BLACKOUT: This is How Fox News Intentionally Keeps Its Viewers Stupid

There have been innumerable examples of Fox News airing false reports in an effort to misinform their viewers. A recent example just within the past week alleged that President Obama recruited British spies to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump’s campaign. Fox’s senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitian, made the claim without any supporting evidence. The network’s news division later refuted the report and put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. But that was after the story had been disseminated worldwide, creating an international incident. Even Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) cited the fake news during a White House press briefing.

Go Fox Yourself

However, another way of shaping an ignorant electorate is to refrain from covering important events. The choice of what not to cover is just as significant as what to cover. And on Tuesday Fox News demonstrated their determination to deny their audience information that is unarguably newsworthy.

The House Intelligence Committee’s hearings on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election were broadcast live by most news networks. Testimony by FBI Director James Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was investigating Trump and his associates. The proceedings were unusually compelling for a congressional hearing. And the proof of that came when Fox News decided to cease coverage of the hearings to host a panel of right-wing talking heads instead.

Fox was the only network that interrupted the live broadcast. And by doing so they deprived their viewers of first hand knowledge of what was happening at the hearings. What’s worse is that they replaced the hearings with conservative pundits providing a blatantly biased analysis. It was a deliberate programming strategy designed to advance the messaging of an embattled White House.

Unfortunately for Fox News, it may not have worked this time. Ratings for the cable news networks show that when Fox cut away from the hearings they lost about 29 percent of their audience. That’s a massive shift by viewers who were obviously disappointed by Fox’s programming decision. What’s more, viewers were plainly following the hearings to other channels. The ratings for CNN and MSNBC both spiked after Fox cut away.

This tells us that the American people are acutely interested in this matter. They want to know more about the potentially treasonous activities of their president. By suppressing that information Fox succeeded only in alienating their audience and further eroding their credibility. Plus, they probably don’t want to send their viewers off to competing networks.

The Trump administration has brought newfound prosperity to liberal programming. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has toppled Fox from its perch atop the ratings hill. She has won her time period for the past two weeks straight. Saturday Night Live, despite Trump’s insulting tweets (or because of them) has seen its best ratings in years. Stephen Colbert’s Late Show is now leading his late night talk show competition.

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

All of this suggests that Americans are hungry for honest reporting. They are tired of Fox’s propaganda and the phony “balance” sought by CNN and other conventional news outlets. They want the press to be skeptical when appropriate and aggressive when necessary. They know there’s something amiss in the Trump White House and they don’t want it papered over. And they are not going to sit still when a network like Fox decides that they don’t need to know what’s really going on. Fox News needs to adjust a new viewer mantra: We have remotes, and we’re prepared to use them.

Fox News ‘Security Moms’ Don’t Care About Russia And Trump; Fox News Poll Disagrees

On Monday the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing to investigate Donald Trump’s campaign and its connections to Russia. Witnesses included FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency. The testimony was conclusive with regard to Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. And their motives were plainly to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Furthermore, Comey confirmed that he knew of no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump’s phones. On that matter he was speaking for the Department of Justice as well. So Trump’s reckless tweets asserting that President Obama was guilty of that felony were exposed as lies.

Fox News

Many of the details of Russia’s election tampering were not provided due to the sensitive nature of the information. Comey had to be careful not to reveal classified data or compromise the conduct of an ongoing investigation. But there was no question that Trump’s campaign is the subject of an investigation and the consequences remain dire.

In light of that, Fox News sprung to action in order to protect Trump from any negative public relations fallout. His pals at Fox and Friends assembled a panel of what they called “Security Moms” (video below). In fact it was a group of pre-selected pro-Trump mouthpieces who would defend their hero under any circumstances. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt opened the segment saying:

“Even the mainstream media is admitting that there is probably no Russian connection to the Trump White House. So why can’t they stop talking about it? Is this really what American families want to know? Who better to ask than our panel of moms?”

First of all, Earhardt’s assertion that there is “no Russian connection to the Trump White House” was pulled straight out her assumptions file. There are numerous connections, as is documented by the research of Rep. Eric Salwell. His charts reveal a disturbing web of Trump/Russian connectivity. And secondly, Earhardt’s objection to the media’s focus on this issue belies her determination to squelch it.

Earhardt’s first question was a not so fair and balanced “Why is the mainstream media harping on this?” The answers from her panel of Trump Moms were typical rationalizations of his erratic behavior. They ran the gamut of wingnut allegations from “fake news” to delegitimizing the President. Earhardt also asked if any of the panel was concerned that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. They all immediately said “No.” By the end of the segment Earhardt and her support group all agreed that we should “move on” from the Russia story.

Clearly this was a deliberately biased group of women assembled to shield the President from criticism. It’s something Fox does on a regular basis. How else could they all be unconcerned about an American president colluding with a hostile foreign country? They expressed an interest in diverting to other issues such as immigration. But even in those comments they parroted the Trump agenda fomenting fear of “illegals” and terrorists.

Fox News displayed a graphic during the segment that read “NEWS YOU CAN’T USE. Do U.S. Families Want To Hear Russia Reports?” The conclusion expressed by the Trump Moms was a unanimous “No.” These Foxies must not be paying very close attention to Fox News. The network recently released a poll that specifically addressed these issues. The poll asked:

    Do you think there should be a Congressional investigation into:

  • Reported Russian hacking and attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election: YES 66% (including 41% of Republicans), NO 30%
  • Alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government: YES 63% (including 32% of Republicans), NO 33%

So about two-thirds of voters think there should be investigations into Russia’s election tampering and Trump’s potential complicity in it. That’s according to Fox’s own poll. Yet Fox and Friends puts four women on the air who all take the completely opposite view. If that isn’t an attempt at manipulation and propaganda, then nothing is. It’s just further proof that Fox serves as the PR division of the Trump administration.

Finally, we know that Trump pays attention to Fox’s polls because this same Monday morning he tweeted:

Actually, the poll he was referencing was not from CNN, it was from Gallup. It shows him near the lowest point in his already record-breaking low presidency with only 39 percent approval. Also, CNN’s election polls were pretty close to the final result. They had Clinton leading Trump by about five points. She finished three points ahead. Trump’s observation that Fox’s poll was more favorable is true. However, it also had him in a decidedly negative position with 43 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving. Apparently in Trump’s world that’s good news. At least Fox got a new slogan that actually makes sense: News You Can’t Use.

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

FINALLY: CNN Calls Out Trump For ‘A Presidency Shaped By Fox News’

From the beginning of Donald Trump’s candidacy he was fawned over by adoring anchors and pundits on Fox News. They rushed to defend him at every turn and praised whatever lame-brained or hateful scheme he would propose. The network turned over so many hours of valuable airtime they should have been designated as campaign contributions. He had a long-running regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity kept the door open for him to appear, or call in, at his convenience.

CNN Brian Stelter

Since becoming president, Trump has made a habit of harvesting topics from his obsessive viewing of Fox. There have been numerous instances of him tweeting about something that had aired shortly before on his favorite network. He clearly relies more on conspiracy theories from Fox than he does on the intelligence agencies that work for him. It’s a perverse and frightening state of affairs.

Sunday, on CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter delivered a commentary about this titled “Welcome to the Fox News Presidency.” It was a long overdue examination of the incestuous relationship between Trump and Fox. Stelter began by noting that:

“Five of his seven sit-down TV interviews since taking office have been with Fox News. Trump watches Fox. He tweets about Fox. He uses Fox graphics to advance his agenda. He’s hired Fox talking heads. He promotes Fox as fair while denigrating its rivals as fake. All of this amounts to a Fox News presidency. What I mean by that is a presidency shaped by Fox News in all sorts of ways, big and small.”

Indeed. Trump has exhibited an abject fear of taking questions from any news organization other than his pals at Fox. His assaults on the free press are frequent and biting (as well as childish and false). But his compliments for Fox are effusive and unrestrained. Meanwhile, anyone critical of Trump often finds themselves locked out. Just ask Megyn Kelly and George Will. Independent thought is not a value favored by Fox executives. Perhaps Shepard Smith should watch his back.

In addition to the Trumpification of Fox News, there has been a simultaneous Foxification of the Trump administration. Former Foxies on the White House payroll include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastion Gorka, Heather Nauert, and Jonathan Wachtel. Fox’s Monica Crowley was also hired by Trump, but she was forced to resign after the rampant plagiarism in her book was revealed. This is an unprecedented migration of media hacks to political flacks.

Stelter’s commentary is an encouraging, albeit late, beginning for the media honestly characterizing the formation of Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda. More of this reporting will be necessary as Trump continues to steamroll the First Amendment and blur the lines between media and politics.

Trump recently told Fox’s Tucker Carlson that “When I have close to 100 million people watching me on [social media…] I have my own form of media.” Someone should tell him that another term for a president with his “own form of media” is “state-run media.” The press is not supposed to be a tool for the president’s communications. That’s how it’s done in dictatorships, but not in America. Maybe Trump has been consulting too much with his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

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 Becoming The Propaganda Ministry Of The Trump Administration

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News goes back years. Long before he was running for president he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” It served as the launching pad for his eventual campaign and a platform from which he could attack President Obama. In addition to that free political infomercial time, Trump was close friends with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Roger Ailes.

Donald Trump Fox News

This parasitic partnership served both the ego of Trump and the greed of Fox. Consequently, it’s not especially surprising that it would continue into his presidency. However no one could have predicted the depths it would reach. From the outset of the nascent Trump administration, he has used the right-wing network as a virtual farm team. The only other comparably rich pool of potential White House recruits was Goldman Sachs. This week two new Foxies became the beneficiaries of Trump’s job creation program.

Heather Nauert was most recently a co-host and news presenter on Fox and Friends. Now she has been tapped as spokeswoman for the State Department. This is her first government job.

Following her to Trumpville is Fox contributor Richard Grennell. He served as Director of Communications for the U.S. representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2008 before signing on at Fox. That means he was the key spokesman throughout the Iraq war debacle. Now Trump is nominating him to be the ambassador to NATO. What’s peculiar about this is that Trump has repeatedly criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq that it was Grennell’s job to defend. And now Trump wants to put him at NATO, an organization Trump said was outdated.

These two Foxugees are joining three former colleagues already on Team Trump. K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, and Sebastian Gorka. There would have been four but Monica Crowley withdrew from the National Security Council after being exposed as a plagiarist. She’s back at Fox now. Appearing on Hannity Tuesday night she whined that she had been the victim of “a straight up political hit job.” She also said that her publisher backed her up but, in fact, they halted all sales of her book.

Still more Fox personnel have been considered for administration roles. Trump appears to be building a de facto Ministry of Propaganda out of the White House. All of the elements are falling into place. He’s assembled a cast of characters that has experience in developing fiction and defending the indefensible. Now on the inside they can be counted on to continue showering him with praise and deflecting criticism.

On the other side of this partnership, Fox News is well positioned to take advantage of their unique circumstance. They can expect to be excluded from Trump’s tirades against “fake news.” More importantly, the network’s corporate parent can count on Trump to shepherd through regulations that benefit the company. Fox would love to have the FCC relax TV station ownership caps so they can monopolize markets by buying up more stations. Also high among the priorities of Fox’s CEO Rupert Murdoch, is scuttling the merger of competitors AT&T and TimeWarner. That’s actually a good idea, but not for the selfish reasons Murdoch harbors.

Finally, how can Fox News fairly cover an administration that’s lousy with its own former employees? This presents a conflict that is unprecedented. Those involved are closely associated with one another, and they likely expect to return to Fox after their government service. So neither will want to antagonize the other for fear of hampering future opportunities.

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

Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” is being kept by draining it right into the White House. The stench of corruption stemming from his unsavory connections to Russia now has a media machine to mask the odor. It’s the sort of thing that one observes in the regimes of dictators. There has never been anything similar in the United States. It’s up to what’s left of the independent press to make sure it doesn’t take hold. So we may be in big trouble.

Misdirection Play? That’s Trump’s New Euphemism For Lying; CNN Responds Perfectly

Prior to his address before the joint session of Congress, Donald Trump invited a group of reporters to join him for lunch. During the affair he surprised his guests with news of a significant change in immigration policy. His new position would permit millions of undocumented residents a pathway to legalization. What’s more, he was planning on announcing it in his speech that night. Needless to say, that would be the headline for reports coming out of this gathering.

CNN Misdirection Play

There was just one problem. Trump’s speech began and finished with no reference to immigrants other than his standard hard-line. He still planned to deport the “bad dudes” and build a wall. Plus, he introduced his “Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement” (VOICE) task force to publicize criminal activity by immigrants. You know, the way the Germans did with the Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Equally peculiar was the fact Trump insisted on providing this information on “background.” That means he was acting as his own anonymous source just days after condemning the media for using anonymous sources. But what happened next really blew the lid off this charade.

CNN’s Sara Murray was among the reporters that Trump baited with his fake proposal. She spoke with anchor John King about “the bait and switch that the president pulled when it came to immigration.” Then she went on to engage with King in this exchange:

Murray: “Basically they fed up things that they thought these anchors would like. That they thought would give them positive press coverage for the next few hours. A senior administration official admitted that it was a ‘Misdirection Play.’

“And you will note that when the President was actually out there speaking to the American public, he didn’t talk about a path to legal status. He talked about reforming the legal immigration system so that it’s merit based. That means fewer low-skilled workers. Fewer people coming in on family ties. More people coming in on high-skilled visas. That is closer to a Stephen Miller, Stephen Bannon framework of the world than ‘Gang of Eight’ who pushed comprehensive immigration reform.”

King: “Interesting twist. Although it does make you wonder. So we’re not supposed to believe what the senior-most official at the lunch says – who then they allowed it to be the President’s name. We’re not supposed to believe what they say? Maybe we shouldn’t believe what they say.”

YA THINK? Trump and his cohorts have been lying for years. If anything, they escalated their lie production after taking up residence in the White House. And reporters are just now wondering if these scoundrels are believable? These are the same people who brought us “alternative facts.” They lie so frequently and openly that it’s impossible not to assume that they simply don’t care if they’re caught.

I suppose it’s encouraging that King and Murray seem to be questioning Trump’s veracity. Although it remains to be seen how long it will last. The media often behaves like a battered spouse who believes that the beatings will stop and the abuser will change. Trump delivers one speech where he doesn’t drool and insult Meryl Streep, and the press sing in unison that he’s now “presidential.” So the next time he says “good morning,” if the morning is actually pleasant, the press may declare him a virtuous truth-teller. They have a distinct masochistic side. Either that or they are so obsessed with ratings that they’d sell their mothers to ISIS.

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

Thank You Fox News: Trump Thanks Fox And Friends For Making Him President (No, REALLY!)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month of the embarrassment that Donald Trump has inflicted on America. With all of the fumbling, lying, and childish insults, it seems like a year. Now, as he prepares to give his first address to a joint session of Congress, Trump took a moment to show his appreciation for those responsible for his ascendancy to the seat of power.

Donald Trump Fox News

In an interview with Fox & Friends (video below), Trump courageously faced the notorious suck ups on the curvy couch. The inquisition began with the hard-nosed Steve Doocy introducing Trump by saying:

“Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation. And, by the way, thank you very much for the shout-out you gave at your press conference about ten days ago.”

Doocy was referring to Trump’s praise of Fox & Friends during a press conference on February 16. In response to a question about leaks and fake news, Trump wondered completely off topic. Instead of answering the question, he ranted about the “hatred and venom” coming from Don Lemon at CNN. In the process he also slobbered all over Fox & Friends saying that:

“Fox & Friends in the morning, they’re very honorable people […] they have the most honest morning show.”

Of course they do. They spend three hours a day fluffing The Donald’s ego and inventing scandals about his critics and opponents. And don’t think that the President hasn’t noticed. He expressed his gratitude to his “Friends” and let them know exactly how much they meant to him:

“You have treated me very fairly. And I’ve been a friend of your show for a long time. Remember those call-ins, right? Maybe without those call-ins, someone else is sitting here.”

Indeed. Trump had a regular weekly segment on Fox & Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He would phone in his incoherent opinions on whatever was the outrage of day. It surely had an impact on the Fox audience and juiced them up for his eventual candidacy. Combine that with the non-stop coverage of his stump speeches (by all the cable news networks), and their relentless defense of everything from pussy grabbing to Russian election tampering, and Fox’s designation as the PR division of The Trump Organization is irrefutable.

It’s not surprising that Trump would thank Fox News for getting him elected. He’s been haranguing the media as “fake news” and even worse, as the enemy of the American people,” for months. But he’s been careful to keep Fox out of the line of fire. In the same interview that he thanked Fox, he also said this of the media in general:

“When they make stories up, when they create sources, cause I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources, you know, the sources don’t exist, sometimes they do exist, I’m not saying all sources, but I do believe that a lot of the sources are made up. A lot of the stories are made up. I believe a lot of, the stories are pure fiction, they just pull it out of air.”

Never mind that he has no evidence of any of those accusations. Fake or nonexistent sources would be a fireable offense at any credible news organization. What’s more, he said the sources for stories about former NSA director Michael Flynn didn’t exist. But that didn’t stop him from firing Flynn based on facts revealed in those stories.

If Trump is going to assert that stories are made up, he should be required to present examples. Don’t hold your breath. His idea of fake news and honest news is warped beyond repair. That explains how he can lash out at CNN for telling the truth, but praise Fox & Friends as honest.

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

Trump Whines That The Media Isn’t Reporting The Lies He Tweets From Fox News

It must be terribly frustrating being Donald Trump. Day after day, having to see the “fake news” ignore the critical issues he’s trying to resolve. How many people attended his inauguration? How much he would have won the popular vote by if not for all the illegal voters? His skyrocketing approval ratings the polls would show if they weren’t rigged? How unfunny Saturday Night Live is? You know, all the things that matter most to the American people.

Fox News Donald Trump

In addition to those presidential priorities, Trump frequently consults with his most trusted advisor – his television set – to shape his nascent agenda. Firmly planted in front of the Fox News channel’s blue glow, Trump obediently regurgitates what they broadcast into his mostly vacant cranial cavity. He has been caught repeatedly tweeting things that were on Fox News minutes prior to his tweet.

The latest example of this came in tweet on Saturday where Trump boasted about his awesome stewardship of the nation’s economy:

The reason the media hasn’t reported that might have something to do with the fact that it isn’t true. PolitiFact’s analysis of the claim concluded that it is “a gross misrepresentation of the state of the debt and the role the new president had in shaping the figure.” PolitiFact sought the opinions of experts who said:

“‘Considering that Trump hasn’t enacted any fiscal legislation, it’s a bit of a stretch for him to take credit for any changes in debt levels,’ Dan Mitchell, a libertarian economist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, told us.” […and…]

“‘I wonder what he thinks he did to bring this about,’ said Harvard University government professor Jeffrey Frankel. ‘This one-month number is trivial in the long-run trend. The national debt will rise this year, and in future years. It will rise at a sharply accelerated rate if Trump carries out even half of his campaign promises for specific tax cuts (and specific spending increases).'”

What’s more, Trump’s misrepresentation of President Obama’s debt management is equally gross. Early in the Obama administration the debt increased because of a stimulus package that Congress had approved before he had even been sworn in. And the nation was still recovering from the worst recession in nearly a century. Subsequent to that, Obama’s economic policies produced a historic period of growth while cutting the deficit by two-thirds.

Which brings us back to where Trump got the notion expressed in his tweet. PolitiFact covered this as well, noting that:

“The tweet mirrors an article posted on the Gateway Pundit website a few days earlier. It was repeated by conservative pundit Herman Cain on Fox News shortly before Trump’s tweet.”

In fact, Herman Cain made the exact same claim on Fox & Friends less than an hour before Trump’s tweet:

So the Gateway Pundit (aka Jim Hoft, a notoriously unreliable source) was wrong. Consequently, Herman Cain on Fox News was wrong. And not surprisingly, Donald Trump was wrong again. Hopefully his relentless dishonesty, and unsavory connections to Russia, will seep through to his followers. To be sure, there’s gonna be demand for a lot of Kool-Aide antidote, but the effort must be made if America is going to survive the Era of Trump.

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

Trump’s CPAC Speech: Narcissistic Blather And Incoherent Attacks On The Media

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for 2017 is currently in progress. And on Friday it featured its star attraction, President Donald Trump. Trump could have stayed home and just delivered a video from any of his campaign stump speeches. His speech (transcript) was entirely devoid of any new thoughts he might have had after being president for a month. Of course, that’s presuming he ever has any new thoughts.

Donald Trump CPAC

Trump began with a familiar topic: himself. He rambled aimlessly for several minutes about whether he had just received a standing ovation. And of course he rattled off false statistics about his allegedly record setting electoral achievements. Then, after a few minutes of right-wing boot-licking, he bragged about how much he is loved by the CPAC crowd. One of his boasts concerned how well he did in polling after his previous CPAC speeches. The truth, however, is that he lost most of the CPAC straw polls bigly. In 2015 he registered a pathetic eigth place finish with only 3.5 percent of the vote. Last year, with the presidential campaign in full swing, he finished a distant third with 15 percent.

Trump did manage to stuff in the usual conservative issues and wingnut applause lines. He promised to fight terrorism, repeal ObamaCare, deport Mexicans, cut taxes, and build a wall. And he would preside over the biggest military buildup ever, and spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, while eliminating the national debt. As usual, he provided no details as to how he would accomplish any of those fantastical goals.

Much of the speech was focused on his infamous hatred for the free press, or as he calls it, the “fake news.” He opened this part of his address with a manic declaration. “I want you all to know,” he ranted, “that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake. Phony. Fake.” Then he elaborated:

“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There’re no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said, ‘Give me a break.’ Because I know the people, I know who they talk to. There were no nine people. But they say ‘nine people.’ And somebody reads it and they think, ‘Oh, nine people. They have nine sources.’ They make up sources.”

Indeed, Trump railed about the media as the enemy of the American people. That’s a phrase that maligns the First Amendment, and has its roots in Mao’s China. But his mad ravings about the “nine sources” is especially puzzling. That’s because he’s referring to a story in the Washington Post about his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. The Post reported that they had nine sources affirming that Flynn had inappropriate discussions with Russian agents during the campaign. As a result of that story, Trump fired Flynn. Is he now contending that he fired his top national security aide because of a fake story with no sources? Who knows? And it doesn’t get any more comprehensible from there:

“They’re very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out. And now I’m saying, ‘Oh no, this is no good.’ But that’s the way they are.” […]

“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. ‘A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being.’ Let ’em say it to my face. Let there be no more sources.”

Huh? First of all, without any sources there wouldn’t be any stories. And anonymity is necessary at times when the source is threatened professionally, financially, or physically. And, of course, Trump’s administration has its own anonymous sources that pass information to the press. Will he identify them all now? The only part of that that made any sense was the part about him being a “horrible human being.”

As for Trump’s assertion that he specified only fake news as the enemy of the people, he’s right. But his assertion that reports left that word out is nonsense. In most cases cases they quoted his tweet verbatim and showed it on screen or in print. Furthermore, his tweet accusing the media of fakery was pretty broadly stated. He explicitly cited the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN. Apparently, Trump regards only Fox News, Infowars, the National Enquirer, and Breitbart News as non-fake. And he still isn’t through:

“They say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment. You know, they always bring up the First Amendment. And I love the First Amendment; nobody loves it better than me. Nobody. I mean, who use it more than I do? […] So just in finishing, I say it doesn’t represent the people. It doesn’t tell the – never will represent the people. And we’re going to do something about it because we have to go out and have to speak our minds and we have to be honest.”

Who ever said that he can’t criticize the media? Are the voices in his head shouting louder than the Fox News blowhards on his TV? And for someone who claims to appreciate the First Amendment, he has a funny way of showing it. Friday afternoon his press secretary explicitly banned several news organizations from an informal briefing. After admitting right-wing propaganda outfits like Breitbart and the One America News Network, Sean Spicer shut the door. He refused entry to CNN, the New York Times, Politico, The Hill, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News. This is in direct contradiction of a promise he made last December that he would “absolutely not” ban any credentialed journalists. So much for fairness and transparency in the Trump press office.

So just in finishing, WTF does Trump mean when he says that the media “doesn’t represent the people” and that he’s “going to do something about it?” What exactly does he have in mind? And does he think it’s the job of the president to make the media represent the people, as he defines it?

This CPAC speech was another in long line of embarrassingly maniacal orations that have come to epitomize the Trumpian sermonizing. They are filled with lies, exaggerations, boasting, and malice toward many. And to the extent that they can be comprehended, they are almost entirely lacking in substance. Yet somehow, his glassy-eyed followers cheer wildly as if he said something that wasn’t gibberish. That may be the saddest – and scariest – part of the Era of Trump.

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

Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Banned From Morning Joe Because She ‘Makes Things Up’

One of the many abhorrent things that the Era of Trump will be remembered for is the emergence of “Fake News.” The term’s definition has become fuzzy, but within Donald Trump’s circle it is defined as anything with which he disagrees. However, everywhere else it is more accurately defined as news that is deliberately contrived for financial or political gain.

Kellyanne Conway

The Trump Team has demonstrated its prowess in this new field of fictionalized reporting. Starting from the the top with Trump notching a record number of “Pants-On-Fire” lies on PolitiFact. And his press secretary, Sean “Fibby Spice” Spicer valiantly defends his boss with equally dishonest press briefings.

Another member of the Liars Brigade is Kellyanne Conway, the originator of “alternative facts.” However, her star may have fallen a bit in recent days. She was staggeringly out of the loop on the Michael Flynn resignation. Just a few hours before he was sacked she was still insisting that he had the President’s full confidence. And she has recently been called out for not making sense or for plugging Ivanka’s fashion line. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has called on Trump to investigate and discipline her for the latter.

Wednesday morning Conway got some more bad news. The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe have decided to ban her from future appearances. Both Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski assailed her record of inventing stories just to enhance her bookings. Brzezinski came out swinging with a biting question: “How many times does she go out and say things that are not true?” She continued:

“We know for a fact she tries to book herself on this show. I won’t do it because I don’t believe in fake news or information that isn’t true. Every time I’ve ever seen her on television something’s askew, off or incorrect.”

Scarborough agreed saying that Conway’s commentaries were “blatantly false.” But he went further to assert that she is ill-informed because she isn’t even invited to the meetings of Trump’s inner circle. Consequently, she is “a spokesperson in the White House [who] actually goes out and makes things up.”

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

This is good first step for the media. Next Conway should be shunned by every show on MSNBC. Following that, every other network should decline to book her. And if they really want to make a statement honoring truth in politics, they should do the same to Spicer. At the very least they need to stop airing his daily briefings live. By delaying the broadcast they can deny him a platform for his unfiltered propaganda and conduct a fair fact-checking. The public would be surely be better off. And the media could learn from Brzezinski’s example as she declares that:

“Kellyanne Conway does not need to text our show. At least as long as I’m on it. Because it’s not happening here.”

Fibby Spice: Sean Spicer Is Congenitally Incapable Of Telling The Truth

The Trump administration is crumbling at a rate unheard of in modern times. The latest brick to fall is the “resignation” of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after only 24 days on the job. Flynn’s downfall was the result of his covert discussions with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions. He later failed to disclose these talks to Vice-President Mike Pence and other Trump officials.

This is a blatant violation of both protocol and national security. Flynn may have violated several laws in addition to demonstrating a complete lack of ethics. Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, rambled aimlessly at Tuesday morning’s daily briefing. He sought to downplay and divert from the serious issues at hand while exalting the dangerously lazy response by Trump.

Fibby Spice Sean Spicer

Spicer insisted that Trump was “unbelievably decisive” despite waiting nearly a month after he was first advised of the breach. That remark might have been the most ludicrous of the whole briefing until he later said that “The irony of all this has been the president has been incredibly tough on Russia.” WTF? Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump has been tougher on Meryl Streep and Nordstrom’s than he has on his BFF, Vladimir Putin.

Among the brazen lies uttered throughout the briefing was that Trump fired Flynn by asking for his resignation. However, the day before Flynn’s hurried exit the administration insisted the opposite was the case. Both CNN and Fox News reported that Trump did not fire Flynn, and that he voluntarily resigned.

Furthermore, Spicer’s explanation was wholly illogical. His contention that Flynn had done nothing illegal or inappropriate begs the question: Then why did he lie to Pence and his other colleagues? For practice? Spicer’s account suggests that Flynn risked his reputation and career for no reason whatsoever.

Spicer also laid out a timeline that put Trump in front of the whole affair with full knowledge and managerial control. But Friday Trump told reporters that he was unaware of the allegations and said he would look into it. If that’s accurate he could not have known weeks ago as Spicer indicated. Nor could he be portrayed as being on top of it and decisive. Spicer tried to explain this away as Trump merely saying that he was unaware of the allegations as reported in the Washington Post. But that wasn’t the question that he was asked, and the Post wasn’t brought into it until later.

So both Trump and Spicer are weaving dubious tales of how the Flynn affair unfolded. The most likely scenario would be that Trump knew about Flynn weeks ago, but can’t admit it. It would make him appear weak and even compromised with regard to the illegal discussions with Russia. Consequently, Spicer had to bobble his responses to keep from admitting Trump’s failures. If Trump actually was ignorant of Flynn’s dealings, that would be equally as troubling. It would mean that his staff had kept him out of the loop for weeks while a possible national security breach had occurred.

There is simply no good way to spin this. But Spicer is giving it the old college try. Unfortunately, he’s way short of the mark. Even Trump has had to intercede with a distraction via Twitter He tweeted that the real story isn’t the security breach, but the leaks that made the public aware of it. Because we certainly can’t have the American people finding out that the President is conspiring with hostile foreign countries.

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