Top 10 Things That PROVE That Fox News Is NOT A News Network

Last month Fox News celebrated its twentieth year of broadcasting blatantly biased propaganda on behalf of Republican partisans. They have reveled in advancing lies and disinformation that has led to unnecessary and illegal wars, economic meltdowns, and a rise in racism and hate crimes.

Fox News

However, there is one thing that they have utterly failed to do: gain credibility as a bona fide news network. Their reporting consistently distorts facts, if it bothers to address them at all. Their anchors mainly serve as props to introduce slanted analyses and shallow guests. And there is more evidence that the network, by design, was never intended to produce honest journalism. What follows are the top ten examples of that evidence proving, once and for all, that Fox News is not now, nor ever was, a news network:

  1. Fox frames their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use. Like most fiction, it is focused on conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship, fear, and always sex.
  2. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as “ALERTS” regardless of the actual news value.
  3. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants than journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their “talent” in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, they demand it.
  4. Fox’s obsession with tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi, Obama’s birth certificate, and Clinton’s email, is the news equivalent of porn.
  5. Fox acts as a mouthpiece for the GOP. For instance, Megyn Kelly presented GOP talking points from a Republican National Committee memo as independently sourced news.
  6. Several Fox hosts openly support Trump. Sean Hannity endorsed him, turned over hours of his airtime, and appeared in his campaign commercial.
  7. By their own account Fox regards their news day as the hours between 9:00am to 4:00pm, and 6:00pm to 8:00pm. That’s nine hours. Therefore, the other fifteen hours (the majority) are NOT news. And that presumes that the hours they call “news” aren’t also infested with right-wing bias.
  8. Fox News caters to their audience that is overwhelmingly white, Republican, conservative, and virulently anti-Obama.
  9. Fox News PR has been creating and posting pro-Trump/anti-Clinton memes on Twitter. There are about three dozen so far.
  10. Finally, Roger Ailes, the now disgraced sexual harasser and former Fox News CEO, admitted that the network isn’t news.

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

This list could easily be expanded to twenty or thirty or four hundred examples of how Fox News debases journalism. But this collection is a pretty good representation of the perversion that Fox has made of the once respected profession. They dress up their programs like entertainment and market their hosts like celebrities. Then they run stories that stimulate their audience in a manner perfected by daytime soap operas. And by keeping their devotedly right-wing fans engaged with similarly conservative views, Fox has become their source for comforting affirmations disguised as entertainment.

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UNBELIEVABLE: Trump Offers Serial Liar As His ‘Witness’ To Refute Sexual Assault Charges

Everyday there seem to be more women coming forward with credible stories that they were sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. In his defense he has resorted to maligning the accusers as liars and condemning the press for reporting their allegations. He even asserts that they must be lying because they aren’t attractive enough for him.

Donald Trump

Trump promised to provide proof that his accusers’ stories are false. He told followers at his rally that “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time – very soon.” However, the “proof” that he spoke of has turned out to be something less than credible. In fact, it’s downright preposterous.

Trump is citing a report by the New York Post (a Rupert Murdoch publication) that a witness has come forward to refute Jessica Leeds, who claims that Trump groped her on a plane. Anthony Gilberthorpe is an Englishman who says that he was on the same flight with Trump and Leeds, but saw none of what Leeds asserted. In fact, Gilberthorpe alleges that Leeds was the aggressor and that she confessed to him her desire to marry Trump.

However, Judd Legum of ThinkProgress did some digging on this claim and found it to be riddled with logical holes. Beginning with the fact that Gilberthorpe is 54 years old, which means that he was about eighteen at the time. The likelihood that a thirty-eight year old woman would confide this to an eighteen year old boy she didn’t know is a bit of a stretch. What’s more, Gilberthorpe has no explanation for why he was flying first-class on an American domestic flight. Neither does he have any evidence of it.

Furthermore, what Legum reports about Gilberthorpe’s past brushes with tabloid fame is most revealing:

“In 1987, for example, he told newspapers in England that he was engaged to fashion designer in California named Miss Leah Bergdorf-Hunt. ‘Both our families are delighted,’ he told The Gloucester Express. It was later revealed that he was not engaged. Also there was no Miss Bergdorf-Hunt. He invented the whole thing.”

And that:

Gilberthorpe also contends that, as a young man, he was ‘paid to recruit underage rent boys for orgies attended by ministers from Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.’ There is no evidence to support his salacious claims.

Another accomplice in this deception is Fox News and its related enterprises. The New York Post, which published the first Gilberthorpe story, is a corporate cousin to Fox News. Fox News also had its own story on Gilberthorpe. And Fox’s website, Fox Nation, plastered the Post’s story to the top of their home page. It was a coordinated effort to advance the Gilberthorpe mythology across the Fox news platforms. And in none of these accounts were the facts about Gilberthorpe’s past reported, nor his motivations explored.

It’s apparent that Trump and Fox News are working cooperatively to promote an alleged witness with serious credibility problems. In conjunction with that they are seeking to disparage the women who have had the courage to come forward. No wonder women are often reluctant to tell their stories. When they do they are assaulted again with insults and attacks on their reputation.

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

As for Trump, he is resting his defense on the word of a publicity-hungry, pathological liar. Well, at least they have something in common. But the desperation that this shows on Trump’s part only makes his denials less believable. Either he and his campaign did nothing to vet Gilberthorpe’s story, or they were complicit with his fabrications. We report, you decide.

Only 12 Out Of 22,000 Trump Employees Have Donated To His Campaign

From the beginning of his campaign Donald Trump has boasted about the thousands of jobs he has created. He uses that claim as evidence that he can stimulate job growth in the country as president. In fact, in his announcement speech he said that he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” That’s the sort of conceited and baseless self-appraisal that is typical of Trump.

Trump Employees Strike

One of his most frequent claims on the campaign trail is that African-Americans, Latinos, and others would flock to his candidacy specifically because he would be creating so many jobs for them. However, if providing jobs were an indicator of political support, Trump would have launched his campaign with a substantial base of about 22,450 supporters. That’s the current estimate of employees across the array of Trump’s businesses. The problem for Trump is that the vast majority of his employees have shown little interest in supporting him. According to a recent report:

“Only a dozen of an estimated 22,450 people employed at Trump’s companies have donated more than $200 to the celebrity businessman’s bid for the U.S. presidency, a Reuters review of federal campaign finance records through August shows. [In total those contributors] have given $5,298 to Trump’s campaign, a fraction of the $112 million Trump’s political operation has received from donors and joint fundraisers.”

That’s something less than a ringing endorsement from the very people Trump says will be his most grateful supporters. It reflects a striking rejection of his self-touted skills as a leader and ability to instill confidence and loyalty.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton has received $324,000 in donations to her campaign from her former employees at the State Department. The State Department has approximately the same number of employees eligible to donate to American candidates as Trump’s businesses. A spokesperson for Trump dismissed the comparison on the basis that Trump has self-funded the majority of his campaign. However, that isn’t true. To date Trump has loaned his campaign about $47 million, less than half of his total take in donations.

It’s no wonder that Trump’s employees are reluctant to back his campaign with their dollars. He has not been particularly concerned with the welfare of working Americans. He opposes any minimum wage. His branded merchandise is manufactured in China, Mexico and other foreign countries. He imports foreign labor for his resorts in Florida. His hotel employees are currently striking in protest of his unfair treatment and refusal to recognize their union.

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

If Trump wants to exploit his status as an employer to boost his campaign he’s at a severe disadvantage. He had better satisfy the interests of his current employees before relying on them as proof of his leadership skills. And that’s going to be difficult when so few of them are willing to dip into their wallets to back him up.

Hate Mongering Fox ‘News’ Anchor Tweets Trump Victim’s Home Address And Phone

The continuing saga of Donald Trump’s sexually predatory behavior is emboldening more victims to come forward with harrowing tales. Consequently, Trump’s apologists in the media are taking bolder steps to excuse his indefensible misogyny. When Fox isn’t maligning them as liars, they are insulting them as too ugly to assault. This is precisely what to expect from a network that was founded and run for twenty years by Roger Ailes. Ailes, you recall, was forced to resign this year after numerous accusations of sexual harassment by his staff and others.

Lou Dobbs

Now we may have a new low from Fox’s Lou Dobbs. He is the host of a prime access program on the Fox Business Network. Yesterday Dobbs re-tweeted the address and phone number of Jessica Leeds, one of Trump’s groping victims. Ironically, the text of his tweet said:

“This is the Dirtiest Campaign in our History: #MAGA #TrumpPence16 #AmericaFirst”

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 13, 2016

Indeed it is. Mainly due to cretins like Dobbs whose irresponsible actions can literally endanger the lives of innocent people. The tweet to which Dobbs linked has since been deleted, but not before it was re-tweeted over 800 times. Dobbs own Twitter account has more than 799,000 followers.

The tweet that contained Ms. Leeds’ personal information was filled with false accusations. It asserted that she was connected to the Clinton Foundation and shared the same phone number. Neither of which were true. Which raises the question: Why would a prominent Fox host attest to the authenticity of something so easily proven to be false? The answer, of course, is that this is the standard practice for news gathering by Fox News. Accuracy is never as important as partisan propaganda.

According to Talking Points Memo, Dobbs later tweeted an apology saying:

My Retweet,My Mistake,My Apology to Jessica Leeds Lou Dobbs tweets Trump accuser’s address and phone # #MAGA #Dobbs

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) October 13, 2016

However, that “apology” tweet has also been deleted. What’s more, the sincerity of an apology in which Dobbs includes Trump’s campaign slogan #MAGA (Make America Great Again) has got to be questioned. At the very least it’s tone deaf and insensitive to promote the accuser while pretending to apologize to his victim.

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

Dobbs is purported to be a financial expert on Fox, but somewhere along the way he assumed the role of an immigrant basher. He is also a proponent of the racist notion that all terrorists are Muslim. And to sweeten the pot, Dobbs joined the Birther Brigade by repeatedly demanding that President Obama produce his “real” birth certificate. In light of that, his “accidental” tweeting yesterday just seems like business as usual for the business network host. Anything that is harmful to Democrats or liberals is fair game, whether or not it’s true. And any defense of conservatives is acceptable, no matter who it hurts.

Journalists’ Org BLASTS Trump As ‘An Unprecedented Threat’ To Press Freedom

The United States has never seen the likes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He has spent the last year and a half engaged solely in puerile insults and personal attacks. His victims have included women, minorities, veterans, and anyone he deemed less than reverential. However, the media has borne much of the weight of his manic scorn. When he isn’t “joking” about killing them, he is calling them scum, losers, dummies, and sleazy. He has revoked the press credentials of people or organizations he doesn’t like, including the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, and more. For a couple of hours he even boycotted Fox News.

Donald Trump

Trump’s hostility toward the press is frighteningly intense. And his authoritarian attitude should alarm anyone who values free speech. Just last week two Pulitzer Prize winning journalists told NPR that Trump is a “clear and present danger” to the First Amendment. Now the Committee to Protect Journalists is weighing in with a statement “in response to Trump’s threats and vilification of the media.”

Here is the statement in full:

Guaranteeing the free flow of information to citizens through a robust, independent press is essential to American democracy. For more than 200 years this founding principle has protected journalists in the United States and inspired those around the world, including brave journalists facing violence, censorship, and government repression.

Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. On October 6, CPJ’s board of directors passed a resolution declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.

Since the beginning of his candidacy, Trump has insulted and vilified the press and has made his opposition to the media a centerpiece of his campaign. Trump has routinely labeled the press as “dishonest” and “scum” and singled out individual news organizations and journalists.

He has mocked a disabled New York Times journalist and called an ABC News reporter a “sleaze” in a press conference. He expelled Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a campaign press conference because he asked an “impertinent” question, and has publicly demeaned other journalists.

Trump has refused to condemn attacks on journalists by his supporters. His campaign has also systematically denied press credentials to outlets that have covered him critically, including The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Univision, and The Des Moines Register.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has routinely made vague proposals to limit basic elements of press and internet freedom. At a rally in February, Trump declared that if elected president he would “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.” In September, Trump tweeted, “My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting.”

While some have suggested that these statements are rhetorical, we take Trump at his word. His intent and his disregard for the constitutional free press principle are clear.

A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States, but the consequences for the rights of journalists around the world could be far more serious. Any failure of the United States to uphold its own standards emboldens dictators and despots to restrict the media in their own countries. This appears to be of no concern to Trump, who indicated that he has no inclination to challenge governments on press freedom and the treatment of journalists.

When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked him in December if his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin was at all tempered by the country’s history of critical journalists being murdered, his response was: “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country… Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too.”

Through his words and actions, Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests.

For this reason CPJ is taking the unprecedented step of speaking out now. This is not about picking sides in an election. This is recognizing that a Trump presidency represents a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.

Nuff said.

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

UPDATE: On October 13, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued an “unprecedented” statement declaring Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump “a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.” And October 14, the National Press Club put out a statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

That Time Fox News Punished An Analyst For Calling Obama A P*ssy

The video that revealed that Donald Trump is a repulsive, misogynistic, sexual predator has upended his campaign. While many people already knew this, the visual evidence has caused some Republicans (but not nearly enough) to finally accept the obvious and repudiate their nominee. The spectacle of having a major party candidate talk about “grabbing the pussy” of random women at will is as nauseating as it is unprecedented.

For Fox News however, the profane language has been made the focus of their coverage. That isn’t nearly as disgusting as the behavior it described, but it’s Fox’s way of diminishing the episode on Trump’s behalf. The problem for Fox is that even the language was considered indefensible last December when their military analyst, Ralph Peters, used it to insult President Obama. Apparently this language is unacceptable for Fox News, but just fine for the presidency. This is what happened at that time and the punishment dealt out.

Fox News Ralph Peters

December 7, 2015

Foul-Mouthed Fox News Obama-Hater Is Given Time-Out By Puppet/Anchor

The seething hatred of President Obama by Fox News came gushing out this morning by one of the network’s most notorious hatchet men. Lt. Col Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) appeared on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program to discuss/bash Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism last night.

Peters was virtually spitting teeth (video below) as he was unable to control his most primitive tendencies. In an otherwise mundane response to Varney’s inquiry as to “What was your commentary as the President’s speech unfolded?” Peters launched into a profane rant that barely addressed anything about the speech itself.

Peters: Well, first of all, he keeps speaking about “We can’t give in to our fears. Don’t be afraid.” Look Mr. President, we’re not afraid. [shouting] We’re angry. We’re pissed off. We’re furious. We want you to react. We want you to do something. You’re afraid. I mean this guy is such a total pussy it’s stunning.

Really? The President who presided over the capture and execution of Osama Bin Laden; who as Commander-in-Chief as ordered more than 8,000 airstrikes against ISIS; whose military missions have dropped more than 20,000 bombs on enemy targets; who has killed thousands of ISIS fighters, including many of its leaders; this president is a pussy? What Peters, and every right-winger, are too ignorant to acknowledge is that Obama has been executing a plan that has had much success. Yet his critics keep blathering about irrelevancies. Is it because he refuses to send more Americans onto a battlefield where they would become sitting ducks for a guerrilla insurgency? Or because he expects the people of the region to take responsibility for the ground war against an enemy that is murdering them?

Peters goes on to lambaste Obama in the fashion that birthers have long used to “otherize” him as an alien creature saying that “The American people, whom he does not know in any sort of intimate manner,” want action. He then rattles off s a series of assertions that the President cares more about our enemies than ourselves. Eventually, Varney steps in to daintily scold Peters for his potty mouth.

Varney: I can tell you are super-angry, and I asked you what your reaction was, but I gotta call you, you can’t use language like that on the program. OK. I’m Sorry.

He’s sorry? What for? Peters comes completely unglued with an offensive rant and Varney apologizes for chastising him, while excusing the outburst due to Peters’ anger. What makes this even more ridiculous is that Varney allows Peters to continue for a bit and then…

Varney: Ralph, I’m sorry. I’ve got to interrupt again. You used some very strong language there about the President of the United States, and I’m the anchor of Varney & Co. and I have to ask you, either you should apologize for that or take it back.

Peters chose only to apologize. But you have to wonder what happened in between Varney’s first redress of the foul language and his subsequent request for an apology. It seems likely that someone in the control room pulling Varney’s strings gave him a directive to force a more formal atonement. While Fox’s audience likely shares Peters’ crude disgust for all things Obama, the network may have to tread lightly so as not to offend their glassy-eyed, Christianist viewers.

For the record, Peters has proven to be one of the most repugnant individuals to ever appear on Fox News (and that’s saying something). The Ralph Peters Story is one of truly nauseating notions that include: advocating military strikes on the American media; that there aren’t enough civilian casualties in war; that the U.S. should be more like ISIS; that the Taliban should have been allowed to execute an American soldier; and many more horrendous pronouncements. Consequently, this frothing tirade is not particularly surprising. And it is typical of the irrational loathing that is broadcast on Fox News every day.

Fox News later issued a press release stating that Peters has been suspended for two weeks due to his “inappropriate and unacceptable” comments.

This is hardly an isolated event. On another occasion Fox News posted an article on their Fox Nation website with the headline “Press Pussies Soft On Obama.” And Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a “pussy” at one of his rallies. But you can count on Fox to adjust their outrage meter so that it goes off the scale when they are afraid of offending their wingnut audience, but barely registers when it might harm their candidate for president. It’s called hypocrisy, and Fox has got it down to a science.

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

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Russia Defends Torture-Loving Trump After Criticism By UN Human Rights Chief

The continuing saga of Donald Trump’s long-simmering romance with Vladimir Putin is heating up. The Associated Press reports that Russia took to defending Trump after some harsh criticism at the United Nations.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

According to the AP, Russia filed a formal complaint last month in response to remarks by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, was upset by Zeid’s inclusion of Trump in a coterie of known human rights abusers. Zeid had said that:

“In what may be a crucial election for leadership of this country later this year, we have seen a full-frontal attack — disguised as courageous taboo-busting — on some fundamental, hard-won tenets of decency and social cohesion that have come to be accepted by American society. Less than 150 miles away from where I speak, a front-running candidate to be president of this country declared, just a few months ago, his enthusiastic support for torture.”

Indeed, Trump has made his advocacy of torture a key focus of his campaign. Last February he promised that “I would bring back waterboarding, and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” The U.N. has called for rescinding “any interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

In criticizing state sponsors of torture Zeid included Trump along with Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage (UKIP), Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Czech President Milos Zeman.

Given recent revelations about Trump’s affection for the Russians, and vice versa, this should not come as a surprise. Just yesterday he was caught parroting the false claims of a Russian media outlet. He has appeared on Kremlin-controlled cable networks criticizing America and defending Russia. And his financial entanglements with members of the Russian oligarchy and government are well-documented.

The Clinton camp responded with a short but firm statement by senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan:

“This is not only strange — it’s scary. A major-party candidate for the presidency of the United States is being protected by the Kremlin. Wow.”

In addition to the frightening aspects of this, Trump’s campaign has embraced a broad array of pro-Russian policies and praise. He consistently has better things to say about the Russians than he does about America, which he has called a hell hole.” Likewise, he has greater admiration for Russia’s leaders than any of those in the U.S. of either party. The AP addressed all of this saying:

“Trump has praised President Vladimir Putin’s strength and leadership, vowing to improve ties between Washington and Moscow if he defeats Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8. He has questioned whether NATO, an alliance of Western nations formed to counter the Soviet Union, is outdated. He has suggested Russia hasn’t entered Ukraine although it annexed the Crimea region in 2014 and is supporting anti-government rebels in the east. And he urged Moscow to find emails that Clinton deleted from the private server she used while secretary of state.”

There really is only one question that comes to mind after observing all of this evidence. And that is: Whose side is Trump on? His open hostility to so much of what makes America great raises doubts about what the country would look like under his toxic leadership. He rejects the welcoming prose engraved at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. His policies violate domestic and international laws against human rights abuse. The bigotry he espouses is contrary to our nation’s quest for tolerance and equality. And his attraction to authoritarianism ought to chill the spine of every citizen.

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

It is not incidental that the only country in the United Nations that felt compelled to stand up for Donald Trump was Russia. The two share a philosophy and an agenda for international affairs. And who knows what other incentives tie Trump to the Russians, including a vast web of indebtedness.

Trump Caught Disseminating False, Anti-Clinton Disinformation From Russian Media (VIDEO)

One of the most peculiar and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s campaign for president is often dismissed as fanciful meanderings. However, there is abundant evidence of Trump’s entanglements with members of the Russian oligarchy and government. Those relationships include both financial and political dealings that raise serious questions. And now there is new evidence of a connection between Trump and Russian media.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Kremlin Connection

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald has been doing yeoman’s work as an investigative journalist on the Trump beat. He has written well-documented articles uncovering the shady finances that characterize the Trump empire. And now he himself emerges as part of a story that ties Trump to Russian propaganda. At a rally in Pennsylvania (video below), Trump told his glassy-eyed followers that he had found a smoking gun email from Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. The email, Trump said, contained an admission that the tragedy in Benghazi could have been prevented, but for Clinton’s negligence.

There’s just one small problem. The relevant text in the email was not by Blumenthal. It was actually an out-of-context excerpt from an article by Eichenwald. Blumenthal was merely forwarding the article to Clinton’s team. As it turns out, the Russian-controlled Sputnik news agency had published a bogus story. They misreported Eichenwald’s words as having come from Blumenthal. Upon being advised of the error, Sputnik later deleted the article which had not been published anywhere else.

Here’s where it gets weird. If the article was only published briefly by a news outlet tied to the Russian government, how did Trump get a hold of it? Or, as Eichenwald framed it:

“This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin?”

Good question. The Sputnik article was only online for a couple of hours before Trump and his people could have gotten it. Sure, that might be long enough for some Breitbart-affiliated, alt-right, fruitcake to have seen it and forwarded it to Trump Tower. However, the timeline is pretty narrow. It suggests that a pathway from Sputnik, or other Russian media, to Trump is pretty well greased.

It’s a relationship that has erupted previously. Such as the time Trump appeared on RT (the Russian-controlled cable network) to badmouth President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In that program he also defended Russia from allegations that they were responsible for hacking Democratic email accounts. Those allegations later became formal charges by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security . Trump also made a public request that Russia continue hacking Democrats in order to find Clinton’s deleted emails, promising that their efforts would be rewarded. And at Sunday’s debate Trump again tried to exonerate his Russian pals. He ridiculously implied that there might not have been any hacking at all. You have to wonder whose side he’s on.

What’s more, long before Trump gave his speech in Pennsylvania, the truth about the deleted Sputnik article was available. Nevertheless, Trump went forward with his rant that repeated everything in the piece that was wrong. Granted, almost everything Trump says is wrong, but in this case the source is a dubious outfit known as a Kremlin mouthpiece. Whether deliberately or otherwise, Trump is acting as a syndicator of propaganda from the Politburo. Even worse, he’s syndicating propaganda that didn’t even meet the standards of the original Russian source who confirmed it was false and deleted it. No worries. It’s still good enough for Trump. That’s just reason #15,784 that Trump is unfit to be President of the United States.

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

Watch Trump lie about the hacked email:

UPDATE: Fox News did a segment on this and actually framed it HONESTLY! Someone check Hell for ice. This may be telling us something about Fox’s analysis of the electoral outcome.

Fox News

LOCK HER UP: Fox News Stands Alone With Praise For Aspiring Dictator Donald Trump

The second presidential debate is now a part of history, and that’s not just a figure of speech. In a campaign that has set ugly precedents and breached common standards of decency from its inception, Donald Trump has once again lowered the bar. He has let his inner dictator emerge in full view of millions of viewers and citizens.

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

During a debate wherein Trump engaged in free-range falsification of reality, there was one moment that stood out. It was an exchange in which Trump took the extraordinary position that as president he would instruct his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: “I didn’t think I’d say this but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.
CLINTON: It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

The “situation” to which Trump referred has to do with Clinton’s emails and the private server she used. Never mind that an extensive investigation was already completed by the FBI. While they found some room for criticism, they concluded that there were no actionable violations of the law.

Trump, however, doesn’t care about the law as evidenced by his prejudgment to jail Clinton before any investigation or trial. It’s a position that stands in stark contrast to every legal precept in a democracy. Former Attorney General Eric Holder noted that in a statement saying “In the USA we do not threaten to jail political opponents.” George Bush’s press secretary Ari Fleischer agreed saying that “Winning candidates don’t threaten to put opponents in jail. […] Trump is wrong on this.”

For the most part the media recognized the aberrant legal analysis that Trump was proposing. Like much of what he says on any subject, he demonstrated his pitiful lack of knowledge or even basic understanding. Here are a few examples of how the press views Trump’s ludicrous threat.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: We got an excellent moment right now to discuss something I’ve never heard in any of these debates before between two presidential candidates […] One candidate says not only is he going to put forward a special prosecutor to investigate his rival, but he’s going to put her in jail if he’s elected president of the United States. That’s pretty extraordinary.

DANA BASH, CNN: What makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail.

JOY REID, MSNBC: We need to not speed past the point that an American candidate for president threatened to jail his political opponent. […] This happens in Malaysia, this happens in Uganda. This does not happen in the United States of America.

VAN JONES, CNN: A line was crossed that I don’t know has been crossed in my lifetime, maybe ever. He threatened to jail his opponent. […] He threatened to jail Hillary Clinton if he became president of the United States. That is something that I think is a new low in American democracy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Donald Trump also said, in one of the most provocative comments of the evening, he said that if he was president, he would jail his political opponent. He would put Hillary Clinton in jail. That is the sort of thing that we usually decry in other countries, in authoritarian countries.

PAUL KRUGMAN: Let’s be clear: a candidate for president promised to put his opponent in jail if he wins. Everything else is secondary.

JAKE HOROWITZ, MIC: A few politicians who have jailed their political opponents: Putin, Erdogan, Chavez, Mugabe, Pinochet. Noriega.

DAVID FRUM, speechwriter for George Bush: Who would consent to serve as Attorney General to a president who believed he could direct prosecutions of his political opponents?

By contrast, Fox News presented a somewhat different perspective. Their primetime star Bill O’Reilly gushed that “That’s the smartest thing he did all night because that, just that, coalesced his base back together.” And contributor Scott Brown said that “It was the line of obviously, I think, the election, the debate process. […] it was a home run. I thought he won the debate.” Nowhere on the “fair and balanced” Fox News was there a contrary opinion like that expressed by Clinton’s campaign spokesman Brian Fallon:

“That is the comment of a dictator that you expect to hear in a banana republic — the idea of jailing your political opponents.”

And that pretty much sums it up. Trump has presented himself as a narcissistic authoritarian from the outset of his campaign. His racist proposals to ban immigrants on the basis of religion; his incitement of violence toward protesters; his proclamations that “I alone” can defeat ISIS, or reform the tax code, or repeal ObamaCare, or end street violence. These are all indications of Trump’s belief that as president he can act unilaterally and impose his will the nation. And let’s not forget his open hostility to the media upon whom he promised to seek revenge.

These are the thoughts and actions of a budding tyrant. Anyone who can contemplate putting Trump at the head of the U.S. government and military is playing with fire. Trump has shown us who he is, and it’s a frightening picture of autocratic oppression. If he were to become president, Hillary Clinton would not be the only opponent he would throw in his gulag. Guantanamo would be packed with his critics and any random liberals who offend him.

Donald Trump Knows He’s Already Lost – Pulls Ads In Crucial Swing States

For the next month the Republican Party, the media, and the Trump campaign are going to engage in a charade. It’s a farce that pretends the race for the White House is still winnable. It isn’t, and they know it. And the final act of the electoral play isn’t due to the devastating discovery of the now famous Trump Tapes. Although they certainly didn’t help. And it isn’t due to his creepy debate performance either.

Donald Trump

The best evidence of the fact that this long nightmare is over was unveiled in a little noticed news item last week. It’s significance was more profound than the attention it got would suggest. Not surprisingly, it was pushed from the headlines when more salacious news about Trump emerged. The report reveals the way Trump’s campaign is handling its own media strategy for the remainder of the campaign:

“Just weeks before Election Day, the Trump campaign has cancelled ad reservations in markets in several crucial battleground states.”

The startling thing about this disclosure is that the states where Trump is canceling their ads tells a tale of woe. They are not states where he has a comfortable lead and doesn’t need to waste the money. Nor are they states where he is trailing badly with no chance of success. Those are the usual explanations for media budget shifts in the waning days of a campaign.

However, the states where Trump is pulling back are swing states where polls show that either candidate could prevail. What’s more, they are states without which Trump cannot possibly build a path to a November victory. Here is a breakdown of the ad funding cancellations:

State $ Canceled
Florida 741,000
North Carolina 307,000
Ohio 263,000
Pennsylvania 179,000
Iowa 165,000
Maine 93,000
New Hampshire 53,000
Colorado 32,000

There are only two possible reasons for removing ad funds from these states:

1) The campaign is out of money. That seems unlikely because there has been little evidence that they have spent very much. Also, Trump has bragged for months that he would self-finance his campaign and provide as much money as necessary to win.

2) There is no plausible path to victory. That is a scenario that was becoming more evident in every new poll that’s been released for the past few weeks. And now with the revelations of Trump’s vulgarity and admission of sexual assault it is even more likely. Consequently, Trump might want to save these funds so he can reimburse himself for the loans he made to the campaign.

There are still some campaign events that could have an impact on the eventual outcome, including the final debate on October 19. However, debates are not generally regarded as opportunities for Trump to endear himself to anyone other than his current basket of deplorables. There is little time left now for either candidate to manufacture a large swing in voter preference. But when it’s all over we may very well be able to look back at this reallocation of funds as the moment that Trump conceded.

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