Media Matters weekly newsletter, June 2

Welcome back to Media Matters' weekly email. As a senior researcher with Media Matters, I monitor and analyze right-wing content across a wide variety of platforms, trying to understand what makes the ecosystem tick. Each Friday I'll go through all the main narratives, craziest clips, and dumbest moments from conservative media over the past week. If you want this delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

On Wednesday night, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The Senate dutifully passed the agreement on Thursday. The United States government was set to run out of money on June 5 and the consequences for national default would have been apocalyptic. The agreement hatched between House Speaker McCarthy and Democrats is a grab bag giveaway to long-held conservative causes. Despite the consequences of a loom default and the clear victory for Republicans, right-wing media have been fuming over the agreement.

Steve Bannon decried the deal as a “total cave” to Democrats and called for any Republican voting for the deal to be primaried. On Newsmax, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro called the deal “the McCarthy Memorial Day Weekend Surrender.” Fox’s Sean Hannity lambasted the deal as “a typical D.C. swamp sewer bill.” And Newsmax’s Eric Bolling said McCarthy “gave away the ranch” to the Democrats.

Despite tepid praise from some conservatives, right-wing media at large staked their claim on national default. This saga is yet another example of conservative media’s lack of interest in even the minimal standards of governance.

Michael Savage on Newsmax

This week in stupid

  • During Newsmax’s The Record with Greta Van Susteren, the network played footage of an Iowa apartment collapse while reporting on a drone attack in Russia.

This week in scary

  • Newsmax guest Michael Savage said, “I’m willing to pick up arms. I can’t take it anymore.”

Excuse me?

  • Podcaster (and plagiarist) Benny Johnson said, “Go read your Gospels. Let me tell you who wasn’t tolerant - Christ. Tolerance is not a Christian virtue.”
  • Fox's Jesse Watters suggested that Joe and Hunter Biden, the Mexican president, and drug cartels are conspiring to steal the 2024 election. 
  • A Newsmax guest defended Chick-fil-A against conservative outrage, saying “They sell fried chicken. I don't know how much more inclusive we can get.”

In case you missed it

  • Ben Shapiro argued for antitrust lawsuits in response to the alleged “collusion” of brands employing pride marketing.
  • America First activist Tyler Russell said, “We don’t want freedom. We want a total Trumpian Reich.”
  • Fox News guest Victor Davis Hanson said, “They’ve invented these woke gods.”
  • Fox’s Mark Levin expressed opposition to a prison sentence for a woman who threatened to hang Nancy Pelosi.
  • The Daily Wire claimed Twitter has throttled a deal for the hate-fueled organization to stream its bigoted and deceptive documentary, What Is A Woman? After conservative outrage, Twitter relented and Twitter CEO Elon Musk admitted it was a "mistake" to reject the film. The film's star, Matt Walsh, has called for doctors performing gender affirming care to be executed.

Read more

  • Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is reportedly poised to give January 6 security footage to conspiracy theorist Julie Kelly.
  • Ahead of hurricane season, broadcast TV news is failing to adequately cover extreme weather events.
  • Fox News is setting up its top lawyer as a fall guy for the company's record-breaking settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
  • Arizona state Sen. Janae Shamp has shared QAnon propaganda on Facebook dozens of times.
  • Fox News covered Target’s Pride Month displays for hours but spent less than a minute on the report of sex abuse in the Illinois Catholic Church.
  • Fox News has been attacking GLSEN, a nonprofit group that works to combat anti-LGBTQ bullying. Awkwardly, Fox Corp. has previously said it has “raised awareness and demonstrated support” for the organization.
  • Fox News has been pushing the patently false and debunked claim that Target is selling “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for children.
  • Right-wing media have been accusing Chick-fil-A of going “woke” for the company’s new commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.