Trump Is ‘Incredibly Grateful’ For Adviser Who Said Hillary Should Be ‘Shot For Treason’ (AUDIO)

Thursday Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing address that castigated Donald Trump for his affiliations with right-wing extremists. She fully documented her allegations and often used his own words for confirmation. Subsequently, Trump and his allies struck back with baseless accusations that Clinton was a bigot. He insisted that he was being unfairly maligned and that there was nothing untoward about his political views or relationships. But less than twenty-four hours later, Trump is already proving his extremist bona fides.

Baldasaro

The latest instance began a few weeks ago when a Trump adviser went ballistic (so to speak) on Hillary Clinton during Jeff Kuhner’s talk radio show. New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who co-chairs the Trump campaign’s national veterans coalition, began ranting about Benghazi. Not surprisingly, he blamed Clinton for the whole thing:

“She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there. I wish they’d made the documents public on why Anderson was – the Ambassador Anderson – because in my mind I want to think were they moving guns? Were they doing something there? How did they know he was even there?”

First of all, the ambassador to Libya was Chris Stevens, something a veterans adviser ought to know. Secondly, accusing a murdered diplomat of unlawfully running guns, without any evidence, is beyond reprehensible. But Baldasaro wasn’t finished:

“This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

That grotesque comment earned Baldasaro a visit from the U.S. Secret Service. You’ll notice that he never said that she should be tried or convicted. It’s the sort of hateful discharge that has become all too common among Trump’s associates. And for that matter, Trump himself. Recall his conjecture that only the “second amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices.

Flash forward to the present. Trump gave an interview to Paul Steinhauser of New Hampshire’s NH1 News, and the subject came up again. It led to the following exchange (Video: Segment begins at 1:54):

Steinhauser: One of your good friends and one of your biggest supporters here in New Hampshire, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, he’s here today. He said some controversial things over the last month or two about Hillary Clinton, suggesting she should be put in front of a firing squad for treason. What do you think about his comments? Do you condone them?

Trump: Well, I didn’t know that but I will tell you he’s a very fine person. He is a person that loves the military and loves the veterans. He is a man that, as far as veterans and veterans affairs goes, I don’t think anybody knows more than Al. He loves the veterans and what I really know about him is that nobody wants to take care of the veterans of this country, who have been treated horribly, more than Al. So that’s what I do know.

Steinhauser: But you don’t condone any comments?

Trump: I don’t know what he said. You’d have to show me what he said.

Trump’s awkward response was an obvious attempt to dodge the question. He seemed to think that if he said “veterans” enough (five times) the reporter would become hypnotized and unable proceed with the interview. That plan failed, and when asked again Trump feigned ignorance. He claimed that he needed to know what Baldasaro said, even though Steinhauser had just told him. The only principled response to such a question is “I do not condone any calls for violence of any kind.” It isn’t really that hard if you have principles.

What makes this even worse is that Trump lied about not knowing what Baldasaro said. When the comment was originally made in July, Trump was asked to respond. His campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, told NH1 News that “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.” So apparently Trump did know about Baldasaro’s repugnant comments and instructed Hicks to renounce them. Unless his spokesperson is putting words in his mouth without consulting him. Neither of those options represent the qualities necessary for national leadership. And why is he refusing to renounce the same comments now? Is he afraid of offending his friends in the alt-right?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s supporters have a history of expressing their views about Clinton with overtly violent overtones. For example, the Riverside County GOP tweeted a photo of an executioner with the caption “Ready for Hillary.” Ted Nugent shared a video on Facebook of Clinton being shot by Bernie Sanders. The death threats aimed at Clinton frequently come from notable Republicans, rather than from anonymous Internet trolls. And Trump’s response to these incidents is clearly encouraging this abhorrent behavior.

Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump’s Racist Alt-Right Alliance In Withering Exposé (VIDEO)

This election cycle has produced some of the most outlandish and offensive affiliations ever recorded in American politics. Donald Trump’s shameless exploitation of ultra-right ideologies is marking new territory for fringe players. The Republican nominee’s unsavory ties to Russian oligarchs and Mafia Dons is unprecedented. But Hillary Clinton’s address yesterday was a rare condemnation of a candidate’s overt bigotry and a damning summation of Trump’s bond with America’s white supremacist movement.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton spoke about how Trump’s campaign has mainstreamed the “alt-right” hate movement. She began by noting that the divisive rhetoric spewed by Trump “is like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.” What follows are highlights from the speech (full video below).

“From the start Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great are profoundly dangerous.”

“A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of the supermarket tabloids and the dark, far reaches of the Internet should never run our government or command our military.”

Clinton then pointed out that: Trump was sued by the Justice Department – twice – for refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants; that he is the nation’s foremost birther; that he said a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican heritage; that he failed to disavow former Klan leader David Duke; and that by retweeting white supremacists “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to eleven million people.”

Clinton also recited some of Trump’s blatant lies, such as his claim to have seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center. A celebration that never actually happened. He also accused Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination. She also mocked his medical prognosis saying that “His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. And all I can say is ‘Donald, dream on.'” She then outlined some of Trump’s nefarious sources and supporters.

“It’s also what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones [of InfoWars], who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombings were inside jobs. He even said – and this really is so disgusting – the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what happens in somebody’s mind, or how dark their heart must be, to say things like that. But Trump doesn’t challenge these lies. He actually went on Jones’ show and said ‘Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.'”

“He may have some new people putting words in his mouth, but we know where he stands. He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country. He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States you’re an American citizen. He says that children born to undocumented parents in America are ‘anchor babies’ and should be deported. He’d ban Muslims from around the world from entering our country just because of their religion.”

“Look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign. Trump likes to say that he only hires the best people. But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode from The Apprentice. And the latest shake was designed to ‘Let Trump be Trump.’ So to do that he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called breitbart.com as the campaign CEO. Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they published, and I’m not making this up: Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy; Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?; Gabby Giffords, the gun control movement’s human shield; Hoist it high and proud, the Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage. […] Just imagine, Donald Trump reading that and thinking ‘This is what I need more of in my campaign.'”

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism, as we have known it. These are racist ideas, race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman. All key tenets making up the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”

“The grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin. […] Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies. He talks casually about abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe.”

“All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. There has always been a paranoid fringe in American politics, a lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”

This was a powerful denunciation of Trump’s affinity for the far-right freakshow that makes up America’s deviant demographic. It was a profoundly candid rebuke that is not often seen in political debates that frequently attempt to temper strong opinions. But it was effective and necessary and it has put Republicans on edge. They have yet to counter a single factual point made in the speech. And Donald Trump, usually a bombastic defender of his vile bigotry, could only muster a tweet criticizing Clinton’s speech for being too short. Like he could withstand more of this.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Stephen Colbert Gets Anderson Cooper Tied Up In Knots Defending CNN’s Trump Coverage

Last night CNN anchor Anderson Cooper appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He may not have been expecting the good-natured grilling he was in for. What took place was another example of a comedy show producing better journalism than the “serious” media.

Stephen Colbert

Early in the interview Colbert bit into the meaty subject of CNN’s disgraceful relationship with Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. A few days after leaving the Trump team, Corey Lewandowski signed on with CNN. In the following exchange Cooper sheepishly admits that CNN is employing a commentator who is also a campaign operative.

Colbert: So, he works for you guys. Does he still get any money from the Trump people at the same time?

Cooper: I believe I read he gets a severance, continuing severance from the Trump campaign.

Colbert: So ya’ll are paying him, and Trump is paying him, but he’s on your show doing analysis for a man he still gets cash from?

Cooper: Pretty much. Yeah, I guess that’s one way to look at it. I mean, yes.

That’s pretty much the only way of looking at it. Even worse, Lewandowski has a non-disparagement contract with Trump. So CNN hired a commentator who is contractually prohibited from saying anything negative. Cooper’s only response to this was that “We have people from all the campaigns.” Which is not actually true. While they will invite campaign staff to appear on the network, there are none who are employees while still on the payroll of the candidate. Other than Lewandowski, that is.

As the interview continued, Colbert asked whether Trump is still doing interviews with CNN. Cooper confirmed that he is not, noting that he’s only been doing interviews with Fox News. He elaborated saying that “He does a lot of interviews with Hannity.” “Who evidently advises his campaign at the same time,” Colbert replied. This is all accurate, but for some reason Cooper only talks about it on The Late Show. CNN’s viewers would benefit from this information.

The best moment came when the discussion got to Trump’s wavering positions on immigration. Colbert observed that Trump has been less than forthcoming about his stance, which has been shifting wildly in the past couple of days. Then Colbert offered this homey perspective from Trump’s point of view:

“There’s a little bit of “Elect me, see what happens. I’m a present. Christmas morning is Election Day. Open me up. Maybe I’m full of toys. Maybe I’m full of turds.”

Anyone who has been paying attention already knows what’s in that package. And it isn’t a new X-Box. Colbert managed to illustrate the deceitfulness of Trump’s vacillating rhetoric in a short and humorous comment that says more than most news programs say in an hour. And Cooper was reduced to grinning timidly when faced with the truth about his network. It’s just sad that news organizations are so bad at this sort of reporting that we have to rely on comedy shows.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

OMG: The Internet Is Making People Less Human, Says Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst (VIDEO)

Self proclaimed “Culture Warrior” Bill O’Reilly is very concerned about the harm being done by the Internet. He devoted a segment of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News to the question: Is the internet creating a culture of hate in the US? Well, as a veteran hate monger, he should know.

Bill O'Reilly

The segment began with O’Reilly complaining about what he called an “online addiction” suffered by eighty percent of Americans. Don’t bother looking for his support for that statistic because it apparently came from the same dark place as the rest of his dubious data. And you don’t want to go there, trust me. After setting up this premise, O’Reilly turned to his guest, “Dr.” Keith Ablow, and asked “Is hatred rising because of social media?” Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, responded:

“Absolutely. Bill … The Internet invites people into it anonymously. It does so via an anonymous technological filter, and therefore it short-circuits empathy. So it favors people who lack empathy, number one, and it threatens to turn just regular folks into less empathetic people as well. So it’s doing that in a two-fold way.”

Why just the other day I received an invitation from the Internet’s anonymous technological filter to short-circuit my empathy. I was too busy translating some pseudo-psychological drivel and had to decline. But no doubt some misanthropes accepted the invitation to relinquish what was left of their ability to care for others. Ablow continued:

“It’s not just through bullying. Because, after all, ISIS and the like use the Internet to recruit. Why? Why is it seemingly so easy? Because people are depersonalized and dehumanized by the Internet. “

Any opportunity to inject ISIS into a discussion on Fox News is mandatory according to the network’s employee contracts. Even if it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What Ablow leaves out of his analysis is that terrorists are not the only ones using the Internet for recruiting. It is also being used McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Army. All good examples of organizations seeking fresh, dehumanized candidates to join their zombie operations.

Another guest on the program was Dr. Paul Booth of DePaul University. He made the rational observation that hatred has always existed in society and the Internet didn’t create it. But O’Reilly would have none of that common sense crap. He quickly deflected to whining that “vicious people” online were the problem because “there’s no regulation. They can’t stop it.” He didn’t reveal who should be responsible for stopping it or by what means. But Ablow heartily agreed:

“They can’t stop it. And respectfully, what Dr. Booth misses is that there’s plenty of data suggesting that people who use social media more suffer psychological problems more. And one of them is a decrease in empathy and a lack of connectedness. Remember, the Internet cut its teeth on adult entertainment. The lack of humanity has been built in from the beginning. This coaxes people to be less human.”

Ablow is getting awfully worked up about empathy for a guy who literally argued that “Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Exactly What America Needs.” A real doctor would know that among the symptoms of narcissism is a lack of empathy. Why he brings porn into the mix is another of his curious theories. Or, perhaps, obsessions?

More to the point, Ablow’s contention that a “lack of humanity” was built into the Internet from the beginning is just plain delusional. Its actual beginnings (i.e. teeth cutting) were with defense contractors and academics. It then expanded to communications, gaming, commerce, and, yes, porn. Coaxing people to be less human was never on the agenda. Then Ablow drops this psychobabble:

“There isn’t a person alive who’s more human because they used the Internet or social media more. It’s psychologically impossible for that to be the case.”

Huh? What makes a person more human? Is there a person alive who’s more human because they used television or chiropractors or Prozac? If you’re only 81 percent human now, what’s the other 19 percent? Yorkshire Terrier? Ablow is making no sense at all. He is literally blabbering gibberish. Which was the perfect segue into O’Reilly’s summation:

“My main point is this. That there’s so much garbage on it. And that garbage finds its way out into the legitimate media. […] And now we’re having mainstream media quote this stuff. It’s all “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media.” I mean it’s like nobody’s safe. Who’s safe?”

Bill O’Reilly is condemning the whole reason for Fox News’ existence: Putting out garbage that finds its way out into the legitimate media. What’s more, he just threw Donald Trump under the bus for using the “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media” defense. After being called out on Meet the Press for posting a hoax video on twitter, Trump admitted that “All I know is what’s on the Internet.” And taking it to the next level is Trump fluffer Rudy Giuliani, who advised Fox News viewers to use the Internet to look up videos about Hillary Clinton’s precarious health. Because that’s where all the best medical diagnoses by whackoids like Alex Jones and Drudge are published.

Since you’re probably reading this on the Internet, be careful to shield yourself from the empathy-draining rays emanating from the screen. You are likely becoming less human even as you read this sentence. That’s if you haven’t already soured on humanity after listening to O’Reilly and Ablow. But if you hope to survive, the only known protection from the Internet’s evil influence is heavy duty tin foil and, yes, porn. Good luck.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Now Fox News Is Citing Sleazy InfoWars As Source To Smear Hillary Clinton

After years of pretending to be fair and balanced while shilling for Republicans, Fox News has completed a frightening metamorphosis. This morning they took a giant leap into the black hole of crackpot conspiracy theory. It’s a development that illustrates the lengths they will go to promote their home-brewed presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Fox News/InfoWars

On Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Childers introduced a segment alleging that Google is “trying to sway the presidential election.” Their evil plot consists of manipulating search results to suppress evidence of the trail of dead bodies left by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network took the handoff to report that:

“Google is being accused of hiding negative stories about Hillary and her campaign by changing its algorithm to bury stories like the ‘Clinton body count’ story. That’s according to website InfoWars.”

Seriously? So Fox News is now associating itself with the utterly delusional ravings of Alex Jones and his InfoWars conspiracy site? This is the same InfoWars that claimed that the massacre of twenty children in Newtown, CT, was a government plot to confiscate the guns of American citizens. It’s the same InfoWars that has been the leading light of the 9/11 Truther movement. Not to mention the wingnut’s goto source for Birther BS. And, by the way, it’s also the same InfoWars that has endorsed Donald Trump for president and given him a platform on their webcast.

It is also interesting to note that Fox believes there is a “Clinton body count” story to be buried. And why not? They have been reporting that Obama is a secret gay Muslim from Kenya who founded ISIS for years. So what is Fox News and InfoWars so worked up about today?

“If a Google user types in ‘Clinton body,’ they get car repair shop results instead of a story that talks about a list of people tied to the Clintons who have died under mysterious circumstances over the last three decades.”

Oh my heavens. Bring me the smellin’ salts, Margaret. Apparently Google is participating in the cabal to suppress the Clintons’ thirty year murder spree. Fox and InfoWars believe that Google’s biased search results need to be corrected. Instead of intelligently curated data, they should highlight slanderous fables from the diseased minds of right-wing hate mongers.

It’s impossible to ignore the connection to Donald Trump’s campaign. He has been a frequent guest on InfoWars. Plus, his new campaign chair (Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News) is cut from the same soiled cloth as Alex Jones. There is an unmistakable trend toward the bonehead breed of pseudo-journalism that is sprouting up around Trump and his media advocates. His stump speeches are now almost entirely read from TelePrompters pre-loaded with talk radio style bombast. These include charges that Clinton is a felon, a traitor, and is about to drop dead.

These sort of screwball ideas are not surprising from InfoWars. They are, in fact, their reason for being. But for Fox News to reach down into that cesspool of idiocy is a new low, even for Fox. What is the limit of their debasement of journalism if it isn’t aligning with InfoWars? Fox has allowed such nonsense to bubble up into their reporting in the past. But this may be the first time they have explicitly attributed their story to InfoWars. That might be more honest, but it is a bad sign nonetheless. It means they are comfortable mainstreaming the likes of Alex Jones.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Can Fox News, ‘A Playboy Mansion-Like Cult’, Cover Hillary’s Historic Run Fairly?

The wires are burning up this morning as another lawsuit is filed against serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes. You recall that Ailes was ousted as Fox News CEO after Gretchen Carlson, and a couple dozen other women, leveled charges against him.

Fox News/Playboy

The new suit was filed by Andrea Tantaros, the absent co-host of Fox’s Outnumbered. She alleges that Ailes engaged in repeated instances of sexual harassment, and that her complaints were ignored or belittled. Buzzfeed’s report on this contained a colorfully worded statement from Tantaros’ attorney:

“In the lawsuit, Tantaros’s attorney Judd Burstein describes Fox News as a ‘a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny’ and describes Ailes as a ‘sexual predator’ who ‘did not act alone.’ Tantaros alleges Ailes retaliated against her for rebuffing his advances by removing her from The Five and ordering the Fox News media relations department to turn against her.”

There have been many observations that Fox News has all the markings of a cult, including one by this author ( see: Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance). But a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” is even more troubling than your standard, garden variety cult.

In addition to Ailes, Tantaros identified several other Fox big wigs who “made unwanted sexual comments or advances” toward her. They include Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, as well as senior national correspondent John Roberts. Former Sen. Scott Brown and former Superman Dean Cain, both Fox contributors, were also named, but not cited as defendants.

Efforts to stop the inappropriate behavior were met with indifference by Fox News management. Particularly executive VP Bill Shine. According to the lawsuit Shine dismissed Tantaros, warning that Ailes was a powerful man and that she needed to “let this one go.” Shine was later promoted to co-president of Fox News after Ailes was terminated.

The blatant discrimination against women by Fox in their workplace is reflected in their election coverage. Even Megyn Kelly has had to admonish her colleagues on the air when they demonstrated insensitivity to women’s issues. That sort of prejudice taints the network in a year when the leading candidate for president happens to be a woman.

Already there have been distinctly misogynistic reports from Fox during the campaign. No candidate other than Clinton has been chastised for fashion faux pas, tone of voice, or physical stamina. And her critics on Fox have also railed against the alleged use of the fabled “Woman’s Card” in her policy positions. A male candidate would not have been similarly attacked for supporting Planned Parenthood or child care.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Descriptions of Fox News as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” make it difficult not to notice how it impacts coverage of Hillary Clinton. After all, she is the first female nominee of a major party to be president of the United States. There is no question that any Democratic candidate would be on the receiving end of Fox’s vitriolic political biases. However, Clinton’s gender is not an insignificant factor and is clearly playing a role in Fox’s coverage. Every viewer needs to keep in mind the heinous activities that go on behind the scenes at Fox News. Because it cannot be separated from the insulting remarks and story angles that actually make it to the air.

The Trump For President Hour: Brought To You By Sean Hannity And Fox News

The Republican shills at Fox News are becoming increasingly unhinged as their anointed candidate falls farther behind in the polls. Donald Trump’s new “presidential” persona isn’t helping him attract voters. In fact, his appeal to African-Americans actually offended many with his stereotyping of them as poor, unemployed, and uneducated. Not to mention his backhanded slam that they are gullible waifs being duped by the evil Democrats.

Trump Hannity

So what is a blatantly biased GOP PR machine to do when their electoral messiah falls off the cross? Nail him back up, of course. And that’s what Fox is doing with yet another primetime special produced and hosted by their Senior Trump Fluffer, Sean Hannity. Last week Hannity held a Trump infomercial in Milwaukee that was billed as a town hall. Following that The Donald’s ship hit another iceberg as his campaign staff fell apart. The leadership void was filled by the chairman of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, a favorite of the American white nationalist movement.

All of that bad news took some of the punch out Hannity’s promo. Consequently, he’s scheduled another town hall for tomorrow night in Austin, TX, to make up for it. Apparently this is a new weekly series offered by Fox News featuring the wingnut duo “Donny and Seany” (Marie is busy selling diet shakes). On the nights when Trump is not a guest, he will still be the main attraction. Hannity already spends every episode reciting love poems to Donny and attacking his nemesis, Hillary Clinton. And he’s getting lots of help from Fox News on that score.

UPDATE: This is even worse than I thought. The town hall in Austin will a two night affair (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Hannity’s involvement with Trump’s campaign is growing more complex. He’s always been the top provider of airtime to Trump, and now reports say he is also serving as an adviser. Media analyst Jim Rutenberg writes in the New York Times that:

“Mr. Hannity uses his show on the nation’s most-watched cable news network to blare Mr. Trump’s message relentlessly — giving Mr. Trump the kind of promotional television exposure even a billionaire can’t afford for long.

“But Mr. Hannity is not only Mr. Trump’s biggest media booster; he also veers into the role of adviser. Several people I’ve spoken with over the last couple of weeks said Mr. Hannity had for months peppered Mr. Trump, his family members and advisers with suggestions on strategy and messaging.”

Sean Hannity has already announced on the air his endorsement for Trump and intention to vote for him. Now it appears that he is also working for the campaign as a political operative (along with his ex-boss Roger Ailes). And Fox News permits this flagrantly biased behavior. There is no precedent for a news network turning over so much of its schedule to one candidate. It is wholly inappropriate and a breach of journalistic ethics. As noted previously, if the Federal Elections Committee had any integrity they would cite Fox for violating campaign finance laws. They should be forced to declare this an in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Many people are speculating that Trump’s presidential ambitions have been a scam from the start. Media watchers from Vanity Fair to the New Yorker say that his real goal is to launch his own cable network. That may be true, and he has been assembling a team (Ailes, Bannon, Hannity) that could serve as a starting roster. However, there is a far greater likelihood of failure than success for such a venture, as I detailed here two months ago. Trump would just be adding to the list of his business debacles should he attempt this. Therefore, he has my blessing.

Rudy Giuliani Goes INSANE On Fox News Over Hillary Clinton’s Mental Health

As Donald Trump’s campaign continues to implode, his surrogates are stepping up the effort to make him look less like a narcissistic imbecile. They have their work cut out for them. Even though he has embraced the TelePrompter that he once said should disqualify any candidate, he is still embarrassing himself in a very public manner. Consequently, the clean up crew has to get ever more creative.

Rudy Giuliani

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Rudy Giuliani made the curious assertion that Hillary Clinton wasn’t campaigning (video below). So host Shannon Bream asked him a darn good question: “Then why is she doing so well in the polls?” He delivered a nearly incoherent response mainly blaming the so-called “liberal” media that “constantly demonizes Donald Trump.” Never mind the recent Harvard study that proved “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” But Giuliani went off the rails when he ventured into conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health:

“[The media] Fails to point out several signs of illness by her. All you got to do is go online … Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness’ and take a look at the videos for yourself.”

Is he friggin’ serious? Giuliani’s authoritative approach to clinical diagnoses is to consult – Google? First of all, none of the “doctors” practicing on the Internet have examined, or even met, Clinton. Secondly, the medical opinions you’re likely to encounter online come from such experts as Alex Jones of Infowars, the Drudge Report, Glenn Beck, and of course, Fox News. What brain disease would cause Giuliani to think that Googling “Clinton’s illness” would validate his ludicrous claims?

As for Fox News, last week Sean Hannity slandered Clinton with a week-long extravaganza of factless blather and made up health crises. Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends called her prescription glasses “a sign of brain damage.” Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson baselessly alleged that Clinton has dysphasia. Not to be left out, Trump has lately been saying that Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.” It’s clear that Trump’s “brain” trust has opted to surrender the policy debate and attack Clinton’s health instead.

For the record, Clinton’s actual doctor released a statement saying that “Secretary Clinton is in excellent health and fit to serve as president of the United States.” Now that’s pretty good, but it doesn’t compare with the note from Trump’s doctor declaring that he will be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” How he knows that without having examined every other president was not explained. However, it sounds very much like something Trump himself would say. Could he be pretending to be his own doctor like he pretended to be his own publicist?

Giuliani’s confidence in the Internet’s infallibility is reminiscent of Trump’s similar reverence for online truthiness. A couple of months ago Trump appeared on Meet the Press where anchor Chuck Todd pressed him to acknowledge that a video that he posted on Twitter was a hoax. Trump squirmed uncomfortably while seeking a plausible denial, finally settling for this lame disavowal: “All I know is what’s on the Internet.”

From a Commander-in-Chief perspective, that an awfully low standard for knowledge, but it seems to be a recurring pattern with Trump and his cohorts. In the absence of facts to support their increasingly deranged allegations, they settle for fantastical fables they find online. It’s a de facto admission that they simply don’t care about truth anymore. Not that they ever did.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Ex-Spokesman For Trump’s New Campaign Chair Endorses Hillary Clinton

There are very few opportunities to watch a presidential campaign implode in full view of the public. However, that’s what is happening right now to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s crusade of vitriol and petulance. In the past few days his campaign morphed into a white nationalist movement lead by a radical ultra-rightist.

Donald Trump

Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon has taken the reins of the campaign (for now) as Trump’s polls sink to historic lows. Bannon’s contribution is expected to be an embrace of Trump’s worst traits and most extreme positions. Which is good news for Hillary Clinton because no one benefits more from the “let-Trump-be-Trump” strategy than Democrats.

Confirming the impending meltdown of TeamTrump, the former spokesman for Brietbart News, Kurt Bardella, has been making the media rounds to supply some insight into Trump’s suicide squad. He appeared on Fox News Friday asked by host Heather Nauert if they are “now on track with their campaign?” Bardella’s response was that:

“I think at the end of the day one speech on message doesn’t make an entire campaign, and certainly doesn’t erase an entire year’s worth body of work.”

Perhaps that’s a bit too complex for a press corps that seems to think a candidate-hyped pivot represents real change. They have spent the last 48 hours swooning over Trump’s wishy-washy regrets that were written by hired hacks. Bardella went on to discuss how Trump’s “regrets” were quickly shoved out of the media spotlight by his clumsy announcement that his skeevy campaign manager Paul Manafort had resigned:

“That’s just another example of the Trump team not really having their act together. […] They stepped on their own news cycle needlessly.”

More importantly, Bardella provided his unique insights into Bannon garnered from their two year working relationship at Breitbart News. As spokesman for the website he had unparalleled exposure to its inner workings. He resigned following the infamous episode when Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, manhandled Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Bannon’s failure to support his own reporter against an abusive jerk repulsed Bardella and other Breitbrats who also bailed out. He held nothing back when the subject came up on Fox:

Nauert: What can you tell us in a fair fashion about what it was like working for [Bannon] and what we can expect from his leadership of the Trump campaign?

Bardella: Steve is someone who governs very much by fear. He’s a bit of a dictator of a character. He’s known for making latenight, profanity-laced tirade phone calls at his staff when things aren’t going the way he wants them to go.

Sounds like a perfect match for Donald Trump. The picture Bardella paints of Bannon as an authoritarian bully may jibe with Trump’s personality, but it can’t possibly help him to broaden support among voters. Trump already has the white supremacist and neo-fascist vote locked up. In fact, rational Republicans are more likely to be alienated by Bannon’s ideas and methods. Including Bardella who just wrote an op-ed for The Hill where he announced that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton:

“What eventually caused me to terminate my relationship with Breitbart was Steve’s guidance of Breitbart to become the de facto propaganda machine for Donald Trump. […] It is glaringly obvious that Donald Trump does not have the temperament or the judgment to occupy the Oval Office. This is one of those times where the best interests of the whole outweigh any partisan allegiances or any specific issue. It’s why I’ve made the personal choice to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Donald Trump is dangerous for America.”

When you’ve lost the spokesman for Breitbart News, who served in the same role for wingnut Republican Darrell Issa, it may be time for an intervention. There’s a reason that former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and other racial hate group leaders have endorsed Trump. Maybe the rest of his supporters would like to reconsider the measure of the man they are backing for president. Or more sickening, maybe they have and they’re cool with it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Regrets My A$$: Lovesick Media Swoons At Trump’s Phony Non-Apology

For several months there has been breathless anticipation that the boorish and offensive personality of Donald Trump would vanish in a puff of smoke as he revealed his true graciousness and diplomacy. And the same people who believe that are still waiting for Santa to deliver their unicorn.

Donald Trump

In a speech in Charlotte, N.C., Trump recited the TelePrompted views that were prepared for him by the new regime managing his floundering campaign. For the most part it was typical Republican dogma with one new wrinkle. Reversing months of stubborn insistence that he has nothing to regret, Trump conceded that he does, indeed, feel some pangs for unspecified occasions when “you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.” But even he expressed skepticism of this new found contrition by prefacing his regrets with “believe it or not.”

Anyone who thinks that Trump is actually sorry has not been paying attention. He has unabashedly insulted Latinos, veterans, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. His rebukes of fellow Republicans during the primary were painfully immature. You can’t behave like that for nearly a year and then just turn around and issue a wishy-washy regret that was written by hired hacks. He never bothered to actually apologize or even show respect for those he demeaned by identifying them or what he said that was wrong. It’s fair to say that the only thing he really regrets about his comments is the extent to which they have hurt him.

What’s most disappointing about this is the ease with which the media is falling for Trump’s bad playacting. They seem to think that his “pivot” is a material transformation of his personality on the scale of a spiritual rebirth. In reality it’s a desperate political ploy to avoid a humiliating landslide loss in November. Is the media really so dense that they don’t see that?

Here are some examples compiled by Media Matters of how the press has taken up Trump’s narrative without a lick of critical analysis:

On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy said of Trump’s address that it was “one of the best speeches Donald Trump has ever given.” That was seconded by correspondent John Roberts who added that “he completed his pivot to the general election campaign.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough exclaimed “Wow. You have the reset button ready? Reset.” Guest reporter Katty Kay agreed saying “Yeah. That’s the kind of Trump that will make the Clinton campaign wake up.”

Christine Romans of CNN’s New Day marveled that it was “something I think six months ago we never thought we would have seen.”

On CBS This Morning host Margaret Brennan said “it may indicate a change in approach.” Her colleague Dean Reynolds called it “almost startling.” That was after he highlighted Trump’s “promise never to lie to voters.” They may want to take a look at the Trump Bullshitopedia to see the dozens of documented lies that are already on record.

Back on Fox, Chris Stirewalt declared it “a signal moment.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York gushed that we are seeing a “Very new Trump.”

The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese seemed relieved saying that “if we’ve been waiting for a pivot, this week is the one you should mark on the calendar.”

On NBC’s Today Hallie Jackson reported that this was “something we’ve almost never heard from him,” and that Trump sounded “strikingly more humble.”

These people are either terminally naive or too gullible to be living outside of an institution. The only sane response to Trump’s disingenuous attempts to appear remorseful is to throw right back at him the innumerable abusive and slanderous remarks he has unleashed and make him answer for each one individually. Short of that he deserves no praise for pasting a band-aid over the scars he has left on so many innocent people. And he certainly should not be taken at his word that he is regretful after all the times he swore to the contrary, even saying that “I like not to regret anything.” Here is some of the evidence in a four-video YouTube playlist:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign weighs in with an awesome video on this subject: No Regrets. It’s a MUST see.