Monica Crowley | Media Matters for America

Monica Crowley

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  • Monica Crowley, Fox promoter of bigoted conspiracy theories, named to top Treasury post

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Monica Crowley, President Donald Trump’s pick for the top communications position at the Treasury Department, is a longtime Fox News contributor who has pilloried journalists as “dishonest, hostile, biased, rude fake news” and has endorsed a series of racist conspiracy theories, including about President Barack Obama’s “real father.”

    Trump intends to nominate Crowley to be assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs, the White House announced Monday night. The position does not require Senate confirmation. 

    Crowley spent decades in right-wing media -- joining Fox in 1998 -- after serving as an aide to former President Richard Nixon in the early 1990s. At Fox, she was a C-list voice the network’s hosts regularly booked to provide the casual bigotries, hypocrises, talking points, and lies that fuel the Fox propaganda machine. 

    Her appointment is an additional sign of the unprecedented merger between Fox and the Trump White House. She is at least the 17th former Fox employee to join the administration and replaces Tony Sayegh, himself a former Fox contributor. 

    Crowley was previously tapped for a top communications job in Trump’s National Security Council shortly after his election. But she declined to take the position after CNN and Politico respectively reported that she had plagiarized portions of her 2012 book and her doctoral dissertation.  

    A few months later, she told Fox star Sean Hannity that she had been the victim of “a despicable, straight-up political hit job” and falsely claimed the charges had been “debunked.”

    Such attacks on journalism are as much a part of the job description for Trump administration communications staffers as they are for right-wing commentators. Crowley has been an eager combatant in this fight, regularly decrying the “corrupt,” “leftist” media while praising Trump for putting the “dishonest, hostile, biased, rude fake news in its place.”

    Crowley’s tenure as a conservative commentator is most notable for her adoption of conspiracy theories about Obama’s heritage during his presidency.

    She argued that it was “very legitimate” to question Obama’s birth certificate, argued that such issues “have traction” because of the then-president’s “un-American” policies, and speculated that Obama might not be a “natural-born citizen” eligible for the presidency. 

    Crowley also promoted the myths that Obama “is not Black African, he is Arab African” and that he might be a Muslim.

    Crowley’s promotion of bigoted conspiracy theories about Obama culminated with her enthusiastic promotion of Dreams from My Real Father, a 2012 documentary by conservative filmmaker Joel Gilbert that alleged that Obama is actually the biological son of the communist writer Frank Marshall Davis. 

    Gilbert’s film takes one actual fact -- Obama wrote in his memoir that he had been friendly with Davis as a teenager in Hawaii, having been introduced by his grandfather -- and uses fake sources and wild speculation to extrapolate that Davis is his “real father.” But mostly, the film’s thesis is based on Gilbert’s opinion that Obama looks more like Davis than he does the elder Barack Obama, and it features several juxtaposed images in which Gilbert circles their supposedly similar features.

    Crowley praised the film as “just dynamite” during an interview with Gilbert on her radio show, claiming that he had amassed “some very powerful evidence” and urging listeners to watch the documentary and “judge the story for themselves.”

    These are the sorts of people you end up hiring when you’re drawing on the Fox green room for your staff.

  • Fox Corp. board member Paul Ryan has been the subject of fawning praise from Fox News

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News, announced on March 19 that former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) will serve on its board of directors. Ryan had been the recipient of fawning praise from Fox News personalities in the past for his right-wing budget proposals and his selection by Mitt Romney as his vice presidential pick for the 2012 presidential election.

  • This is how right-wing media reacted to ISIS terrorism under President Obama

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN, NINA MAST, BRENNAN SUEN & CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    ISIS has claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Manchester, England, which killed more than 20 people. During Barack Obama’s presidency, right-wing media figures exploited terrorist attacks that ISIS claimed responsibility for to blame, criticize, and attack the president. Additionally, right-wing media figures castigated Obama for not leaving a foreign trip in the aftermath of an attack.

  • Fox News Goes All In On Its Efforts To Be Trump's Shills

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    Following Megyn Kelly’s announcement that she will be leaving Fox News for NBC, the network moved quickly to install pro-Trump host Tucker Carlson into her prime-time slot. Fox’s move cements its ongoing audition to serve as Trump’s go-to network for spreading his agenda, which has included the network devoting disproportionate airtime to his candidacy, then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes advising Trump, and network figures shielding and defending him from negative coverage. Trump also retreated to the network toward the end of the campaign, and since his election he has considered or selected a number of Fox News figures to serve in his administration.

  • The Right-Wing Media’s Government Takeover, Via Donald Trump

    Trump Has Picked -- Or Considered -- Over A Dozen Right-Wing Media Veterans For His Administration

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    President-elect Donald Trump has picked -- or considered -- nearly a dozen people who have worked in right-wing media, including talk radio, right-wing news sites, Fox News, and conservative newspapers, to fill his administration. And Trump himself made weekly guest appearances on Fox for a number of years while his vice president used to host a conservative talk radio show.

  • Trump National Security Pick Monica Crowley Pushed WMD Lies And Smeared Refugees As Terrorist Infiltrators

    Crowley Also Has Attacked The Media As “Corrupt” And Pushed Numerous Conspiracy Theories

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly picked Washington Times columnist and (now former) Fox News contributor Monica Crowley as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, after considering her for press secretary. Crowley repeatedly pushed false claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Iran, smeared Syrian refugees fleeing war as terrorists, routinely attacks journalists as “corrupt” and “leftist,” and has pushed numerous conspiracy theories.

    Crowley Supported Bush Administration Lie That Iraq Possessed Weapons Of Mass Destruction Before 2003 Invasion, Fearmongered About Iran WMD As Far Back As 2004

    In 2002, Crowley Said, “We Do Know That Saddam Hussein Possesses Weapons Of Mass Destruction.” Monica Crowley said on the October 8, 2002, edition of Fox News’ Fox Wire that “we do know that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.” She continued, “We know he has chemical weapons, we know he has biological, and he has a nascent nuclear capability.” [Media Matters, 5/1/06]

    In Late 2004, Crowley Claimed Iraq Might Have Moved Weapons Of Mass Destruction Out Of The Country. On a radio show in October 2004, Crowley cited a discredited Washington Times article about Russian forces allegedly removing explosives from an Iraqi facility to suggest something similar had happened to prevent American forces from finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. [Media Matters, 10/29/04]

    In April 2004, Crowley Claimed Iran “May Already Have” A Nuclear Weapon. On the April 17, 2004, edition of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, Crowley said that Iran has “weapons of mass destruction, possibly even nuclear at this point.” She later reiterated her claim about “nuclear weapons that they may already have” and claimed Iran would hand them to Al Qaeda to detonate in America. [Media Matters, 4/20/06]

    In September 2010, Crowley Allowed A Guest To Misrepresent CIA Director Leon Panetta’s Remarks To Claim “The Iranians Are About A Year Away From The Bomb.” On the September 7, 2010, edition of Fox’s The O'Reilly Factor, guest Scooter Libby -- former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- stated, "In June, of this year, the CIA director, Leon Panetta, I think on one of these shows, said that two things. One, the Iranians are about a year away from the bomb." Guest host Crowley responded, "Right." In fact, Panetta said that were Iran to decide to fully enrich its uranium, "it probably would take a year to get there," adding: "Probably take another year to develop the kind of weapon delivery system in order to make that viable." [Media Matters, 2/21/12]

    In August 2012, Crowley Said The Obama Administration Wants To “Advance Our Enemies” And Might “Want Iran To Have A Nuclear Weapon.” While guest hosting the August 24, 2012, edition of Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, Crowley said of Iran, “we’re on the cusp of them having a nuclear weapon, if they don’t already.” She then said that it seems to her that the Obama administration “almost want[s] Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” [Media Matters, 8/24/12]

    Crowley Has Smeared Syrian Refugees As Terrorist Infiltrators

    Crowley At The Berlin Wall: "Walls Work”

    Crowley: Refugees Fleeing To Europe Are An “Invasion” Of “Fighting-Age Males.”

    Crowley On Trump’s Anti-Muslim Immigration Proposal: “This Is A Holy War. This Is Essentially The Constitution Versus The Quran On Every Level.”

    Crowley Commenting On Story About Fears Of Refugees In U.S.: “ISIS, Come On In!”

    Crowley Supported False Claim Syrian Refugees Participated In Paris Terror Attacks. Crowley twice tweeted out the false claim that Syrian refugees were involved in the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. In fact, European officials explained that the attackers were all European Union citizens. [Politico, 10/4/16]

    Crowley Regularly Disparages The Press As Corrupt And “Leftist”

    Crowley Has Often Tarred The Media As “Corrupt.”

    Crowley: “Obama Has Gotten Away [With] Bloody Murder,” “Literally,” With “The Protection Of The Press.”

    Crowley Accused Media Of Running “Mafia-Like Protection Racket” On Behalf Of President Obama.

    Crowley Frequently Derides Media As “Leftist.”

    Crowley Is A Conspiracy Theorist

    Crowley Supported Trump’s Birtherism And Pushed Other Conspiracy Theories About President Obama’s Race, Faith, And “Real Father”

    Crowley: Trump’s Birtherism “Gaining Traction” Because Obama Has “Adopted Some Policies That Are Seriously Antithetical To American Values.”

    Crowley: Trump’s Questions About Obama’s Birth Certificate And Educational History Are “Very Legitimate.”

    Crowley: “Issues About [Obama’s] Origins … Have Traction” Because He Does "Un-American" Things That Give Impression He's "Not One Of Us."

    Crowley Questioned Whether Obama Is A “Natural-Born Citizen” And Eligible To Be President.

    Crowley Enthusiastically Endorsed “Dynamite” Conspiracy Theory Film Alleging Obama’s Real Father Is Communist Frank Marshall Davis. [Media Matters, 10/25/12]

    Crowley Claimed Obama Is An Arab, Not Black, And That He’s Lying By Presenting Himself As African-American. [Media Matters, 6/26/08]

    Crowley Pushed Myth That Obama Is Muslim By Falsely Claiming His Half-Brother Told The Jerusalem Post That “Obama’s Got A Really Solid Muslim Background.” [Media Matters, 6/20/08]

    Crowley Pushed Clinton Health Conspiracy Theories

    Crowley Pushed Conspiracy Theory That Clinton Faked Illness And Concussion To Avoid Benghazi Testimony.

    Crowley Helped Push Conspiracy Theory About Clinton’s Health During Presidential Campaign By Highlighting “Major Coughing Fits.”

    Crowley Routinely Fearmongers About A Democratic Takeover Of Americans’ Daily Lives Through Legislation And Administrative Action

    Crowley: 2009 Cap And Trade Legislation Was “Really About … The Government Taking More And More Control Over Your Life.”

    Crowley On Health Care Reform Debate In 2009: “We’re Talking About Nationalizing … Health Care.”

    Crowley: Obama Was Trying To “Indoctrinate Our Children” With 2009 Education Speech; “This Is What Chairman Mao Did.”

    Crowley Pushed Conspiracy Theory That ATF’s Fast & Furious Operation Was Meant To Create Conditions For Passing Stronger Gun Laws.

    Crowley: The Social Safety Net’s Purpose Is To Create A "Cult Of Victimhood And Dependency."

    Crowley: Obama’s “Whole Objective Is To ... Get People Dependent On Government."

    Crowley Has Made Inflammatory And Offensive Statements About The LGBTQ Community, President Obama, And Others

    Crowley: Justice Sonia Sotomayor Was “Basically Alexander Hamilton In Drag” During 2009 Senate Confirmation Hearing.

    Crowley: Justice Department’s Decision Not To Defend DOMA Is A “Form Of Dictatorship From “Mubarak Obama.”

    Crowley Insinuated Women's Rights Activist Sandra Fluke Was Gay And Later Apologized After Outcry.

    Crowley Said Obama And Accused Murderers Have A Similarly Negative Influence On Children.

    Crowley: “From A Conservative Perspective,” Obama’s Re-Election “Was A National Suicide.”

    Crowley Called 2011 Shooting Of Rep. Gabby Giffords A “Personal Tragedy … Not A National Tragedy,” Dismissed Memorial Service For Slain As An Obama Campaign Rally.

    Crowley: Syrian Refugee Crisis “Is Not A Migrant Crisis. This Is An Invasion.”

  • There Is No Trump Mandate

    ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Mainstream and conservative media figures are echoing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s assertion that President-elect Donald Trump has “earned a mandate” with his electoral victory. But Trump appears to have lost the popular vote, and he is the first presidential candidate to win the office without winning a majority of the votes since 2000.