Morally Bankrupt: Fox & Friends Host Couldn’t Mute These Moving Repudiations of Trump

There’s an old saying that offers this common sense advice: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Apparently Donald Trump hasn’t heard that saying. Or maybe he just doesn’t think it applies to people who are perfect and rich and certain of their superiority. Consequently, he continues to dig himself deeper into the cesspool of white supremacy advocacy.

Fox News

On Tuesday Trump held an impromptu press conference that quickly devolved into a nauseating defense of neo-Nazis and the racism embodied by the KKK and other hate groups. He was roundly chastised by Americans from across the political spectrum. Democrats and Republicans alike are distancing themselves from his overt bigotry. A new poll shows that more people believe that Trump supports white nationalism than think that he opposes it. The fallout from his disastrous performance was nearly universal.

One area of respite for the President was, of course Fox News. With virtually every program they aired came a vigorous defense of Trump’s allegedly unyielding love for all mankind. Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson led the way in white-washing his rancid prejudices. At the same time they sought to smear those who oppose the racism espoused by Trump and company. But there were a few moments when real emotions were displayed that better represented the nation’s revulsion of Trump’s bigotry.

On Fox and Friends, co-host Abby Huntsman interviewed Johns Hopkins professor Wendy Osefo and Republican political analyst Gianno Caldwell. Her mission was clearly to guide the discussion into a redemption from Trump’s latest debacle. Prof. Osefo provided an excellent definition of the terms of the debate (video below):

“This is about hatred. It’s about white supremacy. And to have Heather Heyer killed on U.S. soil by a Nazi, Deandre Harris beaten and bludgeoned by Nazis. This is not talking points here. This isn’t partisan. This is human life. And as a mother, to hear the President of these United States not sit here and condemn what has happened. As a black woman of two black boys, my heart bleeds. This is not talking points here. This is personal. And we as a nation, as a country, have to do better.”

Huntsman’s reaction completely ignored this heartfelt plea for Trump to change course. She made a pathetic attempt to steer the conversation back to territory that was advantageous to Trump:

Gianno, to you. Do you agree with that? There are good people on both sides of this debate. We talk about keeping these statues up. People that I talk to say that this is about history. How do we move forward. How do we learn from those mistakes if we just tear everything down?

Huntsman’s pivot included the White House talking points that both sides are to blame and that there are good Nazis. She also revealed the narrow scope of people that she talks to. This isn’t about preserving history, which is well documented in libraries full of historical literature. The people Huntsman talks to actually want to preserve the honoring of traitors. But her other guest wasn’t distracted by this tactic:

“You know, I come today with a very heavy heart. Last night I couldn’t sleep at all because President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country. The very moral fabric on which we’ve made progress on race relations. He’s failed us. And it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference when he said that “There’s good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis. They weren’t all white supremacists.” Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists.”

Remember, Caldwell is the Republican on the panel. And he expressed what every decent Republican ought to admit. Republicans in Congress need to renounce Trump’s bigotry and defense of the alt-right white supremacists. His cabinet must demand he reject racism and fire those on his staff who embrace it (Bannon, Gorka, Miller, etc.). Absent that, they must resign themselves.

Caldwell concluded his remarks with a shot aimed directly at Huntsman and Fox News:

“For anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost and potentially morally bankrupt.”

That’s something that all politicians, pundits and journalists need to take seriously. This isn’t about talking points. It’s about human decency. And there aren’t two sides to that.

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

Fox News ‘Reporter’ Exalts White Supremacist Killer in Charlottesville as a ‘Vigilante’

It’s been three days since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The deliberately hostile affair claimed the life of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester, and injured dozens more. Donald Trump distinguished himself as a Nazi-sympathizer by refusing to condemn the hate groups that organized the event in his first public comments. It took him two more days to say anything remotely critical of the perpetrators of the violence.

Fox News

In the meantime, Fox News went to work covering for the callousness of the President. They made excuses that stretched the limits of credulity. Fox and Friends worked overtime to portray Trump as calm and restrained during his first non-comment, and bold and decisive after the second. Trump-fluffers Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson labored to turn him into a statesman who embodied harmony and fellowship.

For his part, Trump maintained his well-known posture of arrogance and bigotry. He posted tweets blaming the media for the public’s repudiation of his insensitivity. He also retweeted a comment by a known alt-right conspiracy monger that sought to shift the debate to evil black folks. And to top it off, he retweeted another Fox and Friends story (the 18th time this month). This one was about his consideration of a pardon for the racist former Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

It’s no secret that Fox and Friends, Hannity, et al, are opinion-based programs masquerading as news. But Fox’s Washington D.C. correspondent, Doug McKelway, seeks to present himself as an actual journalist. Which makes his report on Tuesday all the more troubling (video below). The segment began as a story about activists taking down statues that honored confederate traitors. But it quickly derailed into propaganda of the worst sort. McKelway’s commentary completely twisted the narrative into right-wing bullshit juxtaposing…

“…those who find the system of slavery to be so abhorrent that we should have no memories of it whatsoever to those who believe that what their great-great-great-great granddaddy did in the Civil War should be remembered and preserved.”

Is McKelway arguing that slavery was not really that abhorrent after all? Also, he apparently thinks that commemorative statues are the only way to record history. Maybe he should read a book. No one is suggesting that the memory of slavery be wiped out. Just that the memory be held in the context of its inhumanity, rather than being honored in bronze. And if anyone wants to preserve what their confederate forefathers did, let it be preserved as the treason and brutality it actually was.

But McKelway wasn’t through. It wasn’t enough that he wanted to remember the civil war slave states fondly, he implied that any other recollection was a communist plot:

“And then, this ventures into the area of airbrushing of history. A tactic of totalitarian governments, a common practice in the former Soviet Union where people who fell into disfavor in the government were literally airbrushed out of history.”

Again, no one is airbrushing anyone out of history. Patriotic Americans very much want to maintain the historical record of the civil war. Including the parts that document the barbarous agenda of the South. But to smear those who advocate an accurate retelling of history as totalitarians and commies is just plain nauseating. In fact, it is a tactic of totalitarians and commies. McKelway believes that slave owners have simply been unfortunate to have fallen out of favor. Poor babies.

And if you thought that was the end of McKelway’s atrocities, you’re not giving him and Fox News the credit they deserve. He closed the segment with a note regarding the funeral service for Heather Heyer. But in doing so he elevated her murderer to a status that is utterly offensive:

“We’ve also learned when the funeral service will be held for Heather Heyer, the young woman, the 32 year old that was killed by the white vigilante who mowed down people in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday.”

Vigilante? For the record, a vigilante is someone who has decided to take the law into his own hands. It is itself against the law. It is generally undertaken when the perpetrator believes that legal authorities are deemed inadequate or unresponsive. And the victim is someone who is thought to be guilty of a crime, at least in the eyes of the vigilante. It’s wrong and indefensible in civil society, and often leads to innocents being targeted and harmed. But some crackpots believe that it’s justifiable and romantic.

That said, what crime does McKelway think that Ms. Heyer committed that would make her fair game for a vigilante? The driver of the car that killed her, James Alex Fields, had only one motive: To do harm to innocent people who opposed his racist ideology. That is not a vigilante. It’s a cold-blooded murderer and a radical right-wing terrorist. McKelway really needs to adjust his definitions, as well as his heinous biases as a person and a so-called reporter.

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

Fox News Implies That Donald Trump is Just as Batty as Kim Jong-Un. Who Can Argue With That?

On Wednesday Donald Trump laid the foundation for a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. His brimstone laden “fire and fury” speech has brought new and unnecessary tensions to an already shaky relationship. It was an inevitable escalation of craziness from a narcissistic personality with a thirty-three percent approval rating. And of course, it didn’t take long for the media pundits to weigh in with predictably inane debates.

Donald Trump Kim Jong-Un

On Fox News Thursday morning there was a particularly confounding view offered by anchor Jon Scott. He wanted to know whether there was a “double standard among the press” for their criticism of Trump’s overheated rhetoric. He was puzzled as to why Trump was being criticized but “nobody seems to care all that much about the threats coming from Kim Jong-Un.”

Let’s be clear about this. Scott is making the absurd inference that the media should treat Trump’s statements with equal significance as a certified fruitcake. On the surface, I can’t really find any fault with that. Trump is at least as batty as Kim. However, when looked at as an American president vs. Kim, the distinction ought be huge. Under ordinary circumstances the U.S. should be regarded as far more serious and conscientious than raving madmen.

Unfortunately, these are not ordinary times. Hence the critique of the press by Scott, who thinks Trump should be regarded in the same league as Kim. But Scott’s guest, fellow Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, wasn’t having it:

“Well, look, we kind of expect crazy from Kim Jong-Un. As I said, he’s the head of the ‘Hermit Kingdom. He’s a pariah for almost the entire world. So, we don’t expect him to be judged the same standard as the president. […] I certainly hope we’re not judging Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un by the same standards.”

Wallace’s perspective is surely more coherent than Scott’s. But Scott’s is more prevalent on Fox News and throughout the right-wing mediasphere. Even Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that Trump was using “language that Kim Jong-Un would understand.” When did lowering our communications skills to the level of babbling nutcases become the goal of American diplomacy?

Wallace deserves some credit for batting down Scott’s absurd allegation of a press double standard. But he still managed to live down to Fox’s low standards for misleading reporting. Woven into his remarks was this completely false observation of the fallout from Trump’s “fire and fury” speech:

“I don’t think anybody objects to the idea that the president was tough and sent a very stern message to the North Koreans.”

Oh really? You would have to be ignoring the letter from sixty members of congress fervently objecting to Trump’s war mongering. And you would also have to have missed the objections from Democratic senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein. Not to mention Republican senators John McCain, Dan Sullivan, and Jeff Flake. Trump’s off-the-cuff bluster was widely considered to be inflammatory and counterproductive. And Wallace’s attempt to soft-peddle the backlash only keeps Fox News viewers ill-informed. But then, that’s the mission of Fox News, so Wallace and Scott are just doing their jobs.

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

Donald Trump Has a ‘Fox and Friends’ Fetish That Should Frighten Every American

There is something terribly wrong when an American president is obsessively dialed into propaganda that regularly contradicts reality. It’s bad enough when Donald Trump manufactures his own exaggerations, deflections, and lies. But lately he has taken to acting as the de facto publicist for the spin machine at Fox News. Especially one program that is best known as a haven for Trump-fluffing, sycophantic bullshit: Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning, Trump’s sunrise Twitter tirade included five retweets from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. They spanned a variety of subjects, but shared a common theme of world disorder and imminent catastrophe. The messages that Trump sought to magnify and adopt as his own included:

In those communiques Trump covered, respectively, the crisis he just created with North Korea, his racist preoccupation with Mexico and a border wall, more saber-rattling over Korea, alleged terrorism in France, and Fox News’ presentation of his “fire and fury” speech/threat to his North Korean twin. And while those are all topics of some significance, it’s peculiar that Trump used a single source to address them.

Apparently, all Trump does each day is watch Fox News. It’s where he gets his intelligence data, despite being in charge of the world’s best spy agencies. It’s how he affirms his self-worth with the relentlessly flattering suck-ups disgorged by his Fox friends. In fact, the show might consider changing its name to “Fox and Friend” (singular), because they are really only broadcasting to an audience of one.

As he has repeatedly made clear, Trump hates the media. He called it “the enemy of the American people.” Never mind that polls show that the American people trust the media far more than they trust him. And he can’t seem to go more than a few hours without insulting CNN or the New York Times. His protestations of “fake news” every time his babysitters mistakenly allow a negative story to reach his desk are pathetic. But they exemplify his deranged world view and dependence on ultra-positive reinforcement.

However, Trump’s compulsive regurgitation of Fox and Friends is more than just a tribute to his favorite TV show. There has never been a political leader who so obsessively promoted a single media outlet. It’s almost as if Trump is working for Fox News as the public relations man in charge of advancing the interests of Fox and Friends. In addition to his five tweets Wednesday morning, he has tweeted about the program ten times already this month. And the Trump Twitter Archive shows 118 such tweets since he announced his candidacy in June of 2015.

It is also notable that Fox and Friends is often the trigger for Trump’s tweets. Brian Feldman of New York Magazine collected a bunch of examples of Trump tweeting something that appeared to be random. As it turned out, Trump’s tweets often followed – sometimes by minutes – a segment on the subject on Fox News. Plainly he was watching in his pajamas with his phone in hand and couldn’t help himself. This is a phenomenon that rarely occurs with any other news network.

Prior to running for president, Trump had a regular call-in spot on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He was also a frequent guest on other Fox News programs like The O’Reilly Factor and Your World with Neil Cavuto. His relationship with Fox News had some rocky points during the campaign, but he always supported his “Friends.”

The problem with this is that it makes the doofuses on Fox and Friends the equivalent to his national security team. They seem to have at least as much influence over him as his closest advisers. More, if you consider that he “meets” with them every day and never argues with them. He quotes them far more frequently than he does any of his cabinet or staff. And while he will bash his Attorney General and other high ranking officials, he has never had a bad word to say about his Friends on Fox. He almost holds them in as high esteem as his Russian friend Vladimir.

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

What’s troubling about this is the utter lack of qualifications of the aforementioned couch potatoes. Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade are not experts in government, economics, defense, or anything else. They are happy-talk presenters on a propaganda network. Yet their counsel is getting the highest priority in Trump’s White House. That’s something that should make all Americans – and non-Americans for that matter – afraid for the fate of the world. Trump literally ignores his professional intelligence advisers in favor of a trio of giggling airheads. And, for the record, they are all in for a a war with North Korea. Are you scared yet?

STOP HANNITY: Movement Begins to Shame Advertisers on the Trump-Fluffing Fox News Program

The rapid decline of Fox News over the past year has been an awesome spectacle. It began with the allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Roger Ailes. He was later fired and, shortly thereafter, died following a fall in his home. Then Bill O’Reilly was also terminated after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sean Hannity Fox News

Additionally, some executives were likewise dismissed for their own inappropriate behavior. And Fox News lost their rising star, Megyn Kelly, who joined NBC where her program is a ratings failure. Greta Van Susteren, also quit Fox for a show on MSNBC that has already been canceled. Most recently, Eric Bolling, host of two Fox News programs has been suspended for allegedly sending lewd pictures to network colleagues.

Fox’s reputation for being a brazenly biased mouthpiece for Republican politics is morphing into one of perversion and misogyny. But don’t worry – their mission of right-wing propagandizing is still being pursued in earnest by many remaining shills. Chief among them is Sean Hannity, who has escalated his efforts to promote Donald Trump. His program has become an unabashed platform for exalting and defending Trump no matter the circumstances.

Hannity has been performing some wild rhetorical acrobatics to that end. He has whirled from insisting that Trump was totally innocent of any collusion with Russia, to arguing that such collusion wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. More offensive are his ventures into conspiracy theories. Hannity has made a project of promoting the totally debunked story about Seth Rich. This fake news asserts that Rich, a former DNC staffer, was murdered for his involvement in hacking the Clinton/Podesta emails and sending them to Wikileaks. It’s a fascinating story that would be even more compelling if any of it were true.

As Hannity has ramps up the crazy on his show, he is beginning to attract some push-back from proponents of ethical journalism. Media Matters has initiated a campaign to “Stop Hannity” from further staining the airwaves with his lies and hate. They have previously engineered similar campaigns that targeted Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Both of them were eventually booted from their perches at Fox and now languish in near obscurity. It’s safe to say that Hannity is nervous. The Stop Hannity home page spells out how Media Matters intends to hold him, Fox News, and their advertisers accountable:

“Spreading misinformation is Hannity’s business model, and now he’s doing it on behalf of the Trump administration. His propagandizing has become so odious that he was condemned by some of his coworkers, who reportedly told The Daily Beast that the host was ’embarrassing’ the network and that ‘some people need to be fired.’

“It’s past time for Hannity to go. If Fox won’t fire Hannity, then advertisers should run as fast as they can, or else they run the risk of being complicit in his deceit and recklessness. Advertisers will get burned if they continue to associate with Hannity — plain and simple.”

This movement has only just begun, but it is already showing progress. Most notably, ultra-conservative pundits and websites are rising up in anger about this grassroots activism. The Daily Caller, Newsbusters, Western Journalism, and YoungCons have all posted stories labeling Media Matters a far-left provocateur. What’s more, Hannity’s ratings are suffering among the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds. For the most recent week for which there is complete ratings data, Hannity lost the whole week to his time period competition on MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. For the same week the Rachel Maddow Show was the highest rated program on all of cable news. Fox News was accustomed to dominating the ratings charts for years, but those days seem to be gone.

Time will tell if this campaign will be as successful as those aimed at Hannity’s former colleagues. But the track record of Media Matters on these actions is formidable. Advertisers have good reasons to be wary of associating themselves with a conspiracy monger like Hannity. And the more people that jump on this bandwagon, the more it can achieve. To that end, be sure to sign up at Stop Hannity and participate in the advertiser education program they are conducting. It’s a worthwhile cause because, as Ted Koppel told Hannity to his face, he is “bad for America.”

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

Fox News ‘Judge’ Fear Mongers That Any Trump Indictments Will Trigger a ‘Real Uprising’

It is becoming clearer with every passing day that Donald Trump and his criminal associates are in big trouble. The latest bombshell is the news that special counsel, Robert Mueller, has impaneled a Grand Jury. It’s purpose is to investigate Trump’s finances and connections to Russia. That has surely put everyone in the White House on edge as the legal noose gets tighter.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Consequently, Fox News is ramping up their obsequious support for the President with ever more ludicrous pronouncements. On Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, they interviewed Jeanine Pirro, host of Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” The segment featured Pirro unleashing what amounts to an incitement to riot (video below). And Trump thought so much of that that he retweeted it to his fans:

“My concern is, if they end up with an indictment against a family member just to get at Donald Trump when they couldn’t get at him, there’s gonna be a real uproar – a real uprising in this country.”

There is so much wrong with statement. First and foremost, Pirro is setting the stage for crackpot Trump supporters to take to the streets in an outburst of violence. She didn’t bother to offer any objection to the uprising she’s predicting. That will serve as permission to the StormTrumpers who believe that their Leader is God’s anointed savior of the alt-right’s America. She is also echoing Trump’s own inciteful rhetoric during the campaign. When asked about the prospect of his not getting the GOP nomination he said “I think you’d have riots.”

Additionally, Pirro’s framing of the subject of indictments was narrowly focused on Trump’s family. She seems to be deliberately avoiding any talk of Trump himself being charged with a crime. Of course, any neutral observer knows that he is the most likely target of prosecution. But in Pirro’s remarks it’s only the family that is at risk. Is that a purposeful deflection?

Finally, the notion that the current investigations would target Trump’s family because they can’t get to him is downright delusional. The President is virtually dripping with guilt. He has made public confessions to obstruction of justice on national television. His financial conflicts could be unraveled by a middle-schooler with a Scooby Doo junior detective badge. The number of times Trump and those around him have lied and altered their stories constitute a clear consciousness of guilt.

If it were really a concern of of Pirro’s that there might be an uprising in the wake of Trump indictments, she would have said something to mitigate it. She would have warned people to abstain from violence and let the courts do their job. She would have shown respect for the judiciary and the concept of justice, after which her show is named. Instead, she and the Fox News regulars chose to denigrate the law in defense of the wannabe dictator they so admire.

The good news is that any uprising by the lawless traitors fighting for Trump would have negligible effect. Their numbers are already in the low 30’s and sinking further every day. It wouldn’t take long to subdue them. And once the truth is well disseminated, there wouldn’t be very many people who would go to the mat for a lying grifter who brought nothing but shame to America.

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

WATCH: Assaulting a CNN Reporter is Hilarious to Tucker Carlson of Fox News

On Wednesday the White House press briefing briefly turned into rhetorical warfare. Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Stephen Miller, went ballistic on CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The issue was Trump’s latest xenophobic position on immigration reform. Acosta, the son of Cuban immigrants, asked if Trump’s policy amounted to “trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.” Miller appeared to take the question personally. He lashed out at Acosta, calling him “outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

Miller’s juvenile response typifies the emotional immaturity of the Trump administration. We should probably be grateful that Miller didn’t hurl profanities or feces. But the worst reaction to this exchange came from Fox News on the program hosted by proud Trump Fluffer, Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s guest was right-wing crackpot Mark Steyn, who unleashed a tirade of vitriol and bile (video below). He said that:

“One of the reasons we need immigrants to come here and do the jobs Americans won’t do is because one of the jobs Americans won’t do is drag Jim Acosta out of there, kick him to the sidewalk, and say ‘If you wanna do the Jim Acosta Show there’s a rusting boxcar round the back of the freight yards with three semi-comatose hobos who are interested in it. But nobody else here is.'”

So Steyn ignored everything that Acosta said and dismissed all of the substance of the debate. However, he did propose physically assaulting Acosta and denying him the free press rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The notion of violently attacking a journalist struck Carlson as hilarious. He repeatedly laughed at the thought of a beaten reporter being kicked out of a press briefing. This is what tickles the pro-Trump media during an era in which even the President has encouraged violence against reporters. Trump famously denigrated the media as the enemy of the American people.”

Steyn went on to adopt a view of the Statue of Liberty that has been a staple of white supremacists for years. He said that:

“The French gave the Americans a pretty great Statue of Liberty. And then the Americans hammered a lousy poem by Emma Lazerus onto it and turned a pretty great Statue of Liberty into a Statue of Immigration. I regret that.”

Steyn is joining the Hate America First crowd by insulting the contributions of a poet whose “lousy” work was used to finance the pedestal of the Statue. But he is also echoing the White House. Miller made a similarly belittling comment at the press briefing, saying that:

“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and light in the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to that was added later is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

And both of those comments reflect the abhorrent views of avowed white supremacist Richard Spencer:

For the record, the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus made a simple plea of compassion and acceptance:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Notice that there is nothing in there about skilled labor, education, preferred language, or personal wealth. It is plainly reaching a hand out to people in need. It’s a standard based on the necessity of the immigrant rather than the greed of the host nation. Unfortunately, the only standard recognized by Fox News and Tucker Carlson is personal self-interest and unfettered political power. And if that means committing assaults against journalists with whom you disagree, well that’s just hysterical, isn’t it?

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

FINALLY: Donald Trump Got Something Right: Republicans ‘Look Like Fools’

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump thrilled his rally-goers with a typically boastful exclamation. “We’re going to win so much,” he warned, “you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” He nailed the “sick and tired” part, but after six months there has been almost nothing that he can claim as a victory.

Donald Trump

Most recently, his mission to repeal ObamaCare failed to pass in a Senate controlled by Republicans. Never mind that the GOP voted dozens of times to kill the popular healthcare plan when Barack Obama was president. They just couldn’t manage to do it with a fellow Republican in the White House with pen in hand.

Trump’s latest failure produced a predictable tantrum on Twitter that did nothing but affirm his affinity for whining. In a five-tweet opus, the crybaby President complained about the Senate’s voting rules and impotently demanded reform.

First of all, last week Republicans brought three separate repeal bills to the floor. They all lost with forty-nine or fewer votes. They only needed fifty-one votes to pass. So Trump’s tirade about the 60-vote rule was utterly irrelevant. There was no such rule in effect. More likely, he was just creating a distraction to take the sting off of yet another embarrassing defeat. So far he has blamed the Democrats, his press secretary, his chief of staff, and now the Republicans. Nothing is ever his fault. But wasn’t he supposed to be the brilliant dealmaker who would get everything he wanted on the strength of his magnetic personality? And . . . so much winning!

The one thing that Trump got right was his assertion that Republicans “look like fools.” And he, of course, is the titular leader of the Republican Party. The GOP’s obsession with killing a bill that polls show is favored by majorities of the public is indeed foolish. It is foolish to try so hard to replace that bill with one that has public approval in the teens. And pushing a proposal that will take insurance away from as many as 32 million people is foolhardy in the extreme.

So why is Trump suddenly ranting about arcane Senate rules that have nothing to do with last week’s vote? The answer is the same as to why Trump does almost anything: He saw it on Fox News. Saturday morning on Fox and Friends, GOP Rep. Sean Duffy was interviewed about the Senate bill’s failure. He dodged the substance of the matter to complain about his feeble senate counterparts. “We’ve passed 200 bills,” he said, “that right now sit in the Senate waiting for them to pass.” And while Duffy blamed the 60-vote rule for that logjam, the responsibility actually lies with Mitch McConnell. As Senate Majority Leader, he controls the calendar and decides what will come up for a vote and when.

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

Clearly, Trump was watching and, as he often does, tweeted what he just saw on TV. And it wasn’t just any news program. It was his favorite show, hosted by the biggest bunch of imbeciles on television. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends frequently discharge easily debunked falsehoods in the service of right-wing propaganda. And our incurious president retweets them without the slightest effort to confirm. It’s a cycle that repeats on a nearly daily basis. And it’s the best explanation for why Trump and his Republican colleagues – as Trump himself agrees – look like fools.

Fox News Calls for Trump Dictatorship and More Suffering After ObamaCare Repeal Fails

Late Thursday night the Republican effort to kill ObamaCare met its demise – for the time being. Despite having the majority, the GOP-run Senate couldn’t pass their last ditch scheme to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s a dream they’ve salivated over for seven years without doing anything about it. Now their incompetence and callous disregard for people’s well-being has been dealt a well-deserved loss. The vote was 49-51, with Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain joining all the Democrats.

Fox News Donald Trump

True to form, Fox News went into a total meltdown following the vote. They appeared on the verge of a severe depressive episode. Immediately after the vote Fox News aired the crestfallen remarks of a gloomy Sen. Mitch McConnell in full. Next to speak on the Senate floor was Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. But Fox didn’t air any of his speech. Instead they cut to a phone-in analysis from daytime anchor Bret Baier. The woman anchoring last night interjected that “It’s a sad day for America.” Fair and balanced.

Perhaps the most repulsive reaction to the GOP’s aborted repeal came from Jesse Watters, co-host of The Five. In a post-vote rant Watters had the audacity to advocate for a Trump tyranny:

“A lot of people wish President Trump was a dictator, maybe we could repeal Obamacare. It would be a lot easier that way.”

He’s right. A lot of people do wish that Trump was a dictator. Starting with Donald Trump. Then add most of the people on Fox News, Trump’s most stalwart fans among the white supremacist community, and the dimwits who still support him after his treasonous betrayal of the country to Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin. Fascist minds think alike.

Watters’ reckless comments are emblematic of the dangers that an authoritarian, megalomaniac like Trump represent. The fact that he can get crackpots on Fox News to openly advocate for his elevation to dictator is frightening. But Watters wasn’t alone in making appallingly stupid comments in the hours of grief for Fox. His colleagues at Fox and Friends chimed in with idiotic outbursts of their own. Steve Doocy, always the cock-eyed optimist, found something positive to console the loser President. Doocy said the repeal failure was “good news” for Trump because “It’s gonna continue to be ObamaCare and people who have been suffering will continue.”

Well, isn’t that good news? Republicans like nothing better than seeing people suffer. Trump obviously agrees because he tweeted again his intention to “let ObamaCare implode.” That, of course, would produce unconscionable and unnecessary suffering for millions of Americans. And Trump is doing it on purpose. In fact, he is deliberately sabotaging healthcare for millions. Doocy even admitted that Trump “wants [Obamacare] to fail.” He’s rooting for pain and sickness rather than for the people he’s sworn to protect and defend.

Finally, Brian Kilmeade demonstrated the ignorance that is rampant on Fox News. While complaining about the loss in the Senate, Kilmeade sarcastically congratulated the Democrats who prevailed. In a boneheaded snark he said “Congratulations. The healthy people are paying for the sick people.” You don’t say? What Kilemeade has just done is define in very literal terms exactly what health insurance is. In fact, it’s exactly what all insurance is. But he’s casting it in a negative light as if it should be repudiated.

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

And with that Kilmeade has also demonstrated the pitiful stupidity of Fox News that infects and warps the brains of their glassy-eyed viewers. That’s why it’s so hard to have a rational debate with any of them. They are damaged beyond repair, and they cling to the defects and the lies they are fed by Fox. Fox News has led America into an era that cheers a President who says that he “loves the poorly educated.” Of course he does. No one else would believe his bull. That’s why he is destroying the Department of Education from within. And he’s lucky to have Fox News to make sure there are as many poorly educated Americans as possible.

Fox and Friends Lies About New York Times Calling Them ‘The Most Powerful TV Show in America’

Another morning, another flurry of dishonest reporting by Fox News and their “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends. While pretending to read the newspapers spread out on the coffee table, co-host Steve Doocy made a fake discovery. He held the paper so that the cameras got a good look at an advertisement on the back page. What viewers saw was a full page ad touting Fox and Friends.

Fox News Steve Doocy

The ad was obviously paid for by Fox News to promote the network and the program. It featured a quote attributed to the New York Times saying that Fox and Friends is “the most powerful TV show in America.” Doocy’s faux surprise was echoed by his co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade. They were pretending to be excited by the praise from an unexpected source:

Doocy: This program, the program you’re watching, according to the New York Times, is the most powerful TV show in America.
Earhardt: You know why Steve? Because we have the best viewers.

Earhardt would have been more correct if she had said “because we have the best viewer.” Because the only person in their audience that they play to is Donald Trump. That point was confirmed when that viewer proudly tweeted the same message Doocy was boasting about:

There’s just one problem. The Fox News crew horribly mangled what the New York Times was saying in their article. Calling the relationship between Fox and Friends and Trump a “Two Way Mirror,” the Times analyzed the perverse relationship between the TV program and the President. The full quote from the Times said:

“Suddenly, for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, it is the most powerful TV show in America,”

In context, the Times was criticizing both Trump and Fox for clinging to one another in a mockery of journalism. They went on to portray Fox’s posture toward Trump as a “Romper Room-style” broadcast intended to flatter our ego-obsessed, narcissistic president:

“President Trump is the show’s subject, its programmer, its publicist and its virtual fourth host. The stars offer him flattery, encouragement and advice. When he tweets, his words and image appear on a giant video wall. It’s the illusion of children’s TV — that your favorite show is as aware of you as you are of it — except that for Mr. Trump, it’s real.”

That’s an entirely different characterization than the one of pride that Doocy and company presented. And let’s not forget that Fox News paid for these ads. It’s an advertising campaign that deliberately distorts the quote they featured in the ad. And it’s further evidence of their aversion to ethics and truth. The author of the Times’ article, James Poniewozik, tweeted his own somewhat snarky thoughts about this saying that he was, “Excited to see @realDonaldTrump endorse my thesis that F&F’s weird childlike sway over him makes it hugely powerful! Thanks, POTUS!”

What’s more, why does Trump and Fox and Friends care what the New York Times has to say about them? Don’t they consider it fake news? In which case, Fox and Friends is not the most powerful TV show in America. And there is something peculiar about Fox News buying ad space in the Times. Trump has appended the word “failing” to every mention he makes of the paper. Fox News has adopted the same juvenile (and false) habit. But with this campaign they are helping the Times to be even more financially successful.

The Times’ article closed by noting that Fox and Friends has a unique mission with regard to Trump. They describe him as “the superfan in the White House who sees it as ‘Fox & Friend’ — singular.” That has been borne out by the numerous times that Trump has watched the show and, shortly after, tweeted what he saw. He has also promoted the program in dozens of tweets that amount to free publicity from the White House. The value of those tweet-vertisements has been put as high $5 million. So there is clearly a parasitical relationship between Fox News and Trump that benefits both. And we can expect that, and the lies, to continue for the foreseeable, lamentable future.

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