Sean Hannity’s ‘Deep State’ Derangement Put’s Him at the Front of Conspiracy Crackpot Parade

The shooting in Virginia on Wednesday has renewed the debate over civility in public discourse. Predictably, Republicans exploited the opportunity to blame Democrats and liberals for the violence directed at their colleagues – this time. Even their pleas for consideration and respect are peppered with partisan attacks.

Sean Hannity Fox News

A perfect example occurred Thursday morning on Fox and Friends. Conservative agitator Michelle Malkin spent over eight minutes with her Fox News pals pretending to seek comity while throwing jabs at “the extreme left.” At one point, the on-screen graphic read “Violent Threats Sent To GOP Lawmakers.” The tone of the whole segment reflected that bias. At no time did they mention the recent threats against Democrats. Two Democratic candidates actually had to withdraw from their races due to death threats from right-wingers. And then there was the Republican candidate who literally assaulted a reporter who was just doing his job. That candidate, Greg Gianforte, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, won his race, and is now a U.S. congressman.

Sadly, the heated rhetoric that engulfs today’s political scene is viewed by some as an opportunity. Donald Trump notably abused his opponents whether Republican or Democrat. He fantasized about punching critics in the face. He promised to pay the legal fees of supporters who beat up protesters at his rallies. No wonder that, as president, he continues to associate with drooling barbarians like Alex Jones, Michael Savage, and Ted Nugent.

Perhaps those relationships are what is eating at Sean Hannity. He was the most vocal and devoted Trump-fluffer at Fox News during the campaign. His program featured Trump more than any other on television. And he literally endorsed Trump prior to the election, breaching every ethical standard for a news network. However, his access seems to have been curtailed. Trump hasn’t granted him an interview in over five months. In the meantime, fringe characters from Breitbart News and Infowars got passes to White House Press briefings.

This festering jealously might be inspiring Hannity to venture further out onto the crazy cliff’s edge. That seems to be the best way to get Trump’s enfeebled attention. So Hannity abandoned fear (and reason) on Wednesday night’s program to rant about the frightful “Deep State” that is plotting to destroy Trump (video below). The segment dwells on Hannity’s objection to reports that Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice. Some choice excerpts follow:

“Tonight, and over the next few days, when the media predictably is gonna breathlessly and hyperventilate all kinds of reports and brand new black helicopters and tin-foil hat conspiracy theories to you the American people as they lie again, remember they have zero credibility left.”

Amazingly, he said that all in one breath. However, surveys show that the American people trust the media far more than they trust Trump. And credible news outlets document their stories, unlike what Hannity is doing in this tirade. He continues to deny the reports that Trump is under investigation:

“It’s only a matter of time before this too will be debunked like everything else they’ve reported in pretty much the last eleven months.”

So Hannity is asserting that for the past year “everything” that’s been reported by the media has been debunked. That’s some pretty spicy nutball delusion. Then he launches into what he says are the real crimes. He accuses James Comey and Robert Mueller of conspiring to undermine the President, despite the fact that they are both lifelong Republicans. And naturally, the biggest criminal of all is Hillary Clinton.

“We know Hillary Clinton committed felonies with her email private server scandal. If Democrats wanna talk about collusion, great. Let’s talk about it and take a look at collusion with Vladimir Putin. Uranium One. Twenty percent of the foundational material to make nuclear weapons, while serving as Secretary of State. She signed off on a waiver giving twenty percent of that uranium to Putin, to the Russians. All while people involved in that deal were funneling millions of dollars back to the Clinton Foundation.”

And all of that is total bull crap. Clinton did not sign any such waiver. There was a deal for Russia to acquire certain facilities (not actual uranium) that required the unanimous approval of nine separate government agencies. The State Department alone could not approve the deal. And the donations to the Clinton Foundation all occurred before Clinton was even nominated for the cabinet post. All of this information is publicly available and Hannity has known about it for years. Nevertheless, he persists in spewing information that he knows is false. It’s all part of his “Deep State” saga aimed at convincing his dim-witted audience that a covert, pseudo-government is working behind the scenes to destroy Trump.

Hannity closes with a call to arrest and jail the anonymous sources who talk to the media. He asserts that they are guilty of disseminating classified data. What’s peculiar about that charge is that he also claims the information they provided is false. But he can’t have it both ways. If the data is false, then nothing classified was revealed, no laws were broken, and no arrests are warranted. If the data is true, then Hannity has to concede that Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice which Hannity rejects as fake news.

By spinning so furiously that his brain is scrambled, Hannity hopes to return to the high place he held with Trump prior to the election. He appears to think that he has to compete with the likes of Jones and Savage for the President’s affections. And he is probably right. Trump’s choice of friends and advisers is driven by their Insanity Quotient. The question is, can Fox News continue to allow a lying conspiracy kook to host a primetime program on their network? Well, why not? He’s been there for twenty years.

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

Trump’s Infowars Pals Are Paying Their Crazed Fans to Wear ‘CNN is ISIS’ T-Shirts on TV

Perhaps the one thing that Donald Trump will be best remembered for after his inevitable fall from grace is his relentless and dishonest war on the media. The President’s disrespect for the First Amendment is unprecedented. He has called the media “the enemy of the American people,” while smearing reporters as “sleazy” and “liars.” His press office, led by Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice), is a chaotic mess. That may be why they have floated the notion of eliminating the traditional daily press briefings altogether.

Alex Jones Infowars

Trump’s idea of a credible press corps consists of anointing members like Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars. These rabidly rightist conspiracy mongers are the perfect emblems of the crapola that Trump regards as journalism. And stepping up to prove the point, Infowars just launched a campaign to recruit paid goons to malign a real news organization. On his website, Jones introduced an initiative to recruit his fans to get on TV wearing “CNN is ISIS” T-shirts:

“We are launching a new contest to stand up to the Left’s calls for violence against the president and against other Americans for simply exercising their right to promote Americana. Infowars is launching a new $200,000 contest to expose CNN’s Kathy Griffin and mainstream media’s call for violence. We will expose the media’s terrorist campaign.”

To collect the prize, Jones’ for-hire hoodlums have to appear in a live broadcast wearing the shirt and audibly plugging Infowars. Each successful clod will earn $1,000 with a total of $200,000 in the pot. The purpose, according to Jones, is to expose CNN as a terrorist organization by virtue of their association with Kathy Griffin. Never mind that Griffin’s over-the-top stunt had nothing to do with CNN, or that she has profusely apologized. And forget that CNN quickly dismissed her from their New Year’s Eve special. The suggestion that Griffin had actually intended anyone to behead Trump is patently absurd.

Nevertheless, Jones is determined to proceed with his own offensive publicity stunt because, well, because that’s his whole shtick. In fact, he recently sweetened the offer to $10,000. The new prize calls for “the first person to say ‘MSM is fake news or terrorist media’ on live television.” And, of course, the all-important Infowars plug is still required.

This is what Donald Trump believes is journalism. He has personally appeared on Jones’ webcast and praised him adoringly saying “Your reputation is amazing.” And Jones has been rewarded for his sycophancy with a White House press pass (at least according to Jones). Just today Trump sent an email to his supporters bragging about pulling out of the Paris Accords on Climate Change. That email featured a link to an article on Infowars.

Let that sink in. The President of the United States sent his followers an official communication that cited Infowars as a credible source for more information. This is the same Infowars that says 9/11 was an inside, government operation. It’s the same Infowars that believes the murders at Sandy Hook were fake and staged by actors. Jones has also called the Boston Marathon bombing a hoax. It’s the very same Infowars run by a conspiracy spewing fruitcake who admitted in divorce court proceedings that he is just a “performance artist.”

It may not be surprising that Trump has an affinity for Jones. They both share a pathological compulsion for lying. Trump, after all, thinks that millions of people showed up for his poorly attended inauguration. He believes he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. He brags about his long-standing personal relationship with Vladimir Putin, whom he claims he’s never met. And while he stubbornly clings to the absurdity that Climate Change is a hoax, he never acknowledged that his obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate was one of the most ludicrous hoaxes of all time.

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

We’ll see if anyone manages to collect a prize from Jones’ contest. Last year he attempted a similar stunt where he tried to get fans to appear on TV shouting “Bill Clinton is a rapist.” There may have a been a couple of winners, but the project failed to achieve anything. The same fate is likely to befall this nonsense. In fact, it may provide some pretty good advertising for CNN.

Impeachment Talk Spurs Fox News and Right-Wing Media to Ask Anti-Trump States to Secede

The Trump Train is continuing on its collision course with history. Each new day brings with it more evidence that Donald Trump and Company had distinctly unsavory connections to Russian operatives. Their complicity with the documented proof that Russia tampered with our presidential election is becoming impossible to credibly deny.

Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, as the evidence grows, so does the prospect of impeachment. While Congress has only dipped its toes into the subject, across the country there are municipalities that are diving in. Newsweek is reporting that the movement is gaining steam:

“Last Thursday Brookline, Massachusetts, became the latest in a list of nearly a dozen American cities demanding the country’s top lawmakers examine whether the president is breaking government rules barring public officials from enriching themselves with foreign money.”

Los Angeles is among the cities that have passed resolutions calling on Congress to commence hearings. Chicago is currently debating their own proposal. And the grounds for the President’s removal from office are expanding as well. It’s no longer just issues related to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. Though that would be more than enough. Obstruction of Justice and espionage are rapidly becoming plausible charges.

The roster of legal heavyweights making the case for impeachment is impressive and bipartisan. They include constitutional lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe, Obama’s former chief ethics counsel Norman Eisen, and the same staffer in George W. Bush’s administration, Prof. Richard Painter.

Naturally, this is where Fox News steps in to paper over scandalous activities with trite and absurd diversions. On Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, they posted a link to an article in the “Moonie” Washington Times. It sported the tabloidy headline, “Massachusetts, California, Take Your Anti-Trumpness and Secede.“. The author, Cheryl K. Chumley, took the well worn path of insisting that Trump has “not committed any offense that’s impeachable.” But that’s irrelevant because it is the purpose of the hearings to ascertain whether an impeachable offense occurred. And there are mountains of evidence that justify holding such hearings. Chumley continued in a snarky manner saying that:

“Elizabeth Warren can be queen, Bernie Sanders, king. And all the subjects can band together to grow their own food and stitch together clothing items from oak tree leaves and orange peels and create grand pronouncements against Trump to distribute amongst themselves and discuss.” […]

“Why suffer to live among a Trump nation? Massachusetts, California: Just take your anti-Trump campaigns and go. Don’t look back; don’t let the door hit you. […] In the name of peace, it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.”

First of all, Chumley’s juvenile characterization of these two states ignores the reality of their place in the country. Sure, there may be some crunchy types who value nature and good health, but is that a bad thing? Plus, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are nationally beloved figures who represent the best of democratic leadership.

More to the point, these are two of the most modern, technologically advanced states in the union. Massachusetts is the home of Harvard and MIT. California’s Silicon Valley is the world capital of all things digital. And both states economically surpass most of the rest of the nation. They excel in industry, agriculture, defense, education, and tourism. So stick that in your granola and pour almond milk on it.

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

The loss of these states to the union would be devastating. They pay the bills for much of the debt-ridden southern and mid-west states. If California were an independent nation it would be the sixth richest in the world with a healthy, diversified economy. Chumley’s article, therefore, does nothing but prove that she is an ill-informed and incompetent columnist. Which is probably how she got the job at the Washington Times in the first place. And Fox News had better hope that these states never take the suggestion of secession seriously. Because they just may find it an appealing opportunity.

They’re BAAAACK: Fox News Phony ‘Security Moms’ Suck Up to Trump While Denying Reality

Fox News (aka Donald Trump’s State-Run Propaganda Network) is at it again. The Trump-fluffing cable “news” distortion outfit is running interference on behalf of the treasonous White House mole they planted in the Oval Office. As the evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russian operatives mounts, Fox News ramps up their pitifully sycophantic defense squads.

Fox News

The falsehood factory at Fox has reassembled what they call their panel of “Security Moms.” In reality they are four pre-selected pro-Trump mouthpieces who shamelessly defend the President’s most heinous behavior. Last March they were brought in to try to hold back the flood of bad news regarding Trump and Russia. They failed so spectacularly that Fox brought them back Tuesday for an encore (video below).

In the latest episode of Security Moms, host Ainsley Earhardt dived straight into the controversy with a pointedly leading question:

“Well, the Democrats can’t stop talking about Russia, but is this really the issue that American families care most about? […] Do you care about Russia, and if not — I know you’re gonna say no.”

So Earhardt interrupted her own question to admit that she already knew the answers her mom panel would give. And the question itself was dripping with bias. Democrats aren’t the only ones talking about Russia. And polls show that significant majorities of voters care very much about the issue. Even the most recent Fox News poll. But that didn’t stop the moms from spinning furiously, just as they were recruited to do. For example:

Security Mom 1: All Americans care about foreign bodies hacking into our systems or tampering with our elections, but none of us think that that’s happened in this case.
Security Mom 2: And after seven months we still have no credible evidence, so I think it’s time to move on. What we’re experiencing is that it’s too much and unbalanced. […] Instead of Democrats, and most in the mainstream media, acting like adults and coming to the table with real solutions, they’re behaving like crazed animals.
Security Mom 3: This narrative the mainstream media is talking about – mentioning our President of the United States – it just needs to stop.
Security Mom 4: A lot of it, I really think, has to do with with left over election bad feelings. And this is kind of the catalyst going forward.

So these ladies are entirely oblivious to the mountains of evidence connecting Trump and his associates to Russian operatives. They believe that all of it should be ignored and the country should move on blissfully unaware of potential traitors in the White House. After all, they’re convinced that it’s just the ravings of crazed Democrats as they plead “it just needs to stop.”

Security Mom 3 also made an astonishingly incoherent and unrelated claim. She asserted that Fox News was the only station that had continuing coverage of the Manchester terrorist attack. To which Earhardt mustered her most sincere Stepford attitude to reply “We were. You’re right about that.” This is a demonstration of something far worse than bias. It’s delusional. But it’s totally aligned to the themes that Fox News dispenses every day. Their perverse world view was summed up nicely in this comment that combines diversion with Fox’s taste for victimization:

Security Mom 1: Most Americans believe that this is the typical left reaction. They lost the election. They’re a bunch of big babies. They’re crying about it. And now this is a big distraction. “We lost the election, but now we’re gonna distract you with this Russian collusion nonsense. And on top of that we’re gonna try to take Trump down by all means necessary, somewhat, probably, illegal.

Oh the horror. Our President is being attacked by factual evidence of his own criminality. And the most powerful man on Earth is defenseless against the “big babies” of the left. The enraged mom never bothered to say what illegal means were being employed to take Trump down. But then, why would she? If Fox’s viewers were interested in facts they would be clamoring for impeachment hearings like the rest of the country.

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

Uh-Oh: Rachel Maddow is Under Attack by Sean Hannity and Right-Wing Propaganda Groups

The conservative media machine is marshaling its forces to launch an all-out assault on journalists and pundits who fail to kowtow to Donald Trump. It’s a reactionary campaign in response to the success of the honest reporting by Rachel Maddow and other progressive voices. In recent weeks, Maddow has taken the lead in primetime programs from the previous ratings chart topper, Fox News. The rest of the MSNBC lineup has seen a similar surge in popularity. This massive shift in dominance is mainly driven by the strength of their straightforward reporting about Trump and Russia.

Maddow Hannity

Consequently, those on the right have begun shaking in their boots as their hammer lock on the ratings is broken. The last year has been dreadful for Fox News. Their CEO, Roger Ailes, and top star, Bill O’Reilly, were both terminated in disgrace due to sexual harassment scandals. They are being sued for gender and racial discrimination. And the New York Attorney General is investigating the network for securities violations.

The latest Fox News host to suffer as a result of his own sleazy misconduct is Sean Hannity. He has been pushing a widely debunked conspiracy theory about Seth Rich, a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer. Despite the absence of any facts, and pleas from the family to back off, Hannity has persisted. Even Fox News took down their report on the subject.

The determination of Hannity to spread this phony story has prompted Media Matters to post a list of his advertisers. The purpose was not to start a consumer boycott, but to alert the advertisers to what sort of program they were sponsoring. Then they could decide if it was in their best interest to continue.

Apparently, the desperate losers on the right were not pleased. So they have initiated their own campaign against Maddow and others whom they now refer to as “liberal fascists.” According to Politico:

“The groups plan to pressure advertisers for left-leaning shows like Maddow’s on MSNBC, in hopes that the sponsors will pull their ads. They charge that Maddow and other liberal hosts are peddling conspiracy theories and smearing conservatives with personal attacks.”

“They cited reports of alleged coordination between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian agents as an example of the smears.”

Notice what they’ve chosen as their example of a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact-based report that is affirmed by seventeen U.S. government intelligence agencies. No independent observer disputes that the Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. And the allegations of collusion are based on numerous reports connecting Trump and his associates with Russian operatives. Many of those connections were hidden by the participants until disclosed by persistent reporters.

The groups involved in the attack on Maddow et al are well known in the conservative hack community. The Media Research Center has a long history of smearing liberals in the press. They favor common right-wing talking points and exploiting lefty “villains” like George Soros. The Media Equality Project is a new entity headed by two former conservative radio talkers, Melanie Morgan and Brain Maloney. They both appeared on Hannity’s program Tuesday night to defend his campaign of slander and promote their anti-Maddow efforts. [Video below]

So far there is no discernible impact from the wingnut brigades. That may be because Maddow’s reporting is wrapped up tighter in facts than anything produced by Hannity and his ilk. The Media Equalizer’s told Hannity last night that they are getting millions of people supporting them. However, their Facebook page has fewer than 5,000 followers and they have even less on Twitter.

But let’s not get cocky. Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell need the continued support of Americans who appreciate honest news analysis. MSNBC still hasn’t signed a contract renewal for O’Donnell. Meanwhile they have hired or promoted the likes of Greta Van Susteren, Hugh Hewitt, and George Will.

The right has a built in advantage with the media because every media owner is a giant corporation whose interests are not aligned with the average American. We have to make sure they know that their financial well being is dependent on serving the public interest. In the meantime, it’s satisfying to see Hannity and his trolls floundering as they try to muddy the waters with their self-serving lies. But we can only expect that to make them more aggressive and repulsive. Stay tuned and stay strong.

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

Urgent (and hilarious) Update: Hannity is now so desperate that he’s threatening to go after Stephen Colbert. And that’s something Colbert — would absolutely LOVE.

So NOW Trump LOVES Anonymous Sources Leaking Pro-Trump BS to Fox News

Donald Trump’s endless assault on the free press has been an ever present fixture of his presidency. He broadly classifies all news as “fake” simply because it isn’t blindly flattering. He can’t say “New York Times” without prefacing it (falsely) as “failing.” Never mind that polls show that most Americans trust the media more than they trust him.

Donald Trump

Trump’s favorite complaints often concern the use of unnamed sources. [Note: There is a difference between unnamed and anonymous sources. The identity of an anonymous source is unknown to the reporter. In most cases, journalists cite sources they know who decline to be named]. The President has frequently condemned the use of any source that doesn’t have a name attached to it. He did so most recently last Sunday:

First of all, Trump’s logic wouldn’t stand up to heavy sigh. He starts out complaining about leaks from the White House. But then accuses reporters of making up their sources. In which case there weren’t any leaks. But if there were leaks, then the sources were real. So Trump is raving about imaginary leaks from fake news who make up sources that actually exist. Are you following any of this? Me neither.

What throws this hilariously over the edge is what Trump tweeted Tuesday morning:

Recent reports have alleged that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor, had discussed setting up a covert communications channel with Russian operatives. The ramifications of that are horrifying and could even lead to charges of espionage. So naturally Trump has to mitigate the harm by denigrating the credible journalists who uncovered the story. And now he’s trying to override it with a competing story from Fox News.

Let’s just set aside the inescapable reality that Fox News is the Trump administration’s state-run TV outlet. Of course they will scrape up some positive rebuttal to any story that reflects poorly on this president. What makes this so glaringly ludicrous is that Fox’s story is based entirely on a single unnamed source:

“During the meeting the Russians broached the idea of using a secure line between the Trump administration and Russia, not Kushner, a source familiar with the matter told Fox News. That follows a recent report from The Washington Post alleging that Kushner wanted to develop a secure, private line with Russia.”

So an unnamed “source familiar with the matter” tells Fox News something that exonerates Kushner. How convenient. Perhaps that source is Donald Trump, or his alter-ego, John Barron. Or maybe it’s Reince Pribus or Sean Spicer or Kellyanne Conway, or – you get the idea. There is nothing in the Fox News account that gives any context to the source or its potential ulterior motives for coming forward with this leak. However, it does provide a hook for the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends to regurgitate the same self-serving remarks on their program:

Brian Kilmeade: So there was contact, and the Russians did want a back channel contact […]
Ainsley Earhardt: Everyone is so upset about this. It’s like let him speak, let the investigation go on. If you have questions about what really happened, ask Jared, hear from Jared, and then we’ll discuss it. […]
Pete Hegseth: Well yeah. You want to turn to the The Washington Post and the failing New York Times and say can I have my edition back? Can I have my news back? Because I’m having to read about this every single day. […] There’s no sourcing. It’s all innuendo. It’s all rumor.

Actually, the Fox Friends are making some news themselves here. Prior to this they had not acknowledged that there were discussions of “back-channel” talks. Now they are conceding the point. Also, they had not previously supported the investigation of these matters. But now they are asking that the investigations go forward. Unfortunately, they still don’t grasp that their story is sourced to a single unnamed person when they whine about innuendo and rumor.

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

As for Trump, if he expects people to take him seriously when he condemns the use of unnamed sources, he ought not to use them himself. But expectations of consistency are way out of bounds when it comes to Trump. His hypocrisy quotient is far above that of mere mortals. What’s immensely troubling is how many people blissfully accept whatever flaming nonsense emits from the Trump-hole. It’s a frightening case of mass hypnosis or maybe cult worship gone terribly bad.

Fox News Contributor Calls for Hiring Operatives that ‘Have Killed People’ to ‘Destroy Liberals’

If the Era of Trump is known for nothing it else, it will be forever remembered as a time of bitter division and hate. In just the past week there have been a couple of widely reported incidents of politically inspired right-wing violence. First there was the “body-slamming” congressman in Montana, Greg Gianforte. He brutally assaulted a reporter who was just doing his job. Then there was the horrifying murder of two men in Portland. They were killed for trying to help a couple of Muslim women who were being harassed by a white supremacist.

Wayne Allyn Root Fox News

In light of these and other recent atrocities, the commentary by Fox News contributor Wayne Allyn Root is painfully nauseating. On his radio show (listen below), Root approached the subject of the debunked Seth Rich conspiracy theory. This is a concoction so fatally flawed that even Fox News removed it from their website (albeit without apologizing). Root went berserk because conservative liars like WorldNetDaily and Sean Hannity were being held to account for propagating fake news.

Root’s unhinged response to this was that the right had to “fight like animals.” He charged that responsible media outlets were engaging in censorship for declining to report falsehoods. Then he ranted that “We’ve got to fight back viciously” before “our lives are erased.” He related his unsupported belief that there are boiler rooms full of Soros-paid lefties all over the world. They’re allegedly writing emails and making phone calls (oh my) in an effort to destroy the right. And then he displayed his utter idiocy by complaining that there are no such operations funded by wealthy conservatives.

Root also went after Republicans. He castigated them as “lazy, cheap, wussy, country club, RINO a-holes.” Well, okay. I can’t argue with that. However, what he said next was deeply troubling:

“We need to hire an attack dog. We need to hire former CIA or NSA or FBI or Navy Seals that have been involved in counter-insurgency operations all over the world. That have killed people. That understand how to fight. That don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. That bring a gun to a gunfight. Preferably a shoulder-fired missile to a gunfight. Preferably a nuclear weapon to a gunfight.”

Given the tensions that are currently roiling the public discourse, these remarks are beyond irresponsible. They are an overt declaration of war. He even said explicitly that “it’s a war out there and they’re coming for your women and children.” If Root is worried about conservative voices like his being removed from the airwaves, it is with good reason. He is inciting the sort of violence that we’ve just seen in Portland and Montana. Even worse, Root is calling for a brigade of trained killers to launch a campaign of mayhem. And if Fox News continues to supply Root with a platform for this hate-speech, any blood shed will be on their hands as well.

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 Hannity Walk Back Fake Story Without Admitting Fault or Apologizing

For several weeks Fox News and other right-wing media outlets have been doing what they do best. They have been flogging a thoroughly debunked story that alleges some random impropriety on the part of Democrats or liberals. In this especially repulsive case the subject concerns a murdered former staffer of the Democratic National Committee.

Sean Hannity Fox News

The conservative mythology on this is that Seth Rich was assassinated by some nefarious lefty cabal because he leaked stolen DNC documents to Wikileaks. However, there’s no evidence of any such activity, and the police have concluded that the crime was a botched robbery. But the existence of those facts didn’t stop Fox News and others from exploiting a family tragedy for their own political motives.

Now that the facts have come out, some of the rightist media are rushing to cover their asses. They don’t want to be further associated with such an obvious hoax, nor do they want to get sued. Unfortunately, the inability of some of these liars to admit wrongdoing is getting in the way of their disclaimers.

Fox News had reported on the Rich murder on their network and posted articles on their website. But apparently they only considered the website report as needing to be addressed. So they posted a statement saying that:

On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.

We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.

Notice that nowhere in that statement did Fox News admit that the content of their reporting was false. They merely said that it didn’t meet their editorial standards. That’s a pretty low bar by any objective analysis. They also reiterated their intention to pursue the story that everyone else knows is patently untrue. What they didn’t do was to apologize to the Rich family for spreading lies and denigrating the victim’s memory.

Fox also failed to offer any kind of retraction for the same reporting on their TV network. The biggest offender on Fox is without contest, Sean Hannity. He has taken a leading role in spreading the slander of Rich. But now the blowback has gotten to him, at least in part. Tuesday night Hannity made a limp statement that failed to take any responsibility for his journalistic malpractice (video below). He said in part that:

“The unsolved murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich continues to get attention. I totally and completely understand how upset and how hard this is on this family, especially over the recent coverage of Seth’s death. […] However, out of respect from the family’s wishes for now – I am not discussing this matter at this time.”

Once again, Hannity didn’t admit that his reporting was totally unverified and debunked. Nor did he apologize. He didn’t even promise to drop the subject, only to hold off for a while. The remainder of his statement unloaded a pile of unrelated defenses of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. And Hannity then promised to continue his assault on the Rich family and the truth:

“I want to say this to you, my loyal audience, please do not interpret what I am saying tonight to mean anything—don’t read into this. I promise you, I am not going to stop doing my job. To the extent of my ability, I’m not going to stop trying to find the truth.”

What’s more, on his radio show Hannity said “I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com, I retracted nothing.” And he tweeted this:

Clearly, neither Hannity nor Fox News give a damn about the Rich family or their suffering. We know they don’t care about the truth because lying is integral to their business model. But anyone who gives them credit for laying off this story with their pseudo-retractions is missing the point. Fox News and Hannity are fully committed to furthering their dishonest propaganda. And they aren’t even shy about admitting it.

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

LMFAO: Fox News Must Wish They Waited Before Lauding Trump for Not Tweeting About Russia Leak

True to form, Donald Trump took to Twitter after the Washington Post revealed his reckless disclosure of classified information to Russian officials. This occurred at a White House meeting with Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The fallout from the story has driven new demands for independent investigations of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Trump’s tweets were typically self-serving and lacking relevant detail and substance:

Donald Trump

These tweets also contradicted previous responses from the White House dismissing WaPo’s story. First the administration claimed the story was false. Now Trump himself has abandoned that tack. He’s admitting that he divulged information, possibly classified, but that he’s allowed to do so. But even that is a transparent dodge. The problem here isn’t whether the President is acting legally with regard to classification status. It’s whether he’s acting prudently with regard to national security. Divulging information that could advantage hostile foreign nations (i.e. Russia), and alienate allies, could violate other laws.

Following the story’s publication, Fox News went into Emergency Trump Defense Mode. The memo must have gone out to demean the Post and the contents of its story. Because everyone on Fox had the same message. They disputed the Post’s reporting and absolved Trump of any wrongdoing. But the pinnacle of flagrant Trump fluffing occurred, as usual, on Fox and Friends.

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes ridiculed any notion that Trump had misspoken as mere hyperbole from the hysterically anti-Trump media. They began with a video from Tucker Carlson’s show wherein he complained that Trump’s critics “regard him as the single greatest threat to Western civilization since atomic weapons.” And then co-host Brian Kilmeade let this nonsense loose:

“The also thing to keep in mind too is, Donald Trump didn’t tweet out last night. I thought that shows an additional discipline. Let’s listen, let my guys handle it and Dina Powell handle it. They were there, they can walk it back.”

As we already know, Trump did tweet about this. And it was only about an hour after Kilmeade lavished praise on him for not doing so. If Kilmeade thought Trump’s Twitter silence was evidence of his discipline, what does he think now? Will he correct the record on Wednesday’s program? Will he concede that Trump is lacking discipline? Even Carlson said it was fair to consider Trump “undisciplined and impulsive” before returning to his robotic exaltation.

This is the problem that all Trump defenders have to face. Even after they come to his aid, he is likely to shift gears in a way that makes them look like fools. That’s always a risk of doing business with Trump. He is so erratic and focused solely on his own welfare that you stand to get run over by a fleet of buses. And if you pivot to avoid it, you’ll just get hit again when he shifts into reverse. So good luck, suckers.

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

How Has Fox News Changed Following Numerous Sexual Harassment Scandals? It’s Shocking!

In the past few months Fox News has been weighted down with salacious allegations that have ripped the network apart. Dozens of women have stepped forward with complaints of sexual harassment against several of the network’s big shots. The turmoil impacted both on-air personalities and executives. And the trail of devastation was substantial.

It began with the dismissal of Roger Ailes, the CEO who created the channel with Rupert Murdoch. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was shown the door in utter disgrace. Shortly thereafter the head of Fox’s news division, Bill Shine, got his pink slip. Also lost due to the scandal tsunami were Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, Andrea Tantaros, Julie Roginski, and Greta Van Susteren.

You might think that such a severe upheaval would be cause for deep reflection and transformation. Perhaps Fox News would attempt to alter their decidedly misogynistic messaging. Maybe they would abstain from derogatory references to women in positions of power. There are surely more men (and women) who could be fired for related offenses.

Well, Fox News took swift and decisive action to address the ballooning crisis. And the impact was immediately observable on the air.

Fox News Pants

That’s right. The big change at Fox News is that the prohibition of women wearing pants has been lifted. That’s a bigger deal than it may seem. Especially considering that the short skirt mandate came from the top. Ailes himself insisted that his news ladies display their legs. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that the exec repeatedly gave direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik reported on the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when former host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wore those low-cut blouses.

This new fashion statement has already drawn the ire of staunch Fox fans. After all, with a horndog like Donald Trump in the White House, you’d think covered gams would be illegal. The right-wing web rag, WorldNetDaily, posted an article with the hyperbolic headline “Stop This Madness: Women of Fox News suddenly hiding their legs?.” In the piece they lamented that:

“In the wake of the recent ousters of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly following multiple sexual harassment accusations – the online rumor mill is running wild with speculation. Why? In recent weeks, some of the Fox News bombshells…have ditched their usual short skirts and were spotted wearing … pants!”

The wardrobe controversy has taken a perverse precedence in the conservative media. Many pundits and viewers actually regard this as some sort of capitulation to politically correct radical liberals. However, they don’t mind at all that the programming changes since O’Reilly’s ouster include the promotions of four known misogynists. The only problem, as far as they can see, is that they will have fewer opportunities to peek up the skirts of their Fox fantasies. And that isn’t what they believe they were promised in the Era of Trump.

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