Ralph Peters

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  • NY Times details how “reverence for Putin” in right-wing media helps Trump run from his Russia scandal

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    A report from The New York Times highlighted how an ongoing, years-long trend of right-wing media figures praising Russian President Vladimir Putin has helped President Donald Trump downplay the fast-growing Russian scandal surrounding himself, his family, and his administration.

    Right-wing media has long been obsessed with Putin’s masculinity and authoritarian tendencies. In 2013, Fox News analyst Ralph Peters, when speaking about Putin said, “I respect that guy,” adding “he presents himself as a real He-Man.” The same year, Matt Drudge tweeted “Putin is the leader of the free world.” FoxNews.com previously published a “must watch” video of "Putin doing macho things." And Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle once said she wanted Putin to be US president for 48 hours in order to defeat ISIS.

    Essentially, right-wing media effectively built a normalization machine working to sanitize Putin, and it had results.

    In a July 14 New York Times article, Jeremy Peters noted that while “such fondness for Mr. Putin fell outside the Republican Party’s mainstream” previously it became a widely held sentiment in the conservative movement by the time Mr. Trump started running for president in 2015.” Peters wrote that “the veneration of Mr. Putin helps explain why revelations about Russia’s involvement in the election ... and Mr. Trump’s reluctance to acknowledge it, have barely penetrated the consciousness of the president’s conservative base.” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone added that the mythologizing of Putin by right-wing media has led to him enjoying “a Paul Bunyan-esque persona among this audience.” From the July 14 article:

    Years before the words “collusion” and “Russian hacking” became associated with President Vladimir V. Putin, some prominent Republicans found far more laudatory ways to talk about the Russian leader.

    “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and longtime friend and adviser to President Trump, gushed in 2014.

    Mr. Putin was worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, K. T. McFarland said in 2013, before going on to serve a brief and ill-fated stint as Mr. Trump’s deputy national security adviser.

    “A great leader,” “very reasoned,” and “extremely diplomatic,” was how Mr. Trump himself described Mr. Putin that same year.

    Though such fondness for Mr. Putin fell outside the Republican Party’s mainstream at the time, it became a widely held sentiment inside the conservative movement by the time Mr. Trump started running for president in 2015. And it persists today, despite evidence of Russian intervention in the 2016 American election and Mr. Putin’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies at home.

    The veneration of Mr. Putin helps explain why revelations about Russia’s involvement in the election — including recent reports that members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle set up a meeting at which they expected a representative of the Russian government to give them incriminating information about Hillary Clinton — and Mr. Trump’s reluctance to acknowledge it, have barely penetrated the consciousness of the president’s conservative base.

    [...]

    In this view, the Russian president is a brilliant tactician, a slayer of murderous Islamic extremists — and not incidentally, a leader who outmaneuvered and emasculated President Barack Obama on the world stage. And because of that, almost any other transgression seems forgivable.

    [...]

    The unflattering comparisons with Mr. Obama became especially personal in 2014 after Mr. Putin invaded Crimea, an act of aggression that was widely condemned by the United States and its allies but praised as a display of brawn and guts by many on the right.

    Sarah Palin, for one, questioned Mr. Obama’s “potency” and added that no one had any such doubts about Mr. Putin. “People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

    “He’s looking like a real man,” Mr. Limbaugh declared approvingly in 2014.

    Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, which has tracked the conservative media’s depiction of the Russian president, described Mr. Putin as taking on “a Paul Bunyan-esque persona among this audience.”

    Mr. Putin’s mystique for conservatives resembles in many ways the image that Mr. Trump has cultivated for himself.

  • Federal Court Debunks The Right-Wing Media Myths Behind Pence’s Syrian Refugee Ban

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    A federal judge rebuked Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence’s attempt to ban refugees from resettling in Indiana, which was based on the right-wing media lie that the U.S. lacks a vetting process for Syrian refugees and thus could allow terrorists into the country.The judge explained that all refugees undergo a rigorous and lengthy screening process that can take up to two years, and he called Pence’s evidence-free suggestion that terrorists would pose as refugees to try to sneak in “nightmare speculation.”

  • Fox Previews Trump's Immigration Speech With Images Of Drug Runners Crossing Border

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    FoxDrugRunners

    Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor previewed a major immigration speech by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with anti-immigrant rhetoric, while displaying images of drug runners crossing into the U.S. During the segment Fox analyst Ralph Peters argued against so called "anchor babies," due process for immigrants, and argued against undocumented immigrants ever getting the right to vote.

    From the August 31 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

    ERIC BOLLING (GUEST HOST): Let's use Mexican and American laborers, we'll share the laborers and that's a way to help defray some of the cost to Mexico, use some of their labor.

    RALPH PETERS: Well, it would probably wind up being built largely by illegal immigrants anyway. But Eric -- Eric, I strongly believe, strongly, that what we need to do is first, as Mr. Trump has said, "enforce the laws on the books." Get the felons out of here. We need to revamp other laws, pass new ones.

    When you were apprehended at the border, it shouldn't be catch and release. You go back immediately. And what we have got to do is stop sympathizing with the criminals and penalizing the victims. So these ideas of endless appeals and anchor babies, sorry if that offends anybody, that stuff -- that nonsense has to stop.

    We need legal immigration. But we -- not illegal, and here is my bottom line. No one who enters this country illegally ever, ever gets to vote for president, senator, representative, governor, judge, et cetera.

    Previously:

    Fox Hypes Photo Of One Man Climbing Border Fence To Fearmonger Over Border Security

    Bill O'Reilly Says A Border Wall Will "Stop The Tons Of Hard Narcotics Flowing Into America"

    Media Figures Praise Optics Of Trump’s Mexico Visit, Ignoring Trump Campaign’s Bigotry Toward Mexicans

    ABC's Jonathan Karl: Trump "Ditched A Year's Worth Of Tough Talk" During Meeting With Mexican President

    CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Reports Emerging That Mexican President Told Trump "Mexico Would Not Pay For That Wall"

    CNN's Murray: Despite Trump’s Claim, Portion Of Wall Payment “Would Essentially Be Coming Out Of The US Budget”
     

  • Myths & Facts: $400 Million Payment To Iran

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Right-wing media are distorting a new report in The Wall Street Journal detailing a payment of $400 million from the United States government to the Iranian government to resolve an arms sale dispute dating to 1981. Conservative outlets are suggesting the payment “was definitely ransom” paid for American prisoners held in Iran, claiming “the administration did not reveal this to the public,” suggesting that Hillary Clinton was wrong to say the report is “old news,” and that airlifting cash to make the payment was essentially “money laundering.” But past reporting and explanations from the administration reveal “no concrete evidence that the cash payment was, in fact, a ransom,” that many of the details of the payments were made public in January, Clinton correctly noted the payment has been public for “seven or eight months,” and making the payment in cash was the only way to legally do it due to economic sanctions against Iran.

  • Fox’s Ralph Peters: Trump’s NATO Position Is “Destructive And Idiotic”

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Following comments Donald Trump made to The New York Times raising the possibility that as president he would not honor the United States’ NATO obligations, Fox News national security analyst Ralph Peters called Trump’s position “the most destructive and idiotic statement on foreign policy” by a presidential candidate in his lifetime.

    In a July 20 interview with the Times, Trump “called into question whether, as president, he would automatically extend the security guarantees that give the 28 members of NATO the assurance that the full force of the United States military has their back.” Trump suggested that, as president, he would assist Baltic NATO member states “only after reviewing whether those nations ‘have fulfilled their obligations to us.’”

    Peters blasted Trump’s comments during a July 21 interview on Fox Business, saying that “there’s no excuse for what Trump said, and what he did was invite Vladimir Putin to invade the Baltics,” adding that “Trump’s throwing [the Baltic NATO member states] to the wolves” and “knows nothing about” NATO:

  • Fox Downplays Sexual Assault, Until It Fits Their Anti-Muslim Refugee Agenda

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Fox News devoted numerous segments to reports of mass sexual assaults committed in Cologne, Germany on New Year's Eve by men "having a 'North African or Arabic' appearance," using the story to fearmonger about the "direct threat" posed by "how fast you allow ... Syrian refugees into this country." This reporting stands in contrast to Fox's history of downplaying sexual assaults when it doesn't fit their anti-refugee agenda.

  • The Worst Islamophobia Of 2015 (VIDEO)

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC WUESTEWALD

    Fleeing from terror and indiscriminate violence in parts of the Middle East, millions of people have packed up and left their homes to start safer lives for themselves and their families elsewhere. But if you tuned into Fox News anytime in the last year, you'd think the refugees themselves -- many of them Muslim -- were responsible for the violence. In fact, painting Muslims as terrorists, radicals, and tacit supporters of ISIS, baseless demonization of Islam was the channel's modus operandi in 2015. And it wasn't just right-wing media. CNN also joined the smears, asking a Muslim human rights lawyer if he supports ISIS, questioning a Michigan mayor if she's afraid of her majority Muslim-American city council, and forcing responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris onto an innocent French Muslim.

    From berating a teenager for his interest in technology to inventing so-called "no-go zones," watch how the media fearmongered about Muslims in 2015:

    As Columbia Journalism Review explains in their annual list of the worst journalism in 2015, the media has a special responsibility to get these stories right and not perpetuate Islamophobia, as inaccurate and "reactionary coverage" can "influence policy makers to take drastic measures under the guise of popular fears."  

  • Donald Trump Joins Right-Wing Media In Their Crush On Vladimir Putin

    ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump excused Vladimir Putin's extensive human rights violations by saying that "at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country." His praise for the Russian president echoes that of right-wing media, who have swooned over Putin for years as a way of attacking President Obama's supposed weakness.