Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles

Our Media Problem Is Bigger Than Sean Hannity

From Fox News to Sinclair and, the reach of disinformation used to attack Trump’s enemies imperils the republic.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Sean Hannity in March 2016 S ince news broke on April 16 of the attorney-client relationship between Fox News star Sean Hannity and Michael Cohen, the lawyer known as the personal “fixer” for President Donald J. Trump, stories questioning Hannity’s journalistic ethics proliferate. In a moment of high courtroom drama, news of the Hannity-Cohen relationship was revealed during an appearance by Cohen before Judge Kimba Wood. Cohen’s court appearance resulted from an FBI raid on his office as part of an investigation by prosecutors for the Southern District of New York, who are zeroing in Cohen’s business dealings—particularly, it’s said, Cohen’s hush-money payment of $130,000 to an adult-film performer who says she had sexual relations with Trump. Hannity, who has large audiences for both his nightly cable television program and his daily radio show, is among the president’s most ardent defenders and, more importantly, an on-air attacker of anyone perceived to...

An Attack on Our Country -- By Trump and McConnell

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images) President Donald Trump greets Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the House and Senate Republican retreat in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on February 1, 2018. P resident Donald J. Trump is under the impression that he is the United States of America, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is only too happy to feed Trump’s delusion. On Monday, April 9, Trump told reporters that the FBI raid of his attorney’s office—part of the special counsel’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election—was “an attack on our country.” Trump is said to be fuming and unhinged. Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times report that White House aides are worried. “On Tuesday,” they write , “top White House aides described themselves as deeply anxious over the prospect that the president might use the treatment of his lawyer as a pretext to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel...

Sinclair Broadcasting Is More Dangerous Than You Think

(Sipa via AP Images)
(Sipa via AP Images) W hen President Donald J. Trump tweeted out his endorsement of the Sinclair Broadcast Group on Tuesday, the pundit class duly noted that Sinclair’s news and commentary has a pro-Trump bent. The president’s tweet came in response to a chilling video from the website Deadspin, which showed local news anchors at Sinclair stations across the country parroting a script decrying “fake stories” and “false news” allegedly disseminated by other networks and news outlets. The script could have been written by Trump himself, except for the grammar and spelling. As reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (h/t ThinkProgress ), the script reads in part: (A): But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. (B): More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories … stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first...

The Atlantic’s Gigantic Stumble

(Brookings Institution)
(Brookings Institution) Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic O K, I’ll admit it—I had hardly paid any mind to Kevin D. Williamson before The Atlantic elevated him to the realm of intellectual legitimacy, a move that has kicked up a lot of dust in the journalism world for hiring him away from the right-wing National Review to be part of its Next Big Thing. I’ve been distracted. My outrage has been focused on the fact that a self-described pussy-grabber occupies the Oval Office—a man who has advanced lies about black people and demonized people from Latin America, a man whose presidential campaign benefited from intervention in our elections by a foreign power that aims to weaken us. So I haven’t spent a lot of time plumbing the depths of the sewer that right-wing media has become. But a Twitter thread from the feminist author Jessica Valenti caught my attention. The thing for which Williamson is most famous is his (since deleted) tweet advocating the execution by hanging...

Trump Is Not the Problem: He's the Figurehead

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Trump speaks at Miramar Air Corps Station in San Diego on March 13, 2018. D on’t get me wrong—Donald J. Trump is a noxious gasbag, a flouter of the Constitution, and president of the United States. But he’s not the problem; he’s the symptom. Before Cambridge Analytica was plying its “psychographic” wizardry on Trump’s behalf, it did so for Ted Cruz , the U.S. senator from Texas and would-be U.S. president, and Ken Cuccinelli , the would-be governor of Virginia. Before Trump spoke of “my African American there” at a rally or tweeted out false statistics about black crime, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted “You lie!” at a sitting U.S. president as he addressed a joint session of Congress. That president, of course, was Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander-in-chief. You might recall that the source of Wilson’s ire was the prospect of free health care that he said Obama would deliver to undocumented immigrants, despite the president’s...