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Nick Fernandez

Author ››› Nick Fernandez
  • The Right-Wing Media’s Hillary Clinton Diagnoses, From “Stroke” To “Dead in Six Months”

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    For years, right-wing media have baselessly speculated on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s health, claiming she has suffered various illnesses ranging from “stroke” to “Parkinson’s disease,” and guessing she’ll be “dead in six months.” Here are some of right-wing media’s various Clinton diagnoses.

  • The Associated Press Finally Deletes “Misleading” Tweet About The Clinton Foundation After Keeping It Posted For Two Weeks

    AP Vice President Of Standards: “The Tweet Fell Short Of AP Standards”

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    The Associated Press has released a statement explaining their decision to delete a 2-week-old tweet about Hillary Clinton’s meetings as Cabinet secretary after concluding the tweet fell short of AP standards by omitting essential context. According to the statement, the August 23 tweet “gave a distorted picture of” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “meetings and was not backed up by the AP’s own reporting.”

    On August 23, the Associated Press published a “misleading” tweet alleging that “more than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation,” findings that the report the tweet linked to claimed indicate “possible ethics challenges if [Clinton is] elected president.”

    Now, after more than two weeks of allowing the misleading tweet to circulate on Twitter, and over a week after the AP’s executive editor dubbed the tweet “sloppy” (but refused to take it down), the Associated Press has decided it is time to delete the tweet.

    The decision to delete the tweet comes after “near unanimous agreement” among journalists that the AP’s tweet was “inaccurate” and “false,” and widespread criticism of the underlying AP report, which provided no evidence of wrongdoing and scandalized Clinton’s effort to aid a Nobel Peace Prize winner. House Republicans are now using the botched report to call for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

    The statement from Associated Press Vice President for Standards John Daniszewski noted that “[t]he tweet omitted [an] important distinction” in the AP report, and adds that “the controversy over the AP tweet has led us to an extensive reflection.” From the AP’s September 8 statement:

    The Associated Press today is deleting a 2-week-old tweet about Hillary Clinton’s meetings as Cabinet secretary after concluding the tweet fell short of AP standards by omitting essential context.

    At the same time, we are revising our practices to require removal and correction of any AP tweets found not to meet AP standards, including tweets that contain information that is incorrect, misleading, unclear or could be interpreted as unfair, or having a problem in tone.

    The tweet sent on Aug. 23 was the subject of criticism from supporters of Clinton, a number of people in the media and others who said it gave a distorted picture of the secretary’s meetings and was not backed up by the AP’s own reporting.

    [...]

    The tweet omitted the important distinction between discretionary meetings and official meetings. It read:

    BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.

    [...]

    In the earlier days of Twitter, there had been a belief that removing tweets was akin to retroactively editing a conversation; it wasn’t transparent. Additionally, tweets were seen more as providing paths to in-depth content and less as content in themselves that would remain in the public discussion for an extended period. Industry thinking on this topic has been changing. And the controversy over the AP tweet has led us to an extensive reflection on this evolution.

  • After Once Calling For "Arrest" Of Julian Assange, Now That He's Attacking Clinton, Hannity Hopes For His Release

    Hannity Once Called For Assange's "Arrest," Said Assange Was "Waging" A "War Against The US"

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox host Sean Hannity interviewed founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Julian Assange to attack Hillary Clinton despite Hannity’s previous attacks on Assange for publishing sensitive military and diplomatic documents in 2010, suggesting the United States should “go after” Assange and “arrest him” for “waging [a] war against the U.S.”

    According to a Nexis search, during a 2010 broadcast of Fox News’ Hannity, Hannity criticized Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing sensitive documents provided to them by a U.S. Army private. The documents, according to The New York Times, “amount to a secret chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world in an age of war and terrorism.” At the time, Hannity said Assange was “waging his war against the U.S.” by publishing the documents, and asked, “why didn’t they arrest” Assange? “Why can’t Obama do something about the WikiLeaks?”:

    SEAN HANNITY: All right. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make an appearance before a British judge tomorrow. Now the appearance is related to sexual assault charges that he's facing in Sweden. Now this news comes just as there's word that Assange is apparently not done waging his war against the U.S., at least not yet.

    [...]

    Revealing their identities, helping us and cooperating with us in our battle against the Taliban. These are real lives that are now in jeopardy and in danger. That was step one.

    Then 390,000 other documents were released. Many of them classified documents. And now we have this. What is -- why? Why didn't they go after this guy and why didn't they arrest him? Why didn't they stop this from being published when we had so much time to do it?

    […]

    Why can't Obama do something about the WikiLeaks? We got this four months ago. You know, we can stop pirating a music and Hollywood movies, but we can't stop this guy from stealing highly classified documents that puts people's lives at risk?

    But now that Assange has admitted to publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is promising more leaks that could be damaging to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, Fox News has given Assange a platform to discuss and preview more leaks of Democratic operatives and organizations. Although American authorities say they have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the DNC hack, when Assange implied that a murdered DNC staffer was the source of the email leak and was killed in an attempt to silence him, conservative media echoed Assange’s conspiracy theory. Roger Stone, a longtime ally and adviser to Donald Trump, has also claimed that he has “communicated with Assange,” and that, according to Stone, “the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation.”

    In a direct contrast to his previous criticism of Assange, in his September 6 interview, Hannity praised Assange for having “done a lot of good in what” Assange has “exposed,” saying that he “applaud[s]” Assange for exposing “how corrupt, dishonest, and phony our government is.” At the conclusion of the interview, Hannity told Assange, “I do hope you get free one day.”

    The interview with Hannity marks the second time in the last three weeks that Fox News has hosted Assange in primetime, with Megyn Kelly bringing Assange on to her show on August 24 to speculate about whether or not further emails he has in his possession could be a “game-changer in the US election.”

  • FBI’s Clinton Email Findings Show That Fox Got Played By Running With Imprisoned Hacker’s Lie

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Recently released FBI notes pertaining to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server reveal that Fox News’ interview and subsequent hyping of claims made by imprisoned Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar were all based on a lie. The FBI report states that “analysis” showed no “evidence that Lazar hacked the server,” and also notes that Lazar “admitted to lying to FOX News.” Fox’s willingness to report an imprisoned hacker’s claims as fact doesn’t represent the first time the network has been burned by sources in an attempt to scandalize Clinton’s use of a private email server.

  • Media: Meet Donald Trump’s New Deputy Campaign Manager, Citizens United President David Bossie

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Donald Trump’s new deputy campaign manager David Bossie has built a career out of smearing the Clintons, including being condemned by then-President George H.W. Bush for “filthy campaign tactics,” being forced to resign from his job in Congress after releasing selectively edited transcripts and videos to the press in order to smear the Clintons, and fabricating a story about a young woman committing suicide to attack former President Bill Clinton.

  • Prosecutors Investigating Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon For Being Registered To Vote In FL County He Didn’t Live In

    While Breitbart News Pushed Voter Fraud Myths

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    NBC News reports that Florida prosecutors are now investigating Donald Trump’s campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon after a report from The Guardian alleged that he is registered to vote in Florida, “at an empty house where he does not live.” Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has peddled myths about voter fraud for years.

  • Donald Trump’s Probable Immigration Plan Will Be Ripped Straight From Right-Wing Media

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ & NINA MAST

    Donald Trump’s speech on immigration is expected to outline the GOP presidential nominee’s policy on immigration. But Trump has already tested out his anti-immigrant positions with favorable right-wing media outlets, and the positions are based on false, xenophobic rhetoric pushed by many of the same conservative media outlets for years.

  • Media Hype “Optics” In AP Report On Clinton Foundation, While Admitting There Is No Evidence Of Ethics Breaches

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ & JARED HOLT

    Media are attempting to scandalize a report from The Associated Press that revealed that “[m]ore than half the people outside the government who met with now-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money ... to the Clinton Foundation,” calling the report “breathtaking” and “disturbing,” because it “looks bad,” and the “optics” and “perceptions” are problematic, despite the fact that their programs also note that “it wasn’t illegal,” and there was no quid pro quo. The focus on the “optics” of the situation rather than the facts has led some in media to criticize the reporting, and explain that “consumers of the media [should] think twice about whether or not the narrative” media are pushing “fits ALL of the facts.”

  • It's Not Just Roger Ailes: New Claim Alleges Fox News Institutionally Enables Sexual Harassment

    Echoing Past Complaints, Former Fox Host Andrea Tantaros Claims Fox Executive Covered Up For Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation against Fox News, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and top executives at the network, including the man who replaced Ailes as one of the heads of Fox News. Tantaros is the most recent of several people to accuse high-level Fox News executives and personalities of perpetuating and enabling sexual harassment in the workplace.

    Tantaros’ complaint, filed on August 22, alleges that her “tenure at Fox News devolved into a nightmare of sexual harassment by Ailes, Fox News’s then-President, and others, followed by retaliation by Ailes and others despite multiple ongoing complaints by Tantaros”:

    Plaintiff Andrea Tantaros, by her attorneys, Judd Burstein, P.C., complaining of the Defendants herein, as and for her Complaint, alleges:

    [...]

    2. ... Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.

    3. In recent months, other women have finally, laudably come forward to reveal Defendant Roger Ailes (“Ailes”) as the sexual predator that he is. However this Complaint is not just about Ailes; it also gives life to the saying that ‘the fish stinks from the head.’ For Ailes did not act alone. He may have been the primary culprit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants, who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation.”

    The “concerted effort to silence Tantaros” is nothing new regarding allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News. According to a 2004 sexual harassment suit filed against Fox host Bill O’Reilly, O’Reilly allegedly threatened a former employee, saying, “If any woman ever breathed a word I’ll make her pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born,” and adding, “If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it’s not just me, it’s [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you.” In another instance in 2005, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court against News Corp.’s Fox News Network LLC” contending that “Joe Chillemi, a Fox vice president who supervised its advertising and promotions departments, sexually harassed and subjected” Kim Weiler, a former Fox employee, and “other women to a hostile work environment, routinely using obscenities and vulgarities to describe women or their body parts.” According to Weiler’s complaint, “Fox retaliated against Weiler for complaining about discrimination.” After settling the EEOC complaint, Fox News agreed not to enable sexual harassment in the workplace by retaliating against victims.

    According to Tantaros’ new complaint, after she reported the sexual harrasment, “Ailes initially retaliated against Tantaros in a host of ways,” such as “crafting and placing insulting stories about Tantaros” on websites, and “arranging for, and giving, Tantaros permission to participate” in an interview in which the interviewer “asked outrageous questions concerning, inter alia, her breasts -- all while a Fox News media relations staffer stood by and made no effort to intercede or stop these entirely inappropriate questions.”

    Tantaros’ lawsuit also names as a defendant Bill Shine, who was named a co-president of Fox News by Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, after Ailes’ resignation. According to the complaint, when Tantaros met with Shine seeking “relief from Ailes’s sexual harassment and [Irena] Briganti’s retaliatory media vendetta against her," Shine “told Tantaros that Ailes was a ‘very powerful man’ and that Tantaros ‘needed to let this one go.’”

    Tantaros’ complaint highlights an apparent larger and pervasive problem throughout Fox News Channel: a workplace culture that reportedly encourages inappropriate behavior and ensures such behavior will be ignored or even covered up. If these reports are accurate, simply removing Roger Ailes from his position as president does not address the ongoing “effort[s] to silence” reports of illegal sexual harassment in the workplace by other Fox News executives and senior staff.