Pay-To-Play: Trump’s Tweets Promoting Fox News Are Worth A Fortune In Free Advertising

It’s time to pull the press credentials of Fox News.

Fox News Donald Trump

The congressional press galleries have specific standards for issuing press passes to Washington journalists. They’re intended to insure that correspondents granted the privilege of access to government officials represent legitimate and independent news organizations. More often than not, credentials have been distributed fairly and without regard to partisan affiliation. The standards say in part that applicants…

“…must not be engaged in any lobbying or paid advocacy, advertising, publicity or promotion work for any individual, political party, corporation, organization, or agency of the U.S. Government. [And…] must be editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government, or that is not principally a general news organization.”

A recent example of a “news” enterprise that failed the test was Breitbart News. Their application was denied due to its failure demonstrate editorial independence from Donald Trump and his administration. It was an easy call considering that Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, previously ran the alt-right web rag.

However, applying the same criteria, the credentials of Fox News should be revoked due to their demonstrated absence of independence. The network’s news anchors and opinion hosts shamelessly advance the interests of Trump and his agenda. Some (Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity) are close personal friends. What’s more, they devotedly defend him from criticism and fiercely attack his critics. Fox News fails to meet the standards cited above because it is plainly engaging in advocacy, advertising, publicity and promotion. It is not editorially independent. And even according to their own chief executive, it “is not principally a general news organization.”

Clearly Fox is in Trump’s corner and isn’t shy about showing their favoritism. And the reverse is just as true. Further evidence of the tightly wound dependency between Trump and Fox News is the favoritism shown by Trump toward Fox. Prior to his entry into politics he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He has appeared on Fox more than any other network. Since the inauguration five of the six interviews he’s given to cable news networks were given to Fox News.

Even more emblematic of their mutual fondness is the presence of former Foxies in the White House ranks. So far there are five members of the Trump administration who were recruited from Fox News. K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Heather Nauert, and Richard Grennell. They form the core of Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda. It’s an unprecedented fusion of media and government.

Never let it be said that Trump doesn’t show his appreciation for all the help he’s received from Fox. He has expressed that appreciation in the form of promotional tweets encouraging his followers to watch Fox News. The Washington Post has collected dozens of examples of these 140 character commercial endorsements. And the value of these tweeted ads should not be underestimated. The Post noted that:

“[T]here’s a robust economy built on getting celebrities to tweet positive things about products. You see Kim Kardashian posting a photo of some new lipstick on Instagram and you can be pretty confident that the lipstick company paid some go-between to get her to do that.”

Indeed. Trump’s previous career as a television huckster hosting a reality TV game show prepared him for this role as a White House infomercial personality. Celebrity Apprentice was an hour long advertising vehicle for everything from Coca-Cola to Chevrolet, and of course Trump Hotels. In fact, there were often more product placements in Trump’s show than most other programs on television. It’s a corrupt practice he is continuing in the White House.

So Trump knows how much endorsements are worth. The Post estimated his tweets for Fox News to be worth more than $5 million in free advertising. Perhaps not as valuable as Kardashian’s tweets, but still significant. Below are some of the tweet-vertisements Trump has posted for his pals at Fox:

The relationship between Trump and Fox News is one that poisons both the media and the presidency. It cheapens both by turning them into commercial casters that exist to generate tabloid pablum for profit. A perfect example of how quickly this devolves into a shopping network for political elites is the deal Fox just signed with Harvey Levin. The TMZ star will host “Objectified,” a spinoff of Levin’s Fox News special wherein he toured Trump’s gold-plated penthouse. Coming this fall.

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 are merging to form a government sponsored propaganda machine that is deceptive at best and mind control at worst. It is the sort of perverse arrangement that is generally found in dictatorships and fascist regimes. If the organizations responsible for journalist credentials don’t take steps to apply their own standards, then they will be complicit in the degradation and delegitimization of the American press. And the first step would be to pull the press credentials of Fox News.

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.

Trump’s ‘Enemy Of The American People’ Is A Direct Threat To The Free Press

From the outset of Donald Trump’s campaign he has made the media a target of his attacks, insults and retribution. He has called them liars and sleazy and horrible people. Keeping them penned up at his rallies was common, as was expelling those he especially disliked.

Donald Trump

Organizations that advocate for the welfare of journalists have expressed their concerns with justifiable anxiety. 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.”

Now Trump has taken his abuse a step further into an ominous future. He posted on Twitter a message that reeks of an authoritarian stranglehold on one of America’s most cherished principles. The Free Press. He tweeted:

Trump’s characterization of the press as “the enemy of the American People!” has roots in some of the most oppressive historical dictatorships. It goes back to ancient Roman times. However, it has been used as recently as the 1950’s by China’s Chairman Mao Tse-tung to suppress freedom. Trump’s usage is particularly repulsive because of the overtly violent overtones that infect so much of his rhetoric. Is he deliberately fomenting violence against the press now? As an aside, it’s curious that he thinks the media is the enemy of the American people, but that it isn’t his enemy.

In the United States, disgraced former President Richard Nixon made an almost identical statement in private. He said that “The press is the enemy, the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy.” Sound familiar? But Trump is saying it very publicly. It’s also notable that Nixon’s Watergate scandal and Trump’s current transgressions have similar beginnings. The Republican operatives who broke into Democratic offices at the Watergate were called the “Plumbers” because their purpose was to plug up leaks. And that’s exactly the focus of Trump’s complaints.

The “enemy of the people” theme is likely the handiwork of Trump’s alt-right, white supremacist aide, Stephen Bannon. In 2012 his Breitbart News website featured a commentary by Trump supporter Pat Caddell. In it Caddell said that “The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power,” So far, so good. However, he continued to say that they have “desert[ed] those ramparts” and “made themselves the enemy of the American people.”

Mao, Nixon, Breitbart. Is there a pattern forming? Trump would be thrilled to discredit the media that he regards as the “opposition party.” Then he could rant relentlessly with his “alternative facts” and outright lies without restraint or objective scrutiny. He could rely on disreputable “news” manglers like Breitbart, Infowars, the National Enquirer, and Fox News to lead his campaign of disinformation.

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

This needs to be taken seriously. Trump is not kidding when he says the free press is the enemy. Last October he complained that “Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.” Trump is actually appalled that the press can say whatever they want. It’s a freedom that he would eagerly undo given the opportunity. That would leave us with his factless accounts of a delusional world that exalts him and maligns his critics. He must be stopped by any (legal) means necessary.

The Fake Fox News ‘War On Christmas’ Just Created Some Very Real Victims

For several years now Fox News has been engaged in a raging “War On Christmas.” For the most part it is a conflict that is wholly the product of their warped imagination. And despite the fact that victory was declared by its general, Bill O’Reilly, several times, peace has still evaded us. And now this phony war is having all too real consequences.

Fox News Todd Starnes

An elementary school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, made an administrative decision not to put on a Christmas show this year. The principal cited the fact that its production requires 15-20 hours of classroom time that couldn’t be spared. However, the program’s cancellation was all that Fox News needed to bolster their war propaganda. Host Todd Starnes put out another in his series of bogus tirades against imaginary assaults on Xmas. According to LancasterOnline (via Media Matters):

“A Hempfield elementary school is under fire for ending its longstanding production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and a Jewish family has fled the county in fear because it’s being blamed for the cancellation. The unfolding controversy at Centerville Elementary School played out this week in national conservative media outlets including FOX News and Breitbart News Network, which portray the school’s move as part of a ‘war on Christmas.'”

After the play was canceled, classmates were reported to have harassed the Jewish student whom they blamed for the cancellation. The parents denied that they had complained or asked that the play be canceled. All they did was to request that their child not be required to participate. The principal responded to the rumors about parental objections by posting a notice stating flatly that they weren’t true. But that didn’t stop Fox News, Breitbart, and other right-wing outlets from exploiting the contrived controversy.

As a result, the family was forced to flee their home in order to avoid the hostile reaction from Fox viewers. [See update below] LancasterOnline reported that:

“Since the Fox and Breitbart stories, a spokeswoman for the school district said, the school has received at least 200 emails and phone calls either supporting or objecting to the decision or asking for additional information. The Jewish student’s parents say some of the reactions to the stories frightened them. After seeing reader comments like ‘It would be nice if we had the addresses of those concerned citizens and, I bet, this info is known to people living in the area’ on the Breitbart story, the parents pulled their child out of school and headed out of the area for a bit. ‘There’s no way we’re going to take a chance after the pizza incident,’ they said, referencing the man who fired an assault rifle in a Washington D.C area pizzeria after reading a fake-news story that said Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of there.”

The stories from Fox and Breitbart focused on the false assertion that a Jewish family objected to the play’s Tiny Tim character saying “God bless us, everyone.” That’s absurd on its face because there would be no reason for such an objection. Jews are not averse to blessings from God. However, the attempt to stigmatize a Jewish family reeks of the anti-Semitism that frequently portrays Jews as Christ-killers. Casting Jews as opponents of Christianity and its holidays was a favorite tactic of the Nazis in 1930’s Germany.

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 carrying on that loathsome tradition in an effort to advance their Christmas Wars agenda. And they are not the least bit concerned about the harm it is doing to innocent families. They are devoted to their campaign of hate and division without regard for the victims. And it is perfectly aligned with Donald Trump’s divisive agenda. He often fires up his rallies by promising that “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.” It’s that 1930’s totalitarianism that makes him think he can decide what we are all going to say.

UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League investigated the claims that the family fled their home due to threats following false stories about the cancellation of a school Christmas play. They found that the family actually left on a planned vacation, but the other facts remain unchanged. There were stories that accused the family of being responsible for the cancellation, and they were harassed.

Republicans In Congress Are TERRIFIED Of Trump And His ‘Horde Of Enforcers’

Donald Trump ran roughshod over his GOP opponents in the 2016 Republican primaries. It was a scorched Earth style campaign that left his foes, not just beaten, but humiliated. He didn’t merely challenge their policy positions or leadership skills, he used language meant to shame them. Fellow Republicans were viciously maligned as “Lyin’ Ted’ and “Little Marco.” Eventually Trump succeeded in capturing the nomination, but not without leaving bodies on the battlefield.

Trump/Bannon

Those same tactics are now being deployed against the Republicans in Congress. Many of them are saying privately that they are fearful of taking positions against Trump. That poses a critical problem because their traditionally conservative views are often at odds with Trump’s twisted brand of populism. Trumpulism favors cordial relations with Russia and its strongman Vladimir Putin. It proposes to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure improvements, mainly benefiting wealthy contractors. It is critical of the U.S. alliance with NATO. It would impose stiff tariffs on American companies with foreign factories. All of these positions are in direct opposition to decades of Republican doctrine.

The problem now is that Republicans are literally afraid to speak their minds. They have been warned by Trump and his surrogates that any diversion from total obedience to his agenda would be viewed as betrayal. As reported by Politico:

“It’s little wonder that Capitol Hill Republicans have papered over their not-insignificant policy differences with Trump, shying away from any statement about the president-elect that might possibly be construed as critical. They’re terrified of arousing the ire of their tempestuous new leader — or being labeled a turncoat by his army of followers.” […]

“Since the election, numerous congressional Republicans have refused to publicly weigh in on any Trump proposal at odds with Republican orthodoxy, from his border wall to his massive infrastructure package. The most common reason, stated repeatedly but always privately: They’re afraid of being attacked by Breitbart or other big-name Trump supporters.”

The threat from Breitbart is a real concern. Especially since its chairman, Stephen Bannon, is currently on leave to serve as Trump’s strategic advisor in the White House. But it doesn’t stop there. As South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford said, “People are naturally reticent to be the first out of the block for fear of Sean Hannity, for fear of Breitbart, for fear of local folks.”

Texas Rep. Bill Flores can attest to Sanford’s worries. After he made some rather tame remarks at a conservative conference, the Trump enforcers snapped into action. Breitbart began with an article condemning Flores for plotting to “stifle Trump’s campaign promises.” Sean Hannity of Fox News picked up the story and added his own vitriolic objections. He implied that Flores was using code to tell Trump to “Go to hell.” Subsequently, Flores was showered with complaints that included predictions of the end of his political career and even death threats. Never mind that he is one of the most conservative members of the House and a co-founder of its arch right-wing Freedom Caucus.

The media component of Trump’s Crusaders is a key to their intimidation tactics. They have the power of Fox News as well as dozens of other right-wing media outlets. Strain all of that through Facebook and Twitter and you get a powerful amplification of their defamatory propaganda.

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

The rest of the GOP caucus is learning a lesson from this. They are choosing to keep their mouths shut rather than risk offending Trump or his defenders. The StormTrumpers stand at the ready to crucify any Republican they view as disloyal or insufficiently resolute. It’s a chilling state of affairs that impinges on the core principles of democracy. And in that regard, it should not be a surprise coming from the Trump camp. His authoritarian leanings have been apparent from the start of his campaign. And since it’s clear that Republicans can’t be relied upon to defend democracy, Democrats better be prepared to do it.

Fox News Doubles Down On Stupid: Tucker Carlson Gets Primetime Show

It was three months ago that Roger Ailes stepped down from his post as CEO of Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment. Subsequently there has been much speculation as to the future direction of the network without its longstanding guiding force. Well, for anyone who thought there would be a tempering of Fox’s stridently conservative bias, you’re optimism was unfounded.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

Thursday Fox News announced that the vacancy left by Greta Van Susteren’s sudden departure would be filled by Tucker Carlson. Currently Carlson is a co-host of the weekend version of the Fox & Friends morning show. In that role he has ably fulfilled the Fox mandate to spew right-wing propaganda and smear Democrats. In the process he has cultivated an attitude of smug superiority while advancing a racist, misogynistic agenda.

For the record, Carlson is also the owner of the ultra-conservative web rag, The Daily Caller. As a publisher Carlson demonstrated his aversion to ethical journalism. In one instance he spiked an article that contained a criticism of Fox News for not being sufficiently anti-immigrant. Despite the fact that the piece castigated President Obama as a lawless tyrant, Carlson could not abide any Fox bashing. The article’s author said that Carlson told him “We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.” In other words, the Daily Caller is Fox’s puppet where free speech, and thought, is prohibited.

Additionally, the Daily Caller embraces the white supremacist alt-right movement that has adopted Donald Trump as its leader. In a wide-ranging essay about the budding “ethno-nationalism” crusades, Luke O’Brien writes for the Huffington Post about the relationships between America’s hate groups and the media. He singles out Carlson’s Daily Caller saying that:

“Other conservative sites, even ones that prefer bowties, appear to have accepted that angry right-wing populism translates into clicks. Take The Daily Caller, which now runs its fair share of immigrant knife-attack stories and Jew-baiting George Soros exposes. The reader comments on the site are at times indistinguishable in tone and racist content from those on Breitbart.”

That’s the same Breitbart News whose chairman, Stephen Bannon, is currently the CEO of Trump’s campaign for president. Bannon is also chairman of the Government Accountability Institute whose president, Peter Schweizer, authored the book “Clinton Cash.” Despite being filled with errors and lies, that book has been cited as the source for the FBI’s fatally biased review of the Clinton Foundation. It was also the subject of an hour-long special on Fox News. Oh, what a tangled web.

Prior to joining Fox News, Carlson’s career was a pitiful collection of failures. He had been canceled by PBS, CNN, and MSNBC. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, he was the first contestant voted off of Dancing with the Stars. He seemed to be a recidivist loser with no reasonable hope for redemption. He had even burned bridges with regard to Fox News when, after a childish prank (by both of them), he called Fox “a mean, sick group of people.”

Fortunately, For Carlson, Fox News has a policy of dredging the sewers of pseudo-journalism and rescuing the most offensive and desperate rejects, giving them a second chance at salvation. Of course that forgiveness comes at the cost of their soul. It rests on their willingness to supplicate themselves to their new savior. So when Fox called, Carlson went crawling back with his tail between his legs and fully prepared to obey.

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

Carlson knows his place and did what was expected of an indentured servant to the Wingnut Overlord. His reward is a spanking new program in primetime access where he can deliver his radically rightist, poorly reasoned rants. And he’ll fit right in with Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity. Proving that Fox News intends to continue being a fount of conservative propaganda, and a mouthpiece for Republican dogma, for many years to come.

And for your entertainment pleasure, here is the classic episode of CNN’s Crossfire where Jon Stewart called Carlson a “dick” and humiliated him so badly the show was cancelled soon after.

Deplorable Trump Shames Non-Christians At Rally, Asks ‘Should We Keep Them’? (VIDEO)

From the very first day of Donald Trump’s campaign for president he’s used tactics and language that is patently offensive and divisive. The central theme of his “movement” is expressed in his slogan “Make America great again.” There is an explicit suggestion in it that America isn’t currently great. Trump’s solution is to build walls and separate Americans from one another on the basis of race and religion.

Donald Trump

At a rally yesterday in Iowa Trump displayed the ultimate result (final solution?) of a political message that drives people apart. In a portion of his stump speech he sought to brag about the support he gets from evangelical Christians. It’s a curious base of followers considering his transparently phony adoption of faith for political gain. Nevertheless, they have flocked to him in surprising numbers. In recognition of that, Trump called on his conservative Christian disciples to identify themselves by raising their hands. But then he went a horrifying step further:

“Raise your hand if you’re NOT a Christian conservative. I want to see this, right? Oh there’s a couple people. That’s all right. I think we’ll keep them, right? Should we keep them in the room? Yes, I think so.”

Well, isn’t that generous of him? They can stay in the room. But maybe they should be required to wear yellow badges and have their passports stamped with red letters. Making non-Christians identify themselves in a public setting after praising the faithful is disconcerting at best and overtly threatening at worst. Who exactly was he speaking to? The Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Muslims, etc.? He has already proposed prohibiting Muslims from entering the country, and now all non-Christians may be ejected from his rallies. Unless he decides that he needs their votes to ascend to power. Even as a joke (which will probably be his excuse) this is nauseating.

More likely he is speaking to the white, Christian supremacists of the alt-right movement that has embraced his candidacy. The CEO of his campaign, Stephen Bannon, is also the chief executive of Breitbart News, the leading alt-right website. And you can rest assured that those audiences hear Trump’s message loud and clear.

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

The bald-faced bigotry of Trump’s remarks yesterday is consistent with the familiar prejudices that have permeated his campaign. It’s impossible to separate the rabid devotion of racists like David Duke from the Trump movement. His supporters ought to be asking themselves how they can vote for someone who has such a strong appeal among such despicable hate mongers. And if they can still justify putting someone like Trump in the White House, they are proving that Hillary Clinton was right. They are deplorable.

And doesn’t the rally in this video look familiar?

‘Fair And Balanced’ My Ass! Fox News Goes Full Propaganda Factory For Donald Trump

Fox News was never “fair and balanced” and was never meant to be. The slogan itself is a backhanded slap at every other media outlet that implies they are neither. It’s the same type of messaging that cults use to insure that their disciples believe only their dogma and reject all others as deceivers.

Fox News

So the debate over whether Fox News is biased ended before it even began. However, there is a much more interesting debate over who is in charge of the Republican Party. Is the GOP running its own show, or are they merely a vehicle to carry out the agenda of Fox News? Several years ago former Bush speechwriter David Frum recognized a power shift and wrote that “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.” This question became even more complicated when Donald Trump’s campaign was taken over by Breitbart News (Fox-on-Steroids).

One thing that is unmistakable is that Fox News devotes all of its resources to pushing the conservative Republican political agenda. Throughout their broadcast day they provide vigorous support for right-wing candidates and policies. Their most prominent anchors are personal friends of Donald Trump, and Sean Hannity has even endorsed him on the air. And now they are literally creating pro-Trump memes to boost his campaign on social media. These are graphic advertisements that are either promoting Trump or bashing Hillary Clinton. Their are no pro-Clinton memes at all. Have a look (Slideshow):

Fox News Memes

Could this be any more brazenly partisan? Fox News is hyping some of the most ridiculous attacks on Clinton and many are purely opinions that have no basis in fact. In other words, it isn’t remotely news, it’s propaganda. When they resort to quoting Larry the Cable Guy saying that “Hillary will be the end of the country,” it’s safe to say they have crossed a line into the surreal.

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

Fox News has created a pro-Trump meme factory to spew GOP talking points in support of their chosen candidate. The fact that they are creating these graphics with only a single, ultra-rightist point of view should satisfy any lingering doubts about the partisan objectives of Fox News and their management. Continuing to pretend that there is an independent Republican Party is a fool’s exercise. There is now only Fox News and their political subsidiary that is marketing a racist, misogynist demagogue to its glassy-eyed congregation.

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.

Ex-Spokesman For Trump’s New Campaign Chair Endorses Hillary Clinton

There are very few opportunities to watch a presidential campaign implode in full view of the public. However, that’s what is happening right now to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s crusade of vitriol and petulance. In the past few days his campaign morphed into a white nationalist movement lead by a radical ultra-rightist.

Donald Trump

Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon has taken the reins of the campaign (for now) as Trump’s polls sink to historic lows. Bannon’s contribution is expected to be an embrace of Trump’s worst traits and most extreme positions. Which is good news for Hillary Clinton because no one benefits more from the “let-Trump-be-Trump” strategy than Democrats.

Confirming the impending meltdown of TeamTrump, the former spokesman for Brietbart News, Kurt Bardella, has been making the media rounds to supply some insight into Trump’s suicide squad. He appeared on Fox News Friday asked by host Heather Nauert if they are “now on track with their campaign?” Bardella’s response was that:

“I think at the end of the day one speech on message doesn’t make an entire campaign, and certainly doesn’t erase an entire year’s worth body of work.”

Perhaps that’s a bit too complex for a press corps that seems to think a candidate-hyped pivot represents real change. They have spent the last 48 hours swooning over Trump’s wishy-washy regrets that were written by hired hacks. Bardella went on to discuss how Trump’s “regrets” were quickly shoved out of the media spotlight by his clumsy announcement that his skeevy campaign manager Paul Manafort had resigned:

“That’s just another example of the Trump team not really having their act together. […] They stepped on their own news cycle needlessly.”

More importantly, Bardella provided his unique insights into Bannon garnered from their two year working relationship at Breitbart News. As spokesman for the website he had unparalleled exposure to its inner workings. He resigned following the infamous episode when Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, manhandled Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Bannon’s failure to support his own reporter against an abusive jerk repulsed Bardella and other Breitbrats who also bailed out. He held nothing back when the subject came up on Fox:

Nauert: What can you tell us in a fair fashion about what it was like working for [Bannon] and what we can expect from his leadership of the Trump campaign?

Bardella: Steve is someone who governs very much by fear. He’s a bit of a dictator of a character. He’s known for making latenight, profanity-laced tirade phone calls at his staff when things aren’t going the way he wants them to go.

Sounds like a perfect match for Donald Trump. The picture Bardella paints of Bannon as an authoritarian bully may jibe with Trump’s personality, but it can’t possibly help him to broaden support among voters. Trump already has the white supremacist and neo-fascist vote locked up. In fact, rational Republicans are more likely to be alienated by Bannon’s ideas and methods. Including Bardella who just wrote an op-ed for The Hill where he announced that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton:

“What eventually caused me to terminate my relationship with Breitbart was Steve’s guidance of Breitbart to become the de facto propaganda machine for Donald Trump. […] It is glaringly obvious that Donald Trump does not have the temperament or the judgment to occupy the Oval Office. This is one of those times where the best interests of the whole outweigh any partisan allegiances or any specific issue. It’s why I’ve made the personal choice to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Donald Trump is dangerous for America.”

When you’ve lost the spokesman for Breitbart News, who served in the same role for wingnut Republican Darrell Issa, it may be time for an intervention. There’s a reason that former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and other racial hate group leaders have endorsed Trump. Maybe the rest of his supporters would like to reconsider the measure of the man they are backing for president. Or more sickening, maybe they have and they’re cool with it.

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