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Sinclair Has Bizarre Defense For Its Shady Propaganda Coverage

The network says it isn’t repeating Republican talking points.

Lara Trump stands behind her father-in-law Donald Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Right-wing media behemoth Sinclair Broadcast Group has doubled down on its misleading reporting about President Joe Biden, insisting that they stand by their coverage despite basing their assumptions on highly questionable edited footage and verifiable misinformation distributed by the RNC.

The cable news network has advanced a coordinated story across 86 of its local news websites over the course of June, targeting Biden’s age and physical ability based on social media posts made by RNC Research, a wing of the Lara Trump–run Republican National Committee. But some of the stories went beyond the facts and into the realm of fiction, including accusing Biden of physically freezing and being in a “stupor” during a White House Juneteenth event. Another article baselessly claimed that Biden had pooped himself at a D-Day memorial event in France, all based on a video of the president sitting down, reported freelance accountability journalist Judd Legum.

Responding to an issue of Legum’s newsletter, Popular Info, which examined the company’s deceptive tactics, Sinclair responded that the claims were “FALSE.”

“We do not ‘work with’ any political party and to insinuate otherwise is spreading disinformation,” Sinclair’s corporate account wrote on X. “Our political reporting includes sources/comments/posts/research from both sides of the aisle. We stand by our journalists and their reporting.”

In a private notice, Sinclair further accused Legum of failing to be “objective” while examining its reporting tactics—tactics that included automatically syndicating identical, questionable stories across dozens of its affiliates on the same day at the same time, seemingly without any editorial discretion or vetting time allotted to the local editors and reporters staffing the channels.

But denying the accusations didn’t stop Sinclair from trying to clean up its image. Shortly after responding to Legum, Sinclair’s national desk published a new story acknowledging that Donald Trump has his own “problems stumbling over words and mixing up dates.”

Trump’s Black Church Stunt Was Bad. His Next Event Was Even Worse.

After his failed appeal to Black voters, Donald Trump appeared at an event hosted by someone who says the Civil Rights Act was a “huge mistake.”

Donald Trump speaks at a podium
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Donald Trump visited a half-assed, half-white event at a Black church on Saturday, in a desperate and botched attempt to stir up support among Black voters in Detroit—but none of that is as bad as what he did next. 

Trump went on to deliver the keynote speech at the Turning Point USA “People’s Convention,” alongside his old buddy, far-right activist Charlie Kirk. 

Kirk, a meme-loving fascist who is known for getting booed off of college campuses and then whining that the girls there don’t like him, happily announced that he’d be partnering with the Trump campaign earlier this month. For someone trying to court the support of the Black community, taking the stage with someone as openly racist as Kirk is nothing less than mind-boggling. 

Earlier this year, Kirk tried to make waves by suggesting that the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, was a “mistake” and that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to create a “permanent DEI-type bureaucracy,” which he believes to be harmful to white men like himself.  

Last year, Kirk posted to X (formerly Twitter), “Whiteness is great. Be proud of who you are.” Earlier this year on his podcast he fretted over flying in an airplane flown by a Black pilot. 

“I’m sorry. If I see a Black pilot, I’m going to be like, ‘Boy, I hope he’s qualified,’” he said, before insisting that it’s not what he believes, but how DEI initiatives make him feel. To Kirk, unabashed racism is a necessary “thought crime,” one that sets him apart and gives him power. 

Kirk founded Turning Point USA in an attempt to consolidate the conservative youth movement and then systematically draw them further and further right. Trump hopes to harness this power to reach the conservative youth vote, which Kirk purports to influence, but honestly, even that doesn’t seem like it’s going well. 

If Trump’s Black church roundtable failed to draw in Black audience members, it seems that Turning Point USA’s pull for the youth vote was also unsuccessful: The crowd skewed distinctly old, according to Mother Jones

More about Trump’s appeal to Black voters:

Steve Bannon’s Prison Time Will Be Far Worse Than He Expected

A new report says that Steve Bannon’s prison time will be nothing like the “Club Fed” setup he hoped for.

Steve Bannon frowns
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Racist sunspot and far-right Trump adviser Steve Bannon won’t be spending his upcoming time in the clink at Club Fed, according to sources who spoke with CNN. Bannon and his legal team had expected he’d go to a minimum-security prison camp, which is still not a walk in the park, but where conditions are more comfortable and relaxed than most. As it turns out, Bannon is ineligible because he still has an open criminal case against him, and will instead report to a low-security prison—with the possibility of doing time at Rikers.

Bannon was ordered earlier this month to report to prison on July 1 to begin a four-month stint for contempt of Congress. Bannon was convicted by a federal jury in 2022 for refusing a subpoena from the House January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol insurrection, the flames of which Bannon had gleefully stoked in the lead-up to the deadly riot. In 2022, Bannon refused to be interviewed or to produce documents to the subcommittee—only later, after Donald Trump abstained from using executive privilege to protect him, offering to testify in a public hearing—an offer that prosecutors and the House deemed too little, too late.

Lowest-security federal prisons for nonviolent offenders convicted on federal charges are referred to informally as “Club Fed,” a dark moniker inspired by the all-inclusive luxury resort, though they bear no resemblance to its inspiration. Incarcerated people are afforded the luxury of freedom of movement and sleep in barracks-style rooms packed with dozens of other people instead of being locked in a cramped cell, without air conditioning during the summer months or heat during the winter. It is not, by any length of the imagination, cushy or comfortable—the only perk is it’s slightly less inhumane than most prisons.

Bannon is expected to report to prison in Danbury, Connecticut. That low-security federal prison holds more than 1,000 men, according to CNN, and its neighboring women’s prison was the inspiration for Orange Is the New Black. Due to his upcoming trial in New York City, it’s possible—but currently undetermined—that Bannon may be transferred to the infamously inhumane Rikers Island during his upcoming criminal trial.

Bannon’s pending criminal case, which precludes him from being able to ride out his time in “Club Fed,” stems from charges in New York where he is accused of defrauding donors with empty promises to build a border wall. He pleaded not guilty to charges from state prosecutors of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy in September 2022 and is expected to stand trial this September in the same courthouse that convicted Trump.

In other (more troubling) Bannon news:

Fauci Recalls Trump’s Final Enraged Call: “That F**ker Biden”

Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed his last “unnerving” conversation with Donald Trump in 2020.

Donald Trump stands to the side, looking serious, and Dr. Anthony Fauci stands closer to the center of the White House briefing room, holding his glasses in his hands and pursing his lips.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Donald Trump participate in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s  final conversation with Donald Trump was “unnerving,” according to the infectious diseases expert.

With his new book, On Call: A Doctor’s Journey in Public Service, released on Tuesday, Fauci spoke in more depth about the conversation on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Live Monday night, detailing how Trump, in a phone conversation, called Joe Biden “that fucker” and promised to “kick his fucking ass” in the final days before the 2020 election.

Maddow read an excerpt from the book, quoting Fauci’s narration of that call:

“Everybody wants me to fire you,” the president said to me during [a] call [that day], “but I’m not going to fire you. You have too illustrious a career, but you have to be positive. The country cannot stay locked down. You have got to give them hope.

“I like you but so many people, not only in the White House but throughout the country hate you because of what you are doing. I’m going to win this fucking election by a landslide, just wait and see. I always did things my way, and I always win no matter what all these other fucking people think. And that fucker Biden, he’s so fucking stupid. I’m going to kick his fucking ass in this election.”

Maddow asked Fauci if the conversation “unnerved you a little bit.”

“You know, it did,” Fauci replied. “It was a little incongruous because he ended it by saying take care, see you soon, something like that. I wasn’t quite sure.

“It was unnerving. Even though you’re convinced you’re doing the right thing, which I had been, you know, trying to say all along, just level with the American public, you wind up being better off to do that; it is not a pleasant thing to have the president of the United States, when you have such a great deal of respect for the presidency of the United States, for the president to get on the phone and scream at you the way he did. So that was very tough,” Fauci added.

Fauci’s new book includes many new details about how Trump dealt with Covid-19 and how he felt about Fauci. Trump would “announce that he loved me and then scream at me on the phone,” Fauci wrote. Their contentious relationship was apparent even in the early days of the pandemic, with Trump reportedly flying into a rage after hearing incorrectly reported information and attributing it to Fauci.

Fauci’s time as the public face of the government’s efforts during the pandemic, as well as Trump’s treatment of him, earned him attacks from conservatives, who spread conspiracy theories about him and attacked efforts such as lockdowns and masks. He was the target of several smears on a recent visit to Capitol Hill, with Republicans proposing getting hold of his personal emails. More new revelations from his book, along with more public appearances, will likely draw him more vitriol and attacks, despite his career in public service.

Trump Ally Goes on Racist Rant Over Biden’s New Immigration Policy

Stephen Miller freaked out about Joe Biden’s new anti-deportation protections.

Stephen Miller holds his hand next to his face
Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

President Joe Biden will announce a new executive order Tuesday that will shield the hundreds of thousands of immigrants married to U.S. citizens from being deported—and Stephen Miller, the ghoul behind some of Donald Trump’s harshest immigration policies, just can’t handle it.

With this policy, around 490,000 people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years will become eligible to apply for “parole in place,” meaning they can remain in the United States and receive work permits, two sources told the Associated Press.

Miller took to X, formerly Twitter, on Monday to lament Biden’s reported upcoming police announcement.

“Big news: Biden to announce an unconstitutional executive amnesty for illegal aliens during a border invasion and in the aftermath of multiple gruesome raped and murders of Americans at the hands of Biden-freed illegals. This is an attack on democracy,” he wrote, likely referring to the murder of Rachel Morin last year.

With his penchant for white nationalism, Miller is no stranger to making disgusting and racist generalizations about immigrants. He readily touts actual tragedies as political talking points, hoping to drum up reactionary votes for Trump in November.

Biden’s new policy, which is yet to be confirmed by the White House, has the potential to significantly expand the legal avenues for immigration into the United States and keep families from being torn apart.

Earlier this month, Biden announced a new immigration policy to lower the number of people crossing the southern border, which has been widely criticized by Democrats, the very people he needs to support it. The new policy also adopted new language that will make it significantly easier to deport people, and harder for those who cross illegally to gain asylum.

Although many have compared Biden’s tightening on immigration restrictions to Trump’s old policies, this is not enough to satisfy Miller, who is only concerned with reelecting his former boss so he can get back to making the United States look exactly how he dreams: all white.

Trump Is Bragging About Endorsements From Black People. He Paid Some.

At least three people who have endorsed Donald Trump are on his payroll.

Donald Trump holds up his fist
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign announced the creation of a new conservative coalition  over the weekend: Black Americans for Trump. But he failed to mention that at least three of his new endorsers are on the Trump family payroll.

Dozens of prominent Black Americans appeared on the list released Saturday, from former Georgia State Representative Vernon Jones to former NFL safety Jack Brewer. But the names of three former staffers for the RNC and the Trump campaign also, curiously, found their way into the coalition. 

They include former RNC official Gina Barr (who is currently titled as the Trump campaign’s executive director of Black coalitions), Trump campaign spokesman Janiyah Thomas, and senior Trump adviser Lynne Patton—who has received more than $233,000 in “payroll” disbursements from the Trump campaign, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.

In a statement, Thomas framed the coalition’s numbers as symbolic of a growing frustration among Black Americans that they have been “left behind” by Democrats.

“While Black Americans have been left behind by Joe Biden, President Trump has prioritized the Black community,” she said in the statement. “Donald J. Trump’s coalition message to the Black community is simple: If you want to return to the policies that created rising wages, more quality jobs, stronger borders, and safer neighborhoods, then join Black Americans for Trump and vote for President Trump in November.”

Biden narrowly secured the 2020 election in large part thanks to communities of color in key swing states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. But Biden’s campaign—which was found in a May Reuters/Ipsos poll to be leading Trump by double digits among Black Americans—wasn’t bothered by the “eleventh hour attempt.”

“Black voters sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020, and they’re ready to make Donald Trump a two-time loser in 2024,” Biden-Harris 2024 Director of Black Media Jasmine Harris said in a press release obtained by Spectrum News.

More on Trump’s relationship with Black voters:

MAGA Can’t Stop Celebrating Layoffs at Major Civil Rights Organization

Conservatives are really revealing their true colors with this one.

The Southern Poverty Law Center building in Montgomery, Alabama
Barry Lewis/InPictures/Getty Images
The Southern Poverty Law Center building in Montgomery, Alabama

On June 12, an estimated 60 people were abruptly laid off by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Conservatives and extremists who’ve been profiled by the SPLC quickly cheered on the news.

In a hell of a self-report, Sean Davis, founder and CEO of conservative website The Federalist praised the layoffs on X (formerly Twitter). “Your entire organization is trash, and America will be better off when it’s forced to lay off every single employee,” wrote Davis. Moms for Liberty, an SPLC-designated anti-government extremist group, boosted the SPLC Union’s criticism of the organization for hoarding donations, with MfL co-founder Tina Descovich declaring, “Everything WOKE ends up rotting.”

Far-right troll Andy Ngo, whose own follower committed a deadly mass shooting inspired by his rhetoric, praised the layoffs in stereotypically unimaginative fashion, writing, “I hope the whole lot of you goes down, & one day in the future people can read about the shameful period of American history you were involved in.” Ngo has been covered previously by SPLC’s Hatewatch and described as a far-right provocateur.

The conservative rage against SPLC is to be expected, given the group’s detailed work monitoring far-right extremist movements. Moms for Liberty, for example, was categorized by the SPLC in 2023 as an anti-government extremist group for its ongoing efforts to roll back federal protections for LGBTQ youth, praising Hitler, threatening violence, and banning books.

The layoffs instead hit projects that work to serve communities in need, shuttering the Southeast Freedom Initiative, which provides pro bono legal services to detained immigrants, and the Economic Justice Project, which works to break the cycle of poverty among the country’s most impoverished communities, among other projects, according to HuffPost.

Adding to the dark celebration by far-right groups over SPLC’s sudden shrinkage, the layoffs hit 60 unionized workers, including a union chair and five union stewards, according to a statement from the union. The layoffs came two years after the SPLC reached a collective bargaining agreement with the then-nascent union, and ate a quarter of the organization’s workforce, as part of a “restructuring effort.”

“SPLC’s decision has a catastrophic impact on the organization’s work in support of immigrants seeking justice and its mission to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance human rights through support of educators,” the SPLC Union wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “How will today’s layoffs help us achieve our goals of fighting hate, decarcerating Black and Brown people, defending democracy, and eradicating poverty? The answer is: they won’t,” the union added.

* This piece has been corrected to clarify who was impacted by SPLC layoffs.

Judge Aileen Cannon Confusingly Does Jack Smith a Massive Favor

The judge denied a brief from nonparties opposing a gag order on Donald Trump.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks into a microphone
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon appears to be sick and tired of nonparties attempting to intervene in Donald Trump’s classified documents trial—even though she’s the one who allowed them to do so in the first place.

The Trump-appointed judge issued a paperless order Monday, rejecting without explanation a couple dozen Republican attorneys general and their proposed brief opposing special counsel Jack Smith’s pending gag order on the former president, which they decried as “presumptively unconstitutional.”

Attorneys general representing the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming had all signed on to the amicus curiae. In it, they argued that the tabled gag was an affront to the First Amendment rights of everyday Americans, who have a right to hear Trump push back against legal prosecutors.

The fierce opposition arose after Smith argued for a change in Trump’s bond conditions, claiming that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s Truth Social posts were “grossly misleading” and “inflammatory.” Smith argued Trump’s posts put law enforcement and potential trial witnesses in legitimate danger.

“Those statements create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents—falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him—and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment,” Smith said in May.

Cannon had previously scheduled an “unusual” hearing on June 21 to make time for oral arguments from the nonparties, including one focused on whether Smith’s appointment to the case is constitutional.

The rejection is one of few indications that Cannon actually intends to move forward with a trial that has been riddled with unnecessary and cumbersome delays. Trump faces 42 felony charges in the case related to willful retention of national security information, corruptly concealing documents, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Ted Cruz’s Totally Outrageous “Proof” That the KKK Loves Democrats

Ted Cruz is an expert in historical revisionism.

Ted Cruz raises his eyebrows
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Ted Cruz wouldn’t be a conservative if he wasn’t adept at historical revisionism. On Monday, he shared an absurd piece by right-wing tabloid New York Post attempting to align pro-Palestine protests with Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and melting racist gremlin David Duke.

Cruz wrote boastfully on X, “Democrats founded the Klan … and now the Klan is backing the Democrats.”

Twitter screenshot Ted Cruz: Democrats founded the Klan…and now the Klan is backing the Democrats. Quote tweeting the New York Post: KKK Grand Wizard David Duke sides with anti-Israel protesters: ‘This is who college protesters are aligned with’

Cruz’s comment is a tired bit of conservative propaganda that he has repeatedly trotted out which conveniently ignores major facets of American political history. During the post–Civil War Reconstruction era, Democrats were indeed conservative, pro-Confederacy racists. But Cruz would probably dislike it if you learned about the Southern Strategy, a successful effort most famously deployed by the Nixon campaign to pull white racists—including members of the KKK—from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Southern Strategy was essentially a role reversal that stoked racial divisions and fearmongery for the sake of building the Republican Party’s power. To wit, Democrats of yore—then referred to as Dixiecrats—would today find themselves toting America First flags above their MAGA behatted heads while flooding Marjorie Taylor Greene’s replies with praise and drawing up plans to harass a Drag Story Hour event. It’s a tactic Republicans continue to use today.

Cruz’s comment further omits the fact that the Democratic Party has split itself in two over the pro-Palestine movement and calls for a cease-fire, with Democratic leadership consistently in opposition to both movements. Biden’s entire administration, leading Democrats like Schumer, Pelosi, and the Democratic establishment overall have all been aggressively protested against for their refusal to call for a cease-fire for the past nine months, with Pelosi infamously and absurdly decrying protests against her as the work of Russian and Chinese operatives. Duke, moreover, isn’t pro-Palestine. He’s anti-Jew, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Black, and anti-Muslim—and he took credit for the rise of Donald Trump. His stance is legitimately antisemitic and virulently racist to everyone except for the same white, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual men to whom Cruz also endeavors to appeal.

The Post article is more or less the same as its usual attempts to slander movements and people conservatives dislike. The rag’s targets span from pro-Palestine and Black Lives Matter activists to progressive politicians. It ramps up targeted hate against LGBTQ-friendly spaces and often inflames anxieties around crime—especially during election years, a move that bolsters conservative candidates and surely aided Democrats in New York losing several House seats in the midterm elections.

The Post’s incendiary rhetoric has often been cited by far-right activists mobilizing in line with Post outrage bait, most recently resulting in a series of modern-day Klan rallies against housing asylum-seekers, harassing a school briefly sheltering migrant families overnight to avoid floods, outrage over completely fabricated claims of veterans kicked out of hotels to house migrants—even provoking a right-wing dope to fling pizzas over the fence at City Hall in reaction to a bogus article about pizza ovens.

Cruz’s response to the Post’s spin is effectively Cruz acknowledging he’s prone to falling prey to absurdly inflammatory claims from a notoriously disingenuous tabloid that works tirelessly to intensify right-wing fearmongering and division. For one thing, neither Duke nor any far-right extremist or white supremacist is pro-Palestine. Duke is intensely and explicitly antisemitic. And while the Post would never report on it, whenever white supremacists think they can find a safe space in a pro-Palestine protest, they end up forcefully kicked out.

Attempts to pair protests against genocide with people who support the mass extermination of a specific group are just an effort to delegitimize opposition to mass death. It’s nothing new, but it’s always very telling who falls for the ruse. Cruz’s comment, with historical context applied, is ultimately an immense self-own—on himself and the Republican Party, which presently and historically endeavors to charm the most racist people who’ve ever lived.

Trump Ally Admits to Horrific Relationship With a Minor

Pastor Robert Morris said he molested a child for five years in the 1980s.

Pastor Robert Morris, Donald Trump, and Bishop Harry Jackson applaud
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Pastor Robert Morris (left) and Bishop Harry Jackson (right) applaud Donald Trump

A megachurch pastor, whom Donald Trump once lauded as a “spiritual adviser,” has admitted to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady,” following new allegations that he’d sexually abused a 12 year-old.

Cindy Clemishire shared her account of sexual abuse by Robert Morris, who currently leads Gateway Church in Dallas, on Friday in the Wartburg Watch, a religious watchdog site.

In the 1980s, Morris would occasionally stay with Clemishire’s family when he was a traveling evangelist. In 1982, Morris invited Clemishire to his room, where he allegedly sexually molested her, warning her never to tell anyone. According to Clemishire, the abuse escalated and continued from 1982 to 1987.

Morris released a statement Saturday to the Christian Post responding to the claims.

“When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying. It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years,” said Morris.

“In March of 1987, this situation was brought to light, and it was confessed and repented of. I submitted myself to the Elders of Shady Grove Church and the young lady’s father. They asked me to step out of ministry and receive counseling and freedom ministry, which I did. Since that time, I have walked in purity and accountability in this area.”

Morris neglected to mention in his statement that Clemishire was 12 at the time the abuse started. He also does not mention apologizing to her directly.

Gateway Church said that Morris underwent a two-year “restoration process” following a “moral failure,” in a statement to WFAA.

Morris was able to return to Shady Grove Church in 1987, after being forgiven by the victim’s father, he said. “I asked their forgiveness, and they graciously forgave me,” said Morris.

Clemishire said that although her family forgave him, her father never supported his return to ministry.

Morris did return, and in 2003, he founded the Gateway Church, one of the largest megachurches in the country. Gateway boasts a weekly attendance of 100,000 parishioners, according to the church’s website.

In 2016, Donald Trump named Morris to his spiritual advisory board, a convenient prop in his ultimately successful efforts to secure the white Evangelical Christian vote. In 2020, Trump visited Gateway Church, which had since expanded into several campuses across the Dallas area, amid the Black Lives Matter protests in response to George Floyd’s murder.

Clemishire told the Dallas Morning News that she was left unconvinced by Morris’s statement.

“I don’t think that it’s repentant when someone calls a 12-year-old a young lady and tries to just dismiss what happened as just some heavy petting,” she said. “I don’t believe that’s repentance. There’s no child on earth that any person should ever do that to. It’s just unacceptable. There’s zero excuse.”