Fox News Hires Duck Dynasty’s Donald Trump Fluffer

If you thought that the Republican presidential primary has had the intellectually vacant stench of a reality TV show, then you have obviously been paying attention. The past nine months have been a virtual Survivor-like season with enemies and alliances and losers literally getting voted off.

Starring in this parade of idiocy is the actual host of a real life reality game show, Donald Trump. And he has milked the genre for all its worth. Trump’s demeanor has exhibited all of the juvenile melodrama that epitomizes the worst of an already pedantic television format – insults, anger, ignorance, betrayal, pandering, and transparent phoniness.

Fox News Dick Dynasty

Recognizing the tone of the campaign, Fox News has decided to give up on news entirely and adapt by reinforcing their staff with the sort of experience that is best suited to the shallowness of the GOP and their constituents. To that end they just hired Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame as a contributor. I guess Honey Boo Boo must have turned them down. Still, Fox News could not have made a better choice to affirm their utter disrespect for journalism and their audience.

Robertson, of course, has no reporting credentials whatsoever, so he is no less qualified for the position on Fox than the rest of the crackpots on the network. His ultra right-wing Christianist dogma will fit in nicely with his new colleagues. And his endorsement in January of Trump makes him an ideal representative of Fox’s notorious unfairness and imbalance. As an added bit of tabloid conflict, Willie’s father Phil endorsed Ted Cruz. All of this adds up to Fox’s abandonment of journalism in favor of low-grade entertainment, a devolution that News Corpse has described previously:

“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.”

I can’t wait to see Robertson’s contribution to the circus atmosphere that is the Republican Party’s Presidential Apprentice contest. But you have to hand it to Fox News who, rather than bolstering their team with seasoned professionals as the campaign approaches the general election phase, chose to snag a duck call huckster to bring his unique insight to American democracy and to pitch for the Storm-Trumpers.

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

If Only: WSJ Says Obama Is Six Months Away From Destroying The Republican Party

The Wall Street Journal just published an editorial that might have been dismissed as an April Fool’s joke, except that it was published on March 30. It is the sort of delusional crackpottery to which conservatives resort when their denial overpowers what little common sense they have.

Obama Destroys GOP

The article by Dan Henninger, the paper’s Deputy Editorial Page Director and a Fox News contributor, is fretfully titled Obama’s Greatest Triumph: He is six months away from destroying both the Republican Party and Reagan’s legacy.” While the claim is one that stirs the promise of hope in every liberal, Henninger may be giving Obama more credit than he deserves. The truth is that the Republican Party may indeed be six months from destruction, but Obama has had little to do with it.

Henninger is employing the venerable rightist tactic of blaming Obama for anything that they deem undesirable. For instance, wingnuts on the right have blamed Obama for the bombing in Brussels, California’s drought, Ebola, and even Hurricane Katrina. He is blamed for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. In the warped minds of conservatives there is no way that Obama can win.

And now the disintegration of the Republican Party is just another disaster caused by a president that the right believes is both an evil genius and a lazy incompetent. He’s working determinedly to destroy America while doing nothing but playing golf. The editorial begins with the premise that…

“Barack Obama will retire a happy man. He is now close to destroying his political enemies—the Republican Party, the American conservative movement and the public-policy legacy of Ronald Reagan.”

And how does Henninger arrive at this conclusion? By observing that the GOP has withered into a hollow shell of a party and that…

“With no party spokesman for conservatism, an ideological vacuum existed. Freelance operators filled it.”

The freelancers identified by Henninger are otherwise known as some of the leading figures of their party, including presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Henninger doesn’t explain the dastardly scheme that Obama used to get Republicans to elevate these fruitcakes to their current status, but rest assured, it must have been as diabolical as it was brilliant. But that was only the beginning. Obama’s plots conspired to turn the Republican Party against itself, even utilizing reliably right-wing think tanks and media to do the dirty work.

“They also included a movement to purge and cleanse conservatism, led by groups such as Heritage Action and by talk radio hosts. Together they conjured an internal enemy—the Republican Establishment.”

Once again there is no explanation for how Obama managed to get the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation, Rush Limbaugh, et al, to turn their fire at the so-called “Republican Establishment,” which in reality is no different than what is regarded as the Republican outsiders like the Tea Party. They are all of the same hive mind politically, and advocate for exactly the same agenda.

Nevertheless, Henninger’s proposition that the turmoil in the GOP was brought about by some wizardry on the part of Obama was made even more devious by the President’s ability to keep his fingerprints off of the plan. As Henninger describes it…

“With his Cheshire Cat grin, Barack Obama faded into the background and let the conservatives’ civil war rip. […] The anti-establishment offensive created a frenzy faction inside the Republican base. And of course, it produced Donald Trump.”

Now that is the ultimate praise from the conservative columnist. Taking credit for saddling Republicans with Donald Trump would be a feather in the cap of any Democrat. It would be like threading the Deathstar needle in an X-Wing Starfighter to blow it to smithereens. Obama must truly be a Jedi Master.

All kidding aside, the desperation in this editorial to indict Obama for crimes against the GOP is hilariously obtuse. Responsibility for the Republican Party’s destruction lies solely with GOP politicians, pundits, and voters, who encouraged the foolishness of the Tea Party malcontents to screech their unfocused and incoherent anger at anyone who sought to behave reasonably or to conduct the work of government. It wasn’t Obama who unseated the GOP House Majority Leader. And it wasn’t Democrats who primaried veteran Republican members of Congress. And any clear-eyed observer knows that Donald Trump was the inevitable consequence of their festering rage.

Henninger whines that the GOP’s “bizarre” response to the Obama administration produced a result wherein “the Republicans decided to destroy each other.” That’s true, but it wasn’t Obama who got them to become so bizarre. That’s an honor that they can only award to themselves. And now that most of them are horrified by the prospect of Donald Trump becoming their standard bearer, they are struggling to avoid accountability and to lay the blame at the feet of the President who has been the most consistent victim of their madness. But that is only more proof that they are still suffering from an acute case of denial. And there is no sign that a cure is on the horizon.

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

The Republican Party may very well be six months away from being destroyed. And if it is, the credit belongs to the party and the conservative media that has been deceiving their constituents for the past eight years (or more). At least RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was honest about it when he said that “Republicans don’t exist as a national political party if we do not win in 2016.” To which America is saying “You promise?”

How Fox News Uses Visual Messaging To Keep Their Audience Dumb And Angry

If there is one thing that Fox News is determined to do, it’s to make sure that their audience is fed a constant stream of lies. Their purpose is to insure that they are incapable of understanding the real world around them and remain in a perpetual state of outrage over the falsehoods that Fox disseminates.

Fox Nation

Case in point: Today’s headline story on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation blasted the lede that “‘Our Openness To Refugees’ Is How We Fight ISIS: Obama Reiterates Pledge to Bring In 100,000 Muslim Refugees” There is so much wrong with both the text and the image associated with it that it requires a detailed analysis.

First of all, notice that the picture juxtaposes President Obama with a band of ISIS terrorists in a manner that nearly suggests he is leading their mission. That obvious bit of visual messaging aims to create an impression of Obama as a traitor who is aligned with the enemy. The allegation that Obama, or other Democrats and liberals, are terrorist sympathizers or worse is one that has been expressed explicitly by Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests. Just this weekend, Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox to declare that Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS.

Additionally, the use of ISIS fighters in the image is a distortion of the accompanying text in that the story is about refugees, not terrorists. But Fox deliberately chose not to use refugees in the picture. By using ISIS fighters they imply that the refugees themselves are terrorists, which in fact is what Fox and other conservatives believe. That is their justification for opposing the humanitarian admittance of refugees into the U.S. And it mirrors the official positions of the two leading Republican candidates for president. Donald Trump has been saying for weeks that he would prohibit any Muslims from entering the country, while Ted Cruz has proposed surveilling the ones already here.

For the full measure of just how deplorable that message is you have to understand that the refugees are the victims of the terrorists. That’s why they are seeking asylum in the U.S. and elsewhere. What Fox is saying is akin to associating Jews with the Nazis who tortured and murdered them. If Fox News, Trump, Cruz, et al, were around in the 1940s they would have called the Jews potential terrorists and forced them to remain in the region were they were being slaughtered.

Next we’ll look at the the headline on the article which purports to be quoting the President. But contrary to Fox’s account, Obama did not say that “‘our openness to refugees’ is how we fight ISIS.” What he said was that our openness to refugees is “another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our counter-terrorism work, and our diplomacy.” That’s an important distinction in that the humane treatment of refugees is just one part of a broader strategy to defeat the enemy militarily while also undermining their propaganda campaign. The Fox News, right-wing plan to insult our Muslim allies and stigmatize Muslim Americans will only help the enemy recruit new fighters. That’s the message Obama gave in his weekly address. He said in part (video below):

“As we move forward in this fight, we have to wield another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our counter-terrorism work, and our diplomacy. And that’s the power of our example. Our openness to refugees fleeing ISIL’s violence; our determination to win the battle against ISIL’s hateful and violent propaganda — a distorted view of Islam that aims to radicalize young Muslims to their cause.” In that effort, our most important partners are American Muslims. That’s why we have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Muslim Americans and their enormous contribution to our country and our way of life. Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, and to our history as a country built around the idea of religious freedom. It’s also counter-productive. It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another.

Finally, the headline on the article also lies about the President’s efforts to rescue refugees by saying that he is proposing to admit 100,000 refugees (Trump, in his pathologically lying way, has escalated that to 250,000). However, the current plans call for admitting 10,000, so Fox is only off by 90%. But misinforming their audience on this matter plays right into their continuing effort to demonize the refugees and make Americans afraid of an imaginary horde of potential suicide bombers. The truth is that entering the U.S. as a refugee is perhaps the most difficult path to entry. It takes going through a rigorous array of inspections that can take years to complete. Why would a terrorist subject himself to a process that takes so long and is likely to result in his capture?

That’s a question that Fox News will never bother to address because they are only interested in portraying refugees as clandestine evildoers. And it’s why they construct these graphical lies in order to deceive their all too willingly ignorant audience. Keeping them dumb and angry is the core mission of the Fox News cultists.

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

Fox News Is Hyperventilating About Climate Change vs. Terrorism – Again

One of the most predictable lines of attack on President Obama by Fox News and other right-wing media is to latch unto his commitment to mitigating the catastrophic effects of anthropomorphic climate change, and suggesting that his commitment to fighting terrorism is lax in comparison. The idiocy of that argument has been demonstrated numerous times, but since the right keeps bringing it up like a meal of rotten clams, it still needs to be debunked.

Fox News

The latest regurgitation of this nonsense came when Obama spoke at a press conference with the President of Argentina. He was asked a question about the post-Brussels optics of his decision to stay in Cuba and attend a baseball game. Obama expanded on his previous statement asserting that allowing the terrorists to disrupt our lives would be counter-productive, and that the message we need to send is that “You do not have power over us.”

Obama: Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us. They can’t defeat us. They don’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us. They are vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world’s great religions. And their primary power, in addition to killing innocent lives, is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies, so that the effect cascades from an explosion or an attack by a semi-automatic rifle. And even as we are systematic and ruthless and focused in going after them, disrupting their networks, getting their leaders, rolling up their operations, it is very important for us not to respond with fear.

That profound and powerful statement was contorted into an expression of indifference by the spinmeisters at Fox News with help from CNSNews, a division of the uber-rightist Media Research Center. The problem they had with Obama’s remarks was that they were followed by his support for advancing a positive agenda, including solutions to the very real global threats posed by climate change.

Obama: So it’s important for the U.S. president and the U.S. government to be able to work with people who are building, and who are creating things and creating jobs, and trying to solve major problems like climate change, and setting up educational exchanges for young people who going to create the next great invention or scientific breakthrough that can cure diseases. We have to make sure that we lift up and we stay focused as well on the things that are most important to us.

The Horror! President Obama had the audacity to advocate a path forward that seeks to prevent suffering from disease and worldwide climate-related disasters. Anyone with a clear perspective understands that these are real threats that will affect millions of people. And while terrorism is unarguably agonizing and barbaric, it’s impact is much more narrow in terms of victims. What conservatives want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like those in Brussels. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want.

However, most experts on terrorism and international security (including four of the past Secretaries of Defense, three of whom are Republicans) have concluded that climate change, unlike terrorism, is an existential threat. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war. Last year the Rolling Stone published an extensive examination of The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk. Among its many documented examples of the threat certified by numerous military analysts is one that ought to be persuasive to the conservative Republican deniers:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.

You might think that with Rumsfeld warning about the dangers of climate change from a national security perspective, the naysayers at Fox would keep their mouths shut. You would be wrong. And that’s because their goals have nothing to do with solving problems. The Fox propagandists are tightly focused on bashing the President to the exclusion of any other objective, including the best interests of the American people and the rest of the world.

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

For the record, Obama didn’t just bring up climate change at the press conference to rattle conservative cages. The issue was one of the key subjects on the agenda for his trip to Argentina. And during the visit Obama and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri agreed to take significant measures to cut carbon emissions from air flights and integrate solar and wind power into electricity grids.

What’s more, the criticism from the right that Obama has not properly prioritized the fight against terrorism in his public statements was put to rest the very same day in these remarks which Fox News neglected to report:

“I’ve got a lot of things on my plate. But my top priority is to defeat ISIL and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that’s been taking place around the world. The issue is how do we do it in an intelligent way. But what we don’t do, and what we should not do, is take approaches that are gonna be counter-productive. So when I hear somebody say we should carpet-bomb Iraq or Syria, not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station. That’s not a smart strategy.”

In conclusion, Fox News is blatantly disinforming their dimwitted audience when they try to portray Obama as disinterested in terrorism, when in fact it is one of his highest priorities. And they are likewise disinforming their audience by leading them to believe that climate change is not an existential threat, in particular when compared to terrorism. But what they are doing mostly is advancing the interests of terrorists by helping them to spread the fear that is at the heart of their strategy.

Despite A Week Of Fox News Bashing, Obama’s Approval Rating Hits 3-Year High

It may be time to send Fox News a thank you card for helping President Obama to achieve his highest level of approval since December of 2012. Gallup’s latest numbers show Obama with a 53% approval rating, and 44% disapproval (as of 3/25/2016). Of course, it wasn’t for lack of trying to smear the President with anything they could dig up. Apparently they just underestimated the American people’s appreciation for a leader who engages in positive forward movement, rather than the sort of juvenile antics that are being showcased by Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail.

Barack Obama

The past week was full of the sort of poll-shifting events that often shape the public’s opinion of national leaders. And true to form, Fox News worked rigorously to turn those events into negative fodder for their Obama-phobic audience. They began by brazenly politicizing the tragic terrorist attacks in Brussels. Various Fox News characters desperately tried to blame Obama for the bombing. They asserted that his strategy for combating ISIS was so weak that it encouraged more attacks. However, the truth is that Obama’s counter-terrorism efforts have seriously degraded the capabilities of the enemy, including killing more than half of their top commanders. ISIS has lost 40% of the territory it once held in Iraq. Many experts regard resorting to terrorism as a sign of weakness by combatants who are unable to make military gains.

Then Fox criticized Obama for continuing his historic visit to Cuba. They would have preferred that he tucked his tail between his legs and scurried back to D.C., as if there were anything he could do there that he couldn’t do on the road. Why they think that it would be a good thing for the President to exhibit fear and panic in the wake of terrorist act (whose purpose is to incite fear and panic) is a mystery. And they never criticized presidents Bush or Reagan who both remained on vacation following similar incidents.

There has also been a dust up in Washington concerning the vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by Antonin Scalia’s sudden death. Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a widely admired moderate judge who has been praised by Republicans in the past. But now they are clinging to an imaginary constitutional clause prohibiting presidents from doing anything in the last year of their term. The rhetoric on Capital Hill has been decidedly hostile toward Obama simply because he is complying with his constitutional obligations. GOP senators have accused him of trying to “shove” his nominee “down their throats,” and attempting to “pack the court.” All of which is nonsense. He is only asking them to do their jobs as stipulated by law.

Finally, the Republican primary has been a non-stop Obama-bashing extravaganza. For the past eight months every GOP candidate has bitterly castigated the President as inept, dangerous, arrogant, feckless, and even treasonous. They simultaneously claim that he has done more than any other president to harm America, but also that he has done nothing for his entire term. Likewise, he has shown brilliant cunning in his plots to destroy the nation while also being an utter fool who was never up to the job. That kind of schizophrenic contradiction really has be worked at.

So it must be frustrating for the GOP to observe that while all of these heavy-handed and baseless condemnations were being flung at Obama, the American people were warming up to him more than at any other time than in the past three years. By significant majorities they approve of his opening diplomatic relations with Cuba. They want the Senate to confirm Judge Garland for the Supreme Court. And their opinions of the Republican contenders for the GOP nomination range from embarrassment to disgust (even among Republicans).

President Obama must be doing something right. And Fox News is demonstrating that they have far less influence on the electorate than like to pretend. They have yet to report these latest presidential approval numbers from Gallup, even though they gleefully announce any polling down tick with a flashy “ALERT” accompanied by whooshes and gongs to make sure their dimwitted viewers are paying attention.

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

So the Fox audience will remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that Obama is riding high in the polls, and will continue to wallow in the fantasy that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump are going to trample the Democratic candidate in the fall. Just like they did in 2012 when they were lied to by Fox into believing that Mitt Romney was going to win by landslide. That’ worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

Hey Fox News, Donald Trump, And All You Other Gutless Republicans: Stop Helping ISIS

One of the first reactions to the tragic bombings in Brussels came from conservative pundits and politicians who berated President Obama for being in Cuba and sticking to his scheduled activities. They were outraged that the President didn’t drop everything and hightail it back to Washington so that he could…

Well, I’m not sure what they thought he could do there that he couldn’t do from Cuba. Still, for some reason they thought he should have tucked his tail between his legs and scurried back to D.C. In the 21st century the notion that a president has to be in the Oval Office for anything to get done is ludicrous. A few years ago Obama was delivering a hilarious address at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner while Seal Team 6 was disposing of Osama Bin Laden. The mission was ordered, engaged, and in progress without the President chained to his desk. And it was an undeniable success. But to the Fox News crowd America is being let down unless terrorists get to decide where our president should be. And if the President isn’t as rash and irrational as wingnuts think he ought to be, the terrorists win.

That’s the sort of defeatist rhetoric that makes life easier for terrorists. They know that they can’t beat the United States in a military battle, so they engage in acts of terror whose only purpose is to spread fear in the West and to promote recruitment to their cause among extremist Muslims. Of course, they don’t have any governmental infrastructure or media apparatus so they depend on the private press to promote their activities. And like every other public relations campaign, the more press coverage they get, the better for their cause.

Fox News ISIS Flag

That’s why the President was right to stay in Cuba and continue with his historic visit, including a baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays. Obama himself put it clearly in remarks to ESPN:

“The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives. […] What they can do is scare, and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. And as long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re gonna be okay.”

Exactly. So why don’t conservatives get it? The truth is, they probably do, but they would rather scold the President for invented misdeeds than to admit that he is demonstrating strength, wisdom, and representing the nation’s best interests.

People need to realize that these heinous bombings are intended by the terrorists to inflame emotions and draw Western powers into a quagmire on their battlefield. And as if to validate that goal, war hawks among American conservatives are falling for the tactic and calling for an increased military presence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. Donald Trump is even arguing that the U.S. should adopt the tactics of the terrorists in order to fight them on their own terms. He said that…

“I think we have to change our law on, you know, the waterboarding thing, and they can chop off heads, and they can drown people in cages, in heavy steel cages, and we can’t waterboard. So we have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight on an almost equal basis.”

Fighting on an equal basis as terrorists lowers us to their level. It obliterates any moral authority we might have. Trump is an ignorant cretin who can’t grasp the simple concept that America is only worth fighting for because of the principles we embrace. Resorting to the sort of savagery that is embodied by terrorism, including waterboarding and carpet bombing, makes us no better than the enemy and not worthy of defending. Not to mention that it is precisely what the terrorists want. The more they can portray us as the ruthless ones, the more converts they can acquire. Adopting their methods is a dangerous submission to the will of the enemy. Why would anyone want to give the terrorists exactly what they are hoping for? That used to be called treason.

In the process of castigating Obama with their knee-jerk criticisms, conservatives are demeaning not just the President, but the whole country. They make public statements that disparage our military and our resolve to be victorious. That must go over pretty well with the leaders of ISIS and Al Qaeda. When American senators and news commentators characterize our side as “weak” and “losers” it emboldens our enemies and invites them to escalate their attacks. It is also a blatant lie. What these traitors are forgetting (or not bothering to learn) is that…

Since the beginning of the American-led air campaign against ISIS, the coalition has launched 8,000 airstrikes and dropped about 28,000 bombs on ISIS sites in Iraq and Syria. In other words, we’ve been launching about 17 airstrikes and dropping 60 bombs per day. Every day. For over a year.”

These missions have seriously degraded the capabilities of the enemy, including killing more than half of their top commanders. ISIS has lost 40% of the territory it once held in Iraq. A recent U.S. airstrike killed more than 150 terrorists at a Somalia camp. Critical ISIS figures such as Abu Salah, their financial chief in charge of its extortion activities, Hajji Mutazz, a deputy to the leader of ISIS, and chemical weapons expert, Abu Malik, have all been killed in recent actions. Clearly, anyone observing the available facts can see that there is a concerted effort to defeat these enemies. So the political distortions from the right are a dishonest campaign to harm Obama, and by extension the country.

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

None of this is meant to diminish the genuine harm done by barbarians who have no respect for humanity. But it serves no purpose to give them the free advertising they crave. We are fulfilling their desires when we help them to spread fear and to foment despair. The only sane way to react to these events is to acknowledge that they occurred and then stop obsessing over them. Then we can conduct our retaliatory response calmly and decisively. But by no means should we panic, tear out our hair, and give the enemy the impression (and satisfaction) that they have crushed our spirit and won a victory.

President Obama At Cuban Baseball Game

Fox News Shamelessly Whitewashes Donald Trump’s Threat Of RNC Riots

It is difficult to recall any leading candidate for president who has so frequently and blatantly insinuated the threat of violence into a political campaign as Donald Trump. And his threats have not been merely hypothetical rhetoric, they have produced actual assaults at his rallies on peaceful protesters and even members of the press.

Donald Trump Fox News

When Trump made recent comments that he expects that there will be riots at the Republican National Convention if he is not given the GOP nomination for president that he believes is his entitlement, he said it in the context of his prior statements that literally encouraged violence from his followers. However, Fox News is trying desperately to absolve him of any responsibility for the potential harm that he is forecasting and inciting. This morning on MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, the host went to great extremes to let Trump off the hook:

“I was surprised that the media went to DEFCON 1 over Trump’s riots comment. I mean, I’ve used that phrase, ‘oh, there will be riots if this happens,’ and I thought it was hyperbole.”

That is typical of what is coming from the Trump apologists at Fox News. They are lock-step in agreement that Trump’s dangerous language is merely a figure of speech or, at worst, a careless exaggeration. What they seem to be purposefully sweep under the rug is the full story that Trump is telling his glassy-eyed disciples. That story includes advocating openly hostile behavior such as his desire to “punch [protesters] in the face,” and his praising of an assault about which he said the protester “deserved to be roughed up.” He lamented the old days when protesters would be “carried out on a stretcher,” and even offered to pay the legal fees of his goons if they “knocked the crap out of” some protesters (see the video below). In light of all of that, his talk of riots can no longer be dismissed as hyperbole. What Trump actually said was

“I don’t think you can say that we don’t get [the nomination] automatically. I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing a tremendous — many, many millions of people. […] I think bad things would happen. I really do, I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.”

In other words, if his tyrannical orders are not obeyed, his followers have his permission to fulfill his prophecy. He knows exactly what his storm-Trumpers are capable of. This was an unambiguous threat intended by Trump to convey that he is determined to be the GOP nominee, or else. And if he is not exalted, riots will ensue. Of course he says that he “wouldn’t lead it,” but conspicuously never says that it shouldn’t happen. That wasn’t an accident. It was a message.

For Howard Kurtz to pretend that Trump was entertaining a flight of fancy and meant no harm requires a massive dose of slef-delusion. And on that measure, Kurtz is full of it. He has performed the duties of Trump’s fluffer before, as he tried to exempt Trump from criticism for his repugnant remarks, while simultaneously trying to keep Trump’s verbal fecal splatter from soiling the Republican Party.

Kurtz had help from his Fox News comrades who similarly stepped up to scour the scum off of Trump. Fox regulars Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Ainsley Earhardt, Greta Van Susteren, Andrea Tantaros, and Chris Wallace all sought to attach the “figure of speech” fallacy to Trump’s hate-speech.

In addition to whitewashing Trump’s endorsement of riots, Fox made sure that the protesters were disparaged as the real problem simply for exercising their rights to express themselves. In the view of Fox News the First Amendment is only available to conservatives, and dissenters are infringing on them when they seek to speak out. Had Fox been around when Martin Luther King was protesting racist segregation in Alabama, they would have vilified him for interrupting George Wallace’s freedom to oppress black schoolchildren.

Fox News

In pursuit of the sort slander that turned bigots like Wallace into heroes, Fox trotted some of their old fear mongering to rile up their dimwitted audience. Trump is standing in today for Wallace, but his bigotry is no different. So Fox is going after Trump’s protesters so as to turn them into villains. And of course Fox’s coverage of protesters is always slanted to portray progressives as evil, but a couple of years ago, when the protesters were the Tea Party, Fox heralded them as patriots. Now the foul remnants of the Tea Party are lining up behind Donald Trump. And Fox News is running the media interference for them.

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

Donald Trump's History of Inciting Violence

Terrifying. #DumpTrump

Posted by MoveOn.org on Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fox News Slams Donald Trump For His “Sick Obsession” With Megyn Kelly

Seven months ago Donald Trump was a participant in the first Republican primary debate on Fox News. He was treated exactly the same as every other candidate, but his reaction was unique in a way that has come to exemplify his trademark bluster and vulgarity. Since then Trump has engaged in a non-stop assault on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, whom he accused of being unfair by asking him to account for his own words.

Donald Trump Megyn Kelly

In all the time that has gone by, Fox News barely said a thing about Trump’s contemptuous ranting. Today, however, Fox News appears to have had enough. Their turning point came after Trump posted another in his series of caustic tweets bashing Megyn Kelly. In the past few days he has taken to branding the Fox host as “Crazy Megyn,” belittling her as “highly over-rated,” and calling her program “unwatrchable.” And then he unleashed this direct attack aimed at Kelly and Fox’s most treasured asset, their audience:

“Everybody should boycott the @megynkelly show. Never worth watching. Always a hit on Trump! She is sick, & the most overrated person on tv.”

For some reason, after eight months of acrimony and bile that was an entirely one-sided feud by an irrationally enraged Trump, Fox News decided to fight back. They issued the following statement in a belated defense of their star anchor:

“Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land. Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults. As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”

For Fox News to finally notice that Donald Trump’s juvenile antics are “beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate” is something of a revelation for them. Apparently slandering all Mexicans as rapists and criminals, mocking a reporter with a physical disability, embracing the support of white supremacists, proposing to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., encouraging violence at his rallies, repeatedly swearing in public, and most recently floating the idea of his rabid legion of disciples rioting at the Republican convention if he isn’t crowned as the party’s nominee – apparently all of that wasn’t sufficient for Fox to recognize Trump’s total lack of anything resembling dignity. Maybe they were still waiting for him to fulfill his promise to “act presidential.” Good luck with that.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has advocated boycotting Kelly’s show or even the Fox Network completely. And it certainly wasn’t the first time that he had insulted Kelly in the most sexist terms. He has called her a “bimbo” and complained that her demeanor at the GOP debate was due to her menstrual cycle saying that “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her … wherever.” The entirety of his tirades against Kelly seemed to have stemmed from that debate where she questioned him about his proclivity for hurling misogynistic insults at any women who dared to be less than deferential to him. It’s a grudge he has held onto tenaciously despite the fact that she never responded in kind.

So why did Fox suddenly come to Kelly’s aid after eight months of abuse from Trump? One possible reason is his decision to skip the next Fox News GOP debate (for the second time), which resulted in its cancellation. That will cost Fox a small fortune. More likely, though, it’s that Kelly recently complained to More Magazine that “I do wish that O’Reilly had defended me more in his interview with Trump.” She was referring to an episode of the O’Reilly Factor where Trump told O’Reilly that he had “zero respect” for Kelly, and O’Reilly just continued sucking up to Trump without offering any support to his network colleague. Perhaps that complaint filtered up to the executive suites and touched the withered heart of Fox CEO and cult leader Roger Ailes, who sent word down to his PR flacks to start backing her up. He has a lot invested in her and her show, which is the second highest rated program on Fox.

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

In any case, it’s fun to see Fox News, the media equivalent of the Republican Party Pravda, calling out the Republican’s front-runner for the nomination to run for president, as “crude and sexist” with a “sick obsession.” Does this mean that they will cease to give him millions of dollars more in free airtime (beyond the $30 million they’ve given him so far)? Does it mean they will hold him accountable for the plethora of blatant lies he’s told in his quest to be America’s dictator (see the Trump Bullshitopedia)? Don’t bet on it. Fox is still more concerned with advancing an extreme rightist agenda while raking in piles of cash from advertisers hooked on their ill-gotten ratings. Consequently, this bone they’ve thrown to Kelly will not likely alter the propaganda path they’ve trod for the last twenty years.

Debate Debacle: Donald Trump Forces Fox News And The Republican Party Into Submission

The tragi-comic relationship between Fox News and Donald Trump has traveled a twisted path for the past eight months. There have been episodes of drooling affection interspersed with fits of bitter feuding. The campaign thus far has seen Trump swear to boycott the network and lambast it as “disgusting” and “biased,” while hurling personal insults at its hosts and contributors. But none of that got in the way of his appearing on the network far more than any other candidate, and being treated with loving kindness while there.

Fox News Donald Trump

Trump’s long-running, and one-sided, war with Megyn Kelly included some of the most brazenly misogynistic slurs, while his abuse of Fox regulars like Charles Krauthammer and Steven Hayes registered somewhere south of juvenile. Calling people “dopey” or “losers” is about as advanced as Trump’s vocabulary gets.

This morning Trump was visiting his close (Fox and) Friends when the subject of the upcoming debate was raised. It was then that Trump chose to announce that he would not be participating. This will be the second debate on Fox that Trump is skipping. That tells you just how scared he is of Megyn Kelly. He offered as an excuse that he had a commitment to give a speech at the AIPAC conference, an engagement that was made just a couple of days ago and long after the date of the debate was set.

Shortly after Trump bowed out of the debate, John Kasich released a statement saying that if Trump wasn’t going, then he wasn’t either. That left only Ted Cruz, which would have made for a pretty boring debate, so Fox called the whole thing off.

There are numerous questions that come to mind in the wake of these events. First of all, why didn’t Trump change the day or time of his AIPAC speech? It’s a three day conference and his participation was only recently confirmed. Secondly, why didn’t Fox offer to change the date of the debate? It hardly matters to them if it were a day or two later. Thirdly, what the fuck is wrong with Kasich? He would be much better off doing the debate without Trump. He would have much more airtime in a more substantive environment. And he needs the exposure more than Trump does. Cruz was willing to go ahead with just Kasich and both of them would have benefited from a discussion untarnished by the childish antics of Trump.

All things considered, it seems there was not much interest on the part of Fox to resolve any of these issues. If there were they could have gone on with the debate one way or another. And the only reason Fox would have for dropping the ball is that without Trump the ratings would suffer.

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

In the final analysis, Trump demonstrated that he is in charge of the debates and the media and pretty much everything else associated with the Republican campaign. Fox News and the Republican National committee are his playthings. If I were Fox CEO Roger Ailes or RNC chairman Reince Priebus I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public. They probably have “TRUMP” tattooed on their foreheads – or their wherever.

Donald Trump Defenders Freak Out, Blame MoveOn.org And George Soros For Protests

The increasing incidences of violence at rallies for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are unambiguously incited by Trump’s own rancid rhetoric and open encouragement of hostility. No one can reasonably deny that Trump’s vocal approval of punching protesters in the face or carrying them out on stretchers doesn’t have an effect on his already enraged minions.

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Nevertheless, the Trump Defense League is in full denial mode as they seek to absolve their Dear Leader of any responsibility for the ruckus that occurs only where Trump treads. They argue that the protesters are a conspiratorial lot that have been assembled by leftist overlords for the purpose of destroying The Donald’s crusade to make America hate again.

At the top of the list of puppet masters is the nefarious MoveOn.org. The Trump Defenders are convinced that MoveOn is orchestrating every one of the individuals who separately engage in acts of dissent at Trump’s rallies across the country. Sean Hannity is among the MoveOn accusers saying that their “liberal fascism” is behind a campaign to “silence any voice that liberals disagree with.” Hannity’s Fox News comrade Bill O’Reilly is also on the anti-MoveOn bandwagon saying that they are “far-left agitators who do not believe in freedom of speech.”

On Fox & Friends they hosted rightist crackpot Wayne Allen Root who tarred Trump’s hecklers as “leftist radicals, most of them paid protesters by MoveOn.org.” Also on the program was Peter Johnson, Jr, Roger’s Ailes’ personal attorney, who described MoveOn as sowing “the seeds of terror.” Trump’s own spokesperson, Katrina Pierson, charged MoveOn with initiating the violence saying that “They go into these Trump rallies and they start swinging and kicking.” And Trump surrogate Sarah Palin colorfully insulted the protesting as “punk ass little thuggery stuff.”

What almost all of these critics added to their harangues was that MoveOn is not just some obscure band of subversives. No, it is a cog in an evil plot managed by a notorious super-villain. And fortunately they have one with an unsettling Hungarian accent and a few billion dollars to finance his dastardly schemes. That’s right, it’s George Soros and he’s back. Whenever the right needs to manufacture a nebulous and all-consuming dread, it trots out the specter of Soros.

In the ensuing frenzy of indictments of MoveOn as the right’s imaginary architect of acrimony, virtually every conservative media reference to them is prepended with the Soros label. If you didn’t know better you might come away thinking that the full, official name of the activist organization is “the Soros-funded MoveOn.org.” However, that’s an indicator of just how obsessed the right is with dangling Soros’ name to frighten their dimwitted throngs. Because if any of them were interested in reality they could easily look up the facts and discover that, while Soros did make sizable donations to MoveOn in the past (about $2.5 million), he has not done so since 2004. Apparently twelve years is not enough time for conservatives at Fox News and elsewhere to retire the “Soros-funded” branding.

As another example of the right’s fetish, the wingnut rag, Daily Caller (which is run by Fox’s Tucker Carlson) posted a bombshell exclusive that heralded their discovery that a Soros “associate” had contributed $200,000 to Gov. John Kasich’s presidential super PAC. That article was intended by the uber-rightist Daily Caller to stigmatize the comparatively moderate Kasich as the left’s favorite Republican. However, the Soros associate identified in the piece was Scott Bessent, a longtime Republican donor who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates, PACs, and party committees. His donation to Kasich’s campaign was from personal funds and had nothing to do with George Soros. But that didn’t stop much of the wingnut mediasphere from blasting out headlines about Soros bankrolling Kasich.

This is emblematic of the mindset of the right that needs cartoonish demons to invoke the horror of an amorphous liberal threat. They need to be frightened into mobilizing against a monstrous enemy that will thrust the world into chaos and oblivion. How many times have you heard the right swear that Obama’s election, or reelection, or ObamaCare, or Climate Change mitigation, or immigration, or [fill in the scary blank], would doom America and the world to extinction? So rather than recognize the glaring evidence of Trump’s incitation to riot, right-wingers point their bony fingers to George Soros, or Saul Alinsky, or ACORN, or Barack Obama, or the armies of gay-married, Muslims on food stamps who are coming for your guns and fossil fuels. Be AFRAID!

Not to be left out, the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, joined in with a post linked to the “Moonie” Washington Times that feverishly proclaimed “Moveon.Org Raising Funds from Trump Protests, Warns More Disruptions to Come.” The article alleges a frightful conspiracy that is really nothing more than the standard fundraising of a non-profit group that is asking for three bucks to continue their public service activities. There is nothing in it that even remotely implies advocating any form of physical harm to persons or property. To the contrary, MoveOn is, and always has been, committed to peaceful dissent. And their current anti-Trump campaign is no different. Contrast that with the Fox Nation audience that has once again demonstrated their vile racism and embrace of volence (see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community).

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

Fox Nation