The First Rule For Interviewing An Anti-Gay "Hate Group"

On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer accurately identified one of his guests as the president of an anti-gay "hate group," providing his audience with valuable context often missing from mainstream media interviews with anti-LGBT extremists.  On the April 26 edition of Face the Nation, Schieffer invited Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), and Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, to discuss this week's Supreme Court arguments over marriage equality. Scheiffer began the interview by noting that Perkins' group has been labeled an anti-gay "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): SCHIEFFER: I'm going to start with probably the most vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and that is Tony Perkins. He is the president of the Family Research Council. And, Mister Perkins, I'm going to say this to you upfront. You and your group have been so strong in coming out against this-- and against gay marriage that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group. We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, quote, "You don't speak for Christians." Do you think you have taken this too far?

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 10:58 am

Fox Wonders If Muslim Faith Would Keep Military Veteran From Saluting The Flag

Fox News echoed an unfounded suggestion that a black female Miami police officer who followed military service guidelines by standing at attention during the Pledge of Allegiance might be "Muslim," and therefore disloyal to the United States. On the April 27 edition of Fox & Friends, the hosts reported on a controversy in Miami over a police officer, Assistant Chief Anita Najiy, who did not put her hand over her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Co-host Steve Doocy noted that military guidelines require that military personnel "stand at attention, remain silent, and face the flag; and that's what she's doing." Nonetheless, the Fox & Friends hosts brought up a baseless accusation by Javier Ortiz, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, that the reason Najiy didn't put her hand over her heart is because she is "Muslim" and "has no respect for the flag or the United States": DOOCY: The Fraternal Order of Police president suggests this could have been a religious decision. He has suggested that perhaps she is a Muslim. That is not known. But, nonetheless, a lot of waves being made about this video down in Miami. BRIAN KILMEADE: By the way, if you're a Muslim, I hope it means you can still salute the flag, put your hand on your heart. What does that have to do with it? ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Well, you know, that would be a great question to ask. And so is it our right to know why someone would opt out of that, how does that make you feel if that is indeed her district, would you want to know? According to The Miami Herald, Ortiz demanded that Najiy be reprimanded for not covering her heart during the Pledge. The Fraternal Order president claimed that "Assistant Chief Najiy practices in the Muslim faith" and that "There are plenty of police officers in our department that practice the Muslim faith and pledge allegiance to our country and have a problem with her defiance towards the United States." Ortiz even accused Najiy of not being loyal to the U.S., asking, "what country is she loyal and shows allegiance to?" But Miami Police Major Delrish Moss said it had "nothing to do with personal beliefs" and that Najiy was following military conduct guidelines, which "supercedes police code." And the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association, which represents black police officers, blasted Ortiz claims as racist: "Racism cloaked in patriotism is a huge insult to the American flag, the city of Miami police department," MCPBA President Ella Moore said in a letter she intends to hand personally to Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes. Najiy, a 32-year veteran, is "the highest ranking black female in the Miami Police Department" and the first female appointed Assistant Chief of Police in the department.

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 9:47 am

Fox Personalities Blame Obama For Baltimore Violence

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and Fox News contributor Keith Ablow blamed President Obama and his administration for violence in the wake of the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, who died a week after suffering an unexplained injury while in the custody of Baltimore police officers. On April 19, 25-year-old Freddie Gray died of a reported spinal cord injury that he mysteriously suffered after being arrested on April 12 by police officers. After Gray's funeral on April 27, the governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency in Baltimore and activated the National Guard to respond to violence and looting in the city that resulted in injury to at least 15 police officers. On the April 27 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox host Lou Dobbs responded to the events by blaming the violence against the police on Obama, asserting that "there is a war on law enforcement" that is being "corroborated if not condoned by this administration." Later during the show, Dobbs invited Fox contributor Keith Ablow to comment, and he also blamed Obama for the violence, adding that people who want to tear down the system like the people in Baltimore "might be taking [their] cues from this president" (emphasis added): DOBBS: I'd like to begin with what drives, in your judgment, a police department and a mayor, who basically have given a free pass to those who are tearing up property, and injuring others, including law enforcement? ABLOW: What drives them is a lack of respect for the foundation of governing and foundation of law upon which this nation rests. Contempt for such things and a kind of tacit acceptance, that protests can be violent because people are so frustrated. But the bottom line Lou, is that if you want to change things, you work within the system, that is the way it has always been. If you want to tear down the system, you might be taking your cues, by the way, from a president who has given the appearance that there is every justification for any level of anger at our country because we're such despicable people. While reporting on the protests earlier in the day, Fox News' Shep Smith urged his colleagues to report on the protests objectively by "for now, just covering what happens," instead of indicting the community.

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 9:45 am

What The New York Times' Murdoch Alliance Means For 2016

Just one month after Fox News' Bill O'Reilly brazenly threatened a New York Times reporter, warning her he'd go after her "with everything" he had if he didn't like the article she was writing about him, Times reporter Jo Becker happily cooperated with Fox News for its 60-minute special, The Tangled Clinton Web, which aired April 24. Based on the pending book Clinton Cash, which is being published by Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins and heavily promoted by Murdoch's Fox News, Murdoch's Wall Street Journal and Murdoch's New York Post, The Tangled Clinton Web represented a mishmash of half-baked Clinton conspiracies that had Hillary and Bill Clinton at the center of a supposed vast web of international bribes and payoffs. And yet there, featured amidst the waves of misinformation, was a New York Times reporter. Becker's Fox News' appearance was noteworthy, not only because of O'Reilly's stated contempt for the newspaper. But because Times journalists don't make a habit of regularly appearing on openly partisan Fox News, a cable channel that has embraced claims of Obama birtherism and has depicted the president of the United States as a racist, communist sympathizer who apologizes for America. (According to the Times' newsroom guidelines, when appearing on television programs staffers are supposed to avoid forums "that emphasize punditry and reckless opinion-mongering.") Why the Becker appearance? In part, because she wrote a controversial piece last week that was inspired by Clinton Cash. Part of the Times' unusual "exclusive" arrangement with the book's author, Becker's article tried, and failed, to show how donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced  Clinton's State Department when it signed off on the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company with uranium mining claims in the U.S., to the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom. By cooperating with the Fox News Clinton special, a program that was drowning in misinformation, Becker and the Times lent the Fox effort a desperately needed sheen of legitimacy. (i.e. 'Even the liberal New York Times....') And that's likely why prior to The Tangled Clinton Web airing, when Fox released to the media a clip of the special, the clip featured Becker's interview--Fox was proudly brandishing its Times alliance. What would be the only topic that could create such a strange partnership where The New York Times, the world's most famous news organization, was working hand-in-a-hand with a media outlet that during the last presidential campaign abandoned all pretense of independent journalism and produced and aired its own four-minute political attack ad? The endless pursuit of the Clintons, of course.

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 9:14 am

Shep Smith Rebukes Fox Hosts' Insistence On Blaming Civil Rights Community And Parents For Baltimore Violence

From the April 27 edition of Fox News' The Five:Previously: Seven Times Shep Smith Was Fox News' Voice Of Reason Watch: Shep Smith Rebuts Fox News' Rush To Judge Bowe Bergdahl Fox's Shep Smith Mocks Media Coverage Of Clinton Documents Release

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 6:42 am

Another One Of Peter Schweizer's Anti-Clinton Claims Crumbles

Serial misinformer Peter Schweizer falsely claimed on Fox News Sunday that Hillary Clinton had unilateral power to veto the Uranium One deal as part of the nine-agency review panel that oversees such proposals. But members of the review panel only have power to make recommendations to the president, not unilaterally veto them.Serial Misinformer Peter Schweizer Will Release Anti-Clinton Book Featuring Allegations That Hillary Clinton Failed To Block Russian Purchase Of American Uranium Mines After Donations To Clinton Foundation Peter Schweizer's Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments And Businesses Helped Make Bill And Hillary Rich To Be Released May 5. On May 5, HarperCollins Publishers will release Clinton Cash, which the publisher described as, "Meticulously researched and scrupulously sourced, filled with headline-making revelations, Clinton Cashraises serious questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and ultimately, of fitness for high public office." [HarperCollins.com, accessed 4/9/15] Time: Schweizer Alleges That Hillary Clinton Failed To Block Russian Purchase Of American Uranium Mines After Receiving Donations To Clinton Foundation. After receiving an advanced chapter of Schweizer's book, Time reported that the book claims, "Hillary Clinton failed in 2010 to block the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company while people with financial and strategic interests in the sale were making millions of dollars of donations to the Clinton Foundation, a philanthropy run by her husband, former President Bill Clinton." The piece continued: One chapter of the book, written by conservative author Peter Schweizer and obtained by TIME, focuses on an obscure deal that had been years in the making. Schweizer says Secretary Clinton failed to block the Russian State Atomic Nuclear Agency (Rosatom), a Kremlin-controlled nuclear agency, from purchasing a controlling stake in an American Uranium mining concern, Uranium One. The company's chairman, Ian Telfer, was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. Several other Clinton Foundation donors stood to gain from the agreement as well. Because the proposed sale involved the transfer of potentially strategic U.S. assets, the Uranium One transaction was subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency panel that comprises powerful federal agencies. In prior years, Clinton had urged the committee to take a hawkish view of deals involving U.S. strategic assets, and Schweizer says that should have inclined her against the Rosatom purchase. "Despite a long record of publicly opposing such deals Hillary didn't object," Schweizer writes in the version of the chapter obtained by TIME. "Why the apparent reversal? Could it be because shareholders involved in the transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives? Or because her husband had profited from lucrative speaking deals arranged by companies associated with those who stood to profit from the deal?"  [Time, 4/22/15] Schweizer Claims Hillary Clinton Had Veto Power Over Russian Uranium Deal Schweizer: Hillary Clinton "Had Veto Power ... She Could Have Stopped The Deal" As A Member Of The Nine-Agency Review Panel. On the April 26 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Schweizer claimed that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the power to unilaterally veto the Uranium One deal as a member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the nine-agency committee in charge of approving the purchase (emphasis added): SCHWEIZER: The question becomes, when CFIUS approved this transfer in October, what role did Hillary Clinton play? WALLACE: Okay, and CFIUS is that committee that approves, in October of 2010, the sale to Russia, or to a Russian company with close ties to Vladimir Putin. This is precisely the point that the Clinton campaign has hit back on hard because CFIUS is a committee of nine agencies -- not just the State Department, it's nine separate agencies. SCHWEIZER: Correct. WALLACE: And they point out that there is no hard evidence, and you don't cite any in the book, that Hillary Clinton took direct action -- was involved in any way in approving, as one of nine agencies, the sale of the company. SCHWEIZER: Well, here is what's important to keep in mind. It was one of nine agencies, but any one of those agencies had veto power, so she could have stopped the deal. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/26/15] But Only The President -- Not CFIUS Members -- Has The Power To Make a Final Decision On Transactions U.S. Treasury: Only The President May "Decide Whether A Transaction Should Be Suspended Or Prohibited." According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the only person with the power to make a final decision on a proposal requiring CFIUS oversight is the president -- not members of the CFIUS assembly (emphasis added): Presidential Decisions: Provides mechanism for CFIUS to request that the President decide whether a transaction should be suspended or prohibited - which only he may do - where a transaction threatens to impair the national security of the United States and other laws, besides Section 721 and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, are inadequate or inappropriate to address that threat. [US Department Of The Treasury, 1/23/08] And Media Have Already Poked Holes In Schweizer's Claim, Explaining It Ignores The "Extensive Bureaucratic Process" Behind The Deal Time: Schweizer's Claim Is "Based On Little Evidence." Time explained that Schweizer's allegation of "outside influence over U.S. decisionmaking" is "based on little evidence" because "the allegations are presented as questions rather than proof." [Time, 4/22/15] Time: Schweizer Offers "No Indication Of Hillary Clinton's Personal Involvement In, Or Even Knowledge Of" The Deal's "Extensive Bureaucratic Process." Time reported that Schweizer's book "offers no indication of Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in, or even knowledge of" the "extensive bureaucratic process" that led to the deal. The magazine further noted that the State Department "has just one vote on the nine-member" CFIUS that approved the deal, which is typically overseen at the staff level and chaired by the Treasury Secretary. And as Time pointed out, "[o]ne official involved in the process said Clinton had nothing to do with the decision in the Uranium One case": The State Department's role in approving the deal was part of an extensive bureaucratic process, and the chapter offers no indication of Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in, or even knowledge of, the deliberations. State has just one vote on the nine-member committee, which also includes the departments of Defense, Treasury and Energy. Disagreements are traditionally handled at the staff level, and if they are not resolved, they are escalated to deputies at the relevant agencies. If the deputies can't resolve the dispute, the issues can be elevated to the Cabinet Secretary level and, if needed, to the President for a decision. The official chairman of CFIUS is the Treasury Secretary, not the Secretary of State. [Time, 4/22/15] Time: Deal Also Needed Approval From Other Federal And State Agencies. According to Time, "Before purchasing a controlling stake in Uranium One, the Russian conglomerate also had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency outside of the State Department's purview, as well as Utah's nuclear regulator. It also received the sign-off of Canada's foreign investment review agency." [Time, 4/22/15] Time: State Department's Point Person On Deal Denies Clinton's Involvement. Time reported: One official involved in the process said Clinton had nothing to do with the decision in the Uranium One case. Jose Hernandez, who as former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs was the State Department's principal representative on the committee, rejected the notion that Clinton's foundation ties had any bearing on the deal. "Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter," he told TIME. [Time, 4/22/15]

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 5:16 am

Comedy Gold: Obama And His "Anger Translator" Confront Press On Frustrating Climate Coverage

During his speech at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 25, President Obama invited comedian Keegan-Michael Key to reprise the Comedy Central bit in which Key plays Luther, Obama's "anger translator." What followed was highly amusing -- but also quite revealing of the President's frustration with how the media covers climate change. As he spoke to an audience of thousands of journalists, media executives, politicians, and celebrities, Obama began the sketch by emphasizing that "we count on the press to shed light on the most important issues of the day." That line provided an opening for Luther to piercingly mock Fox News' fearmongering that "Sharia law is coming to Cleveland" and CNN's "wall-to-wall Ebola coverage." He even landed a few good one-liners about Ted Cruz and Hilary Clinton as they pursue contributions for their presidential campaigns. But the skit took a noticeable turn when Obama told the media-heavy crowd that "we do need to stay focused on some big challenges, like climate change." After Luther joked that drought conditions have made California "look like a trailer for the new Mad Max movie up in there," it quickly became apparent that Obama needed no assistance from his anger translator to spell out how the media and climate change deniers in Congress are failing to take this threat seriously:  OBAMA: I mean, look at what's happening right now. Every serious scientist says we need to act. The Pentagon says it's a national security risk. Miami floods on a sunny day and instead of doing anything about it, we have elected officials throwing snowballs in the Senate. LUTHER: Okay, Mr. President. Okay, I think they've got it, bro. OBAMA: It is crazy! What about our kids! What kind of stupid, short-sighted, irresponsible, bull-- Luther cut Obama off before he engaged in any presidential profanity, but the President had already gotten his point across. As a less angry Obama put it in June 2014, "the media doesn't spend a lot of time covering climate change and letting average Americans know how it could impact our future."

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 4:14 am

Conservative Newsmax Points Out Murdoch Corps' Role In Clinton Cash Push

Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy detailed the entanglements between several media properties owned by Rupert Murdoch that are promoting the upcoming book Clinton Cash from conservative activist Peter Schweizer. In an April 27 column headlined "In Defense of the Clinton Foundation," Newsmax CEO and editor Christopher Ruddy -- who is himself a donor to the Foundation -- discussed the allegations made against the charity in Clinton Cash, which were recently hyped in a Fox News special. He writes that the claims in the book, which suggests the Clintons used donations to influence foreign policy, are "unsubstantiated, unconnected, and baseless," and tells journalists to "follow the money" when discussing the book itself, warning that "where there's smear, there's not always fact." Ruddy notes, "The sister companies of News Corp and 21st Century Fox own HarperCollins, which published Peter Schweizer's book; they own The Wall Street Journal, which first raised the issue of the foreign donations; they own the New York Post, which broke the details about the Schweizer book; and they own Fox News, which gave the story oxygen and legs." He adds, "With so much media mojo from one company, there is no doubt they will be doing some pretty good 'cashing in' from the many millions of dollars their new best-seller will generate." Both News Corp and 21st Century Fox are run by Rupert Murdoch. Schweizer has a long history of errors and retractions, and the stories released from Clinton Cash fail to implicate former Secretary Clinton, President Clinton, or the Foundation in any wrongdoing. However, Murdoch properties have still promoted its claims. Newsmax is a conservative publication, which has gone after the Clintons and other Democrats and progressives for years. But in the course of writing about the Clinton Cash allegations, Ruddy explains that he doesn't want to go back to the 1990s, "when one allegation led to a daisy-chain effect, and the GOP ended up looking bad as the Democrats kept winning."

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 1:58 am

MSNBC's Scarborough Invents Algerian Terror Connection To Attack Clinton Foundation

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough suggested that the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed Algeria from a list of state sponsors of terror because the nation donated money to the Clinton Foundation, a baseless charge given that Algeria has never been on the State Department's list of terror sponsors. On the April 27 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Scarborough used recent media criticism of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation stemming from the right-wing opposition research book Clinton Cash to suggest the likelihood of illegal coordination between donors to her family's charitable foundation and policy decisions she made as secretary of state. Scarborough claimed that when the Algerian government "wanted to be taken off the terror list in the State Department" the government "wr[o]te a check" to the Clinton Foundation: SCARBOROUGH: I think it was Algeria maybe that had given a donation that went unreported at a time when they wanted to be taken off of the terror list in the State Department. They write the check, they get taken off the terror list. Now can you?-- at the same time, and then it goes unreported by the Clinton Foundation. Is there a quid pro quo there? I don't know, that's really hard to tell.  [...]  This is pretty simple stuff. So Algeria is on the terror list, they want off the terror list, the State Department is making a decision to do it, they write a check for what? How much? How many million dollars do they write a check for? I don't know, but Algeria writes a check ... they write a really big check to the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation takes the check, and then just, out of nowhere the State Department then decides, well, they are going to take Algeria off the list. Now why did Algeria write a big check to the Clinton Foundation at the time they want something from the State Department? But the allegations of a quid pro quo relationship hinted at in Scarborough's questions are baseless, because Algeria was not listed as a state-sponsor of terror at any point during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state -- or at any other point. Currently, the list includes only Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, although Cuba's status is being reviewed. According to NPR, the only nations ever to be removed from this official list are Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and South Yemen. In fact, Algeria remains a key U.S. ally and partner in the global fight against terrorism in North Africa, according to a State Department report published in 2014, long after Clinton left her post.  Algeria did make a donation to the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure there, in the form of $500,000 to help with relief in Haiti after an earthquake ravaged the nation. According to a February 25 report in The Washington Post, Algeria was "spending heavily to lobby the State Department on human rights issues" around the same time. The Clinton Foundation admitted to improperly failing to disclose this donation.

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 1:57 am

Cadenas Nacionales Promueven La Representación De Las Mujeres En Sus Equipos De Noticias

Los principales medios en español están haciendo un buen trabajo al promover la representación de las mujeres en sus equipos de presentadores de noticias. Para determinar el nivel de diversidad en los programas noticiosos de estos medios en español, Media Matters analizó los equipos de presentadores de los programas de noticias en las cadenas de transmisión nacional en EE.UU., Univision y Telemundo. El estudio encontró que hay más presentadoras que presentadores en los programas de noticias de Univision y que en los programas de noticias de Telemundo, el balance de género es equitativo. El equipo de programas de noticias en Univision -- incluyendo al equipo del fin de semana -- está formado por siete mujeres y tres hombres. Por su parte, el equipo de presentadores de Telemundo lo conforman un hombre y una mujer. Sin embargo, vale la pena aclarar que esta mujer, María Celeste Arrarás, dirige dos programas de contenido noticioso a diario.

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 1:40 am

The Rise And Fall Of Right-Wing Media's Fake Theory That Harry Reid Was Beaten Up

Right-wing media have baselessly speculated for months that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) was injured in a physical altercation, and now, a Las Vegas man claims to have invented the false rumor to see whether it might become fodder for the conservative media bubble.  Reid accidentally sustained extensive injuries to his face and ribs on January 1, while exercising at his home. In the months that followed, right-wing media ran wild with speculation that Reid was lying about his injuries -- on the March 27 edition of his radio program, Rush Limbaugh claimed Reid was "behaving like somebody who may have been beaten up." Breitbart.com published an "investigation" into Reid's story, going so far as to obtain "a copyrighted digital image" of the model floor plan of Reid's home is based on, and claiming it had "uncovered facts that appear to discredit Reid's version of the home exercise," such as the distance between his shower door and his bathroom cabinets. John Hinderaker, who runs the conservative Powerline blog, helped spearhead the conjecture. Only four days after Reid's injuries were reported, Hinderaker noted that "[s]ome are speculating that he had a run-in with Las Vegas underworld characters," though admitting there "is zero evidence for that." On March 28, Hinderaker asked: "Was the Senate Majority Leader in the pocket of the Mafia? That seems like a question worth exploring." With the right-wing rumor mill churning, a Las Vegas man has come forward saying he duped the conservative talking heads with phony rumors about Reid. Lawrence Pfeifer told the Las Vegas Sun on April 26 that he "started a false rumor that the injuries suffered by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid several months ago were the result of an attack by Reid's brother ... after becoming appalled that right-wing political blogger John Hinderaker published a rumor that Reid's injuries stemmed from an assault by a Mafia enforcer."  Using the name Easton Elliott in his dealings with Hinderaker, "he pitched his fake story about the Reid brothers' supposed fight to Hinderaker, author of the Power Line blog, to test whether the blogger would publish it."  Pfeifer's false story first appeared in an April 3 Powerline post which relayed the account of Easton Elliott. Hinderaker reported that Elliot had seen Reid's brother, Larry Reid at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on New Year's Eve, bloodied and "visibly intoxicated": Some time between 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., a man entered the meeting. His appearance was striking: there was blood on his clothing, beginning around his midsection. His left hand was swollen. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and was visibly agitated. He introduced himself as "Larry." In a group discussion that was heard by a number of people, Larry said that he had just had a fight with a family member. Larry said he had been at a family get-together, and he didn't remember much about the fight because he had blacked out. When he came to, he was rolling on the ground, fighting with a family member, and his clothes were bloody. Now, he said, he was frightened that the Secret Service would come after him. [...] Easton Elliott didn't think much more about Larry until, several weeks later, he saw a newspaper story about Larry Reid, Harry Reid's brother, being arrested for DUI and assaulting a highway patrolman. The story was accompanied by a photograph, and Elliott immediately recognized Larry Reid as the "Larry" who had attended the AA meeting on New Year's Eve.  Pfeifer told the Las Vegas Sun that he had included details that "should have been seen as red flags, including that AA allows intoxicated individuals to attend meetings on New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve."  But the tall tale spread quickly through right-wing media. Limbaugh read parts of the Powerline post on his show, saying "Hinderaker can't vouch for it. Neither can I. But if what he says about the AA meeting is accurate, then the inferences seem reasonable ... So, bottom line, somebody attacked Harry Reid on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day." Glenn Beck talked about Elliott's allegations on his radio show, saying that if the details could be verified, "this one I could believe." World Net Daily reported the allegations in a post titled "Was Harry Reid really pummeled by a relative?," while The Gateway Pundit called Reid's brother "the main suspect in his brutal beating." Hinderaker even pushed the rumor when he guest-hosted The Laura Ingraham Show, saying "any normal person who just looks at the photographs that have been released of his face ... the first thing you would say is, that guy got beaten up." Hinderaker attempted to explain running with the fake rumor in an April 26 post, saying that he never attempted to verify Pfeifer's rumor about Reid and that his "constant theme has been to call for an investigation of what appear to be obviously suspicious circumstances."

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 1:35 am

Limbaugh: Baltimore Has Been Left Unprotected Like Clinton Left Amb. Stevens Unprotected In Benghazi

From the April 27 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:Related: Baltimore Protests: Wake For Freddie Gray After Night Of Scuffles Previously:  Limbaugh Suggests Obama's Response To Benghazi Is Partly Responsible For Paris Terrorist Attack Limbaugh Manages To Connect Sony Hack And Movie Cancellation To Benghazi Hoax Rush Limbaugh Invokes Benghazi To Attack Obama Administration Over Ferguson Response

Posted by on 27 April 2015 | 12:20 am

ABC's Stephanopoulos Confronts Clinton Cash Author About Missing Facts And Overstatements

From the April 26 edition of ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos:Previously: ABC News Finds More Errors In Schweizer's Clinton Cash Media Admit Schweizer Reporting Contains "No Smoking Gun" Clinton Cash Author Peter Schweizer's Long History Of Errors, Retractions, And Questionable Sourcing

Posted by on 26 April 2015 | 10:59 am

Fox Clinton Cash Special Promotes Schweizer's Evidence-Free Conspiracies

Fox News' special based on discredited conservative journalist Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash dishonestly promoted several of the author's speculative attacks on Hillary Clinton. In the April 24 special, The Tangled Clinton Web, host Bret Baier gave Schweizer a platform to discuss a series of stories that fail to connect the dots between donations to the Clinton Foundation, speaking fees earned by former President Bill Clinton, and policies supported by the State Department during Secretary Clinton's tenure in the Obama administration. Schweizer is a Republican activist whose previous reporting has been marked by false claims and retractions. Journalists who have reviewed Schweizer's Clinton book have noted that his reporting lacks a "smoking gun" to back up his suggestions of impropriety. Reporters have also pointed to several errors in his book. But host Bret Baier warned at the conclusion of the program that the claims could lead "people" to "worry that another Clinton administration could mean influence peddling on a scale never before imagined." Fox And Schweizer's Missed Ericsson Connection Schweizer and Baier tried to connect the decision by Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson to pay Bill Clinton for a speech in November 2011 with the exclusion of the telecommunications industry from sanctions against Iran, which does business with Ericsson. From the special: SCHWEIZER: Beginning in 2009, the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson is coming under pressure in the United States, because it's selling telecom equipment to oppressive governments around the world. In the midst of all of this, they decide to pay Bill Clinton to give a speech for the first time ever. They pay him a whopping $750,000. BAIER: Soon after, Hillary Clinton's State Department urged new, broader sanctions against Iran, but the guidelines did not include telecom, which is Ericsson's business. In fact, the Iran sanctions in question actually took the form of executive actions from President Obama, and not State Department initiatives. Baier and Schweizer provided no evidence that telecommunications were excluded from the sanctions as a result of the speech. In fact, the sanctions in question specifically targeted Iran's energy sector. As CNN reported at the time, "The U.S. government tightened restrictions on companies that provide Iran with equipment and expertise necessary to run its vast oil and chemical industry."  When Yahoo News reviewed the chapter of Clinton Cash featuring this allegation, they noted that there was "no smoking gun" connecting the speech and the sanctions. Yahoo News further noted that a Clinton aide pointed out that telecommunications manufacturers like Ericsson have not been added to the sanctions since Clinton left the State Department, casting doubt on the suggestion of a connection between the 2011 Bill Clinton speech and U.S. sanctions policy.   Fox And Schweizer Make Failed Ethiopia Allegation Schweizer and Baier baselessly suggest that a donation to the Clinton Foundation from Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi caused the State Department to certify Ethiopia's human rights record, allowing them to receive U.S. aid. Schweizer reports that Al-Amoudi's 2009 donation was highlighted at the time by "Ethiopian groups in the west, because they are very concerned about the repressive government in Ethiopia and the fact that Sheikh Al-Amoudi has a large business empire in Ethiopia." He goes on to connect these concerns to the fact that "when Hillary Clinton becomes secretary of state, one of the things that she needs to do is certify Ethiopia on human rights, but Hillary Clinton granted them a waiver which allowed them to continue U.S. assistance even though that they weren't complying with U.S. law." But contrary to the special's suggestion that Ethiopia was allowed access to U.S. assistance directly because of this Clinton Foundation donation, that access predated and continued after Clinton left the State Department. In fact, the document Fox showed on-screen in support of their claim actually postdates her tenure. As evidence of their theory, Fox aired an image of a Department of State Public Notice 8553, titled "Waiver of Restriction on Assistance to the Central Government of Ethiopia": That waiver, signed by then-Deputy Secretary William J. Burns, is actually dated July 10, 2013 -- months after Clinton left office. It appears in the December 18, 2013, edition of the Federal Register, which also reports that identical waivers were granted to the governments of 11 other African nations. Such aid is not a new phenomenon. The State Department's Agency for International Development has provided economic assistance to Ethiopia for decades, including throughout the Bush administration. Fox And Schweizer Rehash Debunked Uranium Mining Attack Baier and Schweizer baselessly suggested that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally approved a deal that eventually gave the Russian government ownership of U.S. uranium mines to benefit a Clinton Foundation donor. During the segment, Schweizer detailed the sale of Uranium One, chaired by a Clinton Foundation donor, to the Russian state corporation Rosatom. He and Schweizer then had the following exchange: BAIER: Now, does Secretary Clinton factor into this? SCHWEIZER: For that deal to go through, it needs federal government approval and one of those people that has to approve that deal is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. NBC News has noted in discussing a similar story by The New York Times that this implication "doesn't hold up that well." Indeed, as Media Matters has noted: Ian Telfer, who was Uranium One's chairman at the time it was being taken over by Rosatom, did donate money to the Clinton Foundation. However, he told the Financial Post that he committed those funds to the Foundation in 2008, "before Uranium One had any negotiations with the Russians, and the donations he has made since then were part of that initial pledge." Hillary Clinton also did not become secretary of state until 2009. The State Department only had one vote on the nine-member Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that approved the deal. Other agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Commerce, and Justice, also weighed in. The chairman of the CFIUS is the Treasury secretary, not secretary of state. Rosatom had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency outside of the secretary of state's influence. Utah's local nuclear regulator also had to sign off on the deal, as it involved mills in the state. Former assistant secretary of state Jose Fernandez, who was the State Department's principal representative on CFIUS, said, "Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter."

Posted by on 25 April 2015 | 4:28 am

On Fox, Franklin Graham Warns: "We Have To Be Careful Of The Muslims In This Country"

From the April 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:Previously:    On Fox, Franklin Graham Claims Obama Admin "Has Been Infiltrated By Muslims" On Fox, Franklin Graham Calls For Halt To Immigration From "Muslim Countries" Franklin Graham: Obama "Seems To Be More Concerned About [Muslims] Than The Christians That Are Being Murdered In The Muslim Countries" Meet The Extremists Who Lead Fox's Conversation About Islam

Posted by on 24 April 2015 | 8:46 am