Trump’s ISIS Policy Says Little About ISIS, But Would Ban Most Republicans From The U.S.

Last week Donald Trump sank to new lows in both presidential credibility and polling. So today he stepped up to his former enemy, the TelePrompter, to try to salvage his floundering campaign. He delivered what was pitched as a foreign policy speech that promised to enumerate the details of his plan to destroy ISIS. It didn’t.

Trump Border Wall

Trump unveiled a laundry list of the same vagaries that he has been spewing on the campaign trail for months. There was not a single substantive proposal directed at defeating ISIS. However, he did repeat his racist calls to limit immigration based on religious grounds. In fact, nearly everything he suggested was related to immigration rather than confronting terrorists on the battlefield. And when he wasn’t talking about immigration he was reiterating his preoccupation with President Obama saying the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

What stood out in Trump’s address was the ideological test he is now advocating for admission to the country. He stipulated that any aspiring immigrants must pass a test that certified their acceptance of the American values of equality. Among those are religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.

On the surface that seems like a decent pivot for The Donald to a position of tolerance and inclusion. There’s just one problem: A fair number of his supporters, and most of the Republican Party, would fail the test. If the people attending Trump’s rallies were subjected to this criteria they might risk deportation under his rules.

The official GOP platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It rejects anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender individuals. Parents of LGBT children would be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy. These views are shared by Trump and a majority of the Republican Party. Consequently, party members would be excluded from entry into the U.S.

With respect to gender equality, the GOP has opposed fair pay laws for decades. They have voted down family leave proposals. Overturning Roe v Wade has been one of their highest priorities. In the meantime they have been legislating away women’s reproductive choice bit by bit in states they control. Defunding Planned Parenthood has become an obsession.

On the question of religious freedom, Trump and his party have used the issue as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex marriage. Only Christians are permitted to demand special rights to deny other Americans their constitutional liberties. And Heaven forbid if someone were to wish you a “Happy Holiday” in December. Republicans insist that Christians be allowed to practice their religious rituals in government facilities, but lobby to prevent Muslims from even opening a mosque in many communities.

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

What Trump delivered today was a speech that was stuffed with retreads from prior speeches. And when he wasn’t regurgitating himself, he was lambasting the President and Hillary Clinton, mostly for things they didn’t do, or for things Trump made up. But the lasting impression from this address is that under a Trump Administration he, his followers, and his follow Republicans would be turned away at his border wall for failing the bigotry screening he says he would impose. Come to think of it, that would actually make America great again.

Tweet-Storming With The Whiner-In-Chief, Donald Trump

Nothing illustrates desperation more than the frantic whining of someone who knows he’s losing badly but refuses to admit it. Donald Trump is a textbook case of this. Ever since his disastrous convention, Trump’s prospects have been sinking like an elephant in a tar pit. According to Gallup, the Republican convention actually resulted in more people saying they are less likely to vote for him. That’s the first time that has ever happened since polling on that question began.

Trump Baby

As Trump’s popularity declines he is behaving more and more erratically. His deranged assertions that Obama “founded ISIS,” that the elections will be “rigged,” and shamelessly insulting a Gold Star family, paint a picture of a pathetically deluded loser. And now he is directing his impotent fire at the media:

Trump is getting increasingly unhinged (to the degree that’s possible). He has also taken to calling the media “the worst human beings in the world.” There may be some victims of terrorism who disagree with that. However, the media must be so proud for having overtaken Hillary and ISIS in the Race for the Worst in Trump’s deranged head.

Having an active imagination must bring Trump some comfort. Because that’s the only way he can believe that he would be beating Clinton by twenty percent, even with more friendly media. As for not being covered properly at his rallies, they generally point a camera at him and let him rant. That is SO unfair. Holding him accountable for the things he actually says is the ultimate dirty trick.

It’s funny that Trump is complaining that he is losing to someone who “is not a talented person or politician.” Think how badly he would be losing if Clinton WAS a talented politician. And by the way, it absolutely IS freedom of the press “when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want.” That’s the definition of freedom of the press. Even if you don’t like what they’re saying. But keep it up, Donald. Because nothing solves a cratering campaign like whining.

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

Donald Trump Loser

Watch Ben Stein Reject Trickle-Down Theory And The Raving Trump Surrogate Defending It

The 2016 presidential race has been most notable for the Republican candidate’s utter refusal to bring anything of substance to the debate. Donald Trump pointedly avoids nearly all policy details in favor of childish insults, empty sloganeering, and lately, deranged outbursts. In the past week alone he called President Obama “the founder of ISIS,” and suggested that “the Second Amendment people” were the only ones who could stop Hillary Clinton.

Ben Stein

That’s what makes it so surprising when a prominent spokesman for the right-wing agenda says something that actually makes sense. This happened Friday on the Fox Business Network during a discussion on the “Dueling Economic Visions” of Trump and Hillary Clinton. Host Charles Payne introduced the segment and turned to economist Ben Stein to give his opinion of the Trump economic plan. What happened next was completely unexpected:

Stein: Well I don’t think Mr. Trump’s plan is going to work very well. I don’t think we need that tax cut when we’re running deficits the size we are running. I think the evidence that tax cuts stimulate business in any kind of meaningful way, at least not sufficient to overcome the tax revenue loss, is extremely poor to put it mildly. I think the idea of cutting taxes on the rich in a time when there is so much concern about inequality is not a good idea. I do think his idea of greatly lessening environmental regulation is absolutely necessary and even brilliant and very brave of him.

Exempting that anti-environment nonsense at the end, Stein delivered a coherent explanation for why giving the wealthy a tax cut makes no sense. In fact he argued that such favoritism for the rich was never a stimulant to the economy and would only exacerbate deficits. Add to that his expression of concern for income inequality and you have a truly astonishing display of wisdom from a right-wing economist.

Fox of course would not be satisfied with that blasphemy. Therefore, Payne turned to Betsy McCaughey, the woman who coined the term “death panels,” for rebuttal. McCaughey was just named to Trump’s team of wingnut economic advisers. She ranted:

McCaughey: First of all, Donald Trump’s tax plan will produce an enormous amount of economic growth. The key factor is slashing the corporate tax rate, currently the highest in the world, down to fifteen percent. Companies in the United States are being taxed to death. And that’s why so many of them are leaving or retrenching their business investments.

There is so much wrong with that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that there is no evidence that Trump’s plan would produce any economic growth. In fact. Moody’s scored his plan and concluded that it would result in a “lengthy recession,” 3.5 million job losses, and “very large deficits and a much higher debt load.” Plus, every independent analysis of Trump’s plan has affirmed that it benefits the rich far more than the lower and middle classes.

Then there is McCaughey’s assertion that U.S. corporate tax rates are “the highest in the world.” That is patently and provably false. It’s a recurring right-wing trope that has been debunked innumerable times by non-partisan analysts. McCaughey and other conservatives deceptively cite the statutory corporate tax rate rather than the effective tax rate (what is actually paid after deductions). When reviewed with real numbers the U.S. corporate rate is actually slightly lower than the average of our international competitors. Often it is zero, or close to it.

[Note: These facts make it even more important for Trump to release his tax returns so that we can see just where in the range his tax rate lies.]

The truth is that American companies are not leaving the the U.S. for lower taxes. They are leaving for lower wages, cheaper distribution in foreign markets, evasion of fair labor and environmental regulations, and other reasons unrelated to taxes. McCaughey also claimed that the U.S. is on the brink of a “business recession” despite this being one of the longest periods of growth in decades. But then she trotted out a real whopper:

McCaughey: And let me just point out in response to Ben’s comments about the poor and tax reductions for the rich – slashing the corporate tax rate and producing growth will benefit the poor the most.

That foolishness hardly merits a response. At this point host Charles Payne steers the conversation to “the debate over whether trickle-down economics really work.” He asked Harvard Kennedy School Professor Leah Wright Rigueur “If the same tide lifts all ships, wouldn’t that include the poor?” She responded that “You would think, but history has shown us that that doesn’t include the poor.” When Stein was asked to comment he poignantly noted that a rising tide “does not lift those boats that are under water.” Which led to this epic exchange:

Stein: And if I may say to my friend the Lt. Governor, there simply is no evidence that slashing the corporate tax rate produces growth. There’s a lot of allegations, but…

McCaughey: [interrupting] That’s ridiculous.

Stein: Did you say ‘That’s ridiculous’?

McCaughey: I said ‘That’s ridiculous’!

Stein: With all due respect, I’m the one that’s studied this. You’re the politician. You can say whatever you want as a politician. There simply is no evidence of that. […] You don’t know that. You have no idea of that. You can say it but there’s never been any data connecting those two.

Watching a devoutly conservative economic expert smack down the right’s sacred trickle-down doctrine on Fox’s own business network is both shocking and satisfying. But watching him also humiliate a Trump adviser, and one of the most extreme GOP partisans, at the same time is an event more rare than Halley’s Comet. It will be interesting to see if Stein is invited back to Fox News any time soon.

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

Fox Nation Hypes ‘Scoop’ On Clinton Charity Scandal That Turns Out To Be Totally Bogus

On Friday Hillary Clinton released her tax returns for 2015, making this the thirty-eighth year she has done so. While Republicans try to tarnish her reputation for honesty, her four decade long record of transparency proves that she has nothing to hide. In addition, it proves that nothing untoward has ever been discovered from making her personal finances abundantly public.

Fox Nation

Contrast that with Donald Trump’s refusal to make even a single year of tax returns available for voters to assess his fitness for office. What is he hiding? Could it be that he has paid little or no income tax for many years? Or has he had unsavory relationships with Russians or other foreign entities? Maybe he isn’t as rich or generous as he pretends to be. Clearly he has determined that he has less to lose from the bad publicity of concealing his records than he does from revealing them.

The absence of any legitimate problems with Clinton’s taxes has driven Fox News to invent problems that don’t exist. On their community website, Fox Nation, they posted an article sourced to the ultra-conservative Daily Caller, a pseudo-news site run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The Daily Caller’s story alleged that “92 Percent Of Hillary’s Charitable Donations In 2015 Went To Clinton Foundation.” The article alleged that the Clinton’s engaged in a corrupt scheme to claim charitable tax write-offs for funds that they funneled back to themselves, saying that:

“Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill deducted $1,042,000 in charitable contributions last year – $1 million of which went to their own Clinton Foundation.” […]

The documents show that the power couple earned $10,745,378 last year, mostly on income earned from giving public speeches. Of that they gave just over a million to charity. But the contributions can hardly be seen as altruistic, since the money flowed back to an entity they control.”

What’s more, the Daily Caller associated the donations with unfounded charges directed at the Clinton Foundation by right-wing media and activist groups such as Judicial Watch. The problem with that reporting is that the donations itemized in the Clinton’s tax returns did not go to the well known Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that has been the target of the right’s smear campaign. The donations actually went to the private vehicle used by the Clinton’s to disburse their philanthropic gifts, the Clinton Family Foundation. This is a common method of aggregating funds for charitable gift giving used by many high-income families.

After being shamed by Media Matters for their journalistic sloppiness, the Daily Caller added a correction to their story to indicate that the two foundations were separate entities. They did not, however, alter their tawdry conclusions, even though they no longer make sense. And Tucker Carlson still went on Fox & Friends this morning to say that “If I give money to my own foundation is it really charity?” Apparently he doesn’t care that his own website now says didn’t happen. Making matters worse, Fox Nation didn’t even bother to make note of the correction. The headline, which is now known to be false, remains unchanged and utterly untrue.

This is nothing new for Fox Nation, which has a history of brazenly misrepresenting the truth with poorly sourced articles (as documented in the book Fox Nation vs. Reality). Fox Nation is also known for re-posting stories from disreputable conspiracy mongers and conservative propagandists. Their editor, Jesse Watters, makes certain that every day the site is filled with fresh attacks on Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, who is routinely assaulted with lies that are vicious and defamatory. Very much like the one exposed here.

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

Fox News And Sean Hannity Are Now Producing Donald Trump’s Campaign Events

No one is going to be shocked to discover that Fox News is working feverishly to elect Donald Trump president of the United States. They are pulling out all the stops to make excuses for his outrageous statements: His insults to the Gold Star parents of a slain soldier; his dog-whistle calls to assassinate Hillary Clinton; his insane accusation that President Obama “founded” ISIS.

In addition, Fox is obsessively covering anti-Clinton non-stories that have already been debunked by ethical journalists: GOP allegations that ISIS intelligence was altered; Clinton emails tying her aides to charity work for the Clinton Foundation; ludicrous “investigations” into Clinton’s health.

Reality is beginning to warp the judgement of both Trump and his PR division at Fox News. Every recent poll is showing Trump falling further behind, particularly in states that were never considered plausible for Democratic candidates. Consequently, the right-wing network is taking a more hands-on approach to Trump’s candidacy by sponsoring campaign events on his behalf. This advertisement was tweeted today by Fox:

Hannity-Trump Townhall

Make no mistake, this not a news event. Sean Hannity has already announced on the air his endorsement for Trump and intention to vote for him. This is a flagrantly biased political appearance that Fox News is producing as a gift to Donald Trump. If the Federal Elections Committee had any integrity they would cite Fox for violating campaign finance laws and force them to declare this an in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign.

It makes sense that Hannity would announce this scam just as Trump is making excuses for why he might bail out on the debates with Hillary Clinton. Trump would suffer irreparably from the perception of his cowardice if he fails to show up for the debates. But fake “town halls” like this would be his way of discounting that criticism. Never mind that they will be obviously stage-managed farces that are no more informative than a Trump infomercial.

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

Right-wing partisanship has been the mission of Fox News since its inception. However, this exceeds even their most blatantly prejudiced propaganda by a long shot. Having an avowed Trump fluffer like Hannity host an hour of political theater like this ought to remove any lingering doubts that the network is a Republican shill factory and should not be taken seriously as a news enterprise by the public or their peers.

Big Baby Trump Has Nixed Nearly Every Potential Debate Moderator

Now that the party conventions are behind us and the presidential campaign is officially underway, the next milestone of the election season is the candidate debates. These events are generally regarded as having more impact on voters’ decisions than conventions, stump speeches, or advertising. Candidates have participated in them regularly since the 1960’s.

Baby Trump

However, Donald Trump has already begun whining about the debates and criticizing the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) that has been producing them since 1988. He tweeted last month that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were “trying to rig the debates” in some conspiracy that he failed to explain. For the record, the current schedule was released nearly a year ago (September 23, 2015), long before any of the candidates were chosen.

Now Trump is escalating his debate phobia with suggestions that he will not participate unless his demands are met. Foremost among them is the authority to veto any moderator that he disapproves of (or more accurately, fears). So this may be a good time to take a look at who might satisfy Trump’s litmus test for fair and balanced moderators.

First of all, no one who works for CNN or MSNBC need apply. Trump has not consented to an interview on CNN since June 13, or on MSNBC since May 20. Just this morning he tweeted that “Constant phony reporting from failing @CNN turns everyone off.” What’s more, he has had a devastating falling out with his old pal on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, who just penned an op-ed calling for the Republican Party to dump Trump.

The broadcast networks are out also, Trump has been flinging his juvenile nickname at the host of NBC’s Meet the Press for months. He calls him “Sleepy eyes Chuck Todd” and labeled Todd as “totally biased” against him. Trump wrote off ABC’s George Stephanopoulos as “a good friend” of the Clinton’s. Scott Pelley of CBS was deemed “disrespectful.”

So You may be thinking that this leaves Fox News. Not so fast. Trump has burned just about everyone on the network with the notable exception of Fox’s Senior Trump Fluffer, Sean Hannity. Trump said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. And for good measure, Trump took a swipe at the Fox family’s newspaper saying that the writers at the Wall Street Journal are also “dummies.”

Other prominent news outlets that Trump has sworn off (literally revoking their press credentials) include The New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, and Univision.

Trump has already demonstrated his tendency to provoke melodrama with regard to candidate debates. He turned the GOP primary debates into feral spectacles of crass immaturity and avoidance of substance. His tantrums succeeded in forcing the Republican National Committee and the media to capitulate to his will, forcing out networks or media co-sponsors that he didn’t think were sufficiently deferential to him. The question now is: Will the CPD permit him do the same for the general election debates?

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

Recently Trump said that “I want to debate very badly. But I have to see the conditions.” Which is another way of saying that he doesn’t want to debate very badly. If he did he would have released a statement like the one Hillary Clinton released:

“Secretary Clinton looks forward to participating in all three presidential debates scheduled by the independent debate commission. […] The only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up to debate at the date, times, places and formats set by the commission last year through a bipartisan process. We will accept the commission’s invitation and expect Donald Trump to do the same.”

Clearly Trump is terrified to face his opponent, Hillary Clinton. But it is also reflective of his weak character that he is too frightened to face journalists who might be less than adoring. Trump is setting up a trapdoor exit to avoid having to do the debates at all. And he’s using the moderator issue as his excuse. It is becoming increasingly evident that the only moderators left that Trump would approve of would be from the National Enquirer or his his chums at Pravda.

ADDENDUM: Fox News reported additional “demands” made by Trump to Time Magazine regarding the debates. He insisted that “certain moderators would be unacceptable, absolutely.” But we still don’t know any that would be acceptable.

Trump debates

LOOK! Sitting Behind Trump At Rally Is An Ex-GOP Rep Who Hit On Teenage Congressional Pages

Conservative media has been spending the last couple days hyperventilating about a man in the audience at a rally for Hillary Clinton. Seddique Mateen, the father of the shooter who murdered fifty people at an Orlando night club had come to the public event and was seated behind the stage. Clinton had nothing to do with it and later made it clear that she disavowed his support.

In the meantime, Donald Trump, Fox News, and other right-wing press, turned this into a major flaw that, in some unexplained way, reflected on Clinton. They insisted that there was a correlation between Mateen’s attendance and her administrative competence.

Well, this has now come back to bite them in the ass “big league.” In a rally today a man was spotted sitting behind Donald Trump’s stage who was also recognized by the media. His name is Mark Foley. He was a Republican congressman from January 1995 to September 2006. What makes his presence notable is the reason he left Congress.

Donald Trump Mark Foley

Foley resigned from Congress after he was caught sending sexually explicit instant messages and emails to teenage boys serving as congressional pages, for whom he was the House administrator. Ironically, Foley was coerced into resigning by GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert who last year pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges involving concealed payments to a man whom he had sexually abused decades earlier. Hastert admitted to being a serial child molester, but the cases had exceeded the statute of limitations so he could not be charged with those crimes. In any case, Hastert certainly knew what he had done years earlier when he was forcing Foley out of Congress.

While on stage, Trump was specifically calling out Clinton over the incident with Mateen being in her audience along with 3,000 other people she didn’t know. However, Trump made the whole thing more personal with regard to his own audience (video below). He began by congratulating the people sitting behind him because they were going to be famous as a result of being seen on TV in the background of his speech. He continued:

Wasn’t it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton? And by the way, including a lot of the people here – how many of you people know me [Foley raises his hand]? A lot of you people know me. When you get those seats you sort of know the campaign. So when she said “Well we didn’t know…” They knew.

How did you like that picture? Him sitting – forty-nine people killed – other people will never, ever, ever, be the same. And that guy is sitting back there. And of course he likes Hillary. Because Hillary won’t even say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

And all the while, a notorious pedophile was sitting in plain view behind Trump with a big smile on his face. In addition, according to Trump, Foley got that seat because they know each other. Foley confirmed this later saying:

“I’ve been a friend of Mr. Trump’s since 1987. I’ve admired so much of what he’s done. He’s a different breed of leader and a different breed of candidate.”

It will be interesting to see how Trump explains this away, if he can be made to address it all. Will he change his story and say he didn’t know Foley? Will he disavow him? It will also be interesting to see how the media cover this incident. They obsessed over the audience member at Clinton’s rally. Will they spend two days doing the same over Trump’s?

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

Health Scare: Hillary Clinton Is At Death’s Door, According To Desperate Fox News ‘Experts’

The desperate rightists and Donald Trump sycophants at Fox News are continuing to seek a way out from under the political catastrophe they helped to create. They are now suffering with the consequences of having directed Trump’s path to the GOP nomination. While Trump makes thinly veiled assassination threats, the folks at Fox watch dolefully as his poll numbers crater and his lunatic rhetoric becomes ever more unhinged. So Fox News is embarking on a frantic effort to drag down Hillary Clinton instead.

Hillary Clinton

On Fox & Friends today, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes assembled members of their “Medical A-Team” to revel in what they portrayed as Clinton’s sickly prognosis. They rattled off a series of only seven mostly minor incidents dating back nearly two decades. Among these alleged medical crises were a stomach virus and a fractured elbow. Not exactly the sort of dire emergencies for which you would wake up the undertaker. Then they showed a photo where Clinton was being assisted walking up some stairs as if she were feeble. What Fox failed to note was that the stairs were coated with a layer of ice and her aides were merely being cautious.

Nevertheless, these were the foundation for a segment in which the Fox panel exhibited their disingenuous concern for the elderly former Secretary of State. They used their shallow research to assert that Clinton should be required to make available her full medical records. Much of the segment was spent claiming that there was a double standard that favored Clinton. As an example they referred to John McCain’s campaign in 2008. However, McCain was older than Clinton when he ran and had four separate bouts of skin cancer. More worrisome was the fact that Sarah Palin was his vice-presidential running-mate.

While complaining about this supposed double standard, there was scant mention of Donald Trump’s health status or demands for his medical records. He is also older than Clinton. The only medical information he has released was a glowing one page appraisal from a doctor who described Trump’s health as “extraordinary.” He might have added “tremendous, big league” and “the best health of anyone ever, believe me.” (Is anyone else reminded of the time Trump pretended to be his own PR man?). Not mentioned was the fact that Trump had such serious health problems in the past that they resulted in a 4F medical exemption from the draft.

The Fox News medical “experts” are quite right. There is a double standard. And the beneficiary is clearly Donald Trump. Despite the evidence of some severe psychological problems (narcissistic personality disorder, pathological lying, dementia, memory loss, delusions of grandeur, and a peculiar form of Tourette’s Syndrome where he shouts out stupid and/or violent remarks uncontrollably) no one on Fox News has set aside time for segments devoted to his medical transparency. Demands for his medical records are made faintly, if at all. Not that he would provide them. He is still refusing to release his taxes as every presidential candidate has done for more than half a century.

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

It is obvious that Fox News is raising this issue because they have little else of substance to talk about. All of the pseudo-scandals they have promoted (or invented) have fizzled under the light of honest scrutiny. And with Trump being his own worst enemy every time he opens his mouth, Fox is forced to engage in blatant muckraking in order to try to turn the tide against Clinton. Unfortunately for them, they just succeed in making themselves look even more pathetic and desperate. And Unfortunately for us, that won’t stop them from continuing to do it through November and well into the Clinton administration.

WTF: Fox News Media Critic Says ‘The Press Put Out A Mob Hit On Donald Trump’

There is always an unmistakable moment when desperation sets in for people or organizations that are undergoing difficult times. That moment came yesterday for Fox News and their advocacy of Donald Trump. The evidence is the commentary by their media correspondent (video below), Howard Kurtz, who hosts Fox’s MediaBuzz, has been a consistent proponent of Trump from the outset of his campaign.

Godfather

Kurtz was interviewed on Fox Monday by Abby Huntsman who introduced the segment by asking “what is going on here” with the media bias against Trump. Kurtz responded fervidly that he had “never seen anything remotely like this, and I have been saying this for months.” He was visibly roused about what he perceived as an unusually shrill display of partisanship by the press. Continuing on that path he ranted about:

“The obvious distaste, bordering on disgust, that many journalists and commentators have for Donald Trump – he was able to defeat that during the primaries – but it’s been going on for quite a while. In the last ten days it is almost like the press put out a mob hit on Donald Trump. The imbalance is so overwhelming on almost every media site and outlet that it can no longer be denied.”

Is he freakin’ serious? First of all, there is only one person responsible for the media coverage of Donald Trump and that’s Donald Trump. Granted, the last ten days has been a veritable shitstorm for Trump. But no one in the press forced him to insult the grieving parents of an American hero. He wasn’t coerced by some reporter to lie about having seen palettes of cash being unloaded from a plane. His whining about “rigged” elections didn’t come from the media. Calling Hillary Clinton the devil was his idea. Declaring his affection for Vladimir Putin and his animosity for NATO can only be attributed to him. Absolutely none of that is the fault of the media, and covering it is not an expression of distaste or disgust. It’s actually called journalism.

Secondly, the general chaos and disunity of a Republican Party led by a self-absorbed bigot was not invented by a twisted journalist obsessed with destroying Trump. It was the predictable consequence of putting a pitifully ignorant and thoroughly unhinged narcissist at the helm of the GOP. If anything, the reporting on Trump has been insufficiently critical. Reporters too frequently resort to timid descriptions of Trump as merely being wrong or mistaken when in reality he’s a pathological liar. Likewise, they characterize his frothing, infantile insults as simply negative opinions.

For Kurtz to assert that reporting on the offensive and ludicrous behavior of Trump is in any way analogous to a mob hit is not only dreadfully out of bounds, it reveals Kurtz’s own partisan prejudices. He has been serving as The Donald’s chief fluffer for over a year now. Clearly his role at Fox News is to carry forward Trump’s hostility to the press from the inside. And Trump has returned the favor by largely limiting his press availability to Fox News.

Finally, Kurtz’s assertion of an overwhelming imbalance that can’t be denied is downright delusional. It is especially troubling for someone who professes to be a media expert. The truth is that Trump received far more coverage, and more favorable coverage, than any of his opponents, including Hillary Clinton. This was proven by a study conducted by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. What’s more, this is a study that any reputable media analyst would be aware of. So Kurtz’s failure to address it marks him as either disreputable or dishonest (or both). Which makes him the perfect media correspondent for a disreputable and dishonest network like Fox News.

UPDATE: Consistent with the right’s inclinations toward violence, Donald Trump was speaking today about the prospect of Hillary Clinton nominating Supreme Court justices. He complained that there was nothing that could be done about that if she were president. Then he added that “the Second Amendment people” could stop Clinton. It was a blatant call for someone to assassinate her. I really don’t know how his campaign survives crap like this.

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

Short Circuit: Donald Trump, The GOP’s Lunatic-In-Chief, Says Hillary Clinton Is The Crazy One?

On Friday Hillary Clinton appeared at a conference for African-American and Latino journalists, an affair whose invitation Donald Trump declined. Following her prepared remarks she answered questions from the assembled reporters. During this Q & A Clinton used a colloquial term to characterize a misunderstanding. That led Trump to blow a gasket based on his inability to comprehend common language.

Donald Trump

The problem centered around Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace of Fox News regarding the truthfulness of her testimony to the FBI. Clinton conceded that there was a discrepancy in her response which she explained to the journalists saying that:

“I was pointing out in both of those instances, that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That really is the bottom line here. What I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly. I may have short-circuited and for that I will try to clarify.”

All that Clinton was saying is that she may have associated both her public statements and her FBI testimony with Comey’s affirmation of her truthfulness. However, Comey was speaking only to her testimony. And all she meant by “short circuited” was that she had awkwardly conflated the two separate matters making it appear that Comey had validated both.

Enter Donald Trump. Grasping onto the dramatic imagery of a short circuit, Trump took the remark entirely out of context to suggest that Clinton had admitted to a mental infirmity. He lashed out at her at a rally Saturday saying that she had suffered a “short-circuit in the brain.” He tweeted a similar absurdity that said:

Anybody whose mind “SHORT CIRCUITS” is not fit to be our president! Look up the word “BRAINWASHED.”

Trump might want to take his own advice, because the definition of “brainwashed” has nothing to do with short circuiting. What’s more, his inability to comprehend such simple concepts does more to prove his own unfitness for the presidency. Not that more proof was necessary. Trump has provided ample evidence of his dodgy mental state for most of the past year. The consensus of professionals is overwhelming. For instance:

When looking objectively at the symptoms commonly associated with personality disorders and dementia it is hard not to consider Trump a likely candidate for such a diagnosis. What follows is an exploration of the three most prominent symptoms of dementia and their relationship to Trump’s behavior.

Trump’s Impaired judgment

From the very beginning of his of campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Trump engaged in outbursts that were hostile and irrational. His assertion that the immigrant population in the U.S. was the result of Mexico sending over rapists and murderers was untethered to reality. And that was just the first day. Trump went on to belittle Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero; he charged that Megyn Kelly’s questions during a Fox News debate were unfair because she was menstruating; he proposed a ban on all Muslims from entering the country; he called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese; he declined to honor the NATO treaty; he advocated committing war crimes against the innocent families of suspected terrorists; he still thinks that President Obama is not an American or a Christian; he won’t rule out nuking Europe. And there’s more where that came from.

These are all examples of behavior that is inconsistent with rational judgment. They have no basis in fact and cannot be portrayed as constructive methods of expressing oneself.

Trump’s Loss of Memory

Trump has frequently bragged that he has “one of the best memories of all time.” However, that boast has been utterly demolished by his own words and actions. One notable example was his insistence that he had seen television reporting of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. That was an invented memory because there is no evidence that it occurred, despite the fact that television footage of such an event would be easily retrievable. More recently he had another invented memory wherein he imagined watching a video of palettes of cash being unloaded from an American plan in Iran.

Trump’s memory was also noticeably deficient when he called Ted Cruz “the single biggest liar” he ever met just three months after lauding him and floating him as a possible VP pick. Similarly he once praised Hillary Clinton as a “terrific” woman and a great Secretary of State. Now he is saying that she was the “worst Secretary of State in history.” And as for President Obama, Trump tweeted that he is “perhaps the worst president in U.S. history.” But this is what he wrote in his book Think Like A Champion:

“What he has done is amazing. The fact that he accomplished what he has—in one year and against great odds—is truly phenomenal.” […]

“Barack Obama proved that determination combined with opportunity and intelligence can make things happen—and in an exceptional way.” […]

“His comments have led me to believe that he understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader.” […]

“He’s totally a champion.”

Clearly Trump has either a failing memory or mental blocks that render his memory unreliable.

Trump’s Childish Behavior

This is perhaps the symptom least in need of elaboration, but here goes anyway. Trump is the most juvenile presidential candidate in this nation’s history. He lashes out with infantile insults about people’s looks and character. If he is criticized he will punch back with baseless, often unrelated, rebuttals. And that’s when he isn’t throwing tantrums like when he ditched the Fox News debate. Now he is whining about the upcoming debates with Clinton and already alleging that they are rigged. Anyone who doesn’t exhibit unrestrained adoration is an enemy who is out to destroy him.

Trump has the ego of four year old who believes the world revolves around him. The parts of his campaign stump speeches that aren’t attacks on his rivals are comprised primarily of bragging about how great he is at everything and how high his poll numbers are. The rest of his rhetoric, when put through the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, scored at the third grade level. Of course, that’s probably still somewhat higher than most of his Tea-vangelical supporters.

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

Every day Trump validates the notion that he is mentally challenged and unfit to perform the duties of the president. His immature outbursts, his brazen narcissism, and his faulty cognition, are all indications of potential senility. And now he exhibits a classic case of projection by asserting that Clinton is the one who is crazy based on his feeble reading of Clinton’s use of the phrase “short circuit.” When all of this is taken into account, it seems obvious that there is a problem here that requires attention. Hopefully someone close to him will notice and get him the help he so clearly needs.