WATCH: The Lie-Riddled, Pro-Trump, 100 Days Propaganda Video Produced By Fox News

The consensus of the reality-based community is that Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a dismal failure. He is under investigation by the FBI for possible collusion with Russian agents to steal the election. Several administration appointments have been withdrawn or resigned under clouds. Federal courts have ruled some of his his flurry of executive orders unconstitutional. He’s spent more time (and money) away from the White House than any of his predecessors. Almost none of the promises he made during his campaign have been fulfilled. The only achievement about which he can brag is having the lowest approval rating of any first quarter president ever.

Donald Trump Fox News

That, of course, hasn’t stopped Trump from declaring that he’s had the most successful first 100 days in history. It’s not unlike his claim that more people attended his inauguration than any before it. Or that President Obama wiretapped him. He’s just plain delusional.

Thank goodness he has Fox News to affirm his hyperactive, ego-stroking imagination. Fox News has officially taken on the mantle of state-run TV to a degree that would make Russia blush. And now it’s putting on a full-court press to shore up the President’s flagging record and public disappointment. The latest glaring example of Fox’s Trump-fluffing PR is a video celebrating his hundredth day in office. It’s a production of such brazen suck-up you’d have to assume it came straight from Breitbart Films. In conjunction with Kellyanne Conway’s Alternative Facts Studios. (Video below)

The video is montage that runs the gamut from fawning exaltation to shameless disinformation. It begins with the stridently vague declaration that “Trump signed an executive order to ease the burden of Obamacare.” Because millions of Americans having access to affordable healthcare is such a heavy burden. Then the video boasts about Trump’s efforts to advance the Keystone XL pipeline. That’s a project that risks severe environmental damage while failing to create jobs or economic benefits.

The next “achievement” is Trump’s initiative to put restrictions on former government officials becoming lobbyists. However, he has already given waivers to people who served in his nascent administration to accept lobbying positions. The video then touts a memorandum to the Pentagon to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. Apparently Trump thinks that the Pentagon hasn’t already developed several such plans. In any case, Trump hasn’t implemented any of them. The best the video can do is note that Trump fired some missiles at a Syrian air base that did little damage, and dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on a stretch of Afghan desert.

Moving on, the video notes that Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to take a seat on the Supreme Court. But it doesn’t note that the Senate had to ditch its own rules in order to secure the confirmation. And that’s hardly an achievement of the President anyway. Then the video applauds Trump’s unveiling of a “tax plan with cuts for corporations and Americans.” First of all, it’s more of a press release than a plan. However, it does mainly benefit corporations and Americans with high incomes.

Finally, the video cites two more executive orders that accomplish precisely nothing. One is aimed at making Veterans Administration employees accountable. It doesn’t say how it would do that or even what “accountable” means. The other notes Trump’s travel ban that is not now, and will never be, in effect.

In addition to the video, Fox linked to a web page that was equally slathered in Trumpism. It purported to itemize everything he’s accomplished in 100 days. But it’s a total joke. Many of the items were nonsense like “Had lunch with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.” Or “Left on Air Force One for Mar-a-Lago.” And “Held listening session with ObamaCare ‘victims.'” Plus, it posted a bunch of his inane tweets. Sadly, in the World of Trump, these are accomplishments.

Given all of the resources of Fox News, it’s startling that this is the best they could do. The video is a document of Trump’s failures. Granted, they had so little to work with you have to give them credit for trying. And in the end, the brainwashed, information-challenged, sycophantic, Trump cultists won’t care that there is no truth or substance to the video’s claims. If Trump told them that the border wall had already been built, they could actually travel down to the Rio Grande and would see it clear as day.

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

Fox News knows their audience, and knows that they will believe whatever Trump or Fox put in front of them. And that’s why Fox produces these hollow and transparently biased videos. They are doing the work of the White House Politburo and nothing more.

100 Days: Hannity Asks ‘What is Trump’s Biggest Accomplishment?’ Twitter Hands Him His Ass

Sean Hannity is having a bad year. Fox News is falling apart with the loss of its CEO Roger Ailes, and its biggest star Bill O’Reilly. Now Ailes’ replacement, and close Hannity ally, Bill Shine is also facing a possible ouster. So Hannity is taking to Twitter for solace with a question aimed at sucking up to his friend in the White House, Donald Trump. What could possibly go wrong?

Sean Hannity Fox News

The answers Hannity got were probably not what he expected. There were very few replies that could be taken seriously. Many responses exhibited the brain dead detachment of Trump’s cult followers by saying merely “Everything,” or “Beating Hillary.” A fair number thought the seating of Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court represented a Trump achievement. But that’s only true if you regard submitting a name to the Senate that couldn’t get confirmation without changing the rules (the Nuclear Option) an achievement.

Far more interesting, and entertaining, were the responses from Twitter’s reality-based community. They recognized that the question itself was absurd and treated it with the disrespect it deserved. Even so, they were more accurate and substantive than Hannity’s army of Trump fluffers. So if you’re looking for examples of Trump’s biggest achievements in his first 100 days, read on:

Trump has embarked on a “100 Days” ego-stroking tour that includes a campaign style rally in Pennsylvania and at least two appearances on Fox News. He’s spewing the utterly deranged notion that his first 100 days has been more productive and successful than any other president in history. The disastrous reality, however, is that he has not achieved a single one of his promised goals. What’s more, his administration riddled with allegations of corruption and complicity with Russian election tampering. Given the circumstances, it was awfully foolish of Hannity to even ask his question.

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

Sean Hannity Freaks Out About ‘The Total End of the Fox News Channel as We Know It’

The past few weeks have been about as catastrophic for Fox News as they have been for Donald Trump. Both have been suffering devastating setbacks internally with key people leaving under clouds of scandal. And both have lost significant support among the public. With MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow overtaking Fox News in critical ratings demos, and Trump remaining the least popular first-quarter president ever, it seems their dire fates are intertwined.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

What’s more, both Trump and Fox News still have storm clouds on their respective horizons. For Trump it’s the unfolding revelations about alleged collusion with Russian agents interfering in the presidential election. For Fox News it’s the continuing fallout from their corporate culture of misogyny and racism.

With each passing day a new allegation is made against Fox. Many insiders are unsatisfied with the expulsions of CEO Roger Ailes and blowhard Bill O’Reilly, They believe the problems will persist until there is a thorough housecleaning. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has been breaking many of the stories about Fox’s troubles. He’s the author of the definitive biography of Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room. Yesterday he tweeted about a rumored management shakeup at the network:

Bill Shine is currently the co-president of Fox News. He was promoted shortly after the departure of Ailes. However, many people inside and outside of Fox regard him as not just an Ailes crony, but someone who actively covered up the vile behaviors of Ailes and O’Reilly. When talk of housecleaning is heard, it is generally Shine who is the prime subject.

Enter Sean Hannity. The last remaining prime time Fox Musketeer is profoundly disturbed. Before being elevated to network management, Shine was the producer of Hannity’s program. Consequently, there is an abundance of loyalty that reaches beyond just the network’s standard cult status. Hannity replied to Sherman’s tweet saying:

Of course for many Americans concerned about the media, the end of Fox News would be a welcome event. But that’s obviously not the way Hannity sees it. Fox News has spent twenty years degrading journalism with blatantly biased right-wing propaganda. Simultaneously, they trivialized reporting as nothing more than entertainment with eye-popping graphics and presenters in short skirts. Hannity himself has done annual week-long specials on the evils of Spring Break. But they were just a convenient excuse to show videos of drunken teenagers in bikinis. Now Hannity’s last protector in the management ranks is dangling by thread. According to the Hollywood Reporter’s sources:

“Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, CEO and co-chairman of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox, have quietly put out feelers for a new head of Fox News. And the preference, according to two sources familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking, is that the new leader be female.”

OMG! That would be a fate worse than waterboarding to someone like Sean Hannity. Not only would he be losing a trusted superior, he would have to report to a lady boss. There aren’t very many female executives in the media business, but there are more than zero. And one obvious name would be Elisabeth Murdoch. Rupert’s daughter has already run a media company which she sold to 21st Century Fox (imagine that). But she may be a long shot to head Fox because she may have committed the ultimate sin: She was a Hillary Clinton supporter. If the Murdoch boys manage to hire a credible Female executive, the War on Women at Fox News could take a turn toward fairness and/or balance. That might apply to both the internal personnel situation, as well as the tone of their reporting.

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

So there remains the question of whether Sean Hannity would stay on at Fox News under those circumstances. He can’t be happy about Tucker Carlson moving into O’Reilly’s time period, or The Five taking the prime time spot before his. He obviously would have preferred to move to one of those spots himself. He must be thinking that his star may be fading at Fox. The younger Murdochs are reportedly not fans. Only time will tell how all of this settles out. And there may be more scandalous shoes to drop. Which begs the question: How many damn shoes do they have?

Business as Usual: Fox News Fired Bill O’Reilly for Gross Misogyny, Then Promoted Four Misogynists

It’s been about a week since Fox News sent Bill O’Reilly packing over allegations of sexual harassment. But in the aftermath of the scandal, Fox News is demonstrating that they’ve learned absolutely nothing. The schedule changes they made to fill the gap left by Bill O’Reilly’s departure perpetuate what was worst about their fallen star. Let’s take a look at the characters Fox chose to remedy their O’Reilly problem:

Fox News/Playboy

Tucker Carlson

With his relentlessly confrontational blathering, Tucker Carlson has managed to rise up the Fox News food chain. Now he has taken over the time slot that Bill O’Reilly held for two decades. But Carlson is no improvement on O’Reilly when it comes to respect for women. He recently interviewed Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca. The discussion covered issues like Ivanka Trump’s role in the White House and Donald Trump’s efforts to “gaslight” America. But when he realized that he couldn’t outsmart her, Carlson resorted to demeaning her. He abruptly ended the interview by saying “You should stick to the thigh-high boots.” That should not be surprising coming from someone who once said that Democrats “made up the concept of sexual harassment.”

Eric Bolling

One of the smarmiest personalities on Fox News, Bolling has a long record of sexist remarks. Now the afternoon show he co-hosts, The Five, is being moved up to prime time. However, he’s staying behind to host his own new show. Bolling once derisively laughed at the notion that “Anything a guy can do, a woman can do better.” On another occasion he complained that a young girl wanting to play football was “the wussification of American men.” But he reached a plateau when reporting a story about a female pilot for the United Arab Emirates who was running bombing raids against ISIS. He denigrated her by “joking” about whether that would be considered “boobs on the ground.”

Greg Gutfeld

Gutfeld is one of the co-hosts of The Five who will stay with the program at its new prime time airing. Along with his colleague Bolling, Gutfeld insulted the UAE pilot with a tired cliche about women drivers. He said that “Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it.” More recently, Gutfeld cracked a joke about another colleague, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle. After she praised her dress designer and suggested he deserved a raise, Gutfeld remarked that Guilfoyle was “giving America a raise.”

Jesse Watters

Apprenticing under Bill O’Reilly for several years, Watters, also has his own weekend show. In addition to that he is taking over Bolling’s spot on The Five. As O’Reilly’s ambush reporter and stooge on the street, Watters delivered frequent segments that were either racist or sexist. He was thrown out of a National Organization for Women conference after mocking the participants. He once stalked a female reporter while she was on vacation. But this week he expanded his sexist routine by commenting on a recent appearance by Ivanka Trump.. Along with a hand gesture that implied oral sex, he said that he “really liked how she was speaking into the microphone.” Now Watters is on an unscheduled “vacation” himself, during the week that he premieres in prime time.

These are the people who Fox News selected to represent the network following the departure of Bill O’Reilly. Apparently Fox has learned nothing about why viewers and advertisers objected to O’Reilly. They appear to be committed to a corporate culture of contempt for women that has been in place for years. Carlos Maza of Vox perfectly captured this culture with a montage of Fox’s misogyny:

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

LMFAO: A New Fox News Promo for Tucker Carlson Portrays Him as a Major D*ck

Now that Bill O’Reilly has been exiled to sexual harasser’s purgatory, Fox News is pouring on the coals to heat up his replacement, Tucker Carlson. The story of Carlson’s career is one of a silver spoon elitist failing upward for years until he found a home at Fox. He has had programs canceled at PBS, CNN, and MSNBC before supplicating himself to his Fox masters.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

Fox News is clearly worried that their new prime time lineup isn’t going to hold up without O’Reilly anchoring the effort. Carlson’s record of failure continued even at Fox where he was losing to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow prior to his move into O’Reilly’s slot. So Fox put their marketing department into action to create a promotional video that they plastered all over Twitter the day after his premiere. Befitting the subject, it’s a festival of fail they call “Eight Reasons to Watch Tucker Carlson” (video below).

The video consists of eight soundbites from Carlson’s program that Fox seems to think will excite viewers into making his show appointment television. In reality, the video showcases what is most obnoxious and repellent about him. It’s a chronicle of what made his programs on other networks so unwatchable. Each clip is just a brief, but abrasive, remark that only succeeds in making Carlson look like a jerk. Let’s break down the eight reasons here:

  1. “You’re just repeating dumb liberal talking points.”
    Carlson spit this out at a Northeastern University student, Elan Axelbank, wearing a “Socialist Students” t-shirt. And the best argument that he could could muster was a vacuous insult that ignored the segment’s topic.
  2. “So much of this you don’t know. You pretend that you know, but you don’t know.”
    Carlson aimed this empty rant at Science Guy Bill Nye, a recognized expert in science and education. Those are two of the many fields about which Carlson is painfully ignorant.
  3. “If you want to make America great again, you’ve gotta make work cool again.”
    This was actually spoken by Carlson’s guest, Mike Rowe, a reality TV host of Dirty Jobs. And it manages to regurgitate Donald Trump’s airhead slogan with a Soviet style platitude intended to keep workers docile and productive.
  4. “You’re incapable of writing a clear sentence…I couldn’t understand any of them.”
    This was Carlson’s response to George Ciccariello-Maher, PhD., a Drexel University Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, Global Studies and Modern Languages. No wonder Carlson couldn’t understand him.
  5. “This is performance art. I’ve never had an interview like this in my life. Nobody’s getting anything out of this.”
    Here we see Carlson bragging that he can’t conduct an interesting interview. I’m sure his puzzled guest, Newsweek author Kurt Eichenwald, felt the same.
  6. “You have no principles…All the things you’ve been saying for the last eleven minutes are totally untrue.”
    Once again Carlson seems proud to have wasted eleven minutes of his viewers’ time. And New York University grad student Kouross Esmaeli must have been wondering what principles Carlson was demonstrating, other than being a dick.
  7. “I want to believe that the U.S. government is not secretly collecting information on me and then use it against me for political ends. That is what they have done. You’re fully aware of that.”
    Actually, Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT), was only aware that Carlson had ventured completely off the subject of Trump’s ludicrous tweet that accused President Obama of wiretapping him. Carlson had entirely ceased to address the subject, or make any sense.
  8. “The idea that people take a crackpot like you who would throw something out there with no evidence is distressing, and shame on the Huffington Post for promoting garbage. The interview is over, Alex. Done!”
    That’s how Carlson abruptly cut off his guest, Alex Mohajer of the Huffington Post, without allowing him to respond. It’s typical of Carlson’s style wherein he insults people, strays from the subject, and then kills any substantive discourse.

That’s what Fox News considers compelling television. It’s the cream of their programming crop. At Fox News mindless conflict and yelling is their idea of journalism. Although in the first promos for Carlson they posted ads on the Fox News website that labeled the show “entertainment,” not journalism. So maybe I’m expecting too much.

You’ll notice that not a single clip in the promo shows Carlson exhibiting any signs of intelligence or integrity. It’s just a montage of a bullheaded, petulant preppy lashing out like a cornered rat. Yet Fox thinks so highly of this sort of bombastic bellowing that they devoted the whole promotional video to it. They think these are affirmative reasons to watch their loathsome successor to O’Reilly. But then, in that context, Carlson seems like a good choice to follow The Factor. He should easily slide right into O’Reilly’s clown shoes.

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

The End of Rush Limbaugh? His Radio Syndicator is on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The presidency of Donald Trump is running an obstacle course of speed bumps and potholes. He has failed to achieve anything of note during his first 100 days in office. And that’s according to his own published benchmarks. There is no repeal of ObamaCare, no defeat if ISIS, no tax reform, and no Mexican border wall. The only success he has had is breaking the record for the lowest popularity of any first-quarter president in history.

Rush Limbaugh

Along with Trump’s sagging fortunes, much of the right-wing establishment is similarly floundering. The Republican Party is worried about maintaining their majorities in Congress. And the GOP’s PR division, Fox News, recently lost its CEO (Roger Ailes) and its biggest star (Bill O’Reilly). Both were terminated after scandals involving sexual harassment.

With Trump still driving the public angst, the carnage is far from over. The talk radio empire of Rush Limbaugh is now said to teetering on collapse. Salon’s Matthew Sheffield is reporting that:

“The parent company of iHeartCommunications [formerly Clear Channel], which syndicates programs by conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, appears to be headed toward bankruptcy.

“In a statement filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency charged with regulating companies that offer investments to the public, iHeartCommunications’ parent company, iHeartMedia Inc., said that it had ‘substantial doubt’ that it would be in business by the middle of next year.”

Sheffield noted that the radio industry in general has been under pressure from other advertising platforms including new media. But the problems facing Limbaugh’s syndicator went deeper than that:

“The ad challenge is made worse for iHeartCommunications since many of its stations feature a conservative talk format whose audience is literally dying off. According to industry figures, the age of a talk show listener is about 67. Further complicating things for the company has been that its top host, Limbaugh, has immersed himself in several controversies in recent years, such as the time he called a liberal activist [Sandra Fluke] a ‘slut’ on the air.”

Indeed. Limbaugh’s repulsive and misogynistic insults cost him dearly. A leaked memo from his distributor, Premiere Networks, revealed that he lost more than 140 advertisers as a result of his rancid ranting. And the exodus didn’t end with Limbaugh. The same advertisers also requested that their ads be removed from other right-wing programs including Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.

Exacerbating these problems, Limbaugh has also lost favor with some of the top affiliates in the country. His show has been dropped from WABC in New York, WRKO in Boston and KFI in Los Angeles. In desperation, he switched to some weaker stations in those and other markets just to have a presence on air.

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

It remains to be seen whether iHeartCommunications will manage to stay afloat. But even if it does, they will have to make severe cuts in order to service their crushing debt. That means that Limbaugh, Hannity, et al, will either have to agree to renegotiate their contracts downward or say goodbye to their audience. They may still survive online, but they should ask Glenn Beck whether that’s a viable option. Since losing his Fox News megaphone he has been bleeding cash and his public awareness has shrunk to near irrelevance. So that’s good news all around. And maybe we should send Donald Trump a thank you note.

Jeff Sessions Floats a Racist Plan to Make Americans – Not Mexico – Pay for the Border Wall

The 100 day mark is rapidly approaching in Donald Trump’s already failed presidency. And as it nears he is becoming more desperate to produce an achievement he can brag about. Ironically, he now pretends that the 100 day milestone is a ridiculous standard.” Never mind that he cited it himself repeatedly.

Jeff Sessions

At the top of his list is his promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border and make Mexico pay for it. It’s clear that Mexico has no intention of shelling out for such a ludicrous project. Consequently, Trump and his team have been flailing wildly to come up with an alternative payment scheme they can spin as dinging Mexico. The latest was proposed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions Sunday on ABC’s This Week:

“We’re going to get paid for it one way or the other. I know there’s $4 billion a year in excess payments, according to the Department of the Treasury’s own inspector general several years ago, that are going to payments to people – tax credits that they shouldn’t get. Now, these are mostly Mexicans. And those kind of things add up – $4 billion a year for 10 years is $40 billion. There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this.”

As pointed out in Politico, Sessions was likely referring to a Treasury Department report published in 2011. It found that there were people who are not authorized to work in the U.S. but had received $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits. However, the report didn’t mention Mexicans or any other nationalities. That was an assumption spurred by bigotry. Trump tried to pass off this same lie during the campaign, but was slapped down by PolitiFact:

“Trump conflates ‘illegal immigrants’ with ‘unauthorized workers,’ a group composed largely of undocumented immigrants but also legal immigrants and others. The $4.2 billion refers to the amount given in tax credit refunds for children, the large majority of whom are U.S. citizens.”

That’s right. While some of the recipients of these tax credits may have been unauthorized workers, the beneficiaries were their children. These kids are citizens who were born in the United States. In effect, Sessions is proposing that funds intended to help American children should be diverted to Trump’s border wall instead.

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

Perhaps the biggest deception in this mean-spirited scheme is even if the beneficiaries were Mexican, the money wouldn’t be coming from Mexico. These are funds from the U.S. Treasury collected from U.S. taxpayers. So it’s Americans who would be paying for the wall with money originally intended to help American kids. But Sessions is trying to spin it as a way to get Mexico to pay. The dishonesty and cruelty of this contrivance is nauseating – and typical of Team Trump.

Former FOX NEWS Anchor Reveals That Roger Ailes Demanded Submission Sexually AND Politically

The culture of sexual harassment at Fox News has been well documented in the past few months. The most notorious consequences have been the staggering dismissals of Fox’s CEO Roger Ailes and its ratings leader Bill O’Reilly. However, the whole story has still not been told. More women are said to be coming forward with more allegations aimed at more of Fox News’ abusive personnel.

Roger Ailes Fox News

Sunday morning on CNN’s Reliable Sources another victim of Fox’s depraved work environment told her story. Alisyn Camerota, currently an anchor on CNN, worked for sixteen years at Fox News. She was interviewed about her experience by Brian Stelter. Her story was disturbing, but not unlike the stories of many other women who suffered harassment at Fox. [Video below]

Stelter began the segment by noting that “The culture of harassment at Fox News came from the top down. It came from Roger Ailes.” Then he pointedly asked Camerota if Ailes had ever sexually harassed her. She replied “Yes. Roger Ailes did sexually harass me.” She continued:

“He was often grossly inappropriate with things that he would say. And I think that many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘give me spin.’ He’d want to be greeted with a hug.”

Then Camerota unveiled a more salacious incident in detail. She said that Ailes told her that in order to advance her career she would have to “work with him.” They would have to get to know each other better, and that would have to be done away from the office in a hotel. Then he asked suggestively, “Do you know what I’m saying?” Of course she did.

Camerota then goes on to describe what happened following her refusal to comply with Ailes’ sexual demands. And while not as personally repulsive, his behavior illustrates something else that makes Fox News a wholly disreputable source of journalism. Camerota confirms that the network’s “fair and balanced” pretense is a sham. “In Roger’s world view,” she says, “there was no other side. Liberals were always wrong, conservatives were generally right, and that’s what he felt that we should be reflecting on the air.” Ailes aimed his insistence on political bias directly at Camerota:

“Roger Ailes ruled with an iron fist. He wanted us all to fall in line and have his world view and say the things that he wanted us to say on Fox News. And he targeted me because he sort of figured out early on that I didn’t share his world view. He said, ‘You’re not saying the conservative things that I want you to say. You could be a real model and you could be a real star if only you could sound conservative.'”

The evidence of the ultra rightist slant at Fox News is readily visible on the air everyday. But there aren’t very many personal accounts of the pressure people were under to conform to its conservative orthodoxy. Camerota’s first-hand account is a valuable contribution to the case against Fox News. And the fact that her experience transverses from the lurid to the professional makes it that much more compelling.

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

Fox News Gets Schooled By Nebraska Farmer on Dangers of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Today is Earth Day and there are tens of thousands of people around the world attending the March for Science. Meanwhile, on Fox News, host Sandra Smith is interrogating a mild-mannered farmer from Nebraska about why he and ninety others are opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. (Video below)

Fox News Keystone XL

Art Tanderup represents a group of family farmers whose land and businesses would be put at risk by the pipeline. His appearance on Fox News was rather risky as well considering the network’s blatant support for the fossil fuel industry. Smith began the segment with a question that focused on an overtly partisan premise:

“President Trump has argued that the pipeline construction would bring new jobs. But the whole thing is now in the hands of a state regulatory board […] What is you goal here?”

Trump’s support for Keystone rests on a foundation of disinformation. Independent analysts agree that the the project would create about thirty-five permanent jobs. But even if it created more, that wouldn’t justify destroying communities and the livelihoods of private citizens.

Nevertheless, Tanderup responded to the question without addressing the political overtones. He said that the goal is to “leave the tar sands in the ground and move more rapidly to renewable fuels.” Elaborating on that he continued:

“After we learned how destructive the chemicals and the tar sands are, we have come to realize that this type of fossil fuel should not be happening. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. We need to look for other sources of renewable energy.”

But Fox’s Smith was undeterred. She continued using the President as wedge for her questioning. Or perhaps to remind her viewers that this farmer is contradicting their commander-in-chief.

“Those that support the Keystone XL pipeline, like the President, say that this is the best economic and the best solution for the native plants and animals of these areas. Considering that it’s a lot less dangerous than transporting this fuel by rail. What do you say to that?”

Tanderup was prepared for that angle and unbothered by the presidential name dropping. He noted that often underground pipeline leaks are not discovered for years. Consequently, they produce more damage over time than more visible rail accidents. So Smith changed directions and asked a leading question about energy independence. That led to this exchange:

Smith: We all want to achieve energy independence in this country. This was an effort and a step in that direction. How do you achieve that?”
Tanderup: Well first of all, this is not American oil, and it is going across America…
Smith: “But it’s coming from Canada, rather than the Middle East, would be the argument.”
Tanderup: “That’s true, but it’s going across America to be refined and exported, which is not for America’s use.”

Notice that Smith was fact-checked live about her contention that energy independence had anything to do with this. It doesn’t. But even then she attempted to imply that Canadian oil was the same as American. It’s not. And Tanderup’s obvious knowledge of the subject left her floundering.

This brief segment is a profound summary of the whole Keystone XL debate. The pipeline does not create the jobs that supporters claim. The oil is not American, so it doesn’t contribute to energy independence. And the refined oil is intended for export to Europe and Asia. So it isn’t helping to reduce American fuel imports. And if this Nebraskan farmer can get it right, so can Fox News. Which is the best evidence that Fox is deliberately getting it wrong to advance their right-wing political agenda.

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

Hypocrisy or Dementia? Donald Trump’s ‘Ridiculous Standard’ of the First 100 Days

Not that we need further evidence of Donald Trump’s mental unfitness to serve as president, but his latest Twitter tantrum gives us more anyway.

Trump Tweet 100 Days

So Trump is now dismissing the standard that he previously embraced and used to advance his agenda. And just to be certain, here he is saying it on video:

In addition to the obvious hypocrisy on display, Trump’s Contract with the American Voter (pdf) is a document of his utter failure. It consists of mainly things that he hasn’t achieved. What’s more, most voters don’t want him to achieve any of these things to begin with.

No wonder the most conspicuous achievement of his short tenure is having the lowest approval rating of any president ever.

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