The Fox News ‘Blame Obama’ Fetish Is in Full Effect with Lame Accusations About Syria

The media is once again falling for the meme of the moment on Donald Trump rather than producing thoughtful analysis. Just two months ago they flocked to praise his “presidential” demeanor during a speech before a joint session of Congress. They characterized it as a profound shift in personality. Of course, the next day Trump proved them all wrong as he reverted to his standard childishness and bluster.

Obama Fox News

Now, in the wake of his missile strikes in Syria, much of the media is at it again. They portray this as evidence of Trump’s evolution into the job of president. But it’s just another knee-jerk reaction that ignores both facts and history. Donald Trump can surely be depended on to act brashly and without consideration tomorrow or the next day. and the worst offender, as usual, is Fox News.

The network that serves as Trump’s PR division has gone out of its way to blame President Obama for the problems in Syria. Rather than assigning blame to Bashir al-Assad, the brutal dictator who gasses his own people, Fox News points their bony fingers at Obama. Here are some examples of the well coordinated assault on our former president:

Bill O’Reilly: President Trump is going to have much different foreign policy than President Obama’s “strategy of retreat.”

Sean Hannity: “Instead of weakness, we now have strength. […] Timidity has been replaced by bold action.”

Charles Krauthammer: “There is a new sheriff in town. There was an absence for eight years. America is back.”

Ted Cruz: “The honest answer is there’s no good answer to Syria right now after eight years of Obama’s broken red lines and weakness.

The problem with all of these displays of Obama Derangement Syndrome is that they fail to represent reality. President Obama took a hard stand against Syria and produced some real, albeit temporary, results. The famous “red line” remarks were followed up by an agreement that removed hundreds of tons of chemical weapons from Syria. The fact that some may have remained, or were re-acquired four years later, doesn’t diminish the magnitude of that achievement.

What’s more, Obama also ordered retaliatory bombing in Syria. At the time, conservative pundits and politicians castigated him for it, despite his having obtained pre-approval from Congress. Obama delivered a message to the American people that Fox News et al have apparently forgotten:

Trump was among those who criticized Obama’s actions in Syria. In fact, Trump repeatedly bashed Obama and insisted that it would be a mistake to engage with Syria at all. Now Obama is being falsely criticized for having done nothing, even though that’s what his critics wanted him to do. It’s a twisted logic that only right-wing partisans can comprehend.

It should also not be forgotten that Trump presciently unveiled what may be the real reason for his Syrian aggression. In yet another swipe at Obama, Trump tweeted this:

For the record, Trump’s numbers are in a death spiral. In just three months he has managed to sink lower in approval than any president before him. Could it be that now he is just taking his won desperate advice?

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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Seth Meyers: Fox News Is Basically The Closest Thing We Have To State TV

The political satire scene took a couple of body blows when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert gave up his Colbert Report. The slack was taken up ably by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and a resurgent Saturday Night Live. But a leading light in this arena has been Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Seth Meyers Fox News

This week Meyers delivered one of the best take downs of Fox News since Jon Stewart left the stage. In this segment Meyers begins by noting that the sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly offer an example of Fox News’ “symbiotic relationship” with Donald Trump. And, yes, Meyers makes the connection.

However, the segment goes into much greater detail on how Fox News is a network in service of propaganda. Meyers spells it out in plain language saying that “They [Fox] give him [Trump] glowing, unquestioning coverage, and in return he gives them unparalleled access.” That’s it in a nutshell. But Meyers isn’t through. He manages to put together a variety of samples of Fox’s sycophantic sucking up to Trump. “Fox News,” he said, “is basically the closest thing we have to state TV” And furthermore:

“This is the network that the President relies on for information? A network with an archaic culture of sexual harassment, fear, and intimidation, that also serves – with a few exceptions – as a propaganda arm.”

Meyers points out how Trump has been promoting Fox News programs on his Twitter feed. “Instead of a bible,” Meyers says, “Trump should have been sworn in on a TV Guide.” And Fox News happily reciprocates by promoting Trump’s promotions of Fox. The clip with Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy is worth the price of admission by itself.

The whole piece is a brilliant combination of humor and perceptive media analysis. This clip can be saved and replayed for both its entertainment value and its uncompromising honesty and insight.


TBT: Trump’s Twitter Rants on Syria are a Steaming Heap of Hypocrisy

The videos of Syrian children suffering and dying from chemical bombings are almost too awful to watch. But even as Donald Trump castigates Assad, he pivots to blame President Obama for the atrocity. Trump’s public comments so far manage to produce nothing but bluster and impotent finger-pointing. He chastises Obama for not having done enough, but over the past couple of years Trump has repeatedly argued for doing nothing at all.

Donald Trump

Now CNN is reporting that:

“President Donald Trump has told some members of Congress that he is considering military action in Syria in retaliation for this week’s chemical attack, and recognizes the seriousness of the situation, a source familiar with the calls tells CNN.”

In light of that news, let’s revisit his Twitter posts for the past three years:

Those last two tweets have particular significance. Any military action has the potential of going awry. Civilians are too often the victims, even in well-intentioned missions. And already Trump has presided over more than 1,400 civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, according to some reports. More than 200 in one incident alone. And he’s been in office less than three months. Is this what he meant during the campaign when he said that he would “bomb the hell” out of ISIS?

Also, it will be interesting to see if Trump will comply with his demand to get congressional approval before taking any military action. Needless to say, Trump has not exactly been a bastion of consistency. But on this matter he will be challenged by his Republican colleagues on Capital Hill. Sen. Rand Paul has already said publicly that he will oppose any military moves on Syria without authorization from Congress.

There really are no good solutions to this problem. Surface level analyses that advocate sending in the Marines will almost certainly result in painful losses. That includes both innocent Syrians and American troops. But more complex combinations of diplomacy and international cooperation are seemingly beyond Trump’s mental capacity to comprehend. And none of these routes guarantee a desirable outcome.

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

Unfortunately, America is now burdened with a leader who has no experience addressing these kinds of problems. Nor does he have any relationships with other world leaders. And he has recruited a staff that is just as unfit as he is. Does anyone really think that Jared Kushner or Rex Tillerson will find a path to peace? That leaves us with little more than crossed fingers and anxious hopes that the Pentagon will muster up some common sense and be able to exert some influence over our incompetent president. It isn’t much to hang onto, but it’s all we’ve got.


Will Fox News Fire Bill O’Reilly After Sexual Harassment Reports And Advertiser Exodus?

Fox News has been struggling with some serious blows to its reputation lately. That’s to be expected when its chief mission is running defense for a lying, ignorant, sociopath playacting at being president. But Donald Trump isn’t the only problem facing Fox News. The repercussions of a widespread misogynistic culture are having a profound impact on its business.

Bill O'Reilly Donald Trump

A recent investigation by the New York Times turned up several reports of sexual misconduct by Fox’s star, Bill O’Reilly. The story identified former employees who have received millions of dollars in settlements from O’Reilly or Fox News. Some of these were never previously disclosed. What’s more, the failure to report these payouts has landed Fox in some legal trouble. An investigation by the U.S. Attorney in New York is probing whether that non-disclosure violated securities laws.

Compounding the allegations in the Times is a new lawsuit filed by another alleged victim of the disgraced ex-CEO of Fox, Roger Ailes. Julie Roginsky is asserting that Ailes demanded a sexual relationship in exchange for professional help at the network. Roginsky’s charges echo those of previous victims in the Ailes affair.

All of this is causing a stir in the advertiser community. ThinkProgress is keeping tabs on O’Reilly’s advertisers and has already identified at least 27 companies that have pulled their ads from The O’Reilly Factor. They include some big names like Mercedes-Benz, Allstate, and Coldwell Banker. And it’s only been three days since the Times article was published. This suggests a severe level of anxiety that exists within the ad camp. There is a surprising willingness to flee controversy even with a show as highly rated as the Factor.

It would be naive to expect Fox News to fire or punish a star like O’Reilly just because he’s a wretched louse who preys on vulnerable women. In fact, given the corporate culture at Fox, that would just make him a welcome member of the club. The allegations against Fox extend to others in their ranks. Co-President Bill Shine and PR flack Irina Briganti have been accused of covering up offensive behaviors. And their most prominent club member, Donald Trump, has weighed in as well. He told the New York Times that:

“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump said, according to the Times. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

Trump is notorious for opposing legal settlements. This despite his $25 million dollar payoff to settle lawsuits brought against his fraudulent Trump University. More importantly, he’s also notorious for his own resume of sexual harassment and assault. That’s something he shares with his close pal Bill O’Reilly. At least a dozen women have claimed that Trump sexual assaulted them. And during his campaign he promised to sue every one of them. Another broken campaign promise.

Club membership notwithstanding, when ad revenue is threatened the network bosses may think differently. The rapid response to O’Reilly’s reprehensible behavior demonstrates the risk Fox faces. Just ask Glenn Beck. He also had a highly rated program until his racist diatribes drove advertisers away.

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

Still, Fox News will not cast O’Reilly aside without a considerable push from both advertisers and viewers. And there’s a way for the audience to contribute to O’Reilly’s eventual fate. Sleeping Giants on Twitter recently conducted a successful campaign against Breitbart News resulting in the loss of dozens of advertisers. Now they are taking on O’Reilly. They use social media to pressure advertisers to do the right thing. It’s clearly having an effect. However, whether it will pressure Fox News to do the right thing and fire O’Reilly is still an open question.


It’s STILL Russia! But Fox News and Trump Are Trying to Deflect to Phony ‘Unmasking’ BS

New revelations tying Donald Trump to Russia continue to appear every day. Simultaneously, Trump’s defenders launch new efforts to divert attention to media decoys. Among the latest are allegations that President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, improperly “unmasked” Americans recorded in conversations with possible foreign agents. Never mind that she never leaked anything or that her actions were all legal and proper. The story was a convenient distraction for the Trump administration as it’s mired in ever-growing scandal.

Trump Putin

Joining the spin party, Fox News featured a story about a former Obama defense official that they tried to malign. Evelyn Farkas left her job at the Pentagon in 2015. But more recently she sought warn her former colleagues about the risks of the incoming administration of Donald Trump. Fox News tried to spin Farkas’ public comments as something nefarious with the headline “OBAMA CHEERLEAKER? Ex-WH official’s call for Trump dirt part of pattern.”

“Cheerleaker?” Aint that cute. Of course it has no meaning or honest depiction of reality. It’s a purposefully negative rhetorical invention meant to smear Farkas. Which is pretty much what the rest of the story does as well. Fox’s story began by saying that:

“[F]ormer defense official Evelyn Farkas had undertaken a media campaign to pressure her old colleagues in the Obama administration — even Barack Obama himself — to disclose what they knew.”

Hot button terms like “pressure” deliberately misrepresent what actually happened. Farkas merely sought to offer her opinion on a matter of some importance. And her advice was entirely reasonable and warranted. That didn’t stop Fox News from putting it into the most negative light. However the quotes in Fox’s own story portray Farkas as a patriot coming forward on behalf of her country. For instance:

“I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking, the people on the Hill … ‘get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration,’ because I had a fear that, somehow, that information would disappear with the senior people who left,” she said. “That’s why you have the leaking, because people were worried,” she added.

“The information needs to be made public,” she wrote. “If the answers yield further evidence that the president-elect is indebted to the Russian government or individuals with Kremlin ties, the intelligence community and policy officials should also begin disclosing what they know about whether Trump’s associates have been in contact with Russian officials, and what they’ve been discussing.”

“We need President Obama to share with the public the information the FBI has to date on this issue, and we need President-elect Trump to explain the full extent of his ties with the Kremlin and influential Russians,” she wrote.

These are the comments that Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber are getting all hot and bothered about. But any sane observer would recognize them as calls for transparency and respecting American citizens enough to keep them informed. Why on Earth wouldn’t you want to protect potentially incriminating information from being destroyed? And why wouldn’t you want to know about any President’s connections to operatives of a hostile foreign country?

The only reason anyone would be worried about what Farkas said is if they were trying to hide wrongdoing. Fox News and Donald Trump have vested interests in shielding themselves from unsavory or unlawful activity. And they must be deeply concerned about what would come out if intelligence officials followed Farkas’ advice. Otherwise, they would welcome any disclosures as opportunities to clear their names.

Consequently, the word has gone out to the conservative media to hype stories like Farkas’ and Rice’s. And to do so deceptively in order to poison the public’s understanding and foment confusion. Then, while responsible journalists struggle to restore some sense of sanity, the Russian atrocities get swept aside. It’s tactic that we’ve seen used for months by the Trump camp.

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

Hopefully the press will stop being unwitting partners in this obfuscation and keep their eyes on the prize. There is nothing more important in American politics today than determining whether or not our president is a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Stay vigilant America, and don’t succumb to the practitioners of misdirection.


Trump, Still Obsessed With Clinton, Posts Hysterically Stupid Tweet Seeking An Apology

Another morning, another tweetstorm. On Monday Donald Trump took time away from his golf game to unleash a new round of deranged outbursts on Twitter. The president, whose attention span barely reaches 140 characters, continues venting via tweet rather than doing any actual work.

Donald Trump

Trump’s latest social media spew included a shout out to Fox News, which must be a contractual obligation. Another tweet featured a routine diversionary tactic to hype a phony surveillance story as a distraction from the Russia scandal. But perhaps the most comical tweet of the morning was this:

The first laughably absurd observation about this drivel is that Hillary Clinton never received any “answers” to the debate. What Trump is ineptly attempting to reference is the allegation that Donna Brazile passed along some topics that would be discussed by audience members in a debate with Bernie Sanders. Of course, topics are not answers, which Clinton would have had to come up with herself. That’s a mental process with which Trump is obviously unfamiliar.

More importantly, Trump’s passive aggressive-request for an apology stretches the limits of hypocrisy. After all, did he ever apologize for calling Clinton crooked? Or for five years of birtherism, insisting that President Obama was Kenyan? Or for asking Russia to illegally hack Clinton’s emails? And even worse, colluding with Russia to steal the election? Did he ever apologize for mocking a disabled reporter? Or for maligning Sen. McCain’s service in Vietnam? Or for ripping off donations intended for veterans? And what about apologizing to Mexican immigrants for saying they are criminals and rapists? Has he ever apologized for insulting Carly Fiorina’s face? Or saying that small-chested women could never be a ten? Or for grabbing women by the pussy?

This list only brushes the tip of Trump’s offensive behaviors. And it doesn’t even begin to address the offensive policies he has proposed. For instance, his now failed effort to repeal ObamaCare, which would have thrown millions off of their health insurance plans. Or his inane border wall. Or tax reform that transfers America’s wealth from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy. Then there’s his determination to defund Planned Parenthood. And his phantom strategy to defeat ISIS, much of which constitutes war crimes.

Finally, will he ever apologize for demonizing the Constitution’s guarantee of a free press? For his relentless smears of reporters as liars, sleazy, and horrible people? For revoking press credentials of media critics? Or for proposing to alter libel laws so he can file frivolous lawsuits? Or for calling the media “the enemy of the people,” echoing the rhetoric of fascist regimes? Trump’s use of the phrase “fake news” is a bastardization of the term. In his ignorance, he applies it to any reporting that he doesn’t like.

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

Trump has called his reliance on Twitter his own form of media.” Another term for that when managed by the head of state is “state-run media.” The press is not supposed to be a mouthpiece for the president. That may be how it’s done in the dictatorship of his pal Vladimir Putin, but not in America. And most of the country is still wondering when Trump will stop his idiotic tweeting and start pretending he can govern. Or maybe they’re just glad that he’s so distracted by his swollen ego that he isn’t causing more harm by actually trying to do his job. That would only give more for which to apologize.

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DUH! Trump’s U.N. Ambassador Says ‘No One’s Talking to Me’ About Russia’s Election Tampering

The prospect that Russia played a significant role in the election of Donald Trump continues to accumulate evidence. It is undoubtedly the worst scandal the United States has ever experienced. When a hostile foreign power is suspected of manipulating American democracy all citizens should be intensely concerned.

Nikki Haley

While a majority of citizens are indeed concerned, their anxiety doesn’t seem to be shared by Trump or his administration mouthpieces. On Sunday morning Face the Nation interviewed Nikki Haley, Trump’s United Nations Ambassador, and began with this topic. Host John Dickerson asked Haley whether she agreed with expert analyses of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to destabilize American institutions:

Dickerson: When you look at all the back and forth and the charges and the tweets that have been in the last few weeks, hasn’t he already succeeded in doing that?

Haley: None of my colleagues or ambassadors from other countries are talking about D.C. chatter.

First of all. Haley is dismissing congressional investigations, and even Trump’s tweets, as “chatter.” To some extent that’s true, but it can’t be the impression that Trump wants for his Twitter rants. So Dickerson took another swing at the question:

Dickerson: In your world, then, they’re not concerned about Russian efforts to meddle in elections in America, relative to its efforts to meddle in elections in other countries and in Europe? There’s no talk about that at all?

Haley: No one is talking to me about that.

So twice Haley insisted that no one is talking to her about one of the most disquieting acts of political subterfuge in history. That’s entirely believable. Why would any of her diplomatic colleagues talk to her about that? She’s a Trump minion who can be expected to align herself with his political interests. Trump has demonstrated that he has greater loyalty to Russia than to the U.S. He will never say a bad word about his pal Putin.

If there was collusion between Trump and Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton, it would be crazy to confide with Haley. Other diplomats are wise enough to know that you don’t get in bed with puppets of totalitarian regimes. Many European countries are dealing with similar attempts by Russia to interfere with their elections. Considering the circumstances, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t talk to an American who submits to such interference. Anything they say confidentially to Haley could find its way back to Putin and put them at even greater risk.

Haley also shares her boss’s reluctance to malign Vladimir. Dickerson brought up Putin’s denial that Russia interfered with the U.S. election. He asked Haley pointedly, “Did he lie?” That would be an easy question for most patriotic Americans. Instead, Haley mumbled weakly that “we’re all aware that Russia was involved in the elections.” But then she went on to say “I’m not going to talk about who is lying and who is not.” And Putin will surely appreciate that.

Several times in the segment Haley asserted that the U.S. would confront Russia when necessary. When Dickerson asked for an example, the only thing she could come up with were the sanctions due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Those, of course, were imposed during President Obama’s administration. And it was Trump’s disgraced ex-National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who sought to ease them in secret meetings. Furthermore, in an alarming admission of negligence, she told Dickerson that she has not even read the Countering Russian Hostilities Act currently before Congress.

The spectacle of watching the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. admit that she is ignorant of issues critical to her mission would be troubling by itself. But when combined with her Trump-like attachment to Putin it becomes downright scary. And the fact that her U.N. colleagues aren’t talking to her about Russia shows their dire lack of respect. Even worse, it shows a wariness that could be dangerous.

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


New York Times Exposes Bill O’Reilly’s Pattern of Sexual Harassment And Cover Ups By Fox News

The New York Times just published an article online that is certain to rattle the executive suites at Fox News. It revealed new information about Bill O’Reilly’s long history of sexual harassment and abusive behavior. The hostile work environment at Fox has been the subject of recent news reports due primarily to the scandals surrounding its now ex-CEO, Roger Ailes. Following allegations from several female Fox employees Ailes was forced to resign. But Ailes was not alone.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

Bill O’Reilly has had his own problems with accusations of harassment. One of the more infamous involved a producer who accepted a multimillion dollar settlement to end her legal proceedings. But that didn’t end the boorish behavior by O’Reilly toward the women with whom he worked. While rumors of promises and threats were rampant, details were often hard to nail down. And that’s where the new investigation by the Times comes in. The article’s opening paragraphs set the scene for a salacious workplace drama:

Behind the scenes, the company has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.

The article continues with disturbing descriptions of O’Reilly’s perverse assaults. The victims candidly disclosed the transgressions they suffered on the job:

“They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating.”

From the perspective of Fox News and its parent corporation, 21st Century Fox, these encounters were more than a PR nuisance. They were also a threat to the financial bonanza that O’Reilly represented. The Times noted that just in the past two years “the show generated more than $446 million in advertising revenues.” Consequently, the company stood behind their star. In a statement they defended O’Reilly saying that:

“We have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O’Reilly. While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility.”

That’s a deliberately confusing statement. If the claims have no merit, then what does “personal responsibility” mean? They appear to be trying to have it both ways. He didn’t do anything wrong, and he paid his debt for it. But what makes the Times story especially disconcerting is the discovery of victims not previously known. The list goes into some detail and includes the following:

  • Andrea Mackris – A producer on The O’Reilly Factor, Settlement date: 2004
  • Rachel Witlieb – Bernstein Junior producer at Fox News, Settlement date: 2002
  • Rebecca Gomez Diamond – A host on Fox Business Network, Settlement date: 2011
  • Laurie Dhue – Anchor at Fox News, Settlement date: 2016
  • Juliet Huddy – On-air personality at Fox News, Settlement date: 2016
  • Andrea Tantaros – On-air personality at Fox News
  • Wendy Walsh – A guest on The O’Reilly Factor

The first five of these women have already accepted settlements from either O’Reilly or Fox. Those settlements are themselves the subject of another budding scandal. There is an investigation into whether Fox purposefully hid those payoffs from stockholders. That would be a violation of securities laws. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was in charge of this investigation until he was fired by Donald Trump.

For his part, O’Reilly continues to deny any wrongdoing, despite the growing evidence. He released his own statement declaring his innocence that said in part:

“Most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

That’s a peculiar line of defense considering that O’Reilly recently lost a custody battle for his children that included charges of battery against his ex-wife that was witnessed by his young daughter. The children both petitioned the court to live with their mother. And rather than demonstrating remorse, O’Reilly’s lawyer says he is “considering legal action to defend Mr. O’Reilly’s reputation.”

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

All of this suggests that Bill O’Reilly fits right in with the misogynistic environment at Fox News. What’s more, he seems to be aligned with the abusive attitudes toward women of his close friend Donald Trump. There will surely be more revelations to come regarding these sordid affairs. But for the time being, we have a pretty nauseating picture of what’s wrong with Fox News and the mindset that dominates the American right.


Fox News Host Credits Trump For Obama’s Economy, Even His Co-Hosts Laugh Hysterically

The Fox News afternoon program The Five is a preposterous hour of right-wing blather. The co-hosts consist of four arch-conservatives and one lonely and abused, alleged liberal. They chatter aimlessly, generally agreeing on the awesomeness of Donald Trump and the manifest evil of his Democratic critics.

Fox News Bolling Obama

On Friday’s episode, co-host Eric Bolling once again earned his title as “Stupidest Man on TV.” Introducing his “scorecard” comparing the nascent Trump administration to that of President Obama’s, Bolling pulled out his white board. It contained a few economics metrics, but ignored the flood of scandals and legal potholes littering Trump’s brief tenure. (See the video below).

However, even that narrow examination of the two presidents was botched miserably by Bolling. In fact, it was so ridiculous that even his conservative colleagues burst out into spontaneous laughter. He began the segment innocently enough saying:

“The first quarter in the books yesterday or today, right? Last day of the quarter. So we did a little bit of a scorecard going – comparing the Trump administration to Obama one quarter in.”

The numbers Bolling presented for consumer confidence, unemployment, etc., were taken from the first quarter for both presidents. Consequently, Obama’s first quarter results looked horrible, while Trump’s were stellar. Of course, any twelve year old would know that those numbers represent the economy of the previous president. None of the policies of a new chief executive could have been implemented in that time. So Bolling was actually showing the numbers for Bush’s last days and comparing them to the success of the Obama years.

The obviously partisan spin was mocked furiously by Bolling’s co-hosts. Dana Perino called it “unfair.” Greg Gutfeld noted honestly that the positive results were “essentially all from Obama.” Juan Williams suggested that Bolling show the approval ratings for Obama (62%) and Trump (35%) on his board. And all of them laughed mercilessly at Bolling’s lame attempt to credit Trump with Obama’s accomplishments.

That’s how far a devoted Trump sycophant will go to deceive the naive in his audience. Sean Hannity does it everyday. Bill O’Reilly sells the same snake oil to his deluded viewers. But on this occasion the absurdity was too much for even Fox’s right-wing mouthpieces to endure without fits of hysterics. Through it all, Bolling himself never seemed to realize that he was the object of ridicule. That’s why he’s such a perfect shill for Trump. Neither have much of a grip on reality.

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


Former FBI Agent On Trump’s Loyalties: It’s Trump 1st, Russia 2nd and the Rest of America 3rd

Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. The former FBI agent was called to give testimony about the unfolding allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump. His testimony addressed many of the most troubling aspects of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia during the 2016 election.

Trump/Putin

After his testimony, Watts was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN. He affirmed much of what he told the committee and described the objectives of the Russian operatives. Watts was straight forward with this assessment of the situation:

Blitzer: What was Putin’s objective in all of this?

Watts: The ultimate objective is to destroy democracies from the inside out. What he wants to do is erode trust and sow divisions in the U.S. electorate.

Watts went on to say that intelligence operatives saw hacks and leaks that were “synchronized” with the Trump campaign. “That tends to lead to the belief that there was coordination,” he said. He also spoke about the “trail of dead Russians” that could lead to the confirmation of allegations raised by the infamous Trump dossier.”

This is about as close as any witness has come to asserting a direct relationship between Trump’s campaign and the Russians. The CIA has already confirmed that Russian operatives were working to help Trump get elected and to hurt Hillary Clinton. The risks facing Watts for his testimony were on his mind during the Senate hearings. He told Blitzer that:

“If I speak today, my bank account could be compromised, I could be discredited through compromising materials, some true some false, but I think the biggest concern is I’m not confident right now that the U.S. government would actually come to bat for me. I’ve seen President Trump call for Russia to leak emails against a political opponent, I’ve seen him discredit the U.S. intelligence community to cite conspiracies that he’s seen on his Twitter feed.

“So, if I say things that the Trump administration doesn’t like or that is counter to Putin, I’m not sure it’s not Trump first, Russia second and the rest of America third.”

That description of Trump’s loyalties should send chills down the spine of every American. Watts’ career has put him in dangerous positions around the world. He is no shrinking violet. But his doubts amount to an indictment of Trump’s patriotism. Watts added that the Trump White House could not be relied on for anything but its own self-interests. “They will push falsehoods to achieve political objectives,” he said, “before they will push the truth for the American people.”

That has been borne out many times as Trump and his spokespersons disseminate “alternative facts” and cast false accusations at critics and the press. It is part of a grand strategy to discredit anyone who dares to find fault with the President. But as the Russian scandals compound, Trump is finding it increasingly more difficult to defend himself and his cohorts.

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