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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.
Royal wedding minister leads protesters to the White House
After delivering a stirring sermon at last weekend's Royal Wedding in London that turned him into an international media star, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was back home in the United States on Thursday night -- leading a march to the gates outside the White House to protest "a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership."
Tuesday, May 22, 2018(2 comments)
GOP plots to kick failed Speaker Paul Ryan out of his job
Ryan's tenure has been marked by incompetence. Whereas then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was able to help President Barack Obama shepherd historic bills through Congress, such as Obamacare and the Recovery Act, which helped save the U.S. economy, Ryan has proven himself to be nearly completely ineffective, as Congress under Trump has ground to a halt, legislatively.
Saturday, May 19, 2018(3 comments)
Even Trump lapdog Giuliani can't defend Trump's new ugly attack on Obama
Trump and Giuliani are committed to trying to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation by suggesting there was a rogue faction within the straight-laced FBI to derail both Trump's campaign and then his presidency. But no matter how many times Fox News repeats it, proponents have not presented any facts to support the wild claim.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Giuliani willing to trade public humiliation for more TV time
Giuliani was actually hired by Trump to handle negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the need for a sit-down interview between Trump and investigators. That was before Giuliani became completely entangled in the hush money story.
Saturday, May 5, 2018(3 comments)
White House stunned as Giuliani racks up new possible felonies for Trump
It was a head-scratcher when Rudy Giuliani was announced as Trump's new top defense attorney just a few weeks ago, while the White House struggles to contain mounting legal woes. As a lawyer, Giuliani hadn't practiced inside a courtroom in nearly three decades, and his background was as a prosecutor, not a defense attorney. Turns out the skeptics were right.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018(1 comments)
Trump team might have obstructed justice even more with latest leak
There's a growing consensus that it was Trump's side that leaked the questions. They may have done it to try to create an image of an investigation that was out of control, allowing Trump to rail against it -- which of course he did.
Or it may have been leaked to send a public signal to Trump that the investigation is deadly serious and that he faces enormous legal peril if he agrees to sit down with Mueller.
Saturday, April 28, 2018(2 comments)
GOP Blocks Investigation Of Chaplain's Firing By Ryan
Last November, when the House was voting on a GOP tax giveaway to billionaires and corporations, Conroy reportedly triggered Republican ire when he urged compassion. Conroy officially exits next month. He has served in the post since 2011 when former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner nominated him.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Trump's trade war backfires as red states defy him
Rushing in to try to stop Trump as he blindly readies his plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, angry Republican politicians, especially red state representatives, are getting an up-close look at what it's like dealing with an erratic, illogical president.
Friday, February 9, 2018(1 comments)
GOP faces challengers in 226 House seats while struggling to raise cash for midterms
The GOP is having trouble not only recruiting strong candidates in some districts, but recruiting sane candidates in some districts. In Illinois, an avowed Nazi and white supremacist stands poised to become a GOP congressional nominee simply because he's the only Republican willing to run. Election experts continue to see the pendulum swing toward Democrats. Election experts continue to see the pendulum swing toward Democrats
Tuesday, February 6, 2018(1 comments)
Supreme Court Rejects GOP Gerrymandering, Boosting Democrats' Midterm Chances
Democrats in Pennsylvania got more good news ahead of the midterm elections on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the state Supreme Court's recent ruling that Pennsylvania's congressional districts must be immediately redrawn in a fairer manner. Pennsylvania is shaping up to be among the key battleground states as Republicans desperately try to hang onto their majority in the House.
Thursday, February 1, 2018(7 comments)
In Rare Public Rebuke, FBI Humiliates Nunes For "Memo" Smear Campaign
Democrats, members of the intelligence community, and officials at the Justice Department and FBI have stressed that the smear memo, which is basically just partisan oppo research, does not provide an accurate description of how the FBI has functioned with regard to the Russia investigation.
Trump Tries To Lead America Down A Fox News Rabbit Hole
Tumbling down a rabbit hole filled with baseless conspiracy theories -- and desperately trying to grab onto any stray root to bolster his case -- Trump has replaced rational discourse with debunked assertions. And he's trying to lead America into the same dark cavern of misinformation where facts are unknowable and the truth represents a constant mirage.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Trump's Budget Is A Deeply Radical Scheme -- The Press Should Say So
Some of the coverage has been accompanied with a bit of a shoulder shrug because lots of journalists assume Trump's proposed budget can't pass through Congress. Therefore, the pitched eviscerations don't really matter because they won't be enacted. But they do matter and they shouldn't be soft peddled. They matter because the deeply destructive cuts represent who Trump is and what his spiteful agenda stands for.
Friday, March 10, 2017(3 comments)
Locked-Out Media Watch While Trump Administration Retreats Into Secrecy
Tillerson's plan to exclude the press from traveling with him overseas represents a stunning State Department policy reversal, while further cementing his image as a secretive cabinet figure who has had virtually no contact with journalists since being sworn in. That veil of secrecy has quickly emerged as the hallmark for this shadowy administration.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017(1 comments)
There's An Obvious Reason Why Trump Has Gotten Some "Negative" Coverage
By wrapping his agenda in radical initiatives, lashing out wildly at his enemies, and generally conducting himself like an adolescent, Trump has provided pundits with scant opportunities to praise him, or to portray him as presidential. The fawning, low-bar coverage of his speech to Congress proved that if given a chance to swoon over Trump, journalists will gladly do so.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Trump Has Declared War On The Press. Media Should Come To The Battlefield
The Trump team has repeatedly pushed the press around. (Banning outlets from the gaggle on Friday was just the latest and most high profile example.) And time and again, the Trump team has gotten away with it. The Trump White House bars CNN from a press "gaggle," so CNN punishes the White House by airing its press briefings live most days? With a payoff like that, why would the White House stop its destructive behavior?
Saturday, February 11, 2017(1 comments)
Trump's TV Star Fades: He's No Longer A Ratings Magnet
In television-speak, viewer fatigue seems to have set in and the plot line already appears to be running thin. Keep in mind that Trump just made history by losing the popular vote tally by nearly 3 million votes and remains the least popular new president since modern-day polling was invented. There hasn't yet been a mass refusal to watch Trump in recent weeks, but the shoulder shrug does seem to be spreading.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017(6 comments)
The Press Shouldn't Believe Anything The White House Tells Them -- Ever
If newsrooms understand that falsehoods are the currency that Trump and his White House aides trade in each day, then reporters should stop treating unconfirmed claims from the White House as fact. Even when the supposed facts revolve around everyday matters like diplomatic phone calls.
It's Time To Banish "Trump Says" Headlines; They Don't Work
How does the press treat a new president who is a habitual liar, the likes of which we've never seen in U.S. presidential politics? And, how does the press treat an incoming president whose primary form of communication is Twitter, which means he refuses to take most press questions or be held publicly accountable for his claims?
Wednesday, January 4, 2017(1 comments)
President-Elect Trump Is Historically Unpopular; His Press Coverage Should Reflect That
The political press continues to normalize President-elect Donald Trump's often radical behavior. From regurgitating his vague tweets as news while he refuses to grant press conferences, to shying away from calling the serial prevaricator a liar, journalists continue to play nice. He's a wildly unpopular political figure, yet the press continues to gloss over that fact while granting him soft coverage.
One Month Later, Press Failing Trump Transition Test
If journalists' game plan in dealing with Trump was wishing and hoping that he'd change, then they'd be doomed, and so would news consumers. One month after the election, the doomsday appears to be looming larger.
Study Confirms Network Evening Newscasts Have Abandoned Policy Coverage For 2016 Campaign
Since the beginning of 2016, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have devoted just 32 minutes to issues coverage. Part of the purpose of campaign coverage, including at the flagship network newscasts, is to help inform voters about key issues of public concern. It's troubling that the networks have decided this year to walk away from that responsibility.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016(3 comments)
As Trump Wages War On The Press, News Outlets Refuse To Fight Back
Trump has shifted his all-encompassing war on the media onto more dangerous terrain this month. Graduating from his previous claims that reporters are "disgusting" and "horrible people," Trump now insists they're all part of the "rigged" infrastructure this election cycle that's conspiring against the former beauty pageant owner.
The Media And Clinton's Invisible Supporters
As the presidential campaign heads toward its final month and Hillary Clinton stands poised to become the first woman president in American history, the press continues to be strangely obsessed with profiling the supporters of the losing candidate, while often gazing uninterestedly at Clinton voters.
Trump Becomes Latest GOP Nominee To Get Lost Inside The Fox News Bubble
Of course, they loved Trump on Fox News, even after his debate loss. "A very good night for Donald Trump," announced Sean Hannity. And from news anchor Bret Baier: "I do think he gets credit for just being on the stage." They also tried to spin away his debate lies and conjure up reasons for his lopsided loss. The Republican Party now appears to be trapped in a Fox News cycle that chews up GOP nominees.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016(2 comments)
Ditch The Trump Double Standard For The Debates
We're hearing rumblings that Clinton has more to lose at the debate, and that if Trump manages to not insult large portions of the electorate, the event will represent a victory for him. What's doubly concerning is that Trump already appears to be actively trying to intimidate the debate moderators in hopes they'll go easy on him.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Still Waiting For Newspaper Editorials Demanding The Trump Foundation Be Shut Down
The Clinton Foundation's sterling reputation has now been tarnished, in part because the press has decided to go all in with the GOP's smear campaign against the charity. But when the Trump Foundation is found to have illegally donated to a state attorney general who was contemplating fraud charges against a Trump company? Suddenly the referees on newspaper editorial boards fall silent.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
How The Media's Obsession With "Optics" Is Ruining Campaign Journalism
Today, "optics" has become the go-to campaign theme for journalists who can't find evidence of Clinton malfeasance. That's not what campaign reporting is supposed to be, but the misleading craft is thriving. And in this election cycle, the flimsy, malleable standard only seems to apply to her.
Saturday, August 20, 2016(2 comments)
With Trump-Breitbart Alliance, The Right-Wing Media's Civil War Just Got A Whole Lot Worse
A growing list of horrified conservative commentators have watched Donald Trump swallow the Republican Party this year, convinced he's dooming the GOP with a major November loss. One of their key complaints has been that the erstwhile candidate has embraced dark elements of the far-right media; that Trump is just recycling irresponsible nonsense pushed by sites that are blindly loyal to him, like Breitbart News.
Saturday, August 13, 2016(6 comments)
Here We Go Again: Media Say Clinton's Winning, But Not Winning The Right Way
Clinton's alternately portrayed as boring and uninspiring, overly aggressive and widely disliked, or sleepwalking through history like a modern day Chauncey the Gardener. Why is Clinton lucky? Because the uninspiring candidate is allegedly so disliked by voters who view her with simmering contempt that there's no way she could beat any other Republican candidate.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Why Reports About Rush Limbaugh's Contract Renewal Don't Mention The Price
In key major markets such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Indianapolis, Limbaugh has been demoted on the AM dial, onto often struggling, under-performing stations -- the type of affiliates that Limbaugh was rarely associated with during his glory days as the king of talk radio. The Buffalo station, like so many other Limbaugh affiliates, was having trouble selling ads on the program.
Thursday, July 21, 2016(2 comments)
Ailes, Trump, And The Republican Reckoning
The mounting claims of sexual harassment provided a new opening for the Murdoch family to move in and finally root Ailes out of his corner office. As Republicans watch Trump unfold his bizarre and disjointed fall campaign, the one built by Ailes and Fox News, many must be wondering if it's not too late to stage their own coup.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Fox News Attacks Black Lives Matter As "Lawless" After Cheering Cliven Bundy's Lawless Militia
In the wake of protests across the country by Black Lives Matter activists following the deaths of two African-American men at the hands of police, Fox has spent days loudly denouncing the group for its allegedly violent ways. Under the headline, "Time to end Black Lives Matter lawlessness," Fox's Todd Starnes recently insisted "the rules of law matters, folks. Without it, we've got anarchy."
Thursday, June 30, 2016(6 comments)
Farewell To Fox News' Benghazi Hoax
Early indications are that the report, as expected, provides no major revelations. Already undercut by a report from Democratic members of the Benghazi committee that further debunked right-wing myths about the attack, the GOP's long-awaited Benghazi report is in danger of being met with collective shoulder shrugs.
Friday, June 3, 2016(2 comments)
Can Trump Whine His Way To The White House With Complaints About "Biased" Media Coverage?
A sizable portion of the conservative media infrastructure isn't supporting Trump. during the primary season some key conservative media voices have actually criticized the Beltway press for being too soft on the Republican nominee. If there are Republican-friendly pundits on the record saying the press needs to be tougher on Trump, that obviously blunts the candidate's claim that the "biased" media's being too tough on him.
Pundits' New Lament: Clinton Might Win, But She Won't Win The Right Way
This whole not-winning-the-right-way thing is quite odd, mainly because for decades campaign coverage in America has revolved around one thing: Winning. Media message to Hillary: Jump through these series of progressively smaller campaign hoops while we grade your leaps and bounds as being insufficient.
Friday, April 29, 2016
With The Megyn Kelly Vs. Donald Trump TV Summit, Everyone Wins (Except The GOP)
Much of Fox loves Trump's right-wing politics; Trump loves to bully Fox. Now the latest love/hate chapter is that Trump has agreed to sit for Megan Kelly's interview, which is weirdly being hyped as a major campaign showdown. (Remember when campaigns were focused on voters, not cable news hosts?) Kelly's Trump interview represents good news for her, good news for Fox, and good news for Trump.
Saturday, April 9, 2016(5 comments)
Rush Limbaugh's GOP Primary Season From Hell
Limbaugh continues to fish around for a middle ground. The host seems anxious to defend Trump from attacks, but also wary of offending his legion of listeners, who see the front-runner as a fraud, and see Limbaugh as a hypocrite for playing nice with him.
Friday, April 1, 2016
It's Time For Reporters To Break Out Of The Trump Rally Press Pens
It's past time for journalists to demand their freedom from Trump press pens. It's like deciding to finally stop taking Trump's phone-in interviews. Escaping from the pens represents a simple way for news organizations to assert their obvious right to cover the Trump campaign on their own terms, rather than being penned in at campaign events and living in fear of having access denied if coverage is deemed to be too critical.
Monday, March 7, 2016(1 comments)
The Media's Not Being Honest About Its Trump Obsession
We seem to have entered unchartered territory where campaign coverage, at least Trump's campaign coverage, is based on what's popular (or what makes money for news outlets), and not based on what's newsworthy. Casting aside decades of precedent, campaign journalism seems to have almost consciously shifted to a for-profit model.
Saturday, February 27, 2016(1 comments)
NY Times Endorses Holding Clinton To Separate Disclosure Standard
While the Times is fixated on Clinton's speech transcripts, Trump, for now, is refusing to release his tax returns, which has been a standard disclosure for every major candidate running for the White House. So when will the Times demand Trump release his tax returns? When will the Times call for transparency from the Republican front-runner?
Thursday, January 21, 2016(4 comments)
Trump Bullies The Press -- And The Press Yawns
Trump and his campaign push the press around at will and they pay no real price. If anything, Trump gets showered with more press attention despite calling out reporters as "scum"; despite denouncing them as liars and cheats at his campaign rallies. On and on the bullying goes and the pushback remains minimal.
Sunday, January 3, 2016(1 comments)
How Shoddy NY Times Journalism Has Already Marred Campaign Reporting
Rather than being heralded for its groundbreaking campaign work, the newspaper's editors and reporters spent an awful lot of time last year answering criticism about the paper's sloppy and erroneous coverage of Hillary Clinton, and specifically answering for why the Times newsroom and its opinion pages seemed obsessed with knocking down the Democratic frontrunner and getting key facts wrong in the process.
Thursday, December 24, 2015(2 comments)
Clinton, Trump, And How The Pundit Class Misread 2015
Clinton's campaign was never in the dire state that the press claimed it was. And Trump, it turns out, appears to be a perfect messenger for today's increasingly radical and intolerant Republican Party. He's the Fox News id, which is why he's winning over the demagoguery wing of the GOP.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015(1 comments)
Trump, the Press, And How to Treat a Liar
Journalists have not let Trump's lies go undetected. There has been aggressive fact-checking. But with his defining lying streak, Trump is trying to rewrite all the campaign rules and bowl over the media's watchdog role, which means polite fact-checking won't be enough. Where are the endless pieces looking into Trump's dark character and the search for clues as to what drives him to be such a cavalier liar?
Thursday, November 19, 2015(1 comments)
When Fox News Didn't Blame The White House For A Huge Terror Attack In Europe
For anyone who's been watching the Fox News coverage since Friday and seen the almost non-stop smear campaign against Obama (it's been part of the larger, right-wing media freakout), it's almost unimaginable what the Fox commentary would sound like if ISIS killed hundreds in America during next year's campaign. (Calls for impeachment would come quickly, I assume.)
It's Time For The Press To Break Up With Gowdy's Benghazi Committee
The Benghazi committee has been very good to a Beltway press corps anxious to pursue storylines about Clinton's supposed incompetence and crooked ways. This year, the Benghazi committee has helped pundits produce months' worth of baseless speculation about looming email indictments and the potential for a Clinton campaign "collapse."
Saturday, October 10, 2015(20 comments)
How Do You Cover The Gun "Debate" When One Side Spouts Nonsense?
How does the press cover the unfolding Republican gun spectacle? And when do reporters and pundits step forward and point out that one side of the gun "debate" has not only lost touch with reality, but at times has lost touch with common decency? That query goes to the heart of informative political reporting.
Friday, September 11, 2015(3 comments)
Trump and How the Media's Birther Blind Spot Keeps Getting Bigger
Rather than having the release of Obama's birth certificate dissuade those on the far right about the birther issue, since 2011 the ranks of Republican birthers have swelled to huge proportions as the GOP base clings to the dark fantasy that Obama is an African-born impostor who's ineligible to be president or to command U.S. military forces.