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Matt McLaughlin

Author ››› Matt McLaughlin
  • Fox gives only part of the story in suggesting Obama's been "derelict"

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    A Fox News graphic today suggested that President Obama is guilty of "dereliction of duty" in his response to the Gulf oil spill, but Fox didn't give viewers the entire story in the segment that reached that conclusion.

    On Fox & Friends Saturday, co-hosts Alisyn Camerota, Clayton Morris, and Dave Briggs interviewed Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who complained that Obama has been "detached from the situation" in the Gulf. Scalise went on to state:

    SCALISE: I called the president last Friday when our governor and one of the parish presidents from another district, but somebody who I'm good friends with -- I've been talking with -- they weren't getting the answer they need on this barrier plan to protect the coast from the oil that was coming. Now, of course by the time we were even able to get any word out of the [Army] Corps [of Engineers], the oil had already started coming into the marsh, and we still didn't have any approval of the plan. And so I called the president and I said we need to talk to the president and we need to get this issue resolved.

    He later added that Obama "was standing in our way with our local leaders' plan to protect the coast from having the oil come into the marsh. So, you know, we have real issues we need resolved."

  • Media's White House "bribe" falsehood driven by discredited sources


    Media conservatives have relied on discredited sources to push the false allegation that the White House broke the law and "bribed" Rep. Joe Sestak with an administration job in exchange for staying out of the Senate race. These sources have a history of promoting falsehoods and have significant ties to the GOP -- which include supporting Sestak's opponent in the Senate race.

  • Right-wing media attack Obama over Memorial Day plans


    Conservative media have attacked President Obama, claiming that his plans to attend a Memorial Day ceremony in Chicago while allowing Vice President Joe Biden to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery are disrespectful to the military. However, previous presidents -- including Ronald Reagan -- allowed others to lay the wreath at Arlington to honor fallen troops.

  • Color of Change blasts Stossel's Civil Rights Act comments

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    The group Color of Change is calling on its supporters to hold John Stossel and Fox News accountable for Stossel's remarks that the Public Accommodation section of the Civil Rights Act should be repealed.

    On its website, Color of Change, which aims to "strengthen Black America's political voice," has posted a petition that calls on News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch to fire Stossel:

    Dear Rupert Murdoch,

    I am calling on you to fire Fox Business anchor and Fox News contributor John Stossel. His use of your platform to call for the repeal of key parts of the Civil Rights Act are an insult to Black America and to all Americans who understand the history of racism in this country and have fought for racial progress.

    Stossel's remarks fit into a troubling pattern of Fox News personalities spreading misinformation about the state of race in America, and the history of racism in this country. And it follows repeated instances of personalities disparaging Black history, leaders and institutions.

    In an email to supporters, Color of change states that "recent history has shown that the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act is still needed." The email highlights a 1994 case in which the Denny's restaurant chain paid, as The New York Times reported, "more than $54 million to settle a lawsuit by thousands of black customers who had been refused service or had been forced to wait longer or pay more than white customers." It also highlights a Justice Department lawsuit filed against the Valley Club of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, alleging that the club engaged in discrimination on the basis of race or color.

    On Fox News, Stossel discussed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and commented that "it's time now to repeal" the Public Accommodation section, "because private businesses ought to get to discriminate. And I won't ever go to a place that's racist and I will tell everybody else not to and I'll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist."

    Color of Change has had success in its activism aimed at what it says is Fox News' "troubling pattern" of misinformation about race. Last year, the group established a boycott campaign against Glenn Beck in which at least 100 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from his Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people."

  • EXCLUSIVE: Expert criticizes Stossel's "ahistorical" remarks on Civil Rights Act

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    John Stossel's argument that the Public Accommodation section in the Civil Rights Act should be repealed and that the "free market" likely would have resolved the issue of racial discrimination by businesses is "ahistorical" and "unempirical," a civil rights expert said.

    The Public Accommodation section of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination "on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin" by businesses open to the general public, such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters.

    In an interview with Media Matters, Andrew Grant-Thomas, deputy director of the Ohio State's Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, characterized Stossel's comments as "a silly statement," adding, "Market forces hadn't exactly made anti-black discrimination disappear during the several centuries before the Civil Rights Act."

  • Kelly baselessly claims that Kagan "hampered the [military] recruiting effort" at Harvard


    Megyn Kelly falsely claimed that as dean of Harvard Law School, Elena Kagan "bann[ed] the military from the campus" and baselessly asserted that Kagan "hampered the [military] recruiting effort" at Harvard. In fact, Harvard's data show that Kagan's actions did not hurt military recruitment, and Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean.

  • CBS' Schieffer pushes right-wing falsehood that Kagan "would not allow military recruiters on campus"


    CBS host Bob Schieffer falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan would not allow military recruiters on campus when she was the dean of Harvard Law School. In fact, Harvard students had access to military recruiters during Kagan's entire tenure as dean, and Harvard's data show that her actions did not hurt military recruitment.

  • Why is Sean Hannity hosting convicted felon Buddy Cianci to attack Eric Holder?

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    Sean Hannity attacks President Obama and his administration five nights a week on his Fox News show, but he made a bizarre choice to help him go after Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday night. Among the people Hannity invited onto his "Great American Panel" segment was convicted felon and former Providence, Rhode Island, Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, who joined Hannity in his ridiculous attacks on Holder.

    During the segment, Hannity stated that Holder has "disqualified himself" from being the attorney general, and Cianci chimed in that Holder was "getting in early on that ... pro-Islamic terrorist movement."

    Such inane commentary is bad enough, but one wonders why Hannity sought Cianci's thoughts about the attorney general. Yeah, Cianci was appointed special assistant attorney general in Rhode Island in 1969, but he's had more recent episodes on the other side of the law. In 2002, Cianci was sentenced to five years in prison on federal corruption charges. Nearly 20 years earlier, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a man and received a suspended sentence.

    Sure, a twice-convicted politician who was thrown out of office for corruption -- that's the guy you want discussing Holder, who is the top law-enforcement official in the country. As they say, only on Fox.

  • Beck pushes scary conspiracy theories about climate change

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    Referring to the climate change bill that was introduced in the Senate today, Glenn Beck repeatedly suggested on his Fox News show that efforts to address global warming are aimed at producing a "global government." It's the kind of fearmongering that we've come to expect from Beck, but it's worth looking more closely at a couple of his conspiracy theories.

    Beck kicked off the show by posting an on-screen graphic that read: "What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring this about?"