Breck Dumas


The network’s viewership numbers dwarfed those of its competition during the July 4 event

It appears Fox News’ decision to offer a two-hour special covering President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” celebration on July 4 has apparently paid off, as evidenced by viewership breaking two network records and dominating the ratings.

What are the details?

Fox reported that during the president’s speech from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET, the outlet averaged 4.6 million viewers — its largest ever July 4 prime-time audience — more than double the viewers of CNN and MSNBC’s coverage combined, at 1.5 million and a “dismal” 374,000, respectively.

The telecast was also the most-watched show of 2019 for Fox News’ “Special Report.”

Ahead of the Independence Day fanfare, major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC all announced they would not provide live television coverage of President Trump’s speech, opting instead to stick with regularly scheduled shows like “Jeopardy!” and “Inside Edition.”

According to The Hill, NBC did air live coverage of New York City’s prime-time fireworks show, but drew only 3.8 million viewers.

In more good news for Fox News, President Trump announced Monday that he plans to throw a similar Fourth of July party in 2020.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president said, “It was a wonderful day for all Americans and based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision and I think we can say we’ve made the decision to do it again next year. And maybe we can say for the foreseeable future.”

Anything else?

Although CNN did air the president’s “Salute to America” speech live, the network’s pundits have been criticized for their coverage of the event. Curtis Houck, managing editor of Media Research Center’s Newsbusters, wrote afterward that “CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ put on one of the most disgraceful displays of liberal media bias, Trump hatred, and slights at America you’ll ever see.”

Houck noted, “A cast of CNN personalities bashed the Trump speech as a ‘rudimentary’ ‘eighth grade history’ report ripping off ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ and Wikipedia to create a work of ‘jingoism and militaristic virtue.'”

Author: Breck Dumas

Source: The Blaze: President Trump’s ‘Salute to America’ speech breaks Fox News ratings records

The former Texas congressman called on his fellow Americans to ‘make this right’

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made a campaign stop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend, where he held a roundtable discussion with asylum-seekers from Central America to hear their concerns over U.S. immigration policies.

What are the details?

The former Texas congressman staged a sit-down with residents of a migrant shelter, who complained of being denied entry into the U.S. until their asylum claims have been processed.

O’Rourke highlighted some of their stories in a Facebook message following the meeting, and said in a livestream video, “We hope, by sharing these stories, that the conscience of our country is awoken right now, and the need to change the policies that we have in place” becomes apparent, The Associated Press reported.

O’Rourke added in his post, “The wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet is turning these families away from a land comprised of refugees and asylum-seekers the world over. This can’t be us. This can’t be America. But right now, it’s America and it’s on all of us to make this right.

“We must end the Remain in Mexico policy, end metering, end family separation, and end the detention of those who pose absolutely no threat,” the Democrat continued. “But we must go far beyond that and fix the entire system.”

This isn’t O’Rourke’s first meeting with migrants housed in Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, Texas. O’Rourke held a similar sit-down there in December, prior to announcing his candidacy for president, the AP noted. He told a group of Guatemalan migrants during that visit, “We’re here to understand your story and to see how we can help you seek asylum in our country.”

Anything else?

In O’Rourke’s plan for reforming the U.S. immigration system, he accuses the Trump administration of “manufacturing crises” and promises that as president, O’Rourke would “immediately halt work on the border wall — and his first budget, and every budget, will include zero dollars for this unnecessary wall.”

O’Rourke believes U.S. taxpayer dollars would be better spent in Latin American countries, and has proposed “investing $5 billion in the region primarily through non-governmental organizations, community groups (such as Municipal Crime Prevention Committees) and congregations, and public-private partnerships.”

Author: Breck Dumas

Source: The Blaze: Beto O’Rourke campaigns in Mexico to hear concerns from asylum-seekers

Accused of laundering funds to mask payments

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has been hit with a Federal Election Commission complaint, accusing her of funneling thousands from her campaign fund to her boyfriend through a political action committee.

What are the details?

The complaint was filed by The Coolidge-Reagan Foundation, and names Ocasio-Cortez, her congressional campaign, and Brand New Congress as respondents. Brand New Congress — founded by her current chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti — is the firm Ocasio-Cortez hired to run her campaign, and has an affiliated PAC by the same name.

The Coolidge-Reagan Foundation points to two $3,000 payments made by Brand New Congress PAC early in the campaign to Riley Roberts, the boyfriend of Ocasio-Cortez, for “marketing consultant” services. Sandwiched between the payments to Roberts, “Cortez’s campaign committee paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32 for ‘strategic consulting.'”

“Thus,” the complaint reads, “over the span of a little more than a month, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign committee paid just over $6,000 to Brand New Congress PAC, while its affiliated LLC turned around and paid her boyfriend $6,000.”

Dan Backer, the attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of the foundation clarified to Fox News, “It’s not illegal for [Ocasio-Cortez] to pay her boyfriend, but it appears that they created some sort of scheme to avoid claiming the money [as a campaign expense]. What exactly did he do for that money?”

The complainant “respectfully requests the Federal Election Commission commence enforcement proceedings against” the respondents.

Anything else?

The payments were first discovered by political consultant Luke Thompson who reported them on Medium. Thompson also revealed that Roberts was listed in the House of Representatives’ directory as a staffer to Ocasio-Cortez, which the congresswoman denies.

Ocasio-Cortez hit out at Thompson on Twitter last week, dismissing his claims and saying, “No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend.”

Author: Breck Dumas

Source: Theblaze: Ocasio-Cortez hit with FEC complaint alleging she funneled thousands in campaign money to her boyfriend

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