Holy Sh*t: Fox News Host Would Take the ‘First Trolley to Hell’ For Dirt on Hillary

If you were wondering how low Fox News would go to make excuses for the Donald Trump Crime Family, we have a new baseline. And I do mean BASE! The cascading reports of Trump, Jr.’s collusion with Russian operatives continue to expose rampant criminality. Every day there is some new revelation that makes the meetings more troubling. But Fox News remains ready and willing to obfuscate, distract, and lie in defense of the Trumps.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Sunday, Fox’s Jeanine Pirro offered up a new serving of her patented vocal excrement. She was deeply upset about all the breaking news involving Russia and the Trumps. But she wasn’t upset with the unsavory behavior of the President and his family. She was angry at Democrats and the press for revealing it. Pirro’s tirade began with accusations that Democrats were “responsible for the demise of a workable and effective government.” She continued whining that “We simply can’t go four more years with Russia, Russia, Russia.” Indeed. We can’t go four more years of Trump. He needs to go now.

However, from Pirro’s perspective Don Jr. is an innocent victim. She insists that he did nothing wrong and, if he did, it was because of his inexperience. That’s an excuse that has been made for Trump himself, as if it makes any malfeasance forgivable. Here is the core of her televised tantrum (video below):

“So Donald Trump, Jr., a political neophyte, gets an email from a friend saying he has information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia that would be useful to his then-candidate father running for president. He has a meeting less than twenty minutes and the discussion ends up on rescinding the ban on Russian adoption. Nothing beneficial to the campaign comes out.

But now the hue and cry, “Indict him for treason, for collusion, campaign finance violations.” I got news for you. There is no law that says a campaign cannot accept information from a foreign government. If that were the case, everyone on a campaign who talked to a foreign national is committing a crime.”

Poor Donnie boy. Why should he be persecuted for being a political newbie? Fraternizing with enemy spies is an understandable mistake that anyone could make. Never mind that campaign veteran Paul Manafort was also in the meeting. Pirro would like the whole affair to be forgotten since nothing came of it. Except we have no proof that nothing came of it. Shortly after the meeting Hillary Clinton’s emails began to trickle out.

Furthermore, “Judge” Jeanine is flatly wrong about there being no law against getting information from a foreign government. It is a flagrant violation of campaign finance law that forbids anything of value being provided to a campaign by a foreign government. And opposition research has distinct and considerable value. Campaign consultants are paid handsomely for such work. And Pirro’s suggestion that any foreign national aiding a campaign would be a criminal is absurd. She makes no distinction between a foreign citizen and a representative of a foreign government.

Pirro also regurgitated a previously debunked falsehood about Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluding with Ukrainians to get information on Trump. That never happened. She also ranted wildly about alleged sales of uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. That’s also been proved to be completely false.

But Pirro’s longest leap off the end of the rationality plank came when she literally proposed a bargain with Satan:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the Devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-face liar.”

Really? Doesn’t she know that Team Trump is denying they were trying to get opposition research from the Russians? Which, in her eyes, would make them bald-faced liars. More to the point, Pirro is taking the position that conspiring with the Prince of Darkness is an acceptable campaign activity. Do the evangelical supporters of Trump and the Republican Party know about this? Pirro is saying, in effect, that there are no ethics in the politics of conservatives like herself. If it’s OK to work with Satan, than surely Vladimir Putin can be trusted as a collaborator. In fact, the willingness to embrace the devil would explain a lot about the GOP for the past few decades.

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

Dumbfu*ks at Fox News Want to Know: What’s a Bigger Threat to America: Fake News or Russia?

The fair and balanced couch dwellers at Fox and Friends are suddenly very concerned about threats to America. Not the ones posed by hostile foreign adversaries disrupting our elections and hacking our politicians and candidates. Nor the ones saber-rattling about war with a crackpot dictator in North Korea. And certainly not the one that puts the entire planet at risk of becoming uninhabitable.

Fox News Dennis Prager

Nope. What Fox News is worried about is whether what they call “fake news” has surpassed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an imminent threat to the United States. Bear in mind that the issue that’s throwing Fox News into a tizzy is actually real news reporting of Donald Trump and his crime family’s collusion with Russia. But just the suggestion that Trump is anything less than divinely pure qualifies as fakery to Fox.

In Monday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, host Steve Doocy introduced a segment with sanctimonious radio talker Dennis Prager. He pretends to be a paragon of virtue and mentor to all of us inferior heathens. Prager tweeted his opinion that the media is America’s preeminent enemy.

And that led to Fox’s featured segment on the subject (video below):

Doocy: What’s a bigger threat to America: Fake news or Russia?

Prager: This may sound odd to you and many of the viewers. I don’t understand why this tweet is controversial. Putin does not threaten Western civilization. Western civilization is a set of ideas and values. When students remove the American flag from their campuses, that’s not Putin. All of the things happening in the West to undo Western civilization have nothing to do with Putin. The only thing I regret about the tweet is that I didn’t write that the universities and the media in the West are a greater threat to Western civilization.

I have to agree with Prager’s first point. It definitely sounds odd. Prager is making some sort of vague differentiation between Western civilization and the government and political institutions that uphold it. His babbling about our ideas and values being separate from Putin’s election tampering is pure gibberish. And yet he thinks that a cloth flag is a more tangible part of what makes America than democracy.

Prager went on to complain that “Half of American millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism. That’s a result of the media and the universities.” It’s also the result of critical thinking and independent analysis. For one thing, socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the United States is a working example of a hybrid of the two concepts. Social Security and public education have not hampered the economic success of Ford, Starbucks, or Amazon.

Finally, Prager whined that “The media have gone from news media to opinion media in the guise of news. That is extremely dangerous.” I can’t argue with that. But the irony is that he said it on Fox News – the indisputable champion of blatantly biased pseudo-journalism. Fox News practically invented the modern practice of opinion media. And, in closing, I’ll agree with Prager again. Fox News is extremely dangerous.

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

NIXON? REALLY? Geraldo Rivera Gushes an INSANE Defense of Trump and Praise for Fox News

It must be awfully hard to be a Fox News shill these days. The still flowing flood of incriminating evidence against Donald Trump and his sleazy family is nearly impossible to justify. The contortions that Fox News hosts and pundits have to employ seem painful in the extreme. Some of them aren’t even trying anymore.

Geraldo Rivera

That, however, is not the case with the crew at Fox and Friends, and their Saturday morning guest, Geraldo Rivera (video below). In a discussion about Don Trump, Jr.’s meeting with Russian operatives, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes crawled all over themselves trying to defend the indefensible. Eventually they wound up where they often do – blaming the media.

For his part, Geraldo Rivera set up his remarks by reminding everyone that the Trumps were close, personal friends. He restated his “tremendous respect and admiration” for them. Then he gently chided them for what he characterized as minor goofs. Rivera described the meetings with Russian government operatives promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as “understandable,” but “not criminal.” Legal experts disagree. He did manage some criticism of Don, Jr. for his “dissembling” otherwise known as lying.

And then Rivera went flying headfirst off the tracks. Co-host Abby Huntsman asked a typically asinine question. She wondered whether the media was to blame for the troubles Don, Jr. was undergoing. Because of course it was the media’s fault that Donnie met with unsavory Russians and then lied about it repeatedly. But Rivera’s historical analog to this affair was the presidency of Richard Nixon. His take on it was pure lunacy:

“During the years of Tricky Dick Nixon, 1972 and 1973 principally. If there had been a Fox News then, if there had been a Sean Hannity then, I do not believe President Nixon would ever have been forced to resign. Why do I say that? Because when you see how his story evolves, and he has no one to defend him, how everybody’s deserted him, no on got the other side of the story. So that rinky-dink burglary then metastasized into the cover up, which led to the tumult, the nuclear explosions in the administration, and finally the resignation of the President.”

“I think if we had Sean then, if we had Fox and Friends then, I think that President Nixon would have weathered that storm. Now, I think that President Trump will likewise weather the storm, but I think that it will cause amazing stresses.”

So Rivera blames the downfall of Nixon on the absence of defenders in the media. Not on the fact that he presided over an illegal break-in of the Democratic campaign office. Not on the threats and bribes and lies that marked the cover up. Rivera thinks there was another side to the story of Nixon’s corruption that wasn’t being told. You know, the good side of the corruption.

But the best part of this cognitive meltdown is Rivera’s accidental admission that Fox News is nothing more than an alibi generator for crooked Republicans. He’s saying that despite the obvious crimes, Nixon might have survived if he had Fox News to lie for him. Nixon’s problem wasn’t that he broke the law, violated his oath of office, and had no discernible ethics. It was that he didn’t have someone like Sean Hannity to fabricate excuses and point fingers at innocent bystanders.

By extension, that’s the role that Rivera is admitting that Fox News plays now. They are deliberately denying reality and replacing it with manufactured falsehoods. They are covering for Trump and serving up other sides to the story of his corruption. And they are accusing others (Obama, Clinton, etc.) of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. It’s a strategy of deceive and deflect. And, as with Nixon, despite the obvious crimes, the goal is for Trump et al to skate free. Of course, many observers have already known this about Fox News for years. But it is helpful when one of their top correspondents is dumb enough it out loud on the air.

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

Fox News Military Analyst To Tucker Carlson: You Sound Like a Nazi Apologist

Donald Trump’s bizarre affinity for Vladimir Putin and Russia has astonished most Washington insiders, outsiders, and well, just patriots. It would be an unprecedented betrayal of loyalties by any citizen, but coming from the President it’s dumbfounding. With an emphasis on the “dumb.” And the problem doesn’t end with just Trump’s Putin worship. Many in the the Republican Party continue to support the President. They range from those too cowardly to speak up about this naked treason, to those who fervently embrace it.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

Those on the right side of American patriotism face a harsh rebuke from the Trump cultists. But there are a few who are still brave enough to call out a traitor when they see one. An example of this was found in an unexpected place Tuesday night. On Fox News, host Tucker Carlson engaged in heated debate on this subject with military analyst Col. Ralph Peters. It went quickly from heated to blazing inferno:

CARLSON: It’s hard to see why — I’m not vouching for Putin’s character, he seems like a shady guy, a strong man for sure. Wouldn’t want to live there.
PETERS: He’s a killer.
CARLSON: Hard to see why he’s a threat to us. How many wars can we fight at once? And how many people can we be in opposition to at once? Why not just accept that people who are bad people share our interest and side with them?
PETERS: You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938 saying, “Hitler hasn’t attacked us.”
CARLSON: I beg your pardon? Slow down. Slow down, Colonel. You cannot compare me to somebody who makes apologies for Hitler. And I don’t think Putin is comparable to Hitler. I think it’s a grotesque overstatement, actually. It’s insane.
PETERS: I think Putin is — fine, you can think it’s insane all you want.
CARLSON: You Just up compared me to a Nazi apologist because I asked a simple question. Which is, – slow down, slow down – which is, why does it contravene American interest to the common cause with a group that’s trying to kill ISIS?
PETERS: Because Vladamir Putin invaded his neighbors, broke the long peace in Europe, he assassinates dissidents and journalists. He bombs women and children on purpose in Syria. He is as bad as Hitler. And I am sorry, if you don’t like the Charles Lindbergh thing, I will retract that. But let’s just say you sound like someone in 1938 saying “What’s Hitler done to us?” Putin is the equivalent of Hitler.

Peters went on to point out correctly that Putin hates America and wants to hurts us. He was outraged that some people, including Carlson, suddenly think Putin’s a good guy and that Russia’s OK. Carlson then complained that if the U.S. can’t have common cause with any country whose leader is “evil,” it takes most of the world off the table. “Most countries,” he said, “are run by really bad people.” That’s a strikingly stupid remark that he never bothered to support.

Throughout the discussion, Carlson did his best to defend the ludicrous notion that Russia should be regarded as an ally. Their alleged cooperation in Syria and the war on terrorism was sufficient reason, according to him, to ignore decades of brutal dictatorship and human rights violations. Peters, however, steadfastly argued that Putin’s international criminality could not be overlooked. While Peters is a staunch, far-right, conservative, he is also an unyielding opponent of Russian tyranny and aggressive ambitions.

No one should mistake Peters for a heroic liberal advocate. He was once briefly suspended by Fox News for calling President Obama a “pussy” on the air. But his honest comparison of Carlson to the fascist sympathizers of the 1930s was a long overdue rebuke of Carlson. His ignorance, smug self-righteousness and perpetually furrowed brow makes Carlson a legitimate target for a smack down. And he sure got one last night by his own guest on his own show.

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

Fox News Issues Rare Story Correction – Trump, Who Retweeted It, Does Not

You have to cut Fox News a little slack. If they made public corrections for every mistake, or outright lie, they’d have no time left for any new lies. Consequently, when they do offer a correction it’s deserves some attention, if not appreciation.

Fox News

This rare mea culpa occurred Tuesday morning on Fox and Friends (video below). Steve Doocy took a moment to address some comments made on the program the day before. They were discussing a report by The Hill that provided some details on memos written by former FBI director James Comey about his meetings with Donald Trump. The report stated that some of the memos were retroactively designated as confidential or secret. But Fox and Friends completely misrepresented the story. Correspondent Jillian Mele described it as:

“[A] brand new bombshell report [that] accuses Comey of putting our national security at risk. According to The Hill, the former FBI director’s personal memos detailing private conversations with President Trump contained “Top Secret” information.”

The truth is that none of the memos were “Top Secret.” As noted above, some were classified at lower levels. But nowhere in the story did it say that any of the classified data was made public. Therefore, there was no security risk. On Tuesday morning, Doocy made this wholly inadequate correction on the air:

“Yesterday on this program, we aired and tweeted this story saying former FBI Director James Comey leaked memos containing top secret information. We were mistaken in that. According to the report, half of the memos contain information classified at the secret or confidential, not top-secret, level. Markings of the documents in which Mr. Comey leaked are, at this point, unclear. Just wanted to straighten that out.”

First of all, Comey didn’t “leak” anything. That’s a deliberately incendiary and overtly biased term. Comey merely made his own personal recollections to public. That’s something that is done in every political memoir ever published.

Secondly, there is confirmation from the Columbia professor who gave the memos to the press that nothing classified was revealed. So Doocy’s attempt to falsely inject malfeasance into the story is just plain dishonest. Clearly, he had no intention of straightening anything out.

While Doocy’s remarks only partially corrected the record, there’s another deceiver who hasn’t even gone that far. Donald Trump retweeted the phony segment from Fox News. And his added commentary made it even worse, saying “Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” Trump tweeted that unfounded opinion just minutes after it was conveniently broadcast on Fox News for him. However, while Fox has backtracked, Trump has not. His reckless accusation still remains on his Twitter feed unaltered or updated.

Trump is hopelessly addicted to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He watches them obsessively and frequently tweets what they say in real time. Yesterday he posted four segments from the program on Twitter, Today he added three more. And yet, when it is abundantly clear that the information is wrong, he stands by it with unwavering faith. Even when they admit they are wrong. That says a lot about our thin-skinned, ego-driven, bull-headed president, doesn’t it?

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

Trump Ally Alex Jones Endorses Insane Conspiracy About NASA’s Child Slave Colonies on Mars

If you’re seeking further evidence that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency, you don’t have far to look. This week Trump attacked MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in a deranged tweet that was both offensive and false. In a paranoid rant he charged that all of Robert Mueller’s staff are Hillary Clinton supporters. He accused President Obama of colluding with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election. It is increasingly obvious that he is on a mental cliff’s edge and leaning dangerously toward the abyss.

Alex Jones Infowars

That only makes this new revelation all the more troubling. Conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Alex Jones of Infowars is a staunch ally of Trump. While campaigning Trump appeared on his radio program and praised his “amazing” reputation. Jones asserts that he talks to Trump frequently and that Trump takes policy ideas from his broadcasts. A Jones “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass last month. And yesterday this exchange took place between Jones and his guest, Robert David Steele (video below):

Steele: This may strike your listeners as way out but we actually believe that there is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space on a 20 year ride. So that once they get to Mars they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony.

Jones: Look, I know that 90 percent of the NASA missions are secret and I’ve been told by high level NASA engineers that you have no idea. There is so much stuff going on. But then it goes off into all that, that’s the kind of thing media jumps on. But I know this: we see a bunch of mechanical wreckage on Mars and people say, “Oh look, it looks like mechanics.” They go, “Oh, you’re a conspiracy theorist.” Clearly they don’t want us looking into what is happening. Every time probes go over they turn them off.

Let that sink in for a moment. These freaks actually believe that NASA is sending kidnapped children to Mars. Then they are putting them to work on some unspecified projects. What could they be doing? And all of this being covered up by the thousands of scientists and administrators at the space agency. This would an awful science fiction movie.

Steele also alleged that pedophiles are not just sodomizing children. They are also “terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood,” and murdering them for bone marrow and body parts. Jones listened intently to this lunacy and supported his guest’s ravings. It’s exactly the same sort of nonsense that fueled Jones’ “Pizzagate” scandal. In that affair he alleged that Hillary Clinton and others were running a child sex ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. He later had to retract those allegations under threat of a lawsuit.

This is the sort crackpot commentary that is a routine part of the Infowars program. Sadly, NASA had to make a public statement denying the conspiracy. And the fact that Trump admires Jones and gives him unprecedented access to the White House is both absurd and frightening. Prior to the Trump presidency, Jones was regarded as a kook who resided on the lunatic fringe. Now he is a trusted insider with the President’s ear.

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

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Says Trump’s Medicaid Cuts Are Not Medicaid Cuts

Sunday morning the inventor of “alternative facts” was at it again. Donald Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway made an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. TrumpCare, as it is known, has been widely criticized by a bipartisan array of politicians and pundits. Even Trump tagged the House version of the bill as “mean.”

Kellyanne Conway

Among the complaints are that it would result in higher deductibles and premiums, eliminate protection for preexisting conditions, and throw more than twenty million people off of their health insurance plans. What’s more, it would be paid for by giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy.

It’s issues like those that have caused at least five GOP senators to announce their opposition to the bill. If those numbers hold the bill cannot pass. Republicans have a two-vote margin and can expect no help from Democrats. Adding to its problems is that TrumpCare would impose severe cuts to Medicaid. Despite repeatedly promising to never cut the program, Trump is nevertheless enthusiastically supporting the bill. This support comes even though the senate version is even meaner than the one the House passed:

“The much more drastic changes in the Senate bill as compared to the House bill come in the realm of Medicaid. The House bill immediately ended enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion to able-bodied low-income adults under the ACA, while the Senate bill would slowly phase that funding out. This, in theory, would put millions fewer people immediately in the ranks of the uninsured and increase government spending over the House plan.”

Undeterred by reality, Conway addressed the issue in her interview with Stephanopoulos. She was asked directly about the how the bill cuts 800 billion dollars from Medicaid and asked why Trump is going back on his promise. Her lie-riddled, word salad reply was that:

“These are not cuts to Medicaid. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars because they’re closer to the people in need. […] If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We’re talking about in the future.

“You know, ObamaCare took Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick, the disabled. Also children and pregnant women. It took it and went way above the poverty line. Opened it up to many able-bodied Americans who should probably see if there are other options for them.”

Stephanopoulos deserves some credit for not allowing Conway to advance the falsehood that the bill doesn’t cut Medicaid. He also challenged her baseless assertion that no one on Medicaid now would be affected. He pressed Conway to address the matter of the 800 billion dollars in cuts, to which she replied, “You keep calling them cuts. But we don’t see them as cuts.”

And therein lies the heart of the problem. Trump and his shills have created their own language that ignores the reality of any situation. They will feverishly spin until the rhetoric is hopelessly removed from anything resembling the truth. It’s a strategy that is ultimately aimed at creating confusion and muddying the waters so that a coherent dialog is impossible. And no one is better at that than Conway.

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

Fox News Trump Fluffer Sean Hannity Kicks Off a Crackpot Crusade Against Rachel Maddow

The signs of desperation by Fox News in general, and Sean Hannity in particular, are becoming ever more apparent. Their increasingly deranged creation, Donald Trump, ventures farther from reality every day. The bizarre antics on Fox News are reaching epic levels. Perhaps they feel unfettered since having abandoned their “fair and balanced” tagline. Not that it was ever taken seriously to begin with.

Sean Hannity Maddow

This is especially true of Sean Hannity, whose ranting is more unhinged now than ever. He is rapidly approaching levels of lunacy that would make Glenn Beck or Alex Jones proud. Take Wednesday night’s episode for example (video below). Hannity began by saying:

“Tonight we continue to expose the biggest black helicopter, tin foil hat, conspiracy in the Destroy Trump Media: NBC’s Rachel Maddow. This is off-the-hook out of control. And if it wasn’t so serious, it’s actually fully.”

And with that, Hannity launches into a fiery diatribe on what he regards as a major conspiracy theory expose. Would it be on par with the Obama birtherism which he promoted for many years? Or the tragic death of Seth Rich, which Hannity attributes to a cabal of murderous Hillary Clinton associates? Well, hold on to your hats folks. Sean Hannity thinks that Rachel Maddow is behind a dastardly campaign asserting that Jon Ossoff’s election was foiled by the weather. He declares with astonishment that “You can’t make this stuff up.” Which is ironic, because that’s exactly what he’s doing.

The basis for Hannity’s charges of conspiracy theorism is that Maddow asked her colleague, Steve Kornacki, if rain on election day might have depressed turnout in certain areas. Of course, it’s simply reality that inclement weather can have an impact on any election. So without drawing any conclusions, Maddow asked Kornacki if he thought it might have had any impact Tuesday night. She never blamed the weather for the final results or even expressed an opinion on it. She only asked a question. But in Hannity’s cartoon brain she was raving wildly that Mother Nature had purposely sabotaged the Georgia Democrat.

Then Hannity takes up his post as Fox News’ most devoted Trump defender. He complains about Maddow’s frequent (and thoroughly factual) reporting on the allegations of connections to Russia by Trump and/or his campaign. Like many right-wing Trump-fluffers, he insists there is no evidence of any such thing:

“The night cannot go by without Maddow floating some sort of Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy theory, even though nobody says it. Nobody believes it. It’s been debunked. To date there is zero evidence of Trump/Russia collusion. Nothing whatsoever. It’s been a farce, a total fabrication, eleven months of lies and conspiracies made up by people just like Maddow. But despite these facts today, Rachel, she was at it again. Whipping up a new crackpot theory involving President Trump, the mob money, money laundering, and even Vladimir Putin made it into the mix.”

There is so much wrong with that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the absurdity that nobody is talking about, or believes, that Trump & Co. have unsavory connections to Russia. Rather than being a debunked, fabricated, farce, it is a fact that has been grudgingly admitted by the very people involved. They include Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Jeff Sessions to name a few. In many cases their relationships were hidden and denied until discovered by the press. What’s more, Seventeen independent intelligence agencies agree that Russia engaged in deliberate actions to interfere with the election. Apparently Hannity thinks they are all lying as part of this massive conspiracy.

As for his charge that Maddow is “whipping up” a new conspiracy regarding Trump and mob money, he’s giving her too much credit. It was veteran reporter and executive editor Tim O’Brien who broke this story for Bloomberg News. He wrote a detailed and documented article on “Trump, Russia and a Shadowy Business Partnership.” All Maddow did was cover the subject and interview the author. Hannity never mentioned that or even bothered to cite any actual flaws in the story.

Hannity’s obsession with Maddow ignores the fact that she generally relies on established news sources. He demonstrates this by running a video montage of what he calls “Maddow’s craziest Trump/Russia conspiracy theories.” However, every one of the stories originated from other sources like Reuters or even government agencies like the FBI. And that’s the strategy behind Hannity’s baseless attacks. Even though Maddow gets her information from well researched and vetted journalists, her coverage of it makes it all her invention.

Of course, the real problem Hannity has with Maddow is unrelated to his ludicrous charges. He has a two-fold inspiration for attacking her. First, she effectively covers Donald Trump’s tsunami of scandals. She explains the often complex issues clearly and backs up her explanations with facts. Secondly, Hannity is scared to death because Maddow has overtaken Fox News in the television ratings. Her show is frequently the number one program on cable news. Hannity isn’t used to getting beaten in the ratings, but it is now fairly routine.

Consequently, he is coming out swinging, and swinging wildly, against a superior competitor. And the fact that he isn’t landing any blows must be making him all the more enraged and obsessed. Expect that pattern to continue playing out because Hannity doesn’t have the intelligence or the facts to support his positions. All he has is a drooling frenzy and a shrinking audience of Fox News cultists and Trump loyalists. That, in the end, isn’t going to get him very far, and he knows it.

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

Trump’s Lawyer Repeatedly Contradicts President’s Claim that He’s Under Investigation

Donald Trump and his administration are not known for their ability to communicate a consistent, coherent message. They have a history of wildly contradictory statements and absurd deflections from reality. So it isn’t surprising that Trump’s new lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has continued that tradition. He made several appearances on the Sunday morning news shows that did nothing but contribute to the confusion surrounding the investigation into Trump’s obstruction of justice.

Sekulow Trump CNN

On all of these programs the discussion was related to a story in the Washington Post saying Trump is under investigation. The Post reported that on the basis of five (count ’em, five) sources who requested anonymity. Of course, Trump has previously railed against the use of anonymous sources despite using them himself when it suits him. However, professional journalists have relied on such sources with great accuracy for as long as there has been journalism.

Trump’s response to the story was expressed in a tweet that apparently confirmed the Post’s account:

That’s simple enough. The President is explicitly agreeing with the Post that he is being investigated. And the investigation concerns, in part, the events leading to the termination of former FBI Director, James Comey. He’s also blaming it on someone at the Justice Department who told him to do it. Never mind that he told NBC’s Lester Holt it was his decision alone. A decision that he made before consulting the DOJ. The bottom line is that everyone is on the same page with regard to the existence of an investigation. Right?

Wrong. Mr. Sekulow, Trump’s attorney, objects. On each of his Sunday interviews he blatantly contradicted his client. He repeated that the President is not now, nor has he ever been, under investigation. But his attempts to support that argument were ludicrous. Let’s begin with the most friendly forum for Trump’s representative, Fox News. Chris Wallace noted that Sekulow himself said that Trump is being investigated.

Sekulow: [Trump] is being investigated for taking the action that the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, recommended him to take by the agency that recommended the termination.
Wallace: First of all, you’ve now stated that he is being investigated after saying that he …
Sekulow: No.
Wallace: You just said that he’s being investigated.
Sekulow: Let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. We have not received, nor are we aware of any investigation of the President of the United States.

Wallace deserves some credit for not letting Sekulow get away with contradicting both himself and Trump. But Sekulow’s attempt at crystal clarity just dodges the substance of his own prior remarks. So let’s move on to Meet the Press with Chuck Todd:

Todd: Let me begin with getting some clarification here. The President tweeted this week “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director.” When did the President become aware that he was officially under investigation by the special counsel?
Sekulow: The President is not under investigation by the special counsel. The tweet from the President was in response to the five anonymous sources that were purportedly leaking information to the Washington Post about a potential investigation of the President.

Sekulow’s reply doesn’t begin to answer the question. In fact, it makes no sense. How does Trump’s alleged response being aimed at the Post’s story change the meaning of it? That question comes up again when Sekulow appears on CNN’s State of the Nation with Jake Tapper (video below):

Tapper: The President said “I am being investigated” in a tweet and people take his word on that. But you’re his attorney. You’re saying that when the President said that he was not accurate.
Sekulow: No. The President was – It was 141 (sic) characters. There’s a limitation on Twitter, as we all know. And the President has very effective utilization of social media. So here’s what we have. The President issued that tweet, that social media statement based on a fake report, a report with no documented sources from the Washington Post. […] The President’s response was as it related to the Washington Post report. He cannot in a Twitter statement include all of that in there. But the Washington Post statement came out that morning. There should be no confusion. The President is not under investigation.

Now Sekulow is asserting that the Post’s story is fake. Of course, he doesn’t provide any evidence to substantiate that allegation. As a lawyer he should know better. But even that reckless remark doesn’t explain why Trump said that he is being investigated. Sekulow tried to bolster his defense by asserting that Twitter’s character limit is what prevented Trump from being clear. But Trump’s tweet contained only 111 characters. So he had twenty-nine to spare. And according to Sekulow, “the President has very effective utilization of social media.” So he could easily have added “WaPo Says,” or even “the fake news WaPo says.” So there was no impediment by Twitter on Trump making an accurate statement.

At this point it should be noted that Sekulow is not telling the truth about whether Trump is under investigation. All he can say honestly is that he isn’t aware of any investigation. He cannot say that there isn’t one. Wallace called him that and he agreed. Nevertheless, he repeated the same falsehood on the other programs. It’s a propaganda tactic aimed at convincing people that Trump is pure as the driven snow. But his execution is so inept that he just winds up muddying the waters and making his client look guilty. Which I suppose is a professional hazard for lawyers with guilty clients.

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

Pro-Trump Crackpot Gets Booed Off Stage After Interrupting Shakespeare in the Park (VIDEO)

New York’s Public Theater has been providing free performances of Shakespeare in Central Park for more than sixty years. It’s a non-profit, public service that contributes to the cultural advancement of the community and is available to everyone. It is generally not the scene of political controversy, however, last week became a rare exception.

Shakespeare Protester

The theater group staged a stylized performance of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Taking creative license, they cast Caesar as a Donald Trump lookalike. Consequently, when the scene in the play that depicts Caesar’s assassination came, the character was brutally stabbed to death. Unable to distinguish between reality and fiction, conservatives went into a frenzy asserting that the play was advocating Trump’s assassination. It didn’t take long before the alt-right media was accusing all liberals of being violent and bloodthirsty.

Friday night the performance suffered further attacks when a pro-Trump extremist blogger leaped onto the stage. She began screaming feverishly about alleged “political violence against the right.” Ironically, Laura Loomer writes for a website called TheRebel, a name that implies militant violence.

The interruption was clearly not appreciated by the audience. They immediately burst into a chorus of boos as the cast surrounded Loomer and waited for security to escort her from the stage. And as she was led away the audience cheered and applauded. Surprisingly, Loomer posted video of this embarrassment as if she were proud of it.

following the incident, Loomer had her accomplices video her arrest. Of course, she regarded this as a travesty of justice since all she was doing was defending her Dear Leader, Donald Trump. But her harangue drifted into some peculiar, paranoid territory:

“I really think that the left wants there to be another civil war in this country because they’re so polarizing and they’re so violent. They’re so disgusting. They lack morals. And they really want there to be an assassination so there’s not only a full blown race war, but they want there to be political wars.”

How she concludes that this play makes any statement related to race wars is a mystery only her psychologist can resolve. Perhaps it’s an admission that any criticism of Trump would be countered by his devoted racist supporters. But the hypocrisy is glaringly evident. She attacks the left as polarizing mere seconds before insulting them as disgusting and devoid of morals. That isn’t polarizing at all, is it?

Loomer tries to portray herself as an investigative journalist. But her resume betrays that as absurd. She got her start working for the disgraced and irrelevant confessed criminal, James O’Keefe. For a brief period of time O’Keefe made headlines by producing widely debunked, and deceptively edited, videos intended to slander Democrats. Now his reputation is so toxic that even Fox News won’t publish his nonsense anymore.

So it’s easy to see where Loomer got her idea that interrupting a play with incoherent hollering would be a reasonable act of protest. The only thing she achieved was attracting praise from the alt-right true believers who already worship this sort of idiocy. Disreputable folks like Mike Cernovich, Dinesh D’Souza?, and Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit) rushed to her defense. Alex Jones of Infowars tweeted that she was a “patriot.” And Laura Ingraham of Fox News had this say:

First of all, President Obama was the target of innumerable attacks that included stabbing, lynching, and other forms of assassination. The right finds it convenient to forget about that. But Ingraham’s remarks about how liberals would behave in circumstances similar to this one are painfully ignorant. In 2012, the same play was staged with an Obama character in the role of Caesar. There were no protests or juvenile interruptions of the performance.

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

Hypocrisy is no stranger to the right. When Tea Party activists stormed congressional town halls, conservatives hailed them as heroes. When liberals did the same thing earlier this year, the same conservatives condemned them as subversives. When liberals protest speeches on college campuses by white supremacists they are accused of being against free speech. But when Trump and his cohorts advocate government control of the media, the right cheers and agrees. So if you’re looking the differences between left and right responses to expressions of political viewpoints, you need look no further than people like Laura Loomer and the censorious president she idolizes.