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Eric Hananoki

Author ››› Eric Hananoki
  • A comprehensive guide to indicted Trump ally Roger Stone, a racist, sexist conspiracy theorist

    Stone has a history of dirty tricks, violent rhetoric, racist taunts, sexist screeds, fringe conspiracy theories, and discredited research

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    A federal grand jury has indicted Roger Stone on seven counts, including obstruction of a proceeding, false statements, and witness tampering.

    Stone is a racist, misogynist, and conspiracy theorist. He has been a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump and currently works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

    Media Matters has extensively covered Stone and first documented that he said during a Republican event on August 8, 2016: “I actually have communicated with [WikiLeaks founder Julian] Assange.”

    The following is a comprehensive guide to Roger Stone (this guide was originally published in 2016 and has been updated periodically). 

    Roger Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump

    Stone’s shady behavior related to Russian interference in the 2016 election

    Stone has a long history of political dirty tricks

    Stone’s violent rhetoric: calls for killing of public figures, fantasizes about media figures dying

    Stone’s racist commentary: “nigga,” "stupid negro," “token,” “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” “house negro”

    Stone’s misogynistic rhetoric: “cunt,” “every man’s first wife,” “nice set of cans”

    Stone has been banned from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC

    Stone has peddled conspiracy theories about the 2016 election, 9/11, JFK assassination, the Clintons and Bushes committing murders, and more

    Some GOP politicians have paid Stone to send sponsored messages to his email list for the 2018 elections

    Stone pushes research that is “discredited,” “pants on fire” false, and plagiarized

    Not even right-wingers trust Stone

    Roger Stone is a longtime friend and ally of Trump

    Stone describes himself as a “40- year friend and advisor of Donald Trump.” [The Washington Post, 9/26/17]

    Stone said Trump “went to my wedding when I got married. I went to two out of three of his weddings.” [Talking Points Memo, 9/2/15

    Stone said he spent “25 years as a lobbyist for Trump.” Stone’s lobbying activity for Trump included secretly financing “newspaper advertisements opposing casino gambling in the Catskills,” which led to Stone and Trump receiving a major government fine. [StoneZone.com, 4/19/11The New York Times10/6/00]

    Stone: “I chaired trump's presidential exploratory committee in 2000 and wanted him to run in 2012.” [Media Matters4/14/16]

    Stone worked for Trump campaign in 2015. Stone worked as a paid consultant to Trump’s presidential campaign before leaving in August. [Media Matters7/20/15The New York Times8/8/15]

    Stone helped place Paul Manafort in a top Trump campaign role. Stone introduced and recommended Paul Manafort, a top Trump campaign aide, to the business magnate. On April 6, Stone said of their relationship: “My partner Paul Manafort, partner of 15 years, a friend of mine of almost 50 years, someone I’ve known since childhood, is without any question the single best convention organizer and strategist in the country.” Stone was a partner with Manafort in the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. [Media Matters4/14/16Rolling Stone4/18/16]

    Trump picked up Stone’s playbook with attacks on the Clintons' alleged “war on women.” Stone’s book The Clintons’ War on Women has served as a playbook for Trump’s claims that President Bill Clinton is "one of the great woman abusers of all time" and Hillary Clinton is an "enabler.” Former Trump adviser Michael Caputo said he “heard more than one time Donald Trump say” that Stone’s book “is his opposition research on the Clintons.” New York magazine reported of the strategy: “Stone says his earlier advocacy put the pieces in place for it to happen. ‘I forced Trump into my narrative,’ Stone said.” [Media Matters4/14/16, 9/28/16; New York, 10/12/16]

    During the 2016 election, Stone headed the pro-Trump super PAC Committee to Restore America’s Greatness and related 527 group Stop The Steal. Stone formed the Committee To Restore America’s Greatness in December 2015 with the goal of electing Trump because he “can save this country.” Stone's Stop The Steal group aimed to prevent Democrats from trying "to steal the election from Donald Trump." [Media Matters, 4/20/16, 10/12/16; Reuters, 12/18/15]

    Stone said he and Trump “talk on a semi-regular basis.” [Media Matters4/14/16]

    Wash. Post: Stone and Trump had “a series of calls … over the length of the campaign.” From a Washington Post piece about Stone’s contacts with Trump:

    A review of the phone contacts that Trump’s team turned over to Mueller showed a series of calls between Stone and Trump over the length of the campaign, according to people familiar with the records.

    They spoke from “time to time” during 2016, the people said, but there was no “flurry” of calls at any particular period. A handful of calls were lengthy. The vast majority involved short calls by Stone to Trump’s assistant Rhona Graff that lasted roughly 30 seconds.

    Trump has told some advisers that he no longer talks to Stone, according to people familiar with his statements. But people close to Trump say he has occasionally talked to him in the White House. [The Washington Post, 11/28/18]

    Trump praised Stone for saying he “will never testify against Trump.” From a December 2018 tweet:

    [Twitter, 12/3/18]

    Stone met with senior Trump campaign staff during the campaign. The Daily Beast reported in July 2016 that Stone said he had just met with Paul Manafort, Tony “‘Fabrizio—two of my oldest comrades in arms—and Jason Miller; a real pro.’ Those people, of course, are Trump’s campaign chairman, one of his pollsters and his communications manager.” Stone also said he communicated with Trump campaign communications official Michael Caputo and repeatedly talked about speaking to Manafort during media appearances in 2016. [Daily Beast, 7/18/16; Media Matters, 7/18/18]

    Stone introduced Trump to Alex Jones and his audience. Stone is a host and contributor to Alex Jones’ Infowars network. Jones is a conspiracy theorist who has pushed toxic rhetoric about a wide variety of subjects. The New York Times reported in September that Trump and Jones “were connected by” Stone and “in December 2015 Mr. Stone arranged for Mr. Trump to do a 30-minute interview with Mr. Jones.” Stone has said that Trump “has watched Infowars.” [Media Matters, 5/3/17; The New York Times, 9/7/18]

    Source close to Trump and Stone: "Roger is never too far away from Trump. ... He's always talking to Donald." CNN.com reported of Stone’s involvement with Trump:

    While Trump and his campaign can claim no connection with Stone -- after all, he left the campaign last August -- those who know the two men say that they speak regularly, and that Stone is an influential voice in Trump's ear.

    "Roger is never too far away from Trump ... He's always talking to Donald," a source close to both men said. "Roger and Trump always wind up finding their way back to each other," said another.

    [...]

    So Stone left in August, less than two months after the campaign launched. But he never really was gone. He was not ousted, as was originally reported, nor was he forced into exile, as some journalists would claim. He was always there, on the sidelines, talking to Trump on a regular basis, planting stories in the press, influencing things where he could, several sources said. [CNN.com, 4/19/16]

    Stone’s shady behavior related to Russian interference in the 2016 election

    Stone confirmed he’s been in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. During an August 8, 2016, speech to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, Stone confirmed that he’s “communicated with Assange.” Stone later stated that he’s been “assured” that Assange’s WikiLeaks organization will release “the mother lode” against Clinton that will take down her campaign. Stone claimed that as a result, “the Clintonites are trying to figure out how to kill” Assange. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 10/3/16]

    Stone has repeatedly lied or contradicted himself regarding special counsel Robert  Mueller’s investigation. For example:

    • Stone claimed that he "never had any contacts with any Russians in any way," then admitted he had a meeting with a Russian national about the campaign. (He also communicated with the Russian intelligence account Guccifer 2.0.)
    • Stone claimed that he "communicated with" Assange, then said he "never communicated with Assange."
    • Stone claimed that he "never communicated with WikiLeaks," but messages show he directly communicated with the organization.
    • Stone claimed in July that he wasn't in "regular contact" with the Trump campaign in 2016, but he had previously bragged about his 2016 discussions with the campaign.
    • Stone claimed in June that a subpoenaed associate “has not worked for" him "for three years,” but that associate worked for Stone at least in 2016 and 2017.
    • Stone started a legal defense fund for himself but "has contradicted himself on what he's paying for and how much he's projected to pay” in legal costs. [Media Matters, 7/18/18]

    Stone has a long history of political dirty tricks

    Stone's website features quotes calling him a "master of right-wing political hit jobs," "the high priest of political hijinks," and "master of the black arts of electioneering." The quotes featured on Stone's website come from, respectively, PoliticoWeekly Standard, and Scotsman.com. Politico notes that Stone "publicly embraces his image as a dirty trickster." [StoneZone.com, accessed 10/13/15Politico8/6/15]

    Stone was fired from Senate job because of role in Watergate. New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Tobin wrote of Stone:

    He was just nineteen when he played a bit part in the Watergate scandals. He adopted the pseudonym Jason Rainier and made contributions in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, who was challenging Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1972. Stone then sent a receipt to the Manchester Union Leader, to “prove” that Nixon’s adversary was a left-wing stooge. Stone hired another Republican operative, who was given the pseudonym Sedan Chair II, to infiltrate the McGovern campaign. Stone’s Watergate high jinks were revealed during congressional hearings in 1973, and the news cost Stone his job on the staff of Senator Robert Dole. [New Yorker6/2/08]

    Stone and Trump paid fines for lobbyist dirty tricks. In 2000, Trump and associates including Stone paid $250,000 in fines “to settle a New York State probe into whether he illegally lobbied to stop a proposed Indian-run casino.” The Daily News wrote:

    In settling the matter with the now defunct Lobbying Commission for a then-state record high fine of $250,000, Trump was forced to publicly apologize even though he was not required to admit any wrongdoing.

    Also part of the settlement was a provision that the Lobbying Commission would not refer the case for criminal prosecution. Under state law at the time, Trump and his allies could have faced misdemeanor charges if they were found to have violated the state lobbying act.

    Trump's involvement was originally hidden. The lobbying campaign also involved controversial GOP consultant Roger Stone, who is supporting Trump's presidential run this year.

    In the end, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts paid $50,000 in fines, Stone paid $100,000, and the institute $100,000. A source tied to the case said Trump covered all three fines.

    Trump's campaign did not comment. At the time of the settlement, his lawyers said it was cheaper to settle the case than to go to court. [New York Times10/6/00Daily News3/8/16]

    Stone organized 2000 Brooks Brothers riot in Florida. The Daily Beast reported that Stone said he had regrets about organizing the so-called “Brooks Brothers riot,” which helped George W. Bush win the decisive Florida recount:

    The capstone of Stone’s career, at least in terms of results, was the “Brooks Brothers riot” of the 2000 election recount. This was when a Stone-led squad of pro-Bush protestors stormed the Miami-Dade County election board, stopping the recount and advancing then-Governor George W. Bush one step closer to the White House. Though he is quick to rebut GOP operatives who seek to minimize his role in the recount, Stone lately has been having second thoughts about what happened in Florida.

    ["]When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade.’["]

    "There have been many times I've regretted it,” Stone told me over pizza at Grand Central Station. “When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade. Maybe there hadn't have been, in my view, an unjustified war if Bush hadn't become president.' It's very disturbing to me." [The Daily Beast, 11/20/08]

    Stone resigned from New York GOP position “after allegations that he left a threatening telephone message at the office of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s father.” The New York Times reported in August 2007:

    The Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, forced one of his top political consultants to resign on Wednesday after allegations that he left a threatening telephone message at the office of Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s father.

    The consultant, Roger J. Stone Jr., continued to insist that the recorded message — which was made public by lawyers representing the governor’s 83-year-old father, Bernard Spitzer — was not authentic. He said allies of the governor had plotted against him, though an alibi he offered in a statement on his Web site appeared to be problematic. [The New York Times8/23/07]

    Stone helped push Michelle Obama “whitey tape” rumorPolitico reported in 2008 that Stone helped push a “rumor that's been creeping through the blogosphere the past couple weeks, in which Michelle Obama used the word ‘whitey’ on a panel at Trinity United. … ‘I now believe the tape exists,’ Stone added.” There wasn’t and still isn’t evidence such a tape exists. [Politico6/2/08]

    Stone pledged to release the hotels and hotel room numbers of anti-Trump delegates. Stone claimed that Republicans were trying to “steal” the nomination from Donald Trump at the convention and set up an organization called Stop The Steal to prevent that from happening. During an April 4 interview, Stone said, “We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.” Stone’s remarks sparked harsh criticism and rebukes from Republicans, who labeled his remarks dangerous and a call to incite violence. [Media Matters4/5/164/6/16The Washington Post4/8/16]Stone confirmed he’s been in communication with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. During an August 8 speech to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization, Stone confirmed that he’s “communicated with Assange.” Stone later stated that he’s been “assured” that Assange’s WikiLeaks organization will release “the mother lode” against Clinton that will take down her campaign. Stone claimed that as a result, “the Clintonites are trying to figure out how to kill” Assange. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 10/3/16]

      Stone’s violent rhetoric: calls for killing of public figures, fantasizes about media figures dying

      Stone: Hillary Clinton should be “executed for murder.” [Twitter.com, 7/10/14]

      Stone: Sen. Bernie Sanders is a “Soviet agent” who “should be arrested for treason and shot.” [Twitter.com, 4/18/14]

      Stone: George Soros should be “executed.” Soros is a businessman and progressive philanthropist (he has donated to Media Matters and other organizations). [Twitter.com, 3/15/14]

      Stone: “Angry citizens should find and hang” Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT). [Twitter.com, 1/22/16

      Stone: Santorum won’t ever be president -- “I will order a mail-order rifle first.” Stone tweeted: “Religious fanatic Rick Santorum will never be President- I will order a mail-order rifle first.” Stone frequently writes about the John F. Kennedy assassination; the Warren Commission ruled that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy with a mail-order rifle. [Twitter.com, 2/3/13]  

      Stone has fantasized about the deaths of media figures. Stone tweeted to journalist Jill Abramson, “DIE BITCH!”; tweeted about CNN commentator Ana Navarro “killing herself”; and wrote of Fox News commentator Ed Rollins: “Ed Rollins is on FOX? If he isn't dead he should be #hack #loser #fraud.” [Media Matters5/2/16]

      Stone’s racist commentary: “nigga,” "stupid negro," “token,” “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” “house negro”

      Stone’s tweets include attacks like "stupid negro," "fat negro," "arrogant know-it-all negro," “Uncle Tom,” “Mandingo,” and “house negro.” Stone tweeted that commentator Roland Martin is a "stupid negro" and a "fat negro," commentator Herman Cain is “Mandingo,” and former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is an "arrogant know-it-all negro." He also tweeted that commentator Al Sharpton is a "professional negro" who likes fried chicken, asked if former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was an “Uncle Tom,” and referred to himself as a “nigga” with a Nixon tattoo. [Media Matters2/24/164/22/16]

      Stone called Hispanic and Black commentators "quota hires." Stone called African-American commentator Roland Martin and Latina CNN political commentator Ana Navarro "quota hires” because they are "so dumb and unqualified that one can reach no other conclusion." He also tweeted of Navarro: “Black beans and rice didn't miss her.” He also called Martin a “token.” Stone’s comments led to him being banned from CNN. [Media Matters, 8/4/15, 2/22/166/7/16]

      Stone’s misogynistic rhetoric: “cunt,” “every man’s first wife,” “nice set of cans”

      Stone has tweeted sexist attacks against media and political figures. Stone tweeted that New York Times columnist Gail Collins is an "elitist c*nt," MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is "Rachel the muff-diver," Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has a "nice set of cans,” and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is a “jap” (acronym for "Jewish American Princess") who is “every man’s first wife.” He also tweeted "DIE BITCH" at former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, and said he would kill himself if he was married to “screechy” and “shrill” Carly Fiorina. The Sun Sentinel also reported that Stone called Florida politician Barbara Stern a “self-important, nasty cunt” on Twitter. [Media Matters4/22/16Sun Sentinel, 8/16/14]

      Stone established anti-Hillary Clinton group called "C.U.N.T." In 2008, Stone established the anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group Citizens United Not Timid. The group -- now defunct -- emphasized the acronym by bolding the first letter in each word. The group claimed to "educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is." Stone said also he spent "hours trying to come up with words for B.I.T.C.H. and just couldn't do it." [Media Matters10/14/15]

      Stone was banned from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in 2016

      CNN banned Stone after crude rhetoric. In February 2016, CNN stated it had banned Stone from appearing on its airwaves because of his incendiary tweets. [Media Matters2/23/16]

      MSNBC banned Stone “because of his now very well-known offensive comments.” MSNBC confirmed in April that it had banned Stone from its network. MSNBC told The Washington Post that “Stone will not be a guest on MSNBC because of his now very well-known offensive comments." [Media Matters4/5/16The Washington Post4/7/16]

      Stone said Fox News banned him “because I kick their ass.” Stone used to be a frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business but his regular appearances waned and then stopped following Media Matters’ reporting. Stone confirmed during an October 4 speech that he has been blacklisted by Fox News, telling the audience: “I’m banned at CNN. I’m banned at MSNBC. I’m banned at Fox because I kick their ass. That’s why they don’t let me on.” [Media Matters, 10/15/16]

      Twitter banned Stone for vitriolic rhetoric. In October 2017, Twitter banned Stone after he attacked CNN personalities. Sources told BuzzFeed News that the suspension is permanent. Stone had a long history of pushing racism, sexism, and violent rhetoric on his Twitter account. [BuzzFeed News, 10/28/17, Media Matters10/30/17]

      CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC have returned to hosting Stone during Trump’s administration. Despite Stone’s vitriolic rhetoric, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC reversed their policy regarding Stone and began hosting him again. The networks have also plugged Stone’s book Stone’s Rules. [Media Matters, 5/7/18, 5/8/18, 6/20/18

      Stone has peddled conspiracy theories about the 2016 election, 9/11, JFK assassination, the Clintons and Bushes committing murders, and more

      Stone argued that the Clintons are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of roughly 40 people. In his book The Clintons’ War on Women, Stone wrote of the amount of people the Clintons supposedly killed:

      There are widespread claims that the Clintons are responsible for the death of as many as eighty-three people whose knowledge stood in the way of their political ascent. Based on our investigation, the Clintons are only plausibly responsible for the deaths of half the people on this list. [Media Matters4/12/16]

      Stone believes Bush family “tried to kill” President Reagan. Stone said that the "Bush Crime Family" had “tried to kill Reagan,” specifically alleging that President George H.W. Bush was motivated to assassinate Reagan over differences in foreign policy. [Media Matters3/1/164/20/16; CBS Philly, 1/28/16; Twitter.com, 5/23/15]

      Stone wrote The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. Stone wrote a book claiming President Lyndon Johnson was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. [Amazon.com, accessed 5/5/16]

      Stone is a 9/11 truther: Stone said collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 “merits study and it certainly is suspicious.” Stone was asked by a radio host about the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, a central tenet of conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks. Stone responded: “People I like tell me that -- they make a strong case that the collapse of Building 7 is mysterious, indeed ridiculous. Judge [Andrew] Napolitano has raised this question, Alex Jones, both good friends of mine, have raised the question. I’m not an expert, but I’m enough to say, Well, it merits study and it certainly is suspicious. It’s something I have got to read about when I get off the [book tour] circuit.” Popular Mechanics explained, “Conspiracy theorists have long pointed to the collapse of the 47-story structure as key evidence that the U.S. government orchestrated or abetted the 9/11 attacks” and they “have long claimed that explosives downed World Trade Center 7, north of the Twin Towers. The long-awaited report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conclusively rebuts those claims.” [Caravan To Midnight3/9/16Popular Mechanics8/20/08]

      Stone believes the conspiracy theory that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was tied to the JFK assassination. After Trump linked Ted Cruz’s father to John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Stone tweeted: “100% correct about Ted Cruz father's connection to Lee Harvey Oswald! Eat it Lyin' @tedcruz.” Stone made similar remarks in the media tying Cruz’s father to the assassin. [Twitter.com, 5/3/16; Mediaite, 5/4/16]

      Stone: JFK Jr. “was murdered by the Clintons because he was in the way.” Stone is writing a book based on his conspiracy theory that the Clintons murdered John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in a 1999 plane crash accident. Stone stated on a radio program: “I have coming up next year a book which I make the case that John F. Kennedy Jr. was murdered. And he was murdered by the Clintons because he was in the way. Now I have extraordinary new evidence that nobody else has seen.” [Media Matters4/12/16]

      Stone works for leading 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Stone is a paid host for Alex Jones' Infowars network. Jones is a conspiracy theorist who believes the government was behind the 9/11 attacks and other national tragedies including the Oklahoma City bombing and shootings in Aurora, CO, and Newtown, CT. [The New York Times, 9/7/18Media Matters5/3/16]

      Stone said Trump opponents “could stage an international incident … to cancel the election.” During an appearance on Alex Jones’ program, Stone said: “Well, they could stage an international incident in which everybody has to rally around the president and then use that as a pretext to cancel the election.” He also claimed: “I think they’re capable of anything, including martial law.” [Genesis Communications Network, The Alex Jones Show4/27/16]

      Stone heavily praised author who claims Holocaust, Sandy Hook, and 9/11 were faked. In March, Stone appeared on James Fetzer’s internet radio show and said there’s “nobody in the researcher community that I respect more.” Fetzer is a fringe conspiracy theorist who has claimed that the Holocaust, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and 9/11 attacks were faked. During the interview, Stone said he plans to ask for a 9/11 “reading list” from Fetzer to “get myself educated.” [Media Matters4/12/16]  

      Stone co-authored anti-Clinton book with a fringe conspiracy theorist with a history of racist and sexist writings. Stone co-authored the book The Clintons' War on Women with Robert Morrow. Morrow is a fringe conspiracy theorist who has wished death on Hillary Clinton and been visited by the Secret Service; posted bizarre sexual writings about the former secretary of state; called Chelsea Clinton a "slut" and imagined how she would "have sex one day" with Bill Clinton; complained about "pro-faggot JUDICIAL ACTIVISM"; and claimed the Bush and Clinton families were involved in murders and drug-running. He revels in using the word “nigger” on his Twitter account. [Media Matters9/3/15; Twitter.com, 5/3/165/3/165/3/16

      Trump’s “rigged” election nonsense came from Stone. Stone has repeatedly claimed that the Democrats will rig the election to ensure a win for Clinton. Stone’s claimed that there’s going to be “an egregious and outrageous effort to steal the next election.” He’s also said: “I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.” Stone and friend and radio host Alex Jones have taken credit for Trump using the “rigged” election talking point. [Media Matters, 10/12/16]

      Stone dedicated his anti-Clinton book to a Holocaust denier who blames a "Jewish plot" for 9/11. Stone’s book The Clintons' War on Women is dedicated to and repeatedly cites research from the late Victor Thorn, who wrote The Holocaust Hoax Exposed and blames a "Jewish plot" for the 9/11 attacks. Stone promoted the book in an interview with Thorn for the American Free Press, an anti-Semitic publication founded by "one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists" who used his "publishing to denigrate Jews and other minorities and galvanize the movement to deny the Holocaust." [Media Matters, 11/13/15]

      Stone promoted double agent smears against fallen soldier and his father. Stone has repeatedly smeared Khizr Khan, whose son, Humayun Khan, was killed while serving as an Army captain in Iraq in 2004. Stone claimed Khan is a double agent who is working for the Muslim Brotherhood. He later amended that charge to claim Khan is connected to the Saudis. Stone also claimed the elder Khan wants to “initiate Sharia Law.” Stone also promoted a piece that suggested Humayun Khan was a double agent working for Al-Qaeda. [Media Matters, 8/1/16, 8/1/16; Mediaite, 8/1/16]

      Stone claimed that Clinton aide Huma Abedin "is most likely a Saudi spy.” [Media Matters, 6/13/16, 6/15/16]

      Stone said he advised Trump that “there’s a lot of questions” about Obama’s birth certificate. [Yahoo! News, Unconventional Live, 7/20/16]

      Stone claimed the Clintons had four people murdered during the 2016 campaign cycle. Stone has claimed that the Clintons murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich, United Nations official John Ashe, process server Shawn Lucas, and anti-Semitic writer and Clinton “researcher” Victor Thorn. There is no evidence to support Stone’s claim. [Media Matters, 8/9/16, 8/12/16, 10/3/16]

      Stone: Chelsea Clinton got “four plastic surgeries” to hide the identity of her real father. [Media Matters, 8/22/16]

      Stone said Seth Rich’s “parents should be charged with obstruction.” Stone wrote to the Miami New Times in May 2017: “Their right to privacy is important, but not as important as the public's right to the truth. … Frankly, at this point, the parents should be charged with obstruction.” [Media Matters, 5/26/17]

      Some GOP politicians have paid Stone to send sponsored messages to his email list for the 2018 elections

      Stone endorsed GOP Senate candidate Geoff Diehl after his campaign sponsored Stone’s email list. In June 2017, the Senate campaign of state Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-MA) paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s email list about his campaign against incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Shortly afterward, Stone endorsed Diehl. Stone later effectively admitted that the advertisement influenced his endorsement, stating that his “company did rent some lists to Mr. Diehl” and “during that process I examined his campaign and his credentials and frankly I became very impressed.” [Media Matters, 6/30/17]

      Rick Scott’s campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In July, Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) U.S. Senate campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s email list. Stone had previously criticized Scott for being personally responsible for fraud. The Associated Press later reported that Scott’s campaign claimed that the email "was a vendor mistake - they are not advertising with Stone or paying him to send out emails on their behalf." [Media Matters, 7/27/18]

      Dan DeBono’s congressional campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In August, Stone sent a sponsored message from the campaign of New York Republican congressional candidate Dan DeBono to his list. Stone subsequently praised DeBono on Facebook. DeBono later claimed to Newsday that he "has not paid Stone or Stone Cold Truth for advertising. DeBono speculated that Stone Cold Truth may have used his letter on their own because 'they need content.'" [Media Matters, 8/16/18]

      Eric Brakey’s Senate campaign paid for a sponsored message to Stone’s list. In September, the campaign of Maine Senate candidate Eric Brakey sponsored a message to Stone’s email list. [Media Matters, 9/7/18]

      Stone pushes research that is “discredited,” “pants on fire” false, and plagiarized

      Dallas Observer: Stone’s Clinton research “is so inflammatory and insubstantially documented that it's impossible to report it with any sort of credulity.”

      The hardest thing about talking to Roger Stone about his latest book, The Clintons' War on Women, is figuring out how to write about anything that's in the book. The stuff that the ex-Richard Nixon aide and all-purpose Republican campaign operative has come up with is so inflammatory and insubstantially documented that it's impossible to report it with any sort of credulity.

      With that said, here are the broad strokes: Stone claims Bill Clinton is a serial predator, committing various criminal and unprosecuted attacks on women in the last half century or so. During that time, Stone claims, Hillary Clinton has essentially served as Bill's fixer, intimidating the women he supposedly attacked. There are spurious assertions made about people associated with the Clintons and extravagant claims that, if they were true, would have been hard to keep secret over the years. The Clintons, more than anyone, have had their dirty laundry aired by the media.

      But to the conspiracy minded, a lack of evidence is merely evidence of how successful a conspiracy is, and Stone believes they've been successful in covering up the worst of what they've done. [Dallas Observer11/30/15]

      PolitiFact: Stone voting fraud claim is “pants on fire” false. PolitiFact investigated Stone and his Committee to Restore America's Greatness after they “said there were over 600 reports of Texas votes for Trump virtually all getting tallied for Rubio.” The investigative site concluded, “there’s no there there--not even a whisper of one.” [PolitiFact, 4/11/16]

      Stone pushed false claim about Clinton meeting with elections supervisor in Florida. PolitiFact reported in October 2016 that Stone’s claim that Hillary Clinton met with Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes in Florida was  “pants on fire” false :

      Stone said Clinton showed up in Broward County and slipped into a private meeting with elections supervisor Brenda Snipes.

      Stone was wrong. He heard it third-hand from Trump supporters who claim they stumbled across such a meeting. Snipes and a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign in Florida denied such a meeting took place and we found no evidence that it did.

      Days later, Stone admitted he was wrong but then claimed that Clinton met with elections officials in Palm Beach County. He lacks evidence for that claim, too -- and both the elections supervisor and the Clinton campaign deny it. [PolitiFact, 10/31/16]

      Veteran investigative reporter Hugh Aynesworth: Stone's “Kennedy book is totally full of all kinds of crap.” The Miami Herald noted that Aynesworth “covered the assassination for the Dallas Morning News and has spent much of his life debunking conspiracy theories about it.” [Miami Herald10/14/14

      The Daily Caller pulled a Stone piece that contained heavy plagiarism. Stone wrote an April 25 anti-Ted Cruz piece for The Daily Caller that contained at least five paragraphs in which research and language were lifted from a conservative blog. Stone did not attribute or credit the blog, instead passing the research off as his own. Following Media Matters’ documentation of the plagiarism, the Caller removed Stone’s piece from its website. [Media Matters4/26/16]

      National reporter in 1986: "I discount about 50 percent of what he says." The Washington Post wrote in a 1980s profile of Stone: “Columnists and reporters value him as a source, but also treat him cautiously. Says one national magazine reporter, ‘I discount about 50 percent of what he says.’” [The Washington Post6/16/86]

      Not even right-wingers trust Stone

      Pro-Trump super PAC strategist Ed Rollins: “I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him.” Rollins is a Fox News contributor who works as a strategist for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. In 2008, Rollins pointed to Stone’s political history to allege that “I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him”:

      During the Reagan years in Washington, Stone began cultivating in earnest the image of a lovable rogue. Then, as now, some colleagues and clients found Stone’s affectations tiresome, at best. Ed Rollins, who served as President Reagan’s first political director, said, “Roger was a fringe player around town. He always had this reputation of being a guy who exaggerated things, who pretended he did things. Roger was never on Nixon’s staff, was never on the White House staff. I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who trusts him. Roger was always a little rat.” [New Yorker6/2/08]

      Conservative Media Research Center called on media to ban Stone, “the David Duke of politics.” In an April 7 statement, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell said, “CNN and MSNBC should be applauded for banning Roger Stone from their airwaves”:

      “CNN and MSNBC should be applauded for banning Roger Stone from their airwaves. Stone’s recent threats to intimidate delegates at the Republican Convention by broadcasting their hotel rooms and his long history of incendiary and offensive rhetoric add no value to the national discourse. Agree with them or not, Trump's surrogates are fine people. But Stone is a thug who relishes personal insults, character assassination, and offensive gestapo-like tactics that should be unequivocally dismissed by civil society, most especially those who might give him a platform from which to spew his hatred.

      “The news media have for far too long ignored Stone’s inflammatory words. I hope all media outlets that lament the debasement of political dialogue and the gutter politics for which Stone is infamous follow the lead of CNN and MSNBC. The media should shun him. He is the David Duke of politics. Those with whom he is affiliated should denounce him in no uncertain terms.” [NewsBusters.org, 4/7/16]  

      Radio host Mark Levin: “Roger Stone is a thug. He’s a sleazeball. … and he’s a hatchet man for Donald Trump.” [Breitbart.com, 4/8/16]

      Glenn Beck: “Roger Stone is one of the worst people in the world.” Beck criticized Stone after he wrote a piece claiming Beck was paid off for his endorsement of Cruz. Beck then read some of Stone’s racist tweets on air. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program4/15/16]

      Numerous Right-Wing commentators criticized Stone and his hotel room plan as inciting violence. Conservative pundits harshly attacked Stone after he pledged to disclose the hotels and hotel room numbers of anti-Trump delegates at the Republican National Convention. They called Stone's plan an effort to "intimidate delegates" and "another example of how Trump relies on thug tactics and violence," said he was "willfully inciting violence," and suggested it could lead to someone getting shot. [Media Matters4/6/16]

      *This post has been updated with additional material about Stone.

    • GOP groups have paid Fox News host Pete Hegseth over $50,000 for fundraising help in recent years

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth has received over $50,000 from seven Republican groups to headline fundraisers in recent years.

      Hegseth has worked at Fox News since 2014 and became a permanent Fox & Friends Weekend co-host in 2017. Hegseth, a Republican who has said he doesn’t consider himself a journalist, has repeatedly interviewed President Donald Trump and pushed pro-Trump propaganda on the network.

      Fox News has allowed on-air personalities like Hegseth, Lou Dobbs, Greg Gutfeld, and Sebastian Gorka to headline events for Republican groups (and sometimes get paid for the work). Weekend host Jeanine Pirro has been perhaps the network’s most prolific fundraiser, taking in more than $200,000 in payments from GOP organizations since Trump’s election.

      Similarly, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade was recently set to headline a February fundraiser for the Williamson County Republican Party in Tennessee just months after he claimed he had “no interest in giving to any campaign.” Shortly after Media Matters reported on the event, the Williamson GOP announced that “Kilmeade will not be speaking at Reagan Day due to scheduling conflicts” and announced a “victory party” instead. Williamson GOP officials did not respond to requests for comment about the cancellation.

      Hegseth is set to further fundraise in 2019: He’s the headliner for an April fundraiser for the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee in Connecticut. The committee didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether Hegseth is getting paid; Fox News also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

      Fox News hosts have not only brazenly violated basic media ethics by taking payments from political parties; they have also used their shows to promote politicians who appeared with them at the fundraisers.

      Hegseth received roughly $10,000 from Republicans in Michigan to speak at a fundraising event with then-Senate candidate John James; Hegseth then repeatedly interviewed James and promoted his candidacy on Fox News. And Pirro received $25,000 to keynote a fundraiser that also featured House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); the very next day, Pirro interviewed McCarthy on her program, where he thanked her for giving “a great speech.”

      Here are seven events that Hegseth has done since 2017 (both before and after he became a permanent Fox & Friends Weekend co-host), along with the amount of money that Premiere Speakers Bureau, which represents Hegseth, received in fees near the time of the event. The data was obtained through a search of available campaign finance reports posted on state databases.

      • The Livingston County Republican Committee in Michigan paid Premiere $10,239.55 for Hegseth to speak at its May 24 event. 
      • The Benton County Republican Central Committee in Washington paid Premiere $8,500 for Hegseth to speak at its May 17 event. 
      • The Alabama Republican Executive Committee paid Premiere $10,600 for Hegseth to speak at its February 23 event.
      • The Montgomery County Republican Women's PAC paid Premiere $6,500 for Hegseth to speak at its November 2, 2017 event. 
      • The Larimer County Republican Party in Colorado paid Premiere $5,000 for Hegseth to speak at its July 29, 2017, event.
      • The Snohomish County Republican Central Committee in Washington paid Premiere $5,547.60 for Hegseth to speak at its April 21, 2017, event.
      • The Republican Party of Brazos County in Texas paid Premiere $5,000 for Hegseth to speak at its January 26, 2017, event.

      Update (1/29): Hegseth’s Bridgeport appearance was canceled the day after this post was published. The Bridgeport GOP wrote on Facebook that it “regretfully announces that due to circumstances beyond our control Pete Hegseth will no longer be the Keynote Speaker at our 2019 Lincoln Day Dinner.” The organization didn’t respond to a request for comment from Media Matters about the cancellation.

    • Social Security Administration removes official from staffing charts following Media Matters reports about his toxic commentaries

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Robert W. Patterson, a right-wing commentator who argued that married working mothers have hurt society and that condoms rob women of “remarkable chemicals” in semen, has been removed from staffing charts posted on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) website.

      The SSA previously listed Patterson on its website as its acting associate commissioner at the Office of Strategic and Digital Communications. Those references to Patterson are now gone and the position is listed as vacant. One staffing chart listed a date of January 16. The SSA has not responded to Media Matters' requests for comment about Patterson

      Media Matters first reported that Patterson has been working for the SSA since 2017 despite his history of toxic remarks as a commentator. He has:

      • argued against contraceptives because “condom use robs” women of the “remarkable chemicals” in semen;
      • said married mothers in the workplace have undermined society;
      • suggested that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that sexual orientation can be forcibly changed;
      • lauded the police officers who beat Rodney King, claiming that "the entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him. For that restraint, the cops were subject to relentless prosecution”;
      • attacked the “diversity agenda” of U.S. immigration law that, he said, has led to “millions of foreigners from the Muslim Middle East and dysfunctional Third World countries” coming into the United States; and
      • claimed that “hordes of Central American migrants” are threatening public health (a xenophobic and false right-wing trope).

      Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) responded to news of Patterson’s remarks by tweeting on January 14: “Reports of disgusting comments and attitudes from inside this Administration are far too common. President Trump sets the tone from the top so sadly none of these reports are too shocking, but that doesn’t make them acceptable.”

      Patterson got a job in President Donald Trump's administration despite his resignation from a senior job in then-Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration.

      In 2012, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Patterson both worked in state government and edited a right-wing journal, where he weighed in on “what he described as a woman's ideal role in society: married and at home raising children.” The paper added that he also “wrote about research that he said showed that if women wanted to find ‘Mr. Right,’ they should shun birth control pills; and if they wanted to improve their mood, they should not insist that their men wear condoms lest they miss out on beneficial chemicals found in semen.” After the Inquirer asked the state government about “Patterson's side job as editor,” he resigned and Corbett’s “administration swiftly distanced itself from the views expressed in the journal he edits.” The Inquirer later wrote: “Department officials said Patterson had decided to resign because he had been denied his request to remain the editor of the Family in America journal while working for the state.”

      Patterson is another example of the staffing disaster posed by the Trump administration’s reliance on media commentators.

    • Social Security official criticized immigration "diversity agenda" and praised police officers who beat Rodney King

      Robert W. Patterson: "The entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him"

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Social Security Administration official Robert W. Patterson wrote a 2014 Breitbart News piece that lauded the police officers who beat Rodney King, claiming that "the entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him. For that restraint, the cops were subject to relentless prosecution." 

      In commentary pieces elsewhere, he attacked the “diversity agenda” of U.S. immigration law that, he said, has led to “millions of foreigners from the Muslim Middle East and dysfunctional Third World countries” coming into the United States. Patterson also claimed that “hordes of Central American migrants” are threatening public health.

      Patterson is the acting associate commissioner at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Strategic and Digital Communications. The SSA touted his experience when he was hired, calling attention to his background as an “op-ed contributor” and alleged "policy expert." 

      Media Matters previously reported that Patterson argued against contraceptives because “condom use robs” women of the “remarkable chemicals” in semen; said married women in the workplace have undermined society; and suggested that homosexuality is a mental disorder and sexual orientation can be forcibly changed. 

      The SSA did not respond to a request for comment.

      In reviewing more of Patterson's writing, Media Matters found other problematic commentary, this time related to police brutality against Rodney King and racist tropes related to migration and immigration. Here are those remarks. 

      Patterson defended police officers who beat Rodney King: “The entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him.” Patterson wrote an August 2014 piece for Breitbart in which he decried protests in Ferguson, MO, after the police shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Patterson linked the protests to the 1991 Rodney King beating, writing:

      Indeed, media kingpins, who handle Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson with kid gloves, are on a constant witch-hunt for another Rodney King video. That nine-minute tape, too, is instructive: The only clip the media played in 1991 – over and over – was 20 seconds that framed the cops as the bad guys. Yet the entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him. For that restraint, the cops were subject to relentless prosecution, once for assault in state court (for which they were acquitted), and once again for violating King’s civil rights in federal court (for which they were found guilty).

      As NPR noted, police officers "kicked him repeatedly and beat him with batons for a reported 15 minutes" and “King's injuries resulted in skull fractures, broken bones and teeth, and permanent brain damage.”

      Patterson complained about the “diversity agenda” of U.S. immigration law because it has helped bring intens of millions of foreigners from the Muslim Middle East and dysfunctional Third World countries.” In an August 2014 op-ed for The Washington Times, Patterson criticized “the wildly misnamed Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986” for having kept “the doors wide open for tens of millions of foreigners from the Muslim Middle East and dysfunctional Third World countries” and having “extended the diversity agenda of the Immigration Act of 1965, an overlooked component of LBJ's Great Society.”

      Congress had appointed the commission to correct the abject failure of the wildly misnamed Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Regarded by Ronald Reagan as the worst mistake of his presidency, the legislation conferred citizenship on 3 million illegals in exchange for phantom enforcement. In keeping the doors wide open for tens of millions of foreigners from the Muslim Middle East and dysfunctional Third World countries, the measure extended the diversity agenda of the Immigration Act of 1965, an overlooked component of LBJ’s Great Society.

      As the Migration Policy Institute noted, “The historic significance of the 1965 law was to repeal national-origins quotas, in place since the 1920s, which had ensured that immigration to the United States was primarily reserved for European immigrants.”

      Patterson: “Hordes of Central American migrants overburden public-school districts and escalate public health and safety risks.” In a September 2014 op-ed for The Washington Times, Patterson claimed that there’s a “flood of illegals” coming into the United States and as a result, “hordes of Central American migrants overburden public-school districts and escalate public health and safety risks.”

      All Republicans would promise to counter the president's open-borders craziness with legislation that would elevate the imperative of national security, step up border enforcement, and fully reverse the flood of illegals into America. With the Islamic State eager to fly its ominous flag over the White House — and as hordes of Central American migrants overburden public-school districts and escalate public health and safety risks — such defensive measures would resonate with anxious voters of both parties. The measure might also impose an emergency moratorium on all guest-worker permits while showing the door to all noncitizens whose visas and green cards have expired.

      His claim about migrants and "public health" is a xenophobic trope. It is also false; CNN recently reported that conservative rhetoric "might lead some to believe that migrants are a threat to American health, a strain on the health care system and damaging to the economy. But a new series of papers presented at a UN Intergovernmental Conference this week and published Wednesday in the journal Lancet says that, based on evidence, that's not true. Most migrants have a mortality advantage, or greater life expectancy, than people in their host countries, according to the new research. This was true for the majority of diseases."

      Patterson’s lack of knowledge about such issues became apparent when he was running for Congress in 2016 as a Republican. The Courier Post in South New Jersey reported on October 26 of that year: “On the question of Syrian refugees, Patterson called for additional vetting, but when told there was already a two-year process in place, he admitted, ‘You’re teaching me something there.’” (The claim that the United States doesn’t screen Syrian refugees is a common right-wing media lie.)

    • Social Security official: Married working mothers hurt society, condoms rob women of “remarkable chemicals” in semen

      Robert W. Patterson also suggested that homosexuality is a mental disorder and sexual orientation can be forcibly changed

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Before joining President Donald Trump's administration, right-wing commentator Robert W. Patterson argued against contraceptives because “condom use robs” women of the “remarkable chemicals” in semen; said married women in the workplace have undermined society; and suggested that homosexuality is a mental disorder and sexual orientation can be forcibly changed.

      Patterson is now the acting associate commissioner at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Strategic and Digital Communications. He has avoided scrutiny despite working in the administration since spring 2017. A notice about his hiring on the SSA's website touted Patterson's "wealth of experience in communications and public engagement," including "as a policy expert, professor and op-ed contributor." 

      Patterson also worked in former President George W. Bush’s administration, ran for Congress in New Jersey as a Republican, and wrote for such publications as Breitbart News, Washington Examiner, and National Review. He previously edited The Family in America, a conservative journal dedicated to “subjects ranging from a family-centered Farm Bill to a reevaluation of Friedan-style feminism, and from the continued ill effects of divorce and family breakdown to the positive effects of marriage and child-bearing.”

      Patterson’s work with The Family in America led to his resignation as a special assistant in Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare in January 2012. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time that Patterson weighed in on “what he described as a woman's ideal role in society: married and at home raising children.” He also “wrote about research that he said showed that if women wanted to find ‘Mr. Right,’ they should shun birth control pills; and if they wanted to improve their mood, they should not insist that their men wear condoms lest they miss out on beneficial chemicals found in semen.” The Inquirer explained of Patterson's views:

      In last year's spring issue of the journal, Patterson co-authored a piece summarizing and reviewing recent studies related to families.

      Among them: a recent study suggesting condom use robs a woman of "remarkable" chemicals found in semen that have been shown to elevate mood and self-esteem.

      What's more, the study found that "semen-exposed women" perform better on concentration and cognitive tasks, Patterson reported.

      He also referenced a 2004 study that suggested birth-control pills weakened a woman's "natural sense of attraction to men who would be a good biological match and enable her to conceive easily and bear healthy children."

      After the paper asked the Pennsylvania state government about “Patterson's side job as editor,” he resigned and then-Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s “administration swiftly distanced itself from the views expressed in the journal he edits.” The Inquirer later reported: “Department officials said Patterson had decided to resign because he had been denied his request to remain the editor of the Family in America journal while working for the state.” (Patterson defended himself at the time by claiming “that The Inquirer distorted his views, and that his writings cited respected studies published elsewhere.”)

      The SSA did not respond to a request for comment.

      Media Matters recently examined Patterson’s writings and found additional sexist commentary about married women in the workplace along with anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

      Patterson complained that the government “has facilitated the movement of mothers out of the home economy and into the market economy, undermining the family as an economic unit, marriage as a lifelong partnership, and the well-being of children.” Patterson wrote a 2011 Washington Examiner op-ed (which is no longer available on its website) that complained about mothers in the workforce:  

      Congress incentivized family breakup by creating a child-support system that virtually guarantees divorcing mothers and their children an income stream without requiring those women, who initiate two-thirds of marital disruptions, to demonstrate any wrongdoing on the part of the father.

      All this needs to go. As does another policy monstrosity of the 1970s: sex-based affirmative action that favors not just women over men in the workplace but the privileged career woman over the homemaker-wife who depends on her breadwinning husband. According to a 2007 Pew Research Center study, this blatant rent-seeking has resulted in employment patterns that neither American men nor women consider ideal.

      Most important, the workplace bias that Uncle Sam sanctions, in collusion with big business, has facilitated the movement of mothers out of the home economy and into the market economy, undermining the family as an economic unit, marriage as a lifelong partnership, and the well-being of children.

      Moreover, by advantaging young women over their male counterparts, affirmative action has disrupted the marriage market and helped lead to dramatic increases in cohabitation and single households.

      Patterson has worked for two virulently anti-LGBTQ organizations. Patterson has worked for extreme anti-LGBTQ groups Family Research Council (FRC) and the International Organization for the Family (formerly The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society).

      He worked for FRC from 1998-2002, serving as its senior director of publications and the editor of its Family Policy journal. FRC is an influential and extreme anti-LGBTQ group that has tried to prevent equal rights for LGBTQ individuals.

      During Patterson’s time at FRC, the group’s website stated that it “believes that homosexuality is unhealthy, immoral and destructive to individuals, families and societies. Compassion — not bigotry — impels us to support healing for homosexuals who want to change their orientation. FRC opposes any attempts to equate homosexuality with civil rights or to compare it to benign characteristics such as skin color or place of origin.”

      One issue of Family Policy that Patterson edited included a piece by Frank York and Robert Knight arguing that “parents, teachers, social workers, and clergy need to challenge the nonsense set forth by homosexual activists that homosexuality is simply an alternative lifestyle or a harmless diversion. They need to view homosexuality in a more realistic fashion, seeing it for what it really is: a life-controlling addiction like smoking or drug abuse.” In a section about “available resources,” the Patterson-edited issue also recommends conversion therapy, a dangerous and discredited practice that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ individuals. 

      FRC’s website today still states that the organization “believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.”

      Patterson was also the editor of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society’s The Family in America journal from 2009-2012. In 2016, the organization retooled and became the International Organization for the Family (IOF).

      The Howard Center was openly anti-LGBTQ. A statement from its 2011 website read: “The complementary natures of men and women are physically and psychologically self-evident. These differences are created and natural, not primarily socially constructed. Sexuality is ordered for the procreation of children and the expression of love between husband and wife in the covenant of marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union. Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit. They lead to obsession, remorse, alienation, and disease.”

      Patterson criticized the American Psychiatric Association for removing “homosexuality … from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” and pushed false and dangerous propaganda that sexual orientation can be forcibly changed. Patterson co-wrote in a 2010 piece for The Family in America: “When homosexuality was deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association was motivated not by the scientific evidence but by a therapeutic desire to weaken prevailing social attitudes that allegedly damage the self-esteem of homosexuals. Consequently, much of the discussion of homosexuality by public-health officials and professional associations ignores the large body of empirical literature that casts homosexual behavior in an unfavorable light.”

      Patterson then cited purported research from the discredited anti-LGBTQ and conversion therapy advocacy group National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH; the group has since been folded into The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity), which concluded, “Homosexuality is not innate, immutable, or without significant risk to the medical, psychological, and relational health,” adding:

      The review of 600 reports and studies contains three review essays, two of which refute claims of the American Psychological Association that sexual orientation is fixed and that attempts to change it can be harmful. The third review finds that the literature demonstrates, contrary to another claim of the APA, that “problematic behaviors and psychological dysfunctions are experienced among homosexuals at about three times the prevalence found in the general population—and sometimes much more.”

      In contrast to the junk science cited by Patterson, major medical associations have rejected and discredited conversion therapy and stated that gender identity and sexuality cannot be forcibly changed. Further, such organizations have concluded that conversion therapy leads to dangerous consequences, including suicidal ideation. 

      Patterson said same-sex marriage goes against “nature, history, and reason.” Patterson wrote for National Review in 2009: “Because it predates society and the state, wedlock actually creates, builds, and renews society. Same-sex marriage — a construct that depends on the state for its very existence — can never duplicate these functions. Of course, insisting that marriage law should reflect what nature, history, and reason affirm risks offending not so much homosexuals as cultural elites who care little about America.”

      Patterson: “Gay marriage, like all the liberal ideas of the 1970s--including no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, cohabitation, and daycare--does not and cannot serve the common good.” Patterson complained about same-sex marriage in a 2004 piece for Human Events Online (which is no longer available on its website):  

      [The] communal dimension is virtually nonexistent when it comes to same-sex relationships, evidence that such relationships should never be deemed equivalent to, or even an alternative to, marriage. Unlike marriage, same-sex relationships are static, self-focused, and center almost exclusively on what the relationship delivers for the two partners, not what it represents to the supportive families or to society. Does a homosexual partner even solicit the blessing of his prospective partner's family? Do his aunts and uncles travel cross-country to celebrate the occasion? Who are the third parties to these pairings? Rarely conducted in a community setting like a church or synagogue, these new-fangled arrangements are essentially private affairs with no organic ties to anything. Ironically, this private identity is praised by advocates like Andrew Sullivan who assert that gay marriage can't possibly impact the traditional marriages of others because it concerns only the two persons involved.

      What this comes down to should be obvious: Gay marriage, like all the liberal ideas of the 1970s--including no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, cohabitation, and daycare--does not and cannot serve the common good. When elected officials, like the minister in a wedding ceremony, ask whether the public objects to what is being proposed in Massachusetts and San Francisco, the American people need to rise up and speak their minds for the sake of the children, for the sake of women, and for the sake of the Republic.

    • Fox host Brian Kilmeade said he wouldn't donate to campaigns, but he's apparently happy to keynote a GOP fundraiser

      Update: The Kilmeade fundraiser has been canceled “due to scheduling conflicts”

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

      Update (1/23/19): The Williamson County Republican Party announced on January 17 that “Kilmeade will not be speaking at Reagan Day due to scheduling conflicts” and replaced the event with a “victory party” featuring Republican officials. Williamson GOP officials and Fox News did not respond to requests for comment about the cancelation.

      Update (1/3/19): The event flyer has been updated to remove a reference to attendees receiving a copy of Kilmeade's book. The tickets page still indicates that donors will be receiving copies.

      Fox News host Brian Kilmeade is headlining a fundraiser for Republicans just months after he claimed he had “no interest in giving to any campaign.”

      Kilmeade is a co-host of Fox & Friends, which has become one of the most influential programs in the country because of the feedback loop between the morning show and President Donald Trump.

      Kilmeade donated $601.71 to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. When news of the donation surfaced last October, Kilmeade told The Hill that he "bought ornaments two years ago before Christmas for people that like Donald Trump" and "had no idea that this would be considered a donation.” He also defended himself by claiming to be above financially helping politicians, stating: "Even if I wasn't in this business, I would never be giving contributions out to people. Especially after an election … I have no interest in giving to any campaign about anything."

      But Kilmeade apparently has no problem being the face of a GOP fundraiser that requires a political contribution to attend and stands to financially help Republican campaigns.

      The Williamson County Republican Party in Tennessee recently announced that Kilmeade will be the keynote speaker of its annual Reagan Day Dinner, which is the party’s "largest fundraiser." An invitation to the February 16 event, which will also feature Rep.-elect Mark Green (R-TN), says that ticket prices start at $150 per person and a “VIP reception” with Kilmeade costs $200.

      The Williamson County GOP states that the organization exists "to facilitate events and dialogue among Republicans across Middle Tennessee" and helps "elect Republicans in Williamson County and throughout the state of Tennessee."

      As Media Matters has repeatedly documented, Fox News hosts and contributors have done fundraising events for Republican parties and candidates (and sometimes get paid to do them). Pete Hegseth, who co-hosts the weekend edition of Fox & Friends, also regularly does Republican fundraisers. In 2018, Hegseth was paid to keynote a fundraiser for a Republican committee in Michigan with then-Senate candidate John James and then repeatedly interviewed James on his program (Hegseth didn’t disclose the financial connection on Fox News).

      Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Fox News has claimed it "does not condone any talent participating in campaign events."

      It’s not clear whether Kilmeade is getting paid for the speaking gig. Either way, Kilmeade would likely financially benefit from the fundraiser: The invitation states that Republicans will "receive a copy of Brian’s new book 'Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans'" with their ticket.

      The Williamson County Republican Party and Fox News did not respond to requests for comment.

    • Fox News op-ed uncritically cited white supremacist piece claiming Democrats subject “whites to outright racial plunder”

      Fox News changed the citation after our inquiry

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters
       

      A FoxNews.com op-ed attacking former Attorney General Eric Holder uncritically relied on, and linked to, a piece by white supremacist Jared Taylor that accused Democrats of subjecting “whites to outright racial plunder.” Fox News changed the link after Media Matters contacted the network.

      Jeremy Carl, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, wrote a May 23 FoxNews.com op-ed complaining about a Starbucks policy allowing “anyone to spend time in its stores and use restrooms regardless of whether they make a purchase.” He also criticized the company for having engaged "Eric Holder as an adviser on diversity issues,” claiming he “has a long history of making accusations of racial discrimination, often unjustified.”

      As one piece of evidence against Holder, Carl linked to a January 2015 opinion piece by Jared Taylor on the white supremacist website American Renaissance. Media Matters found the May op-ed while examining media outlets that have uncritically promoted or cited research by white supremacist media.

      The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that American Renaissance “has been one of the vilest white nationalist publications, often promoting eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. In 2005 for example, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Taylor wrote, ‘When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western Civilization—any kind of civilization—disappears.’” The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Taylor “upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence.”

      Taylor’s piece was a review of conservative commentators John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky’s book Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department. The review began by attacking Holder as “a devious, power-hungry, racial zealot” who is “probably the most racially committed black ever to hold a cabinet job” and concluded that while the Republican and Democratic parties are similar, Republicans “are less likely to subject whites to outright racial plunder.”  

      Media Matters contacted Fox News about the op-ed and asked if the network thought the research citation was appropriate. The company did not reply but changed the link so it now directs to the Amazon page for Obama’s Enforcer. The site has not noted the change or posted an editor’s note (the op-ed’s timestamp reflects the update).

      Media Matters later contacted Carl, who stated: “Obviously I would not have intentionally cited American Renaissance in any article I wrote — I wrote this article on a very fast same-day deadline at Fox News’ request and simply missed the sourcing. I suspect I missed it because the article was discussing work by Hans Von Spakovsky from Heritage, whom I do know and whose work I trust. I likely simply erred in assuming it was by Von Spakovsky.”

      Carl, who agreed with Fox's decision to change the citation, also claimed “Holder has a history of numerous racist statements and actions is beyond doubt. I don’t apologize for saying that — then or now. One doesn’t need to link to American Renaissance to make that point, and obviously I would not have intentionally done so.” He additionally suggested that because Media Matters chose to contact Fox directly first rather than the author, it was evidence we are engaging in the “harassment of a critic of leftism" instead of a "pursuit of truth.”

    • Jeanine Pirro was paid to speak at GOP event with Kevin McCarthy -- who thanked her on Fox the next day

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Earlier this year, the Kern County Republican Central Committee in California paid Fox News host Jeanine Pirro $25,000 to keynote a fundraiser that also featured House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The very next day, McCarthy, whose district includes most of the county, appeared on Pirro’s show and thanked her for giving “a great speech.”

      Pirro is a Republican who hosts the weekend show Justice with Judge Jeanine. She appeared at a campaign rally with President Donald Trump last month. Fox News subsequently claimed that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” which is a blatant lie.

      Fox News personalities regularly appear at events for candidates and political parties and sometimes get paid to do them. Fox News personalities Lou Dobbs, Sebastian Gorka, Greg Gutfeld, and Pete Hegseth have received money to headline fundraising events. Media Matters recently documented more than $200,000 in speaking fees that Pirro has received from 13 Republican organizations in the past two years.

      The help isn’t always just contained to the event. As Media Matters documented last week, the Livingston County Republican Committee in Michigan paid Hegseth to keynote a fundraiser with then-Senate candidate John James. Hegseth then repeatedly interviewed James on his Fox & Friends Weekend program (and didn’t disclose the payment from the committee).

      Pirro has similarly used her Fox News program to push a Republican cause that was related to her speaking fee.

      On March 16, the Kern County GOP hosted a fundraising dinner featuring Pirro. According to Federal Election Commission records, the party paid Pirro a total of $25,000 for speaking at the event (the party sent its payment to Fox News’ New York City headquarters). Kevin McCarthy, whose 23rd Congressional District "covers most of Kern,” also spoke at the event.

      Pirro also tweeted a picture of herself with McCarthy at the fundraiser:

      On the following day, March 17, Pirro hosted McCarthy and told him: “Happy Saint Patrick's Day, and especially in Kern County where I saw you last night. Great Republican county.” McCarthy replied: “Well, you gave a great speech.” At the conclusion of the interview, McCarthy said: “Judge, thank you so much for having me and thanks for coming to California. You are always welcome to come back.” Pirro did not mention the event payment during the interview.

      Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

    • Fox News host Pete Hegseth received money for event with GOP candidate then repeatedly interviewed him for the network

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

      Fox News host Pete Hegseth was paid roughly $10,000 by Republicans in Michigan to speak at a fundraising event with then-Senate candidate John James. Fox News then allowed Hegseth to repeatedly interview James and promote his candidacy on its network.

      Hegseth, a Republican who has said that he doesn’t consider himself a journalist, co-hosts Fox & Friends Weekend. ​The Washington Post reported in March that “Hegseth has been a confidant of Trump’s, who watches his Fox News show and frequently calls him to discuss veterans’ policy.” On Fox & Friends, Hegseth interviewed Trump during a rally to support Republican candidates ahead of the midterm elections.

      Fox News recently claimed that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” which is a blatant lie. In reality, Fox News personalities regularly appear at events for candidates and political parties and sometimes get paid to do them. Media Matters reported last month that Fox News host Jeanine Pirro received more than $200,000 in speaking fees from 13 Republican organizations in the past two years. Other Fox News personalities who have headlined GOP events since President Donald Trump took office include hosts Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld, and contributors Sebastian Gorka and Karl Rove

      Hegseth has also cashed in on the Republican speaker circuit: The Livingston County Republican Committee in Michigan paid him to keynote its May 24 Lincoln Day Dinner.

      James was the event’s master of ceremonies and introduced Hegseth to the crowd. In his introduction, James noted his own appearances on Fox & Friends and praised Hegseth as “one of the best in the business.” While on stage at the event, Hegseth called James “the real deal” and told the audience to “do whatever you can” to support him.

      According to records from the Michigan Department of State, the Livingston County GOP paid a total of $10,239.55 in fees and costs to Premiere Speakers Bureau, which represents Hegseth, between February 7 and July 18 of this year.

      Despite that clear conflict of interest, Hegseth repeatedly interviewed James on Fox & Friends Weekend. In the runup to Election Day, Hegseth interviewed James on July 28, September 9, October 14, and October 28. Hegseth did not state during those interviews that he had received money from the Livingston County Republican Party.

      Hegseth used those interviews to repeatedly promote James’ unsuccessful campaign and tout his purported strength as a candidate. For instance:

      • On September 9, Hegseth told James that his race is “one to watch, for sure, largely because of a strong candidacy you’re running.”
      • On October 14, Hegseth told James that “whatever you’re doing is working, according to the polls, and I don’t always believe [polling].” Echoing the candidate’s own talking point, Hegseth later asked James: “What is the most important fresh perspective that is resonating with people in your state?”
      • On October 28, Hegseth suggested that James was “closing the gap against his Democratic opponent,” telling him that his message “seems to be resonating in your race” based on “recent poll numbers in the Michigan Senate race” which showed James “trailing by, you know, seven points, which is a lot less than where you were, and if you consider the margin of error, it could even be closer than that.” 

      A request for comment to Fox News was not returned.

    • Daily Caller reporter appeared on shows hosted by white nationalist and pushed Pizzagate conspiracy theory

      Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


      Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

      Daily Caller reporter Andrew Kerr repeatedly appeared on shows hosted by a white nationalist and pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

      The conservative publication has had numerous problems with staffers and contributors who have associated themselves with the white nationalist movement. Editor Scott Greer left the publication this year after The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray reported that he had been “writing as ‘Michael McGregor’ for Radix, the online publication founded by the ‘alt-right’ leader Richard Spencer, who wants to turn America into a white ethno-state.”

      Founder Tucker Carlson, who is no longer involved with the day-to-day operations of the site, has used his Fox News program to echo white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis -- and become a hero to them

      The Daily Caller has also employed people who have pushed Pizzagate. That became an issue when Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, danced with then-staffer and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Martina Markota and others in a Daily Caller-produced video about net neutrality in December 2017 (Markota has since left the site).

      Kerr, an investigative reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation since January 2018, has associated himself with both the white nationalist movement and the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. He ran a website called The Citizens Audit, which was primarily focused on attacking Media Matters and American Bridge 21st Century, which were both founded by David Brock.

      While writing for Citizens Audit, Kerr appeared in several episodes of the online show Reality Calls with host and white nationalist Tara McCarthy. McCarthy is a proponent for the creation of a white ethnostate, claiming on her website “that the solution to reversing the destruction that globalism has wrought on our civilization is ethno-nationalism.” In 2016, Kerr appeared in McCarthy-hosted Reality Calls videos that were published on December 14, December 15, December 16, and December 30.

      McCarthy later co-hosted the online program Virtue of the West with “alt-rightpersonality Brittany Pettibone. Kerr appeared in a March 30, 2017, Virtue of the West video with McCarthy and Pettibone.

      Kerr might claim he had no knowledge about McCarthy's background. But he could have easily found numerous examples of racism from McCarthy by the time he appeared on her show with Pettibone. For instance:

      • During the period in which Kerr appeared on programs with McCarthy, she also interviewed numerous fellow white nationalists, including American Renaissance leader Jared Taylor; Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo; and YouTuber Lana Lokteff.
      • McCarthy wrote on January 1, 2017, after she was banned from posting videos to YouTube for two weeks: “So this is what happens when you try to speak out against white genocide. I will continue to speak out wherever I am able to. The best thing you can do personally to fight white genocide is to have lots of children!”
      • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 16, 2017: “#Globalism seeks to create workers and consumers. They don't care about wiping out our ethnic heritage. Is #EthnoNationalism the solution?”
      • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 18, 2017: “The people who know that whites are being outnumbered in their own countries yet don't care are the ones who trouble me the most.”
      • McCarthy wrote on Facebook on January 24, 2017: “‘Mexico’s birth rate has declined from 6.8 children per woman in 1970 to about 2 children per woman in 2011.’ Thank goodness. #Demography.”
      • During a March 17, 2017, interview with white nationalist writer Greg Johnson, McCarthy offered support for a white ethnostate using deportation, stating: “OK, so you propose nonviolent means, using mainly financial incentives and legal means such as deporting illegals and things like that to restore the original ethnic makeup of the United States and also European countries. Yeah, and I think that sounds very reasonable, personally.”

      Kerr also made it clear during an appearance on Virtue of the West that he was aware of criticism of the program. In January 2017, co-host Brittany Pettibone attempted to raise money for the program through GoFundMe, but the organization canceled her campaign “because it violated the company’s terms of service, which include rules against promoting hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, terrorism or ‘intolerance of any kind.’”

      Kerr defended Pettibone during a March appearance, telling her: “Somebody just accused you of what -- being a white nationalist -- and that was enough to get GoFundMe to prevent you from, you know, spreading your thoughts and ideas. Yeah, it’s absurd.” Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt wrote in October 2017 that Pettibone “has expressed white nationalist views, such as that it’s ‘our fault’ if white people become a minority race. She uses her platform to host even more unabashed white nationalists and has appeared on extremist outlets like Red Ice. Pettibone has also perpetuated ‘white genocide’ and ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theories.”

      Pizzagate is the lie that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign trafficked children through the Washington, D.C., pizzeria Comet Ping Pong. A North Carolina man who wanted to “self-investigate” the conspiracy theory traveled to the restaurant and fired a rifle inside on December 4, 2016 (he is now serving a four-year prison sentence).

      Kerr helped fuel the Pizzagate conspiracy theory in a video posted on December 15, 2016 -- less than two weeks after the shooting. During that video -- headlined,“Is ‘Media Matters’ Involved in #Pizzagate?” -- McCarthy said that “Comet Ping Pong, owned by James Alefantis, still links to Media Matters. So it’s a -- these guys are all connected. This is related to Pizzagate, although not directly.”

      In the interview, Kerr first attempted to flimsily cover himself by saying that “everything with Pizzagate, I really can’t talk to that,” and later adding, “I’m not going to make any accusations without, you know, any, you know, really solid evidence.” But he responded directly to McCarthy when she talked about Pizzagate, stating that “you can draw a direct connection from Media Matters to anything that’s been coming out,” adding that “now all the key players from Pizzagate that I’m seeing, they can all be linked, they’re one degree of separation away from Media Matters. And Media Matters and their related organizations has spent thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars over the years in catering fees for Comet Pizza.”

      He then called for an investigation of Media Matters’ finances by citing Pizzagate, stating: "If Media Matters’ book of business is open, and authorities can look at their transactions on a granular level, that means that they’re going to be looking at those transactions to Comet Ping Pong on a granular level. And so if you’re more interested in the Pizzagate angle to this, this is a really good shot."

      Toward the end of the video, McCarthy said, “Media Matters is an evil company,” and told her followers to do “whatever we can do to take them down.”

      Kerr returned to pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy theory with McCarthy in another Reality Calls video, which posted on December 15, 2016. He claimed of Media Matters: “They have connections to Pizzagate, which you’ve been following.”

      The Daily Caller also employs video columnist Stephanie Hamill, who repeatedly pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory on her Twitter account. She deleted those tweets after Media Matters documented them.