Trump Whines That The Media Isn’t Reporting The Lies He Tweets From Fox News

It must be terribly frustrating being Donald Trump. Day after day, having to see the “fake news” ignore the critical issues he’s trying to resolve. How many people attended his inauguration? How much he would have won the popular vote by if not for all the illegal voters? His skyrocketing approval ratings the polls would show if they weren’t rigged? How unfunny Saturday Night Live is? You know, all the things that matter most to the American people.

Fox News Donald Trump

In addition to those presidential priorities, Trump frequently consults with his most trusted advisor – his television set – to shape his nascent agenda. Firmly planted in front of the Fox News channel’s blue glow, Trump obediently regurgitates what they broadcast into his mostly vacant cranial cavity. He has been caught repeatedly tweeting things that were on Fox News minutes prior to his tweet.

The latest example of this came in tweet on Saturday where Trump boasted about his awesome stewardship of the nation’s economy:

The reason the media hasn’t reported that might have something to do with the fact that it isn’t true. PolitiFact’s analysis of the claim concluded that it is “a gross misrepresentation of the state of the debt and the role the new president had in shaping the figure.” PolitiFact sought the opinions of experts who said:

“‘Considering that Trump hasn’t enacted any fiscal legislation, it’s a bit of a stretch for him to take credit for any changes in debt levels,’ Dan Mitchell, a libertarian economist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told us.” […and…]

“‘I wonder what he thinks he did to bring this about,’ said Harvard University government professor Jeffrey Frankel. ‘This one-month number is trivial in the long-run trend. The national debt will rise this year, and in future years. It will rise at a sharply accelerated rate if Trump carries out even half of his campaign promises for specific tax cuts (and specific spending increases).'”

What’s more, Trump’s misrepresentation of President Obama’s debt management is equally gross. Early in the Obama administration the debt increased because of a stimulus package that Congress had approved before he had even been sworn in. And the nation was still recovering from the worst recession in nearly a century. Subsequent to that, Obama’s economic policies produced a historic period of growth while cutting the deficit by two-thirds.

Which brings us back to where Trump got the notion expressed in his tweet. PolitiFact covered this as well, noting that:

“The tweet mirrors an article posted on the Gateway Pundit website a few days earlier. It was repeated by conservative pundit Herman Cain on Fox News shortly before Trump’s tweet.”

In fact, Herman Cain made the exact same claim on Fox & Friends less than an hour before Trump’s tweet:

So the Gateway Pundit (aka Jim Hoft, a notoriously unreliable source) was wrong. Consequently, Herman Cain on Fox News was wrong. And not surprisingly, Donald Trump was wrong again. Hopefully his relentless dishonesty, and unsavory connections to Russia, will seep through to his followers. To be sure, there’s gonna be demand for a lot of Kool-Aide antidote, but the effort must be made if America is going to survive the Era of Trump.

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

Chickensh*t Trump Blows Off White House Correspondents Dinner: Paging Alec Baldwin

Donald Trump has been fighting a bloody “War on the Media” for months now. His recent escalations included calling the “fake news” media the “enemy of the American people.” Shortly thereafter his press secretary, Sean Spicer, banned several news organizations from a White House briefing. The animosity from Trump gets more intense by the hour.

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump

In his latest assault Gen. Trump has just announced that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29. The WHCD is an annual affair that is held to raise funds for scholarships. But apparently Trump’s anti-media obsession overrules any interest in helping a charity.

The truth is more likely that Trump is afraid of having a close encounter with the “enemy.” He has never been particularly good at laughing at himself. That’s a personality flaw that’s common among narcissists. So rather than fraternize with the media he so fervently hates, and being the butt of their jokes, he canceled.

What’s more, the presidential guest of honor is expected to perform his own comedy bit. Just imagine how hard he would fall on his orange, spray-tanned face if he was pressed into that situation. Actually, you don’t have to image it. He painfully bombed when he was asked to tell a few jokes at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner last October (video below). Guests at that event noted that, for the first time ever, the speaker was booed.

With Trump’s cancellation, this will be the first dinner in thirty years where a president was not in attendance. The last president to miss the dinner was Ronald Reagan. But he a darn good excuse. He was recovering from having been shot. Yet he still phoned in a joke. “If I could give you just one little bit of advice,” he said, “When somebody tells you to get in a car quick, do it.”

This may all be for the best. After all, polls show that the public overwhelming prefers the media to Trump. So the event could benefit by his absence. Parties who have been planning to bow out this year may change their minds and show up. Ratings for the TV broadcast could soar. And it might even help by increasing donations.

Additionally, the WHCA could send invites to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton if they want some fire power on stage. Plus they could enlist an alternative Trump to sit on the dais. Something tells me Alec Baldwin would be available. And no doubt Trump himself would be home watching and tweeting about how horrible it is. SAD!

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

Watch Trump’s embarrassing “comedy” routine here:

Trump’s New National Security Advisor Rejects His ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Hogwash

For most of the Obama administration, conservative pundits and politicians sang a common refrain to castigate his anti-terrorism efforts. They offered little of substance to alter or improve the situation, but they were convinced of one thing. Just saying “radical Islamic terrorism” would send the enemy scurrying away forever. They regarded it as a magic incantation that would result in a glorious victory. {See The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine). Never mind that most experts rejected such rhetoric as counterproductive. They knew that it would alienate the Muslims who are critical to any successful fight against terrorism.

McMaster Trump

Among the chorus of wingnuts was our now-President, Donald Trump. Throughout his campaign he employed the mindless chant. He used it this week in his speech to CPAC. “We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he ranted. True to form, he never explained how he would do that.

One of Trump’s first appointees was Gen. Michael Flynn as the National Security Advisor. Flynn lasted all of 24 days in the job. He was fired by Trump after news broke that he had inappropriate discussions with Russian agents during the campaign. Making matters worse is that reports reveal that Trump knew about Flynn’s activities but still made him the fall guy.

After a couple of respected national security experts declined Trump’s offer to replace Flynn, Trump got Gen. H.R. McMaster to accept the position. McMaster is considered to be a warrior-scholar with an independent streak. And he’s already displaying a profound measure of independence. According to the New York Times:

“President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world.”

McMaster, reportedly told his new staff that the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic,” That’s a direct repudiation of the position of Trump and senior aides such as Stephen Bannon. Not to mention virtually every Republican in Congress. The only question is whether Trump will respect the advice of a bona fide expert, or rely on partisan political hacks and propagandists. If the past is any indication, Trump is not going to be easily persuaded. Last year he tweeted:

Hopefully someone in the “fake news” will ask Trump to reconcile that statement with the views of his new National Security Advisor. McMaster’s position is one that has broad agreement in the security community. They recognize that saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism,” or otherwise associating the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists, is unwise and dangerous. We need to preserve our ability to form coalitions with Muslim nations in the Middle-East. Their cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. And broadly demeaning their faith works against that objective. But it’s more than that. Accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists is tantamount to acting as their PR department. They desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. So why would Trump and his GOP cohorts insist on granting the terrorists that victory?

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

It remains to be seen how Trump will respond to McMaster’s comments. It is also notable the McMaster doesn’t share Trump’s opinion of Russia. He is unequivocal about Russia being an unfriendly adversary. Trump, on the other hand, is eager to cozy up to Putin. Under the circumstances, McMaster’s tenure as NSA might not last much longer than Flynn’s, but for entirely different reasons.

Trump’s CPAC Speech: Narcissistic Blather And Incoherent Attacks On The Media

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for 2017 is currently in progress. And on Friday it featured its star attraction, President Donald Trump. Trump could have stayed home and just delivered a video from any of his campaign stump speeches. His speech (transcript) was entirely devoid of any new thoughts he might have had after being president for a month. Of course, that’s presuming he ever has any new thoughts.

Donald Trump CPAC

Trump began with a familiar topic: himself. He rambled aimlessly for several minutes about whether he had just received a standing ovation. And of course he rattled off false statistics about his allegedly record setting electoral achievements. Then, after a few minutes of right-wing boot-licking, he bragged about how much he is loved by the CPAC crowd. One of his boasts concerned how well he did in polling after his previous CPAC speeches. The truth, however, is that he lost most of the CPAC straw polls bigly. In 2015 he registered a pathetic eigth place finish with only 3.5 percent of the vote. Last year, with the presidential campaign in full swing, he finished a distant third with 15 percent.

Trump did manage to stuff in the usual conservative issues and wingnut applause lines. He promised to fight terrorism, repeal ObamaCare, deport Mexicans, cut taxes, and build a wall. And he would preside over the biggest military buildup ever, and spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, while eliminating the national debt. As usual, he provided no details as to how he would accomplish any of those fantastical goals.

Much of the speech was focused on his infamous hatred for the free press, or as he calls it, the “fake news.” He opened this part of his address with a manic declaration. “I want you all to know,” he ranted, “that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake. Phony. Fake.” Then he elaborated:

“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There’re no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said, ‘Give me a break.’ Because I know the people, I know who they talk to. There were no nine people. But they say ‘nine people.’ And somebody reads it and they think, ‘Oh, nine people. They have nine sources.’ They make up sources.”

Indeed, Trump railed about the media as the enemy of the American people. That’s a phrase that maligns the First Amendment, and has its roots in Mao’s China. But his mad ravings about the “nine sources” is especially puzzling. That’s because he’s referring to a story in the Washington Post about his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. The Post reported that they had nine sources affirming that Flynn had inappropriate discussions with Russian agents during the campaign. As a result of that story, Trump fired Flynn. Is he now contending that he fired his top national security aide because of a fake story with no sources? Who knows? And it doesn’t get any more comprehensible from there:

“They’re very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out. And now I’m saying, ‘Oh no, this is no good.’ But that’s the way they are.” […]

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. ‘A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being.’ Let ’em say it to my face. Let there be no more sources.”

Huh? First of all, without any sources there wouldn’t be any stories. And anonymity is necessary at times when the source is threatened professionally, financially, or physically. And, of course, Trump’s administration has its own anonymous sources that pass information to the press. Will he identify them all now? The only part of that that made any sense was the part about him being a “horrible human being.”

As for Trump’s assertion that he specified only fake news as the enemy of the people, he’s right. But his assertion that reports left that word out is nonsense. In most cases cases they quoted his tweet verbatim and showed it on screen or in print. Furthermore, his tweet accusing the media of fakery was pretty broadly stated. He explicitly cited the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN. Apparently, Trump regards only Fox News, Infowars, the National Enquirer, and Breitbart News as non-fake. And he still isn’t through:

“They say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. You know, they always bring up the First Amendment. And I love the First Amendment; nobody loves it better than me. Nobody. I mean, who use it more than I do? […] So just in finishing, I say it doesn’t represent the people. It doesn’t tell the – never will represent the people. And we’re going to do something about it because we have to go out and have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.”

Who ever said that he can’t criticize the media? Are the voices in his head shouting louder than the Fox News blowhards on his TV? And for someone who claims to appreciate the First Amendment, he has a funny way of showing it. Friday afternoon his press secretary explicitly banned several news organizations from an informal briefing. After admitting right-wing propaganda outfits like Breitbart and the One America News Network, Sean Spicer shut the door. He refused entry to CNN, the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News. This is in direct contradiction of a promise he made last December that he would “absolutely not” ban any credentialed journalists. So much for fairness and transparency in the Trump press office.

So just in finishing, WTF does Trump mean when he says that the media “doesn’t represent the people” and that he’s “going to do something about it?” What exactly does he have in mind? And does he think it’s the job of the president to make the media represent the people, as he defines it?

This CPAC speech was another in long line of embarrassingly maniacal orations that have come to epitomize the Trumpian sermonizing. They are filled with lies, exaggerations, boasting, and malice toward many. And to the extent that they can be comprehended, they are almost entirely lacking in substance. Yet somehow, his glassy-eyed followers cheer wildly as if he said something that wasn’t gibberish. That may be the saddest – and scariest – part of the Era of Trump.

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

LOLOL: Poll Shows Majority Of Voters Trust ‘Fake News’ Media More Than ‘Lyin’ Donald Trump

It’s going to take a long time for the American presidency to recover from Donald Trump. In one interminably long month he has already brought both failure and shame to the nation. And the nation has noticed. Trump is suffering the worst approval ratings of any president at this point in over half a century. Quinnipiac University’s survey shows that a majority of 55 percent of voters have a negative opinion of him. Only 38 percent view him positively. And those numbers are down from previous polls. It’s a downward spiral.

Donald Trump

However, there are other numbers in this poll that are likely to bother The Donald even more. His notoriously thin skin will crawl when he learns that he’s held in lower esteem than his worst enemy. The “fake news” media. To be fair, Trump recently tweeted that the media “is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American People!” Although his administration has characterized the media as the “opposition party.”

The Quinnipiac poll asked “Who do you trust more to tell you the truth about important issues: President Trump or the news media?” Voters chose the media by a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent. Not surprisingly, Republicans had a contrary view. They overwhelmingly chose Trump (78/13). However, both Democrats (86/7) and Independents (50/38) chose the media. Apparently Trump’s smear campaign isn’t working.

Additionally, The poll found that 61 percent of respondents disapprove of the way Trump talks about the media. And when asked “How important is it to you that the news media holds public officials accountable,” 72 percent said “very/somewhat” important. Once again there was a partisan divide. Democrats (90 percent) and Independents (75 percent) favor accountability. While only 44 percent of Republicans do. So Republicans are actually comfortable with letting Trump get away with questionable, and even criminal behavior.

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

To be sure, the media has its share of problems. It often can’t tell the difference between “balance” and providing a platform for liars. It’s more interested in ratings and revenue than its core mission of informing the public. The corporations that control most of it wield too much influence and provide too little diversity. That said, there is still something unsettling about Trump’s cultishly devoted followers. Whatever one thinks about the media, it is a safer source of information than an emotionally stunted, billionaire, misogynistic, bigot who’s lived an ivory tower life of entitlement and privilege.

Bin Laden Ops Chief Calls Trump ‘The Greatest Threat To Democracy In My Lifetime’

Last week Donald Trump outdid himself on Twitter. For someone who has a record of repulsive and ignorant outbursts, Trump achieved a new low when he tweeted that the media “is the enemy of the American People.” It was reflective of his authoritarian attitude and disrespect for American principles.

Ever since then Trump has been castigated as a wannabe dictator and a suppressor of the free press. This is nothing new for Trump. Organizations that advocate for the welfare of journalists universally condemned him. The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a warning that “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.” The National Press Club released a similar statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.” The reporter who uncovered Watergate, Carl Bernstein, said Trump is more treacherous than Nixon.”

McRaven

Now another critic has emerged with unique credentials to comment on this. William McRaven, Chancellor of the University of Texas system, delivered a speech in which the subject was addressed. It’s important to note that McRaven is also a retired Navy admiral. Among his military accomplishments is that he designed and oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. So what did this American hero have to say about Trump’s enemies list?

“The president said the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”

Wow. That’s not a liberal journalist sitting in a New York TV studio. And it’s not some flaky leftist who sips lattes and coddles refugees. That’s the guy who led the Special Ops mission to get Bin Laden. It’s fair to assume that he’s encountered numerous threats to democracy in his lifetime. The fact that he is singling this one out as the greatest is significant – and frightening.

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

McRaven’s military career is not the only source of validation for his opinions on the press. In 1977, before his service and his chancellorship, he graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism. So what we have here is a man who has proven his patriotism and put his life on the line for it. And also a man with relevant knowledge of the media, its history, and its ethical practice. Sadly, many of Trump’s glassy-eyed followers will pay no attention to McRaven’s remarks. But maybe some of the less cult driven Republicans will listen and heed his warning.

The ‘So-Called’ Trump Presidency Is Crumbling Under The Pressure – And They Know It

Since the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated, the American people have flooded the streets and town halls to express their opposition to his agenda. Unprecedented numbers of citizens turned out for the nationwide Women’s March on January 21. A week later, more protesters showed up spontaneously at airports to oppose Trump’s Muslim ban. Now town halls are being inundated by angry voters who won’t stand for Trump’s efforts to gut ObamaCare.

Mitch McConnell GOP Town Hall

These protests are having a profound effect on the Republican Party. Nervous GOP representatives in Washington, and across the nation, are running scared – literally. Many are avoiding their own constituents meetings for fear of encountering their wrath. And the ones that are going are being greeted by passionate advocates for progressive policies and values.

For those who are skeptical that these tactics are effective, set aside your worries. There is abundant evidence that they are working better than anyone anticipated. And the best proof of that comes from Republicans themselves. Take for instance the remarks by former GOP senator Jim DeMint. He is currently the president of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation. Tuesday night he was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on MSNBC (video below). His intent was to vent his displeasure with citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. But he ended up validating the efforts of the citizens he hoped to discredit:

“It’s not really like the Tea Party. I was going through this document today, Indivisible. These folks are very well financed. Very well organized. They’re being bused around to go to these different town halls to disrupt them.”

First of all, he’s partially correct about the Tea Party. It was quite different in that it was bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers. The Indivisible Movement is a grassroots campaign whose partners are social activist organizations, not multinational corporations. However, DeMint’s assertion that protesters are being “bused around” is delusional. They would have to have thousands of buses motoring across the whole country at impossible speeds. But DeMint wasn’t finished:

“So it’s gonna be difficult for congressmen to go out and defend their positions. Because these folks who are coming are not coming to contribute. They’re coming to disrupt. So it’s an organized effort to make it hard for Trump and Republican congress to be successful.”

DeMint is admitting that the GOP’s position is difficult to defend. No kidding. Their platform calls for throwing twenty million people off of their health insurance plans. It proposes tax reforms that will shift the burden from the rich to the middle-class and poor. They are pushing bigoted immigration schemes that will ban Muslims and deport Latinos. And DeMint wonders why that might be difficult to defend? But here’s the best part:

“Hopefully they [Republicans] will continue to plow through. Although I’m concerned that all of this push-back has delayed the repeal of ObamaCare, and certainly other agenda items that need to be taken up.”

That’s right. It’s working. Keep it up. It is highly unusual for a right-wing political operative to concede that his opponents are winning. This admission ought to encourage every progressive to redouble their efforts to prevent the Trump agenda from being implemented. These actions are also being felt all the way up to the White House. They’re rolling out their talking points intended to portray the protests as “fake news.” Press secretary Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) laments that “There is a bit of professional protester, manufactured base in there.” And Trump himself tweeted this:

We previously were warned about “so-called judges,” and now we have “so-called angry crowds.” Apparently our so-called President is living in a so-called reality where anything he doesn’t like is fake. SAD! It’s not surprising that he’s baffled by citizens “planning” their activities, rather than behaving erratically the way he does. Even worse, in a recent press conference Trump made it clear that he is not the president of all the people:

“We’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It’s a disaster. You can say, oh, Obamacare — I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they’re not the Republican people that our representatives are representing.”

Setting aside the odd reference to “alleys,” Trump just confessed that he’s only interested in what Republicans have to say. He continues to prove that he’s a divisive, partisan politician with no interest in having a productive dialog. The extremists in Trump’s administration are determined to steamroll their agenda of hate and elitism through a rubber-stamp congress. Unfortunately for them, the American people do not seem willing to allow it. And if we keep the pressure on, we can stop them in their tracks and replace them in 2018. Forward.

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

Tucker Carlson Of FAKE Fox News Debates Actor He Hired To Portray Anti-Trump Organizer

Monday night’s episode of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight scheduled a discussion about the “Not My Presidents” Day demonstrations being held across the country. These events were an extension of the virtually non-stop demonstrations taking place since the election. They are attended by tens of thousands of Americans protesting Donald Trump’s extremist right-wing agenda.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

There was just one problem. Carlson tried to book an organizer of the demonstrations, but all of them refused to go on his show. That’s a wise decision considering his reputation for ambushing and insulting his guests. So how did Carlson respond after being rejected by the protests’ organizers? He booked an actor to portray an organizer and proceeded to debate him. Talk about fake news. The Daily Beast reported this comical perversion of journalism:

“Fox News’ Tucker Carlson had a hard time booking Olga Lexell, the creator and co-organizer of the nationwide Not My President’s Day protests on Monday. So, after repeated refusals, Carlson’s show instead booked Shane Saunders, a Los Angeles-based actor and casting agent, who Lexell said ‘was not affiliated in any way with our rallies and was not an organizer.'” […]

“For a man who knows nothing about the protests to go on TV unprepared, misrepresent our message, take credit for our weeks of hard work, and make us look bad – and for Tucker Carlson’s team to go along with it – is just disappointing.”

That’s putting it mildly. The whole segment was a farce, beginning with the false graphic describing Saunders as the “protest organizer.” Carlson began the segment by heralding the “virtuous” celebrations of Presidents Day. However, he immediately segued to the protests, implying that they were not virtuous, and asserting that they have no point. Saunders made an attempt to brush back Carlson’s premise with a listing of the achievements made by protesting. He concluded by noting that the protests were “getting to Trump” and that they have him “frazzled.”

Carlson’s next question was a perfect example of why he’s regarded as television’s stupidest pundit. First, he scrunches his face up into an expression that says he’s both bewildered and annoyed. It’s his trademark expression that he maintains throughout most of every show like a frozen mask. Either that or his unhinged cackling. Then he asked “So you want the President to be more frazzled?” Yeah, that’s it. After listening to numerous justifications for engaging in protests, that’s what Carlson thinks was the salient point. For the record, this president is naturally frazzled and doesn’t need any help getting there. It’s one of the symptoms of his malignant narcissism. Everything that isn’t overtly adoring and worshipful frazzles him.

Carlson spent the rest of the interview trying to get Saunders to comment on Trump’s anti-LGBTQ policies. That had nothing to do with the topic of the discussion, but Carlson pounced because he thought it would make a good distraction from the issue at hand. Saunders stumbled through the inquisition and was clearly unprepared. Perhaps because he was not a real organizer of the protests nor a spokesperson for gay rights.

What Carlson aired was a reality TV version of a news program. It’s participants were not experts on the subject matter. And the script simply called for empty conflict rather than useful information. It’s typical of Carlson’s on-air persona. He’s been fired from several networks for low ratings (CNN, PBS, and MSNBC). Now he may have found his audience on Fox News. Their viewers have considerably lower standards. They require neither a factual basis nor intelligence. Congratulations Tucker. You’re home.

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

CNN’s Don Lemon Righteously Shuts Down A Trump Shill – LITERALLY!

This weekend CNN did a segment comparing the costs of Donald Trump’s presidential vacations with Barack Obama’s. The actual numbers are pretty striking. Trump has cost taxpayers about as much in one month as Obama did in an entire year. Which is ironic considering how frequently, and without justification, Trump complained about Obama taking vacations.

Don Lemon

The segment, though, went off the rails when right-wing mouthpiece Paris Dennard chimed in with what seems like a scripted whine. Ignoring the fact that the numbers were all verified and undisputed, Dennard said, “I think this is fake news. This is not a news story.”

Anchor Don Lemon was plainly annoyed by Dennard’s brain-dead mutterings. He asked Dennard if he could define fake news is. He couldn’t. So Lemon proceeded to help him with the definition:

“Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong […] This story that we’re doing right now is not to intentionally deceive anyone. We are simply talking about the cost to keep a president safe.”

After schooling Dennard on the finer points of journalism, Lemon sought to make it perfectly clear that he wasn’t about to sit still for Dennard’s wingnut rhetoric:

“Please stop it with that stupid talking point, that it is a fake news story. If you don’t want to participate in the news stories on this network, then don’t come on and participate. But don’t call them fake because you don’t agree with them. Go on.”

With that, Dennard persisted with his fake news assertions despite the utter absurdity of it and the admonition from the host. Whereupon Lemon, clearly exasperated, chose to end the program. He thanked his guests, wished everyone a great weekend, and said goodnight.

Now that’s how you handle the robo-pundits that are sanctioned by political operations. These people are so rehearsed that they stumble all over themselves if asked to actually provide a coherent analysis. When faced with a demand to drop his script, Dennard just repeated the parts he had memorized. It didn’t matter that it no longer made any sense. Lemon did exactly the right thing. He refused to allow a glassy-eyed Trump sycophant to spew The Donald’s branding. It was beautiful.

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

Surprising Fox News Poll On Whether To Investigate Trump’s Contacts With Russia

Donald Trump has been desperately deploying weapons of mass distraction aimed at diverting attention from his mounting failures. His goal is to keep the public and the press occupied with fictional stories of terrorism in Sweden and allegations of fake news. Meanwhile, his national security team is falling apart, his immigration initiative was ruled unconstitutional, and controversy surrounds his cabinet appointees.

The most troubling scandal enveloping Trump’s nascent administration concerns his curious connections to Russia and Vladimir Putin. New incriminating evidence of collusion continues to seep out every day. His disgraced former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was discovered to have held talks with Russian agents during the campaign. That led to his dismissal by the President. But it still isn’t known what Trump and his White House staff knew during and after those talks.

Trump’s response to these inquiries is that it’s all “fake news” meant to harm his presidency. He even went so far as to accuse the media of being the “enemy of the American people.” But the American people may have a different opinion.

Donald Trump

A new poll was just posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, on this subject. It asks “Do you think there should be a deeper investigation into Trump administration contacts with Russian officials?” The response as of this writing might not be what the editors at Fox were expecting. An overwhelming majority (74%) say that “Yes,” there should be such an investigation. In fact, it’s 3-to-1 in favor of a deeper probe. See the current results of the poll here, and cast your own vote.

While this is not a scientific poll, it’s an online survey of the most right-wing, true-believers in the Fox News universe. Even if some lefty trolls sneaked in to tilt the results, it’s unlikely that they could or would have done so in such huge numbers. The total number of respondents at this time is over 60,000. That’s a significant chunk of opinions, and we have to assume that most of them are Fox’s audience.

What this tells us is that there is substantial skepticism about Trump’s dealings with Russia. Even conservatives are anxious about his relationship with a hostile foreign power. They want to know if their president is a traitor. Trump has been unusually tight-lipped about these matters. He still refuses to release his tax returns, which could show a financial connection. And what he has said often contradicts prior statements. He literally has said that he has spoken and worked with Putin. But he also insisted that he has nothing to do with him or Russia.

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These contradictions, and efforts to suppress information, are probably why so many Fox News patrons want to know more. They can’t trust him any more than the Democrats can. And while Trump will try to dance around these issues, he can’t keep dancing indefinitely. Like Richard Nixon, the truth will come out in its own time, and his dodgy behavior will only affirm his guilt. If he were smart he would heed the results of this poll among his most loyal supporters. Of course, if he were smart we wouldn’t be discussing this at all. Sad.