Donald Trump Dines With Fox News Boss: Just Two Billionaire Plutocrats Chewing The Fat?

While in Scotland pimping his golf course and making idiotic statements about the United Kingdom quitting the European Union (#Brexit), Donald Trump set aside time to meet with the patriarch of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, for dinner. The dinner date was reported by Katy Tur of NBC in deliciously snarky tweet: “His eyes twinkling and a smile cracking his lips, Trump slowly mouthed the word Ruu-Pert when he told me he was dining with @rupertmurdoch.” (Cue the violins).

Donald Trump

Under other circumstances this might be just another opportunity for a couple of wealthy elitists to chow down and laugh at the tribulations of the little people. But, make no mistake, what happened here is unprecedented and ominous. The extraordinary nature of this high society supper becomes apparent by asking a couple of simple questions: 1) What other presidential candidate has Murdoch met with during this campaign? (None). And 2) What other media mogul has dined with any presidential candidate during this campaign? (None).

It is unseemly for anyone in the news business to have such cozy relations with candidates for high office. And it is particularly sleazy when those relations are blatantly one-sided. The “journalists” who work for Murdoch are keenly aware that their boss is signaling his preferences and that can have a chilling effect on how their reporting is conducted. Fox News is already heavily slanted with a starkly pro-Trump, anti-Clinton bias. By making such a public display of partisanship, Murdoch is making matters worse by dropping the full weight of his authority onto the weak-willed minions he employees.

Murdoch’s opinion of Trump has not always been so positive. Last year Murdoch tweeted this question that is still relevant today: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?” Without ever answering that question, Murdoch let it be known that he is supporting Trump anyway. And he must have struggled mightily with that endorsement considering how fiercely Trump has maligned Fox News over the course of his campaign.

For example, Trump has burned just about everyone on the network. He said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. And for good measure, Trump took a swipe at the Fox family’s newspaper saying that the writers at the Wall Street Journal are also “dummies.”

I can’t argue with much of that, but then I’m not coming out in support of someone who has been so disparaging toward my most cherished business enterprise. Murdoch either has the forgiveness of a saint (unlikely), or he is so obsessed with defeating his good friend Hillary Clinton that he is willing to ignore these childish tantrums and embrace Trump, warts and all. There is one other intriguing possibility: Trump has some damaging information on Murdoch, Roger Ailes, or Fox News generally, and is blackmailing them. That would explain a lot.

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

In any case, it remains inappropriate for a media mogul Big Cheese to be feasting with The Big Cheeto. Their secret conversation is of far greater concern than anything that might have been said by Clinton in a speech to Wall Street. The potential for coordinating a media strategy between Fox News and the Trump campaign should make every American suspicious – and not a little nervous.

Chickenhawk Republican Climate Deniers Just Killed Critical Military Funding

The Republican Party has distinguished itself for its shameless, knee-jerk opposition to anything with even a faint fragrance of liberalism. Their robotic rejection of any policy proposed by President Obama, or any other Democrat, is evidence of their acute aversion to critical thinking – or thinking period. And now they may have demonstrated that their assholiness even extends to weakening America’s national security.

Chickenhawk GOP

The Pentagon has long regarded Climate Change as a credible risk factor for international affairs. It is predicted that it will cause more severe natural disasters like hurricanes and drought, and multiplying refugee crises. All of this will profoundly increase the sort global tensions and conflict for which the United States must be prepared.

In response to these risks the Pentagon implemented a strategy (Department of Defense Directive 4715.21) for dealing with the consequences of a warming world. It was a fairly innocuous plan that mainly called for assigning specific people the responsibility of insuring that necessary measures were being taken to address potential problems. But even that plan was too much for the anti-science GOP, as reported by Politico:

“Last week, however, House Republicans voted to block it. By a 216-205 vote Thursday, the House passed an amendment prohibiting the department from spending money to put its new plan into effect. Not a single Democrat voted for the amendment, which was attached to the defense spending bill.”

The amendment was authored by Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who has no experience in either science or the military. His ignorance on the subject led to a defense of his amendment that makes little sense:

“The military, the intelligence community [and] the domestic national security agencies should be focused on ISIS and not on climate change. The fact that the president wants to push a radical green energy agenda should not diminish our ability to counter terrorism. […] The president has talked about an increase in the climate temperature on the planet. It is a fraction of a degree every year. How that is a current threat to us is beyond me.”

Indeed, this entire subject is beyond Rep. Buck. Apparently he thinks that the Defense Department, with 3.1 million employees and a budget of more $600 billion is incapable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Buck also believes that being prepared to respond to future military threats is part of a “radical green agenda.” His absurd position suggests that the U.S. should also drop any projects related to Russia, North Korea, NATO, cyber-warfare, or anything else not directly concerning ISIS.

Republican fear mongers, and their PR division at Fox News, are heavily invested in fighting a narrowly defined war on “radical Islamic terrorism” that mainly consists of reciting those three magic words and watching the bad guys dissolve into the ether. They have no affirmative suggestions for achieving victory, but they are overflowing with pointless criticisms. They mock those, including President Obama, who correctly assert that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.”

Conservatives who dispute the looming danger of a world with declining resources like water and arable land dismiss the warnings of 97 percent of the scientists who study the matter. They believe the whole crisis is a hoax that was invented to enrich greedy professors or, as Donald Trump laughably claimed, by the Chinese. However, the issue was laid out in stark detail by a Republican administration with an icon of modern conservative national security taking the lead:

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

And Rumsfeld is not alone among security professionals in warning about Climate Change. The Politico article quotes several, with decades of military experience, who regard Buck’s amendment as foolish and more costly in the long run. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans. Those are the people Ken Buck and his fellow Republicans are overruling with this ill-considered budget cut.

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

So why would the GOP advance this nonsense that is contrary to the non-partisan opinions of most experts? Because conservatives don’t really care about national security. What they want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like the recent massacre in Orlando. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want. And that purely political, self-serving objective overrides any genuine interest in the welfare of the American people or the world.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Tells Real Doctors To ‘Shut Up’ About Gun Violence

The tragedy in Orlando last week has once again provoked the debate over access to assault weapons and the ease with which such destructive arms are attained by sick people with intent to do harm. It’s a fairly one-sided debate since the majority of Americans are in favor of common sense reforms such as universal background checks, prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns, and banning assault weapons.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to take the side of the NRA extremists who oppose any effort to make our country safer. With the exception of a couple of surprising and out of character commentaries by Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the consensus opinion of Fox News anchors and contributors is that guns should not even be included in the discussion about how to respond to mass murders by guns.

On Fox & Friends, for instance, the Curvy Couch Potatoes called in a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team to offer his “professional” opinion on the matter. Psychologist Keith Ablow is a blatantly political mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda and a confirmed Obama hater who long ago abandoned any credibility as a medical advisor. At the outset of the interview he was asked by co-host Brain Kilmeade whether gun violence is a disease or advancing a political agenda by the government. Ablow responded saying that…

“Of course gun violence isn’t a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association.”

Ablow went on to accuse the AMA of having a desire to “look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.” Presumably, therefore, he is in favor of uncontrolled gun ownership, a position he shares with the world’s terrorists. In support of his argument he rattled off a stream of unrelated statistics about various causes of death in Argentina and Sweden that in no way addressed the very real and continuing problem in the United States. Then he lectured the AMA and the American Psychiatric Association on the need to “rebuild our mental healthcare system,” as if that was a novel idea that they hadn’t though of, or been working on for decades in spite of the opposition from conservatives like Ablow.

Ablow and Kilmeade also felt that it was important to note that homicides by guns were not among the top twenty causes of death in the U.S. That’s correct because health issues like heart attacks and cancer dominate the top ranks of fatalities. But their argument appears to suggest that the thousands of preventable deaths by gun violence are therefore irrelevant and unworthy of discussion. It’s a position that callously dishonors the victims and their families.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ablow’s remarks is that he touches on a cogent thought momentarily, but lets it fade off into his knee-jerk gun fetishism without acknowledging it’s importance. He said that…

“There are reasons for homicide and nobody knows how many of those acts would have taken place without guns.”

Exactly. The fact that nobody knows the answers to many of the questions surrounding the epidemic of gun violence in America is precisely the reason that organizations like the AMA and Centers for Disease Control should be studying the subject. However, Republicans in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that prohibits such studies. Ablow called the attempt to link guns to violence “foolishness,” but what’s more foolish than literally legislating away the quest for knowledge?

As usual, Ablow squeezed in a slap at President Obama by complaining that the AMA “are the people who championed Obamacare” (which, of course, has resulted in more Americans having access to affordable health care than ever before). He ranted that liberals have an agenda “to eat away at gun rights with medical research.” And after this brazenly political screed, Ablow had the audacity to demean those who advocate for more knowledge and greater safety by saying “that’s being political. So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”

Shut up? That’s the advice of the “doctor” on whom Fox News relies for their “fair and balanced” discourse on matters of national importance? That’s how a “news” network approaches a debate on how to deal with serious and deadly issues? Fox News is doing what they always do with controversial issues. They consult a hardcore partisan to push their right-wing message without regard for the truth or the welfare of the nation.

Here’s a Primer on Keith Ablow:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

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

Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism.

There, I said it three times. Is it gone yet?

In the childish imagination of American conservatives the only reason that terrorism still exists is that President Obama and other Democrats have failed to utter the magical incantation “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” The Wingnut Republican Tabernacle and the Pharisees of Fox News have devoutly concluded that this mantra is the key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. They believe that it is rhetorical kryptonite to terrorists. And then they wonder why we think they’re stupid.


What we have here is the widespread adoption of the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “Radical Islamic Terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. It’s clearly an obsession with these strategery geniuses. What’s more, they are convinced that babbling a few words of sorcery is a more effective weapon in the fight against terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though as Commander-in-Chief President Obama disposed of Osama Bin Laden and eliminated thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he chants that sacred three-word spell. Never mind the reports from the real world about actual military progress:

The Pentagon says it has killed about 26,000 ISIS fighters altogether, cut into the group’s cash flow, and driven the terrorists out of 40 percent of the land the organization once controlled. The population living under ISIS’s brutal reign has dropped from 9 million to 6 million people. U.S. strikes have killed several top ISIS strategists, and there are reports that ISIS fighters are retreating wherever they’re attacked, rather than fighting as fiercely as they once did.

And yet, draft dodgers like Donald Trump, who have no experience whatsoever in national security or counter-terrorism, continue to insist on adherence to a vapid slogan they’ve elevated to scripture. In a tweet shortly after the Orlando massacre was reported Trump asked:

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

Those are the sort of deep thoughts that populate the mind of a man who when asked who he speaks to for advice on foreign policy responded that “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” It’s the same man who immediately after hearing the news of the gruesome shootings rushed to Twitter to congratulate himself – twice (here and here) for being right about his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Apparently his “very good brain” missed the fact that the shooter was an American citizen born in New York.

And set aside the fact that Trump is a confirmed birther who believes that Obama should resign in disgrace for being a Kenyan who faked his American citizenship. Now his first response to the worst mass shooting in american history is to taunt the President for not saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” I can’t help but wonder what Trump and his ilk think would change if the President humored them and said the three little words (which used to be “I love you”). Would there be even one more life restored or one more terrorist removed from the battlefield? Of course not. Yet Trump spent the majority of his first post-Orlando speech preaching the “Radical Islamic Terrorism” gospel as if it had some relevance to solving the problem.

On the other hand, there are concrete reasons for declining to say “Radical Islamic Terrorism” or to otherwise refuse to associate the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists. We have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That objective is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are people like Trump insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

When you look at who is for or against directly tying the terrorists to Islam you’ll discover a set of alliances that is enlightening. Those is favor of connecting those dots are the terrorists themselves, Fox News, and the Donald Trump faction of the Republican right. On the other side is President Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and the vast majority of the world’s Muslims who, we must not forget, are also the vast majority of the victims. So the real question here is why is Donald Trump, the GOP, and Fox News on the same side as the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

Conceding that terrorism is the way of Islam amounts to an acceptance of the terrorists demands. It is a form of appeasement that rewards them with precisely what they seek: religious legitimacy. And the Trump Crusaders are playing into their hands. They are, in effect, supporting the goals of the terrorists.

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

One of the arguments frequently proffered to assert that Islam and terrorism are inseparable is that the terrorists call themselves Muslims. By that logic they would also have to argue that Christianity and terrorism are inseparable because right-wing militias, the KKK, and abortion clinic bombers call themselves Christian. But don’t expect to hear that from tunnel-blind right-wingers. Their only interest is in spreading irrational hatred and employing fear to gain power. Sounds something like terrorism, doesn’t it?

Fox News Inspired Terrorist Gets Probation For Plotting To Massacre Muslim-Americans

In May of last year a radical Christian extremist was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on a community of peaceful Muslims in upstate New York. Robert Doggart, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, pleaded guilty to a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Fox News, however, failed to report this story because any terrorist who isn’t Muslim or otherwise dark-skinned isn’t worthy of coverage.

Fox News

Doggart, whose original guilty plea was rejected by the judge (who filed new, more serious indictments against him), has been free on bond ever since and his case is still pending. However, a comrade in arms, William Tore Tint, has just pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the same activities as well as lying to FBI investigators. Tint was recorded plotting with Doggart to kill people and burn down buildings. Following his plea Tint was sentenced to only three years probation.

Neither of these stories were reported by Fox News. That in itself may not be surprising as Fox doesn’t regard any terrorism committed by white Christians, or anyone other than Muslims, to be newsworthy. In fact, they don’t even regard it as terrorism. What makes this extraordinary is that Fox News likely served as an inspiration for the crime.

You have to ask where Doggart and Tint got the groundless notion that the residents of Islamberg were jihadists in training. In January of 2015 Bill O’Reilly hosted Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists. These views were repeated on Fox News by other anchors and pundits across the Fox schedule for weeks.

This is not the only time that Fox News has inspired terrorism. Last year a San Diego man pleaded guilty to a charge of making a criminal threat directed at the offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. His lawyer offered a defense that included the claim that he had problems with alcohol, anxiety and depression and had just finished watching a week of Fox News coverage on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. Two years ago an Indiana man pleaded guilty to arson for having set fire to an Islamic Center in Toledo, Ohio. When the judge asked him if he knew any Muslims or what Islam is he said “No, I only know what I hear on Fox News.”

If any of these criminals were dark-skinned Muslims Fox News would be running video of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan non-stop. They would be ratcheting up the Islamophobia across every program on the network. And they would be frightening their viewers with unfounded generalizations about imminent doom. Of course Donald Trump would be tweeting up a storm and blaming it all on President Obama. But since these were white Christians it wasn’t even worth a mention between segments on summer barbecues and Hooters.

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

Terrorist Color Chart Fox News

Fox News Smears Seniors And Students In Lame Attempt To Smear Bernie Sanders

Today on Fox News the network put in their rotation a chart illustrating the professions of donors to the Bernie Sanders campaign. The chart is dominated by a long bar that is labeled “Not Working.” The implication from the chart, which was backed up by the Fox News anchors who displayed it, was that donors to the Sanders campaign are unemployed, lazy, leeches on society.

Fox News

As you may already have guessed, Fox’s implied shiftlessness of Sanders’ donors is a deliberate lie. The data came from the Los Angeles Times, and while it is true that about 28% of Sanders’ donors do not have jobs, what Fox fails to disclose is that it is a group comprised mainly of retirees (13.5%), students (6.5%), and stay-at-home spouses (14.5%). So what does Fox have against America’s seniors, its youth seeking an education, and its families? If Fox were to report honestly they would have remarked on the large percentage of such honorable people who flock to the Sanders campaign.

Of course, nobody expects Fox to report honestly. And this is just the latest example of their purposeful deceit. No wonder surveys of Fox News viewers consistently show them as being the least informed, and the most misinformed, news consumers in the country. And no wonder they are supporting Donald Trump for president – perhaps the stupidest, most dishonest candidate in the nation’s history.

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

Fox News Just Gift-Wrapped Their Primetime Schedule And Gave It To Donald Trump

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Fox News has jumped aboard the Donald Trump bandwagon in a big way. His most ardent supporters are featured regularly to exalt the presumptuous Republican presidential nominee. Those supporters include the anchors of Fox’s most watched programs in primetime.

Trump News Channel

This past week Fox News handed over its primetime schedule to hour-long specials dedicated to Trump. Every single program set aside all other news stories for an episode of fluffing their favorite candidate. This is unprecedented even for Fox. It comes just a week after the chairman of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, was reported to have embraced Trump’s candidacy. New York Magazine’s veteran Fox-watcher, Gabriel Sherman, revealed that…

“According to a half dozen sources familiar with Murdoch’s thinking, the media mogul has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.”

So it’s no coincidence that the following week Fox’s schedule is littered with packaged profiles of Trump that add nothing to the viewer’s store of knowledge or ability to make an informed decision. Here is what Fox’s primetime offered up last week as a gift to Donald Trump:

Greta Van Susteren’s “Meet The Trump’s”

Van Susteren devoted the whole hour of her show to interviews with Trump’s family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Megyn Kelly’s Donald Trump File

This episode of the Kelly File was partly a rebroadcast of “Megyn Kelly Presents,” the widely panned special that aired on the Fox Entertainment Network. There was some additional footage included that was left out of the original broadcast and, having seen it, Kelly was right to have cut it in the first place. It contained nothing new or interesting.

Bill O’Reilly’s “The Trump Phenomenon”

Not wanting to be left out, O’Reilly cobbled together a bunch of old interviews and presented them as a package for any of his viewers who haven’t seen enough of Donald Trump on television lately. O’Reilly and Trump are old pals and the interviews are a tribute to the sort of softball journalism that you would expect between friends.

And Then There’s Sean Hannity

To his credit, Hannity is the only one of the four primetime hosts who actually bothered to deliver a significant amount of new material featuring Trump. Of course it was substantially the same as everything that Hannity has delivered in the past. He has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television (over 17 hours). To illustrate how much time that is, Fox & Friends came in second with less than half that amount.

Since Trump just surpassed the number of delegates necessary to clinch the GOP nomination, we can expect much more of this hero worship from the folks at Fox News as the general election unfolds. The network that has been pretending to be “fair and balanced” for the past twenty years is wholly engaged in their mission to smear Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

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

While Clinton has not made herself available to Fox with much frequency (she did appear on Fox News Sunday recently), there is nothing stopping them assembling a packaged piece like these ones that they did for Trump. And maybe that’s for the best because, if they did, they would likely accuse her of blowing up the Hindenburg or assassinating Lincoln.

On Fox News, Republican Losers Get Credit For Democratic Successes

One of the most consistent fallacies presented by Fox News on a daily basis is the assignment of blame for for anything that goes wrong exclusively to President Obama. If it can be cast as negative, Obama did it. Some of the laughable liabilities attributed to the President include the riots in Ferguson, MO, California’s drought, Ebola, and even Hurricane Katrina (which happened three years before he was elected. They have blamed him for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. There is simply no way Obama can win with these partisan hacks.

Bush Blame Obama

Fox News’ Stolen Honor

Now, in addition to making Obama shoulder the responsibility for the failures of incompetent Republicans, Fox News is also stealing the credit for anything good that happens during any Democratic administration. This week alone has provided two glaring examples of this stolen honor by Fox pundits who can’t seem find anything that Republicans have done that actually helped the nation.

First we have Eric Bolling, a co-host of Fox’s The Five. During a segment devoted to bashing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bolling sought to diminish her husband’s success in orchestrating what was at the time the longest period of non-wartime economic growth in the nation’s history. Since he couldn’t plausibly deny that it was an era of unprecedented prosperity, Bolling served up this pretzel logic: “The reason why Bill [Clinton] did so well is because of Ronald Reagan.”

Of course it was. Never mind that Reagan was followed by four years of his vice-president George H.W. Bush who ran the economy into the ground and was summarily booted out of office. And perish the thought that Bolling would provide any substantive argument to support his made up theory. According to Bolling Reagan deserves the praise simply for being Reagan.

Following that, Fox’s senior political analyst, Brit Hume, made an appearance on Special Report to deliver his explanation for the political successes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Eventually the discussion diverted to the state of the economy under President Obama. Hume began by asserting that the economy isn’t really in very good shape, but then shifted to proclaim that whatever was good about it wasn’t Obama’s doing, saying that “The credit for rescuing the economy, if it belongs with government, has got to be shared, at least [with George W. Bush].”

And why not? After all, Bush merely presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And his response was a basket of bailouts for the banks that were instrumental in the market’s downfall. It wasn’t until Obama came into office that efforts were made to stimulate the economy, and even that was opposed and obstructed by the Republicans in Congress.

It’s Hillary’s Fault Too

In both of the cases above the inspiration for these self-serving assumptions of economic glory stemmed from a comment Hillary Clinton made on the campaign trail. She said that if elected president she would put her husband Bill in charge of revitalizing the economy, something he is demonstrably good at. That comment sent the conservative pundits into a frenzy. They couldn’t abide her reminding people about the boom-time economy over which Clinton presided. So they endeavored to clumsily steal the credit for themselves.

This is just more proof that if Republicans had anything to be proud of they wouldn’t be trying to take credit for things they didn’t do – for things they affirmatively tried to prevent. They are, in effect, admitting that there are no accomplishments attributable to GOP administrations, so by necessity they have to swipe them from Democrats. It’s dishonest and unethical, but that’s never stopped them before.

Loser Ted Cruz Finally Tells The Truth About Donald Trump And Fox News

One of the endlessly peculiar aspects of the timeline of political campaigns is the tendency for losing candidates to suddenly find the nerve to say what they actually believe after they have been rejected by voters. For some reason they never learn that it might be advantageous for them to be honest from start.

An excellent example of this took place yesterday as Ted Cruz came to the realization that he was not going to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. In an extended and rambling press conference, Cruz said at least two things that may be remembered as the most (or only) truths he uttered in ten months on the campaign trail. The first addressed a criticism of the media that has long been recognized by almost everyone but Ted Cruz until yesterday:

“Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes of Fox News have turned Fox News into the Donald Trump network 24/7.”

Donald Trump News

Indeed. Fox News has given Trump far more airtime than they have given any other candidate of either party. They broadcast his stump speeches live and in their entirety. They allow him to phone in interviews, an advantage that they don’t offer to his opponents. Their featured anchors and pundits openly endorse his candidacy. And all of that has been happening in an environment wherein Trump has been blasting Fox News, bitterly insulting many of its stars, and even promoting a boycott of the network. Not long ago Trump tweeted 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.”

Like most of the BS spewed by Trump, he didn’t carry through on that threat and continues to dominate airtime on the network. So we are in a bizarre situation where it is now Republicans who are complaining most about how biased Fox News is. Who would have thought it?

The other Cruz attempt at truth-telling concerned his personal opinion of Donald Trump. Certainly there have been expressions of this in vague terms as the campaign has unfolded, but his latest comments were unambiguous in their detestation of Trump, who has battered Cruz as an utterly amoral, phony evangelical, philandering Canadian, whose father worked with Lee Harvey Oswald. Yesterday Cruz said of Trump…

“I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

Welcome to reality, Ted. What took you so long? Many people have been saying this about Trump for months, including some steadfastly conservative Republicans. But the feeling is mutual on Trump’s part. Trump famously labeled Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and explicitly called him out as “the single biggest liar I’ve ever seen.”

Now that Cruz has suspended his campaign, making Trump the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, many of the questions in the press are about how the party will unify its warring factions in order to compete against the Democratic nominee. Those are good questions considering the stark animosity that has been layered on so thick. Some of the most loyal GOP voices are loudly declaring that they will have nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Trump himself, however, is trying to put on a untied front despite having previously said that he doesn’t want Ted Cruz’s endorsement. In his victory speech last night Trump said that Cruz “is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy. And he has got an amazing future.” That’s an awfully generous sentiment for someone he thinks is “the single biggest liar” he’s ever seen.

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

Will the glassy-eyed disciples of the Trump Cult swallow this sort sort of flagrant hypocrisy? You better believe they will. They can only see as far as their lust for xenophobic discrimination, racial and religious bigotry, misogyny, and the painfully ignorant blathering about economics, health care, and national security that are the hallmarks of Trump’s blisteringly stupid campaign. And this is just the beginning, folks.

Fox News Anchor Pitches ‘Fair And Balanced’ Nonsense To Stephen Colbert

There is a measure of self-delusion that infects the natives at Fox News and prevents them from making the most obvious appraisals of reality. What else could explain why, after twenty years of shoveling right-wing propaganda down the throats of American cable news viewers, the network’s anchors persist in pushing the absurdity that Fox engages in anything resembling journalism?

Fox News

The host of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace, appeared on Late Night with Stephen Colbert last night (video below) and once again demonstrated an acute case of a personality disorder that obstructs him from recognizing the truth about himself and his job. Colbert asked him what ought to have been a simple question, but he was unable to answer accurately or honestly.

Colbert: Rightly or wrongly Fox News is generally perceived to be the Republican news network. I know Fox News Sunday is on Fox Broadcasting, but you’re also on Fox News Channel. Do you think it’s fair to call Fox News a conservative broadcasting network?
Wallace: No. Look, there are obviously, in prime time, there are some shows, the opinion shows — Hannity, O’Reilly — that are conservative, no question about it. But we think that there’s a firewall between the opinion shows and hard news.

Wallace is continuing to advance the fallacy that only a couple of shows in primetime have partisan agendas, and everything else is straight up, unbiased reporting. He actually uses the phrase “We commit journalism every day,” as if it were a crime. You have to wonder if he is just deliberately lying or if he has ever watched the network.

There are three hours every morning that are hosted by folks like Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Tucker Carlson, Anna Kooiman, etc., who are rabidly right-wing and viciously anti-Democrat. They regularly feature such ultra-conservative guests as Andrew Napolitano, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and Donald Trump had a scheduled Monday morning segment for several years.

That’s followed by Outnumbered, a program name meant to refer to the four female hosts who invite a single male guest. But it really refers to the whole panel generally being comprised of only conservatives (with an occasional pseudo-liberal punching bag). Then there is the Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, who was promoted to that slot from her prior seat on the Fox & Friends curvy couch. A little later in the day is Your World with Neil Cavuto. It would be interesting to see if Wallace thinks that Cavuto is a neutral journalist as he berates and interrupts his liberal guests and cozies up to wingnut Republicans from Congress and business. After Cavuto is The Five, a program hosted by four hard-core right-wingers and one rotating Fox version of a lefty.

That’s seven hours of daytime programming that is unambiguously conservative. So where Wallace gets the notion that it’s only in primetime that opinions are expressed is a mystery. But he is insistent that his network trades in legitimate journalism. He went to have this exchange with Colbert:

Colbert: So there’s no sense of chaos as to what the unified message would be, or the narrative that’s being created by the network. There’s never any sense of like, this is what we’re gonna be talking about today or this is the take we’re gonna have on a story?
Wallace: I know there’s this narrative out there that there’s this talking points we have to all follow. It’s bull.

Of course, the truth has long been known that Fox CEO Roger Ailes distributes a “morning memo” everyday that does exactly what Colbert said with regard to a unified message. It would almost be worse if there weren’t. Because that would mean that everybody on the network just spontaneously said all the same things, with the same spin, without any coordination. It would mean they were all manufactured on the same assembly line of right-wing mouthpieces with the same hate-speech chips inserted.

That’s a pretty scary thought. But no scarier than the fact that Fox News just happened to have created conservative stalwarts like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and many other others. Have they ever launched a liberal icon of the sort? Of course not, and that isn’t an accident. So Wallace might want to watch a few hours of Fox and see if he can plausibly defend the network and its obvious rightward bent.

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