Hillary Goes ‘Between Two Ferns’ And It’s Freakin’ Hilarious (VIDEO)

It’s two weeks after Labor Day, the date generally regarded as the commencement of the campaign season. The conventions are behind us and voters are said to be paying attention to the candidates. So it makes perfect sense that just as people are taking this race seriously, Hillary Clinton would appear on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis (video below).

Hillary Clinton Between Two Ferns

Not generally recognized for her sense of humor, Clinton rises to the occasion and gives Galifianakis every bit as much as he gives her. The segment begins with a question that sets the tone for the remainder of the sketch:

Galifianakis: Critics have questioned some of your decision making recently and by you doing this show I hope it finally lays that to rest.
Clinton: Oh I think it absolutely proves their case, don’t you?

Galifianakis hits on all of the most pressing issues of the campaign. He asks about the historical significance of Hillary being the first “girl” president, not to mention the first white president for many young Americans. He challengers her on the Second Amendment. And he boldly raises the prospect of her losing the Scott Baio vote, something no mainstream journalists have had the courage to address. Galifianakis also explores the intricacies of Hillary’s wardrobe and her famous pantsuits.

Donald Trump is not neglected in this interview. Galifianakis wanted to know what he might wear during the debates. When Hillary speculated that he would probably wear his customary red “power” tie, Galifianakis offered that it might instead be a “white power” tie. He also pressed Clinton on campaign strategy asking:

“When you see how well it works for Donald Trump, do you ever think to yourself ‘Maybe I should be more racist?'”

When the discussion turned to the economy, Galifianakis interrupted for a message from the program’s sponsor. I won’t say who that was, but you might be able to guess. Then he closed with a reference to Clinton’s email “scandal.”

Edgy comedy showcases like this are an effective way to reach the elusive Millennial demographic with which Clinton has struggled. President Obama used it to great effect, including taking a spin between the same two ferns in 2014. Conservatives freaked out whenever Obama appeared on such programs and complained that it was “unpresidential.” That’s a criticism that would sound ludicrous coming from Trump.

However, these outings often humanize a candidate and reveal an ability to laugh at themselves. Clinton has a well enough established reputation for serious policy analysis that she can safely engage in some comic relief. It wouldn’t hurt her to do more of it. Trump, on the other hand, has yet to demonstrate that he grasps the seriousness of the office he seeks. He stubbornly refuses to offer any specifics as to how he would accomplish his outlandish campaign promises. Mexico isn’t paying for a wall that he isn’t going to build anyway. ISIS won’t be defeated overnight. The deficit isn’t going to shrink after his tax cuts for the rich, they are going to balloon by over five trillion dollars. And he isn’t going to end all street crime in America.

Although there is one area in which Trump has succeeded which may obviate the need for him to do shows like this. He is already perceived by most Americans as joke.

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

UPDATE: The co-creators of “Between Two Ferns” spoke to the Washington Post about the Clinton interview. It’s a really interesting bit of background that reveals in part that…

“…she was actually super warm and funny during the making of it. After one of the jokes, she let out a big laugh that put us all at ease. This one, compared with the Obama one, was much more improvisational. We didn’t clear most of the jokes through her people.”

Hannity Appears In Trump Ad, Fox News Brushes Off Flagrant Conflict Of Interest

It may come as a surprise to learn that Fox News has policies governing the ethical behavior of their employees. Over the years the network has brazenly promoted Republican politicians and pundits without regard for either fairness or balance. But the blurry lines they draw were recently crossed by primetime host Sean Hannity.

Sean Hannity

Hannity taped a tribute to Donald Trump that appears in a new web ad. Curiously, he is identified only as “Sean Hannity, TV personality.” Not only did they leave out his Fox News affiliation, but they reduced him to the status of Kim Kardashian or Ryan Seacrest. In the clip Hannity unequivocally states his support for Trump and outlines his reasons why.

“One of the reasons I’m supporting Donald Trump this year is number one, he’s going to put originalists on the Supreme Court. People that believe in fidelity to the Constitution, separation of powers, co-equal branches of government. He’s a guy that will vet refugees to keep Americans safe. And of course he’s gonna build that wall. He says he’s gonna have Mexico pay for it. That’s fine, as long as we secure the country and, of course, we don’t want people competing for jobs. He said he will eliminate Obamacare, make us energy-independent, and as somebody who’s been a marksman since I’m 11 years old, protecting our Second Amendment rights are paramount to me.”

This list of right-wing tripe is typical of the propaganda that Fox and Hannity regularly dispense. Nothing in it varies from the conservative politics that dominate the network. What’s unusual is that Hannity delivers his testimonial in an official Trump advertisement. Along with fellow asshats like Ted Nugent, Hannity plants a wet kiss full on the mouth of his hallowed hero. Unfortunately, he failed to get permission from his Fox bosses before contributing his services. That reckless disobedience resulted in Fox News taking swift disciplinary action:

“We were not aware of Sean Hannity participating in a promotional video and he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season.”

Well, that ought teach him. While distancing themselves from Hannity’s impropriety, Fox firmly forbade him from further misconduct. And that appears to be the extent of his punishment. He wasn’t suspended. His pay wasn’t docked. There doesn’t even seem to be a demand to remove his segment from Trump’s ad. What’s more, they gave him permission to continue his partisan antics after the election.

This absence of consequences isn’t the least bit peculiar. Why would Fox News punish Hannity for doing in an ad what he does everyday on his program? Hannity has publicly endorsed Trump. His show has hosted Trump more than any other program on television. Tonight, in fact, he’ll be holding his third “town hall” wherein Trump is given the full hour to advance his candidacy. Hannity’s role in these infomercials is mainly to toss Trump softballs that he often answers himself. Or, at least, polishes the frequently moronic answers Trump serves up.

As the election season proceeds, Fox News is frantically escalating their Trump crusade. On the air they are deploying ever more hysterical Trump surrogates. The Fox News website is fully engaged in PR for Trump. Their Twitter feed is brazenly distributing professionally designed pro-Trump memes (see this collection). They couldn’t be more engaged in the campaign without registering as a PAC, which technically they ought to do anyway.

Consequently, Hannity’s pathetic iPhone video contribution to a web ad really doesn’t make much difference. And the only people watching Fox’s disinformation blitz are dimwitted wingnuts who wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances. Fox’s incessant choir-preaching didn’t elect John McCain or Mitt Romney, and it isn’t going to elect Donald Trump either.

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

BUSTED: Trump Used His ‘Charity’ To Pay Off His Own Legal Settlements

This summer has seen a flurry of unscrupulous, if not illegal, revelations about Donald Trump’s “charitable” foundation. Previously it was disclosed that he had used funds designated for charity to make a dubious political contribution (bribe?) to the Florida attorney general. Her office was investigating Trump University at the time, then dropped the case within days of the donation. There was another hundred grand donated to Citizens United just as they were engaging in a battle with the New York attorney general who was investigating Trump. He also spent charity funds on personal items including portraits of himself and sports memorabilia. He also spent charity funds on personal items including portraits of himself and sports memorabilia.

Donald Trump

Now David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post is reporting a new breach of philanthropic ethics. IRS filings by the Trump Foundation show that charitable funds were used to settle Trump’s personal or business debts. That would be a violation of the law under a statute that forbids “self dealing.” Charitable funds must be used for charitable purposes and may not personally benefit the donor. However, Trump diverted more than a quarter of a million dollars that inured solely to his benefit. According to Fahrenthold:

“In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole.

“In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.

“In another case, court papers say one of Trump’s golf courses in New York agreed to settle a lawsuit by making a donation to the plaintiff’s chosen charity. A $158,000 donation was made by the Trump Foundation, according to tax records.”

So Trump improperly used foundation funds to pay off his personal legal debts. Even worse, the funds held in his foundation were mostly donated by others. Trump has not made a contribution to his own foundation since 2009. Consequently, Trump’s personal obligations were paid for by money that others had donated to his charity. Those donors probably did not anticipate that their generosity would be utilized for that purpose. Fahrenthold enumerated other smaller incidents, as well as the potential legal consequences:

“If the Internal Revenue Service were to find that Trump violated self-dealing rules, the agency could require him to pay penalty taxes or to reimburse the foundation for all the money it spent on his behalf. Trump is also facing scrutiny from the office of the New York attorney general, which is examining whether the foundation broke state charity laws.”

Trump failed to respond to inquires by the Post. That, along with his persistent refusal to release his tax returns, raises questions about his honesty and transparency. The evidence that Trump has been running his foundation as a personal slush fund is mounting. Not to mention the same accusations have been made about his campaign. Trump the candidate has paid millions of dollars to Trump the businessman for facility rentals and merchandise. Contrast that with the positive reviews of the Clinton Foundation.

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

It may be too soon for the legal questions surrounding these affairs to be answered, but the political answers are clear. Trump is a failed businessman who lacks common ethics. He will con, lie, cheat, and steal in order to enrich himself at the expense of others. Anyone who could support such a man for president can legitimately be called deplorable.

LMFAO: Trump Takes Credit For Sh*t He Didn’t Do (Again) – Twitter Bites Back

From the start of his campaign Donald Trump has attempted to fool people into thinking he has inspired a vigorous political debate. The truth is that he hasn’t had single original thought in fifteen months. That hasn’t stopped him from claiming that no one talked about immigration until he came along. Or that he was the first person ever to condemn terrorism. Likewise, he thinks his exploitation of veterans launched the nation’s concern for them. He even stole the Birther issue which he used to launch his candidacy.

Donald Trump

Today he took credit for something else for which he was an obvious latecomer. In a tweet meant to criticize Hillary Clinton, Trump whined:

“Do people notice Hillary is copying my airplane rallies – she puts the plane behind her like I have been doing from the beginning.”

Wow, that Hillary Clinton is a real jerk. How dare she steal that brilliant idea that Trump conceived with his own tremendous brain. Can’t she come up with ideas of her own? And while we’re at it, let’s condemn these slime buckets who traveled through time to swipe Trump’s strategic breakthrough.

Beginning with this guy:

And then there was Mitt Romney:

That war deserter John McCain:

Mission accomplisher George W. Bush:

The Great Communicator himself, Ronald Reagan:

And I’ll throw in a Naked Gun reference just for fun:

Donald Trump’s narcissism is totally off the scale. He’s the guy who comes late to the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square and takes credit for the ball dropping. His perverse obsession with himself has led him to declare that “My primary consultant is myself.” In the White House Trump would surely continue this blatant conceit, which could have disastrous consequences. In the best case scenario it would just make America the laughingstock of the world.

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

WTF? At Clinton’s Post-Terror Press Avail 3 Out Of 4 Questions Were About Trump

For much of the summer conservatives busied themselves counting the days that elapsed since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. To them it indicated that she had something to hide. The truth was that she was concentrating on local media and one-on-one interviews. She was hardly avoiding the press. However, if she wanted to she had ample reason. Her press conference this morning is a perfect illustration of why Clinton might be justified in dodging these affairs.

Hillary Clinton

Following a weekend of bombings and stabbings attributed to terror-linked suspects, Clinton delivered a statement and took a few question from reporters covering her campaign (video below). She began by offering her support to the communities affected by the attacks. She also expressed concern for the victims and determination to prevail over the perpetrators saying, in part:

“Like all Americans, my thoughts are with those who were wounded, their families and our brave first responders. This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower, we will prevail. We will defend our country and we will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.”

After her remarks, Clinton invited the press to ask questions. You might think this would be a good time to dig deeper into her plans to defeat the enemy. But that would only be true if you considered the enemy to be Donald Trump. Because the press seemed far more interested in him than in ISIS. Here are the four questions Clinton was asked by our intrepid journalists:

First Question:

Unidentified Reporter: The person of interest in this case is an Afghan immigrant, now U.S. citizen. What do you say to voters who may see this as a reason to consider supporting Trump’s approach to terror and immigration?

What do you say to those voters? Who gives a flying flapjack! Voters who are considering Trump’s approach to fighting terrorism are considering an approach that doesn’t exist. And his followers don’t care. In over fifteen months of campaigning he has yet to articulate a coherent policy. Trump’s ISIS “plan” consists of bashing Clinton and President Obama, while boldly declaring from the comfort of his gold-encrusted penthouse that he will bomb the sh*t out of them. Despite the obtuse phrasing of the question, Clinton’s reply was thoughtful, covering law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and immigration reform. All while respecting the civil liberties of American citizens and residents. Voters considering Trump have no interest in such trivialities.

Second Question:

Monica Alba, NBC News: Secretary Clinton, the White House has labeled these lone wolf attacks a top concern and given these weekend’s events, what more specifically should be done and what would you do specifically beyond what President Obama has done? Is the current plan enough?

Remember that question. You won’t hear another like during this event. It actually addressed a substantive issue and Clinton was able to respond in kind.

Third Question:

Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg Politics: Are you concerned that this weekend’s attacks or potential incidents in the coming weeks might be an attempt by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers or, really, any other group, maybe the Russians, to influence the presidential race in some way, And presumably try to drive votes to Donald Trump who, as you said before, widely seen as perhaps being somebody who they would be more willing to — or see as an easier person to be against?

Once again, the question was framed with an eye on how Trump figured into it. The reporter couldn’t simply inquire as to Clinton’s thoughts on the events of the day. Apparently the electoral consequences of terrorism are more important than defeating it. Nevertheless, Clinton soldiered on to provide an answer:

“We know that a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists, people who number in the maybe tens of thousands, not but tens of millions.” […and…] “we know that Donald Trump’s comments have been used online for recruitment of terrorists. We’ve heard that from former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who made it a very clear point when he said Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists. We also know from the former head of our Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.”

That business about “giving aid and comfort to our adversaries” was quickly snatched up by the Trump camp. They complained that Clinton was accusing him of treason. However, she was only citing the opinion of a counter-terrorism expert. The rest of her comments were accurate and well documented.

Fourth Question:

Nancy Cordes, CBS News: Secretary Clinton, as you know, Donald Trump has had a lot to say about your record on this issue over the weekend. Here’s one more example. “Under the leadership of Obama and Clinton, Americans have experienced more attacks at home than victories abroad. Time to change the playbook.” What’s your reaction to that characterization?

Cordes was referencing Trump’s tweet this morning. It hardly requires a response since it is so patently absurd. Americans have not experienced any near the number of attacks as the victories abroad. There have only been a handful of domestic terrorist attacks. That doesn’t diminish the tragedy resulting from them, but it’s simply a fact that there have been very few. Conversely, the U.S. has conducted thousands of missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, that have eliminated hundreds of terrorists including many of their top commanders. Clinton made that very point and ridiculed Trump’s “irresponsible, reckless rhetoric.”

Change the playbook? Trump doesn’t have a playbook at all, and we’re not even sure that he can read. Clinton, on the other hand, has laid out detailed plans for dealing with terrorism. She has the support of dozens of national security experts with credentials from both parties. While Trump has been shunned by members of his own party who say he is unqualified, ignorant, and dangerous.

The press showed itself in this candidate avail to be obsessed with horse-race politics to the exclusion of anything else. The issues that needed to be discussed today were the ones relating to the attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. There were real people with real injuries involved. But the media seemed to be interested in only the political circus generally, and the Trump sideshow in particular. That’s a sad state of journalistic affairs. And it would serve as justification should Clinton want to ditch her press corps for the remainder of the campaign. Unless the media can divest itself of its Trump fetish, they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

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

GOP Politburo Demands All Party Members Submit To Trump – Or Else

At last July’s Republican convention, the party went to great lengths to portray themselves as united behind their nominee. It was an uphill effort considering many of the most prominent members of the party were openly contemptuous of him. Donald Trump had alienated a broad swath of his colleagues. His childish insults, flagrant bigotry, and embarrassing ignorance didn’t sit well with party regulars. Many refused to attend the convention, including the governor of the state that hosted it.

Reince Priebus

During the course of the primary Trump made up disparaging nicknames for his opponents (Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, etc.), belittled John McCain’s heroism, mocked Carly Fiorina’s looks, and maligned other respected Republicans including past presidents. As Trump transitioned into the general election he continued to estrange his peers and discount their usefulness to his campaign. Consequently, former candidates like Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich have refused to endorse him. Many others have announced their support for Hillary Clinton. The list of Republicans who are abandoning their party over Trump grows by the day.

Now the Republican Party has decided to crackdown on these drifters. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee told John Dickerson on Face the Nation (video below) that wayward Republicans “need to get on board.” He made thinly veiled threats that anyone who fails to support Trump could be prohibited from running as a Republican in the future:

“If they’re thinking they’re gonna run again someday, I think we’re gonna evaluate the nomination process and I don’t think it’s gonna be that easy for them. […] If a private entity puts forward a process and has agreement with the participants in that process, and those participants don’t follow through with the promises that they made in that process, what should a private party do about that if those same people come around in four or eight years?”

In other words, fall in line or be cast out as heretics. Dickerson noted that “It sounds like a brush-back pitch,” to which Priebus coyly grinned but did not deny. In fact, Priebus was letting the stragglers know that they could suffer penalties for their independence. In order to be a Republican candidate, he implies, one has to conform to the party’s demands. Of course, Priebus has no legal authority to decide who can run as Republican and who cannot. Anyone who registers as a candidate and meets ballot access requirements can mount a campaign.

The attempt by Priebus to strong arm party members into compliance is unprecedented and unenforceable. But mostly it reveals the shaky foundation of the party’s professed unity. It shows that their candidate is so toxic that they have to employ threats to secure support. The list of anti-Trump Republicans includes many of the party’s most respected leaders. In addition, fifty top GOP national security officials publicly condemned Trump as not qualified to be commander-in-chief. They warned that he would be “the most reckless President in American history.” Most recently former Defense Secretary Bob Gates wrote a scathing editorial for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that “A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”

In this environment it is going to be hard for Priebus to enforce his autocratic ultimatum. Too many free thinking Republicans are horrified that their party has been hijacked by a celebrity ignoramus. They are unwilling to bow down to an unstable, tantrum throwing, narcissistic, wannabe dictator. And no matter how much party apparatchiks like Priebus complain, Trump will never unify the party. To the contrary, his campaign from the start has sought to upend it. On that measure he can claim a somewhat dubious victory.

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

LOL: Trump Threatens To Sue New York Times For ‘Irresponsible Intent’ – Which Doesn’t Exist

Here’s another case of The Donald trumping satire. In the midst of one of his Twitter tirades, Trump lashed out at his arch enemy (well, one of them), the New York Times.

Donald Trump

Something got stuck in Trump’s craw. As usual, he never mentions what it is he’s upset about, nor offers a substantive rebuttal. He just launches blind rhetorical missiles. This time he began by attacking columnist Maureen Dowd, who he called “crazy,” “wacky,” and “a neurotic dope.” He piled on by calling the Times “failing,” “disgusting,” and “a laughingstock rag.” But the piece de resistance was a legal threat that made no sense at all:

If the prospect of this idiot becoming president wasn’t so scary, it would be the funniest bit of performance art ever conceived. Donald Trump is now inventing legal doctrine and giving it nonsense names. There is no such thing as “irresponsible intent” in tort law. And Trump should be damn glad there isn’t. Because it sounds like something that millions of Americans could sue him for.

What’s more, it would be hard to define what constitutes irresponsibility on the part of a news enterprise. If deliberately dispensing false propaganda were a component of the doctrine, then Fox News could be sued into bankruptcy many times over. For my money, I would sue all of the news outlets that let Trump get away with lying about virtually every subject he has addressed. And what could be more irresponsible than broadcasting Trump’s overt racism and hate speech?

Trump’s litigation threat, despite its dissociation from reality, would violate an actual law. A constitutional one at that. His cavalier approach to the First Amendment should frighten all Americans. This is a candidate for the highest office in the land who has proposed “strengthening” libel laws so he could more easily sue the media he so viscerally hates. To hell with freedom of the press. And when he doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, he just makes up stuff to shake at his foes. His knowledge of the Constitution is as non-existent as its Article XII, which he actually thinks exists. Maybe that’s where he found “irresponsible intent.”

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

What a pathetic, ignorant, small, and potentially dangerous man. He continues to prove that he is utterly unqualified to be a stamp-licker, much less president. The outer limits of his stupidity have still not been reached. And God help us all if he reaches it as Commander-in-Chief.

Fact-Challenged Trump Cult’s Blind Hate Drives Trust In Media To Historic Lows

Let’s face it, the media has very little to brag about lately. It has been embarrassingly inept in its coverage of the election. It lets Donald Trump get away with a torrent of lies unseen in modern times (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). Simultaneously, it harps on Hillary Clinton’s alleged scandals despite the absence of any evidence of actual wrongdoing.

Donald Trump

Consequently, it should come as no surprise that a new poll by Gallup reveals that trust in the media has sunk to historic lows. Gallup’s survey asked people “how much trust and confidence” they have in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.” The respondents who said “a great deal” or “a fair amount” totaled to only thirty-two percent. That’s the lowest score in over forty years that Gallup has been asking this question.

The cause of the decline becomes more apparent when the numbers are broken out by political affiliation. Gallup notes that “Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally.” Since last year those groups have fallen four percent and three percent respectively. However, Republicans have taken a dive of mammoth proportions, dropping twelve percent. Says Gallup:

“With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more.”

This part of Gallup’s analysis may be true so far as the perception of Republicans is concerned. As a group they are notoriously whiny about what they believe is unfair reporting. However, as a matter of fact it is demonstrably false. A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy showed that from the start of the campaign “Trump’s coverage was positive in tone — he received far more ‘good press’ than ‘bad press.’” The same study showed that “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” And people wonder why Clinton is wary of the press. But there is another reason Republicans lost faith in greater numbers. Gallup highlighted it saying that:

“It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press.”

Bingo! Donald Trump has taken a sledgehammer to the media from day one. He has complained relentlessly about a perceived bias by a press corps that has shamelessly coddled him. They air his repetitive stump speeches in full and uninterrupted. They fall for his stunts designed to draw more attention to him. They even admit that they cater to his whims because they are addicted to the ratings they think he generates. CBS CEO Les Moonves famously said that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Even worse, Trump frequently disparages reporters personally. He calls them dummies, losers, sleazy, and scum. He points at them viciously during his rallies while spitting insults and “joking” about killing them. An NBC reporter once had to be escorted to her car by Secret Service after a rally due to threats from Trump’s hostile followers.

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

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the media. It is a humongous industry controlled by a few monolithic, multinational corporations. It often pursues its own self-interest rather than the interests of the public they purport to serve. However, the delusional rantings of Donald Trump and his surrogates in no way justifies a loss of trust for the press. His unhinged rage is representative of a paranoid diversion from reality. And unfortunately, the damage he does to the public’s relationship with the media will far outlast this election season.

Making China Great Again: Trump’s New Hotel Stuffed With Foreign Made Goods

From the start of his campaign Donald Trump has promised to “make America great again.” Central to that marketing slogan is his claim that he will bring jobs back to the U.S. from China, Mexico, etc. The hypocrisy of that claim is well established with evidence that his clothing and other products are mostly manufactured in the very countries he attacks.

Trump International Hotel

Today Trump invited some of his closest friends to tour his new Washington, DC, hotel in what he called a “soft opening.” The press was not on the guest list. However, a photographer from the liberal American Bridge PAC did make it into the swanky digs and documented something that Trump failed to mention. There are numerous furnishings and accessories in the hotel that were made in China and other foreign countries. For instance:

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post also sneaked into the tour and found some more interesting examples of Trump’s deceit. Among other things was this spiritual amenity:

“I came across the Gideon bible in the nightstand with a note on ‘TRUMP HOTELS’ stationery:

‘If you would like to continue your spiritual journey, we also offer the followings (sic): Talmud. Quran. Gita. Avesta. Tripitaka (Pali Canon). Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Book of Mormon. Kindly contact Housekeeping should you wish to have one delivered to your room.'”

So Trump is providing Qurans to his hotel guests. They might be underused in a Trump administration since he isn’t allowing any Muslims into the country. However, any domestic Muslims will be able to find solace in their stay at the Trump hotel while (in the minds of Trumpsters) they plot to blow it up.

What’s more, Trump can be expected to staff his new establishment with foreign workers, just as he has done at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. When pressed to explain why he didn’t hire Americans, Trump whined that “it’s very, very hard to get people in Palm Beach during the Palm Beach season.” Of course it is. What America would want to work in a ritzy resort on the Florida shore?

How any of this brings jobs back to America is a mystery. But it does conform to Trump’s pattern of behavior. Say whatever will warm the cockles of his dimwitted followers, then do whatever benefits him. It’s further proof of his singular focus on his own self-interest and his shameless hypocrisy.

FINALLY: Trump Dumps Birther BS With No Apology, But Lies About Hillary Clinton

To call the campaign of Donald Trump chaotic would be an understatement. Very little of what they do makes much sense. It seems the primary occupation of its senior staff is cleaning up after ignorant or offensive remarks by the candidate.

Trump Baby Birther

Today is no exception. Trump once again exposed his worst flank to the public in an interview with the Washington Post. When asked by Post reporter Robert Costa where President Obama was born, Trump retreated to his safe place. He was unable to give the obvious answer, Hawaii. He stubbornly clung to the racist birther position for which he was a leading proponent. Instead of finally conceding what everyone knows is the truth he said:

“I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet. I want to focus on other things. I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

What a transparently manifest load of bull. If he wanted to end talk about his fixation on birtherism all he would have to do is renounce it and apologize. This morning he got part of that message. Trump staged a press avail to finally announce that “President Obama was born in the United States, period.” Well, duh! However, he did not apologize for the years of slander and insults to the first African-American president or the people to whom Trump lied repeatedly.

Even worse, he used the opportunity to perpetuate another birther-related lie about Hillary Clinton saying that “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.” Actually that’s two lies. Clinton did not start the birther controversy, and he certainly didn’t finish. The Clinton nonsense was also in his campaign’s official statement that was released yesterday:

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. […] Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”

The same things that are wrong with that statement are wrong in Trump’s remarks today. First of all, he is giving Trump credit for obtaining Obama’s birth certificate which is patently false. Trump is fond of declaring himself the cause of things that happen in proximity to his having mentioned it. Never mind that others have been involved in the matter for months or years prior to him. He comes late to the New Year’s Party in Times Square and then takes credit for the ball dropping. Typically narcissistic behavior.

Secondly, when Obama released his birth certificate, Trump was the first to object to its authenticity. He later tweeted that “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” Could it be the same source he sent to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth, but who was never heard from again? Suddenly, and without explanation, Trump is satisfied with the birth certificate?

Included in the campaign’s statement was another persistent lie promoted by Trump. It wasn’t enough to try to weasel out of his birtherism, he had to blame it all on Hillary Clinton. This is a falsehood that was debunked by every fact-checking organization long ago. Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly floated it as a means of taking the heat off of himself. But the facts are irrefutable. As PolitiFact found when rating this claim “False”:

“There is no record that Clinton herself or anyone within her campaign ever advanced the charge that Obama was not born in the United States. A review by our fellow fact-checkers at Factcheck.org reported that no journalist who investigated this ever found a connection to anyone in the Clinton organization.”

As For Hillary Clinton, she responded to Trump’s latest failure to take the opportunity to renounce his birther beliefs:

“He was asked one more time where was President Obama born, and he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America. This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry? Now, he’s tried to reset himself and his campaign many times. This is the best he can do. This is who he is.”


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


The bottom line is that Trump is still completely unwilling to own up to his racism. He is too cowardly to admit that he was wrong. And making disingenuous statements infused with lies that fail to explain when or how Trump allegedly changed his mind will not resolve the matter. Especially when they double down on lies and brag about false achievements. But that is the best that we can expect from a candidate who has made lying and bragging his brand.