Fox ‘News’ Reports That ‘Obama Endorses Trump’ But Leaves Out Some REALLY Important Details

The week-long Republican National Convention is over and what most people will remember from it is that Melania Trump is plagiarist and that Donald Trump thinks the America is in the grip of a dystopian nightmare. There is little evidence that the typical polling bump that these events generally produce will occur. That is in large part due to the fact that depressing harangues intended to frighten voters are more likely to alienate than inspire. That’s why Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan was “Morning in America” and not “Mourning in America.”

Consequently, Fox News has had to scramble to manufacture anti-Democratic plot lines in advance of the Democrat’s convention this coming week. So far they have latched onto the story about the hacked DNC emails implicating the party in efforts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign. It’s rather humorous to see Fox, and their roster of right-wingers, feigning concern for the unfairness shown to Bernie – as if they care.

In the absence of any other news with which to malign the Democrats, Fox News began running a story that they got from their sister publication, the New York Post. It is a trivial bit of tabloid gossip that Fox is elevating to scandal status via brazenly misleading promos. The phony Fox headline is “Obama Endorses Trump.”

Obama Endorses Trump

Any of the poor saps who were watching this story unfold on Fox & Friends discovered after the commercial break that the Obama referenced in the promo was not President Barack Obama, but his brother, Malik. Why this would be of interest to anyone is a mystery. The Obama brothers have not been close for many years and Malik has made a career out of exploiting his family ties and denigrating the President. Nevertheless, Fox found this to be a significant development and ran the story several times throughout the day.

What Fox failed to mention were the reasons that Malik gave for favoring Trump. The article in the Post says that Malik was “annoyed that Clinton and President Obama killed Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, whom he called one of his best friends,” and that “what bothers him even more is the Democratic Party’s support of same-sex marriage.” The Post quoted Malik as saying that “I feel like a Republican now because they don’t stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me,”

Malik Obama is such a strong advocate of “traditional” marriage that he has entered into it at least three times (and as many as twelve, by some reports). And unlike Trump, whose three marriages were consecutive, Malik’s are concurrent (i.e. he’s still married to all of them).

The Post also reported another part of Malik’s past wherein he created a dubious charity that ran afoul of the law, noting that it was “an off-the-books operation that hadn’t registered with the state of Virginia or, as it claimed, had tax-exempt status from the IRS.”

No wonder Malik Obama is a big fan of Donald Trump (And Trump is a fan of Malik too). They both collect wives for a hobby (and on top of that Trump is a serial adulterer who wants to bang his daughter). They both oppose marriage equality (although Trump has been known to swing both ways – on the issue, that is). They both admire brutal dictators (Trump has been known to praise Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and others). And they both make up charities that end up being exposed as self-serving scams.

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

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends never mentioned any of those things as they struggled to find relevance in this pathetic story. The only takeaway from this that has any import is that Malik Obama and Donald Trump were cast from the same loathsome mold. Other than that, this ludicrous story has no bearing on President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the election. It is more a reflection on Trump and Fox News than anything else.

Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment, More Women Coming Forward

If anyone was wondering where Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has been for the past few weeks, the mystery has now been solved. Without any public notice or explanation she was fired last month and removed from the air. Now the reasons have been made clear. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Fox News

Carlson is alleging both sexual harassment by Ailes and retaliation for reporting discriminatory behavior prior to that by her Fox colleagues. Her complaint says in part that…

“When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”

Carlson had been with Fox News for eleven years and was hosting her own daytime program “The Real Story” which was number one in its time period. She was previously a co-host on Fox & Friends where she says was subjected to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” from her co-host Steve Doocy. The Hollywood Reporter notes that…

“In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, ‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast..”

It was in response to those and other incidents that Carlson met with Ailes in September of 2015. Carlson alleges that her complaints were not taken seriously at that meeting and she was further harassed by Ailes with more explicit demands for sex. After her refusal she charges that she was punished with a cut in salary and other retaliatory measures including slashing her appearances on the network, and being denied social media and public relations support.

Roger Ailes has a long history of exploiting sex in the workplace. He has required his female anchors and contributors to wear revealing clothing and engage in other provocative on-air behaviors. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. O’Reilly has had his own problems in this area. A few years ago he paid a multi-million dollar settlement to his former producer, Andrea Mackris, for sexual harassment. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

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

Additionally, there is another mystery surrounding a different female host at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros was a regular member of the panel on Fox’s “Outnumbered.” She disappeared in April with the only explanation being that it was “a contract issue.” While there were incidents of sexually improper conduct with regard to Tantaros as noted above, there is no evidence at this time that her departure is related to that.

It remains to seen if Roger Ailes will be held accountable for what appears to be a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But this complaint is a major breakthrough that took courage for Carlson to file and is likely to result in further revelations. The male-dominated culture at Fox News, conspicuously known for its abundance of blondes, could produce many more examples of sexist conduct and discrimination. We may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE: CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that “In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, ‘at least ten’ other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.” That didn’t take long.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Tells Real Doctors To ‘Shut Up’ About Gun Violence

The tragedy in Orlando last week has once again provoked the debate over access to assault weapons and the ease with which such destructive arms are attained by sick people with intent to do harm. It’s a fairly one-sided debate since the majority of Americans are in favor of common sense reforms such as universal background checks, prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns, and banning assault weapons.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to take the side of the NRA extremists who oppose any effort to make our country safer. With the exception of a couple of surprising and out of character commentaries by Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the consensus opinion of Fox News anchors and contributors is that guns should not even be included in the discussion about how to respond to mass murders by guns.

On Fox & Friends, for instance, the Curvy Couch Potatoes called in a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team to offer his “professional” opinion on the matter. Psychologist Keith Ablow is a blatantly political mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda and a confirmed Obama hater who long ago abandoned any credibility as a medical advisor. At the outset of the interview he was asked by co-host Brain Kilmeade whether gun violence is a disease or advancing a political agenda by the government. Ablow responded saying that…

“Of course gun violence isn’t a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association.”

Ablow went on to accuse the AMA of having a desire to “look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.” Presumably, therefore, he is in favor of uncontrolled gun ownership, a position he shares with the world’s terrorists. In support of his argument he rattled off a stream of unrelated statistics about various causes of death in Argentina and Sweden that in no way addressed the very real and continuing problem in the United States. Then he lectured the AMA and the American Psychiatric Association on the need to “rebuild our mental healthcare system,” as if that was a novel idea that they hadn’t though of, or been working on for decades in spite of the opposition from conservatives like Ablow.

Ablow and Kilmeade also felt that it was important to note that homicides by guns were not among the top twenty causes of death in the U.S. That’s correct because health issues like heart attacks and cancer dominate the top ranks of fatalities. But their argument appears to suggest that the thousands of preventable deaths by gun violence are therefore irrelevant and unworthy of discussion. It’s a position that callously dishonors the victims and their families.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ablow’s remarks is that he touches on a cogent thought momentarily, but lets it fade off into his knee-jerk gun fetishism without acknowledging it’s importance. He said that…

“There are reasons for homicide and nobody knows how many of those acts would have taken place without guns.”

Exactly. The fact that nobody knows the answers to many of the questions surrounding the epidemic of gun violence in America is precisely the reason that organizations like the AMA and Centers for Disease Control should be studying the subject. However, Republicans in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that prohibits such studies. Ablow called the attempt to link guns to violence “foolishness,” but what’s more foolish than literally legislating away the quest for knowledge?

As usual, Ablow squeezed in a slap at President Obama by complaining that the AMA “are the people who championed Obamacare” (which, of course, has resulted in more Americans having access to affordable health care than ever before). He ranted that liberals have an agenda “to eat away at gun rights with medical research.” And after this brazenly political screed, Ablow had the audacity to demean those who advocate for more knowledge and greater safety by saying “that’s being political. So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”

Shut up? That’s the advice of the “doctor” on whom Fox News relies for their “fair and balanced” discourse on matters of national importance? That’s how a “news” network approaches a debate on how to deal with serious and deadly issues? Fox News is doing what they always do with controversial issues. They consult a hardcore partisan to push their right-wing message without regard for the truth or the welfare of the nation.

Here’s a Primer on Keith Ablow:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

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

The Heinous Political Opportunism Of Fox News On The Orlando Massacre

The sad reality of having to cover yet another incident of mass gun violence in America is made all the worse by the revolting political opportunism of the knee-jerk hate mongers at Fox News. In the early hours of Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman entered a nightclub with an AR-15 and other weapons and murdered fifty innocent people, wounding more than fifty others. It’s a tragedy that calls for the uniting of all Americans against the insanity that produces these maniacs.

Fox News

However, instead of seeking the unity and solace that the nation so desperately needs at times like this, Fox News ventured off into a flagrantly biased political diatribe against President Obama (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Tucker Carlson was interviewing an author and alleged expert on terrorism when he asked the following question:

“Doesn’t the politicization of all of this, the relentless lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face make it harder for people to want to step forward and say what they see?”

Carlson’s question is so rife with hypocrisy and hatred it is difficult to know where to begin. First of all, it is Carlson who is responsible for “the politicization of all of this.” Most of the people in positions of authority are withholding comments until more facts are known. The only statement from the administration was an acknowledgement of the horror of terrorism, committment to its defeat, and expressions of condolences. Carlson’s question is itself political in nature and aimed at maligning the president he hates.

Secondly, there is absolutely no evidence of “lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face.” That’s a scurrilous fabrication straight from the warped mind of an anti-Obama bigot. The Obama administration has forthrightly addressed the terrorist threat and has done more to combat it than any other president in history. Under his direction the American military has killed or captured hundreds of terrorist leaders and operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, a task that President Bush was unable to achieve for seven years.

For the host of an alleged “news” network to make such reprehensible comments, only hours after the slaughter, while the victims and their families are still grief-stricken, is not unusual for Fox News. They have engaged in similar politicization of tragedies as disperse as Benghazi, Paris, Aurora, Newtown, and San Bernardino. It didn’t make any difference if the crimes were related to terrorism or not. They were always somehow the fault of President Obama.

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

Fox News is brazenly catering to the hatred of their audience. This is all to common for Fox as documented in The Collected Hate Speech of the Fox News Community. All it takes is brief glance at the comments on Fox’s website to see that the political obsessions and biases expressed by Fox anchors is mirrored by their viewers. These are just a few of the vile outbursts on their Orlando article:

foxnews-comments-orlando-terror

Watch Tucker Carlson and his nauseating friends on Fox News:

Fox News Is Ramping Up Their Flagrant, Dishonest Smearing Of Hillary Clinton

This week saw Hillary Clinton become the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States, an historic achievement as the first woman to do so. She also got the endorsement of President Obama and other party leaders. These events affirm that the 2016 general election has officially commenced. And with that. Fox News is rolling out its quadrennial blitzkrieg of smears and lies aimed at all things Democrat, and specifically Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday on Fox & Friends, the Curvy Couch Potatoes latched onto an interview Clinton gave to Scott Pelley of CBS New wherein she was asked the sort of tough question that Fox insists the lamestream media never ask her:

“It’s possible that your biggest obstacle is not your opponent but yourself. Fifty-two percent of the American people who participated in our CBS news poll have an unfavorable opinion of you. That is the highest negative impression of anyone ever nominated by the Democratic party since we started asking that question in 1984. Do you bear any responsibility for that?”

The Fox Newsers then spent several minutes lambasting Clinton for her answer which they portrayed as refusing to accept any responsibility. To them it was further proof of her arrogance and dishonesty. The only problem with that is the substance of her actual answer (video).

Fox News

Oh, I’m sure I do, but I think when I was secretary of state and serving our country, I had an approval rating of 66 percent, and I think it’s fair to ask, ‘Well, what’s happened?’ And what’s happened is tens of millions of dollars of negative advertising and coverage that has been sent my way.”

So right up front Clinton explicitly acknowledged that she bore responsibility for the public’s perception of her. The fact that she went on to cite other contributing factors doesn’t diminish what she said. And the ability of the media to influence public opinion is something that conservatives are usually the first to complain about. However, that criticism of the press is apparently off-limits to Clinton. The same subject, with the same dishonest spin, was also discussed later on Fox’s Outnumbered.

Today, another Fox News distortion of reality was broadcast following a White House press briefing. Fox News told their gullible viewers that Press Secretary Josh Earnest had confirmed that the FBI probe into Clinton’s email is a “criminal” investigation.

Fox News

Once again, there is a small problem with that characterization: It isn’t remotely true. Fox was referring to this exchange between Earnest and Fox’s correspondent, James Rosen:

Rosen: So when a career prosecutor or an FBI agent who’s working on the Clinton investigation hears this President speak openly of how he wants Hillary Clinton to succeed him, you don’t think that that career prosecutor or that FBI agent takes that as some indication of how the President wants to see this case resolved?
Earnest: No. I think that those career prosecutors understand that they have a job to do, and that that job that they’re supposed to — which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion — that that is a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. And the President expects them to do that job. […] That’s why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle: that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference.

Clearly Earnest was not referring to the Clinton case in that response. He was articulating a general principle of judicial propriety that is practiced by any White House. Had he been referring to the Clinton case he would have said “this criminal investigation,” rather than “any criminal investigation.” His statement was meant to be taken more broadly as a principle, just as he described it.

What’s more, Rosen’s question was downright stupid. The notion that a president expressing support for another candidate from the same party is not exactly a revelation. If investigators were susceptible to such pressure, they wouldn’t need Obama to announce his support in order to know that he backs Clinton. That should be obvious to anyone who isn’t desperately trying to construct a dishonest narrative. So it can be assumed that the investigators were already aware of Obama’s position with regard to Clinton. If Rosen had evidence that they had any bias toward Clinton, he would have presented it. Instead, he just floated some wild conspiracy theories. And even after that, Fox still felt they needed to lie about the answer given by Earnest.

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

Expect much more of this to come as the campaign proceeds toward November. Fox knows that all they have is lies and they will pour them out by the buckets full for the next four months. This says something about the dearth of negative information held by Fox. If they had anything truthful with which to skewer Clinton, they wouldn’t have to lie so badly or so frequently.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Assails ‘Obama’s America’ For ‘Get High, Stay Home’ Generation

This week the Pew Research Center released the findings of a study on Millennial living arrangements that showed more of them are staying in their parents’ homes longer. They cited a variety of reasons for this, but none of them included the farcical conclusions of Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.

Keith Ablow

Dr. Ablow appeared this morning on Fox & Friends (video below) to discuss the Pew report’s findings. He began by falsely claiming that most young people cannot afford to live on their own. That was a flagrant exaggeration since the number of Millennials found to be living at home was only 32.1 percent. It’s a plurality, but not anywhere close to a majority. He went on to attributed the number of youthful homebodies to a lack of available jobs. While mentioned as a contributing factor, it was not a primary factor according to Pew:

“This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35. Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other.”

The Get High, Stay Home Kids

So the study found that the decision to delay marriage or other romantic commitments played the largest role in kids’ decisions to remain at home. But Ablow’s analysis went even further off the deep end when he declared that the whole situation “was stoked by Obama,” and his “agenda for America,” which he described as “Get high, stay home, don’t be autonomous.” According to Ablow…

“These kids are high, they’re high on pot. They’re high on Facebook. They’re high on Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat. So they can’t be bothered to cobble together three jobs.”

Ablow accused Millennials of feeling “entitled to all kinds of free stuff,” and essentially being too high and/or lazy to take care of themselves. Of course this typically hollow assessment neglected to take into consideration that the vast majority of Millennials are actually quite independent. The Pew study found that 31.6 percent were living with a spouse or partner in their own household. Another 14 percent were living alone. And there are still many more who live with non-romantic roommates, in college dorms, or with non-parental family members (i.e. siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc.)

However, none of these facts prevented Ablow and his Fox & Friends cohorts from distorting the truth and laying all the blame on President Obama. That seems to be a signature compulsion with Ablow, who has blamed the President for everything from riots in Ferguson, MO., to Ebola. Even his assertion that the job market resulted in Millennials residing with their parents was characterized as Obama’s fault, rather than the Great Recession of Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush. It is the Obama administration that has produced more than 22 million jobs and 74 straight months of private sector job growth.

It seems peculiar that Ablow and Fox News would be so anxious to insult Millennials in the middle of this election cycle. They are the largest generation of Americans and are notoriously independent in their political allegiances. If the recent poll by the Washington Post and ABC News is any indicator, there has just been a significant shift in preference among Millennials from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Clinton still leads, but the margin is much narrower. These polls will likely continue to fluctuate, but it can only be helpful to Clinton if Fox News continues to disparage this important voting bloc.

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

The Keith Ablow Affliction:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

Fox News Hails Beyonce Boycott By Police Because She Supports #BlackLivesMatter

This morning a Baltimore police officer was acquitted of four charges related to Freddie Gray, an African-American who died in police custody in 2015. That was just one of many recent incidents involving police use-of-force (i.e. Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice) that resulted in a tragic and unnecessary fatality. These deaths inspired the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as an attempt to raise awareness of the problem.

Fox News on Beyonce

From the start, Fox News has been dismissive, or outright hostile, to #BlackLivesMatter and it’s representatives. They pushed the insensitive and disingenuous alternative of “All Lives Matter” and labeled the black activists racists and anti-police. However, saying that “black lives matter” is no more exclusive of concern for other lives than saying “save the whales” means screw all the other marine mammals. It is just a way drawing attention to a serious problem.

What Fox News considers to be a serious problem is the exercise of free speech by American citizens, particularly those in the entertainment industry. Their target this morning was Beyonce, who will be performing in concert in Pittsburgh next week. Some of her recent appearances and videos have carried the message of #BlackLivesMatter, which has drawn criticism from right-wing pundits and politicians.

On Fox & Friends today, co-host Ainsley Earhardt invited Robert Swartzwelder, the president of the Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police, to explain why he is filing a labor complaint on behalf of officers potentially being “forced” to work the concert. She introduced the segment saying that…

“Beyonce backlash is brewing. The singer’s apparent anti-police message has gotten the attention of Pittsburgh officers, many of who plan to boycott the singer’s upcoming concert in their town. There is just one problem. The city might force those officers to work security at her concert on May 31st.”

Earhardt’s bias was plainly stated in her opening by referring to an “anti-police message.” When she asked Swartzwelder about the looming boycott (which he said was not a boycott) he characterized it as ordinary and uncontroversial, and that officers regularly decline certain assignments such as traffic detail. Which is, of course, a ridiculous comparison. No officer has ever cited their objection to the political position of an automobile as a reason for not wanting traffic duty.

Swartzwelder went on to say that officers were offended by “various references in Beyonce’s music” that “all police officers engage in police brutality,” which Beyonce has denied. In the view of Swartzwelder, and Fox News, any criticism of the police is a criticism of all police and is, therefore, unacceptable. And Earhardt was sympathetic saying…

“I get it. I understand. You watch the video and you’re saying she is anti-cop rhetoric, you see the anti-cop images. So if she’s gonna be anti-cop why would we wanna go work her concert?”

While Earhardt did inquire as to whether the police “have an obligation to the people” that would “trump your feelings toward Beyonce,” she buried it under the false premise that Beyonce is against the police. The larger point is that the police do indeed have an obligation to the people. The security services that they provide are not just for the safety of the artist, but also the rest of the community. Their service ought to blind to politics and driven by a commitment to the ethical codes of conduct of their profession and their sense of duty.

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

Officers should not have the ability to veto an assignment based on their political prejudices. You never see them refusing to provide security during a KKK rally, so why should they be able to put an artist and the community at risk simply because they disagree with a perceived political opinion? Aren’t they validating their critics? And more importantly, what does it say about those who refuse to serve?

Fox News Throws Tantrum Because Twitter Won’t Let Them Be Abusive Jerks

The new year has brought about some new rules and regulations both online and off. Among them are new rules on Twitter governing abusive language. The terms of service now state that…

“Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice […] You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”

These rules are intended to prevent abusive behaviors that constitute “threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism. So of course the hate mongers at Fox News are going to be upset. This severely suppresses their “freedom” to spew their rancid bigotry and castigate Muslims or gays or immigrants or liberals as sub-humans that true patriots should eradicate from the Earth. And without the ability to attack people based on the criteria above, how will they fill their airtime?

Fox News

It says a lot about the Fox mindset that they would bother to lash out at these reasonable limits to online threats and abuse. They are inadvertently admitting that their rhetoric crosses the line from being merely ignorantly boorish to approaching terroristic bullying. You have to wonder why they would be so resistant to complying with rules that compel civility.

During the segment (video below), the hosts of the Saturday edition of Fox & Friends were in agreement these new rules were aimed at shutting down conservatives. And maybe they have a point because who else would be harmed by banning threats based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, etc.? Only conservatives engage in that sort of openly malevolent dialog that Twitter is seeking to abate. It’s the same sort of dialog that is expressed by world-class hate monger Donald Trump.

Introducing the segment, Tucker Carlson noted that the new policies say that “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people.” To which his co-host, Clayton Morris said…

“Critics argue there is no mention of the terrorist organization and the wording is so vague that it could really be applied to anyone. So could the new rules be used to kick conservatives off that platform if they are reported by the left?”

That question was taken up by their guest, from the right-wing National Review, Katherine Timpf, who joined the chorus complaining that the language was too vague and saying that…

“Someone can say ‘Oh, this looks like intimidation’ and they can flag it and then it ends up getting taken down and in the meantime you don’t have an account. So, really, what could it be? They don’t mention ISIS at all.”

For some reason it seems important to these pundits that the rules explicitly mention ISIS. Were that the case, wouldn’t they have to also mention every other terrorist organization? And what about threats by radical Christianists against Planned Parenthood, or against an African-American church, or a gay establishment, or any other random threat, even if it were directed to only one person? It is patently absurd to craft a policy that is only valid if the perpetrator is identified by name.

At this point, co-host Tucker Carlson chimed in to say that “People have been silenced on Twitter, and it seems to me that a lot of them are conservatives.” Whereupon he displayed a graphic of four conservatives that he alleged were silenced by Twitter. Unfortunately, he never revealed what they said that might have resulted in their being temporarily suspended. He just implied that it was nefarious and represented a trend toward silencing conservatives. To this Timpf responded saying sarcastically that…

“We know the government would never target conservative groups. Like the I.R.S. would never do anything like that. But of course it can be used that way.”

This would be a good time to note that Twitter is a private company and can set their own criteria for civility. They are not the government and thus are not violating anyone’s constitutional rights if they suspend a user who violates their rules. But Timpf went on to say that she thinks Twitter executives are applying tougher standards to conservatives. And her proof of this is that…

“I don’t hear any liberals complain about getting banned on Twitter for something they’ve said and I hear every day about this happening to conservatives.”

Well, that settles it. This right-wing writer hasn’t heard any liberals complaining, but she hears it everyday from conservatives. What a coincidence. If this were happening every day, Carlson’s graphic might have had more than four names on it.

What is really being revealed here is that conservatives simply complain a lot more than liberals. They bitterly complained when they accused Twitter of permitting terrorists to have accounts where they could communicate with one another and recruit new members. Now they are complaining when Twitter takes steps to prevent that very thing. And they especially complain if their penchant for hate speech is impeded in any way.

The problem is that if Fox News wants to prohibit ISIS from tweeting their threats and attacks, they are gonna have to stop doing it themselves. And for some examples of the sort of violent rhetoric that is inspired by Fox News, see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community – a collection of comments posted on Fox’s websites by their audience.

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

If Elected President Donald Trump Promises To Commit War Crimes

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear Of A Black Captain America: Fox News Is Outraged That Hero Opposes Racist Vigilantes

Exercising their renowned obsession for inventing trite pseudo-controversies, Fox News has managed to imagine a travesty in the latest issue of Marvel Comic’s Captain America. And not surprisingly, it revolves around an overtly racist theme stemming from the superhero’s new alter ego, African-American Sam Wilson, and a confrontation with undocumented immigrants.

Fox News Captain America

The Curvy Couch Potatoes of Fox & Friends were terribly upset by the news that the new black Captain America was going after an armed band of vigilantes who called themselves the “Sons of the Serpent.” The vigilante crew’s mission was to seek out and apprehend immigrants crossing the border illegally. Such vigilantism is blatantly unlawful and, in the real world, often ends up with people being severely harmed or even killed. Nevertheless, the folks at Fox & Friends regarded the Serpents as the heroes and Captain America as a villain stomping on the rights of free, nativist citizens. Here is an exchange from the segment (video below):

Clayton Morris: Comics books have been struggling to get readership, and so here you have Marvel doing a little bit of a PR stunt. In fact, they’ve made Sam Wilson, who was formerly The Falcon, he’s an African-American, he’s taking over as Captain America now. But he’s got a new odd enemy. Instead of going against Hydra and the typical Captain America villains, he’s going up against conservatives. That’s his new enemy.
Tucker Carlson: So who is this Serpent? Is this Serpent an Islamic extremism, an ISIS member bent on destroying western civilization? Nooo. The Serpent is an American who has misgivings about unlimitted illegal immigration and the costs associated with it. That, according to the comic book, is evil. […] The whole theme is the same, which is out there in the middle of the country, between Malibu and Georgetown, everyone is an ignorant snake-handling bigot and they need to be held in place or else they’ll turn this into Nazi Germany. […] Now the threat comes from ordinary Americans. Probably some of you watching at home. They think you’re dangerous.

The first hint that this segment was going to be dripping with racism was Morris’ assertion that making Captain America an African-American is just a PR stunt, and that an armed militia of xenophobes were simply ordinary conservative citizens. Carlson took over from there to trivialize the noxious bigotry of the vigilantes as merely em>”misgivings.” They certainly didn’t intend to use their abundant weaponry or follow through with their violent threats. Carlson was clearly disturbed that such decent thugs were characterized so poorly in the comic book, and how it reflected on the viewers of his program. While the Fox Friends highlighted some of the dialog from the comic, one part they conspicuously left out said…

“While others are content to peacefully protest or vote in rigged elections, the Sons of the Serpent believe that aggression must answer aggression. I declare you all enemy combatants.”

So the characters that Fox regards as garden variety conservatives are overtly threatening to abandon peaceful behavior. And they regard the immigrants, who they earlier said were disease-ridden criminals, to be combatants as if at war. Considering that fact that most immigrants who enter the country illegally are seeking work in agriculture or other menial labor jobs, they probably don’t qualify as fearsome warriors. But that didn’t stop Fox from casting a black Captain America, who takes the side of brown invaders, as an abomination.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Captain American has stirred up the ire of Fox News. A few years back the comic got Fox all huffy with a single frame that accurately portrayed the Tea Party. However, the source from which Fox got this new story appears to be a video produced by the MacIver Institute. Fox’s video even includes segments clipped directly from MacIvers’s video. For the record, the MacIver Institute is a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers and the neo-fascist John Birch Society. Which explains a lot. And it certainly explains where Fox News goes when they need a new racist scandal to fire up their dimwitted viewers.

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