The Lawyers Trump Used to Clear Him of Russian Ties Were the ‘Russian Law Firm of 2016’

File in the “You Can’t Make This Shit Up” file. Friday morning Donald Trump released a letter from his attorneys that purported to absolve him of any conflicts of interest stemming from dealings with Russia. The letter stated that the lawyers had reviewed ten years of Trump’s tax returns and affirm that he has had no income from Russian sources “with a few exceptions.”

Trump/Putin

Another way of saying that is that Trump did have some income from Russian sources. However, the larger problem with this letter is that there is no way to confirm any of its claims. What’s more, the way that Trump plays with the truth, they could be saying that he has not received any income personally from Russia, but his businesses might still have extensive financial ties.

But what makes this self-serving dispatch all the more peculiar is that the law firm representing Trump in this matter, Morgan, Lewis, has deep ties to Russia itself. ABC News reports that:

“In 2016, however, Chambers & Partners, a London-based legal research publication, named the firm ‘Russia Law Firm of the Year’ at its annual awards dinner. The firm celebrated the ‘prestigious honor’ in a press release on its website, noting that the award is ‘the latest honor for the high-profile work performed by the lawyers in Morgan Lewis’ Moscow office.'”

Needless to say, the optics of this are atrocious. Couldn’t Trump have found a purely American law firm to attest to his patriotic business dealings? Does everyone with whom he associates have hidden connections to Russia? Is Vladimir Putin handling his PR?

The honor bestowed upon this law firm may not be particularly significant. They have an office in Moscow and do considerable business there. And the award is from a private entity, not the Russian government. So it may all be an innocent coincidence. But there have been an awful lot of those erupting around Trump & Co. Plus, the law firm’s website makes note of their specialties. Some of them seem especially well-suited to Trump’s organization, including real estate property transactions:

“Our Moscow office includes more than 40 lawyers and staff who have been working together for many years. Our lawyers are well known in the Russian market, and have deep familiarity with the local legislation, practices, and key players.” […]

“We are particularly adept at advising our clients about compliance and sanction matters.”

Well, that’s not suspicious at all, is it? For Trump to send this firm out to sweep away any unsavory speculation was astonishingly inept, at best. At worst it is evidence of his steel-trap embrace of all things Russian. And it makes it all the more imperative that he release all of his tax returns for himself and his businesses. Without access to that information all the American people have is the word of a severely compromised and untrustworthy charlatan.

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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Trump Makes a Big Mistake By Insulting Stephen Colbert. Gets Smacked Right in the Truthiness

What is it about spoiled narcissists that makes them think they can out-snark professional comedians? On Thursday Donald Trump took time off from his Twitter tantrums to attack Stephen Colbert. Never mind that his presidency is up to its neck in criminal investigations and scandal. Or that serious issues like North Korea, healthcare, tax reform, terrorism, and climate change are pending. A comedian said something that Trump didn’t like and, dammit, that required the immediate attention of the President.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

So Trump sprung into action with a forthright declaration of principle. It is certain to go down in history with Churchill’s “blood, sweat, and tears,” and Kennedy’s “ask what you can do for your country.” Trump mustered up all his rhetorical prowess to tell Time Magazine that:

“You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him.”

Where to begin? Colbert’s millions of fans might disagree with Trump’s assessment of him as a “no-talent guy”. And it appears that the only people who don’t think he’s funny are Trump and his cadre of glassy-eyed disciples. And if Trump really believes that people like Colbert are helping him, then why is he complaining? Shouldn’t he be encouraging more of what Colbert does so that he can get more of the benefit from it.

As for the filthiness of Colbert’s material, that complaint is cute coming from the pussy-grabber-in-chief. Not to mention that Trump is notorious for his own affinity for profanity. Who can forget when he told American business that they could “go f*ck themselves”? Or when he promised to “bomb the sh*t” out of ISIS? He wasn’t deterred by the fact that there were children in the audience.

Speaking of which, what kind of parent is Trump? He seems to think that America’s children are awake at 11:30pm watching television? Just because he watches TV constantly and behaves like a child doesn’t mean that actual children are staying up to catch Colbert. Most parents don’t let their kids stay up that late. But then again, most kids don’t act so immaturely. To be fair, Trump has to watch TV a lot, especially Fox News. That’s where he gets all of his policy ideas from.

But if you think Trump was through, you don’t know Trump. He continued his rant to further disparage Colbert and, of course, to exalt himself:

“The guy was dying, by the way. They were going to take him off television. Then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high – highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.”

Huh? Trump just made the argument that Colbert wasn’t successful until the show starting attacking him. That’s evidence that America’s TV viewers were just waiting for someone to bash Trump. And when Colbert began doing so they rewarded him by becoming loyal viewers. Is that really the point Trump wants to make?

As for Trump’s claims about the ratings, he is just adding to his many previous bouts with delusion. There weren’t thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. His inauguration didn’t have the largest attendance in history. And his appearance on The Late Show was not its highest rated show. In fact, as Colbert pointed out, a program with Jeb Bush as the featured guest rated higher. So did the premiere.

What all of this leads up to is Thursday night’s show where Colbert responded to Trump’s vacation from reality. And it was delicious. Colbert began by noting that Trump had addressed “the most important issue to him: this show.” Colbert’s reaction to being personally called out by the President was “YAY!” He regarded it as proof that he had won by finally getting Trump to say his name. And then he spoke directly to the President:

“Making jokes about you has been good for my ratings. It’s almost as if the majority of Americans didn’t want you to be president. […] You know who’s got really bad ratings these days? You do. Terrible approval numbers. I hear they’re thinking about switching your time slot with Mike Pence. And since all of my success is the result of talking about you, if you really want to take me down there’s an obvious way. Resign.”

Watch the segment here. But don’t laugh. He’s a no-talent guy who isn’t funny.

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


Scared Sh*tless: Der Fuhrer Trump Threatens to Cancel ‘All Future Press Briefings’

The fallout from Donald Trump’s incompetently executed firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to rain down hard on his administration. Not only did he transparently interfere with an active investigation of his collusion with Russia, but he admitted as much in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.

Comey Trump

At one point in the interview, Holt pressed Trump “Did you ask, am I under investigation?” Trump responded saying that “I actually asked him, yes. I said, if it’s possible, will you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, you are not under investigation.”

That is a wholly inappropriate question for a president to ask an FBI director under any circumstances. But in this case, Trump already told Holt that the dinner where this occurred was one where Comey was seeking to stay on as director. So Trump was actually tying Comey’s job prospects to the investigation. Elsewhere it was reported that Trump had tried to extract a loyalty pledge from Comey, which Comey refused.

These comments are literally impeachable offenses all by themselves. Trump’s intimidation tactics were obvious and intolerable. Not surprisingly, the media reported on what he said, which always makes him mad. But this morning’s tweetstorm included some frightening suggestions of a tyrannical mindset:

First of all, Trump is making excuses for his press representatives dispensing misinformation (lies) to the public. That is never acceptable. If there is some question about the facts, the correct answer is “I don’t know. I’ll get back to you.” But Trump’s people instead decided to pollute the discourse with falsehoods.

More importantly, Trump’s casual suggestion that he might just cancel all future press briefings reflects his tendencies toward fascist authoritarianism. The presidency is not his fiefdom. It is a position of service to the people. Press briefings are the method by which the people’s intermediaries in the media have opportunities to hold national leaders accountable. They cannot be replaced by written press releases.

What’s more, Trump’s anger is entirely misplaced. He’s mad at the press because he and his staff are incompetent. The issue that preceded his outburst was Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that Trump fired Comey at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. That wasn’t true, and Trump himself contradicted it the next day in his interview with Holt by saying that he already planned to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation. So in Trump’s deranged brain, the press must be punished and banished.

Another item in this morning’s Twitter tirade was also notable for its threat to democracy and the rule of law:

REALLY? Trump is implying that he might be keeping Nixon like secret recordings. Comey isn’t the one who should be worried if such tapes exist. Their existence, and Trump’s use of them to intimidate, would be another justification for impeachment. And something tells me that the contents of any such tapes would affirm Comey’s account of what occurred at their meetings. Trump, after all, is a pathological liar.

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


HUH? Trump Now Says He MIGHT Release His Tax Returns – ‘After I’m Out Of Office’

An interview of President Donald Trump by The Economist was published today. The transcript reveals a painfully incoherent man who appears incapable of answering a question. His rambling, off-topic responses are typically excuses to demean his opponents or brag about himself.

Donald Trump

Among the absurdities in the interview were his claim to have coined the phrase “prime the pump.” As the folks at Merriam-Webster tweeted later, that phrase is about two hundred years old. The interviewer even told him that he knew the phrase. But that didn’t stop the President from asserting that he made it up “a couple of days ago.” Well, not only didn’t he just make it up, he used it himself five months ago.

In that vein of utter nonsense, Trump was also asked about the political path to passing his tax reform plan. Democrats have recently been hinting that they would block any Trump tax bill if he didn’t release his returns. Their argument is that without that data it would be impossible to gauge whether the plan would improperly benefit the President and his family. The Economist sought to discern what negotiating strategies Trump might use to get enough Democratic support for the plan pass in Congress. That led to this exchange:

Economist: If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?
Trump: I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to…nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them actually. I did a good job. […] I might release them after I’m out of office.

SRSLY? After he’s out of office would obviously be too late to apply anything that is learned from the data. It would be too late to catch him enriching himself, his family, and his cronies. It would be too late assess whether he had any improper dealings with Russia or other unsavory characters. What’s more, if he hasn’t felt sufficient pressure to release his taxes during his campaign or presidency, what would make anyone think he’d release them after he leaves office?

In addition to that phony offer, Trump also repeated the lie that no one cares about his taxes but reporters. Every poll on the subject shows large majorities of the American people want him to release his returns. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 74 percent in favor of releasing his returns. That includes 49 percent of his own supporters.

The excuse that an alleged audit prevents him from releasing the returns was never credible. Even the IRS refuted that claim as baseless. If Trump were really proud of the good job he did, he would have released his returns long ago. There’s nothing he likes better than a pat on the back and a cookie for good behavior. Clearly there is something he’s hiding that frightens him were it to be revealed.

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

Between his tax returns and the rapidly unfolding connections to Russia, Trump is mired in a pool of quicksand of his own making. He is sinking fast and his only recourse is total obstruction. However, that’s a strategy that won’t hold up for long. And eventually even his Republican colleagues will start to abandon him in order to save their own necks. When that happens watch for the bottom to fall out fast.


It’s Not Just Comey: Trump’s Scorched Earth Policy Toward Those Investigating Him

The legal concept of “consciousness of guilt” is when a suspect behaves in a manner that an innocent person would not. For example, engaging in actions to hide evidence or cover up participation in unlawful events. Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is the best evidence to date that he is aware of his culpability in a crime. It’s hard not to recognize that he knows that the law is circling around him and he is running scared.

Donald Trump

News reports are filling in some of the blanks since the bombshell announcement about Comey. One report notes that subpoenas have been issued by a Grand Jury investigating Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia. Another reveals that Comey had recently requested additional funds for the FBI’s probe. Sensing the noose tightening, Trump tweeted:

The next day Trump fired Comey. No matter what opinions one has of Comey, it is undeniable that Trump’s abrupt dismissal of him is troubling. Terminating an FBI Director who is leading an active investigation is a wholly inappropriate interference with the administration of justice. And the explanation provided by the administration couldn’t be more absurd. Does anyone believe that Trump fired Comey because Comey was too tough on Hillary Clinton?

The Comey debacle would be bad enough on its own. However, it is just the latest in a string of personnel moves that form a disturbing pattern.

In January Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates is a career prosecutor who spent 27 years with the Justice Department serving presidents of both parties. The publicly stated reason for her termination was that she refused to defend Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban in court. However, it later became known that Yates personally warned Trump about Flynn’s Russian connections. She provided documentation of the possibility that he had been compromised and advised Trump to act. It took Trump eighteen days to do so. Meanwhile, Yates had already been handed her pink slip.

In March Trump fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Well respected by his colleagues, Bharara also had the bipartisan support of Congress. Even Trump supported him at first and personally asked him to stay on. That didn’t last long. Trump’s support began to unravel after his unhinged tweet that President Obama had wiretapped him. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the investigation into that claim fell into his jurisdiction. Bharara was also in charge of the probe into allegations of securities violations by Fox News. All of that put Bharara on Trump’s hit list. And it’s more than a little peculiar that a leading candidate to replace Bharara is Marc Mukasey. Mukasey is the personal lawyer of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

So Trump has fired Yates, Bharara, and now Comey, without any defensible reasons for doing so. The one thing they have in common is that they were all investigating Trump or his associates. It’s indicative of a tyrannical obsession to eliminate one’s perceived enemies. At the very least it’s vindictive. And we know that Trump is often motivated by retribution.

Take for instance his treatment of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who presided over the Trump University fraud case. Trump repeatedly denigrated the judge and accused him of being unfit to rule in the case. Trump’s reasoning was that the judge is Mexican and “I’m building a wall.” For the record, Curiel was born in Indiana. Trump also went after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Perhaps that had something to do with Schneiderman’s probe into Trump’s business dealings and conflicts of interest. Trump lashed at Schneiderman, calling him a “lightweight” and “the worst attorney general in the US.” He even implied that Schneiderman was a “cokehead.”

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

Of course, Trump’s knee-jerk, juvenile, attacks on anyone who criticizes him is well documented. He blasted an entire court system (the 9th district) when they stayed his Muslim ban. And his political foes all get silly nicknames (Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, etc.). It’s a psychological symptom of inferiority, narcissism, and paranoia. And it’s playing out daily on a very public stage. The consequences are dire for those who challenge his authority. But they are even worse for the nation – and the world – as Trump’s fear of being held to account drives him deeper into madness.


WTF is Going On at MSNBC? Recent Hires Have a Distinctly Fox News Flavor

Three months into Donald Trump’s administration there is more cause than ever for critical analysis of Washington politics. But much of the press is having trouble countering Trump’s “Reality TV” dramatization of news. They attempt to achieve a false balance by presenting opposing views, even if one side is truthful and the other is lying.

Rachel Maddow

Having a president who’s suspected of colluding with Russians to steal an election is hardly the time to go soft. It is not the time to appease those in power or pander to wingnuts who will never tune in anyway. Yet that’s exactly the direction that MSNBC appears to heading.

In recent weeks they have hired or promoted some decidedly right-wing personalities. Former Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren now has her own show on MSNBC. Former communications director for George W, Bush, Nicolle Wallace, also just premiered a new program. Likewise conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt. This week MSNBC announced that it has hired old-school conservative George Will away from Fox News.

These roster changes are especially puzzling at this time. MSNBC has built a brand that appeals to a more progressive audience. Despite having a former Republican anchoring three hours in the morning (Joe Scarborough), and a generally straight news profile during the day, their prime time lineup leans openly to the left. Chis Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Laurence O’Donnell are not shy about expressing their liberal opinions.

More importantly, that programming slant has paid off handsomely for MSNBC. They are enjoying their highest ratings in years. Maddow is actually beating her competition on Fox News in the key advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. Not too long ago Fox News was considered unbeatable. But now Adweek’s TVNewser reports that:

“The network also continues to post more year-over-year prime time audience growth than both Fox News and CNN: +82 percent in total viewers and +61 percent in the prime time demo versus April 2016.”

It’s a surprising and inspiring success story. Any network would be turning cartwheels and striving to replicate that success across its dayparts. So why is MSNBC going out of their way to bolster a winning lineup with right-wing losers? None of the new “talent” has demonstrated any appeal to MSNBC’s audience. Van Susteren, in fact, is an obvious hole in the schedule, dipping noticeably between her lead-in and lead-out. And the viewers that might be interested in these new faces are genetically averse to ever tuning in to the radical socialists at MSNBC. Why should they when they can get all the wingnuttery they desire on Fox News? And if it’s caterwauling debates that they want, CNN already has the market cornered on that.

There is no shortage of liberals who could be brought into the MSNBC family. Joy Reid already has a Saturday morning show that gets more viewers than many weekday shows on CNN and Fox. They could have moved her into the time slot they gave to Van Susteren or Wallace. Even Keith Olbermann was in talks to return to MSNBC. His last stint with the network was the last time they challenged Fox. But according to Olbermann, they told him he would have to refrain from his “fiery” commentaries. That was an untenable restraint, so he walked.

It’s hard to know what the suits at MSNBC are thinking. There is clearly an appetite for news commentary that counters the powerful elite in Washington. It’s a programming niche that is unfilled elsewhere. Plus, it’s a necessary defense against the dangerously erratic Trump administration’s assault on America. Where else can we go to get reality-based news about climate change? Who else is covering voter suppression and gerrymandering? Which other network is allotting time to racial and gender discrimination? And what about our President’s potentially treasonous connections to unsavory figures in Russia?

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

Fox News deliberately downplays any unflattering news about Trump. CNN reports it, but puts on crackpots who disseminate absurd justifications. That leaves MSNBC as the one network that honestly covers Trump’s dark side. For that reason alone they should not be adding to the pro-Trump voices in the media. We already have plenty of that and far too little truthful common sense and compassion.

UPDATE: There are rumors that MSNBC may not renew the contract of Lawrence O’Donnell despite the fact that his ratings are at a record high. He is beating CNN, and challenging Fox News. This would be good time to let MSNBC know that we demand they keep O’Donnell and stop sucking up to the right. You can call them at 212-664-4444 and email them at letters@msnbc.com.

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Ted Cruz Tried to Outsmart Sally Yates at Senate Hearing on Russia – Got Smacked Hard

Monday afternoon the Senate judiciary Committee met for hearings on Donald Trump’s connections to Russia during his campaign and into his presidency. The star attraction was former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom Trump fired under suspicious circumstances. Yates had warned him that his then-National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, might have been compromised by Russian operatives. So, of course Trump fired her, but didn’t fire Flynn until three weeks later.

Ted Cruz Sally Yates

The hearing was predictably partisan with Democrats sticking to the subject at hand, while Republicans tried to deflect to everything from alleged leaks, to Hillary Clinton’s email server. However, the most peculiar moments came during questioning by Sen. Ted Cruz (surprise). Although Cruz has long boasted of his debating skills, his exchange with Yates did not go well for him. Here is a condensed transcript of what occurred. [Note: the full video is posted below]

Cruz: Is it correct the the Constitution vests the executive authority in the President?
Yates: Yes.
Cruz: And if an Attorny General disagrees with a policy decision of the President – a policy decision that is lawful – does the Attorney General have the authority to direct the Department of Justice to defy the President’s orders?
Yates: I don’t whether the Attorney General has the authority to do that or not. But I don’t think that would be a good idea. And that’s not what I did in this case.

At that point Cruz asked Yates if she was familiar with a statute that he said was the binding authority for Trump’s executive order. He said that her refusal to comply with it was the reason for her termination. Then he read the statute as if declaring victory over his foe. But Yates responded in a manner that ought to have shut him up:

Cruz: The statute says, quote, ‘Whenever the president finds that the entry of any alien or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.’ Would you agree that that is broad statutory authorization?
Yates: I would, and I am familiar with that. And I’m also familiar with an additional provision of the INA that says, ‘No person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race, nationality, or place of birth.’

Yates went on to point out that the section of law she quoted was promulgated after the statute that Cruz cited. It therefore took precedence. Cruz appeared not to be aware of any of that. So in a desperate effort to divert attention from his humiliation, he sought to baselessly accuse Yates of partisanship:

Cruz: There is no doubt the arguments that you laid out are arguments that we can expect litigants to bring, partisan litigants who disagree with the policy decision of the president.

Of course, Yates’ arguments were neutral statements of fact that Cruz just couldn’t rebut. Shortly thereafter, Cruz tried another tack wherein he met a similarly embarrassing fate:

Cruz: In the over two hundred years of the Department of Justice history, are you aware of any instance in which the Department of Justice has formally approved the legality of a policy and three days later the Attorney General has directed the department to not to follow that policy and to defy that policy?

Yates: I’m not. But I’m also not aware of a situation where the office of legal counsel was advised not to tell the Attorney General about it until after it was over.

Immediately after this exchange Cruz left the hearing room with his tail between his legs. He didn’t bother waiting until the hearing was over or listening to any of the other testimony. Clearly he was ashamed and unable to face his colleagues or the press. So he beat a hasty retreat. He might have been better off had he not shown up. And the same can be said of the rest of the GOP inquisitionists on the panel.

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

Watch Sally Yates and Ted Cruz spar here:


How Has Fox News Changed Following Numerous Sexual Harassment Scandals? It’s Shocking!

In the past few months Fox News has been weighted down with salacious allegations that have ripped the network apart. Dozens of women have stepped forward with complaints of sexual harassment against several of the network’s big shots. The turmoil impacted both on-air personalities and executives. And the trail of devastation was substantial.

It began with the dismissal of Roger Ailes, the CEO who created the channel with Rupert Murdoch. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was shown the door in utter disgrace. Shortly thereafter the head of Fox’s news division, Bill Shine, got his pink slip. Also lost due to the scandal tsunami were Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, Andrea Tantaros, Julie Roginski, and Greta Van Susteren.

You might think that such a severe upheaval would be cause for deep reflection and transformation. Perhaps Fox News would attempt to alter their decidedly misogynistic messaging. Maybe they would abstain from derogatory references to women in positions of power. There are surely more men (and women) who could be fired for related offenses.

Well, Fox News took swift and decisive action to address the ballooning crisis. And the impact was immediately observable on the air.

Fox News Pants

That’s right. The big change at Fox News is that the prohibition of women wearing pants has been lifted. That’s a bigger deal than it may seem. Especially considering that the short skirt mandate came from the top. Ailes himself insisted that his news ladies display their legs. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that the exec repeatedly gave direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik reported on the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when former host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wore those low-cut blouses.

This new fashion statement has already drawn the ire of staunch Fox fans. After all, with a horndog like Donald Trump in the White House, you’d think covered gams would be illegal. The right-wing web rag, WorldNetDaily, posted an article with the hyperbolic headline “Stop This Madness: Women of Fox News suddenly hiding their legs?.” In the piece they lamented that:

“In the wake of the recent ousters of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly following multiple sexual harassment accusations – the online rumor mill is running wild with speculation. Why? In recent weeks, some of the Fox News bombshells…have ditched their usual short skirts and were spotted wearing … pants!”

The wardrobe controversy has taken a perverse precedence in the conservative media. Many pundits and viewers actually regard this as some sort of capitulation to politically correct radical liberals. However, they don’t mind at all that the programming changes since O’Reilly’s ouster include the promotions of four known misogynists. The only problem, as far as they can see, is that they will have fewer opportunities to peek up the skirts of their Fox fantasies. And that isn’t what they believe they were promised in the Era of Trump.

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


GOP Rep Gets His Ass Handed to Him By an Angry Veteran Over TrumpCare

Last week Republicans in the House of Representatives narrowly passed their bill to repeal ObamaCare. Their alleged plan to replace it has been widely criticized as failing to provide coverage for most Americans, particularly those with low incomes, preexisting conditions, and seniors.

TrumpCare

As a result, they have been greeted with anger when returning to their home districts. Their constituents are well aware that gutting ObamaCare means the loss of coverage for themselves, their families, and their friends and neighbors.

At a town hall for Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) one constituent was especially upset. She let Reed know, in no uncertain terms, what she thought of his vote to take away the health insurance of Americans like herself. In a viral video she began by saying that:

“I’m a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and I have single payer [healthcare]. It has saved my life four times.”

She went on to note that single payer plans operate differently than conventional policies from insurance companies. They are patient driven, not profit driven. She lamented the Republican efforts that put money before the welfare of people. The Veterans Administration is an example of single payer healthcare. And despite recent reports of problems at the V.A., it is still overwhelmingly popular among those it serves. Most vets get prompt and effective care.

Watch this righteously outraged constituent hand Rep. Reed his ass:

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


Scandal Plagued Fox News Boss Rupert Murdoch is Now Advising Trump on a Daily Basis

The partnership between Fox News and Donald Trump has evolved into an unprecedented fusion of government and media. It is nothing less than an implementation of state-run TV that rivals anything built by the former Soviet Union.

Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump

The Fox News schedule is plastered with unabashedly pro-Trump anchors and guests. Its prime time lineup is fully devoted to Trump advocacy and suppression of any dissenting opinions. The incidental presence of a progressive viewpoint is allowed only as a foil for right-wing attacks or a phony pretense of balance. Obedience to the Fox Doctrine is strict and unwavering. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

Now New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman is reporting that Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch is talking to Trump on a daily basis. He is advising the President on matters ranging from the domestic economy to foreign policy. So while Trump was known to be shaping his agenda by watching Fox and Friends, he is now taking his cues straight from the horse’s ass.

There are several serious legal and ethical problems with this relationship. first of all, Fox News is currently under investigation by the Justice Department. DOJ attorneys are probing whether the network violated securities laws by not disclosing settlements with women who reported sexual harassment at Fox. That investigation has recently broadened to include allegations intimidation and invasions of privacy. Murdoch’s contacts with Trump could be used to gain favor and influence the conduct of those inquiries. When Bill Clinton met briefly with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Fox News portrayed it as scandalous. Now the head of the criminally suspect Fox News is fraternizing regularly with the Attorney General’s boss.

Then there are the pending regulatory issues that have a direct effect on Murdoch’s businesses. He is seeking to expand his ownership of both television stations and newspapers across the country. There are currently caps on the percentage of access any one media entity can control. For Murdoch to expand those caps would have to be raised or eliminated. Trump’s FCC is responsible for setting those standards. If Murdoch can persuade Trump to alter the regulations to his liking, he stands to add significantly to his fortune and influence. And another feather in Murdoch’s monopoly would be the scuttling of the merger between competitors AT&T and TimeWarner. That’s actually a good idea, but not for the selfish reasons Murdoch harbors.

It’s fair to say that Murdoch would not be coming to these deals empty handed. Murdoch can offer Trump nearly unlimited positive coverage by the media outlets he controls. That includes in part Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and the Fox Business Network. Add to those Murdoch’s international media enterprises and Fox’s digital media. What’s more, Murdoch would not be limited to pro-Trump propaganda. He could just as easily blanket the mediaverse with anti-Democratic fake news and slander.

For his part, Trump isn’t limited either in the ways he can pay Murdoch back for favorable treatment. Trump is already acting as a PR agent for Fox News. He frequently praises the network and encourages his followers to tune in. Simultaneously, he bashes every other media outlet as liars and purveyors of fake news. The estimated value of his free advertising for Fox on Twitter alone goes into the multimillions.

The blatantly improper nature of the relationship between Murdoch and Trump on legal grounds is not the only problem. There is also the ethical dilemma of an alleged news operation having such close proximity to a notable newsmaker. How can Fox News report independently on someone who is being advised by their chief executive? While Murdoch is helping Trump to form opinions on world affairs, his network will be covering and analyzing that advice. Will Fox be able to criticize a policy articulated by Trump knowing that it came from Murdoch?

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

This kind of incestuous liaison makes all parties to it less credible. And it doesn’t help that Trump is also linked to Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Tucker Carlson, Eric Bolling, and others. And speaking of incestuous, Ivanka Trump is close friends with Wendy Wong, Murdoch’s ex-wife and Vladimir Putin’s current girlfriend. Let that sink in.