Immigration

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  • CNN Just Hired The Worst Economist In The World

    The Network Is Doubling Down On Its Failed Strategy Of Hosting Right-Wing Stooges In Place Of Actual Experts

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    CNN has reportedly poached discredited right-wing economic pundit Stephen Moore from Fox News. Moore spent years at Fox routinely spreading misinformation about the economy during the Obama administration and spent much of 2016 promoting Donald Trump's failed trickle-down policies while serving as his senior economic adviser. The decision to hire the notoriously incompetent Moore shows that the network remains invested in its failed strategy of giving airtime to partisan hacks instead of qualified experts.

    According to a January 30 report from Business Insider, Moore described leaving Fox News as “a hard decision” but said that “CNN made a really good offer.” The report noted that Moore joins “other right-leaning journalists and contributors” recently hired by the network, which has been adding new conservative voices since Election Day. The decision to add Moore to its roster reveals CNN to be on a troubling trajectory because, even among professional political hacks and conservative pundits, Moore has distinguished himself for his particularly shoddy work.

    Media Matters has extensively detailed Moore’s terrible track record as an economic analyst for over a decade. Moore has falsely claimed for years that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) forces workers into part-time jobs, he attempted to blame the housing crisis on Bill and Hillary Clinton, he promoted the lie that members of Congress and their staff are “exempt” from the ACA, he supported draconian budget cuts that hurt the economy, and he endorsed Republican attempts to block vital infrastructure spending.

    During his tenure as the “chief economist” at the Heritage Foundation, Moore once exaggerated the actual cost estimate of providing unaccompanied minors with access to American public schools by an absurd 63 percent, claiming it would cost $1 billion a year. During a July 2014 dispute with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Moore was caught cherry-picking statistics for an op-ed published by The Kansas City Star to intentionally mislead readers about the relationship between tax cuts and job creation. (The newspaper eventually vowed to stop publishing Moore’s work, which had to be corrected by other outlets as well.)

    The examples of Moore being clueless about even the basics of economic policy are legion. For instance, there was the February 19, 2014, interview with CNN in which host Carol Costello stopped Moore’s anti-minimum wage spin dead in its tracks:

    Moore is so widely discredited that New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait once mocked him for being unable to “find a single true fact” to back up his support for repealing the ACA. Economist Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities chided Moore in a March 2015 column for his “fact-free” endorsement of anti-union “right-to-work” laws, and Krugman once speculated that Moore’s “incompetence is actually desirable” in conservative circles, because “a smart hack might turn honest.”

    It is one thing for CNN to add a conservative perspective to its news coverage, but it is another thing entirely to grant more airtime to an incompetent serial misinformer like Steve Moore. CNN viewers are already forced to endure Trump sycophant Jeffrey Lord’s ignorant and bigoted commentary. Adding Moore to the network’s roster proves once again that CNN boss Jeff Zucker learned nothing from his organization’s humiliating relationship with irreconcilable Trump apologist Corey Lewandowski. Viewers deserve to hear analysis from qualified experts, not hacks who will eschew the facts to toe a predictable party line on every issue.

  • Cable News Hosts Anti-Muslim Extremists To Defend Trump’s Muslim Ban

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Just a few days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning U.S. entry for refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, CNN and Fox News both hosted anti-immigrant extremists or members of designated hate groups to discuss the president’s move, effectively legitimizing and normalizing these groups. Neither CNN nor Fox correctly labeled any of the guests as belonging to groups that pursue fiercely anti-Muslim, anti-refugee agendas.

  • Right-Wing Media Wrongly Cite Obama To Justify Trump’s Muslim Ban

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media figures echoed misleading claims from President Donald Trump’s administration that his executive order seeking to ban travel from seven specific, predominantly Muslim countries “came from the Obama administration,” citing what they call a 2011 “ban” on “immigration from Iraq” and the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015. But, as experts have noted, the comparison to the Obama administration's actions in 2011 and 2015 are “misleading,” as “The Obama administration’s 2011 review came in response to specific threat information” and was not an “outright ban,” and the 2015 legislation still allowed visa applications from those seven countries.

  • The Breitbart Clauses In Trump’s Executive Orders

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Two executive orders signed by President Donald Trump last week include clauses that seem designed to provide Breitbart.com and other xenophobic right-wing media outlets with fearmongering content about the supposed criminality and dangerousness of immigrants, particularly Muslim ones.

    The orders create a feedback loop between the Trump administration and the right-wing media: Both want to crack down on immigration and immigrants, so the administration is providing its media allies with fuel to inflame their audience, building support among Trump’s base for those policy shifts.

    A little-noticed clause in Trump’s executive order temporarily banning nationals from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and barring admission of refugees, signed Friday, states that in order to “be more transparent with the American people,” the federal government will release biannual reports detailing terrorism-related offenses and gender-based violence and honor killings committed in the U.S. by foreign nationals.

    Trump’s executive order on immigration enforcement likewise included a clause calling for the weekly publication of “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens” in jurisdictions that don’t honor federal requests to hold arrestees in jail due to their immigration status (so-called “sanctuary cities”).

    Critics note that the data does not support the implication that “large numbers of foreigners are coming to the United States and committing acts of terrorism here.” Likewise, studies show immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

    But the purpose of these orders is not to provide the American people with accurate information in proper context. It’s to scare the hell out of them -- particularly Trump’s base -- by taking advantage of a network of right-wing outlets that have spent years driving their audiences into a frenzy with horror stories of crimes committed by foreign nationals.

    Steve Bannon is the nexus point for this strategy. As Trump’s chief strategist, he reportedly helped draft the Muslim ban. And before joining the Trump campaign, he helped turn Breitbart, where he served as chairman, into the “platform for the alt-right,” in part by driving these xenophobic storylines.

    The website infamously has a tag devoted to “Black Crime” that aggregated stories of offenses committed by African-Americans. They’ve used similar practices to dehumanize undocumented immigrants and Muslims living in the United States and abroad.

    Breitbart aggregates reports of Muslim “honor killings” from around the globe. As with “black crime,” they have an entire tag devoted to the subject. They have a similar tag for stories about child marriage in Muslim countries. And one detailing instances of “female genital mutilation.” They also regularly suggest that American Muslims are secret operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Breitbart’s reports often portray Muslim refugees as disease-carrying criminals who are a danger to the countries in which they seek asylum, and specifically to those countries’ women. As they have sought to expand their presence in Europe, the website has frequently attacked Muslim communities in European nations and highlighted friction between those communities and white Europeans.

    Here are some headlines Breitbart has published about Islam, Muslims, and refugees:

    Likewise, Breitbart regularly aggregates reporting on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. Their singular focus creates the false impression that such crimes are far more prevalent than the data show. Here are some Breitbart headlines on undocumented immigrants:

    Thanks to Bannon and Trump, Breitbart’s efforts to stoke fears about refugees, Muslims, and immigrants will have the official aid and imprimatur of the federal government.

    The actual numbers of cases the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department will report will likely end up being relatively low. But because they will come in a steady stream, on a weekly or semi-annual basis, the reports will generate a regular set of fresh news hooks for right-wing media to stoke outrage.

    This creates a synergy between the right-wing media and the Trump administration. The Trump administration wants excuses to limit immigration and crack down on undocumented immigrants, so they need an inflamed base focused on those issues.

    Outlets like Breitbart want to be able to report horror stories about refugees, American Muslims, and undocumented immigrants, both for ideological reasons, and presumably because such stories get good traffic with Trump’s base.

    By making the information available, Trump and Bannon help those outlets, and thus gain momentum to push even harsher anti-immigrant policies.

  • White Nationalists Praise Trump’s Muslim Ban: “God Bless You,” “Feel Like Crying” With Joy

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    White nationalists are “ecstatic” and “feel like crying” with joy over President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. These virulently racist writers are praising Trump for stopping “these disgusting animals” and “sneaky sand-people” from entering the country and are also calling on Trump to arrest or impeach federal judges who oppose the ban. A neo-Nazi writer even suggested killing those protesting the ban.  

    Members of the white nationalist movement heavily supported Trump’s campaign, and the candidate, his family, and his political team courted members of the movement, including making appearances in white nationalist media, refusing to denounce them, and retweeting their messages. White nationalists celebrated when Stephen Bannon -- who made Breitbart.com "the platform for the” white nationalist “alt-right" movement -- was appointed to a senior White House role.

    Those pro-Trump writers are now “ecstatic” over his recent executive order: 

    Daily Stormer Feels “Ecstatic Joy,” Suggests Trump Should Arrest Federal Judge And Kill Protesters. The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website that celebrates Hitler and frequently attacks Jewish people. The site is ecstatic over Trump’s Muslim ban.

    Writer “Azzmador” wrote a post headlined “Glorious Leader Wreaks Havoc on Filthy Moslem Would-Be Invaders.” He added (emphasis original): “Of course, it is a Muslim ban. We just can’t call it that…yet. But it’s definitely subhuman raghead heathens at the shit end of Glorious Leader’s big stick, and they are taking a walloping, bigly.” The writer concluded by hoping that Trump would put Muslims in gas chambers:

    So everything just keeps getting better and better. President Trump is working at breakneck speed to not only meet, but to exceed his campaign promises.

    It’s already been one helluva first week.                                         

    By the end of the month, we should have the rails laid, the camps built, and the gas flowing like Febreze.

    Site editor Andrew Anglin wrote that he is feeling “ecstatic joy” and feels “like crying.” From his post:

    So I’m really feeling a lot of different emotions right now. I feel ecstatic joy. I feel admiration for our GLORIOUS LEADER. I feel shame for having doubted him. I feel sadness at the loss my city has suffered. I feel rage at the people who allowed the home I knew as a child to be ravaged by these disgusting animals when they could have just as easily said “Somalians? uh, yeah, no – they’re totally banned.”

    But most of all?

    I’m feeling comfy, fam.

    And also, I feel like crying.

    God bless you, Donald Trump.

    May you never die.

    Anglin also called on Trump to “arrest treasonous federal judge Ann Donnelly for trying to flood America with terrorists” after she issued an emergency order temporarily halting Trump’s travel ban. He wrote: “I am hereby calling on Trump to issue a warrant for her arrest. … Trump needs to arrest this woman immediately and have her charged with treason. If other judges protest, he needs to declare martial law and have them all rounded up and interned. We are at war here. This isn’t a game.” He also called on Trump to raid ACLU offices “with all head figures arrested and charged with conspiracy to undermine America and the promotion of terrorism against America.”

    Anglin suggested that Trump should kill protesters in the same fashion that Ohio National Guardsmen did when they killed four students at Kent State University in 1970. He wrote: “All we need is one Kent State-style incident, and this crap is going to end real quick. But maybe putting the DC rioters in prison for ten years will do the trick.”

    Radio Host James Edwards: “God Bless You.” James Edwards is the host of the “pro-white” radio program The Political Cesspool. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He tweeted of the ban:

    David Duke: “Greatest. Year. Ever. #MuslimBan.” David Duke is a white nationalist radio host and former Ku Klux Klan leader. He has praised the Muslim ban on Twitter:

    Infostormer: “I Have That Teary-Eyed Thing Going On Yet Again.” Infostormer is a neo-Nazi website that idolizes Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. It is virulently anti-Semitic and features the prominent tag line, “Destroying Jewish Tyranny.” The site reacted with joy to the ban, writing:

    This semi-sweeping ban on Moslem animals – easy to expand to include other nations and groups in the future – is even better than I first thought (the full State Department memo will be available shortly).

    Not only have we banned citizens from seven Third-World cesspits from entering the country, but we also have covered secret backdoor methods by which the sneaky sand-people could still attempt to infiltrate the United States.

    As of yesterday, green card holders originally from the proscribed nations, as well as those trying to enter with a passport from an accepted land, such as Britain, will be given the steel-toed boot back to the squalor of Haji-Town if they cannot pass “extreme vetting” procedures.

    I don’t know about y’all, but I have that teary-eyed thing going on yet again.

    VDare: Impeach Judge Donnelly. VDare is a white nationalist site that publishes pieces demonizing immigrants. The site’s Twitter account tweeted of the ban:

    Site editor Peter Brimelow also wrote that Judge Ann Donnelly should be impeached over her “sabotage of Trump refugee order.”