Research | Page 2 | Media Matters for America


The NRA and its media outlet have long been a breeding ground for odious conspiracy theories

A National Rifle Association official had a conspiratorial correspondence with an infamous Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist after the 2018 Parkland, FL, school shooting, according to a March 27 HuffPost exclusive. The story is indicative of a culture at the NRA that allows the promotion of conspiracy theories about mass shootings, gun policy, and other topics by some of its leaders.

March 28, 2019 3:46 PM EDT

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

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.

March 19, 2019 1:19 PM EDT

Fox spends the first day of Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy assailing his name

After former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) announced that he is running for president, Fox News personalities mocked O’Rourke for using the nickname Beto, given to him by his father. Republican officials appearing on Fox shows also targeted O’Rourke's name, urging network hosts to call him by his full name, Robert Francis O’Rourke.

March 18, 2019 11:15 AM EDT

Must-read stories debunking right-wing media's attacks on later abortions

Conservatives use misinformation and stigma to vilify people who have abortions later in pregnancy

Since the introduction of recent measures to protect abortion rights in several states, right-wing media have leveraged anti-choice misinformation to not only claim that abortions later in pregnancy are never necessary but to also vilify and shame people who have them. But reading the personal accounts from later abortion patients emphasizes the reality of their different experiences, debunking harmful conservative tropes depicting later abortions as shameful or medically unnecessary. Here are just a few examples of how right-wing media amplifies anti-choice talking points to stigmatize later abortions, and several must-read accounts from actual abortion patients to correct the record.

March 13, 2019 3:39 PM EDT

White supremacists rally behind Tucker Carlson: "Heil Tucker"

Multiple white supremacist media figures, extremist outlets, men’s rights activists, and users of far-right anonymous message board 4chan rallied behind Fox News host Tucker Carlson after Media Matters unearthed audio of him making multiple sexist and racist remarks on a shock jock radio show between 2006 and 2011. According to his extremist fan base, Carlson was just saying “true things about women,” for which they declared, “Heil Tucker.”

March 13, 2019 11:29 AM EDT

Unearthed audio shows Tucker Carlson using white nationalist rhetoric and making racist remarks

Between 2006 and 2011, Fox News host Tucker Carlson spent approximately an hour a week calling in to the Bubba the Love Sponge Show, a popular shock jock radio program where he spoke with the hosts about a variety of cultural and political topics in often-vulgar terms. In addition to making many misogynistic remarks and sexual comments about underage girls, Carlson, who was hired by Fox in 2009, also repeatedly made racist remarks.

Carlson credited "white men" for "creating civilization" and made numerous racist remarks about the Obamas, including agreeing that Michelle Obama would "be a problem" because she “turns into a sister” and asking of Barack Obama, "How is he Black, for one thing? He has one white parent, one Black parent.” Carlson called Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys” and said Afghanistan is "never going to be a civilized country because the people aren't civilized.” He also said he had “zero sympathy” for Iraqis because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks” and that the war could turn around “if, somehow, the Iraqis decided to behave like human beings."

March 11, 2019 8:01 PM EDT

How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2018

Broadcast TV news coverage of climate change plummeted 45 percent from 2017 to 2018, even as the climate crisis steadily worsened. The major news programs on the broadcast networks aired a combined total of just 142 minutes of climate coverage in 2018, or less than two and a half hours. Almost three-quarters of that coverage aired in just the last three months of the year. The networks did a particularly poor job of explaining how climate change exacerbates extreme weather; none of the networks' news reports on the major hurricanes of 2018 even mentioned climate change. The networks’ coverage was also lacking in diversity: Only 9 percent of the people featured in climate segments were people of color, and only 19 percent were women.

March 11, 2019 9:11 AM EDT

In unearthed audio, Tucker Carlson makes numerous misogynistic and perverted comments

During interviews on Bubba The Love Sponge, Carlson said he "love[s]" the idea of young girls sexually experimenting, used sexist terms to refer to a number of women, and defended statutory rape 

Between 2006 and 2011, Tucker Carlson spent approximately an hour a week calling in to Bubba the Love Sponge, a popular shock jock radio program where he spoke with the hosts about a variety of cultural and political topics in sometimes-vulgar terms. During those conversations, Carlson diminished the actions of Warren Jeffs, then on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for his involvement in arranging illegal marriages between adults and underage girls, talked about sex and young girls, and defended statutory rape.

Carlson, who was hired by Fox News in 2009, also used sexist language to talk about women, including then-co-workers at NBC and public figures. He referred to Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis Stewart as “cunty,” called journalist Arianna Huffington a “pig,” and labeled Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America.” He also said that women enjoy being told to “be quiet and kind of do what you’re told” and that they are “extremely primitive.”

March 10, 2019 7:00 PM EDT

Laura Ingraham's new podcast is a total disaster 

After ending her 17-year radio show, Fox News host Laura Ingraham started a new podcast in January 2019. The change of format and venue did not reduce Ingraham’s use of racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ, and generally hateful rhetoric. Here are some examples from her first episodes that clearly show that Ingraham and her guests intend to continue shepherding listeners through a nightmarish wormhole of hatred and bigotry.

February 25, 2019 11:55 AM EST

Here are the lies and partisanship CNN's new political editor has pushed in cable news appearances

CNN has announced it hired former Department of Justice spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores as a political editor to "coordinate political coverage for the 2020 campaign at the network." This hiring decision is surprising given Isgur’s lack of journalism experience, her conflicts of interest stemming from previous roles in the Trump Justice Department and multiple GOP campaigns, and the fact that she personally pledged loyalty to President Donald Trump. But, additionally, Isgur repeatedly made cable news appearances where she pushed false and highly partisan talking points over the years, raising even more questions about the value of involving her in 2020 campaign coverage.

February 21, 2019 11:37 AM EST

8 must-read fact checks debunking Trump’s abortion lies from his State of the Union address

President Donald Trump used his 2019 State of the Union address to promote right-wing media lies about state measures protecting abortion access. While media outlets struggled at times to properly contextualize and refute Trump’s misinformation, some outlets held Trump accountable by debunking his false, anti-choice statements and providing their audiences with accurate information about abortion.

February 8, 2019 3:55 PM EST

Myths and facts around this week’s manufactured abortion rights scandals

Right-wing media have manufactured a scandal about Democrats supporting bills that supposedly allow abortions up to moment of birth -- and beyond. Here are some of the anti-choice myths being pushed by right-wing media and the facts about laws protecting or expanding reproductive rights and access to abortion at the state level.

January 31, 2019 1:27 PM EST