq, and the issues, and how he's going to unite the Republican Party, you're essentially giving him a a pass. You're allowing him into the polite company of a presidential election. Where I think that there's a bigger issue here, and that is that he has compiled this record of offenses and outrages of racist, and sexist, and bigoted nature. And I think that if you have an hour to spend with him, and you don't talk about any of that, a lot of it came in 2015 -- I think that some media people have moved on. But I think Donald Trump has never apologized for any of his outrages. He's never made amends, he's never adequately explained any of it. And I don't think that it's the media's role to sort of let that go by the wayside. I think it's the media's role to keep bringing that up. Now, The Huffington Post has this footer that they attach to every story on Donald Trump where they recite all his various outrages and they link to supporting documentation.

  • Washington Post Editorial Board Slams GOP's "Planned Parenthood Witch Hunt"

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    The Washington Post editorial board lambasted House Republicans for engaging in a "witch hunt" of Planned Parenthood, "undeterred" by the fact that the deceptively-edited videos that form the basis for their "reckless investigation" have been thoroughly debunked.

    For months conservative pundits and politicians have used deceptively-edited videos from the right-wing, anti-choice Center for Medical Progress (CMP) to smear Planned Parenthood and call for the health care provider to be shut down or stripped of federal reimbursements for Medicaid. The right-wing media push has paved the way for numerous state and federal inquiries into the featured Planned Parenthood clinics, which have since cleared the organization of any wrongdoing. On January 25, a grand jury in Texas not only cleared the organization but also indicted members of CMP for "tampering with a governmental record" in an attempt to implicate the clinics in the sale of human organs.

    In a February 21 editorial, the board blasted members of the Republican-led Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives for wasting "time and money" on a "witch hunt" investigation that has the "potential damage to health care and medical research." The board noted that "twelve states that undertook investigations of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing," and that "hidden-camera videos purporting to show illegal selling of fetal tissue show no such thing." (emphasis added):

    Twelve states that undertook investigations of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing. An additional eight states refused even to investigate, citing lack of credible evidence. A grand jury in Texas and a federal judge in California exonerated the organization after each conducted extensive reviews. Three congressional committees failed to turn up any improprieties. In short, the hidden-camera videos purporting to show illegal selling of fetal tissue show no such thing.

    Despite all that, a Republican-led House panel is undeterred in conducting its own investigation, or, more accurately, witch hunt. Even more troubling than the considerable time and money that will be wasted is the potential damage to health care and medical research.

    The coyly named Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has made sweeping requests (including three subpoenas) for documents and information from more than 30 agencies and organizations that provide abortions or are involved in fetal tissue research. Of particular concern is the panel's demand for the names of doctors, medical students and researchers involved in performing abortions or conducting research with fetal tissue. Democrats on the panel decried the creation of such a database, which--without rules to protect it from public disclosure--risks individual privacy and safety without legitimate reason. How is the name of a graduate student who five years ago was an intern at a lab relevant to anything?

    [...]

    Federal law permits medical use of fetal tissue. The handful of Planned Parenthood clinics in which patients are able to donate fetal tissue adhered to the law that allows reasonable payment for costs associated with donations, but they have stopped accepting any reimbursement because of the controversy. Congress, with approval from both sides of the aisle, legalized fetal tissue research in 1993 because of the potential for scientific advances in treating and curing illnesses.

  • Fox News Co-Hosts "Haven't Heard Of Any" Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

    Eric Bolling: "Are There A Lot Of A Hate Crimes Against Muslims In The United States, Because I Haven't Heard Of Any?"

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Fox News co-hosts Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle questioned whether hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. actually exist, despite numerous reports showing that attacks on Muslims in America have been on the rise for years.

    During the February 4 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-hosts Juan Williams, Eric Bolling, and Kimberly Guildoyle discussed President Barack Obama's recent speech at a U.S. mosque. Co-host Juan Williams pointed out that Obama's visit to the mosque comes as hate crimes against Muslims in America have increased, to which Bolling asked whether there were many hate crimes against Muslims "because I haven't heard of any." Guilfoyle echoed Bolling, demanding Williams produce evidence:

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Yes, I think that Christians are being driven out of the Middle East in droves, being raped and tortured, murdered. Religious Christian sites and churches not being allowed to be rebuilt. What is the president doing to stand for them? Instead every time he gives one of these speeches we hear a little excerpt from the book of Obama of how Christians should be living their life and that Muslims is a religion of peace. Show me the evidence.

    [...]

    JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): The challenge at the moment has to do with the spike in attacks, hate crimes against Muslims in the United States. And don't forget you've had Donald Trump say we should ban --

    ERIC BOLLING (CO-HOST): Are there a lot of a hate crimes against Muslims in the United States, because I haven't heard of any?

    GUILFOYLE: Where are the numbers for that?

    The Washington Post reported on February 3, that, "Hate crimes against Muslims are five times more common today than they were before 9/11. And they've been edging steadily upward over the past few years." A previous report on December 4, 2015, also found that "American Muslims ... feel growing anti-Muslim sentiment after the recent Islamic State attacks in Paris and this week's San Bernardino shootings."

    The Southern Poverty Law Center noted that the FBI's hate crime statistics found that "reported hate crimes [are] down nationally, except for Muslims," adding that hate crimes against Muslim Americans "rose about 14 percent over the prior year." The Huffington Post recently launched a project to track anti-Islamic acts in the U.S., declaring that "Islamophobia is real. And it's not going anywhere":

    After last year's terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California -- and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians -- reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it's ever been -- even worse than it was after 9/11.

    A comprehensive list of discriminatory acts against American Muslims might be impossible, but The Huffington Post will document this deplorable wave of hate for all of 2016 using news reports and firsthand accounts. The breadth and severity of Islamophobia in America can no longer go unnoticed. Enough is enough.  

  • Megyn Kelly Allows GOP Pollster Frank Luntz To Criticize An Anti-Rubio Ad Without Disclosing Luntz's Ties To Rubio

    Frank Luntz Blasts An Ad Critical Of Rubio As "Crap"

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Fox News host Megyn Kelly invited Republican pollster Frank Luntz on her show to attack a negative ad targeting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) without disclosing his financial ties to the presidential candidate.

    Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly brought Luntz on the February 2 edition of The Kelly File to discuss Rubio's third place finish in the Iowa caucus. Luntz offered glowing praise for the candidate, arguing that "Rubio is in perfect position" to do well in upcoming primaries. When asked about a negative ad targeting Rubio created by a pro-Jeb Bush Super PAC, Luntz called it "crap," saying that "all of these ads have failed" and "that money has been wasted":

    FRANK LUNTZ: Jeb Bush will spend when this is all over one hundred million dollars. Unprecedented for a Super PAC. And that money has been wasted. If I was a donor, if I was one of these people who contributed half a million, I would demand my money back with interest. ;All of these ads have failed. They've got another one with Marco's boots and it's done to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking." It's crap. I don't know any other way. It's not persuasive. It doesn't turn voters. I cleaned up my language for you. I do not want to get thrown off the air. But when I play these ads to these focus groups they use the actual word to describe their reaction. It's a waste of money and it actually helps Rubio and it hurts Bush at the same time. 

    MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Oh really? So it has the reverse effect of that intended? 

    LUNTZ: Because it makes people angry. They're angry at the person who hosts the ads. You heard the end of that. It says Jeb Bush is a leader. What people hear is Jeb Bush is running a negative ad against his friend, Marco Rubio, and they hate it.

    The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2012 that Luntz was hired by Rubio to assist in writing his "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," which Luntz and host Megyn Kelly failed to disclose.

    Fox News and Megyn Kelly have failed to divulge Luntz's ties with Rubio while inviting him to provide political commentary on several other occasions. During a January 28 appearance on The Kelly File, Luntz lauded Rubio's performance in a GOP debate without any financial disclosure, touting "how well he did on immigration." Similarly, during a January 7 appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Luntz praised Rubio without disclosure, calling him "the most optimistic, the most focused on the American dream of any of the candidates" and "what the public needs right now."

    News ethicists and journalist have criticized Luntz and his former employer, CBS News for their lack of disclosure of Luntz's relationship with candidates he praises on-air.

  • Fox Attributes Donald Trump's Iowa Loss To Skipping Fox News Debate

    Trump May "Come To Rue The Day He Didn't Show Up For The Final Debate"

    ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET, NICK FERNANDEZ & CRISTIANO LIMA

    During Fox News' February 1 coverage of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Fox News figures repeatedly linked GOP candidate Donald Trump's lower than expected performance against candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) to his decision to withdraw from a Fox News debate following an argument over the debate moderator. Polls attributed Trump's defeat to Ted Cruz's overwhelming support among evangelical voters.

  • Right-Wing Media Lash Out Over Sarah Palin's Donald Trump Endorsement

    ››› ››› CRISTIANO LIMA

    Right-wing media figures are lashing out over Sarah Palin's endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. They say the endorsement amounts to "nothing but opportunism and ego," and that it abandons Palin's conservative Tea Party ideology because Trump is "neither a committed conservative nor an anti-establishment rogue."