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Miles Le

Author ››› Miles Le
  • Fox News spent months on end declaring there was "no collusion" between Trump's campaign and Russia

    Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now trying to move the goalposts

    Blog ››› ››› COURTNEY HAGLE, BOBBY LEWIS & MILES LE

    In a January 16 appearance on CNN, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared to reverse course from his usual rhetoric on the Trump campaign and Russia, claiming that he has “never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign,” and Russia. Giuliani insisted that he had only stated previously that Trump himself had not colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The following morning, Giuliani appeared on CNN again to attempt to clarify what he meant, but he instead doubled down on his assertion that "neither [Trump] nor I can possibly know what everyone on the campaign was doing."

    Despite numerous indictments and mounting evidence of possible collusion, Giuliani and Trump have long insisted there was “no collusion” between Russia and the campaign. These claims have been amplified by a chorus of Trump’s strongest supporters on Fox News, who have tried making the same argument for the last couple years.  

    • Guy Benson: Regardless of whether or not collusion would be a crime, is it still the position of you and your client that there was no collusion with the Russians whatsoever on behalf of the Trump campaign?

               Rudy Giuliani: Correct. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 7/30/18]

    • Dan Henninger: But if he does issue this report, the two things at the center of it is whether the president's campaign colluded with the Russians at a very high level, and whether President Trump obstructed justice. On both those counts, I think the answer is going to be no. [Fox News, The Journal Editorial Report, 1/6/19]

    • Byron York: For example, one of the big parts of the dossier has Michael Cohen, very close to President Trump, or candidate Trump at the time, going to Prague in Europe and meeting with Russians and agreeing on a payoff in which the Trump campaign would pay the Russians for all the hacking they were doing, helping the Trump campaign. Michael Cohen said this is patently false. Now, Michael Cohen has since been charged with all sorts of things. Has been investigated.

      Laura Ingraham: By not lying about that.

      York: Correct. Not only investigated by the special counsel's office and prosecutors in New York, been charged and pleaded guilty and sentenced, and nobody said a word about Prague.

      Ingraham: Yeah. No collusion. I mean, and Andy, I mean, unless something really wild happens, no collusion. [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 12/18/18]

    • Corey Lewandowski: And whatever other people had done, whether it's Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort, it had nothing to do with the campaign, which is what Bob Mueller was supposed to be looking into, which is the collusion, which never existed between Trump's campaign and the Russians. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/9/18]

    • Byron York: But there haven't been any convictions that point to actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 12/3/18]

    • Kayleigh McEnany: There's no evidence of collusion. Millions of pages of documents have been reviewed, there's no collusion. We were told Papadopoulos is going to show us collusion now that he's cooperating with Mueller. Papadopoulos only showed us that the Trump campaign, after dozens of requests, refused to meet with Russia. We were told Cohen would find collusion. Lo and behold, no collusion there. The Lanny Davis story was a fabrication and a lie. There is no collusion. Millions of pages of documents reviewed. The Trump campaign has done nothing wrong, and this is just the latest attempt by Democrats to find collusion where there is none. [Fox News, Fox News at Night, 9/14/18]

    • Sean Hannity: No Mueller, and neither of these men, Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort, would have to deal with this. No Russia, no collusion, no campaign, no Trump involvement. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/20/18]
    • Sean Hannity: Finally tonight, our last topic covers day seven of the trial of the century, the 2005 tax and bank fraud charges against Paul Manafort. Remember, no collusion, has nothing to do with Donald Trump, nothing to do with the campaign, nothing to do with Russia. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/8/18]
    • Corey Lewandowski: Let's prove once and for all that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and anyone in Russia to impact the outcome of the election because that is the fair thing to do. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 8/5/18]
    • Anthony Scaramucci: I think [the American people] believe the president, take him at his word that there was absolutely no collusion inside the campaign. 

               Jeanine Pirro: Well, yeah. [Fox News, Justice with Jeanine Pirro, 6/16/18]

    • Corey Lewandowski: The American people know there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 6/3/18]
    • David Bossie: First of all, if there were spies in the campaign, they found nothing because there was no collusion, cooperation -- [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 5/22/18]
    • Hogan Gidley: Look, The New York Times obviously is a failing publication as we all know, but it's for reasons just like this. I mean, they can't get out of their own way. The coverage on this president has been completely negative. We are entering now into the second year of this investigation. We have given over millions of pieces of paper, countless hours from our own folks in the administration from the campaign for conversations with the investigation. We have no collusion, no corruption, no obstruction. None of those things exist and yet it still leads a lot of newscasts. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 5/20/18]
    • Katrina Pierson: This is another reason that we know there was no collusion, Martha, because they keep trying to associate Carter Page with the campaign. He was never an employee of the campaign, he volunteered to sit on a board and didn't even show up to the meeting. [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 3/5/18]
    • Tucker Carlson: Close to 20 people have been indicted in this investigation so far. Still not a single piece of evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Putin. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 2/16/18]
    • Sean Spicer: I want the investigation to play out only because I do believe that the president has been very clear from the beginning, and everyone involved in the campaign, that there was no collusion. So at some point you run out the clock. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/9/18]
    • Trish Regan: And I guess one of the things I'm amazed by is if they're so into leaking, how come we haven't heard more about this so-called collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians? [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 12/31/17]
    • Kimberly Guilfoyle: They persisted to try to demonize him, to say there was collusion, that this was an election that was totally influenced by the Russians, that there was direct collusion on part of his campaign, the president, but none of that materialized. [Fox News, The Five, 12/15/17]
    • Gregg Jarrett: And so now that we know there is no collusion in the political campaign, the question is was there collusion in the transition? No. [Fox News, Hannity, 12/13/17]
    • Corey Lewandowski: The reason we don't even talk much about the Russia investigation [in] Let Trump Be Trump is because it didn't occur during the campaign. There was no collusion. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 12/10/17]
    • Brad Blakeman: There is good news in this plea that was taken by Flynn, and that is what your guest alluded to in your earlier segment. And that is that there doesn't seem to be any there there with collusion, coercion, conspiracy with regard to the Trump campaign and the Russians trying to influence the election. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 12/1/17]
    • Sean Hannity: We will show you, right here, how there is zero evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. Zero evidence of campaign collusion. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/30/17]
    • Steve Cortes: Was there collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia? The evidence is utterly no, is emphatically no. No collusion. No collusion of any kind between the Trump campaign and any foreign source for that matter. [Fox News, Fox News Tonight, 10/25/17]
    • Brit Hume: The allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign itself and the president -- the man who is now president -- and the Russians, is virtually nonexistent. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 10/24/17]
    • Tucker Carlson: [Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s] committee has not found evidence of collusion between Putin and the Trump campaign. The whole thing is a dry well, a crock, a fraud, a scam, a politically induced hallucination. It's totally nuts. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 10/23/17]
    • Lou Dobbs: “I saw no direct evidence of political collusion between the campaign in the Trump campaign and the Russians." Cuomo's follow-on question -- are you ready? He says, ‘Now clarify that point.’ This point has been clarified for seven doggone months. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/6/17]
    • Sean Hannity: Since this Russia conspiracy theory has started, not a single shred of evidence that there was any collusion with the Trump campaign. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/11/17]
    • Sean Hannity: For eight months, we've had this media conspiracy theory being pushed and advanced without any evidence whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/11/17]
    • Sean Hannity: Hey, Don [Lemon], there's no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and you guys have been harping on that conspiracy for eight months. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/4/17]
    • Michael Needham: There's absolutely no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians on the election. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 3/12/17]
    • Jason Riley: I mean there is no evidence of direct collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 3/12/17]
    • Sean Hannity: They found no evidence at all whatsoever of any collusion between the campaign and the Russians. True?

               Sara Carter: Absolutely true. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/8/17]

    • Jonathan Turley: See, the problem is that we don't have any evidence of collusion. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 3/3/17]
    • Bill O’Reilly: Any fair-minded person has to acknowledge there’s no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, at least at this point. Correct? [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 3/6/17]
    • Bill O’Reilly: [Former National Intelligence Director James] Clapper clearly said -- and I know you heard it, so don’t spin -- that there’s no evidence produced to him of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He said it clear as day. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 3/6/17]
    • Rudy Giuliani: You know, I was a big part of that campaign. I'm trying to figure out who was the spy. Now I'm wondering, is it this person or that person or this person? Now, if there's a spy, they got nothing from it. Look, they’d be able to bring their case right now if the spy had any incriminating information. That spy should have been enough to tell them, these people were not talking to the Russians. There was no collusion with the Russians. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/17/18]
  • Protesters speak out on the government shutdown and why media should talk about its human impact

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE & AUDREY BOWLER

    With 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay and no end to the government shutdown in sight, furloughed workers and allies rallied in Washington, D.C., today to speak out about how the shutdown is hurting their communities and why news outlets need to be telling their stories.

    Here’s what they had to say:

  • Video: Fox News figures claim the government shutdown is no big deal. It actually hurts millions of people.

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE

    As the government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s border wall funding continues in its third week, around 800,000 federal workers are furloughed or working without pay. National parks are largely unsupervised, creating safety concerns and sanitary problems for visitors. Many Native American tribes have been affected as they rely heavily on federal funds to operate, and “a shutdown can cripple their most basic functions.” The shutdown has also impacted the international community.

    But Fox News figures have repeatedly downplayed the impacts of the government shutdown, insisting few people are really being affected. Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy said, “A lot of people across the country don’t even notice that part of the federal government is shut down.” Fox contributor Charlie Hurt argued, "You could shut down half of the government agencies and literally it would be years" before "the normal average working American would even know.” Fox host Greg Gutfeld claimed that “it’s not a shutdown” unless “we actually start feeling it,” suggesting that people weren’t being affected. Sean Hannity took multiple opportunities to characterize the “so-called big government shutdown” as “not really a shutdown.”

    Here are several instances where good reporting proved that Fox News is lying about what the government shutdown actually means:

  • 30 times Trump directly echoed Fox & Friends in 2018

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE

    Anyone who pays attention to President Donald Trump’s Twitter account knows that he is an enthusiastic fan of Fox & Friends and watches it as part of his morning routine. As Media MattersMatt Gertz has documented, the Trump-Fox feedback loop is even more extreme than you think.

    There are numerous examples of the president tweeting about what he hears on Fox & Friends. Here are 30 instances from 2018 alone.

  • #WontBeErased: Transgender activists and allies rally against Trump administration's attempt to erase trans people

    Protesters explain why media must include trans voices in their coverage

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE & AUDREY BOWLER

    Transgender activists and their allies gathered in front of the White House on Monday to protest the Trump administration's latest attack on transgender rights.

    The New York Times recently uncovered a memo drafted by the Department of Health and Human Services that would severely constrain the legal definition of sex and gender. The proposal suggested key government agencies define gender as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” meaning that gender would be defined as determined by genitalia at birth or through genetic testing.

    This definition, if implemented, would have enormous repercussions for transgender and gender nonconforming people in the United States. It would basically eliminate federal recognition for those 1.4 million people who identify as a gender other than the one listed on their birth certificate.

    Since the news broke, the trans community and their allies have rallied to protest the administration's continued attempts to roll back civil rights protections for LGBTQ, and particularly transgender, Americans.

    Here's what activists had to say about protecting trans rights and the media's role in covering the transgender community, including the need for media to include trans voices in their coverage of LGBTQ issues and talk about the very real ways this will hurt people:

  • "Leftist mob," "hyenas in a bear trap," "ladies, have you no shame?": The right-wing attacks on Kavanaugh protesters are out of control

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE

    Conservative media figures have unleashed relentless attacks on people who are protesting the nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused by multiple women of sexual assault, to the Supreme Court. Right-wing media figures have likened the protesters to deranged monsters, compared them to children, claimed that they are on drugs, called for punitive measures against them, and more.

    Here’s a roundup of the attacks:

  • Brett Kavanaugh lied repeatedly. News reports and personal accounts prove it.

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE, LEANNE NARAMORE & TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a petulant liar -- about matters large and small -- and he often tells his lies under oath. During his confirmation hearings with Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh’s falsehoods have run the gauntlet from repeatedly lying that Christine Blasey Ford’s account of being sexually assaulted by him has been “refuted” by witnesses, to lying about his behavior in high school and college, to repeatedly lying about the policies he worked on in the Bush administration. Kavanaugh is such a brazen liar that many of his false claims have been entirely refuted by reporting:

    Here are some of Kavanaugh’s lies:

    Kavanaugh repeatedly claimed Ford’s accusation has been “refuted” by others who she said attended the party -- even though the other attendees have said no such thing. Kavanaugh seized on the word “refuted” when responding to Ford’s report, claiming in five instances that the three people who Ford says were at the party when Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her had “refuted” her account. That’s an obvious misrepresentation of what those people have said. They have actually all said that they don’t recall the party in question -- a major difference from saying something didn’t happen. And Ford’s friend Leland Keyser has said that although she doesn’t remember the party in question, she believes Ford is telling the truth.

    Kavanaugh said he “did not travel in the same social circles” as Ford, but he did. During prepared remarks, Kavanaugh said that Ford “and I did not travel in the same social circles. It is possible that we met at some point at some events, although I do not recall that.” But Ford testified that she went out with one of Kavanaugh’s friends, whose name appears 13 times in Kavanaugh’s calendar.

    Kavanaugh attempted to fabricate an alibi by suggesting he did not drink on weekdays and was out of town almost every weekend night of the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh claimed that the incident Ford described “presumably happened on a weekend” and suggested that he and his friends didn’t drink during the week because of their jobs while adding he was “out of town almost every weekend night before football training camp started in late August.” In doing so, Kavanaugh attempted to falsely imply that he did not attend the type of get-together that Ford described. Kavanaugh’s lie is readily apparent in the calendars he provided the committee and a contradictory statement he made acknowledging “the calendars show a few weekday gatherings at friends’ houses after a workout or just to meet up and have some beers.” In particular, great attention has focused on his July 1 calendar entry -- a Thursday -- that showed he was having “[brew]skis” with some of the people Ford said were at the party.

    Kavanaugh said he had no connection to Yale University prior to attending undergrad and law school there, but he was a legacy admittee. While denying that he was a heavy drinker in college who drank to the point of blacking out, Kavanagh said, “I got into Yale Law School -- that’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there; I got in there by busting my tail at college.” In fact, Kavanaugh’s grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh attended Yale, making Kavanaugh a legacy student.

    Kavanaugh denied every blacking out from drinking and downplayed his alcohol consumption as a young man, but numerous Yale classmates say he was a belligerent drunk. Kavanaugh became angered under questioning from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) after she asked him if he ever blacked out from excessive drinking. In response, Kavanaugh pressed Klobuchar if she had ever blacked out and claimed that he doesn’t have a drinking problem. The New York Times reported that “nearly a dozen” of Kavanaugh’s classmates “said they recalled his indulging in heavy drinking, with some characterizing it as outside the norms of college life.” His freshman roommate James Roche said Kavanaugh was “frequently unusually drunk” and would become “belligerent and mean,” while classmate Charles “Chad” Ludington said Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.” Classmate Elizabeth Swisher called Kavanaugh’s claim he never blacked out “a lie” based on her observation of his behavior at the time. Classmate Lynne Brookes told CNN that she and her former classmates were texting each other during the hearing that Kavanaugh was lying about his college drinking habits.

    Kavanaugh cited Maryland’s drinking age in explaining his behavior, even though he was too young to legally drink in any case. Twice during his testimony, Kavanaugh cited what he said had been Maryland’s drinking age, saying that “the drinking age was 18 in Maryland for most of my time in high school” and “the drinking age, as I noted, was 18 so the seniors were legal.” But Maryland raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 when Kavanaugh was 17, meaning his implication that he was a legal drinker was a lie.

    Kavanaugh said he didn’t live close to Columbia Country Club, but he did. Ford testified that the assault occurred at a house close to Columbia Country Club, where both her family and Kavanaugh’s family were members. During his opening statement, Kavanaugh said, “In her letter to Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), she said that there were four other people at the house, but none of those people, nor I, lived near Columbia Country Club.” But Kavanaugh did live close to the club, according to a map used during the hearing. His house was approximately 3.5 miles from the club. In general, all of the individuals in question lived in the suburban Maryland area surrounding the club.

    Kavanaugh lied about him and his friends’ juvenile yearbook joke targeting female acquaintance. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) questioned Kavanaugh about the text he included on his yearbook page that read “Renate Alumnius,” which refers to Renate Dolphin, an attendee of a local all-girls school. Other references to Dolphin in Kavanaugh’s yearbook make it clear that she was the target of a joke that implied she had had sexual relations with Kavanaugh and his friends. Under questioning, Kavanaugh played off the reference as merely an attempt at “affection” among he and his friends, and blamed the media “circus” for the term being interpreted as relating to sex, which it clearly was. Dolphin, who had signed a letter of support for Kavanaugh, became aware of the yearbook references and told The New York Times, “I can't begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way.”

    Kavanaugh said the “devil’s triangle” reference in his yearbook refers to a drinking game (that no one has ever heard of). Kavanaugh told Whitehouse that “devil’s triangle” was a drinking game played with three glasses and quarters. But the term is commonly used to refer to a sex act involving two men and a woman. Pete Davis, who attended high school in Washington, D.C., told Current Affairs, “Every guy who went to my D.C.-area high school knows what ‘devil’s triangle’ means. I’m sure Brett Kavanaugh knows what it means, too.”

    Kavanaugh said “boofing” yearbook reference was about flatulence. Both Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her, made references to boofing in the yearbook. Kavanaugh said during the hearing, “That refers to flatulence, we were 16.” Boofing is actually a term for anal sex. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noted on Twitter, “Urban Dictionary has the definition of ‘boof’ that I recall from high school in the 1980s and it wasn't flatulence.”

    Kavanaugh attempted to explain that his membership and title in the “Beach Week Ralph Club, Biggest Contributor” was related to his aversion to spicy food. Asked by Whitehouse about “ralphing,” Kavanaugh said it could be a reference to alcohol-related vomiting, but then went on a long explanation of his famously “weak stomach,” saying, “The last time I was here, you asked me about having ketchup on spaghetti. … I got a weak stomach, whether it’s with beer or spicy food or anything.” Whitehouse asked a follow-up question, “So the vomiting that you reference in the Ralph Club reference related to the consumption of alcohol?” Kavanaugh didn’t answer -- instead he listed his academic achievements in high school.

    Kavanaugh mischaracterized a memoir about teenage alcoholism written by Judge. Judge wrote a memoir documenting his alcoholism and antisocial behavior as a young man. In the book, Judge mentions a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” who passes out in a car from drinking. Kavanaugh told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) during the hearing that Judge’s book is “fictionalized.” The title page of the book says, “This book is based on actual experiences.” During the questioning, Kavanaugh refused to say whether he was the “Bart O’Kavanaugh” mentioned in Judge’s book, saying, “You’d have to ask him.” On October 2, The New York Times reported that Kavanaugh wrote a letter in 1983 that characterized he and his friends as “loud, obnoxious drunks” that he signed with the name “Bart,” which The Times explained was Kavanaugh’s nickname at Georgetown Prep.

    Kavanaugh denied under oath that he had watched Ford’s testimony, but The Wall Street Journal reported that he did just that. Ford spoke before Kavanaugh at the hearing. When Kavanaugh was asked whether he watched Ford’s testimony, he said, “I did not. I planned to, but I did not, as I was preparing mine.” But a judiciary committee aide told The Wall Street Journal that Kavanaugh was watching “from a monitor in another room in the Dirksen Senate Building.” WSJ uncritically repeated Kavanaugh’s statement from the hearing in an update to its initial report.

    Kavanaugh said that he first became aware of Deborah Ramirez’s report that he exposed himself to her in college when it was published in the press, but that isn’t true. While being questioned by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Kavanaugh said that he first learned that Ramirez said he exposed his penis to her when they both attended Yale “in the last -- in the period since then, in the New Yorker story.” But according to NBC News, “In the days leading up to a public allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to a college classmate, the judge and his team were communicating behind the scenes with friends to refute the claim, according to text messages obtained by NBC News.”

    Kavanaugh either lied about being a virgin for “many years” after high school to Fox News, or lied to a Yale classmate that he was not a virgin. Kavanaugh raised eyebrows with his claim during a Fox News interview when he said, “I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter.” Beyond the fact that Kavanaugh has been reported for sexual misconduct and assault, not rape, a former Yale classmate disputed Kavanaugh’s claim on the basis of things Kavanaugh himself said when they were in college.

    Kavanaugh acted like he never heard of the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres where his good friend works as a partner. During the first round of confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh was caught off guard when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked if he had discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, which was founded by Trump’s personal lawyer. Kavanaugh reacted to the question with befuddlement. But Kasowitz Benson Torres employs Ed McNally, a close friend who worked at the Bush White House with Kavanaugh, and who was also part of a testimonial put out by the Republican National Committee in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

    Kavanaugh said documents stolen from Democrats that he received from a GOP operative didn’t raise any red flags with him, even though they were marked for internal use. Kavanaugh’s receipt of emails stolen from Democratic offices during a time when he worked on judicial confirmations for the Bush administration has plagued him for years. Kavanaugh has always denied that he had any reason to believe the emails he received were stolen, but Leahy called out his claim during the initial confirmation hearings. Leahy presented Kavanaugh with emails clearly marked for internal use, including one with the subject line “spying.” Kavanaugh repeated his denial, leading Leahy to say, “Judge, I was born at night, but not last night.”

    Kavanaugh previously testified he didn’t work on the confirmation of controversial judge William Pryor, but he did. During his 2004 confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship, Kavanaugh was adamant that he had not worked on Pryor’s nomination besides participating in a “moot court argument.” During his 2018 confirmation hearings, Leahy confronted Kavanaugh with emails indicating otherwise.

    Kavanaugh said he grew up in “a city plagued by gun violence,” but he actually grew up in Bethesda, MD, which was not plagued by gun violence. Kavanaugh seemed to reference Washington, D.C., during his initial hearing, claiming, “I am a native of this area, I’m the native of an urban-suburban area, I grew up in a city plagued by gun violence, and gang violence, and drug violence.” In fact, he grew up in wealthy and low-crime Bethesda, MD.

    Kavanaugh denied knowing that disgraced Judge Alex Kozinski oversaw a work environment hostile to women, leaving other people who clerked for Kozinski scratching their heads. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski, who abruptly resigned in 2017 when facing multiple reports of sexual misconduct. Kozinski had previously been criticized in 2008 for operating “a publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos,” and for running a sexually explicit email list. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) questioned Kavanaugh about his relationship to the disgraced judge, and he denied knowing about any impropriety Kozinski was involved in, including denying knowledge of Kozinski’s widely known email list even though its existence has been public for 10 years. Former Kozinski clerk Heidi Bond wrote for Slate: “Having clerked in his chambers, I do not know how it would be possible to forget something as pervasive as Kozinski's famously sexual sense of humor or his gag list.”

  • The March for Black Women: They stand up, they fight, and they vote, and it's time media took notice

    Blog ››› ››› SARAH WASKO & MILES LE

    During the 2018 March for Black Women, Black womxn and allies marched in Washington, D.C., to protest the systemic injustices they face and to disavow systemic over-policing, gender-based violence, sexual assault, wealth inequity, and lack of political response to securing Black womxn’s basic rights. Protesters also spoke about the media’s failure to adequately cover their causes.

    Black womxn have long been the leading forces in social justice movements. They stand up, they fight, and they vote. It’s about time media start highlighting their invaluable leadership and elevate their voices as they fight for social change.

  • Video: Conservatives say they don't know why athletes are protesting. Here are over 40 athletes, coaches, sports commentators, and others explaining.

    Blog ››› ››› MILES LE

    Right-wing media figures have repeatedly attacked athletes in the NFL, NBA, and other sports leagues for speaking out about police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality. Fox News hosts and guests have claimed that athletes are ungrateful and overdramatic, that they "hate your country" for protesting "racism or something,” and that they should just “shut up and dribble.”

    Conservative commentators and guests have also complained that athletes haven’t adequately explained why they’re protesting in the first place. But current and retired professional athletes, student athletes, coaches, sports commentators, and others have explained at length what they are fighting for. Here are over 40 examples:

  • Media should stop treating Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as inevitable

    Activists and concerned citizens are fired up and engaged in the fight against Kavanaugh

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN & MILES LE


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Ever since President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill retiring Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat, media outlets have continually downplayed the energy and activism of those working to oppose this far-right nominee’s confirmation, treating it as a fait accompli.

    Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination on July 9, 2018, a week and a half after Justice Anthony Kennedy disclosed that he would be retiring from the Supreme Court (he officially retired July 31). Despite Kavanaugh’s record as “an uncommonly partisan judge” with troubling views on the environment, labor, LGBTQ discrimination, abortion rights, gun safety, immigration, and more, many media figures portrayed him as a centrist pick who is “within the broad mainstream” and “not as far right” as other options Trump considered.

    In addition, many outlets have treated his confirmation as inevitable. For example, The Washington Post and The New York Times argued that activists weren’t engaged in the fight to stop Kavanaugh. As the Post wrote, “Democrats have all but acknowledged that they are unable to stop the Senate from confirming Trump nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court this fall,” while the Times blamed everything from upcoming midterm elections to activists’ inability to compete with “an almost daily barrage of other Trump administration actions” for the perceived lack of energy. New York magazine similarly argued that “the resistance to Kavanaugh has remained on a low flame, failing to boil over into the righteous fury that characterized the battle over Obamacare repeal last summer.”

    However, as Rewire.News’ Katelyn Burns reported, “Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court is not inevitable.” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund told Burns, “A veneer of inevitability has been the actual strategy that the people backing Kavanaugh have used,” but activists are “countering that and saying, ‘No way.'” HuffPost guest writer Robert Creamer similarly argued that treating Kavanaugh’s nomination as inevitable “plays right into the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who hopes to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Creamer pointed to Kavanaugh’s extremely narrow path to confirmation -- with Republicans having “a tiny effective majority of 50 to 49 in the Senate” -- as well as his incredibly low approval numbers, and the “unprecedented nationwide campaign to resist” his confirmation, as evidence that the fight against Kavanaugh is far from over. As Teen Vogue columnist Lauren Duca wrote: “When you subscribe to the myth of inevitability, you confirm it as reality, and for anyone who gives a sh*t about equality and/or democracy, that is simply not an option.”

    Outlets may not be reporting on the vast amount of activist energy against Kavanaugh, but people are fired up and making their feelings known:

    Kavanaugh's confirmation isn't inevitable -- he's got the lowest approval ratings of any Supreme Court nominee in decades, in addition to an extreme record on a number of consequential topics. The hearings to confirm Kavanaugh start soon. And media shouldn’t erase or ignore the very real opposition to his confirmation that’s on display across the country.