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Trump to hire lawyer who used TV appearances to spout conspiracy theories, attack the FBI and DOJ

Trump has reportedly decided to add disgraced lawyer Joseph diGenova to his legal team

The New York Times is reporting that President Donald Trump hired former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova as part of his stable of lawyers. As the Times notes, diGenova “has pushed the theory on television that the F.B.I and Justice Department framed Mr. Trump.” While that conspiracy theory is one of his favorite claims, diGenova has also bemoaned the “deep state,” claimed former FBI Director James Comey “sold his soul to the devil,” and called the investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion “the worst period in the history of the bureau.”

March 19, 2018 5:41 PM EDT
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Myths and facts about California's pro-choice law regarding fake health clinics

The Supreme Court will hear a case regulating the deceptive practices of anti-abortion clinics

On March 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra. This case concerns a California law requiring unlicensed pregnancy clinics to disclose their lack of medical services and licensed pregnancy clinics to post a notice about low-cost or free reproductive health services offered by the state. Some media outlets have pushed the myth that the law compels anti-abortion fake health clinics to promote pro-choice views, including by advertising for abortions.

March 16, 2018 1:32 PM EDT
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John Bolton, Trump’s pick for national security adviser, has a record of warmongering, bigotry, and pushing conspiracy theories

John Bolton, a Fox News contributor, is reportedly under consideration to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, likely because President Donald Trump enjoys his television commentary. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations whose tenure was marred by “his inability to make friends and build alliances,” is a Trump sycophant with a history of warmongering and conspiracy theorizing. He also chairs a think tank that’s been called “anti-Muslim,” and he has connections to anti-Muslim bigots.

March 15, 2018 4:46 PM EDT
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Trump’s pick for National Economic Council is a CNBC host who gives bad financial advice

President Donald Trump has told people he has chosen CNBC's Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as the director of the National Economic Council. Kudlow has no formal training in economics, and he has a history of making poor financial predictions, pushing conservative economic talking points, and making outrageous and offensive comments.

March 13, 2018 2:50 PM EDT
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An MSNBC political analyst is advising a GOP candidate with ties to white supremacists

MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler, formerly a presidential campaign spokesperson for Ted Cruz who was fired for promoting a fake story, is currently “helping” Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi Republican waging his second attempted primary challenge for a Senate seat. McDaniel has a record of associating with extremists, neo-Confederates, and radio hosts with anti-Semitic views.

March 11, 2018 2:48 PM EDT
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Conversion therapy is discredited torture, but media outlets are letting its advocates spread lies about the practice

As states across the country consider legislation that would protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, the ineffective and dangerous practice that seeks to turn LGBTQ people straight or alter their gender identity, some media outlets are turning to prominent conversion therapy proponents and practitioners who use the opportunity to spread misinformation and myths. Many of these therapists are associated with national pro-conversion-therapy organizations, but local broadcast-media outlets that quoted them usually failed to explain their affiliations or contextualize their work. At least four major national proponents have been featured in coverage of municipal and state efforts to protect youth from conversion therapy, sometimes in states where they do not reside or practice: Christopher Doyle, Julie Hamilton, Joseph Nicolosi Jr., and David Pickup.

March 9, 2018 10:34 AM EST
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Alliance Defending Freedom is working to keep LGBTQ people from adopting children

Lawyers and allied attorneys from influential anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have been working to pass and defend legislation in at least five states that allows child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people, among others, in adoption and foster care. In 2017, three states passed anti-LGBTQ adoption laws, and a sweeping anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions law in Mississippi also included provisions about adoption and foster care. Georgia’s state Senate passed a similar bill in February, to be considered by its House, and at least three other states are considering similar bills this year.

March 2, 2018 11:19 AM EST
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A guide to NRATV: NRA's news outlet is a hybrid of Breitbart and Infowars

Launched in late 2016, NRATV serves as the news outlet for the National Rifle Association, regularly defending President Donald Trump, slamming mainstream media outlets as “dishonest rags,” and viciously criticizing any politician or activist who speaks out against the president and his policies. While some of the outlet’s coverage focuses on gun policy, the newest developments in firearms technology, and tactical shooting, the programming has largely become a platform for far-right conservative talking points that are often unrelated to gun policy. As NRATV strayed away from gun coverage, it sparked a number of controversies and drew widespread criticism during its inaugural year. After the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, FL, there were numerous calls for companies to end their business relationship with NRATV. 

March 2, 2018 10:11 AM EST
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Cable and broadcast TV news spent less than 40 minutes covering 2017's unprecedented anti-LGBTQ violence

More than half of all coverage was about two specific cases, and most coverage of LGBTQ victims failed to mention the growing trend

A Media Matters analysis of broadcast and cable news found that networks discussed anti-LGBTQ violence and homicides only 22 times for less than 40 minutes across seven channels in 2017, even though it was the deadliest year in hate violence against the community since at least 2012. The majority of the coverage was about two specific stories and came on just four days, and the networks rarely noted the trend of increasing anti-LGBTQ violence nationwide in their coverage.

March 1, 2018 8:59 AM EST
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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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