Fox News PANICS Over New Voter Fraud Plot They TOTALLY Made Up

Seeking to prop up Donald Trump’s frantic and baseless cries of a “rigged” election, Fox News has their fiction writers working overtime. This morning on Fox & Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Betsy McCaughey to expound on a new theory. McCaughey is best known for having coined the term “death panels” which Sarah Palin made famous. It became PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009.

Fox News

McCaughey’s latest fiction is the charge that perennial wingnut boogieman, George Soros, is clandestinely maneuvering to steal the election from Trump. The plot alleges that voting machines manufactured by a company he controls are being used across the country. Fox host Steve Doocy lays out the conspiracy in a typically hysterical fashion (video below):

Doocy: “Donald Trump has made the rigged system a centerpiece in his campaign. And now there are new concerns after a report showing that 16 U.S. states, 16 of them, have used voting machines tied to leftist billionaire George Soros in the past […] tied directly to George Soros and his personal quest for open borders.”

McCaughey: “That’s right. This really bears investigating. Because Smartmatic, this UK company, one of the top guns there, Lord Mallach-Brown, is very involved with George Soros’ left-wing globalist enterprises, many of which are trying to tilt elections in Europe and in the United States.”

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? And it would be except for the fact that none of it is true. Soros has no financial involvement with Smartmatic whatsoever, and never has. The actual owner sits on the board of Soros’ Open Society Foundation along with dozens of other board members. That hardly equates to a direct connection to the voting machine manufacturer. But that didn’t stop distraught Trump supporters from launching a petition on the White House website demanding that Congress “meet in emergency session about removing George Soros owned voting machines.” At the time of this writing it had 89,000 signatures, on its way to a goal of 100,000.

However, that’s not even the most ridiculous part of this lame attempt at scandal mongering. The Smartmatic machines in question are not being used in the United States at all. Not a single one will be used in any state in the 2016 election. So Fox News, and nearly 90,000 crackpot conservatives, are incensed and determined to rid America of something that doesn’t exist.

Not satisfied with making unhinged allegations about voting, Mcaughey continued her rant to assert that mentally ill and homeless people are being paid to cause violence at Trump events. She doesn’t bother to provide any proof of that, and Doocy doesn’t ask for any. She further claims that:

“There is already an airtight case against Soros trying to tilt this election, steal this election, using his money. He’s very close to Hillary Clinton. He is pouring millions of dollars into third party organizations like the Super PAC, Priorities USA.”

To be clear, McCaughey is now criticizing the Super PACs that were set loose by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. Welcome to the progressive movement, Betsy. Liberals have been fighting that decision for years. But don’t expect her to have the same sense of outrage over the Koch brothers or the many other financiers of right-wing PACs. For the record, Soros’ own son started a Super Pac to end Super PACs.

What we can expect is for Fox News to get ever more absurd with far-fetched fairy tales in the few remaining days of this campaign. They are desperate and morose and ready to fling themselves off of rooftops. So maybe they can be forgiven for exhibiting signs of acute dementia.

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

Right-Wingers Freak Out Over Claim That Obama is ‘Banning’ Fox News

Oh Noes! The Obamabots are at it again. Remember when they confiscated all of our guns, set up concentration camps, and handed Alabama over to ISIS? Well now they have a new plot to outlaw free speech and suppress the patriots at Fox News.

Fox News

The conservative InterTubes are afire with paranoid panic over remarks by a member of the Federal Election Commission. Democratic commissioner Ellen Weintraub wrote a memorandum to her colleagues with the subject “Revised Proposal to Launch Rulemaking to Ensure that U.S. Political Spending is Free from Foreign Influence.” To anyone not suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome, this would appear to be responsible election oversight. Which is the mission of the FEC. However, to hysterical right-wingers this is an assault on free speech. The offending paragraph from the memo simply asks:

“Given the ban on direct or indirect foreign national spending in U.S. elections. should any limits be imposed on corporate spending based on the percentage of the corporation’s foreign ownership?”

It is already illegal for foreign nationals and corporations to donate to U.S. candidates and political referendums. The reasons are obvious. Nobody wants hostile nations to be able to interfere with American elections. Russia or China should not have the ability to plant their operatives in our Congress. The rulemaking proposal by Weintraub is only meant to close any loopholes and to secure the integrity of our political system. The memo states exactly that:

“The FEC needs to address the real threat that foreign individuals, corporations, or governments may seek to manipulate our elections through domestic corporations they own or control. Given everything we have learned this year. it blinks reality to suggest that that there is no risk of foreign nationals taking advantage of current loopholes to intercede invisibly in American elections. This is a risk no member of the Federal Election Commission should be willing to tolerate.”

This could not be more clear cut. Weintraub is plainly seeking to prevent our enemies from corrupting our elections. So leave it to Fox News to create a controversy where none would otherwise exist. To that end, the hosts of Fox & Friends barreled headlong into the phony squabble with Brian Kilmeade introducing senior correspondent Ed Henry:

Kilmeade: Oh, in case we didn’t mention it, Fox News could be banned from covering politics. That is if Democrats on the Federal Election Committee (sic) get their way.
Henry: Democrats on the Federal Election Commission targeting Fox and other media companies who have even a tiny bit of foreign ownership, saying they should not be allowed to engage in any ‘electioneering communication.’ This could be used to muzzle free speech and it was offered by a Democratic commissioner on the FEC, Ellen Weintraub.

The segment went on to assert that the commission was enacting a regulation that “could ban Fox and others from endorsing or covering” politics. Although there is nothing in the memo that even alludes to that. In fact, the memo never even mentions the media. What’s more, it isn’t enacting anything, it is merely opening a dialog. And the dialog is wholly focused on corporations that are owned by foreign nationals or governments. The actions addressed are strictly identified as electioneering, not reporting, endorsing, or any other function of journalism. Weintrab even reiterated that in an official statement:

Did that ease the irrational fears of the conservative outrage machine? Of course not. On the Internet there were frantic tweets from the usual fringy suspects. In addition, the Media Research Center (the ultra-right watchdog group and home of Newsbusters) published an article with a headline that shrieked “FEC Attempting to Kill Fox News, WSJ, NY Post Political Coverage.” Their lede was a false and feverish declaration that “The propaganda machine inside the federal government is in full swing to squelch any conservatives or dissenting views.”

As is apparent from the original memo and the appended affirmation, none of that is true. It’s just another fit of hysteria from right-wing conspiracy kooks. These are the same folks who thought that military exercises in Texas were a prelude to invasion. They worried that Obama was deliberately infecting America with Ebola. Before long these fruitcakes will be clamoring for Hillary Clinton’s impeachment due to her covert lizard identity. In the meantime, Fox & Friends’ Ainsley Earhardt is showing her grit by standing up to the infidels:

“If they want the government to control the media then they can move to North Korea, or Russia, or China. It’s not happening here. No one’s telling us what we can and can’t say.”

Well, no one except for the Fox News executives and the Republican National Committee. It is no accident that there is a uniformity of opinion on Fox. They are presently serving as the Trump PR office. And this latest imaginary atrocity will just be another of their excuses after they lose in November.

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

UPDATE: The real threat to freedom of the press is Donald Trump:

“Mr. Trump, especially given the positions he’s staked out … would represent a really significant threat to the tradition of an independent free press in the United States,” says David Barstow of The New York Times.

“I think Donald Trump represents a clear and present danger to the liberties of the people, to the idea of the First Amendment,” agrees David Cay Johnston, now a columnist for The Daily Beast.

Watch A Deranged Trump Fan Video Bomb Fox News Screaming ‘Bill Clinton Is A Rapist’

Live television always holds out the possibility of unanticipated “contributions” to the program. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends found that out this morning during a remote outside the studio.

Fox News

While introducing a fluffy segment on shelter pets, a crazed figure pops up behind the hosts. He then removes his shirt and tie to reveal a t-shirt with a picture of Bill Clinton above the word “Rape.” Repeatedly shouting “Bill Clinton is a rapist,” the intruder attempts to jump over the barriers protecting the set. The hosts giggle and try to remain composed as security drags the protester away. It’s actually pretty funny, however, there is a serious subtext to the event.

First of all, the reckless and unfounded allegations against Bill Clinton are the work of nut job conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones of Infowars. In fact. Jones actually made a public offer to pay $1,000.00 to anyone who successfully got on the air wearing that shirt (which he sells on his website) and shouting that message. Presumably that guy can use the money right about mow – for bail.

More to the point, while this incident was obviously carried out by a certified fruitcake, the exact same message has played out on Fox News by their own anchors and guests. In June of last year Megyn Kelly raised the issue saying that “Bill Clinton was accused of rape. He has been accused by several women of sexually assaulting them.” F&F Anchor Steve Doocy interviewed disreputable rumor monger Ed Klein whose book charges that Bill raped Hillary. Doocy affirmed Klein’s nonsense asserting, without foundation, that his “sources are impeccable.” Frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter gave a speech at CPAC in March of 2013 wherein she ranted that “The keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year was forcible rapist Bill Clinton.” Fox contributor Katie Pavlich wrote that “Bill Clinton is probably a Rapist.”

If that isn’t enough, just last May Sean Hannity hosted Donald Trump as they attempted to dismiss his tawdry past. For the record, that includes three marriages and infidelities too numerous to cite. He literally bragged about them. What’s more, Trump himself is currently being sued for the rape of a thirteen year old girl. He was also accused of rape by his ex-wife, Ivana. So of course this conversation ignored all of that and quickly diverted to a comparison to Bill Clinton:

Hannity: In one case it’s about exposure. In another case it’s about groping and fondling and touching against a woman’s will.
Trump: And rape.
Hannity: And rape.

So whatever the state of mind of the wacko who tried to crash Fox’s broadcast there is one thing that is abundantly clear. He has the same political positions as the Fox News regulars. They might as well have let him join the others on the air. Who knows, maybe security took him to see someone in Human Resources and they gave him a job. Stay tuned for the Photobomber News Hour on Fox News.

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 Still Using ‘Nonsense’ Polls Despite Memo Warning Not To

Within hours of the conclusion of the Clinton/Trump debate Donald Trump was touting his “triumph” over Hillary Clinton. Although he would have been bragging even if he had lapsed into Mickey Mouse impressions doing sieg heil salutes.

Fox News Donald Trump

The main problem with Trump’s victory lap is that it was based solely on the result of unscientific online polls. These are polls that invite web users to cast votes, but are not managed to produce a representative sample of the electorate. Anyone who feels like it can cast a vote and, in many cases, as many votes as they want. There are even reports that devoted StormTrumpers organized online armies to game the polls. That’s why they are generally dismissed as being “for entertainment purposes only” and no professional takes them seriously.

Consequently, the pathologically narcissistic Trump believes they are proof of his universal appeal to a nation that ravenously adores him. He posted at least twelve tweets promoting his supremacy in these bogus polls, beginning with this one:

Note: The CNN poll, which he lost bigly, was the only one that adheres to scientific polling standards. The other polls appeared on a variety of websites that use them to engage readers. They include Drudge, Breitbart (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump campaign), Time, Fortune, CNBC, and more. Trump also boasted about his win on the CBS post-debate poll – which was a true achievement since CBS didn’t run a post-debate poll.

Now, among the critics of these silly surveys is Fox News. A leaked memo from Dana Blanton, VP of public opinion research for the network, had a warning for her colleagues. She said that such unscientific online polls “do not meet our editorial standards.” The first question this raises is: Fox News has editorial standards? Blanton wrote that:

“News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason. They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion.”

Apparently that missive was not sufficient for certain Fox News hosts. After the memo went out Sean Hannity continued to cite online polls as evidence of Trump’s huuuge win over Clinton. It was Hannity that provided Trump with his list of polls that included the non-existent one from CBS. Then this morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox & Friends did the same. That earned them a thank you tweet from The Donald:

Additionally, A headline on the Fox News website heralded the phony polling saying that “Online votes declare Trump debate winner, despite media consensus for Clinton.” The article did concede that the online polls were not scientific, but it also implied that they are somehow better than professionally conducted polls. Fox argued that the number of votes cast was an indicator of their value as predictors of public opinion. Never mind that many of those votes are fakes and/or duplicates, or that the sample is self-selected.

On Fox’s Your World with Neil Cavuto, the host did a segment discussing the online polls with an obvious preference for their pro-Trump results. An on-screen graphic read “Snap Polls Suggest Disconnect Between Public And Mainstream Media Over Who Won Debate.” But they only suggest that to people willing to believe that the snap polls have any legitimacy. Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich made the same argument elevating pro-Trump online polls saying that:

“It is worth looking at a list of online polls to understand the gap between the elites and the vast majority of Americans. [… and how] willfully out of touch and dishonest the Intellectual Yet Idiot class is.”

No, it is not useful to look at sham polls. Since they are nonsense, they tell us nothing about alleged gaps between elites and other Americans. However, arguing that they are superior does show how willfully out of touch and dishonest Gingrich, Fox, et al are.

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

There is something else we learn from Fox News continuing to push fake polls even after they are notified of their fakeness. It tells us is that the alleged editorial standards at Fox News are also “for entertainment purposes only.” Blanton’s memo seems to have had no effect on the propagandists bent on promoting Trump. It’s further proof that Fox has fully transformed into the Trump News Network. And nothing is going to interfere with their politically partisan mission.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Lauds Donald Trump’s Crank Yanking

I want to apologize in advance for writing this article. I tried my best to avoid it but, in the end, this was too important to pass up. In just two months America will be deciding who will lead this nation and this fundamental issue needs to be on the record.

Fox News Ablow

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends were stirred up after hearing that Hillary Clinton was “consulting psychologists about Trump’s biggest insecurities to bait him into making mistakes on the debate stage.” So they brought in “Dr.” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, to give his professional psychiatric opinion about Clinton’s debate prep.

Ablow’s response briefly touched on the subject, but quickly diverted to another area that was more closely associated with his specialty – exalting perverts. Ablow inexplicably swerved off into a discourse on the courage Donald Trump showed by bragging about his manhood:

“I have to say, when the small hands issue was raised during the debate, this supposedly got the Clinton campaign very excited. They thought, ‘Man, he’s off his game.’ He wasn’t off his game at all. Freud would have been standing up, like applauding, standing ovation. To be able to address such an intensely personal issue and say, ‘Listen, there’s no problem in that department,’ to me that showed an incredible degree of psychological strength.”

Of course. The first indication of psychological strength is when someone is so insecure about themselves that they have to convince twenty million strangers how well endowed they are. It’s particularly admirable when such boasting is done in pursuit of the presidency. In Ablow’s mind democracy will be perfected when debates are replaced with dick measuring contests (sorry Hillary).

Ablow can add this to his other political diagnoses that found merit in the most repulsive character flaws. For instance, he recently praised Trump’s narcissism as “exactly what America needs.” He declared that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives. And he even praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy.

All of these actually apply to Trump pretty well. He has obsessive penis envy; he is a textbook narcissist; he has also cheated on multiple wives; and his approach to public service is rife with sociopathic tendencies. These are the key components of the Cult of Trump.

So thank you, Dr. Ablow, for once again revealing your ignorance of the human mind. A few months ago Trump insulted his own followers by saying they were so stupid they would continue to support him even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. Apparently Ablow is among that glassy-eyed assembly of disciples. If Trump confessed to being a crack addict or a pedophile Ablow would praise his commitment to stick to unpopular positions. No matter what horrific personality disorder Trump displays, Ablow will spin it into a virtue. And Fox News will give him a platform to spread his nauseating psychobabble.

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

Regrets My A$$: Lovesick Media Swoons At Trump’s Phony Non-Apology

For several months there has been breathless anticipation that the boorish and offensive personality of Donald Trump would vanish in a puff of smoke as he revealed his true graciousness and diplomacy. And the same people who believe that are still waiting for Santa to deliver their unicorn.

Donald Trump

In a speech in Charlotte, N.C., Trump recited the TelePrompted views that were prepared for him by the new regime managing his floundering campaign. For the most part it was typical Republican dogma with one new wrinkle. Reversing months of stubborn insistence that he has nothing to regret, Trump conceded that he does, indeed, feel some pangs for unspecified occasions when “you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.” But even he expressed skepticism of this new found contrition by prefacing his regrets with “believe it or not.”

Anyone who thinks that Trump is actually sorry has not been paying attention. He has unabashedly insulted Latinos, veterans, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. His rebukes of fellow Republicans during the primary were painfully immature. You can’t behave like that for nearly a year and then just turn around and issue a wishy-washy regret that was written by hired hacks. He never bothered to actually apologize or even show respect for those he demeaned by identifying them or what he said that was wrong. It’s fair to say that the only thing he really regrets about his comments is the extent to which they have hurt him.

What’s most disappointing about this is the ease with which the media is falling for Trump’s bad playacting. They seem to think that his “pivot” is a material transformation of his personality on the scale of a spiritual rebirth. In reality it’s a desperate political ploy to avoid a humiliating landslide loss in November. Is the media really so dense that they don’t see that?

Here are some examples compiled by Media Matters of how the press has taken up Trump’s narrative without a lick of critical analysis:

On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy said of Trump’s address that it was “one of the best speeches Donald Trump has ever given.” That was seconded by correspondent John Roberts who added that “he completed his pivot to the general election campaign.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough exclaimed “Wow. You have the reset button ready? Reset.” Guest reporter Katty Kay agreed saying “Yeah. That’s the kind of Trump that will make the Clinton campaign wake up.”

Christine Romans of CNN’s New Day marveled that it was “something I think six months ago we never thought we would have seen.”

On CBS This Morning host Margaret Brennan said “it may indicate a change in approach.” Her colleague Dean Reynolds called it “almost startling.” That was after he highlighted Trump’s “promise never to lie to voters.” They may want to take a look at the Trump Bullshitopedia to see the dozens of documented lies that are already on record.

Back on Fox, Chris Stirewalt declared it “a signal moment.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York gushed that we are seeing a “Very new Trump.”

The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese seemed relieved saying that “if we’ve been waiting for a pivot, this week is the one you should mark on the calendar.”

On NBC’s Today Hallie Jackson reported that this was “something we’ve almost never heard from him,” and that Trump sounded “strikingly more humble.”

These people are either terminally naive or too gullible to be living outside of an institution. The only sane response to Trump’s disingenuous attempts to appear remorseful is to throw right back at him the innumerable abusive and slanderous remarks he has unleashed and make him answer for each one individually. Short of that he deserves no praise for pasting a band-aid over the scars he has left on so many innocent people. And he certainly should not be taken at his word that he is regretful after all the times he swore to the contrary, even saying that “I like not to regret anything.” Here is some of the evidence in a four-video YouTube playlist:

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

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign weighs in with an awesome video on this subject: No Regrets. It’s a MUST see.

Health Scare: Hillary Clinton Is At Death’s Door, According To Desperate Fox News ‘Experts’

The desperate rightists and Donald Trump sycophants at Fox News are continuing to seek a way out from under the political catastrophe they helped to create. They are now suffering with the consequences of having directed Trump’s path to the GOP nomination. While Trump makes thinly veiled assassination threats, the folks at Fox watch dolefully as his poll numbers crater and his lunatic rhetoric becomes ever more unhinged. So Fox News is embarking on a frantic effort to drag down Hillary Clinton instead.

Hillary Clinton

On Fox & Friends today, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes assembled members of their “Medical A-Team” to revel in what they portrayed as Clinton’s sickly prognosis. They rattled off a series of only seven mostly minor incidents dating back nearly two decades. Among these alleged medical crises were a stomach virus and a fractured elbow. Not exactly the sort of dire emergencies for which you would wake up the undertaker. Then they showed a photo where Clinton was being assisted walking up some stairs as if she were feeble. What Fox failed to note was that the stairs were coated with a layer of ice and her aides were merely being cautious.

Nevertheless, these were the foundation for a segment in which the Fox panel exhibited their disingenuous concern for the elderly former Secretary of State. They used their shallow research to assert that Clinton should be required to make available her full medical records. Much of the segment was spent claiming that there was a double standard that favored Clinton. As an example they referred to John McCain’s campaign in 2008. However, McCain was older than Clinton when he ran and had four separate bouts of skin cancer. More worrisome was the fact that Sarah Palin was his vice-presidential running-mate.

While complaining about this supposed double standard, there was scant mention of Donald Trump’s health status or demands for his medical records. He is also older than Clinton. The only medical information he has released was a glowing one page appraisal from a doctor who described Trump’s health as “extraordinary.” He might have added “tremendous, big league” and “the best health of anyone ever, believe me.” (Is anyone else reminded of the time Trump pretended to be his own PR man?). Not mentioned was the fact that Trump had such serious health problems in the past that they resulted in a 4F medical exemption from the draft.

The Fox News medical “experts” are quite right. There is a double standard. And the beneficiary is clearly Donald Trump. Despite the evidence of some severe psychological problems (narcissistic personality disorder, pathological lying, dementia, memory loss, delusions of grandeur, and a peculiar form of Tourette’s Syndrome where he shouts out stupid and/or violent remarks uncontrollably) no one on Fox News has set aside time for segments devoted to his medical transparency. Demands for his medical records are made faintly, if at all. Not that he would provide them. He is still refusing to release his taxes as every presidential candidate has done for more than half a century.

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

It is obvious that Fox News is raising this issue because they have little else of substance to talk about. All of the pseudo-scandals they have promoted (or invented) have fizzled under the light of honest scrutiny. And with Trump being his own worst enemy every time he opens his mouth, Fox is forced to engage in blatant muckraking in order to try to turn the tide against Clinton. Unfortunately for them, they just succeed in making themselves look even more pathetic and desperate. And Unfortunately for us, that won’t stop them from continuing to do it through November and well into the Clinton administration.

Pro-Censorship Fox News Says Government Should Seize Profits From Snowden Biopic

Taking their propaganda business model one step closer to police state fascism, Fox News is now advocating government censorship of film producers for projects that challenge their right-wing world view. This became all too apparent on today’s episode of Fox & Friends during an interview with Tom Fitton, the president of the ultra-conservative Judicial Watch group.

Fox News Snowden

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends aired a transparently hostile segment (video below) on director/producer Oliver Stone’s upcoming biographical film about Edward Snowden, the systems administrator turned whistle-blower, who leaked documents that revealed the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. The segment began with the trio of co-hosts suggesting that Stone’s film “could violate federal law” and that “the DOJ may be able to seize [its] profits.” The first question Fitton was asked was specifically about that possibility. He responded:

“Well, if they were interested in pursuing where these profits were going and who is funding this movie, because Oliver Stone was working with Mr. Snowden who had no right to the information he had. As a fugitive he’s under indictment. And typically you can’t benefit from moneys that you may earn from stealing government property and betraying your country.”

Notice that Fitton did not offer any evidence that Snowden was benefiting from the film. He merely planted the suggestion and inferred that Stone’s working with him was in itself suspicious. Although any competent film maker would seek to get first hand accounts from the subject of a biopic if that subject were available.

Notice also that the outrage expressed by Fitton, and shared by the Foxies, for someone who “stole” information was never shown toward the thieves who hacked the Democratic National Committee. And those thieves actually were working for a foreign government (Russians) who had hostile intentions toward the U.S. Undeterred by reason or patriotism, Fitton went even further with his baseless inferences against Stone:

“Mr. Stone knew something was up with respect to Mr. Snowden because he made a point of saying that ‘I stuck to making this movie in Munich,’ because he was, quote, ‘afraid of the NSA.’ If he was doing a regular movie what would he have been afraid of?”

First of all, there is nothing unsavory about making a film in Munich, especially when it places you 3,000 miles closer from your home base in New York to your primary source in Moscow. Secondly, the very topic of the film validates any concern Stone might have had about interference from the NSA.

Most importantly, Fitton’s assertion that Stone should have nothing to fear if he were making a “regular” movie (whatever that is), is reminiscent of the assurance from authoritarians that, so long as you’re not doing anything wrong, it shouldn’t bother you if the government reads your email, listens to your phone calls, or searches your bedroom closet. What are you afraid of, comrade? The absurdity of Fitton’s comment even seemed to make Fox’s co-host Tucker Carlson nervous. He gingerly asked:

“So I’m not defending Oliver Stone, or of course Snowden, but the NSA did spy on Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism, so maybe Stone’s not a total paranoid. But more to the point, every news organization in America reprinted information that Snowden stole. So by the standard you just held, should every news organization also be liable for abetting a criminal?”

Fitton’s defensively knee-jerk response to this was “Not necessarily.” He reiterated that Stone’s meetings with Snowden somehow made the whole relationship an unholy conspiracy. According to Fitton “Snowden is no whistle-blower,” and his actions were tantamount to “treachery.”

At this point Fox’s co-host Pete Hegseth chimed in that “There’s no doubt that Snowden’s disclosure helped groups like Al Qaeda and others.” And once again, he provided no evidence for such a serious charge. But he did gave Fitton the opportunity to present his own wingnut theory that “The Obama administration is no fan of our nation’s security.” Fitton is obviously in the camp that regards Obama as a foreign-born Muslim terrorist sympathizer.

The notion that the federal government is empowered to confiscate profits from a filmmaker, based on the content of the film, is a blatant violation of the principles of free speech. It is a breach of constitutional liberties and merely threatening to do so would have a chilling effect on the rights of free people. It is by definition censorship.

The fact that Fox News would provide a platform for someone advocating this, and then fail to repudiate it, is indicative of Fox’s affinity for rightist tyranny. And it’s further proof that the mission of Fox News has nothing to do with the pseudo-patriotic image they attempt to manufacture for themselves and sell to their dimwitted audience.

Please do visit the Snowden film website and watch the trailer for the movie that is coming out September 16.

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

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.