Pres. Obama: This Is An Attack On All Of Humanity. Rupert Murdoch: Nuh Uh

The world watches stunned as yet another horrific act of terrorism is carried out that senselessly takes the lives of innocent people. The city of Paris is in shock as it struggles to recover and to understand the nature of a lethal and elusory enemy. And decent people worldwide are united in sympathy, concern, and determination to prevail over evil.

President Obama expressed the condolences of the American people in statement (video below) that was heartfelt while recognizing the difficulties of the tasks that lie ahead. He said that “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

The truth of that statement is reflected in the nearly unanimous agreement from national leaders around the world such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that this “Attack on freedom was not only meant for Paris, it is against all of us.” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari condemned attacks saying that “Those terrorist groups that committed the Paris crimes do not believe in ethical principles and they are not loyal to any type of divine religions — including Islam.”

There was, however, a notable exception. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and Chairman of the parent corporation of Fox News, explicitly contradicted the President and others in a tweet saying that the “Paris outrage not an attack on all humanity, but an attack on us. ie, Western civilisation!”

Rupert Murdoch

What a despicable expression of egocentric, supremacist bullcrap. Murdoch’s insistence that terrorism is not a plague on all the nations of the world exposes his rancid bigotry and ignorance. It is self-centered and delusional to suggest that the only targets of terrorism are people like himself. He is apparently unaware that the most frequent victims by far of radical Islamists are other Muslims. Why does he think there are currently some three million refugees from Syria flowing into neighboring countries? They are peaceful and frightened people fleeing the barbarism of ISIS that has taken the lives of so many of their friends, families, and fellow citizens.

These people know the horror and heartbreak of terrorism far better than Murdoch does from the comfort and safety of his penthouse. Yet he callously dismisses them as not being the targets of terror. His assertion that Westerners are the only victims, that it isn’t an attack on humanity, may be because he doesn’t regard them as human. And choosing this time to excrete his vile prejudices, while the blood of Parisians, including very likely the blood of innocent Muslims, is still staining the streets of Paris, could not be more repulsive.

It is so sad that such a blatant bigot controls one of largest media empires in the world and that it so closely mirrors his hate mongering. Murdoch was a fervent proponent of, and propagandist for, the war in Iraq that destabilized the region and allowed groups like ISIS to flourish. And now he belittles the suffering of the people most devastated by the chaos and brutality for which his efforts were a major contributing factor.

Murdoch could not be more wrong. What happened in Paris was most definitely an attack on all of humanity. Murdoch just doesn’t have enough of it to know that.

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

[Addendum:] One of Murdoch’s favorite guests on Fox News, Milwaukee’s wingnut Sheriff David Clarke, tweeted his response to the Paris attacks: “If GOP plays this politically smart they can end any chance that the Dems win the WH in 2016. War is politics carried on by other means.” It’s bad enough that he is brazenly politicizing this tragedy while the bodies are still warm, but he’s also implying that the objectives of the terrorists are aligned with those of the Republican Party. In effect, he’s looking at “the bright side” of this horror for his political pals. How sick is that?

David Clarke

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Fox News On Bloomingdale’s: What Could Be Funnier Than Date Rape?

Earlier this week Bloomingdale’s came under an onslaught of well-deserved criticism for an ad that seemed to advocate sexual assault by surreptitiously drugging your female friends. It is inconceivable that this ad went through their marketing department processes and emerged as acceptable to publish. Eventually Bloomingdale’s acknowledge their abysmally poor judgment and apologized.

Fox News Bloomingdale's

That, however, is not the end of the story. Because Fox News still had something to say on the subject. And it was left to the kids on the curvy couch of Fox & Friends to articulate the network’s response (video below). Thereupon, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone woman on the program, called it a reckless ad. Unfortunately her fellow-co-hosts were somewhat less disturbed. Clayton Morris jumped in to praise Bloomingdale’s for apologizing like a remorseful wife-beater. And Steve Doocy actually tried to make excuses for the ad saying “Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?” Morris then joined in to add “When people had a sense of humor.” Yeah, you remember humor? Those uniquely human moments when we are amused by violence against women. [Ironically, I just published an article about how Fox News aspires to be a comedy network]

Indeed, those were the good old days. Men could spike the drinks of women and have their way with them without repercussions. And alluding fondly to those carefree times (for men) is nothing more than a bit of good humor. Bill Cosby must be thinking back on those days with some longing. It’s reminiscent of the time when the Fox & Friends gang happily joked about NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiance in an elevator. Co-host Brian Kilmeade helpfully observed that “I think the message is – take the stairs,” presumably to avoid being videotaped in the commission of an assault.

Fox News has a history of downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault. On one particularly repulsive occasion, commentator Liz Trotta complained about women in the military who whined about being assaulted by their comrades. Trotta argued against “this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” Although she never actually defined how much rape was acceptable before it would be considered “too much.”

The takeaway from this is that whenever you hear Republicans talk about returning the country to a past that they imagine as serene and untroubled, what they really want is to roll back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights and any progress made on advancing individual freedom and reducing bigotry. They revere nothing more than a past when white, male, Christians dominated the nation’s social and governmental institutions. And that deranged expression of nostalgia just isn’t funny anymore.

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

The Clowns Of Cable News: Laughing At Fox News, Not With Them

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Fox & Friends or Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Bozo

But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just announced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

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

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox is getting ready to launch their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

GOP Debate Lowlights Featuring Donald Trump’s ‘Sarah Palin Moment’

Fox Business Network is patting itself on the back for pulling off the most boring primary debate to date (transcript). They led the candidates through what amounted to a two hour Republican infomercial. The moderators were so detached that when Donald Trump flew off on a tangent about China in response to a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, they failed to inform him that China was not a party to the deal. Rand Paul stepped in to correct the record, but they never followed up to get a straight answer from Trump.

And speaking of Donald Trump, he contributed some of the most hair-brained comments of the evening. Most notably, Trump may have delivered what will become his “Sarah Palin Moment.” He was asked what he would do in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Trump said “I got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes.” That’s about as delusional as Palin’s belief that her geographical proximity to Russia gave her insight into the region’s labyrinthine complexities.

The Republican Foreign Policy Dream Team:
Donald Trump Sarah Palin

Furthermore, Trump never actually met Putin who taped his 60 Minutes segment in Moscow. Trump was interviewed in his Manhattan penthouse. So what he meant by being “stablemates” is incomprehensible. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that he was being deliberately misleading.

In addition to his fudging a close relationship with Putin, Trump came out against raising the minimum wage because he thinks that people “have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum.” He continued saying that if wages were higher it would make the U.S. less competitive. In other words, he expects American labor to compete with the slave-wage earners of China and other nations that abuse their working class. That should make a good campaign bumper sticker.

But a Trump rant wouldn’t be complete without his descending into rancid bigotry. And Trump didn’t disappoint. While answering a question about his utterly ludicrous proposal to round up and deport eleven million undocumented residents, Trump sought to validate his approach by comparing it to a program implemented by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. And as if to put a sunny disposition on the controversial program, Trump introduced the comparison with a reminder of Eisenhower’s chummy campaign slogan, “I like Ike.” What Trump left out is that Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback (yes, that was what it was called) resulted in dozens of fatalities and a taint of racism. Approximately 1.2 million people were deported to rural areas of Mexico with none of their possessions or other resources necessary to survive. Trump is calling for ten times as many deportations and still won’t explain how he will do it.

Now we don’t want to pick on Trump exclusively. Ben Carson also indicated his opposition to raising the minimum wage saying that “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.” Once again, Carson is pulling data out of a human body part far removed from area that he generally operated on. There is ample evidence that raising the minimum wage has no negative impact whatsoever on job creation. But not satisfied with merely misstating reality, Carson went on to actually call for lowering the minimum wage for some workers.

Marco Rubio weighed in on the matter of wages and education. Apparently he is not too anxious to encourage Americans to seek higher education. Consequently, he advocated for vocational training as opposed to college. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with vocational schools, which may be superior alternatives for some students. But Rubio reduced the argument to “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” However, Rubio’s argument is not based in reality. The median salary for philosophy professors is almost $64,000. The median salary for welders is about $37,400. And philosophy majors (who often go into many other lines of work where an understanding of people and society is required) command higher average salaries throughout their careers. We need both welders and philosophers, but no one should be persuaded based on dishonest applause lines from self-serving politicians.

Rand Paul’s breakout moment in the debate came during a discussion on income inequality when he said that “If you want less income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.” Not surprisingly, this is another Republican distortion of the truth. Of the ten states with the worst income inequality gaps, six are run by Republicans. Do these people ever get tired of being wrong?

Apparently not. Because Carly Fiorina joined the parade in a rant against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She inexplicably said that “We’ve created something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vast bureaucracy with no congressional oversight that’s digging through hundreds of millions of your credit records to detect fraud.” What Fiorina considers a “vast bureaucracy” is a relatively small agency with fewer than 1,000 employees. For comparison, the IRS has about 90,000. What’s more, it has the same measure of congressional oversight of almost every other federal agency. It’s director must be confirmed by the Senate, and it is subject to budgetary constraints imposed by Congress. Finally, you’ll have to ask her what she finds so offensive about uncovering fraud and protecting America’s consumers.

To give credit where it’s due, there some questions that where genuinely probing and worthwhile. Sadly, not one of them got a direct answer. The candidates exercised the old debate strategy of not answering the question you are asked, but the question you wish you were asked. And the moderators did nothing in the way of follow ups to attempt to get a responsive answer. Here are three outstanding, and unanswered, questions:

Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal: Now, in seven years under President Obama, the U.S. has added an average of 107,000 jobs a month. Under President Clinton, the economy added about 240,000 jobs a month. Under George W. Bush, it was only 13,000 a month. If you win the nomination, you’ll probably be facing a Democrat named Clinton. How are you going to respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans?

Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business: [Hillary Clinton] was the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator from New York, and secretary of state under Barack Obama. She has arguably more experience, certainly more time in government than almost all of you on stage tonight. Why should the American people trust you to lead this country, even though she has been so much closer to the office?

Baker: Income inequality has been rising in the United States. Fifty years ago, for example, the average CEO of a big corporation in this country earned 20 times the average salary of one of his or her workers. Today, that CEO earns about 300 times the average salary of a worker. Does it matter at all that the gap between the rich and everyone else is widening?

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

This debate was a peculiar creature from the start. The Fox Business Network has program ratings so low that Nielsen doesn’t even publish them. The only explanation is that it was a gift from the Republican Party to Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News family. As it turns out, it was a generous gift in that the debate drew a record number of viewers (13,500,000) for the tiny network. Although it was still the smallest audience of any of the debates held so far this election cycle. The next debates are scheduled for November 14 (Democrats on CBS) and December 15 (GOP on CNN).

GOP Debate On Fox Business Wants To Know: Whose Plan Would God Endorse?

The rancorous aftermath of the Republican debate a couple of weeks ago on CNBC laid the foundation for a comparison to what Fox News would do when they hosted their second GOP debate on their sister network, Fox Business. The hype prior to the FBN affair was all about how they would show the rest of the press how a debate should be run.

Fox Business

Well now we know. Rather than questions about whether Donald Trump is a cartoon candidate (which deserves further scrutiny), Fox’s Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck of business news, sought to ascertain the candidates’ positions on tax policy. And opening that segment of the program, Cavuto turned to Ben Carson and asked

“I think God is a pretty fair guy. So tithing is a pretty fair process. But Donald Trump says that is not fair, that wealthier taxpayers should pay a higher rate because it’s a fair thing to do. So whose plan would God endorse then doctor?”

Seriously? That was the first question asked on the subject of taxes. And it was rather contentious framing that pitted Carson against Trump, something Republicans railed against after the CNBC debate. And yet, following this debate Fox will undoubtedly spend untold hours exalting themselves as superior debate hosts and praising how they put on a more serious, less combative candidate forum.

It may indeed have been a program more closely in tune with their audience who likely support the notion of a faith-based tax policy. Perhaps the next Republican debate can be an American Idol spin-off called “God’s Favorite,” where candidates compete to see who gets voted out of Heaven.

Anyone who has researched the tax plans of the GOP field, however, will not be surprised by the reliance on faith. They all create varying degrees of additional debt with Trump’s topping out at more than $10 trillion over ten years. The Rev. Ted Cruz continued sermonizing with a comparison of the IRS tax code to the bible. You’ll never guess which one he preferred. But the sin of lying was given short shrift. PolitiFact examined recent representations by some of the candidates and rated them all less than truthful.

So did Fox achieve their goal in presenting a less antagonistic debate that focused on the issues and served the interests of voters? Well not if disseminating real information is the standard of judgment. At no time during the debate was it brought up that these candidates were pitching tax plans that exploded the debt. That seems like something that voters would want to know.

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

In the end, though, if the voters were not served, the candidates were. They got pretty much exactly what they wanted: A forum to articulate their views without any serious challenge. The debate was more of an extended infomercial for the candidates who were permitted to spin, lie, and even promote their websites in a brazen appeal for cash. Which actually is kind of a perfect synergy for a GOP (Greedy One Percent) debate on Fox’s money-media network.

GOP Debate On FBN To Be Moderated By The Glenn Beck Of Business News

The Republican candidates for president are preparing for their next televised debate tomorrow on the Fox Business Network. It is rather peculiar that FBN was selected as a debate host considering that their program ratings are so low that Nielsen doesn’t even publish them. This debate was a gift from the Republican National Committee to their benefactor and overlord, Rupert Murdoch, who is desperate for anything that might goose the numbers.

Neil Cavuto

In the wake of the last GOP debate on CNBC, FBN is facing certain challenges to their production. The candidates were so outraged at what they regarded as unfair treatment that they banded together in a show of unity to force all the subsequent debate hosts to bend to their will. Embarrassingly, they couldn’t even manage that protest and eventually dropped their demands.

Still, there will be competing pressures on FBN and their moderators, Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo. Candidates will watching to see if they are hammered with “gotcha” questions (which to Republicans are any questions they can’t answer). But if the moderators go soft they will be pilloried as stooges for the GOP who didn’t have the cojones to address serious issues or differences between the candidates. It will be interesting to see how they walk that tightrope.

There may be some surprises, but for the most part this debate will shun controversy. What can be assumed with some confidence is that the moderators will avoid anything that might reflect badly on the candidates. They will skew closely to the Fox News bias in favor of electing Republicans. Questions will framed as how the GOP will differ from the commies in the other party. And leading that parade will be Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck of business news.

Cavuto’s presence on Fox News and Fox Business (where he is the Senior VP and Managing Editor) is a relentless barrage of hyper-partisanship and crackpot conservatism. His commentaries are boorish assaults on Democrats and liberals. He is a serial interrupter of anyone who holds a different opinion than his. And his analysis always manages to put progressive policies and achievements in a negative light. For instance, he was fond of calling the historic market gains that occurred in Obama’s first term as a “bear market rally.” And that was when he wasn’t calling it the “Bush recovery.”

For your entertainment pleasure, the list below demonstrates some of his more outlandish pronouncements:

  • On the Iran nuclear deal Cavuto said that “We are helping the very folks that may have had a hand in 9/11.” But there is no evidence that Iran had any role in the Al Qaeda attack.
  • Cavuto opined that if Benghazi had happened on George W. Bush’s watch he would have been impeached. However, there were thirteen deadly attacks on diplomatic facilities during Bush’s presidency, but no impeachment, no hearings, not even any notable criticism.
  • Cavuto demeaned people who received government aid as lazy moochers who believe that “as long as Uncle Sam’s got my back I can lay back.”
  • Cavuto slammed efforts to raise the minumum wage because when he worked at a fast food restaurant in his youth he considered it a great learning and growth opportunity. But when adjusted for inflation, he was earning $2.22 more than the current minimum wage.
  • In one of his tirades against Climate Change he railed that “it is freezing across the entire globe.” Of course, only an idiot would say such a thing, particularly when almost every year for the past decade ranks as among the hottest ever.
  • His report on ObamaCare featured high grade fear mongering and a title warning about “National Healthcare: Breeding Ground For Terror?” That’s right. In Cavuto’s world health care equals terror.

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

This is the sort of fringe crackpottery that is right at home on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze or Alex Jones’ InfoWars. But Cavuto practices it on both his Fox News and Fox Business shows. He invites guests to appear with equally outlandish conspiracy theories with which he generally agrees. He engages in non-stop, brazenly partisan, propagandizing on behalf of the conservative agenda of his network bosses, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. Cavuto is a Tea Party boosting, climate science denying, harbinger of economic Armageddon. And tomorrow night he will moderating a Republican primary debate. Should be fun.

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The Reviews Are in: Donald Trump Bombs On SNL

Now that is it’s all over, it turns out that the hype that engulfed Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live was more entertaining than the actual show. There are barely any reviews that have anything positive to say about either Trump’s performance, or that of the regular cast and writers.

Donald Trump Racist

The big problem with Trump hosting the show, and the reason the protests were so pronounced, was never about the debate between opposing political ideologies. It was about the noxious validation of an unrepentant hate monger. Would SNL proffer an invitation to a KKK leader if they thought it would produce big ratings? One can only hope not. Likewise, the role of political satire is not to suck up to the rich and powerful, but to slather them in mockery. On that level SNL failed miserably.

Even with regard to ratings, SNL failed to achieve much of a victory. The program did not break any records. It did exceed their other programs over the past three years (not a long time frame for a show that’s been on the air for more than forty years), but fell below such non-talents as Sarah Palin and Charles Barkley. And the reviews for Trump were decidedly unflattering to say the least. Here’s a short sampling of the damage:

  • New York Times: “S.N.L.” stuck with obvious, anemic political riffs and apolitical sketches that were cringeworthy all around.
  • Los Angeles Times: “SNL” seemed so bent on appearing nonpartisan that it over-compensated and forgot its actual mandate: Be funny.
  • The Wrap: In its 41st season, the show would rather play along with the wealthy and powerful than satirize them.
  • Yahoo TV: Host Donald Trump kicked off this week’s Saturday Night Live with an opening monologue that demonstrated all the reasons it wasn’t a good idea for him to host SNL. […] The only entity that came off worse than Donald Trump was SNL.
  • Variety: Most of the sketches involving Trump were weak, timid or predictable.
  • Time: His episode of SNL was among the most anodyne in the show’s recent history.
  • Washington Post: Trump’s sorry night on ‘SNL’: An overhyped bummer for us all.
  • Townhall: Trump on SNL Was Dull, Unfunny.
  • Greg Gutfeld, Fox News: They deliberately wrote nothing, as a protest. It’s like a restaurant cook spitting on someone’s food.

The last two in this list were specifically included to show that it isn’t just the “liberal” media ganging up The Donald. Gutfeld’s paranoid observation that there was a conspiracy by the writers to tank Trump is especially ludicrous. Why would they do so knowing that it would make them look just as atrocious as their star? They have their own careers to consider.

The one moment in the show that was universally applauded was Larry David’s heckling of Trump’s opening monologue wherein he called Trump a racist. David was cashing in on the actual offer by Latino activist group Deport Racism to pay $5,000 to anyone in the SNL audience who called Trump a racist on the air. The group says that it will honor the offer and pay the prize to David (not that he needs it). SNL’s attempt at a preemptive strike to dilute the impact of an audience member disrupting the show backfired because David’s disruption got far more people talking about Trump’s bigotry than an unknown person in the audience would have.

Trump, on the other hand, was stiff and painfully humor-challenged. What’s worse, he managed to make himself appear even less presidential than he has on the campaign trail this year (not an unimpressive feat). It probably won’t hurt him among his supporters because, by definition, their judgment is pitifully defective.

But the real losers in all of this are NBC, who reversed their pledge to cut ties with Trump due to his offensive remarks, and SNL, who are demonstrating a crushing weakness in what should be their core comedic competence. It’s a sad decline for the program that seems to be accelerating downward. And following this disgraceful capitulation to a bully bigot, you have to wonder what’s next for SNL.

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

Donald Trump SNL

Ted Cruz Super PAC Brags That He ‘Makes Things Happen,’ Like 1,000 Mass Murders Since Sandy Hook

Texas Senator Ted Cruz sure loves him some guns. His affection for assault weapons is so fierce that he brags about using them to cook bacon. He portrays himself as a defender of the Constitution whose Second Amendment he distorts by ignoring the “well regulated militia” clause.

Ted Cruz Sandy Hook

Now a Super PAC working on his behalf has produced an ad (video below) aimed at taking down fellow Republican Marco Rubio. In the course of the attack on Rubio it veers to the right to direct some fire at President Obama. Unfortunately, it misses the target and results in severe harm to some truly innocent bystanders. The ad says that…

“Ted Cruz makes things happen. After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws.”

Indeed, Cruz was one of the leading opponents of measures to protect children and others from the horrific tragedy that befell the residents of Newtown, Connecticut. The fact that twenty children can be slaughtered by gunfire from a military-style assault weapon in their elementary school classroom, and nothing is done about it, is due in part to the determination and indifference of Ted Cruz to “make things happen,” or more precisely, to make things NOT happen, because that’s the only skill he’s demonstrated in his single senate term.

So thank you, Sen. Cruz, for ensuring that future citizens will be just as vulnerable as those kids. Thank you for standing up for the gun manufacturing lobbyists at the NRA instead of the victims and their families. You’ll be glad to know that your efforts have already resulted in nearly 1,000 more mass shootings in the United States just since the December 2012 massacre in Newtown. The shooters in those incidents killed at least 1,251 people and wounded 3,602 more. You must be so proud. Your senate colleague, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, responded to the ad with an impassioned righteousness.

“Showing off how callous he was in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting may win him some right-wing votes that get swept up from Donald Trump or Ben Carson, but it disqualifies him in a general election.” [… Cruz is…] “the one senator who took on the parents of Sandy Hook in the wake of the most horrific mass shooting in our lifetime.”

“Ted Cruz makes things happen,” should become the new slogan of his campaign. And so long as voters know that the things that he makes happen are threats to the welfare of all Americans, the nation will renounce his dangerous agenda. What’s more, his policies that include the repeal of ObamaCare, the destruction of Social Security, tax cuts for the wealthy, the crippling of the middle-class, never-ending war, and demolishing the wall between church and state, will hurt every other American. And that agenda is shared by all of his Republican pals running for the presidency. Yes, Republicans make things happen. Very, very bad things.

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

Ben Carson’s Brazen Dishonesty Still Isn’t As Bad As His Glaring Lunacy

The recent revelations about Ben Carson’s proclivity for embellishing his life story are certain to present him with problems going forward. He has now been found to have been less than truthful about a scholarship offer to West Point. On the same subject he said that he met with General Westmoreland at time that he was hundreds of miles away. His recollections of childhood hostility have come under scrutiny for having changed in substantive ways on each telling. The tale of cowardice in a fast food restaurant when he directed a gunman to assault someone else has no evidence of ever having occurred. He appears to be making up his legend as he goes along.

As serious as that sort of mendacity is, it is still not the biggest problem with Ben Carson and his improbable candidacy for president. That’s because, in just the past few days, Carson has added to a series of strikingly ignorant commentaries. It is truly baffling that a respected neurosurgeon can utter such nonsense. It is equally baffling that so many Americans can be fooled into supporting him. And the examples herein don’t even include the stupendously idiotic assertion that the great pyramids of Egypt were built to store grain.

Ben Carson's Oddities

The three most blatantly harebrained remarks that Carson made this week should make any voter cringe. For instance, defending his absence of political experience, Carson conceded that…

“I have no political experience. The current Members of Congress have a combined 8,700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience.”

The argument that a lack of political experience is an endorsement of one’s fitness to be the Leader of the Free World makes about as much sense as a brain surgeon boasting that he’s never actually performed surgery. But Carson’s comment is also off base because nearly every signer of the Declaration of Independence had elected office experience. Whoever is doing Carson’s research should be fired.

In another attempt to exalt the inexperienced, Carson turned to the bible and constructed an analogy that in his dementia he must have thought supported his argument. he said that…

“It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic.”

Is he now advocating that all shipbuilders be interrogated to assure that they have never actually worked on ship construction? Just hire the ones with the most piety and confidence that God will guide them to build a nice boat. What’s more, Carson is comparing the seaworthiness of Noah’s Ark, a vessel for which there is no evidence that it ever sailed, or even existed, with the infamous Titanic. The logical flaw in this analogy is that the Titanic, which existed, was extremely well built. It didn’t sink due to any construction or design flaw, but due to the bad navigation and judgment of the captain and crew who steered it into an iceberg. Consequently, this analogy undercuts Carson’s point, because it’s the experience of the sailors that would have made the difference.

The introduction of God into Carson’s political philosophy occurs with great frequency. He freely mixes religion into matters of politics and science. For instance, he believes that the Big Bang Theory and evolution are the work of Satan. However, he also believes that…

“The good Lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like Fox News. We’d be Cuba if there were no Fox News.”

Who knew that the Lord Almighty was directly responsible for Fox News and for making it available to Carson? What’s more, who knew that Fox News is the only reason that the United States is not a tiny communist island? The notion that America would have fallen into the sphere of Soviet style communism, but for the existence of a cable news network that is watched by about one percent of the population, is further evidence of Carson’s acute derangement. What kept America from becoming Cuba prior to 1996 when Fox was launched?

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

Indeed, it is important to be able to believe what those who aspire to lead the nation say. Hillary Clinton is getting a lesson in the value of trust herself. But she doesn’t go around spouting fables as facts and turning history into mythology. So Carson, as many people are now learning, may be a bald-faced liar, but that isn’t nearly as bad as his being a totally unhinged schizoid who is convinced that God sent him to save America and the world.

[Update:] As if to affirm his utterly insane perspective, Carson went on an epic rant complaining that the media was responsible for his misrepresentations of reality. In the course of his barely lucid explanation he rattled off a bunch of old and widely debunked conspiracy theories about President Obama, saying “I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running.” He included: Frank Marshall Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and Obama’s “sealed” academic records. Of course, upon examination, there was either no truth or nothing controversial in any of these issues. But more to the point, and despite his faulty memory, they were all scrutinized by the media in far greater depth than anything Carson has experienced yet. Why he doesn’t recall months and months of endless reporting on these and other phony issues is another reason to question his fitness for office.

Racists On Fox News Are OUTRAGED At People Protesting Donald Trump’s Racism

Barring any last minute surprises, a couple of days from now Donald Trump will take to the stage of Saturday Night Live to engage in an evening of carefree hilarity. The program’s network and producers have so far shown no inclination to respect the millions of Americans who are offended by Trump’s undisguised bigotry, which to them is no laughing matter.

Donald Trump SNL

The opposition to Trump’s hosting gig has grown significantly with petition drives (here and here) that have gathered over 350,000 signatures. Nevertheless, NBC doesn’t seem to be the least bit dissuaded from permitting Trump to host their iconic comedy program even while Trump is the leading advocate for boycotting NBC/Telemundo’s Republican primary debate (the only GOP debate with a Latino sponsor).

The SNL controversy has been played out across the media spectrum including, of course, Fox News where the audacity of people protesting the repackaging of hate as comedy would not be tolerated. For example, this morning on Fox’s Outnumbered they did a segment about the protests that featured one of the hosts, Katie Pavlich, making a determined effort to outdo Trump’s own racism.

Pavlich: If these protesters spent just as much time protesting the illegal alien rapists and murderers who make their own community look bad, maybe Trump wouldn’t be saying the things that he is about their community.

Pavlich led off by regurgitating Trump’s repulsive insult to millions of peaceful, hard-working undocumented American residents, saying that they are rapists and murderers. Furthermore, she seems to believe that there are no Latino activists working every day on the issues related to crime and violence in their communities. And based on that ignorant assumption, Pavlich blames Latinos for the horrible lies that Trump tells about them. But she wasn’t finished.

Pavlich: (Con’t) So I suggest that if they don’t want that stereotype, if they don’t want the truth to be told about the fact that illegal immigration does bring with it a huge criminal element that we have to deal with in this country, they should spend there energies getting out the criminals in their own communities, then we can have a discussion about the people that remain here that haven’t committed those heinous crimes.

First of all, what Pavlich characterizes as both a stereotype and “the truth” is actually patently false. Studies have proven that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than the native-born. So maybe it is people like Pavlich that should stop shooting off their mouths until they rid their communities of criminal activity. Also, the notion that nobody can protest an injustice until every shred of any other bad behavior is eliminated, whether related to the protest or not, is just plain idiotic. Were that the standard, no one could ever protest anything.

So Pavlich made a compelling case for racists who want to distort the facts and spread fear and prejudice. And her co-hosts on the program unanimously agreed with her hate mongering. It was a nauseating display of unity for shameless bigots, but not surprising for Fox News. And when confronted with this sort of assault aimed at people exercising their constitutional right to protest, there is only one reasonable response, and it was made by these enlightened kids:

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