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  • Fox News conveniently overlooks Mitch McConnell's refusal to alert Americans to Russian interference before the 2016 election

    McConnell refused to sign onto a bipartisan effort made by Obama to publicly call out Russian interference and respond to the attack

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Following the indictment of 13 Russian nationals who were allegedly involved in interfering in the 2016 presidential election campaign, Fox News is attempting to cast blame on the Obama administration and deflect scrutiny from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his role in blocking the administration from alerting the country prior to the election.

    On Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to McConnell, sought to blame former President Barack Obama for not stopping the Russian influence campaign, asking, “What in the world [was Obama] doing for the last two years” he was in office to prevent the Russian interference during the 2016 campaign.

    But Holmes seems to have conveniently forgotten that his former boss shot down Obama’s efforts to “generate bipartisan support for an American response to a foreign attack” and refused to sign a bipartisan letter in August 2016 that would have explicitly warned the American public about the Russian influence efforts during the ongoing campaign. Former Vice President Joe Biden recently (though not newly) explained that the Obama administration specifically sought a bipartisan, "united front to dispel concerns that going public with such accusations would be seen as an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the election." According to The Washington Post, McConnell even “voic[ed] skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims” of Russian interference. While McConnell’s office claims that McConnell signed onto a bipartisan letter that was sent to the National Association of State Election Directors to warn the state officials about possible hacking attempts, according to Politico, “That missive ... did not address Russia specifically, or the larger topic of influence beyond voting systems.”

    Despite McConnell’s refusal to cooperate with Obama's efforts to call out Russian influence efforts before the elections, Fox anchor Bill Hemmer attacked the Obama administration, saying it “didn't get around to even acknowledging [the Russian interference] until October of 2016.” From the February 20 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

    BILL HEMMER (HOST): So, Josh, we’re having a bit of a redo, yet again, on this. There are questions about [former CIA Director] John Brennan. There are questions about what the CIA, what the [the office of Director of National Intelligence] DNI, what everybody was doing back in 2014, ‘15, and ‘16. Now, how’s the Obama team going to address that?

    JOSH HOLMES (FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF OF SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL): Well, what I think is particularly galling here is that, if you were to listen to some of those players that you just named over the last six, eight months, they would have you believe that the entire Russian, quote unquote, “collusion investigation” started, and began, and ended within the confines of the Trump campaign. And what we've now come to find out through the Mueller indictments over the last month is this has been going on from 2014. So I think it's a legitimate question, beyond a legitimate question, to ask what in the world they were doing for the last two years?

    [...]

    MARIE HARF (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): The bigger point here is, Bill, we can have a legitimate debate about why [the Obama administration] didn't do more. And there were good reasons. We were concerned about Russian escalation, we were concerned about being partisan.

    [...]

    HOLMES:  Everybody has sort of conflated the election with this Russian interference. The election itself, there is absolutely no evidence that any votes were changed, as you said, Bill. But the Russian interference is real and it dates back to 2014, and it’s something that we’ve really got to get a hold on. What is extremely concerning to me is that for two years we went through a basic understanding that they were trying to do what they were going to do, and the Obama administration didn't get around to even acknowledging it until October of 2016.

  • After Florida school massacre, right-wing media call for more guns in schools (the school had armed security)

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    In the wake of a Florida school shooting that left at least 17 dead, right-wing media figures immediately blamed “gun-free zones” and argued that future shootings would be prevented if there were armed guards at schools, ignoring that the school did have “an armed police officer” on campus “in addition to security.”

  • The life of a made-up Fox News ‘scandal’: Obama FBI texts edition

    Fox has nearly perfected the art of moving the goalposts after its so-called bombshells have been debunked. (They’ve had a lot of practice.)

    Blog ››› ››› LIS POWER

    It started out as a “bombshell” alert. Text messages, according to Fox News, showed then-President Barack Obama might have been improperly involved in the Clinton email investigation. By midday, it had been debunked (the texts weren’t about the Clinton email investigation at all), but it morphed into a sad charade by the network to pretend that Obama being briefed about Russian interference into the election was somehow a scandal of its own.

    Relentlessly pushing pseudo-scandals is Fox News’ bread and butter. The network essentially throws anything at the wall to see what sticks, and the Obama-FBI text message “scandal” is just the latest example. Here’s a breakdown of how Fox News messed up and is now trying to move the goalposts on its fraudulent claims.

    Background

    At 6:00 a.m. on February 7, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee published an interim report titled “The Clinton Email Scandal And The FBI’s Investigation Of It,” prepared by committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). The report pointed to a text FBI lawyer Lisa Page sent to FBI Agent Peter Strzok about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey that read “Potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” The report claimed this text “raises additional questions about the type and extent of President [Barack] Obama's personal involvement in the [then-Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton email scandal and the FBI investigation of it."

    Setting the stage: The Fox & Friends hype

    From the moment Fox’s morning show Fox & Friends started on February 7, it was clear there was a new “scandal” emerging in the network’s ecosystem. Co-host Steve Doocy opened the show with a “Fox News alert and a bombshell exclusive.” The bombshell: “New messages” that referenced Obama “now raising even more questions” about the Clinton investigation.

    Doocy noted Johnson’s report and questioned, “Are they talking about Barack Obama? Does that mean he was involved in whatever they were doing? That's a bombshell.”

    A bombshell it was not. But here’s how the story progressed on Fox News’ flagship morning show:

    6:30 a.m.

    Brian Kilmeade: “There’s a story here at the very least, don’t you agree.” 

    7:03 a.m.

    Doocy: “New messages now raising even more questions about what the FBI and former President Obama knew about the Clinton investigation and when.”

    [...]

    Griff Jenkins: “We’re taking a look at this, and it is raising a lot of questions. And it’s shocking. … Investigators telling Fox News this now raises questions about President Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.”

    8:30 a.m.

    Doocy (again): “Those text messages now raising even more questions about the FBI and perhaps President Obama’s involvement during the Clinton investigation of her email server.”

    And on, and on.

    “Straight-news” coverage: Text messages “might suggest undue presidential interest and/or influence,” and “now we know it goes to the top.”

    Fox’s so-called “straight news” shows didn’t fare much better.

    During America’s Newsroom, Fox News contributor Guy Benson claimed the text message “might suggest undue presidential interest and/or influence.” Anchor Bill Hemmer responded, “Boy, that opens up a whole new can of worms, Guy.”

    During the next show, Happening Now, Fox contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy stated that the text referring to POTUS “looks like it was about the Hillary Clinton investigation,” adding, “President Obama clearly had a stake in her being exonerated and Trump not winning the election.” She went on to say, “This is just like a mystery. It keeps unfolding and unfolding, and it gets dirtier and dirtier. And now we know it goes to the top.”

    The debunk(s)

    The debunks of Fox’s most recent “bombshell” began to roll out around noon. ThinkProgress, focusing on the timeline of events, called it “a total fraud.” Vox’s headline: “Trump says new FBI texts are a ‘bombshell.’ They’re not.” Even the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal poured cold water on the narrative being shouted on Fox News all day; according to the Journal, the text messages Fox used to suggest Obama had been “meddling” in the Clinton email investigation actually referred to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. CNN came to the same conclusion.

    Running with a broken narrative: “There was some speculation” that the texts were about the Clinton email investigation, but that “is still up for debate.”

    When the narrative that Fox News helped spearhead started to fall apart, the network’s hosts, guests, and anchors ran through a couple different plays. At first, they attempted to erase the network’s role in hyping and fueling the “bombshell report.”

    On Special Report, guest host Shannon Bream brought up Obama and the FBI officials’ texts, noting, “There was some speculation that was about the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but now there’s talk that that was about the Russia potential collusion investigation, A.B. But it's now raising more questions and more criticism.” Panelist Mollie Hemingway also noted, “Initially, some people thought it had to do with the old Hillary Clinton email investigation.”

    Note that neither of them mentioned it was the very network they were on that had invented the “speculation.”

    Perhaps there is no better example of these acrobatics than Sandra Smith’s reporting on consecutive days. On Wednesday, Smith hyped “bombshell text messages” that were “rocking the FBI, revealing additional evidence of anti-Trump bias, and raising new questions about President Obama’s personal involvement in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.” On Thursday, she vaguely alluded to “a lot of conclusions drawn that these were exchanges about Obama wanting to know everything when it came to the Hillary Clinton email investigation which was closed at the time,” noting the Journal’s debunk that it was actually about Russian meddling. 

    Another tactic Fox tried was to claim that the details were “still up for debate.” During the 7:00 p.m. hour -- after the story had already fallen apart -- host Martha MacCallum introduced a segment on the topic, asking, “What was [Obama] keeping tabs on? That part of the story is still up for debate.” And correspondent Ed Henry noted the Journal’s debunk, but also argued that what the text message really referred to was “up for debate.”

    Shifting the goalposts: A new, morphed scandal emerges from the debunked scandal

    Lastly, Fox personalities shifted the goalposts. The initial scandal, that Obama supposedly was caught interfering in the Clinton email investigation, morphed into a different, supposed scandal, but one with the same cast of characters. Fox began arguing that, even if the text was referring to the investigation into Russian interference, that constituted a scandal on its own. Henry tried to make this case, saying, “Nonetheless, we should note that in April 2016, Obama insisted to our own Chris Wallace he never spoke to the attorney general or the FBI director about any pending investigations at all.” Hemingway used a similar tactic, stating “learning that it’s in fact about the Trump-Russia meddling election is far more interesting,” adding, “This is just, again, just a tiny part of a much larger scandal.” 

    Several of these tactics were also used on Sean Hannity’s show that night. Introducing the story with Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, Hannity noted, “Wall Street Journal says it was not about the email investigation, but from earlier comments I saw that you made, you have your doubts about that.” Fitton responded, “Pick your poison in terms of presidential involvement in these sensitive criminal investigations,” essentially arguing that, whether the text message was about Obama wanting to know about Clinton or Russia, it was bad either way.

    By the following morning, the network had coalesced around this new narrative. Now, the scandal wasn’t that Obama was being informed about the Clinton email investigation; the scandal, somehow, was that Obama, the U.S. president and commander in chief, was being informed about the investigation into foreign interference in the upcoming U.S. election. Fox & Friends repeatedly used that argument during its February 8 edition, even bringing on Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, to make the same (but new) argument. America’s Newsroom continued on with the new charade of pretending that Obama being briefed on the investigation into Russian interference was somehow a problem. 

    And so it continues. 

    It’s hard to keep track of all the pseudo-scandals that Fox News runs through in a given week. The network, especially on Fox & Friends and Hannity, puts out wild trial balloons to see what sticks. Sometimes, as with their fixation about the “secret society” scandal (which, incidentally, was started on Fox, also in part by Sen. Johnson), it blows up in their face. But as with any other good propaganda outlet, they don’t stop blurring the facts and insisting that there are still new “questions,” “concerns,” and “allegations” that need to be investigated -- even if the so-called scandal was already debunked.

  • Fox News reported that a border patrol agent was murdered. It turns out they were wrong.

    Fox ran with the rumor that Rogelio Martinez was killed by undocumented immigrants. The FBI has ruled out that possibility.

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    In November, Fox News zealously and repeatedly reported that Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez’s death was a murder committed by undocumented immigrants along the US-Mexico border, despite the fact that a local sheriff said that “evidence gathered at the scene does not suggest an assault.” Yesterday, the FBI also announced that it has found no evidence of an attack.

    Officials from the National Border Patrol Council labor union, many of whom have made their anti-immigrant views quite clear, told reporters that Martinez and his partner were ambushed by immigrants along the border, a claim that contradicted medical evidence and other accounts of the incident that suggested it was an accident. Fox News took the union officials’ account as fact, reporting that the “vicious attack” vindicated President Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies. Fox co-host Sandra Smith reported the incident as an "apparent ambush," and host Tucker Carlson claimed that Martinez was “attacked at the border in the most gruesome possible way." At one point, Smith briefly acknowledged the possibility that Martinez’s death was the result of a deadly accident, but others on the network continued to report that it was a homicide, with Happening Now co-host Julie Banderas claiming, "a killer killed" and beat Martinez "by rocks."

    In the past, Fox has covered stories involving immigrants in ways that depict them as criminals without reporting all of the facts. Then, when more facts are revealed that refute the network’s reporting, the full context is only mentioned in a brief whisper, if at all. In Martinez’s case, The Washington Post reported that the FBI has released its findings and “has found no evidence of a homicide, despite mobilizing significant resources involving 37 field offices to investigate Martinez’s death.” Predictably, only Smith briefly mentioned the news on February 8; the network has not yet issued a correction for its deceptive reporting:

    SANDRA SMITH (CO-HOST): New questions surrounding the November death of a U.S. Border agent. The FBI now says there's no evidence suggesting the agent and his partner were attacked. Rogelio Martinez died from severe head wounds hours after the two men were discovered lying in a drain near the Texas-Mexico border. The agents had been responding to reports of unknown activity. Martinez's partner suffered head injuries and says he can't remember what happened. The FBI says it will continue to investigate.

  • Fox is spinning a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers as a "major concession." It's not.

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Over the past week, Fox hosts and pundits have insisted that the White House gave a “major concession” by including a pathway to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its immigration proposal, ignoring the draconian aspects of the plan.

    On the January 27 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Pete Hegseth exclaimed, “For conservatives, citizenship and 1.8 [million] DACA recipients is a lot more than people expected this White House to give … They made that concession out of the gate.” Tucker Carlson echoed that sentiment on his show, claiming that “the White House’s proposed immigration deal gives a major concession to Democrats: amnesty.” Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace has pushed the “huge concession” line multiple times. Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen was the latest to make the misleading claim on the January 31 edition of America’s Newsroom:

    First off, the proposal grants the Trump administration $25 billion for a border wall, a number that has been criticized as “a bloated increase from the $18 billion the White House called for just at the start of the year.”

    And as the libertarian think tank Cato Institute points out, “The new plan [cuts] the number of legal immigrants by up to 44 percent or half a million immigrants annually—the largest policy-driven legal immigration cut since the 1920s.”

    The proposal also pits “immigrants against one another” as it limits the scope of family reunification policies, preventing immigrants who have obtained citizenship from sponsoring certain family members and likely deterring skilled immigrants who are considering relocating to the United States. The White House proposal also expedites deportations for undocumented immigrants, effectively “strip[ping] all those people, if caught by the federal government, of their right to a deportation hearing before a judge.”

    Fox's servile "major concession" drumbeat is just another example of the network sacrificing context to push the White House’s agenda.

  • Fox News happily helps Trump administration in a highly misleading effort to blame immigrants for terrorism

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    On January 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report in concert with the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that, among other things, “three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born.” Fox News immediately promoted the study over criticism from homeland security experts, and then went silent about the report’s integrity after it was revealed that the administration had sidestepped DHS experts and statistics to produce it.

    Reporting on the study on the day of its release, The New York Times noted that “the 11-page report, parts of which were confusing and in some respects misleading, highlighted cases in which immigrants were linked to terrorism plots.” MSNBC security analyst Matthew Miller was one of the first to point out that the report “includes people who committed terrorist acts overseas, were arrested overseas and brought here to face trial” and explained that “it also doesn’t count incidents of domestic terrorism,” meaning terrorists who are American citizens and who perpetrated attacks on U.S. soil were excluded.

    Essentially, the report focused on international terrorism, but the way it was presented suggested that immigrants were disproportionately responsible for domestic terrorism, particularly because it was published amid immigration policy negotiations. Adding to the confusion, President Donald Trump tweeted a deceptive summary of the report, excluding the word “international”:

    As criticism around the study mounted, Fox reported on its findings by uncritically parroting the Trump administration line. Fox’s Bret Baier commented that the report includes “some amazing statistics, and scary ones.” Sandra Smith also promoted the misleading study without mentioning its many flaws. Peter Doocy pointed to the study as justification for why “the White House is not budging on immigration talks.” Fox host Julie Banderas used the report to fearmonger about “convicted terrorists in this country who have come over as young adults, if not children, and their families brought them over here, and they went ahead and killed Americans,” even though U.S. vetting procedures make the possibility of that happening incredibly rare. Tucker Carlson, who regularly uses his platform for anti-immigrant misinformation, also gladly hyped the details of the report, declaring, “According to federal numbers released today, America's terror threat is clearly, among other things, an immigration issue”:

    But yesterday, the Daily Beast revealed that career experts at DHS told DOJ officials that DHS does “not track or correlate international terrorism data by citizenship or country of origin, and have warned the Trump administration that doing so risks a misleading portrait of both terrorism and immigration.” As explained by Spencer Ackerman, “The result was that the document released last week did not include the contributions of those career DHS officials tasked with providing professional and objective analysis. They were not asked to participate, and so the document did not reflect their input.” In short, on top of the flawed methodology and cherry-picked statistics, the Trump administration willfully sidestepped homeland security experts to produce a report that would vindicate the president’s insistence on linking immigration to crime and terrorism.

    Fox News is ignoring this glaring problem with the report, demonstrating once again that the network prioritizes its anti-immigration agenda over honesty in reporting.

  • Fox uses flawed data from DHS to fearmonger about immigrants

    The DHS attack on immigrants includes "those who committed offenses while located abroad, including defendants who were transported to the United States for prosecution"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    A Fox News report parroted a misleading, anti-immigrant claim from a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study on international terrorism and foreign-born individuals. According to the DHS’s press release, 73 percent of people charged with international terrorism-related crimes between September 2001 and December 2016 were foreign-born. Fox News’ report reiterated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s claim that this study indicated a need for a stricter vetting and screening process for immigrants and legal residents in the U.S.

    However, the DHS’s press release was a misleading anti-immigrant smear. As explained by MSNBC security analyst Matthew Miller, the DHS study included people who “committed terrorist acts overseas, were arrested overseas and brought here to face trial.” The report, which focused on international terrorism, also excluded individuals convicted of domestic terrorism from its data, such as white supremacist Dylan Roof, who murdered nine people in Charleston, and Robert Lewis Dear who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.

    From the January 16 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

    SANDRA SMITH (HOST): Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen providing testimony this morning in front of the Senate judiciary committee and right now she's talking about a new DHS report, a new DHS study. It found U.S. federal courts convicted at least 549 people with international terrorism-related charges dating back to September 2001 through December 31, 2016. What they found was that 73 percent of them were foreign born and 148 of those convicted had become naturalized U.S. citizens. She has been quoted recently as saying to continue to enhance our screening and vetting, we must also continually vet some legal residents. So she’s  going over that new DHS study right now.

  • Executive Time: Hail to the live-tweeter in chief

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Welcome to Executive Time, a recurring feature in which Media Matters senior fellow Matt Gertz explores the intersection between President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and the hours of cable news he reportedly consumes daily, with a special focus on his favorite morning program, Fox & Friends. You can follow Matt’s work on Twitter @mattgertz and see previous installments in this series here.

    Days this week Trump appeared to live-tweet cable news: Five (three from Fox & Friends, one from Fox & Friends Saturday, one Fox’s America’s Newsroom.)

    Tweets this week apparently resulting from live-tweeting cable news: 11 (six from Fox & Friends, two from Fox & Friends Saturday, three from Fox’s America’s Newsroom.)


    It’s almost a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, and to celebrate, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan gave us a gift that perfectly sums up this administration: the news that White House staff refer to the lengthy blocks on the president’s private schedule when he is quite literally left to his own devices as “Executive Time.”

    Those blocks “almost always means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence,” per Swan’s sources, and the president has been demanding them more frequently as he heads into his second year in office.

    The president’s twin obsessions of Twitter and television are deeply entwined. In fact, I’ve concluded that the best explanation for the president’s Twitter feed is often that Trump is “live-tweeting Fox, particularly the network’s Trump-loving morning show, Fox & Friends,” as I wrote last week in Politico Magazine. I’ve been chronicling that pattern on Twitter for months, starting my mornings by carefully tracking the president’s truculent tweets back to the Fox programming he is echoing. This presidential live-tweeting has occurred even more frequently in recent days.

    The president’s private schedule for January 2, Swan reports, shows that Trump’s first meeting was at 11 a.m., that he had two and a half hours of “Executive Time” throughout the day, and that his “official day” ended at 4:15 p.m. Here’s what else the president did that day, as cogently described by Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale:

    Trump appears to often use the early-morning “Executive Time” to watch Fox & Friends, where co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade provide the president with soothing bromides about his successes, helpful explanations for his failures, vicious attacks on his political and media foes, and seething culture war jeremiads that stir up his base. The hosts and guests know that the president may be watching, and openly use the program to try to influence his decisions.

    We saw presidential live-tweeting scramble the policy-making process just this morning. Fox & Friends was covering a House vote scheduled for today to renew a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- a move supported by the White House. During the segment, Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano commented, “I don’t understand why Donald Trump is in favor of this. His woes began with unlawful foreign surveillance and unconstitutional domestic surveillance of him before he was the president of the United States.” He then turned to the camera and said, “Mr. President, this is not the way to go.” Doocy added, "Our lead story today was about how apparently that dirty dossier filled with stuff that was just made up apparently was used in part to get a FISA warrant to spy on President Trump."

    Roughly 45 minutes later, the president, who had been live-tweeting the program all morning, tweeted that FISA was “the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” With a few words on the president’s favorite show, a Fox analyst created chaos, with a House Republican source telling NBC that the tweet “is an issue” and the president being forced to send another tweet trying to walk back his first one. Meanwhile, Swan reported, "Top Hill sources are trying to figure out who 'got to' Trump to influence him to write the first tweet."

    The problems of this Fox-Trump feedback loop are legion. The president's views are molded by right-wing misinformation, as he relies on a pack of bigoted morons to explain the world rather than the vast expertise of the federal government. His live-tweets upend the news cycle, thrusting the network’s obsessions into the mainstream and turning conservative pseudoscandals into national news. As journalists shuffle their priorities to respond to the president’s tweets from in front of his television, important news stories are crowded out. And of course, it’s deeply unnerving that the leader of the most powerful nation on earth is spending hours each day watching television.

    None of this is likely to change in the near future --  since Politico published my piece early Friday morning, Trump has sent 11 tweets on five different days that I was able to link to Fox’s programming.

    And so, I’ll be covering this intersection of the president’s tweets and the cable news he watches, with a special focus on his favorite program Fox & Friends, for a regular feature we’re calling “Executive Time.”

    The president is live-tweeting

    Here are the Trump tweets from the last week I am reasonably confident are the result of the president directly responding to cable news programs he had been watching.

    January 5. One Fox & Friends live-tweet.

    January 6. Two Fox & Friends Saturday live-tweets.

    January 8. One Fox & Friends live-tweet.

    January 10. Three America's Newsroom live-tweets.

    January 11. Four Fox & Friends live-tweets.

    Fire and fury

    While the president takes his cues from Fox & Friends, he regularly lashes out at outlets producing journalism critical of his presidency.

    Propaganda watch

    Other highlights from Fox & Friends, the president’s favorite morning cable news program.

    President’s Daily Brief

    The people Trump turns to for news are not the best and the brightest.

  • Fox News report on Colorado gunman ignores his white supremacist connections

    Gunman who killed a sheriff’s deputy reportedly had social media “filled with the icons of the white supremacist ‘alt-right’"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    After a deadly shooting in Colorado on New Year’s Eve that left one Douglas County sheriff’s deputy dead and four others injured, a Fox News host omitted reports that the gunman had posted white supremacist "alt-right” memes on his personal Facebook page. While host Eric Shawn noted that the gunman had “posted videos criticizing Colorado law enforcement” on social media, he failed to note that the gunman’s personal “Facebook page is filled with the icons of the white supremacist ‘alt-right.’" Fox’s omission of the gunman’s “alt-right” sympathies echoed its reporting on a February 2017 mosque shooting carried out by an “ultranationalist white supremacist” in Canada, where the network ignored that shooter’s far-right background. From the January 2 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

    ERIC SHAWN (CO-HOST): There are some new details on the Colorado man who police say shot and killed a deputy and wounded four others. Police were contacted with concerns, they say, about the mental state of the shooter over a month before the New Year's Eve incident. That suspect, you see there on the right, identified as 37-year-old Matthew Riehl. He was an attorney and an Iraq War veteran. He also, they say, posted videos criticizing Colorado law enforcement. Police responded to a complaint at an apartment building south of Denver on Sunday. They say Riehl fired over 100 rounds at the responding officers who eventually shot and killed him.

    Previously:

    Canada’s "alt-right" mosque shooter, and what he means for right-wing media

    Fox News' double standard for right-wing cop killers

    White racist kills two cops in Iowa ambush and Fox News goes quiet

    For Fox News, there's no collective blame when political cop killers are white

  • The president spent his holiday tweeting at the television

    Trump livetweeted Fox on eight of the 11 days of his Florida trip 

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    President Donald Trump left the White House December 22 for an extended holiday vacation at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida. Along with daily games of golf at Trump International Golf Club and an appearance at Mar-a-Lago’s ethically dubious New Year’s Eve party, the president found time to regularly engage in one of his favorite pastimes: watching Fox News programming and tweeting about it.

    I traced 12 of Trump’s tweets from December 22 through his January 1 return to the capital to Fox segments Trump appeared to be watching at the time. Trump live-tweeted various Fox programs on eight of the 11 days he spent on vacation. He even seems to have tweeted based on a segment he watched on Air Force One en route to Florida.

    With some of these tweets, the president simply continued his ongoing feuds with the media and the FBI. But others could have real ramifications for U.S. foreign policy and domestic politics. In response to Fox’s programming, Trump tweeted about protests in Iran, issued an ultimatum to Democrats over immigration policy, attacked China over its handling of North Korea, and endorsed a Republican congressman for governor of Florida.

    Trump loves Fox & Friends, the network’s morning show, often holding up the program’s shockingly sycophantic anchors as a model that other, more critical journalists should emulate.

    The day before he left for Florida, Trump praised the program’s anchors for being named the “most influential media figures” by Mediaite. The anchors received that designation because of Trump, who watched the program obsessively, frequently tweeting about what he saw.

    And indeed, Trump tweeted based on Fox & Friends and its weekend editions on December 22, December 24, December 26, December 28, December 29, and December 31.

    Here are the Trump tweets and the associated Fox segments:

    December 22

    December 23

    December 24

    December 25

    December 26

    December 27

    December 28

    December 29

    December 30

    December  31

    January 1


    After returning to Washington, D.C., yesterday, the president seems to have spent much of the morning live-tweeting Fox & Friends and Fox’s America’s Newsroom: