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Grace Bennett

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  • Laura Ingraham’s most vile responses to a report of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh 

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    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter this summer to her congresswoman stating that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were both high school students. Ford shared her story with the Post:

    Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

    While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

    “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

    Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

    Right-wing media responded to Ford’s story with a mixture of dismissal and disdain. Some conservative pundits questioned whether she ought to be believed, and others contended that the assault -- even if it did occur -- was irrelevant to whether Kavanaugh should serve on the Supreme Court.

    Laura Ingraham’s response, however, was particularly vile. The Fox host informed her radio show listeners on Monday that Ford’s story made her want to “throw up” because she was disturbed by the “rank unfairness” to Kavanaugh. She launched repeated and vicious attacks against Ford, suggested contacting Ford's "former boyfriends," attempted to spin the accusations into evidence of society’s unfair treatment of men, and claimed that Democrats had planned the timing of the accusations. Here are some of her most repugnant responses:

    1. Ingraham suggested that a history of sexual assault is not relevant to a judge serving on the Supreme Court (where major decisions about women's lives and rights are made), asking, “How is it relevant to whether he is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court?”

    2. She compared the current situation to law professor Anita Hill’s accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, claiming that Democrats “wanted this to come out right before the vote ... just like they did with Justice Thomas. They had to wait until the last minute ... They wanted this to derail his nomination.”

    3. She tried to reframe Ford’s story and make it about men, telling listeners: “This could happen to any of you -- let's focus on men for a moment -- any of your sons, any of your brothers, any of your uncles.” Ingraham further argued that the story demonstrates that it’s a “very precarious place to be as a man today -- very, at every level. It's so unfair.”

    4. Ingraham tweeted out “10 Reasons to Question the Veracity of Kavanaugh's Accuser.”

    5. She viciously lashed out at Ford for not speaking publicly about her story in the past, telling listeners, “Apparently, this accuser was fine with leaving Brett Kavanaugh on the second highest court of the land. She had repressed her memory supposedly until 2012, but was OK with leaving him with three law clerks, interns, all the other women who work at the court, the second highest court of the land. That was OK. That was all right.”

    6. She dismissed Ford as “a partisan,” and claimed Ford’s coming forward with her story is “an unfair process -- it’s unfair to him, his family, and, frankly, to this nation.”

    7. She claimed Ford’s story is “not about fairness, it’s not about the process,” but it is instead part of a “blood sport” played by Democrats to destroy the judge.

    8. She hosted two Kavanaugh backers who signed a letter of support for him and asked what Ford’s “reputation” had been in high school. She then suggested that Ford’s “former boyfriends” should be contacted.

    9. Ingraham tweeted a link to a website run by a conspiracy theorist to suggest that Ford might have a grudge against Kavanaugh because of a 1996 court case that Kavanaugh’s mother presided over involving Ford’s parents.  

    Ingraham has a long and disturbing history of minimizing sexual harassment and assault, and of blaming and shaming survivors. She often chooses to focus her coverage of sexual misconduct on perceived inconvenience for men, rather than the consequences for women. Her responses to Ford’s story, though not surprising given her history, are immensely reprehensible and dangerous, and they directly contribute to why survivors don’t come forward.

  • Right-wing media figures are defending Trump’s lies about the Puerto Rican death toll 

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    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he did not believe the official death toll from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico last year, claiming that Democrats inflated the number to make him look “as bad as possible.” An independent study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government estimated that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the storms, but Trump rejected this figure, claiming the high number was just "bad politics."

    The president’s comments come as multiple states are readying to face another dangerous (and “tremendously wet”) storm, and two days after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló forcefully rejected the president’s earlier assertion that the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria was “incredibly successful.” Instead of focusing on incoming Hurricane Florence, which has the potential to cause massive damage and threaten lives on the East Coast, the president is trying to gaslight the public, asserting with absolutely no evidence that Democrats inflated the death toll in Puerto Rico. This isn’t the first time the president has taken to Twitter to lie to the American public.  

    Unsurprisingly, right-wing media figures have once again answered the call to excuse the inexcusable:

    Fox’s Geraldo Rivera responded to news of Trump’s tweets by arguing that it is “grotesquely unfair” to blame Trump for the federal government’s response to the hurricanes and claiming that the problem with Hurricane Maria coverage is that “intense politically motivated hatred of President Trump deflects attention from what’s really needed.”

    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton: “The dramatic increase in death toll due to hurricane in Puerto Rico is result of statistical guess work. … we should be suspicious of a guess that moves it up to nearly 3,000.”

    NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield: “I’m there with Donald Trump -- I call bogus on the 3,000 deaths."

    The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson: “The President would be more willing to accept the truth about the thousands dead in Puerto Rico if news outlet in the country weren't trying to blame him for the deaths.”

    Breitbart White House correspondent Charlie Spiering: “He’s right. The 2,975 who died did not die ‘IN’ the storm but in six month period AFTER the storm.”

    Fox News’ Cody Derespina attempted to equivocate over the “official” death toll. Using deaths that resulted from 9/11 as an analogy, he suggested that many of the hurricane deaths shouldn’t be considered in the “official tally” because many of them occurred in the months afterward.

    Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell: “Dems learned how to politicize natural disasters when Katrina hit New Orleans. It worked against Bush 43 so now they’re trying it against @realDonaldTrump with his response to Maria in Puerto Rico last year.”

    In addition, Fox News ignored Trump's denialism for several hours, at which point the network's reporter downplayed it as Trump merely continuing his "feud with Puerto Rican officials." 

  • Today’s edition of Fox’s Outnumbered was guest hosted by a Republican Senate candidate 

    It’s not the first time the show has offered free publicity to Republican political figures

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    Fox News gave Michigan Republican Senate nominee John James an hour-long guest hosting gig on the September 11 edition of its program Outnumbered. James, who is running against Sen. Debbie Stabenow, used that time to speak repeatedly about Michigan and the need to vote out incumbents. He is now promoting his Fox News appearances and related tweets by the network to bolster his campaign.

    Outnumbered typically features five hosts -- four of whom are women and the fifth is the show’s “#OneLuckyGuy.” During James’ stint as the sole man on the panel, the candidate argued that “people in the state of Michigan are sick and tired of the incumbents” and that “we have so many people in Washington trying to legislate and regulate futures that they’re not going to be a part of.” As he spoke, the bottom third of the screen read “Control of Congress at stake as a sprint to the November elections begins,” and when James concluded, one of the other hosts endorsed his statements, saying, “I’m not going to argue with that.”

    James is now using that Outnumbered appearance, as well as one on Fox & Friends earlier this morning, to advertise his campaign online. He has retweeted Fox News’ tweets about his appearances, including one that quotes his claim that “people in the state of Michigan are sick and tired of the incumbents.” He also shared multiple pictures and quotes from his appearance on Outnumbered along with a link to his official campaign website, and retweeted two of the show’s hosts Lisa Boothe and Harris Faulkner.  

    It is not at all improper, or even unusual, for candidates for office to make television appearances. But gifting a politician with a full hour to push talking points that are then repeatedly praised by network employees is entirely different, if not unheard of, for Fox. Outnumbered has a history of offering Republican political figures such airtime to push their political agendas, although the guest hosting gig has usually gone to incumbent members of Congress in the past. The network’s decision to allow a current candidate to host the show is even more ridiculous and further demonstrates that Fox News acts as little more than a media wing of the Republican Party.

  • Cable news coverage of a national prison strike was pathetic 

    For weeks, the major networks almost completely ignored inmates' stories and demands

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    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Inmates across 17 states went on strike beginning August 21, protesting abysmal prison conditions, the revocation of inmates’ rights, and exploitative labor requirements, among other issues. Inmates have few outlets to address grievances or abuses, so it’s particularly important that media organizations dedicate time to explaining strikes and the circumstances that motivate them. Unfortunately, cable news failed to offer the latest prison strike -- reportedly one of the largest in American history -- anything close to appropriate coverage.

    A Media Matters study found that cable news covered the strike for just ten and a half minutes in total. MSNBC covered the strike for less than eight minutes from August 21 through September 9, while Fox’s coverage didn’t even make it to three. CNN failed to mention the strike even once during that period.

    Fox’s coverage of the strike was limited to one edition of Fox & Friends First, and it was framed entirely around Donald Trump’s supposed support for prison reform. Co-host Jillian Mele noted that inmates were striking and then immediately said, “The president has been pushing for prison reform, and the issue has received support from both parties. So can the president get a bipartisan win?” One of the chyrons that appeared during the segment read: “Trump has pushed for prison reform.” The Department of Justice, in fact, has supported (and rewarded) the use of private prisons -- institutions that profit off of incarceration and lack almost any accountability. Under Trump, the DOJ has additionally attempted to institute harsher federal policies on marijuana in states where it is legal to use and produce and has rescinded guidances on avoiding unfair mandatory minimum sentences and not jailing poor people simply because they cannot afford court-related fees. Trump himself has suggested that drug dealers receive the death penalty, encouraged police officers to injure suspects, and refused to sign on to a Republican-crafted prison reform bill.

    MSNBC’s coverage -- which consisted almost entirely of a single segment on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton -- featured Darren Mack, a former inmate and prison reform advocate. This segment discussed the strike leaders’ major demands, the poor treatment of inmates, and the racist origins and practices of the U.S. criminal justice system. MSNBC’s only other coverage of the strike was a passing mention on All In with Chris Hayes.

    None of the networks quoted current inmates or the leaders of the movement, whose voices are pivotal to understanding the strike and the greater reality of inmates’ lives.

    The underreported strike came two years after the largest prison strike in American history (another event that went unnoticed by mainstream outlets), and it encouraged inmates across the country to participate in work stoppages and other means of peaceful protest. This latest action was partly inspired by a brutal prison riot in South Carolina that left seven inmates dead and more than a dozen injured. Corrections officials blamed the violence at Lee Correctional Institution on a dispute over “money” and “territory,” but in an op-ed for The New York Times, historian Heather Ann Thompson reported that inmates told her corrections officials provoked the violence by housing rival gang members together. Thompson also reported that “officials’ increasingly punitive policies … exacerbated tensions on the inside.” Amani Sawari, a spokesperson for the strikers, told Vox that inmates at the Lee Correctional Institution “were placed on lockdown all day. They weren’t allowed to eat or use the bathroom. They were placed in units with rival gang members. And then their lockers were taken away, so they didn’t have any safe place to put their personal belongings, which really aggravated and caused tensions among prisoners — to the point where fights broke out, inevitably.” When the riot began, corrections officials failed to break it up, leading to the deaths of seven men.

    The violence at Lee Correctional Institution is far from an anomaly in the prison system of the United State -- the most incarcerated country in the world -- and prison activists listed “immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women” as the first of 10 demands for the strike. Other demands included the restoration of inmates’ and former inmates’ voting rights (34 states prohibit people from voting on the basis of prior convictions), better access to rehabilitative programs, an end to the racist targeting of minorities by police and prosecutors, and an “immediate end to prison slavery.”

    The term “prison slavery” refers to the exploitative practice of forcing the incarcerated to perform labor for little or no payment. Prison labor is essential to manufacturing numerous products, including blue jeans, car parts, and even military and police equipment. Just last month, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation bragged that over 2,000 inmates had been called on to help fight the state’s devastating wildfires. They were paid $2.56 a day, plus one extra dollar per hour for dangerous and difficult labor that left at least two inmates dead. Perhaps most cruelly, even though the state has invested time and resources in developing skillful firefighters, almost no inmates are able to seek employment as a firefighter following release due to their felony convictions.

    The strike ended on Sunday, Sept. 9 -- the 47th anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising. Prison activists finished with a final push to restore voting rights for people convicted of felonies. Although the results remain to be seen, the strike’s effectiveness was almost certainly undermined by the paltry coverage inmates received from cable news networks.

    Methodology

    Media Matters searched the iQ media video database’s transcript and closed-captioning archive for any instance in which the word “prison” was used within 20 words of “strike” between August 21 and September 9 on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News.

  • An MSNBC segment on Serena Williams included only one Black commentator -- he was the only person to defend her 

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    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    A segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe covering Serena Williams’ loss in the U.S. Open final included commentary by three white pundits, who all criticized Williams, and a sole Black commentator, who defended her actions and argued that she set a good example for young women. The segment was a stark example of why newsroom diversity matters, and what happens when the dominant voices in the media are white ones.

    During the match, chair umpire Carlos Ramos repeatedly penalized Williams. Many in the media and on social media platforms have noted the gendered and racist nature of the violations against Williams. Some pointed out that male players have rarely been penalized for similar actions or for showing emotion on the court.

    The three white commentators on Morning Joe seemed largely unmoved by these arguments. Mike Lupica, a sports journalist, argued that Williams was “was out of line” and claimed that she had “priors at this event,” referring to past instances where Williams reacted strongly at the tournament. He also attempted to disconnect the umpire’s decisions from Williams’ race, suggesting that the violations could not have been rooted in racism because Williams’ opponent Naomi Osaka is of Japanese and Haitian descent. Co-host Joe Scarborough attempted to dismiss arguments of sexism, denying that the extreme, and often unpenalized, rants of former men's tennis player John McEnroe demonstrate that Williams was treated differently because of her gender. Instead he claimed that Williams was penalized because “the codes, a lot of the standards were changed to stop the sort of verbal abuse that John McEnroe heaped on umps.” His co-host Mika Brzezinski claimed that Williams’ behavior is not “becoming whether a man does it or a woman does it.”

    The only commentator who defended Williams’ actions was Princeton professor Eddie Glaude, who also happened to be the only Black person included in the segment. Glaude noted that the umpire’s decision was akin to “throwing Lebron James out in Game 7.” He said he understood “exactly her emotion, her anger” and argued that Williams was “absolutely justified in standing up for herself” and “point[ing] out the very gendered way in which she was responded to.” He also suggested that, “every young girl in this country who saw it should look up to her in that moment and stand up for themselves and not be disciplined by how they're supposed to behave in those moments.”

    From the September 10 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

    Glaude’s empathy for Williams, as compared to Lupica, Scarborough, and Brzezinski’s apathy, is evidence of the importance of cable programs having diverse voices, especially while discussing issues of race and gender. But, while the systemic racism and overwhelming whiteness of media is a problem for many reasons, it's also an accuracy problem:

    The absence of people of color in newsrooms and on television allows the biases of white journalists and commentators to go unchecked, resulting in reporting that often overlooks important angles, privileges one side of a story, and fails to provide necessary context to understand news events.  

    Media diversity isn't a luxury good that can be jettisoned for the sake of convenience. White newsrooms are broken newsrooms.

    Unfortunately, cable news channels have often failed to seek out diverse perspectives, and their coverage has suffered as a result.   

  • Colorado attorney general candidate George Brauchler made anti-LGBTQ and sexist comments while guest hosting a Denver radio show

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    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    A candidate for Colorado attorney general used to fill his days spewing anti-LGBTQ and sexist comments on a Denver radio show.

    District Attorney George Brauchler, who announced his campaign for attorney general in November 2017 after withdrawing from the state’s gubernatorial race, was a frequent guest host on 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show over a decade ago. Brauchler has repeatedly promised to be an attorney general “for all of Colorado,” but he made repeated discriminatory comments in his appearances on the show.

    While guest hosting in 2007, Brauchler defended right-wing radio host Ann Coulter’s use of the slur “faggot” to refer to former U.S. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC). According to Brauchler, Coulter was simply “trying to be funny.” Later in the program, Brauchler likened a request from Elizabeth Edwards that Coulter halt personal attacks against her husband to the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. He also launched a sexist attack against then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, proclaiming that Clinton has “got some big ol' legs.” But don’t worry -- Brauchler clarified that he didn’t “mean to disrespect.”

    On another 2007 edition of the show, Brauchler asked guest Jason Knight, an openly gay former naval petty officer, if being a gay person in the Navy is like “putting a kid in a candy shop.” Later in the show, Brauchler attempted to downplay the comments by saying that he was "insinuat[ing]" that "the Navy are the light-in-the-loafers service." Weeks later, Brauchler again demonstrated his homophobia by defending the U.S. military's former policy of barring openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from service. Brauchler maintained that the policy was acceptable because the military “discriminate[s] against people coming into the military based on height, weight, eyes, a whole list of medical things.” He also claimed that because the military does not accommodate service members’ religious needs (which, in fact, it did and does), it does not have to accept their sexual orientation: “The military asks everybody that's a part of it to make a sacrifice.”

    As a guest host, Brauchler also dismissed climate change concerns. During a 2007 discussion of former Vice President Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Brauchler stated, “I don't watch communist propaganda, I don't watch Al Qaeda prop -- why would I watch Al Gore's propaganda?" He claimed there was no “scientific consensus” that “global warming exists and it's man's fault” -- a statement that was untrue even before 2007.

  • Brett Kavanaugh's emails show his opposition to Roe. Anti-choice commentators like Rick Santorum wouldn't support him otherwise.

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    On CNN’s New Day, CNN senior political commentator Rick Santorum claimed that an email in which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested that Roe v. Wade may not be “settled law” does not show the judge’s actual opinion on the case. Santorum’s assertion that the email reveals nothing about Kavanaugh’s stance is undermined by his own extremely anti-choice past -- a history that suggests he would not support a Supreme Court nominee unless he was confident that the judge would work to overturn Roe.   

    In a 2003 email that was leaked to The New York Times, Kavanaugh recommended editing a document to remove language that referred to Roe as “the settled law of the land,” writing, “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent.” This stance contradicts his recent assertions that he views Roe as settled law, and further suggests that the keystone reproductive rights case would be overturned should he join the court.

    During Santorum’s appearance on New Day, the former Pennsylvania senator argued that Kavanaugh was merely explaining “the facts” that “there are people who have a different point of view” on Roe. When co-host John Berman pushed back and noted that the email showed “what [Kavanaugh] thinks about the facts,” Santorum disagreed, claiming, “That’s not what’s in that email.” From the September 7 edition of CNN’s New Day:

    Santorum’s assertion that we can’t be sure of Kavanaugh’s thoughts about the case is suspicious at best, given his own deeply held anti-choice views. The former senator’s opinions on abortion are extreme, callous, and immensely cruel. He is opposed to abortion at any point, for any reason -- even in cases of rape or incest. When he was asked about sexual assault survivors who desire abortions during a 2012 interview, Santorum argued that survivors should view pregnancies that result from rape as “a gift in a very broken way” and ought to “make the best out of a bad situation.” He’s also stated that doctors who provide abortions in these cases should face criminal charges.

    Santorum has bragged about the depth of his anti-choice stance, and unsurprisingly has argued that Roe ought to be overturned. Given his extreme antipathy toward abortion rights, it’s obvious that Santorum would not support a nominee for Supreme Court unless he was sure that the candidate would rule to overturn Roe.

    And, contrary to Santorum's claims, it's pretty clear that opponents of reproductive rights know full well what Kavanaugh's email meant.

  • Fox host inaccurately cites Ruth Bader Ginsburg's confirmation hearings to defend Kavanaugh avoiding tough questions 

    In reality, Justice Ginsburg substantively answered numerous policy questions 

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    During Fox News’ coverage of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Fox host Martha MacCallum invoked the so-called Ginsburg rule to suggest that Kavanaugh could evade questions about his judicial philosophy and views on controversial issues. Republicans have been pushing the claim that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg refused to answer senators’ questions during her own confirmation hearing to justify Kavanaugh's evasiveness. In reality, Ginsburg offered substantive responses about her positions on a variety of topics, including a constitutional right to abortion.

    From Fox News’ September 5 coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings:

    MARTHA MACCALLUM (CO-HOST): ​You think back to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who said, you know, no foretelling, no forecasts, no signs from me about how I would rule on any of these issues. And that really has become the norm in these hearings where the nominee struggles to keep any -- to hold back any light that could be shed on how they would rule on any one of these hot button issues.

    As NPR notes, Ginsburg, like others before her, did say in her opening remarks that “it would be improper for her to give any hints of how she might rule in future cases.” However, "she did answer questions about what she considered settled law ... including her view that the Constitution includes a right to privacy," as well as responding substantively to questions about “affirmative action, gender discrimination, single-sex education, [and] the limits of congressional powers.” Ginsburg did not shy away from expressing her stance on reproductive rights, telling the senators that the right to have an abortion is “central to a woman's life, to her dignity. It's a decision that she must make for herself. And when Government controls that decision for her, she's being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

    Far from refusing to answer the committee questions, Ginsburg was actually one of the most responsive Supreme Court nominees in history, according to a study NPR cited.  President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, however, was the “least responsive nominee in decades.” Kavanaugh's handlers’ refusal to provide documents from his time with the Bush administration suggests that he may be similarly evasive during his confirmation hearings. For right-wing figures to point to the “Ginsburg rule” to defend his evasiveness, however, is nothing more than a bad faith attempt to legitimize his refusal to comment on important topics.  

  • The Trump administration is confiscating Americans’ passports and casting doubt on their citizenship. Fox & Friends doesn’t care.  

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    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    On August 29, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is rejecting the passport applications of some American-born citizens living along the U.S. southern border and casting doubt on their citizenship. Fox & Friends, unsurprisingly, failed to cover the story.     

    According to the Post’s Kevin Sieff, the number of passport denials and revocations has increased under President Donald Trump as the administration accuses “hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates.” Some American citizens, whose American birth certificates have been deemed suspect by the administration, are being held captive in detention centers and even targeted for deportation. Almost all of those affected by the administration’s latest draconian policy are Hispanic. According to a Media Matters review, Fox & Friends did not once mention the Post article, even while news of the administration’s newest assault on Hispanic Americans received a lot of attention by news organizations, as well as on social media. CNN's morning show New Day also failed to mention the story, though the channel's early morning program, Early Start and CNN Newsroom both discussed the report. Fox & Friends' failure to cover the report is particularly alarming given the way the show has hyped Trump's draconian immigration agenda in the past.

    This latest devastating and racist attack on the rights of American citizens follows a summer of horrifying abuses at the hands of the Trump administration, which has adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy on immigrants who cross the border “illegally.” The Trump administration has forcibly separated immigrant families, bankrolled child prisons, and deported parents while holding their children captive. Fox News has responded apathetically to the administration’s endless cruelties, oscillating between ignoring them and defending the actions and their impact on immigrants. So, it should come as no surprise that Fox & Friends chose to ignore the administration's seizure of Americans’ passports. It’s just another example of the hosts’ willingness to bury their heads in the sand and ignore any scandal or cruelty of the Trump administration.

  • Fox’s Tomi Lahren claims she’s “never seen a first lady be attacked” like Melania Trump

    Lahren: "Can you imagine if we would sit here on Fox News and attack Michelle Obama for something that she was trying to do to better the country?" (Yes, we can)

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    During an August 22 appearance on Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Tomi Lahren asserted that she has “never seen a first lady be attacked like” Melania Trump and asked, “Can you imagine if we would sit here on Fox News and attack Michelle Obama for something that she was trying to do to better the country?” Lahren’s comment came in response to criticism of the first lady, whose campaign against cyberbullying stands in laughable contrast to her husband’s frequent online screeds and insults.  

    From the August 22 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    TOMI LAHREN (FOX CONTRIBUTOR): How could someone be so disgusting and so vile to tweet this about our first lady, who is advocating for anti-bullying? I have never seen a first lady be attacked like this, like Melania Trump has, for the good works and the good deeds that she’s done. Can you imagine if we would sit here on Fox News and attack Michelle Obama for something that she was trying to do to better the country? We’d be attacked for it up and down. But because it’s Melania, because her last name is Trump, people like Ana Navarro think it’s OK, that they’re entitled to do that.

    In fact, Fox, and right-wing media in general, spent a decade obsessively ridiculing Obama, and their attacks on the former first lady continue even now. Right-wing personalities, including those on Fox, targeted Obama with an endless stream of racist and sexist jabs. They attacked her appearance, her clothing choices, and her accomplishments, often going to absurd lengths to find something new to mock. A particular source of outrage among right-wing media was Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. Fox’s Sean Hannity derided the initiative as “taking the nanny state to a new level,” and the network reported that the first lady was “target[ing] freedom fries.”

    Given Fox’s decade of insults, Lahren’s contention that it would be unimaginable for the network to attack Michelle Obama for “something that she was trying to do to better the country,” is clearly absurd. She isn’t the first Fox personality to attempt to re-write history, however. In 2017, Sean Hannity similarly claimed that “nobody picked” on Michelle Obama, even though he personally targeted her for years.

    One of the few times that Fox & Friends liked Michelle Obama's words was when Melania Trump said them.