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Rachel Calvert

Author ››› Rachel Calvert
  • National Association Of Hispanic Journalists Condemns Donald Trump For Ejecting Univision's Jorge Ramos

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Jorge Ramos

    The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) condemned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for ejecting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from his press conference after Jorge Ramos attempted to ask a question about Trump's immigration proposals. Ramos was later permitted to return to the conference to question Trump.

    Media have criticized Trump's immigration plan for its high cost, ineffectiveness, and unconstitutionality. The NAHJ's condemnation comes in the wake of increased efforts by the Trump campaign to reach out to the Hispanic media. NAHJ's statement:

    The National Association of Hispanic Journalists condemns presidential candidate Donald Trump for allowing Univision journalist Jorge Ramos to be ejected from a news conference for simply asking questions.

    "Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades - asking questions!," said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ President. "Ramos was simply trying to hold a candidate for president accountable for statements he made about a very important topic to the American people. Mr. Trump has avoided Mr. Ramos' attempts for an interview to reasonably discuss Mr. Trump's opinions and ideas about immigration and American children born to undocumented immigrants."

    Mr. Trump's recent attacks on FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly is also unacceptable and disturbing. NAHJ stands with journalists everywhere who are simply working to pursue the truth and hold people in power accountable for their statements and their actions.

    NAHJ invites Mr. Trump to answer questions by Mr. Ramos & other Latino journalists at #EIJ15 national conference in Orlando on September 18th.

    [Update: Ramos was allowed back into the news conference after several other reporters questioned Trump on why Ramos was ejected. Ramos was able to ask several questions after being allowed back into the news conference]

  • NPR Fact-Check Explains Consequences Of Conservative Media's Push To Defund Planned Parenthood

    NPR: Defunding Planned Parenthood "Could Have Led To More Spending" And "More Unintended Pregnancies"

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    An NPR fact-check explained the harmful consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, reporting that such a move would disproportionately impact low-income people and may cost taxpayers money in the long-run.

    During an August 3 event hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested that women's health providers such as Planned Parenthood are over-funded by the government, saying "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues." The renewed push to defund Planned Parenthood has been propelled by right-wing media citing the Center for Medical Progress' deceptively edited videos to push misinformation about the health care provider's vital services, and going so far as to call for a government shutdown "if that is what it takes" to defund the organization.

    According to an August 5 NPR fact-check, defunding Planned Parenthood could have major consequences, including impacting low-income people, who comprise a large majority of Planned Parenthood's patients. Pointing to a letter from the Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall, the report explained that although the CBO has yet to come to a "firm conclusion" on the matter, defunding the organization "could have led to more spending (not to mention more unplanned pregnancies)":

    Title X and Medicaid are programs that target low- to middle-income Americans, and many of Planned Parenthood's patients are likewise lower-income. As of 2012, 79 percent of people receiving services from Planned Parenthood lived at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or lower (that comes out to around $18,500 for a single adult), according to a March Government Accountability Office report.

    [...]

    Defunding the group might cut some spending and accomplish one Republican anti-abortion goal, but it could also backfire, as Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall wrote this week in a letter addressing S. 1881.

    Though the CBO didn't do a full, formal analysis of the bill, Hall pointed out that while the bill could cut government spending, it could also increase it. While displacing Title X funding from Planned Parenthood to other clinics, the bill could have cut Medicaid spending as some beneficiaries might fail or decide not to seek out family planning services at other clinics. But on the other hand, it could have led to more spending (not to mention more unplanned pregnancies):

    "CBO also expects that some of the services that would not be used if S. 1881 was enacted would include those that help women avert pregnancies and deliveries. Reduced use of such services would be expected to lead to additional births, increasing federal spending, primarily for Medicaid. In addition, some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs."

  • 4 More Deceptive Edits In The Fifth Video Attempting To Smear Planned Parenthood

    Whole Sentences Removed In False Attack On Texas Planned Parenthood

    ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN & RACHEL CALVERT

    The Center for Medical Progress' fifth undercover video attempting to smear Planned Parenthood using deceptively-edited footage again falls flat. The video claims to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing changes to procedures to accommodate tissue donation, but the full, unedited transcript reveals that portions of sentences and extensive discussion of patient safety protocols were edited out to mislead viewers.

  • Media Outlets Cite Conservative Group's Flawed Poll On Iran Deal Without Disclosing Misleading Question

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Media are citing a flawed poll claiming majority opposition to the Iran nuclear deal conducted by Secure America Now (SAN) and Pat Caddell's Caddell Associates, without acknowledging that it contains a misleading question that falsely equates the Iran deal to the failed nuclear agreement with the North Korea agreement. Experts have explained that the Iran deal and North Korea agreement are vastly different, and SAN and Caddell have a history of advocacy polling and shady conservative advocacy campaigns.

  • Fox Cites A For-Profit Company's Website To Falsely Suggest Illegal Activity At Planned Parenthood

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Shannon Bream

    Fox News' Shannon Bream falsely suggested that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal tissue, based on a misrepresented figure sourced from the website of a separate, for-profit middleman that occasionally interacts with some Planned Parenthood affiliates.

    Following the release of the latest undercover video by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Process -- which again falsely accuses Planned Parenthood of illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue for medical research -- Bream reported on the July 28 edition of America's Newsroom that while Planned Parenthood "says it has never made a profit" on the legal tissue donations, "there are things that raise questions."

    As evidence, she pointed to the website of a company called StemExpress, which "does business with Planned Parenthood affiliates," where "you will see pricing for a fetal liver, in some cases, at over $24,000 for a single item":

    BREAM: The undercover video show Planned Parenthood affiliated doctors quoting potential pricing at $30-$100 perspecimen. But you go online to the ordering system here for StemExpress, one of the companies that reportedly does business with Planned Parenthood affiliates. You will see pricing for a fetal liver, in some cases, at over $24,000 for a single item.

    But The New York Times explained that while for-profit companies like StemExpress often act as middlemen between the non-profit Planned Parenthood and medical researchers, Planned Parenthood itself only receives "small fees" to cover expenses:

    Those companies pay small fees, usually $100 or less a specimen, to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, who say they charge only what they need to cover their expenses. The companies then process the tissue and sell it to researchers for higher prices that reflect the processing.

     [...]

    "These cells are hard to isolate," Ms. Dyer said. "These are hard processes, expensive processes that take millions of dollars of equipment. Just to attempt to do some of these isolations can cost us thousands of dollars, and it may not even work."

    The figure cited by Bream -- "$24,000 for one item" -- is actually the cost to medical researchers, according to the StemExpress website, of "a vial containing five million frozen fetal liver CD133+ stem cells." Planned Parenthood isn't paying, or receiving, that amount of money.

    The Center for Medical Progress has previously released two other heavily and deceptively edited videos targeting Planned Parenthood. The group is affiliated with discredited and violent anti-abortion activists.

  • Fox & Friends Misleadingly Claims New Citizens Won't Be Required To Pledge Allegiance To The United States

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox & Friends claimed that under a new United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "order", new citizens will "no longer be required to pledge their allegiance to the United States." But the new guidance only clarifies that new citizens may seek exemption from the clause committing them to "bear arms on behalf of the United States," similar to the conscientious objection exemptions that have been available to U.S. citizens since the 1970s.

  • Fox & Friends Credits Trump With "Theoretical Apology" To McCain

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Theoretical Apology

    Fox & Friends' Elisabeth Hasselbeck stretched to credit Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with granting Sen. John McCain "a theoretical apology" for his attack on McCain's military record. 

    Trump took to The O'Reilly Factor on July 20  to defend his now-infamous accusation that McCain -- a POW during the Vietnam war -- is "not a war hero," an attack Trump followed by sarcastically saying, "He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured." Trump has repeatedly refused to apologize to McCain for the attack, and he insisted to Bill O'Reilly that his remarks meant he believes McCain is a war hero. Trump told O'Reilly, "I have respect for Sen. McCain. I used to like him a lot. I supported him. I raised a lot of money for his campaign against President Obama, and certainly if there was a misunderstanding, I would totally take that back. But hopefully I said it correctly, and certainly shortly thereafter I said it correctly."

    Fox & Friends' Elisabeth Hasselbeck credited Trump with giving McCain a "theoretical apology" the next morning. Co-host Steve Doocy added, "And he's still steamed that John McCain referred to his supporters as crazy. You know, when you look at it in total, and given the fact that he did not back down, you gotta figure that when he was talking about the capture part, he was just kind of joking around -- a little trash talk there."

    Fox News has been running a full-throated defense for Trump over his attack on McCain, despite the fact that even the Wall Street Journal, also owned by Fox News Channel's Rupert Murdoch, is now calling out right-wing media pundits entertaining Trump's candidacy.

  • Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel Face Off In War Over Trump

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT & ALEX KAPLAN

    The Wall Street Journal called out Donald Trump's conservative media defenders in the wake of the Republican presidential hopeful's latest offensive remark, this time attacking Sen. John McCain's military record -- yet some of Trump's most vocal supporters are on the Fox News Channel, the Journal's corporate cousin as both entities' parent companies are run by Rupert Murdoch.