Fox News Still Licking Donald Trump’s Ferragamos – NBC Too

Wherever Donald Trump goes he seems to leave the smoldering ashes of bridges behind him. Yet the lure of cash and the greed of his adversaries often results in awkward reconciliations. For instance, earlier this year NBC cut ties to Trump due to his “derogatory statements” about immigrants, which NBC said was contrary to their values. Well, they just announced that he will be the host of the November 7th episode of Saturday Night Live. Even Shepard Smith of Fox News couldn’t resist skewering NBC’s hypocrisy (video below):

“NBC, of course, ended its relationship with Trump earlier this year because he said Mexican immigrants are rapists and that they bring drugs and crime, and NBC and everything Comcast did not want to be associated with Donald Trump. […] No more Trump on NBC. It’s what he said, no more Trump. So what’s he doing? He’s going back to NBC. Good job. Nice job, NBC. You made a stand. You stood for your values.”

That’s about as close as Fox News gets to justifiable righteous indignation. And while Smith deservedly thwacks NBC for so limply abandoning their values, he is missing the plank in his own eye. Fox News, of course, has been engaged in a bitter feud with Trump that has resulted in banning and boycotts. Yet the ruffled feathers always seem to get straightened out before Fox has lost much ratings-driven revenue. The most recent ruckus peaked with Trump saying that he would not be going on Fox for the foreseeable future. That was followed by an announcement that Trump would meet (again) with Fox CEO Roger Ailes.

Donald Trump News

As it turns out, that meeting never took place, but Trump has nevertheless resumed his position as the most featured presidential candidate on the network (or any network). Just this week Trump’s Fox News date book includes Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends, Your World with Neil Cavuto, MediaBuzz, Special Report with Bret Baier, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News Sunday. That’s seven shows in seven days. No other candidate even comes close.

The problem arising from this, aside from the searing pain of having Donald Trump’s mug plastered across the nation’s TVs in an endless loop, is that Fox has a vested interest in keeping Trump’s campaign viable. They are clearly afraid of losing his ability to draw reality show addicted viewers. That’s why they scramble to patch up their differences every time they erupt. When has Fox ever done that for any other candidate? And there have been several who have articulated sharp complaints about Fox, but it doesn’t warrant them any face time with Ailes.

Fox News Donald Trump

So the prospect of Trump fading from the scene has to be frightening to the bean counters at Fox. Will that cause them to alter coverage in order to keep him around? Would they hype his campaign or fudge their polls? Fox has shown in the past that their top priority is ratings and profits. It’s why they signed hot commodities like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, and fired them when they became embarrassments.

The problem is that, with Fox’s reputation, it’s impossible to have any confidence that they wouldn’t go to artificially extreme measures to extend Trump’s campaign. And their eagerness to meet with him every time he pouts about some imagined slight is pretty good evidence that they are determined to keep him around for their own benefit.

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

CBS Edits Out Gun Discussion On Obama’s 60 Minutes Interview

The myth of the “liberal” media has been thoroughly debunked by volumes of evidence, and yet many people continue to believe that news operations owned and operated by giant multinational corporations still harbor a liberal bias for some unexplained, and unexplainable, reason.

The latest proof that Big Media slants their coverage away from true progressive issues comes from last Sunday’s broadcast of 60 Minutes on CBS. The twenty-four minute interview of President Obama was sufficient time to cover a variety of subjects that have a real impact on the lives of real Americans. However, one subject was left on the cutting room floor: The crisis of gun violence (video below).

60 Minutes

The fact that CBS found time in an interview of Obama for an extended discussion of Hillary Clinton’s email server, but was unable include a brief segment of the gun dialog, says something about the editorial decision making at the network. If you wanted to know what Obama thought about how guns affect our society, and what can be done about it, you would have had to search for it online. What you would have found was a three minute segment that could easily have been slipped into the CBS broadcast. And it’s fair to say that this issue holds more value for the American people than adding to the tabloid sensationalism that Fox News has been feverishly stirring up about emails that have uncovered no wrongdoing whatsoever.

This sort of bias is not new to CBS or 60 Minutes. In 2013 they ran a story about Benghazi that was so full of holes that they had to retract it and apologize for airing such an embarrassing and obvious hoax. At that time News Corpse published an explanation for how CBS could have been taken in by such a conspicuous fraud. That explanation revolves around the personalities in the network’s executive suites who are still running the newsroom. This is what I wrote in November of 2013:

The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, who assumed the post in February of 2011. His bio on the CBS website tells us something of his professional past:

“Rhodes began his career as a Production Assistant at the newly-launched Fox News Channel in 1996, where he later became Vice President of News. At the network he managed coverage of three presidential elections, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hurricanes including Katrina, and was the channel’s Assignment Manager on the news desk the morning of September 11, 2001.”

What this tells us is that Rhodes was a top executive at Fox News during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election where Fox mistakenly called the state of Florida (and thus the nation) for George W. Bush. He was there when Fox News was cheerleading for the U.S. to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and did not pose any threat to America. He was there when Fox was defending Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. He was there during the economic meltdown of 2008 to make sure that it was blamed on poor people buying homes and the Democrats in Congress. He was there when Fox was hyping electoral attacks against candidate Obama that included maligning ACORN, advancing associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and of course, the everlasting nonsense of birtherism.

In short, Rhodes was one of the principal architects of the Fox News slant toward far-right extremism and brazen conservative partisanship. CBS News must have known what they were getting when they hired him.

So is it any wonder that CBS would focus so sharply on dramatic, but insubstantial controversies? They clearly have an editorial mission to push a conservative agenda and suppress any progressive initiatives for reform. The same sort of problems exist at other networks and news outlets. The current executive vice president of CNN, Ken Jautz, is the man who gave Glenn Beck his first job on television. Even MSNBC is heading toward the right as they remove progressive hosts and plan to expand Morning Joe another hour. Which is why I say “Liberal media my ass.”

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

Obama Mocks Fox News For ‘Making Me Scary’

Just in time for Halloween, President Obama has revealed the costume that Fox News made to heighten the fears of their perpetually skittish viewers. It’s something they have been dressing up the President in for the past seven years, but it doesn’t get much attention from the President himself.

Fox News Obama

In an interview with author Marilynne Robinson, the discussion turned to the values that are found in the diversity of American life. This led the President to recall his experiences in small-town America when he first began campaigning for the White House.

“It’s interesting, because we’re talking in Iowa; people always, I think, were surprised about me connecting with folks in small-town Iowa. And the reason I did was, first of all, I had the benefit that at the time nobody expected me to win. And so I wasn’t viewed through this prism of Fox News and conservative media, and making me scary.

Indeed, Fox News has since toiled feverishly to turn Obama into a fearsome entity bent on the destruction of mankind. They have literally accused him of conspiring with our mortal enemies; of plotting to murder millions of Americans; of surrendering our liberty and land to foreign tyrants; and even taunting God so as to bring about the End Times. It’s a nightmarish vision that was constructed from nothing but their seething hatred for a dark-skinned stranger who they believed had no right to rise to leadership and reside in the White House.

For his part, Obama has been aware of the animosity that consumed his ideological foes. There was, however, little he could do about it. The more he would try, the more they interpreted it as an insidious ploy to enslave them with charm. Witness this hideously secret assault as described by Obama to Robinson:

“And the thing I’ve been struggling with throughout my political career is how do you close the gap. There’s all this goodness and decency and common sense on the ground, and somehow it gets translated into rigid, dogmatic, often mean-spirited politics. And some of it has to do with all the filters that stand between ordinary people who are busy and running around trying to look after their kids and do a good job and do all the things that maintain a community, so they don’t have the chance to follow the details of complicated policy debates.”

What a monster! How dare he try to find common ground in a democratic society while partisans in the press and politics are stirring up irrational dissent. And why does he want to close The Gap? Is he biased in favor of Urban Outfitters? Or is he just fundamentally opposed to the free market?

Later in the interview, Obama pinpoints one of the potential causes of the adversarial nature of our country. He describes it as the natural tendency of Americans to mistrust governments, which he says is “in our DNA.”

“We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.”

That’s true. And it certainly doesn’t help when you have giant media networks deliberately fomenting fear and ignorance and using the naivete of their audience to build opposition based on lies. In fact, all it does is pave the way for cartoonish demagogues like Donald Trump, and leave Grand Old Parties struggling to find anyone who actually wants to lead their parade of clowns.

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

Fox Nation Straight Up Lies About Hillary Clinton’s Looming ‘Meltdown’

To begin with, it’s not particularly a revelation that Fox News is a constant and unabashed purveyor of lies and disinformation. However, ordinarily they do at least try to obscure their dishonesty in a stew of distorted details, unsupported assertions, and/or mangled misrepresentations of “facts.” But in today’s headline posting on their Fox Nation website they went further than usual to invent a disparaging allegation against Hillary Clinton.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

The Fox Nationalists reposted an article from their sister tabloid, Rupert Murdoch’s vile New York Post, with the headline “Clinton’s Camp Says She ‘Could Have A Serious Meltdown.'” That’s a pretty frightening scenario that would have the political world spinning – if it were true.

Note that the headline is a declarative statement of fact as to what “Clinton’s camp says.” In fact, neither Fox News, nor the NYP, has any evidence of anyone connected to Clinton saying anything remotely similar to that scandalous quotation. What they have is the ravings of a bona fide uber-rightist lunatic with a record of equally deranged utterances. At best the headline could have referred to an allegation by a dubious source.

The dubious source, in this case, is Edward Klein. He is a Fox News regular, and WorldNetDaily columnist, whose reputation for wildly false attacks on Hillary Clinton (and other democrats and liberals) is legendary. Klein is an unrepentant birther who believes that President Obama may have been created to be a Manchurian candidate from Kenya. Klein also believes that Chelsea Clinton was conceived after Bill raped Hillary, who Klein says is a lesbian. This is a “journalist” who Fox News takes seriously?

Among Klein’s prior prognostications for Fox was a piece about how Clinton was teetering on the edge of abandoning her quest for the presidency. The headline blared: “Hillary down in the dumps: Is Clinton about to drop out of 2016 race?” The article provided a surreal transcript of a private conversation between Bill and Hillary that Klein could not possibly have witnessed. That was in June of 2014, so we have the answer to the ridiculous question about whether her withdrawal was imminent. And it must be due to that level of inaccuracy that Fox and the NYP chose to revisit Klein’s reporting for this new article wherein Klein uses anonymous sources to allege that…

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work,” says a campaign aide. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

That’s a great story line if you’re on the writing staff of Days of Our Lives, but anyone who thinks that a Clinton campaign aide is going to divulge spicy rumors to someone like Klein is suffering from acute idiocy. Klein’s M.O. has always been to simply manufacture scurrilous gossip that fits his predetermined soap opera script.

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

For this sort of fantasy fiction to appear on WorldNetDaily, or the New York Post, is bad enough. But Fox wants to pretend that they are a real news enterprise, and despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they continue to try to convince us that they have true aspirations for journalistic achievement. However, it is reporting like this that always rats them out as the disreputable purveyors of schlock news that they are – and always will be.

Killing Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly Throws Tantrum After His ‘BS’ Book Is Exposed

Culture Warrior Bill O’Reilly is on the warpath again. As usual, the battle lines are drawn around an ego so big it can be seen from space. He devoted a segment of his Friday night program to the “Villains” at Media Matters who he described as “an outrageous propaganda website, a hate site.” An inattentive observer could be forgiven if he thought that O’Reilly was talking about Fox News, which better fits that description.

Bill O'Reilly Media Matters

O’Reilly and his guest, Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney, lit into Media Matters with a vicious, foaming-at-the-mouth glee. They never actually said what they were so riled up about. Generally such a display of animus is prompted by a critical article or a disparaging public statement. But the furious Foxies didn’t offer a single example of a recent atrocity by Media Matters or any other reason for their drooling disgust. They simply hauled off on a manic rant and demanded that the watchdog group’s tax-exempt status be revoked.

O’Reilly: This is not a group that deserves this tax free status. What can someone do to make the IRS revoke it?
Varney: Okay, an individual could file one of these forms with the IRS. It’s form 13909. It’s the tax-exempt organization complaint referral form. Simple form. Fill it out, complain, say what your beef is with Media Matters, and you can complain. That’s how you do it.

See how easy it is? Just say what your beef is. Even though O’Reilly and Stuart weren’t able to, you’ll come up with something. Not that it matters. This is a tactic that Fox News tried four years ago. They made a full court press to enlist their viewers to complain to the IRS about Media Matters. It was promoted for weeks on multiple programs by the network’s biggest names, including Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, James Rosen, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, Bernie Goldberg, Keith Ablow, Jon Scott, and of course, O’Reilly. They posted the IRS complaint forms on Fox Nation with instructions that encouraged filers to lie. They even had one of their own contributors, former Bush lawyer C. Boyden Gray, file his own complaint.

For an in depth examination of just how obsessed Fox News is with Media Matters, see:
Media Matters Has Fox News Scared And Desperate

After months of this charade the result they achieved was a big fat nothing. It’s not unlike the current investigations in Congress, hyped feverishly by Fox News, over Benghazi, Planned Parenthood, and Hillary Clinton’s email. Every inquiry into these subjects has produced complete vindication for the political targets of Fox and the right, but that hasn’t stopped the persecutors from persisting. So it’s no surprise that O’Reilly would dust off this hoary contrivance to hammer away again at his old enemy.

So why is O’Reilly dredging up this old story, and why now? The answer sneaked in at the closing of the segment as he teased the next segment saying “The Factor Tip of the Day: Attacking Killing Reagan. Wow. Wait til you hear this.” If you were bored enough to wait you would have heard O’Reilly whine about some criticism of his new book “Killing Reagan.”

O’Reilly: “A published report says a group of Reagan loyalists are organizing to attack the book. We know these people. They threatened me and Martin Dugard [the co-author] even before we put the book out.”

Indeed, there was a published report. It appeared in the Washington Examiner and was later reported by Media Matters, which O’Reilly failed to mention for some reason. The report identified several people close to Reagan who dismissed O’Reilly’s book as “garbage” and “total BS.” So obviously Media Matters should have its tax-exempt status revoked.

Did the story in Media Matters spur O’Reilly to suddenly relaunch this campaign against them? Who knows? Media Matters has been a thorn in his side for a long time. Earlier this year they published the ebook “Killing Truth” that detailed many of the lies O’Reilly told about his alleged combat duty. And they are a constant source of irritation to Fox News due to their annoying habit of exposing Fox’s journalistic failures. But the fact that O’Reilly went after them just a few hours after the negative report on his new book was posted suggests that it had something to do with his decision.

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

For a taste of the insane obsession that Fox News has with trying to politicize the tax-exempt status of Media Matters, watch this 2011 video. And you may also enjoy this one showing the depth of the hatred Fox has for Media Matters.

Liberal Media My Ass: Hillary Clinton’s Alleged Polling Woes

The latest round of polling has hit the press with curiously coordinated reactions. Nearly every mainstream news outlet chose to spin the results as negative for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton

To be sure, Clinton’s favorability has suffered in the past few weeks due to relentless bashing by more than a dozen Republican presidential hopefuls and an unending stream of baseless but damaging stories about her email. However, the uniformity of the media presentation is hardly representative of the reality. Here is how the press is covering the news:

  • Washington Times: Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable rating approaches record territory
  • ABC News: Clinton Goes Under Water
  • Breitbart News: Gallup: Hillary Clinton’s Favorability at All-Time Low
  • Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Hits Lows on Favorability, Trustworthiness
  • Reuters: Clinton’s favorability ratings lowest since 2001
  • The Hill: Poll: Clinton’s favorability tumbles
  • NBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Popularity Drops Sharply in NBC/WSJ Poll
  • Fox News: Fox News Poll: Clinton popularity drops

While there is nothing wrong with reporting the facts in polling, it is misleading if the reporters don’t put the numbers into context. And an examination of the poll results paints a very different picture of the campaign. Just using the most recent Fox News poll as an example, Clinton’s “low” favorability rating is still higher than every Republican in the poll except for one (Ben Carson). It is not a trivial side issue to note that Clinton scores better than the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, and trounces him in a head-to-head match-up. But that is not considered newsworthy by the so-called “liberal” media.

What’s more, the press didn’t think it was important to report that every Republican’s unfavorables are at their all-time highs. Why is it news that Clinton’s favorabilty is suffering, but it isn’t news that all of her potential rivals are suffering as badly or worse? This is something the media has been doing for years with President Obama. They leap at every opportunity to report any drop in his popularity (which currently stands at about 47%) and how it will hamper the success of his agenda with Congress. What they leave out is that Congress has a favorability in the mid-teens, which should give the President a significant advantage.

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

Every single one of the headlines above could just as easily have read “Clinton And All Republicans Favorability At Or Near All-Time Lows,” but that would have meant engaging in honest journalism rather than deliberately misleading horse-race tabloidism. So the next time you see a spate of negative headlines hammering Clinton, remember that there is almost certainly more to the story than the media is telling you. And what they are usually leaving out is that, no matter how much people dislike Clinton, that hate Republicans even more.

You’re Fired! Donald Trump Dumps Fox News, Who Say They Dumped Him First

Buy stock in Orville Redenbacher today, because the popcorn market is set to explode. Reality TV goofball, and GOP object of perverted lust, Donald Trump, has declared that he will be kissing off his former BFF Fox News. In a tweet explaining the break up Trump said that…

“@FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.”

Fox News Donald Trump

Oh my. How ever will we survive? This isn’t the first time that Trump and Fox have quarreled. Earlier this year they took slaps at one another for what Trump thought were questions that were too hard during the Fox News Republican debate. He shot off insults aimed at the only female moderator, Megyn Kelly, that focused on her menstrual cycle as his reason for her harsh questions.

Eventually Trump and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes patched things up with Trump praising the executive and the network’s fairness. But that quickly deteriorated as he openly taunted Ailes saying “I love Roger, but all you have to do is ask him who won.” That’s akin to saying Ailes is my bitch.

The latest dust up appears to have been triggered by Trump’s butthurt over critical remarks on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Then, in a tantrum that seemed to have come out of the blue, Trump served his divorce papers on Twitter (Twivorce?), alleging abuse and irreconcilable differences. It all began in typical Trump fashion as he tweeted his disapproval complete with ad hominem insults.

Donald Trump Tweets

Ironically, there is no network that has been more friendly to Trump and his campaign. They have featured him far more, and more positively, than any other candidate. In fact, his ubiquitous presence on Fox exceeded the combined total air time for ten other Republican candidates last month. Fox News made Trump and he owes his current front-runner status to their worshipful coverage. For some examples of just how reverential Fox News has been, watch this:

Following Trump’s dismissal of Fox News, the network made a statement that may explain why Trump suddenly cut his ties. According to a spokesperson at Fox it was the network that fired Trump first. They said that in response to his tweets, they canceled his scheduled appearance on O’Reilly for Thursday. Subsequently, Trump decided to hit the press first with news of the separation. The Fox spokesperson went on to say that…

“When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”

What’s funny about this is that Trump may have managed to accomplish something that News Corpse, and millions of rational, thinking Americans, have been trying to do for years: Mount an effective boycott of Fox News. The response on Trump’s Twitter page is filled with his followers pledging to forever abandon Fox and its “liberally-slanted” news coverage. That could actually have some real advantages for the future of media and America. Even though Trumpsters are among the most delusional of the GOP fringe, there are studies that show that Republicans who watch Fox are even more ill-informed than Republicans who don’t.

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

So the more people on the right who avoid Fox News, the better. And I may be in the uncomfortable position of having to thank Trump for getting people to stop watching Fox. All told, it would be worth it. And now I have to go restock my supply of popcorn. This show is still only in the first act.

[Update:] Crybaby Trump, who routinely calls people ugly and stupid, is now saying that he was offended by someone who does not work for Fox (National Review editor Rich Lowry) saying that Carly Fiorina “cut his balls off” in the CNN debate. So while he relentlessly postures about being a champion in the fight against political correctness, he can’t handle someone using a common idiom to describe what took place. How can this thin-skinned, whiner go up against Iran, who literally call for “death to America,” if he can’t deal with harmless, non-lethal metaphors?

[Update II:] Here we go again. Fox News says they have scheduled a meeting (again) with Trump to settle their differences over his latest tantrum. Planned for next week, this would represent their third “truce” so far. The real question is why is an alleged “news” network negotiating the conditions for coverage of a political candidate at all? That is a flagrantly inappropriate breach of journalistic ethics. If Trump doesn’t like Fox’s treatment he can stay off their air or go on and complain. Secret meetings raise the question of what concessions Fox News will make to accommodate (benefit) Trump at the expense of his rivals. And when was the last time that Fox offered to meet with President Obama or Hillary Clinton to discuss their differences with Fox’s far more blatant unfair coverage? No reputable news organization would even consider altering their coverage to satisfy the demands of a petulant candidate. But then again, we are not dealing with a reputable news organization.

WTF? Trump’s Rambling Policy-Free Speech Covered Live By MSNBC – Only

Donald Trump’s campaign promised that his speech today would provide details of his foreign policy agenda. The location he chose for the address was the deck of the USS Iowa battleship currently docked in San Pedro, California. But as usual, Trump arrived, greeted the crowd, and gave his standard stump speech that consisted mainly of glorifying himself and tossing out nearly incoherent, monosyllabic cliches and insults. No doubt his brain-dead fans ate it up.

What was unusual about this speech was that ordinarily all of the cable “news” networks would obediently fall in line to broadcast Trump’s irrelevance and inanity live. That didn’t happen today. Perhaps they are wising up and realizing that Trump has nothing to say and that he has been exploiting them to get free advertising.

So this day marks a milestone for media independence and journalistic discretion. Except for one thing. While CNN aired about a minute of Trump’s speech before cutting away to a panel of pundits, and Fox News ignored the speech entirely, sticking with their regularly scheduled broadcast of Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC cut away from the Rachel Maddow Show and aired Trump’s speech in full and uninterrupted. Yes, MSNBC.

MSNBC Donald Trump

Something is terribly wrong when Fox News employs a more appropriate editorial policy with regard to a Republican candidate than MSNBC. And ironically, throughout most of the segment MSNBC’s graphic read “Trump Gives Major Policy-Free Speech.” Which begs the question: Then why are you airing it? Even Trump recognized the absurdity of the constant live coverage he drew when he said in Alabama last month “Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed, why don’t they cover him like anybody else? A few weeks ago I wrote a column lambasting all three cable “news” nets for their flagrant whoring to one candidate for the ratings they expect to garnish. But now I fear I must remind the one network that ought to have known better in the first place. So MSNBC, pay attention:

“Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. […]

“The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. […]

“The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations […] to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.”

It’s impossible to say whether CNN and Fox declined to air Trump’s speech out of principle or if they just weren’t in the mood today. We will see what happens when Trump gives his next speech. But MSNBC has got to stop embarrassing themselves by demonstrating lower standards than Fox when it comes to campaign coverage.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Hillary Clinton And The Amazing Wingnutty Media Apology Trap

The most overused adjective of the 2016 presidential election cycle so far has got to be the term “Outsider.” The media is thoroughly infatuated with the notion of alleged outsiders dominating the campaign season and crushing their “establishment” rivals. It’s a stark turnaround from their prior position that political neophytes (i.e. President Obama) are unqualified to assume leadership roles in government.

Hillary Clinton

These outsiders have been granted broad leeway to do and say things that ordinarily would sink any other campaign. And in today’s environment the most admirable response when caught making a formerly fatal faux pas is to double down and, by no means, apologize. Notable among the remorseless on the right is Donald Trump who has insulted Latinos by calling them criminals and rapists; dishonored veterans by saying that POWs are not heroes; pretends to be pious while insisting that he doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness because he never does anything wrong; and displays blatant misogyny aimed at any woman who challenges him. In all of these, and many other, incidents he has refused to apologize or even acknowledge that his words or actions may have been inappropriate or hurtful.

But Trump is not alone. Many of the Republican candidates are guilty of this. Mike Huckabee refused to apologize after a despicable and insensitive Holocaust reference that Obama’s deal with Iran “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Ben Carson never apologized for likening ObamaCare to slavery. Jeb Bush repeatedly used the pejorative term “anchor baby” without lament (which he got from Trump). In the last presidential race Mitt Romney actually published a book titled “No Apologies.”

So it is rather disingenuous now for Republicans, and most of the media, to be obsessed with whether or not Hillary Clinton will apologize for having used a private email address. In just the past week she has been asked this question by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and again by the Associated Press. She responded that she was sorry that the subject was so confusing and expressed regret that she hadn’t decided to use separate emails, but since she did nothing wrong or illegal there was no other reason to apologize. She told the AP that “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.” These responses were then relayed to the rest of the media that continued to play up the same angle.

It’s interesting that every time a Republican refuses to apologize for their actions they are hailed as people of strong character who stand by their principles. The GOP voters drool all over themselves with ever-expanding esteem for their unyielding commitment. They are venerated for refusing to buckle under to pressure by those who would have them show remorse or even sympathy for those they malign. But when Clinton has the audacity to dismiss the need to apologize, and offers a rational explanation for her stance, she is assailed as arrogant, imperious, or out-of-touch.

This is emblematic of the right’s hypocritical approach to pretty much everything political. Inexperienced candidates are considered a threat to the nation, unless they are inexperienced Republicans like Trump or Carson. Wealthy candidates, like Clinton, are elitists who can’t relate to the common citizen, unless they are wealthy Republicans like Trump or Bush. Religious candidates like Jimmy Carter are belittled and demeaned, unless they are religious Republicans like Huckabee or Cruz. And this goes on and on with other matters including education, military service, and business experience. In every case Democrats are criticized for the same things for which Republicans are praised.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Personally, I’m a fan of apologies. It shows humility and maturity and the temperament to be able to admit one’s mistakes. People should get credit for apologizing, not criticism. But in the current political environment apologies are taken as signs of weakness. And that’s why Republicans and the press are so adamant about extracting one from Clinton. They want to portray her as weak. That’s the trap. The problem is that if she resists she is portrayed as obstinate and arrogant, but if she complies she is tagged as a spineless wimp. It’s a lose-lose proposition for her alone. Because the GOP can still refuse to apologize for anything and still get applause from the media and right-wingers who go through life with blinders on.

Foxified: CNN Taps Sarah Palin And Hugh Hewitt For 2016 Campaign Coverage

The decline of CNN has been in progress for several years now. It is a network that is struggling with an acute personality disorder. It wants very badly to emulate the ratings success of Fox News, but it has no idea why Fox is popular. They seem to think it has something to do with presenting a conservative slant on the news. But that is not how Fox became king of the cable news hill.

Fox succeeds by seducing the most extreme right-wing viewers with media trickery that mirrors entertainment programming, such as flashy graphics and audio, manufactured conflict, and soft porn in both their stories and anchors. But CNN’s misunderstanding of these tactics has led them to make glaring mistakes that fail to produce any positive results for their ratings or their journalistic integrity. The latest examples of this doomed strategy include the recent announcement of two conservative mouthpieces who will be featured prominently in their election programming.

Sarah Palin CNN

First we have Sarah Palin. That’s right, having been ditched by Fox News, CNN is throwing her a life preserver and bringing her aboard to provide campaign analysis on this Sunday’s “State of the Union.” It’s hard to imagine what insight they think she will bring to the discussion on presidential politics. Her own experience was fraught with embarrassing episodes that only demonstrated how woefully ill-prepared she was for public service at that level. And since then she has only succeeded in distinguishing herself as an ignorant hack with negligible comprehension of the issues that face the nation. Nevertheless, CNN has tapped her to toss her word salad ravings on their network’s signature political program.

Secondly we have Hugh Hewitt, a starkly partisan wingnut who will be featured on CNN’s Republican debate this month. CNN could have selected actual journalists to pose questions to the candidates, but instead they picked only a stalwart Republican radio talk show host (and no one from the left) who will join CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Of course, conservatives are capable of asking tough questions when they want to. However, when they do they will be insulted and dismissed by the candidates and the GOP constituents. Just ask Megyn Kelly. Hewitt himself is taking heat for an interview he did with Donald Trump that demonstrated how ignorant Trump is on foreign affairs. Typical of Trump, he is now hammering Hewitt for what he calls “gotcha” questions. [Note: To Republicans, gotcha questions are any question they are too dumb to answer] In this case, the real problem for Trump was not whether he had been ambushed, but that his answer was at first a lie, followed by obvious ignorance. Check out the first 30 seconds of this video:

Notice how Trump hesitates and stretches the word “Yeessss” when answering whether he was familiar with Quds leader, Gen. Soleimani. Then he adds “Go ahead. Give me a little…go ahead tell me.” Clearly he was lying when he said he knew who Soleimani is and he employed a childish dodge in order to get Hewitt to inform him. That was confirmed when Hewitt told him that Soleimani “runs the Quds forces,” and Trump responded by saying that “the Kurds had been horribly mistreated by us.” Hewitt immediately corrected him, but Trump continued to dissemble. Why would he bring up the Iraqi Kurds in response to a question about the Iranian Revolutionary Army (Quds)? Well, his explanation later in the day was that he misheard Hewitt and thought that Hewitt said “Kurds.” But if that were true then he was asserting that Soleimani was the Kurdish leader (who is actually Masoud Barzani), proving that he doesn’t know anything about the Quds or the Kurds. In the end, Trump’s answers are proof that his ignorance is insufficient to cover up his lies.

To make matters worse, Trump was asked a question about Soleimani by Bret Baier during the first GOP debate on Fox. His answer then also showed that he had no idea who Soleimani is. And after having been queried on that exact subject during a critical debate he never made an attempt to educate himself.

The fairness and degree of difficulty of Hewitt’s questioning notwithstanding, there is still a problem with CNN placing an overtly partisan person on the panel with no balance. Can you imagine Fox News having a GOP debate and getting Rachel Maddow to moderate? And this isn’t a first for CNN. In the 2012 election cycle they co-hosted their debate with Tea Party Express, an organization that was even snubbed for their corruption within the Tea Party community.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What CNN is doing with both Palin and Hewitt can only degrade their teetering reputation further. If there is one thing that American media doesn’t need, it’s another Fox News. The first one is already doing a stellar job of misinforming the public and advancing the agenda of the Republican Party. What’s more, emulating Fox has done nothing for CNN’s ratings. Why should it? Viewers who are in the market for dumbed-down histrionics, Democrat bashing, and a steady diet of right-wing falsehoods, already have a proven provider.