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  • Twelve Reasons Fox Will Have A Hard Time Convincing Latinos The Network Cares About Hispanic Heritage

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Every year from September 15 to October 15, people in the United States celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring the contributions of the Hispanic community and celebrating its history, heritage, and culture. Fox News in the past has paid lip service to Hispanic Heritage Month, but the network has consistently failed to curb its typical disparaging and vitriolic rhetoric against this community, making any segment aired to honor Latinos read like a transparent PR ploy.

    Fox News has also reliably defended Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s attacks on Latinos, including his claims that Mexican immigrants are criminals and that a judge of Mexican heritage could not impartially preside over a lawsuit against him. And the network regularly features anti-immigrant programming and excludes Latino voices.

    Here are 12 reasons Fox News will have a hard time convincing anyone that the network genuinely cares about honoring Latinos during Hispanic Heritage month:

    1. Fox’s Sean Hannity: “I Agree With Mr. Trump” That Mexicans Are Criminals.

    Sean Hannity defended Trump’s assertion that Mexico is sending “rapists” and “criminals” to the U.S. during a June 29, 2015, panel discussion. Hannity said, "I agree with Mr. Trump. As somebody who has been down to the border 11 times, I have seen the drug warehouses, I was there when criminals were arrested, I know the human trafficking side and the impact on our educational system, criminal justice system, et cetera -- our health care system.

    2. Fox's Brian Kilmeade Has Repeatedly Criticized Use Of Spanish Language.

    Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said, “I agree with Donald Trump” after Trump criticized presidential candidate Jeb Bush's use of Spanish, saying that when “the Spanish reporters” speak to Latino athletes in Spanish, "we sit around and go, ‘What country are we in?’" Kilmeade also lashed out at Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine for speaking Spanish, saying, “Pick a language. … Don’t show off. Nobody thinks you’re Hispanic.” According to research from Pew, 95 percent of Latinos believe that it’s important for future generations to speak Spanish and believe the language “is an important part of Latino culture and identity.”

    3. Fox Chose Not To Air The Speeches By Latinas In Favor Of Immigration Reform During The Democratic National Convention.

    On July 25, the Democratic National Convention featured a speech by 11-year-old Karla Ortiz, an 11-year-old American citizen who relayed her fears that her undocumented parents may be deported. Ortiz said, “I’m scared that at any moment my mom and my dad will be forced to leave.” Ortiz also translated for her mother, Francisca, who said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will fight for people like her. On the same night, DREAMer Astrid Silva -- who came into the country undocumented but whose deportation was deferred under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program -- described growing up in the United States without legal status. Fox chose not to show either of the speeches.

    4. Fox Marginalized Hispanic Voices In Discussions Of The Orlando Massacre, Even Though A Majority Of The Victims Were Latinos.

    A Media Matters study of the three major cable news networks’ coverage of the massacre that took place in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, on June 12 found that Fox featured the least diverse guests discussing the attack. Out of a total of 80 guests invited to comment on the massacre during the period analyzed, only 6 percent were Hispanic, even though the tragic events disproportionately affected the Latino community.

    5. Fox’s Sunday Political News Show Did Not Host A Latina Guest For Three Years.

    A 2016 Media Matters study of guest appearances on the five network and cable Sunday morning political shows found that Fox’s show, Fox News Sunday, did not host a single Latina in three years. Based on the latest U.S. Census data, Latinas make up 9 percent of the general population in the U.S. Sunday political talk shows often set the media and political agenda, and Fox did not see fit to include Latina voices in that process, even though 2015 saw numerous pressing policy issues that disproportionately affect them, such as attempts to block access to reproductive health services, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and continued wage gaps between genders.

    6. Fox Analyst Lectured Young Latino Protesters On How To Protest Like Americans.

    While appearing on the May 3 edition of Fox & Friends, legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said young Latinos protesting outside of a Trump rally “should be suffused with the American ethic,” adding that he’d like to see “young Hispanic-American boys and girls holding the American flag” instead of Mexican flags, because “there needs to be an understanding that they are Americans now. They need to act as such.”

    7. Fox Host Tucker Carlson Told A Hispanic Attorney, “I’m Just Going To Speak Really Slowly So You Get This.”

    While discussing college tuition at New Mexico State University for Mexican students on the July 1 edition of Fox & Friends, host Tucker Carlson said to immigration attorney and activist Francisco Hernandez, “Mr. Hernandez, I’m just going to speak really slowly so you get this.”

    8. Fox’s Neil Cavuto Asked Anti-Immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio For Advice On Republican Latino Outreach.

    While hosting his show Cavuto: Coast to Coast on Fox Business Network, Neil Cavuto asked Sheriff Joe Arpaio to offer advice to Republicans on Latino outreach, saying, “How would you advise them to win them over?” Arpaio’s staunch anti-immigrant stance has earned him the title of “the most hated man in the Hispanic community.”

    9. Fox’s Tucker Carlson Called Hispanic Journalistic Association “A Little Odd.”

    While hosting Fox & Friends Saturday, Tucker Carlson said the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) were “a little odd” and questioned why journalists should “coalesce around a racial identity.”

    10. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Joined Trump In Suggesting Judge Overseeing Trump University Case Should Recuse Himself Due To His Ethnicity.

    Fox’s Bill O’Reilly agreed with Trump’s statement that federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel -- who is overseeing the Trump University case -- could not objectively do his job because of his Hispanic ethnicity. During his June 7 show on Fox, The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly suggested that Trump’s “strong stand against illegal immigration” and “border wall” were valid reasons to believe a Hispanic judge could be biased against him.

    11. Fox Was The Only Cable News Network To Ignore The Racist Attacks Trump Supporters Launched Against A Hispanic Journalist.

    On September 12,’s senior political writer Henry Gomez reported on the racist “vitriol” he has fielded while covering the 2016 presidential election, writing that most attacks were “parroting a lot of Donald Trump’s greatest hits.” Both CNN and MSNBC invited Gomez on as a guest to share his experience on September 13, yet Fox ignored his story.

    12. Fox’s Sean Hannity Joined Trump In Anti-Immigrant Fearmongering For Two Hours Of His Show.

    Sean Hannity hosted a town hall for Trump devoted to anti-immigrant fearmongering, and he dedicated two hours of his prime-time show Hannity on August 23 and 24 to airing it in full. The town hall served as an immigrant-bashing forum during which Hannity misinformed on crime and immigration and fearmongered about the “absolutely staggering” effects of undocumented immigration on the U.S. According to Pew, a large percentage of the undocumented population is comprised of Latinos.

  • Fox’s Tucker Carlson Attacks Black And Hispanic Journalist Associations

    Carlson Calls The Largest Minority Journalistic Associations “A Little Odd”

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Fox’s Tucker Carlson attacked the country’s largest minority journalistic associations, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), saying they were “a little odd” and questioning why journalists should “coalesce around a racial identity.”

    While co-hosting the August 6 edition of Fox’s Fox & Friends Saturday, Carlson discussed the groups’ joint convention and career fair and asked guest Julio Ricardo Varela of Futuro Media Group whether it was ironic that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had accused “her opponent,” Republican nominee Donald Trump, “of racism while speaking to a racially exclusive group”:

    TUCKER CARLSON (CO-HOST): So of all the many ironies baked into this, the one that amused me the most was Hillary accusing her opponent of racism while speaking to a racially exclusive group. Did that occur to anybody in the audience, that that was a little bit ironic?

    JULIO RICARDO VARELA: No, I mean, I think it was a bigger issue. I mean, first of all, we're journalists, so to say that we're like a racially exclusive group -- I mean, there’s a lot of award-winning journalists there --

    CARLSON: Well sure. I'm not attacking the journalists [indecipherable], I'm just saying if Donald Trump spoke to the white journalist association, people would say “whoa, whoa, wait a second now.” Why should journalists coalesce around a racial identity? Isn’t their job to find the truth?

    VARELA: Yeah, no, but Tucker, Donald Trump was also invited. So, are you going to come to the belly of the beast? We are journalists. It’s not like we're not going to sit here and go -- Donald Trump was invited and he said no.

    CARLSON: Right. No, no, and I'm not fighting for Trump. I’m just saying, the group, it seems a little bit -- if you take three steps back, kind of a little odd.

    The NABJ and NAHJ are the largest minority journalistic associations in the country. The NABJ “advocates on behalf of black journalists,” and the NAHJ’s mission is to “increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms” and push for a more “accurate representation of Latinos in news media.”

    The work of associations like NABJ and NAHJ is not anti-white; rather, these groups help young journalists of color find career opportunities and encourage the media to address blind spots induced by lack of diversity. The underrepresentation of minorities of color has been a recurring weak spot for both print and radio newsrooms over the past 20 years. The lack of voices of people of color in newsrooms can lead to inaccurate representations of reality, with media often overlooking important angles, privileging one-sided stories, or failing to provide necessary context to understand news events. This kind of inaccurate storytelling has the harmful impact of perpetuating racially biased public perceptions, like criminalizing youth of color or failing to give victims of color humane coverage.

    Carlson joins other right-wing media figures in misrepresenting pushes for ethnic and racial diversity and inclusion as “racist.”

  • Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media figures are blaming for violence that occurred following Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's canceled rally in Chicago on March 11, likening the group to the Ku Klux Klan and accusing them of "creating this havoc and ... putting innocent people's lives in jeopardy." In fact, several media figures have slammed Trump for condoning "violence in rally after rally," and at the Chicago event only helped provide logistical support for the protests, including printing signs and recruiting attendees.

  • Fox Business Host Pleads With Colleague To Endorse Playing Powerball

    Charles Payne Continues Fox's Bad Coverage Of The Lottery

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Gerri Willis Shuts Down Fox Business' Powerball Promotion

    A Fox Business panel discussing the January 13 Powerball drawing, which could be worth up to $1.5 billion, briefly went off message after one of the network's business analysts advised viewers against buying a ticket by correctly noting "your chances [of winning] are nothing."

    On the January 12 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., business reporter Gerri Willis interrupted guest host Charles Payne's monologue on the record-breaking Powerball jackpot by repeatedly saying "don't buy the lottery ticket." Willis explained that she advises her own mother against spending money on the lottery "every week" and reiterated that "your chances [of winning] are nothing" if you do purchase a Powerball entry. Payne repeatedly asked Willis to reconsider her position on playing Powerball, saying, "a buck, you can't put a buck on this thing? A buck? You can't put 2 bucks on this?":

    Payne's passionate defense of buying Powerball tickets echoes an earlier segment from Fox News. On the January 9 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, co-hosts Anna Kooiman and Clayton Morris were joined by supposed lottery "expert" Richard Lustig to discuss the still-growing Powerball prize pool. The segment claimed to offer viewers "proven strategies" to win the lottery, including advice like "buy as many tickets as you can afford" and "never miss a draw":

    The January 9 segment was circulated widely on Twitter and derided by several media outlets. Business Insider called it "literally the worst piece of advice about the lottery ever given," explaining that "your likelihood of winning is still incredibly low, even if you buy a bunch of tickets." ThinkProgress Economic Policy Editor Bryce Covert took to Twitter to advise her followers against buying lottery tickets, including the Fox & Friends Saturday segment in a long piece of research explaining how state-sponsored lotteries are essentially "a regressive tax on the poor."

    The odds of purchasing a ticket with the winning combination to Wednesday's Powerball drawing are approximately 1 in 292.2 million. The odds of being struck by lightning in a lifetime are 24,000 times greater than that.

    Contrary to Fox's previous guidance, you cannot meaningfully increase your odds of winning by purchasing extra tickets or playing every week. Your odds of winning any single drawing never change -- they are always 1 in 292.2 million. And buying enough two-dollar tickets to give yourself winning odds is preposterously expensive -- purchasing $1 million worth of tickets would give you just a 0.17 percent chance of hitting the jackpot, whereas approximately $292 million worth of tickets would still put your winning odds at no better than a coin flip.

  • The 15 Most Ridiculous Things Conservative Media Said About Climate Change In 2015


    From Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change, to the establishment of the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, to a landmark international climate agreement, 2015 has been full of major landmarks in national and global efforts to address global warming. Yet you wouldn't know it if you inhabited the parallel universe of the conservative media, where media figures went to ridiculous and outrageous lengths to dismiss or deny climate science, attack the pope, scientists, and anyone else concerned with climate change, and defend polluting fossil fuel companies. Here are the 15 most ridiculous things conservative media said about climate change in 2015.

  • Sen. Inhofe's Embarrassing Snowball Stunt Is Celebrated On Fox News

    Wash. Post: GOP "Should Be Mortified By The Face Of Their Environmental Leadership"

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS


    Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-OK) embarrassing attempt to disprove global warming with a single snowball was rightfully dismissed by the mainstream media -- but it was applauded on Fox News.

    The February 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday featured a clip of Sen. Inhofe's recent speech in which he brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to dispute the scientific finding that 2014 was the hottest year on record. The clip preceded an interview with Inhofe, in which co-host Tucker Carlson asked why some people are "trying to shut down debate" on the causes of climate change. Inhofe responded that "there are so many people out there in the extreme community, the far left ... and they're trying to revive this as an issue," adding that "it's become a religion." The only other questions Inhofe received during his interview were whether the U.S. should be "nixing" all climate change-related funding, and how he was able put together such a "nicely packed, well-constructed" snowball:

    Other media outlets had a different take on the issue.

    New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait called Inhofe's argument "breathtakingly devoid of a factual or logical grasp of its subject matter."

    On the March 2 edition of The View, conservative co-host Nicole Wallace described Inhofe's action on the Senate floor as "moronic," adding: "if we want to get people younger than him to join our party I think it's time to stop denying and just say let's debate the solutions."

    The Washington Post editorial board wrote that the stunt shows how Inhofe's position as chair for the Environment and Public Works Committee is a "national embarrassment," adding: "The Republican Party should be mortified by the face of their environmental leadership." 

  • Libre Initiative: Un Grupo Patrocinado Por Los Hermanos Koch Haciendo Creer Que Su Objetivo Es El Empoderamiento De Los Hispanos

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF English language version

    Originalmente publicado en inglés por Eric Hananoki y traducido al español por el staff de Media Matters.

    Fox News está presentando a Libre Initiative, el grupo patrocinado por los multimillonarios hermanos Koch, como una organización comunitaria fundada para "empoderar Hispanos" y avanzar "las libertades y la prosperidad". En realidad, el grupo insta a los Hispanos a que apoyen políticas públicas que según expertos, "van contra sus propios intereses" y "privan de derechos a los votantes Hispanos".

    La Libre Initiative fue fundada en 2011 y supone ser una "organización comunitaria, no partidista, y sin fines de lucro, que promueve los principios y valores de la libertad económica para empoderar a la comunidad hispana de EE.UU." El grupo tiene "presencia en ocho estados" y "planea expandirse hacia Wisconsin y North Carolina este año, además de incrementar su equipo en un 30 por ciento antes de 2016."

    Fox ha pintado al grupo como el producto de "una coalición de organizaciones de liderazgo hispano." Pero el equipo de Libre está conformado por veteranos del partido republicano, y han recibido más de $10 millones en fondos de parte de los multimillonarios petroleros Charles y David Koch. Libre ha admitido que su mensaje "se alinea mejor con los Republicanos" y "con los principios e ideas de Charles y David Koch."

    El grupo promueve la agenda de gente como los Koch a costa de los hispanos. Libre se opone al Affordable Care Act (ACA por sus siglas en inglés, también conocido como Obamacare), que le ayuda a los hispanos a conseguir seguro de salud. Se oponen a un incremento federal del salario mínimo, que le ayudaría a más de 6.7 millones de hispanos. Apoyan leyes de identificación electoral que sirven para "privar a votantes hispanos de su derecho al voto." Han acompañado a Fox News a empujar desinformación sobre los "ilegales" y la inmigración. Libre también ha hecho campaña en contra de políticos que apoyan una reforma migratoria, debido al apoyo que estos políticos han manifestado a favor de Obamacare.

    En este reporte sobre la Libre Initiative y los medios:

  • The Libre Initiative: A Koch-Funded Group Being Passed Off As Empowering Hispanics

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI Versión en español

    Fox News is passing off the Koch-funded Libre Initiative as a grassroots organization founded "to empower Hispanics" and advance "liberty, freedom and prosperity." In reality, the group urges Hispanics to support policies that experts say go "against their own interests" and "disenfranchise Hispanic voters."

    The Libre Initiative was founded in 2011 and claims to be a "non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of economic freedom to empower the U.S. Hispanic community." The group "has a presence in eight states" and "plans to expand to Wisconsin and North Carolina this year and increase its staff by about 30 percent ahead of 2016."

    Fox has portrayed the group as the product of "a coalition of Hispanic leadership organizations." But Libre is staffed by veteran Republican operatives, and the group has received over $10 million in funding from oil billionaires Charles and David Koch. Libre has admitted its message "aligns more with Republicans" and "with the principles and ideas of Charles and David Koch."

    The group promotes the agenda of people like the Kochs at the expense of Hispanics. Libre opposes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which helps Hispanics get health insurance. They oppose a federal minimum wage increase, which would help more than 6.7 million Hispanics. They support voter ID laws that serve "to disenfranchise Hispanic voters." They've joined Fox News in pushing misinformation about "illegals" and immigration. Libre has also campaigned against politicians that support immigration reform due to those politicians' support of the Affordable Care Act.

    In this report about the Libre Initiative and the media:

  • As Children Go Back To School, Fox News Hosts Push Discredited Plan To Arm Teachers

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The hosts of Fox & Friends roundly endorsed a Texas school district that allows teachers to carry guns, even though security experts reject the idea of armed teachers and civilians with concealed guns have not stopped past mass shooting incidents.

    During segments on August 27 and September 2, Fox & Friends hyped plans by the Argyle Independent School District (ISD) to arm teachers this school year. Media reporting on the school district's plans have focused on a sign outside of an Argyle school that reads, "ATTENTION: Please Be Aware That The Staff At Argyle ISD Are Armed And May Use Whatever Force Is Necessary To Protect Our Students."

    Co-host Brian Kilmeade told viewers, "Don't mess with this school in Texas, they're armed, they're ready, and letting everyone know about it," while co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck described the sign as a "great warning there that is meant to protect the kids." While advancing the common but false right-wing media claim that mass shooters target places where guns are not allowed, Kilmeade later added, "If you want to drop your kid off and know that they are going to be protected, you know at least in that school they are going to be protected."

    Fox & Friends proceeded to host Greg Coker, who provides weapons training for schools, to tout armed teachers. What Fox neglected to include in the segment, however, is that Coker actually has a business relationship with Argyle ISD and was responsible for arming their teachers through his "Not On My Watch" program.

    According to a document posted on the Argyle ISD website, Coker charges $1,500 per teacher for a 30-hour training course that involves firing 900 rounds of ammunition. (The National Rifle Association, which endorsed armed teachers following the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, recommends that teachers receive between 60 and 80 hours of training before carrying a gun in school.)

  • Fox News Approves Of Smart Guns As Long As They Don't Increase Gun Safety

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL

    Smart Guns

    Fox News excitedly reported on new smart gun technology that increases firearm lethality through improved target accuracy, enthusiasm that stands in stark contrast to the network's earlier criticism of smart gun technology aimed at increasing gun safety.

    The TrackingPoint rifle, a new smart gun that debuted last summer from a startup gun company in Texas,  uses lasers and computers to increase shot accuracy, enabling even novice shooters to hit a target over 1,000 yards away. The technology has been criticized for decreasing gun safety by making it easier for a criminal, murderer, or terrorist to kill from a distance without detection. Now novice shooters have the ability to hit a target from 1,000 yards away, a distance experts say only a handful of highly trained shooters can normally hit.  

    Such safety concerns didn't stop Fox News from championing the smart aim technology and even sending one of their own hosts to try it out.

    On the May 6 edition of Fox & Friends, anchor Ainsley Earhardt reported on the new smart gun, emphasizing how easy the technology makes target accuracy for someone "who doesn't shoot regularly," when "normally it takes years of practice, patience, and devoted diligence." Earhardt admitted that some people are concerned "that it could turn someone into a killing machine," but downplayed these safety issues by citing the manufacturer's promise that buyers must be approved through a background check. Hosts Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade called the smart gun technology "amazing" and "incredible," noting that despite the gun's high cost, the $27,000 price tag is worthwhile because "you never miss": 

  • Conservative Media's Latest Ill-Advised Hero Is Sheriff Who Warned Of Second American Revolution

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Right-wing media are heaping praise upon Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. over his remarks at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, ignoring his association with extremists. 

    Clarke has drawn praise from conservative pundits for a speech at the NRA's annual meeting where he proposed that the words "keep your hands off our guns dammit" be appended to the Second Amendment. On Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Anna Kooiman said Clarke delivered a "very powerful speech," while co-host Tucker Carlson said he was going to send Clarke fan mail, rated his speech "awesome," and fist-pumped as Fox's Peter Johnson Jr. said Clarke "put it out there in straight language that people can understand."

    On April 28, Clarke joined Fox & Friends for a laudatory interview that co-host Steve Doocy introduced by saying, "He is one law enforcement officer doing more than protecting you on the streets, he's standing up for all of our constitutional rights as well."