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.

POLL: A Majority Of Americans Would Dump Trump For Obama

Two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency and things continue to go south. And no, that’s not a reference to his disastrous screw-ups with Mexico. As obsessed with ratings as our reality TV president is, Trump is floundering bigly in the eyes of the nation.

Obama trump

A new poll by Public Policy Polling asked “Who would you rather was President: Barack Obama or Donald Trump?” The response was an overwhelming repudiation of Trump who received only 43 percent. Obama was favored by a majority of 52 percent.

Knowing Trump as we do, that’s going to gnaw at him intensely. But that’s only the beginning. On almost every other question in the poll, Trump fared poorly:

With regard to his executive order on immigration, 65 percent are opposed to banning Muslims. When phrased as barring people from specified countries, he still lost 53 percent of voters. He even lost lost on style with 55 percent saying his executive order was poorly executed.

On other issues, only 19 percent of voters see Stephen Bannon favorably. The same percentage think he should be on the National Security Council. And while 48 percent of Trump voters believe the conspiracy theory that airport protesters were paid by George Soros, only 26 percent of all voters buy Trump’s “alternative fact” that millions of people voted illegally.

Furthermore, 54 percent oppose building his border wall if American taxpayers have to front the cost for it. Only 37 percent of voters support the 20 percent tax on items imported to the US from Mexico. And a plurality of 46 percent now say they support ObamaCare, compared to just 41 percent who are opposed.

Perhaps the most painful results in this poll relate to the public’s impression of the media. In particular, some outlets that Trump has gone out of his way to disparage. According to PPP:

  • By a 52/41 spread voters say the Washington Post has more credibility than Trump.
  • By a 51/42 spread voters say the New York Times has more credibility than Trump.
  • By a 50/42 spread voters say CNN has more credibility than Trump.

Trump Media chart

For the record, that’s the “lying” Washington Post, the “failing” New York Times, and “fake news” CNN. All of whom are enjoying the best subscription/ratings stats they’ve seen in years. So if this is what Trump meant when he said we would all get “sick and tired of winning” bring it on, Donnie.

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

Reuters Editor Warns That Covering Trump’s America Is Like Covering China, Russia

The increasing hostility toward the press from Donald Trump and his staff has resulted in a deteriorating relationship. Not that it was ever particularly healthy. Trump spent most of his campaign insulting reporters and demonizing the media in general. It got so bad that the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a warning that “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.” The National Press Club released a similar statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

Donald Trump

Since the election things have not improved. Trump is still maligning mainstream news organizations as “fake news” and punishing reporters that he regards as insufficiently adoring. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, has upended the White House briefing by adding fringe “news” outlets. He is reportedly considering granting press credentials to Infowar’s Alex Jones, a notorious conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter. Meanwhile, the Trump press team has revoked press credentials for the Washington Post and other legitimate news enterprises. What’s more, they have refused to provide spokespeople to CNN for several weeks in an attempt to isolate them.

In this environment, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler wrote a memo to his reporters to guide them on how to cover Trump. The memo begins by describing the current conditions that the media face:

“The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all – and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” or that his chief strategist dubs the media “the opposition party.” It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration.”

Indeed, Trump has led an unprecedented assault on the free press. His attacks have been severe and personal. And in every case he is flailing wildly without offering much in the way of a rebuttal. He is only concerned with any negative impression of him, and that results in a furious temper tantrum. Adler’s approach to this behavior is to remind his reporters that they have experienced similar challenges in the past. And he provides examples to make his point:

“I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.”

So the secret to covering Trump is to apply the experience gained from covering dictators in regimes that have little respect for a free press. His advice is to be prepared for legal harassment and physical threats. Both of those are tactics that Trump has already deployed. He has said that he wants to “open up our libel laws” so that he can sue the media. And on at least one occasion a reporter required secret service protection following a Trump rally due to overt threats.

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

It’s fair to assume that the Trump administration will continue to foment discord with the media. Trump’s “malignant narcissism” and tendency to bully others is not likely change any time soon. Hopefully the media will have the courage and integrity to stand up to whatever is thrown at them. They are the last line of defense against the kind of tyranny that Adler warns about in his memo.

Trump’s Bigoted Muslim Ban Prohibits Oscar Nominee From Entering The U.S.

With a flurry of executive orders this week, Donald Trump implemented some of the unsavory promises he made during his campaign. They include a revival of the KeystoneXL and DAPL oil pipelines, a gag order on women’s health services, laying the groundwork for repealing ObamaCare, and affirming his intention to spend billions on a pointless wall along the Mexican border.

Farhadi Oscar

However, perhaps the most abhorrent of his actions is an order that reeks of bigotry directed at victims of terror. He is prohibiting refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from immigrating to safety in the United States. Never mind that there has never been a terrorist attack in the U. S. by any refugee from these countries. Or that he inexplicably exempted countries with which he has a business relationship. For example Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from.

Among the casualties of Trump’s callousness is Asghar Farhadi, an Iranian filmmaker. Farhadi is the director of “Salesman,” an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film. Unfortunately, he won’t be at the awards gala due solely to his national origin.

So who really cares about whether the “Hollywood elites” get to honor a movie director for his work? Aren’t there thousands of more seriously at risk people who are also being denied entry to the U.S.?

Of course there are. The point of this is to illustrate the foolishness of Trump’s blanket ban. It punishes people based on their religion, regardless of their need. Farhadi doesn’t deserve to be barred from an honor that he earned. But Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice lumps Farhadi in with all of the evildoers he imagines are seeking refugee status. What’s more, Farhadi’s absence will likely hurt the marketing of the film. Consequently, Americans will miss the opportunity to witness the reality of this Iranian artist’s perspective. That should delight bigoted conservatives who prefer to propagate negative stereotypes.

If people like Farhadi are barred from entry into into the U.S., think about the fate of those who are persecuted. There are Iraqis who are helping American forces to defeat ISIS who will be turned away. Some of them will likely end up dead for their trouble. And thousands of families and children whose lives are at risk will be forced to endure further hardship and death. That’s a cruel fate to impose on National Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The impact of Trump’s policy is certain to result in more personal tragedy. But it is also likely to advance the cause of international terrorists. It will affirm their argument that the U.S. harbors a hatred for Muslims. That view is validated by the language in Trump’s executive order that prioritizes aid for Christian refugees.

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

Apparently Trump is unaware that Muslims are the most frequent victims of terrorism by ISIS and other radical groups. Then again, he is unaware of many of the critical issues that face the nation. And his ignorance will make America, and the world, more dangerous. Specifically, his policies can only incite an increase in terrorist activity, and particularly actions aimed at Christians. So, in the end, his racist outlook could become more accurate. Nice work, Donald.

SPLIT: Trump’s Personalities Have A Love/Hate Relationship With Fox News (w/Hysterical Kimmel Video)

Donald Trump recently told a gathering at CIA headquarters that he has a “running war with the media.” That may be the first true statement he’s made as president. Throughout his campaign he has attacked the press in the most virulent terms. Advocates for journalists published a statement declaring him to be “an unprecedented threat to press freedom.” His animosity toward the First Amendment is often chaotic and downright dangerous. For instance, on Wednesday he tweeted this:

The spectacle of a sitting president complimenting a news enterprise for its ratings success is both unprecedented and unethical. In a nation that honors a free press, the government is not supposed to be taking sides in these matters. Nor is it appropriate for a president to insult the millions of viewers of CNN by implying that they are stupid.

What’s more, Trump went further with his unprincipled remarks to lambaste CNN as “fake news.” That term is already beginning to lose any meaning as conservatives apply it to any news with which they disagree. However, Trump’s use of it is blatantly vengeful. He reserves his animus for those who have the audacity to criticize him. His purpose is to delegitimize the media in general so that he can disseminate his “alternative facts” (aka lies) with impunity. As a result, he is frequently at odds with himself.

Trump Split 2

Trump has not always been so fond of Fox News. During the campaign he frequently lashed out them when they were not sufficiently complimentary. For instance:

Further more, Trump said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” And Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.”

That, however, is all behind us now. At least until the next time Fox News manages to muster up a worthy criticism. In the meantime, Trump will surely persist in castigating CNN and others for doing their job. His administration is proving to be the most hostile toward reporters in modern times. It is a troubling trend that threatens not only the press, but democracy.

On the other hand, Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to the world of comedy. His ignorant rants and obsessions with ego-driven trivialities are the basis for an endless stream of jokes. He has spent most of his first week as president whining about the turnout at his inauguration. It is eating him alive that it was so much lower than President Obama’s. That preoccupation with his hurt pride led to the infamous introduction of the absurd term alternative facts.” And when he was fixating on that he was revisiting his embarrassing loss of the popular vote.

Jimmy Kimmel is not one to let a good satire of Trump get away. Consequently, Tuesday night he put together a mock trailer for a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s hit movie “Split.” The story revolves around a character with multiple personalities and a decidedly hostile attitude toward women. Sound familiar?

In Kimmel’s sequel the star is Donald Trump. The clip contains several instances of Trump saying one thing, then contradicting himself. It also borrows from the real film with a psychologist confronting Trump to ask “Twenty-three identities live in Donald Trump. To whom am I speaking with now?” The answers in voice-over suggest Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Rosie O’Donnell. Later the female victims plot to escape their tormentor with one proposing that “The only chance we have is if all three of us go crazy on this guy.” Then it cuts to Trump saying “I have no idea who these women are.”

The parallels to real life are a little scary. However, the hilarity falls apart when a voice is heard worrying “What will happen when he unlocks the potential of his brain?” We know that Trump himself thinks that he has “a very good brain [because] I’ve said a lot of things.” That’s also his excuse for refusing to attend national security briefings. He told Chris Wallace of Fox News that such meetings were unnecessary because “I’m, like, a smart person.”

Unfortunately, while comedians are going to be celebrating a renaissance of humor, the rest of the nation is going to be get more and more depressed. Which, ironically, will create a greater need for comedians. So in light of that, enjoy Kimmel’s version of Trump in Split and try to carry on.

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

Trump’s Press Conference Was An Unholy Mess of Lies And Defensive Evasion

Most government ethics experts regard President-Elect Donald Trump as a walking violation of the Constitution. Some regard his pending inauguration as the moment he becomes subject to impeachment. Despite numerous promises, Trump put off explaining how his widespread business concerns will not result in actionable conflicts of interest. In fact, Trump hasn’t held a press conference on any subject since last July. That’s an unprecedented period of self-imposed muzzling that also deprives citizens of critical answers and information.

Donald Trump

The Donald’s Twitter feed records the history of his obfuscation and delay. It goes back to November 30, 2016, when he unleashed a multi-tweet declaration stating that:

[1] “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my … [2] great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! While I am not mandated to [3] do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.. [4] Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!

Less than two weeks later Trump cancelled that “major news conference” and tweeted the much more vague:

No reason was offered for the cancellation, nor was a new date provided. Then, on the day he had originally promised the press conference he tweeted:

If it’s so simple, then why didn’t he just meet the press, explain it, and get it over with? His own comments hinted at the answer to that by describing the work that his lawyers were going through in preparation for the press conference. Then, on January 3, 2017, he finally tweeted a new date for the unveiling of his business plans. However, now the press availability was designated as having a general purpose, rather than one to specifically address the looming conflicts of interest:

Wednesday Trump finally held the long-promised press conference. Unfortunately, he failed to adequately address the outstanding issues that have accumulated while he sheltered himself in a media-free bunker. Among the issues that he avoided while hiding on Twitter were the persistent allegations of voter suppression. His loss of the popular vote. Charges by at least a dozen women who claim he sexual assaulted them. Payment of $25 million to settle a lawsuit to compensate the fraud victims of his phony Trump University. His white supremacist (aka alt-right) cabinet and administration appointees.

For the most part Trump repeated his standard stump speech and put up a self-serving defense without providing any new information. He assailed his critics and accused the media of smearing him. Here is some of what we “learned” in the hour long affair:

  • We stopped giving [press conferences] because we were getting a lot of inaccurate news.
    So that’s a reason to refrain from speaking to the press yourself?
  • Hacking is bad and it shouldn’t be done. But look at what we learned from the hacking.
    In other words, he’s praising the hacking that he says was bad. Maybe because it was only bad for Clinton.
  • If Putin likes Trump, that’s an asset.
    To whom? Certainly not to the nation that his naivete is putting at risk.
  • I’m also very much of a germophobe. Believe me.
    Thanks for sharing.
  • Trump’s still using the excuse of an IRS audit to refuse to release his tax returns.
    Someone tell him that as president the IRS reports to him.
  • The Trump Organization now has an Office of Chief Compliance Council to insure that it operates at the highest levels of integrity.
    He never had this before? Not surprising, really.
  • Trump was asked to affirm that he and his campaign had no contact with Russia.
    He didn’t even bother to answer the question, veering off into an unrelated subject.

Finally, Trump had a heated exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta. When Acosta attempted to ask a question, Trump repeatedly refused to recognize him. Acosta tried to argue that since Trump had attacked his network, he should allow a question. Trump just said that he was “fake news” and turned away.

So now Trump is applying the term “fake news” to one of the premiere national news networks in the world. Whatever one thinks of CNN, it is entirely different from the miscreants who fabricate false stories for profit. For instance, The National Enquirer, which Trump hails as a reputable news organization. But CNN, for the time being, has been blacklisted by Trump.

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

Having watched this press conference, it is apparent that we didn’t miss much during Trump’s seven month evasion from the media. He is still providing the same hollow and defensive answers to questions that he is comfortable addressing, and ignoring everything else. This is pretty much what we can expect for the next four years, if he lasts that long.

Publisher Pulls Book By Trump’s National Security Nominee Due To Plagiarism

Last week reports surfaced alleging that Monica Crowley had plagiarized significant parts of her 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened.” Ironically, that title poses a good question considering that her publisher just announced that it’s pulling the book from publication:

“The book, which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will no longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material.”

Monica Crowley

Donald Trump recently nominated Crowley to be the strategic communications director of the National Security Council. She was previously a contributor for Fox News. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski identified more than fifty instances of text that was lifted in whole or in part from other sources. The “borrowed” words came from newspapers, magazines, websites, and even from a colleague at Fox News. After publication of the expose, Trump’s transition team called it a politically motivated attack and said they stood by Crowley.

Now the publisher, HarperCollins, has concluded that the allegations have merit. It should be noted that HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Murdoch is also the owner of the parent company of Fox News. CNN reached out to Trump’s team again for an updated response but did not immediately receive one.

In addition to this news, the Trump people have to deal with allegations that Crowley also plagiarized portions of her doctorate dissertation. According to Politico:

“An examination of the dissertation and the sources it cites identified more than a dozen sections of text that have been lifted, with little to no changes, from other scholarly works without proper attribution. In some instances, Crowley footnoted her source but did not identify with quotation marks the text she was copying directly. In other instances, she copied text or heavily paraphrased with no attribution at all.”

With the removal of Crowley’s book from publication it seems impossible for Trump to continue to dismiss this as partisan. Rupert Murdoch’s publishing company isn’t part of a Democratic cabal. Crowley’s fate would be sealed in any other political context. But Trump’s operation has been rife with impropriety, dishonesty, and a determination to double down when faced with adversity. So it’s anyone’s guess where Crowley will be tomorrow. After all, Trump’s wife Melania was also caught in a plagiarism scandal, and she’s still around.

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

Sexual Harassment Claim Against Bill O’Reilly Secretly Settled By Fox News

The den of misogyny and debasement known as Fox News has suffered another blow to its reputation for family values. It’s only been a few months since Fox fired Roger Ailes, their founder and CEO, due to allegations of sexual harassment. About a dozen women lodged complaints against him, most notably Gretchen Carlson, who won a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

On Monday a new report revealed that Fox’s top star, Bill O’Reilly, has also been the target of harassment allegations. Former anchor Juliet Huddy made the complaint over charges stemming from her employment in 2011. She asserted that O’Reilly made unwanted advances and sexually explicit phone calls wherein he appeared to be masturbating. Additionally, he threatened to adversely affect her career and retaliated when she proved to be an uncooperative victim. The complaint also named Jack Abernethy, the newly appointed co-president of Fox who replaced Ailes.

The news reports indicate that Fox News paid a substantial amount to settle with Huddy. Both Fox News and O’Reilly, however, deny the charges. The settlement was arranged in secret and stipulated that Huddy refrain from disclosing its terms. According to the report:

“LawNewz.com has confirmed the settlement with three separate sources including a former Fox News executive with direct knowledge of the matter. In addition, we obtained a draft of the intent to sue letter which was sent or handed to Fox News and listed the allegations of sexual harassment against both men. While we weren’t able to confirm the exact amount of the settlement, our sources tell us the amount paid out was in the high six figures. Neither Abernethy, nor O’Reilly paid any money out personally and, we are told, Abernethy and O’Reilly strongly denied all of the charges made against them by Huddy from the start.”

This isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has undergone scrutiny for such misbehavior. In 2004 he paid a multimillion dollar settlement to a former producer, Andrea Mackris, who alleged that he harassed her. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his ex-wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids.

There appears to be an environment at Fox News that allows for the toleration of this sort of abuse. It’s part of a pattern of behavior where women are exploited and on and off camera. In the Ailes era female anchors were forbidden to wear pants on sets without desks. To say nothing of the infamous “leg cam” that was deployed to feature the assets of their mostly young, blonde presenters. Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman documented some of the techniques Fox employed to satisfy their largely male audience in his book “The Loudest Voice In The Room.” 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.”

Even former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got reeled in. She recently revealed her own experiences with sexual harassment by Ailes and left Fox to join NBC News. But in a revealing pictorial for GQ Magazine a few years ago, her appearance was very much a part of Fox’s marketing. 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 wears those low-cut blouses.

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