Matthew Sheffield Profile picture
Post-conservative, post-Mormon, pro-truth. Writer, podcaster, coder, data wrangler, occasional meme creator. mws@matthewsheffield.com
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20 Nov
Conservative media outlets utterly set the agenda for their audience. Trump keeps losing his ridiculous suits and is now trying to pressure state officials to throw voters' wishes away. So naturally, rw media is just ignoring the story. Here's Townhall: Image
Over at Fox News, for the second day in a row, Gavin Newsom is the lead story of the day Image
At Breitbart, Barack Obama is the lead story Image
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
"Reach Out to Trump Supporters," today's column from @WajahatAli, is important column that illustrates the difficulty of healing political divides. There will be no single way that will work and there are many that will never change. But... nytimes.com/2020/11/19/opi…
Change will be possible for some of them. Ultimately, the biggest divide in reaching Trumpers is that they see the world in religious terms. It's a continuation of Cold War propaganda in which Godly American capitalists were opposing Satanic atheist communists.
For decades, Boomer and Silent generation Americans were subjected to this propaganda from the government and from both parties. It has had a dramatic impact on them psychically.

Which is why outreach efforts will likely never work on them.
Read 17 tweets
18 Nov
How can Trump get away with his petty and dangerous refusal to allow the new administration to receive critical briefings? Because fanatical outlets like Breitbart will do anything he tells them to.

Right now, the main story over at Breitbart is a Gavin Newsom dinner party Image
The primary posture of conservative media as Trump creates conspiracy theories and endangers the nation has been to simply talk about other stuff.

They know Trump is wrong and won't win his suits. But they won't tell their audiences this. Here's Daily Caller Image
The less reputable right wing outlets have no problem helping Trump spread his easily debunked lies and whines.

WorldNetDaily is doing that like crazy, even going so far as to call wacko Trump attorney Sidney Powell "our own Joan of Arc" Image
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
One of the most little-known facts about the conservative media is that there's a lot of crossover w/ media outlets that cater to racists & extremists.

Ben Shapiro provided the best example of this when he bashed "Jews in Hollywood" on a white nationalist podcast
According to Shapiro, "secular Jews" are waging a "war on Christianity"
Shapiro also told his host, racist activist Lana Lokteff, that Jewish media executives were trying to "destroy the foundations of American society" by including more minority characters in films.

washingtonmonthly.com/2019/11/22/the…
Read 12 tweets
10 Nov
The next few weeks will be historic in this country. You will remember them.

Plenty of people at Fox News are doing the right thing. But the far right wants Trump to go "full fash" and fulfill their decades-long fantasy.
For a number of years now, right wing donors and media figures have been begging Trump to become a dictator. And not just random nobodies.

RW elites have been coming to the opinion that capitalism must be saved from democracy.
I've written before that right wing elites are far more radical than the MSM will report. There's no better example of this point than Peter Thiel, the PayPal founder and Facebook board member.

He wrote in 2009 that women being able to vote is a threat to capitalism.
Read 23 tweets
8 Nov
Joe Biden's first speech since his unofficial victory struck lots of the correct notes. We need unity and healing but it must be done correctly to work. Here's the link to the video and transcript if you missed it: npr.org/sections/live-…
The most important step in healing is to understand that the Trump/GOP coalition is not monolithic. And also, he should understand that the GOP elite does not act in good faith. Their goal is to do nothing.
Mitch McConnell figured out years ago that Americans don't support conservative economic or governmental views.

So instead of trying to pass laws to make that happen, his goal was to stop laws and use courts to push his agenda. I wrote about this in 2018 salon.com/2018/02/07/mit…
Read 11 tweets
7 Nov
Newsmax, a cable news channel premised on the idea that Fox News is for liberals, is making a big play for Trump fans angry about his projected loss.

Making money, regardless of the effect on the country is the motivation here.
Just to continue the point here, it's obvious that Biden and Harris being projected as winners by multiple sources is obviously the biggest news of the moment right now.

But if you read right-wing websites, you get a completely different reality. Here is Daily Wire:
Here is Townhall talking about Trump lawsuits instead of him losing:
Read 13 tweets
7 Nov
As a former conservative activist and journalist, it has been so frustrating to see my former compatriots spreading wild and unchecked claims about "voter fraud." @jacknicas of the NYT took a deep look at claims of "dead" people in Michigan voting. Link in next tweet.
While examining claims made by right-wing activists who are not credible individuals is a thankless task which elite media editors despise, this is vital and important work in this age of fake news. Here's the link: nytimes.com/2020/11/06/tec…
As the co-creator of NewsBusters, the most prominent anti-media website, I was part of a decades-long tradition of complaining about media elites being "unfair" to conservative views. There is still much to that argument, but eventually I saw that I was missing context.
Read 32 tweets
4 Nov
Biden still has the advantage after #Election2020 but it's very clear that pollsters & modelers like Nate Silver badly messed up likely voter models.

I tried pitching publications on this topic but editors love group think and were too afraid. Here's some of what happened:
Firstly, a huge number of mailed ballots are never returned by voters. Estimates put it between 10 to 20 percent. Likely voter models should have removed some of these people, the plurality of whom were Democrats.
The Trump campaign began boasting about this in mid October but not one MSM or liberal outlet ever responded to this boasting. breitbart.com/politics/2020/…
Read 15 tweets
4 Nov
Among Biden voters, controlling the spread of COVID-19 is "very important" to 93% and the top issue. Among Trump voters, 59% said it's "very important." Controlling Covid was the #7 issue for Trump supporters.

#ExitPolls issue data
Whoops. Forgot the percentage on the last Biden priority:
The vast majority (75%) of Trump voters say their choice was in favor of him instead of in opposition to Joe Biden (22%). Among Biden voters, 54% said they were mostly pro-Biden while 44% said they were mostly anti-Trump. #ExitPolls
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct
This interview Rudy Giuliani did with a conservative Daily Caller reporter about his alleged Hunter Biden story is so shady. Let me count the ways. 1) He says the Mac repair store owner kept "forged copies" of the computer hard drive
2) He gets visibly agitated when the reporter, Christian Datoc, asks him about metadata. "This is pettifogging nonsense" Giuliani replies. He then accuses Datoc of acting like one of those evil libruls:
3) Giuliani then very clearly demonstrates that he does not know that making an imaged copy of a disk would not modify its files. He claims the metadata in NY Post stories is screwy because of image copying, not because the Post generated the images it presented
Read 14 tweets
19 Oct
A little known fact about Scott Atlas, Trump's top COVID adviser, is that besides having no credentials in public health or epidemiology, he works for a creationist think tank.
The group, called the Hoover Institution, is located on the campus of Stanford University. Besides spreading conservative economics, it has been churning out convoluted anti-evolution nonsense for years.
Here's a Hoover page featuring Atlas discussing Obamacare that further downward touts a discussion about the supposed "mathematical challenges" of macroevolutionary theory. hoover.org/publications/d…
Read 14 tweets
17 Oct
Why won't Trump denounce QAnon?

Because 21% of Republicans who know of the conspiracy theory say it's "very accurate." Another 17% say it's "somewhat accurate" morningconsult.com/2020/10/14/soc…
And for clarity, 44% of Republicans have heard of QAnon, 56% say they have not. So it's a pretty sizable number that believe it.
Cross tabs for the survey are in link below. The approval of QAnon question was asked thusly: "As you may know, QAnon is a term referring to multiple far-right conspiracy theories. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of QAnon?" assets.morningconsult.com/wp-uploads/202…
Read 12 tweets
29 May
Trump's phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" is an unattributed quote of Walter Headley, Miami's police chief in 1967. It was a threat to citizens who were upset that police had terrorized a black teenager by holding him over a bridge: washingtonpost.com/news/retropoli…
Trump is very clearly settling on a Nixon re-election strategy now. While Nixon was far more intelligent than Trump, he was personally unpopular like Trump. Where he succeeded was that he leveraged white fear of race riots to garner votes from reluctant citizens.
White nationalists, meanwhile, are actively working to subvert peaceful protests of police brutality by injecting violent rhetoric and action in the hopes of sparking a race war--or as they call it "boogaloo" rawstory.com/2020/05/they-w…
Read 17 tweets
27 Mar
If you wondered how Trump intimidated Ukraine, he just provided a demonstration on live TV when discussing how he won't help Washington and Michigan unless their governors kiss his ample behind.
Trump just said that he's unwilling to prevent American citizens' deaths unless he gets the ring kisses he desperately craves.

Why wouldn't he withhold some missiles from some random country that he doesn't care about?
This was not Trump just being sarcastic either in his comments about Washington and Michigan.

In an interview today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that medical supply vendors have told her they've been instructed not to send items to her state. crainsdetroit.com/coronavirus/wh…
Read 7 tweets
25 Mar
The Federalist is a menace to public health that has regularly supported racists. @CBSNews and @FoxNews should be ashamed of giving its employees regular platforms.
Here's a background thread on who they are for those who are only seeing their ignorant and dangerous advice for handling #COVID19
It's a factory of bad takes that was founded by a serial plagiarist named Ben Domenech. He also for years was on the payroll of an authoritarian govt of Malaysia. Naturally, he never disclosed to editors who published his stuff.
Read 31 tweets
20 Mar
The SARS2 / COVID19 / new coronavirus crisis is the result of failures by many people. If you can't admit the following things are true, you're stuck in blind fandom:
✔️ China lied repeatedly and suppressed internal warnings and failed to quarantine the infection
✔️ US and other countries foolishly outsourced vital manufacturing to China
✔️ Trump refused to listen to the many people who warned him this was serious
✔️ CDC inexcusably delayed testing as they bickered over it. They should have put out multiple tests instead of insisting on one standard. Vital time was lost
✔️ Trump administration seems to have learned nothing from govt epidemic drills
Read 5 tweets
19 Mar
All the focus on "China virus" from Trump is actually helping him distract from his undeniable failure to respond to it appropriately. It's literally what he wants his voters to focus on.
The core animating principle of American conservatism is that educated, secular elites are mean to religious people. This is exactly the debate that Trump wants to have.
Political science research shows that the number one indicator in whether someone voted for Trump is whether they believed "America is a Christian nation." politicalresearch.org/2018/04/06/chr…
Read 18 tweets
13 Mar
NEW: Paula White, a top official in the White House Office of Public Liaison, is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fraudulent April conference promising "supernatural protection from the #coronavirus now" #Covid_19 rightwingwatch.org/post/trump-and…
The conference organizer claims that Christians aren't true to their faith unless they believe they can have magical protection from #Covid_19

They are endangering the lives of the elderly people who listen to their messages, beyond trying to make money fraudulently.
David Herzog, the minister who is planning the event, has claimed all sorts of magical powers, including that he has helped people increase their height, cure baldness, and even made their tattoos disappear
Read 12 tweets
11 Mar
The number of traditionalist Christians, defined by evangelical polling outfit Barna as those who attend monthly and say faith is important to them, has declined by almost half since 2000
It took at 10-point drop in 2012 and has never recovered. Things have not reversed during the Trump presidency either. Although perhaps the floor may be reached since the decline has slowed.
According to Barna Group, half of formerly practicing Christians just became non-practicing while the other half became non-Christians
Read 10 tweets
11 Nov 19
Thread: The booing of Charlie Kirk, Don Jr, and Kimberly Guilfoyle by alt-right activists was the culmination of a month-long campaign that received no press attention.
It was organized by Nick Fuentes, a partially Hispanic former attendee of the "Unite the Right" march who has been rebuilding the alt-right under a Christian nationalist banner, realizing that this approach is more effective sell for GOP voters
Here's a longer version of what happened with Don Jr: thebulwark.com/the-alt-right-…
Read 31 tweets