Alisyn Camarota | Media Matters for America

Alisyn Camarota

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  • CNN’s Corey Lewandowski Falsely Claims Trump Accepted Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate

    Lewandowski: Trump’s Birther Comments Are “A Nonissue”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    CNN political commentator and former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski whitewashed Trump’s birther history and falsely claimed the Republican presidential candidate “moved on” from his conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the U.S. After CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked if Trump believes Obama is a citizen, Lewandowski said “the birth certificate has been produced. [Trump]’s moved on.” However in 2012, Trump resurrected his birther conspiracy theory during an interview with former Fox host Greta Van Susteren, claiming that “many, many people” questioned the validity of Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Lewandowski recently  revived Trump’s birther theory, asking if President Obama was admitted into Harvard University “as a U.S. citizen,” or  “as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?”      

    CNN has received criticism for paying Lewandowski to comment on the election despite his continued ties to the Trump campaign. In addition to receiving severance from the campaign, Lewandowski is also reportedly prepping Trump for the debates and traveling with the candidate to campaign stops. In an open letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker, Media Matters president Bradley Beychok has called on Zucker to publicly address questions regarding the hiring of Lewandowski or suspend him from the network. From the September 9 edition of CNN’s New Day:

    ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): Does Donald Trump believe that President Obama was born in Hawaii? 

    COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Look, of course, he said that. He said he's not going to talk about it. 

    CAMEROTA: No he hasn’t.

    CHRISTINE QUINN: No he has not.

    CAMEROTA: He says he hasn't talked about it. He's never said he believes that. 

    LEWANDOWSKI: He has said that Barack Obama has produced his birth certificate and he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. That's what he said. 

    CAMEROTA: Why doesn't he say, I apologize for saying that he was not an American? 

    LEWANDOWSKI: No, he asked a question. He said, produce your birth certificate. The birth certificate has been produced. He's moved on. 

    QUINN: But that doesn’t mean he accepts the birth certificate.


    CAMOERTA: Let me play for you what he told Bill O'Reilly, who brought it up, OK? Bill O’Reilly, not just Democrats. Fox News is bringing it up because Donald Trump is so unresolved on this issue. Let me play this for you.

    QUINN: He never said he was born in Hawaii.


    BILL O’REILLY: Do you think your birther position has hurt you among African-Americans?

    DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t even talk about it anymore, Bill.

    O’REILLY: No, I know.

    TRUMP: Because I just don’t want to talk about it.

    O’REILLY: But it’s there. It’s on the record.

    TRUMP: I don’t know. I guess with maybe some. I don’t know why. I really don’t know why.


    CAMEROTA: That’s all he says, I don’t talk about it anymore, I don’t know why. I don’t talk about it anymore. He never says I now think I was wrong.


    My question is, why doesn't he say I was wrong? 

    LEWANDOWSKI: Look it's a nonissue. 

    CAMEROTA: No, it's not a nonissue. It keeps coming up everywhere. 

    LEWANDOWSKI: He's not running against Barack Obama in this campaign. If he was, he’d win. If he’s runs against Hillary Clinton, which is a third term of Barack Obama, he’s going to win . So let's talk about Hillary Clinton, who's running for president of the United States. 

    CAMEROTA: OK last word. 

    QUINN: Let’s talk about Donald Trump. He has insulted the president of the United States, spread lies about his citizenship, and insulted the first African-American president of the United States. And now that he's running for president? That does deserve an apology. And yet again, Donald Trump can't admit that he's wrong and dog-whistles out there across the country to divide us, not bring us together. 

    LEWANDOWSKI: Look, the president has attacked Donald Trump multiple occasions from the White House. If he wants to apologize to Donald Trump, I'm sure Donald Trump will. 

    CAMEROTA: He's not saying he’s not a citizen. He’s not saying he wasn’t born here.

    LEWANDOWSKI: He's said a number of egregious things, and he’s questioned his patriotism, he’s questioned a number of things about Donald Trump.

    CAMEROTA: This is in a different category.

    For information on Media Matters’ petition for CNN to cut ties with Lewandowski, please click here.

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


    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.”

  • CNN Host: Reza Aslan's "Tone" Demonstrated Why People Fear Islam

    Blog ››› ››› ELLIE SANDMEYER

    CNN host Chris Cuomo argued that professor of religion and author Reza Aslan's heated arguments against anti-Muslim bigotry on CNN recently demonstrated "what people are fearful of when they think of" Islam.

    On September 29, Aslan was a guest on CNN Tonight, where hosts Alisyn Camerota and Don Lemon discussed what they called the "primitive treatment in Muslim countries of women and other minorities" while on-air graphics asked, "Does Islam promote violence?" Aslan responded saying he felt CNN was over-generalizing, arguing "you're talking about a religion about 1.5 billion people and certainly it becomes easy to just simply paint them all with a single brush":

    ASLAN: You know, this is the problem, is that these conversations that we're having aren't really being had in any kind of legitimate way. We're not talking about women in the Muslim world, we're using two or three examples to justify a generalization. That's actually the definition of bigotry.

    On a follow-up segment on the October 2 edition of CNN Tonight, which noted that the network had taken criticism& for the original interview, Camerota and Lemon acknowledged Aslan's argument but defended the premise of their original segment, saying it was important to "ask the question." CNN host Chris Cuomo agreed. He argued that while the hosts shouldn't generalize, and should distinguish the practice of the religion from the practice of individual nations, Aslan's "tone was angry," so he "wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith, which is the hostility of it":

    CUOMO: Also, his tone was angry. He wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith in the first place, which is the hostility of it. Look, here's what you guys were exposing yourself to. This is the state of play in journalism today. The Muslim world is responsible for a really big part of religious extremism right now. And they are unusually violent. They're unusually barbaric in the places where it is happening. And it's happening there more there than it is in other places. Do you therefore want to generalize? Of course not. But you do want to call a situation what it is. It's not a coincidence that ISIS begins with an I. I mean, that's what's going on in that part of the world. Doesn't mean other faiths can't be violent and other cultures can't be violent, but you shouldn't be afraid of the question.

    Watch the original CNN Tonight interview with Aslan here:

  • Conservatives Misread New Report In Rush To Attack Obamacare

    Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    Right-wing media figures rushed to claim the Affordable Care Act will destroy 2 million jobs, citing a new Congressional Budget Office report, but that's not what the report found -- the CBO report projected that the law will give workers the freedom to voluntarily reduce their employment after gaining health insurance. 

    The CBO released its Budget and Economic Outlook for the years 2014 to 2024 on February 4, which projected in part that the number of full-time workers would decline by about 2 million by 2017. Right-wing media quickly pounced on the report to distort the CBO's projections about the ACA's effect on future employment.

    In a post on her Washington Post blog, Jennifer Rubin claimed the report "confirms what critics have been saying all along: Obamacare is killing jobs and squelching growth." On Fox, America's News HQ co-host Alisyn Camerota claimed "a bombshell new CBO report" found that "Obamacare will be much worse for the economy than previously predicted," and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs added it is "another round of devastating numbers for all Americans because the result of this is there will be fewer jobs":

    The CBO makes it clear that the decrease in workers is not due to jobs being lost -- rather, the ACA will allow workers to choose to work less. The projected change is in the supply of labor, not the demand for labor, and thus the CBO noted that the decrease would not lead to a corresponding increase in unemployment or underemployment (emphasis added):

    The reduction in CBO's projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024. Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA. The decline in fulltime-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect. The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).