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Fox’s Shep Smith quickly shuts down right-wing gadfly for suggesting Notre Dame fire was intentional

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- Commentary

Fox News’ Shepard Smith on Monday shut down Philippe Karsenty, a prominent French political gadfly, for suggesting the fire consuming Notre Dame was deliberately set.

“Everybody’s really under shock now in France. I would tell you something, even if nobody died, it’s like a 9/11, a French 9/11,” Karsenty said of the centuries-old cathedral. “You need to know that for the past years, we’ve had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. Of course, you will hear the story of the political correctness, which will tell you it’s probably an accident.”

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“Sir, sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate here of the cause of something that we don’t know,” replied an audibly angry Smith. “If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.”

“I’m just telling you something, what we need to be ready — ” Karsenty protested, but Smith shut him down completely, hung up the phone, and proceeded to publicly call out his guest as a liar.

“No, sir, we’re not doing that here. Not now, not on my watch,” Smith said. “The man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire, and neither do I.”

“Fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this,” Smith continued. “Conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counter-productive and injurious to society. Those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.”

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Karsenty has a long history of problematic statements. He was convicted of libel in 2013, and after investigators discovered “funding irregularities” in his campaign for office in 2013, he was banned from running again for a year.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Another blue wave? This expert says is just might happen

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In July 2018, the most widely respected analysts were decidedly uncertain whether the Democrats could retake the House.  On July 6, Cook Political Report, for example, listed 180 seats as "solid" for Democrats, with 12 likely/lean and 3 "toss-up or worse." If the Democrats won all of those and the 22 GOP-held seats described as "toss-ups" — they'd still be one seat short of a majority, at 217.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies

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We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.

In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.

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Fox contributor suggests Medicare for All would increase mass shootings

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On Friday's Fox and Friends, Fox contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy suggested that Medicare for All would increase the likelihood of mass shootings by lowering access to mental health care.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.) noted the lack of mental health care in his state, noting that if mass shooters got the treatment they need, they might not go on murderous rampages.

"And I would just say, Medicare for All is going to make that worse. You're going to have less reimbursement for people in the mental health profession," Campos-Duffy said.

"We already have a shortage of that. So, if you're worried about mental health -- which we should be -- in light of all those events that we're seeing, then we really should consider, what will Medicare for All do to our mental health services?"

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