On Tuesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) gave a speech outside the Capitol in which she falsely suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was in charge of security and let the Capitol rioters into the building on January 6 — a claim that fact-checkers have already debunked.
After this speech, The Buffalo News editorial board penned a scathing editorial calling out Stefanik for her "perverted" lies about the Capitol attack.
"When leading Republicans such as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and New York's Elise Stefanik try to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the attack, that's a perversion, not just of the party's historic support for law and order and for police, but of its commitment to the idea of America," wrote the board. "The country came under assault on Jan. 6. All Americans should want to know the facts. This matters to the country, to this state and to Western New York, home of one of the suspects charged with beating a Washington, D.C., police officer nearly to death on that day. "
The editors went on the document just how much Stefanik is distorting history by trying to shift blame for the riots onto Pelosi.
"The mob had been summoned to Washington by then-President Donald Trump with lies about a stolen election, lies that he repeated to the horde. Standing with Trump, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – once a respected U.S. attorney – asked the crowd for 'trial by combat.' The crowd complied," wrote the board. "Yet, Stefanik, with no regard for the gravity of the House hearings or the fragility of democracy, sought on Tuesday to blame the Democrat Pelosi for an attack that the world saw her party leaders instigate. It was Trump and his co-conspirators who armed the bow, drew the string and fired it at the Capitol."
Stefanik was recently elected chair of the House Republican Conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — who was publicly ousted as a GOP leader by the party for her repeated efforts to call out former President Donald Trump's attacks on democracy. She is now on the House committee investigating the attack — and is highly critical of fellow Republicans who have sought to undermine these efforts.
"Many subjects are appropriate for partisan debate, but the facts of insurrection are not," concluded the board. "Republicans are confused. They should not want to be identified as the party of political perversion, but it's what their leaders are inviting."
You can read more here.
Newsmax was once a favorite to become the go-to network for fans of former President Donald Trump after he regularly attacked Fox News for its election coverage.
But as Vox's Aaron Rupar explains, things have not worked out that way.
"But with Trump now more than seven months removed from the White House, out-Trumping the competition isn't proving to be the ratings hit these days that it was in December and January," said Rupar.
He cited the coverage of Trump's speech to the Turning Point conference in Phoenix, in which the network gave near-continuous coverage. Fox, on the other hand, bounced to its regularly scheduled programs.
While this worked for Newsmax in December and January, the attempts to out-Trump Fox News haven't paid off, as their viewership is down more than 50 percent as of January. The report quoted humiliating stats showing the network was pulling from "an average of about 300,000 viewers" to then "about 114,000 on July 18."
"The issue that I always come back to ... is that Newsmax is just not good," Media Matters Newsmax expert Josh Campbell explained. "It's very dull, it's very repetitive of conservative talking points I see everywhere else. They don't have nearly as big of a budget as Fox News does, and their hosts are just simply not as talented. It's hard to sustain huge viewerships when you're just not that good."
Fox News, by contrast, has flashy graphics, hot hosts in skimpy, short, tight dresses and a flood of Republican officials eager to speak on their airwaves. Newsmax has a lot of videos of Donald Trump and hosts like Sean Spicer, who was far more interesting when he was portrayed by actress Melissa McCarthy.
"To steal a line from the movie Scarface, Newsmax had basically gotten high on its own supply, and their viewers were left holding nothing at the end of all that. I think that played a major role," Campbell explained.
"During their ratings surge, there was frequent rhetoric coming from their hosts — Chris Salcedo one time said in early December that 'dedicated Democrats' ran Fox News," Campbell recalled. "They kept having all this rhetoric about how Fox News had betrayed Trump and, you know, people shouldn't watch it because of that."
He said that his favorite example was after Fox Business News canceled Lou Dobbs, Newsmax did daily coverage of it.
"One guest said that Lou Dobbs was too conservative for Fox News," said Campbell. "There was speculation about whether Newsmax would hire Lou Dobbs. There was even a weird 'man on the street' segment in April of a contributor to Newsmax walking around with a 'where's Lou?' sign. So they definitely tried to aestheticize themselves as the Trump-based network, and Fox as the betrayer of that."
In the end, however, it hasn't worked to keep their numbers up. According to AdWeek, Newsmax now struggles to get the audience larger than Nick-at-Night, the Golf Channel, the Game Show Network, the Lifetime Movie Network and the Weather Channel, to name a few.
Read the full interview with Campbell by Aaron Rupar here.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) admitted to a reporter in an interview this week that he actually wore body armor to the January 6th rally that directly preceded the Capitol riots.
Norm Eisen, a legal expert who served as co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Brooks may come to regret making this admission out loud.
"It's more evidence that he knew the dangers," Eisen said, referring to the dangers of the mob of angry Trump fans who attended the rally. "He swore an oath to defend and protect the United States. Instead what he did was he incited an insurrection against his own government. He used those fighting words -- 'Today's the day American patriots are going to take names and kick ass.' It's like he pulled the pin on the grenade and threw that grenade."
This could be trouble for Brooks, who is currently facing a civil lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) over his role in inciting the rioters who attacked the Capitol.
"[It's] more evidence of his bad intent," Eisen explained.
Watch the video below.
Damning new Mo Brooks admission is 'more evidence of his bad intent': legal expert www.youtube.com
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