Media Matters for America

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  1. CNN’s Brian Stelter calls out "bloviator" Sean Hannity for "telling tall tales" about Russia investigation

    BRIAN STELTER (HOST) Rod Rosenstein said something really important on Friday, but it was kind of overlooked amid the shocking indictments of 12 Russian intel officers. Listen to this.

    ROD ROSENSTEIN (UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL): The partisan warfare fueled by modern technology does not fairly reflect the grace. dignity, and unity of the American people.

    STELTER: I couldn't have said it better myself. Rosenstein also said Americans need to work together to hold the attackers accountable and he's right about that too. But there are too many Sean Hannitys out there. Too many bloviators telling tall tales that distort the truth and deflect attention. And this starts at the very top. When the DNC was hacked in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump claimed the Dems did it to themselves, quote, “we believe it was the DNC they did the hacking to distract from their problems,” quote, “too bad the DNC doesn't hack Hillary Clinton's 33,000 missing emails.” So Trump did what he oftentimes does; he immediately went to the conspiracy theory route. Then a couple months later, he urged the Russians to hack the Clinton campaign, and according to the new indictments, that's exactly what [Vladimir] Putin's hackers did. Now, this behavior of deflection and distraction, it has continued now that Trump is in office and it's egged on by his supporters like Hannity who want the [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller probe to be wiped away. Hannity is so blinded by his devotion for Trump that he wants the rest of us to be blindfolded too so that we never know the full extent of Russia's attack. Hey, Sean, if you're listening right now, please think about what Rosenstein said.

    ROSENSTEIN: I want to caution you, the people who speculate about federal investigations usually do not know all of the relevant facts. We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings.

    STELTER: That is such an important warning -- a reminder for pundits and lawmakers. But I doubt it will be heeded. What do you think?

    Previously:

    After Mueller indicts 12 Russians, Sean Hannity blames "stupid" Americans for letting hack happen, says we don't know who leaked to Wikileaks

    Sean Hannity: Mueller investigation is "a direct threat to this American republic"

    Hannity panel calls for Mueller probe to be suspended “as of tomorrow”

  2. A GOP Twitter account is helping spread the baseless internet conspiracy theory QAnon

    An account that identifies itself as the “official Twitter account for the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee” spread the 8chan-originated baseless conspiracy theory called QAnon by tweeting out on July 4th a YouTube explanatory video. While not verified by Twitter, the account is linked on the official website for the Florida county GOP.

    Supporters of the QAnon (also known as "The Storm") conspiracy theory baselessly believe that President Donald Trump’s cryptic October 2017 comment alluding to a “calm before the storm” was in reality a hint at a master plan he has set in motion to kneecap members of the “deep state” while dismantling pedophilia rings supposedly tied to powerful celebrities and politicians. Anonymous posts on anonymous internet forum 8chan signed by “Q,” who claims to be “a high-level government insider with Q clearance,” set “The Storm” in motion. Trump supporters claim the posts are clues informing the public of Trump’s plan, shared on the message board to circumvent what they believe is mainstream media’s anti-Trump agenda.

    Prominent right-wing media figures are increasingly using their public platforms to add fuel to the fire and legitimize the anonymous posts. Breitbart's Curt Schilling amplified QAnon on his podcast, both celebrity Trump supporter Roseanne Barr and Fox’s Sean Hannity pushed the bogus claims on Twitter, while conspiracy theorist site Infowars tasked Jerome Corsi with the QAnon beat, only to backpedal when QAnon supporters started attacking Corsi after he criticized “Q.” Turning Point USA’s executive director and Donald Trump Jr. confidante Charlie Kirk also spread bogus statistics seemingly originated in the QAnon universe on a now-deleted tweet.

    8chan, when not the source of this wild conspiracy theory, is best-known as an online message board connected to hoaxes and organized harassment campaigns.

    These conspiracy theories matter. “Pizzagate,” a similar pedophilia-focused conspiracy theory fueled by far-right media during the 2016 presidential election inspired a shooter to open fire inside a Washington, DC, family restaurant. Not only can the same happen again, it has already started. A man is facing terrorism charges in Arizona for just recently using an armored vehicle to stop traffic on a bridge near the Hoover Dam. His demands and his letters have both been linked to the Qanon conspiracy theory. And now that conspiracy theory has been endorsed by an element of the Republican party.

  3. Lou Dobbs: Mueller indictments are "based on hearsay"

    CHRIS FARRELL: Rosenstein and Mueller want to destroy Trump the man and the Trump presidency. Let's be 100 percent clear. This is a publicity stunt.

    LOU DOBBS (HOST): I don't think there's any way, no one should doubt that for a moment.

    FARRELL: This was a publicity stunt to push back on the atrocious Strzok event yesterday where he humiliated himself and the FBI.

    [...]

    DOBBS: That makes these indictments by the way Chris, it makes these indictments, it's hard for me to even form the word.

    FARRELL: They're a joke.

    DOBBS: It basically, they're based on hearsay.

    Previously:

    Now would be a great time for Sean Hannity to revisit his Seth Rich lies

    Sean Hannity: "The timing" of Mueller indicting 12 Russians "is very dubious to me"

    Fox’s Newt Gingrich refuses to walk back claim that murdered DNC staffer was responsible for DNC email hacks even after 12 Russians were indicted

    On Fox News, Ben Stein says FBI/Russia investigation is like "some movie about an old Southern town where the law enforcement people are members of the Ku Klux Klan"

  4. Fox’s Newt Gingrich refuses to walk back claim that murdered DNC staffer was responsible for DNC email hacks even after 12 Russians were indicted

    CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy tweeted “In light of the Mueller indictments, I called @newtgingrich to see if he would like to apologize to the Seth Rich family for peddling the conspiracy theory that Rich was killed for supposedly leaking the DNC docs to Wikileaks. "No. Goodbye!" Gingrich told me before hanging up.”
     

    In light of the Mueller indictments, I called @newtgingrich to see if he would like to apologize to the Seth Rich family for peddling the conspiracy theory that Rich was killed for supposedly leaking the DNC docs to Wikileaks.

    "No. Goodbye!" Gingrich told me before hanging up. https://t.co/hhy10ru7MN

    — Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 13, 2018

    Gingrich had previously claimed Seth Rich was “assassinated at 4 in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 23,000 -- I’m sorry, 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments,” joining Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Lou Dobbs in smearing a dead DNC staffer with conspiratorial claims. On the day the Justice Department announced indictments of 12 Russians connected to a “sustained effort” to hack Democratic emails during the 2016 election, Darcy contacted Gingrich to ask if he would apologize for spreading the conspiracy theory. Gingrich refused.

    Darcy and many others have previously noted there is “zero evidence” to support conspiracy theories regarding the death of Seth Rich, and Gingrich’s refusal to disavow his prior statements come months after the Rich family’s previous demand that Fox News apologize for its role in spreading the conspiracy.

  5. Sean Hannity: "The timing" of Mueller indicting 12 Russians "is very dubious to me"

    NIGEL FARAGE: Isn’t it ironic that so much of the mainstream media says that President Trump somehow is in league with Vladimir Putin. You know the last thing Putin wants is for NATO to be strong and Trump I think is making it stronger.

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): You believe that? Or the media is saying that?

    FARAGE: The media is saying that.

    HANNITY: I think just the opposite. If you pay very close attention, and it’s interesting, we’ve got some things going on in the United States. You know the special counsel, and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, today they announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officer in the lead up to this, which the timing is very dubious to me.

    Previously:

    After Mueller indicts 12 Russians, Sean Hannity blames "stupid" Americans for letting hack happen, says we don't know who leaked to Wikileaks

    Now would be a great time for Sean Hannity to revisit his Seth Rich lies

    Infowars reacts to DOJ indictments on DNC hacking: "Thank you, Russia"