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Hannah Groch-Begley

Author ››› Hannah Groch-Begley
  • The Fox News Primary For October: Trump Still Leads, While Fiorina Falls


    Donald Trump on Fox News

    Republican presidential hopeful and reality TV star Donald Trump yet again dominated his fellow contenders on Fox in the month of October, while Carly Fiorina's total time on the network fell dramatically.

    Trump's October appearances on Fox News came to a total of 4 hours and 27 minutes, giving him more than a quarter of the total time given to all of the GOP candidates, which was 16 hours and 7 minutes in October over the course of 126 appearances. In fact, his time was 2 hours and 43 minutes more than the second place finisher, Sen. Rand Paul (who came in at only 1 hour and 44 minutes). Ben Carson came in third, just a few minutes behind Paul, at 1 hour and 37 minutes. On 10 of the 11 shows that hosted Trump, he also held the largest proportion of total time that each individual show devoted to the Republican candidates.

    Trump has maintained the airtime lead since June, despite repeatedly feuding with the network. Last month he appeared on Fox 22 times, but none of those appearances were in studio. Instead, the majority of his interviews were via satellite or over the phone; he has given 35 out of the 46 total phone interviews on Fox for all candidates over the last six months.

    Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina's time on Fox dropped dramatically in October. Though she received about an hour and a half of airtime in both August and September, last month she appeared on Fox only three times for a total of 19 minutes.

    Appearances by GOP on Fox in Oct

    Both George Pataki and Jim Gilmore, who are still running for president, had zero interviews on Fox in October. This is Pataki's second month in a row with zero interviews; since May, he has made only 12 appearances.

    Jeb Bush received 8 appearances in October and 6 in September, up from his more typical 2 or 3 appearances per month earlier in the race. But his numbers still pale in comparison to Trump's, and his total number of appearances since May lags behind every other candidate except Gilmore and Pataki. 

    Appearances May through October

    Hannity maintained its lead among Fox shows for featuring the most candidate appearance time, with 3 hours and 15 minutes in October. Hannity has now featured a total of 19 hours and 59 minutes of candidate appearances from May through October.

    Since May 1 through October, Republican presidential candidates have made a total of 699 Fox News appearances accounting for 91 hours and 16 minutes.

    Shows in May

    Shows May through October

    The Numbers

    Most Total Airtime In October: Donald Trump (4 hours and 27 minutes)

    Most Total Appearances In October: Donald Trump (22 appearances)

    Fox Show With The Most Total Candidate Airtime In OctoberHannity (3 hours and 15 minutes)

    Fox Show With The Most Candidate Appearances In OctoberHannity (24 appearances)

    Softball Question Of The MonthSean Hannity asked the following to Jeb Bush on October 29:

    HANNITY: Do you think maybe in light of the battles you've had with Trump and this battle you had with Marco Rubio last night, that maybe what you're saying and describing and your record and your belief that you can advance that on a national stage as president -- do you think you're better off talking about those things than battling Trump and Marco?

    Most Total Airtime Since May 1: Donald Trump (17 hours and 31 minutes)

    Most Total Appearances Since May 1: Donald Trump (89 appearances)

    Fox Show With The Most Total Candidate Airtime Since May 1Hannity (19 hours and 59 minutes)

    Fox Show With The Most Candidate Appearances Since May 1Hannity (113 appearances)

    Previous Fox Primary Reports

    May 2015

    June 2015

    July 2015

    August 2015

    September 2015


    For this study, we used's "2016 Presidential Candidate Watch List." Jim Gilmore's inclusion in the study began after his formal announcement on July 30. Rick Perry's data extends until September 11, and Scott Walker's data extends until September 22, which is when each candidate respectively ended their campaigns. Any future appearances from these former candidates will not be included in this study.

    Media Matters searched the Nexis database and our internal video archive for all guest appearances on Fox News Channel between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and Fox News Sunday for the 15 presidential candidates in question: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.

    Beginning with the August report, Media Matters has collected appearances on weekend shows in addition to weekday shows and Fox News Sunday. All weekend data from May 1 onward is now included.

    For programs where a transcript was unavailable, we reviewed the raw video.

    Charts by Oliver Willis. Additional research by Media Matters' research staff.

  • We Counted Every Question: The Benghazi Hearing Was Dominated By Debunked Media Myths And Things Clinton Already Answered

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Hillary Clinton at her second congressional Benghazi testimony

    316 questions -- and we already knew the answers.

    The 11-hour Benghazi Select Committee hearing featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a marathon of old news. Media Matters' review of the entire "pointless" event found that the vast majority of questions demanded Clinton confirm facts that were already on the record, thanks to previous testimony by other officials, reporting on the ground, and Clinton's own past statements.

    In particular, a significant number of the questions from Republicans rehashed common conservative media myths about Benghazi, or seemingly bore no relevance to the 2012 terrorist attacks.

    Of the 316 total questions, according to our count Republican members of the committee asked 249.

    75 questions

    About 75 of their questions -- 30 percent -- involved information that was already specifically discussed during Clinton's first day of hearings in front of Congress in January 2013. Those hearings (she appeared twice on the same day before both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee) only lasted a total of about five hours and 35 minutes, but Clinton and her questioners managed to provide a plethora of information that yesterday's Select Committee was apparently unaware existed.

    For instance, Clinton had already answered questions about who handled requests for increased security at Benghazi prior to the 2012 attacks. She had already answered questions about why, in the days following the attacks, she had -- like the intelligence community and eyewitnesses on the ground -- discussed the anti-Muslim video that sparked worldwide protests and which the alleged terrorists themselves cited as a motivation. And she had already explained that the compound in Benghazi was a "temporary" facility, and thus not under the normal regulations for more typical consulates and embassies.

    Despite Clinton having answered all of those questions before, Republicans on the committee kept asking them, including at least 12 full questions referencing the anti-Muslim video and how the attacks were initially described by the administration. This fixation on old news came straight from right-wing media, which has spent the last three years doing backflips trying to insist that there are unanswered questions -- even occasionally contradicting their own previous reporting.

    52 questions

    One question from Republicans, in fact, came directly from a conservative media conspiracy theorist. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) asked Clinton if she had personally signed a waiver for the Benghazi facility, allowing it to not meet certain security requirements (emphasis added):

    But I have to ask you if you're familiar with the fact that in the wake of the 1998 bombing attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Congress passed something referred to as SECCA -- the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act, which requires the secretary of state to issue a waiver if, under two conditions, if U.S. government personnel work in separate facilities; or if U.S. overseas facilities do not meet the security setback distances specified by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

    The law specifies that only the secretary of state may sign these waivers and that requirement is not to be delegated. Was a waiver issued for the temporary mission in Benghazi and the CIA annex after the temporary mission compound was authorized through December of 2012? And did you sign that waiver, Madam Secretary?

    The Benghazi temporary mission, as Clinton explained to Brooks, did not require this kind of waiver. As Media Matters previously laid out over a year ago, the State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB) that investigated Benghazi noted that the Benghazi facility was exempted from SECCA. SECCA applies to diplomatic facilities, such as consulates, that are officially notified to the host governments. Instead, the special mission in Benghazi was a "temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government," and as such SECCA rules -- waivable or not -- did not apply.

    This question of waivers first surfaced in conservative reporter Aaron Klein's conspiracy bookThe Real Benghazi Story. Klein is a reporter for conspiracy website WND, which is probably best known for its obsession with President Obama's birth certificate. He has previously speculated that Obama might be a Muslim who works "with" Al-Qaeda, given his "Islamic background," and wondered whether Obama is Satan, because a fly landed on him.

    That's who Republicans got their hard-hitting Benghazi question from.

    But at least those questions were (sort of) related to Benghazi in 2012. About 52 of the GOP's questions to Clinton were not directly about Benghazi or Libya at all, while about 56 questions -- over 20 percent -- focused on Clinton's use of private email and a private email server. (And those 56 don't count many questions that were based on the content of those emails.) Finally, 35 questions revolved around Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton friend and former staffer in her husband's White House and a consultant to Media Matters

    In fact, Media Matters was mentioned three times.

    35 questions

    Republicans on the committee insisted that questions about Clinton's email and association with Blumenthal were related to their investigation, because "to get to the truth about Benghazi we need the complete record."

    37 months, seven completed investigations, a litany of media fact checks, and 11 hours later, it's unclear what could possibly be missing from the record. But right-wing media are already defending the committee and restarting the endless cycle of falsehoods, so we can look forward to hearing those 316 questions again and again and again.

    Additional research provided by: Cydney Hargis, Julie Alderman, Tyler Cherry

  • Media Return To Deriding Hillary Clinton's Laugh

    "The Cackle," "A Record Scratch," And Other Tired Attacks From The Debate

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Clinton and Sanders at the October 13 debate

    Multiple media figures derided Hillary Clinton's laugh during the first Democratic presidential debate, calling it a "cackle" and "a record scratch." During the 2008 presidential race, Clinton's laughter was repeatedly attacked, despite criticism that such attacks were rooted in sexism.

    During the October 13 CNN debate in Las Vegas, Clinton laughed after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defended her from repeated questions about her use of private email by criticizing the media for fixating on the issue and saying, "The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!" Clinton and Sanders shook hands as the crowd applauded.

    The moment has been described by several outlets as a highlight of the night.  

    But several media figures initially focused on Clinton's laugh. BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski tweeted, "oh god the Clinton laugh is out," while the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote, "THE CLINTON LAUGH," and Fox's Sean Hannity tweeted "Omg that laugh."

    Several conservative media figures took it further, calling it a "cackle":

    Attacking Clinton's laughter was a common theme during the Democratic primary before the 2008 election. In September 2007, after Clinton appeared on several Sunday political talk shows and laughed in response to some questions, media figures spent weeks debating and mocking her laughter. Fox News led the charge, with Bill O'Reilly even discussing Clinton's laughter with a "body language expert" who deemed it "evil," and Sean Hannity calling the laugh "frightening."

    The mainstream press picked up on the attacks on Clinton's laugh, with New York Times political reporter Patrick Healy writing an article with the headline "Laughing Matters in Clinton Campaign," in which he described Clinton's "hearty belly laugh" as "The Cackle," calling it "heavily caffeinated" and suggesting it may have been "programmed."

    Then-Politico reporter Ben Smith also described Clinton's laugh as her "signature cackle," while Politico correspondent Mike Allen and editor-in-chief John F. Harris wrote that Clinton's laugh "sounded like it was programmed by computer."

    And New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who has a long history of nasty attacks on Clinton, claimed Clinton's laugh was allowing her to look less like a "hellish housewife" and a "nag" and more like a "wag":

    As Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, once told me: "She's never going to get out of our faces. ... She's like some hellish housewife who has seen something that she really, really wants and won't stop nagging you about it until finally you say, fine, take it, be the damn president, just leave me alone."

    That's why Hillary is laughing a lot now, big belly laughs, in response to tough questions or comments, to soften her image as she confidently knocks her male opponents out of the way. From nag to wag.

    The list goes on: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, then-MSNBC host David Shuster, then-MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, radio host Mike Rosen, Dick Morris, the Drudge Report, The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi, Time magazine's Joe Klein, the New York Times' Frank Rich, CNN's Jeanne Moos, and others all debated or derided Clinton's laughter during Clinton's first run for president.

    Politico's Allen said on MSNBC during all of this that "'cackle' is a very sexist term," and disputed MSNBC's Chris Matthews' use of it in reference to Clinton. Other outlets agreed; Jezebel called out Matthews for his "cackle" criticism and other derisive remarks, asking, "can we agree that no matter what your political allegiances, this is not the way you speak of a woman -- whether she is a senator or not?" Rachel Sklar, writing in the Huffington Post, said at the time "I keep finding sexist Hillary Clinton bashing everywhere I turn," noting that criticisms of the candidate's laughter "turn completely on the fact that she's a woman. 'The Cackle?' So would never be applied to a man. We all know it."

    Unfortunately, the criticism hasn't stopped in the intervening seven years. The Washington Free Beacon has a "Hillary Laugh Button" permanently on its site. The National Journal published in June 2014, many months prior to Clinton declaring her second bid for president, a "Comprehensive Supercut of Hillary Clinton Laughing Awkwardly With Reporters." And conservative tweet-aggregator Twitchy in August mocked "scary as hell" pens which featured "Clinton's cackling head." 

  • Fox Sports' Katie Nolan Rips Sports Media For Failed Coverage On Violence Against Women: "What Matters To You? Seriously?"

    "Greg Hardy Had To Pretend To Respect Women For Twelve Minutes ... And He Couldn't Even Do That. And What's Worse, No One Stopped Him"

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Katie Nolan on Garbage Time

    Fox Sports 1 host Katie Nolan harshly criticized sports reporters over their friendly treatment of Dallas Cowboys player Greg Hardy, who returned from a suspension for assaulting and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend last year. Several sports journalists appeared to joke with Hardy about "attractive" women and, as Nolan put it, "let him go on about girlfriends and guns."

    Hardy was suspended for four games after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and "slammed" her against a futon and a couch "covered" in firearms. He was convicted by a judge of the assault last year, but that was overturned on appeal after Holder reportedly couldn't be located to testify in a jury trial.

    During a press availability this week, a reporter asked Hardy if it would take very long for him to get back in shape, and he responded, "I hope not. I hope I come out guns blazing."                                                     

    On her Fox Sports 1 show Garbage Time, Nolan responded by calling out the NFL for promoting Hardy's comments, and criticizing sports journalists who asked Hardy whether he found particular women "attractive" and failed to "act with just a shred of human decency":

    NOLAN: That guy, facing the media for the first time, said he'd like to come out "guns blazing." That's baffling to me. And not just as a woman, but as a person who majored in public relations. How do you let that comment happen? Oh, I'm sorry, not just let it happen, publish it on the league's official website, endorsing it with your precious shield, which, oh, I noticed has a pink ribbon on it this month because you care about women. That's cool, thanks.

    And if you're thinking, relax, the guy used the wrong phrasing, don't get your panties in a bunch, first of all, hey Cowboys fans, thanks for watching the show. But second of all, you're wrong. 

    See, when reporters asked Hardy questions about his treatment of women, he deflected and insisted on bringing the focus back to football. 


    But then, when they asked him about Tom Brady, a question about football, here's his response per Brandon George from the Dallas Morning News: "I love seeing Tom Brady. You seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game."

    Greg Hardy had to pretend to respect women for twelve minutes. Just twelve minutes. And he couldn't even do that. 

    And what's worse, no one stopped him. They let him go on about girlfriends and guns, and posted video of it on, because who fucking cares, right? Women won't see it. Women only care about football during those events they run, where they tell them what to cook on game day and give them free manicures.

    And then, another reporter, a person I'm supposed to feel is a colleague of mine here in sports media, "asked if Hardy looks forward to playing teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, and whether he finds their quarterback Blake Bortles' significant other attractive."

    Christ, guys. Enough. Enough. I see this shit in my timeline, next to a story about Stedman Bailey being fined by the league for pretending to take a nap on a football in the end zone, and it's just like, what are we fucking doing? What matters to you? Seriously? What matters to you? Because expecting a garbage human, who has been punished for being garbage, to come back from his suspension and not immediately resume being garbage, is asking the bare minimum. 

    And if me hoping that the league, and the Cowboys, and their PR people, and the media, could act with just a shred of human decency, is ruining football for you, then I'm disappointed I guess, in how much we're willing to accept in order to protect our precious Sundays.

    This is not the first time Nolan has called out her fellow sports reporters and media outlets for their reporting on violence against women -- even her own network.

    In September 2014, in response to the Ray Rice scandal (where the then-Baltimore Ravens running back was filmed hitting his girlfriend so violently she passed out in an elevator), Nolan posted a video online talking about women in the NFL, and in particular, the lack of women in sports media. She concluded by saying:

    NOLAN: Women in sports television are allowed to read headlines, patrol sidelines and generally facilitate conversation for their male colleagues. Sometimes, they even let us monitor the Internet from a couch. And while the Stephen A. Smiths, Mike Francesas, Dan Patricks and Keith Olbermanns of the world get to weigh in on the issues of the day, we just smile and throw to commercial.

    A lot of people like to justify women's supporting role in sports media by saying, well, they've never played the game so they just aren't qualified to speak about it. Because, God forbid, someone misspeak about the game. But topics like domestic violence and racism and corruption? Let's let Boomer handle those between downs.

    It's time for the conversation to change, or at least those participating in the conversation. It's time for women to have a seat at the big boy table, and not where their presence is a gimmick or a concept -- just a person who happens to have breasts offering their opinion on the sports they love and the topics they know.

    Because, the truth is, the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn't. I'm ready when you are, Fox.

  • The House Select Committee On Planned Parenthood That Right-Wing Media Built


    House Republicans have voted to form a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood, following a months-long campaign by right-wing media and anti-choice groups pushing deceptive attacks against the women's health organization. Multiple recent state investigations and a federal investigation have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.

  • Protests Over George Will Speeches Spread To Another University

    Santa Clara Students And Alums Petition University To Withdraw Speakers Series Invitation

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Protest against Will at Miami University

    Students and alumni at Santa Clara University are protesting an upcoming speech by syndicated columnist George Will. After Will "trivialized" campus sexual assault victims in a 2014 column, he has faced widespread opposition at schools that have hosted him. Last year, Will was uninvited from a speech at Scripps College and protested by hundreds of students at two other schools.  

    Will first came under fire after his June 2014 column dismissed "the supposed campus epidemic of rape, aka 'sexual assault,'" and argued that efforts to combat campus sexual assault have made "victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges."

    A petition at states that the signatories are "extremely disappointed" with Will's inclusion in Santa Clara's President's Speaker Series on October 8. "We find Will's flatly dismissive statements about sexual assault, climate change, and the Pope not only disrespectful," the petition states, "but contrary to the very spirit of a speaker series dedicated to 'engaging people and ideas that shape our world'" (emphasis added):

    While we believe that hosting speakers with a wide range of political viewpoints is vital to the intellectual life of the university, publications by Will demonstrate that he is not interested in the kinds of presentation and discussion that make this series a successful contribution to the mission of the university.

    Will has repeatedly issued statements that both trivialize the problem of campus sexual assaults and invalidate the experiences and feelings of sexual assault survivors.  Moreover, his recent claim that national and local efforts to combat campus rape have made "victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges" is not merely misguided, but deeply misogynistic and ignorant.

    The invitation of Will, at considerable financial cost to the university, sends a profoundly contradictory message to our campus community and particularly our students.  At this year's university convocation, President Engh talked about the need for students, faculty, staff -- and the institution as a whole -- to respond with more courage and concern to the problem of violence against women, particularly on college campuses across the country.  


    Featuring George Will in the President's Speaker Series also undercuts the dedication of many universities (including SCU) to promoting sustainability, an effort Will derides as a silly "progressive gesture."  Moreover, leading climatologist Michael Mann notes, "George Will is known for grossly misstating the science of climate change."  Ironically, in a recent opinion piece titled "Pope Francis's fact free flamboyance," Will described Pope Francis as embracing ideas "impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary," with the "intellectual tone of fortune cookies." 

    Last October, Will was uninvited from a speaking engagement at Scripps College, after the school's president said Will had "trivialized" sexual assault cases, including one "that reflects similar experiences reported by Scripps students." Later in the year, hundreds showed up to protest a speech Will gave at Miami University in Ohio, while over a thousand students signed a letter criticizing the speech. Some students at Michigan State University also turned their backs on Will during his recent commencement speech. Other students and faculty at MSU even held a separate commencement ceremony, and Michigan Senator (and MSU alumna) Debbie Stabenow condemned the decision to host Will.

    Media Matters awarded Will "Misinformer of the Year 2014" for his comments on sexual assault, climate change, and his repeated failure to disclose conflicts-of-interest in his writings.

    Image of Miami University protest courtesy of the Facebook page of the school's Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.

  • Sharyl Attkisson Got A Show After Years Of Pushing Misinformation And Conspiracies


    Discredited former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson will host a weekly news show on Sunday mornings starting October 4 on Sinclair Broadcast Group stations, which include ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates. Attkisson has a lengthy record of shoddy, inaccurate reporting, and she has pushed a bizarre conspiracy theory that the government hacked her home electronics.

  • Ed Klein's New Book Won't Fix His Reputation For "Fan Fiction"

    Unlikeable Features A Fake Quote, Implausible Dialogue, And Hillary Clinton Repeatedly Breaking Things


    Discredited reporter Ed Klein is back with another book, Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary. Like his previous output, Unlikeable features supposedly insider accounts of conversations and behind-the-scenes dealings of the most powerful politicians in the country. And, like his previous work, the book reads like a conservative fever dream translated into a screenplay.

    Klein's previous books -- which have forwarded outlandish smears like the claim that Chelsea Clinton was conceived when Bill raped Hillary -- have been roundly criticized by a wide range of reporters, including many conservatives. His supposed reporting has been labeled "bullshit," "smut," "junk journalism," and "fan fiction." Unlikeable finds Klein living up to his reputation.

    Blood Feud, Klein's 2014 book about the supposed war between the Obamas and the Clintons, was reportedly dropped by a HarperCollins imprint because it "did not pass a vetting by in-house lawyers." BuzzFeed additionally reported that HarperCollins had "concerns about the reporting quality." (The book was eventually released by conservative publisher Regnery, which also published Unlikeable.)

    Despite his complete lack of credibility, Klein can still rely on certain sections of the conservative media to celebrate his supposed scoops every time he puts out a new book, and Unlikeable has been no different. Klein's new "reporting" has garnered a series of headlines in recent weeks in the New York Post, and Klein himself has been given a platform to promote the book this week on Fox & FriendsHannityand Fox Business.

    But no matter how badly conservative media might want Klein's latest to ring true, Unlikeable is undermined by dubious sourcing and sloppy research.

    For instance, one chapter opens with a quotation supposedly from Obama Senior Adviser (and frequent Klein villain) Valerie Jarrett ominously declaring, "After we win this election, it's our turn. Payback time."

    This supposed quote has been bouncing around conservative websites and message boards for years. In 2012, Right Wing Watch tracked down the quotation's questionable origins, and discovered a convoluted series of anonymous sources overhearing other anonymous sources:

    [A]n anonymous source supposedly within the Obama campaign supposedly overheard a representative from Jarrett's office make this statement and attributed it to Jarrett herself; it was then passed along to some pseudonymous source named "Wall Street Insider" who then forwarded it to [conservative blog] The Ulsterman Report ... and it eventually ended up on Glenn Beck's radio program where the quote was treated as entirely legitimate.

    Fittingly enough, the Ulsterman Report routinely published interviews with anonymous highly-placed sources in the government that didn't pass the smell test.

    Even WND, a birth certificate-obsessed conspiracy website not exactly known for high editorial standards, reported of the supposed Jarrett quotation in 2012, "The quote, however, is suspect and is at best four steps removed from Jarrett herself." Meanwhile, Klein, who regularly touts himself as serious reporter, found it compelling enough to use as a chapter header.  

    Klein's Unlikeable Chapter 22

    In another chapter, Klein's source is allegedly a "well-known cardiologist," who claims to have been asked by Bill Clinton "to review Hillary's medical records." The cardiologist explains in an interview with Klein that politicians often fear doctors will leak their medical information "to the press ... But doctors are discreet." The doctor ("who requested anonymity") then proceeds to talk about Hillary Clinton's supposed ongoing medical problems:

    Bill was so concerned that he asked a well-known cardiologist to review Hillary's medical records. After looking over her cardiograms and X-rays and other records, the cardiologist recommended that Hillary travel with a full-time physician who would keep her under constant observation.

    "Most politicians are reluctant to be monitored by a doctor because they fear that if the results are leaked to the press, the information might harm their chances of election," the cardiologist said in an interview for this book. "But doctors are discreet. And in Hillary's case, it is very important that she be monitored on a daily basis. Her symptoms-- the fainting-- are very worrisome, especially for someone of her age. I have a lot of experience with political candidates and have seen the toll that the stress of a campaign can take. It's stressful for young candidates, and for older ones like Hillary, it's beyond belief."

    As Salon's Simon Maloy (formerly of Media Mattersexplained, Klein's "hot scoops" are usually "based on anonymous 'sources' who always happen to be present when the most powerful people in the country cook up their various schemes and conspiracies, and who then provide verbatim details of those highly scandalous conversations exclusively to Ed Klein." 

    Apparently, the Clintons keep repeatedly inviting these anonymous sources back to intimate dinner parties and important meetings and divulging their deepest secrets to them, thereby allowing Ed Klein to continue publishing books.

    Another of Klein's favorite tactics, regularly on display in Unlikeable, is using sources that have simply heard, after the fact, about private conversations they were not present for -- but which they can nonetheless recreate in impressive detail.

    In one instance, President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Jarrett have a private conversation in the White House about their supposed hatred of Clinton, which Klein somehow reproduces word-for-word based only on "sources who spoke to Jarrett":

    While Jarrett gave her briefing, the president paced, his head bowed, deep in thought. Jarrett was happy to see Hillary in trouble. Obama wasn't so sure. He felt a great deal of animosity toward both Clintons, and he smiled when Jarrett told him of Hillary's latest travails, but he didn't want to see the Democratic Party lose the White House.

    "It's all her own fault," he repeated over and over, according to sources who spoke to Jarrett. "Bill should have advised her better. He should have made her goddamn behave, follow the rules." 


    Barack plopped down in a chair and let out a sigh.

    "Dumb, dumb, dumb," he said. "Just goddamn dumb." (emphasis added)

    BuzzFeed's Katherine Miller mocked the many absurd passages in Klein's last book Blood Feud -- highlights include Hillary Clinton swirling a glass of wine and saying of Obama to her old college friends, "You can't trust the motherfucker." Miller described Klein's book as reading "like stilted fan fiction, featuring dialogue that no human has likely said or will probably ever say until you read it aloud to friends and family."

    Unlikeable continues the trend. In the below scene, President Obama and Hillary Clinton argue in the Oval Office about Clinton's use of private e-mail while secretary of state:

    But before Jarrett could intercede, Obama spun around and looked directly at Hillary.

    "There is nothing I can do one way or the other," he said. "Things have been set in motion, and I can't and won't interfere. Your problems are, frankly, of your own making. If you had been honest. . . ."

    Hillary interrupted him.

    "There are always haters out to get the Clintons," she said. (emphasis added)

    While Obama gets to sound like a Bond villain, Clinton has a habit of violently clearing off desks in fits of rage. An unnamed "Foreign Service Officer" tells Klein that "after a telephone argument with President Obama, she took her right arm and cleared off her small working desk, sending pictures, glasses, everything crashing to the floor."

    A few chapters later, Clinton does the same thing to her husband's desk:

    "You've thrown us in the crap again!" she screamed. "I've never been this pissed off at you! I don't think you really want me to be president."

    Bill looked up over the rim of his eyeglasses, which were perched on the tip of his nose.

    "Calm down," he said.

    His air of nonchalance only made Hillary angrier, and with a sweeping motion of her arm, she shoved everything off the top of his desk, sending papers and an expensive piece of Chihuly blown glass flying onto the floor.

    "Jesus!" Bill said.

    He got up to retrieve the Chihuly sculpture, which fortunately wasn't damaged. He put it carefully back on his desk. He had one of the largest private collections of Chihuly glass in the country.

    "You don't care about anything but that fucking piece of glass," Hillary said. (emphasis added)

    Clinton also sends a water glass flying across her office in a fit of rage (according to the unnamed "Foreign Service officer," who saw it "with my own eyes").  

    Unlikeable finishes with a strange and out-of-nowhere epilogue that issues dire warnings about the "new normal" in America. According to him, "long-accepted standards and codes of behavior" have been turned "upside down." Features that are "unacceptable," "abnormal," and make America "coarser" apparently include:

    Support for same-sex marriage has doubled over the past decade to 60 percent.


    In less than thirty years non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of Americans.


    Bruce Jenner, once the picture of masculinity, is canonized for being castrated.


    The average American woman now weighs the same as the average American man did in the 1960s.

    He concludes: "Conservatives rightly fear that decadence will lead to the fall of the United States just as surely as it led to the fall of Rome."

    Klein's "fan fiction" perfectly follows conservative mythology -- down to the very last page.

  • 50 Headlines That Reveal Wash. Post Reporter Chris Cillizza's Obsession With The Clinton Email Story

    Blog ››› ››› HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY

    Chris Cillizza

    Chris Cillizza has written more than 50 posts mentioning Hillary Clinton's emails since March on his Washington Post politics blog The Fix, nearly all of them issuing dire warnings about the supposedly "massive political problem."

    The New York Times first wrote about Clinton's email during her tenure at the State Department on March 2, when they falsely reported she had violated federal requirements by using a private email account. Since then, mainstream media outlets have attempted to find some scandal in the email story, often pushing various falsehoods and being forced to issue corrections after the fact. To date, there has been no evidence of any lawbreaking.

    Cillizza has been a major contributor to this effort, repeatedly claiming the email story "just keeps getting worse" and that it's "not going away," while claiming Clinton has an "honesty problem" and should "start panicking."

    Just this week, Cillizza wrote a post headlined "Just when you thought the e-mail story couldn't get worse for Hillary Clinton ..." The post misleadingly tried to repackage old email stories as new developments in the "scandal."

    Searching Nexis for pieces written at The Fix with Cillizza's byline, Media Matters found over 100 blog posts that mentioned Hillary Clinton in the headline or first paragraphs since March 2. Roughly half of those posts also mentioned Clinton's "email," "e-mail," or "server" at least once. Only a handful of the headlines suggest any good news for the Democratic frontrunner for president.

    Media Matters presents 50 headlines representative of Cillizza's coverage on Clinton's emails:


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