Desperate President Tweets Threat to Republican Senators Who Are ‘Turning On Trump’

Apparently making reckless threats aimed at nuclear-powered madmen isn’t sufficiently fulfilling for Donald Trump. Perhaps his own reputation as a nuclear-powered madmen dilutes the effect. So Trump is now aiming his electoral weapons at his Republican colleagues in the senate.

Donald Trump

Included in his scheduled morning Twitter tirade was a retweet of his pals at Fox and Friends. [NOTE: Trump must be on the Fox News payroll as this is his 13th retweet of F&F so far this month, and the 121st since he launched his campaign] The article linked in the tweet was, of course, from Fox News. It dealt with the potential electoral tribulations of Republican senators who have had the audacity to be independent thinkers. In other words, they have disagreed with the wannabe dictator in the White House.

The article is titled “Senators learn the hard way about the fallout from turning on Trump.” That’s a perfectly legitimate subject of discussion. And there are GOP incumbents whose seats are in jeopardy next year. Although that’s true for those still fluffing the unpopular president. However, by posting that article Trump is blatantly warning all Republicans to refrain from challenging him, or face his wrath. There is nothing subtle about promoting the perils of “turning on Trump.”

This heat-seeking rhetorical missile is meant to frighten Republicans who may be wavering in their otherwise unyielding adoration of the President. He demands constant support for everything he does and says. Any healthy expression of doubt or criticism is regarded as disloyalty. And the temptation to distance oneself from Trump’s toxicity will not be tolerated. That’s a harrowing dilemma for politicians attached to a president who can’t raise his approval ratings out of the thirties.

Trump has already made very public and embarrassing attacks on the GOP’s Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. He has characterized McConnell as a weak loser who is responsible for Trump’s failing agenda. Never mind that Trump ran on the promise of his unparalleled negotiating skills and how easy it would be to achieve every goal he put forward. By now we should have defeated ISIS, repealed ObamaCare, cut taxes for the rich, locked up Hillary Clinton, and built a wall on the Mexican border. You know, made America great again.

Trump, however, has failed achieved to any of his campaign promises. Instead, he has brought the world to the brink of a thoroughly unnecessary nuclear conflict. His administration is a pitiful mess that has undergone unprecedented upheavals. And he is being investigated for financial corruption and collusion with Russia’s attacks on our democracy. Is this what he meant when he told his rally-goers that they would soon be “sick and tired of winning?”

So while Trump is playing nuclear chicken with Kim Jong-Un, he is also alienating his allies on Capital Hill. Previously loyal colleagues like Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, and John McCain are becoming more comfortable defying his authority. How he expects to shepherd his agenda through Congress without their help is a mystery.

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

Trump thought the presidency was like his family business where he was the king. But now he is discovering that his only tool is whining and bullying. And the more offensive he is toward his own party, the more likely they are to join in impeachment proceedings as his legal troubles continue to unfold. Keep in mind, Republicans in Congress have always preferred Mike Pence anyway.

Fox News Implies That Donald Trump is Just as Batty as Kim Jong-Un. Who Can Argue With That?

On Wednesday Donald Trump laid the foundation for a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. His brimstone laden “fire and fury” speech has brought new and unnecessary tensions to an already shaky relationship. It was an inevitable escalation of craziness from a narcissistic personality with a thirty-three percent approval rating. And of course, it didn’t take long for the media pundits to weigh in with predictably inane debates.

Donald Trump Kim Jong-Un

On Fox News Thursday morning there was a particularly confounding view offered by anchor Jon Scott. He wanted to know whether there was a “double standard among the press” for their criticism of Trump’s overheated rhetoric. He was puzzled as to why Trump was being criticized but “nobody seems to care all that much about the threats coming from Kim Jong-Un.”

Let’s be clear about this. Scott is making the absurd inference that the media should treat Trump’s statements with equal significance as a certified fruitcake. On the surface, I can’t really find any fault with that. Trump is at least as batty as Kim. However, when looked at as an American president vs. Kim, the distinction ought be huge. Under ordinary circumstances the U.S. should be regarded as far more serious and conscientious than raving madmen.

Unfortunately, these are not ordinary times. Hence the critique of the press by Scott, who thinks Trump should be regarded in the same league as Kim. But Scott’s guest, fellow Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, wasn’t having it:

“Well, look, we kind of expect crazy from Kim Jong-Un. As I said, he’s the head of the ‘Hermit Kingdom. He’s a pariah for almost the entire world. So, we don’t expect him to be judged the same standard as the president. […] I certainly hope we’re not judging Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un by the same standards.”

Wallace’s perspective is surely more coherent than Scott’s. But Scott’s is more prevalent on Fox News and throughout the right-wing mediasphere. Even Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that Trump was using “language that Kim Jong-Un would understand.” When did lowering our communications skills to the level of babbling nutcases become the goal of American diplomacy?

Wallace deserves some credit for batting down Scott’s absurd allegation of a press double standard. But he still managed to live down to Fox’s low standards for misleading reporting. Woven into his remarks was this completely false observation of the fallout from Trump’s “fire and fury” speech:

“I don’t think anybody objects to the idea that the president was tough and sent a very stern message to the North Koreans.”

Oh really? You would have to be ignoring the letter from sixty members of congress fervently objecting to Trump’s war mongering. And you would also have to have missed the objections from Democratic senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein. Not to mention Republican senators John McCain, Dan Sullivan, and Jeff Flake. Trump’s off-the-cuff bluster was widely considered to be inflammatory and counterproductive. And Wallace’s attempt to soft-peddle the backlash only keeps Fox News viewers ill-informed. But then, that’s the mission of Fox News, so Wallace and Scott are just doing their jobs.

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

Lyin’ Trump Steals Credit for ‘Moderniz[ing] Our Nuclear Arsenal’ From President Obama

As if things weren’t crazy enough. Donald Trump is now stirring up a nuclear crisis with his infantile feud with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. This whole affair isn’t much more than a battle between two narcissistic dictators. Unfortunately, the lives of millions of people who probably couldn’t care less about these maniacs rests in the unbalanced psyches of two emotionally stunted children of privilege.

Obama Trump Tweet

So what does Trump do after threatening to start WW III because he felt disrespected by Baby-Kim? Well, among other things he commences to puff up his chest with empty boasts that stink of lies. In this case, as is often the case, it occurred with the posting of comment on Twitter:

Anyone who is not in a vegetative coma recognizes how disturbingly delusional that is. Trump has only been in office for about six months. During that time he has been consumed with scandals related to his finances and his unsavory connections to Russia. One thing he certainly has not done, is anything related to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. There has been no legislation, no directives to the Pentagon, and no guidance to the Secretary of Defense. Nothing. Period.

Sometimes Trump makes unsupportable comments like this that rest on a kernel of truth that has been grotesquely mangled. But on in this instance there isn’t even an inkling into what he’s talking about. His bragging is purely self-aggrandizement based on nothing but his fertile imagination. You have to wonder what he thinks is different about our nuclear assets today than six months ago?

If you’re looking for any evidence of a presidential initiative to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal, you’d have to look at what President Obama did last year. Last October the New York Times reported that the “The U.S. is planning a trillion-dollar modernization of its nuclear forces over the next few decades.” So any progress in our nuclear defense profile is the work of Trump’s predecessor. And even that will be taking decades and likely shows no change during Trump’s brief and unproductive presidency.

Trump’s incessant self-glorification frequently borrows from the achievements of others. He pretends that the performance of the stock market is his doing despite not having passed any legislation that impacts the economy. He contends that higher wages came with his election. Although that was mainly due to increases in the minimum wage that he and Republicans opposed. Whatever positive movement has occurred in the past few months did so irrespective of Trump’s presence.

On the other hand, the failures that abound are easily attributable to him. Whatever weakness there are in ObamaCare are the result of his deliberate attempts to sabotage it. As the environment becomes ever more at risk, it’s due directly to his mismanagement of the EPA. And the war stance that is now threatening this country and the world was wholly manufactured by Trump himself. In fact, he even predicted it in this tweet from August of 2013:

That’s good advice. We should be prepared. And we should take whatever legal actions are available to us to mitigate the risks he is describing. They include congressional actions to restore the balance of power, indictments, and impeachment. The sooner the better.

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

Donald Trump Has a ‘Fox and Friends’ Fetish That Should Frighten Every American

There is something terribly wrong when an American president is obsessively dialed into propaganda that regularly contradicts reality. It’s bad enough when Donald Trump manufactures his own exaggerations, deflections, and lies. But lately he has taken to acting as the de facto publicist for the spin machine at Fox News. Especially one program that is best known as a haven for Trump-fluffing, sycophantic bullshit: Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning, Trump’s sunrise Twitter tirade included five retweets from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. They spanned a variety of subjects, but shared a common theme of world disorder and imminent catastrophe. The messages that Trump sought to magnify and adopt as his own included:

In those communiques Trump covered, respectively, the crisis he just created with North Korea, his racist preoccupation with Mexico and a border wall, more saber-rattling over Korea, alleged terrorism in France, and Fox News’ presentation of his “fire and fury” speech/threat to his North Korean twin. And while those are all topics of some significance, it’s peculiar that Trump used a single source to address them.

Apparently, all Trump does each day is watch Fox News. It’s where he gets his intelligence data, despite being in charge of the world’s best spy agencies. It’s how he affirms his self-worth with the relentlessly flattering suck-ups disgorged by his Fox friends. In fact, the show might consider changing its name to “Fox and Friend” (singular), because they are really only broadcasting to an audience of one.

As he has repeatedly made clear, Trump hates the media. He called it “the enemy of the American people.” Never mind that polls show that the American people trust the media far more than they trust him. And he can’t seem to go more than a few hours without insulting CNN or the New York Times. His protestations of “fake news” every time his babysitters mistakenly allow a negative story to reach his desk are pathetic. But they exemplify his deranged world view and dependence on ultra-positive reinforcement.

However, Trump’s compulsive regurgitation of Fox and Friends is more than just a tribute to his favorite TV show. There has never been a political leader who so obsessively promoted a single media outlet. It’s almost as if Trump is working for Fox News as the public relations man in charge of advancing the interests of Fox and Friends. In addition to his five tweets Wednesday morning, he has tweeted about the program ten times already this month. And the Trump Twitter Archive shows 118 such tweets since he announced his candidacy in June of 2015.

It is also notable that Fox and Friends is often the trigger for Trump’s tweets. Brian Feldman of New York Magazine collected a bunch of examples of Trump tweeting something that appeared to be random. As it turned out, Trump’s tweets often followed – sometimes by minutes – a segment on the subject on Fox News. Plainly he was watching in his pajamas with his phone in hand and couldn’t help himself. This is a phenomenon that rarely occurs with any other news network.

Prior to running for president, Trump had a regular call-in spot on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He was also a frequent guest on other Fox News programs like The O’Reilly Factor and Your World with Neil Cavuto. His relationship with Fox News had some rocky points during the campaign, but he always supported his “Friends.”

The problem with this is that it makes the doofuses on Fox and Friends the equivalent to his national security team. They seem to have at least as much influence over him as his closest advisers. More, if you consider that he “meets” with them every day and never argues with them. He quotes them far more frequently than he does any of his cabinet or staff. And while he will bash his Attorney General and other high ranking officials, he has never had a bad word to say about his Friends on Fox. He almost holds them in as high esteem as his Russian friend Vladimir.

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

What’s troubling about this is the utter lack of qualifications of the aforementioned couch potatoes. Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade are not experts in government, economics, defense, or anything else. They are happy-talk presenters on a propaganda network. Yet their counsel is getting the highest priority in Trump’s White House. That’s something that should make all Americans – and non-Americans for that matter – afraid for the fate of the world. Trump literally ignores his professional intelligence advisers in favor of a trio of giggling airheads. And, for the record, they are all in for a a war with North Korea. Are you scared yet?

LOCK ‘EM UP: Fox News Leaks Classified Info Based on Anonymous Sources – Trump Retweets

The White House recently embarked on a campaign to flush out the throngs of leakers in their midst. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press briefing to announce that anyone caught leaking would face stiff consequences. So it’s interesting that this warning is already being ignored by a surprising offender.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy interviewed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. In the course of their conversion Doocy let slip some information he obtained from a story on Fox News. The story revealed that U.S. satellites had detected North Korea loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. That, apparently, was not information approved for public dissemination. And Haley let Doocy know that in no uncertain terms (video below):

DOOCY: Ambassador, on the front page of foxnews.com right now there is a story that apparently the intel community has picked up anti-ship cruise missiles were being loaded onto a patrol boat or patrol boats in North Korea. What can you tell us about that?
HALEY: I can’t.
DOOCY: Why?
HALEY: I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. But –
DOOCY: You have no reason to believe that’s not accurate though?
HALEY: I have no reason to comment on it.
DOOCY: (Laughing) OK.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: That shouldn’t be in the newspaper? Is that another leak I guess?
HALEY: You know, it’s one of these things, I don’t know what’s going on. But, I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that. You are not only just getting a scoop on something, you are playing with people’s lives. And this has got to stop. Whatever the leaks are coming from, if somebody thinks they are getting power or fame from it, all you are doing is putting Americans in danger.

Haley was adamant in her first response that she could not answer Doocy’s questions. But that didn’t stop him from pressing her further. She reiterated her intention to refrain from commenting. Doocy thought that was funny. Haley had to school him on the serious nature of the data he was pushing her to reveal.

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox News was disclosing classified information, there was another culprit with loose fingertips. Trump, as usual, was watching Fox and Friends this morning. He retweeted three separate stories that he had seen on the broadcast. One of them was the story about North Korea with the classified data. So Trump was participating in the leaking of information that his own U.N. ambassador warned was “incredibly dangerous,” and “playing with people’s lives.” What’s more, he was propagating info obtained from anonymous sources. Recall, Trump’s position on the use of sources who are not identified in news reports:

It is endlessly perplexing that Trump still gets his intelligence data from Fox News. Apparently he is unaware of the resources he has at his disposal within the government he allegedly manages. Had he contacted his National Security Advisor or the CIA, he might have been cautioned as to the sensitive nature of the data he was about to publish. But that’s too much to ask this notoriously ignorant and reckless so-called president.

The only question now is whether the Department of Justice will follow through on their threat to prosecute anyone found to be leaking. This past weekend, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared on Fox News Sunday. He told Chris Wallace that he would prosecute whoever was discovered to be violating the law. He specifically that included members of Congress and the White House. In this case, Donald Trump is unambiguously guilty. And this is not the first time that Trump has breached this legal directive. If the DoJ expects to be taken seriously they need to investigate Trump’s leaks and prosecute if warranted. Otherwise, they will have no credibility to prosecute any other alleged leakers.

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

Could Trump Be Prosecuted for Leaks Under New Department of Justice Directive?

The still nascent presidency of Donald Trump is rife with controversies and scandals. His financial conflicts of interests and unsavory connections to Russia have dominated his short tenure in office. Additionally, he has produced no legislative accomplishments. Most notably, the failure of his efforts to kill ObamaCare went down in flames. He has made no progress on immigration, taxes, terrorism, or his lame-brained border wall.

Rod Rosenstein Fox New

However, Trump regularly signals what issues are of most importance to him. And judging by the frequency of his tweets, it has little to do with matters critical to the nation. Rather, he is variously obsessed with either the media, last November’s election, or the torrent of White House leaks. Most experts agree that leaks occur when an organization is in disarray. But in Trump World it is blamed on a shadowy conspiracy of “deep state” saboteurs.

On yesterday’s edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (video below). Much of the segment specifically addressed the question of leaks and what the Justice Department intends to do about them. Wallace sought to follow up on remarks made last week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Those comments sparked some controversy for implying that journalists could be targeted for prosecution. Rosenstein walked that back a bit in the following exchange:

Wallace: Some of the people who engage in leaks, I don’t have to tell you, are not the members of the so-called ‘deep state’ or faceless bureaucrats inside intelligence agencies. They are White House officials. They are members of Congress. If you find any of them have committed these leaks – have disclosed classified information – will you prosecute?
Rosenstein: “What we need to look at in every leak referral we get, we look at the facts and circumstances. What was the potential harm caused by the leaks? What were the circumstances? That’s more important to us than who it is, than who is the leaker. So if we identify somebody, no matter what their position is, if they violated the law and that case warrants prosecution, we’ll prosecute them.
Wallace: Including White House officials and members of Congress?
Rosenstein: Including anybody who breaks the law.

If Rosenstein can be taken at his word, Donald Trump may be in even more trouble than previously thought. Leaks from any administration are made for a variety of reasons. It may be because someone is genuinely concerned about a course of action and has no other recourse to alter it. Sometimes a leaker is angling for position or acting out of vengeance. And sometimes leaks are deliberate attempts by the White House to disseminate information that it wants disseminated.

For example, Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s short-lived communications director, recently outed his boss as a leaker. During an interview on CNN, Scaramucci defended Trump’s reluctance to concede that the Russians were responsible for hacking during last year’s election. He even offered “evidence” by way of an anonymous insider:

“You know, somebody said to me yesterday — I won’t tell you who — that if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those e-mails, you would have never seen it.”

That, of course, is grade AAA bullshit. Professional spies may be good at what they do, but they are not infallible. Scaramucci is suggesting that the Russians are so superior in their clandestine operations that their American counterparts are helpless yokels, incapable of facing off against the almighty Ruskies. But more important was what Scaramucci said next. After CNN’s Jake Tapper challenged Scaramucci’s hypocritical use of an anonymous source, the Mooch spilled the beans:

“How about it was – how about it was the President, Jake? I talked to him yesterday. He called me from Air Force One.”

So here we have a White House official admitting that the President was the source of a leak that disclosed inside information. Trump’s observations about the capabilities of Russian intelligence ought to be regarded as top secret. But this business was aired on national television at the behest of Donald Trump. On another occasion, Trump leaked classified data to Russian diplomats visiting the White House. This leak may have put intelligence assets of an ally at risk of discovery or termination.

Who knows what else the President might have leaked. Handing out information that advances the administration’s interest is an ago-old tactic. Dick Cheney did it to plant the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And Trump has his own media operation headquartered in the White House and led by Breitbart News chairman, Stephen Bannon. Remember, this is the same guy who used to call newspapers and pretend that he was a publicist working for, well, himself.

So if Trump is later found to be the source of leaks to the media, will the Department of Justice keep their word and prosecute him? That’s an open question for the time being. They have not been especially anxious to pursue criminal investigations of the President. And, of course, Trump remains poised to fire anyone he thinks is getting too close to the truth. In the end, it may only be possible to obtain justice with a truly independent counsel, or a Democratic congress. Stay tuned.

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

BENGHAZI? Watch Kellyanne Conway Resort to Classic Dodge to Avoid Defending Trump’s Lies

The guardians of Donald Trump’s floundering presidency are finding it ever more difficult carry out their task. They now have to deal with a special prosecutor ramping up investigations of the President. Grand juries are being impaneled in Washington, Virginia, and New York. And a flurry of new lies erupt from the White House every day. What’s a dedicated Trump shill supposed to do?

Kellyanne Conway

Well, Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” we may have found out. Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos about the blatant contradictions by Trump and company about their interactions with Russia. He summarized the situation and asked Conway for her explanation for the various accounts (video below):

“The White House and the President’s surrogates have told conflicting stories. First they said there no contacts with Russians. Then it turned out there were at least eighteen contacts. The story broke in the New York Times saying the President was involved in the drafting of his son Don, Jr.’s misleading response to that meeting he had with Russians during the campaign. And Jay Sekulow, the President’s attorney, came on GMA and told me the President was not involved.”

Stephanopoulos noted that the original statement and the one offered after the Times story were “very different answers in the space of two weeks.” But Conway’s response evaded the question to say that the meeting was of no consequence. She continues to deny the consequences of just agreeing to meet with Russian operatives to obtain campaign information. Even if nothing was obtained, the effort itself was an attempt at collusion. Conway added that Trump’s involvement in drafting Junior’s response was merely “weighing in as a father.” Of course. Every father has had that experience where they help their adult son to lie about meetings with America’s enemies.

Stephanopoulos persisted to challenge her on the shifting facts. He noted that the first statement was totally false and that the President and his lawyers “didn’t tell the truth.” To which Conway replied with a series of alleged falsehoods from the distant past. She raised the matter of whether or not people could keep their doctors under ObamaCare. And then she actually brought up Benghazi and tried to make that relevant to this discussion.

Let’s not get into a debate as to whether those were actually examples of untrue statements. The main point here is that Conway was utterly incapable of defending the lies from Trump’s White House. So reached into the past hoping to grasp a rhetorical lifeline. Stephanopoulos’ complaint that Conway was just changing the subject fell on deaf ears. When he asked if Trump could be truthful about the Russia investigations, Conway swerved to repeat Trump’s baseless assertion that the whole thing was fabricated.

By the end of the interview, Conway didn’t once respond directly to the charge that Trump and his surrogates lied. There are obvious differences between their initial accounts of the meetings and the facts that they later conceded. Plus, the false claim that Trump had nothing to do with Junior’s first statement remains unexplained. And Conway’s flagrant evasions only serve to highlight how overwhelmed she and her associates are.

They are quite simply out of answers. The tsunami of lies that flow from Trump have exhausted his defenders. And since they have emptied their arsenal of arguments, be prepared to hear more from yesteryear’s classics like Benghazi. And if they get desperate enough they might even revive Obama’s birth certificate and Monica Lewinski.

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

STOP HANNITY: Movement Begins to Shame Advertisers on the Trump-Fluffing Fox News Program

The rapid decline of Fox News over the past year has been an awesome spectacle. It began with the allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Roger Ailes. He was later fired and, shortly thereafter, died following a fall in his home. Then Bill O’Reilly was also terminated after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sean Hannity Fox News

Additionally, some executives were likewise dismissed for their own inappropriate behavior. And Fox News lost their rising star, Megyn Kelly, who joined NBC where her program is a ratings failure. Greta Van Susteren, also quit Fox for a show on MSNBC that has already been canceled. Most recently, Eric Bolling, host of two Fox News programs has been suspended for allegedly sending lewd pictures to network colleagues.

Fox’s reputation for being a brazenly biased mouthpiece for Republican politics is morphing into one of perversion and misogyny. But don’t worry – their mission of right-wing propagandizing is still being pursued in earnest by many remaining shills. Chief among them is Sean Hannity, who has escalated his efforts to promote Donald Trump. His program has become an unabashed platform for exalting and defending Trump no matter the circumstances.

Hannity has been performing some wild rhetorical acrobatics to that end. He has whirled from insisting that Trump was totally innocent of any collusion with Russia, to arguing that such collusion wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. More offensive are his ventures into conspiracy theories. Hannity has made a project of promoting the totally debunked story about Seth Rich. This fake news asserts that Rich, a former DNC staffer, was murdered for his involvement in hacking the Clinton/Podesta emails and sending them to Wikileaks. It’s a fascinating story that would be even more compelling if any of it were true.

As Hannity has ramps up the crazy on his show, he is beginning to attract some push-back from proponents of ethical journalism. Media Matters has initiated a campaign to “Stop Hannity” from further staining the airwaves with his lies and hate. They have previously engineered similar campaigns that targeted Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Both of them were eventually booted from their perches at Fox and now languish in near obscurity. It’s safe to say that Hannity is nervous. The Stop Hannity home page spells out how Media Matters intends to hold him, Fox News, and their advertisers accountable:

“Spreading misinformation is Hannity’s business model, and now he’s doing it on behalf of the Trump administration. His propagandizing has become so odious that he was condemned by some of his coworkers, who reportedly told The Daily Beast that the host was ’embarrassing’ the network and that ‘some people need to be fired.’

“It’s past time for Hannity to go. If Fox won’t fire Hannity, then advertisers should run as fast as they can, or else they run the risk of being complicit in his deceit and recklessness. Advertisers will get burned if they continue to associate with Hannity — plain and simple.”

This movement has only just begun, but it is already showing progress. Most notably, ultra-conservative pundits and websites are rising up in anger about this grassroots activism. The Daily Caller, Newsbusters, Western Journalism, and YoungCons have all posted stories labeling Media Matters a far-left provocateur. What’s more, Hannity’s ratings are suffering among the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds. For the most recent week for which there is complete ratings data, Hannity lost the whole week to his time period competition on MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. For the same week the Rachel Maddow Show was the highest rated program on all of cable news. Fox News was accustomed to dominating the ratings charts for years, but those days seem to be gone.

Time will tell if this campaign will be as successful as those aimed at Hannity’s former colleagues. But the track record of Media Matters on these actions is formidable. Advertisers have good reasons to be wary of associating themselves with a conspiracy monger like Hannity. And the more people that jump on this bandwagon, the more it can achieve. To that end, be sure to sign up at Stop Hannity and participate in the advertiser education program they are conducting. It’s a worthwhile cause because, as Ted Koppel told Hannity to his face, he is “bad for America.”

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

With Grand Jury Looming Trump Whines That ‘They’ Are Trying to Cheat You (VIDEO)

It’s getting a little old to say that Donald Trump has just suffered through his worst week yet. Because that appears to be true every damn week. That said, this past week has dropped some bombshells that will ring in his ears for quite a while.

Donald Trump

Most notably, there was the news that special counselor Robert Mueller has impaneled a Grand Jury to escalate his investigation of Trump and Company. But there was also news that subpoenas were issued in connection with Don Jr.’s meeting with Russian operatives. And then there was the release of the transcripts from Trump’s phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia. They confirmed just how dishonest and embarrassingly narcissistic he is.

But when Trump gets overwhelmed with bad news that makes him look – in his words – “like a dope,” there is only one cure. Get him back on the campaign trail in front of throngs of slobbering, glassy-eyed disciples. His unquestioning cult followers are the best prescription to rebuild his fragile ego. And that’s where he went Thursday night. The speech he delivered was chock full of the hits his fans have come to know and love. They literally sing along: “Lock her up,” “build the wall,” “make America great again.”

Included in the repertoire was a new number inspired by the Grand Jury. Trump didn’t explicitly reference his legal jeopardy, but he did hint at it in a fairly obvious manner. It’s a typically whiny number that will make a superb addition to his Greatest Emo Hits album (video below):

“They can’t beat us at the voting booth, so they’re trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us. And most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution.”

Let’s explore the deeper significance of this ditty. First of all, Trump keeps referring to “they” without ever defining who he’s talking about. And with him it could be anyone from Mexicans to Martians. All of whom he would accuse of being illegal bad hombres (or whatever is Martian for hombre). But here he is asserting that “they” can’t beat him at the polls. Apparently he’s forgotten that Hillary Clinton did beat him, by more than three million votes. Of course, he hasn’t really forgotten, because he’s been bringing it up every day for eight months.

Trump’s complaint that “they” are trying to cheat his cultists is also a peculiar position to take. After all, he is the only one who is credibly charged with cheating in the election. And it’s the Democrats who were cheated by both the Russian interference and the anachronistic and undemocratic electoral college. The leader that America wants is hiking in the forests outside of her New York home.

As for Trump’s incessant blathering about fake news, he refuses to acknowledge that he is the biggest beneficiary of it. The Russians unleashed millions of social media postings that disparaged Hillary Clinton and advanced Trump’s campaign. It was that activity that was demeaning to the country and the Constitution. Mueller’s investigation seeks to correct that.

But Trump will never recognize the reality of that because it doesn’t square with his delusional world view. And it’s much easier for him to imagine an evil “they” that he can exploit to frighten his already screwy supporters. The rest of “us” can only wait and hope his term comes to an abrupt end before he causes too much more harm.

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

Fox News ‘Judge’ Fear Mongers That Any Trump Indictments Will Trigger a ‘Real Uprising’

It is becoming clearer with every passing day that Donald Trump and his criminal associates are in big trouble. The latest bombshell is the news that special counsel, Robert Mueller, has impaneled a Grand Jury. It’s purpose is to investigate Trump’s finances and connections to Russia. That has surely put everyone in the White House on edge as the legal noose gets tighter.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Consequently, Fox News is ramping up their obsequious support for the President with ever more ludicrous pronouncements. On Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, they interviewed Jeanine Pirro, host of Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” The segment featured Pirro unleashing what amounts to an incitement to riot (video below). And Trump thought so much of that that he retweeted it to his fans:

“My concern is, if they end up with an indictment against a family member just to get at Donald Trump when they couldn’t get at him, there’s gonna be a real uproar – a real uprising in this country.”

There is so much wrong with statement. First and foremost, Pirro is setting the stage for crackpot Trump supporters to take to the streets in an outburst of violence. She didn’t bother to offer any objection to the uprising she’s predicting. That will serve as permission to the StormTrumpers who believe that their Leader is God’s anointed savior of the alt-right’s America. She is also echoing Trump’s own inciteful rhetoric during the campaign. When asked about the prospect of his not getting the GOP nomination he said “I think you’d have riots.”

Additionally, Pirro’s framing of the subject of indictments was narrowly focused on Trump’s family. She seems to be deliberately avoiding any talk of Trump himself being charged with a crime. Of course, any neutral observer knows that he is the most likely target of prosecution. But in Pirro’s remarks it’s only the family that is at risk. Is that a purposeful deflection?

Finally, the notion that the current investigations would target Trump’s family because they can’t get to him is downright delusional. The President is virtually dripping with guilt. He has made public confessions to obstruction of justice on national television. His financial conflicts could be unraveled by a middle-schooler with a Scooby Doo junior detective badge. The number of times Trump and those around him have lied and altered their stories constitute a clear consciousness of guilt.

If it were really a concern of of Pirro’s that there might be an uprising in the wake of Trump indictments, she would have said something to mitigate it. She would have warned people to abstain from violence and let the courts do their job. She would have shown respect for the judiciary and the concept of justice, after which her show is named. Instead, she and the Fox News regulars chose to denigrate the law in defense of the wannabe dictator they so admire.

The good news is that any uprising by the lawless traitors fighting for Trump would have negligible effect. Their numbers are already in the low 30’s and sinking further every day. It wouldn’t take long to subdue them. And once the truth is well disseminated, there wouldn’t be very many people who would go to the mat for a lying grifter who brought nothing but shame to America.

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