NOT THE ENEMY: Twitter Pounds Trump’s Anti-American Attack On The Free Press

On Friday Donald Trump posted one of his most offensive tweets to date. And that’s saying something. The Twitter president continues to use the social media site as a means of lashing out against his critics. His latest tweet sinks to a new low by calling some of those critics “enemies.”

To be clear, Trump is referring to the people who practice the only profession explicitly protected in the Constitution. He is maligning thousands of dedicated truth-seekers who gave their lives to expose corruption, brutality, and deception. For all its flaws, and there are many, the press is an indispensable component of liberty in a democratic society. The toxic repulsiveness of his comment cannot be understated.

Donald Trump

The fundamental value of the media is something that Donald can never understand. Either that or he understands it all too well, which explains his hostility toward it. His repulsive tweet stirred responses from Twitizens who were justifiably outraged. Here a re few of those responses aggregated under the trending hashtag #NotTheEnemy:

Nuff said.

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

Trump’s ‘Enemy Of The American People’ Is A Direct Threat To The Free Press

From the outset of Donald Trump’s campaign he has made the media a target of his attacks, insults and retribution. He has called them liars and sleazy and horrible people. Keeping them penned up at his rallies was common, as was expelling those he especially disliked.

Donald Trump

Organizations that advocate for the welfare of journalists have expressed their concerns with justifiable anxiety. The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a warning that “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.” The National Press Club released a similar statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

Now Trump has taken his abuse a step further into an ominous future. He posted on Twitter a message that reeks of an authoritarian stranglehold on one of America’s most cherished principles. The Free Press. He tweeted:

Trump’s characterization of the press as “the enemy of the American People!” has roots in some of the most oppressive historical dictatorships. It goes back to ancient Roman times. However, it has been used as recently as the 1950’s by China’s Chairman Mao Tse-tung to suppress freedom. Trump’s usage is particularly repulsive because of the overtly violent overtones that infect so much of his rhetoric. Is he deliberately fomenting violence against the press now? As an aside, it’s curious that he thinks the media is the enemy of the American people, but that it isn’t his enemy.

In the United States, disgraced former President Richard Nixon made an almost identical statement in private. He said that “The press is the enemy, the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy.” Sound familiar? But Trump is saying it very publicly. It’s also notable that Nixon’s Watergate scandal and Trump’s current transgressions have similar beginnings. The Republican operatives who broke into Democratic offices at the Watergate were called the “Plumbers” because their purpose was to plug up leaks. And that’s exactly the focus of Trump’s complaints.

The “enemy of the people” theme is likely the handiwork of Trump’s alt-right, white supremacist aide, Stephen Bannon. In 2012 his Breitbart News website featured a commentary by Trump supporter Pat Caddell. In it Caddell said that “The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power,” So far, so good. However, he continued to say that they have “desert[ed] those ramparts” and “made themselves the enemy of the American people.”

Mao, Nixon, Breitbart. Is there a pattern forming? Trump would be thrilled to discredit the media that he regards as the “opposition party.” Then he could rant relentlessly with his “alternative facts” and outright lies without restraint or objective scrutiny. He could rely on disreputable “news” manglers like Breitbart, Infowars, the National Enquirer, and Fox News to lead his campaign of disinformation.

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

This needs to be taken seriously. Trump is not kidding when he says the free press is the enemy. Last October he complained that “Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.” Trump is actually appalled that the press can say whatever they want. It’s a freedom that he would eagerly undo given the opportunity. That would leave us with his factless accounts of a delusional world that exalts him and maligns his critics. He must be stopped by any (legal) means necessary.

FOX NEWS (!?!) Reveals What Trump Knew About Flynn’s Talks With The Russians

What may be the most scandalous saga to date from the nascent Trump administration continues to unfold in shocking ways. The latest revelation comes from Fox News. That’s right, Fox News! Correspondent John Roberts reported that his investigation of fired National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, has uncovered an account of events that contradicts President Donald Trump (video below).

Trump Flynn

Roberts reports that:

“The president was, in fact, fully briefed on the content of those conversations that Gen. Michael Flynn had with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, by people who would know what the content of those phone conversations was.”

Trump began by denying that he knew about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. When that story failed he denied having any details of the substance of those talks. This report reveals that Trump not only knew that the talks took place, but what they talked about.

In Thursday’s press conference Trump addressed the Flynn firing specifically. He said that he didn’t think Flynn had done anything wrong by talking to the Russians. In fact, he said he would have directed Flynn to do so. That’s an odd statement because it begs the question: Why didn’t he give that direction?

However, Trump also clarified the reason he fired Flynn saying that “I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence.” So Trump fired Flynn because Flynn had not told Pence that he discussed sanctions with the Russians. But Fox’s report reveals that Trump also knew about Flynn’s conversations, including the sanctions, but Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So both Trump and Flynn withheld the same information from Pence, but Trump fired Flynn for it.

None of this makes any sense. Trump doesn’t think Flynn’s conversations with the Russians were wrong. The only thing that was wrong, according to Trump, was not telling Pence. But Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So was Trump wrong? And if not, then why was Flynn fired?

Are you confused yet? Then you’re normal. Clearly this entire affair was a disaster. There should never have been any talks during the campaign between Trump’s people and a hostile foreign government. We have just one president at a time. Consequently, Trump’s scrambling to find excuses for all of this just churns out more bullshit as he goes along.

The new revelations from Fox News prove that Trump’s story is an ever-changing fiction. And the fact that the proof is coming from Fox is significant in and of itself. When the nation finally learns what has been going on between Trump and Russia, there is certain to be more shocking details revealed. Perhaps they will explain Trump’s constant defense of Vladimir Putin and his reluctance to ever criticize the Russian dictator. And maybe we’ll also find out just how intertwined Putin was with Trump’s campaign.

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

Parroting Trump Theme, Ted Nugent Considers Running For The Senate

It’s come to this? After the election of Donald Trump there is almost nothing that is beyond the realm of political decency. Trump’s campaign was a bizarre circus of racism, misogyny, ignorance, and juvenile tantrums and insults. So what’s next for right-wing America?

Donald Trump Ted Nugent

Fox News is reporting that Ted Nugent is considering running for the senate in Michigan. This news comes on the heels of a previous report that Republicans might recruit Kid Rock for the same seat. The Deplorables are certainly stepping up their political presence. But while Kid Rock never responded to the speculation, Nugent has already announced his interest in running on a familiar campaign theme:

“I’m always very interested in making my country and the great state of Michigan great again and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to help in any way I possibly can.”

Nugent was an avid supporter of Trump and campaigned with him. Typically classy, Nugent took the stage at a Trump rally in Michigan and grabbed his crotch. “I’ve got your blue state right here, baby,” he ranted. “Black and blue.” Perhaps he could have that printed on a baseball cap.

But that isn’t even close to the most vile public comments Nugent has retched over the years. The “Motor City Madman” famous for songs like “Jailbait” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,” has a record of abhorrent utterances. For instance:

  • Nugent said that “Jews for guncontrol are nazis in disguise?”
  • He ranted that Clinton “should be tried for treason & hung.”
  • In a tweet portraying Clinton being assassinated, Nugent wrote: “I got your guncontrol right here bitch!”
  • He called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
  • Referring to Clinton in an interview, Nugent said “”You probably can’t use the term `toxic cunt’ in your magazine, but that’s what she is. [and] This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.”
  • He exhorted his fans to vote for Trump or “the devilbitch will continue the fundamental transformation of the Barack ‘I Hate America’ Obama suicide death march for America.”
  • And echoing Trump’s animosity for the free press, he called the media “retards” who “screw farm animals.”

Perhaps the most appalling of Nugent’s public meltdowns was a video that went viral a few years ago. It showed him thoroughly unhinged at a concert where he fantasized about killing several Democratic politicians. While brandishing what appeared to be a couple of automatic weapons, Trump bellowed:

“I was in Chicago and I said ‘Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these you punk.’ Obama, he’s a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Then I was in New York and I said, ‘Hey Hillary you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch.’ Then I was out in California and I thought, Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun. Hey Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore.”

It isn’t coincidental that most of his targets are women. Nor is it surprising that he and Trump have such affinity for one another. They both engage in childish vulgarity. They are both consumed with hatred for their fellow Americans. Racism is a prime motivating factor for both of them. They are both draft dodgers who now pretend to revere the military. And they have both publicly boasted about their misogynistic affairs and sexual assaults that have included women and girls.

The Republican Party’s aversion to celebrities engaging in politics is always suspended when it’s one of their celebrities. However, in this case they have nothing to worry about. Nugent is hardly a celebrity. He’s a 1970’s a washout who has spent the last few decades performing as a novelty act at state fairs and shilling for the NRA.

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

It would be kind of fun to see Nugent square off against Kid Rock in a GOP primary. However, given the public’s affinity for tabloid-style, reality show politics, I would not not want see any such candidate in a general election. The stakes are too high. And Trump has proven that too many people are swayed by shallow blowhards they’ve seen on their TVs.

ABLOW SAY RELAX: Trump Is ‘Stone Cold Sane’ According To This Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst

In recent weeks there have been several reports characterizing the mental stability of President Donald Trump. Some of these have been partisan assessments by political opponents. Others have been more detailed warnings from mental health professionals about his “malignant narcissism”. There have even been bipartisan bills drafted to mandate a White House psychiatrist. However, “Doctor” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, has his own professional diagnosis that comes to a different conclusion. He believes that Trump is as sane as you and I. But the reasons he gives are – well – batshit crazy.

Keith Ablow

Ablow starts off with a disclaimer that he has never examined Trump. It is considered unethical for doctors to make diagnoses of people who have never personally been under their care. Funny, Ablow never bothered to offer that disclaimer when he was unethically (and absurdly) diagnosing President Obama. What follows is a rundown from his latest article for Fox News. In it Ablow says Trump is totally sane because:

He’s rich and famous:

“When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.”

Of course. Everyone knows there aren’t any wealthy business people with mental illness. They can just buy some new sanity if they lose theirs. Rich people are always perfect in body, mind, and bank account. Take Howard Hughes for example.

He’s a good family man:

“When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable.”

Indeed. And Trump is so stable that he’s currently on his third wife. And each of his marriages have been marred by flagrant and public infidelities. Plus, his current wife and their child rely on him so much for support that they declined to live with him in the White House.

He’s a political wrecking crew:

“When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democratic heir-apparent to a two-term president’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.”

Because nothing says mental stability like viciously maligning your own party colleagues with childish nicknames and outlandish allegations. Just ask Lyin’ Ted Cruz whose father worked with JFK assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

He’s a bureaucrat magnet:

“And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.”

That’s right. After all, who ever heard of someone accepting a lucrative and powerful government job when offered one? That’s especially true of unqualified nominees like Carson, Rick Perry, and Betsy Devos. And the billionaire, Goldman Sachs, swamp dwellers have their own selfish reasons.

But perhaps the most profoundly absurd defense of Trump’s sanity was Ablow’s personal testimonial and endorsement of Trump branded products and services:

He’s a walking infomercial

“Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?”

Seriously? Ablow thinks that Trump is the picture of sanity because ties manufactured in China, but branded with his name, meet his standards as a consumer. Similarly, Ablow’s Trump Place condo is in a building that the Trump Organization developed but does not own. And does any sane person think that Trump is responsible for the food and service at a restaurant with his name plastered on the front?

Ablow went on to suggest that the performance of the stock market is another indication of Trump’s mental health. Sure, it’s up about 2,000 points since the election. It’s notable that none of Trump’s fiscal policies have been implemented in that time. Nor would it reflect on his sanity if they were. However, since he’s handing out credit, Obama must be super-sane, because the market rose 12,000 points during his presidency. Except that, as noted above, Ablow has already diagnosed Obama as mentally challenged. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the markets are still running on the economic policies of the Obama administration.

And if it weren’t enough for Ablow to construct a preposterous case for Trump’s mental health, he also had to portray his critics as mental deficients. He called anyone who questioned Trump’s psychological status “political opportunists, or fools, or both.” Then he singled out Sen. Al Franken as an example. Specifically, he called Franken’s sanity into question because Franken and Elizabeth Warren are allies and Warren once said she had Native American ancestry. First of all, she only said that because that’s what her parents told her. Having never bothered to fact-check her parents doesn’t make her nuts. But regardless, how would that reflect on Franken? Ablow’s psychological prognosis implies that anyone affiliated with Warren is crazy.

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

Ablow closes by saying “And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question? Really, you can’t make this stuff up.” Wrong again. Ablow just proved that you can make up whatever the hell you want and Fox News will publish it. After all, this is the same guy who wrote that Donald Trump’s narcissism is exactly what America needs. And my personal favorite, his treatise praising the Unabomber. Now that certifies him as a perfectly sane psychiatrist, don’t you think?

Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Banned From Morning Joe Because She ‘Makes Things Up’

One of the many abhorrent things that the Era of Trump will be remembered for is the emergence of “Fake News.” The term’s definition has become fuzzy, but within Donald Trump’s circle it is defined as anything with which he disagrees. However, everywhere else it is more accurately defined as news that is deliberately contrived for financial or political gain.

Kellyanne Conway

The Trump Team has demonstrated its prowess in this new field of fictionalized reporting. Starting from the the top with Trump notching a record number of “Pants-On-Fire” lies on PolitiFact. And his press secretary, Sean “Fibby Spice” Spicer valiantly defends his boss with equally dishonest press briefings.

Another member of the Liars Brigade is Kellyanne Conway, the originator of “alternative facts.” However, her star may have fallen a bit in recent days. She was staggeringly out of the loop on the Michael Flynn resignation. Just a few hours before he was sacked she was still insisting that he had the President’s full confidence. And she has recently been called out for not making sense or for plugging Ivanka’s fashion line. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has called on Trump to investigate and discipline her for the latter.

Wednesday morning Conway got some more bad news. The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe have decided to ban her from future appearances. Both Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski assailed her record of inventing stories just to enhance her bookings. Brzezinski came out swinging with a biting question: “How many times does she go out and say things that are not true?” She continued:

“We know for a fact she tries to book herself on this show. I won’t do it because I don’t believe in fake news or information that isn’t true. Every time I’ve ever seen her on television something’s askew, off or incorrect.”

Scarborough agreed saying that Conway’s commentaries were “blatantly false.” But he went further to assert that she is ill-informed because she isn’t even invited to the meetings of Trump’s inner circle. Consequently, she is “a spokesperson in the White House [who] actually goes out and makes things up.”

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

This is good first step for the media. Next Conway should be shunned by every show on MSNBC. Following that, every other network should decline to book her. And if they really want to make a statement honoring truth in politics, they should do the same to Spicer. At the very least they need to stop airing his daily briefings live. By delaying the broadcast they can deny him a platform for his unfiltered propaganda and conduct a fair fact-checking. The public would be surely be better off. And the media could learn from Brzezinski’s example as she declares that:

“Kellyanne Conway does not need to text our show. At least as long as I’m on it. Because it’s not happening here.”

Fibby Spice: Sean Spicer Is Congenitally Incapable Of Telling The Truth

The Trump administration is crumbling at a rate unheard of in modern times. The latest brick to fall is the “resignation” of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after only 24 days on the job. Flynn’s downfall was the result of his covert discussions with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions. He later failed to disclose these talks to Vice-President Mike Pence and other Trump officials.

This is a blatant violation of both protocol and national security. Flynn may have violated several laws in addition to demonstrating a complete lack of ethics. Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, rambled aimlessly at Tuesday morning’s daily briefing. He sought to downplay and divert from the serious issues at hand while exalting the dangerously lazy response by Trump.

Fibby Spice Sean Spicer

Spicer insisted that Trump was “unbelievably decisive” despite waiting nearly a month after he was first advised of the breach. That remark might have been the most ludicrous of the whole briefing until he later said that “The irony of all this has been the president has been incredibly tough on Russia.” WTF? Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump has been tougher on Meryl Streep and Nordstrom’s than he has on his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Among the brazen lies uttered throughout the briefing was that Trump fired Flynn by asking for his resignation. However, the day before Flynn’s hurried exit the administration insisted the opposite was the case. Both CNN and Fox News reported that Trump did not fire Flynn, and that he voluntarily resigned.

Furthermore, Spicer’s explanation made was wholly illogical. His contention that Flynn had done nothing illegal or inappropriate begs the question: Then why did he lie to Pence and his other colleagues? For practice? Spicer’s account suggests that Flynn risked his reputation and career for no reason whatsoever.

Spicer also laid out a timeline that put Trump in front of the whole affair with full knowledge and managerial control. But Friday Trump told reporters that he was unaware of the allegations and said he would look into it. If that’s accurate he could not have known weeks ago as Spicer indicated. Nor could he be portrayed as being on top of it and decisive. Spicer tried to explain this away as Trump merely saying that he was unaware of the allegations as reported in the Washington Post. But that wasn’t the question that he was asked, and the Post wasn’t brought into it until later.

So both Trump and Spicer are weaving dubious tales of how the Flynn affair unfolded. The most likely scenario would be that Trump knew about Flynn weeks ago, but can’t admit it. It would make him appear weak and even compromised with regard to the illegal discussions with Russia. Consequently, Spicer had to bobble his responses to keep from admitting Trump’s failures. If Trump actually was ignorant of Flynn’s dealings, that would be equally as troubling. It would mean that his staff had kept him out of the loop for weeks while a possible national security breach had occurred.

There is simply no good way to spin this. But Spicer is giving it the old college try. Unfortunately, he’s way short of the mark. Even Trump has had to intercede with a distraction via Twitter He tweeted that the real story isn’t the security breach, but the leaks that made the public aware of it. Because we certainly can’t have the American people finding out that the President is conspiring with hostile foreign countries.

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

CNN Commits Journalism – Trump Shill Gets Trolled On Twitter For Whining About It

CNN’s Kate Bolduan did a segment Monday about Donald Trump’s unsupported claim (aka: lie) that thousands of voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote illegally. She noted that there was no evidence of that other than baseless assertions by administration shills like Stephen Miller. Then she played a video of Miller on ABC directing the media to where they could find the elusive evidence. Miller told George Stephanopoulos that:

“Many, many highly qualified people, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, have looked deeply into this issue and confirmed it to be true and have put together evidence. And I suggest you invite Kris Kobach onto your show and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud.”

So that’s exactly what Bolduan did. However, she didn’t get the result that Miller promised. She interviewed Koback and started off by asking him what evidence he has that thousands of people voted illegally. The next seven minutes (video below) was consumed by Kobach dodging the question and failing to provide any shred of the fabled evidence. Each time Bolduan asked for proof of illegal voting, Kobach contorted his answer to address only registration issues. His lone argument was that there were people who were on the registration rolls of both Massachusettes and New Hampshire. But he had no proof that any of them actually voted in both states.

To be clear, there is nothing illegal about being registered in more than one state. It happens frequently when registered voters move to a new state and re-register. Most people will never inform the election authorities of their previous residence that they moved. And so long as they only vote once they have broken no laws. It would be easy to ascertain whether someone voted more than once. Consequently, the absence of more than handful of such incidents attests to its rarity. The allegations of thousands – or even millions, as Trump has claimed – is preposterous and has been widely debunked.

Nevertheless, Kobach persisted in switching the subject to entirely legal registration matters. He struggled to reply when Bolduan pressed him to certify the claims by Miller that fraud had already been proven. After hemming and hawing he would go straight back to the registration red herring. A clearly frustrated Bolduan eventually concluded the interview with an exasperated sigh.

And here’s where it get’s truly absurd. Following his embarrassing performance, Kobach took to Twitter to complain about a graphic that appeared on screen during the interview. It read “Trump Aide Repeats False Claims Of Voter Fraud.” Kobach’s tweet accused CNN of Bias:

First of all, the graphic is simply stating something that is verifiably true. That isn’t bias, it’s journalism. Secondly, the truth is not something that viewers get to “decide.” As Daniel Patrick Moynihan so poignantly observed “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” Finally, the graphic isn’t even even referring to Kobach. It is referring to Trump’s aide, Stephen Miller. This should be clear to Kobach since he’s not presently a Trump aide, unless there’s something they’re not telling us. Bolduan herself apprised Kobach of that:

She was being kind, because he was lying also. Kobach’s petulant whining and failure to understand the graphic was pounced on by an amused and outraged Twitter community. Here are a few of the replies that he received to his tweet:

And those are the nice ones. Kobach is just another one of the sycophants that populate Trump’s world. They are chosen for their aversion to facts, indifference toward the trials of ordinary Americans, and the ability to lie with a straight face. He’ll go far in the Era of Trump.

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

John Oliver Created Some Hilarious Commercials To Teach Trump How To Do His Job

The new season of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight began Sunday night. The program has been on hiatus for several weeks during which Oliver missed some of the most pungent opportunities to skewer Donald Trump and his new administration. But now he’s back and he hasn’t missed a beat.

John Oliver

In the latest episode Oliver takes on Trump’s acute aversion to telling the truth, or even recognizing reality. He addresses the problem head on by noting that “Trump has made it clear that reality is not important to him.” By now, that may seem like a self-evident assessment of the frightful state of current affairs. Aware of that, Oliver runs down a litany of the falsehoods propagated by Trump and his team of liars. However, he wasn’t satisfied with simply restating the obvious.

Trump poses a unique challenge for both journalists and satirists. His rampant dishonesty practically dares reporters to keep up with the deluge of lies. And comedians are hard pressed to develop comic scenarios that surpass the absurdity of Trump’s delusions. When you have legislators from both parties proposing bills that mandate psychiatric evaluations for the President, the situation has crossed into uncharted territory. Even sober, conservative social commentators like Andrew Sullivan are worried:

“Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? ‘

Oliver’s monologue was a useful, if incomplete, summation of the nightmarish plight the nation faces with Trump at its helm. The conclusion focuses not only on Trump’s dishonesty, but his willful ignorance. And on that score, Oliver has a solution:

“There is one small way we wanted to sneak some useful facts into his media diet. As we now know, he watches morning cable news for information. So we’ve actually created a series of commercials to bring him up to speed on some information he may lack. We’re going to run them on shows we know he watches every day.”

This idea isn’t exactly new. It was previously reported that people seeking to influence Trump, including own staff, do something similar. Rather than buy ads, they book themselves on his favorite shows and deliver their advice to him through the TV. They have determined that this is the best way to get his attention and to impact the agenda. Oliver’s way, though, is much funnier.

The “ads” Oliver produced start out like typical ads that might be seen on Fox News. But they shift to a different script midway through. The subjects cover everything from the nuclear triad to climate change. There is even a brief introduction to sex ed. They will be aired on the three cable news networks in Washington, D.C. beginning Monday morning. In this way Oliver hopes to educate The Donald on “topics we’re pretty sure he doesn’t know about.” It’s a long shot, but damn it, it’s worth a try.

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

Trump Floats Yet Another Crackpot Conspiracy Theory: Bernie Sanders/Fake News Edition

Sunday morning Donald Trump was once again up early playing with his Twitter machine. Despite the best efforts of his handlers, they have failed to wrest his phone away and prevent these embarrassing episodes. The problem is that they are not just embarrassing for Trump, but for America.

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

The latest tweet-bleat from The Donald concerned an interview on CNN with Sen. Bernie Sanders (video below). The subject was Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, and his recently disclosed communications with Russia. In particular, Flynn’s having allegedly told Russia not to worry about the sanctions imposed for interfering with U.S. elections. Erin Burnett asked Sanders about Trump’s dubious claim to not know anything about the matter. That led to this amusing exchange:

BURNETT: He says says he doesn’t know anything about it. Hasn’t seen any of the reports. Is that a problem?

SANDERS: Well, I don’t know. Maybe he was watching CNN’s fake news. What do you think. [adding] That was a joke.

BURNETT: I know it was a joke.

Whereupon, the signal was lost and CNN went to a commercial. On the basis of that, Trump contrived a nefarious plot to silence Sanders and any talk of CNN’s “fakery.” He tweeted:

How Trump concluded that Sanders was “cut off for using the term fake news” is a total mystery. As usual, he provided no evidence of his outlandish accusation. In the Trump mind, all that’s necessary is to spout off random thoughts and pretend they are factual. Of course, his delusions are generally easy to refute. In this case, CNN came back from the commercial break and began by apologizing for the technical difficulties and resuming the conversation with the very words that Trump thinks were censored:

BURNETT: Sen. Sanders is back with me, and I want to apologize to our viewers for that technical issue. And Senator, you had just been talking, joking about CNN’s fake news, but there were reports about … go ahead.

If CNN were trying to scrub any discussion about Trump’s juvenile fake news slur, they surely wouldn’t have led with it upon resumption of the interview. So how could Trump have concocted this nonsense? Well, as Brian Stelter reported, Fox & Friends had made the same phony characterization of the interview just half an hour before Trump tweeted it. As happens frequently, Trump was just regurgitating something he saw on Fox News. And we all know how reliable that is.

For the President of the United States to blindly parrot falsehoods he saw on TV sets a new low for the intellectual honesty of the office. But then Trump does that every day. The one silver lining that may emerge is that the attention Trump brings to this interview may cause a few of his supporters to watch the entire segment. Bernie is absolutely on fire and makes an outstanding presentation of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and hypocrisy. He even defends referring to Trump as delusional and questions his mental health. Watch and enjoy (or shudder).

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