Hate Mongering Fox ‘News’ Anchor Tweets Trump Victim’s Home Address And Phone

The continuing saga of Donald Trump’s sexually predatory behavior is emboldening more victims to come forward with harrowing tales. Consequently, Trump’s apologists in the media are taking bolder steps to excuse his indefensible misogyny. When Fox isn’t maligning them as liars, they are insulting them as too ugly to assault. This is precisely what to expect from a network that was founded and run for twenty years by Roger Ailes. Ailes, you recall, was forced to resign this year after numerous accusations of sexual harassment by his staff and others.

Lou Dobbs

Now we may have a new low from Fox’s Lou Dobbs. He is the host of a prime access program on the Fox Business Network. Yesterday Dobbs re-tweeted the address and phone number of Jessica Leeds, one of Trump’s groping victims. Ironically, the text of his tweet said:

“This is the Dirtiest Campaign in our History: #MAGA #TrumpPence16 #AmericaFirst https://twitter.com/MichaelDelauzo”

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 13, 2016

Indeed it is. Mainly due to cretins like Dobbs whose irresponsible actions can literally endanger the lives of innocent people. The tweet to which Dobbs linked has since been deleted, but not before it was re-tweeted over 800 times. Dobbs own Twitter account has more than 799,000 followers.

The tweet that contained Ms. Leeds’ personal information was filled with false accusations. It asserted that she was connected to the Clinton Foundation and shared the same phone number. Neither of which were true. Which raises the question: Why would a prominent Fox host attest to the authenticity of something so easily proven to be false? The answer, of course, is that this is the standard practice for news gathering by Fox News. Accuracy is never as important as partisan propaganda.

According to Talking Points Memo, Dobbs later tweeted an apology saying:

My Retweet,My Mistake,My Apology to Jessica Leeds Lou Dobbs tweets Trump accuser’s address and phone # https://t.co/iOP6MJvCEx #MAGA #Dobbs

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 13, 2016

However, that “apology” tweet has also been deleted. What’s more, the sincerity of an apology in which Dobbs includes Trump’s campaign slogan #MAGA (Make America Great Again) has got to be questioned. At the very least it’s tone deaf and insensitive to promote the accuser while pretending to apologize to his victim.

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

Dobbs is purported to be a financial expert on Fox, but somewhere along the way he assumed the role of an immigrant basher. He is also a proponent of the racist notion that all terrorists are Muslim. And to sweeten the pot, Dobbs joined the Birther Brigade by repeatedly demanding that President Obama produce his “real” birth certificate. In light of that, his “accidental” tweeting yesterday just seems like business as usual for the business network host. Anything that is harmful to Democrats or liberals is fair game, whether or not it’s true. And any defense of conservatives is acceptable, no matter who it hurts.

That Time Fox News Punished An Analyst For Calling Obama A P*ssy

The video that revealed that Donald Trump is a repulsive, misogynistic, sexual predator has upended his campaign. While many people already knew this, the visual evidence has caused some Republicans (but not nearly enough) to finally accept the obvious and repudiate their nominee. The spectacle of having a major party candidate talk about “grabbing the pussy” of random women at will is as nauseating as it is unprecedented.

For Fox News however, the profane language has been made the focus of their coverage. That isn’t nearly as disgusting as the behavior it described, but it’s Fox’s way of diminishing the episode on Trump’s behalf. The problem for Fox is that even the language was considered indefensible last December when their military analyst, Ralph Peters, used it to insult President Obama. Apparently this language is unacceptable for Fox News, but just fine for the presidency. This is what happened at that time and the punishment dealt out.

Fox News Ralph Peters

December 7, 2015

Foul-Mouthed Fox News Obama-Hater Is Given Time-Out By Puppet/Anchor

The seething hatred of President Obama by Fox News came gushing out this morning by one of the network’s most notorious hatchet men. Lt. Col Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) appeared on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program to discuss/bash Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism last night.

Peters was virtually spitting teeth (video below) as he was unable to control his most primitive tendencies. In an otherwise mundane response to Varney’s inquiry as to “What was your commentary as the President’s speech unfolded?” Peters launched into a profane rant that barely addressed anything about the speech itself.

Peters: Well, first of all, he keeps speaking about “We can’t give in to our fears. Don’t be afraid.” Look Mr. President, we’re not afraid. [shouting] We’re angry. We’re pissed off. We’re furious. We want you to react. We want you to do something. You’re afraid. I mean this guy is such a total pussy it’s stunning.

Really? The President who presided over the capture and execution of Osama Bin Laden; who as Commander-in-Chief as ordered more than 8,000 airstrikes against ISIS; whose military missions have dropped more than 20,000 bombs on enemy targets; who has killed thousands of ISIS fighters, including many of its leaders; this president is a pussy? What Peters, and every right-winger, are too ignorant to acknowledge is that Obama has been executing a plan that has had much success. Yet his critics keep blathering about irrelevancies. Is it because he refuses to send more Americans onto a battlefield where they would become sitting ducks for a guerrilla insurgency? Or because he expects the people of the region to take responsibility for the ground war against an enemy that is murdering them?

Peters goes on to lambaste Obama in the fashion that birthers have long used to “otherize” him as an alien creature saying that “The American people, whom he does not know in any sort of intimate manner,” want action. He then rattles off s a series of assertions that the President cares more about our enemies than ourselves. Eventually, Varney steps in to daintily scold Peters for his potty mouth.

Varney: I can tell you are super-angry, and I asked you what your reaction was, but I gotta call you, you can’t use language like that on the program. OK. I’m Sorry.

He’s sorry? What for? Peters comes completely unglued with an offensive rant and Varney apologizes for chastising him, while excusing the outburst due to Peters’ anger. What makes this even more ridiculous is that Varney allows Peters to continue for a bit and then…

Varney: Ralph, I’m sorry. I’ve got to interrupt again. You used some very strong language there about the President of the United States, and I’m the anchor of Varney & Co. and I have to ask you, either you should apologize for that or take it back.

Peters chose only to apologize. But you have to wonder what happened in between Varney’s first redress of the foul language and his subsequent request for an apology. It seems likely that someone in the control room pulling Varney’s strings gave him a directive to force a more formal atonement. While Fox’s audience likely shares Peters’ crude disgust for all things Obama, the network may have to tread lightly so as not to offend their glassy-eyed, Christianist viewers.

For the record, Peters has proven to be one of the most repugnant individuals to ever appear on Fox News (and that’s saying something). The Ralph Peters Story is one of truly nauseating notions that include: advocating military strikes on the American media; that there aren’t enough civilian casualties in war; that the U.S. should be more like ISIS; that the Taliban should have been allowed to execute an American soldier; and many more horrendous pronouncements. Consequently, this frothing tirade is not particularly surprising. And it is typical of the irrational loathing that is broadcast on Fox News every day.

Fox News later issued a press release stating that Peters has been suspended for two weeks due to his “inappropriate and unacceptable” comments.

This is hardly an isolated event. On another occasion Fox News posted an article on their Fox Nation website with the headline “Press Pussies Soft On Obama.” And Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a “pussy” at one of his rallies. But you can count on Fox to adjust their outrage meter so that it goes off the scale when they are afraid of offending their wingnut audience, but barely registers when it might harm their candidate for president. It’s called hypocrisy, and Fox has got it down to a science.

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

LOCK HER UP: Fox News Stands Alone With Praise For Aspiring Dictator Donald Trump

The second presidential debate is now a part of history, and that’s not just a figure of speech. In a campaign that has set ugly precedents and breached common standards of decency from its inception, Donald Trump has once again lowered the bar. He has let his inner dictator emerge in full view of millions of viewers and citizens.

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

During a debate wherein Trump engaged in free-range falsification of reality, there was one moment that stood out. It was an exchange in which Trump took the extraordinary position that as president he would instruct his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: “I didn’t think I’d say this but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.
CLINTON: It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

The “situation” to which Trump referred has to do with Clinton’s emails and the private server she used. Never mind that an extensive investigation was already completed by the FBI. While they found some room for criticism, they concluded that there were no actionable violations of the law.

Trump, however, doesn’t care about the law as evidenced by his prejudgment to jail Clinton before any investigation or trial. It’s a position that stands in stark contrast to every legal precept in a democracy. Former Attorney General Eric Holder noted that in a statement saying “In the USA we do not threaten to jail political opponents.” George Bush’s press secretary Ari Fleischer agreed saying that “Winning candidates don’t threaten to put opponents in jail. […] Trump is wrong on this.”

For the most part the media recognized the aberrant legal analysis that Trump was proposing. Like much of what he says on any subject, he demonstrated his pitiful lack of knowledge or even basic understanding. Here are a few examples of how the press views Trump’s ludicrous threat.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: We got an excellent moment right now to discuss something I’ve never heard in any of these debates before between two presidential candidates […] One candidate says not only is he going to put forward a special prosecutor to investigate his rival, but he’s going to put her in jail if he’s elected president of the United States. That’s pretty extraordinary.

DANA BASH, CNN: What makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail.

JOY REID, MSNBC: We need to not speed past the point that an American candidate for president threatened to jail his political opponent. […] This happens in Malaysia, this happens in Uganda. This does not happen in the United States of America.

VAN JONES, CNN: A line was crossed that I don’t know has been crossed in my lifetime, maybe ever. He threatened to jail his opponent. […] He threatened to jail Hillary Clinton if he became president of the United States. That is something that I think is a new low in American democracy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Donald Trump also said, in one of the most provocative comments of the evening, he said that if he was president, he would jail his political opponent. He would put Hillary Clinton in jail. That is the sort of thing that we usually decry in other countries, in authoritarian countries.

PAUL KRUGMAN: Let’s be clear: a candidate for president promised to put his opponent in jail if he wins. Everything else is secondary.

JAKE HOROWITZ, MIC: A few politicians who have jailed their political opponents: Putin, Erdogan, Chavez, Mugabe, Pinochet. Noriega.

DAVID FRUM, speechwriter for George Bush: Who would consent to serve as Attorney General to a president who believed he could direct prosecutions of his political opponents?

By contrast, Fox News presented a somewhat different perspective. Their primetime star Bill O’Reilly gushed that “That’s the smartest thing he did all night because that, just that, coalesced his base back together.” And contributor Scott Brown said that “It was the line of obviously, I think, the election, the debate process. […] it was a home run. I thought he won the debate.” Nowhere on the “fair and balanced” Fox News was there a contrary opinion like that expressed by Clinton’s campaign spokesman Brian Fallon:

“That is the comment of a dictator that you expect to hear in a banana republic — the idea of jailing your political opponents.”

And that pretty much sums it up. Trump has presented himself as a narcissistic authoritarian from the outset of his campaign. His racist proposals to ban immigrants on the basis of religion; his incitement of violence toward protesters; his proclamations that “I alone” can defeat ISIS, or reform the tax code, or repeal ObamaCare, or end street violence. These are all indications of Trump’s belief that as president he can act unilaterally and impose his will the nation. And let’s not forget his open hostility to the media upon whom he promised to seek revenge.

These are the thoughts and actions of a budding tyrant. Anyone who can contemplate putting Trump at the head of the U.S. government and military is playing with fire. Trump has shown us who he is, and it’s a frightening picture of autocratic oppression. If he were to become president, Hillary Clinton would not be the only opponent he would throw in his gulag. Guantanamo would be packed with his critics and any random liberals who offend him.

Wingnuts Spin Trump’s Sexual Assault As OK Because – Oh Look, It’s The Clintons

By now everybody has heard Donald Trump describe how easy it was for him to sexually assault women. His comments were a grotesque and candid display of his real character, or more correctly, lack of it. Following the release of the recordings, Trump attempted to dismiss them with a typical non-apology apology that shifted the blame to others. He released the following statement:

Donald Trump

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

So Trump is apologizing only “IF” someone happened to be offended, but not “FOR” his offensive remarks. It’s an old method of placing responsibility on the poor sap who was foolish enough to listen to him. What’s more, this is not anything like the locker room banter that I’ve ever witnessed. This a confession to criminally aberrant behavior.

However, perhaps the worst part of his dodgy apology is that he couldn’t refrain from using it as an opportunity to smear his political foes. Bill Clinton had nothing to do with this, and Trump’s accusation was arbitrary and utterly unprovable. But that didn’t stop him or his surrogates from leaping feet first into politicizing his boorishness. And most of them employed the same faulty defense. For instance:

Sean Hannity sought to whitewash Trump’s ugliness by first saying that “Nobody’s gonna defend this. You can’t defend – it is wrong, it is inappropriate, it is outrageous. I don’t think anyone’s gonna argue with that.” After which Hannity argued with it for the remainder of his show. Along with his guests, Monica Crowley and Jeanine Pirro, he waived off Trump’s tales of sexual assault and weaved in the affairs of Bill Clinton that have already been worked over in the media for years.

Then there was CNN contributor Scottie Nell Hughes who said that “The words of Donald Trump are bad. But they’re not near as bad as the actions of Hillary Clinton since she’s been in office. There are four soldiers in Benghazi right now, that are not with us right now because of Hillary Clinton’s actions.” Aside from that having been proven untrue by at least four Republican led congressional committees, it has no bearing on Donald Trump.

But no one came close to Trump’s ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who now works for CNN. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer he made the insanely audacious claim that “What we don’t know, and I’m not trying to change the subject here, we don’t have any understanding of what Hillary Clinton has said in those meetings with Wall Street where she was paid for these speeches. She’s never released those transcripts. For all we know, the same things are being said in that regard.”

Let that sink in. Lewandowski is actually implying that Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street executives might have been about how she sexually assaulted people. No wonder they paid her so much. You can’t get porn like that from a former Secretary of State on the cheap. And note also that Lewandowski wasn’t trying to change the subject. It makes you wonder what he thought the subject was. And while your wondering, WTF was Blitzer doing when Lewandowski made that disgusting accusation? He thanked him and went to commercial.

There was one thing that Lewandowski said that actually made sense. In defending Trump he asserted that America isn’t electing a Sunday school teacher, they’re electing a leader. And Trump’s remarks show the nation that “You’ve got a leader who talks tough. He’s been very bold. He speaks from the heart. People understand that. They know Donald Trump.” Indeed, he speaks from the heart. And apparently his heart is poisoned with perversion and hate. And yes, that is the Donald Trump that we know all too well unfortunately.

Finally, Trump himself made a video to take another crack at expressing remorse. This time he admitted that he was wrong and apologized. However, he continued his effort to minimize his grossness and redirect the outrage to his mortal enemies, the Clintons:

“This is nothing but a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today. […] I’ve said some foolish things. But there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.”

Once again, the Clintons have nothing to do with his bad behavior. Additionally, the problem with all of this is not his words. It is, in fact, his actions as he himself describes them. He was not simply spewing profanities, he was talking about things he actually did. His video apologia also contained his “pledge to be a better man tomorrow.” That’s all well and good, but it’s something he should do on his own time, not while residing in the White House.

These are just a few examples of the coordinated spin from Trump and his allies. Clearly they have decided that the way to approach this is to pretend it doesn’t matter and besides the Clintons did it too. That’s a defense worthy of nine year old, which may be the emotional age of Trump.

The video itself was embarrassing. And the proof of that is that after it was aired on Fox News, anchors Gregg Jarrett and Arthel Neville noted that Trump was awkwardly reading the statement and said that it was “almost painful” to watch. They observed that he was clearly reading something that his speechwriters had written for him. And when you’ve lost Fox News…

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

See for yourself:

Right-Wingers Freak Out Over Claim That Obama is ‘Banning’ Fox News

Oh Noes! The Obamabots are at it again. Remember when they confiscated all of our guns, set up concentration camps, and handed Alabama over to ISIS? Well now they have a new plot to outlaw free speech and suppress the patriots at Fox News.

Fox News

The conservative InterTubes are afire with paranoid panic over remarks by a member of the Federal Election Commission. Democratic commissioner Ellen Weintraub wrote a memorandum to her colleagues with the subject “Revised Proposal to Launch Rulemaking to Ensure that U.S. Political Spending is Free from Foreign Influence.” To anyone not suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome, this would appear to be responsible election oversight. Which is the mission of the FEC. However, to hysterical right-wingers this is an assault on free speech. The offending paragraph from the memo simply asks:

“Given the ban on direct or indirect foreign national spending in U.S. elections. should any limits be imposed on corporate spending based on the percentage of the corporation’s foreign ownership?”

It is already illegal for foreign nationals and corporations to donate to U.S. candidates and political referendums. The reasons are obvious. Nobody wants hostile nations to be able to interfere with American elections. Russia or China should not have the ability to plant their operatives in our Congress. The rulemaking proposal by Weintraub is only meant to close any loopholes and to secure the integrity of our political system. The memo states exactly that:

“The FEC needs to address the real threat that foreign individuals, corporations, or governments may seek to manipulate our elections through domestic corporations they own or control. Given everything we have learned this year. it blinks reality to suggest that that there is no risk of foreign nationals taking advantage of current loopholes to intercede invisibly in American elections. This is a risk no member of the Federal Election Commission should be willing to tolerate.”

This could not be more clear cut. Weintraub is plainly seeking to prevent our enemies from corrupting our elections. So leave it to Fox News to create a controversy where none would otherwise exist. To that end, the hosts of Fox & Friends barreled headlong into the phony squabble with Brian Kilmeade introducing senior correspondent Ed Henry:

Kilmeade: Oh, in case we didn’t mention it, Fox News could be banned from covering politics. That is if Democrats on the Federal Election Committee (sic) get their way.
Henry: Democrats on the Federal Election Commission targeting Fox and other media companies who have even a tiny bit of foreign ownership, saying they should not be allowed to engage in any ‘electioneering communication.’ This could be used to muzzle free speech and it was offered by a Democratic commissioner on the FEC, Ellen Weintraub.

The segment went on to assert that the commission was enacting a regulation that “could ban Fox and others from endorsing or covering” politics. Although there is nothing in the memo that even alludes to that. In fact, the memo never even mentions the media. What’s more, it isn’t enacting anything, it is merely opening a dialog. And the dialog is wholly focused on corporations that are owned by foreign nationals or governments. The actions addressed are strictly identified as electioneering, not reporting, endorsing, or any other function of journalism. Weintrab even reiterated that in an official statement:

Did that ease the irrational fears of the conservative outrage machine? Of course not. On the Internet there were frantic tweets from the usual fringy suspects. In addition, the Media Research Center (the ultra-right watchdog group and home of Newsbusters) published an article with a headline that shrieked “FEC Attempting to Kill Fox News, WSJ, NY Post Political Coverage.” Their lede was a false and feverish declaration that “The propaganda machine inside the federal government is in full swing to squelch any conservatives or dissenting views.”

As is apparent from the original memo and the appended affirmation, none of that is true. It’s just another fit of hysteria from right-wing conspiracy kooks. These are the same folks who thought that military exercises in Texas were a prelude to invasion. They worried that Obama was deliberately infecting America with Ebola. Before long these fruitcakes will be clamoring for Hillary Clinton’s impeachment due to her covert lizard identity. In the meantime, Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt is showing her grit by standing up to the infidels:

“If they want the government to control the media then they can move to North Korea, or Russia, or China. It’s not happening here. No one’s telling us what we can and can’t say.”

Well, no one except for the Fox News executives and the Republican National Committee. It is no accident that there is a uniformity of opinion on Fox. They are presently serving as the Trump PR office. And this latest imaginary atrocity will just be another of their excuses after they lose in November.

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

UPDATE: The real threat to freedom of the press is Donald Trump:

“Mr. Trump, especially given the positions he’s staked out … would represent a really significant threat to the tradition of an independent free press in the United States,” says David Barstow of The New York Times.

“I think Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to the liberties of the people, to the idea of the First Amendment,” agrees David Cay Johnston, now a columnist for The Daily Beast.

SNL’s Trump Mockery Causes Fox News Clowns To Freakout: ‘Should Comedy Shows Take On Politics’?

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Bill O’Reilly or Fox & Friends. Expanding on that theme, Fox & Friends did a segment this weekend that asked perhaps the dumbest question of the year: Should comedy shows take on politics?

Fox News

Are they Kidding? Politics has been a staple of comedy for centuries. The desire to mock our governments and leaders is pretty much an element of being human. But from Fox’s point of view it’s easy to understand their comic anxiety. First of all, they are terrible at it. Second of all, they are thin-skinned whiny babies who can’t take a joke. The F&F segment was a preemptive strike against last night’s Saturday Night Live season debut featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.

[What follows is a reprise of an article first published last year]
But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just recently introduced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre back in 2007, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

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

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox has just launched their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

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

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

Sean Hannity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reince Priebus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little Donnie Trump, Jr. Warns About Media ‘Warming Up The Gas Chamber’ For Daddy

The Trump family of whiners is continuing to complain about what they perceive as poor treatment from the media. Never mind that Donald Trump has consumed far more air time than any other candidate. Or that he has Fox News (the highest rated cable news network) dedicated 24/7 to his election. Somehow the delusion that they are victims keeps seeping into their daily bitchfest.

Trump Kids

The latest lament has Little Don expressing his belief that the media is plotting to “trip up” his father by asking him hard questions. You know, questions like what does he know, and what would he do as president. He whines about his false impression that Papa Trump is being treated unfairly. Then he floats his theory that it’s all a conspiracy to influence the moderators of the upcoming debates. Actually, the opposite is true.

This all occurred during an interview with Philadelphia radio host Chris Stigall. But the Trumpette really took a flyer when he sought to accuse the media of being biased in favor of Hillary Clinton

“The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up. They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”

Seriously? Little Don is comparing imaginary unfair press coverage to the mass murder committed by Nazis in World War II? It is perpetually puzzling how these cretins can sink to such heinous rhetoric. They seem to have no filter that warns them about the injury they do to the memory of people who truly suffered such atrocities. Although it’s not inconceivable that they do it intentionally to dog-whistle at their deplorable, alt-right supporters.

For the record, Donald Trump has not only been covered more than his opponents, he has been covered more positively. A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media examined all the coverage and arrived at these results:

“The report shows that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Donald Trump in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump’s rise in the polls. Trump’s coverage was positive in tone—he received far more ‘good press’ than ‘bad press.’ The volume and tone of the coverage helped propel Trump to the top of Republican polls.”

Overall, the study found that “Trump’s coverage was roughly two-to-one favorable.” At the same time Hillary Clinton’s coverage was (and is) markedly negative:

“Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads.”

The evidence of the pro-Trump coverage continues to this day. Clinton is hammered incessantly about old email stories and speculation about her health. On the other hand, Trump’s current scandals are virtually ignored. Just yesterday there were stories about his unsavory business ties and his corrupt foundation. Today those stories are already off the table. And just try getting the press to ask him about his tax returns two days in a row.

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

Setting aside his offensive analogy, Trump. Jr. is right about one thing: “Without the media this wouldn’t even be a contest.” That’s true, although not in the way he intended. Had it not been for the ratings-obsessed media’s efforts to prop up a bigoted, narcissistic demagogue, Trump would have been a long forgotten punch line by now. The press’ attitude toward Trump was best summarized by CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

DEPLORABLES: Disgusting Fox News Fans Angry Hillary Didn’t Die At 9/11 Memorial

On Friday Hillary Clinton spoke to a group of donors about how “deplorable” many of Donald Trump’s followers are. She correctly pointed out that his campaign seems to appeal to the racist, sexist, homophobic faction in the Republican Party. In other words … the Republican Party. Almost immediately the StormTrumpers went on the attack accusing Clinton of insulting his pure and virtuous supporters. You know, the ones who beat up protesters and think President Obama is a gay, Muslim, communist from Kenya. Today Clinton got confirmation that she was right.

Fox News Hillary Clinton

While attending the ceremonies commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on September 11,2001, Clinton briefly fell ill. She left the event early to rest up for bit at her daughter Chelsea’s apartment. Fox News (of course) broke this story with allusions to her overall health for which they had no evidence. The rest of the media piled on shortly thereafter. The so-called “medical episode” was over in less than an hour.

However, the freak-out on the Fox News website had just begun. Commenters on the Clinton story seemed determined to prove that they were, indeed, deplorable sleazeballs, completely devoid of common decency. For many, the only problem with Clinton’s illness was that it wasn’t fatal. Have a look:

Fox News Clinton Comments

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

These are the folks who are moaning about having been called deplorable. They openly wish for the death of a someone simply because they have political differences of opinion. And this isn’t a unique circumstance (see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community). Yet they consider themselves to be patriotic Americans. Well, that isn’t the America that I know. And it isn’t the America that is being honored on this historic anniversary. For the Fox News fans to pick this day of national unity to express these grotesque feelings is utterly atrocious. If they don’t like being called deplorable they can fix that pretty easily: Stop being deplorable.