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.

DAFUQ? Giuliani Blames Clinton For Trump’s Birther Bullsh*t (VIDEO)

There is a toxic tendency among conservatives to persistently believe the most ridiculous lies about Hillary Clinton. Even after they’ve been thoroughly debunked, the right clings to them like ideological life preservers. This makes it hard for any of these crackpot notions to mercifully die.

Giuliani

One of the stickiest Hillary mythologies is the charge that she created the Birther movement. The fact that there are still people who believe that President Obama is a native Kenyan is puzzling and sad. But even worse are the loons who insist that Clinton started it all.

Donald Trump, of course, anointed himself as the Chief Birther years ago. He claimed to have sent an investigative team to Hawaii to get to the bottom of it. Later, he declared that the world “will be amazed” at what they found. Unfortunately, Trump’s “investigators” must have been swallowed up by a lava flow because they have never been heard from again. In the interim, Trump has refused to even talk about it. Amazing.

Additionally, Trump is also a vocal proponent of the theory that Clinton birthed Birtherism. Before he dropped it from his repertoire it was a regular part of his anti-Clinton spiel. For example, see this tweet from last September:

No it wasn’t, and no she wasn’t. For the record. neither Hillary Clinton, nor her campaign, had any part of the Birther business. In fact, she explicitly called it “ludicrous.” Every fact-checking organization refuted the allegation. PolitiFact wrote a detailed response declaring it “False” and concluding that:

“There is no record that Clinton herself or anyone within her campaign ever advanced the charge that Obama was not born in the United States.”

To its shame, the media has allowed Trump to evade questions on his Birther fetish. They have inexplicably honored his pronouncement that he doesn’t talk about it anymore. Just because he wants to put it aside doesn’t mean that responsible journalists have to comply. And this morning CNN’s Jake Tapper proved why it is still important to raise the issue. Tapper brought it up with respect to Trump’s recent efforts to pander to minority voters. He asked Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani to comment:

Jake Tapper: I have to say, in interviews many African-Americans say they are still troubled by Mr. Trump having suggested over and over, falsely, that the first African-American president was born in Africa and, thus, ineligible to be president.

Giuliani began to respond by asserting that “the first one that made that claim was Hillary Clinton.” Tapper interrupted to say that it wasn’t Clinton herself, but people around her. But even that isn’t correct. It was a group of fringe supporters who were unaffiliated with her campaign. Giuliani’s exchange with Tapper continued:

Tapper: It was resolved in 2011 when he released his birth certificate. Donald Trump talking about this as recently as February of last year at CPAC saying that he thinks the birth certificate is false. Should he just apologize for this to let – if he really wants to reach out to minority voters?

Rudy Giuliani: You know, if everybody apologized for all the things they said in politics, all we would be doing on television shows is apologizing. Maybe a lot of the Democrats should apologize for calling Donald Trump a racist and calling him all kinds of terrible names and? – it gets a little silly.

First of all, if all he would be doing on TV is apologizing for things he said, he is saying way too much bullcrap. Which, of course, in his case is true. More to the point, Giuliani’s suggestion that Democrats apologize for telling the truth about Trump is totally absurd. And lying about Obama’s citizenship is overtly racist and blaming Clinton for it just makes it worse. His refusal to apologize is evidence that he and Trump aren’t sorry about expressing their bigotry.

The rush to hang Birtherism on Clinton is not a new phenomenon. Saturday on CNN Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes also falsely claimed that Clinton was the source of Birtherism. Much of last year Fox News pushed this nonsense. Many of their top personalities joined in, including Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Steve Doocy.

By continuing to spread these lies, Giuliani, Trump, Fox News, and all of their cohorts, are demonstrating an open aversion to the truth. They are embracing racism. In addition, they are effectively admitting that they haven’t got a single factual criticism to make about Clinton. Otherwise, why would they have to keep pounding away on one that they surely know is false? And if it’s their intention to keep Birtherism alive, then Trump should be forced to face questions about it whether he wants to or not.

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

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Lauds Donald Trump’s Crank Yanking

I want to apologize in advance for writing this article. I tried my best to avoid it but, in the end, this was too important to pass up. In just two months America will be deciding who will lead this nation and this fundamental issue needs to be on the record.

Fox News Ablow

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends were stirred up after hearing that Hillary Clinton was “consulting psychologists about Trump’s biggest insecurities to bait him into making mistakes on the debate stage.” So they brought in “Dr.” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, to give his professional psychiatric opinion about Clinton’s debate prep.

Ablow’s response briefly touched on the subject, but quickly diverted to another area that was more closely associated with his specialty – exalting perverts. Ablow inexplicably swerved off into a discourse on the courage Donald Trump showed by bragging about his manhood:

“I have to say, when the small hands issue was raised during the debate, this supposedly got the Clinton campaign very excited. They thought, ‘Man, he’s off his game.’ He wasn’t off his game at all. Freud would have been standing up, like applauding, standing ovation. To be able to address such an intensely personal issue and say, ‘Listen, there’s no problem in that department,’ to me that showed an incredible degree of psychological strength.”

Of course. The first indication of psychological strength is when someone is so insecure about themselves that they have to convince twenty million strangers how well endowed they are. It’s particularly admirable when such boasting is done in pursuit of the presidency. In Ablow’s mind democracy will be perfected when debates are replaced with dick measuring contests (sorry Hillary).

Ablow can add this to his other political diagnoses that found merit in the most repulsive character flaws. For instance, he recently praised Trump’s narcissism as “exactly what America needs.” He declared that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives. And he even praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy.

All of these actually apply to Trump pretty well. He has obsessive penis envy; he is a textbook narcissist; he has also cheated on multiple wives; and his approach to public service is rife with sociopathic tendencies. These are the key components of the Cult of Trump.

So thank you, Dr. Ablow, for once again revealing your ignorance of the human mind. A few months ago Trump insulted his own followers by saying they were so stupid they would continue to support him even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. Apparently Ablow is among that glassy-eyed assembly of disciples. If Trump confessed to being a crack addict or a pedophile Ablow would praise his commitment to stick to unpopular positions. No matter what horrific personality disorder Trump displays, Ablow will spin it into a virtue. And Fox News will give him a platform to spread his nauseating psychobabble.

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

Donald Trump’s Disgustingly Sexist Reaction To The Anthony Weiner Affair

The media today is all abuzz about recidivist sexter Anthony Weiner. Clearly this guy has an addiction that is driving him into self-destructive behavior. There is a temptation among many in the press to make a joke of it, but the consequences have proven to be profoundly serious. His wife, Huma Abedin, announced that they will be separating. There is nothing funny about a broken family with an infant child. What’s funny is that the media gets more heated about quirky behavior that hurts no one, than they do about the sexual harassment by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who left a trail of victims.

Trump/Weiner

In response to this marital misery, Donald Trump has lived down to expectations and found a way to take the low road as usual. Rather than express his condolences, or any concern for the child, Trump seemed overcome with glee for what he perceives to be a positive development. One that is ripe with political opportunity. His first response to the sad news was that:

“”Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him.”

That is an utterly disingenuous comment. Donald Trump has absolutely no idea what is best for Huma or anyone else in that family. What’s more, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them. He regards Huma as a traitor with allegiances to the Muslim Brotherhood. She is also an accomplice to the imagined crimes of Hillary Clinton in his conspiratorial mind. It it simply absurd for him to suddenly pretend that he has her best interests at heart. But he had more to say that just made things even worse:

“I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It’s just another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this.”

Try to follow Trump’s logic here. He asserts that Clinton “allowed” Weiner to have access to classified information. Weiner would have gotten that information from his wife, Huma, who is also a close aide to Clinton. So Trump believes that Huma, who has high-level security clearances from the government, is blabbing state secrets to her libidinous hubby.

The assumption Trump has to make to arrive at that conclusion is pure, unadulterated sexism. It is insulting to all women. He thinks that women who work in sensitive government jobs are untrustworthy gossips who divulge secrets in pillow talk. In his mind women are undisciplined chatterboxes with no sense of duty or patriotism. Would he be similarly worried for the country about Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann spilling the beans to their spouses?

The obvious contempt Trump has for the integrity of women is appalling. You would never hear him say anything similar about a man sharing government secrets with his wife. And if he does think that that is a credible risk, then you have to wonder what classified info he would be yakking to Melania?

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

It’s no surprise that the the media is getting its thrills from the tabloid sexcapades of a fallen congressman who has no power or position. But we should be far more concerned with the misogyny of the Republican nominee for president. If Donald Trump doesn’t think women can serve the nation honorably, then he has no business asking for their votes. Or for that matter, the votes of their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons.

Fox News Desperately Lashes Out At Hillary With Fake ‘Endorsement’ By Hate Leader

Desperation is often best measured by the ludicrous lengths one will go to in order to attack an opponent. And by that measure Fox News is off the charts desperate. They appear to have made the calculation that Hillary Clinton’s prospects for beating the pants off of Donald Trump are so great that there is no depth too low for them to sink to. Case in point, the story they posted Saturday on their Fox Nation website: “KKK Grand Dragon Endorses Hillary Clinton.”

Fox Nation

Fox Nation has never been known for honest reporting (see the ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality that catalogs their blatant lies). And this story affirms their shameful reputation. It was published just as Trump is vainly attempting to deflect the racism that is central to his campaign. His futile strategy has been to try to turn the tables by calling Clinton a bigot. Never mind that her support among African-Americans is over eighty percent compared to his in the low single digits.

Fox Nation’s article was sourced to a posting by Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, aka the Dumbest Man on the Internet (serioulsy, Google it)). The epic wrongness of it is readily apparent to anyone with an IQ higher than their age.

First of all, Hoft had to reach back to a story that was published almost six months ago. The original story was about a confrontation between Ku Klux Klan members in Anaheim, CA, with Klan protesters and police. There was no current event that might have justified reprising the story. It was essentially just a memory he felt like revisiting. So of course Fox links to it as if it were breaking. The only commentary attached to it was an excerpted exchange between a professor who videotaped the affair and the leader of the tiny Klan chapter that organized it.

In that video Prof. Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and
Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, asked Grand Dragon Will Quigg who he was supporting for president. Quigg answered simply “Hillary Clinton.” And on the basis of that, Hoft and Fox News composed headlines that proclaimed the Klan’s endorsement of Clinton.

However, much was left out of Fox’s reporting. For instance, the Huffington Post published an article last March on this wherein they got a more complete explanation of Quigg’s alleged endorsement. He said at the time that he believes Clinton has a secret agenda that is aligned with his white supremacist hate group:

“She is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda,” said Quigg. “She’s telling everybody what they want to hear so she can get elected, because she’s Bill Clinton’s wife, she’s close to the Bushes. Once she’s in the presidency, she’s going to come out and her true colors are going to show. Border policies are going to be put in place. Our Second Amendment rights that she’s saying she’s against now, she’s not against. She’s just our choice for the presidency.”

Sounds like Quigg is describing Trump’s platform perfectly. Where he got the idea that Clinton is a Klan double agent is a mystery that is confined to his diseased brain. However, Prof. Levin, an expert on racial hate groups, had something to say about Quigg’s “endorsement” that was also missing from Fox’s reporting:

“It’s not true,” Levin said. “His recent publicized change of heart stands in sharp contrast to his consistent and effusive support over the last six months for Mr. Trump. I just totally don’t buy it. Quigg is playing everybody. […] These guys play the press all the time. Quigg is just pivoting. He’ll get some attention and he knows it’ll take a little heat off Trump.”

Further analysis holds that Quigg is distancing himself from a Klan rival, David Duke, who has endorsed Trump. Additionally, Quigg may be trying to avoid undermining Trump while simultaneously tarnishing Clinton. He knows that the Klan’s support would hurt whomever receives it, so he is doling it out strategically. However, he has been expressing his devotion to Trump for over a year, as evidenced by this tweet:

This isn’t the first time that Fox has tried to draw the dishonest connection between Clinton and the Klan. Just a couple of days ago Fox Nation posted an article with this headline: “Flashback: Hillary Clinton Praised Former KKK Member Robert Byrd as ‘Friend and Mentor'” That was another retread that was just as deceptive. It referenced a six month old column in the ultra-rightist Daily Caller that itself referenced a video from 2010 of Clinton offering condolences following the death of Sen. Byrd. Conservatives frequently try to smear the late senator despite the fact that he renounced his youthful Klan membership decades ago. In no uncertain terms he apologized and condemned racism and the groups that espouse it. He was honored by the NAACP in a letter after he died as a “Champion for Civil Rights and Liberties.”

In light of the above, it’s clear that Fox News is frantically trying to defame Clinton by inventing an utterly false association with a despised organization. It’s a far-fetched effort, particularly since many other Klan groups have already pledged their allegiance to Donald Trump. Many white supremacists are actively campaigning for him. And no amount of lies and race-baiting by Fox can erase the stain of Trump’s bigotry that has been so much a part of his campaign for the past year.

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

Trump Is ‘Incredibly Grateful’ For Adviser Who Said Hillary Should Be ‘Shot For Treason’ (AUDIO)

Thursday Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing address that castigated Donald Trump for his affiliations with right-wing extremists. She fully documented her allegations and often used his own words for confirmation. Subsequently, Trump and his allies struck back with baseless accusations that Clinton was a bigot. He insisted that he was being unfairly maligned and that there was nothing untoward about his political views or relationships. But less than twenty-four hours later, Trump is already proving his extremist bona fides.

Baldasaro

The latest instance began a few weeks ago when a Trump adviser went ballistic (so to speak) on Hillary Clinton during Jeff Kuhner’s talk radio show. New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who co-chairs the Trump campaign’s national veterans coalition, began ranting about Benghazi. Not surprisingly, he blamed Clinton for the whole thing:

“She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there. I wish they’d made the documents public on why Anderson was – the Ambassador Anderson – because in my mind I want to think were they moving guns? Were they doing something there? How did they know he was even there?”

First of all, the ambassador to Libya was Chris Stevens, something a veterans adviser ought to know. Secondly, accusing a murdered diplomat of unlawfully running guns, without any evidence, is beyond reprehensible. But Baldasaro wasn’t finished:

“This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

That grotesque comment earned Baldasaro a visit from the U.S. Secret Service. You’ll notice that he never said that she should be tried or convicted. It’s the sort of hateful discharge that has become all too common among Trump’s associates. And for that matter, Trump himself. Recall his conjecture that only the “second amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices.

Flash forward to the present. Trump gave an interview to Paul Steinhauser of New Hampshire’s NH1 News, and the subject came up again. It led to the following exchange (Video: Segment begins at 1:54):

Steinhauser: One of your good friends and one of your biggest supporters here in New Hampshire, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, he’s here today. He said some controversial things over the last month or two about Hillary Clinton, suggesting she should be put in front of a firing squad for treason. What do you think about his comments? Do you condone them?

Trump: Well, I didn’t know that but I will tell you he’s a very fine person. He is a person that loves the military and loves the veterans. He is a man that, as far as veterans and veterans affairs goes, I don’t think anybody knows more than Al. He loves the veterans and what I really know about him is that nobody wants to take care of the veterans of this country, who have been treated horribly, more than Al. So that’s what I do know.

Steinhauser: But you don’t condone any comments?

Trump: I don’t know what he said. You’d have to show me what he said.

Trump’s awkward response was an obvious attempt to dodge the question. He seemed to think that if he said “veterans” enough (five times) the reporter would become hypnotized and unable proceed with the interview. That plan failed, and when asked again Trump feigned ignorance. He claimed that he needed to know what Baldasaro said, even though Steinhauser had just told him. The only principled response to such a question is “I do not condone any calls for violence of any kind.” It isn’t really that hard if you have principles.

What makes this even worse is that Trump lied about not knowing what Baldasaro said. When the comment was originally made in July, Trump was asked to respond. His campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, told NH1 News that “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.” So apparently Trump did know about Baldasaro’s repugnant comments and instructed Hicks to renounce them. Unless his spokesperson is putting words in his mouth without consulting him. Neither of those options represent the qualities necessary for national leadership. And why is he refusing to renounce the same comments now? Is he afraid of offending his friends in the alt-right?

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

Trump’s supporters have a history of expressing their views about Clinton with overtly violent overtones. For example, the Riverside County GOP tweeted a photo of an executioner with the caption “Ready for Hillary.” Ted Nugent shared a video on Facebook of Clinton being shot by Bernie Sanders. The death threats aimed at Clinton frequently come from notable Republicans, rather than from anonymous Internet trolls. And Trump’s response to these incidents is clearly encouraging this abhorrent behavior.

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.