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  • Fox & Friends stacked its panel of "everyday American” moms with conservative media activists 

    The segment’s on-screen banners included the professions of only the liberal-minded panelists

    Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST

    On the July 13 edition of Fox & Friends, Ainsley Earhardt hosted a “panel of moms” from “all walks of life” to find out whether “everyday Americans” care about President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia. As Earhardt introduced the panel, the show’s on-screen banners failed to disclose the professions of the panelists who are conservative Republicans and Trump supporters, one of whom claims to work for a Fox affiliate.

    The panel featured seven women who, as they spoke, were introduced via on-screen banners using the following descriptions: 

    • Danielle McLaughlin -- mother and Democratic strategist
    • Dr. Rebecca Grant -- mother and national security analyst
    • Dr. Wendy Osefo -- liberal commentator, mother of two
    • Carla D'Addesi -- mother of three
    • Kathy Barnette -- armed forces veteran, mother of two
    • Angel Voggenreiter -- mother of two
    • Hope Houston -- mother of six

    The first three women, who all had left-leaning opinions, were assigned identifiers related to their professions; Fox ensured its viewers knew McLaughlin and Osefo’s political leanings. But the other four women who all professed conservative political beliefs were identified only as mothers (one was also described as an "armed forces veteran," but her current profession was omitted).

    Carla D'Addesi is a conservative Christian blogger, anti-choice radio host, and "proud conservative." She's an active member of Berks Republican Women in Berks County, PA, and her Twitter feed is full of statements of support for Trump. Her Facebook page prominently features anti-LGBTQ posts and photos and videos documenting her activism against Planned Parenthood and promotion of anti-choice group Students For Life. D’Addesi recently hosted an event at her house titled “Protecting Liberty,” to which she invited anti-gay T-shirt business owner Blaine Adamson, representatives from anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and the right-wing Pennsylvania Family Institute. 

    Kathy Barnette is the founder of a “Christian conservative news” website and has previously appeared on another “panel of moms” on Fox & Friends. She claims to host a show on a Fox affiliate radio station in Philadelphia on which she has discussed topics like “an examination of Islam” and the “Homosexual AGENDA” (emphasis original). Her Facebook page contains multiple posts in support of Trump. Last year, Barnette spoke at an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania chapter of the Oath Keepers, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today.”

    Angel Voggenreiter works for McLean Bible Church’s radio show in Virginia. She has previously appeared in multiple Republican National Committee advertisements.

    Media Matters could not find any information online about Hope Houston.

    From the July 13 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

    AINSLEY EARHARDT (HOST): The mainstream media's number one obsession still the Trump administration's alleged ties to Russia. But do everyday Americans care about this? We brought in our panel of moms from all walks of life to find out. It's a segment we're calling "Parental Advisory."

    [...]

    What are your concerns, as a mom?

    HOPE HOUSTON: As a mom I'm really concerned about tax reform and the economy and reform of health care because I have six kids and they are all kind of entering the workforce at different stages. And I really want a robust and positive economy for them to participate in.

    [...]

    CARLA D'ADDESI: I'm not concerned about Russia. We're not following that. We feel that there's no evidence that is putting our president and commander-in-chief in a bad light. We have full confidence in our president that is he going to do an amazing job with the economy. He has hired tens of thousands of employees. He's highly successful. And we are very confident in the team that he has put around him. 

    EARHARDT: Kathy?

    KATHY BARNETTE: Yeah, likewise. The issues regarding jobs, taxes, health care, all those things are very important. And one thing that has not been mentioned yet, I'm also concerned about the rampant amount of lawlessness that we are seeing on the streets, as well as throughout the ranks of our government. When I have to think twice about wearing a Donald Trump T-shirt because I don't know what kind of liberal lunatic is going to meet me at the grocery store, I think that is a very important concern of ours today. 

    EARHARDT: Angel? 

    ANGEL VOGGENREITER: I agree with that also. Something I didn't hear anyone mention is Obamacare. I'm ready for that to be repealed and replaced for my family. Our premiums have gone through the roof. And that's what I hear a lot of moms talking about for our kids. 

    CORRECTION: The language in this post has been updated to clarify that Kathy Barnette claimed she is a radio host on a Fox affiliate, that broadcasts her show

  • A Fox News Radio Anchor Is Headlining A Hate Group's Anti-LGBTQ Briefing

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    Fox News radio host Todd Starnes is headlining a special “pastors’ briefing” at the Texas Capitol on March 6 and 7 whose sponsors include the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council (FRC). Other speakers at the event include FRC’s president and vice president of church ministries and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are also listed as unconfirmed speakers at the event, whose attendees will also go to a March 7 public hearing on the anti-transgender Senate Bill 6 (SB 6).

  • The Trump Sycophants Praising His Hiring Of Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon As Campaign CEO

    ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN

    Trump’s staunchest supporters called the hiring of Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon as the new chief executive for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign “an inspired choice” and “fantastic news” after the move was reported. Elsewhere, the decision has been called “insanity,” with former Breitbart News employees disparaging the relationship between Trump and Breitbart News as “pathetic and disgusting.”

  • Here Are The Big Players In The Inevitable Smear Campaign Against Judge Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    As President Obama reportedly prepares to announce Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, media should be prepared to hear from several right-wing groups dedicated to opposing the nominee, no matter who it is. These advocacy groups and right-wing media outlets have a history of pushing misleading information and alarmist rhetoric to launch smear campaigns against Obama's highly qualified Supreme Court nominees, using tactics including, but not limited to, spreading offensive rumors about a nominee's personal life, deploying bogus legal arguments or conspiracy theories, and launching wild distortions of every aspect of a nominee's legal career.

  • "Hollywood Asshole": The Celebrities Conservative Media Went After In 2015

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ & CYDNEY HARGIS

    Right-wing media spent much of 2015 lashing out at celebrities. From seething over celebrities who spoke out against sexism and pay inequality in Hollywood and supported the Black Lives Matter movement, to objectifying female bodies, bashing the Pope, and telling an actress to "deport herself," Media Matters looks back at some of conservative media's most outrageous temper tantrums of 2015:

  • Brian Kilmeade Can't Remember His Most Embarrassing Moments. Here They Are.

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Brian Kilmeade says that he has trouble recalling his most embarrassing moments. He explained on the December 10 edition of Fox & Friends that he knows he's "had embarrassing moments" but has blocked them out, adding, "I keep trying to get my medulla to my cerebellum to get some embarrassing moments, but I got nothing."

    Media Matters has been chronicling Kilmeade's embarrassments for years -- as comedian Jordan Carlos once put it, the Fox co-host is "so stupid that if he looked up in a rainstorm he would drown." Here is a not-at-all comprehensive list of humiliating Kilmeade moments -- several of which he later had to apologize for:

    Kilmeade Asked An African-American Colleague If She Serves Kool-Aid With Her Cobbler

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/25/15]

    Kilmeade Wonders If The Pope Disagrees With Fox Because He Doesn't "Understand America"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/22/15]

    Kilmeade: Why Aren't They "Clearing The Waters Of Sharks" So The Ocean Can Be Safer?

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/20/15]

    Kilmeade Joked About Ray Rice Assaulting His Fiancée On An Elevator: "The Message Is, Take The Stairs"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/14]

    Kilmeade: Bowe Bergdahl's Dad Looks "Like A Member Of The Taliban"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/14]

    How Kilmeade Talks About Female Colleagues: "Let's See If The Girls Have Clothes On"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/9/14]

    Kilmeade Advised Female Lawyers To Use Their "Great Body" To Get Ahead In Court

    [Fox News, The Five, 3/27/14]

    Kilmeade On The Danish Prime Minister: "She Caused Trouble In My Relationship As Well"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/11/13]

    Kilmeade Once Hit A Toddler In The Face With A Basketball

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/11/13]

    Kilmeade On How Fox Hires Female Hosts: "We Go Into The Victoria's Secret Catalogue And We Said, 'Can Any Of These People Talk?'"

    [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 11/16/12]

    Kilmeade Asks Nicaraguan Co-Host If She "Grew Up On Tacos"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/4/13]

    Kilmeade On Virginia Concealed Weapon Law: "Grab Your Gun And Get A Drink"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/15/11]

    Kilmeade Cited His Roomba To Argue For Replacing Air Traffic Controllers With "Robots"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/15/11]

    Kilmeade On UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon: "I've Eaten There Before"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/28/11]

    Kilmeade Wonders Why Women Need Personal Space: "Didn't Men Give You The Kitchen?"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/24/11]

    Kilmeade Got Lost Without His Teleprompter, Admitted Without It "I'll Ad-Lib And That Could Often Lead To Misinformation"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/11/11]

    Kilmeade: "Not All Muslims Are Terrorists, But All Terrorists Are Muslim"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/15/10]

    Kilmeade: Americans Don't Have "Pure Genes" Because "We Keep Marrying Other Species And Other Ethnics"

    [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/8/09]

  • Media Condemn Donald Trump's "Dangerous," "Fascistic" Ban On Muslims Entering The US

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN & BRENDAN KARET

    Media figures across the ideological spectrum are condemning Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, calling it "dangerous," a violation of the First Amendment, and "fascistic." Trump's proposal builds on previous calls from Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush to exclude Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the United States.