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    Ineitha Lynette Hardaway—better known as “Diamond” from the pro-Trump broadcasting duo “Diamond and Silk”—passed away this week, leaving the future of the pair’s popular act in limbo. In this week’s episode of Fever Dreams, hosts Will Sommer and Kelly Weill speculate on what comes next for “Silk”—who was never really the group’s frontman, so to speak. “Their whole schtick was that Diamond would talk a lot, and then Silk was always there to say, ‘Yep, mm-hmm, Tell it Diamond,’” Sommer said. “Diamond was kind of the main talker.” Enter Roger Stone—right wing operative and self-described “dirty trickster”—who within an hour of Diamond’s death being announced had offered up his services as a replacement host for the pair’s show, which had been airing on pillow millionaire and 2020 Big Lie dead-ender Mike Lindell’s website. Stone even thought to give himself first billing on the show’s name, tweeting—then deleting—his request for Silk to team up for a project called “Stone & Silk.” “Stone never misses a trick in terms of a chance to promote himself,” Sommer said. “That's exactly what we need—a...
    Far-right Republican culture warriors have a long history of becoming deeply upset over things that, unlike health care, the economy or foreign policy, have absolutely no effect on voters’ lives. Fox News’ Sean Hannity, in 2009, was relentlessly mocked by his critics after throwing a temper tantrum because then-President Barack Obama put Dijon mustard on a hamburger. During the 2012 GOP presidential primary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich insisted that now-Sen. Mitt Romney (who ultimately won the nomination) wasn’t a true conservative because he spoke French. In 2014, Fox News pundits were outraged because Obama wore a tan suit during a news conference. The U.S. has had two different presidents since Obama left the White House, but one thing that hasn’t changed since then is the ability of far-right GOP culture warriors to become outraged over unimportant things. In a late December edition of the Daily Beast’s podcast “The New Abnormal,” host Andy Levy and Media Matters’ Andrew Lawrence look back on some of the “dumbest” and “silliest” things that “triggered” and outraged Republicans and right-wing media pundits...
    The ladies of The View are playing defense after President Joe Biden's latest gaffe, in which he audibly wondered why a deceased congresswoman was not in attendance at an event. "I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. McGovern, Sen. Braun, Sen. Booker, Rep. — Jackie, are you here?" Biden said, referring to Rep. Jackie Walorski, who died in a car crash last month. "Where's Jackie? I thought she was going to be here — to help make this a reality," he continued at Wednesday's White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. 'I FEEL SORRY FOR HIM': BIDEN SLAMMED BY FAMILY OF DEAD CONGRESSWOMAN AFTER GAFFE After the mistake, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was repeatedly pressed, telling reporters that Biden's verbal misstep was a result of the congresswoman being "top of mind." Biden's @PressSec failed to gaslight Americans following the president's request to see a dead congresswoman. https://t.co/vUIRrxDVEL pic.twitter.com/ezMXbjdE9B— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 28, 2022 Immediately during the broadcast, hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Sunny...
    Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate, offered some tough love to the mainstream American media in an interview with the British publication the New Statesman this week. Journalist Harry Lambert spoke with Clinton in early June ahead of a speech was giving in the U.K. at the invitation of former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband. Lambert introduced the interview by summing up a conversation he had with Miliband, who described the polarization in the U.S. as “not just polarized but Balkanized.” “It’s not that different groups hate each other, it’s that they think the other group is actually a threat to the country,” Lambert quoted Miliband as saying of the U.S., setting the stage for his line of questioning to Clinton. Lambert pushed Clinton on what Biden and the Democrats can do better to improve their electoral chances come November. “It’s hard enough making a living if you’re not encouraged to get up every day and try to find common ground with other people,” Clinton said, invoking the positive messages of her husband and Barak...
    New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.The right-wing media machine has a new villain: Disney.Right now Fox News, conservative talk radio, and a constellation of right-wing websites and influencers are all training their firepower on the entertainment giant. Disney CEO Bob Chapek's belated stand against Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill has given way to right-wing media portraying the company as a "woke" organization seeking to "groom" children with what they characterize as a radical LGBTQ agenda. Yes -- really -- Disney. The family-friendly, fun-for-everyone, intentionally inoffensive brand is being challenged like never before, largely by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other GOP politicians who are playing to the cameras to raise their own profiles."They have a sexual agenda for six-year-old children," Fox host Tucker Carlson declared on Wednesday night. "You'd think that's illegal in some way. It's certainly immoral. It's creepy as hell. And yet they are the country's leading purveyor of children's programming. That's a problem, no?"Read MoreLater in his show, Carlson spoke...
    New York (CNN Business)On the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, some of the most powerful forces in right-wing media continued to mislead or just brazenly lie to their audiences about the attack on the US Capitol, while others downplayed the events and mocked the news media for its coverage.The coverage from the right underscores how the toxic media environment that contributed to the violent attack by undermining confidence in the electoral system still exists and continues to work as a destructive force — one that is poisoning the information well that millions of Americans draw from for news.In fact, polls indicate that that media apparatus has been largely successful convincing Republicans of the lie that President Joe Biden was not duly elected. It has warped American politics to such an extent that Biden referenced the harmful media environment in his Thursday speech when he condemned "lies told for power and profit."Fox, the most influential organ of the right-wing media universe which was one of the top promoters of the big lie about the 2020 election, has taken two...
    Liberals spend a lot of time bemoaning the state of the Washington press corps. There are many very good reasons for that. But there’s a risk to focusing so much on the Times for its toxic bothsidesing or on Post reporters withholding information from the public until it comes time to sell their books. We risk giving the Democratic Party a pass. If the press corps can’t be trusted to get the party’s message across, the party needs to do what the Republicans have done: invest heavily in creating an infrastructure for their ideas and rhetoric – or as Matthew Sheffield told me, creating an infrastructure of democracy. “Republicans have spent decades whipping their furthest-right voters into a violent frenzy,” he said. “They literally fantasize about killing liberals. Democrats want to tell you about their latest policy idea.” Sheffield knows what he’s talking about. He was an early pioneer of right-wing digital media, Ur-Breitbart, you might say. He founded Newsbusters, a site dedicated to exposing “liberal bias.” As a blogger, he was key to creating the controversy that ended...
    (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here."CORRUPT LEFT-WING MEDIA MOB FUELED SMOLLETT'S LIES, IN JUST LATEST EXAMPLE OF EFFORTS TO PERPETUATE HOAXES.""RATHER THAN FOCUS ON REAL VIOLENCE IN CHICAGO, MEDIA MOB WASTED TIME PERPETUATING SMOLLETT HOAX.""SMOLLETT GUILTY VERDICT EXPOSES YET ANOTHER MEDIA-DRIVEN HOAX."Those were the chyrons on Sean Hannity's Fox News program Thursday night after a jury found Jussie Smollett guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime. Hannity, and other bad faith media personalities on the right, used Smollett's conviction to (predictably) attack the news media and aim to delegitimize the credibility of the entire press.Read MoreThe tactic is dishonest, yet simple: Take an actual act of deception, in this case one that was perpetrated by an actor and covered heavily by the press, and then use it to suggest that anything reported by mainstream sources cannot be trusted. Everything is a hoax.Propagandists know that their power increases substantially when they can convince their audiences not to trust other sources of information. And so, Smollett's case...
    Media and Democrats predicted that appointing Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court would result in radical right-wing, Handmaid’s Tale like rulings — but their predictions have not come to fruition. Rather than making huge splashes in her interpretation of hot button cases as many conservatives have called on her to do, Barrett has chosen to interpret narrowly. The new justice has so far shown “herself to be committed to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution,” Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino told the Daily Caller News Foundation.  But some experts note that there are some big cases coming up this term that could prove to be the “real test.” Media and Democrats predicted that appointing Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court would result in radical right-wing, Handmaid’s Tale like rulings — but their predictions have not come to fruition. Barrett’s appointment to the court, replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, has solidified a solid 6-3 conservative majority. The new justice has so far shown “herself to be committed to upholding the...
    Former President Barack Obama said in a new interview that “certain right-wing media venues” are capitalizing on stoking the fears of white Americans. Obama sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for a lengthy interview that touched on the former president’s reflections on race in America during and after his time in office. One example in particular Obama brought up was the reaction to him saying Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in arresting professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his own home. “Not only did that cause a firestorm,” Obama told Cooper, “but subsequent polling showed that my support among white voters dropped more precipitously after that — what should have been a minor, trivial incident — than anything else during my presidency.” He went on to say this about right-wing media: I also think that there are certain right-wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a white population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes, and do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is...
    On the first of April, the 7-day moving average for vaccinations in the United States exceeded three million. For weeks, that rate had been steadily increasing, and with improving vaccine availability and the establishment of over 1,000 new mass vaccination sites across the nation, it was easy to project that by the end of May, the United States would be solidly in the territory where “herd immunity” might reasonably be expected to bring cases of COVID-19 plunging down. But what began to fall the next week was the rate of vaccination. With Civiqs polls showing the number of unvaccinated Americans who say “no” to the vaccine now exceeding the number who say “yes,” vaccination rates have been steadily declining over the last three weeks. For the first time since February, the United States didn’t manage to hit 3 million vaccinations on a single day this week. Instead, the rolling average shrank to 2.5 million doses. If everyone who still says “yes” to the vaccine goes through with their plans to get a jab, Civiqs indicates that 69% of the adult population...
    Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather on the west side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. In the media ecosphere, researchers may be among the most undervalued players in the industry—especially those who focus on “opposition research,” which is the practice of collecting information on opponents. For Bobby Lewis, this means studying, tracking, and analyzing the many strands of conservative misinformation in the U.S. that threaten our multiracial democracy. Since 2016, Lewis has been a researcher at Media Matters, a progressive research and information center that monitors misinformation in the U.S. media. In practice, Lewis’ job requires that he monitor everything from far-right message boards to Fox News and mainstream print outlets. During the Trump administration, Lewis’ primary focus was the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, which he says functioned as “an informal morning briefing” for President Donald Trump that influenced countless policy decisions and in turn, dominated almost every media cycle. Lewis’ work monitoring Fox & Friends and other conservative media gave him tremendous insight into the right-wing narratives that were...
    This week, hosts Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld welcomed NBC News political director and moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd and staff writer Dave Neiwert, an expert on white supremacy, right-wing militias, and domestic terrorism. First, Markos and Kerry interviewed Chuck about the role the media played in enabling and creating the menace of Donald Trump. As a longtime media professional, Chuck explained that he sees himself as a “custodian” of sorts at Meet the Press, and he understands that the news media bears some responsibility for the meteoric rise of Donald Trump: “Donald Trump turned this all into a contact sport—to the point of absurdity.” Chuck also harked back to the early 2011 shooting of Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and reflected on what a pivotal moment it was for both right-wing extremism and violence and for the nation at large: “In hindsight, we shouldn’t have accepted this premise that this was a one-off, isolated incident, that this isn’t the start of something. When now, when you look at it over a ten-year period … we had a crossroads.” Even after the violent attack...
    Capitol Police failed to bring in reinforcements the day the US Capitol was overrun by MAGA mob rioters despite the FBI warning of potential violence, federal agents visiting right-wing extremists and a slew of social media posts planning the anarchy.  Missed warnings and details of botched security efforts continue to emerge in the aftermath of last week's chaos at the Capitol that left five dead in what law enforcement officials have already slammed as a catastrophic failure to prepare.  Local and federal law enforcement officials have spent the last few days shifting the blame after the riots were described as one of the gravest security lapses in recent US history.  Evidence has also emerged of glaring warnings from some hardline Trump supporters who vowed on social media to inflict violence and storm the Capitol.   Capitol Police have faced the brunt of the scrutiny for misjudging the security threat given they are in charge of defending the federal building that was overrun. The agency had only prepared for a free speech demonstration and no contingency plans were prepared in case the situation escalated. ...
    Eric Coomer It seemed that it was only a matter of time before someone or some entity got sued over the unsubstantiated and baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting Systems conspired to steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump. Not long after Smartmatic and Dominion themselves threatened legal action, a Dominion employee has filed a defamation and civil conspiracy lawsuit against various right-wing networks and websites, media figures, and the Trump campaign. Dr. Eric Coomer filed the lawsuit in the Denver County district court, claiming that defendants conspired to defamed him and intentionally inflict “severe” emotional distress, leading him to be falsely branded as a “traitor” and subjected to “multiple credible death threats.” Coomer sued the Trump campaign, “Kraken” attorney Sidney Powell and her firm, Rudy Giuliani, One America News Network and its correspondent Chanel Rion, Newsmax, Jim Hoft and The Gateway Pundit, Colorado businessman Joseph Oltmann, Michelle Malkin, and Eric Metaxas. You may have seen an image online claiming that Coomer, the Director of Product Strategy and Security for Dominion, conspired with “Antifa activists” to ensure that Joe Biden would...
    Jim Watson/Getty Images Politifact unveiled its annual “lie of the year” on Thursday. It was a predictable, but serious one: Coronavirus downplay and denial. President Donald Trump was identified as the top purveyor of “confusion and conspiracies” throughout the pandemic, with Politifact noting he “embraced theories that COVID-19 accounted for only a small fraction of the thousands upon thousands of deaths” and “undermined public health guidance for wearing masks and cast Dr. Anthony Fauci as an unreliable flip-flopper.” Of course, as Politifact pointed out, Trump infamously told Bob Woodward that he was deliberately misleading the public about the danger of the pandemic so as to not cause a panic. “To be honest with you, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down. Because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said, perhaps as an explanation of his repeated claims that Covid-19 is not dangerous. “But the infodemic was not the work of a single person,” Politifact wrote. The outlet laid out the top voices fueling Covid-19 denial, which included Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, The...
    Four people, including the partner to one of the victims of the deadly August 25 protest shooting in Kenosha, are suing Facebook for enabling the violence that overtook the Wisconsin city.  The five-count civil complaint was filed on Tuesday in a state federal court, arguing that Facebook 'empowered right wing militias to inflict extreme violence and deprive Plaintiffs and protestors of their rights' by providing a space for groups to recruit and plan violence.  The suit also named alleged shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, a follower of the fringe anti-government group 'boogaloo,' and a commander of a militia group Kenosha Guard as being a part of a violent conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of Black Lives Matter protesters in attendance, Buzzfeed News reports.  Four plaintiffs are suing Facebook, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse (pictured) and others for their part in inflicting extreme violence and depriving protesters of their constitutional rights during demonstrations on AUgust 25 Four people are suing Facebook for its alleged role in enabling the violence that overtook the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August. The suit, McNeal v. Facebook, Inc.,...
    Alex Henderson June 28, 2020 4:30PM (UTC) This article originally appeared on AlterNet. Screwups in the right-wing media give the watchdog outlet Media Matters a lot to talk about. In one particularly glaring example of the sloppy standards of many prominent conservatives, it unmasked the kerfuffle stemming from a bogus tweet supposedly written by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Radio host Rush Limbaugh and other far-right media figures, according to Media Matters, were quick to attack the New York City congresswoman this week for the tweet and didn't even bother to verify its authenticity. Media Matters Eric Kleefeld reports: "Right-wing social media accounts are now circulating a counterfeit tweet that was supposedly posted and then deleted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), allegedly calling for an extension of business closures — not from the coronavirus pandemic, but in order to defeat President Donald Trump in the November election." : Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in a Democratic congressional primary in her Bronx/Queens district on Tuesday, has been a strong proponent of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic....
    Alex Henderson June 27, 2020 12:18PM (UTC) This article originally appeared on AlterNet. Although some GOP governors have joined their Democratic counterparts in aggressively promoting social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic — including Maryland's Larry Hogan and Massachusetts' Charlie Baker — President Donald Trump and much of the right-wing media, from Fox News to AM talk radio, have failed to take the crisis seriously. And according to Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, some recent studies offer a damning indictment of right-wing media coverage of the pandemic. "In recent weeks," Ingraham explains, "three studies have focused on conservative media's role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others. The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News' Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences." : One of those studies...
    Although some GOP governors have joined their Democratic counterparts in aggressively promoting social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic — including Maryland’s Larry Hogan and Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker — President Donald Trump and much of the right-wing media, from Fox News to AM talk radio, have failed to take the crisis seriously. And according to Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham, some recent studies offer a damning indictment of right-wing media coverage of the pandemic. “In recent weeks,” Ingraham explains, “three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others. The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’ Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences.” One of those studies was published by the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, whose chief editor, Irene...
    Screwups in the right-wing media give the watchdog outlet Media Matters a lot to talk about. In one particularly glaring example of the sloppy standards of many prominent conservatives, it unmasked the kerfuffle stemming from a bogus tweet supposedly written by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Radio host Rush Limbaugh and other far-right media figures, according to Media Matters, were quick to attack the New York City congresswoman this week for the tweet and didn’t even bother to verify its authenticity. Media Matters Eric Kleefeld reports: “Right-wing social media accounts are now circulating a counterfeit tweet that was supposedly posted and then deleted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), allegedly calling for an extension of business closures — not from the coronavirus pandemic, but in order to defeat President Donald Trump in the November election.” Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in a Democratic congressional primary in her Bronx/Queens district on Tuesday, has been a strong proponent of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But AOC, in March and April, supported the closing of non-essential businesses...
    New York (CNN)Armed militant activists with the group Antifa have seized a sizable section of Seattle and are plotting to expand their territory — all as the local police surrender to them and evacuate a local precinct.Or so the story goes if you've relied on right-wing media for your news this week."You have now talk about armed volunteers of Antifa to guard their cop-free zone and taken over precincts," Fox News host Sean Hannity told viewers Wednesday night on his television show, the highest-rated program on cable news.It is true that demonstrators have occupied a small, six-square block section of Seattle and designated it an "autonomous zone." And it is true that, after clashes with police, a precinct was boarded up and evacuated in an attempt to deescalate the situation.But claims that bands of militant Antifa members are roving the Seattle streets appear to be grossly exaggerated in right-wing media. In fact, according to the Seattle mayor's office, city officials haven't seen any evidence to indicate armed members of Antifa are even on the ground.Read More"City officials have not interacted...
    New York (CNN Business)President Donald Trump has angrily complained this week about social media companies, repeatedly accusing them of censoring conservative voices and going as far as to sign an executive order Thursday seeking to limit their power. But data from Facebook, the world's largest social media company, pours cold water on the assertion that conservative voices are being silenced.In fact, according to CrowdTangle, a data-analytics firm owned by Facebook, content from conservative news organizations dominates Facebook and often outperforms content from straightforward news organizations. Additionally, over the last month on Facebook, Trump has captured 91% of the total interactions on content posted by the US presidential candidates, according to CrowdTangle. Biden has captured only 9%.CrowdTangle computes interactions by totaling the number of likes, comments, and shares a post receives. Read MoreOver the last month, the top performing news organization in the US was Fox News, a conservative network which largely echoes the Trump White House's messaging. Fox News captured 13% of all interactions among US news organizations with more than 29 million likes, comments, and shares, according to CrowdTangle.The second top-performing page belonged...
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