Donald Trump Obsesses Over Hillary Clinton’s Past But Considers His Own Off Limits

The issue that Donald Trump has made the centerpiece of campaign against Hillary Clinton has been the timeworn marital difficulties she and her husband endured in the 1990s. Trump glommed onto this issue in response to Clinton’s advocacy of women’s rights in contrast to his own overt misogyny and his opposition to the reforms that matter most to women.

Donald Trump

Trump bitterly complained about Clinton asserting that he has “a penchant for sexism” and responded by accusing her of playing The Woman Card. But his defense rested entirely on dredging up the distant past of Bill Clinton’s infidelities and some baseless accusations that Hillary destroyed the lives of the women involved. He clearly doesn’t understand the nature of women’s issues or why they hate him so much. And despite Trump’s hyperbolic ranting that Bill Clinton was “the worst abuser of women in the history of politics,” a Fox News poll found that when women were asked who they thought was “more respectful of women” – Bill Clinton or Donald Trump – they responded overwhelming that it was Bill Clinton (55% to 31%).

Nevertheless, Trump continues to sharpen his attacks on Clinton’s past with every stump speech he delivers and every phone-in interview he gives to the media. This obsession with the past has now come back to haunt him. An audio from the 1990s has emerged that features Trump pretending to be his own fictional publicist. It was recorded for an interview with People Magazine. Trump is denying that the voice on the recording is his, but all the evidence suggests that he’s lying.

First of all, it sounds exactly like him and he repeatedly uses jargon that is unique and identifiable. In addition, the reporter from People Magazine says that not only was she certain that it was Trump, but that he admitted it afterwards saying that it was joke. Finally, CNN had a voice expert compare the recording to known recordings Trump and he said, with scientific certainty, that it was Trump. In response to the abundance of proof that Trump did perpetrate this fraud, and is lying about it now, Trump complained that

“You’re going so low to talk about something that took place 25 years ago whether or not I made a phone call? Let’s get on to more current subjects.”

Alrighty then. Presumably Trump will stop talking about the Clintons’ past marital troubles that took place 25 years ago. And if you believe that, then you’re already gullible enough to be a Trump supporter. And like most Trump supporters, it doesn’t bother you that your candidate assumed fake identities to brag about his business and sexual conquests, or lied about doing so when he was caught.

There are real differences between the old Clinton news and the old Trump news. The old Clinton news is not actually news. It has been known for decades. It also does not reflect on her behavior or credibility as a public leader. In fact, it ought to be regarded as a measure of honor that she and Bill managed to repair their marriage, respect their vows, and preserve their family. On the other hand, Trump’s news is indeed relevant today because it has never been revealed before. It’s actually news. And it plainly reflects on his character, defining him as a deceitful impostor and a liar.

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

It would nice if, the next time Trump goes off on the Clinton affairs, the media reminds him that he said that such past occurrences were “going so low” and should be dismissed in favor of “more current subjects.” Somehow I think that may be too much to expect from the media that made Trump in the first place. They have yet to learn the most basic lessons on how to interview him. Like preventing him from dodging questions, changing subjects, and filibustering with irrelevant trivialities. So that would be nice too.

Donald Trump Channels Sarah Palin In Incoherent Rant

In the past year Sean Hannity has hosted Donald Trump more than any other candidate for president. In fact, Trump’s visits account for about a third of the time of all candidate appearances on the program. So no one will be surprised that Trump was Hannity’s guest again last night (video below) giving him an opportunity to lash out at a media critic with his trademark hollow bluster.

Donald Trump Sarah Palin

It’s fair to say that Trump is never particularly rational in his tirades against critics. He generally avoids factual arguments and sticks with childish insults and irrelevancies that distract from the main issue. But in last night’s performance Trump ventured further off into confused hysteria that sounded more like one of Sarah Palin’s disjointed word salad babbling. The only way to properly convey the deranged oration is to let Trump do it himself. Here is what he told Hannity about his theory that Jeff Bezos, owner of both and the Washington Post, is engaged in a conspiracy against him in order to avoid paying taxes and preserve his alleged monopoly.

Trump: It’s interesting that you say that, because every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post, asking ridiculous questions, and I will tell you this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise. He’s using The Washington Post for power, so the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed. He’s getting absolutely away — he’s worried about me, and I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article, where he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust, because he’s got a huge anti-trust problem because he’s controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing, and what they’ve done is he bought this paper for practically nothing, and he’s using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it. So he’s got about 20, 25, I just heard they’re taking these really bad stories — I mean they’re, you know, wrong – I don’t even say bad, they’re wrong and in many cases, they have no proper information and they’re putting them together, they’re slopping them together, and they’re going to do a book and the book is going to be all false stuff, because the stories are so wrong and the reporters, I mean, one after another — so what they’re doing is he’s using that as a political instrument to try and stop anti-trust, which he thinks I believe he’s anti-trust, in other words what he’s got is a monopoly and he wants to make sure I don’t get in. So, it’s one of those things, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, what he’s doing’s wrong and the people are being — the whole system is rigged. You see a case like that, the whole system is rigged, whether it’s Hillary or whether it’s Bezos.

Sheesh, take a breath. Trump speaks like a paranoid schizophrenic in run-on sentences that weave around poorly expressed and incomplete thoughts. His fear that Bezos is coming after him is rooted in sheer delusion. Trump doesn’t say how Amazon is a monopoly, an assertion that ignores the reality of the online consumer goods market that includes behemoths like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and many more. Nor does he explain the tax issue, although it is likely related to the collection of sales taxes from which all online enterprises are exempt under certain circumstances. Is Trump proposing to eliminate that popular exemption? He does go on at length, though, about the sloppiness of the Post’s proposed book that he hasn’t seen and hasn’t even been written.

Of course, the attacks on Amazon are just Trump’s way of retaliating against the Washington Post, whose Associate Editor Bob Woodward recently disclosed that “We have 20 people working on Trump, we’re going to do a book, we’re doing articles about every phase of his life” This is nothing unusual in the ordinary course of vetting candidates for high office and the Post is doing the same for Hillary Clinton. But from Trump’s perspective it’s an unholy invasion of privacy and a flagrant political attack. Consequently, an hysterical Trump aims both intellectually empty barrels at, not just the Post, but Amazon and its CEO Bezos. And fanboy Hannity’s response: “Wow!”

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

Fox News “Psycho” Analyst: Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Exactly What America Needs

Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, has never been shy about taking absurd positions that make a mockery of the psychiatric calling that he pretends to represent. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. And now he is applying his remote diagnostic “skills” to the presumptuous Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.

Fox News Keith Ablow

Ablow was a guest on Fox & Friends (video below) to explain his latest theory on the psychology of leadership. He was introduced by host Steve Doocy who said:

“Conservatives, and some liberals alike, continuing to slam presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for being narcissistic, but is being narcissistic necessarily a bad trait for the president to have?”

In Ablow’s view, Trump’s narcissism is an asset that will benefit the nation that he says is “emerging from eight years of self-loathing.” Furthermore, he asserts that Trump’s “narcissism is deeply entwined with a love for America.” According to Ablow’s perverse logic, narcissism is pretty much the same thing as patriotism. This is a concept he expanded on in an op-ed for the Fox News website. Ablow associated Trump’s self-love with “loving his freedom to speak bluntly, in loving his freedom to own property…”

However, what Ablow is describing is not narcissism. his remarks seem to suggest that he has no idea what the term means. It’s possible to appreciate free speech and property ownership without being a narcissist – as most Americans can tell you. The Mayo Clinic defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as…

“…a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”

By that definition Trump appears to be a textbook example of a narcissist. He never stops talking about how awesome he thinks he is (even when it’s entirely undeserved) and how much he imagines everyone loves him. And his aversion to criticism is revealed in every hostile (and juvenile) tweet he posts whenever someone dares to be less than totally devoted to him.

What’s more, Ablow ignores negative traits, such as lacking empathy, that make narcissists wholly unfit for leadership roles. Their agenda would always be focused on how it benefits them, without regard for anyone else. The best leaders would actually reverse those traits and make the pursuit of helping others their primary objective.

Ablow has demonstrated that he qualifies as a loyal Trump toady. In his op-ed he praised Trump effusively saying that “Donald Trump is John Wayne. Donald Trump is Babe Ruth.” That praise is itself revealing. Notice that Ablow likened Trump to an actor and an athlete rather than to governing icons like Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. And he has been bitterly opposed to President Obama for years, even referring to him as a toxic virus from which our children must be immunized.

But Ablow has also demonstrated that he does not qualify as a reputable psychiatrist. This isn’t just because he doesn’t know what a narcissist is, or because his deep hatred and bias against Obama taints his analysis of everything he says. It’s because he uses his personal prejudice as a cudgel to attack those with whom he disagrees. And he is so determined to insult and defame his perceived enemies that he abandons all reason and logic. That’s why he can exalt Donald Trump for being a narcissist, while disparaging Obama for the same thing, as he did a few years ago. When Obama was running for reelection in 2012, Ablow condemned him saying:

“We’ve never had a self-regarding narcissist quite like the Oval Office’s current occupant.”

At the time, Ablow considered that an argument against voting for Obama’s second term. But now he is looking forward to having Donald Trump, a narcissist of his liking, in the Oval Office and arguing that his narcissism is an affirmative reason to give him your vote. That’s just crazy. I’m tempted to cite the old biblical proverb “physician, heal thyself,” but in Ablow’s case I wouldn’t recommend it. His psychological infirmity is so profound that he should make the effort to find someone who isn’t a quack.

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

Fox News Falsely Reports That Clinton Aide “Stormed” Out Of FBI Interview

With the market for manufactured scandals losing steam, Fox News is getting desperate for new avenues of attack against Hillary Clinton. Their already in progress effort to impeach her has been going nowhere. Trey Gowdy’s House Committee To Politicize Benghazi has wasted millions of dollars, and untold hours, but found nothing incriminating against Clinton. The accusers of Planned Parenthood have themselves been indicted. And the never-ending investigations into Clinton’s email server was recently declared to have uncovered “scant evidence” of any wrongdoing. So what will Fox News do now?

Fox News

Not to worry. Fox News will do what they always do: Invent some new controversy that they can hash around for a couple of days before everyone realizes that there’s nothing to it, and then pretend it never happened. In that spirit Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteran introduced a segment (video below) that alleged that one of Clinton’s trusted confidants was an uncooperative witness during an FBI interview about Clinton’s email.

“Long-time Clinton aide Cheryl Mills reportedly storming out of the interview over an off-limits topic,” was how Van Susteran opened the segment. The story was picked up by Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge who got it from the Washington Post. Herridge’s lede was that this was…

“…a discussion of her conversations with Mrs. Clinton over which emails would be produced to the state department as part of the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request. […] This was negotiated to be off-limits because of attorney-client privilege.”

Van Susteren, an attorney before she joined Fox News, responded with a surprisingly coherent comment that should have put the matter to bed. She said “That actually would be routine that that would be off-limits, so it’s nothing surprising.” However, neither of them recanted the characterization of Mills as having stomped off in huff.

For some context, the Washington Post article that was the source of this story had an entirely different tone. For starters, their headline said only that “Clinton aide Cheryl Mills leaves FBI interview briefly after being asked about emails.” There was nothing in the article about anyone “storming” out. That was a rhetorical invention by Fox News. To the contrary, it was portrayed as a normal practice during such interviews when witnesses need to confer privately with their lawyers. In fact, it was the FBI investigator who was considered to have overstepped his boundaries:

“[A]n FBI investigator broached a topic with longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills that her lawyer and the Justice Department had agreed would be off limits, according to several people familiar with the matter.

“Mills and her lawyer left the room — though both returned a short time later — and prosecutors were somewhat taken aback that their FBI colleague had ventured beyond what was anticipated, the people said.”

This afternoon on Fox’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” the subject was brought up again with Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano telling Cavuto that a “courageous” FBI agent asked questions that all parties previously agreed would be improper. He praised the FBI agent for violating the “baloney” agreement to honor attorney/client privilege.

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

So Fox News took a rather uneventful account of the FBI meeting with Mills and transformed it into a fictional battle between valiant FBI heroes and a shady Clinton crony. Admittedly, that’s a more exciting narrative than what really happened, but it’s also patently untrue. But considering the dearth of any legitimate mud that Fox has to fling at Clinton, it’s understandable that they are resorting to these desperate measures. Expect more of the same for the next five months.

GOP Senator Attempts To Strongarm Facebook Over Bias Allegations

In what may be one of the most alarming examples of government overreach, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. John Thune, is injecting himself into the operations of Facebook’s news publishing. Upon hearing about a report by Gizmodo that Facebook might be slanting the articles that appear in their Trending Topics section, Thune fired off a letter to Facebook demanding an accounting of their procedures.

John Thune Facebook

It needs to be stated firstly that the article on Gizmodo consists only of unsupported allegations from anonymous sources. They claim to be former Facebook contractors so their shield of anonymity seems peculiar since Facebook cannot retaliate against them. However, without any identity it’s impossible to know whether they have ulterior motives or are disgruntled ex-employees lashing out for their own reasons. They provided no documented proof to support their claims of bias. Yet they did admit that “there is no evidence that Facebook management mandated or was even aware of any political bias at work.” So the whole story may be the overblown product of personal grudges. Which makes what happened next all the more troubling.

After the story was pumped through the conservative media echo chamber, where Fox News took particular interest (more on that later), it eventually landed on the desk of Sen. Thune. His response was to write a letter to Facebook expressing his concern that the company might be inappropriately influencing its audience. The letter said…

“Facebook has enormous influence over users’ perceptions of current events, including political perspectives. If Facebook presents its Trending Topics section as the result of a neutral, objective algorithm, but it is in fact filtered to support particular political viewpoints, Facebook’s assertion that it maintains a ‘platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum’ misleads the public.”

Thune also stated in a press release about the letter that…

“Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news,” said Thune on sending the letter. “Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet.”

Oh really? So now the federal government is empowered to force a news provider to refrain from any political bias and, according to Thune, failure to do so is regarded as “an abuse of trust.” Asserting the heavy hand of government, Thune instructed Facebook to make its employees available to brief his committee. What’s more, Thune asserts that Facebook is “mislead[ing] the public” if they falsely claim to be a “platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum.”

So when will Thune be sending a similar letter to Fox News? After all, Fox has been falsely claiming to be “fair and balanced” for years. They also have enormous influence over “perceptions of current events, including political perspectives,” yet they regularly “censor and manipulate” their reporting.

The arguments made by Thune are a flagrant violation of the constitutional right to the freedom of the press. Congress has no business interfering with the editorial decisions made by the journalists employed by Facebook. If there is bias in their work it can be reported by other journalists, protested by media watchdogs, and the public always has the opportunity to make up its own mind as to whether to patronize Facebook or any other news enterprise.

From the moment this story broke, Fox News has expressed their outrage that the liberal weasels at Facebook would dare to suppress conservative stories. They treated it as if the allegations were proven facts, which of course they were not. Facebook has already looked into the charges and responded saying that “We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.” But that hasn’t stopped Fox News from continuing to portray Facebook as being guilty of grossly prejudicing their news coverage.

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

Anyone who has watched Fox News for twenty minutes recognizes the absurdity of Fox complaining about another organization being biased. But the intrusion of the government on behalf of offended right-wingers who cannot even validate their charges is beyond the pale. Thune is overstepping his authority by threatening to investigate Facebook and demanding their compliance. Even Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, was taken aback by Thune’s aggressive approach. Kurtz told Fox Business Network host Trish Regan that “If Thune had sent a letter like that to the New York Times or the Washington Post or Fox News we’d probably tell them to buzz off.” And that’s exactly what Facebook should tell them.

[Update:] Steve Benen at MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow blog takes Thune to task noting that he is “The wrong Republican to pick a fight with Facebook.” As a leading opponent of Net Neutrality and the defunct Fairness Doctrine, Thune previously condemned the sort of government intrusion he is currently engaging in. In a 2007 article he said that “the hair stands up on the back of my neck when I hear government officials offering to regulate the news media and talk radio to ensure fairness.” Perhaps he shaved his neck since then.

New York Post’s Latest Hillary Clinton Lie Refuted In Their Own Article

It takes a special kind of stupid to make an argument stating one thing, and then provide support for that argument that proves the opposite. Yet that’s exactly what the New York Post did Friday with an editorial attacking Hillary Clinton. The editorial carried the provocative headline: “Hillary’s latest email lie didn’t even last a week.”

Hillary Clinton New York Post

This headline is not only accusing Clinton of lying with her response to a new question about her email, it also declares, without evidence, that she has lied about it previously. The Post expects their readers to blindly absorb their dishonest “reporting” and, lucky for them, they are right. Conservatives have demonstrated that they are more than willing to accept unsubstantiated BS as gospel without ever bothering to verify it.

In this editorial, the unidentified authors claim that Clinton gave a false answer to a question by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell who asked “Have you been contacted — or your representatives contacted — by the FBI to set up an interview.” Clinton answered “No,” which the Post immediately labeled a lie. They gave two “reasons” to back up their accusation, both of which don’t hold up.

First, they pointed out that “the FBI has already interviewed Clinton’s closest confidant, Huma Abedin, and other top aides.” So how does that support the claim that Clinton lied? She wasn’t asked if any of her associates were interviewed. She was asked if there had been any efforts to set up an interview for her. She said that there have not been, and all of the available information supports her answer. The Post has no information whatsoever that contradicts her.

The second reason the Post gave to “prove” that Clinton lied is that “officials close to the probe say Hillary’s to be interviewed in the next few weeks — which means she’s surely been contacted.” Actually the Post has no knowledge that Clinton has “surely been contacted” and are themselves lying by making up what they would like to think it “means” when a general statement is made that Clinton will be interviewed at some unspecified time in the future. It does not, in fact, mean what they say it does.

What the Post is not reporting (and that CNN did report) is that “so far investigators haven’t found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law the U.S. officials say.” That’s not consistent with the guilty-until-proven-innocent (and probably not even then) narrative that the conservative media is pushing. So don’t expect to see it in the Post or on Fox News.

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

As for the Post’s article, both of the reasons supplied in it to affirm that Clinton lied actually affirm that she told the truth. This is the sort of bogus perversion of journalism that is the hallmark of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The Post article was also published on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation which, along with the Post is owned by Murdoch.

Donald Trump Still Doesn’t Understand Why Women Hate Him

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president his unfavorable rating among women was an already dismal 58%. In the intervening months as he campaigned it has gotten considerably worse, rising to an unprecedented 70% unfavorable. And through it all, Trump has demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea why he is hated so much by America’s women.

Donald Trump Pig

In another of his rambling, rancid stump speeches (which he promised would be more presidential), Trump attempted to address his female problems by attacking Hillary Clinton’s past tribulations with her husband Bill. Apparently Trump still thinks that the former President’s infidelities reflect badly on her. However, the public doesn’t blame Hillary for Bill’s bad behavior, and raising the issue is more likely to bring her sympathy from other women.

So Trump is diverting to a new path aimed at accusing Clinton of ruining the lives of Bill’s booty calls. Trump complained that “they’re going after ME with women?” Then he told his glassy-eyed disciples that…

“She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives. She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”

First of all, anything Hillary said about the situation was said at a time when she believed the allegations against her husband were false. She was defending him from what appeared to be political hit jobs. But more to the point, she never said anything that could be remotely described as nasty or destructive. There’s a reason that Trump doesn’t provide any examples to support his attack – they don’t exist.

For Trump, on the other hand, the evidence of his misogyny is voluminous. His attacks on Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, Elizabeth Warren, Rosie O’Donnell, Arianna Huffington, etc., are unarguably nasty and intended to cause harm. And unlike Clinton, Trump himself was the unfaithful person in his multiple marriages. He boasted in public of his infidelities.

But these personal incidents are not even what defines someone’s support for women in a political context. Trump’s new attack strategy is more proof that he continues to misunderstand what constitutes women’s issues. He is reducing it to the bad behavior of an individual. But when you take in the more expansive view of social equality, it has to be noted that it’s Hillary and Bill Clinton who support a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, prohibiting discrimination based on gender, support for victims of abuse, and family leave and child care. Those are actual women’s issues, not some guy being a horndog, and Donald Trump opposes them all – and is also a horndog.

For the record, when a poll was conducted earlier this year asking who is “more respectful of women” – Bill Clinton or Donald Trump – respondents overwhelming chose Bill Clinton (55% to 31%). And that was a Fox News poll.

In the battle for family values, Donald Trump cannot possibly prevail. He is a brutish hate monger who has repeatedly demonstrated a raging chauvinism that has been corroborated by his personal behavior. His defense often rests on the support he gets from his current wife and daughter, as if that validated anything. And don’t forget, we’re talking about the daughter that he wants to bang.

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

Will The Presidential Debate Commission Stand Up To Donald Trump’s Bullying?

Now that Donald Trump has been designated the “presumptuous” nominee of the Republican Party, it is a good time to look ahead to the debates that have been scheduled by the bipartisan Commission On Presidential Debates (CPD). If the recent history of candidate debates within the Republican Party is any guide, Trump’s contribution to the general election match ups could wind up turning the events into feral spectacles of crass immaturity and an avoidance of substance – i.e. pro-wrestling on meth.

Clinton Trump fight

The CPD has been responsible for managing these debates since 1988. It was formed “to ensure that the voting public has the opportunity to see the leading candidates debate during the general election campaign” in an environment that “is not controlled by any political party or outside organization.” While it has not always been a perfect solution, it has provided some measure of independence to prevent the candidates from dominating the process for their own benefit. This year, more than most, there is a significant threat to the independence of the debates as a fair and open discourse that informs voters. That threat is Donald Trump.

Throughout the GOP primary, Trump has forced himself and his rapacious self-interest on the candidates and the media participating in the party debates. Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, has made a determined effort to turn the debates into PR vehicles for the party by proclaiming that “allowing moderators who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party” is “ridiculous.” But that explicit endorsement of bias wasn’t enough for Trump who continued to strive to dominate the process and often got his way. He even refused to negotiate in concert with his party peers, preferring to conduct his own negotiations with the debate organizers and sponsors. Subsequently, Trump’s tantrums succeeded in forcing the RNC and the media to capitulate to his will on several occasions. For instance:

  • Following a contentious debate on CNBC, Trump’s complaints led the RNC to cancel any debates scheduled to be hosted by NBC, which is actually a different network with different management and moderators.
  • With regard to the CNBC debate, Trump’s whining successfully resulted in the debate hosts cutting the planned event from three hours to two in order to accommodate Trump’s lack of stamina and fear of having to answer questions.
  • After the conservative magazine National Review published a special issue that was critical of Trump, the RNC succumbed to his hissy fit by prohibiting the magazine from co-sponsoring a debate with CNN as scheduled.
  • Before the New Hampshire primary Trump exercised his virtual veto power over the New Hampshire Union Leader, the largest newspaper in the state, who was dropped as co-host of an ABC debate after they published an unflattering editorial about Trump.
  • Trump attempted to force the RNC to cancel a debate hosted by the Spanish-language network, Univision. Which was a bold move considering that Univision was never scheduled to host a debate. He took the same position with Telemundo without success.
  • The long-festering feud between Trump and Fox’s Megyn Kelly led to Trump threatening to boycott a Fox News debate unless Kelly was removed as a moderator. Trump followed through by skipping the debate in order to hold a phony telethon for veterans who still haven’t received the money he allegedly raised.

These examples of how the RNC and the media have let Trump dictate the terms of the debates during the primary raise concerns about how the CPD will respond if he tries to command the same tyrannical influence during the general election. Unlike the RNC, the CPD is theoretically not beholden to the candidates of any party, but Trump has demonstrated that he can throw a tantrum that rivals a snotty eight year old video gamer who desperately wants the latest edition of Assassin’s Creed.

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

It remains to be seen how the CPD will hold up under the pressure from Trump which, if the past is any indicator, will be as fierce as it is unethical. If they acquiesce to his demands it will demolish both their reputation and the credibility of the debates themselves. These are not meant to be infomercials for the candidates. Their purpose is to provide a candid discourse for voters so that they can make informed decisions. And while we can expect Trump to behave like a petulant child spewing insults and bitching about anything that isn’t flagrantly favorable to him, we have to hope the CPD stays above all of that and conducts fair and probing debates that serve the public interest. Stay tuned.

Donald Trump Proves He “Loves Hispanics” By Pretending To Eat A Taco Bowl

In an epic demonstration of “Hispandering,” Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself pretending to have a taco bowl salad in his office at Trump Tower. The Tweet said “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” There is so much wrong with this pathetic gesture that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Donald Trump

How about we start with the fact that the photo of Trump allegedly having a Mexican lunch in his New York office is a lie. He is campaigning in West Virginia today, so that photo was taken at some other undisclosed time. Furthermore, his boasting about the “best taco bowls” being made at the Trump Tower Grill is also a lie. A quick glance at the Grill’s menu shows that it does not serve them. What’s more, taco bowls are not a Mexican dish, they are an American variation. And finally, Cinco De Mayo is not an Hispanic holiday, it is Mexican, but actually celebrated more in the U.S.

If all of that weren’t a bad enough insult to the people that Trump has been insulting for months, Trump tacked on a thoroughly disingenuous expression of love based on his fake dietary habits. And if the flagrant racism in it doesn’t stand out, just imagine if it were a different holiday and Trump tweeted “Happy #MLKBirthday! The best fried chicken is made in Trump Tower Grill. I love blacks!” Would that be racist enough?

For Trump to repeatedly profess his affection for people he is promising to deport in massive numbers is nauseatingly dishonest. And yet, the bigots who support his candidacy are too stupid to realize that he can never deliver on his promise to deport eleven million people. The logistics involved to identify them and take them into custody are impossible to carry out. Then the task of transporting them to – well, wherever they are from, because it isn’t just Mexico – is similarly impossible. In fact, if the government filled 100 buses with 100 immigrants in each bus, and ran them seven days a week, 365 days a year, it would take three years to remove all eleven million immigrants, and that’s assuming they were all located and willing.

But that isn’t the whole picture for Trump’s ridiculous immigration policy. After taking criticism for the horrific insensitivity of his plan that would banish long-time residents to nations they never knew as home, and callously rip families apart, Trump attempted to soften the blow by insisting that everyone would be able to come back via a legal process. Assuming that his government were able to hold hearings for 1,000 people a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (which would be absurd considering the current court backlogs), it would still take thirty years to complete the processing of just those who were deported and not any other new immigrants from any place else in the world.

So it is simply preposterous to propose what Trump is proposing. It’s a promise that he can never fulfill. But even that doesn’t take into consideration the harm that such a plan would do the nation’s economy. Just this week the American Action Forum, a notoriously conservative think tank, released a study showing that…

“Donald Trump’s vow to round up and deport all of America’s undocumented immigrants if he is elected president could shrink the economy by around 2 percent.” [and that] “Removing them would cause a slump of $381.5 billion to $623.2 billion in private sector output.” [and additionally] “The study did not factor in potential impacts of mass deportations on consumption, investment and other economic factors.”

But never mind all of that. Those are just facts, and Republicans, particularly those who support Trump, have long ago abandoned any interest in them. After all, Donald Trump likes taco bowls and loves Hispanics. He loves them so much that he will even pretend to eat fake Mexican food in his office on a holiday that he couldn’t explain the meaning of. And this is how the Republican Party hopes to win the support Hispanics and other minorities who have rejected the GOP in droves for the past few election cycles.

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

Fox News Takes Adulterous White House Correspondent Off The Air (What About Trump?)

The lascivious news scavengers are burning up the wires this morning reporting that Ed Henry, the Fox News Chief White House Correspondent, has been taken off the air due to the discovery that he has been engaging in a months-long extra-marital affair with a Las Vegas hostess.

Donald Trump Perv

This raises some questions that have not yet been addressed by most of the press. First and foremost, if marital infidelity is justification for taking a someone off the air then why is Bill O’Reilly still anchoring his primetime program? He has been alleged to have sexually harassed his former producer, Andrea Mackris. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids. In addition, other Fox contributors have also violated their marriage vows but remain on the air. Newt Gingrich has cheated on multiple wives. Mark Sanford infamously took a secret trip to Argentina to visit his mistress. Herman Cain’s presidential bid was short-circuited due his numerous infidelities. And those are just the ones we know about so far.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The Donald has frequently boasted about his lurid affairs during his multiple marriages. Of course, he isn’t currently a Fox News employee, but he is on the network more than any of their actual reporters and pundits. And when does anyone on Fox ever even bring up the facts about his salacious escapades? Even when Trump is peddling his phony evangelical, family values spiel he isn’t challenged by the Fox toadies lobbing softballs at him.

Fox News was right to bench Ed Henry. Not because of any sanctimonious moral statement on his personal behavior, which is none of their business. But because Henry is covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign and has already conducted interviews that include references to her husband’s unfaithfulness a quarter of a century ago. Henry even asked Trump to comment on the ancient allegations on a segment of Fox & Friends. The hypocrisy of Henry questioning Trump about Bill and Hillary’s past (and by all appearances resolved) marital problems at the same time that he was fully involved in his own extra-marital affair is an unacceptable breach of journalistic ethics.

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

However, if Fox is going to pull Henry off the air, they should be consistent and do the same for the others on their roster who have done the same or similar things. And they certainly shouldn’t allow Trump to get away with smearing Clinton without being held accountable for his own adulteries. Or for wanting to bang his own daughter.