Fox News Asks Whether Jesus Was A Refugee – And Gets The Bible HORRIBLY Wrong

The debate over Donald Trump’s offensive Muslim ban has taken some peculiar turns. It’s already resulted in successful lawsuits rejecting his executive order as unconstitutional. And there are heartbreaking cases of heroes being refused entry after fighting alongside American soldiers in Iraq. Even a nominee for an Academy Award will be unable to attend the ceremony due to the restrictions.

Pray for Fox News

Tuesday morning the cast of Fox & Friends took up the volatile issue of refugees (video below). While intending to rebut arguments connecting current events to the life of Jesus, the Fox crew veered wildly off course. The segment led off with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes mocking a tweet by Rev. Al Sharpton:

On the surface, there isn’t anything especially controversial about that. However, to Fox News it was an abomination of the gospel and a personal attack on Trump. Co-host Steve Doocy introduced the segment and engaged in the following exchange with guest Carley Shimkus:

DOOCY: This morning a social media firestorm set off by the Rev. Al Sharpton after he slammed President Trump’s border order by calling Jesus a refugee. […] Well that’s not exactly accurate is it?

SHIMKUS: Well, according to the bible it’s really not. And a lot of people on social media had something to say about that.

Whereupon, Shimkus read two tweets replying to Sharpton. Oddly enough, they are the same two tweets posted in an article on this subject by The Daily Caller. That’s the website founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

It’s notable that Fox News turned to anonymous Twitter users for their biblical analysis. And they appeared to be quite proud of themselves for having debunked Sharpton’s sacrilege. Except for one thing: They couldn’t possibly have been more wrong. A quick glance at the bible’s book of Matthew (2:13-15) reveals that Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with their infant son Jesus to avoid King Herod’s “massacre of the innocents.” That sounds like they were refugees to me. They only returned after Herod’s death:

(13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (14) When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: (15) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

This is a perfect example of the approach to journalism as practiced by Fox News. Why bother consulting religious scholars, the clergy, or even the bible, when you have Twitter for divine guidance? It obviously doesn’t matter to Fox whether the information is correct, something that’s apparent in most of their reporting. And the cherry on top was co-host Brian Kilmeade’s closing shot at Sharpton saying “Who gave him his gift certificate to be a reverend?”

No doubt Kilmeade actually believes there are such certificates. Maybe someone should ask him where he got his gift certificate to host a “news” program. And why is Fox News always making African-Americans provide certificates of authenticity, birth, etc.?

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

Fox ‘FAKE’ News Falsely Reported Quebec Mosque Shooting Suspect Was Moroccan

Another tragic instance of hateful violence was reported Sunday. This time a man entered a mosque in Quebec and shot fourteen people as they were praying, killing six of them. This massacre of innocents occurred shortly after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Muslims immigrants and refugees from entering the United States. The measure was widely condemned as counter-productive to the fight against terrorism. And in some respect it encourages the impression of Muslims as dangerous and undesirable.

Fox News

As the facts surrounding the shooting were still unfolding, Fox News rushed out a story that falsely identified one of two suspects as Moroccan. The story has since been edited to remove that assertion, but it was never corrected. A tweet is still live on the Fox News Twitter account with the same accusation:


[Update 1/31/2017: Fox finally issued a statement expressing regret for their error and they deleted the tweet]

For the record, there is only one suspect. He is a white nationalist Canadian named Alexandre Bisonnette. His social media profile includes “Likes” of France’s fascist Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, and Donald Trump. There was a Moroccan individual who was briefly detained by the police, but who was later identified as a witness. That was all that Fox needed.

This is the sort of defamatory allegation that often finds a place on Fox News. If any event occurs that provides an opportunity to smear their perceived political foes, Fox News jumps on it. Therefore, Democratic protests, or Black Lives Matter rallies, are reported as assemblies of decadent liberals. And anything involving Muslims is automatically turned into a terrorist attack by radical Islamists.

The example shown here is not merely a journalistic mistake. It is representative of Fox’s deliberate intent to demonize Muslims. And that intention is getting support in the White House. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, referenced the Quebec shooting at the morning briefing. He said that:

“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”

Spicer’s comment makes the false assertion that there is a “reminder” in this shooting that relates to Trump’s policy. Of course, nothing in the Muslim ban implemented by Trump would have prevented this tragedy. That, however, didn’t stop Spicer from exploiting it. His irresponsible statement implies that there was a Muslim connection to the shooting. That falsehood can only exacerbate the bigotry that already infects the Fox News audience and Trump’s Republican Party.

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

At a time when victims and their families are trying to cope with this horror, Fox News and the White House are only making matters worse. Their misinformation spreads far more quickly than any attempt to correct it, which they haven’t made. So rather than receiving the sympathy and concern that was warranted, the Muslim community was victimized again by dishonest media and a bigoted administration that is more focused on political advantage than on truth or human decency.

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.

New Poll Shows Trump Voters Devoutly Committed To The Cult Of Fox News

A new survey by the Pew Center confirms something that has been known for quite some time. Fox News continues to be the dominant provider of “news” to America’s right wing. This year that means it cast its spell on Donald Trump’s voters in HUGE way. And why not? Fox and Trump share much in common. Particularly a compulsion for lying. See the Trump Bullshitopedia, and this:

Fox News Lies

From the Pew study:

“According to a new Pew Research Center survey, Americans who say they voted for Trump in the general election relied heavily on Fox News as their main source of election news leading up to the 2016 election, whereas Clinton voters named an array of different sources, with no one source named by more than one-in-five of her supporters.”

The survey revealed that 40% of Trump voters said that Fox News was their main source for election news. That’s more than the next seven news sources – combined! The Trumpster’s devotion to Fox was five times greater than the second place CNN.

For contrast, CNN came out on top as the main source of election news for Clinton voters. However, CNN attained that spot with only 18% of Clinton supporters. What’s more, there was far more diversity of news sources among the Clinton demo. There were even 3% who admitted to watching Fox.

What this tells us is that Fox News is still operating less as a news outlet than as a cult leader. Its glassy-eyed disciples remain transfixed by every blond presenter’s smile and wink. Fox viewers are seemingly incapable of changing the channel for fear of exposure to reality, which would rattle the foundations of their ultra-conservative world.

So this may be a good time to recommend my ebook “Fox Nation vs. Reality, The Fox News Cult Of Ignorance.” It contains numerous examples of documented fiction produced by the nation’s premiere fake news enterprise.

Fox Nation vs. Reality

Fox News Is NOT News: Network’s Own Ads Label Its Programming As ‘Entertainment’

Most Americans don’t need Fox News to inform them that the network is a rabidly partisan, right-wing propaganda machine. However, it’s nice of them to admit it from time to time, and to provide incontrovertible proof.

The latest public confession by Fox came when they posted promotions for the premiere of Tucker Carlson Tonight. Carlson is the Trump-loving, ultra-conservative, knee-jerk GOP mouthpiece tapped to fill Megyn Kelly’s stiletto heels. On the Fox News website they posted ads to draw viewers to the new primetime program under an unusual category heading: Entertainment.

Fox News Tucker Carlson

That’s right. Even Fox News doesn’t consider their programs to be news. That has been readily apparent to anyone who has watched the network for more than five minutes. But from Fox’s perspective it has been a key part of their business model from the start. As reported previously by News Corpse:

“Fox News has redefined television journalism by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear.

“Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their ‘talent’ in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, Fox CEO Roger Ailes demands it. As for news, Fox’s concentration on tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate is the news equivalent of porn.”

This isn’t the first time that Fox has been so candid about their intention to be perceived as an entertainment medium. In a 2015 profile in the Hollywood Reporter the now-disgraced former CEO of Fox made it clear what field of broadcasting he was interested in playing on. He told the trade mag that CNN and MSNBC were not on his radar:

“In fact, Ailes, 74, no longer views those networks as rivals. ‘We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,’ he says.”

So the boss admits that channels that are plainly entertainment and sports are his competition, not other news outlets. There’s a good reason for this. Entertainment routinely trounces news in the ratings. By dressing up the more staid genre of journalism as a sexier breed of programming, Fox hopes to attract larger, more loyal audiences.

Another Fox source confirmed this tactic, ironically in the form of criticism of rival news networks. On Bill O’Reilly’s show, former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg sought to explain why CNN and MSNBC were losing to Fox. His reasoning was that “Liberal news media violate the cardinal rule of all media. They’re not entertaining.” His point being that Fox had solved that “problem” by abandoning journalistic ethics and playing to their audience’s emotions.

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

Now, with Fox’s own promotions of a new primetime show, they have finally abandoned any pretense of being a news operation. If a network characterizes itself as entertainment, you might as well take their word for it. Wouldn’t they know? And in the Era of Trump a network populated by faux journalists fits neatly into the latest media trend: Fake News.

Rich And Entitled Fox News Host Is ‘Annoyed’ By The Rich And Entitled In Hollywood

Sunday night’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards produced one of the most stirring speeches ever delivered at such an affair. As the Cecil B. DeMille Award winner for lifetime achievement, Meryl Streep was clearly disturbed by the crudeness and vulgarity of President-Elect Donald Trump. She devoted most of her acceptance speech to chastising The Donald for mocking a disabled reporter. And she defended American citizens in the arts who speak out on important issues.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

That speech set up Fox News to launch a full court press against one of their favorite targets: Hollywood. And it began early in the morning on Fox & Friends with special guest, Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s appearance was surely scheduled, at least in part, to promote his brand new primetime program “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” The segment kicked off with clips from Streep’s speech, including her opening line:

“All of us in this room belong to the most vilified segment in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.”

The truth of that cannot be denied by anyone with an honest perspective. Conservatives have had an insatiable Hollywood bashing obsession for decades. Likewise, foreigners have been a convenient target to blame for every social problem for which conservatives have no solution. Trump has elevated xenophobia to new heights of hatefulness. And the press, never particularly well-liked, has taken more heat in the past eighteen months than ever.

While Streep’s opening line was true, it was intended as joke and it got the laugh that she expected. However, Carlson took it as some sort of high-minded social philosophy that deserved critical analysis. He told his pals on Fox that:

“Here you have a rich and entitled person describing herself as an outsider, an outcast, a pariah. […] What I was so struck by is she was telling a crowd exactly what they wanted to hear. She was saying things that are totally uncontroversial within the context she was speaking. That’s the least courageous thing you can do.”

First of all, Streep never cast herself as an outcast. That was Carlson’s way of preemptively dismissing everything she had to say. But more troubling is his criticism of Streep for allegedly pandering to her Hollywood audience. He was “annoyed” at her lack of courage for saying exactly what her audience wanted to hear.

Really? That is what Fox News does all day, every day. It is a 24/7 pandering operation for right-wing propaganda. Where is the courage in that? And Carlson himself is the perfect symbol for Fox’s partisan fawning. He just replaced Megyn Kelly, who while affirmatively conservative, has had differences with Trump. Now the entire Fox News primetime lineup is composed of Trump fluffers and friends.

As for the “rich and entitled,” Carlson could be their mascot. Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson was born into wealth in the heartland city of San Francisco, California. He is the son of a television executive who later became ambassador to the Seychelles. Now he splits his time as a TV pundit between New York City and Washington, D.C. When you drain the swamp, what you’ll find is scads of slimy Tucker Carlsons flopping around in the muck.

Carlson is so in touch with mainstream America that he recently confessed that he doesn’t even watch movies. In an interview with TheWrap he said “Who watches movies? Who would? Not me. I wouldn’t cross the street to watch a movie for free.” That comment came following his rebuke of the industry that he thinks is “crumbling.” In fact, the film business is enjoying record profits. Last year box office earnings exceeded 11.3 billion dollars.

Not to be outdone, Trump also commented on Streep’s remarks. True to form, he descended into his typically childish taunting. He tweeted:

So one of the most admired and honored actors of this, or any, generation is “over-rated” in Trump’s feeble mind. [Update: In 2015 Trump was asked about his favorite actors and said “Meryl Streep is excellent; she’s a fine person, too.”] And he’s aghast that she would have an opinion of him without knowing him. But he doesn’t hesitate to express his utterly ignorant opinion of her. Of course, he is suggesting that nobody, not any citizen, has a legitimate right to criticize him without having some kind of personal relationship. That’s a bastardization of democracy. For comparison, here is what Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest had to say about Streep’s speech:

“Meryl Streep delivered a thoughtful, carefully considered message. It seemed to me to be a fairly straightforward exercise of her First Amendment rights as a citizen of the United States.”

That’s the statement of a statesman. It’s also precisely the opposite of the attitude that Carlson projects. To him the only people who are permitted to hold and share opinions are those with whom he agrees. Ill-informed Tea Party crackpots can say whatever they want about President Obama. And celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Ted Nugent are considered virtual Rhodes Scholars. But artists who speak their minds outside of the right-wing echo chamber are condemned for their impudence. Worst of all, wealthy, trust-fund babies like Carlson get primetime shows on Fox News where they lambaste the rich and entitled.

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

Megyn Kelly Is Ditching Fox News For NBC. Watch Her Greatest ‘Hits’ Here

The new year has begun with some bad news for Fox News. Their second highest rated host just announced that she will be leaving the network for a new gig at NBC News. Friday will be Megyn Kelly’s last day on Fox. And while she will be gone from Fox, she leaves behind a legacy of disreputable “journalism” that won’t be forgotten. For example:

Megyn Kelly

1) Kelly was a devoted soldier in the war against the so-called “The Ground Zero Mosque.” Never mind that it was not a mosque and was several blocks from ground zero. She anchored a report that implied, without evidence, that its Muslim real estate developer, Sharif El-Gamal, was corrupt.

2) Kelly thought she had broken a scandalous story of voter fraud in Colorado. And it would have been a great scoop except for the fact that none of it was true.

3) Demonstrating the inbred racism that is emblematic of Fox News, Kelly utterly misrepresented a story of police brutality. She demeaned an African-America teenage victim as being “not a saint.” Which was starkly different from how she described a white sexual abuser.

4) Who can forget the time that a group of protesters were viciously assaulted by a rogue cop with pepper spray? On that occasion, Kelly downplayed the significance of the incident. She said that “It’s a derivative of actual pepper, it’s a food product, essentially.” Indeed it is. And waterboarding is actually done with water. So no big deal.

5) And then there’s my personal favorite. In a Christmas segment, Kelly was concerned that some kids might get the wrong idea about Santa Clause and Jesus. So she stepped up to assure them that both were undeniably white.

This is just a taste of the sort of journalistic credibility for which NBC is likely paying a substantial premium. In addition to the video samples above, there were many more examples from her Fox tenure. There was the time she moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts.” But were actually cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release. And the time she reported confirmation that the Boston marathon bomber had been arrested, while her on-screen graphics contradicted her.

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

Kelly studiously cultivates an image as a straight up news reporter. She once told Jay Leno that she is “not one of the opinion hosts at Fox News,” However, Media Matters conducted a survey of Kelly’s program and found that she “has hosted conservatives (56%) significantly more often than progressives (18%) and has surpassed even Fox’s Hannity in its divide between guests on the left and right.” So NBC has to know what they are getting with their new star. And that tells us something about where we can expect NBC to go as the Era of Trump takes shape.

Fox News FINALLY Apologizes For Lying About A Man And His 90 Year Old Grandmother

A month ago Fox News did a story about a protester at a Trump rally. Austyn Crites approached the stage with a sign saying “Republicans Against Trump.” A commotion in the crowd caused the Secret Service to hustle a cowering Trump off stage. There were varying accounts of what transpired, and some reports said that a Trump supporter yelled “Gun!” Crites was quickly taken into custody and escorted out of the rally.

Fox News Steve Doocy

As it turns out, there was no gun. Crites was not in any way threatening and was not arrested. The incident was an epic over-reaction that evolved into a mythical fable of the fake danger bedeviling The Donald. So naturally Fox News fabricated a fictional account of the event that featured Kellyanne Conway, who labeled Crites a Democratic plant. She also laughably implied on CNN that this innocent, lawful protest was an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, back at Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade falsely accused Crites of having committed voter fraud by casting a ballot for Clinton in the name of his grandmother, who Kilmeade said had died in 2002.

Kilmeade: “Democrats would like for you to believe that voter fraud does not exist. Better chance of getting hit by lightening, they always say. But this morning yet another reminder from the guy who interrupted Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday who many thought had a gun. […] He claims he was a Republican, but it turns out he’s a huge Hillary supporter. And his grandmother has been using this address to vote absentee for years. But she’s been dead since 2002. Although I miss her, I don’t think she should be voting.”

You’ll never guess what happened next. An actual journalist from the Guardian contacted Crites’ grandmother who stubbornly insisted that she was alive and well. She’s probably a Democrat who’s lying about being alive to smear Trump. Now virtually everything Fox News reported has been proven to be blatantly false. And what does Fox do about it? They wait for month after the truth was well known and then have Steve Doocy issue a correction. By this time, of course, no one remembers what he’s talking about. So he gets away with dismissing the lies as “exagerrated.”

That’s the Fox News brand of “journalism.” Notoriously unprofessional and entirely devoid of ethics. They still haven’t bothered to interview Crites or provide him him with an opportunity clear his name. The never reached out to his grandmother whose friends and family might have been distressed to hear of her death. However, just airing an apology is a big step for Fox News, so we probably should be grateful.

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

Christine Pelosi Is Getting Death Threats For Seeking Info On Russia’s Hacking – Fox News Berates Her For It

There is a surprisingly effective effort in progress to inform the Electoral College about the Russian hacking of the election. Ever since the Washington Post reported the CIA’s conclusion that “Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” electors have been reconsidering how they might vote on December 19. It’s taken on a life of its own online with the hashtag #InformTheElectors

Cavuto Pelosi

One of those electors is Christine Pelosi, a long time activist and daughter of the Democratic leader in House, Nancy Pelosi. She appeared Tuesday on Fox News with Neil Cavuto who berated her for seeking information. Right from the start Cavuto maligned the CIA with the GOP talking point that they are the same people who said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Pelosi corrected him saying that it was the Bush/Cheney administration who pushed that, not the CIA.

Cavuto continued his harangue in an attempt to paint Pelosi as a partisan who is trying to hurt Donald Trump. She repeatedly informs him that all she is asking is for the information to be made available so the electors can make an informed decision. Cavuto seemed oblivious to her response and shot back:

Cavuto: “You are trying to get electors who are heretofore bound to the Republican candidate in Republican states to switch their allegiance.”

Pelosi: “Don’t put words in my mouth. You owe it to the American people to let me tell the truth and to not lie about what I just said.”

Not satisfied, Cavuto hauled off again with the same question, all the while talking over Pelosi and not allowing her to give a complete answer:

Cavuto: “Do you want them to switch their votes? Yes or no.”

Pelosi: “What I want to do is get the information. What I want to do is not to have you mischaracterize what I say so that I get even more death threats and more insults.”

Cavuto had no sympathy for the danger that Pelosi has encountered specifically due to people like him lying about her. He even tried to waive it off with talk about “threats” that he’s received. As if that made her suffering alright.

Throughout the onslaught, Pelosi more than held her own. She continued to drive home the point that she was not prejudging the contents of the intelligence data. It would be up to the electors to decide for themselves whether it was significant enough to change their vote. But she was adamant that the information be available. And when he couldn’t succeed in getting to Pelosi to cower to his bullying, he resorted to a hackneyed bit of fact-mangling about the election results:

Cavuto: “When you include all the candidates, more people voted against Hillary Clinton than voted for her.”

That’s true. However, when you include all the candidates, even more people voted against Trump than voted for him or against Clinton. So what exactly was his point? That’s the sort of dishonest spin that is typical of Cavuto and Fox News. And you can bet that Cavuto won’t be inviting Pelosi back on 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.

Watch parts 1 and 2 of the Fox News segments here:


Why Vladimir Putin Should Be Time’s Person Of The Year Instead Of Donald Trump

On Wednesday morning Time Magazine revealed their Person of the Year (POY) for 2016. Not surprisingly, they chose Donald Trump. He was certainly a fixture in the media for eighteen nauseating months and dominated much of the political discourse. However, by Time’s own criteria for selecting their annual cover story, Trump may not have been the most appropriate choice.

Trump Person of the Year

Time defines the POY as “the person who most influenced the news, for better or for worse.” It is not necessarily, as Trump described it upon hearing of his selection, “a great honor.” In fact, it can be an outright disgrace as illustrated by some past selections like Stalin and the Ayatollah Khomeini. In Trump’s case, his selection may be more along those lines.

Nancy Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief of Time, says of Trump’s selection that “There is a profound argument about whether his influence was for the better or for the worse.” And Time’s article profiling him also addressed some of the darker aspects of his character:

“For all of Trump’s public life, tastemakers and intellectuals have dismissed him as a vulgarian and carnival barker. A showman with big flash and little substance. […]

“Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country. […]

[H]e proved that tribal instincts never die. That in times of economic strife and breakneck social change, a charismatic leader could still find the enemy within and rally the masses to his side.”

Indeed, Trump embraced an unprecedented reliance on division and scapegoating. His “us vs. them” tactics appealed to a nervous populous that fears the unavoidable demographic changes that are in progress. But does any of that justify his selection as Time’s Person of the Year? Did he really have more influence on the news than anyone else?

While Trump did seem to be on an endless loop across every news network, he can’t be given credit for that exposure. The cable news broadcasters voluntarily donated their airtime to Trump. They covered his stump speeches live and uninterrupted for hours on end. They allowed him to conduct phone interviews where he was rarely challenged or held accountable for his remarks. It wasn’t so much a matter of him influencing the news as the news exploiting his unpredictability for ratings.

But there is an even better argument for why Trump did not earn this POY selection. Much of the noise surrounding his campaign was generated by somebody else. Working behind the scenes, Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for influencing the news throughout the election year. His interference in American politics was pronounced and frightening. And all of it was aimed at electing Donald Trump. For instance:

Hacking the Democratic National Committee:
The first stirrings of Russian operatives in the U.S. election process came during the Democratic convention in July. The DNC email system was hacked into and private communications stolen from it were published. For some reason the media found it acceptable to make these private documents public. Remember, these were not government documents that the public has a right to know about.

Hacking Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email:
The email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman was also hacked. Again, this was private information that the media made public at the behest of Russian agents. While there was no wrongdoing revealed in these emails, there were things that partisan politicos could exploit and put a negative spin on. They succeeded in turning a huge portion of the campaign into a debate over emails that ultimately proved nothing.

Wikileaks support:
The Russian hackers delivered their stolen data to Wikileaks for distribution. From there Wikileaks released thirty-six separate batches of Clinton’s email. They deliberately strung it out over time in a manner designed to have the most detrimental effect on her campaign. Occasionally they would release a batch timed to a damaging news story about Trump in order to divert the media attention to Clinton and away from Trump.

Hacking voting systems in several states:
Reports of these efforts were the most direct intrusions into actual election processes. Hackers working on behalf of the Russian government are suspected in the onslaught against more than 20 state election systems

Spreading pro-Trump fake news:
The Washington Post reported that “The flood of ‘fake news’ this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy.” The epidemic of fake news actually outperformed news from more conventional and reliable sources.

The incidents outlined above arguably resulted in the bulk of media attention throughout the election year. They drove the media narrative and spurred the production of additional stories. Trump himself relied on the information stolen by Russians for much of his campaign rhetoric.

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

Consequently, Trump was a secondary factor in the influence of news events in 2016. It was Vladimir Putin who was actually steering the events that dominated the news. Putin and his agents succeeded in manipulating both the American press and the American political system. He got his man into the White House. And Trump was nothing but a prop on a much larger and more perilous stage. He is more worthy of being named Puppet of the Year.