Preparing to Deal with a Child: That’s How Host Nations View Trump’s Upcoming Visit

Friday morning Donald Trump will embark on his first trip oversees as president. He might regard his departure as a flight from the turmoil he’s created at home. A special prosecutor was just named to investigate his connections to Russia and potential charges of obstruction of justice due to his interference with, and firing of, FBI Director James Comey. Add that to a failing agenda including efforts to repeal ObamaCare, curtail immigration, tax reform, and more. This trip must seem like a vacation to Trump and his exhausted inner circle.

Donald Trump

Unfortunately for him, rest and relaxation are not in the cards. Although, lacking stamina, Trump did reportedly try to pare down his schedule. According to the New York Times he asked to shorten the itinerary from nine days to five. The Times also reported that he “expressed dread” about the trip. More to the point, the upcoming encounters with world leaders present fresh opportunities for Trump to embarrass himself and the nation. He has a disquieting habit of insulting America’s allies and embracing its foes.

From the perspective of the countries that Trump will be visiting, his hosts have a complicated task. They must find a way to be hospitable without being condescending. Given Trump’s painfully ignorant grasp of world affairs and history, that’s a tall order. Consequently, they are making special preparations:

“After four months of interactions between Mr. Trump and his counterparts, foreign officials and their Washington consultants say certain rules have emerged. Keep it short – no 30-minute monologue for a 30-second attention span. Do not assume he knows the history of the country or its major points of contention. Compliment him on his Electoral College victory. Contrast him favorably with President Barack Obama.

“Do not get hung up on whatever was said during the campaign. Stay in regular touch. Do not go in with a shopping list but bring some sort of deal he can call a victory.”

These are tactics aimed at accommodating Trump’s ego and incompetence. They recognize that he needs constant reassurance and flattery. Likewise, they are aware of his preference for “short presentations and lots of visual aids.” But one source summed up the preparations for Trump’s visit with a particularly apt analogy:

“‘It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump. It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child. Someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing. They’re freaking out.'”

It’s more than ridiculous. It’s unbearable that this man is representing the United States in a manner that actually invites ridicule. The world isn’t taking us seriously and are openly mocking us with these preparatory plans. Ironically, Trump told Time Magazine last week that “we were being laughed at by the world.” Then he added “They’re not laughing anymore.” Obviously he isn’t listening very closely. And if he were listening to the American people he would hear distinct whimpering.

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

WTF is Going On at MSNBC? Recent Hires Have a Distinctly Fox News Flavor

Three months into Donald Trump’s administration there is more cause than ever for critical analysis of Washington politics. But much of the press is having trouble countering Trump’s “Reality TV” dramatization of news. They attempt to achieve a false balance by presenting opposing views, even if one side is truthful and the other is lying.

Rachel Maddow

Having a president who’s suspected of colluding with Russians to steal an election is hardly the time to go soft. It is not the time to appease those in power or pander to wingnuts who will never tune in anyway. Yet that’s exactly the direction that MSNBC appears to heading.

In recent weeks they have hired or promoted some decidedly right-wing personalities. Former Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren now has her own show on MSNBC. Former communications director for George W, Bush, Nicolle Wallace, also just premiered a new program. Likewise conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt. This week MSNBC announced that it has hired old-school conservative George Will away from Fox News.

These roster changes are especially puzzling at this time. MSNBC has built a brand that appeals to a more progressive audience. Despite having a former Republican anchoring three hours in the morning (Joe Scarborough), and a generally straight news profile during the day, their prime time lineup leans openly to the left. Chis Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Laurence O’Donnell are not shy about expressing their liberal opinions.

More importantly, that programming slant has paid off handsomely for MSNBC. They are enjoying their highest ratings in years. Maddow is actually beating her competition on Fox News in the key advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. Not too long ago Fox News was considered unbeatable. But now Adweek’s TVNewser reports that:

“The network also continues to post more year-over-year prime time audience growth than both Fox News and CNN: +82 percent in total viewers and +61 percent in the prime time demo versus April 2016.”

It’s a surprising and inspiring success story. Any network would be turning cartwheels and striving to replicate that success across its dayparts. So why is MSNBC going out of their way to bolster a winning lineup with right-wing losers? None of the new “talent” has demonstrated any appeal to MSNBC’s audience. Van Susteren, in fact, is an obvious hole in the schedule, dipping noticeably between her lead-in and lead-out. And the viewers that might be interested in these new faces are genetically averse to ever tuning in to the radical socialists at MSNBC. Why should they when they can get all the wingnuttery they desire on Fox News? And if it’s caterwauling debates that they want, CNN already has the market cornered on that.

There is no shortage of liberals who could be brought into the MSNBC family. Joy Reid already has a Saturday morning show that gets more viewers than many weekday shows on CNN and Fox. They could have moved her into the time slot they gave to Van Susteren or Wallace. Even Keith Olbermann was in talks to return to MSNBC. His last stint with the network was the last time they challenged Fox. But according to Olbermann, they told him he would have to refrain from his “fiery” commentaries. That was an untenable restraint, so he walked.

It’s hard to know what the suits at MSNBC are thinking. There is clearly an appetite for news commentary that counters the powerful elite in Washington. It’s a programming niche that is unfilled elsewhere. Plus, it’s a necessary defense against the dangerously erratic Trump administration’s assault on America. Where else can we go to get reality-based news about climate change? Who else is covering voter suppression and gerrymandering? Which other network is allotting time to racial and gender discrimination? And what about our President’s potentially treasonous connections to unsavory figures in Russia?

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

Fox News deliberately downplays any unflattering news about Trump. CNN reports it, but puts on crackpots who disseminate absurd justifications. That leaves MSNBC as the one network that honestly covers Trump’s dark side. For that reason alone they should not be adding to the pro-Trump voices in the media. We already have plenty of that and far too little truthful common sense and compassion.

UPDATE: There are rumors that MSNBC may not renew the contract of Lawrence O’Donnell despite the fact that his ratings are at a record high. He is beating CNN, and challenging Fox News. This would be good time to let MSNBC know that we demand they keep O’Donnell and stop sucking up to the right. You can call them at 212-664-4444 and email them at letters@msnbc.com.

Sean Hannity Freaks Out About ‘The Total End of the Fox News Channel as We Know It’

The past few weeks have been about as catastrophic for Fox News as they have been for Donald Trump. Both have been suffering devastating setbacks internally with key people leaving under clouds of scandal. And both have lost significant support among the public. With MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow overtaking Fox News in critical ratings demos, and Trump remaining the least popular first-quarter president ever, it seems their dire fates are intertwined.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

What’s more, both Trump and Fox News still have storm clouds on their respective horizons. For Trump it’s the unfolding revelations about alleged collusion with Russian agents interfering in the presidential election. For Fox News it’s the continuing fallout from their corporate culture of misogyny and racism.

With each passing day a new allegation is made against Fox. Many insiders are unsatisfied with the expulsions of CEO Roger Ailes and blowhard Bill O’Reilly, They believe the problems will persist until there is a thorough housecleaning. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has been breaking many of the stories about Fox’s troubles. He’s the author of the definitive biography of Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room. Yesterday he tweeted about a rumored management shakeup at the network:

Bill Shine is currently the co-president of Fox News. He was promoted shortly after the departure of Ailes. However, many people inside and outside of Fox regard him as not just an Ailes crony, but someone who actively covered up the vile behaviors of Ailes and O’Reilly. When talk of housecleaning is heard, it is generally Shine who is the prime subject.

Enter Sean Hannity. The last remaining prime time Fox Musketeer is profoundly disturbed. Before being elevated to network management, Shine was the producer of Hannity’s program. Consequently, there is an abundance of loyalty that reaches beyond just the network’s standard cult status. Hannity replied to Sherman’s tweet saying:

Of course for many Americans concerned about the media, the end of Fox News would be a welcome event. But that’s obviously not the way Hannity sees it. Fox News has spent twenty years degrading journalism with blatantly biased right-wing propaganda. Simultaneously, they trivialized reporting as nothing more than entertainment with eye-popping graphics and presenters in short skirts. Hannity himself has done annual week-long specials on the evils of Spring Break. But they were just a convenient excuse to show videos of drunken teenagers in bikinis. Now Hannity’s last protector in the management ranks is dangling by thread. According to the Hollywood Reporter’s sources:

“Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, CEO and co-chairman of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox, have quietly put out feelers for a new head of Fox News. And the preference, according to two sources familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking, is that the new leader be female.”

OMG! That would be a fate worse than waterboarding to someone like Sean Hannity. Not only would he be losing a trusted superior, he would have to report to a lady boss. There aren’t very many female executives in the media business, but there are more than zero. And one obvious name would be Elisabeth Murdoch. Rupert’s daughter has already run a media company which she sold to 21st Century Fox (imagine that). But she may be a long shot to head Fox because she may have committed the ultimate sin: She was a Hillary Clinton supporter. If the Murdoch boys manage to hire a credible Female executive, the War on Women at Fox News could take a turn toward fairness and/or balance. That might apply to both the internal personnel situation, as well as the tone of their reporting.

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

So there remains the question of whether Sean Hannity would stay on at Fox News under those circumstances. He can’t be happy about Tucker Carlson moving into O’Reilly’s time period, or The Five taking the prime time spot before his. He obviously would have preferred to move to one of those spots himself. He must be thinking that his star may be fading at Fox. The younger Murdochs are reportedly not fans. Only time will tell how all of this settles out. And there may be more scandalous shoes to drop. Which begs the question: How many damn shoes do they have?

The End of Rush Limbaugh? His Radio Syndicator is on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The presidency of Donald Trump is running an obstacle course of speed bumps and potholes. He has failed to achieve anything of note during his first 100 days in office. And that’s according to his own published benchmarks. There is no repeal of ObamaCare, no defeat if ISIS, no tax reform, and no Mexican border wall. The only success he has had is breaking the record for the lowest popularity of any first-quarter president in history.

Rush Limbaugh

Along with Trump’s sagging fortunes, much of the right-wing establishment is similarly floundering. The Republican Party is worried about maintaining their majorities in Congress. And the GOP’s PR division, Fox News, recently lost its CEO (Roger Ailes) and its biggest star (Bill O’Reilly). Both were terminated after scandals involving sexual harassment.

With Trump still driving the public angst, the carnage is far from over. The talk radio empire of Rush Limbaugh is now said to teetering on collapse. Salon’s Matthew Sheffield is reporting that:

“The parent company of iHeartCommunications [formerly Clear Channel], which syndicates programs by conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, appears to be headed toward bankruptcy.

“In a statement filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency charged with regulating companies that offer investments to the public, iHeartCommunications’ parent company, iHeartMedia Inc., said that it had ‘substantial doubt’ that it would be in business by the middle of next year.”

Sheffield noted that the radio industry in general has been under pressure from other advertising platforms including new media. But the problems facing Limbaugh’s syndicator went deeper than that:

“The ad challenge is made worse for iHeartCommunications since many of its stations feature a conservative talk format whose audience is literally dying off. According to industry figures, the age of a talk show listener is about 67. Further complicating things for the company has been that its top host, Limbaugh, has immersed himself in several controversies in recent years, such as the time he called a liberal activist [Sandra Fluke] a ‘slut’ on the air.”

Indeed. Limbaugh’s repulsive and misogynistic insults cost him dearly. A leaked memo from his distributor, Premiere Networks, revealed that he lost more than 140 advertisers as a result of his rancid ranting. And the exodus didn’t end with Limbaugh. The same advertisers also requested that their ads be removed from other right-wing programs including Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.

Exacerbating these problems, Limbaugh has also lost favor with some of the top affiliates in the country. His show has been dropped from WABC in New York, WRKO in Boston and KFI in Los Angeles. In desperation, he switched to some weaker stations in those and other markets just to have a presence on air.

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

It remains to be seen whether iHeartCommunications will manage to stay afloat. But even if it does, they will have to make severe cuts in order to service their crushing debt. That means that Limbaugh, Hannity, et al, will either have to agree to renegotiate their contracts downward or say goodbye to their audience. They may still survive online, but they should ask Glenn Beck whether that’s a viable option. Since losing his Fox News megaphone he has been bleeding cash and his public awareness has shrunk to near irrelevance. So that’s good news all around. And maybe we should send Donald Trump a thank you note.

Bill O’Reilly FIRED By Fox News: But the Lies and Disinformation Will Continue

BREAKING: 21st Century Fox just released a statement on Bill O’Reilly confirming that he will not be returning to the network:

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

After twenty-one years that is the extent of the separation announcement. This breaking news draws to a conclusion a long-running drama at Fox.

Bill O'Reilly Fox News

Three weeks ago, the New York Times published a story that upended Bill O’Reilly’s career. It revealed attempts by the Fox News star and the network to cover up allegations of his sexual misconduct. Several women who had not previously been disclosed were identified as having been paid large settlements for their silence.

Since then The O’Reilly Factor has seen a mass exodus of advertisers. More than eighty have publicly stated that they will not permit their ads to be aired on his program. As a result, the board of directors at Fox News have put an end to the program.

Even before this announcement reports increasingly leaked out that O’Reilly was already doomed. The Wall Street Journal (also part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) reported that:

“Initially, Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox stood by their highly-rated host … However, as advertisers fled his show, debate inside company ensued over the pros and cons of keeping Mr. O’Reilly on the air.”

Then Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine weighed in. He has been covering the inside stories on Fox News for several years. He has reliable sources and published the definitive, unauthorized biography of the network’s former CEO Roger Ailes: The Loudest Voice in the Room. His latest article suggested correctly that “Fox News Has Decided Bill O’Reilly Has to Go.”

“The Murdochs have decided Bill O’Reilly’s 21-year run at Fox News will come to an end. According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.”

Fox News will have to handle O’Reilly’s departure carefully. The network has already lost several high profile figures including disgraced ex-CEO Roger Ailes. On air personalities Megyn Kelly, Greta Van Susteren, and Gretchen Carlson have also departed recently. But O’Reilly is the highest rated host on cable news with a loyal following. Will his fans react to his termination by turning off Fox News? Or will they behave like good cultists and obediently tune in to his replacement?

Speaking of replacements, the names most often mentioned include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Jesse Watters, and Martha MacCallum. Tucker Carlson is also in the mix to move his current show into O’Reilly’s time period. None of these prospects have the fame or fan base that O’Reilly has. But the advantage for Fox is that their glassy-eyed viewers are glued to the network and will likely watch whatever comes on.

Fox would be wise to give extra consideration to the women on that list. Given the salacious circumstances that drove out Ailes and (perhaps) O’Reilly, it might serve as a form of redemption. But Fox also doesn’t have any minority hosts in prime time, and never has. However, none of their current staffers (Juan Williams, Harris Faulkner, Geraldo Rivera) appear to be under consideration.

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

The future for Fox News is not especially bright, but neither is it particularly dark. They have suffered some significant setbacks recently, but have a friend in high places. In that regard, Donald Trump’s support for Bill O’Reilly obviously didn’t have any effect. But when the President of the United States is calling in to Fox and Friends, and advertising the network on his Twitter feed, the news isn’t all bad. Well, except for the actual “news” as it’s practiced by Fox.

WINNING? TrumpCare Vote Canceled as Support in Congress and the Country Collapses

The scheduled House vote on the bill to replace and repeal ObamaCare has been canceled – again. This is the second time in as many days that the bill was pulled from the schedule. It’s clear from the whip counts that had the vote gone forward it would lose. In fact, the “no” votes were increasing by the hour.

Donald Trump

This is a significant failure for both Donald Trump and the Republican congress. They promised that the first order of business of the Trump administration would be to repeal ObamaCare. Republicans in the House had voted more than fifty times to do so while President Obama was in office. Perhaps they were comfortable voting to kill a popular program as long as they knew Obama was there to veto it.

Now that the vote is off, there is no indication of whether it will be rescheduled or what form the bill might take. Trump has previously said that this is the bill and if it isn’t passed there won’t be another opportunity. Paul Ryan, Sean Spicer, and others in the GOP leadership said much the same thing. However, Robert Costa of the Washington Post is reporting that Trump called him to say that he was responsible for canceling the vote. That would be peculiar, since he was the one making ultimatums about this vote being the only vote.

So for the time being ObamaCare will not be repealed or replaced. The American people will be happy to hear that as the most recent polling shows that only 17 percent favored the GOP effort to kill it. Trump’s bragging about the nation getting sick and tired of winning is less likely to be a concern in the near future.

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

This is a breaking story that is continuing to unfold. Updates will be provided as they become available.

YOU LIE: Trump Gives His Standard Lie-Riddled Stump Speech And The Media Swoons

In 2009, President Obama gave his first speech before a joint session of congress. He was famously interrupted by Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina who yelled out “You lie.” He was reacting to Obama’s claim that undocumented immigrants would not receive healthcare benefits, which was true. So you have to wonder where Rep. Wilson was last night while Donald Trump unloaded a truckload of lies.

Donald Trump Lies

The speech itself was almost identical to his previous speeches before adoring throngs of StormTrumpers. The only difference was the lower volume and fewer insults and personal attacks. The stream of blatant falsehoods spewed throughout the address were familiar to anyone who witnessed his prior performances (See The Trump Bullshitopedia). For instance:

  • We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open.
  • Our borders are far from open and illegal crossings have declined.

  • Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs. The stock market has gained almost three trillion dollars in value since the election on November 8th, a record. We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic new F-35 jet fighter.
  • In each of the cases listed, the jobs and investments were announced prior to Trump’s election. What’s more, the companies publicly refuted his involvement.

  • As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens.
  • Plus, he’s also removing mothers and brain surgery patients.

  • We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism. According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.
  • What he didn’t say is that none of them were from the seven countries he included in his Muslim ban. Nor did any of them enter the U.S. illegally. Some came with their parents as children.

  • Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.
  • This is highly misleading. That statistic includes millions of people who are retired, students, stay-at-home parents, or disabled.

  • Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
  • This is an often repeated lie from Trump. PolitiFact has debunked it three times. The truth is that U.S. taxes on corporations are in the lower-to-middle of the pack. And his tax reforms are overwhelmingly beneficial to the wealthy.

  • Obamacare is collapsing.
  • The Affordable Care Act is achieving record sign-ups. To the extent that it is having difficulties, it’s due to obstructionism on the part of Republicans.

None of these lies are new. Trump has been been telling them throughout his campaign and into his brief presidency. Despite these documented fallacies, the media has been falling all over itself to congratulate the President on his speech. They seem to think that his having stayed on script and sticking to the TelePrompter is an oratory achievement. But just because he refrained from yelling or threatening to throw people out of the room doesn’t mean he’s finally pivoted to becoming “presidential.”

Unless, that is, you are an anchor or pundit on television news. Below are examples of how easily swayed our media is by obvious attempts to deceive and serve up propaganda:

  • Martha MacCallum, Fox News: We were told this was going to be an inspiring, uplifting speech tonight, and I think he hit the mark.
  • Jake Tapper, CNN: It was a much more subdued President Trump than we’ve seen,. It was a speech in which he clearly was trying to reset in a lot of ways.
  • Dana Bash, CNN: The most presidential of manners that we have heard from Donald Trump to date, period.
  • Brian Williams, MSNBC: Easily the most traditional speech he has given in public life. The most speech-like speech, if you will.
  • Anderson Cooper, CNN: It’s without a doubt one of his best speeches that I’ve ever heard.
  • Chris Wallace, Fox News: Tonight, Trump became President of the United States.
  • Martha Raddatz, ABC: Not only was he more presidential, he was a politician.
  • Van Jones, CNN: He did something tonight that you cannot take away from him — he became president of the United States.

What this tells us is that the media still hasn’t learned anything about the Reign of Trump. Either they are in a worshipful haze, or they are desperate to maintain access (ergo, ratings). Trump’s speech, as usual, contained little of substance. He failed to explain how he would achieve any of his policy proposals. Yet he shoveled piles of predetermined applause lines. The most jarring was his exploitation of the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in Yemen. But Trump didn’t disclose that his negligence was partly responsible for the failed mission that also killed thirty civilians, including ten children.

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

The media need to report the context that allows the American people to fully understand the issues they cover. And until they do they are nearly useless minions of a corrupt administration. It’s rather startling that they so quickly forget how abusive Trump is toward the press. But now that this highly anticipated speech is history, perhaps the press will seek answers to more important matters. Like whether the President conspired with Russia to rig the election. And what other relationships, personal, political or financial, he has with Putin’s dictatorship. Is that too much to hope for?

FOX NEWS (!?!) Reveals What Trump Knew About Flynn’s Talks With The Russians

What may be the most scandalous saga to date from the nascent Trump administration continues to unfold in shocking ways. The latest revelation comes from Fox News. That’s right, Fox News! Correspondent John Roberts reported that his investigation of fired National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, has uncovered an account of events that contradicts President Donald Trump (video below).

Trump Flynn

Roberts reports that:

“The president was, in fact, fully briefed on the content of those conversations that Gen. Michael Flynn had with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, by people who would know what the content of those phone conversations was.”

Trump began by denying that he knew about Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. When that story failed he denied having any details of the substance of those talks. This report reveals that Trump not only knew that the talks took place, but what they talked about.

In Thursday’s press conference Trump addressed the Flynn firing specifically. He said that he didn’t think Flynn had done anything wrong by talking to the Russians. In fact, he said he would have directed Flynn to do so. That’s an odd statement because it begs the question: Why didn’t he give that direction?

However, Trump also clarified the reason he fired Flynn saying that “I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence.” So Trump fired Flynn because Flynn had not told Pence that he discussed sanctions with the Russians. But Fox’s report reveals that Trump also knew about Flynn’s conversations, including the sanctions, but Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So both Trump and Flynn withheld the same information from Pence, but Trump fired Flynn for it.

None of this makes any sense. Trump doesn’t think Flynn’s conversations with the Russians were wrong. The only thing that was wrong, according to Trump, was not telling Pence. But Trump didn’t tell Pence either. So was Trump wrong? And if not, then why was Flynn fired?

Are you confused yet? Then you’re normal. Clearly this entire affair was a disaster. There should never have been any talks during the campaign between Trump’s people and a hostile foreign government. We have just one president at a time. Consequently, Trump’s scrambling to find excuses for all of this just churns out more bullshit as he goes along.

The new revelations from Fox News prove that Trump’s story is an ever-changing fiction. And the fact that the proof is coming from Fox is significant in and of itself. When the nation finally learns what has been going on between Trump and Russia, there is certain to be more shocking details revealed. Perhaps they will explain Trump’s constant defense of Vladimir Putin and his reluctance to ever criticize the Russian dictator. And maybe we’ll also find out just how intertwined Putin was with Trump’s campaign.

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

Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Banned From Morning Joe Because She ‘Makes Things Up’

One of the many abhorrent things that the Era of Trump will be remembered for is the emergence of “Fake News.” The term’s definition has become fuzzy, but within Donald Trump’s circle it is defined as anything with which he disagrees. However, everywhere else it is more accurately defined as news that is deliberately contrived for financial or political gain.

Kellyanne Conway

The Trump Team has demonstrated its prowess in this new field of fictionalized reporting. Starting from the the top with Trump notching a record number of “Pants-On-Fire” lies on PolitiFact. And his press secretary, Sean “Fibby Spice” Spicer valiantly defends his boss with equally dishonest press briefings.

Another member of the Liars Brigade is Kellyanne Conway, the originator of “alternative facts.” However, her star may have fallen a bit in recent days. She was staggeringly out of the loop on the Michael Flynn resignation. Just a few hours before he was sacked she was still insisting that he had the President’s full confidence. And she has recently been called out for not making sense or for plugging Ivanka’s fashion line. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has called on Trump to investigate and discipline her for the latter.

Wednesday morning Conway got some more bad news. The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe have decided to ban her from future appearances. Both Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski assailed her record of inventing stories just to enhance her bookings. Brzezinski came out swinging with a biting question: “How many times does she go out and say things that are not true?” She continued:

“We know for a fact she tries to book herself on this show. I won’t do it because I don’t believe in fake news or information that isn’t true. Every time I’ve ever seen her on television something’s askew, off or incorrect.”

Scarborough agreed saying that Conway’s commentaries were “blatantly false.” But he went further to assert that she is ill-informed because she isn’t even invited to the meetings of Trump’s inner circle. Consequently, she is “a spokesperson in the White House [who] actually goes out and makes things up.”

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

This is good first step for the media. Next Conway should be shunned by every show on MSNBC. Following that, every other network should decline to book her. And if they really want to make a statement honoring truth in politics, they should do the same to Spicer. At the very least they need to stop airing his daily briefings live. By delaying the broadcast they can deny him a platform for his unfiltered propaganda and conduct a fair fact-checking. The public would be surely be better off. And the media could learn from Brzezinski’s example as she declares that:

“Kellyanne Conway does not need to text our show. At least as long as I’m on it. Because it’s not happening here.”

WATCH Kellyanne Conway Admit That CNN is NOT Fake News And That Trump Lies

Donald Trump’s war on the media is still in full swing. Everyday he escalates the assault with juvenile insults and utterly baseless criticisms. While past presidents have had contentious relationships with the press, none have been so overtly hostile.

CNN Kellyanne Conway

Trump’s unambiguous purpose is to delegitimize the media and neutralize it as an independent source of information. He barks ferociously about what he calls “fake news,” but which is actually just reporting that he doesn’t like. And he rarely backs up his accusations with anything resembling facts.

On Wednesday, White House senior advisor and purveyor of “alternative facts,” Kellyanne Conway, was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper. The entire interview (video below) was a striking display of journalistic integrity matched with surreal political spin. Tapper made several references to Trump’s frequent public lying, and he actually used the word “lie.” Meanwhile, Conway dodged almost every question with canned responses straight from White House talking points.

However, a couple of exchanges deserve closer scrutiny. First of all, Tapper addresses the President’s disparaging comments about CNN head on:

“Certainly the media makes mistakes. But it’s very difficult to hear those criticisms from a White House that has such little regard, day in day out, for facts, for truth. And who calls us ‘fake news’ for stories they don’t like”

Conway insists that, despite the evidence, they have a “high respect for the truth.” But Tapper persists and later asks pointedly “Is CNN fake news?” Conway replies:

“No, I don’t think CNN is fake news. I think there are some reports everywhere. In print, on TV, on radio, in conversations that are not well-researched and are sometimes based on falsehoods.”

So Conway is expressly contradicting her boss who has repeatedly called CNN “fake news.” For instance:

Perhaps Conway will be called to the principals office for a reprimand. By proclaiming that CNN isn’t fake news after all she is, by extension, validating their prior reporting on Trump. He isn’t gonna like that. But something even worse slipped later in the interview. While discussing one of Trump’s recent whoppers, Tapper tried to get Conway to respond without swerving off into something irrelevant. It wasn’t easy. Finally he said:

TAPPER: “I’m talking about the President of the United States saying things that are not true, demonstrably not true. That is important.”

CONWAY: “Are they more important than the many things that he says that are true? That are making a difference in people’s lives?”

And there you have it. Conway just admitted that Trump says things that are demonstrably untrue (as if we didn’t already know). Sure, she attempts to dismiss them as being less important than some other unidentified truthful statements. But occasional bouts of alleged honesty do not excuse purposeful lying, which she unequivocally conceded takes place. And yes, the President lying IS more important than the things he ways that are true. President’s are expected to tell the truth. They don’t get extra points for doing so.

Now, only two questions remain. Will Trump be held accountable for deliberately deceiving the American people? And will Kellyanne Conway be sent to Gitmo? Stay tuned.

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