Ainsley Earhardt

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  • Here Are The Excuses Right-Wing Media Are Using To Defend Trump Asking Comey To Drop Investigation Into Flynn

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Right-wing media figures -- particularly the hosts of Fox & Friends -- defended President Donald Trump after revelations that he asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Conservative figures attacked Comey, even suggesting he broke the law, cast doubt on the accuracy of Comey’s memo quoting Trump, and parsed Trump’s words to suggest that he did not request an end to the investigation.

  • Fox & Friends Helps EPA Head Scott Pruitt Whitewash Trump’s Drastic Plans To Slash Toxic Cleanup Program

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox & Friends provided a platform for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to cast President Donald Trump as an “action-oriented leader” who will move to clean up contaminated Superfund sites, despite the fact that Trump has proposed drastic cuts to the Superfund program.

    In a May 17 Fox & Friends segment about the more than 1,300 Superfund sites across the country, Pruitt attempted to portray Trump as a leader committed to cleaning up the environment, stating, “This president is a doer. He’s an action-oriented leader. The past administration talked a lot. This administration is actually taking steps to do things to clean up the environment.”

    Though Pruitt himself has pushed for funding for environmental cleanup projects and plans to prioritize Superfund cleanups, Trump has actually proposed reducing the Superfund program’s enforcement and remedial components by nearly half. A CNN report in March highlighted how Trump’s budget blueprint would severely hamper efforts to clean up heavily polluted sites across the country. Neither Pruitt nor the Fox & Friends hosts made mention of Trump's drastic proposed budget cuts.

    From the May 17 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Alright, let me tell you what’s going on now: President Trump trying his best to drain the swamp, and much of that draining happened at the Environmental Protection Agency after the Obama administration left behind, get this, a huge toxic mess.

    AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): More than 1,300 Superfund sites, which are heavily contaminated, still require clean up.

    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And apparently that's still just the beginning. EPA Administrator, Mr. Scott Pruitt, joins us live. Good morning to you.

    SCOTT PRUITT: Good morning. Good to be back with you.

    DOOCY: The press made President Obama out to be the environmental savior, and yet, when you look at the number of toxic dumps left on your plate, it's a big number.

    PRUITT: Absolutely. In fact, Ainsley, you said these sites across the country have some of the uranium and lead, posing great risk to the citizens in those areas. And examples where the EPA just had -- didn't take any steps at all. We have a site just outside of St. Louis called West Lake that's taken the EPA 27 years just to make a decision. Not to clean it up, but just to make a decision on what should be done to clean it up. That's unacceptable.

    DOOCY: Well then that crosses Democrat and Republican administrations.

    PRUITT: Absolutely.

    [...]

    EARHARDT: What does that mean for the folks that are watching? Does this mean you can get cancer if you are exposed to all of this?

    PRUITT: Quite possibly, yes. And that's why it's so important to focus the core of the mission on those areas. This president is a doer. He’s an action-oriented leader. The past administration talked a lot. This administration is actually taking steps to do things to clean up the environment. We’re focusing on those areas that you mentioned, Ainsley.

    […]

    EARHARDT: Mr. Pruitt, we are talking about memos and what's happening in the White House. This is what the American public really needs to be focused on, right? Jobs, putting our personal safety, protecting our kids from cancer.

    PRUITT: They want leadership. And this president is providing leadership in so many areas. And it gets lost in Washington, D.C.’s malaise in all these areas.

    DOOCY: Okay, provide leadership to do what with the environment?

    PRUITT: Clean up these sites. Actually set a goal and to say 1,322 sites is unacceptable. 27 years to make a decision is unacceptable. Let’s get St. Louis cleaned up. Let’s get East Chicago--

    DOOCY: How much is that going to cost?

    PRUITT: Well we have -- the great thing about this is we have private funding. There are people out there responsible for these sites to clean up. The moneys are there to do so. It's not a matter of money, it’s a matter of leadership, and attitude, and management. And we need to do it much better.

  • When Fox News Said That Public Officials Mishandling Classified Information Was A Big Deal

    ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    Reports that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials, potentially violating espionage norms, raise the question of whether anyone on Fox News will criticize the president. Several Fox personalities viciously attacked Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information with her email server and, without evidence, claimed that she allowed foreign actors to obtain that information.

  • Fox & Friends’ Propagandistic Coverage Of Trump Firing The FBI Director, In 17 Captions

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    President Donald Trump was reportedly upset with the way cable news outlets were covering his unprecedented decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who had been overseeing an investigation into whether the president’s associates had colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. This morning, his favorite morning news program, Fox & Friends, tried to make it up to him, with an utterly propagandistic show that championed the president’s actions.

    The Trump administration claims that the president made his decision based on recommendations from the Justice Department, which had criticized Comey’s deeply flawed handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. This argument does not remotely pass the smell test, and reporting suggests that the DOJ was ordered to come up with a pretext to fire Comey because the president was angry with his handling of the Russia investigation.

    But on Fox & Friends, which the president has frequently praised for its fawning coverage of his actions, the Trump administration’s arguments were taken at face value. Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Ainsley Earhardt repeatedly laughed off concerns about the timing of Comey’s firing and savaged Democrats and the media for criticizing the president. The show booked a host of pro-Trump favorites, including former campaign aide David Bossie and close confidant Newt Gingrich, to provide the administration's line. Every single guest the show hosted to discuss the events agreed that Trump had made the right decision.

    Here is Fox & Friends’ propagandistic take on Trump firing Come, presented via the show’s captions.

    Claiming Comey cleared Trump

    According to Trump’s letter firing Comey, the FBI director had repeatedly told him that he was not the target of the FBI investigation. If true, that would be extremely irregular.

    Following the party line on Trump’s firing

    Trump’s claim that he fired Comey because the FBI director was too unfair to Clinton is an obvious lie, but the program backed him to the hilt and cheered on his actions.

    Attacks on Democrats and the press

    Among the program’s top priorities was delegitimizing all criticism of Trump’s actions. Fox & Friends repeatedly highlighted that Democrats had previously criticized Comey and pointed to what they termed media “hysteria.”

    Comey’s replacement

    The program pointed to conservative favorites including Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke as possible Comey replacements, while portraying John Pistole, a former deputy director of the bureau and close friend of Vice President Mike Pence’s, as the purported “bipartisan possibility.”

  • Parroting Trump, Right-Wing Media Figures Misrepresent Clapper’s Statements About Trump-Russia Collusion

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    President Donald Trump and right-wing media obfuscated comments that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made during his May 8 congressional testimony about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Clapper said he was not aware of evidence of such collusion, and Trump and commentators cast that comment as indication that there was no collusion. However, as others noted, just because Clapper wasn’t privy to any such evidence does not mean it doesn’t exist.