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Allen West

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  • These right-wing pundits keep posting identical Facebook remarks to promote a clickbait website

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    When House Republicans released the results of their investigation claiming to clear President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia during the 2016 election, the Facebook pages of several right-wing pundits posted strikingly similar thoughts at roughly the same time.

    “The news we’ve all been waiting for,” wrote former Fox News personality and current congressional candidate Stacey Dash.

    “The news we’ve all been waiting for,” remarked Sarah Palin.

    “The news we’ve all been waiting for,” CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson and Media Research Center senior fellow Allen West both wrote.

    That same pattern has repeated itself for months: Pundits post identical (or virtually identical) remarks, quips, or paragraph-long commentaries, along with a link to a website owned by Young Conservatives LLC.

    It’s not a coincidence. Commentators such as Dash, Ferguson, Palin, and West all have websites connected to Young Conservatives and they all regularly share the clickbait company's content. Young Conservatives' main news site is currently americanewscentral.com. If you’ve never heard of that site it's likely because it was launched in just the past few months -- and it will likely soon be defunct.

    BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman explained this month that the company has been using a practice called domain hopping, “an increasingly popular tactic of quickly hopping from one domain name to another in order to blunt the impact of Facebook’s recent News Feed algorithm changes. It’s also used by publishers as a way to stay one step ahead of blacklists used by brands and agencies to keep their ads off controversial or inflammatory websites.” He added that West's own page at allenwestblog.americanewscentral.com has already "used more than a dozen different domains with his name in them" since January 2017.

    The extent of Young Conservatives’ involvement with those right-wing pundits is unclear. The company did not respond to an inquiry from Media Matters and declined an earlier request for comment from BuzzFeed about “Sarah Palin or its other partners.”

    Media Matters sent requests for comment to Dash through emails listed on her campaign documents and to Ferguson, Palin, and West through website contact forms but did not hear back as of posting. (A disclaimer on Palin's Facebook page indicates that she does not personally write many of the remarks on her account, stating that posts “by Sarah Palin” are signed “SP.”)

    Media Matters also sent an inquiry to the group Chicks on the Right, asking about a post on its Facebook page that included identical remarks to those of other pundits and for clarification regarding its relationship with Young Conservatives. Co-founder Miriam Weaver responded in a blog post by criticizing Media Matters and writing that it's "absolutely none of Media Matters’ business (or anyone’s, really)" whom the group works with and what financial relationships it has. She also defended the identifical Facebook post practice, stating, in part, that “we share their story the way it appears on their page, and they share our story the way it appears on our page – hence, the identical language. It’s less work that way, you see.” From Chicks on the Right's post (emphasis in original):

    Here’s the deal. Once a day, usually sometime in the evening hours, we share a post from our friends, the Young Conservatives, on our Facebook page, which we and ONLY WE manage. They, in turn, share one of our posts on their Facebook page. It’s a lovely partnership – one that allows us to cross-promote with our respective audiences. It costs us nothing to share their posts, and it costs them nothing to share ours. It’s a mutual swap, if you will. Once a day. And we share their story the way it appears on their page, and they share our story the way it appears on our page – hence, the identical language. It’s less work that way, you see. It appears, from the OH-SO-SCANDALOUS link that Media Matters included in their email, that the Young Cons have similar relationships with other folks as well. Good for them, I say. I love to see conservatives helping each other out. The more the conservative message gets out to the masses, the better!

    A Media Matters review of the Young Conservatives-connected pundits found numerous posts promoting affiliated content that contained identical or virtually identical remarks.

    One of the most frequent cut-and-pasters is Republican political commentator Stacey Dash. She has continued to post links to Young Conservatives content even though she’s running for Congress in California and her Facebook page is connected to her campaign website.

    The posts push conservative tropes and sometimes veer into vitriol. For instance, Dash, Ferguson, and West have repeatedly criticized and mocked the survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

    [Dash, Ferguson, West]

    [Dash, Ferguson, West]

    [Dash, Ferguson, West]

    Here are some of the many examples of identical remarks from Young Conservatives-affiliated pundits.

    Dash, Ferguson, and West had the same reaction to an NFL story:

    Dash, Ferguson, and West had the same “Yeehaw!” reaction to a federal court ruling:

    Chicks on the RightFerguson, and Palin had the same two-sentence reaction to a court decision about California. West, however, opted to use "isn't a good idea" instead of "isn't panning out."

    And here are Dash and Ferguson doing an "insert sarcasm here" joke just one minute apart:

    Even purported first-person posts are cut and pasted across different accounts. Here are Dash and Ferguson making an observation about the Parkland shooting at the same time:

    Here are Dash and Ferguson writing about Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the same time:

    And here they are talking about Trump:

    To be fair, their posts are not always identical. When Dash and Ferguson claimed they may have found themselves a new church, Ferguson opted not to include the word “freaking”:

  • More than a dozen Fox personalities have been headlining GOP fundraisers during Trump era

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    More than a dozen Fox hosts and contributors have been raising funds for Republican Party organizations around the country since Donald Trump was elected president, according to a Media Matters review.

    Fox hosts and contributors have been some of President Trump’s loudest supporters, using the network to push his agenda and attack his critics. Trump, in turn, has rewarded the network with regular interviews and praise.

    While Fox personalities’ on-air support for Trump and his party is open and well-documented, many of those same hosts and contributors have also been working off-air to raise critical funds for state and local GOP organizations. In addition to aligning themselves with Trump, those organizations provide backing and resources to Republican candidates when they run for office.

    The Fox personalities include hosts Lou Dobbs (​Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight), Greg Gutfeld (Fox News' The Five and The Greg Gutfeld Show), Pete Hegseth (Fox News' Fox & Friends Weekend), and Jeanine Pirro (Justice with Judge Jeanine), and Fox News contributors John Bolton, David Bossie, Rachel Campos-DuffyJason Chaffetz, Sebastian Gorka, Mike Huckabee, Alveda King, Ed Rollins, Karl Rove, and Allen West.

    Fox News host Laura Ingraham also headlined an October fundraiser for Republican Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Kelli Ward. The New York Times reported at the time that “Fox News hosts are not usually allowed to stump for candidates, but Ms. Ingraham was granted an exception because her show had not yet begun” (Ingraham was a Fox News contributor and frequent guest host prior to starting The Ingraham Angle). But Fox's reported prohibition against hosts stumping for candidates is meaningless given that they're allowed to raise funds for political parties that help those very same candidates. 

    Keynoting fundraisers can be potentially lucrative for media personalities, according to available campaign finance data. The Larimer County Republican Party in Colorado paid Premiere Speakers Bureau, which represents Pete Hegseth, a total of $5,000 in speaking fees around the time of the event Hegseth was headlining. Jeanine Pirro has received fees ranging from roughly $5,000 to $20,000 from state and local branches of the GOP. The Manatee County GOP paid a $25,000 “fee” to Washington Speakers Bureau, which exclusively represents Dobbs, a few months before its event with the pro-Trump host. It also paid roughly $2,300 for travel expenses to the bureau shortly after the event.

    A common theme among the Republican fundraisers is the use of Fox News’ branding and notoriety to sell tickets.

    Here is how the Washington State Republican Party promoted its event with Greg Gutfeld:

    Here are two flyers for events featuring Pete Hegseth:

    And here are two event pages for fundraisers with Jeanine Pirro:

    Fox considers these personalities as part of the network’s opinion side as opposed to its “news” side -- a largely meaningless distinction given how often the two sides blur together on the network. Trump himself treats Fox & Friends as a leading source of information. And Fox's opinion-side personalities have gotten numerous interviews with the president. For instance, both Hegseth and Pirro have interviewed Trump on their Fox News programs. Lou Dobbs also conducted a softball interview with the president. (Huckabee interviewed Trump though their talk aired on the former Republican governor's Trinity Broadcasting Network program.)  

    Media Matters has documented over the years how Fox News hosts and commentators actively help Republican-aligned groups grow their coffers at partisan events. In 2010, for instance, Sean Hannity keynoted a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner that “raised over $7 million.”

    The following is a non-comprehensive list of Fox News personalities who have headlined or have been scheduled to headline 2017-2018 fundraisers for Republican Party organizations.

    John Bolton

    Flagler County Republican Party (FL); San Francisco Republican Party (CA);​ Smith County Republican Club (TX).  

    David Bossie

    Republican Central Committee of Harford County (MD); St. Mary's County Republican Central Committee (MD); Washington County Republican Central Committee (MD); Wicomico County Republican Central Committee and the Salisbury University College Republicans (MD).

    Rachel Campos Duffy 

    Republican Party of Wood County (WI).

    Jason Chaffetz

    Gallatin and Madison County Republican Central Committees (MT).

    Lou Dobbs

    Manatee County Republican Executive Committee (FL). 

    Sebastian Gorka

    St. Lucie County Republican Club (FL).  

    Greg Gutfeld

    Washington State Republican Party.

    Pete Hegseth

    Larimer County Republican Party (CO);​ Powhatan County Republican Committee (VA);  Republican Party of Brazos County (TX); Snohomish County Republican Party (WA).

    Mike Huckabee

    Hawaii Republican PartyOkaloosa County Republican Party (FL).  

    Alveda King

    Cape Girardeau County Republican Women’s Club (MO). (Update: The Southeast Missourian reported on March 30 that King "suffered an injury and won't be able to attend the event.") 

    Jeanine Pirro

    See here.

    Ed Rollins

    New Canaan Republican Town Committee (CT).

    Karl Rove

    Allen County Republican Party (OH); Williamson County Republican Party (TX).

    Allen West

    Broward Republican Executive Committee (FL); Montgomery County Republican Party (TX); Republican Party of Coryell County (TX).

  • Right-wing media figures and online bots are going after “weak, spineless” Mitch McConnell

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE & NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media condemnation reached a fever pitch on August 9 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented that President Donald Trump had “excessive expectations” for health care reform, which many Trump loyalists in the conservative mediasphere interpreted as an attack on the president. In response, Trump sycophants along with online bots and trolls used their platforms to besmirch McConnell’s character, call for him to retire, and popularize the hashtag #DitchMitch on Twitter.

  • Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Fox News, fringe media outlets, and fake news purveyors echoed New York Post columnist Paul Sperry’s claims that former President Barack Obama is establishing a “shadow government” through his nonprofit organization Organizing for Action (OFA), with an “army of agitators -- numbering more than 30,000” -- to organize protests against, and to “sabotage,” President Donald Trump. Sperry has a history of pushing falsehoods, misleading claims, and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. A similar claim about an Obama “shadow government” was also made on Fox by discredited author Ed Klein in December 2016.

  • The Worst Of Fox's Allen West, Potential Trump Administration Appointee

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Fox News contributor and former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said today on Fox News Radio that he was able to “sit down and interview for a potential position in” President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. West has a long history of pushing smears, lies, and incendiary rhetoric, especially against Muslims.

    West served in the U.S. Army but was "stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation,” as The Boston Globe noted. Gen. James Mattis, who is Trump’s pick for defense secretary, reportedly criticized West as a “commander who has lost his moral balance or has watched too many Hollywood movies.” After leaving the military, West became a one-term congressman and subsequently a political commentator.

    West has repeatedly used toxic rhetoric about a variety of topics. He called President Obama an "Islamist" and "disgusting racist”; said the "Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party"; and falsely accused dozens of congressional Democrats of being "members of the Communist Party.” He claimed that Islam “is not a religion” and “we need to have individuals stand up and say that” and his Facebook page posted (then removed) an image praising efforts to “exterminate Muslims." He also questioned the “loyalties” of Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who received the Purple Heart, and said feminists are "neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness."

    Here’s some of what West would bring to a potential Trump administration:

    West’s Toxic History As A Military Commander And Commentator

    West Was "Stripped Of His Command After Pleading Guilty To Assaulting An Iraqi Detainee​." The Boston Globe noted in 2003 that West was "stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation. ... The military said that during an interrogation of an Iraqi police officer Aug. 20 near the village of Taji, north of Baghdad, West fired his pistol near the head of the prisoner, threatened to kill him, and allowed his troops to beat the man." [Boston Globe, 12/14/03Media Matters, 2/8/10]

    Gen. Mattis Reportedly Said Of West’s Behavior: “Commander Who Has Lost His Moral Balance Or Has Watched Too Many Hollywood Movies.” Roll Call noted that Gen. James Mattis, who was nominated to be defense secretary by Trump, reportedly criticized West for his actions as a commander:

    West drew Mattis’ scrutiny after he was reprimanded for firing a weapon near the head of prisoner he was interrogating while he was an artillery battalion commander in Iraq in 2003.

    In putting together documents to prepare his Marines for deployment to Iraq, Mattis pointed to the case of West as a “commander who has lost his moral balance or has watched too many Hollywood movies,” defense writer Thomas Ricks wrote in his book “Fiasco.” [Roll Call, 12/6/16]

    West Left Conservative Website After He Reportedly "Had An Anti-Semitic Exchange With A Staffer, Calling Her A 'Jewish American princess.'" West left the conservative website Pajamas Media after, according to BuzzFeed, West had "an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a 'Jewish American princess' ... Asked specifically whether he referred to the employee as a 'Jewish American princess,' West said simply, 'There was an exchange, that's all.'" [BuzzFeed, 9/26/13]

    West Heavily Plagiarized A Viral Internet Story. West plagiarized from a viral internet story in a piece attacking the Obama administration for purportedly ignoring the deaths of law enforcement officers. West lifted at least six paragraphs (including typos) from the story, which was previously posted on sites like Yahoo! Answers, Free Republic, Facebook, and the comments section of various websites. [Media Matters, 12/12/14]

    West’s Long History Of Smears And Lies

    West Questioned The "Loyalties" Of Decorated Veteran And Illinois Sen.-Elect Tammy Duckworth. During an 2014 appearance on a conservative radio show, West said of decorated veteran Tammy Duckworth and her position on the response to the 2012 Benghazi attack: “I just don't know where her loyalties lie. You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party." [Media Matters, 5/22/14]

    West: Islam “Is Not A Religion” And “We Need To Have Individuals Stand Up And Say That." West claimed that "Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West: "The Black Community Was Stronger" And Had "Better Education Opportunities" During Segregation. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 9/28/16]

    West’s Facebook Page Posted An Image Praising Mattis For Alleged Plan To “Exterminate Muslims.” West’s Facebook page posted an image claiming that Trump picked Mattis for defense secretary in order to “exterminate Muslims.” His editor-in-chief later claimed that the image was posted “without Allen West’s knowledge or consent.” [BuzzFeed, 12/11/16]

    West Called Obama And Attorney General Holder "Vile And Disgusting Racists." West wrote of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder: "How long will it be before 'you people' realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you -- not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists." [AllenBWest.com, 1/14/14, via Media Matters

    West: "Barack Hussein Obama Is An Islamist." West wrote on his website that Obama "is purposefully enabling the Islamist cause" and concluded: "Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause. You can go back and listen to his 2009 speech in Cairo, where Muslim Brotherhood associates were seated front and center." West repeated his claim in the media, telling Boston Herald Radio that "deep down inside, you know, Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamist sympathy ... I don't understand where this president's loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?" [AllenBWest.com, 8/13/14; Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

    West's Response To Whether Obama Is A Muslim: "The President Has An Eastern Orientation, I'll Put It That Way." At a July 2014 event hosted by Republicans, West didn't dispute an audience member who falsely claimed that "Obama is a Muslim." Instead, West responded that he's "not going to get into that" but the president "has an Eastern orientation, I'll put it that way." He later added: "Don't care whether or not he's a Muslim. I care about his orientation. And his association." [Media Matters, 7/15/14]

    West Said Holder Is A "Worse Threat" Than Al Qaeda. In a fundraising email, West claimed that Holder was a "bigger threat to our Republic" than terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former deputy of Osama bin Laden. [Media Matters, 6/7/13]

    West: The “Democrat Party Is An Anti-Semitic Party." During an interview on Boston Herald Radio, West claimed Obama was "withholding" aid to Israel, and that the "Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party." [Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

    West Compared Democrats To Nazis, Called Media "Complicit." West told reporters in December 2011: "If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine ... Let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit with this and enabling them to get that type of message out." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Falsely Accused Dozens Of Congressional Democrats Of Being Communists. West accused roughly 80 Democratic House members of being "members of the Communist Party. ... It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Attacked Gold Star Father Khizr Khan For “A Damn Politicized Stunt” When Khan Spoke At The Democratic National Convention. [Media Matters, 8/1/16]

    West Claimed He Was The Victim Of “Sharia Law” At Walmart Because An Employee Under 21 Couldn’t Sell Him Alcohol. West wrote a post originally headlined, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" In the story, he recounted a weekend trip to Walmart, where a "Muslim employee" manning the cash register was unable to sell him alcohol. His site later posted an update noting that in reality, “employees under 21 years old are prohibited from selling cigarettes and alcohol.” [Media Matters, 5/11/15]

    West Told Military To Disobey Commander-In-Chief. In 2014, the Defense Department announced it would expand an existing program, Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI), to allow recruiters "to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training." West responded by telling members of the armed forces to disobey their orders. He wrote: "Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation." He added: "This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military." [Media Matters, 9/26/14]

    West Invokes Slavery To Attack Democrats. West has claimed that Democrats are keeping black voters on a "plantation." He also said that "the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today" and President Obama would "rather you be his slave." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Agreed With Radio Host That "Khmer Rouge Feminists" Are Attempting A "Coup" Against The Military. During an appearance on Michael Savage's radio program, West agreed with Savage's assertion that "Khmer Rouge feminists" are attempting a "coup" against the military by proposing to change the military chain of command in sexual assault cases. West also criticized liberals for wanting to "put women into combat arms units ... so that they can meet some socially engineering goal or egalitarian goal." [Media Matters, 6/6/13]

    West: Feminists Are "Neutering American Men." West has criticized liberal women for "neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness" and said "we are not going to have our men become subservient." He was also denounced for comments about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in which he wrote to her, "You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!" [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West: "Fishy" Focus On Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Is Meant To Distract From Benghazi. West wrote a post headlined, "Focus on Boko Haram right now seems fishy to me," which accused the Obama administration of disingenuously caring about the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terrorist organization, claiming the administration was attempting to distract the public from "all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee." [Media Matters, 5/12/14]

    West: Obama "Purposefully Creating Drama" Like Malaysia Airlines MH17 Crash. West wrote on his website:

    Sadly, hundreds of Ukrainians and 298 souls on MH17 have paid the price for the weakness and abject cowardice of Obama's "flexibility."

    And here in America we quibble over a lawsuit against this charlatan.

    The blood on Vladimir Putin's hands was poured by Barack Obama who is indirectly responsible, accountable and no different than Neville Chamberlain's weakness in the face of the 20th Century maniacal dictator Adolf Hitler.

    So much for no drama Obama. He is purposefully creating drama globally. [AllenBWest.com, 7/18/14, via Media Matters]

    West's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric. West has warned that illegal immigration is like an "invasion into your country." He's also accused Democratic officials of being "almost treasonous" by inviting undocumented immigrants to attend a hearing on the DREAM Act. [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Hyped Hoax Story Of An ISIS Inspired Stabbing Of Teacher At French Preschool. [Media Matters, 12/14/15]

    West Likened Photo Of Black Women Graduating From West Point To Confederate Sympathizers. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/11/16]

  • The Right-Wing Media’s Government Takeover, Via Donald Trump

    Trump Has Picked -- Or Considered -- Over A Dozen Right-Wing Media Veterans For His Administration

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    President-elect Donald Trump has picked -- or considered -- nearly a dozen people who have worked in right-wing media, including talk radio, right-wing news sites, Fox News, and conservative newspapers, to fill his administration. And Trump himself made weekly guest appearances on Fox for a number of years while his vice president used to host a conservative talk radio show.

  • Right-Wing Media Attempt To Hide Trump’s Attacks On Family Of Fallen Soldier With Bogus Benghazi Comparison

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    Right-wing media criticized the coverage Khizr Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, comparing it to the lack of coverage  given to Patricia Smith’s speech at the Republican National Convention. But Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump directly attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan with anti-Muslim and personal attacks, fueling widespread outrage and blacklash.

  • NRA’s Allen West Is More Upset About Khizr Khan’s DNC Speech Than The Death Of Khan’s Son

    West: Khan Should Ask For God’s Forgiveness For His "Damn Politicized Stunt"

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    National Rifle Association board member and conservative pundit Allen West published an attack on Khizr Khan, a speaker at the Democratic National Convention whose son, a captain in the U.S. Army, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.

    West concluded a lengthy attack on Khan posted to his website, “I grieve for the loss of your son. However, I grieve even more that you used his sacrifice and loss as nothing more than a damn politicized stunt. May God forgive you for it.”

    During a July 28 speech at the Democratic convention, Khan, standing beside his wife Ghazala, spoke about their son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 by a car bomb while protecting soldiers under his command.

    Khan’s remarks received widespread attention after he condemned the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, asking whether Trump had ever read the U.S. Constitution and addressing the nominee, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

    In a July 31 post to his website, West joined Trump and other members of conservative media who have attacked Khan since his convention speech. West is a retired Army Lt. Colonel whose service ended in controversy over his use of interrogation tactics in Iraq.

    In addition to writing that he grieved Khan’s speech more than the death of Khan’s son, West also wrote of Khan’s decision to make his speech: “I tend to believe that if alive, your son would consider that type of behavior abhorrent and deplorable” and suggested that the elder Khan “will be remembered as a political pawn.”

    West added that during his speech, Khan should have “taken the time to explain how humbled and thankful you are to live in America.” Khan actually did address his family’s decision to immigrate to the United States in his convention remarks, saying, “We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.”

    West also wished that during the convention speech Khan would have called the chief prophet and central figure of the Islam religion, the Prophet Muhammad, “a murderous warlord, psychopath, and, by modern day standards, a pedophile.”

    West was elected to a leadership position within the NRA during the group’s 2016 elections. He has also served as a Fox News contributor and the executive director of the think tank National Center for Policy Analysis.

    West’s diatribe against Khan was praised by fellow NRA board member Ted Nugent who wrote on his Facebook page, “DITTO Allen West from all humans with a brain, heart & soul! Allen West would make a great Commander in Chief!”:

  • Right-Wing Media Lash Out At Obama After Attack On Police In Dallas

    ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN & NINA MAST

    Several conservative media figures lashed out at President Barack Obama after an attack on police officers in Dallas, TX, during a peaceful demonstration against the recent police shootings of two black men. Numerous Fox personalities blamed Obama for the attacks and right-wing media figures criticized his remarks in the aftermath of the shootings.

  • Sad! Conservative Media Resort To Unskewing Negative Trump Polls

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    There they go again.

    Conservative media figures, apparently disheartened by recent poll results showing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump heading in the wrong direction, are once again claiming biased or unreliable pollsters are unfairly weighting results against their party. If this sounds familiar, it’s because they did the same thing in 2012, spending months attempting to “unskew” polls showing Mitt Romney losing, only to watch him be soundly defeated on election day.

    In the run-up to the 2012 election, conservatives consistently complained that polls showing President Obama in the lead were inaccurately counting the gap between self-identified Democrats and Republicans. According to this school of thought, the polls were being “skewed” to show Romney losing. One blogger, Dean Chambers, took the data in the polls and reweighted them with a partisan split friendlier to Republicans resulting in “unskewed” polls showing Romney easily winning. Chambers’ work -- which was more akin to wishful thinking than academic analysis -- was nonetheless widely cited by conservative media as evidence of a concerted effort to influence the results of the presidential election in Obama’s favor.

    The polls were not skewed. An average of 2012 election polling predicted that Obama would win by 0.7%. In reality, the victory was by a margin of 3.86%. If anything the polls undercounted Obama’s support.

    Polls can of course go up and down, and the occasional outlier is inevitable. But the argument that the partisan split that pollsters report as they survey voters is somehow skewed to help Democrats is a conspiracy, not actual analysis.

    Despite this, conservative media are once again pushing the “unskewed” theme as recent polls show Clinton leading Trump.

    This time, the charge against the polls is being led in part by the candidate himself. Trump recently responded to a poll showing him losing with tweets that complained “The @ABC poll sample is heavy on Democrats.  Very dishonest - why would they do that?” and “The ‘dirty’ poll done by @ABC @washingtonpost is a disgrace. Even they admit that many more Democrats were polled.”

    The ABC News/Washington Post poll in question shows Clinton ahead of Trump 51%-39%.

    FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noticed the reboot of the “unskewed” theme and asked, “Has anyone seen Donald Trump and Dean Chambers in the same room together?”

    Conservative media figures have also zeroed in on the ABC/Wash. Post poll for criticism. On Fox News’ Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said that in the methodology for the ABC/Washington Post poll “they actually talked to 12 percent more Democrats than Republicans,” adding, “According to the Gallup poll, there are 3 percent more Democrats in the country than Republicans, so it looks like they've got a favorite in it.” During the same segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade explained to viewers, “So far Donald Trump leads in most independent polls.” This is true, if by “most,” Kilmeade meant none of the last 21 polls included in Real Clear Politics’ general election polling data.  

    The methodology for the poll, conducted by Langer Research for ABC/Washington Post, addresses the partisan breakdown":

    Partisanship can follow political preferences, and in this poll Democrats account for 36 percent of all adults and 37 percent of registered voters – a non-significant (+3) difference from last month. (The former is numerically its highest since 2009, the latter, since 2012.) Republicans account for 24 percent of all adults and 27 percent of registered voters, about their average in recent years, with the rest independents.

    This accounts for little of the shift in voter preferences, however. Even using the same party divisions from last month’s ABC/Post survey, in which Trump was +2, he’d now be -8. The reason, mentioned above, is his comparatively weak performance among Republicans – 77 percent support – compared with Clinton’s support among Democrats, 90 percent. 

    A Reuters/Ipsos poll showing Clinton with a 13% lead over Trump prompted an outburst as well.

    On Fox News host Sean Hannity’s official website, a blog post complained the poll “is heavily skewed.” On his June 27 radio show, Hannity cited the partisan breakdown and described it as a “misleading poll” because the media is “in the tank for Hillary.”

    Hannity apparently didn’t learn his lesson about attempting to unskew polls in 2012, when he was saying things like, “These polls are so skewed, so phony, that we need to start paying attention to what’s going on so that you won’t be deflated.”

    In a post purporting to highlight “More Polling Tricks” from an “EXTREMELY SKEWED” poll, conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit complained this week that “Reuters freighted their poll with 20 percent more Democrats than Republicans” and concluded that “we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.”

    Hoft made a similar argument in September of 2012, complaining that a CNN poll showing Obama leading Romney “drastically oversampled Democrats to get this stunning result.” He then went on to cite Dean Chambers, who said that when “unskewed” the CNN poll showed Romney leading by eight percent.

    Perhaps remembering how much egg the conservative media had on its face after the 2012 debacle, Fox News contributor Brit Hume tried to steer his fellow conservatives away from repeating their mistakes.

    In an appearance on America’s Newsroom, Hume noted that Trump “couldn’t stop talking” about polls showing him in the lead during the primaries, but now “his supporters, the ones I hear from anyway say that the poll is rigged, and all the rest of it.” Then he told host Martha MacCallum, “I don't think your viewers should pay too much attention to that. Look at the polling averages. Look at all the polls put together, to see what you get. And I think the picture's pretty clear. He's trailing, but not insurmountably.”