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.

In Desperate Move Trump Taps Breitbart Exec To Lead His Floundering Campaign

From the very start, Donald Trump has made “winning” a key part of his political branding. Early in his campaign he promised his supporters that “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” Now that Trump has been falling behind Hillary Clinton in most polls, it’s safe to say that his fans are indeed sick and tired, but winning surely isn’t the reason.

Trump/Bannon

The latest evidence of Trump’s waning electoral fate is yet another campaign shake up. It was just a few weeks ago that Trump sent his long-time campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, packing (he has since taken up residence at CNN) and brought in Paul Manafort to turn things around. Not only has Manafort presided over a continued and worsening slump, he has managed to find himself making news with his unsavory ties to foreign dictators and Russian-affiliated oligarchs.

Now Trump has brought in two familiar associates in an attempt to repair his sagging fortunes. The campaign’s new chief executive will be Stephen Bannon, currently the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. Bannon has been an ardent advocate for Trump who turned the Breitbart organization into a virtual Trump PR machine. However, he has not been a unanimous favorite among his peers. Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor, complained that Bannon had “shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda.” Glenn Beck joined in to compare Bannon to Joseph Goebbels.

Bannon will also be remembered (or not) as the the writer/director of the pathetic cinematic flop “The Undefeated,” a documentary about Sarah Palin that went straight to video despite heavy promotion from Fox News. With any luck he’ll bring that same ability and skill to Donald Trump’s campaign.

The other new campaign hire is Kellyanne Conway, who will become Trump’s campaign manager. Conway is the president and CEO of The Polling Company, a Republican outfit that conducts surveys and advises GOP candidates on strategy. She is also a commentator on CNN where she fiercely defends everything Trump does and says no matter how ridiculous or offensive. This puts CNN in the unique position of employing both Trump’s former campaign manager (Lewandowski) and his new one. If they have any journalistic integrity at all, Conway will be suspended immediately. But having hired Lewandowski when he is still being paid by Trump, and is contractually prohibited from criticizing him, CNN’s integrity is already suspect.

These additions to the Trump team follow by one day the news that ex-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes will be coaching Trump to prepare him for his debates with Clinton and providing other campaign advice. Ailes, you will recall, was forced into early retirement after numerous accusations of sexual harassment at Fox. It is not known whether Ailes played any role in the remaking of Trump’s campaign, but he does have history with Bannon. More recently, Bannon penned two defenses of Ailes for Breitbart News. One alleged that Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit was meritless. The other that it is part of a broader liberal conspiracy against Ailes.

Significantly, two of Trump’s top campaign operatives are now former media executives. That paints a picture of a campaign that is more interested in propaganda than politics. Expect Trump’s campaign to venture even further into attacks on the mainstream media and their plot to destroy Trump and, therefore, America. Simultaneously, they can be expected to exploit the media to amplify Trump’s voice and nationalistic fervor.

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

The value of these personnel moves seems underwhelming. Manafort, with all his baggage, will remain as the chairman of the campaign. And along with Bannon and Kelly they will continue to face the challenge of getting Trump to listen to anyone other than himself. However, their first duty will be to spin this latest campaign reinvention as further proof that Trump is winning.

Campaign Ally Says Donald Trump Should “Turn Off” CNN’s FCC License (Which They Can’t Do)

Advancing the already stridently fascist policy platform of Donald Trump’s candidacy, one of his closest friends and political allies is now recommending that Trump put his boot down on the free press should he become president.

Roger Stone Clintons' War On Women

Notorious dirty trickster, Roger Stone, has made a name for himself pushing ludicrous conspiracy theories and offensive smear campaigns. He is a veteran Clinton-hater who once started a group he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. On the basis of that he later became a Fox News Contributor. (Media Matters has compiled a useful guide to his antics).

Yesterday, in an interview with Brietbart News, Stone floated more of his trademark trash in the form of advice for his buddy Donald Trump. In the midst of a tirade against CNN, which he said “is not a news organization, but an advocacy group,” he complained that at CNN “they turn you off” if you try to talk about the women in Bill Clinton’s past. But he has a solution to that problem:

“Frankly, when Donald Trump is president he should turn off their FCC license. They’re not a news organization. They’re about censorship.”

There is so much wrong with that statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that he could have been talking about Fox News and it would have been more accurate. But the larger issue is that advocating that the government take a roll in deciding which news enterprises should be permitted to operate is not only a violation of the Constitution, but an overtly oppressive tactic generally favored by tyrants. On that measure, it’s easy to see why Trump might be on board.

Trump has previously espoused similar nonsense. In February he threatened the New York Times, and other media outlets he assumes are biased against him, with lawsuits and the prospect of “open[ing] up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” And notwithstanding the fact that he can do that now if he actually had a case, he warned that these publishers would “have problems” if he is elected.

Another problem with Stone’s suggestion to de-license CNN is more pragmatic: It’s impossible. The FCC’s authority to regulate licensing is restricted to broadcast media (radio and TV) and they cannot revoke a cable news channel’s license because they don’t issue them. Broadcasters operate over the public airwaves, while cable channels are transmitted on privately owned cable facilities. So Stone’s counsel is not only unconstitutional, it demonstrates his utter ignorance of the subject matter.

Stone has a history of flagrantly offensive remarks that have insulted women and African-Americans. His racist and misogynist tendencies are often expressed openly. As a result he has been banned from both CNN and MSNBC. At Fox News they canceled a few of his recent appearances but have not formally banned him and he has not appeared in several weeks. That may be why he is resorting to fringe platforms like Breitbart to put out his repugnant message. Breitbart has all but officially endorsed Trump and there are credible allegations that Trump paid Breitbart for favorable treatment.

In closing the interview, Stone got to the point of his remarks with a shamelessly self-serving plug. He recommended that listeners get the “truth” by reading the book “The Clintons’ War On Women,” by Roger Stone. It’s a book that has been roundly rebuked by liberals and conservatives alike as being poorly written and sourced. But one thing it has going for it is that Donald Trump has made it his anti-Clinton bible. The diatribes Trump is currently spewing about Clinton’s past are all straight out of this book.

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

Listen to Stone’s interview via Media Matters:

Rupert Murdoch Rips Crybaby Donald Trump’s Crackpot Polling Conspiracy

Proving once again how thin-skinned and paranoid Donald Trump is, he flipped out after learning that a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed him trailing Ted Cruz nationally by two points. His bloated ego wouldn’t allow him to accept the possibility that his horrendous behavior at the last Republican debate might have caused his numbers to slip.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

So rather than face reality and get back to work, Trump attacked the Wall Street Journal and Fox News (for some unexplained reason he let NBC slide). Trump was interviewed by Breitbart News where he asserted that the poll was fixed and that “It was a Rupert Murdoch hit.” He further claimed that “The worst treatment I get is from Fox,” despite the fact that he gets far more airtime than any other candidate. Trump was also interviewed for a full hour on MSNBC (a disgraceful affair, but that’s another story), and told the sycophantic plant life known as Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, that…

“I think somebody at the Wall Street Journal doesn’t like me, but I never do well with the Wall Street Journal poll. So I don’t know.”

Clearly he doesn’t know. Or more likely he’s lying (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). Because a quick look at the facts show that the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has been reliably favorable to Trump. Prior to this new poll they had him leading in all but one poll since he announced his candidacy. It is typical of Trump, however, to swing wildly when wounded. Therefore, this record of his polling, wherein he topped five of six polls, is regarded by him as “never doing well.”

trump-wsj-polls

But Trump wasn’t finished. He continued his Twitter tirade to blast Fox News saying that “@FoxNews is so biased it is disgusting. They do not want Trump to win. All negative!” and that “.@FoxNews is changing their theme from ‘fair and balanced’ to ‘unfair and unbalanced.'” These would be reasonable complaints about Fox News except for the fact that Trump is utterly delusional. He has been the foremost beneficiary of the biases practiced at Fox.

After hearing Trump’s butt-hurt ranting, Rupert Murdoch, CEO of the media empire that includes both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, had a bit of advice for the hyperventilating Trump. Murdoch tweeted

“Trump blames me for WSJ poll, fights FoxNews. Time to calm down. If I running anti-Trump conspiracy then doing lousy job!”

It’s hard to disagree with Murdoch on this one. It’s obvious that his media properties have not been plotting anti-Trump campaigns. However, what Murdoch left out is that his outlets are responsible for creating Trumpenstein in the first place. Fox was not only not anti-Trump, they were so pro-Trump it was nauseating to watch. Now that Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and company, have reanimated the beast, they are begging it to “calm down.” Good luck with that, Rupe. You’ve made your cult, now you have to “lie” with it.

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

Idiot Wingnutisms: Obama Shifts To Gun Control To Distract From Refugee Backlash

In the world of right wing media, there is an enduring contest to see who can construct the most asinine analyses of current events. It’s a fierce competition that is characterized by truly gifted producers of utter bullcrap. However, one name that is consistently in contention for the gold is Breitbart News, the journalistic equivalent of virtual fish wrapping.

Idiot Wingnutisms

In another masterpiece of moronic reporting, Breitbart posted an article that sought to reveal the underhanded inner workings of the Obama administration. They sensed a deep-seated deception that upon discovery would unmask the secret intentions of the gay, Kenyan, Muslim, usurper occupying the White House. And with a bold stroke of unashamed stupidity they declared that: “White House Shifts To Gun Control To Distract From Refugee Backlash.” The first paragraph began…

“On November 23 the White House focused on gun control as a means of shifting attention away from President Obama’s contentious push for Syrian refugees.”

Well of course they did! It is just the sort of thing that this administration would do. When they are confronted with a controversial issue that is consuming massive amounts of energy, they deftly deflect by injecting an alternative issue into the debate that is broadly agreeable and not the least bit contentious. Like gun control. That’s right, the Breitbrats think that Obama is avoiding controversy by suddenly raising the feel-good issue of gun control.

But that’s not the only high grade crackpottery in their article. They go on to criticize White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for “jabbing at Republicans” who just blocked legislation to prohibit people on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns. The Breitbrats complain that…

“Lost on Earnest is the fact that gun control in France is far more restrictive than in the US, yet it proved impotent to halt the slaughter of 130 people and the wounding of hundreds more.”

Lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that the less restrictive gun laws in the U.S. proved impotent to halt the slaughter of more than 33,000 Americans by guns every year and the wounding of tens of thousands more. [For comparison, France has about 35 gun homicides a year. On a homicides per 100,000 people, the U.S. rate is sixteen times higher than France] Also lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that civilians with guns have never once prevented an act of terrorism or mass shooting in the U.S.

The article went on to assert that “Earnest was on a mission to distract,” which they believed was why he brought up the matter of suspected terrorists having access to guns, rather than because the fact that suspected terrorists having access to guns is freaking insane. But this tactic of accusing Obama of employing distractions when he wants to change the subject is nothing new. Wingnuts have been using it for years. For example, they were sure they’d uncovered a whole slew of alleged distractions from ObamaCare.

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

Pretty much any time Obama brings up any subject, the paranoids on the right are certain that it’s an attempt to distract from something else. Never mind that it is always something that has been a core part of his agenda. That is certainly the case for gun safety reforms. He didn’t just latch onto this issue in a fit of desperation to misdirect America’s attention from Syrian refugees. They are both critical matters and, unlike his critics, this president is capable of managing more than one crisis at a time.

Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Debut Produces Huge Sighs Of Comic Relief

It’s been nearly three months since Jon Stewart signed off of the Daily Show for the last time, and the void he left has been felt by millions of satire-starved fans. While Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show has tried to fill that void, and Stephen Colbert’s new Late Night show launched a couple of weeks ago, the sustained satirical presence of the Daily Show has not been reproduced by any of the other late night comedy offerings.

Consequently, the anticipation for Noah’s premiere was at fever pitch when the show finally came to the air last night. And everyone, fans and critics, were bristling with suspense as to how he would perform, and whether he would make a suitable successor to Stewart.

Trevor Noah

Well, the best indication of success is wrapped up in the loathing of one of Stewart’s most notorious and mush-headed critics. John Nolte of Breitbart News said that “Awkward Trevor Noah Bombs In Debut.” And with that we know that Noah can be proud of his maiden outing. If the Breitbrats hated it, you know you’re on the right track. Not to dwell on the ravings of a knee-jerk …er… jerk, Nolte’s critique consisted mainly of childish insults and ignorance:

“For all of Stewart’s fascist, bullying tendencies, he did possess some talent. Noah is undoubtedly talented enough to land this gig, but he is unquestionably in over his head. Noah might grow into the gig. He might not. It won’t matter. He is politically correct and a left-wing extremist. […]

“Although fewer than 1% of the population ever watched Stewart, the media still managed to turn him into a Potemkin Phenom. When you’re a leftist, talent and popularity are not required.”

Isn’t that sweet? Nolte thinks Stewart was a talented fascist. That will undoubtedly make Stewart’s day. However, Nolte’s long-standing and inbred hatred for the Daily Show makes it impossible for him to express a coherent opinion. He even admits that “it won’t matter” if Noah is any good, because he’s a “politically correct left-wing extremist,” and therefore deserving of failure. It’s also rather amusing that Nolte condemns the influence of the program because fewer than 1% of the population watched it. He’s not far off, but what he doesn’t mention is that the Daily Show had more viewers than most of the shows on Fox News. So apparently Nolte also regards Fox as talentless and unpopular.

For the record, the Breitbrats predicted the failure of the new Daily Show months ago with a hilariously stupid article that only affirmed that they are as terrible at analyzing television and comedy as they are at analyzing politics.

As for Noah, his debut was a respectable effort with many hilarious moments. It will take some time for him to fully come into his own, but he is obviously smart and funny and is using the show’s producers and writers (held over from the Stewart regime) effectively to maintain a smooth transition. The opening segment (video below) was a perfect introduction that established an emotional connection to the audience saying that he is just as nervous as they are. He revealed a little personal information that explained how he felt about his new role:

“Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed one day I would have two things — an indoor toilet and a job as host of ‘The Daily Show.’ And now I have both. I’m quite comfortable with one of them.”

And with that he thanked the audience for “joining us as we continue the war on bullshit.” That, of course, was a reference to Stewart’s last monologue, and a neat trick to assure the audience that he had the same aspirations to produce the sort of quality satire that acts as a much-needed release mechanism for those of us who are outraged daily by the foolishness and dishonesty of our political and pundit classes. He’s off to a great start.

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

Conspiracy! Wingnuts Think Liberals Planted Questioner At Donald Trump Event

The lunatics on the right have embraced some pretty outlandish conspiracy theories over the years. Not the least of which is that President Obama, who supports Planned Parenthood, gay rights, gun safety regulations, separation of church and state, and equality for women, is a Kenyan-born Muslim. Based on his political platform Obama would be the worst Muslim ever. But conservatives have never let reason interfere with their dementia.

Now the Doofus Brigades in the daffy rightosphere have latched unto a new bit crackpottery with which to tingle their nether regions. Two of these “news” sources were featured on Fox Nation, the community website of Fox News. According to the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher, there is something fishy about the meathead who asked Donald Trump about the “Muslim problem” in America. Treacher notes that “Some people are speculating that the guy was a plant.” He doesn’t bother to identify any of those speculators, but he is worried that nobody knows the questioner’s name. Nobody ever knows the names of random people asking questions at rallies, but this time it’s cause to freak out.

The intrepid pseudo-journalists over at Breitbart News went even further to declare their “Exclusive” story revealing that “The man, whom some suspect to have been a liberal or Democratic plant in Trump’s audience, was featured in a meme in the spring of 2013 that was credited to aattp.org, the website of the group Americans Against The Tea Party.” Actually, that photo dates back to a Glenn Beck 9/12 Project rally in 2009 where there were lots of guys just like this. Also aattp.org features actual Teabaggers and has no incentive to promote phonies. The real ones are bad enough.

Fox Nation Donald Trump

Before demonstrating the unparalleled idiocy of these cretins, let’s just point out the obvious fact that liberals don’t need to plant a moron among the Trumpsters. Most of them already believe that Obama is a Muslim who is waging a “War on Christianity.” If liberals sent trolls to Trump’s events they would just blend in with the rest of the imbeciles. Even Trump disputes that the questioner was a plant. He told the Curvy Couch Potatoes of Fox & Friends that…

“When he was asking that question, by the way, a lot of the people in the audience were nodding. They were not laughing at him or anything. They were nodding. I don’t think he was a plant.”

Indeed, they were nodding. Because they agree with the asinine premise. As does Trump. In fact, they’re proud of it. So the entire notion that liberals would have gone to the trouble to plant someone to ask a question that most of the people in the crowd would have asked without any prodding is absurd. All they had to do was watch and wait. Trump’s supporters would expose themselves on their own in due time. [Note: Due time in this instance was the very first question]

But none of that would stop Breitbrat Patrick Howley from concocting the most preposterous plot surrounding the alleged liberal plant. Howley, a disreputable hack who has confessed to unethical and unlawful tactics to smear his ideological foes, asserts that the “plant” at the Trump affair was previously spotted at a Tea Party gathering in 2013. He even posts a link to what he says is photographic evidence of the sighting.

There are just two small problems with Howley’s hysterical hypothesis. First of all, he doesn’t provide any proof that the guy in the old Tea Party photo was a plant. If he was a legitimate Teabagger back then, he couldn’t very well be a liberal plant now..

More importantly, the two men do not share even a remote resemblance. The Teabagger is significantly older with a full head of gray hair. It is unlikely that he got younger in the years since the Tea Party rally. Also, he has a narrower face and a more pronounced chin. No one could plausibly say that these two men were the same person unless they were hopelessly predisposed to seeing only what they want to see, or they were determined to deceive others. And in furtherance of that goal, Howley wrote that “We know now that the left-wing media and activists were aware of this man more than two years before last week’s Trump rally.”

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

No, actually, you don’t know anything of the kind. You don’t know who the Teabagger was, you don’t know who the Trump guy was, you can’t honestly pretend that they were the same person, and even if he were a plant his question represents exactly what Trump and his followers believe. So all you’ve got left is to continue to lie and invent ridiculous scenarios for which you haven’t got a scrap of proof. In other words, you can do exactly what you always do and hope your glassy-eyed disciples don’t catch on. The rest of us are familiar with your conspiracy ravings and aren’t impressed by your poor journalistic skills and complete absence of logic. So carry on.