Thanksgiving Survival Guide - Media Matters Take Action

Thanksgiving Survival Guide

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Thanksgiving is upon us! A time for family, friends, loved ones, delicious meals...and (if your family is anything like ours) right-wing lies being parroted at the dinner table.

At Media Matters, we know how to deal with right-wing lies better than anyone, so we put together a Thanksgiving Survival Guide so you’re ready to respond with the truth should you feel the need.

This year, we asked you to tell us what common myths you wanted us to debunk. We incorporated your suggestions and came up with 11 myths to include in our guide. Then, we had Media Matters Research Fellow Carlos Maza explain exactly why those myths are wrong.

From fear mongering about refugees to conspiracies about climate change to smears against Planned Parenthood to myths about gun violence, we usher you through the right-wing lies that you’re likely to hear this year -- and we completely clear up any misconceptions and flat-out falsehoods around them.

Knock the stuffing out of any lies this year with our guide!

Click these links to go straight to that myth:

Myth: More Guns = Less Shootings

Myth: Muslims Haven't Condemned ISIS

Myth: Climate Change Is A Liberal Hoax

Myth: Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts

Myth: There's A War On Cops

Myth: Gay Marriage Ruins Families

Myth: Higher Minimum Wage = Unemployment

Myth: Voter Fraud Is A Big Problem

Myth: Accepting Refugees = Terrorism

Myth: Immigrants Take Our Jobs

Myth: Transgender Predators Will Sneak Into Bathrooms


Myth: More Guns = Fewer Mass Shootings

STUART VARNEY: If anybody had had a gun in that Paris concert hall..anybody could have stopped it fairly quickly. But there’s no such thing as handguns around in Paris, I don’t believe. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Okay, no. Study after study shows that isn’t actually true. An analysis by Mother Jones of 62 public mass shootings over 30 years found zero cases where an ordinary civilian stopped an attack with a gun. When they tried, it often resulted in the death or injury of that person.

Source: Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.

Myth: Muslims Haven't Condemned ISIS

STEVE EMERSON: You don’t see denunciations of radical Islam, by name, by mainstream Islamic groups. [cut]

BOB BECKEL: Stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet. [cut]

STEVE DOOCY: Come on. Let’s hear you condemn ISIS! [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: I feel like we have this talk every time there is a terrorist attack, but Muslims across the world have already condemned ISIS and their actions. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 1.4 billion Muslims around the world, condemned ISIS, saying that the organization has “nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith, and coexistence.”

SourceMuslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That

Myth: Climate Change Is A Liberal Hoax

BILL O'REILLY: It’s easier to believe in a benevolent God, the baby Jesus, than it is in some kind of theory about global warming. It’s just easier, is it not? [cut]

DAVID ASMAN: Is it time to put the global warming hysteria on ice?

STEVE FORBES: Uh, yes it is David, and it will saves us tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars and that’s why they’ve changed global warming now to climate change. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Can’t believe we’re still talking about this, but 97% of scientists agree that human-made climate change is a thing that’s happening. Not to mention experts are now saying that climate change causes global instability, which makes it easier for terrorist organizations to recruit and grow.

Sources: Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warmingIgnoring The Facts, Conservative Media Call Bernie Sanders "Crazy" For Linking Climate Change To Terrorism

Myth: Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts

NEWS ANCHOR: Videos targeting Planned Parenthood are stirring up a lot of controversy. They show officials there seemingly trying to harvest fetal tissue to make money. [cut]

DAVID DALEIDEN: Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts is about money. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Not true and has never been true. Multiple investigations, including a Congressional Republican Investigation, have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing or illegal activity. And, there’s no federal funding for abortion anyway. So, if you defunded Planned Parenthood based on deceptively edited videos, what you'd actually be doing is creating a public health crisis by denying women access to things like birth control and cancer screenings.

SourcesA Comprehensive Guide To The Deceptively-Edited Videos Used Against Planned ParenthoodGOP Probe Into Planned Parenthood Funding Comes Up Empty

Myth: There's A War On Cops

ERIC BOLLING: Black Lives Matter has blood on their hands. [cut]

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: Their agenda is: it’s okay to go ahead and kill cops. [cut]

SEAN HANNITY: War on cops. It’s open season on them. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: This is just not a thing that’s happening. The Washington Post reported that 2015 is on pace to be the year with the second lowest number of murdered cops in decades. And assaults on police officers are dropping as well.

SourcesFox Host Says Violence Against Police Officers Increasing, But Data Show The Exact OppositeOnce again: There is no ‘war on cops.’ And those who claim otherwise are playing a dangerous game

Myth: Gay Marriage Ruins Families

KEITH ABLOW: There's no way that the state of California can deny a marriage license to four spouses now, eight spouses -- or I would say, three human spouses and the canine they absolutely love. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: So I really hope this is the last Thanksgiving that we’re talking about this, but in states like Massachusetts we’ve actually already had gay marriage for over 10 years. And people aren’t marrying their dogs, no slippery slope. Divorce rates are actually lower in states that legalized gay marriage first. And every serious study on this has found that gay parents can raise kids just as well as straight parents.

Sources10 Years Later, Horror Stories About Marriage Equality In Massachusetts Haven't Come TrueDivorce Rates Lower in States with Same-Sex MarriageChildren of Same-Sex Parents Are Healthier: StudyChildren of same-sex parents fare as well as others, studies say

Myth: Higher Minimum Wage = Unemployment

STUART VARNEY: A hike in the minimum wage will send more workers packing. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: We’ve actually done a ton of studies on this and in cities and states with modest increases to the minimum wage, there was no negative impact on employment, even in industries like the fast food industry. In fact, giving workers better wages usually led to better economic growth in the long run.

Sources: The Minimum Wage: Myths & FactsWhy Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?Minimum Wage Mythbusters

Myth: Voter Fraud Is A Big Problem

ALAN WILSON: All we want to do is have a photo on that ID or have you show a photo identification card in conjunction with that ID, just to ensure that you are who you say are when voting. ... So we know for a fact that there are deceased people whose identities are being used in elections in South Carolina. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Voter fraud is not a thing that’s happening in the United States. From 2000 to 2014, there were 31 credible instance of voter fraud in a period where there were over a billion ballots cast. This isn’t a thing that’s happening.

SourceA comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast

Myth: Accepting Refugees = Terrorism

SEAN HANNITY: They have all said that it is likely that ISIS will infiltrate the refugee population. ... When they attack and people die -- when they attack like in Paris and people die, who has blood on their hands? [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: This is just straight up fearmongering. The process of screening refugees entering the United States is one of the most intense and security focused in the world. And denying access to families, including women and children fleeing from violence in Syria, undermines our credibility abroad. And it goes against some of our most basic values as a country.

SourcesThe Screening Process for Refugee Entry into the United StatesHere's What Republicans Don't Get About Syrian Refugees

Myth: Immigrants Take Our Jobs

JULIET HUDDY: But then you also have the fact that you're gonna have a lot of people who are now, again, active in the workforce, who are going to be taking jobs, potentially jobs away from people who are here legally or were born here. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Nope! Actually, immigration improves productivity without undermining employment. That’s because immigrants are usually looking for jobs that complement rather than compete with American workers, improving wages and the standard of living over time.

Sources: Ten Economic Facts About Immigration (PDF)Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?

Myth: Transgender Predators Will Sneak Into Bathrooms

GREG GUTFELD: The legislation requires schools to allow gender confused students to use bathroom and locker rooms based on their perceived gender identity. ... As a devious teen growing up, I would tell girls that I’m a girl trapped in a boy’s body just so I could sneak into the girls’ bathroom. [cut]

CARLOS MAZA: Okay, all these laws do is ban discrimination against LGBT people in areas like housing, employment and public accommodation. We’ve actually had laws like this on the books for years in cities, states and school districts across the country. You know how many times a man has pretended to be a woman to sneak into a women’s bathroom? Zero times. Ever.

Sources: Texas Experts Debunk The Transgender "Bathroom Predator" Myth Ahead Of HERO Referendum15 Experts Debunk Right-Wing Transgender Bathroom Myth17 School Districts Debunk Right-Wing Lies About Protections For Transgender Students 

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