Research | Media Matters for America

Research

Here’s who the National Rifle Association is choosing to represent it at a CNN gun violence town hall

On February 21, CNN will host a town hall on gun violence set to include a wide spectrum of people affected by the Parkland, FL, school shooting. The National Rifle Association was invited to participate and chose to send its national spokesperson, Dana Loesch, to join "students, parents and community members" at the event, breaking with its decision to not participate in a similar 2016 CNN town hall. The NRA’s decision to send Loesch, who is also a far-right conservative commentator with a long history of inflammatory rhetoric, to represent the organization in a town hall discussion about gun safety and legislation that includes survivors of a mass school shooting, clearly demonstrates the extremist, fringe views the NRA has embraced to advance its cause.

February 21, 2018 5:03 PM EST
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Wash. Post health care reporter has a history of spreading misinformation about abortion

On February 14, Washington Post health care reporter Paige Winfield Cunningham garnered significant attention for tweeting that it was “super weird how people are blaming their diminished sense of well-being on the Trump administration” when “personal events determine [her] quality of life; not who’s in the [White House].” Beyond this insensitive tweet, Winfield Cunningham also has a history of spreading right-wing misinformation about abortion and reproductive health in her reporting.

February 15, 2018 3:16 PM EST
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How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2017

Broadcast TV news neglected many critical climate change stories in 2017 while devoting most of its climate coverage to President Donald Trump. Seventy-nine percent of climate change coverage on the major corporate broadcast TV networks last year focused on statements or actions by the Trump administration, with heavy attention given to the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement and to whether he accepts that human-caused climate change is a scientific reality. But the networks undercovered or ignored the ways that climate change had real-life impacts on people, the economy, national security, and the year’s extreme weather events -- a major oversight in a year when weather disasters killed hundreds of Americans, displaced hundreds of thousands more, and cost the economy in excess of $300 billion.

February 12, 2018 7:19 AM EST
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David Brooks gets everything wrong about abortion after 20 weeks

After The New York Times published an op-ed by columnist David Brooks claiming Democrats need to support a 20-week abortion ban to remain electorally competitive, several media outlets and pro-choice groups wrote responses that called out Brooks’ inaccurate assumptions. These responses not only highlighted how 20-week bans are based on junk science, but also underscored how the reality of later abortions makes support for abortion access a winning issue for Democrats.

February 8, 2018 11:28 AM EST
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WSJ debunks Murdoch-fueled conspiracy theory on FBI texts and Obama

The conspiracy theory, which was debunked by WSJ and others, was heavily pushed by Fox News and other right-wing outlets

The latest right-wing media ‘scandal,’ has completely fallen apart after The Wall Street Journal and others debunked several facets of the story. Fox News spent the day pushing Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) claim that a text message between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok referring to preparing talking points that then-FBI Director James Comey would use to brief then-President Barack Obama, implied an interference by Obama in the FBI’s investigation into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server. Right-wing media, heavily led by Fox News, and other mainstream outlets ran with the claim, despite the fact that there was no active investigation into Clinton’s emails at the time the text message in question was sent.

February 7, 2018 7:04 PM EST
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Hannity has been blaming Obama for downturns in the stock market for a decade

At least he’s consistent

After stocks plunged and the Dow Jones fell 4.6 percent, the largest single-day point drop in history, Sean Hannity blamed Obama-era policies for “cheap money” bringing the market down. In 2009, when stocks plunged during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Hannity again identified the culprit as newly inaugurated President Obama.

February 5, 2018 10:48 PM EST
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The Nunes memo perfectly lined up with what Hannity has been hyping for weeks prior to its release

Hannity in early January: “All this information about” alleged FISA abuses “will finally now see the light of day”

Almost a month before Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) chose to publicly release what was a classified and partisan memo written by intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) alleging Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ), Fox host Sean Hannity appeared to have advanced knowledge of some of the claims laid out in the Nunes memo. Almost a month prior to the memo’s public release, Hannity was hyping “shocking information … that will show systemic FISA abuse” and bragged that the media will “be forced to cover this story.”

February 5, 2018 3:34 PM EST
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Right-wing media figures have led Trump's purge of Department of Justice officials they perceive as threatening

Here’s who they have left

Right-wing media have consistently lined up behind Donald Trump to defend him against any and all allegations regarding Russian interference in the presidential election. Led primarily by Fox News and primetime host Sean Hannity, right-wing media figures have denounced, undermined, or maligned Department of Justice and FBI officials involved in the broader Russia investigation since it began. 

February 2, 2018 1:04 PM EST
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“The Storm,” the deep state, and antifa: Pro-Trump media are full of conspiracy theories about today’s train accident

After a charter train that was carrying Republican members of Congress collided with a stalled dump truck that was stuck on the train tracks in western Virginia, pro-Trump media outlets immediately pushed various conspiracy theories about the accident, including suggesting that “the deep state” was “trying to send a message” to Republican members of Congress. Fake news websites also pushed a conspiracy theory linking the potential release of the classified memo written by the Republican members of the House intelligence committee with the timing of the train crash that they claim was enacted by the “deep state.”

January 31, 2018 6:07 PM EST
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