Bizarro World: Now The Republican Candidates Are Blasting Fox News More Than Democrats

One of the most enduring and annoying characteristics of the Fox News personality is that they are quick to take offense at any criticism and express their inner pain whenever they feel the least bit insulted. They have a defense mechanism that is on a hair trigger. If you have a legitimate complaint about the network you can expect them to fire back with ferocity.

Barack Obama Fox News

When Jon Stewart was on The Daily Show, Fox News regularly went into hysterics over his comic swipes at them. Never mind that his barbs were often aimed at Democrats and liberals as well, the ones targeting Fox brought out their full armory of wrath. And if President Obama dares to make a perfectly reasonable observation that Fox News has been biased against him, Fox reacts as if they were pierced with a presidential harpoon. They cry like babies every time Obama knocks them, even if it’s just in passing and in concert with a knock on the left.

However, they have yet to show the same indignation when their comrades on the right throw mud at the network. They seem to have a special store of umbrage that’s reserved only for Democrats who hurt their tender feelings.

For several months now Donald Trump has been wailing at Fox News for being boring, dopey, dishonest, unfair fools and clowns. He has directed his insults specifically toward featured Foxies like Bill O’Reilly, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Karl Rove, and especially Megyn Kelly. He has sabotaged their debates by refusing to participate and has even advocated boycotting the network.

Now Ted Cruz is also slamming Fox News. In a press conference last week he complained that Fox has been unfair to him as it obsesses over Trump. He actually has a point. Fox has given Trump far more air time than any candidate of either party. And they have also given Trump more airtime than any other network has given him. Still, it generally doesn’t matter to Fox if the incoming criticism is true or not. They usually fire back with everything they’ve got.

So we now find ourselves in the odd position of seeing the top Republican candidates for president both bashing Fox News, the top media mouthpiece for Republicans. You know you have really crossed over into weird territory when right-wing politicians are the most prominent protesters of a media platform that has paved the way for their candidacies. Where will this leave Fox after the election?

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

What’s peculiar is that Fox has not been returning fire at the Republican candidates. With the exception of one response to Trump’s “sick obsession” with Megyn Kelly, the GOP offenders are being given a pass to hammer away at Fox. For a network that is notorious for brutal and rapid responses to critics, this can only be seen as a gift to the GOP. Liberal critics like Stewart or Bernie Sanders or Rachel Maddow had better take cover before delivering uncomplimentary comments. And President Obama should prepare for a nuclear blast. Fox is all for free speech as long as it doesn’t contain any criticism of their blatantly dishonest propaganda. Unless that criticism is coming from their ideological pals.

Fox News Anchor Pitches ‘Fair And Balanced’ Nonsense To Stephen Colbert

There is a measure of self-delusion that infects the natives at Fox News and prevents them from making the most obvious appraisals of reality. What else could explain why, after twenty years of shoveling right-wing propaganda down the throats of American cable news viewers, the network’s anchors persist in pushing the absurdity that Fox engages in anything resembling journalism?

Fox News

The host of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace, appeared on Late Night with Stephen Colbert last night (video below) and once again demonstrated an acute case of a personality disorder that obstructs him from recognizing the truth about himself and his job. Colbert asked him what ought to have been a simple question, but he was unable to answer accurately or honestly.

Colbert: Rightly or wrongly Fox News is generally perceived to be the Republican news network. I know Fox News Sunday is on Fox Broadcasting, but you’re also on Fox News Channel. Do you think it’s fair to call Fox News a conservative broadcasting network?
Wallace: No. Look, there are obviously, in prime time, there are some shows, the opinion shows — Hannity, O’Reilly — that are conservative, no question about it. But we think that there’s a firewall between the opinion shows and hard news.

Wallace is continuing to advance the fallacy that only a couple of shows in primetime have partisan agendas, and everything else is straight up, unbiased reporting. He actually uses the phrase “We commit journalism every day,” as if it were a crime. You have to wonder if he is just deliberately lying or if he has ever watched the network.

There are three hours every morning that are hosted by folks like Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Tucker Carlson, Anna Kooiman, etc., who are rabidly right-wing and viciously anti-Democrat. They regularly feature such ultra-conservative guests as Andrew Napolitano, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and Donald Trump had a scheduled Monday morning segment for several years.

That’s followed by Outnumbered, a program name meant to refer to the four female hosts who invite a single male guest. But it really refers to the whole panel generally being comprised of only conservatives (with an occasional pseudo-liberal punching bag). Then there is the Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, who was promoted to that slot from her prior seat on the Fox & Friends curvy couch. A little later in the day is Your World with Neil Cavuto. It would be interesting to see if Wallace thinks that Cavuto is a neutral journalist as he berates and interrupts his liberal guests and cozies up to wingnut Republicans from Congress and business. After Cavuto is The Five, a program hosted by four hard-core right-wingers and one rotating Fox version of a lefty.

That’s seven hours of daytime programming that is unambiguously conservative. So where Wallace gets the notion that it’s only in primetime that opinions are expressed is a mystery. But he is insistent that his network trades in legitimate journalism. He went to have this exchange with Colbert:

Colbert: So there’s no sense of chaos as to what the unified message would be, or the narrative that’s being created by the network. There’s never any sense of like, this is what we’re gonna be talking about today or this is the take we’re gonna have on a story?
Wallace: I know there’s this narrative out there that there’s this talking points we have to all follow. It’s bull.

Of course, the truth has long been known that Fox CEO Roger Ailes distributes a “morning memo” everyday that does exactly what Colbert said with regard to a unified message. It would almost be worse if there weren’t. Because that would mean that everybody on the network just spontaneously said all the same things, with the same spin, without any coordination. It would mean they were all manufactured on the same assembly line of right-wing mouthpieces with the same hate-speech chips inserted.

That’s a pretty scary thought. But no scarier than the fact that Fox News just happened to have created conservative stalwarts like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and many other others. Have they ever launched a liberal icon of the sort? Of course not, and that isn’t an accident. So Wallace might want to watch a few hours of Fox and see if he can plausibly defend the network and its obvious rightward bent.

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

The Trump Cult Marches On As His Disciples Obey Their Master’s Call

The latest round of Republican primaries has returned the results that pretty much everyone expected. Donald Trump prevailed in the northeast corridor over his hapless GOP rivals who are only competing to challenge Trump at an open convention in July. The fact that Trump continues to pull out victories like this is evidence of how low the Republican Party has sunk into blind obedience to the overlord of reality TV celebrity worship. It’s behavior that they have learned faithfully from being loyal devotees of Fox News for so many years.

Fox Nation vs. Reality

Trump’s disciples don’t care that he is a flagrant racist who has demonstrated his prejudice against African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and women. They aren’t put off by his promises to commit war crimes against women and children in Syria and Iraq. They let slide that he isn’t bothered by being compared to Hitler. And no matter how much he lies they just brush it off and keep applauding like slap-happy seals (See the Trump Bullshitopedia) They even applaud when he insults them as mindless baboons or threatens to incite riots.

It is that sort of unquestioning devotion that forms the foundation of every successful cult. And those components were built into Fox News from its inception. In an effort to document this phenomenon, News Corpse published a collection of articles that highlighted the deception, propaganda, and outright lies disseminated by the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. The second volume of this series was dubbed “Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult Of Ignorance.” Every chapter is fully verified by reputable sources and exposes the website for its shameful dishonesty and lack of ethics. It reveals the concerted effort by wealthy and powerful media fabulists that is aimed at crippling the intelligence of the willfully dimwitted. It is a great resource for proving to your Fox-deluded friends and family what a den of deceit it is. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

“Since then Fox Nation has evolved into an even more sheltered environment that has taken on many characteristics of culthood. It is a pattern they adopted from their parent, Fox News, where the slogan “fair and balanced” was an implicit condemnation of all other news sources as being neither. Recognizing that the prime directive of a cult is to convince your followers that your version of reality is the only true version and that all others are agents of deception, Fox segregated their disciples to prevent them from being contaminated by impure thoughts, otherwise known as facts.”

Stay to to News Corpse for more insights into the media and its incestuous intersection with politics. Be sure to like us on Facebook. And here is where you can get your copy of Fox Nation vs. Reality:

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


Really? Fox News Debuts The Anti-Climate Change Armadillo

In its continuing effort to disinform its viewers on the indisputably real threat of climate change (as documented by 97% of the scientists who study it), Fox News invited the notorious climate denier, Marc Morano, to deliver one of the most absurd and dishonest arguments against the facts to date (and to plug his new propaganda film).

Fox News

On Fox & Friends Sunday morning, host Steve Doocy introduced Morano as an expert on climate science and took a swing at President Obama in the process (video below):

Doocy: The Obama administration bypassed Congress and signed a U.N. treaty on climate change. But many hailing the decision are the same people who swore doomsday was upon us decades ago and many of those scenarios never came true.

First of all, Doocy’s assertion that the Obama administration bypassed Congress is the sort of deliberate falsehood that Fox uses to smear the President as an out of control tyrant. In reality, the “Paris Agreement,” signed by Secretary of State John Kerry, was part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty that was ratified by the Senate in 1992. The Congress has no role whatsoever in the follow-on agreements to a treaty already ratified.

Secondly, Doocy’s contention that those supporting the Paris Agreement had made prior warnings that never materialized is also false. For one thing, he provides no names to back up his claim. And virtually everything that has been warned about climate change has, in fact, come to pass. 2015 was the hottest year on record, and 2016 is already poised to surpass that.

But what made this segment remarkable was the absurdity of how the argument was presented. Morano brought in a stuffed armadillo, in a cage for safety (?), to illustrate his fairy tale that the beleaguered beast was burdened by global cooling in the seventies and warming today. Once again, no evidence was provided to support the claim that “We were worried about a coming ice age” in the 70s. However, the global cooling fallacy has long been used by climate deniers, even though it was based on a single magazine article and was never advanced by anyone in the science community.

For the record, Morano has been lying about climate for several years despite the fact that he has no background at all in science. Just like Sarah Palin, who recently bragged that she is “as much a scientist” as Bill Nye (which is demonstrably untrue), Morano is as much a scientist as Palin.

Morano began his career as a Republican operative who worked for the Senate’s stupidest climate denier, Jim Inhofe. Morano’s resume also includes stints with Rush Limbaugh, the ultra-conservative CNSNews, and he was one of the original “swiftboat” liars who smeared Kerry’s service as a Vietnam veteran. He has a purely political past that in no way prepares him to comment on climate science. And with today’s partnership with a stuffed armadillo, Morano continues to turn an important issue into the sort of silliness that a Fox News viewer can understand, never mind that it is completely untrue.

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

That’s A Wrap: Hollywood’s Closet Conservatives Close Their Covert Club

For those who haven’t heard of it, the Friends of Abe (FoA) is an exclusive society of right-wing celebrities who pretend to be secret so as to protect themselves from imaginary discrimination in Hollywood. Never mind that many of them make public appearances on behalf of the supposedly secret group and with names like Kelsey Grammer, Tom Selleck, Bruce Willis, and Clint Eastwood, they aren’t exactly nobodies who can’t find work in movies and TV.

Friends of Abe

Now it appears that the FoA is being disbanded. A report by the Guardian reveals that the organization has decided to dispense with their activities just as the 2016 election season is heading into the homestretch. The networking group will cease to host regular gatherings where they can complain about their careers, bitch about high taxes on rich folks like themselves, fret about ISIS coming after them, hate on immigrants, whine that more Americans have access to health care than ever before, and blame President Obama for those, and every other, catastrophe they think is destroying America. The announcement was made in an email to members that said in part…

“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website. Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”

That’s some pretty powerful spin. Did you catch it? They are saying that due to their unparalleled success nobody is paying any dues or showing up for their events. And to think, I used to believe that declining revenue and attendance were signs of failure. Shows you how much I know.

As it turns out, the FoA is suffering from the same sort of internal rancor that is devouring the Republican Party from the inside, and for the same reason: Donald Trump. As the Guardian notes, “infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment.” It goes on to expose an environment described by one the founders as a “civil war in slow motion,” and laments broken friendships and the loss of a sense of solidarity.

Trump basks in the glory of being a wrecking ball on the right. He has splintered the GOP into factions including the #NeverTrump movement and the well-financed anti-Trump “Our Principles” Super PAC. Party regulars have likened the emergence of Trump to political suicide, or at least threatened to commit suicide themselves if he gets the nomination. As for the Storm-Trumpers, they cling so tightly to their messiah that they promise to wreak havoc at the RNC convention and abandon the GOP entirely if the crown is not passed to Trump as God intends.

Even Fox News has been run through the Trump meat grinder. He has bitterly castigated the network as being full of dopes, and dummies, and boring lightweights who can’t function because of their menstrual cycles. He has even called for a boycott of the network that he says is totally unfair to him, despite the fact that they have given him far more airtime than any other candidate. The same animosities that drove the break up of the FoA can be observed in the hallways of Fox News.

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

But don’t jump to conclusions yet. This announcement of defeat may be a ruse to throw everyone off the trail of the FoA’s true mission. They may just be pretending to break up so they can return to their former state of obscurity from which they can launch wingnut missiles at Democrats and other liberal foes in anonymity. Yesterday they posted a message on their Facebook page that cryptically presaged this announcement:

“Friends of Abe mentioned in the media again…sheesh, we’re becoming about as ‘secret’ as Mount Everest. I will concede that the author is correct, in that sides have certainly been drawn regarding Trump. But the organization will survive, even if, for the time being, fewer people are being let in.”

That sounds like a tactical retreat. Not that they would be any more effective as guerrilla-style activists fighting in the shadows. Having twice the impact of zero impact is still zero impact. We’ll know more shortly as the FoA Facebook page currently has a cover photo that says they will release an official statement on the Facebook page in the next twenty-fours. Maybe that statement will include an explanation for why an organization whose first rule is (borrowing from The Fight Club) “Never talk about Friends of Abe,” has a Facebook page to begin with.

Racists On Fox News React To The Harriet Tubman $20.00 Bill

Like clockwork, all that needs to happen is for some news event to address something involving race that can be tied to the Obama administration and the bigots come slithering out from the crevices in the floor. The latest example of this is the long overdue initiative to place a woman on U.S. currency. The woman selected for the honor is the heroic former slave and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. Oh, and she just happens to be black.

Fox News

Leading the way, Greta Van Susteren of Fox News delivered a commentary (video below) that portrayed the decision to put Tubman on the $20.00 bill as an “awful” idea that amounts to “dividing the country.” Van Susteren blasted the plan in the most insulting terms, saying that “The Obama administration went stupid, and went stupid for no reason.” Then she offered her own alternative to put Tubman on a non-existent $25.00 bill instead, saying that it would be “the smart and easy thing to do.”

First of all, what would be smart or easy about minting a new bill just for the purpose of putting Tubman on it? It would waste millions of dollars to design, produce, and maintain, despite the fact that there is no demand for a denomination that’s $5.00 more than the twenty. That would make it a pretty stupid thing to do. And the only thing that is making any of this divisive is the right-wingers like Van Susteren who insist on dredging up controversy where there need not be any.

What’s more, segregating Tubman to a new, unwanted denomination smacks of a form of the “separate but equal” philosophy that was really just an excuse to practice discrimination. Van Susteren is effectively saying that Tubman isn’t fit for the currency that the rest of us white folk use. That reasoning has also been adopted by Ben Carson and Donald Trump who have both advocated for an even more devalued denomination for Tubman: the $2.00 bill.

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

Not surprisingly, the response to Van Susteren’s commentary by the cretins at the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, was an avalanche of racism. This has become a predictable aftereffect of any race-related news story (see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community). Here are just a few examples of the bigoted opinions that Fox fans are comfortable expressing when they are among their own kind:

Fox Nation Comments

Morning Joe, Fox News, And The Curse Of Dumb Glenn Beck Comparisons

There is nothing more embarrassing than a public figure so desperate for attention that he uncorks painfully shallow op-eds that only demonstrate why he gets so little attention. That’s the situation that MSNBC’s Morning Joe Scarborough finds himself in now after he penned a column for the Washington Post with unsolicited advice for Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The column is headlined “Megyn Kelly, Fox News, and the Curse of Glenn Beck.”

Morning Joe Scarborough

Scarborough’s column purported to be a stab at career guidance for Kelly, Fox’s trending primetime star anchor. He made note of her recent comments regarding her future with Fox News. Kelly said that, while she is happy at Fox, it also causes “brain damage,” and that she has not decided what she will do when her current contract expires.

Scarborough thinks that Kelly would be making a terrible mistake were she to leave Fox News, the network that built her into a household name for news junkies. He may be right, but not for the ludicrous reason he floated:

“If Kelly wants to leave Fox News for family reasons, good for her. But if Kelly is thinking of escaping Roger Ailes and Fox News because she thinks she has outgrown the man and his star-making machinery, I humbly offer a friendly suggestion: Call Glenn Beck.”

First of all, calling Glenn Beck for advice on anything is never a good idea. Beck would sell you worthless gold coins and replace your health insurance with prayer. Beck is the man who thinks that God speaks to him about political matters and has told him the world is ending so many times that either God is a pathological liar or he is hilariously fucking with Beck.

More to the point, Scarborough’s suggestion is based on the catastrophe that Beck’s career has become since leaving Fox and, therefore, Kelly should avoid a similar disastrous fate. But Scarborough has completely misread the disparate media landscapes facing Beck and Kelly.

Glenn Beck was fired from Fox News with no place else to go in cable or broadcast media. His dismissal was the result of his outlandish and offensive behavior on his show that resulted in an advertiser boycott that stripped the program of any significant revenue. He was cast aside as damaged goods and had few prospects other than the Internet’s wingnut underground and his remaining radio fans.

Megyn Kelly, by contrast, is the jewel in Fox’s primetime lineup. She frequently beats Bill O’Reilly’s ratings and is featured regularly in magazine profiles that are pure puffery. More importantly, she is in demand by every network who would leap at the opportunity to steal the popular and rising star from Fox to bolster their own networks and to deprive Fox of a proven ratings draw. None of this is a reflection on the quality of Kelly’s work, which is sorely lacking in credibility and ethics. It is just a real world observation of her success on a conservative network that rewards blind loyalty to rightist partisanship.

In short, Kelly is contemplating a departure from Fox at a time when her stock is valuable and rising. Beck left Fox as a loser who was dumped for being too insanely right-wing for the avowed centerpiece of right-wing media. But Scarborough thinks that these two situations are comparable and that Kelly should be nervous about becoming the next Beck. That’s nonsense.

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

Scarborough is once again illustrating why he is such an inferior analyst. He can’t see past his own biases. In this case his leanings are to genuflect before the divine Roger Ailes, whom Scarborough repeatedly praises in this article. It’s hard to see this column as anything other than Scarborough posting his resume in a public plea for Fox to hire him. And it comes complete with a pledge of loyalty that he wouldn’t abandon them the way that traitor Kelly is threatening to do, and that he gladly take her time slot. That would probably help MSNBC more than it would help Fox.

Fox News Is At The Cliff’s Edge And Donald Trump May Push Them Over

Gabriel Sherman has been writing about Fox News for many years and has been the source of several major scoops. He is the author of a biography of Fox CEO Roger Ailes (The Loudest Voice in the Room), and his sources are deeply embedded in the organization and are generally reliable. His columns for New York Magazine have exposed the inner workings of the network such as one of the possible reasons that Fox kowtows to Donald Trump (he has dirt on Ailes).

Donald Trump Roger Ailes

In his most recent column, Sherman addresses the discovery that Fox’s Megyn Kelly visited Trump at Trump Tower to try to cool his burning animosity toward her and to perhaps get him to appear on her special for the Fox Entertainment Network next month. It’s an interesting read, but one part of it diverges from the main topic to present an even juicier dilemma for Fox.

In the course of unraveling the melodrama in progress between Fox, Trump and Kelly, Sherman makes an observation about Fox’s primetime programming that deserves further analysis:

“Fox’s lineup is more in flux than it has been in years. According to sources, Sean Hannity is the only prime-time personality who has recently reupped for another term. O’Reilly, who turns 67 this year, has yet to commit. If Ailes were to lose Kelly and O’Reilly, Fox’s evening schedule — the source of most of its advertising revenue — would collapse. ‘There’s not much of a bench,’ one veteran Fox executive says. And CNN is already nipping at Fox’s lead in the key advertising demographic of 25-to 54-year-olds (though Fox still has more total viewers).”

Indeed, Fox would be up a creek if it lost O’Reilly and Kelly. Needless to say, the suits will try everything they can to avoid that doomsday scenario, but with O’Reilly getting way past his expiration date, and Kelly getting money and opportunity thrown at her from all directions, Fox may not have any say in the matter.

So how would Fox fill the void left by its two biggest stars? They have traditionally promoted from within, but as Sherman’s source notes, “there’s not much of a bench.” They surely couldn’t elevate their morning “curvy couch potatoes” (Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Ainsley Earhardt) to primetime. Their afternoon roster is dominated by Neil Cavuto (who is also anchoring a show on Fox Business Channel and serves as Exec VP of business for both networks), Shepard Smith (whose portfolio is breaking news), and Bret Baier (who is the networks version of a “legitimate” nightly news anchor), so none of them would slide easily into a nightside opinion format.

There are minor players among the contributor class at Fox who simply don’t have the gravitas to pull off the promotion. They include people like the terminally lightweight Eric Bolling, the smug Tucker Carlson, and the perpetually angry Kimberley Guilfoyle. None of them have either the appeal, the depth of knowledge, or the broadcasting skills to carry their own show.

However, there is one person on the roster who, at any other network, would be on the short list for a primetime slot. Juan Williams has been with Fox for nearly twenty years. He has appeared on virtually all of their programs as a guest, as well as a co-host for some including the currently running The Five. He has also filled in as host on The O’Reilly Factor. There’s just one problem: Williams is considered to be the “liberal” on Fox News (although I would dispute that characterization), and despite their claim of fairness and balance, they would never hand over an hour of primetime to someone who wasn’t a committed conservative. Oh, and there’s one other thing that might be an obstacle for Fox: He’s black.

So Fox is either going to have to hand over some valuable TV real estate to one of their pedantic, third rate seat fillers, or go outside the family to bring on a radio nutcase like Mark Levin or Laura Ingraham. Or they could snag a bona fide cable star like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. And since most of the contracts in question will expire after the 2016 election, they might also consider from among the losers of that race. As I wrote a few months ago, Roger Ailes was asked about this and indicated an interest in Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

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

But I thought Ailes was missing the obvious choice, and someone with experience hosting a vapid television show that was comprised mainly of fakery: Donald Trump would be a promising choice to fill the whole primetime schedule all by himself (which he would probably insist upon). He has everything Fox News requires: He will shamelessly lie to advance right-wing propaganda. He will engage in childish fights with his guests. He will completely mutilate the news into an unrecognizable heap of bullshit. It’s pretty much what Fox’s primetime stars do now. And he has plenty of experience having been on Fox more than most of its regular anchors over the last ten months, so viewers won’t notice much of a change. And the last thing Fox wants to do is startle their audience into perhaps waking up.

Fox News Poll: Donald Trump Is An Ignorant Snot Who Nobody Likes

The Republican primary this year has affirmed what many people have known about the party for decades. It is dominated by boorish, judgmental, demagogues who are determined to deceive the American public into believing that they benefit when the rich get richer. The emergence of a billionaire reality TV game show host as their front-runner puts an exclamation point at the end of that sorry state of affairs.

foxnews-poll-trump

Now a new poll from (of all places) Fox News tells us more of what we already knew if we were paying attention. Donald Trump really is an ignorant blowhard with the highest unfavorable rankings ever recorded. Fox News begins their article detailing the poll results saying that…

“Majorities of American voters think Republican front-runner Donald Trump lacks the knowledge, temperament, and the likeability to be an effective president.”

No shit! This has been obvious since Trump announced his candidacy with a speech that demeaned immigrants as rapists and criminals. It has been manifest in his relentless insults directed at minorities, liberals, women, and even his own party peers. Still, it’s useful having confirmation of this from the media mouthpiece for conservative politics and Republican PR, Fox News.

The survey asked several questions related to the fitness of the candidates to hold the office of president, and Trump fared dismally in every one of them. On whether the candidate has the knowledge to serve effectively as president, Trump scored lowest with only 38% saying that he did. Clinton had a large majority of 63%, and Sanders also had a majority of 58%.

On whether or not the candidate has the integrity to serve effectively as president, Trump flopped with a mere 40%, still way below his Democratic rivals: Clinton 48%, Sanders 70%.

On whether or not the candidate has the temperament to serve effectively as president, Trump underperformed again with an embarrassing 33%. Clinton and Sanders pulled in 62% and 68% respectively.

Finally, the survey asked if the candidate is likeable enough to serve effectively as president. And again, to no one’s surprise, Trump sat at the bottom with 41%, while Clinton drew 52% and Sanders soared at 71%.

On a couple of other issues addressed in the survey, Trump was similarly situated at the low end. Americans would trust both Clinton and Sanders more (53%) when negotiating with Vladimir Putin, than Trump (40%). And when asked about whether the candidate would make them proud, the highest response to “Not at all” went to Trump (56%). And while the poll found that 64% of the respondents think that the Democrats have been “generally polite and respectful” throughout the primary, 80% of them think that the Republicans have been generally rude and disrespectful.

It’s significant to note that this poll is not just an expression of general distaste for all politicians, because the abysmal numbers for Trump are unique. They are matched by majorities with favorable views of the Democrats. There isn’t an across the board anti-government sentiment.

So according to the Fox News poll, the leading light of the GOP, and the standard bearer for Republican politics, is regarded by majorities of the population as too ignorant, too lacking in integrity, too temperamental, and too obnoxious to be President of the United States.

What a surprise. The man who can’t articulate a single coherent thought on domestic or foreign policy; who insults anyone who has the temerity to criticize him; who whines like a baby whenever things don’t go exactly the way he wants; who advocates violence against protesters at his rallies; who brags incessantly about how awesome he thinks he is; that man is not particularly well thought of by most Americans. That’s a very good sign of the astute character judgment of the American people.

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

However, it’s also a very frightening sign of the deranged minds of the people who are such loyal followers of the Trump cult. Where will they go when he eventually flames out? Right back into the mainstream of the Republican Party with the rest of the zombie Tea Party fanatics and white supremacists. And that is a very bad sign indeed.

Prawn Of The Dead: Return Of The Fox News ‘Shrimp On A Treadmill’ Sham

The scandal mongers at Fox News must be getting bored with Donald Trump’s bitching about how the GOP is conspiring against him and their utter failure to convince anyone that Hillary Clinton should be thrown in jail. The desperation is visible in their latest recycling of an ancient story that was a core part of their propaganda back in 2011.

The venerable tale of the “Shrimp on a Treadmill” was an audience favorite for the Fox cultists. It had all the components of classic rightist mythology: It portrayed government as wasteful and stupid; it elevated Republican whiners in Congress; it disparaged scientists as greedy perpetrators of hoaxes; and most importantly, it was completely made up. There was literally no truth to the story at all.

This morning on Fox News the Scampi-Scam was resurrected in conjunction with a story about the release of the annual “Pig Book,” a publication from Citizens Against Government Waste that details what they allege are unnecessary government expenditures. Perhaps their report should include the millions of dollars in unnecessary government expenditures on useless and spiteful shutdowns, dozens of fruitless, partisan hearings on Benghazi, and fifty-plus futile attempts to repeal ObamaCare. Fox’s Eric Shawn introduced the today’s segment saying…

“So last year we had the famous shrimp on the treadmill study. There it goes. There goes the little guy. This thing costs over a number of years three million dollars, they say, in taxpayer money. And this absurdity, I mean, continues now?”

Even this many years after the story had been debunked, Fox News is still propagating the lie that it cost millions of dollars. News Corpse documented this journalistic malpractice back in 2014 in an article that include the account of the professor responsible for the experiment. This seems like a good time to reprise that article. So here it is in full:



Back in May of 2011, Fox News assigned its crack investigative reporting team to expose a case of government malfeasance on a grand scale. They claimed to have uncovered wasteful spending on scientific research that served no purpose other than to line the pockets of academics engaged in questionable studies. At the top of the list was a now infamous project that involved the absurd but adorable image of a “shrimp on a treadmill.”

Fox News Shrimp Treadmill

This story became emblematic of government’s incompetence and inability to exercise fiscal restraint. Fox News took it up in big way with hundreds of segments featuring the by now exhausted little sea creature. It was featured on nearly every Fox program with Neil Cavuto playing a prominent role in hyping it with a hefty dose of smugly delivered disgust.

Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, it turns out that this is just another fraudulent invention of the myth spinners at Fox News. David Scholnick is the professor of marine biology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the notorious research was conducted. Earlier this week he published an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that laid out for the umpteenth time what was actually being studied and the true costs involved.

On behalf of the National Science Foundation, Scholnick developed a project to ascertain “how recent changes in the oceans could potentially affect the ability of marine organisms to fight infections.” He justified the study by linking it to the very real risk of bacteria contamination to the food supply. But more to the point, he adamantly denied the accusations of any fiscal improprieties.

“Exactly how much taxpayer money did go into the now-famous shrimp treadmill? The treadmill was, in fact, made from spare parts—an old truck inner tube was used for the tread, the bearings were borrowed from a skateboard, and a used pump motor was salvaged to power the treadmill. The total price for the highly publicized icon of wasteful government research spending? Less than $50. (All of which I paid for out of my own pocket.)”

The truth is that the $3 million dollars attributed to the study was actually an aggregate sum that was used for a variety of NSF projects. It was not the amount spent on the shrimp experiment. And there is no evidence that any of the funds were misused or were not justifiable from a research perspective.

However, given the attitude of Fox News and conservative politicians toward science, it is not surprising to find them falsely accusing scientists of malfeasance. The wingnut community staunchly denies the existence of man-made climate change, evolution, and even the harmful effects of excessive sugar, salt, and tobacco. It’s only a matter of time before they begin to challenge the “theory” of gravity.

At the end of his article Scholnick takes a well deserved swipe at his right-wing critics by offering to sell his shrimp-sized NordicTrack for the bargain price of $1 million – a 67% discount on the bogusly reported cost. That’s the sort of special only found during the Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving. Some lucky buyer is going to get endless hours of satisfaction and be the envy of his friends and neighbors.

Stay tuned for the Fox News correction of their erroneous reporting, which I’m sure they will be broadcasting just as soon as they are finished spewing lies about Benghazi, IRS emails, executive amnesty, ObamaCare, the Keystone XL pipeline, voter fraud, Ebola, trickle-down economics, and – oh never mind. It may be better not to stay tuned after all.

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