SO F*CKING WHAT? Trump Tweets That He’ll Hand Business Over To His Fully Conflicted Kids

America’s Robber Baron-Elect, Donald Trump, disgorged himself on Twitter again in a pre-dawn diatribe. This one sought to allay the fears of his extensive conflicts of interest by repeating his prior insufficient explanations.

Donald Trump

Here are the tweets he fired off in his sleepless rant:

Once again, he seems to think that handing his businesses off to his kids removes the potential for corruption. All it does is appoints his kids as the executors of his worldwide graft and bribery operations. He still has complete knowledge of his assets and what government measures would benefit them. Family members cannot be characterized as a “blind trust” and most of his properties around the world have his name plastered on them in gold.

Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel is already playing host to foreign dignitaries. These guests have admitted that they booked the venue to ingratiate themselves to the President-elect. Consequently, Trump could be in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause immediately after taking the oath of office.

Trump casually asserts that he is not mandated by law to divest himself, but that’s not what the Constitution says. He further states that it is only “visually important” to avoid conflicts of interest. Actually avoiding them doesn’t appear to be on his agenda. That suggests that if he can effectively hide his crookedness it would be OK. If he really believes that the presidency is “a far more important task” than his real estate ventures, then why won’t he divest?

There is, perhaps, something more significant in his tweets than the old news that he is promoting his Trumpkins. That’s the announcement that he will hold a press conference on December 15, to address the subject. Trump has not held a press conference in the three weeks since Election Day. That’s the longest period a president-elect has gone without a post-election press conference in forty years. But it’s even worse than that because he hasn’t had a formal press conference at all since July. In fact, with only four exceptions, he hasn’t been interviewed on a non-Fox News outlet in nearly six months. This was so egregious that Fox News even reported it.

It’s not for lack of newsworthy discussion topics. By avoiding the press Trump has evaded questions on serious issues that impact the nation. For instance, an election that is tainted by allegations of voter suppression and his loss of the popular vote. At least a dozen women who are charging him with sexual assault. His unsavory connections to Russia and its efforts to interfere with the election. Payment of $25 million to settle a lawsuit to compensate the fraud victims of his phony Trump University. His cabinet and administration appointees who are affiliated with radical racist organizations. And, of course, his growing list of ethically compromising conflicts of interest.

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

Now he says he will hold a press conference. The last time he said that he ended up staging an infomercial for his hotel, steaks, and other sundry QVC-esque commodities. Trump enjoys screwing with the press almost as much as lying to it. Consequently, we ought not to expect him to keep his word about the purpose of this gathering. In fact, we should not necessarily expect there to be one at all. Stay tuned.

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.

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.

Amanpour Drops Truth Bomb On Trump Era Press: ‘I Believe In Being Truthful, Not Neutral’

This week CNN’s chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. It is awarded at the International Press Freedom Awards for “extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom. Her acceptance speech was an inspiring appeal to “recommit to robust, fact-based reporting” in the Age of Trump. [Video below]

Amanpour Trump

Right from the start Amanpour addressed the serious challenge posed by Donald Trump’s rancid rhetoric. She recognized the risks created by a candidate whose words literally incited violence toward reporters:

“I never thought in a million years that I’d be standing up here, after all the times I’ve participated in this ceremony, appealing, really, for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.”

That is indeed a sobering realization on the current state of media relations as practiced by Trump and his campaign. Even so, Amanpour expressed optimism that after the election Trump would moderate his hostility toward the press. Unfortunately, he did no such thing:

“I was chilled when [Trump’s] first tweet after the election was about professional protesters incited by the media.” [Because as we all know] “First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating. And then suddenly they find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. And then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prisons, and then who knows what.

On this Amanpour may be a little behind the curve. The right-wing media has been denigrating the press for years with charges of being “in the tank” for Obama or Clinton or whoever the current object of their hatred is. And as for accusing them of being terrorists, that was already done on Fox News by their “strategic analyst,” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. In an unhinged rant he assaulted the media saying:

“Rejecting the god of their fathers, the neo-pagans who dominate the media serve as lackeys at the terrorists’ bloody altar. […] Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.”

Imagine that. Fox News actually pays that guy to advocate for military assassinations of American journalists. No wonder Amanpour is chilled. She goes on to explain why the media needs to stand firm in defense of facts and not fall into the trap of false equivalencies. What follows are some selected quotes:

“[It’s time to] recommit to robust, fact-based reporting, without fear or without favor, on the issues. Don’t stand for being labeled or called ‘lying,’ or ‘crooked,’ or ‘failing.'”

“Much of the media was tying itself in knots trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, the truth. We cannot continue the old paradigm. We cannot, for instance, keep saying, like it was over global warming. When 99% of the science, the empirical facts, the evidence, is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.”

“I learned a long, long time ago…never to equate victim and aggressor. Never to create a false moral or factual equivalence…So I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight especially hard right now for the truth.”

“[Donald Trump] did a very savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people. Combined with the most incredible development ever, which is the tsunami of fake news, aka lies.”

“I feel that we face an existential crisis, a threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession. Now, more than ever, we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation, a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril. Including by foreign powers like Russia who pay to churn out and place these false news articles, these lies, in many of our press. They hack into democratic systems.”

“I was shocked because very few ever imagined that so many Americans conducting their sacred duty in the secret ballot box, using their ballots, would be angry enough to ignore the wholesale denigration of these values. The vulgarity of language, the sexual predatory behavior, the deep misogyny, the bigoted and insulting views.”

Amanpour closed by declaring that “We must fight against the normalization of what is unacceptable.” By that she means the way the media has begun to treat neo-Nazis and racists and anti-Semites as if they were just another place-setting on the table of ideologies. They are not. And Trump’s “alt-right” Chief Strategist, Stephen Bannon, is a good example of what is unacceptable, but is getting a pass from the press.

This is not the first time that Trump has been rebuked for placing the First Amendment in Jeopardy. In October the Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement calling him “an unprecedented threat to press freedom.” And the National Press Club condemned his anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.” Hopefully these warnings, and Amanpour’s words, will be heeded and applied as the next administration prepares to execute its abhorrent agenda.

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

Trump Shill: Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Corruption Of The Presidency

It’s been less than two weeks since election day and Donald Trump is proving what many of his critics have warned about. His determination to exploit the presidency for personal gain becomes clearer with each passing day.

Donald Trump

Already the President-elect has met with business partners from India where he has pending projects. In a congratulatory call from the the president of Argentina, Trump asked for his help in facilitating building permits. He let his daughter Ivanka sit in on a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan. The Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign diplomats gathered at Trump’s hotel in Washington to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president. And that is just a sampling of the potentially impeachable offenses that Trump is shamelessly rubbing in America’s face.

What makes this all the more galling is the response to these ethical breaches from within the Trump camp. His senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway, was on Fox News Monday morning where she waived off any concerns as distractions. She characterized Trump’s “sacrifices” as being more noteworthy:

“It’s a unique situation to have such a successful a businessman that has so many holdings ascend to the oval office. But I also want people to see what a sacrifice it is. He has invested tens of millions of dollars and other deals have had to wait, because he’s doing this. But his adult children are right there. They’re already his colleagues. He’s already been their mentor and they’re already chief executives there.”

It’s difficult to see any evidence of sacrifice on the part of Trump. He is blatantly promoting his own financial self-interests. And Conway’s description of the role his children are playing just makes matters worse. She is conceding that they have been groomed to represent his business objectives. It’s a veritable confession of self-dealing – a felony under federal law.

The fact that Trump’s children are officials in both his business and his presidential transition team is worrisome. It sends a message to those seeking favor with the President that they can please him by patronizing his far-flung enterprises. The Trump administration is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump Organization.

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

Conway is now making the rounds to friendly media to portray the appearance of corruption as irrelevant or an illusion. This can only lead to the wholesale commercialization of the presidency, or the next constitutional crisis. Either way it damages our country’s reputation and integrity. And it affirms the sad truth that electing Trump will be the biggest embarrassment this nation has ever suffered.

Getting Rid Of Fake News? Start With Fox News!

For the past few days there has been a big furor over the spread of fake news online. Much of the criticism hinges on what impact it might have had on the election. A BuzzFeed analysis revealed that fake news stories “generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets” such as the New York Times, NBC News, etc. What’s more, the study shows that Trump supporters were far more likely to be taken in by fake news than others:

“Of the 20 top-performing false election stories identified in the analysis, all but three were overtly pro-Donald Trump or anti-Hillary Clinton.” [and that] The research turned up only one viral false election story from a hyperpartisan left-wing site…The other false viral election stories from hyperpartisan sites came from right-wing publishers, according to the analysis.

Social media sites are taking steps to mitigate the problem. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to address it saying that “we take this responsibility seriously.” However, if that’s true there is one very prominent producer of fake news that would have to be included in any purge.

Fox News has been creating a veritable cornucopia of disinformation for most of its twenty year existence. The volume of demonstrably false stories that it publishes dwarfs any of the fake sites that BuzzFeed studied.

Fox News Lies

So this might be a good time to provide some examples of why Fox News is the unchallenged leader in bullshit. These are all real headlines from Fox News:

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

Each and every one of those stories are patently false. They are not merely differences of opinion, but verifiably untrue. The question is, could any of this type of fiction have swayed the election? Who knows? But it certainly doesn’t help. And the fact that the gullibility of news consumers is slanted so heavily to the right is an alarming revelation. These types of stories may not move average voters, but Donald Trump’s voters are prime targets for such deception. Obviously they aren’t interested in truth or they wouldn’t be Trump voters (see the Trump Bullshitopedia).

Even President Obama took notice of this “breakdown” in the media:

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in sound bites and snippets off their phones, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems. Then democracy will break down.”

Hannity Wants To Use White House Press Credentials To Punish, Censor ‘Unfriendly’ Media

The emerging profile of the Trump administration is beginning to take shape. And it is just as frightening and offensive as expected.

Sean Hannity

Donald Trump’s first two official appointments provide no confidence whatsoever of a competent, inclusive Executive Branch. Right out of the gate is the current chair of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, as Chief of Staff. So the gateway to the Oval Office will be guarded by a rank political partisan with no experience in government. Secondly, Trump made his campaign chair, Stephen Bannon, his Chief Strategist. Bannon, of course, is also the CEO of Breitbart News, the alt-right’s mouthpiece for racist propaganda.

On Monday Sean Hannity of Fox News (Breitbart Lite) made his position clear regarding how Trump should handle the media. Not that Trump hasn’t already been clear that he regards it as a dishonest bunch of sleazy liars. A pro-Trump Twitter user posted a comment that caught Hannity’s eye. It said “CNN, NYT, WaPo & others shown to have colluded by @wikileaks should not receive WH press credentials.” Hannity retweeted it and responded simply “Amen.”

First of all, there have been no WikiLeaks documents revealing any collusion between the news organizations cited. That is just another invented “fact” that fuels so much of the right’s irrational outrage. The truth is that most of the WikiLeaks references to the media exposed nothing but reporters seeking information or interviews. In other words, doing their jobs.

The bigger problem here is the eagerness with which Hannity agreed that it would be proper to deny press credentials to some of the most prominent news enterprises in the country. It is a direct expression of support for punishing media for being critical of the President. That is a blatant breach of the First Amendment and the principle of freedom of the press. The White House press corps is not supposed to be the cheering section for Trump & Company.

For his part, Trump has demonstrated a hostility to the media that borders on psychotic. Journalist organizations have deemed him an unprecedented threat to press freedom. He calls reporters liars, dummies, and sleazy, as he points to them menacingly at his rallies. That has resulted in some reporters becoming targets of assaults. His vitriol has contributed to driving trust of the media to historic lows. And he has already engaged in discriminatory acts that amount to censorship by banning certain reporters from his events. They include the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

On the other hand, Trump has granted press passes to some unsavory characters who don’t qualify as legitimate media. A notable example is James Edwards of the Political Cesspool blog. Edwards is an unabashed racist who has written favorably about slavery. That’s the sort of “journalist” that makes the grade in Trump’s Ivory Tower. If The Donald’s Politburo has its way only Breitbart News and the National Enquirer would receive credentials.

However, it may not be that easy for them to carry out their purge. Authority over who gets press passes to the White House belongs to the Standing Committee of Correspondents on Capitol Hill. The committee is made up of credentialed congressional reporters. But the White House could still forbid individuals based on informal criteria mainly involving security. Even then, it might encounter opposition from the media and the public if it acted out of partisanship or revenge.

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

Hannity’s hypocrisy, however, is both stunning and typical. The same Hannity who now favors punishing “unfriendly” media, used to have seizures if President Obama said anything mildly critical of the press. And this anti-First Amendment view is plainly shared by Trump and his inner circle of autocrats. Without strict oversight of the Trump administration’s tendency toward censorship, it will surely try to poison press relations and access. That could lead to a dangerous situation wherein an aspiring dictator could deceive the nation into creeping tyranny. It has happened before.

John Oliver Trashes Trump As ‘A Klan-Backed Misogynist Internet Troll’

It may be difficult to find the humor in last week’s election results. Americans who are appropriately terrified by the prospect of Donald Trump’s presidency may be in no mood to laugh. However, some comic relief could be just the right medicine for a nation infected by the Great Orange Plague of 2016. And who better to fill that prescription than John Oliver.

John Oliver

In the season finale of his HBO program, Oliver spent the whole show assessing the consequences of Tuesday’s debacle. He began by finding a smidgen of positivity by noticing that the promise of opportunity in this country is still alive. “America proved,” Oliver wryly observed, “that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world.” Only in America. He went on to question the potential causes that led us to the edge of this political cliff:

“How the fuck did we get here? Well clearly, there are many possible answers to that question, including: misleading forecasts that bred complacency; a flawed candidate who failed to appeal to white rural and working-class voters; and — and this is worth repeating — deep racism and/or indifference to it.”

It’s impossible to argue with that assessment, as far as it goes. But Oliver then launched an assault on what is certainly one of the primary factors in Trump’s victory: The Media! He castigated it for having neglected its professional obligations to the public. He was stunned by “how a system that is supposed to catch a serial liar failed.” But he was also aware of the shameful malfeasance of the corporate press hacks who seemed to be oblivious to their ineptitude. He quoted CNN’s president Jeff Zucker:

“I’d say that if we made a mistake last year, it’s that we probably did put on too many of his campaign rallies in those early months, unedited, and just let them run. And I think, in hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have done that as much.”

Is he freakin’ kidding?! Zucker considers that an insightful reflection on his performance as a news executive? Well, how could he have known not to pander to Trump incessantly for hours on end? Other than by having been chastised for it repeatedly while he was doing it. Every respected media analyst was loudly condemning the networks for kowtowing to Trump. If this “mistake” came as a surprise to him he is either totally incompetent or in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. More likely he was taking the same approach as a network colleague who at least was honest enough to admit that he was in it for the ratings. Les Moonves of CBS told a media conference that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” And that’s the same theory by which all the networks operate. Greed before patriotism.

Oliver went on to urge viewers to “stay here and fight” because the country can no longer assume that we have a president who will “stand up for the rights of all Americans.” And he pegged Trump as deceitful and opportunistic saying that:

“Trump is a masterful denier of both reality and responsibility. He is a man that would kick you in the nuts and then tell you that your penis did it. So the press is gonna face challenges. Not just because Trump’s chief strategist is Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, but also because of yet another promise that Trump made:

“‘If I become president they are gonna have such problems. Oh, are they gonna have problems. I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.'”

Let that sink in. Trump, having benefited inordinately from a star-struck press corps, is also threatening to sue them into oblivion. It’s a sort of battered spouse relationship with Trump receiving all the love while meting out the abuse. Unfortunately, that perverse relationship is likely continue as Trump moves into the White House. And Oliver had some closing remarks to make sure that citizens don’t become numbed to the insanity. He urged people to “get actively involved to at least mitigate Trump’s damage” and that:

“It is gonna be too easy for things to start feeling normal, especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions. So keep reminding yourself: This is not normal. […] because a Klan-backed, misogynist, internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address. And that is NOT normal! It is FUCKED UP.”

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

CONFIRMED: Fox News Was ‘Nakedly Colluding’ With Donald Trump

File this one under “Things We Already Knew.” Yes, it was painfully obvious that Fox News always had a clear preference for then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump. But until now there hasn’t been such a profoundly forthright admission of their bias.

Megyn Kelly Donald Trump

Fox News host Megyn Kelly has a new book, Settle For More, that contains some surprising revelations about her experiences at work. Among those previously excerpted in the press were her allegations of being a victim of sexual harassment. After a dozen other women revealed their harrowing encounters with the disgraced ex-CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, Kelly finally came forward with her own account.

In a similarly late confession, Kelly’s book also exposes a small piece of the political propaganda machine at Fox News. The New York Times received a pre-release copy from which they quoted a section about the Trump campaign. The excerpt describes Kelly’s discovery that someone at Fox was funneling debate questions to Trump:

“Then, the day before the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump was in a lather again, Ms. Kelly writes. He called Fox executives, saying he’d heard that her first question ‘was a very pointed question directed at him.’ This disconcerted her, because it was true: It was about his history of using disparaging language about women.

“She doesn’t speculate where the leak came from. (She reports. You decide.) But that’s another unambiguous takeaway from this book: Parts of Fox — or at the very least, Roger Ailes, the network’s chairman until July, when he was given the boot after several allegations of sexual harassment were made against him — seemed to be nakedly colluding with the Republican presidential nominee.”

There you have it. An eyewitness account of Fox News deliberately interfering with a candidates debate to benefit their chosen one. And the witness isn’t a wild-eyed, liberal, Fox hating, radical. It’s the fastest rising star on the network who is frequently referred to as “the future of Fox News.” So in addition to providing Trump with millions of dollars of free airtime, they were fouling supposedly neutral debate broadcasts.

On one hand, it’s admirable that Kelly includes this in her book. It casts a decidedly negative light on the heavily slanted editorial processes at Fox. On the other hand, she failed her obligations as a “journalist” by not saying anything when it occurred. The fact that a candidate was receiving tips on the questions for an upcoming debate is big news. And Kelly certainly agrees with that principle. She made a big deal about the exact same accusation when it was aimed at Democratic operative Donna Brazile.

In a stolen email released by WikiLeaks, Brazile made comments that implied that she had advance knowledge of a debate question and passed it on to the Clinton campaign. Kelly even raised this issue in an interview with Brazile wherein she asked “Can you imagine if this were a Republican had been fed a question by Fox News? You know, the different reaction we’d be seeing in the media?”

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

Yes, we do know, and we don’t have to use our imagination. The reaction on Fox News would be to cover it up until a for-profit book tour could be scheduled. So Trump got away with colluding with Fox News to help him in a debate. And Kelly got a juicy morsel of gossip with which to promote her book. It’s a win-win – for deceitful propagandists and dishonest TV hosts. And, of course, for ignorant, racist, xenophobic, misogynist, narcissistic, wannabe dictators.

BUSTED: Trump’s Campaign Boss Tied To FBI’s Review Of The Clinton Foundation

The FBI has come under sustained and deserved criticism for the past week due to public pronouncements regarding Hillary Clinton. They demonstrated a blatant double standard by releasing vague but damaging statements about Clinton a few days before an election. Those statements have allowed Clinton’s opponents to smear her, but leave her little of substance to rebut. However, the FBI refused to discuss investigations of Donald Trump’s shady connections to Russia saying that it’s too close to an election.

Comey Trump

Now the New York Times is reporting that the FBI’s inquiry into the Clinton Foundation was built on discredited reporting by a well-known anti-Clinton hack. The Times writes that the FBI’s case:

“…had not developed much evidence and was based mostly on information that had surfaced in news stories and the book ‘Clinton Cash,’ according to several law enforcement officials briefed on the case.”

In addition, CNN is reporting that internal discussions within the FBI debated whether to proceed with an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. However, according to CNN “Officials leading the meeting told the FBI that investigators hadn’t turned up much more evidence beyond that contained in ‘Clinton Cash.'” In other words, the whole affair was turning out to be a big nothingburger.

Some background is required on the book that the FBI has apparently embraced as the cornerstone of their inquisition. Clinton Cash was published last year as an attempt to connect donations to the Clinton Foundation with the personal finances of the Clintons. The book was harshly criticized for containing numerous factual errors and failing to document its thesis.

For instance, the book alleged that Clinton played a “central role” in approving the sale of a uranium company. It further alleged that she did so in return for a donation to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, the records show that Clinton didn’t weigh in on the matter at all. What’s more, the sale required the approval of nine different federal agencies, so Clinton’s participation would have had minimal impact. The book’s author later admitted in an ABC News interview that he had no evidence to substantiate his charge. That’s just one of many examples of the author’s dishonesty.

And speaking of the author, he is a long-time Republican activist named Peter Schweizer. His resume boasts stints with Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and George W. Bush. He has a history of making false allegations that often require retractions. One of his previous books was saddled with this audacious and absurd title: “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic And Envious, Whine Less…And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals.” And…inhale.

Schweizer may seem like a peculiar choice for the FBI to hinge their case on. But wait up – it gets worse. Schweizer is also the president of a conservative “think” tank called the Government Accountability Institute (GAI). The GAI conducts studies that have about the same low level of credibility as Schweizer’s books. It’s purpose is to stream their poorly-sourced, partisan propaganda into the media. The chairman and founder of GAI is Stephen Bannon. Bannon is currently on leave from his job as chairman of Breitbart News so that he can run Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

So in summary, the FBI is basing their Clinton case on a widely debunked book, written by a disreputable Clinton foe, whose boss is a right-wing propagandist, and the CEO of Trump’s campaign. You may want to go back and read that sentence again slowly. It describes a severely maladjusted law enforcement agency that is improperly politicizing its work.

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

And if that weren’t enough, recall that the Times also mentioned news reports as among the FBI’s sources. Presumably they are referring to reports like the hour-long special Fox News did on Schweizer’s book. It’s one thing when dimwitted wingnuts fall for malarkey from people like Schweizer and Fox News. But it’s much more depressing – and dangerous – when the FBI does it.

Trump TV Network? Here’s 7 Reasons It Will Be His Next HUGE Failure

The idea of launching a right-wing television network has been rattling around the Trump camp for months. Last June News Corpse reported that Trump insiders were talking about the possibility of Donald Trump trying to drag his glassy-eyed disciples from the musty arenas and airport hangers where he stages his rallies to the comfort of their own trailer parks. It was a terrible idea then, and it’s still a terrible idea.

Donald Trump

Undeterred, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continues to pursue the venture. According to reports, “Kushner has informally approached one of the media industry’s top dealmakers about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election in November.” Also reported is that “Kushner and the Republican candidate himself are thinking about how to capitalize on the populist movement that has sprung up around their campaign in the event of an election defeat to Democrat Hillary Clinton next month.”

The first notable revelation here is that Trump is spending an inordinate amount of attention on his post-election activities. And they do not involve being president. Perhaps he has recognized what so many of us already know: He’s toast. But even more problematic for him, the TrumpTV project is destined for defeat. There are numerous reasons for that ranging from personal inadequacies to economic realities. Here is a list of the most obvious reasons for a TrumpTV disaster:

1) Donald Trump is one of the worst businessmen of his generation

Trump has suffered multiple bankruptcies. He has underperformed the markets within which his companies operate. He is currently being sued for fraud. And he couldn’t even manage to make money in the casino business. That’s not exactly a resume that inspires confidence.

2) Trump cannot deliver ratings

He’s fooling himself if he believes that his glowing orange presence is what drove the ratings during this election season. The reason people are watching is the prospect of seeing him speak in tongues, or otherwise breakdown on live TV.

3) The programming would suck

What could his network produce to capitalize on his campaign? Lectures to his emotionally unstable viewers on how awful America is? The Alex Jones Conspiracy Theory Theater Hour? Ivanka and Ted Nugent as a bizarro Donny and Marie? The NRA’s version of CSI? The Walking Dread with David Duke? Perhaps a home shopping angle wherein he tries to sell steaks, time shares, and worthless diplomas.

4) Trump’s brand is toxic

His hate-filled campaign has re-branded him as the nation’s foremost racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hate monger since Archie Bunker. And while his supporters may seem numerous when you stuff a few thousand into a baseball stadium in Alabama, in order to succeed in TV you need millions of viewers to tune in regularly. Will his fans do that to hear the same stump speech he has been rambling off for the past year?

5) Where will the advertisers come from?

Most companies do not want to be associated with demagogic bigots. Just ask Rush Limbaugh whose advertising revenue has collapsed to the point where it is threatening the continued existence of his radio show.

6) Trump hates the media

Someone who has such open disdain for the media is unlikely to be successful as a member of the club. In just the past week he has been condemned by multiple organizations that advocate for a free press. They have called him “an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists.” His continuous barrage of intimidation and insults have literally put reporters at risk.

7) The cable business is currently a terrible investment

Many people are abandoning cable (cord-cutters) in favor of services like Netflix and Hulu. There is an over-saturation of channels struggling to get attention. Cable systems have no space for new channels. And people with far more adoring fans have had a tough time rolling out new networks. Oprah Winfrey is perfect example of one of America’s most beloved figures whose cable channel is struggling. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have also bombed out while trying to launch video ventures.

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

Trump may try to coax Sean Hannity to leave his perch at Fox News. That could give him a quick, but short, burst of energy. Fox’s disgraced former CEO, Roger Ailes might be persuaded to play a role. However, that could only happen if he found a way to evade the non-competition clause of his separation agreement with Fox. His campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, would be a possibility to run the operation. Then again, that would only ensure that it appeals to the deplorable demographic that fuels his alt-right website, Breitbart News.

If Trump decides to go ahead with his cable project it will almost certainly be a personal and financial fiasco. It will follow on the heels of his landslide loss for the presidency. On that prospect Trump has expressed his opinion of what it will have meant if he loses the election. He said “if I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime.” Well, at least until his loopy media mogul ambitions implode.