Transgender veteran Kristin Beck on Trump's proposed ban: "Why would you cut these people who are capable?"
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On Friday, April 13, President Donald Trump announced joint cruise missile strikes with the U.K. and France against several Syrian chemical weapons facilities in retaliation for an apparent April 7 chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria. Over the weekend, the Sunday morning political talk shows had plenty to discuss about the airstrikes, but not much to say about the ongoing plight of Syrian refugees.
On Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and ABC’s This Week all failed to mention Syrian refugees while discussing the airstrikes. The only mention of Syrian refugees on any of the Sunday morning political talk shows was on Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked UN Ambassador Nikki Haley just one question about them.
A few other Sunday morning programs on cable news channels did better in discussing concerns about refugees: There were segments on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and New Day Sunday, which played (albeit briefly) a clip of earlier commentary from a Syrian chemical attack survivor. The Sunday edition of Fox & Friends Weekend also featured two passing mentions of the refugees across its four-hour broadcast; in both instances, the guests brought up the subject unprompted.
On MSNBC however, AM Joy did two segments concerning Syrian refugees, including this excellent example of how media should discuss the subject, particularly in light of American military action that is likely to displace more people:
JOY REID (HOST): So, a truly humanitarian approach would be to welcome refugees to a democratic country that has the resources to protect and shelter them from the dangers they're trying to escape, yeah? Instead, the Trump administration says it initiated airstrikes as a symbol of support and solidarity for Syrians after the chemical attacks orchestrated by the Syrian president. But with only 11 Syrian refugees accepted into the United States this year -- not 1,100; 11 -- the Trump administration's concern for the Syrian people rings rather hollow.
Media Matters searched SnapStream for mentions of the word “refugee” on Sunday morning political talk and/or news shows on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Broadcasting Co., CBS, NBC, and ABC between 06:00 and 12:00.
Following Temperature Record Announcements, Oil Industry Ads Outpaced Climate-Related Coverage By Almost 5-To-1
CNN aired almost five times as much oil industry advertising as climate change-related coverage in the one-week periods following the announcements that 2015 was the hottest year on record and February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month on record. Specifically, CNN aired 23.5 minutes of American Petroleum Institute ads during its morning, afternoon, and primetime coverage over those two weeks, compared to just five minutes of coverage about climate change or the temperature records. That disparity does not even account for dozens of Koch Industries ads that also ran on CNN, which were not energy-focused but did serve to boost the image of the oil billionaire Koch brothers’ primary corporation.
In an attempt to cover for Donald Trump, right-wing media blamed Hillary Clinton after the Republican presidential candidate's anti-Muslim rhetoric was featured in a terrorist group's recruitment video. Conservative media claim that Hillary Clinton inspired the terrorist group to create the video when she stated that Trump's Islamophobic rhetoric could help ISIS recruit.
CNN Wonders If Clinton "Drummed Up" Terrorist Video Featuring Trump
CNN ran a segment speculating whether top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin was behind a recently released terrorist training video due to her "documented" family "ties to the Muslim Brotherhood." The allegation against Abedin is a disreputable smear that has been previously debunked by senior Republicans and even CNN's own anchors.
On January 2, Donald Trump special counsel Michael Cohen retweeted comments claiming that Clinton and Abedin, who is Muslim, were behind the release of a recruitment video featuring Donald Trump from the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al-Shabab. Clinton had previously said during a Democratic debate that ISIS recruiters are "showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam." Cohen retweeted a claim that "Huma put in order 4 video the second Hillary Clinton lied at debate re yet another video."
During the January 3 edition of CNN's New Day Sunday, anchor Victor Blackwell read some of Cohen's retweets and asked CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord, "Is that something that's widespread among supporters that, I guess, you know, assumption or conspiracy theory that this was something that was drummed up by the Clintons?"
Lord responded by claiming that it's been "documented" "from a pretty reputable columnist" that "members of Huma Abedin's family have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood." Blackwell made no effort to refute Lord or correct his claims about Abedin, responding that there's a "reported connection":
BLACKWELL: Is that something that's widespread? I mean, you're a Trump supporter. Is that something that's widespread among supporters that, I guess, you know, assumption or conspiracy theory that this was something that was drummed up by the Clintons?
LORD: Well, I think what he may be referring to, I don't know, but it sounds to me, Andrew McCarthy, who was the prosecutor, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted the blind sheik, is now a columnist for National Review. And years ago documented that members of Huma Abedin's family have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. So, perhaps that's what he's suggesting here, that there is a tie, through a tie. I don't know. You'd have to ask him. But I don't think there is anything unusual. This has been out there for quite a long time from a pretty reputable columnist.
Lord added that he wasn't saying "there's a conspiracy here" but there are terrorists who "will take her [Clinton] up on it and just, you know, do as she suggests and put him in a video."
The claim that Abedin is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood through her family has been thoroughly debunked by the media and even Republicans.
Rumor-debunking website Snopes.com wrote that "claims that her late father, her mother and her brother were all 'connected' to Muslim Brotherhood have no factual basis to them." The Atlantic concluded that "from person to person, you kind of have to do a somersault to get from Huma Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood."
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called the accusations "nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant." Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Abedin "has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the attacks "ridiculous." Fox News contributor and Republican consultant Edward Rollins called the accusations "outrageous," "false," "far-fetched," "extreme and dishonest." He added: "Abedin has been thru every top clearance available and would never have been given her position with any questions of her loyalty to this country."
Two of CNN's leading anchors have also debunked the Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory. During a July 2012 program, Anderson Cooper called the evidence against her "questionable at best" and based on "many degrees of separation." That same month, Wolf Blitzer said the accusation is "an outrageous, McCarthy-like charge" and said then-Rep. Michele Bachman -- who promoted the claim -- "does owe Huma -- who I know well -- an apology."
CNN is now pushing that same "outrageous, McCarthy-like charge" due to its employment of Jeffrey Lord. The CNN analyst is a fervent Trump supporter who continually embarrasses the network by pushing inaccuracies and defending misogynistic and anti-Muslim remarks.
CNN has been appreciative of Lord's commentary. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reported yesterday that Lord told him "the network recently re-upped Lord's deal, extending him through the end of 2016." Wemple added Lord's deal is one of cable news' "more exotic setups" since the Republican "gets paid, essentially, to say pro-Trump things on air."