Research | Media Matters for America

Research

Charlottesville reveals dangerous new phase in right-wing assault on college campuses

The white supremacist rally this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA, which began on the campus of the University of Virginia, has raised concerns about similar activities happening at other colleges. Higher education media report college officials are growing concerned as white nationalist groups seek to hold similar events on more campuses throughout the U.S. These attempts represent an escalation of an ongoing right-wing assault on colleges.

August 17, 2017 1:56 PM EDT
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Trump’s remarks defending neo-Nazis were full of right-wing media talking points

President Donald Trump parroted multiple right-wing media talking points during a press conference as he responded to questions about deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA,. Trump, following in the footsteps of right-wing media personalities, mostly from Fox News, called counter-protesters the “alt-left,” suggested that calls to take down Confederate statues is a slippery slope that could lead to demands to take down statues of other historical figures, and defended his failure to condemn white supremacists in his initial response to the violence.

August 16, 2017 11:10 AM EDT
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Kentucky broadcast media favor anti-choice voices in covering Operation Save America protests

During the final week of July, the extreme anti-abortion group Operation Save America (OSA) protested in front of Kentucky’s last remaining abortion clinic with the goal of shutting it down. From July 1 through 31, Kentucky broadcast media aired 209 segments on the topic and overall featured a greater number of anti-abortion protesters than pro-choice advocates. Kentucky media also failed to provide context about the violent history and rhetoric of OSA, including group members’ violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE Act) during a protest in May.

August 16, 2017 9:34 AM EDT
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"Personal Gestapo," "witness intimidation," and "a witch hunt": How pro-Trump media reacted to the Manafort raid

After President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was issued a search warrant regarding the Russia investigation, pro-Trump media -- including Fox personalities, fringe blogs, neo-Nazi sites, and fake news purveyors -- lashed out, stating that it was “not about Trump,” and insisted that this was a witch hunt and another attempt to undermine the 2016 presidential election. Others claimed the FBI was acting as “someone’s personal Gestapo,” and that the raid was a form of “witness intimidation.”

August 11, 2017 8:43 AM EDT
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Right-wing media figures and online bots are going after “weak, spineless” Mitch McConnell

Right-wing media condemnation reached a fever pitch on August 9 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented that President Donald Trump had “excessive expectations” for health care reform, which many Trump loyalists in the conservative mediasphere interpreted as an attack on the president. In response, Trump sycophants along with online bots and trolls used their platforms to besmirch McConnell’s character, call for him to retire, and popularize the hashtag #DitchMitch on Twitter.

August 9, 2017 8:49 PM EDT
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Fox News and fake news purveyors praise Trump’s North Korea threat that experts call irresponsible

Various Fox News personalities and fake news purveyors are praising President Donald Trump’s statement that he would unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea should Kim Jong Un’s regime endanger American interests. While pro-Trump media are thrilled with the president’s threat, nuclear experts have explained that “threats from the US will only increase tensions” on the Korean Peninsula, where, should war accidentally break out amid heightened tensions, armed conflict would likely cause “hundreds of thousands of deaths, mostly in South Korea.”

August 9, 2017 4:08 PM EDT
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How anti-abortion groups are using Wash. Post to legitimize their attacks on Planned Parenthood 

On August 2, The Washington Post’s health care newsletter, The Health 202, featured an exclusive preview of an anti-Planned Parenthood report from the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) -- the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List. After the full report’s publication, anti-abortion groups and outlets pointed to the Post’s exclusive to legitimize the misinformation the report included or promoted the report themselves. 

August 7, 2017 1:23 PM EDT
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Newspapers are turning to hate group Conservative Republicans of Texas over the state's proposed bathroom ban

Conservative Republicans of Texas is an anti-LGBTQ hate group whose leaders have said that a “key part of the homosexual agenda” is “overturning the laws prohibiting pedophilia”

National and local newspapers have repeatedly quoted and highlighted anti-LGBTQ hate group Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT) when reporting on proposed legislation in Texas that would prevent transgender people from using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. CRT’s leaders have compared LGBTQ people to “Nazis,” claimed that a “key part of the homosexual agenda” is “overturning the laws prohibiting pedophilia,” and said that the “word transgender is a euphemism … for the word pervert.”

August 6, 2017 10:16 AM EDT
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STUDY: Voting rights coverage was dominated by Trump's lies and ignored systemic problems

A 12-month-long Media Matters study of evening cable news programs and broadcast morning shows and nightly newscasts found that discussions of voting rights and issues related to voting featured misinformation pushed by Republican lawmakers and were dominated by President Donald Trump’s false claims about voter fraud and noncitizen voting. Additionally, coverage also lacked discussions of gerrymandering, the impact of voter suppression on the 2016 election, and laws on the state level to curb voting rights.

August 6, 2017 8:00 AM EDT
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Some journalists can see through Trump's economic ruse. Time for everyone else to catch up.

Trump wants credit for economic progress, but the continued recovery has little to do with him

President Donald Trump has been promoting record high valuations on the Dow Jones industrial average as proof of his supposed economic accomplishments and has attacked news outlets for not covering the stock market gains and steady job creation during the first six months of his presidency. In response to both his boasts and his frequent criticism, journalists have been quick to point out that Trump deserves little credit for positive economic trends that predate his administration given his lack of substantive policy accomplishments while in office.

August 4, 2017 4:58 PM EDT
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The White House is relying on hate groups and their junk research to defend the RAISE Act

The White House has endorsed the RAISE Act, a staunchly anti-immigrant piece of legislation that would drastically cut legal immigration to the U.S. on the false premise that immigrants have a negative impact on the economy. To defend its support for the bill, the White House relied on widely-criticized studies by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and cited the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA for their praise of the bill. CIS, FAIR, and NumbersUSA are anti-immigrant nativist groups that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled “hate groups.” After years of right-wing media promoting their policies and mainstream media legitimizing them in their reports, the Trump administration is finally manifesting their nativist wish list.

August 3, 2017 3:56 PM EDT
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Anti-abortion media use new smear video to lobby lawmakers before health care vote

In the early hours of July 28, Republican senators failed to pass a bill to dismantle key parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defund Planned Parenthood on a 51-49 vote. Prior to the vote, the discredited anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) had released yet another of its deceptive smear videos alleging wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and anti-abortion and right-wing media circulated the clip as a reason to vote for the Republican bill.

August 2, 2017 11:15 AM EDT
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Meet the extreme anti-abortion group trying to close Kentucky's last clinic

The extreme anti-abortion group Operation Save America (OSA) gathered in Kentucky for a week in July to protest -- and ultimately try to shutter -- the state’s one remaining abortion clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Given that OSA’s protests have garnered national media attention, here’s what media outlets should know about the violent history and rhetoric of the group and its leaders.

August 1, 2017 4:44 PM EDT
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