Eric Hananoki

The Washington Post Has a Major Hugh Hewitt Problem

The Washington Post repeatedly allowed Hugh Hewitt to write columns praising Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt without disclosing that Hewitt’s law firm does work before the agency. Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt told Media Matters that Hewitt would no longer write about Pruitt. 

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Trump Administration Won't Fire HHS Official Who Said Black People Are 'Racist' and Islam Is a 'F------ Cult'

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will retain political appointee Ximena Barreto, who had been placed on leave for making bigoted and conspiratorial remarks as a right-wing commentator.

Barreto (who also goes by the surname Barreto-Rice) joined the administration in December 2017 as a deputy communications director. Prior to that, she was a fringe media personality who used the screen name “RepublicanChick.” She posted commentaries online and briefly co-hosted a YouTube show. Barreto also said she helped President Donald Trump’s efforts in California during the 2016 election.

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Right-Wing Pundit Gets Big Backlash for Shooting Comments

The Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce in Texas has canceled its event with conservative author and pundit Dinesh D’Souza after he mocked the student survivors of the Parkland, FL school shooting.

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A 'Pivotal Player' at Trump's Health Department Previously Promoted Harmful 'Ex-Gay' Conversion Therapy

Shannon Royce, who has reportedly emerged “as a pivotal player” at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), previously suggested that so-called conversion therapy was an antidote to marriage equality and worked for anti-LGBTQ hate groups that have promoted the dangerous and widely discredited practice.

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Joe Arpaio Is Enjoying His Presidential Pardon Exactly as You Might Expect

Joe Arpaio, the racist Arizona sheriff who was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump, gave another interview to an anti-Semitic publication that has repeatedly pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax.”  

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Right-Wing Website Quietly Removes Writings of Neo-Nazi March Organizer from Its Archives

Before he organized the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Jason Kessler wrote for The Daily Caller and the white nationalist site VDare and appeared as a purported expert on Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

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Wash. Post Doesn’t Disclose Writer Supporting Syria Strike Is a Lobbyist for Tomahawk Missile Manufacturer

The Washington Post is allowing writer Ed Rogers to push for and praise military action against Syria without disclosing that he’s a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk missiles used in the recent strike.

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Anti-Semites Are Gushing Over Donald Trump's Berating of a Jewish Reporter

Anti-Semitic writers are thrilled that President Donald Trump denounced a Jewish reporter at a press conference and told him to be quiet after he asked the president to condemn anti-Semitism. They said Trump’s performance was “amazing” and “one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed in my life” because he criticized “the Jews” and showed that the press is “totally part of the Jewish deep state.”

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Alex Jones' Former Editor Trashes Him as a Trump Sellout and Snake Oil Salesman

Kurt Nimmo, a longtime former editor for Alex Jones’, has been publicly trashing his ex-boss as a “snake oil salesman” who sold out to support President Donald Trump.

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White Nationalists Are Positively Overjoyed with Donald Trump's Muslim Ban

White nationalists are “ecstatic” and “feel like crying” with joy over President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. These virulently racist writers are praising Trump for stopping “these disgusting animals” and “sneaky sand-people” from entering the country and are also calling on Trump to arrest or impeach federal judges who oppose the ban. A neo-Nazi writer even suggested killing those protesting the ban.  

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Bill O' Reilly's Disastrous 2015

Numerous Journalists Took Apart O'Reilly's Falklands War Tales. O'Reilly has repeatedly attempted to bolster his reporting credentials by claiming over the years that he reported "in the Falklands" during the 1982 Falklands War. A Mother Jones exposé, however, found that O'Reilly fabricated his reporting resume and his former colleagues said he was actually 1,200 miles away in Buenos Aires. O'Reilly also claimed to have reported on a 1982 Buenos Aires protest in which "many were killed," but numerous journalists who reported from the scene and a historian disputed his story. Furthermore, O'Reilly claimed to have helped an injured CBS photographer during the protest, but his colleagues have no recollection of that incident. [Mother Jones, 2/19/15; Media Matters, 2/24/15]

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The Daily Caller Relies on Holocaust Denier to Smear President Clinton

A Daily Caller smear is falling apart after the conservative outlet relied on the word of a Holocaust denier and con artist to accuse President Bill Clinton of having "once praised" him in a letter of commendation. The Daily Caller published that allegation without presenting any evidence they actually saw Clinton's supposed letter of commendation.

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The 5 Most Egregious Ethical Lapses By Conservative Media This Year

In 2014, conservative media outlets and personalities routinely crossed ethical boundaries. Media Matters looks back at some of the worst media scandals of the year.

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The 6 Dumbest Right-Wing Attacks Against Obama

Right-wing media are attacking President Obama as disrespectful for saluting Marines while holding a coffee cup. The attacks come even though President Bush saluted service members while holding his dog.

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Rand Paul's Political Pollster Is a Birther

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has again dipped into the fringes of the conservative media for support. The Washington Post reported that Paul is building a national network to potentially support a 2016 presidential run, and is using Fritz Wenzel as his pollster.

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Right-Wing Media Myths about Benghazi

Right-wing media are using a congressional hearing to push new myths about the Obama administration's response to the September 11, 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, these myths are discredited by previous congressional reports and testimony, which show that the politicized nature of the hearings come from right-wing media and Congressional Republicans, that the military could not have rescued personnel from the second attack, that the administration was in constant communication at all levels during the attacks, and that the intelligence community believed there was a link to an anti-Islam video at the time of the attacks.

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GOP Civil War Continues as Tea Party Groups Launch Campaign Against Karl Rove

Conservative organization FreedomWorks is fundraising off of Fox News contributor Karl Rove's efforts to, in the group's words, "silence grassroots activists and make sure that only big-government RINO's call the shots in Washington."

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Duping Readers: The Wall Street Journal Fails to Disclose Op-ed Writers' Political Ties

In 2012 The Wall Street Journal regularly failed to disclose the election-related conflicts of interest of its op-ed writers. The paper's editorial page published op-eds from 12 writers without disclosing their roles as advisers to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. It also didn't regularly disclose columnist Karl Rove's close ties to the super PAC American Crossroads and the affiliated political organization American Crossroads GPS, two groups which spent a massive sum of money attempting to aid Mitt Romney and various Republican congressional candidates in November's elections. 

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9 Wall Street Journal Op-ed Writers Who Weren't Disclosed As Romney Advisers

The Wall Street Journal has published op-eds from nine writers without disclosing their roles as advisers to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. The op-eds attack President Obama and his administration or discuss Romney on a range of topics like the economy, health care, education and foreign policy.

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Conservative Media Attack the Muppets

Members of the conservative media are attacking The Muppets for its founding company's decision to sever ties with Chick-fil-A, which supports numerous anti-gay causes. The Muppets have been called "heterophobic, anti-diversity, anti-inclusive bigots," and against family and Christian values. Conservatives, including Fox News, recently criticized The Muppets for allegedly promoting liberal propaganda in their 2011 film.

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How Fox News Helps Its Own Employees Run for Political Office

For nearly two years, Fox News knew its "political analyst" Angela McGlowan would run for office in 2010. After all, she said so on their airwaves.

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Meet A Token Liberal

If you believe everything the Fox News Channel says, you're either a conservative or an idiot.

For years, the right-wing brainchild of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes has been making money pushing the right-wing agenda of its conservative commentators, all in the name of "fair and balanced news." In the network's sea of conservatives, however, there is one anomaly. His name is Alan Colmes.

Alan Colmes is the only "liberal" on the Fox News Channel, or so the network tells us. When USA Today asked about his political ideology, the "liberal" co-host of Hannity and Colmes -- Fox's answer to CNN's Crossfire -- replied, "I'm quite moderate." This, in contrast, to co-host Sean Hannity, a self-proclaimed "staunch-conservative," a protégé of Newt Gingrich and the host of his own conservative radio talk show.

Hannity also recently signed a contract with ABC Radio to continue his conservative spinning for $10 million a year. He is also a popular paid-speaker, sometimes collecting over $10,000 per event. Colmes, on the other hand, was fired from his radio show. He doesn't publish liberal op-eds, have a large following outside of New York or speak at liberal functions. Is there a problem here?

Colmes, who transmits as much screen-presence as a box of comic books, is often uninformed and unprepared in his questioning. Though he has five years of television experience, he has failed to develop as a TV commentator. He frequently stutters when asking questions, isn't knowledgeable about political theory and resorts to quick jokes when he can't think of a response. On occasion, he asks, to paraphrase, "Well you wouldn't agree with me because you're conservative, right?" This, compared to the polished and precise Hannity.

In an interview with LeisureSuit Media (I guess the "liberal media" isn't rushing to interview him), Colmes was asked about his favorite magazines and newspapers. Colmes rattled off traditional favorites, The New York Times and Washington Post, but also promoted (to be balanced, he says) a few others most liberals usually don't frequent or care to acknowledge: The New York Post and the Washington Times. Liberal, huh?

Taking this mixed and confused ideology to television neither benefits Colmes nor liberals. An experienced viewer of Bill Press on "Crossfire" will grimace in pain as Colmes gets whipped every single segment, either by Hannity or his own incompetence. When scandal queen Paula Jones appeared on the Fox News show after her stint on "Celebrity Boxing," Colmes joked amicably with her even when there was a clear opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of Jones's attacks on Clinton and her own public image: she has appeared nude in "Penthouse" and on Fox's questionable program.

Indeed, if Alan Colmes were to host his own show it would be titled, "Softball." In a March 27 interview with "Independent counsel" Robert Ray, who completed Kenneth Starr's investigation and is now seeking the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in New Jersey, half of Colmes' questions were about Hillary Clinton, insinuating the former First Lady is difficult to work with. Further, none of his questions ever established the vindictive nature of the Independent Counsel's report. Colmes devoted nearly two minutes to questions that are offered to kindergarteners, not Republican operatives. In the segment, Colmes asked no questions about the actual Whitewater investigation and the nearly 7-year witch-hunt that cost taxpayers $73 million.

So what are we supposed to make of Colmes, a man who isn't even an ardent support of liberal or progressive philosophies (he once The Tampa Tribune that he's "never really thought much about" his political orientation, "but my positions tend to fall left of center), has been a relative failure on radio and has never written for any liberal publications or is well-regarded on the left? Not much.

In the puppet show that is the Fox News Channel, as Bill Press once told Bill O'Reilly, viewers want to hear their own opinions reinforced. That's what drives the ratings. And that's why Alan Colmes is so good. He reinforces the idea that liberals are disorganized bumblers. He makes conservatives feel better about themselves because he is smacked down by his more articulate and intelligent ideological counterpart.

Alan Colmes is a stand-in for a true liberal. Though he seems like a genuinely nice guy - his radio fans cite his personality, not political commentary, as his best feature - he is a poor fit as a news commentator among the abrasive and obnoxious Fox News conservatives. Until the Fox News Channel replaces him with someone worthy to carry the mantra of "liberal," Rupert Murdoch's network will always be a "faux," plain and simple.

Eric Hananoki is the editor of The Hamster.

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