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.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Nails Clueless Media On Their Donald Trump Obsession

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Bernie Sanders made some salient points with regard to the unprecedented amount of coverage that the media has given to Donald Trump since he announced his campaign for the GOP nomination for president.

Bernie Sanders

Cuomo set up the issue by asking Sanders about the media role in the campaign and Donald Trump’s success saying “His popularity is inarguable. How he is becoming popular is the source of a lot of argument and criticism. […] Why is it working so well for him?” That’s an odd question for Cuomo to ask Sanders, but it resulted in this exchange (video below) with Sanders placing the onus where it belongs:

Sanders: Well Chris, You’re gonna have to ask the media precisely why. Trump is a smart guy. He’s a media guy. He had a TV show. I’ll give you one example. A recent study showed on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why. And I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart. He knows that media is not so interested in the serious issues facing this country. They love bombastic remarks. They love silly remarks […] I think this is more of an indictment of the media actually than it is of Trump.
Cuomo: I don’t see it. Do we cover him more? Yes. Why? He’s number one in the polls. He’s highly relevant. He drives the discussion.
Sanders: But Chris, explain to me how he becomes number one. He boasts of the fact…He says, ‘I don’t even have to pay for commercials. The media’s going to put me on all of the time.'”

Cuomo continues to insist that the media plays no role in Trump’s dominance of the media. Clearly that’s an unsupportable position. The press was covering every Trump event from beginning to end from the day he entered the race. They would interrupt programming to broadcast his stump speeches live. And they weren’t doing it because of his popularity. They were doing it because of his proclivity for disgorging shocking and offensive rhetoric that would drive, not the discussion, but ratings. If it were solely because he was leading in the polls, then why weren’t they doing the same thing for Hillary Clinton, who has also been leading in the polls? Or for Sanders who has been breaking fundraising records set by President Obama in 2008?

Sanders was correct in stating that Trump boasts about the media putting him on all the time. Last August Trump even made it a key point in his speech to a crowd in Alabama saying sarcastically…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ […] How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

If Trump recognizes that it’s ridiculous, why doesn’t the media? And even after he taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies, even though there is nothing in his speeches that makes them the least bit newsworthy. Trump sees it but Cuomo doesn’t? He would have to be pasting quarters to his eyes and wrapping his head with duct tape.

This exchange is emblematic of the problem that the media has assessing its own shortcomings. Sanders spells out the blatant bias, provides a specific example of it, and CNN’s anchor remains oblivious and defensive. It’s also notable that the example was for ABC News rather than Fox News where Trump’s partisan omnipresence is expected.

Cuomo never responds directly to the example Sanders gave about the 81:1 coverage ratio that was documented by the respected television analyst, the Tyndall Report. Then the discussion just drifted off into other subjects, insuring that the disparity will very likely continue for the remainder of the campaign. And the media will continue to be blind to their failures.

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

WTF? CNN Guest Advocates Bombing Syrian Schools And Hospitals

Today on CNN, Michael Smerconish hosted former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who is more often seen pitching his doomsday fetishes on Fox News. The discussion (video below) centered around how best to respond to the threat posed by ISIS and other terrorist entities. Suffice to say that Scheuer’s methods took inhumanity to new lows.

Michael Scheuer CNN

While professing to be a non-interventionist, Scheuer complained that Americans don’t have the stomach to do what he thinks is necessary to defeat ISIS. His prescription for victory requires going “all in,” which means tolerating vast numbers of civilian casualties. He laments that American politicians are not comfortable with that saying “There’s not one person out there who’s willing to kill a civilian.” Of course, he’s wrong about that because several Republicans have publicly supported massive military campaigns that would decimate much of Syria. But that may not be enough for Scheuer who, when asked what he meant by “all in” said…

“All in to me would be to take out every piece of infrastructure: hospitals, universities, irrigation systems, that make it impossible for the Islamic State to raise money, to provide electricity, sanitation, potable water. Do exactly what we did to the Germans.”

In effect, Scheuer is advocating that the United States commit war crimes. He thinks that hospitals and universities, which are places notable for the absence of combatants, should be explicitly targeted for destruction. He’s not merely suggesting that civilian casualties should be tolerated, but that they should be deliberate and aimed at the most vulnerable people. And the other targets he proposed are also notable for having expressly civilian purposes. Irrigation systems serve farmers, not soldiers. Electricity, sanitation, and potable water are likewise services that are used mostly by peaceful families.

Scheuer could have proposed targets like command centers, training facilities, munitions storage, transportation assets, or black market oil operations, but all of his suggestions were predominantly civilian in nature. What’s more, his reference to “what we did to the Germans” ignores major differences between World War II and today. We were actually at war with Germany. We are not at war with Syria, and their civilian population is not responsible for terrorism. In fact, they are the victims of it, which accounts for the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. His plan would be more analogous to one that sought to bomb all the Jews in Germany and hope some Nazis were among the dead. And his callous disregard for human life was expressed further in this exchange:

Smerconish: Do you think that the Western world, Americans in particular, would stand by for the film footage that would be shown, on CNN and elsewhere, of the so-called innocent civilian death count?
Scheuer: I don’t know if they would. They should. What’s the difference? They’re not Americans.

Well, that makes everything OK then, doesn’t it? The only deaths that matter are those of Americans. Maybe Scheuer would have approved of bombing the Bataclan concert Hall in Paris when the terrorists had taken control of it. We would have killed a few terrorists and a few hundred Parisians, but why would that matter? They’re not Americans.

Something obvious missing from Scheuer’s analysis is that what he is suggesting is not only barbarous and against international law, it is the best recruiting tool for terrorists imaginable. The more innocent civilians who die at the hands of Western infidels, the more survivors that will become radicalized and hunger for vengeance. Smerconish actually pointed out to Scheuer (with video evidence) that terrorists were already using him in their propaganda. Scheuer responded saying that they were just using his message of American military incompetence because it was “the reality.” How patriotic.

This is not the first time that Scheuer has articulated his repulsive philosophy. A few years ago he was on Glenn Beck’s Fox News program and outlined his concern that the American people were not sufficiently afraid of future terrorist attacks. He regarded that absence of fear as dangerous complacency. But he had a solution (video): “The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” That’s right – Scheuer came out in favor of Al Qaeda nuking America.

Just last year Scheuer wrote an article endorsing the assassination of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. After alluding to them as tyrannical, he quoted an historical figure who said that “every man might kill a tyrant; and no names are recorded in history with more honor, than of those who did it.” Wink, wink.

That is the magnitude of derangement that we’re dealing with here. Scheuer is a madman bordering on treason. And it is unconscionable that CNN would provide him a platform for his noxious views. It’s bad enough that Fox News does, but at least it’s consistent with the rest of their toxic propaganda.

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

WTF? Trump’s Rambling Policy-Free Speech Covered Live By MSNBC – Only

Donald Trump’s campaign promised that his speech today would provide details of his foreign policy agenda. The location he chose for the address was the deck of the USS Iowa battleship currently docked in San Pedro, California. But as usual, Trump arrived, greeted the crowd, and gave his standard stump speech that consisted mainly of glorifying himself and tossing out nearly incoherent, monosyllabic cliches and insults. No doubt his brain-dead fans ate it up.

What was unusual about this speech was that ordinarily all of the cable “news” networks would obediently fall in line to broadcast Trump’s irrelevance and inanity live. That didn’t happen today. Perhaps they are wising up and realizing that Trump has nothing to say and that he has been exploiting them to get free advertising.

So this day marks a milestone for media independence and journalistic discretion. Except for one thing. While CNN aired about a minute of Trump’s speech before cutting away to a panel of pundits, and Fox News ignored the speech entirely, sticking with their regularly scheduled broadcast of Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC cut away from the Rachel Maddow Show and aired Trump’s speech in full and uninterrupted. Yes, MSNBC.

MSNBC Donald Trump

Something is terribly wrong when Fox News employs a more appropriate editorial policy with regard to a Republican candidate than MSNBC. And ironically, throughout most of the segment MSNBC’s graphic read “Trump Gives Major Policy-Free Speech.” Which begs the question: Then why are you airing it? Even Trump recognized the absurdity of the constant live coverage he drew when he said in Alabama last month “Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed, why don’t they cover him like anybody else? A few weeks ago I wrote a column lambasting all three cable “news” nets for their flagrant whoring to one candidate for the ratings they expect to garnish. But now I fear I must remind the one network that ought to have known better in the first place. So MSNBC, pay attention:

“Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. […]

“The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. […]

“The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations […] to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.”

It’s impossible to say whether CNN and Fox declined to air Trump’s speech out of principle or if they just weren’t in the mood today. We will see what happens when Trump gives his next speech. But MSNBC has got to stop embarrassing themselves by demonstrating lower standards than Fox when it comes to campaign coverage.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Foxified: CNN Taps Sarah Palin And Hugh Hewitt For 2016 Campaign Coverage

The decline of CNN has been in progress for several years now. It is a network that is struggling with an acute personality disorder. It wants very badly to emulate the ratings success of Fox News, but it has no idea why Fox is popular. They seem to think it has something to do with presenting a conservative slant on the news. But that is not how Fox became king of the cable news hill.

Fox succeeds by seducing the most extreme right-wing viewers with media trickery that mirrors entertainment programming, such as flashy graphics and audio, manufactured conflict, and soft porn in both their stories and anchors. But CNN’s misunderstanding of these tactics has led them to make glaring mistakes that fail to produce any positive results for their ratings or their journalistic integrity. The latest examples of this doomed strategy include the recent announcement of two conservative mouthpieces who will be featured prominently in their election programming.

Sarah Palin CNN

First we have Sarah Palin. That’s right, having been ditched by Fox News, CNN is throwing her a life preserver and bringing her aboard to provide campaign analysis on this Sunday’s “State of the Union.” It’s hard to imagine what insight they think she will bring to the discussion on presidential politics. Her own experience was fraught with embarrassing episodes that only demonstrated how woefully ill-prepared she was for public service at that level. And since then she has only succeeded in distinguishing herself as an ignorant hack with negligible comprehension of the issues that face the nation. Nevertheless, CNN has tapped her to toss her word salad ravings on their network’s signature political program.

Secondly we have Hugh Hewitt, a starkly partisan wingnut who will be featured on CNN’s Republican debate this month. CNN could have selected actual journalists to pose questions to the candidates, but instead they picked only a stalwart Republican radio talk show host (and no one from the left) who will join CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Of course, conservatives are capable of asking tough questions when they want to. However, when they do they will be insulted and dismissed by the candidates and the GOP constituents. Just ask Megyn Kelly. Hewitt himself is taking heat for an interview he did with Donald Trump that demonstrated how ignorant Trump is on foreign affairs. Typical of Trump, he is now hammering Hewitt for what he calls “gotcha” questions. [Note: To Republicans, gotcha questions are any question they are too dumb to answer] In this case, the real problem for Trump was not whether he had been ambushed, but that his answer was at first a lie, followed by obvious ignorance. Check out the first 30 seconds of this video:

Notice how Trump hesitates and stretches the word “Yeessss” when answering whether he was familiar with Quds leader, Gen. Soleimani. Then he adds “Go ahead. Give me a little…go ahead tell me.” Clearly he was lying when he said he knew who Soleimani is and he employed a childish dodge in order to get Hewitt to inform him. That was confirmed when Hewitt told him that Soleimani “runs the Quds forces,” and Trump responded by saying that “the Kurds had been horribly mistreated by us.” Hewitt immediately corrected him, but Trump continued to dissemble. Why would he bring up the Iraqi Kurds in response to a question about the Iranian Revolutionary Army (Quds)? Well, his explanation later in the day was that he misheard Hewitt and thought that Hewitt said “Kurds.” But if that were true then he was asserting that Soleimani was the Kurdish leader (who is actually Masoud Barzani), proving that he doesn’t know anything about the Quds or the Kurds. In the end, Trump’s answers are proof that his ignorance is insufficient to cover up his lies.

To make matters worse, Trump was asked a question about Soleimani by Bret Baier during the first GOP debate on Fox. His answer then also showed that he had no idea who Soleimani is. And after having been queried on that exact subject during a critical debate he never made an attempt to educate himself.

The fairness and degree of difficulty of Hewitt’s questioning notwithstanding, there is still a problem with CNN placing an overtly partisan person on the panel with no balance. Can you imagine Fox News having a GOP debate and getting Rachel Maddow to moderate? And this isn’t a first for CNN. In the 2012 election cycle they co-hosted their debate with Tea Party Express, an organization that was even snubbed for their corruption within the Tea Party community.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What CNN is doing with both Palin and Hewitt can only degrade their teetering reputation further. If there is one thing that American media doesn’t need, it’s another Fox News. The first one is already doing a stellar job of misinforming the public and advancing the agenda of the Republican Party. What’s more, emulating Fox has done nothing for CNN’s ratings. Why should it? Viewers who are in the market for dumbed-down histrionics, Democrat bashing, and a steady diet of right-wing falsehoods, already have a proven provider.

Donald Trump Is Right! The Media Is ‘Ridiculous’ For Covering Him Live

The Doctrine of the Broken Clock has come into play with some recent remarks by Republican front-runner Donald Trump. That is, despite distinguishing himself as being wrong about pretty much everything, he said something that happens to be worth consideration without even knowing it.

Donald Trump

It was at a rally in Alabama (video below) where Trump assumed a mock state of despair and complained that…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ Tonight it is live on Fox. Who likes Fox? I like Fox. It’s live on CNN. Who likes CNN? And it’s live on MSNBC, right? How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

Exactly! What is wrong with the media? Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. Why?

There is no precedent for how the media is covering this carnival barker. No other candidate gets this much attention. Could it have something to with Trump’s reality show persona, his penchant for dumbfounding soundbites, and the media hunger for ratings? Obviously it does. But none of that falls within even the broadest definition of news, and the media is whoring itself in a quest for ratings and the advertising dollars they bring.

Even Bernie Sanders, who is outperforming Trump by every metric, isn’t treated this way. That’s right, Sanders is beating Trump in head-to-head polling. He is drawing bigger crowds. He has better (i.e. positive) favorability ratings. And while Trump’s popularity is a media-hyped myth created by the quantity of GOP candidates, Sanders is popular with a broad cross-section of the American electorate. What’s more, when Sanders speaks he actually addresses real problems and offers real solutions, as opposed to Trump’s vapid cliches and narcissism. True, Sanders doesn’t have a hat with an asinine slogan on it that bitches about America not being great, but his hair is at least as notorious. Still, no live coverage for him because the press knows that he isn’t likely to start screaming the “N” word or slap an immigrant orphan across the face.

The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. Even his press conferences have no business getting live coverage. When has the media done that for any other candidate?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations to the campaign. This used to be true mainly for Fox News, but now all the cable news networks are exhibiting the same lack of journalistic ethics to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.

[Update] As evidence of the faulty priorities of the press, President Obama gave a speech today in New Orleans on the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that was properly carried live by all three cable news nets. Well, except for Fox News who cut away after less than two minutes. So for a presidential commemoration of an historic event that devastated a major U.S. city, cost the lives of more than 1,800 Americans, and displaced tens of thousands more, Fox News could only spare a little over a minute. But for Trump’s stump speech they stay live for an hour or more.

New Poll Shows 18% Of Republicans Are Ignorant Dupes With Severe Mental Decay

There is much being made about a new CNN poll that shows Donald Trump leading his GOP rivals in the race for the Republican nomination for president. However, there is less substance in these numbers than the media is pretending there is. What is astonishing is just how shallow the media analysis of these polls are. The ranking at which Trump finds himself can easily be explained by the clinical dementia of today’s Republican (Tea) Party. And despite these polls, Trump will never get the nomination or reside in the White House.

trump-house

Let’s take a closer look. Trump currently has 18% of the support of the GOP voters. The truth that everyone is ignoring is that that’s an awfully pitiful expression of support. It means that 82% are not supporting him. Why does anyone in the press think that’s a positive showing?

Nevertheless, the media is heralding Trump as the runaway GOP leader with his measly 18% of support. For perspective, note that Bernie Sanders, in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is pulling support from 19% of Democratic voters. Yet the press is dismissing him as trailing Clinton badly. So Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans, but the schizophrenic media declares Sanders a loser and Trump a phenomenon.

This same schizophrenia is shown in how Republican operatives and pundits portray the relationship between the media and the candidates. If Clinton declines to do an interview or makes reporters walk behind a rope line so they don’t interfere with her interactions with voters, she is condemned as being anti-media and disrespectful to the fine men and women of the press who are struggling mightily to bring truth to the American people. But if Trump or any other Republican bashes the press or denies them access (as Trump just did to the Des Moines Register), they are cheered for putting those unethical press weasels in their place.

Getting back to Trump’s placement in the GOP polls, the explanation for it is that there is a demographic in the Republican electorate that can best be described as batshit insane. And Trump has managed to secure a near monopoly on that addle-brained GOP faction. Prior polling has revealed that a significant subsection of the GOP holds some hysterically idiotic views. For instance:

Having established that a fair percentage of Republicans embrace a measure of dumbassedness in frightening proportions, the fact that a particularly knuckleheaded candidate has corralled them into his camp is not especially surprising. In fact, it would be surprising if these dimwits did not coalesce around a similarly daft contender, just as they did in the last election cycle with Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, et al.

Consequently, Trump’s confederacy of dunces is sufficient in numbers to rise above his rivals, so long as there’s a lot of them. That’s because when you divide the remaining Republicans who are not wacko-birds (h/t John McCain) among the fifteen other candidates, there aren’t enough of them left to surpass the Trump/crazy constituency. That does not mean that Trump has a commanding lead. It means that there are way too many players on the field diluting the results for each of them. As they whittle down to a more manageable number, the 82% of non-Trump supporters will disperse to other candidates who will then tower over his paltry flock.

While the media is obsessing over the fake Trump “dominance,” they are missing some real news in the same CNN poll. For starters, they missed that Trump has the highest unfavorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Meanwhile, Clinton has the highest favorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Furthermore. Clinton is beating every Republican matched against her (Trump loses by 18 points). And the icing on the cake: Sanders is also beating the Republicans in head-to-head matchups (Trump loses by 20 points).

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is what passes for political reporting these days. Is it any wonder that people hold the media in such low esteem? They are littered with lightweights who seem to have no analytical skills or historical memory. If they did they would not be so shocked that a loudmouth buffoon has earned the admiration of the GOP’s most radical, racist, and ignorant bloc of voters, while four out of five of the poll’s Republican respondents reject him.