Media Matters for America

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  1. Tucker Carlson invites a former sniper to attack March for Our Lives protests

    TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Ryan Cleckner is a former Army special operations sniper. He's a firearms attorney, and columnist at the Federalist, and he joins us now. Ryan, thanks for coming on.

    RYAN CLECKNER : Thanks for having me on, Tucker.

    CARLSON: So, I think a lot of the people who are coming to the marches this weekend are just upset about school shootings, and maybe haven't thought about the agenda that undergirds -- the people organizing it have a pretty clear legislative agenda. They'd like to do a lot of different things.


    CLECKNER: Criminals don't obey laws. The definition of a criminal is somebody who doesn't obey a law. Banning an inanimate object will not solve these problems. So, for example, the Maryland shooting yesterday didn't involve an AR-15. Virginia Tech, used pistols. The Ft. Hood massacre, he used pistols. 9/11, they used box cutters. The tool is not the problem.

    I mean, you want to talk about tools, look at the Austin bombings that we just solved today -- bombs are already illegal. It didn't stop the bombings from happening.


    NRATV host: CNN wants children to die in school shootings

    Laura Ingraham: "March For Our Lives" rally isn't authentic because outside groups helped the students organize it

    NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch: NRA members are “victims of a different sort” of the Parkland school shooting

  2. Fox News defended ICE violently detaining a mother. Its rationale just fell apart.

    After a video of an undocumented woman being forcefully detained in front of her three young daughters went viral, Fox News responded to the overwhelming sympathy building for the family by running defense for the arrest by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents and parroting the agency’s unverified claim that the woman may be part of a human trafficking operation. A few days later, an immigration judge ordered the woman’s release from immigration detention, rejecting CBP’s -- and Fox’s -- suggestion that she posed a threat to her community.

    The video showing Perla Morales-Luna, a single mother of three and longtime U.S. resident, being torn from her three daughters by immigration agents made national headlines and mobilized her National City, CA, community to take action to prevent further unjust raids and detentions.

    In response to the mounting calls for justice for Morales-Luna, Fox News host and known nativist Tucker Carlson hosted Mark Krikorian, executive director of the anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies, to defend the agents’ behavior and report as fact the unproven claim that Morales-Luna “was involved in a smuggling ring.” Fox News’ propagandistic morning show Fox & Friends promptly re-aired clips of Carlson and Krikorian’s unsubstantiated claims, with host Brian Kilmeade commenting, “They are just dying to show [Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] as the bad guys” and falsely claiming that “nine out of every 10 individuals that [ICE] arrests are criminals like [Morales-Luna]”:

    Fox notably omitted the fact that authorities have declined to charge Morales-Luna with a crime, instead placing her “in deportation proceedings, where authorities don't have to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” BuzzFeed reports. As Morales-Luna’s lawyer pointed out, that might be because they don’t have a case:

    [An] ICE attorney noted that one of three people charged earlier this year in a smuggling case named Morales-Luna as being involved.

    Morales-Luna’s attorney William Baker countered that the two women had worked together as cleaners about five years ago but denied that Morales-Luna had any involvement with the smuggling operation.

    “It’s sort of silly to argue she’s a danger,” Baker said, pointing out that the criminal smuggling case has been dismissed and that no evidence had been presented linking Morales-Luna to that case.

    And a week after Fox uncritically recycled ICE’s flimsy attempt to cast her as a criminal, an immigration judge presiding over Morales-Luna’s deportation proceedings ordered her release while her immigration case is processed, concluding that she is not a danger to the community.

    It is unlikely the network will issue a correction or clarify its misleading reporting. In the past, Carlson and his cohorts at Fox have made similar mistakes in their immigration coverage, allowing their anti-immigrant bias to take precedence over the facts of the case.

  3. MSNBC's Ari Melber rips Facebook's lack of transparency on Cambridge Analytica and "abusive fake news" promotion

    ARI MELBER: I think Mark Zuckerberg's statement reflects a pattern we've seen, which is they start with a lot of denial, and then eventually they issue statements, and then the question is always whether the changes actually are implemented. We found they often are not.

    This week has been different, because at one point they lost $50 billion in market value.


    Digesting what he is saying, I think it's -- think it's late, I think it still involves minimization, and I think it fundamentally misses the larger point, which is something you and I have been reporting on, which is Facebook is not just in the crosshairs because of one issue with one developer, even one as famous as Cambridge [Analytica].

    Facebook is in the crosshairs for the larger context of the abusive fake news, the refusal of Zuckerberg to go face down congressional investigators. He sent his lawyer, he wouldn't go face them.

    He did go meet with Medvedev, when he had business in Russia. He did go to China, where the New York Times reported they were developing a censorship app.


    It's a paper statement and this, by the way, in the larger context, is a company that demands all of our personal data, all of our information. all of our privacy, and it says that because that is good for transparency, we should all live with it. This is a company that demands transparency and personal information from its users, and gives up very little when they're under the gun like today.


    Facebook failed to protect consumers from Cambridge Analytica. Only systemic changes can prevent that from happening again.

    On All In, Angelo Carusone points out the Trump campaign used Cambridge Analytica's Facebook data to aid voter suppression effort

    How conspiracy theories about Stoneman Douglas students spread on YouTube and Facebook

  4. These are the right-wing conspiracy theories and hoaxes floating around about the Austin bomber

    Before the bomber was officially identified, internet trolls blamed “Sam Hyde,” whose name has become a meme following mass casualty events. Twitter users once again floated the name Sam Hyde as the suspected Austin bomber. The name Sam Hyde has become a popular meme among right-wing internet trolls.

    Conspiracy theorists speculated that an anonymous 8chan and 4chan user called QAnon “is the Austin bomber” and claimed the FBI is investigating him. On the online message board 4chan, a poster using the name QAnon posted a thread interpreted as predicting the Austin bombings, prompting some 4chan users to speculate that QAnon may be responsible for the bombings. Some QAnon conspiracy theorists also claimed that the post was used to allow the FBI to investigate QAnon.

    Reddit AMA with user claiming to be the Austin bomber implied that Alex Jones may be a target. A Reddit user with the name “austinbomber” hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in which he or she wrote, “There will be another explosion within the next three days ... at a prolific radio-talk show host's house.” Some participants and right-wing Twitter users speculated that this was a reference to pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

    Pro-Trump Twitter users amplified a theory that London Mayor Sadiq Khan orchestrated the Austin bombings to retaliate against Trump for “[standing] against #Terrorism.” In a post that was retweeted over 1,000 times, a Twitter user by the name of “Patriot Kimberlee” questioned the timing of Khan’s trip to Austin and the bombings, linking to a Breitbart article that claimed he was traveling to Austin with the intention of advocating for increased censorship. 

    Some Twitter users rushed to identify bombing suspect Mark Anthony Conditt as a “leftist” and member of Antifa. One Twitter handle baselessly claimed that Facebook “scrubbed” Mark Conditt’s profile because he was a “leftist.” A network of fake antifa handles that had previously pushed viral conspiracy theories about the Parkland school shooting on Twitter also spread various false identifications of Conditt. One handle shared a seemingly fake Facebook post and stated that Conditt was a member of Nashville’s Anti-Racist Action group. Another tweeted out a picture of Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) son, saying he was the Austin bomber.

    Before Conditt was identified as the bomber, hyperpartisan and fake news sites mentioned the far-left group Red Guards Austin in speculation about the bombings. WorldNetDaily, a hyperpartisan right-wing website, and Squawker, a website that frequently pedals fake news, named the alleged “antifa” group Red Guards, or Red Guards Austin, as a potential instigator of the bombings. 

  5. NRATV host: CNN wants children to die in school shootings

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Yesterday when the Maryland school shooting broke, the story, I told you throughout the day that no one was giving it the coverage it deserved. Look at CNN, we actually ran the numbers here. I want you to listen to this list: Brooke Baldwin, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper. Six shows in a row, from afternoon into prime time. Only two of these shows even mentioned the story and that heroic cop, Anderson Cooper at the very end of his show, and Wolf Blitzer for about five minutes. No one else, not one mention of the shooting. Some of these shows are two hours long. So what do they do? Instead of celebrating a hero cop who saved countless lives, they celebrate porn stars. No time for a hero. For weeks they were looking for solutions to save kids’ lives.  And the solution that we pushed, more armed security, a solution that works? They ignore it when we prove that it works. When that hero cop proved that it works. It’s coverage that they didn’t do that makes it so despicable.   


    STINCHFIELD: And that is CNN. What are they doing? Pushing again the March for Our Lives this Saturday. Again, if they can’t have the story they want, which is dead children, by the way, to push this anti-gun assault on our Second Amendment, then they push the march. The march that they love so dear. And you wait, it will be highly produced. They will blow this out of the water come Saturday. But we will be here as well with a live broadcast. 


    NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch: NRA members are “victims of a different sort” of the Parkland school shooting

    NRATV host compares gun-purchase age limits to racial and gender discrimination

    NRATV spotlights ex-sheriff who said Parkland survivors sound like Hitler