RIGGING THE DEBATES: Media Admit They Are ‘Setting A Low Bar’ For Dumbass Donald Trump

As the campaign season enters its final stretch the most impactful remaining scheduled events are the candidate debates. The first one is less than three weeks away (September 26). This will be the first time that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will confront each other face to face.

Donald Trump

One thing the media has no problem with is endless speculation about the outcomes of future events. Consequently, there is no shortage of analysis of how they expect the candidates to perform. The expectations game in the media, however, is always being prodded by the candidates in order to shape the public perception after the fact. By lowering expectations the candidate can claim victory by simply not blurting out obscenities or drooling.

To that end, Donald Trump is getting a significant boost from the media who are already staking their position on the inferiority of Trump. Ordinarily that would appear to be a realistic assessment. Trump is obviously ill-equipped to debate Hillary Clinton. He is woefully ignorant of domestic policy and world affairs. Match that with his inability to articulate a coherent solution to any problem. The result is a candidate who represents a truly dangerous prospect for national leadership. On the other hand Clinton has a profound depth of knowledge related to the specific prerequisites for governing.

However, in the debate expectations game Trump has the advantage because no one thinks he can compete effectively with Clinton. Unless, that is, you believe that childish insults and deliberate lies are valid methods of scoring points. And the media is taking the lead in propagating Trump’s shortcomings. Some prominent members of the allegedly liberal press are admitting that they have lowered the bar for Trump’s performance. Here are examples from CNN, the New York Times, and the Associated Press:

Dana Bash, CNN: I think the stakes are much higher in this debate and all the debates for Hillary Clinton because the expectations are higher for her because she’s a seasoned politician. She’s a seasoned debater. You know, yes we saw Donald Trump in the primaries debate for the first time, but he is a first-time politician. So um, for lots of reasons. Maybe it’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. The onus is on her.

Maggie Haberman, New York Times: What hurts Hillary Clinton is the bar has been lowered for Trump repeatedly because he keeps getting graded on a curve as her supporters would say and which I think you’ve seen. The question is does he merely pass and have that recorded as, yes, he did very well.

Julie Pace, Associated Press: By virtue of her long political resume, Hillary Clinton will enter her highly anticipated fall debates with Donald Trump facing the same kind of heightened expectations that often saddle an incumbent president. Trump, as the political newcomer, will be more of a wild card with a lower bar to clear.

So poor Donald Trump is such a buffoon that needs to be given “special” consideration. The golf resort baron has a debate handicap that’s higher than his IQ (which isn’t saying much). Never mind that he will tell you he has a tremendous brain and knows more than anybody about anything. He boasted that he won all twelve of the GOP primary debates. And he only participated in eleven of them. His opponents included several people highly regarded for their debating skills. The sharp tongued Chris Christie, senate whiz kid Marco Rubio, and Princeton’s North Amer­i­can Debat­ing Cham­pi­on of 1992, Ted Cruz.

Still, the media is portraying Trump as a child with a learning disability being forced to compete with Albert Einstein. It’s a flagrantly dishonest assessment that tilts the balance in his favor. It also trivializes the presidency by pretending that Trump’s intellectual inadequacy isn’t an obstacle to serving. And they are only doing it to make more of a horse race out of the election. When the race is tighter people are more engaged, which translates into more viewers and higher ratings. So if one candidate needs a (bone)head start, they’ll give it to him.

Donald Trump has been whining about the debates from the start of his campaign. He complained about the moderators, the length of time, and the participants. After winning the GOP nomination he complained that the general election debate dates were unacceptable and that he wouldn’t participate unless he approved of the moderators. His animosity toward the press is legendary. He blacklisted many news organizations (i.e. Washington Post, Univision, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and more), prohibiting them from covering his events. Although he just announced that he would end his practice of blacklisting saying “I figure they can’t treat me any worse!”

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

Americans are going to make an important decision in November. Their only criteria should be whether the candidate is qualified to do the job and represents their interests. Being an idiot does not grant you special privileges or a leg up to the White House. If only one candidate can engage in a substantive discussion, then she deserves to win.

Stephen Colbert Gets Anderson Cooper Tied Up In Knots Defending CNN’s Trump Coverage

Last night CNN anchor Anderson Cooper appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He may not have been expecting the good-natured grilling he was in for. What took place was another example of a comedy show producing better journalism than the “serious” media.

Stephen Colbert

Early in the interview Colbert bit into the meaty subject of CNN’s disgraceful relationship with Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. A few days after leaving the Trump team, Corey Lewandowski signed on with CNN. In the following exchange Cooper sheepishly admits that CNN is employing a commentator who is also a campaign operative.

Colbert: So, he works for you guys. Does he still get any money from the Trump people at the same time?

Cooper: I believe I read he gets a severance, continuing severance from the Trump campaign.

Colbert: So ya’ll are paying him, and Trump is paying him, but he’s on your show doing analysis for a man he still gets cash from?

Cooper: Pretty much. Yeah, I guess that’s one way to look at it. I mean, yes.

That’s pretty much the only way of looking at it. Even worse, Lewandowski has a non-disparagement contract with Trump. So CNN hired a commentator who is contractually prohibited from saying anything negative. Cooper’s only response to this was that “We have people from all the campaigns.” Which is not actually true. While they will invite campaign staff to appear on the network, there are none who are employees while still on the payroll of the candidate. Other than Lewandowski, that is.

As the interview continued, Colbert asked whether Trump is still doing interviews with CNN. Cooper confirmed that he is not, noting that he’s only been doing interviews with Fox News. He elaborated saying that “He does a lot of interviews with Hannity.” “Who evidently advises his campaign at the same time,” Colbert replied. This is all accurate, but for some reason Cooper only talks about it on The Late Show. CNN’s viewers would benefit from this information.

The best moment came when the discussion got to Trump’s wavering positions on immigration. Colbert observed that Trump has been less than forthcoming about his stance, which has been shifting wildly in the past couple of days. Then Colbert offered this homey perspective from Trump’s point of view:

“There’s a little bit of “Elect me, see what happens. I’m a present. Christmas morning is Election Day. Open me up. Maybe I’m full of toys. Maybe I’m full of turds.”

Anyone who has been paying attention already knows what’s in that package. And it isn’t a new X-Box. Colbert managed to illustrate the deceitfulness of Trump’s vacillating rhetoric in a short and humorous comment that says more than most news programs say in an hour. And Cooper was reduced to grinning timidly when faced with the truth about his network. It’s just sad that news organizations are so bad at this sort of reporting that we have to rely on comedy shows.

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

WATCH: CNN’s Trump Fluffer Brazenly Lies About The FBI’s Clinton Inquiry – And CNN Lets Him

On today’s broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, fill-in host Brianna Keilar interviewed Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Last month Lewandowski was fired by Trump and then hired by CNN within a few days despite the fact that he has a contract that prohibits him from saying anything critical about his ex-boss.

CNN

Well, Lewandowski is surely in the clear after today’s performance. He not only refrained from any criticism of Trump, he delivered eight minutes of non-stop adulation and shameless up-sucking. He even defended Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image in a tweet attacking Hillary Clinton even though Trump himself wouldn’t defend it (he deleted it without comment or apology).

Much of the interview, however, involved the meeting between Hillary Clinton and the FBI to discuss the matter of her emails and the private server she used. There was no new information reported following the meeting except for multiple sources telling CNN and MSNBC that the FBI has concluded that no laws were violated and no charges will be brought. On this subject Keilar asked Lewandowski…

“Corey, the big news this weekend, Hillary Clinton meeting with the FBI – three and a half hours she was meeting with them – and sources tell CNN that this investigation could wrap up before the convention. And if she is cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department as we expect, short of her making some sort of mistake in her interview yesterday is what is going to happen, will that deprive Donald Trump of a key political weapon?”

Without even waiting for Lewandowski to respond the answer was obvious. Trump, and every other Republican, have already tipped their hands to reveal a strategy wherein Clinton will continue to be vilified as guilty regardless of the outcome of the investigation. They intend to go on using this weapon even if it is shooting blanks. If Clinton is cleared they will just insist that the Justice Department is corrupt and that the White House is threatening to dispatch killer drones to deal with anyone who goes after Clinton. So Lewandowski did deny that Trump will be deprived of a weapon, but it’s what he said immediately after that that is truly disturbing.

“I think what you have is the American public is so frustrated right now that Hillary Clinton has been under investigation from the FBI from as many as 150 agents for a long time.”

Certainly the American public is frustrated by the seemingly endless parade of bogus Clinton-bashing scandals, not one of which has produced any evidence of wrongdoing despite spending hundreds of hours and millions of dollars on partisan efforts to tarnish her reputation. However, the allegation that there were hundreds of agents investigating this matter was proven to be false long ago. Originally there were anonymous reports from the Washington Post and Fox News that as many as 150 agents were involved, but that was quickly debunked with subsequent reports saying that talk of 150 agents was “ridiculous” and that “the number is closer to 12.”

The fact that Lewandowski would propagate this dishonest argument after it was already know to be untrue is typical of the Trump campaign’s deliberately deceitful modus operandi. While most candidates would cease to use information that they knew was false, that little detail doesn’t seem to bother Trump or his cronies. This is also further evidence that Lewandowski is still working for Trump while he’s getting paid by CNN. And worst of all, it shows that CNN is unable or unwilling to correct the record when a Trump shill dispenses flagrant lies on their air.

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

With Nothing To Pin On Hillary Clinton, Fox News Furiously Spins The Benghazi Panel’s Pointless Report

After two years and seven million dollars, the Republican Committee on Politicizing Benghazi finally issued a report on their findings. And, to no one’s surprise, the result of this lengthy and expensive charade reveals absolutely nothing of significance that wasn’t already known or reported by one of the seven other congressional committees that wasted taxpayer dollars on this transparently political witch hunt.

Almost immediately following the release of committee’s report Fox News shifted into offense in an effort to hurl mud at Clinton. The absence of anything substantive to report didn’t deter them from their mission. As an indication of how the media reported this news event, take a look at the on-screen graphics of the three cable news networks:

Fox News

Both CNN and MSNBC correctly reported that committee failed to deliver on their promises of criminality by Clinton. Fox News, on the other hand, tweaked their reporting to refer to the GOP’s press conference rather than the contents of the actual report. So their graphics faulted the Obama administration because that’s what the Republicans at the press conference were predisposed to discuss. Never mind that their own committee’s report did not support their criticisms. Even the Fox News crawl, during this segment, noted that “Clinton never personally denied requests for added security.”

Fox News spent much of the day slandering Clinton with innuendos that had nothing to do with the report. On Outnumbered Jedediah Bila said that “It doesn’t bother her that people died.” Fox’s national security analyst, K.T. McFarland, said that Clinton has “blood on your hands.” Dana Perino of The Five inexplicably called for yet another Benghazi investigation. Notice that none of these comments addressed any of the report’s actual findings, preferring instead to fling insults and malicious opinions.

Republicans had long ago exposed themselves as the perpetrators of a partisan assault on Hillary Clinton in advance of her campaign for the presidency. Their Speaker-in-Waiting, Keven McCarthy, bragged about his anti-Clinton plot to Sean Hannity saying that “Everybody thought that Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today?” Well, since you asked, Clinton’s numbers today put her twelve points ahead of Donald Trump, and McCarthy was bumped from his speakership path and replaced by Paul Ryan.

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

The Benghazi investigation lasted longer than any previous congressional investigation, including the JFK assassination, the Nixon Watergate affair, and 9/11. It’s budget exceeded that of the House Intelligence Committee and the Veterans Committee combined. Yet it found not a single bit of evidence of any wrongdoing by Clinton or the Obama administration. So Fox News chose to ignore the report’s conclusions and instead engage in ad hominem smear tactics. That is, after all, what they were created to do.

WTF Are They Thinking? CNN’s New Hire Is Trump’s Ex-Manager And Press Abuser

Donald Trump has been boasting about his ability to create jobs despite never having explained exactly how he would do so. Well, now it appears he may have created one at CNN for the campaign manager that he fired just a few days ago.

CNN

Corey Lewandowski was escorted out of Trump Tower by security guards when the campaign decided that his services were no longer needed. He was criticized for the campaign’s negative and hostile tone, for failing to raise money, for not building a campaign infrastructure, and for infighting between various factions within the Trump camp. Recent polls showing Trump losing to Hillary Clinton also weighed on Lewandowski’s shoulders as he battled with the Trump kids and strategist Paul Manafort for control of the campaign.

Now CNN has rewarded Lewandowski with a job and a paycheck as a political commentator for the network. It’s not as if CNN didn’t already have a stable of partisan Trump sycophants on the air every day. Jeffery Lord, Scottie Nell Hughes, Kayleigh McEnany, among others have been shilling for Trump on CNN for months. And that’s in addition to the frequent appearances by Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson and Trump himself.

There are few, if any, examples of a news network scooping up a high-level campaign operative in the midst of an election, particularly one with the resume of Lewandowski. This is the first campaign that Lewandowski has ever managed, if you want to call it that. None of the traditional trappings of a campaign were evident in his work. He maintained a tiny staff of insiders and relied on free media for attention. He presided over a candidate who avoided substantive debate while resorting to childish insults and name-calling to bring down his opponents.

Lewandowski also had a terrible relationship with the press. While Trump was calling them sleazy and scum, and fantasizing about killing them them, Lewandowski was herding them into pens like cattle and threatening them if they were disobedient. He revoked the press credentials of people or organizations he didn’t like, including the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Lewandowski was the subject of an unprecedented meeting between the television news networks (including CNN) to address what they considered “harsh and restrictive behavior.” In one case Lewandowski told another campaign staffer “Hey: Tell Noah [Gray of CNN], get back in the pen or he’s f—ing blacklisted.”

And then there was the incident when Lewandowski was alleged to have physically assaulted a reporter from the conservative Breitbart News website. Michelle Fields claimed that Lewandowski had grabbed her by the arm and nearly threw her to the ground. He was briefly under indictment for the assault, but the authorities decided not to prosecute.

This is the caliber of man that CNN has just chosen to provide analysis of the election. He is overtly hostile to the press of which he is now becoming a part. His peers in the business are both stunned and outraged that CNN would grant this cretin one of a very few on-air positions available.

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

What’s worse, it is well known that Donald Trump requires his people to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them from saying anything negative about Trump, his businesses, or his family. So how can CNN justify hiring a commentator who is contractually bound to bite his tongue if anything unflattering to Trump occurs during the campaign? He’s a commentator who can’t comment. What does that say about a free press at CNN?

Update: The backlash is growing as a “near revolt” at CNN is reportedly under way:

“CNN is facing a near internal revolt over the Corey hiring,” said a TV insider, who described many in the newsroom as “livid.” “Female reporters and producers especially .?.?. They are organizing and considering publicly demanding” that Lewandowski be let go.

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:

White Riot: Donald Trump Threatens Riots If He Doesn’t Get The GOP Nomination

On CNN this morning, Donald Trump took the next step on his path in pursuit of leading the nation into a new era of American Fascism. This election season has already seen his campaign devolve into a pit of violent skirmishes as his supporters assault peaceful protesters with the explicit encouragement of Trump himself. But his remarks today go even further down a very dark and dangerous road.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump regards himself as the anointed King of America whose coronation cannot be opposed. He pontificates ceaselessly about his unparalleled magnificence on any undertaking from wall building to military missions, to healthcare to economics to race relations to religion. In his mind he is beloved by all and favored as the ultimate benevolent dictator that America has longed for. And as such, he cannot be denied his rightful place in the Palace on Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s why he said this to CNN’s Chris Cuomo (video below):

“I think we’ll win before getting to the convention, but I can tell you, if we didn’t, and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re 100 short, and we’re at 1100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400 — because we’re way ahead of everybody — I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing a tremendous — many, many millions of people. […] I think bad things would happen. I really do, I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.”

So after declaring that he should receive an “automatic” ascension to the Republican Party’s nomination, even if he does not satisfy the rules that govern the nominating process, Trump inhales deeply to puff up his chest and let loose one of the most piercing dog whistles of the campaign yet.

By offering his opinion that “you’d have riots” if his tyrannical orders are not obeyed, he is giving his followers permission to fulfill his prophecy. He knows exactly what his storm-Trumpers are capable of, and the mere suggestion of violent opposition to another candidate is sufficient to send them into a frenzy of his own design. This is the same man who told his glassy-eyed disciples that he would pay their legal fees if they “knocked the crap out of” his protesters. How is that any different than offering a bounty to commit a criminal assault?

Make no mistake, this was a threat intended by Trump to convey that he is determined to be the GOP nominee, or else. Passing him over will be done at great risk. He wants riots to ensue should the party shun him. That’s why his threat consists only of the damage that would be done if he doesn’t get his way. He says that he “wouldn’t lead it,” but never says that it shouldn’t happen. If he were opposed to such riots, all he would have to do is add one line to his tirade telling his followers that under no circumstances should they engage in violence if the nomination goes to someone else. He conspicuously neglected to say that. That wasn’t an accident. It was a message. And it is just short of terrorism.

Donald Trump does not have a majority of delegates now, and may not have them when the convention commences. He has never had majority support from Republican voters. In fact, he has the highest percentage of Republicans who say that they would never voter for him if were the nominee. So the non-Trump Republicans had better be prepared for the calamity that Trump is plotting to unleash at the convention. They had better be prepared to respond to the storm-Trumpers and to keep the peace.

Consider this bizarre irony: If a majority of delegates do not vote for Trump, his faithful may seek to disrupt the convention with protests. And if the majority then decided to behave the way Trump supporters treat protesters at his rallies, Trump’s convention thugs could be met with the same sort of violent assaults. After all, Trump has maligned the very act of protesting, complaining that “there are no consequences anymore,” and lamenting that in the old days they would be “carried out on stretchers.” Now his words could come back to haunt him as the jackboot is on the other foot.

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

Addendum: As evidence that right-wingers have an affinity for violent conventions, recall the time that Rush Limbaugh called for riots at a Democratic convention in a rant he titled “Screw the World! Riot in Denver!

CNN Catches Donald Trump Stiffing The Veterans He Pretends To Love

Remember when Donald Trump was too chicken to face Fox News host Megyn Kelly in a Republican debate, so instead of participating in the last debate before the Iowa caucus he cobbled together a phony veterans benefit and pretended to raise money for the wounded warriors he professed to “love all over the place?” Well, a funny thing happened.

Donald Trump

CNN decided to look into the distribution of the reported six million dollars that was raised to see if any of the twenty-two charities Trump listed as recipients had actually received any donations (video below). Their report revealed that, more than a month later, only about $800,000 of the six million dollars had found its way to the intended veteran beneficiaries.

CNN was initially told by the Trump campaign that the information about the funds was on his website, but after extensive searching that turned out not to be true. So CNN’s Drew Griffin called all of the listed charities to ascertain whether they had received any donations. Only seven organizations reported receiving any money. Griffin reported that…

“We have been asking, other news organizations have been asking, where’s the accounting of this? It’s a big dollar amount but it’s not high math when you’re dealing with hundred thousand dollar checks and six million dollars in donations. It should be easy to do. Charity Navigator, one of the groups that follows charities, says the money should have been disbursed by now. We continue to ask, but get no answers.”

This may be one of the reasons that several veterans groups announced that they would refuse to take any of Trump’s money before the bogus telethon began. Many people regarded the event as a political stunt that insulted America’s veterans by using them as campaign props.

What’s more, of the alleged six million dollars raised, four million came from four of Trump’s wealthy pals making one million dollar donations each. That’s two-thirds of the total that Trump raised with four phone calls that he could have made at any time, but never bothered. He only reached out to these donors when he needed an excuse to ditch the Fox News debate and the fearsome Megyn Kelly.

It remains to be seen where the rest of the money is and when or whether it will be disbursed. This delay further affirms that Trump is as insincere an advocate of veterans issues as he is about virtually everything else to which he shamelessly panders. It makes the release of his tax returns even more crucial as he has been accused of not being as charitable as he claims and is evading the disclosure of that by not releasing those returns.

Trump has never been regarded as a philanthropist. In fact, he is rather infamous for being the least charitable billionaire in the United States. With his purported billions of dollars he could easily have made a donation for the whole six million all by himself and disbursed it overnight by cutting a few checks. The fact that he hasn’t tells us just how much he really cares about veterans. To him they are merely another issue to exploit in order to get his way.

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

Proud Racist Donald Trump Just Can’t Quit His KKK Supporters – Or Quit Lying About Them

The campaign of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president has been littered with racial prejudice and animus from the day he announced his candidacy. What’s remarkably unique about Trump is that conventional politicians, when confronted with allegations of racism, will deny the charges and defend themselves as unbiased. Needless to say, Trump is not conventional, but his tolerance of white supremacists goes way beyond his phony claims to political independence. In fact, he is openly enabling the white supremacist movement.

Donald Trump

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Trump was interviewed by Jake Tapper who asked him about former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s endorsement of his candidacy. Tapper specifically inquired as to whether Trump would “unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?” Trump answered saying that…

“Well just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

In that short and babbling statement Trump said “I don’t know” or “I know nothing” seven times. That might have been the most honest he’s ever been about himself, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s lying, something he does with pathological zeal (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). First of all, why would you need to know anything about white supremacists, other than that they are white supremacists, in order to say that you condemn them and don’t want their votes? What more does Trump need to know about them to repudiate their bigotry?

More to the point, Trump’s desperately repeated denials contradict his prior statements about David Duke. Way back in August of last year Trump was asked by Bloomberg News reporters about Duke’s endorsement and he responded saying that…

“I don’t need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn’t want his endorsement.”

Well, apparently Trump knew who Duke was after all. At least he knew last August, and he frequently boasts that he has “the best memory in the world.” At that time Trump’s response as to whether he would repudiate the endorsement was “Sure, I would if that would make you feel better.” So his “repudiation” was only an attempt to satisfy what he sarcastically thought the reporters wanted, not a sincere expression of disapproval. And the obvious explanation for that is that he doesn’t disapprove. His whole campaign is proof that he seeks out and embraces the support of avowed bigots.

News Corpse has documented prior statements by Trump that affirm, if not his racist pride, at least his acceptance of the label. On one occasion he pointedly refused to deny that he is “a racist and a neo-fascist.” And then there was the time that he said that he is “not bothered by comparisons to Hitler.” What’s more, Trump’s Twitter feed is jam-packed with racist comments and retweets, including a blatantly obvious hate monger named WhiteGenocideTM. Even today Trump retweeted approvingly a quote by the fascist dictator Mussolini from a Twitter user named IlDuce2016.

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

This embrace of of the most repellent brand of hate mongering and the leading proponents of white supremacy is unprecedented in mainstream American politics. The Republican Party ought to take a stand and banish Trump from their ranks. However, that will probably not happen because the GOP has been harboring these racists for decades. They believe that these hate groups are critical to their electoral competitiveness, and they’re right. Trump did not create the affinity between the GOP and the KKK, he is merely saying out loud what they have always stood for.

Update 2/29/16: Trump is now piling lies on top of lies. In an interview today on NBC’s Today Show, Trump tried to blame his failure to disavow Duke on CNN’s “very bad earpiece.” He said…

“I’m sitting in a house in Florida, with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you could hardly hear what he was saying. What I heard was ‘various groups.’”

If you re-read the his response above, he explicitly mentioned David Duke and white supremacists several times. It could not be more clear that he heard every word of the question and responded to it with specificity. At no time in the interview did he appear to have had trouble hearing this or any other question. This excuse is not only brazenly dishonest, it is pathetically lame.

Bill O’Reilly Says American Journalism Is On The Verge Of Collapse, And He Should Know

Every now and then a crumb of truth falls from the lips of a Fox News propagandist, usually without him or her even knowing it. The latest example of that came last night when Bill O’Reilly sought to lay the blame for Ted Cruz’s dishonest campaigning at the feet of CNN.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

The backstory is that Cruz’s team spread a rumor that Ben Carson was ending his campaign just as the Iowa caucuses were about to begin voting. That news bite doesn’t really have much significance since Carson’s supporters would hardly move the dial on the caucus results. But it didn’t stop Donald Trump from making ridiculous claims that the tactic had hurt him and he was threatening to sue.

Now Bill O’Reilly is picking up the baton to beat CNN with (video below). He is making a wholly unsupported argument that it was CNN that created the whole controversy. O’Reilly began by asserting that CNN’s Chris Moody “tweeted misleading information about the Carson campaign.” That was O’Reilly’s first lie. Moody simply tweeted that “Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.” O’Reilly said that tweet was “Flat out untrue.” And if it weren’t for the fact that it was entirely true, O’Reilly would have been right.

Moody followed his tweet seconds later with one saying that “Ben Carson’s campaign tells me he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.” O’Reilly didn’t bother to report that and went on to assert that “There is no question that CNN is responsible for the false report.” But no matter how many times he repeats that lie, it will not become true. However, O’Reilly did stumble into a factual statement that deserves recognition:

“Talking Points has said it many times: The state of American journalism is on the verge of collapse. Ideology has permeated hard news coverage and honest reporting is becoming almost scarce. Especially in political circles.”

And if anyone should know about the scarcity of honest reporting it’s Bill O’Reilly. He has a trademark on it and he is demonstrating beautifully the collapse of American journalism. It’s funny that whenever anyone on Fox criticizes the dishonest media they seem to forget that the most significant new development in modern journalism has been the rise of Fox News. Ya think there’s a connection? The truth about the CNN report is that they relayed information about Carson that was unambiguously true. Moody’s tweets were totally accurate, and they were followed up on the air by CNN’s Dana Bash who said that…

Ben Carson is gonna go back to Florida, his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s gonna go there for several days and then afterwards he’s not gonna go to South Carolina, he’s not gonna go to New Hampshire, he’s gonna come to Washington, D.C. And he’s gonna do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday […] If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and campaign, you’ve gotta be out there and doing it too. And he’s not doing it. It’s very unusual.

She never said that Carson was suspending his campaign. She was simply reporting factually on his immediate schedule and the fact that most contested campaigns do not set aside several days to leave the campaign trail when so much is at stake. That doesn’t mean that he’s closing up shop. It just means that he might be taking a strategic risk. It was the Cruz campaign that spun that into a rumor about Carson calling it quits.

All of the facts enumerated here were available to O’Reilly at the time he broadcast his attack on CNN. He simply refused to pay attention to any fact that interfered with his predetermined intention to disparage his competitors at CNN. And he knows quite well that his ill-informed audience will eat up his lies without question.

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

After the news broke regarding Cruz’s smarmy tactics, Carson called on Cruz to demand the resignation of anyone on his staff who participated in spreading the rumor. However, today there is more news about the Carson campaign that wasn’t available previously. The Washington Post is reporting that Carson’s campaign funds are drying up and as a result he has fired 50% of his staff. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that his campaign is over either, but it sure looks like it’s headed in that direction. And in the end, it may actually be the explanation for why he took the unusual step of heading home to Florida rather than going straight to New Hampshire.