White House press sec Jen Psaki says Biden doesn’t want to ‘fight’ Fox News after Trump ‘completely destroyed trust in media’ and institutions

psaki briefing student debt
White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

  • Jen Psaki said the administration doesn’t want to pick a fight with right-wing media.
  • She argued Biden needs to use Fox News to get his message out to Americans about COVID-19.
  • And she said that Biden doesn’t want to undermine trust in the media after Trump’s attacks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration doesn’t want to pick a fight with an outlet like Fox News after former President Donald Trump made undermining the media a central tenet of his politics.

While former President Barack Obama’s administration treated Fox as an adversary, Psaki defended the Biden administration’s decision to put representatives on the conservative network during a recent interview with Snapchat’s news show, “Good Luck America.” She argued that the conservative network’s audience is too important to ignore and that fighting with the media would be a distraction from more important issues.

“Getting in a fight with Fox News at this point in time for the administration isn’t particularly constructive coming off an administration that completely destroyed trust in media, trust in institutions,” Psaki said. “That’s not the fight we want to fight right now, right? We want to fight a fight about getting the pandemic under control and things that actually impact people’s lives.”

Psaki, who also served in the Obama administration, said the White House needs to talk to Fox viewers in order to effectively get its message out, particularly about COVID-19 and vaccinations. And she said the administration doesn’t allow officials to go on air with Fox’s opinion hosts, many of whom have spread misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccinations.

“You need to be able to speak through a range of formats to reach the public – that’s your objective,” she said. “It also means doing a range of platforms that might not like the president … but that’s okay, our job is not only to talk to people who like us.”

Psaki told reporters at a press briefing earlier this month that the White House is in “regular contact” with Fox and other outlets about their coverage of the pandemic.

Some of Fox’s most popular hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, have for months questioned the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, promoting false and misleading public health information. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, recently said that right-wing outlets are in part to blame for the tens of millions of Americans who have so far refused to get the shot.

Read the original article on Business Insider

1/4 of Americans qualify as highly ‘right-wing authoritarian,’ new poll finds

Trump won
Former President Trump’s supporters gather near his Mar-a-Lago home on Feb. 15, 2021.

  • More than one-quarter of Americans have right-wing authoritarian political beliefs, according to new polling.
  • The study found that 26% of Americans score high on scale of right-wing authoritarianism.
  • Those who lean to the right and are “high-RWA” scoring have similar views on the 2020 election outcome.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than one quarter of Americans qualify as having right-wing authoritarian political beliefs, according to new polling by Morning Consult.

The study used authoritarian researcher Bob Altemeyer’s definition and scoring system of right-wing authoritarianism, which defines it as a “desire to submit to some authority, aggression that is directed against whomever the authority says should be targeted and a desire to have everybody follow the norms and social conventions that the authority says should be followed,” according to Morning Consult.

The poll categorized respondents as “high-RWA” if they scored in the top 15% of respondents and “low-RWA” if they scored in the bottom 15%, based on Altemeyer’s authoritarianism scale.

The survey asked adults in the US and seven foreign countries — Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — whether they believe 2020 election was determined by fraudulent votes, whether Capitol rioters did more to protect than undermine the US government, and whether masks and vaccines are key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. It found that right-leaning Americans and those who scored high on the right-wing authoritarian scale had quite similar responses on these three questions.

Sixty-four percent of right-leaning American adults said President Joe Biden won the election because of widespread voter fraud, while 55% of high-RWA respondents said the same. About a third — 34% — of right-leaning adults and 26% of high-RWA respondents said the Capitol rioters were protecting the government when they stormed the building. Meanwhile, 20% of right-leaning and 23% of high-RWA respondents said vaccines aren’t necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Morning Consult found that there are twice as many high-RWA Americans as there are in the most authoritarian-leaning populations in peer countries. Twenty-six percent of Americans scored in the high-RWA category compared with 13% of Canadians and Australians, and 10% of UK adults.

Among the eight countries, the US had the largest gap — 39 points — on support for right-wing authoritarianism between the political left and right.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults in seven foreign countries and the US between late April and early May and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump was pitched on founding a $15 billion ‘conservative media powerhouse’ called Trump Media Group

Trump won
Former President Trump’s supporters gather near his Mar-a-Lago home on Feb. 15, 2021.

  • President Donald Trump was pitched on founding a conservative media and tech company centered around himself, Axios reported on Thursday.
  • The concept involves “a conservative media powerhouse” called Trump Media Group “that will rival the liberal media and fight back against ‘Big Tech.'”
  • Trump has for months considered starting his own digital media company, but was reportedly not taken with this idea.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Donald Trump was pitched on founding a conservative media and tech company centered around himself, Axios reported on Thursday.

The pitch involved “a conservative media powerhouse” called Trump Media Group “that will rival the liberal media and fight back against ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley,” according to 24-page presentation viewed by Axios.

The company would include a subscription content and entertainment arm called “Trump+”, a social media platform or an investment in an existing platform under “Trump Social Media,” and “Trump Technologies,” which would offer online services similar to Stripe or Amazon Web Services. The pitch estimated the company would be worth $15 billion.

Trump, who would be the company’s CEO, chairman, and president, was introduced to the idea last month and reportedly didn’t show much enthusiasm for it. Still, Trump has for months considered starting his own digital media company.

The former president has escalated his attacks on his favorite network Fox News and major tech companies. He and his allies were furious when the network called Arizona for Biden before other outlets did last November. And the ex-president’s voice in politics and media has been quashed in large part by Facebook and Twitter’s decisions to ban him from their platforms for spreading lies about the election that incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Right-wing media has pushed 3 completely false narratives in less than a week

fox news hannity tucker ingraham
Fox News primetime hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity on a banner outside the Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

  • Fox News heavily promoted a false claim that the Biden administration would force Americans to cut their red meat intake by 90%.
  • The network falsely reported that a migrant shelter was distributing Kamala Harris’ book in “welcome packs.”
  • Fox also ran stories inaccurately claiming the Virginia department of education is moving to eliminate advanced math classes in high schools.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Right-wing media, most prominently Fox News, has promoted three major false stories in just the last few days.

Last Friday, The New York Post published a cover story claiming that copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2019 children’s book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” was being gifted to migrant children at a Department of Health and Human Services shelter in Long Beach, California. The Post provided no evidence for the claim aside from a single Reuters photograph of Harris’ book propped against a backpack on a table.

The story was picked up by a host of right-wing media, including Fox News, which co-authored a follow-up story with The Post reporter, Laura Italiano, who wrote the original piece. A slew of prominent Republican lawmakers, including GOP Sen. Tom Cotton and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, promoted the Post’s story.

But the Post’s story was quickly debunked. The Washington Post fact-checker, which gave the Post story “four Pinocchios” on Tuesday, reported that The Post based its entire story on a photo of one copy of the book donated to the shelter by a community member. The Post deleted its two stories on the matter and later republished them with corrections and editor’s notes added.

Spokespeople for Fox News did not respond to Insider’s comment about the network’s reporting, but the network quietly added an editor’s note to its story about the White House’s response to the Post’s reporting and deleted Italiano’s byline.

Also last Friday, Fox News ran multiple segments falsely claiming that President Joe Biden’s administration would require Americans to radically reduce their red meat consumption under Biden’s climate policy. Fox’s on-air discussions relied on a Daily Mail story that reported the Biden administration “could” require Americans to cut their red meat consumption by 90%, citing academic studies showing that reductions in animal products help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

In reality, Biden has no plan to require Americans eat less red meat.

Fox chyrons read, “Bye-Bye Burgers Under Biden’s Climate plan” and “90% of Red Meat Out With Biden Climate Plan.” One graphic falsely stated that “Biden’s climate requirements” include a maximum of four pounds of red meat consumption a year and “one burger per month.” A slew of conservative lawmakers promoted the false claims and lashed out at the Biden administration. Donald Trump Jr. claimed he’d likely eaten four pounds of red meat the previous day.

“Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?” Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted on Saturday.

Fox host John Roberts acknowledged in a brief on-air correction on Monday that the claims were wrong. Roberts said the network’s graphic and script “incorrectly implied” that reducing red meat consumption “was part of Biden’s plan for dealing with climate change.”

Fox and other right-wing media also ran with a story that Virginia’s public schools were moving to eliminate accelerated high school math courses to improve racial equity, “effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.”

The stories, which were amplified by Fox’s opinion side, were false and overblown. Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction, James Lane, told The Washington Post that the state’s department of education is beginning a regular evaluation of its math curriculum and is not eliminating any advanced classes.

Read the original article on Business Insider