Posts tagged with "Fox News"

Republican group pummels Trump with derogatory ad: ‘What Is He Afraid Of?’

December 2, 2019

Republicans for the Rule of Law—a nonprofit group of lifelong conservative GOP members who are “dedicated to defending the institutions of our republic”— has called out President Donald Trump with a critical TV ad.

In its new 32-second clip released online November 27, The Huffington Post reports, the group questions the White House’s refusal to allow key witnesses in the Ukraine scandal to testify before Congress in the impeachment inquiry that targets Trump.

“These witnesses must testify,” the voiceover says, referring to a lineup of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, along with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“What is Trump afraid of?” the narrator adds.

The ad is slated to air on Fox News’ flagship morning show “Fox & Friends” for several days after Thanksgiving.

Republicans for the Rule of Law Executive Director Sarah Longwell said in a statement that the House impeachment hearings “have presented startling evidence” that Trump “abused his power, strong-arming a foreign government to interfere on his behalf in the upcoming election, and damaging national security in the process.”

“The president denies the allegations, but won’t let key administration officials― including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney―testify to Congress,” Longwell added. “If the president did nothing wrong, what does he have to hide? If they tell the truth, what is he afraid of? Most importantly, will Republicans in Congress allow the president to simply ignore their constitutionally mandated oversight role?”

According to the HuffPost, the group last week launched a campaign that aimed to educate GOP voters―who polls have shown remain steadfast in their support of Trump―on the facts of the Ukraine scandal that prompted the impeachment inquiry.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Hot romance: Couple poses for wildfire wedding photo during smoky ceremony at California winery

October 30, 2019

Elvis Presley may have sung about “a hunk, a hunk of burning love”—but he had nothing on this couple: An Illinois twosome who got married in Northern California’s Sonoma County on Saturday, October 26—with a massive wildfire raging nearby—posed for a dramatic wedding portrait wearing masks, Fox News reports with some help from the Associated Press..

Wedding photographer Karna Roa captured the photo of the bride and groom, who got married at the Chateau St. Jean Winery in Kenwood, California, even as the Kincade fire burned just miles away.

According to Fox,  the wildfire in Northern California’s wine country forced nearly 180,000 people to evacuate over the weekend as historic winds pushed the state’s largest utility to cut electricity for millions of people to try to prevent more fires.

Roa told the network news outlet that she did have some reservations showing up to the Chateau St. Jean vineyard in Sonoma County to photograph the wedding on Saturday, given the situation.

“The whole area, of course, was super smoky,” she said. “I would love to say this is the first time it has happened, but this is the third year in a row in October that wine country has experienced this.”

She said the couple, Katie and Curtis Ferland, from Chicago, are currently on their honeymoon, and not immediately available for an interview.

Curtis Ferland told Chicago’s WLS-TV (ABC) in an earlier interview that he thought the wedding would need to be canceled after learning of the widespread wildfires. “The first thing we see on TV when we turn it on is flames everywhere,” he said.

After arriving on the West Coast for their wedding, Katie and Curtis reportedly had to move to a hotel when their Airbnb rental lost power. The two also were forced to move the location of their rehearsal dinner because of the fire. WLS-TV reported that most of their vendors and staff were forced to evacuate on Saturday, but the ceremony still took place.

Sara Sugrue, the wedding planner, had to redesign the entire event the night before the nuptials, according to the news outlet. “We actually worked off a skeleton crew to make this happen,” she said.

Roa told Fox News it was the wedding planner who suggested the now-viral photo of Katie and Curtis in their masks.

“Because of all of the changes in the plans and all of the stress leading up to the wedding, the wedding planner suggested that they do at least one image with the masks on,” Roa told Fox News, adding that the masks were available to everyone who attended the wedding, but the guests were only outside for 20 minutes because of the smoke.

“When the couple put on the masks and it came time for this photo, I immediately thought of the American Gothic painting from 1930 and how that painting represented the normal for America of the time period,” Roa said. “All of a sudden this moment represented the new normal for wine country in October.”

After their wedding, early on Sunday morning, the Ferlands and all of their guests were reportedly forced to evacuate.

Research contact: @FoxNews

Facebook gets grief for including Breitbart in News tab

October 29, 2019

Can Facebook do anything that doesn’t draw fire from users, regulators, legislators, and the media? After years of complaints from American news outlets that the social media site has The Washington Post reports that Facebook has agreed to compensate at least some news organizations as part of a specialized “News” tab meant to steer users toward curated national and local news stories.

But the project immediately raised new controversy when it became known that Breitbart News—a Web outlet linked to right-wing causes that was once run by former Trump adviser Steve Bannonhad been included among the 200 media outlets participating in the program.

“Given that Facebook is putting actual news outlets in the same category as Breitbart, actual news outlets should consider quickly withdrawing from the program,” Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, a liberal nonprofit media watchdog, told the Post.

At an event in New York to launch the project, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Breitbart’s inclusion. “You want to include a breadth of content to make sure all different topics can be covered,” Zuckerberg said.

Other outlets participating include The Washington Post, The New York Times, News Corp., BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Bloomberg News, Fox News, NBCUniversal, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

The News tab marks the latest iteration of Facebook’s approach to online news, the Post reports. Before January 2018, the company had been a leading distributor of news, but that role was dogged by the presence in its feed of false and misleading information, as well as by allegations that its news feed and other features tilted toward liberal viewpoints

Zuckerberg did not go into specifics about how different publishers would be compensated, and media analysts expressed skepticism that the arrangement will help the small and medium local outlets that have been most seriously undercut by the rise of online news distribution.

“The vast majority of local news outlets are not included, and that is part of the news ecosystem that’s most at risk,” David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, a trade association of news publishers, told The Washington Post.

Chavern called Facebook’s agreement to pay at least some news outlets for their content a step in the right direction, noting that tech platforms have been “uniquely unwilling to pay for news and quality journalism.”

The News tab already is available to more than 200,000 Facebook users in the United States, with a broader rollout planned for early next year. The new service, Facebook executives say, should make it easier for users to locate the day’s major headlines, as well as stories geared toward particular topics or locales.

The initiative could reach 20 million to 30 million people over a few years, Zuckerberg said.

 Research contact: @washingtonpost

Clinton is hinting: Is Tulsi Gabbard being groomed as Russia’s third-party candidate for 2020?

October 23, 2019

RepresentativeTulsi Gabbards clash with 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suddenly has propelled her struggling 2020 presidential campaign into the spotlight—and not in a good way, CNN reported on October 21.

The heated squabble with Clinton—who said  on October 17 that Gabbard is “the favorite of the Russians” and is being groomed for a third-party run—also has raised doubts about Gabbard’s future in Democratic politics, the cable news outlet said.

The speculative statement from Clinton came during a podcast she was taping with former Obama adviser David Plouffe.

Gabbard, of Hawaii, has remained at single digits in the polls and is staring down an increasingly difficult path to the Democratic Party’s nomination. Back at home, she also faces the most formidable challenge to her House seat since she was elected in 2012, when she enjoyed a majority of the vote, CNN said.

On television, Gabbard has received a significant amount of coverage from Fox News, where she is often praised for her anti-establishment message. She made an appearance on Friday night with host Tucker Carlson to respond to Clinton and made a plea to Carlson’s viewers to support her candidacy.

“I am staying in the Democratic Party, and I’m fighting to take our Democratic Party back, out of the hands of Hillary Clinton and the war-mongering establishment, and put it back into the hands of the people, so our party can truly be a champion for the people,” Gabbard told The Daily Iowan on Friday.

She even turned the Clinton confrontation into a fund-raising opportunity, emailing supporters that “I challenge her” to “face me directly.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom Gabbard supported in 2016, defended the congresswoman on Monday, writing in a tweet that “it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.”

Research contact: @CNN

Graham to gather signatures for letter to Pelosi saying GOP won’t impeach Trump over Ukraine call

October 10, 2019

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)—who has been playing the role of golf partner and crony-in-chief to President Donald Trump—on Wednesday said that he is sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to warn her that Senate Republicans won’t impeach the POTUS over his call with Ukraine, The Hill reported.

In an appearance on the Fox News morning show, Fox & Friends, Graham said that he would ask other Senate Republicans to sign the letter—claiming that GOP lawmakers “do not believe the transcript of the phone call between the president and the Ukraine is an impeachable offense.”

“They’re about to destroy the nation for no good reason,” Graham said, according to The Hill. “And I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript, so she can stop now before she destroys the country.”

House Democrats are in the early stages of an impeachment inquiry into how and why Trump asked the Ukrainian government to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as well as with Attorney General Bill Barr, to provide dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden—while concurrently withholding $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in an effort to get Kiev to launch such a probe.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that; so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Trump told Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky during the July 25 call.

The White House ramped up the fight over the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, sending a letter to Pelosi and the House committee chairs overseeing the investigation saying that it would refuse to cooperate further with the probe, The Hill said.

In the letter, the White House argued Democrats were pursuing a “constitutionally invalid” investigation of a duly elected president.

Graham, who is one of Trump’s most vocal allies on Capitol Hill, blasted House Democrats on Wednesday, saying they couldn’t “care less about fairness.”

Research contact: @thehill

Restaurant’s ‘Labor Inducer’ burger attracts an ‘influx of pregnant women’

October 2, 2019

A whole lot of Minnesota mothers may be naming their babies “Patty.” That’s because The Suburban restaurant in the town of Excelsior serves a hamburger that’s been named the “Labor Inducer.”

The moniker was created after two very pregnant women—one of them, several days overdue; and one of them just approaching her due date—had their babies within hours of eating the special—an angus beef patty, honey-cured bacon, peach caramelized onions, spicy mustard, and Cajun remoulade on a pretzel bun—Fox News reports.

Indeed, the owners of The Suburban told the cable news network that between one and three pregnant customers have been stopping in per day since the beginning of last week, when the burger’s purported labor-triggering properties were made public.

Co-owner Ashley Berset told Fox News that the hubbub started back in April, when Enrique, the chef at the restaurant, was experimenting with recipes for the then-upcoming Twin Cities Burger Battle, and offered samples of his newest creation to co-owner Kelsey Quarberg, who is also Berset’s sister.

 “My sister, Kelsey, was nine days away from her due date with her first child and liked the sample so much that she ordered a full-size one as well,” Berset told Fox News. “About seven hours later she went into labor with her baby Sam.”

Berset said the burger became known as “The Labor Inducer,” and was added to the menu after it took third place at the Burger Battle.

 “We had the burger available at the restaurant all summer and that’s how the second baby was born,” Berset told Fox News, remarking on another little girl who was birthed within hours of her mother eating a burger.

Now, Berset said, pregnant women in the Twin Cities area are flocking to the restaurant for a taste of the burger. “So far no further reports of babies being born, but I doubt their first thought after giving birth is to contact The Suburban,” she said. “So we will continue to wait and see!”

Certain foods, spicy foods in particular, have long been thought to help induce labor — as evidenced by the similar 2017 tale from patrons of a North Carolina restaurant, that believed that its spicy Buffalo Wing Pizza helped induce labor. Experts, meanwhile, say there’s no evidence that any specific foods have the power to bring on a baby.

Research contact: @FoxNews

Revealed: Trump’s favorite new cable TV channel has ties with Russia

July 24, 2019

Recently, President Donald Trump has been so vexed by the coverage on Fox that he has taken to channel-surfing to find a more sympathetic news source. However, unbeknownst to Trump until this week, his latest version of Trump TV—One America News Network—features segments with a distinctly Russian accent.

Indeed, The Daily Beast reported, some of the stories that Trump has been retweeting from the station are the work of a correspondent who is actually a “double agent.” The reporter is also  a Russian national who remains on the payroll of—and continues to report for—the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.

Kristian Brunovich Rouz, originally from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, has been living in San Diego, where OAN is based, since August 2017, and reporting on U.S. politics for the 24-hour news channel. For all of that time, he’s been simultaneously writing for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned news wire that played a role in Russia’s 2016 election-interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.

Among some of Rouz’s recent reports are the following:

  • Iran Plots Terror Attacks in Europe
  • Far Left ‘Squad’ Faces Pushback for Accusing President Trump of ‘Racism’
  • China Pushes for Greater Influence at UN, Builds Political Blocks

“This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media,” former FBI agent Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told the Daily Beast. “We used to think of it as ‘They just have the same views’ or ‘They use the same story leads.’ But now they have the same personnel.”

Indeed, the Daily Beast notes, OAN now pushes  some of the same false stories as Sputnik and RT, but with none of the legal entanglements.

Founded by 77-year-old circuit-board millionaire Robert Herring, Sr., OAN launched in 2013 as an answer to the chatty, opinionated content of mainstream cable-news channels—and a place for viewers too conservative for Fox News. Under Herring’s direction, the network embraced Trumpism enthusiastically, starting in 2016.

Over time, the network became increasingly dedicated to conspiracy theories and fake news, and became overtly supportive of Russia’s global agenda. When Rouz joined, the network had recently shed a number of anchors and other staffers who’d bristled at the change.

Today, althoughit’s available in only a handful of cable markets, OAN’s viewership includes some influential figures, including the president of the United States. According to Media Matters, Trump has fallen for at least two fake stories after seeing them on OAN.

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Astros ace Justin Verlander says MLB is juicing baseballs; turning game ‘into a joke’

July 10, 2019

First, there was “Deflate-gate,” in January 2015, when New England Patriots quarterberback Tom Brady was accused of asking aides to under-inflate footballs during the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. A deflated ball could be easier to grip in bad weather, such as in the heavy rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on the game day in question.

Now, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has blamed Major League Baseball’s uptick in home runs on baseballs that have supposedly been “juiced,” according to a July 9 report by Fox News.

Verlander made the claim during an interview with ESPN. He surmised that baseballs have been “juiced” or altered because they are manufactured by an MLB-owned company.

“It’s a f—ing joke. Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke. They own [baseball gear manufacturer] Rawlings, and you’ve got [MLB Commissioner Rob] Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f—ing company,” Verlander said.

“We all know what happened,” he added, noting, “ Manfred, the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said ‘we want more offense.’ All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.”

But, Fox pointed out, as reported by Deadspin, a spike in home runs has been observed for at least two years—and MLB purchased Rawlings last summer.

Recent changes in baseballs have made the the pitches more aerodynamic—so they produce less drag in flight but are not necessarily “juiced” to increase home runs as Verlander has claimed, the report said.

MLB did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Research contact: @FoxNews

Trump severs ties with three pollsters after bleak numbers are leaked

June 18, 2019

President Donald Trump appears to be stumbling before he is even out of the gate. Although he hasn’t stopped campaigning since his 2016 election—holding rallies nationwide for his political base even while he has been in office—it is now an open secret that the incumbent president is trailing several Democratic contenders … and not just by a trivial amount.

In fact, The Washington Post reported on June 17, President Trump’s campaign severed ties with three members of his polling team late last week following a leak of grim numbers to the media. The polling results showed him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in several battleground states, as well as failing to match the momentum of other Democratic hopefuls.

Days ahead of Trump’s official launch of his reelection bid today, the campaign is ending its relationships with Brett Loyd, Mike Baselice, and Adam Geller while keeping pollsters Tony Fabrizio and John McLaughlin, the Post said.

The officials, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal moves. The Trump campaign declined to comment. NBC News first reported on the campaign’s actions.

The news follows reports—first by Politico and later by The New York Timeson a 17-state internal poll conducted by Fabrizio. The data show Trump trailing Biden by double digits in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, where Trump narrowly edged out Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. The poll also found Trump behind Biden in several other states that were key to the president’s win — Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia — while holding a narrow edge in strongly Republican Texas.

And other polling bears the results out. According to Real Clear Politics, a poll by Fox News posted on June 16 found that Biden would beat Trump by ten points (49-39) in the general election. Sanders would take a nine-point lead (49-40; Warren, a two-point lead (43-41); Harris, a one-point lead (42-41), and Buttigieg a one-point lead (41-40).

As for general job approval, the Fox poll found that 45% of the U.S. population approves of President Trump’s performance, while 53% disapproves.

President Trump spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on June 12, claiming his reelection campaign is leading “in every single state that we polled.”

But, privately, the president was livid that the numbers leaked out, according to White House and campaign officials.

“He is madder that the numbers are out than that the numbers exist,” said one administration source.

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “A poll should be done on which is the more dishonest and deceitful newspaper, the Failing New York Times or the Amazon (lobbyist) Washington Post! They are both a disgrace to our Country, the Enemy of the People, but I just can’t seem to figure out which is worse? The good….news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT), both of these horrible papers will quickly go out of business & be forever gone!”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Dems cast McConnell as ‘Grim Reaper’ in campaign strategy for 2020

June 10, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on June 5 that he’s unlikely to bring up the bill passed by the House on June 4 to provide a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as “Dreamers.”

That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with House Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s domestic agenda—from gun control to net neutrality, to LGBTQ protections, to voting reforms—which the GOP leader has totally tuned out and tossed out.

But now the Democrats have decided to use what they are dubbing McConnell’s “legislative graveyard,” as a messaging tool to topple Republican candidates in 2020, The Hill reported on June 7.

“He’s an issue in this campaign,” said Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. “I don’t know what the hell he’s for, I only know what he’s against. … Anything that helps working people, or helps those struggling to get into the middle class, he’s against.”

McGovern is hardly alone, The Hill noted. Pelosi frequently has denounced McConnell’s promise to act as a “Grim Reaper” on any House legislation as a barrier to any progress on Capitol Hill. This week, she marked the first 150 days of the Democrats’ House majority by rattling off a slew of proposals already passed by the lower chamber that now sit idle in the Senate.

“We’re very proud of the work that we have done to send over to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell has said he’s the ‘Grim Reaper’ — it’s a Senate graveyard,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “We have news for him: It’s alive and well in the public, and he will be hearing from the public, hopefully very soon.”

McConnell and the Republicans are returning fire—dismissing the Democrats’ proposals as frivolous acts—designed to energize the Democrats’ base but without a chance of becoming law.

“This isn’t a serious strategy to govern. They’re passing bills saying that this is what they want, but they know that they’re strictly basing their strategy on what polls well and not what can get into law,” said a Senate GOP aide. “They’re doing everything for political reasons, and we’re actually the adults in the room.”

Through the lens of political messaging, however, Democrats see a useful foil in McConnell, who has spent much of the year focused on confirming conservative Trump appointees, including almost two dozen judges, in lieu of passing policy bills. By casting McConnell as the face of Washington gridlock, The Hill noted, Democrats hope to portray the entire GOP as uninterested in governing — at the expense of the middle class.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, blasted McConnell this past week as the Senate’s “Rip van Winkle,” urging upper-chamber Republicans “to wake up from their legislative slumber and do their job.”

None of this fazes McConnell. “I’ve kind of enjoyed playing off of my enemies over the years, and in fact the ‘Grim Reaper’ title I gave myself,” he told Fox News. “Happy to embrace it.”

Research contact: @TheHill