Veterans Still Getting Shafted By Phony Donald Trump Benefit

A couple of months ago Donald Trump put together a campaign stunt aimed at distracting the media and the public from his cowardly refusal to face Megyn Kelly in a Republican primary debate hosted by Fox News. After running away from the debate he frantically cobbled together a benefit that he said would aid various veterans’ groups.

Donald Trump

However, a month after the alleged benefit, CNN reported that most of the groups cited by Trump as beneficiaries had not received any of the money raised. A mere $800,000 of the reported $6 million was said to have been disbursed. Well now another month has gone by with little change in the situation.

According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, “the targeted beneficiaries are still seeing a fraction of the promised money raised from the Republican’s charitable foundation and his wealthy friends.” So two months after the fake benefit, Trump is still hoarding the money he claimed was being collected for the veterans he professes to love. This is typical of Trump who is famously known as the least charitable billionaire in the United States. But this isn’t just a matter of being stingy, because this isn’t Trump’s money. It is money pledged by others for the benefit of veterans. Philanthropy experts have affirmed that these funds should have been disbursed long ago.

This may be one of the reasons that several veterans groups announced that they would refuse to take any of Trump’s money before the bogus telethon began. Many people regarded the event as a political stunt that insulted America’s veterans by using them as campaign props. What’s more, there have been reports that Trump has conditioned receipt of the donations on the recipient endorsing his campaign or appearing at his events. And even groups that have seen some benefit from the publicity have also noted that they have lost backers due to the association with Trump.

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

Once again, Donald Trump is demonstrating an utter lack of ethical conduct, in this case to the detriment of veterans. His campaign has consistently proven that he is only interested in what benefits him and he will shamelessly pander to whomever he thinks he can exploit to his own advantage. What’s really startling is that there are still people who can’t see through his obvious insincerity. That’s the sort of behavior that is observed in cults, and the Trump Cult has been pretty effective in deceiving weak-minded Americans.

Blackmailing Fox News: Does Donald Trump Have Dirt On Roger Ailes?

Ever since Donald Trump entered the Republican contest for the party’s nomination for president he has been a constant presence on Fox News. Studies of the distribution of airtime have shown that Trump’s allocation has far exceeded every other candidate. The estimated value of this gift to Trump’s candidacy is in excess of thirty million dollars through December 2016. The question is why has Fox been so generous to this one particular candidate?

Donald Trump Roger Ailes

The conventional wisdom response to this question would be that Trump is simply good business for Fox News (and pretty much every other network). He is a proven ratings draw, in the same manner as a high-speed police chase or a Kardashian wardrobe malfunction. Audiences are enrapt because of the possibility that at any time Trump might burst a blood vessel in his neck or slap an immigrant orphan. In addition to the financial incentive, Fox shares most of the political agenda articulated by Trump, even the batshit crazy stuff like Mexican border walls, dismantling NATO, and his latest absurdity that he would eliminate the national debt in eight years.

Now there is a new explanation for why the self-described “most powerful name in news” got rolled and began doling out huge portions of their valuable airtime to what otherwise might be considered a joke candidate. Gabriel Sherman, the National Affairs Editor for New York Magazine and the author of a biography of Fox CEO Roger Ailes (The Loudest Voice in the Room), just published a fascinating and in-depth story about the composition of Trump’s campaign team. But it also includes an account of how Fox Executive VP Brian Lewis got fired under mysterious circumstances (which News Corpse covered here). In the course of telling this story, Sherman revealed this startling bombshell:

“It was also thanks to some information he had gathered that Trump was able to do something that no other Republican has done before: take on Fox News. An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had ‘bombs’ that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved.

“‘When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,’ Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. ‘Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.’ Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.”

If this is true, then Fox News is essentially paying off Trump, with millions of dollars of airtime, to buy his silence. Under these circumstances Fox should not be covering Trump at all. If Trump is blackmailing Fox with threats of dumping damaging information there is no telling what he might have demanded. He isn’t limited to free airtime. He could also insist on positive coverage from influential hosts like Bill O’Reilly. He could force the network to hit his opponents with dishonest smears. He could dictate the network’s narrative on the progress of the campaign, the battle for delegates, and even the reactions to his numerous controversial remarks.

One thing is certain: This would explain how Trump has gotten away with his brutal treatment of Fox News. Ordinarily, any Republican candidate would be conscious of the sway that Fox holds over the party and the fate of anyone hoping to rise up in it. But Trump, with an apparently reckless lack of concern, has spent much of the last nine months mercilessly battering the network and its staff. He said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. He even went after one of the major shareholders of the Fox’s parent corporation. I can’t say that I disagree with much of that, but then I’m not seeking the GOP nomination for anything.

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

This is behavior that only seems plausible if Trump somehow knows that he will not suffer any consequences for it. At the very least, Fox News needs to respond to these allegations. And if their response is anything less than an unambiguous denial (for which they would have to supply evidence), then they need to come clean by disclosing the blackmail bait themselves. Then they need to conduct a public review of their past coverage of Trump to provide an accounting of their time allotment and any possibility of reporting bias. What’s more, the other candidates, including those who dropped out, have a right to some answers on how they were covered and if Trump’s tactics adversely affected their campaigns. Will Fox act responsibility on this? Well, why should they start now since they haven’t for the last twenty years.

Days Of Our Lies: Fox News Fantasizes About Hillary Clinton Abortions And Lesbianism

A posting today on the Fox News community website Fox Nation contains the sort of tabloid scandal mongering that they usually save for the final days of election cycles that they are desperately losing. Perhaps their eagerness to sink to this low so soon is an admission that being saddled with noxious characters like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has already ruined any chances for their victory in November.

The Fox Nationalists posted an article sourced to a suspiciously obscure website that featured a video interview with Sally Miller, a former Miss Arkansas who claims to have had an affair with then-Governor Bill Clinton. In the video (below) Miller makes some wild and wholly unfounded allegations about Hillary Clinton that are so outrageous they would seem implausible if they were plot lines in a daytime TV soap opera.

Fox News Soap Opera

Miller leads off with charges that Clinton had several abortions until Bill convinced her that “if they were ever going to move up in politics they had to have a child.” That allegedly led to the birth of Chelsea, a purely political offspring whom Clinton, a confirmed feminist, didn’t want. In fact, Miller described Clinton, and most feminists, as “cold,conniving, bitches” who “don’t care about anyone but themselves” and “don’t like men.”

Miller went on to assert that the man-hating Clinton was a lesbian. When asked how she knew this, Miller laughed and said that “Bill told me.” Apparently the chatty governor also confided that in college Clinton and some other girls “experimented and she liked it.” Of course, there is no evidence that any of Miller’s gossipy ramblings are true. Not that there would be anything wrong with it if they were. These are the sort of allegations that are only regarded as insults by right-wing bigots and religious zealots. However, that just happens to be the audience that Fox is aimed at.

The source for Fox’s scandal-fest was The American Mirror, a website with no masthead, no identification of any publishers or editors, no mission statement, nothing to lend it any credibility whatsoever. The author attached to this article, however, does have a record. Kyle Olson is also the founder of an organization called the Education Action Group, a Koch brothers funded, anti-union front group for a conservative brand of education reform that primarily opposes teachers’ unions and public schools. Its reputation is a joke that includes nonsense like an investigation into “racist” peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at Portland schools. That piece of journalistic garbage was rated a “Pants on Fire” lie by PolitiFact.

These charges about Clinton are not new. They have been floating around the ultra-rightist mediasphere for years and were even ridiculed by the National Enquirer when Miller was trying to pitch her fantastical imaginings in a book that she was never able to get published due to her utter lack of credibility. But she did find allies among the crackpots and fringe-dwellers like Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge, who giddily embraced her bizarre ravings.

What’s new is that now Fox News has taken up her delusions and is passing them off as reality. Which tells you something about how severely degraded and abused the word “news” has become, particularly when in proximity to the word “Fox.”

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

The NRA Has Been Financing Their Death Cult By Cheating On Their Taxes

This weekend there has been rampant speculation about whether President Obama will advance a gun safety agenda via executive orders. Most of the talk suggests that he will expand background checks to include gun shows where weapons are often sold without any inquiry into the legal status of the buyer. They could be felons, or mentally ill, or under a restraining order, or linked to terrorism, or Ted Nugent. But under the current laws regarding gun shows, they could all acquire deadly armories.

NRA Problem Solver

The National Rifle Association is firmly in favor of the status quo. They have been working hard to prevent any reform that might make a dent in the 30,000+ gun deaths every year. And their efforts are in direct contradiction to the will of the American people who broadly favor common sense reforms like closing the gun show loophole (89%) and banning assault weapons (58%). These numbers include many gun owners.

Now, in addition to supporting gun rights for people on the Terrorist Watch List, news reports have revealed that the NRA has been lying on their tax returns for years. Their filings have asserted ridiculously false claims such as that they do not receive membership dues or engage in political activity. And that’s not all:

“For seven years, the NRA also skipped a key question on its tax form — whether or not it engaged in lobbying. Asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it simply left the space blank. […] Asked to detail expenses on its tax form, the NRA told the IRS it spent nothing on lobbying each year from 2008 to 2013.

“In 2014, it finally recorded $1 million in lobbying expenses. But even that figure is at odds with the amount reported to Congress of $3.4 million, according to data on the OpenSecrets Web site. It also recorded spending $23 million on unspecified ‘legislative programs.'”

Those are some pretty significant discrepancies that cannot plausibly be explained away as inadvertent. The NRA is, at its core, a political lobbying organization that receives millions of dollars in membership dues. It would be like Pepsi accidentally failing to report any income from selling beverages. Most of the NRA’s funding comes from firearms manufacturers and dealers seeking to expand their businesses. Lobbying on their behalf is why the NRA exists.

Before all the right-wing ammosexuals out there start whining that this must be a liberal conspiracy by the lamestream media attacking the NRA and its holy crusade to defend the Second Amendment, it was the conservative New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, that published the results of their investigation of the NRA-theists and their apparent tax filing perjury.

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

In a just world the NRA and its executives should be indicted for tax fraud and punished accordingly if found guilty. However, according to the NYPost, the New York Attorney General’s office would not comment on whether there is an investigation in progress. That often means that there isn’t, but they are rushing to put one together to avoid being embarrassed by the disclosures in the press. Time will tell. In the meantime the NRA has been exposed as a dishonest enterprise that is not only making the nation a more dangerous place to live, but rips off the American people while doing it.

Republicans Launch Proxy Impeachment Proceedings Against Obama

There is a nasty streak of vengeance that runs through the Republican Party. They have been lusting for an opportunity to impeach President Obama since the day that he was inaugurated. It didn’t matter what excuse they drummed up, it could have been over anything from Fast and Furious, to the IRS, to ObamaCare, to immigration, to executive orders, to his birthplace. They even alleged that – and this is all too real – Obama was actually trying to impeach himself.

Impeach Obama

Having been denied their heart’s deepest desire, an actual reason to impeach Obama, the GOP went after administration stand-ins for the President. One of those was Lois Lerner, who was running the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit during a period when it was alleged that they were improperly targeting conservative applicants. There was never any evidence to prove the allegations, and last week the Justice Department announced that they had closed the investigation and would not be bringing any charges. They said that “We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

In response to the DOJ’s determination, Republicans sought to lash out any convenient victim who might be available. Someone had to suffer their wrath if it wasn’t Lerner. So Jason Chaffetz (R-Wacko), chairman of the House Oversight (Overreach?) Committee, and his Republican Retributionists, have introduced a resolution to begin impeachment proceedings of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The resolution accuses Koskinen of making false statements under oath and failing to comply with a subpoena.

This a curious persecution considering that Koskinen had nothing to do with the alleged targeting. He didn’t became IRS Commissioner until December of 2013, three years after the Tea Party’s whining about being scrutinized for improper political activity, of which they were clearly guilty. And back in the 2010 time frame, the IRS Commissioner was Douglas Shulman, an appointee of George W. Bush. Nevertheless, Koskinen is the target of opportunity, so the GOP is spewing their venom at him. They have determined that they need a scalp and they aren’t going home without trying at least once more.

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

This is just the latest in a string of partisan, expensive, and futile legislature abuse. The Republicans have already proven that they have no aptitude for governing, so they have adopted an agenda of hostility that relies on ludicrous hearings on Benghazi, Planned Parenthood, and now the impeachment of an IRS Commissioner. But make no mistake, all of these actions are thinly disguised swipes at President Obama. It is he that they wish they were impeaching, but they have even less justification for it than the phony scams they have already run. Even uber-conservative Fox News Yoda, Charles Krauthammer, is less than enthused with the GOP’s latest proxy attack on the President:

“This is not going to end well. Republicans in the Congress have shown that they have no ability to conduct successful investigations of this administration. Everything they have touched has failed or backfired, even Benghazi.”

If the Republicans go through with impeachment proceedings against Koskinen they will only embarrass themselves further. There is no case to be made against him, and their transparent animosity will reveal them for the partisan hate mongers that they are. Their visceral disgust for Obama has driven them to extremes that only make them more repugnant to the average American voter. And as much as it would be in their best interests to try to at least pretend to be sane, expect more craziness to come. They obviously can’t help themselves.

Fox News Propagandist Caught And Arrested, Charged With Fraud

Wayne Simmons has been a frequent guest on Fox News for many years, providing what they said was expert analysis of intelligence and military issues from an experienced professional. Fox often relied on his commentary to inform their audience about serious national security issues as they arose in the news. But as it turns out, Simmons had lied on his resume to the federal government when seeking employment and contracts, and now he is under indictment for “major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.”

Fox News

The FBI arrested Simmons and released a statement alleging his unlawful conduct, including misrepresenting his experience in the CIA and other intelligence services. From the FBI statement:

“According to the indictment, Simmons falsely claimed he worked as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1973 to 2000, and used that false claim in an attempt to obtain government security clearances and work as a defense contractor, including at one point successfully getting deployed overseas as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel. According to the indictment, Simmons also falsely claimed on national security forms that his prior arrests and criminal convictions were directly related to his supposed intelligence work for the CIA, and that he had previously held a top secret security clearance. The indictment also alleges that Simmons defrauded an individual victim out of approximately $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment.”

Simmons’ appearances on Fox News were fairly routine bits of rightist propaganda, exactly the sort of thing you would expect to see on Fox. In one of his most recent bookings he was on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” where they had this paranoid exchange:

Simmons: We’ve got at least nineteen paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States. Are you kidding me? What are they gonna do, go hunt deer during deer season? No! They’re using paramilitary exercises to plan and execute these type of operations all over the United States. And when it happens it’ll just be you and I saying “I told you so.”
Cavuto: Well, I hope you’re wrong my friend, but you’ve been uncannily prescient on a lot of this stuff.

Simmons went on to assert that…

“We are in a global war against an Islamic jihad. Until they get rid of these ‘no-go zones,’ you go out and put razor wire around them, turn off the water, and catalog them as they come out.”

Simmons probably loved the WWII Japanese interment camps, too. Of course, there weren’t any “no-go zones” in the U.S., but his remarks were delivered shortly after another Fox News “expert,” Ryan Mauro, had made similar false assertions about no-go zones on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Simmons even mentioned Mauro’s claims in his discussion with Cavuto. Those same claims were later cited by a domestic terrorist who was arrested for plotting an attack against a community of peaceful Muslim-Americans in upstate New York.

And while we’re on the subject of no-go zones, yet another Fox “expert,” Steve Emerson, charged that they were rampant in Paris. For that the network was forced to retract the claim and apologize. And all of it was hilariously skewered by a French TV program. However, they never retracted or apologized for the claims that nearly got a Muslim-American community massacred.

Other noteworthy appearances on Fox News saw Simmons referring to Obama’s election as “the coronation of the boy king;” claiming that the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 had to be a sophisticated state sponsored attack; calling the Obama administration the worst administration this county will ever have known; saying that the best thing that could happen for this administration and State Department is that we are attacked because it takes all of the decision making away from Obama.

Really? The “best” thing that could happen is for us to be attacked? Sadly, that’s not the only time a Fox News guest suggested that. But perhaps the most ironic appearance Simmons made was on the November 15, 2007, episode of The Big Story with John Gibson and Heather Nauert. The segment was about a CIA/FBI agent that had just been found guilty of fraud and deception. Simmons said that …

“This has exposed the raw nerve, if you will, of a flaw in the background check, and without a background check, without knowing who we’re hiring, and who we are employing to protect our nation, we are in big, big trouble.”

No kidding, Sherlock! How Simmons could have the gall to comment on that matter knowing what he knew about himself is mind-boggling. It is the behavior of a sociopath. Keith Olbermann called it right when he made Simmons the Worst Person in the World.” way back in 2006 for using a hoax to justify government spying on American citizens.

What’s frightening about the revelation that Fox News was relying on an impostor to provide analysis of national security is that the phony analysis he provided may have been exactly what Fox News intended. That’s because Simmons was identified as a participant in the Pentagon Military Analyst Program – an initiative developed during the Bush administration to dispatch retired officers, and other alleged experts, to the media in order to push their agendas in Iraq and elsewhere. The program was revealed in a Pulitzer prize-winning article by David Barstow for the New York Times. Barstow wrote that…

“To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.”

“Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.”

“The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.”

So Simmons was a covert asset in the Bush campaign to spread war propaganda. And he remained a Fox News regular long after Bush was gone. Now he’s been arrested as a fraud. In that regard he isn’t much different than anyone else at Fox News. Virtually their entire roster is engaged in the same partisan deception on behalf of an extremist right-wing agenda. They all tell the same lies and they all work hard to disinform the American people.

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

Now that one of their veteran liars has been caught, Fox News has not bothered to report on it at all. Which is not surprising. They surely don’t want people to know that one of their favorite commentators has been feeding them BS for years. Because once they do that, the rest of the dominoes will fall.

[Update:] Fox’s Bret Baier addressed the Simmons arrest on Special Report. In a thirty second segment he said…

“Government contractor and occasional Fox News guest Wayne Simmons has been charged with lying about his supposed career with the C.I.A. Prosecutors say Simmons broke the law by lying about his credentials on applications for consulting work. Simmons made appearances on Fox as a national security and terrorism expert. However, he was never employed by the channel and was never paid by Fox.”

Whether or not Simmons was on Fox’s payroll is irrelevant. He was a regular source of tainted information on serious subjects for which he pretended to be qualified. The glaring omission in Baier’s comment was that he did not apologize to viewers for repeatedly presenting a fraud on the air, nor did he officially retract anything that Simmons said. Baier seems to think the lack of a paycheck is absolution for engaging in disinformation. And it begs the question: If Fox wasn’t paying him, who was?

Remember: Newly Minted GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Perry Is Under Felony Indictment

Last year Rick Perry was indicted by a Grand Jury in Texas on criminal charges of abuse of power. The charges stemmed from his attempt to unlawfully coerce an elected District Attorney into resigning. Today this alleged felon announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Isn’t that cute? What follows is the News Corpse article detailing the case against Perry and the efforts by right-wing media to dismiss it.


[August 17, 2014] Ever since a Texas Grand Jury handed down an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry, most of the Republican establishment and right-wing press have deliberately mischaracterized the nature of the criminal allegations. They all are marching lock-step in an effort to defend official abuse of power by pretending that the violation was due to the execution of a veto, something that is entirely permissable by a governor in Texas.

Fox News Rick Perry

The problem with their defense of Perry, which he has adopted himself, is that the indictment is not for his having issued a veto. It is for his having threatened an elected public servant in an attempt to coerce her to resign.

Rosemary Lehmberg, the District Attorney for Travis County, has problems of her own. She was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and behaved poorly during the arrest and initial incarceration. However, a Grand Jury investigated her situation at the time and found no cause to indict her for official misconduct.. Indeed, her misconduct, while egregious, was all personal and unrelated to her duties as a D.A. All of her misbehavior occurred while she was drunk, and when she sobered up she took responsibility, paid her price to society, and promised not to run for reelection.

That wasn’t good enough for Perry. He demanded that she resign immediately and threatened political vengeance if she refused to obey his command. Lehmberg stood fast and Perry carried out his retribution by slashing funds to her department. And that is where he went wrong.

Perry defended himself against the indictment by saying that he has the authority under the Texas constitution to issue vetoes. And in this case he was taking action because he had lost confidence in Lehmberg and that the public deserved better. Perhaps. But that is not within his jurisdiction to decide. Lehmberg was elected to her office by the voters of Travis County and does not answer to the Governor. Perry has no authority to demand the removal of elected officials or to exact retribution on them if they defy his orders. Perry’s own remarks following the indictment reveal the flaw in this line of defense. He said that indictments are…

“…not the way we settle political differences in this country. We settle [them] at the ballot box.”

Exactly (and he may want to relay that message to John Boehner). And since Lehmberg had already pledged not to run, the issue was settled. Perry cannot unilaterally overturn the choice of the voters. And he cannot threaten elected officials as a means of carrying out his unlawful bullying. By vetoing the funds to the D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit, Perry was attempting to force his will on Lehmberg. Even worse, he was actually doing harm to the people of Texas who rely on that agency to keep politicians (like Perry) from engaging in corruption.

It is typical of right-wing media to absolve Republicans of any criminal wrongdoing on a strictly partisan basis. It’s the reason why every investigation of a conservative is portrayed as political. That’s how they reacted to the charges against Dinesh D’Souza (who later pleaded guilty to election fraud), and Sen. David Vitter (who later pleaded guilty to his association with prostitutes), and James O’Keefe (who later pleaded guilty to unlawful activity in the office of a U.S. senator), and more recently New Jersey governor Chris Christy who is being investigated for abuse of power himself. I could go on and on and…

Perry’s fate will rest on a jury’s decision of whether or not he exceeded his authority in threatening Lehmberg to resign, not on the veto he used as his muscle. In the meantime, the media is also on trial, and when Fox News and others misrepresent the facts in order to whitewash the crime, they must be judged guilty as well.


Perry is going to have some trouble gaining any traction after his latest humiliating campaign. But truth be told, he’s a pretty good standard bearer for the Republican Party. He’s an evangelical wingnut with criminal tendencies who gets his snake oil straight from the well.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Nekid ‘Patriot’ Hailed By Fox News For Stealing Flag And Suppressing Free Speech

In yet another twisted example of patriotism as defined by Fox News, the All-American channel is singing the praises of a disgraced Air Force veteran who sought to deny protesters their constitutional rights.

Michelle Manhart was once a drill sergeant in the Air Force, which she believes gives her the right to decide who can engage in a public demonstration and how they should behave. She exercised that right at Valdosta State University in Georgia where a group of students were using an American flag in a manner considered disrespectful by Manhart. The flag was on the ground and some of the protesters were walking on it. So Manhart took it upon herself to confront the protesters and assume possession of the flag.

Fox News Manhart

This was an unambiguous case of theft. The flag did not belong to her and she refused to return it upon request. She actually argued on video (below) that the flag “belongs to the entire United States.” The absurdity of that is self-evident. In fact, it violates every principle of private property that conservatives are usually pretending to cherish.

In addition, Manhart was interfering with the rights of the students to express themselves. Their free speech rights, including the treatment of the flag, are protected by the Constitution and have been upheld by the Supreme Court. No matter what your position on flag desecration, the Constitution takes priority. As so often is the case with right-wingers, the hypocrisy of Manhart’s stance is entirely missed by herself and the wingnut media that supports her. Manhart told Fox News that…

“When it comes to the flag, it’s our iconic symbol. It stands for everything that we are. It stands for the freedom to allow those individuals to do what they want to protest or have an organization. So how are you even gonna justify ruining or walking upon something that’s given you the right to do what you’re doing?”

In other words, according to Manhart, the protesters do not have the freedom to do those things that the flag supposedly represents the freedom to do. So enjoy your freedom so long as you don’t actually use it. And if you do try to use it, expect to be stopped by some other citizen who disagrees with you.

Eventually, campus police had to forcibly take the flag from Manhart who refused to follow their order to release it and return it to its proper owners. This outraged Manhart, who whined to Fox News that…

“I have seen that flag on caskets returning home. It was just the thought of those demonstrators standing on someone’s casket. I was so internally frustrated.”

Perhaps she would have been able to gather some sympathy for that argument if not for her own past of disgraceful military conduct. Manhart, it turns out, was discharged from the Air Force after posing for Playboy both in her uniform and out of it. The Air Force advised her that such behavior was a violation of the standards of the service. She was demoted and shortly after left the military to pursue an acting career. Did she consider the poor souls in those caskets when she exploited her body and uniform in a publication that objectifies women?

And if that weren’t bad enough, Manhart also appeared in the nude on other occasions, including in an anti-fur ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I’d give her credit for having compassion for animals, but it might rub some of her right-wing fans the wrong way. But the real problem as regards hypocrisy is that she blatantly desecrated the flag in those photos and others by allowing it to touch the ground, and using it as drapery/clothing.

Despite Manhart’s history of less than honorable service and disrespect for the flag, Fox News and other right-wing media have taken up her cause. The usual suspects including the Daily Caller, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Newsmax, and of course Fox Nation, all published stories exalting the Nekid Patriot. The Pope of Fox News, Todd Starnes, hyperbolically declared that “Valdosta State University loves flag burners more so than flag wavers.” However, besides the fact that no one here burned any flags, the university actually loves free speech and obeying the law more so than thieves and censorship.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox Nation Flag DesecrationObviously Manhart has a selective sense of outrage with regard to respect for the flag. And on that matter, Manhart is not alone. With relative frequency Fox News has blasted what they called flag desecration by protesters with whom they disagreed. However, they ignore similarly disrespectful behavior when it is done by their rightist heroes. Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and George Bush have all been caught in public desecrating the flag. Yet Fox News hails such behavior as patriotism when the perpetrators are conservative icons.


James O’Keefe’s Legal Woes Continue To Mount. And It’s Mostly From Former Friends

Not satisfied with having been convicted for unlawful activity in the office of a United States Senator, or losing $100,000 to a former ACORN employee he defamed, James O’Keefe has racked up a rap sheet that a Mafia boss would envy.

James O'Keefe

O’Keefe’s latest legal misadventure just ended with his meritless libel suit being thrown out of court by a federal judge who dismissed the action with prejudice (meaning that it could not be re-filed). The complaint was against the website Main Justice who published an article about O’Keefe’s prior legal exploits. The court ruled that the article by Main Justice was accurate and truthful and did not libel O’Keefe.

This is just the latest legal setback by a recidivist slandering weasel who pretends to be a journalist, but who actually uses deceitful methods to falsely malign his ideological enemies. His utter lack of principles has been recognized by numerous legitimate journalists and even by prosecutors in Texas (yes, TEXAS) who investigated one of his videos at the request of a local judge and concluded that it “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

Looking back on O’Keefe’s sorry resume of dishonest mudslinging, it became apparent that many of his legal adversaries sprung from his own poisoned well of associates. There was Nadia Naffe, who alleged that O’Keefe held her against her will in a barn and may have drugged her. And there was Daniel Franciso, the executive director of his Project Veritas organization, who sued him for wrongful termination. And there was Richard Valdes, another top staffer, who refused to strong-arm a volunteer into acting as an agent provocateur and inciting violence against police officers. He was also fired by O’Keefe and is considering legal action. And finally, there was Izzy Santa, one of his colleagues who blew the whistle on a perverse plot to attempt to seduce CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau on his “Love Boat.”

O’Keefe’s Project Veritas is a small operation, but has already accumulated four ex-associates who have alleged unethical or illegal practices by O’Keefe. That’s a pretty embarrassing record. But it is no more embarrassing than the stacks of videos he has produced that have been repudiated as lies and castigated for their routine use of deceptive editing and manipulation.

When viewed all together, it quickly becomes obvious that O’Keefe is running a hatchet job shop and that he is just as willing to screw over his employees as he is his video victims. For as long as he has been crawling along the floorboards of society, people in his crosshairs have had to be careful not to fall into one of traps. But now it is just as obvious that anyone considering working for him had better think at least twice before trusting this cretin.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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The Crackpot Conspiracy Theory That Got Fox News To Support A Democrat

Predicting the political biases of Fox News has never required a crystal ball or a gifted clairvoyant. Their devoted support of Republicans has earned them recognition as the PR division of the GOP. So what would have to occur to persuade Fox News to speak approvingly of a Democrat?

The events surrounding the indictment of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez for corruption provide a rare look into the prerequisites for Fox News to stray from their Republican partiality. The specific factors that would drive Fox to defy their nature and support a Democrat become glaringly obvious in the light of the Menendez affair.

Fox News Menendez

First and foremost, the opportunity to disparage President Obama is a temptation too great for Fox News to resist. Therefore, by spinning this indictment as an assault on a senator who has been critical of the President, Fox can accuse Obama of engaging in a distasteful display of political retaliation. This argument goes that the White House applied pressure to the Department of Justice to file the charges in order to punish Menendez for opposing the President on his policies regarding Cuba and Iran.

The only thing wrong with this conspiracy theory is – everything. The investigation of Menendez began years ago, long before the Cuban and Iranian issues were ever on the table. Obama would have had to know in advance that Menendez was going to defy him on these issues in the future, which even Obama’s harshest opponents would not suggest he could do. What’s more, there was no indication that Menendez would ever be a thorn in Obama’s agenda given that he has always been a loyal Democrat who voted with his party and the President 97% of the time. That places him as the thirteenth most reliable Democrat, above party stalwarts like Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid.

The notion that Obama would sabotage the career of such a loyal ally is especially absurd considering that, should he be convicted and forced to resign from the Senate where Democrats are already in the minority, New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, would be in a position to name his replacement. So this theory requires the assumption that Obama would trade a solidly Democratic senator who voted for most of his legacy initiatives (ObamaCare, the Dream Act, disapproval of KeystoneXL, repeal of DOMA, etc.) for a Christie-appointed Republican. The only people who would buy that are still looking for the film studio in New Mexico where the moon landing was faked – and Fox News viewers.

It is not coincidental that Fox has chosen this controversial senator to hitch their wagon to. Republicans are notoriously forgiving of politicians accused of corruption. They regarded the charges against, and conviction of, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell to be politically motivated as well. They supported the candidacy of New York congressman Michael Grimm while he was facing 22 felony counts (He was convicted after winning reelection). And three of the GOP’s current batch of governors considering 2016 presidential campaigns (Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and Rick Perry) have active investigations against them in progress. From their perspective, Menendez is just their kind of guy.

Note that this affinity for scandal-plagued pols is only valid if the scandal is related to financial malfeasance. When Menendez was accused of sexual misconduct by Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller (among other right-wing rags), Fox News and their Republican allies were quick to condemn him. However, they failed to apologize after learning that the charges stemmed from “witnesses” who were paid to lie. Some accounts charged that the payments came from people connected to the Daily Caller. In addition to the media sources who jumped on this faux scandal, the Republican National Committee also took it up with a rather offensive anti-Menendez campaign.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Finally, it goes without saying that if the DOJ had not indicted Menendez, Fox News would be throwing a tantrum over what they would call a travesty of justice engineered by a lawless White House trying to protect one of their own. So, as usual, Fox has constructed a lose-lose scenario for the President. But anyone approaching this with a sliver of functioning grey matter would see the ludicrous assumptions that would have to be made in order to believe the Fox spin. Luckily for Fox News, their audience would flunk the “sliver of functioning grey matter” test.