The Daily Signal

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  • Right-wing media hype flawed report on illegal voting pushed by serial conservative misinformers

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Conservative media are reporting on a study claiming that thousands of illegal votes have been cast in Virginia since 1988. However, the study's authors have reportedly used “unreliable methodology” before, its findings go against those of several other studies and experts on voter fraud, and a person inaccurately targeted in it has called it a “gross misrepresentation of the facts.” Additionally, the study was put out by groups known for spreading conspiracy theories and fables about voter fraud and intimidation and which have previously used dubious methodologies in their studies.

  • Right-Wing Media’s New Favorite Immigration Statistic Reflects Misguided Policy

    ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    Right-wing media celebrated a new report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that showed a significant drop in border apprehensions since President Donald Trump took office, suggesting that fewer immigrants are making the journey to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump campaigned on preventing dangerous criminals from entering the country, but officials and experts report that the drop reflects the administration's focus on women and children and that the new policies incite fear in noncriminal immigrants and largely deter asylum seekers fleeing violence. In fact, these policies fail to address the proliferation of transnational crime organizations that Trump promised to tackle and undermine counter-crime operations within the United States.

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Myths And Facts About Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, and Those Emails

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    On October 22, Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi regarding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi and her use of a personal email address while secretary of state. In their relentless drive to find a scandal that doesn't exist, media have spent the last three years pushing numerous myths surrounding Clinton's alleged role in the attacks and her legal use of her personal email account.

  • GOP Committee Chair Brandishes Data Promoted By Right-Wing Media At Planned Parenthood Hearing, Doesn't Realize It's From Anti-Choice Group

    Media Fact Checkers: Chart "Makes Absolutely No Sense" And "Has No Y-Axis"

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Right-wing media have spent months promoting a deceptive data chart from the anti-choice Americans United for Life that on September 29 became the cornerstone of Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) cross-examination of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards at a House Oversight Committee hearing aimed at defunding the organization. The chart's data is out of proportion and neglects to document numerous services performed by the women's health care provider to make it appear as if most of what Planned Parenthood does is pregnancy terminations.

  • "Shut It Down": The Government Shutdown Conservative Media Built


    Conservative media have paved the way for a government shutdown by championing Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and uncritically hyping deceptively-edited smear videos by the Center for Medical Progress -- even though state and federal investigations continue to find no wrongdoing by the health provider.

  • La "Ley Defensora De La Primera Enmienda" Es El Próximo Ataque A Los Derechos LGBT

    ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF English language version

    Como respuesta a la histórica resolución de la Corte Suprema de Justicia a favor de la igualdad matrimonial, los medios conservadores están apoyando una nueva ley federal llamada "Ley Defensora de la Primera Enmienda" (FADA por sus siglas en inglés). A pesar de que los conservadores están promoviendo FADA como un esfuerzo para proteger la libertad religiosa, críticos advierten que la ley podría poner en peligro la capacidad del gobierno para combatir la discriminación anti-gay.

  • The So-Called "First Amendment Defense Act" Is The Next Attack on LGBT Rights

    ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY Versión en español

    In response to the Supreme Court's historic marriage equality ruling, conservative media has endorsed a newly proposed federal bill called the "First Amendment Defense Act" (FADA). Though conservatives have touted FADA as an effort to protect religious liberty, critics warn the bill would undermine the government's ability to combat anti-gay discrimination.

  • Right-Wing Media Desperately Smear Scientists To Defend Climate Deniers' Virtue

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS


    Who is more likely to be influenced by money: The vast majority of climate scientists who agree with the scientific consensus that human activities are driving global warming, or the small pool of climate change deniers funded by the fossil fuel industry? The answer probably seems obvious, but some deniers are doing their best to play the "conflict of interest" card against respected climate scientists. 

    Right-wing media are promoting the myth that scientists who agree with the consensus of human-caused climate change have been "corrupt[ed]" by "massive amounts of money." Most recently, National Review published an op-ed from the Cato Institute's science director, Patrick Michaels, who wrote that the U.S. government disburses "tens of billions of dollars" to climate scientists "who would not have received those funds had their research shown climate change to be beneficial or even modest in its effects."

    Here's the bizarre thing: After arguing that money "corrupts" science that supports the consensus on man-made climate change, Michaels then tried to defend the industry funding behind the research that's used to deny climate change. Michaels wrote: "Are the very, very few climate scientists whose research is supported by [the fossil fuel] industry somehow less virtuous?"

    It should come as no surprise that Michaels himself works for an organization funded by the fossil fuel industry. The Cato Institute was co-founded by the oil billionaire Koch brothers and has received millions from the Koch family, while also receiving funding from ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute.

  • What The Media Should Know About Net Neutrality

    ››› ››› OLIVIA KITTEL

    In advance of the Federal Communications Commission's February vote on net neutrality rules, media have promoted distortions of the proposed regulations, suggesting net neutrality is an unpopular, "Orwellian" takeover of the internet that may stifle innovation, hurt the economy, and raise costs for consumers. In reality, net neutrality has broad bipartisan support, promotes competition, and has been the guiding principle behind Internet innovation since its inception.

  • How Conservative Media's Attacks On Michelle Obama's Anti-Obesity Efforts May Lead To A Government Shutdown

    Blog ››› ››› SOPHIA TESFAYE

    Republican lawmakers reportedly plan to demand the suspension of first lady Michelle Obama's school lunch program in order to avoid a government shutdown, an ultimatum that follows follows a sustained conservative media campaign against her anti-obesity efforts. 

    According to The New York Times, congressional Republicans plan "to scale back Michelle Obama's school-lunch nutrition mandates and curtail some clean water regulations in a $1 trillion spending bill that would avert" a government shutdown on December 11. Republicans have staked their ground against a program the Times describes as an attempt to "improve school nutrition by reducing the sodium content and increasing the percentage of whole grains in school lunches."

    While Pew polling has found that a majority of Americans agree that "the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children," Michelle Obama's efforts to combat childhood obesity have been met with consistent opposition from conservatives, including right-wing media. Here are some of the worst attacks on the first lady's school nutrition initiative: 

    Healthy School Lunches Are Government Fiat

    • Fox reported that school nutrition standards mean "the lunch lady is now a health czar."
    • Fox host Sean Hannity predicted that the healthy school lunch program will lead to a nanny state, asking if "every American family need[ed] a dietitian appointed by the government." 
    • Rush Limbaugh claimed government will monitor citizens as part of the "obesity problem." 
    • Fox's John Stossel argued that nutrition standards will allow the government to "dictate" who citizens are allowed to marry. 
    • The Daily Signal, an online publication of the Heritage Foundation, attacked Obama's initiative as an attempt to "co-parent to your children" and described the first lady as "the self-appointed First Parent of the United States." 

    Michelle Obama Is Too Fat To Lead Nutrition Efforts 

    • Fox News host Keith Ablow said the first lady "needs to drop a few" and accused her of "hypocrisy" because she "has not been consistently a picture of fitness."
    • Rush Limbaugh attacked "Michelle, my butt" for "talking about nutrition."
    • Conservative site published a cartoon depicting the first lady as overweight. 

    Nutrition Standards Caused "Plate Waste" And Hunger 

    • Conservative media hyped a survey from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the implementation of new standards to argue that "kids can't be healthy if they aren't hunger-free." 
    • Fox's Steve Doocy described new nutrition standards as "the food police" to claim that "kids are ending up hungry." 
    • Fox's Sandra Smith blasted the "incredibly expensive" standards as the reason why "school nutritionists are having a very hard time, first, keeping the food on the plate and into the kids' mouth. They're throwing it away. So you've got the plate waste that everybody's talking about."
    • Conservative website aggregated a list of tweets from what they described as a social media campaign from "ticked-off kids" who "blame[d] Michelle Obama for pitiful school lunches." Twitchy claimed "Many students fled the school lunch lines after Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign brought misery (and miniature portions) to lunchrooms around the country." 

    Michelle Obama's Efforts Lead To Higher Pedestrian Deaths 

    • Conservative media hyped an article by the Washington Examiner that baselessly claimed that "First lady Michelle Obama's campaign to get people to exercise outdoors might be a factor in an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths" in 2010, a claim the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) called a "total sham."