- Longtime professor at Harvard Law School
- Advocates a federal student-loan program that would forgive students one year of college expenses for each year they worked in public service after college
- Calls for greater “regulation” by the government to counter the devious tactics of “lenders who have deliberately built tricks and traps into some credit products”
- Was appointed in 2008 by Senator Harry Reid to chair a Congressional Oversight Panel to monitor the effectiveness of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program
- Supports a federal bailout of American families facing bankruptcy
- Has spoken on panels with George Soros and Van Jones
- Was appointed (in 2010) by President Obama as special assistant in charge of organizing and establishing a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012
Born in June 1949 and raised in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren earned a B.S. from the University of Houston in 1970 and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1976. She subsequently taught law at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas, the University of Houston, the University of Michigan, and Rutgers. Then, in 1992 she began a two-decade stint as a professor at Harvard Law School.
In 1984, Warren, claiming to be partially of Cherokee heritage, contributed five recipes to a cookbook titled Pow Wow Chow, which was edited by her cousin and was, according to its introduction, a compilation of “special recipes passed down through the Five Tribes families.” It was later learned, however, that Warren had plagiarized at least three of her five recipes. Two of those three originated at Le Pavilion, an exclusive French restaurant in Manhattan, and, according to Breitbart.com, “had appeared in an article written by Pierre Franey of the New York Times News Service that was published in the August 22, 1979 edition of the Virgin Islands Daily News.” Warren copied both of the recipes word-for-word. The third plagiarized recipe, “Herbed Tomatoes,” was apparently lifted from a 1959 piece in Better Homes and Gardens. For further details about Warren’s plagiarism, click here.
From 1986 to 1995, Warren—without specifying her heritage—listed herself as a minority professor in a professional law-school directory. A 1996 article in the Harvard Crimson quoted Harvard Law spokesman Michael Chmura identifying Warren as “Native American.” Two years later, the paper dubbed Warren “the first woman with a minority background to be tenured” at the law school. According to historian Victor Davis Hanson, Warren “dropped her Native American claims as soon as she at last received tenure and found her … con suddenly superfluous—to the apparent unconcern of her similarly cynical but now mum employer, Harvard.”
In addition to her professorial pursuits, Warren also has been a member of the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, which focuses on “expanding access to banking services” and “promot[ing] asset accumulation” for “underserved populations.” Moreover, she has served as vice president of the American Law Institute and as the chief adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
In 2003 Warren and her daughter, Amelia Tyagi, co-wrote a book titled The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. The authors contend that because of the high fixed costs that modern-day Americans face, two-income families today are generally less financially stable than were single-income families in the 1970s. Warren and Tyagi portray a financial system where “the game is stacked against” ordinary Americans who seek “to provide a decent life for their children.” In the book’s Introduction, Warren praises leftist organizations like the Center for American Progress, Demos, the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, and the New America Foundation for having helped raise people’s consciousness about “issues related to families’ economic stability.” She also notes, proudly, that her book has been quoted by such Democrat luminaries as Howard Dean, John Edwards, Richard Gephardt, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry.
On March 19, 2004, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, Warren spoke at a symposium entitled “Critical Race Theory: The Next Frontier,” alongside a number of academics who, according to FreeBeacon.com, “have advocated for corporate and government reparations for African-Americans, criticized the concept of U.S. citizenship, and accused the United States of operating under a system of ‘apartheid.'” Founded by the late Derrick Bell, critical race theory is an academic discipline which maintains that society is divided along racial lines into (white) oppressors and (black) victims, similar to the way Marxism frames the oppressor/victim dichotomy along class lines.
Warren subsequently published an article in connection with that symposium, in the Fall 2004 issue of Washington and Lee Law Review. Entitled “The Economics of Race: When Making it to the Middle Is Not Enough,” Warren’s piece stated:
“A growing body of work examines how black families are having much greater difficulty accumulating wealth and how tax codes or other seemingly neutral statutes systematically disadvantage black families…. Hispanic and black homeowners face sharply increased risks of filing for bankruptcy as compared to their white counterparts. These data reinforce the view that middle class Hispanic and blacks are far more vulnerable to the financial difficulties facing every family.”
In 2006 Warren and her daughter co-authored a second book, titled All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, wherein they identified as a myth the idea that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping [reselling] them quickly.” But as National Review Online (NRO)has chronicled, Warren herself had already bought and sold several properties in her native Oklahoma for substantial profit. Specifically:
- Warren and her husband purchased a home for $50,000 in 1991, subsequently filed permits for mechanical and plumbing repairs, and eventually sold the house in 1998 for $109,500, a 119% gain.
- In August 1993 Warren bought a home for $30,000, quickly obtained permits to do plumbing and electrical work, and sold it five months later for $115,000, a 383% profit.
- Also in 1993 Warren purchased a foreclosed property in Oklahoma City for $4,000. Eleven years later she transferred the home to her brother and his wife, who eventually sold it for $30,000 in 2006; neither Warren nor her brother had ever filed any permits to make improvements on the dwelling.
- In June 1993 Warren bought another foreclosed property in Oklahoma City for $61,000 and, despite filing no building permits to renovate, sold it for $95,000 in December 1994.
- In 1994 Warren purchased yet another Oklahoma City house for $72,000 and, having filed no building permits to renovate, sold it for $104,000 in 1998.
Also in All Your Worth, Warren counseled against borrowers taking out home equity lines of credit. “Whether you are borrowing to pay down your credit card debt, play the stock market, or travel to Tahiti,” she wrote, “borrowing against your home is still borrowing–period. It is not saving, it is not smart, it is not savvy. A second mortgage or a home equity line of credit is plain old Steal-from-Tomorrow debt.”
In 2007, Warren wrote a piece in the Harvard Law and Policy Review proposing the creation of a federally funded “Service Pays” program in which the government would “increase the amount students can borrow” for college loans, and would then “forgive students one year of college expenses for each year the student worked in public service after college.” This, Warren explained, would enable “typical students” to “begin adult life debt-free at twenty-six with a college diploma and four years of work experience.” Such an arrangement, she added, should also be extended to students who failed to graduate from college.
Warren envisioned Service Pays as “a reformed Peace Corps that would place young people with aid and development organizations around the world,” to assist with such tasks as “rebuilding after natural disasters”; “teaching English”; “improving water usage”; teaching math and science in “urban and rural schools with a substantial minority or lower-income student body”; running “after-school tutoring programs”; “clean[ing] up public buildings and parks”; “rebuild[ing] roads and bridges;” “improv[ing] the environment”; and “organiz[ing] communities to reduce crime and develop the local economy.” Added Warren: “Non-profit organizations that want to participate in Service Pays could apply to the program and be considered on the same basis that AmeriCorps currently uses: ‘Direct service activities must address local environmental, educational, public safety,… or other human needs.” Critics of Warren’s proposal observed that it had the potential to be used as a means of assigning young adults to work with leftwing organizations that would indoctrinate them to a particular political viewpoint.
Also in 2007, Warren began to advocate for the creation of a federal agency – modeled on the Consumer Product Safety Commission – to protect the public from “over-priced credit products, risky subprime mortgages, and misleading insurance plans.” She called for greater “regulation” by the government to counter the devious tactics of “lenders [who] have deliberately built tricks and traps into some credit products so they can ensnare families in a cycle of high-cost debt.”
In September 2008, as the U.S. faced its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Warren penned an article titled “Who Will Bail out American Families?” In that piece, Warren recommended that just as the federal government had bailed out failing U.S. banks, the AIG insurance company, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, it should likewise bail out American families facing bankruptcy. Depicting such people as innocent victims who had been tricked by unscrupulous bankers, Warren wrote: “They are casualties of a financial system that saw them not as customers, but as prey … a financial system that has been devastated by mindless deregulation and unchecked greed.”
In November 2008, Senator Harry Reid appointed Warren to chair the Congressional Oversight Panel that Congress had created to monitor the effectiveness of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), which was designed to bail out failing U.S. financial institutions; Warren’s duty was to report regularly to Congress on whether TARP funds were being used “in the best interest of the American people.”
In 2009 Warren co-wrote “The Increasing Vulnerability of Older Americans: Evidence From the Bankruptcy Court.” Asserting that “the economic news for seniors is consistently grim,” this article stated that “age is increasingly associated with financial distress and with seeking protection from creditors through the bankruptcy courts.” According to the authors, since 1991 “Americans age fifty-five or older have experienced the sharpest increase in bankruptcy filings,” and “the rate of bankruptcy filings among those ages sixty-five and older has more than doubled.”
Also in 2009, Warren co-authored an article asserting that some 62.1% of all U.S. bankruptcies were the result of medical expenses that people could not afford – supposedly a 49.6% rise over 2001 bankruptcies due to medical expenses. Emphasizing that few Americans were immune from the possibility of becoming insolvent, the authors noted that “most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations”; moreover, “three quarters had health insurance.” Megan McArdle, the business and economics editor for _The Atlanti_c, subsequently pointed out that this study was statistically flawed, and that no rise in medical-related bankruptcies had in fact occurred.
In 2009 Warren appeared in Michael Moore‘s anti-capitalist film titled Capitalism: A Love Story. In a taped interview, the filmmaker told Warren that “capitalism in and of itself, at least the capitalism we know now, is immoral, it’s not democratic, and worst of all, it doesn’t work…” Warren did not disagree, replying: “But we made up these rules, and the rules are of men, of people. We pick what the rules are. The rules have not been written for ordinary families, for the people who actually do the work. We have to rewrite those rules.” When Moore then blamed the greed of “corporate America” for allegedly having tricked people “into these adjustable rate mortgages [which] they may not be able to pay … back,” Warren said: “Its a big part of what happened, and then just layer in on top of that: ‘Can we sell them more credit cards that are loaded with tricks and traps?’”
In September 2009, Warren worked as a consultant for Travelers Insurance in the Supreme Court case Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Bailey. In that case, Travelers won permanent immunity from all personal-injury lawsuits related to its bankrupt former client, the asbestos-manufacturing Johns Manville Corporation. Records show that Travelers had been aware of the dangers of asbestos for decades, but had misled the public about those dangers. In a Supreme Court brief, Warren criticized the “enterprising plaintiffs’ lawyers” who represented asbestos victims. She received more than $200,000 in legal fees for her services.
In March 2010, Warren addressed a conference that also featured billionaire financier George Soros as a guest speaker. In her talk, Warren emphasized the need to shorten and simplify such documents as credit-card, mortgage, and car-loan agreements – so that people could no longer be “tricked and trapped into paying what [they] didn’t bargain for.”
In July 2010, Warren spoke at an East Hampton, New York event on the topic of “Restoring the Integrity of the U.S. Financial Markets.” Fellow panelists included George Soros and Van Jones. That same month, Warren spoke at a Netroots Nation conference on the topic of “Building a Progressive Economic Vision.”
Between 2007 and 2010, Warren’s idea of establishing a federal agency to protect financial-product consumers found considerable support in Congress and culminated in a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) being incorporated into a financial regulatory reform bill that was passed in summer 2010. In the summer of that year, Senator Tom Harkin circulated a petition advocating that Warren be named as director of the new CFPB. Warren was likewise endorsed for that position by Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat Senator Al Franken, the socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, SEIU president Andrew Stern, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and the activist organization MoveOn.
On September 17, 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Warren to be his special assistant in charge of organizing and establishing the CFPB; in this role, Warren would also serve as a special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Senate approval was not needed for Warren’s appointment, though it would have been required if Obama had named her to be CFPB’s director; Obama was aware that the Senate was unlikely to have confirmed Warren for that post. Following Warren’s appointment, Republican Congressmen Darrel Issa (CA) and Spencer Bachus (AL) sent a letter to the White House requesting more information about what they called the “unusual arrangement” that was “undermining congressional oversight” over presidential appointments. (Notably, CFPB went on to become a haven for highly-paid federal workers. As of January 2017, some 449 CFPB employees were earning at least $100,000 per year, and 228 were getting more than $200,000 annualy.)
On September 14, 2011, Warren announced that she would be running (in 2012) for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat which, at that time, was held by Republican Scott Brown. While campaigning that same month, Warren stated (click here for video) that the government and the public sector play a vital role in wealth creation:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own—nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces [sic] that the rest of us paid for…. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless—keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
In October 2011, Warren — while enjoying a $429,000 Harvard salary and residing in a $5 million mansion — expressed support for the anti-capitalism rallies which were staged in cities across the United States by Occupy Wall Street and other activist groups. “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” she said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I support what they do.” To view a list of additional noteworthy individuals and organizations that endorsed the movement, click here.
In April 2012, Warren became embroiled in controversy when the Boston Herald reported that during the 1990s, administrators at Harvard Law School had “prominently touted Warren’s Native American background … in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the ’90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male.” When the media subsequently asked Warren’s Senate campaign for proof of the candidate’s tribal heritage, the campaign initially denied that Warren had ever boasted about it. Warren herself suggested that even if she were unable to produce documentation of a such a heritage, her family “lore” backed up her claim. “Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born,” said Warren. “These are my family stories, I have lived in a family that has talked about Native American[s] and talked about tribes since I was a little girl.” Speaking to a reporter on a local news station in Boston, Warren cited her the “high cheekbones” of her “papaw” (grandfather) as further evidence of her Native American lineage. Said Warren soon thereafter: “I listed myself [as a minority] in the [professional law-school] directory [from 1986-1995] in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am.”
On May 1, 2012, it was reported that Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes had discovered that one of Warren’s great-great uncles had made a notation on his own marriage license indicating that his mother (Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford) was a Cherokee. If that notation (which was not part of the official license) was accurate, it would make Warren 1/32 Cherokee. But in mid-May 2012, it was learned that the document bearing the aforementioned notation was merely an application for a marriage license, not the license itself. Further, census records list O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford as “white,” and Warren’s family is not listed in the Cherokee registry.
Notwithstanding the evidence that Warren’s Cherokee heritage claims were false, Warren repeated her claim in A Fighting Chance, a new book that she released in April 2014. In response to this, the aforementioned Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes wrote in a blog post:
“She [Warren] could have used her new book to acknowledge the truth and apologize for her blatant disrespect of minorities, but instead, she’s continued to perpetuate the lie and attempted to portray herself as a victim.”
In that same post, Barnes then cited the following excerpt from Warren’s book: “What really threw me, though, were the constant attacks from the other side. I would almost persuade myself that I was starting to get the hang of full-throttle campaigning and then — bam! Out of left field, the state Republican Party, or the [Scott] Brown campaign, or some blogger would launch a rocket at me.” To that, Barnes wrote:
“Doing the research, finding the facts and sharing the truth about someone is not an attack. If people were launching rockets, it is because Warren gave them a big target. Research was done to determine if she had Cherokee ancestry. She didn’t have any. That is not an opinion. It is a sound conclusion based on a preponderance of evidence found in historical documents. No one had any control over the lies told except Elizabeth Warren. She had control over it when she opened her mouth and told the story. She also had control when she repeatedly defended her story, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If Elizabeth Warren was a victim, she was only a victim of her own arrogance and dishonesty. If she felt hurt and angry over what happened, she has no one to blame but herself. She could have, should have, just told the truth. She chose not to do that. I don’t feel sorry for her.”
In March 2018, Warren was interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd,” where she was asked whether she would consider taking an easily accessible DNA test to address critics who had questioned her purported Native American heritage. But Warren did not answer the question, instead telling a story about how her mother and father had met and married as teenagers over the bitter objections of her father’s family, which opposed the couple’s union because the young woman was part Native American. “That’s the story that my brothers and I all learned from our Mom and our Dad, from our grandparents and all of our aunts and uncles. It’s a part of me, and nobody is going to take that part of me away — not ever,” said Warren. Todd, in response, reiterated his question, to which Warren replied: “I do know. I know who I am. And never used it for anything, never got any benefit from it anywhere.”
For a timeline of events regarding Warren’s claims of Native American heritage, click here.
In October 2018, Warren shared with the Boston Globe the results of a DNA test conducted upon her by Stanford University researcher Carlos D. Bustamante. In a summary of his findings, Bustamante wrote: “The results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor … in the range of 6-10 generations ago.” This means that Warren’s ancestry is somewhere between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American – i.e., between .09 percent and 1.6 percent Native American. The average European-American, meanwhile, has 0.18 percent Native American DNA.
The Globe noted, moreover, that “because Native American leaders have asked tribal members not to participate in genetic databases,” there is no Native American DNA available for genetic testing. “To make up for the dearth of Native American DNA,” the paper reported, “Bustamante used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American. That’s because scientists believe that the groups Americans refer to as Native American came to this land via the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago and settled in what’s now America but also migrated further south.”
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. issued the following statement vis-a-vis Warren’s DNA test results:
“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
On September 5, 2012, Warren spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In a September 24, 2012 interview with Boston’s 96.9 FM radio program Jim and Margery, Warren, who had provided paid legal services for many clients during the preceding decade—including the Simpson, Thacher, and Bartlett law firm that paid her $212,000 and listed her as “of counsel” in the 2009 brief they submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of their client, Travelers Insurance—admitted that she has never been licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. According to LegalInsurrection.com:
“[T]here are at least two provisions of Massachusetts law Warren may have violated. First, on a regular and continuing basis she used her Cambridge office for the practice of law without being licensed in Massachusetts. Second, in addition to operating an office for the practice of law without being licensed in Massachusetts, Warren actually practiced law in Massachusetts without being licensed.”
In November 2012 Warren was elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate.
In March 2013 Warren suggested raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $22 per hour: “If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up … then the minimum wage was going to go up the same … if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour.” “What happened to the other $14.75?” she asked. “It sure didn’t go to the worker.”
In addition to a minimum-wage hike, Warren also favored an increase in Social Security benefits to retirees, notwithstanding the fact that with a rapidly rising number of baby boomers retiring, the Social Security program itself was headed inexorably toward fiscal collapse. As a December 2013 Wall Street Journal report explained:
“Undeterred by this undebatable solvency crisis, Sen. Warren wants to increase benefits to all seniors, including billionaires, and to pay for them by increasing taxes on working people and their employers. Her approach requires a $750 billion tax hike over the next 10 years that hits mostly Millennials and Gen Xers, plus another $750 billion tax on the businesses that employ them.
“That’s what’s fundamentally changed. Look, it’s tough out there. It really is a rigged game, and it’s set up now over and over and over … that the rich get richer and the powerful get more powerful. They’ve got all the advantages of concentrated money and concentrated power.”
The key to addressing this problem, said Warren, is to get involved in politics: “All we got on the other side, is we got our voices and we got our votes, and if we get out there and make something out of them, that’s how we make a difference.”
In an October 2014 interview with CNN, Warren was asked whether she felt that her male colleagues in the U.S. Senate sometimes treated her in a disrespectful or sexist manner because she was a woman. She answered curtly, “Yes.” When asked if she could elaborate, Warren said, “Nope. Nope. I’ve said all I’m gonna say.” The interviewer then asked whether the senator found the disparate treatment “surprising.” Warren sighed audibly and then replied: “Not really. I wish it were. But it’s hard to change these big, male-dominated institutions. What I am very happy about is that there are now enough women in the United States Senate to begin to change that place, and I think that’s just powerfully important…. You know, others have said it before me. If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu. And so it is important that we have women in the United States Senate, strong women, and women who are there to help advance an agenda that is important to women.”
In a January 2017 op-ed which she wrote for the Washington Post, Warren said “it is critical that each nominee [for newly elected President Donald Trump’s cabinet] follows basic ethics rules to ensure that they will act for the benefit of all the American people.” Emphasizing that nominees with “complex financial histories” must be “forthcoming and transparent,” she argued that financial disclosures were especially vital because they might “reveal potentially damaging information that may undermine fitness to serve.” A few days later, the Washington Free Beacon reported:
“Warren, meanwhile, continues to skirt congressional ethics laws by failing to include a $1.3 million line of credit against her Cambridge, Massachusetts, home on financial disclosure forms. The line of credit was extended to Warren and her husband Bruce Mann in 2007 through financial giant Bank of America. It was first noted by the Boston Herald after Warren failed to included the line of credit as a liability on her 2014 financial disclosure filing. It was also absent from her 2015 filing.
“An aide for Warren, who is worth millions, defended the omission, stating at the time that a home equity line of credit like the one that Warren received from Bank of America doesn’t have the same reporting requirements as a typical home mortgage, which would have to be reported.
“The STOCK Act, which was signed into law in 2012, mandated that all members of Congress disclose details of any mortgages on their personal residences in their annual filings. The legislation, however, does not mention home equity lines of credit, which banks offer as alternatives to a mortgage. The Warren aide said that the senator had yet to borrow on the line of credit, which allowed her to leave it off disclosure forms. The exact terms of Warren’s deal with Bank of America such as her interest rate remain a mystery due to the lack of disclosure.”
Warren has long claimed — falsely and deceptively — that female workers in the United States are paid considerably less than equally qualified men who do the same work, and that the American workplace is thus “rigged against women.” As the Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday, April 5, 2017: “Warren has used Equal Pay Day, which fell on April 4 this year, in years past as an opportunity to speak out on the gender pay gap. Last year she took to the Senate floor to call Equal Pay Day a ‘national day of embarrassment’ and pledged to continue her ‘fight’ until the pay gap was erased. She gave similar statements on Equal Pay Day in 2015, 2014, and 2013, her first year in the Senate.” But as the Beacon further noted in its April 5 report, Warren now “failed to acknowledge Equal Pay Day for the first time in her Senate career after it was reported on Tuesday that women working in her Senate office earned just 71 percent of what was earned by men.”
In April 2018, Warren was one of 12 U.S. senators who sought to punish the Sinclair Broadcast Group – widely perceived as a conservative media company – which (a) consisted of 193 television stations and 614 channels in 89 markets nationwide, and (b) had recently announced plans to acquire the Tribune Media Company’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, a merger that, if completed, would extend Sinclair’s reach to 72% of all American households. The twelve senators included Warren, Independent Bernie Sanders, and 10 other Democrats: Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell, Edward Markey, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, Tina Smith, Tom Udall, and Ron Wyden.
In a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, these senators expressed concern over the fact that Sinclair had recently aired an ad showing its various local anchors reading from a corporate scriptextolling the virtue of “balanced journalism”; stating that “truth is neither politically ‘left or right’”; emphasizing the importance of a “commitment” to reporting that “seek[s] the truth and strive[s] to be fair, balanced and factual”; criticizing “some members of the media” for “us[ing] their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’”; and condemning “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
Viewing the Sinclair ad as an implicit defense of President Donald Trump, who had long been under withering attack by media outlets nationwide, the senators wrote in their letter: “We are concerned that Sinclair is engaged in a systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press and the robust localism and diversity of viewpoint that is the foundation of our national broadcasting laws.” “We have strong concerns,” they added, “that Sinclair has violated the public interest obligation inherent in holding broadcast licenses. Sinclair may have violated the FCC’s longstanding policy against broadcast licensees deliberately distorting news by staging, slanting, or falsifying information.” The senators also demanded that the FCC put on hold its review of Sinclair’s potential merger with Tribune.
In his response, Pai said he “must respectfully decline” the senators’ request “in light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press.” “I understand that you disliked or disagreed with the content of particular broadcasts,” he added, “but I can hardly think of an action more chilling of free speech than the federal government investigating a broadcast station because of disagreement with its news coverage or promotion of that coverage.”
During a question-and-answer session hosted by Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond at the historically black Dillard University in New Orleans, Warren delivered what she called “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … I mean front to back.” In the course of her remarks, the senator cited such things as disproportionate arrests of blacks for petty drug possession; an overburdened public defender system; and state laws that sometimes bar convicted felons from voting in political elections for the rest of their lives.
In an August 2018 television interview on CNN, Warren was asked to comment on the recent death of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa who had been murdered by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. She replied:
“I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard not only for the family but for the people in her community, the people throughout Iowa. But one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are. Last month, I went down to the border, and I saw where children had been taken away from their mothers. I met with those mothers who had been lied to, who didn’t know where their children were, who hadn’t had a chance to talk to their children. And there was no plan for how they would be reunified with their children. I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat. And I don’t think mamas and babies are the place that we should be spending our resources. Separating a mama from a baby does not make this country safer.”
For an overview of Warren’s voting record on an array of key issues, click here.
For additional information on Elizabeth Warren, click here.