OMG: The Internet Is Making People Less Human, Says Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst (VIDEO)

Self proclaimed “Culture Warrior” Bill O’Reilly is very concerned about the harm being done by the Internet. He devoted a segment of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News to the question: Is the internet creating a culture of hate in the US? Well, as a veteran hate monger, he should know.

Bill O'Reilly

The segment began with O’Reilly complaining about what he called an “online addiction” suffered by eighty percent of Americans. Don’t bother looking for his support for that statistic because it apparently came from the same dark place as the rest of his dubious data. And you don’t want to go there, trust me. After setting up this premise, O’Reilly turned to his guest, “Dr.” Keith Ablow, and asked “Is hatred rising because of social media?” Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, responded:

“Absolutely. Bill … The Internet invites people into it anonymously. It does so via an anonymous technological filter, and therefore it short-circuits empathy. So it favors people who lack empathy, number one, and it threatens to turn just regular folks into less empathetic people as well. So it’s doing that in a two-fold way.”

Why just the other day I received an invitation from the Internet’s anonymous technological filter to short-circuit my empathy. I was too busy translating some pseudo-psychological drivel and had to decline. But no doubt some misanthropes accepted the invitation to relinquish what was left of their ability to care for others. Ablow continued:

“It’s not just through bullying. Because, after all, ISIS and the like use the Internet to recruit. Why? Why is it seemingly so easy? Because people are depersonalized and dehumanized by the Internet. “

Any opportunity to inject ISIS into a discussion on Fox News is mandatory according to the network’s employee contracts. Even if it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What Ablow leaves out of his analysis is that terrorists are not the only ones using the Internet for recruiting. It is also being used McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Army. All good examples of organizations seeking fresh, dehumanized candidates to join their zombie operations.

Another guest on the program was Dr. Paul Booth of DePaul University. He made the rational observation that hatred has always existed in society and the Internet didn’t create it. But O’Reilly would have none of that common sense crap. He quickly deflected to whining that “vicious people” online were the problem because “there’s no regulation. They can’t stop it.” He didn’t reveal who should be responsible for stopping it or by what means. But Ablow heartily agreed:

“They can’t stop it. And respectfully, what Dr. Booth misses is that there’s plenty of data suggesting that people who use social media more suffer psychological problems more. And one of them is a decrease in empathy and a lack of connectedness. Remember, the Internet cut its teeth on adult entertainment. The lack of humanity has been built in from the beginning. This coaxes people to be less human.”

Ablow is getting awfully worked up about empathy for a guy who literally argued that “Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Exactly What America Needs.” A real doctor would know that among the symptoms of narcissism is a lack of empathy. Why he brings porn into the mix is another of his curious theories. Or, perhaps, obsessions?

More to the point, Ablow’s contention that a “lack of humanity” was built into the Internet from the beginning is just plain delusional. Its actual beginnings (i.e. teeth cutting) were with defense contractors and academics. It then expanded to communications, gaming, commerce, and, yes, porn. Coaxing people to be less human was never on the agenda. Then Ablow drops this psychobabble:

“There isn’t a person alive who’s more human because they used the Internet or social media more. It’s psychologically impossible for that to be the case.”

Huh? What makes a person more human? Is there a person alive who’s more human because they used television or chiropractors or Prozac? If you’re only 81 percent human now, what’s the other 19 percent? Yorkshire Terrier? Ablow is making no sense at all. He is literally blabbering gibberish. Which was the perfect segue into O’Reilly’s summation:

“My main point is this. That there’s so much garbage on it. And that garbage finds its way out into the legitimate media. […] And now we’re having mainstream media quote this stuff. It’s all “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media.” I mean it’s like nobody’s safe. Who’s safe?”

Bill O’Reilly is condemning the whole reason for Fox News’ existence: Putting out garbage that finds its way out into the legitimate media. What’s more, he just threw Donald Trump under the bus for using the “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media” defense. After being called out on Meet the Press for posting a hoax video on twitter, Trump admitted that “All I know is what’s on the Internet.” And taking it to the next level is Trump fluffer Rudy Giuliani, who advised Fox News viewers to use the Internet to look up videos about Hillary Clinton’s precarious health. Because that’s where all the best medical diagnoses by whackoids like Alex Jones and Drudge are published.

Since you’re probably reading this on the Internet, be careful to shield yourself from the empathy-draining rays emanating from the screen. You are likely becoming less human even as you read this sentence. That’s if you haven’t already soured on humanity after listening to O’Reilly and Ablow. But if you hope to survive, the only known protection from the Internet’s evil influence is heavy duty tin foil and, yes, porn. Good luck.

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

Now Fox News Is Citing Sleazy InfoWars As Source To Smear Hillary Clinton

After years of pretending to be fair and balanced while shilling for Republicans, Fox News has completed a frightening metamorphosis. This morning they took a giant leap into the black hole of crackpot conspiracy theory. It’s a development that illustrates the lengths they will go to promote their home-brewed presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Fox News/InfoWars

On Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Childers introduced a segment alleging that Google is “trying to sway the presidential election.” Their evil plot consists of manipulating search results to suppress evidence of the trail of dead bodies left by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network took the handoff to report that:

“Google is being accused of hiding negative stories about Hillary and her campaign by changing its algorithm to bury stories like the ‘Clinton body count’ story. That’s according to website InfoWars.”

Seriously? So Fox News is now associating itself with the utterly delusional ravings of Alex Jones and his InfoWars conspiracy site? This is the same InfoWars that claimed that the massacre of twenty children in Newtown, CT, was a government plot to confiscate the guns of American citizens. It’s the same InfoWars that has been the leading light of the 9/11 Truther movement. Not to mention the wingnut’s goto source for Birther BS. And, by the way, it’s also the same InfoWars that has endorsed Donald Trump for president and given him a platform on their webcast.

It is also interesting to note that Fox believes there is a “Clinton body count” story to be buried. And why not? They have been reporting that Obama is a secret gay Muslim from Kenya who founded ISIS for years. So what is Fox News and InfoWars so worked up about today?

“If a Google user types in ‘Clinton body,’ they get car repair shop results instead of a story that talks about a list of people tied to the Clintons who have died under mysterious circumstances over the last three decades.”

Oh my heavens. Bring me the smellin’ salts, Margaret. Apparently Google is participating in the cabal to suppress the Clintons’ thirty year murder spree. Fox and InfoWars believe that Google’s biased search results need to be corrected. Instead of intelligently curated data, they should highlight slanderous fables from the diseased minds of right-wing hate mongers.

It’s impossible to ignore the connection to Donald Trump’s campaign. He has been a frequent guest on InfoWars. Plus, his new campaign chair (Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News) is cut from the same soiled cloth as Alex Jones. There is an unmistakable trend toward the bonehead breed of pseudo-journalism that is sprouting up around Trump and his media advocates. His stump speeches are now almost entirely read from TelePrompters pre-loaded with talk radio style bombast. These include charges that Clinton is a felon, a traitor, and is about to drop dead.

These sort of screwball ideas are not surprising from InfoWars. They are, in fact, their reason for being. But for Fox News to reach down into that cesspool of idiocy is a new low, even for Fox. What is the limit of their debasement of journalism if it isn’t aligning with InfoWars? Fox has allowed such nonsense to bubble up into their reporting in the past. But this may be the first time they have explicitly attributed their story to InfoWars. That might be more honest, but it is a bad sign nonetheless. It means they are comfortable mainstreaming the likes of Alex Jones.

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

Rudy Giuliani Goes INSANE On Fox News Over Hillary Clinton’s Mental Health

As Donald Trump’s campaign continues to implode, his surrogates are stepping up the effort to make him look less like a narcissistic imbecile. They have their work cut out for them. Even though he has embraced the TelePrompter that he once said should disqualify any candidate, he is still embarrassing himself in a very public manner. Consequently, the clean up crew has to get ever more creative.

Rudy Giuliani

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Rudy Giuliani made the curious assertion that Hillary Clinton wasn’t campaigning (video below). So host Shannon Bream asked him a darn good question: “Then why is she doing so well in the polls?” He delivered a nearly incoherent response mainly blaming the so-called “liberal” media that “constantly demonizes Donald Trump.” Never mind the recent Harvard study that proved “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” But Giuliani went off the rails when he ventured into conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health:

“[The media] Fails to point out several signs of illness by her. All you got to do is go online … Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness’ and take a look at the videos for yourself.”

Is he friggin’ serious? Giuliani’s authoritative approach to clinical diagnoses is to consult – Google? First of all, none of the “doctors” practicing on the Internet have examined, or even met, Clinton. Secondly, the medical opinions you’re likely to encounter online come from such experts as Alex Jones of Infowars, the Drudge Report, Glenn Beck, and of course, Fox News. What brain disease would cause Giuliani to think that Googling “Clinton’s illness” would validate his ludicrous claims?

As for Fox News, last week Sean Hannity slandered Clinton with a week-long extravaganza of factless blather and made up health crises. Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends called her prescription glasses “a sign of brain damage.” Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson baselessly alleged that Clinton has dysphasia. Not to be left out, Trump has lately been saying that Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.” It’s clear that Trump’s “brain” trust has opted to surrender the policy debate and attack Clinton’s health instead.

For the record, Clinton’s actual doctor released a statement saying that “Secretary Clinton is in excellent health and fit to serve as president of the United States.” Now that’s pretty good, but it doesn’t compare with the note from Trump’s doctor declaring that he will be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” How he knows that without having examined every other president was not explained. However, it sounds very much like something Trump himself would say. Could he be pretending to be his own doctor like he pretended to be his own publicist?

Giuliani’s confidence in the Internet’s infallibility is reminiscent of Trump’s similar reverence for online truthiness. A couple of months ago Trump appeared on Meet the Press where anchor Chuck Todd pressed him to acknowledge that a video that he posted on Twitter was a hoax. Trump squirmed uncomfortably while seeking a plausible denial, finally settling for this lame disavowal: “All I know is what’s on the Internet.”

From a Commander-in-Chief perspective, that an awfully low standard for knowledge, but it seems to be a recurring pattern with Trump and his cohorts. In the absence of facts to support their increasingly deranged allegations, they settle for fantastical fables they find online. It’s a de facto admission that they simply don’t care about truth anymore. Not that they ever did.

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

Regrets My A$$: Lovesick Media Swoons At Trump’s Phony Non-Apology

For several months there has been breathless anticipation that the boorish and offensive personality of Donald Trump would vanish in a puff of smoke as he revealed his true graciousness and diplomacy. And the same people who believe that are still waiting for Santa to deliver their unicorn.

Donald Trump

In a speech in Charlotte, N.C., Trump recited the TelePrompted views that were prepared for him by the new regime managing his floundering campaign. For the most part it was typical Republican dogma with one new wrinkle. Reversing months of stubborn insistence that he has nothing to regret, Trump conceded that he does, indeed, feel some pangs for unspecified occasions when “you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.” But even he expressed skepticism of this new found contrition by prefacing his regrets with “believe it or not.”

Anyone who thinks that Trump is actually sorry has not been paying attention. He has unabashedly insulted Latinos, veterans, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. His rebukes of fellow Republicans during the primary were painfully immature. You can’t behave like that for nearly a year and then just turn around and issue a wishy-washy regret that was written by hired hacks. He never bothered to actually apologize or even show respect for those he demeaned by identifying them or what he said that was wrong. It’s fair to say that the only thing he really regrets about his comments is the extent to which they have hurt him.

What’s most disappointing about this is the ease with which the media is falling for Trump’s bad playacting. They seem to think that his “pivot” is a material transformation of his personality on the scale of a spiritual rebirth. In reality it’s a desperate political ploy to avoid a humiliating landslide loss in November. Is the media really so dense that they don’t see that?

Here are some examples compiled by Media Matters of how the press has taken up Trump’s narrative without a lick of critical analysis:

On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy said of Trump’s address that it was “one of the best speeches Donald Trump has ever given.” That was seconded by correspondent John Roberts who added that “he completed his pivot to the general election campaign.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough exclaimed “Wow. You have the reset button ready? Reset.” Guest reporter Katty Kay agreed saying “Yeah. That’s the kind of Trump that will make the Clinton campaign wake up.”

Christine Romans of CNN’s New Day marveled that it was “something I think six months ago we never thought we would have seen.”

On CBS This Morning host Margaret Brennan said “it may indicate a change in approach.” Her colleague Dean Reynolds called it “almost startling.” That was after he highlighted Trump’s “promise never to lie to voters.” They may want to take a look at the Trump Bullshitopedia to see the dozens of documented lies that are already on record.

Back on Fox, Chris Stirewalt declared it “a signal moment.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York gushed that we are seeing a “Very new Trump.”

The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese seemed relieved saying that “if we’ve been waiting for a pivot, this week is the one you should mark on the calendar.”

On NBC’s Today Hallie Jackson reported that this was “something we’ve almost never heard from him,” and that Trump sounded “strikingly more humble.”

These people are either terminally naive or too gullible to be living outside of an institution. The only sane response to Trump’s disingenuous attempts to appear remorseful is to throw right back at him the innumerable abusive and slanderous remarks he has unleashed and make him answer for each one individually. Short of that he deserves no praise for pasting a band-aid over the scars he has left on so many innocent people. And he certainly should not be taken at his word that he is regretful after all the times he swore to the contrary, even saying that “I like not to regret anything.” Here is some of the evidence in a four-video YouTube playlist:

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

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign weighs in with an awesome video on this subject: No Regrets. It’s a MUST see.

Watch Ben Stein Reject Trickle-Down Theory And The Raving Trump Surrogate Defending It

The 2016 presidential race has been most notable for the Republican candidate’s utter refusal to bring anything of substance to the debate. Donald Trump pointedly avoids nearly all policy details in favor of childish insults, empty sloganeering, and lately, deranged outbursts. In the past week alone he called President Obama “the founder of ISIS,” and suggested that “the Second Amendment people” were the only ones who could stop Hillary Clinton.

Ben Stein

That’s what makes it so surprising when a prominent spokesman for the right-wing agenda says something that actually makes sense. This happened Friday on the Fox Business Network during a discussion on the “Dueling Economic Visions” of Trump and Hillary Clinton. Host Charles Payne introduced the segment and turned to economist Ben Stein to give his opinion of the Trump economic plan. What happened next was completely unexpected:

Stein: Well I don’t think Mr. Trump’s plan is going to work very well. I don’t think we need that tax cut when we’re running deficits the size we are running. I think the evidence that tax cuts stimulate business in any kind of meaningful way, at least not sufficient to overcome the tax revenue loss, is extremely poor to put it mildly. I think the idea of cutting taxes on the rich in a time when there is so much concern about inequality is not a good idea. I do think his idea of greatly lessening environmental regulation is absolutely necessary and even brilliant and very brave of him.

Exempting that anti-environment nonsense at the end, Stein delivered a coherent explanation for why giving the wealthy a tax cut makes no sense. In fact he argued that such favoritism for the rich was never a stimulant to the economy and would only exacerbate deficits. Add to that his expression of concern for income inequality and you have a truly astonishing display of wisdom from a right-wing economist.

Fox of course would not be satisfied with that blasphemy. Therefore, Payne turned to Betsy McCaughey, the woman who coined the term “death panels,” for rebuttal. McCaughey was just named to Trump’s team of wingnut economic advisers. She ranted:

McCaughey: First of all, Donald Trump’s tax plan will produce an enormous amount of economic growth. The key factor is slashing the corporate tax rate, currently the highest in the world, down to fifteen percent. Companies in the United States are being taxed to death. And that’s why so many of them are leaving or retrenching their business investments.

There is so much wrong with that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that there is no evidence that Trump’s plan would produce any economic growth. In fact. Moody’s scored his plan and concluded that it would result in a “lengthy recession,” 3.5 million job losses, and “very large deficits and a much higher debt load.” Plus, every independent analysis of Trump’s plan has affirmed that it benefits the rich far more than the lower and middle classes.

Then there is McCaughey’s assertion that U.S. corporate tax rates are “the highest in the world.” That is patently and provably false. It’s a recurring right-wing trope that has been debunked innumerable times by non-partisan analysts. McCaughey and other conservatives deceptively cite the statutory corporate tax rate rather than the effective tax rate (what is actually paid after deductions). When reviewed with real numbers the U.S. corporate rate is actually slightly lower than the average of our international competitors. Often it is zero, or close to it.

[Note: These facts make it even more important for Trump to release his tax returns so that we can see just where in the range his tax rate lies.]

The truth is that American companies are not leaving the the U.S. for lower taxes. They are leaving for lower wages, cheaper distribution in foreign markets, evasion of fair labor and environmental regulations, and other reasons unrelated to taxes. McCaughey also claimed that the U.S. is on the brink of a “business recession” despite this being one of the longest periods of growth in decades. But then she trotted out a real whopper:

McCaughey: And let me just point out in response to Ben’s comments about the poor and tax reductions for the rich – slashing the corporate tax rate and producing growth will benefit the poor the most.

That foolishness hardly merits a response. At this point host Charles Payne steers the conversation to “the debate over whether trickle-down economics really work.” He asked Harvard Kennedy School Professor Leah Wright Rigueur “If the same tide lifts all ships, wouldn’t that include the poor?” She responded that “You would think, but history has shown us that that doesn’t include the poor.” When Stein was asked to comment he poignantly noted that a rising tide “does not lift those boats that are under water.” Which led to this epic exchange:

Stein: And if I may say to my friend the Lt. Governor, there simply is no evidence that slashing the corporate tax rate produces growth. There’s a lot of allegations, but…

McCaughey: [interrupting] That’s ridiculous.

Stein: Did you say ‘That’s ridiculous’?

McCaughey: I said ‘That’s ridiculous’!

Stein: With all due respect, I’m the one that’s studied this. You’re the politician. You can say whatever you want as a politician. There simply is no evidence of that. […] You don’t know that. You have no idea of that. You can say it but there’s never been any data connecting those two.

Watching a devoutly conservative economic expert smack down the right’s sacred trickle-down doctrine on Fox’s own business network is both shocking and satisfying. But watching him also humiliate a Trump adviser, and one of the most extreme GOP partisans, at the same time is an event more rare than Halley’s Comet. It will be interesting to see if Stein is invited back to Fox News any time soon.

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

Fox Nation Hypes ‘Scoop’ On Clinton Charity Scandal That Turns Out To Be Totally Bogus

On Friday Hillary Clinton released her tax returns for 2015, making this the thirty-eighth year she has done so. While Republicans try to tarnish her reputation for honesty, her four decade long record of transparency proves that she has nothing to hide. In addition, it proves that nothing untoward has ever been discovered from making her personal finances abundantly public.

Fox Nation

Contrast that with Donald Trump’s refusal to make even a single year of tax returns available for voters to assess his fitness for office. What is he hiding? Could it be that he has paid little or no income tax for many years? Or has he had unsavory relationships with Russians or other foreign entities? Maybe he isn’t as rich or generous as he pretends to be. Clearly he has determined that he has less to lose from the bad publicity of concealing his records than he does from revealing them.

The absence of any legitimate problems with Clinton’s taxes has driven Fox News to invent problems that don’t exist. On their community website, Fox Nation, they posted an article sourced to the ultra-conservative Daily Caller, a pseudo-news site run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The Daily Caller’s story alleged that “92 Percent Of Hillary’s Charitable Donations In 2015 Went To Clinton Foundation.” The article alleged that the Clinton’s engaged in a corrupt scheme to claim charitable tax write-offs for funds that they funneled back to themselves, saying that:

“Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill deducted $1,042,000 in charitable contributions last year – $1 million of which went to their own Clinton Foundation.” […]

The documents show that the power couple earned $10,745,378 last year, mostly on income earned from giving public speeches. Of that they gave just over a million to charity. But the contributions can hardly be seen as altruistic, since the money flowed back to an entity they control.”

What’s more, the Daily Caller associated the donations with unfounded charges directed at the Clinton Foundation by right-wing media and activist groups such as Judicial Watch. The problem with that reporting is that the donations itemized in the Clinton’s tax returns did not go to the well known Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that has been the target of the right’s smear campaign. The donations actually went to the private vehicle used by the Clinton’s to disburse their philanthropic gifts, the Clinton Family Foundation. This is a common method of aggregating funds for charitable gift giving used by many high-income families.

After being shamed by Media Matters for their journalistic sloppiness, the Daily Caller added a correction to their story to indicate that the two foundations were separate entities. They did not, however, alter their tawdry conclusions, even though they no longer make sense. And Tucker Carlson still went on Fox & Friends this morning to say that “If I give money to my own foundation is it really charity?” Apparently he doesn’t care that his own website now says didn’t happen. Making matters worse, Fox Nation didn’t even bother to make note of the correction. The headline, which is now known to be false, remains unchanged and utterly untrue.

This is nothing new for Fox Nation, which has a history of brazenly misrepresenting the truth with poorly sourced articles (as documented in the book Fox Nation vs. Reality). Fox Nation is also known for re-posting stories from disreputable conspiracy mongers and conservative propagandists. Their editor, Jesse Watters, makes certain that every day the site is filled with fresh attacks on Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, who is routinely assaulted with lies that are vicious and defamatory. Very much like the one exposed here.

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

Fox News And Sean Hannity Are Now Producing Donald Trump’s Campaign Events

No one is going to be shocked to discover that Fox News is working feverishly to elect Donald Trump president of the United States. They are pulling out all the stops to make excuses for his outrageous statements: His insults to the Gold Star parents of a slain soldier; his dog-whistle calls to assassinate Hillary Clinton; his insane accusation that President Obama “founded” ISIS.

In addition, Fox is obsessively covering anti-Clinton non-stories that have already been debunked by ethical journalists: GOP allegations that ISIS intelligence was altered; Clinton emails tying her aides to charity work for the Clinton Foundation; ludicrous “investigations” into Clinton’s health.

Reality is beginning to warp the judgement of both Trump and his PR division at Fox News. Every recent poll is showing Trump falling further behind, particularly in states that were never considered plausible for Democratic candidates. Consequently, the right-wing network is taking a more hands-on approach to Trump’s candidacy by sponsoring campaign events on his behalf. This advertisement was tweeted today by Fox:

Hannity-Trump Townhall

Make no mistake, this not a news event. Sean Hannity has already announced on the air his endorsement for Trump and intention to vote for him. This is a flagrantly biased political appearance that Fox News is producing as a gift to Donald Trump. If the Federal Elections Committee had any integrity they would cite Fox for violating campaign finance laws and force them to declare this an in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign.

It makes sense that Hannity would announce this scam just as Trump is making excuses for why he might bail out on the debates with Hillary Clinton. Trump would suffer irreparably from the perception of his cowardice if he fails to show up for the debates. But fake “town halls” like this would be his way of discounting that criticism. Never mind that they will be obviously stage-managed farces that are no more informative than a Trump infomercial.

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

Right-wing partisanship has been the mission of Fox News since its inception. However, this exceeds even their most blatantly prejudiced propaganda by a long shot. Having an avowed Trump fluffer like Hannity host an hour of political theater like this ought to remove any lingering doubts that the network is a Republican shill factory and should not be taken seriously as a news enterprise by the public or their peers.

Health Scare: Hillary Clinton Is At Death’s Door, According To Desperate Fox News ‘Experts’

The desperate rightists and Donald Trump sycophants at Fox News are continuing to seek a way out from under the political catastrophe they helped to create. They are now suffering with the consequences of having directed Trump’s path to the GOP nomination. While Trump makes thinly veiled assassination threats, the folks at Fox watch dolefully as his poll numbers crater and his lunatic rhetoric becomes ever more unhinged. So Fox News is embarking on a frantic effort to drag down Hillary Clinton instead.

Hillary Clinton

On Fox & Friends today, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes assembled members of their “Medical A-Team” to revel in what they portrayed as Clinton’s sickly prognosis. They rattled off a series of only seven mostly minor incidents dating back nearly two decades. Among these alleged medical crises were a stomach virus and a fractured elbow. Not exactly the sort of dire emergencies for which you would wake up the undertaker. Then they showed a photo where Clinton was being assisted walking up some stairs as if she were feeble. What Fox failed to note was that the stairs were coated with a layer of ice and her aides were merely being cautious.

Nevertheless, these were the foundation for a segment in which the Fox panel exhibited their disingenuous concern for the elderly former Secretary of State. They used their shallow research to assert that Clinton should be required to make available her full medical records. Much of the segment was spent claiming that there was a double standard that favored Clinton. As an example they referred to John McCain’s campaign in 2008. However, McCain was older than Clinton when he ran and had four separate bouts of skin cancer. More worrisome was the fact that Sarah Palin was his vice-presidential running-mate.

While complaining about this supposed double standard, there was scant mention of Donald Trump’s health status or demands for his medical records. He is also older than Clinton. The only medical information he has released was a glowing one page appraisal from a doctor who described Trump’s health as “extraordinary.” He might have added “tremendous, big league” and “the best health of anyone ever, believe me.” (Is anyone else reminded of the time Trump pretended to be his own PR man?). Not mentioned was the fact that Trump had such serious health problems in the past that they resulted in a 4F medical exemption from the draft.

The Fox News medical “experts” are quite right. There is a double standard. And the beneficiary is clearly Donald Trump. Despite the evidence of some severe psychological problems (narcissistic personality disorder, pathological lying, dementia, memory loss, delusions of grandeur, and a peculiar form of Tourette’s Syndrome where he shouts out stupid and/or violent remarks uncontrollably) no one on Fox News has set aside time for segments devoted to his medical transparency. Demands for his medical records are made faintly, if at all. Not that he would provide them. He is still refusing to release his taxes as every presidential candidate has done for more than half a century.

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

It is obvious that Fox News is raising this issue because they have little else of substance to talk about. All of the pseudo-scandals they have promoted (or invented) have fizzled under the light of honest scrutiny. And with Trump being his own worst enemy every time he opens his mouth, Fox is forced to engage in blatant muckraking in order to try to turn the tide against Clinton. Unfortunately for them, they just succeed in making themselves look even more pathetic and desperate. And Unfortunately for us, that won’t stop them from continuing to do it through November and well into the Clinton administration.

Is This Treason? What Donald Trump Just Said Undermines American Democracy

It may be an Olympic-grade understatement to say that Donald Trump has done some god-awful things in his quest for the presidency. From mocking the disabled to ripping off veterans to insane proposals with regard to Muslims and immigrants. But he may just have outdone himself.

In a press conference this morning, Trump was asked about reports that Russia was responsible for the hacking of DNC emails. He has previously dismissed the charges as Democratic efforts to distract from the content of the stolen emails, despite the fact that it is the FBI and other intelligence agencies who identified Russia as the likely culprit.

Trump Putin

His response to today’s inquiries, however, introduced a new and deeply disturbing tactic on Trump’s part. He offered, without prompting, his interest in further exploiting the email theft to his advantage. In a direct response to a question on whether he would condemn the hacking he said “No, it gives me no pause,” and that:

“If Russia or China or any other country has those emails I mean to be honest with you, I’d love to see em.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Donald Trump, the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States, is affirmatively endorsing the notion of revealing private information that was stolen from Americans by a foreign and hostile government. That is an untenable and unpatriotic position that undermines the country’s interests as well as the principles of personal privacy and information security. But it gets even worse. Trump went on to say:

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

In that statement Trump is literally soliciting Russia to commit cyber-crimes and espionage against fellow Americans. How is that not treasonous? He continued with a thinly disguised reference to Russia being “rewarded mightily” for their hacking. Is that an offer to compensate Russian hackers and spies for their efforts? Or is Trump simply implying that Russia would benefit from a Trump presidency and that he would make it worth their while were they to sabotage the campaign of Hillary Clinton? Either way he is taking up sides with an international foe against his own country. Now what is it that we call that?

In the press conference Trump flatly denied having any connection to Russian politics or business. That’s a lie. Has he already forgotten his Miss Universe Pageant he held in Moscow just three years ago? But his Russian ties go much deeper than that. As reported by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo:

“At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties.”

Marshall’s article goes into extensive detail of Trump’s connections to Russian oligarchs and politicians. He makes the case that Trump’s chumminess with Putin is not coincidental. Marshall’s documentation is thorough and somewhat frightening. And if anyone wonders why Putin would favor Trump, look no further than Trump’s recent denigration of NATO and his reluctance to honor the agreement. That would be a huge advantage for Putin whose expansionism would be made much easier if he didn’t have to worry about the U.S. defending its NATO allies.

Another Trump lie in the press conference was his assertion that “I never met Putin, I don’t know who he is. He said one nice thing about me.” It is true, of course, that Trump never met Putin (although he once claimed to know him very well because they both appeared on “60 Minutes” in separate interviews, thousands of miles apart). But what are we to make of his claim that he doesn’t know who Putin is? Folks, we are treading dangerously close to mental incapacity here.

Trump’s VP, Mike Pence, issued a statement that appeared to distance himself from Trump’s perfidy:

“If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.”

Pence might want to confirm that with his boss who is promising that the perpetrators would be rewarded mightily. And contrary to his suggestion that both parties will ensure that there are consequences, the Republican Party has yet to make any public statement repudiating Trump’s remarks or even the more general issue of the hacking of the DNC. Contrast that with the statements from the Democratic side including:

Hillary for America Senior Policy Advisor, Jake Sullivan: This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. […] This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta: “I find those kinds of statements to be totally outrageous because you’ve got now a presidential candidate who is in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics. I just think that’s beyond the pale. […] I think that kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.”

It is incomprehensible that a candidate for the nation’s highest office is articulating activities that amount to aiding and abetting foreign enemies. Trump’s comments should be investigated by the FBI and his connections to Russian economic and political players should be thoroughly examined. As for Trump’s supporters, they need to reassess their allegiance to him, because if he can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of the nation, he surely should not get the vote of any patriotic American.

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

Fox ‘News’ Reports That ‘Obama Endorses Trump’ But Leaves Out Some REALLY Important Details

The week-long Republican National Convention is over and what most people will remember from it is that Melania Trump is plagiarist and that Donald Trump thinks the America is in the grip of a dystopian nightmare. There is little evidence that the typical polling bump that these events generally produce will occur. That is in large part due to the fact that depressing harangues intended to frighten voters are more likely to alienate than inspire. That’s why Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan was “Morning in America” and not “Mourning in America.”

Consequently, Fox News has had to scramble to manufacture anti-Democratic plot lines in advance of the Democrat’s convention this coming week. So far they have latched onto the story about the hacked DNC emails implicating the party in efforts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign. It’s rather humorous to see Fox, and their roster of right-wingers, feigning concern for the unfairness shown to Bernie – as if they care.

In the absence of any other news with which to malign the Democrats, Fox News began running a story that they got from their sister publication, the New York Post. It is a trivial bit of tabloid gossip that Fox is elevating to scandal status via brazenly misleading promos. The phony Fox headline is “Obama Endorses Trump.”

Obama Endorses Trump

Any of the poor saps who were watching this story unfold on Fox & Friends discovered after the commercial break that the Obama referenced in the promo was not President Barack Obama, but his brother, Malik. Why this would be of interest to anyone is a mystery. The Obama brothers have not been close for many years and Malik has made a career out of exploiting his family ties and denigrating the President. Nevertheless, Fox found this to be a significant development and ran the story several times throughout the day.

What Fox failed to mention were the reasons that Malik gave for favoring Trump. The article in the Post says that Malik was “annoyed that Clinton and President Obama killed Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, whom he called one of his best friends,” and that “what bothers him even more is the Democratic Party’s support of same-sex marriage.” The Post quoted Malik as saying that “I feel like a Republican now because they don’t stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me,”

Malik Obama is such a strong advocate of “traditional” marriage that he has entered into it at least three times (and as many as twelve, by some reports). And unlike Trump, whose three marriages were consecutive, Malik’s are concurrent (i.e. he’s still married to all of them).

The Post also reported another part of Malik’s past wherein he created a dubious charity that ran afoul of the law, noting that it was “an off-the-books operation that hadn’t registered with the state of Virginia or, as it claimed, had tax-exempt status from the IRS.”

No wonder Malik Obama is a big fan of Donald Trump (And Trump is a fan of Malik too). They both collect wives for a hobby (and on top of that Trump is a serial adulterer who wants to bang his daughter). They both oppose marriage equality (although Trump has been known to swing both ways – on the issue, that is). They both admire brutal dictators (Trump has been known to praise Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and others). And they both make up charities that end up being exposed as self-serving scams.

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

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends never mentioned any of those things as they struggled to find relevance in this pathetic story. The only takeaway from this that has any import is that Malik Obama and Donald Trump were cast from the same loathsome mold. Other than that, this ludicrous story has no bearing on President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the election. It is more a reflection on Trump and Fox News than anything else.