John Roberts, Fox News‘ co-anchor of “America Reports,” and the right wing network’s former White House correspondent under Presidents Trump, Bush, and Clinton, came under intense fire Monday morning for using the COVID-19 related death of former U.S. Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell to promote the network’s position of vaccine disinformation.
Fox News has long suggested there was a wall between its daytime “straight news” reporters and their coverage, and its nighttime opinion hosts, but that wall over the past few months has largely disappeared. It is now common for Fox News daytime viewers to be served “reporting” on the opinions of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.
For that to happen Fox News reporters have had to become mirrors of the disinformation campaigns the network’s nighttime personalities promote.
Like vaccine disinformation.
Vaccine disinformation is “a big reason behind low inoculation rates,” the L.A. Times recently reported.
“Fox News aired claims that undermine COVID-19 vaccines on 99% of days in the last six months, according to research by progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America,” HuffPost reported earlier this month. “Only two days from April through September didn’t feature the sowing of doubt about the safe and effective shots.”
The news of the death of former U.S. Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell has hit many across the nation hard. Secretary Powell was 84 years old and died of complications from COVID-19, with his family noting he was fully vaccinated.
Powell was also battling “multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that impacts the body’s ability to fight infections,” and Parkinson’s.
But according to Fox News’ John Roberts, Secretary Powell’s death “raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term,” which is both manipulative and false, given the facts surrounding his health – namely that he was 84 and battling a cancer that impacts the body’s ability to fight infections.
Journalists and many others are blasting Roberts so mercilessly that he ultimately deleted the tweet with no apology or explanation, but here’s a screenshot:
No. GEN Powell was successfully fighting multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood cells, and that fight compromised his immune system — which was a profound challenge when he contracted COVID. https://t.co/zPt2Q3PFle
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 18, 2021
Do you ever reflect about the fact that ignorant tweets like this literally lead to people dying avoidable deaths?
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 18, 2021
The fact that you tweeted this without even mentioning he was an 84-year-old man with a kind of cancer that directly limits the body’s ability to fight viruses raises new concerns about how utterly godawful you are as a journalist.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) October 18, 2021
Honest question: have any Fox employees talked about the human cost of their boosting vaccine hesitancy? Or is it something you know, but it’s regarded as impolite to discuss it? https://t.co/pXZuHjbw8u
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) October 18, 2021
Or that 84-year-olds are in a different risk category and it’s hard to see how * fewer * vaccines makes it better. But hey whatever https://t.co/jnrIBfIWih
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 18, 2021
Tough day for the people that claim that John Roberts is a serious journalist
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) October 18, 2021
As you read John Roberts supremely awful take re:vax realize he is not a real journalist, just a shill for MAGA/Fox News, also bear in mind his wife works for ABC News and retweeted him. A lot of MSM is making this pandemic much worse just fyi.
— NoelCaslerComedy (@caslernoel) October 18, 2021
Thank you for this perfect tweet to send people when they claim that Fox News is a legitimate news organization because they have real reporters like John Roberts
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) October 18, 2021
It’s not just the clowns on Fox & Friends, Fox News anchors are doing the same thing
Here’s John Roberts making a fool of himself pic.twitter.com/V5z8RGOTpl
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 18, 2021
Here’s the Tweet John Roberts deleted right before he blocked me. It’s nothing less than journalistic malpractice. He should be fired. pic.twitter.com/Wjw5fVIUpG
— Proud Navy Veteran (@naretevduorp) October 18, 2021
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‘Heist’: Ginni Thomas Tells J6 Committee Election Was Stolen, Says She Never Discussed Efforts to Overturn With Spouse
Appearing behind closed doors in person for four hours with investigators from the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, far right wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas reiterated her false claims the 2020 presidential election was stolen, calling it a “heist.” Thomas also insisted she has never discussed her work to overturn the election results with her husband, the person she publicly refers to as her “best friend,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has resisted calls to recuse himself from any cases surround the January 6 insurrection.
The 2020 president election was not stolen, there has never been any proof to support that false contention, more than 60 court cases claiming fraud brought by the Trump team or their supporters have been thrown out or lost, and even Donald Trump’s own Attorney General and Dept. of Homeland Security officials have said there was no significant fraud, with the later issuing a statement that reads: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”
And yet, despite mountains of evidence President Joe Biden won the election, despite the election being certified with him winning 81,268,924 votes against Trump’s 74,216,154 votes – a margin of more than 7 million, and despite him winning the Electoral College 306 to 232, Ginni Thomas for hours on Thursday insisted Donald Trump was the rightful president.
“During her interview, Ms. Thomas, who goes by Ginni, repeated her assertion that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald J. Trump,” The New York Times reports, citing remarks made by the Committee’s chairman, Bennie Thompson. The Times called it “a belief she insisted upon in late 2020 as she pressured state legislators and the White House chief of staff to do more to try to invalidate the results.”
And yet to reporters Thomas’ attorney called her actions merely “minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated.”
“Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results,” he added, despite press reports that Thomas held a months-long text message exchange with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, urging him to find a way to overture the election.
“As she wrote in a text to Mark Meadows at the time, she also condemned the violence on Jan. 6, as she abhors violence on any side of the aisle.”
“Ms. Thomas,” The Times adds, “exchanged text messages with Mr. Meadows, the White House chief of staff, in which she urged him to challenge Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the 2020 election, which she called a ‘heist,’ and indicated that she had reached out to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, about Mr. Trump’s efforts to use the courts to keep himself in power. She even suggested the lawyer who should be put in charge of that effort.”
Despite earlier reports Thomas did appear in person, but refused to answer reporters’ questions.
NEW: Ginni Thomas met with Jan 6 committee IN PERSON. She did not answer my questions pic.twitter.com/5z6pypr0S9
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) September 29, 2022
Watch: Democrat Delivers Fiery Rebuke to House Republicans Trying to Deprive Veterans of Abortion Rights
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan, blasted congressional Republicans on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday, accusing them of turning a basic, bipartisan bill to help the nation’s veterans into “a cold heartless, violent” referendum on the right to abortion.
“In terms of making decisions on behalf of women, if you want to take a veterans’ bill and make it about abortion, then let’s do it,” Slotkin dared her Republican colleagues. “What you are saying – and you’re saying in front of the American people – is that you believe a veteran who has been raped, who was the victim of incest, or who is having a dangerous miscarriage, does not deserve access to abortion.”
Slotkin was referring to the Solid Start Act, her legislation designed to help veterans transition into civilian society. Republicans tried to block the bill after learning it includes a “requirement that the Department of Veterans Affairs provide female veterans with information ‘tailored to their specific health care’ needs, which would adhere to a new VA policy providing abortion access for women vets who are victims of rape, incest or whose life is jeopardized,” HuffPost reports.
“If you can’t state it, then be clear you believe in no exceptions for women — a cold heartless, violent approach to women’s health,” said Slotkin, whose stepdaughter is a female Army officer. “You want to ban all abortions. That is your goal. Many of you have been open about that, and if you flip the House, we know that you will put forward a full ban on all abortion for all states.”
Slotkin, a military spouse and military step mother, is correct. House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plan for Republicans to take back control of the House, his Newt Gingrich-endorsed “Commitment to America” says it very clearly. In the section called “Preserve Our Constitutional Freedoms,” he says Republicans will “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers.”
But GOP opposition to the abortion provisions in the veterans’ bill is even more extreme than McCarthy’s message – and does not protect the life of the mother.
“We are all, on this floor, elected officials and not medical professionals,” Slotkin added in her more-then two-minute rebuke. “If it was your wife, your daughter who was suffering through a miscarriage, are you going to tell her she can’t until her fever gets high enough and until she’s bleeding harder?”
“If that’s what you want for veterans, shame on you! Shame on you!”
Watch below or at this link.
Slotkin: What you are saying and saying
in front of the American people is you believe a veteran who has been raped, who is a victim of incest or who is having a dangerous miscarriage does not deserve access to abortion.. Who do you think you are? pic.twitter.com/44kbO7EAJU
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 29, 2022
Ginni Thomas Testifies Today Before J6 Committee
Far-right-wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, who held a months-long pressure campaign with Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to force him to somehow overturn the 2020 election, and sent numerous emails to GOP lawmakers in multiple states also trying convince them to overturn the election, will testify today before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Were Thomas merely a far-right wing extremist, or even a wealthy and powerful lobbyist, her actions would have received less scrutiny, but given she is married to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, who was the sole vote opposing the release of January 6 documents to the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection, many see her actions as concerning and deserving of investigation.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney broke the news Thomas will testify before the Committee today. Her testimony will be virtual. The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell adds, it is “voluntary.”
Calling Thomas “one of the panel’s most high-profile outstanding witnesses,” Politico reports, “Lawmakers took interest in her connections to John Eastman, a legal architect of former President Donald Trump’s last-ditch plan to subvert the 2020 election. She’d invited Eastman to speak to an activist group in the aftermath of the election, though Eastman has denied ever discussing Supreme Court-related matters with Thomas.”
In a March opinion piece on MSNBC, Wayne Batchis, associate professor of political science at the University of Delaware, examined the Supreme Court’s “Clarence Thomas (and Ginni Thomas) problem.”
“It turns out that Thomas not only sat on the board of an organization that promoted the dangerous fiction that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from former President Donald Trump through fraud, she also attended the rally attempting to vindicate this paranoid propagandistic fantasy (and said she left before Trump took the stage),” Batchis wrote.
” All the while, in what might resemble the coordinated efforts of synchronized swimmers, husband and wife seemingly sought to thwart the investigation into the democratically perilous events of Jan. 6. Ginni Thomas signed on to a letter seeking the expulsion of Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference for joining the House Jan. 6 investigation committee; Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter — standing in opposition to the rest of the court, including its three Trump appointees — in a decision allowing for the release of Jan. 6-related documents to said committee.”
“Without trust in the courts,” he warns, “American democracy does not stand a chance.”
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