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Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that President Donald Trump called her for advice before announcing his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. Guilfoyle has been an outspoken critic of efforts to fight climate change, and has previously attacked public figures for speaking out about the threat of climate change, pushed false claims surrounding the science of climate change, and has even suggested that climate change is not real.
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Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle is a front-runner for replacing White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- if, indeed, his replacement is imminent -- and that should surprise no one. If she gets the job, it won’t be much of a change from her current role at Fox: routinely praising President Donald Trump, defending him unquestioningly, and lashing out at media outlets daring to report critically on his actions.
Guilfoyle, a co-host of the network’s The Five, told the San Jose Mercury News she’s in talks with the Trump administration about the press secretary position. The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers described Guilfoyle’s Mercury News interview by saying she’s “openly gunning for Sean Spicer’s job." He also noted that Guilfoyle certainly took the opportunity to tactfully criticize Spicer “as if he were already gone” and declare her patriotism, signaling loyalty to the president.
Guilfoyle and Fox News both subsequently released brief statements attempting to walk back the Mercury News interview -- though neither actually denied that Guilfoyle was in communication with the White House (but Guilfoyle is under “long-term” contract at Fox). Both The New York Times and Trump ally and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ website have said that Trump is interested in bringing in Guilfoyle for the role; she was also considered for the job back in December before Spicer was ultimately hired. If Spicer is fired, all signs point to Guilfoyle as a serious contender.
Regular viewers of her Fox program might not be surprised by these developments -- in the last week, Guilfoyle has essentially tried out for the job on air. Her sycophantic praise for Trump, blatant critiques of the current White House communications staff, and attacks on reporters suggest she’d fit right into the Trump administration.
Guilfoyle has also been lavishing Trump with unconditional praise.
Just hours after The New York Times broke the news that former FBI Director James Comey had written a series of contemporaneous memos detailing his interactions with the president -- one of which included an account of Trump potentially engaging in obstruction of justice by asking Comey to “let go” a federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn -- Guilfoyle questioned the validity and timing of the memos:
Last Friday on The Five, Guilfoyle and the other co-hosts discussed Trump’s statements about the White House communications team in an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, and Guilfoyle’s contributions were essentially a five-minute-long job interview. Her assessment of the White House press shop included subtle implications she’d be more loyal and likeable than Spicer, and a joking reference to her earlier consideration for the role. She also agreed with her co-hosts that “the only person who communicated” effectively about the firing of FBI Director James Comey was Trump “himself.”
Guilfoyle’s Twitter account also highlights her Trump praise. More than a third of the tweets and retweets Guilfoyle’s posted since May 11 are just Trump retweets. Another is a Twitter “moment” she shared of comedian Melissa McCarthy unflatteringly impersonating Spicer. And the Fox personality’s pinned tweet is a post-inauguration response thanking the president for promoting her book in an old tweet from 2015.
Guilfoyle also seems to agree with her potential new boss on one key issue: She regards members of the media who are critical of Trump with contempt. She praised Trump’s media-bashing February press conference -- in which he mockingly called CNN “very fake news” and scolded reporters for writing critically about the White House -- as “wildly entertaining,” and celebrated that Trump “let the media have it for their bogus, dishonest reporting.” In March, Guilfoyle said Trump’s repeated attacks calling legitimate news organizations “fake news” were “pretty funny,” and that “he does have a pretty good delivery and inflection when he says it.”
And in the last week, Guilfoyle has doubled down. On May 10, Guilfoyle responded to Trump’s firing of Comey by asserting she would “have done the same thing,” and mocking “mainstream media” for going into “full meltdown mode” over the highly unusual and newsworthy move.
The next day, Guilfoyle again stood by Trump’s decision to fire Comey. She opened the May 11 episode of The Five with a lengthy, press-conference-ready defense of the firing -- but offered a brief and helpful critique of “what would have helped” the White House “in terms of the communications” to keep “detractors” from “trying to make something out of this.”
And just last night, Guilfoyle delivered a diatribe about mainstream media’s “witch hunt” against Trump, arguing that CNN reporters are engaging in a “bloodsport” and “trying to do in the presidency of Donald Trump” by running “biased” stories that “effectuate that outcome.”
She sounds ready for the Trump briefing room.
Reports that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials, potentially violating espionage norms, raise the question of whether anyone on Fox News will criticize the president. Several Fox personalities viciously attacked Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information with her email server and, without evidence, claimed that she allowed foreign actors to obtain that information.
Right-Wing Media Flipped Out When A Clinton Supposedly Talked To Law Enforcement About A Clinton Investigation
Nearly a year ago, conservative media figures assailed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton that occurred as Hillary Clinton’s email practices were being investigated, suggesting that she be fired or recuse herself, and stating that she undermined belief in rule of law. Will right-wing media figures have the same reaction after President Donald Trump claimed that he talked to former FBI Director James Comey on several occasions about whether he was under investigation by the agency?
Jones’ Website Claims Fox News Host Kimberly Guilfoyle Is “The Favorite To Replace” Spicer
Donald Trump media ally Alex Jones said “sources close to the president” told him that White House press secretary Sean Spicer will be fired within a week and that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus will be fired sometime in the near future. Jones’ website claims Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle “is currently the favorite to replace” Spicer.
During the May 11 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Jones said, “Now I have some sources close to the president, and we’ve talked to those sources yesterday and this morning, and we know who the next shoes to drop are going to be -- and that’s going to be Sean Spicer, the press secretary. Reportedly he’s going to be axed in the next week. … And then he’s looking for a replacement of Reince Priebus right now.”
An article by editor Paul Joseph Watson at Jones’ website Infowars.com initially reported that “White House sources tell Infowars that Sean Spicer is set to be fired as President Trump begins a purge of establishment advisers who he feels have failed to properly investigate leaks coming from within the administration.”
The article also stated that “Infowars can reveal that Spicer will be gone by next week and that former prosecutor and current Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who was previously considered for the role, is currently the favorite to replace him.”
Later during the broadcast, Jones said a different White House source called him and took issue with the Infowars article. Jones said that he stood by the story but would clarify the piece to make it clear he is saying Spicer will be fired as opposed to suggesting -- as the original headline had -- that Spicer had already been fired. The article's text has since been softened after that reported White House call.
Jones is a toxic conspiracy theorist who has claimed that the United States government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and the tragedies at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Oklahoma City, and the Boston Marathon, among others
He routinely claims to be in touch with White House officials. For example, after Trump ordered a military strike against Syria in April, Jones said that he “talked to folks very close to the president” about the United States’ policy concerning intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Jones also claims to speak with Trump regularly. In a video Jones released in February, he touted his connections to the president, saying that he regretted having “missed” Trump’s phone calls, and claimed that Trump "or his sons" watch his videos and show “every night.” He has also said that Trump calls him to ask if he’s “happy” with his performance as president.
Trump appeared on Jones’ show in December 2015 when he was running for president and praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation. During the campaign, Jones claimed that he talked to Trump to give him political advice.
Jones has been a harsh critic of Priebus. After he was named chief of staff in November, Jones said, “I would give Donald Trump about a 99 performance rate right now. Appointing Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican Party, who stabbed him in the back over and over again? I don’t like it” and called Priebus a “RINO neocon galactic-level weasel.”
Fake News Purveyors Joined Conservatives In Lauding Comey's Firing
Right-wing media praised the Trump administration’s egregious decision to fire FBI director James Comey. Conservatives trumpeted the move as long overdue, while other media outlets lamented Trump’s move as “obstruction” and called his rationale for the firing “implausible.”
President Donald Trump and right-wing media obfuscated comments that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made during his May 8 congressional testimony about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Clapper said he was not aware of evidence of such collusion, and Trump and commentators cast that comment as indication that there was no collusion. However, as others noted, just because Clapper wasn’t privy to any such evidence does not mean it doesn’t exist.
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President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office have been defined, in part, by his administration’s hostility to the press. As Media Matters has documented, Trump has attacked the press well over 100 times to date. As Trump vilifies the press, Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests help cheer him on by supporting, enabling, and condoning his attempts to discredit mainstream media outlets.
Greg Gutfeld: "If You Are Pro-Life And You Believe It Is Murder, You Should Be Willing To Fight For It"
After the ouster of Bill O’Reilly following public reports that he sexually harassed multiple colleagues (and a subsequent advertiser boycott), Fox News was forced to shuffle its evening lineup -- a move that elevated the show The Five to the coveted 9 p.m. time slot. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for co-host Greg Gutfeld to take a page out of the O’Reilly playbook and call for anti-abortion violence.
O’Reilly spent years at Fox not only spreading misinformation about abortion and reproductive rights, but also openly bullying abortion providers. Dr. George Tiller -- who was assassinated in 2009 by anti-choice zealot Scott Roeder -- was a frequent target of O’Reilly’s. Prior to Tiller’s death, O’Reilly referred to the doctor as “Tiller the baby killer” and insisted there was a “special place in hell” for him. After a deadly shooting attack at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, O’Reilly defended his previous attacks on Tiller, claiming his reporting on the doctor was accurate.
Although Gutfeld did not target an individual abortion provider like O’Reilly did, his call for violence in the service of the anti-choice movement is an inauspicious start to The Five’s new time slot.
Alongside co-hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jesse Watters, Bob Beckel, and Dana Perino, Gutfeld engaged in an incendiary segment about abortion advocacy in the Democratic Party. After Guilfoyle falsely suggested that so-called “partial-birth” abortions or “abortion on demand” were issues Democrats must contend with (in reality, neither describes a medically accurate or extant procedure in the United States), Gutfeld compared abortion to slavery, saying that it would have been cowardly in the 1850s to have expressed opposition to slavery but said there's "nothing I can do about it" and that the same was true of what he called "pro-life cowards." He said he had “a problem with saying you’re pro-life but you respect the other side” because “if you are pro-life and you believe it is murder, you should be willing to fight” and “start a war” over this.
Conservatives have frequently made inappropriate allegations that abortion providers are targeting black communities. Anti-choice groups have even gone so far as to openly co-opt the language of Black Lives Matter to attack abortion access -- this in spite of the disproportionately negative impact anti-abortion laws have on women and communities of color.
Gutfeld’s disturbing call to arms also comes after a recent report from the National Abortion Federation (NAF) warned of a disturbing trend of escalating threats and harassment against abortion providers, patients, and clinics. According to NAF, in 2016, there was “an increase in a wide range of intimidation tactics meant to disrupt the provision of health care at facilities, including vandalism, picketing, obstruction, invasion, trespassing, burglary, stalking, assault and battery, and bomb threats” as well as “an escalation in hate speech and internet harassment, which intensified following the election in November.”
The severity of this targeted harassment is exacerbated by the fact that evening cable news shows rarely discusses the topic. As a recent Media Matters study found, during 12 months of coverage about abortion and reproductive rights there was almost no discussion of anti-choice violence or its consequences for abortion access. Out of 354 total segments about abortion or reproductive rights on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, only four discussed anti-choice violence.
There has been a great deal of speculation about what O’Reilly’s departure means for Fox News’ toxic culture, and in particular, its new evening lineup. If this debut performance by the The Five is indicative, we should expect more of the same attacks on abortion access and on those who obtain this legal and essential medical service.
A transcript of the April 24 edition of The Five is below:
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Since when is it OK to just be abortion on demand? Why do you have to put that -- but why can't you say yes we respect life and we respect the lives of women and we respect the lives of children and babies? And I understand the idea to say you want to have individual choice, and the state not telling everyone what they have to do. But there is a healthy interest in protecting life in terms of not going for this, with partial-birth abortions. There has to be some regulations. Just like we have regulations with the FDA or with health care, et cetera, to make sure that people are protected. That the innocent are. And so I don't think [Democrats are] currying any favor by being that strident and just really that caustic in terms of their rhetoric.
JESSE WATTERS (CO-HOST): Greg, quickly, how much damage do you think is done by these comments?
GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): I don’t know. First, I would like to state the obvious: The strongest pro-choice voices have the amazing luck of being born. It’s an incredibly obvious point, but we -- a lot of people forget about that. We can’t be hypocrites here. Would a pro-choice Republican win the presidency ever? Trump is pro-life, but that’s after a lot of pro-choice-ing. So, this prison of two ideas both parties are involved in -- there’s another, I have a problem with saying you’re pro-life but you respect the other side. Because that’s a PLC -- I’m a PLC, I’m a pro-life coward, which means I believe, and it’s untethered to religion, that it is killing a baby. But I’m not going to do anything about it because I realize there’s nothing I can do about it.
GUILFOYLE: Well, you talk about it.
GUTFELD: Yeah, you talk about it --
GUILFOYLE: You educate.
GUTFELD: Yeah, but think about it. If in the 1850s there was a talk show called the Ye Olde Five Shoppe and we're sitting there and we’re going like --
GUTFELD: And you're going, "I'm against slavery, but you know, I think it's immoral, it's wrong, but there's nothing I can do about it.” If you are pro-life and you believe it is murder, you should be willing to fight for it. That’s the hypocrisy behind this whole idea is that you should be able to start a war if you believe in this that strongly, but we aren't. We aren't because we are “PLCs.” I'm a “PLC.” I'm a pro-life coward. It's what I am.
Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle suggested that protesters who took part in the March for Science were motivated to do so by a “false narrative” about climate change dating back to the Obama administration.
During a discussion about Bill Nye the Science Guy’s climate activism and the March for Science on the April 24 edition of Fox News’ The Five, Guilfoyle claimed that Nye “doesn't want the facts and the science out there” about climate change, because “he might lose his show.”
Guilfoyle also argued that Nye’s actions mirrored those of researchers during the Obama administration who “refused to comply with requests to release the internal data and the information that, really, the public has a right to see, to back these claims up. … They do this thing to try to hide it because they want to put forward a false narrative so that they can get people to come out and march and go nuts about this, saying that the earth is going to be over, and the whole deal, and get upset about cumulus clouds.”
Guilfoyle was presumably referring to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which in 2015 refused House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s subpoena for internal communications on a study about climate change. The Hill reported at the time, “NOAA spokeswoman Ciaran Clayton said the internal communications are confidential and not related to what Smith is trying to find out. ‘We have provided data, all of which is publicly available online, supporting scientific research, and multiple in-person briefings,’ she said.”
From the April 24 edition of Fox News’ The Five:
GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): Why should debate scare [Bill] Nye? Because climate fear is his livelihood. It’s his game. And if you don’t play along, then you’re off the field. And that way, he can't lose. And so far, it works. It got him a new show.
Kimberly, you’re a prosecutor, which is like being a scientist.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Yes. A prosecutor of justice, Greg.
GUTFELD: That’s right. Science is about stating a theory, then attempting to disprove it. You want people to disprove it because that makes your theory or hypothesis stronger. He doesn't want that. Why?
GUILFOYLE: Well, because he doesn't want the facts and the science out there because then he might lose his show, right? So there’d be a problem. And you can't walk with intention and talk with intention if the facts get in the way, right? But this is what we saw, too, during the Obama administration. Sorry to upset you, Bob. But they refused to comply with requests to release the internal data and the information that, really, the public has a right to see, to back these claims up, right? What are they so afraid of? Why don't they want to turn it over, despite subpoenas and requests? They do this thing to try to hide it because they want to put forward a false narrative so that they can get people to come out and march and go nuts about this, saying that the earth is going to be over, and the whole deal, and get upset about cumulus clouds.
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