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.

TRUMP: I’d Tweet Less If Media Covered Me Accurately – TWITTER: Yeah, Right

Donald Trump’s war with the media has been one of the most disturbing aspects of the 2016 presidential cycle. While other politicians have wrestled with the press, there has never been the sort of viciousness exhibited by Trump. He calls them liars, sleazy, losers, dummies, and other childish insults. He has revoked the press credentials of outlets that weren’t sufficiently adoring. The Committee to Protect Journalists cited Trump as “an unprecedented threat” to press freedom.

Trump Baby

Since Election Day four weeks ago Trump has refused to hold a press conference. That’s longer than any president-elect in forty years. In fact, Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July. And he has plenty of reasons for avoiding the media. Nevertheless, he continues to lash out in ever more ridiculous ways. Take for instance his tweet on Monday:

So Trump is essentially admitting that he only tweets because he isn’t satisfied with the coverage he gets from the media that he is avoiding. That complaint might be taken more seriously if his tweets ever addressed a substantive issue. More often than not they are just self-serving promotions, egotistical bragging, or baseless attacks. And that’s when they aren’t idiotic comments that advance conspiracy theories or risk international crises.

After posting that tweet, the community on Twitter was quick to respond with cogent smack downs. The twitterverse does not sit idly by when confronted with smarmy bullshit. What follows are a few of the choice responses:

It’s not likely that Trump will entertain the common sense in these replies. He’s too busy avoiding national security briefings and tweeting about how unfunny Saturday Night Live is. Trump’s obsession with the treatment he receives from the press symbolizes the inward focus of our Narcissist-in-Chief. Every president experiences what they regard as harsh reviews, but most do so without becoming such petulant crybabies. Despite his protests, the media is covering him accurately and fairly, for the most part. It’s not their fault he’s such an embarrassment to the nation.

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

Trump’s Campaign Of Lies Is Portrayed As ‘Refreshing’ By His VP Mike Pence

A couple of weeks ago the Oxford Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its Word of the Year for 2016. They define it as the preference for emotion and personal belief over objective facts. That’s been the operative model for Donald Trump’s campaign from the very start. Now his top staff are cementing the strategy into his developing presidency.

Trump/Pence

Trump recently tweeted that he would have won the popular vote but for the “millions of people who voted illegally.” That nonsense won him his 61st Pants-On-Fire lie from PolitiFact. He never bothered to provide any evidence to support the claim. And the evidence provided by his spokespersons didn’t even address the subject.

It’s clear that Trump and his minions have no respect for the truth. One of his most prominent surrogates, Scottie Nell Hughes of CNN, came right out and admitted it. In a recent radio interview she said that “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” We are truly over the rainbow here, folks.

The latest tunnel-blind defense of Trump’s brazen dishonesty goes even further to malign the existence of facts. His Chief of Staff nominee, Reince Priebus, was asked by John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation about Trump’s tweet. Priebus responded saying:

“Here’s the thing, no one really knows. You don’t know. […] I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country. He’s not taking conventional thought on every single issue.”

Indeed. He has caused people to think – that their President-Elect is a pathological liar. What Priebus is calling “pushing the envelope” and “unconventional thought” are better known to most people as bullshitting. This parade of euphemisms continued on the Sunday TV news circuit with VP-Elect Mike Pence. George Stephanopoulos asked him if Trump had “a right to make false statements.” Pence replied that:

“It’s his right to express his opinion. […] And I think the American people find it very refreshing that they have a president who will tell them what’s on his mind.”

Once again, propagating purposeful falsehoods is framed benignly as expressing an opinion. These people don’t think there’s any difference between a politically partisan spin on a personal belief and a demonstrable fact. They are actually seeking to abolish the concept of facts in order to dispense their fabrications without consequences. It’s the same approach they take to disparaging the media. They don’t do it as responsible criticism, but as a means to eliminate any critical judgment of their deliberate distortions of reality. And to that end, Trump tweeted this defense of his obsession with Twitter:

Of course, what he really objects to are those rare occasions when the press does cover him accurately and honorably. Sad.

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

Trump Shill Exposes His Deranged Political Philosophy: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Facts’

America has just endured a campaign marked by an unprecedented flood of deliberate falsehoods emanating from a presidential candidate. While politicians are notorious for stretching the truth, never before has it been taken to these extremes. If nothing else, Donald Trump gets credit for mangling the truth beyond all recognition (see the Trump Bullshitopedia)

Trump / Scottie Nell Hughes

Now we have confirmation from a prominent surrogate that this was a strategy, not merely a character flaw. Scottie Nell Hughes has appeared daily on CNN espousing the Trump doctrine and defending his racist and ignorant outbursts. Like every Trump surrogate, she exhibited no shame when sanitizing his vulgarities and whitewashing his bigotry. Many observers have wondered how she and other StormTrumpers could back him up with a straight face. Wednesday on the Diane Rehme radio show, Hughes cleared up the mystery.

The conversation turned toward Trump’s assertion that “millions of illegal votes” cost him the popular vote. Never mind that there is no evidence to support the charge and that Trump failed to provide any. This is something that he does with reckless abandon whenever he has the urge. And right on cue, Hughes defended him with the same lack of proof. But then then she went further and made a startling confession regarding his political philosophy:

“I hear half the media saying that these are lies. But on the other half, there are many people that go, ‘No, it’s true.’ And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts—they’re not really facts. […] Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not truth. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts”

Good golly Miss Scottie. That may be one of the most brazenly demented claims since Napoleon said that “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” And to be fair, Trump kinda proves that Napoleon may have had a point. However, Hughes is making a blanket statement that things that are demonstrably true do not exist. That explains a lot about Trump’s record of lies throughout his campaign. If there are no facts, then he wasn’t lying when he said there were thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11; or that U.S. corporations pay the highest taxes in the world; or that climate change is a hoax created by China. All of those statements are provably false.

Hughes went on to say that “amongst a certain crowd” Trump’s claims are true, and therefore it’s as good as a fact. She says that if “people believe they have facts,” then they do. Unfortunately for her, by definition a belief is not a fact. Hughes, and the bulk of Trump’s followers, have succumbed to a cult mentality wherein the affirmations promulgated by the leader are regarded as gospel.

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

The voice of reason on the broadcast was provided by Glenn Thrush of Politico. He remarked that he had to “pick my jaw up off the floor” before responding. Then he said this:

“There are no objective facts? That is an absolutely outrageous assertion. Of course there are facts. […] I think that what is very revealing – an important thing that Scottie Nell Hughes is saying – is that there are no facts. I think that it is an intended result of this campaign and administration to think that there aren’t any facts. It’s all opinion so we’re gonna sort of manipulate the things that we care about. I believe that the job for the media and civil society now is essentially to say that there are such things as facts. So the line may be drawn here.”

It seems absurd to have to assert the existence of facts. But that’s the world that has been ushered in by Trump and his Legion of Liars. They can’t possibly persuade anyone to support them if they have to rely on reality. Consequently, they are determined to create their own reality and suck the weak into it. Whether or not the media does its job remains to be seen. But they haven’t got much of track record with which to instill confidence. Stay tuned. Or not.

How The F*ck Can Fox News Report On Trump With These Glaring Conflicts

When Donald Trump was running for president he insisted that he knew “all the best people.” He promised that his administration would benefit from his connections in the business community. He argued that the typical government bureaucrats were failing and that fresh blood was needed. So how is that working out?

Donald Trump Fox News

To date, Trump’s appointees have been decidedly unimpressive. Almost none of them have experience in the fields for which they have been nominated. What’s more, they are firmly rooted in the same governmental swamp that he said he would drain. Politicians and billionaires are quickly filling up his cabinet and advisory slots. But there’s something even more troubling that many of his candidates have in common.

Fox News had a singular role in manufacturing the Trump candidacy. They gave him more airtime than any other candidate and broadcast his stump speeches for hours without interruption. And now they are supplying him with a roster of personnel to take prominent positions in his administration. Here are the Fox News candidates for Trump’s White House (so far). All of them have been on the Fox payroll:

  • K.T. McFarland: She has already been named as a Deputy National Security Advisor.
  • Ben Carson: He is reported to have been offered the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • John Bolton: He is up for Secretary of State, although he is lately being eclipsed by Mitt Romney. And you can throw Fox’s Newt Gingrich into this stew as well.
  • Sarah Palin: If you can believe it, she is in line for Secretary of the Interior.
  • Laura Ingraham: This media-hating pundit could be Trump’s next press secretary.
  • Monica Crowley: (See Laura Ingraham).
  • Mike Huckabee: This former Fox host is being considered for Commerce Secretary.
  • Scott Brown: After losing senate races twice he is now looking at the Veterans Administration.
  • Pete Hegseth: This Koch brothers cohort is also rumored for VA head.
  • Anthony Scaramucci: He is a Wall Street fund manager who is already on Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
  • Eric Bolling: Currently a c co-host of The Five, he is said to be under consideration for something at Commerce.
  • Donald Trump: That’s right. Trump himself had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

[Update: Fox correspondents Heather Nauert and Jonathan Wachtel have been hired by Trump’s State Department]

With so many of their own personnel potentially joining the Trump administration, how can the network fairly cover him? OK, that’s a dumb question. They have never fairly covered him. But still, they would now be in the position of having to critically assess the performance of their own former employees. These are people with whom they have long standing relationships and affinity. They are also people who are likely to return to the network at some point in the future. That fact alone could impact the behavior of both Fox and their alumni. Some have already left Fox and returned when they had brief political conflicts (Carson, Gingrich, and Brown).

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

Never fear. Fox will find a way to cope with this burden. However, that will probably be to continue their mission as Propaganda Ministry for the Republican Party. Only now Fox will be an official arm of the White House under Trump. They will be America’s Pravda serving the interests of a megalomaniac and his team of apple polishers.

Trump Gives A Big F.U. To The Media And The Public With A Virtual Press Blackout

Donald Trump was declared the winner of the presidential election two weeks ago. Since that time he has failed to hold a press conference to address the nation he will be representing. This is the longest period a president-elect has gone without a post-election press conference in forty years. But it’s worse than that because he actually hasn’t had a formal press conference since July. Do you suppose there might be a reason for that?

Donald Trump

Speculation could start with the fact that Trump has been more openly hostile to the media than any politician in recent memory. At his rallies he has called them dummies, losers, sleazy, liars, and more. He has not been the least bit shy about expressing his white-hot hatred for the Fourth Estate. He overtly threatened the press with lawsuits and other retribution. That included revoking the press credentials of media outlets he felt were too critical of him. In return, media advocates condemned his reckless behavior as “an unprecedented threat to press freedom.”

However, there are more substantive motives for Trump avoiding press scrutiny. The swarming torrent of scandals swirling around him pose serious risks to his nascent presidency. It begins with his election that is tainted by allegations of voter suppression and his loss of the popular vote. It continues with at least a dozen women who are charging him with sexual assault. Then there are his unsavory connections to Russia and its efforts to interfere with the election.

And that’s not all. Just a few days ago Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit to compensate the fraud victims of his phony Trump University. His cabinet and administration appointees are affiliated with radical racist organizations. And he has a growing list of ethically compromising conflicts of interest. There has never been a president who has more brazenly used the office for personal gain.

No wonder Trump is avoiding the media. By going four months without taking questions from the press corps, Trump has evaded scrutiny over these and other issues. This may benefit his efforts to silence criticism, but it is a disservice to citizens and to democracy.

Sadly, the media seems to be all too willing to go along with him. Even after the atrocious way that Trump treats the press, they continue to cater to his whims. Very little mention is made of his extended refusal to face the media. That is decidedly different from the treatment that Hillary Clinton received when she went a few weeks without holding a press conference. Even though she did conduct hundreds of interviews with individual reporters, she was hounded and criticized. Fox News displayed a running clock of the days since her last press conference. And there was rampant insinuations of her having something to hide. Where is that criticism for Trump, who is no longer merely a candidate, but president-elect?

When asked when he might hold his first post-election press conference, his spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, would say only “Soon.” She dodged any more specific answer saying that he was too busy with his transition activities. Does she expect him to be less busy when he’s the leader of the free world? What’s more, he wasn’t too busy to convene a private, off the record meeting with the heads of the major media corporations and some leading news anchors. The New York Post revealed some of what took place in that meeting, and it wasn’t pretty:

“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.

Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said “I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,” the source said.

The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the fireworks.

To be sure, that account was from the notoriously bombastic New York Post. Some other reports described the get together with less intensity. But while the Post may lean toward melodrama, the others may be more interested in preserving access to the administration. All things considered, the Post’s account sounds more like the Trump we have all come to know.

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

The old fallacy of the “liberal” media is further undermined by these events. Trump is getting far more favorable treatment than Clinton did under similar circumstances. More importantly, he is getting away with suppressing coverage of his scandalous activities. The media is supposed to hold politicians to account, but they are failing to do their job. If this keeps up for the next four years America will be buried in tabloid irrelevancies. Trump’s improprieties will be state secrets. And the National Enquirer and Breitbart News will become the dominant media and serve as America’s Pravda.