Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Fox, Trump and the press

| 0 Comentarios



This week: Fox News triggered Trump into threatening to cancel NPR; CBS hires Reince Priebus; how Trump’s Senate trial involves Fox News; terrible climate crisis denial on CNBC; how Fox loves CEOs; Chris Matthews suggests that the word «lie» has been banned on MSNBC; and much more.

John Whitehouse

The cycle of Fox News coverage and President Donald Trump’s id repeated itself this weekend, this time involving the network’s coverage of the now-infamous blowup between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly.

Kelly interviewed Pompeo on Friday. She asked him about Ukraine and impeachment, and he responded that he was only on to talk about Iran. After the interview, Kelly reported that Pompeo challenged her to find Ukraine on a map of the world without country labels on it. She also contends that Pompeo used profanity throughout their exchange.

After Kelly reported that, Pompeo responded with an official statement on Saturday, calling her a liar and suggesting that she confused Ukraine with Bangladesh. As many pointed out, this is ridiculous: Kelly has a masters degree in European studies from Cambridge and would not have said that Ukraine is in southeast Asia.

But Fox News took Pompeo’s insult credulously, writing it up and leading its website. Fox host Mark Levin tweeted a link to the story, suggesting that NPR should no longer exist. Trump immediately agreed.

Trump’s impeachment trial shows how Fox News has merged with the Republican Party


We’re only a few days into Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. And yet, one thing is perfectly clear: It is impossible to understate the ways that Fox News is influencing both the proceedings and how many Americans are viewing it. Here’s just a partial list:

  • Trump himself is pushing the Fox News line more than he ever has. Matt Gertz found that Trump sent a record number of live tweets of Fox programming this week.
  • Trump’s impeachment lawyers echoed Fox News talking points, both in their opening statements and when addressing the Senate on Saturday. In early December, House Republicans released a 123-page report that read like an episode of Hannity.
  • Trump’s lawyers echoing Fox News makes sense: Trump’s legal team has made over a thousand appearances on Fox.
  • Fox News personalities have repeatedly said that there’s no new information in the trial. They did not mention that Republicans have blocked any new evidence.
  • Fox and conservative media spent the week vilifying lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). This morning, Trump threatened Schiff, saying he has not yet «paid the price.»
  • Conservatives complained about the process, saying that the House should have called all the witnesses, without mentioning that several key witnesses still refused to testify on orders from the White House, even after House Democrats won a court case to compel testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn. Several Fox personalities had also defended or even urged Trump’s action to block witnesses from testifying.
  • This complaint about the process was particularly acute in the case regarding evidence from former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. Pro-Trump commentators complained that the evidence was just now being released, but it was just days ago that the judge in Parnas’ own case approved the release of the materials.
  • Fox News personalities said that the impeachment trial was too boring. By the weekend, Republican Senators and Trump aides were using the same talking point.

Diving a little into the mechanics of how Fox News is misleading about the trial, look at this chart about how Fox News is just covering the trial far less than CNN and MSNBC:

Cable news coverage of impeachment

On Thursday night, Fox News prime time showed just 22 seconds of the trial live. We also made a time-lapse video of one day of Fox’s coverage, to show just how much they cut away and talked over the trial.

Other impeachment news


  • Paid CNN commentator Rick Santorum misled viewers about impeachment, and then the entire panel just laughed about how he has not appeared to age since 1999.
  • After being fixtures on Fox for a long time, pro-Trump attorneys Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing are still missing from the network. They are deeply tied to Giuliani’s Ukraine plot, and they had hired Lev Parnas and had Fox contributor John Solomon as a client. Speaking on a radio show this week, diGenova dismissed Parnas, downplaying his relationship (Later in the interview, diGenova likened Democrats to Nazis).
  • We had already known that Parnas and Solomon worked closely together in Ukraine. In a podcast promoting his new website, Solomon blamed diGenova and Toensing for connecting him with Parnas in the first place.
  • A tape appeared to show Trump calling for the firing of then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch at the urge of Parnas. A Fox News reporter said that he spoke to a «source» who said that Trump was not being serious.
  • Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson both told their audiences they would try to show as little of the trial as they could.
  • In response to that tape coming out, some pro-Trump commentators called Parnas a spy. At her blog, independent journalist Marcy Wheeler noted that this was the exact same theory that Adam Schiff cited in his impeachment arguments.
  • Fox «news» anchor Ed Henry, who started a new job at the network this week, was very upset that Democrats noted that Trump’s team was lying.
  • Geraldo Rivera wished that Sean Hannity could address the Senate.
  • On September 24, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said that «If the president said, ‘I’ll give you the money, but you’ve got to investigate Joe Biden,’ that’d be off the rails wrong.» In the months since he said that, Fox has moved the goalposts so much that people on the network are now saying that even if Trump did that, «so what.»

CBS hires Reince Priebus, whose firm represents the Trump Organization

Tucker Carlson

CBS hired Reince Priebus as a commentator and introduced him on air as simply Trump’s first White House chief of staff. Since his humiliating tenure at the White House, Priebus has accepted a senior role at lobbying and legal firms that have collected over $280,000 in fees from Republican campaign groups.

Priebus is currently employed by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP as President and Chief Strategist and Chair of the Board of Advisors for Michael Best Strategies LLC, the firm’s government relations and public affairs group.

  • The company has lobbied for companies that include NACCO Industries (the public holding company for the North American Coal Corp.), Plains All American Pipeline, and the Primex Family of Companies.
  • The company has also received over $280,000 in legal fees from Republicans.
  • Stefan Passantino, a former White House deputy counsel and current partner at the firm, also represents the Trump Organization regarding congressional inquiries into the president’s business.
  • There may be more conflicts of interest: Public relations work is not subject to federal disclosure rules.

While Priebus himself has not registered to lobby for clients, these conflicts of interest were not disclosed in his first appearance on CBS.

In addition, Priebus is a serial misinformer, who was corrected by CBS for lying just a few months prior to his hire.⁠

Steve Mnuchin’s debunked attack on Greta Thunberg reveals serious problems with how the media talks about the climate crisis

Climate activist Greta Thunberg told the World Economic Forum that governments should divest from fossil fuels given the catastrophe of the climate crisis. In response, United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sneered at her activism and told her to go study economics. Just one problem: Thunberg was right.

Mnuchin’s own government released a National Climate Assessment in 2018 that said that climate change, if left unaddressed, would cost the U.S. economy $500 billion per year. A massive new report by the Bank for International Settlements also has linked climate change to a possible financial crisis. Furthermore, actual economist Gernot Wagner told The Washington Post that Mnuchin is completely wrong about Economics 101, using a delightful analogy about rabbits on a communal meadow.

Right-wing media sites were thrilled at Mnuchin’s attack, with some suggesting that Thunberg had a mind full of mush and others saying that people like her should be seen and not heard. In short: it was the standard information-free bullying that you would expect.

Mnuchin then dropped by CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss his remarks. What ensued was a cavalcade of lies and climate denial.

The softball CNBC interview had Mnuchin throwing out a number of right-wing talking points on climate change and generally showing that he has no understanding of the issue. Co-anchor Joe Kernan just egged him on, even suggesting that climate alarmism was driving increasing discussions of the climate crisis.

In fact, the entire conversation seemed to take place in a universe where climate change is not an urgent problem, where Australia is not on fire, where ocean life is not dying, and where the United States is not repeatedly hit with climate-fueled catastrophes like wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding. The only voice of reason in the discussion was co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, who used JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon of all people as a counterpoint to what Mnuchin was saying. The media should be touting what experts say, not what bank CEOs are saying.

Facebook is letting a pro-Trump super PAC lie repeatedly

Judd Legum reported that Facebook is allowing a major pro-Trump Super PAC, the Committee to Defend the President, to “run ads with lies.”

“Since Saturday, the Committee to Defend the President is running multiple ads that claim former Vice President Joe Biden is ‘a criminal who used his power as Vice President to make him and his son RICH,’” according to Legum’s report.

According to Facebook’s own fact-checking partners, this claim is false. PolitiFact and, both fact-checking partners of Facebook, debunked Trump’s suggestion previously.

Facebook’s ad policy specifically bans ads that have been debunked by third-party fact-checkers.

The social network has neglected to enforce the few rules that it has. Despite prohibiting attacks that target a group of people based on their immigration status, Facebook let Trump run over 2,000 ads in early 2019 referring to immigration to the United States as an “invasion,” which has long been a white supremacist talking point. Facebook also let Trump run hundreds of ads in April of 2019 that violated its policy about “personal attributes” of users. And just today, CNN reported that Trump is running ads blatantly lying about the Super Bowl.

Trump’s new Border Patrol chief previously lied to Fox News about the administration’s family separation policy

Trump reportedly has selected Border Patrol agent Rodney Scott to lead the agency as the current chief steps down at the end of the month. As with many Trump appointees, Scott has appeared multiple times on Fox News to provide pro-Trump spin and in 2018, lied on-air that Trump’s family separation policy actually did not exist.

Scott’s lie is an iteration of a right-wing media lie that was common at the time and was relentlessly pushed by former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, as well as some of Trump’s favorite shows like Fox & Friends.

There is no question that it is a lie. As Vox has reported, Trump’s policy did not explicitly state that all families entering the United States without documentation must be separated, but rather that “all adults caught crossing into the US illegally are supposed to be criminally prosecuted — and when that happens to a parent, separation is inevitable.”

Additionally, according to a 2019 report from The Intercept, Scott was a member of a secret Facebook group in which his fellow Border Patrol posted extremely vulgar, racist, and sexist content about immigrants, as well as members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY.)

Featured Videos

Fox News and Fox Business are not just pro-rich, they revel in the very concept. For years, Fox News and Fox Business have hosted many company founders, current and former partners and CEOs, and finance friendly politicians on-air and given them the softball interviews. We’ve put together a quick reel of them introducing CEOs to just give a sense of it. Compare this to the disdain in which Fox hosts talk about how normal people have microwaves, for instance.

This Week In Dumb

  • Quoting a QAnon Twitter account, Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo said that Trump will have a legacy of “real leadership”.
  • At the March for Life, Trump parroted right-wing media lies about abortion to rile up his base.
  • Newly released documents prove that Sean Hannity is a Trump political operative. At any respectable outlet, Hannity would be out of a job, but Fox News doesn’t care.
  • Fox News prime-time avoided covering record Australian bushfires until a Murdoch paper (wrongly) minimized the role of climate change.
  • Tucker Carlson is furious at a proposal to limit investment in companies where the board of directors consists entirely of white men.
  • In the wake of the Australian fires, climate crisis denialism reportedly got a big boost from Facebook.
  • Chris Matthews bizarrely said that “we can’t use” the word lie anymore. He then said that Republicans were using «half-truths» instead.

Images by Media Matters and Creative Commons. Audrey Bowler and Jake Dougherty contributed to this email.




Deja una respuesta

Campos requeridos marcados con *.

Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.