Matt Gertz

How Fox News' Sean Hannity Spent the Last Year Laying the Groundwork for an Authoritarian Response to Mueller's Russia Probe: Report

There’s nothing President Donald Trump hates more than the media, but that’s hardly because he’s indifferent to what the press says about him. Instead, the first 15 months of his administration have been defined by his tirades against outlets that have covered him critically and his fondness for live-tweeting Fox & Friends.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump’s Fox & Friends Interview Shows He Knows Exactly What He’s Doing With Media Attacks

When President Donald Trump called in this morning to his favorite program, the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, it seemed inevitable that sooner or later the conversation would turn to the president’s virulent hatred for journalists. Trump spent much of his presidential campaign and presidency thus far embroiled in an ongoing war against what he terms the “fake news” media, and indeed today’s interview featured several such attacks, with the president calling out NBC’s Chuck Todd by name. But the president also confirmed that his criticisms of the press aren’t merely a sign that he hates public criticism -- they’re a deliberate strategy intended to convince his supporters not to believe critical information about him.

Keep reading... Show less

A New York Times Reporter Is Making a Stunning Admission That She Became an 'Unwitting Agent of Russian Intelligence'

New York Times reporter Amy Chozick’s just-released memoir, Chasing Hillary, offers a detailed and direct admission that major media outlets played into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands by devoting obsessive coverage to hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. It's a striking acknowledgment, given how defensive the Times and its campaign journalists have generally been about their work. But rather than writing off Chozick's mea culpa as proof of personal weakness or a one-off error, journalists should take it as a warning. The 2016 election may have been the first time that journalists found themselves the tools of a foreign government aimed at undermining American democracy. It won't be the last.

Keep reading... Show less

Here's How the Fox News Presidential Pardon Pipeline Works

Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plea to overturn his 2010 criminal conviction and 14-year prison sentence on charges related to political corruption, his wife Patti Blagojevich appealed to a higher authority: Fox News.

Keep reading... Show less

The Rules Don't Apply to Sean Hannity at Fox News

“It seems that there’s no limit at all into the fishing expedition that [special counsel Robert] Mueller is now engaged in,” Sean Hannity claimed last Monday, after FBI investigators raided the home, office, and hotel room of Michael D. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer. “And if he has access to everything that his personal attorney has, I can only imagine where that’s going to lead.”

Keep reading... Show less

Fox News Is Brazenly Ignoring Its Own Damning Interview With Scott Pruitt

Seeking to recover from a storm of ethical scandals with a tour of conservative news outlets, embattled Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt sat down with Fox News’ Ed Henry for an interview yesterday afternoon. Pruitt was surely hoping for the same softballs he has regularly received on the right-wing network. But to his credit, Henry grilled the EPA director, pushing back on Pruitt’s defenses of his conduct. Journalists from other outlets have rightfully praised the interview, with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle commenting, “Ed Henry, good on you,” after airing a portion of it this morning.

Keep reading... Show less

The Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory Network Is Now Targeting High School Victims

Erick Erickson wanted his Twitter followers to know that the article he was circulating -- which suggested the Parkland survivor-turned gun violence prevention activist David Hogg hadn’t been present during February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School -- was no conspiracy theory. “David Hogg contradicts himself in two separate interviews about whether he was at school during the shooting. And no, this isn’t a fake news Gateway Pundit bs story,” Erickson tweeted last night, referencing the pro-Trump website notorious for propelling hoaxes. The decision by Erickson, the right-wing commentator once deemed “the most powerful conservative in America,” to publicly stand behind the credibility of the Redstate article in question backfired rather spectacularly as it became clear that it was, in fact, a “bs story.”

Keep reading... Show less

The New York Times Has Learned Nothing From Its Disastrous Coverage of the 2016 Election

In a foreboding sign for New York Times readers, the paper has named one of the pillars of its 2016 campaign coverage to oversee its political coverage leading into the crucial 2018 and 2020 elections. The paper drew criticism during and following the 2016 presidential campaign for too often providing false equivalence between the candidates and focusing on the politics of personality rather than policy.

Keep reading... Show less

Fox News Will Do Anything to Avoid Talking About the Latest Jared Kushner Scandal

If you get your news from either Fox News’ top-rated prime-time lineup of conservative hosts or the network’s influential Fox & Friends morning show, you remain blissfully unaware of the series of scandals that have consumed Jared Kushner, a top White House aide and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, over the past two days.

Keep reading... Show less

The Disturbing Truth About Devin Nunes' #ReleaseTheMemo Gambit

As early as today, a controversial three-and-a-half page document authored by Republicans on the House intelligence committee may be released to the public. The committee’s Republican members, led by Chairman Devin Nunes, a close ally to President Donald Trump, claim the memo contains damaging information about the early stages of the FBI’s investigation into Trump associates’ ties to Russia that will shock the republic to its core. Democrats respond that the document is a shoddy political salvo that rips information from its proper context in a brazen effort to undermine our institutions. The FBI is publicly warning that the memo makes “material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” And it should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention that Nunes long since gave up any real credibility to act as an arm of the White House, and that this effort is an explicitdeliberate attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Keep reading... Show less

Fox News Is Openly Inviting a Constitutional Crisis

President Donald Trump is newly frustrated with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to severalrecent reports, some of which suggest the president is contemplating firing him. While the president fumes, an array of his closest allies at Fox News are encouraging him to remove or even imprison the Republican longtime federal prosecutor who currently oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Keep reading... Show less

The Right's Assault on the Mueller Probe Takes a Bizarre New Twist

“I have a message tonight for the special counsel, Robert Mueller,” Fox News host and sometime adviser to President Donald Trump Sean Hannity said at the top of last night’s broadcast. “Your witch hunt is now over. Time to close the doors."

Keep reading... Show less

Breitbart News Was a Racist Fever Swamp Long Before Steve Bannon Arrived

Breitbart News is currently imploding. The site's decision to prioritize its support for Donald Trump over its responsibilities to its own reporters has triggered what seems to be a staff uprising and potential exodus, with four writers out the door and others reportedly circulating their resumes. Breitbart management is now embroiled in a vicious back-and-forth with no end in sight.

Keep reading... Show less

Has Anyone Spread More Fake News in 2017 Than Mark Zuckerberg?

In late August, as Hurricane Harvey crashed through the Texas coastline, millions of Americans searching for news on the crisis were instead exposed to a toxic slurry of fabrications. Fake news articles with headlines like “Black Lives Matter Thugs Blocking Emergency Crews From Reaching Hurricane Victims” and “Hurricane Victims Storm And Occupy Texas Mosque Who Refused To Help Christians” went viral on Facebook, spreading disinformation that encouraged readers to think the worst about their fellow citizens.

Keep reading... Show less

The Chilling Disparity Between Republicans' and Democrats' Trust in the Media

Donald Trump’s presidency has coincided with an unprecedented partisan divide in attitudes toward the press, with Democrats’ confidence soaring as Republicans’ trust plummets, according to a new study.

Keep reading... Show less

'Fox & Friends' Is Slowly Driving Me Insane

President Donald Trump is a conspiracy theorist with a hair-trigger personality, he prefers to take advice from what he sees on his TV screen over experts, and he has immense unilateral authority over the most powerful military in history. On any given day, the president of the United States could trigger historic death and destruction based on what he sees on his favorite morning cable news show, Fox & Friends.

Keep reading... Show less

New York Times Magazine's Profile of Sean Hannity Missed a Ton of His Conspiracy Theories

Toward the end of his 8,000-word New York Times Magazine profile of Sean Hannity -- after touching on image-softening tidbits like how the Fox News host and talk radio host who was once fired for homophobic vitriol says he now has “gay friends” and the revelation that Hannity may have come to believe some of the women who say they were sexually harassed by Roger Ailes after trashing them publicly -- contributing writer Matthew Shaer considered the question of whether it’s possible the conservative media megastar and close adviser to President Donald Trump is actually a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

Keep reading... Show less

Does Trump Have an Ulterior Motive in Trying to Block the AT&T Merger?

UPDATE 11/20: CNN's Brian Stelter and several others are reporting that the Justice Department will file a lawsuit to block AT&T's takeover of Time Warner.

Keep reading... Show less

What's With Hannity's Bizarre Comment About Being Illegally Surveilled?

Sean Hannity either broke a massive bombshell implicating the Trump administration in ongoing, illegal spying on journalists on his Fox News show Tuesday night, or he casually pushed yet another baseless conspiracy theory to his audience of 3 million viewers.

Keep reading... Show less

Is Fox News Actually Dictating Policy at the Justice Department?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering whether to investigate President Donald Trump’s political enemies, as the president has repeatedly and publicly demanded, the former senator from Alabama told lawmakers Tuesday morning at a congressional hearing.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity's Advertisers at Fox News Are Dropping Like Flies

Five major companies that have advertised on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show publicly distanced themselves from Hannity over the past two days by either removing their ads or indicating that they will not advertise on his show in the future.

Keep reading... Show less

Fox News Has Gone All In on a Transparently Bogus New Hillary Scandal

Fox News host Sean Hannity opened his program on the night of October 17 by promising “explosive new evidence on what is becoming the biggest scandal -- or at least one of them -- in American history.” Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s associates and Russia has captured the attention of the mainstream press. But Hannity, a fervent fan and sometime adviser to the president, focused his audience on what he termed a “big bombshell” from The Hill on the “real Russia collusion story.” Hillary Clinton, Hannity claimed, had “sold out America to the Russians” by approving the Russian nuclear energy agency’s 2010 acquisition of Uranium One, a company with licenses to extract U.S. uranium. According to the Fox host, Clinton had benefited from Russian government bribes and then the Obama administration had covered it all up. The story was so damning, Hannity said, that Mueller and Congress should shut down their Trump probes immediately and instead focus on the allegations against Clinton.

Keep reading... Show less

Study: CNN's Paid Trump Shills Made More Than 500 Appearances Over the Last Three Months

“This is an apple,” begins the voice-over for an ad CNN is running as part of its new “Facts First” promotional campaign. “Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana,” the narration continues. “They might scream banana, banana, banana over and over and over again. They might put banana in ALL CAPS. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple.”

Keep reading... Show less

Donald Trump Has Begun Channeling One of the World's Most Dangerous Autocrats

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that one of its journalists, Ayla Albayrak, had been convicted of “engaging in terrorist propaganda” by a Turkish court over Albayrak’s reporting in the Journal on a Kurdish separatist party banned in that nation. The move was condemned by the Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, and press freedom advocates.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity's 'Coverage' of Trump's Collusion Scandal Has Taken a Sinister New Turn

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has taken on a new urgency and gotten closer to the Oval Office over the past few weeks. His prosecutors are reportedly planning to indict Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman whose financial entanglements with Russians forced his resignation last summer. Mueller is also reportedly seeking White House documents relating to several of Trump’s most controversial actions and has begun questioning current and former White House staff.

Keep reading... Show less

Ryan’s Obsequious Tribute To Trump On Fox Draws Jeers

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Keep reading... Show less

Megyn Kelly Desperately Wants You to Forget How She Built Her Whole Career

Megyn Kelly -- the former Fox News host who NBC hoped would become the latest star in the network’s firmament -- opened the premiere episode of her new morning talk show, Megyn Kelly Todayby laughing at the idea that she might devote time to her sometimes foe President Donald Trump’s latest remarks. “The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now,” she told a live studio audience with a smile.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity Is Practically Daring Fox News Executives to Fire Him at This Point

Just five months ago, Fox News unceremoniously canned Bill O'Reilly, the centerpiece of the network's programming for two decades. The revelation that O’Reilly was a sexual predator triggered an advertiser boycott that forced the network’s hand. The longtime “king of cable news” was dethroned, reduced to peddling a podcast on his personal website.

Keep reading... Show less

Could Sean Hannity's Deranged New Conspiracy Theory Cost Him His Job?

Fox News host Sean Hannity turned his radio show into a platform for embattled former colleague Bill O’Reilly to undermine the reports of sexual harassment that led Fox to terminate his employment earlier this year, and repeatedly urged him to return to the network. Hannity’s decision to take the side of his former colleague over his employer provides more evidence that he is a rogue actor who is no longer restrained by the network.

Keep reading... Show less

The Single Biggest Question Left Unanswered from Steve Bannon's '60 Minutes' Interview

CBS’ 60 Minutes conducted a wide-ranging, highly anticipated interview with Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart.com chief executive. But host Charlie Rose never mentioned Bannon’s patrons, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah. It is their support for Bannon that makes him a powerbroker from outside the Trump administration -- and their history with the Breitbart chief has been littered with conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and corruption.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES