Now Can We Declare Trump Insane And Remove Him From Office? (Tweetstorm On Wiretaps)

The reasons to impeach Donald Trump, or otherwise remove him from office, continue to mount. His conflicts of interest, financial corruption, sexual predatory behavior, associations with mobsters, and on and on. And this is the guy that the media swoons over for his allegedly newfound “presidential” demeanor? The most troubling of his growing collection of scandals is the unsavory relationship he and his administration have with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump

However, on Saturday morning Trump revealed another reason to remove him from the presidency. He is STRAIGHT UP BONKERS! Note this latest torrent of deranged tweets:

As usual, Trump provided no evidence that these paranoid accusations have any truth to them. They appear to be a wild excursion into a hallucinatory nightmare that only he can experience. His determination to find villains plotting his demise is taking over his already hampered mental state. Professionals in the psychiatric field have warned of his “malignant narcissism” and other dangerous lapses of cognitive ability. Since his election, legislators from both sides of the aisle have drafted bills to mandate a White House psychiatrist.

Trump’s descent into ever deeper madness seems to be reaching a pinnacle. These tweets cover a lot of maniacal territory. For instance, he is accusing Obama of something that a president has no power to do. Only a law enforcement entity such as the FBI can request surveillance warrants. And in these circumstances even they would need permission from the FISA court to proceed. This isn’t new information either, as Trump insinuated.

His reference to McCarthyism demonstrates that he has no idea what that is. Obama did not make any baseless allegations of treasonous affiliations. Trump didn’t even assert that. To him McCarthyism is just an epithet to toss around recklessly to malign his perceived enemies. The Watergate reference is a bit more on track, except that in that affair Nixon tapped his own phones.

While Trump offered no support for his bizarre claims, the Guardian speculates that he got his info from ultra-rightist radio host, Mark Levin. On his Thursday night show Levin talked about the alleged steps Obama took to undermine Trump’s campaign. That unsubstantiated lunacy was later picked up by Breitbart News, the wingnut hack factory formerly run by Trump’s chief White House strategist, Stephen Bannon.

This is reminiscent of Trump’s frequent use of unverified lunacies from right-wing media that show up on his Twitter feed within minutes of them airing on Fox News. The President resides in a hermetically sealed bubble of far-right conspiracy theories and fake news. He regurgitates what he see and reads from dubious sources as fact and doesn’t even bother to cite those sources. Bloomberg News recently documented the extent to which Trump relies on Fox News, and vice versa.

The most puzzling part of this is trying to come up with a motivation for making these accusations now. Generally Trump’s intentions are easily discerned as distractions from some other abhorrent activity on his part. However, all this does is to remind people of his nefarious connections to Russia. Congressman Ted Lieu noted this in a candid and colorful tweet on the subject:

All of this points to a deteriorating mental state on the part of our President. This is the man who controls the nuclear codes. Yet he is easily influenced by the likes of Mark Levin, Alex Jones, and his own top aide, Bannon. The circumstances developing in the White House are exactly why the nation ratified the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. Section four of the Amendment provides guidance in the event that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

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

If there were ever a situation in which that argument could be made, it is now. And it isn’t just because of these recent tweets. Trump’s entire history in public life is symptomatic of psychological disorder. His pathological lying, his relentless egotism, his multiple marriages and public affairs, his faulty, and often imaginary, recollections, and his childish outbursts and insults, all suggest deep emotional abnormality. It’s long past time that he be evaluated and directed to somewhere that he get the help he obviously needs. And in the process, protect the country from further harm.

Reuters Editor Warns That Covering Trump’s America Is Like Covering China, Russia

The increasing hostility toward the press from Donald Trump and his staff has resulted in a deteriorating relationship. Not that it was ever particularly healthy. Trump spent most of his campaign insulting reporters and demonizing the media in general. It got so bad that the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a warning that “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.” The National Press Club released a similar statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

Donald Trump

Since the election things have not improved. Trump is still maligning mainstream news organizations as “fake news” and punishing reporters that he regards as insufficiently adoring. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, has upended the White House briefing by adding fringe “news” outlets. He is reportedly considering granting press credentials to Infowar’s Alex Jones, a notorious conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter. Meanwhile, the Trump press team has revoked press credentials for the Washington Post and other legitimate news enterprises. What’s more, they have refused to provide spokespeople to CNN for several weeks in an attempt to isolate them.

In this environment, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler wrote a memo to his reporters to guide them on how to cover Trump. The memo begins by describing the current conditions that the media face:

“The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all – and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” or that his chief strategist dubs the media “the opposition party.” It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration.”

Indeed, Trump has led an unprecedented assault on the free press. His attacks have been severe and personal. And in every case he is flailing wildly without offering much in the way of a rebuttal. He is only concerned with any negative impression of him, and that results in a furious temper tantrum. Adler’s approach to this behavior is to remind his reporters that they have experienced similar challenges in the past. And he provides examples to make his point:

“I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.”

So the secret to covering Trump is to apply the experience gained from covering dictators in regimes that have little respect for a free press. His advice is to be prepared for legal harassment and physical threats. Both of those are tactics that Trump has already deployed. He has said that he wants to “open up our libel laws” so that he can sue the media. And on at least one occasion a reporter required secret service protection following a Trump rally due to overt threats.

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

It’s fair to assume that the Trump administration will continue to foment discord with the media. Trump’s “malignant narcissism” and tendency to bully others is not likely change any time soon. Hopefully the media will have the courage and integrity to stand up to whatever is thrown at them. They are the last line of defense against the kind of tyranny that Adler warns about in his memo.

Trump TV Network? Here’s 7 Reasons It Will Be His Next HUGE Failure

The idea of launching a right-wing television network has been rattling around the Trump camp for months. Last June News Corpse reported that Trump insiders were talking about the possibility of Donald Trump trying to drag his glassy-eyed disciples from the musty arenas and airport hangers where he stages his rallies to the comfort of their own trailer parks. It was a terrible idea then, and it’s still a terrible idea.

Donald Trump

Undeterred, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continues to pursue the venture. According to reports, “Kushner has informally approached one of the media industry’s top dealmakers about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election in November.” Also reported is that “Kushner and the Republican candidate himself are thinking about how to capitalize on the populist movement that has sprung up around their campaign in the event of an election defeat to Democrat Hillary Clinton next month.”

The first notable revelation here is that Trump is spending an inordinate amount of attention on his post-election activities. And they do not involve being president. Perhaps he has recognized what so many of us already know: He’s toast. But even more problematic for him, the TrumpTV project is destined for defeat. There are numerous reasons for that ranging from personal inadequacies to economic realities. Here is a list of the most obvious reasons for a TrumpTV disaster:

1) Donald Trump is one of the worst businessmen of his generation

Trump has suffered multiple bankruptcies. He has underperformed the markets within which his companies operate. He is currently being sued for fraud. And he couldn’t even manage to make money in the casino business. That’s not exactly a resume that inspires confidence.

2) Trump cannot deliver ratings

He’s fooling himself if he believes that his glowing orange presence is what drove the ratings during this election season. The reason people are watching is the prospect of seeing him speak in tongues, or otherwise breakdown on live TV.

3) The programming would suck

What could his network produce to capitalize on his campaign? Lectures to his emotionally unstable viewers on how awful America is? The Alex Jones Conspiracy Theory Theater Hour? Ivanka and Ted Nugent as a bizarro Donny and Marie? The NRA’s version of CSI? The Walking Dread with David Duke? Perhaps a home shopping angle wherein he tries to sell steaks, time shares, and worthless diplomas.

4) Trump’s brand is toxic

His hate-filled campaign has re-branded him as the nation’s foremost racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hate monger since Archie Bunker. And while his supporters may seem numerous when you stuff a few thousand into a baseball stadium in Alabama, in order to succeed in TV you need millions of viewers to tune in regularly. Will his fans do that to hear the same stump speech he has been rambling off for the past year?

5) Where will the advertisers come from?

Most companies do not want to be associated with demagogic bigots. Just ask Rush Limbaugh whose advertising revenue has collapsed to the point where it is threatening the continued existence of his radio show.

6) Trump hates the media

Someone who has such open disdain for the media is unlikely to be successful as a member of the club. In just the past week he has been condemned by multiple organizations that advocate for a free press. They have called him “an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists.” His continuous barrage of intimidation and insults have literally put reporters at risk.

7) The cable business is currently a terrible investment

Many people are abandoning cable (cord-cutters) in favor of services like Netflix and Hulu. There is an over-saturation of channels struggling to get attention. Cable systems have no space for new channels. And people with far more adoring fans have had a tough time rolling out new networks. Oprah Winfrey is perfect example of one of America’s most beloved figures whose cable channel is struggling. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have also bombed out while trying to launch video ventures.

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

Trump may try to coax Sean Hannity to leave his perch at Fox News. That could give him a quick, but short, burst of energy. Fox’s disgraced former CEO, Roger Ailes might be persuaded to play a role. However, that could only happen if he found a way to evade the non-competition clause of his separation agreement with Fox. His campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, would be a possibility to run the operation. Then again, that would only ensure that it appeals to the deplorable demographic that fuels his alt-right website, Breitbart News.

If Trump decides to go ahead with his cable project it will almost certainly be a personal and financial fiasco. It will follow on the heels of his landslide loss for the presidency. On that prospect Trump has expressed his opinion of what it will have meant if he loses the election. He said “if I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime.” Well, at least until his loopy media mogul ambitions implode.

Watch A Deranged Trump Fan Video Bomb Fox News Screaming ‘Bill Clinton Is A Rapist’

Live television always holds out the possibility of unanticipated “contributions” to the program. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends found that out this morning during a remote outside the studio.

Fox News

While introducing a fluffy segment on shelter pets, a crazed figure pops up behind the hosts. He then removes his shirt and tie to reveal a t-shirt with a picture of Bill Clinton above the word “Rape.” Repeatedly shouting “Bill Clinton is a rapist,” the intruder attempts to jump over the barriers protecting the set. The hosts giggle and try to remain composed as security drags the protester away. It’s actually pretty funny, however, there is a serious subtext to the event.

First of all, the reckless and unfounded allegations against Bill Clinton are the work of nut job conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones of Infowars. In fact. Jones actually made a public offer to pay $1,000.00 to anyone who successfully got on the air wearing that shirt (which he sells on his website) and shouting that message. Presumably that guy can use the money right about mow – for bail.

More to the point, while this incident was obviously carried out by a certified fruitcake, the exact same message has played out on Fox News by their own anchors and guests. In June of last year Megyn Kelly raised the issue saying that “Bill Clinton was accused of rape. He has been accused by several women of sexually assaulting them.” F&F Anchor Steve Doocy interviewed disreputable rumor monger Ed Klein whose book charges that Bill raped Hillary. Doocy affirmed Klein’s nonsense asserting, without foundation, that his “sources are impeccable.” Frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter gave a speech at CPAC in March of 2013 wherein she ranted that “The keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year was forcible rapist Bill Clinton.” Fox contributor Katie Pavlich wrote that “Bill Clinton is probably a Rapist.”

If that isn’t enough, just last May Sean Hannity hosted Donald Trump as they attempted to dismiss his tawdry past. For the record, that includes three marriages and infidelities too numerous to cite. He literally bragged about them. What’s more, Trump himself is currently being sued for the rape of a thirteen year old girl. He was also accused of rape by his ex-wife, Ivana. So of course this conversation ignored all of that and quickly diverted to a comparison to Bill Clinton:

Hannity: In one case it’s about exposure. In another case it’s about groping and fondling and touching against a woman’s will.
Trump: And rape.
Hannity: And rape.

So whatever the state of mind of the wacko who tried to crash Fox’s broadcast there is one thing that is abundantly clear. He has the same political positions as the Fox News regulars. They might as well have let him join the others on the air. Who knows, maybe security took him to see someone in Human Resources and they gave him a job. Stay tuned for the Photobomber News Hour on Fox News.

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

Trump And Fox News Buy Into Batsh*t Crazy Clinton Conspiracy Theories – Again

Here’s more evidence that the right is falling into an abyss of desperation. Donald Trump is clinging feverishly to national polls showing him as competitive. Never mind that they have no bearing on who wins presidential elections. It’s the states that deliver electoral votes and the presidency. On that scale Hillary Clinton is way ahead. The Trump camp knows this, though they will spend the next few weeks frantically trying to divert attention from it.

The latest diversions qualify as certifiably insane. Let’s begin with a charge that emanated from the bowels of Alex Jones’ InfoWars. Jones, you will recall, is a Birther, a 9/11 Truther, and believes that the children murdered at Sandy Hook were all actors. This morning he posted a story alleging that Clinton wore an “earbud” during the Commander-in-Chief Forum last night. She was supposedly being coached with answers from unseen aides off stage. The story was picked up and propelled by the Drudge Report and even Fox News who said that:

“[T]he buzz Thursday morning was more about a report claiming Clinton relied on a ‘micro’ earbud as she fielded questions about national security — a claim her campaign vigorously denied.”

Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted “We cant let Hillary get away with wearing an ear piece during tonights Veteran Forum#HillarysEarPiece#NBCNewsForum” And Fox’s Sean Hannity joined in with a post on the subject as well.

There is just one problem with this crackpottery. The video of the event contains numerous shots of both of Clinton’s ears that plainly have nothing in them. The entire fantasy was born from a single video still that had a random reflection. That was sufficient to set the wingnuts to drooling over the discovery of Clinton’s evil plot. But, see? No earbud!

Hillary Clinton

If that wasn’t enough, Fox News sought to invent another fantastical scandal involving Clinton. This one was from the warped imagination of Stuart Varney, anchor of Varney & Company on the Fox Business Network. He introduced a segment that anxiously wondered “Who is Clinton’s ‘mystery man?’” The report featured video of a well-dressed gentleman accompanying Clinton on the campaign trail. Varney asserted that social media was blowing up over who he might be. He expressed skepticism that he might simply be one of Clinton’s Secret Service agents:

“If he’s actually a member of the Secret Service detail guarding Hillary Clinton, why is he touching her, because he did, he came up on the stage the other night and put his arm around her, and then said ‘Keep talking.’ Surely that is not what the secret service is supposed to do is it?”

Varney’s guest was former Secret Service agent and frequent Fox contributor, Dan Bongino. He offered a theory from way out in right field suggesting that the “mystery man” was “responding to the stage when [Clinton] is in what may have been some kind of a medical crisis.” Varney joined in the wild speculation asking “Is he supporting her during a medical crisis?”

Judging from the video that Varney showed, the man was undoubtedly with Clinton’s Secret Service detail. And he and other agents sprung into action when something occurred in the audience. Clinton, the agent, and others on stage were all looking in the same direction into the crowd. No one appeared to be concerned with Clinton’s health by any stretch of the imagination. See for yourself:

By the end of the segment both Varney and Bongino were dismissing the whole thing as a conspiracy theory that they had just debunked. Which was nice of them after having also just invented it and broadcast it to an audience thirsty for scandal. Both surely knew there was nothing to this before they began, but they considered it too juicy not to plant in the minds of gullible Fox viewers.

Expect to see more of these nutcase studies in Clinton intrigue before the election is over. Fox and Trump will surely uncover evidence of Clinton’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Not to mention the Hindenburg crash and fake moon landing. This is all they have left since they nominated a narcissistic ignoramus who can’t go twenty minutes without embarrassing himself and his party.

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

Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump’s Racist Alt-Right Alliance In Withering Exposé (VIDEO)

This election cycle has produced some of the most outlandish and offensive affiliations ever recorded in American politics. Donald Trump’s shameless exploitation of ultra-right ideologies is marking new territory for fringe players. The Republican nominee’s unsavory ties to Russian oligarchs and Mafia Dons is unprecedented. But Hillary Clinton’s address yesterday was a rare condemnation of a candidate’s overt bigotry and a damning summation of Trump’s bond with America’s white supremacist movement.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton spoke about how Trump’s campaign has mainstreamed the “alt-right” hate movement. She began by noting that the divisive rhetoric spewed by Trump “is like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.” What follows are highlights from the speech (full video below).

“From the start Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great are profoundly dangerous.”

“A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of the supermarket tabloids and the dark, far reaches of the Internet should never run our government or command our military.”

Clinton then pointed out that: Trump was sued by the Justice Department – twice – for refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants; that he is the nation’s foremost birther; that he said a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican heritage; that he failed to disavow former Klan leader David Duke; and that by retweeting white supremacists “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to eleven million people.”

Clinton also recited some of Trump’s blatant lies, such as his claim to have seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center. A celebration that never actually happened. He also accused Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination. She also mocked his medical prognosis saying that “His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. And all I can say is ‘Donald, dream on.'” She then outlined some of Trump’s nefarious sources and supporters.

“It’s also what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones [of InfoWars], who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombings were inside jobs. He even said – and this really is so disgusting – the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what happens in somebody’s mind, or how dark their heart must be, to say things like that. But Trump doesn’t challenge these lies. He actually went on Jones’ show and said ‘Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.'”

“He may have some new people putting words in his mouth, but we know where he stands. He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country. He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States you’re an American citizen. He says that children born to undocumented parents in America are ‘anchor babies’ and should be deported. He’d ban Muslims from around the world from entering our country just because of their religion.”

“Look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign. Trump likes to say that he only hires the best people. But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode from The Apprentice. And the latest shake was designed to ‘Let Trump be Trump.’ So to do that he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called breitbart.com as the campaign CEO. Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they published, and I’m not making this up: Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy; Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?; Gabby Giffords, the gun control movement’s human shield; Hoist it high and proud, the Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage. […] Just imagine, Donald Trump reading that and thinking ‘This is what I need more of in my campaign.'”

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism, as we have known it. These are racist ideas, race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman. All key tenets making up the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”

“The grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin. […] Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies. He talks casually about abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe.”

“All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. There has always been a paranoid fringe in American politics, a lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”

This was a powerful denunciation of Trump’s affinity for the far-right freakshow that makes up America’s deviant demographic. It was a profoundly candid rebuke that is not often seen in political debates that frequently attempt to temper strong opinions. But it was effective and necessary and it has put Republicans on edge. They have yet to counter a single factual point made in the speech. And Donald Trump, usually a bombastic defender of his vile bigotry, could only muster a tweet criticizing Clinton’s speech for being too short. Like he could withstand more of this.

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

Now Fox News Is Citing Sleazy InfoWars As Source To Smear Hillary Clinton

After years of pretending to be fair and balanced while shilling for Republicans, Fox News has completed a frightening metamorphosis. This morning they took a giant leap into the black hole of crackpot conspiracy theory. It’s a development that illustrates the lengths they will go to promote their home-brewed presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Fox News/InfoWars

On Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Childers introduced a segment alleging that Google is “trying to sway the presidential election.” Their evil plot consists of manipulating search results to suppress evidence of the trail of dead bodies left by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network took the handoff to report that:

“Google is being accused of hiding negative stories about Hillary and her campaign by changing its algorithm to bury stories like the ‘Clinton body count’ story. That’s according to website InfoWars.”

Seriously? So Fox News is now associating itself with the utterly delusional ravings of Alex Jones and his InfoWars conspiracy site? This is the same InfoWars that claimed that the massacre of twenty children in Newtown, CT, was a government plot to confiscate the guns of American citizens. It’s the same InfoWars that has been the leading light of the 9/11 Truther movement. Not to mention the wingnut’s goto source for Birther BS. And, by the way, it’s also the same InfoWars that has endorsed Donald Trump for president and given him a platform on their webcast.

It is also interesting to note that Fox believes there is a “Clinton body count” story to be buried. And why not? They have been reporting that Obama is a secret gay Muslim from Kenya who founded ISIS for years. So what is Fox News and InfoWars so worked up about today?

“If a Google user types in ‘Clinton body,’ they get car repair shop results instead of a story that talks about a list of people tied to the Clintons who have died under mysterious circumstances over the last three decades.”

Oh my heavens. Bring me the smellin’ salts, Margaret. Apparently Google is participating in the cabal to suppress the Clintons’ thirty year murder spree. Fox and InfoWars believe that Google’s biased search results need to be corrected. Instead of intelligently curated data, they should highlight slanderous fables from the diseased minds of right-wing hate mongers.

It’s impossible to ignore the connection to Donald Trump’s campaign. He has been a frequent guest on InfoWars. Plus, his new campaign chair (Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News) is cut from the same soiled cloth as Alex Jones. There is an unmistakable trend toward the bonehead breed of pseudo-journalism that is sprouting up around Trump and his media advocates. His stump speeches are now almost entirely read from TelePrompters pre-loaded with talk radio style bombast. These include charges that Clinton is a felon, a traitor, and is about to drop dead.

These sort of screwball ideas are not surprising from InfoWars. They are, in fact, their reason for being. But for Fox News to reach down into that cesspool of idiocy is a new low, even for Fox. What is the limit of their debasement of journalism if it isn’t aligning with InfoWars? Fox has allowed such nonsense to bubble up into their reporting in the past. But this may be the first time they have explicitly attributed their story to InfoWars. That might be more honest, but it is a bad sign nonetheless. It means they are comfortable mainstreaming the likes of Alex Jones.

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

If Elected President Donald Trump Promises To Commit War Crimes

The unlikely candidacy of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president just keeps getting more bizarre with each new day. This is a candidate who has already insulted Latinos as rapists and murderers, described women as stupid and ugly, he’s cheered on supporters who assaulted African-Americans and the homeless, proposed forcing Muslims to wear IDs and be tracked in databases, and has lied so often that it’s getting hard to keep track of it all (see the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia for an ongoing attempt to catalog).

Donald Trump

Today Trump hit another new low. While discussing the conflict with ISIS on Fox & Friends this morning, Trump enthusiastically bragged about his ideas for defeating the terrorist group. He told the kids on the Curvy Couch that…

“When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself when they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.”

No doubt this display of false bravado will delight his dimwitted disciples. There is nothing they like more than reckless calls for indiscriminate violence and mayhem against manufactured foes. And consistent with his flagrant ignorance on pretty much any subject, Trump is once again proving how disastrous a Trump presidency would be.

The problem with targeting the families of suspected members of ISIS, aside from the obvious moral depravity, is that it is against international law. The Geneva Convention, a treaty developed to set standards for humane treatment of people caught up in hostilities, and to which the United States is a signatory, addresses this specifically (Article 3:1(a)) saying that…

“Persons taking no active part in the hostilities…shall in all circumstances be treated humanely […] To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited: Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”

Consequently, Trump is proposing to commit war crimes by deliberately targeting non-combatant family members. He regards this as a justifiable alternative to complying with the principles of the Geneva Convention, which he characterizes as too “politically correct.” But in addition to making the United States a practitioner of crimes against humanity, Trump is also validating the tactics of the terrorists who routinely target non-combatants. This would give the terrorists justification for their evil acts and remove any moral high ground we might have otherwise had. That plays into the hands of the terrorists who could then use it as an effective tool for recruiting more terrorists.

Coming from Trump, this idiocy further establishes that he is utterly incapable of governing the country. It is further proof that he is nothing but a diplomatic neanderthal who would insult and alienate our allies and foes alike. He recently expressed his support for waterboarding, an interrogation technique that the rest of the world regards as unlawful and inhumane torture.

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

And if all of that isn’t enough evidence that Trump is downright dangerously inept, then consider his interview this morning with conspiracy nutcase Alex Jones. Trump spent most of the interview hawking his book and effusively praising Jones. You might wonder which of Jones’ theories Trump likes best. Is it that 9/11 was an inside job; or that Hurricane Katrina was a test run for FEMA concentration camps; or that the government is using chemicals to create gay people; or that Obama is the devil?

The question that really needs to be answered is: What chemicals are causing people to support Donald Trump for president? And is there an antidote?

Alex Jones And Matt Drudge: The Most Bizarre Interview You Will Ever Imagine You Witnessed

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the InfoWars Interview.

Alex Jones / Matt Drudge

On Tuesday’s episode of InfoWars (video below), host and the conspiracy theory’s chief theoretical conspirator, Alex Jones, almost invited yellow pseudo-journalist Matt Drudge to join him in a discussion of the current state of the world of the deranged. I say almost because the interview began with Jones announcing that his teen crush Drudge was in the studio, but that he would not appear on camera (for fear of losing his soul?).

Jones: I did not do this as a stunt. Neither did Matt Drudge. He is here. We got a hot mic over there. He wants to stay literally in the shadows behind the curtain.

So in this version of the Wiz, the great and powerful Drudge commands that you do pay attention to the man behind the curtain. In a bizarre bit of Burlesque theater, Jones conducted the whole interview with Drudge allegedly a few feet away, out of camera range. There was never an explanation for why Drudge refused to be seen. He isn’t exactly camera shy as he once hosted his own TV show (on Fox News of course). What could be more perfect for the conspiratorial set than for a reclusive disseminator of rightist propaganda to lurk off-camera and send his disembodied voice across the webosphere in a dialog with a sociopathic skeptic? What self-respecting minion of Alex Jones would believe that Drudge was really there at all? Wake up, sheeple!

As a testimonial to the fabulousness of this chin-flapping, Sarah Palin tweeted that this is “One of the best interviews I’ve heard in a long time!” And why not? The pair spent much of their forty-six minute “bull” session congratulating each other on their bravery for standing up to some unseen oppressor who has shackled them to a dreary existence as mere multimillionaires with legions of glassy-eyed disciples. The horror! Although there were a couple of subjects that were examined in a fair amount of detail that deserve attention.

First of all, Drudge dredged up the obsession that kicked off his career twenty years ago: Hillary Clinton. Apparently he is still enthralled with her terrifying omnipotence and simultaneous impotence. Here is an abridged summary of his rambling and incoherent remarks about his Wicked Witch of the White House:

Drudge: How sick are the American people right now? They could put Hillary Clinton’s brain in a jar in the Oval Office and she’d be elected. People are really sick. […] Before this country is so completely altered and we’re left with Hillary’s brain in the Oval Office in a jar – ‘cuz that’s what we’re getting. She is old and she’s sick. She is not a contender. They’re making her a contender with these propped up Saturday Night Live things. It’s like a head on a stick. […] I’m very pessimistic on this race because I’m just not so sure it’s not gonna end up with the dreaded brain in the jar in the Oval Office, once known as Hillary Clinton – who is hypo-thyroid. Anybody who is seventy years old who’s hypo-thyroid you do not elect president, ladies and gentlemen. You don’t do it. […] Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Excuse me? Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Where’s the cover-up on this?

The only question arising from that schizoid rant is whether Drudge is on too many psychotropic drugs or too few. Either way he needs some serious medical attention. He is particularly disturbed by the thought of a jar of brains, which may be attributable to simple jealousy that Clinton has something that he and his wingnut cohorts can only dream about.

The other subject that received considerable scrutiny was a paranoid diversion into acute crackpottery. Abandoning any pretense of reality, Drudge unveiled a historical account of the legend of ISIS that would make J.K. Rowling blush with embarrassment.

Drudge: We never really heard of ISIS until recently and I remember when that name first started coming up. Do you know that it was designed to be confused with Darrell Issa? Did you know that’s what it was. Because Darrell Issa was the enemy at the time of this administration. […] They came up with the name ISIS to be confused with Darrell Issa. I’m really being hinest with you. I remember the first time Christiane Amanpour sputtered out this word ISIS thinking did she get that one? […] And then the President going it’s not even ISIS, it’s ISIL or IS. This Dr. Seuss. This is madness.

Obviously. How could we have missed it before? Barack “Svengali” Obama invented the acronym ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) and somehow got the terrorists to use it to refer to themselves. But in a bit of brilliant strategic jujitsu, Obama himself sidestepped it in favor of ISIL, which doesn’t sound as much like Issa, but still has an “I” and an “S” in it, preserving the theory’s tenuous plausibility.

It is inspired analysis like this that has made Matt Drudge an icon in conservative media. And his reputation among rightists and Teabaggers will only be enhanced by this eccentric display of lunacy. It perfectly reflects Drudge’s own plaintive question: “Where are the flamboyant characters? This is what America needs right now – flamboyant, intellectual characters.” By entering the lair of professional whack-job Alex Jones, and establishing the natural affinity between the two fringe constituencies, Drudge and Jones have not only answered that question, but they have advanced the level of idiocy that will be forthcoming from the right, as well as the level of laughter from the left.

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

Watch John Oliver Bust Fox News For Falsifying Refugee Video

For several weeks Fox News has been trying to stir up irrational fears among their xenophobic audience over the plight of refugees fleeing war and economic hardship in Syria and Iraq. To that end they have mounted a relentless campaign to slander the refugees as terrorists seeking to infiltrate Europe and the U.S. This propaganda blitz is based on nothing but invented tales of horror and racist speculation. But apparently those attempts to deceive their pre-rattled viewers were not sufficiently frightening.

Fox News John Oliver

Consequently, Fox News had to manufacture “evidence” of the doom that awaits any nation that shows empathy for the suffering refugees. So they enhanced their fictional narrative with video that was completely unrelated to the story. Of course, they’ve been caught doing that before. What makes it surprising this time is that it was revealed by John Oliver in an enlightening and hilarious episode of his HBO program “Last Week Tonight:” From the segment (video below):

Kristin Fisher: A new video has surfaced online showing why some are worried that Europe is opening its doors to potential terrorists. Those are reportedly Muslim refugees on a train in Europe chanting “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great.” Now to be clear, we’re not saying that any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group. But it does highlight just how many of these refugees who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria are Muslim.
John Oliver: OK, first, you don’t get to claim that you’re not calling those people terrorists when your lower third says “Terrorists Inbound.” [It later changed to “Terrifying Chant”] If you are really not saying that they’re terrorists, maybe change it to something more accurate like “People Take Train.”

But it was what Oliver noticed next that hammered another nail into Fox’s already tattered journalistic credibility. Comically understating the situation, Oliver reported that the video Fox News ran was “a little misleading.” It turns out that the video Fox said was “new” had actually been uploaded to YouTube in July of 2010, long before there was any refugee crisis in Syria. What’s more, Fisher’s report aired on the September 9th broadcast of Fox & Friends, one day after the five year old video had been dredged up by conspiracy kook Alex Jones for his Infowars website.

So to recap: It wasn’t new; there was no indication that they were terrorists; nor was there any indication that these Muslims on a train in Paris were even refugees; the video didn’t just “surface” online, it was the conspiracy fodder of Alex Jones; and the only people worried about it are Fox News and the dimwits who watch it. And finally, this fake story must be publicly acknowledged by Fox News. They must recant and apologize for deceiving viewers. But unless you’re into asphyxiophilia I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to do so.

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