The Sleazification Of American Presidential Politics Courtesy Of Donald Trump

Politics has always been a rough and tumble game with mudslinging and character attacks that test a candidates endurance. And while it often diverts from the issues that voters care about, those types of tactics are usually short-lived distractions and the public debate generally returns to the primacy of a candidate’s policies and proposals.

Donald Trump

But this year it’s different. One of the candidates is a former reality TV game show host with a long history of making tabloid melodrama the centerpiece of his celebrity. Donald Trump is a rich, spoiled, thrice married playboy who flaunts his infidelities, and isn’t shy about slandering anyone he perceives as an enemy. And he has brought his crass demeanor and inflated ego to his candidacy for president.

It is precisely because Trump is so ignorant when it comes to the pressing matters of state that he needs to rely so heavily on smear campaigns and juvenile name-calling. It has been nearly a year since he announced his entry into the race and he is no more knowledgeable today than when he began. Consequently, we can expect to see a continuation of the empty-headed insults and bullying that are the hallmarks of Trump’s campaign. And today there were two frightening examples of what the next five months are going to look like on the campaign trail.

The first came in the form of a Trump video dredging up an old and discredited allegation about Bill Clinton. The accuser, Kathleen Willey, had told her story to the Independent Counsel investigating Clinton back in the early 1990’s, as well as the FBI, who dismissed it as inconsistent, unverified, and riddled with lies. As Media Matters reported, she also told it to conspiracy fruitcake Alex Jones and Donald Trump.

The video Trump is now distributing shows Willey recycling her assault charges with no more evidence today than she had twenty-three years ago. The difference is that now she has Donald Trump paying her to repeat this rotting pile of salacious gossip. Although it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump, a still festering birther, would hype such obvious garbage. Willey has also accused the Clintons of killing her husband and her cat.

The second steaming heap was reported by the Washington Post and also attempts to reanimate a scandal that has been dead for a quarter of a century. Trump spoke to the Post today and unprompted resurrected the ghost of former White House aide Vince Foster. Foster committed suicide in 1993, which led to a flurry of ludicrous conspiracy theories mainly accusing Bill and/or Hillary of murdering him.

So today Trump told the Post that he considered Foster’s death to be “very fishy.” Continuing, Trump said of Foster that “He had intimate knowledge of what was going on. He knew everything that was going on and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.” Trump never reveals what might have been going on that would make him a target for assassination. He also neglects to mention that Foster’s death “was ruled a suicide in investigations conducted by the United States Park Police, the Department of Justice, the FBI, Kenneth Starr and Congress.”

The fact that Trump is bringing up these bizarre and stale smears of yesteryear shows that he intends to drag the campaign down to levels never seen before. He will continue to avoid substantive issues like national security, economics, healthcare, and equality because he simply doesn’t comprehend any of them. So prepare to be inundated with assertions that Hillary Clinton is a lizard-person from outer space who is plotting to devour your children. Because that’s as close to reality as Donald Trump is capable of getting.

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

And what’s really sad is that Trump’s glassy-eyed followers won’t see anything wrong with this style of campaigning. They don’t care if he talks about ISIS or Martians as long he says he’s gonna obliterate them in the first week of his presidency. And they certainly don’t care if he lies through his capped teeth as he has been doing for the past year (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). His fans love nothing better than the tales of murder and lust that are more at home in the cheesiest of soap operas. So that’s what they will get and most of it will be happily delivered by Fox News. They will never ask him to demonstrate any of the intelligence or ability to govern the most powerful nation on Earth – Lucky for him.

Majority Of Americans (Including 41% Of Republicans) Favor Socialist Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been a contentious point of debate in the media ever since it was proposed by a timid Congress that worked fervently to water it down and excise its most progressive elements. In subsequent polling the nation has appeared divided on whether they favored the insurance reforms, although the polls often neglected to differentiate from those who opposed it because it went too far and those who who opposed it because it didn’t go far enough.

Medicare For All

This week Gallup released a poll that definitively settles that question. They gave respondents a clear choice that included the option of “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.” That option, which is essentially universal healthcare, received a clear majority of 58% favoring it.

What’s more, when Gallup broke down the responses by party, it revealed that 41% of Republicans were in favor of the federally funded option as well. Not a majority, nor even close to the 73% of Democrats, but a surprisingly high figure representing the heretofore unknown socialist wing of the GOP.

The other options in the poll were “Keeping the Affordable Care Act in place,” which was divided 48-49%, and “Repealing the Affordable Care Act” which was also close at 51-45%. However, as Gallup noted:

“…the group of Americans in this survey who favor the law’s repeal, a core policy proposal of many Republican presidential candidates during this campaign season, includes some who apparently want the ACA repealed to replace it with an even more liberal system.”

ObamaCare, in its present form, has been an unqualified success. It has brought the number of uninsured down to historically low levels. It has kept the cost of healthcare down, both in premiums paid to insurers and direct costs of care. It has guaranteed access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions and provided equality of cost and care for women. These are just a few of the reasons that, despite a concerted effort by Fox News and other conservative media to scare Americans away from it, ObamaCare continues to enjoy widespread popularity.

Considering the broad appeal of a universal, Medicare-for-all style healthcare program, it would be advantageous for the presidential candidates to pay heed to the will of the people. To date, only Bernie Sanders has taken a position that fully embraces this policy. Hillary Clinton, though, has been inching toward it with a recent statement in support of a public option.

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

It would also be helpful if the media would cover this preference on the part of the American people. This may not be as sexy a subject as Donald Trump’s latest sleaze mongering, but the press is supposed to be a source of credible information, particularly in the midst of a presidential campaign. No one would expect Fox News to report the results of this poll, and they haven’t. It would completely contradict their phony free-market, crony-capitalist, Republican sponsored narrative. But the rest of the national television newscasters have largely ignored it as well. And without a responsible media giving this issue the attention it deserves, the candidates for both national and local offices will feel no pressure to address it either.

On Fox News, Republican Losers Get Credit For Democratic Successes

One of the most consistent fallacies presented by Fox News on a daily basis is the assignment of blame for for anything that goes wrong exclusively to President Obama. If it can be cast as negative, Obama did it. Some of the laughable liabilities attributed to the President include the riots in Ferguson, MO, California’s drought, Ebola, and even Hurricane Katrina (which happened three years before he was elected. They have blamed him for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. There is simply no way Obama can win with these partisan hacks.

Bush Blame Obama

Fox News’ Stolen Honor

Now, in addition to making Obama shoulder the responsibility for the failures of incompetent Republicans, Fox News is also stealing the credit for anything good that happens during any Democratic administration. This week alone has provided two glaring examples of this stolen honor by Fox pundits who can’t seem find anything that Republicans have done that actually helped the nation.

First we have Eric Bolling, a co-host of Fox’s The Five. During a segment devoted to bashing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bolling sought to diminish her husband’s success in orchestrating what was at the time the longest period of non-wartime economic growth in the nation’s history. Since he couldn’t plausibly deny that it was an era of unprecedented prosperity, Bolling served up this pretzel logic: “The reason why Bill [Clinton] did so well is because of Ronald Reagan.”

Of course it was. Never mind that Reagan was followed by four years of his vice-president George H.W. Bush who ran the economy into the ground and was summarily booted out of office. And perish the thought that Bolling would provide any substantive argument to support his made up theory. According to Bolling Reagan deserves the praise simply for being Reagan.

Following that, Fox’s senior political analyst, Brit Hume, made an appearance on Special Report to deliver his explanation for the political successes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Eventually the discussion diverted to the state of the economy under President Obama. Hume began by asserting that the economy isn’t really in very good shape, but then shifted to proclaim that whatever was good about it wasn’t Obama’s doing, saying that “The credit for rescuing the economy, if it belongs with government, has got to be shared, at least [with George W. Bush].”

And why not? After all, Bush merely presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And his response was a basket of bailouts for the banks that were instrumental in the market’s downfall. It wasn’t until Obama came into office that efforts were made to stimulate the economy, and even that was opposed and obstructed by the Republicans in Congress.

It’s Hillary’s Fault Too

In both of the cases above the inspiration for these self-serving assumptions of economic glory stemmed from a comment Hillary Clinton made on the campaign trail. She said that if elected president she would put her husband Bill in charge of revitalizing the economy, something he is demonstrably good at. That comment sent the conservative pundits into a frenzy. They couldn’t abide her reminding people about the boom-time economy over which Clinton presided. So they endeavored to clumsily steal the credit for themselves.

This is just more proof that if Republicans had anything to be proud of they wouldn’t be trying to take credit for things they didn’t do – for things they affirmatively tried to prevent. They are, in effect, admitting that there are no accomplishments attributable to GOP administrations, so by necessity they have to swipe them from Democrats. It’s dishonest and unethical, but that’s never stopped them before.

Tax-Dodger Donald: Trump’s Own Documents Prove He Lied About The Value Of His Properties

Is Donald Trump a billionaire or a world-class grifter?

It has been difficult to pin down Trump’s net worth because he refuses to release his taxes until an alleged audit is complete. That excuse has been ridiculed by experts and even the IRS says there is nothing preventing him from making his own tax information public. Nevertheless, he is continuing to hide behind his lawyers and now says that his returns might not be released until after the election.

Donald Trump

Tax returns have been a staple disclosure in politics for nearly half a century. Hillary Clinton has made more than thirty years of returns available to the public. But Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this weekend that his tax rate is “none of your business.” However, there is data available through other tax filings that is shedding some light on Trump’s mysterious empire.

ABC News is reporting (video below) that the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, was valued on Trump’s candidate disclosure statement at “more than $50 million.” The high valuation serves Trump’s political purposes to portray himself as a successful businessman. But when he declared the assessment of the resort for tax purposes he claimed that it was worth only $1.75 million. The difference between his tax declaration and his candidate disclosure amounts to a savings of 90% on his tax bill.

When asked by ABC’s Brian Ross to comment on the discrepancy, he was told that the matter was “decades old and not worthy of a response.” He said much the same thing to reporters asking about the recent discovery of an audio tape of him posing as his own fictional press agent when talking to the media. This is a statute of limitations that only applies to Trump, whose obsession with the Clintons’ marital difficulties from the 1990s he still considers fair game.

The ABC story cited several other instances when Trump was less than honest about paying his taxes. One particularly egregious incident was when he purchased the yacht that became his beloved “Trump Princess.” At the time he pretended to have a patriotic incentive for buying the luxury liner. He said:

“I like to see the great jewels of the country being owned by the people of this country. And it had a big play as to why I bought this boat.”

However, as Ross reported, Trump “used off-shore and out-of-state corporations to buy the yacht and saved him a tax bill of some $1.75 million.” What a patriot. Something that Ross left out is that later, when Trump was undergoing a severe financial crisis, he sold the yacht to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. So much for “the great jewels of the country.”

The Trump National property was purchased in foreclosure for $8 million, and he spent another $45 million developing the golf course and the club house. So either this property suffered a massive decline in value and Trump isn’t worth what he says he is, or he is deliberately undervaluing it to avoid his legal tax bill. Either way, one of his public declarations is a flagrant lie. And with this report by ABC News will the media pick up the story and begin to tell the truth about Trump’s dishonesty?

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

Donald Trump Obsesses Over Hillary Clinton’s Past But Considers His Own Off Limits

The issue that Donald Trump has made the centerpiece of campaign against Hillary Clinton has been the timeworn marital difficulties she and her husband endured in the 1990s. Trump glommed onto this issue in response to Clinton’s advocacy of women’s rights in contrast to his own overt misogyny and his opposition to the reforms that matter most to women.

Donald Trump

Trump bitterly complained about Clinton asserting that he has “a penchant for sexism” and responded by accusing her of playing The Woman Card. But his defense rested entirely on dredging up the distant past of Bill Clinton’s infidelities and some baseless accusations that Hillary destroyed the lives of the women involved. He clearly doesn’t understand the nature of women’s issues or why they hate him so much. And despite Trump’s hyperbolic ranting that Bill Clinton was “the worst abuser of women in the history of politics,” a Fox News poll found that when women were asked who they thought was “more respectful of women” – Bill Clinton or Donald Trump – they responded overwhelming that it was Bill Clinton (55% to 31%).

Nevertheless, Trump continues to sharpen his attacks on Clinton’s past with every stump speech he delivers and every phone-in interview he gives to the media. This obsession with the past has now come back to haunt him. An audio from the 1990s has emerged that features Trump pretending to be his own fictional publicist. It was recorded for an interview with People Magazine. Trump is denying that the voice on the recording is his, but all the evidence suggests that he’s lying.

First of all, it sounds exactly like him and he repeatedly uses jargon that is unique and identifiable. In addition, the reporter from People Magazine says that not only was she certain that it was Trump, but that he admitted it afterwards saying that it was joke. Finally, CNN had a voice expert compare the recording to known recordings Trump and he said, with scientific certainty, that it was Trump. In response to the abundance of proof that Trump did perpetrate this fraud, and is lying about it now, Trump complained that

“You’re going so low to talk about something that took place 25 years ago whether or not I made a phone call? Let’s get on to more current subjects.”

Alrighty then. Presumably Trump will stop talking about the Clintons’ past marital troubles that took place 25 years ago. And if you believe that, then you’re already gullible enough to be a Trump supporter. And like most Trump supporters, it doesn’t bother you that your candidate assumed fake identities to brag about his business and sexual conquests, or lied about doing so when he was caught.

There are real differences between the old Clinton news and the old Trump news. The old Clinton news is not actually news. It has been known for decades. It also does not reflect on her behavior or credibility as a public leader. In fact, it ought to be regarded as a measure of honor that she and Bill managed to repair their marriage, respect their vows, and preserve their family. On the other hand, Trump’s news is indeed relevant today because it has never been revealed before. It’s actually news. And it plainly reflects on his character, defining him as a deceitful impostor and a liar.

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

It would nice if, the next time Trump goes off on the Clinton affairs, the media reminds him that he said that such past occurrences were “going so low” and should be dismissed in favor of “more current subjects.” Somehow I think that may be too much to expect from the media that made Trump in the first place. They have yet to learn the most basic lessons on how to interview him. Like preventing him from dodging questions, changing subjects, and filibustering with irrelevant trivialities. So that would be nice too.

Fox News Falsely Reports That Clinton Aide “Stormed” Out Of FBI Interview

With the market for manufactured scandals losing steam, Fox News is getting desperate for new avenues of attack against Hillary Clinton. Their already in progress effort to impeach her has been going nowhere. Trey Gowdy’s House Committee To Politicize Benghazi has wasted millions of dollars, and untold hours, but found nothing incriminating against Clinton. The accusers of Planned Parenthood have themselves been indicted. And the never-ending investigations into Clinton’s email server was recently declared to have uncovered “scant evidence” of any wrongdoing. So what will Fox News do now?

Fox News

Not to worry. Fox News will do what they always do: Invent some new controversy that they can hash around for a couple of days before everyone realizes that there’s nothing to it, and then pretend it never happened. In that spirit Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteran introduced a segment (video below) that alleged that one of Clinton’s trusted confidants was an uncooperative witness during an FBI interview about Clinton’s email.

“Long-time Clinton aide Cheryl Mills reportedly storming out of the interview over an off-limits topic,” was how Van Susteran opened the segment. The story was picked up by Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge who got it from the Washington Post. Herridge’s lede was that this was…

“…a discussion of her conversations with Mrs. Clinton over which emails would be produced to the state department as part of the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request. […] This was negotiated to be off-limits because of attorney-client privilege.”

Van Susteren, an attorney before she joined Fox News, responded with a surprisingly coherent comment that should have put the matter to bed. She said “That actually would be routine that that would be off-limits, so it’s nothing surprising.” However, neither of them recanted the characterization of Mills as having stomped off in huff.

For some context, the Washington Post article that was the source of this story had an entirely different tone. For starters, their headline said only that “Clinton aide Cheryl Mills leaves FBI interview briefly after being asked about emails.” There was nothing in the article about anyone “storming” out. That was a rhetorical invention by Fox News. To the contrary, it was portrayed as a normal practice during such interviews when witnesses need to confer privately with their lawyers. In fact, it was the FBI investigator who was considered to have overstepped his boundaries:

“[A]n FBI investigator broached a topic with longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills that her lawyer and the Justice Department had agreed would be off limits, according to several people familiar with the matter.

“Mills and her lawyer left the room — though both returned a short time later — and prosecutors were somewhat taken aback that their FBI colleague had ventured beyond what was anticipated, the people said.”

This afternoon on Fox’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” the subject was brought up again with Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano telling Cavuto that a “courageous” FBI agent asked questions that all parties previously agreed would be improper. He praised the FBI agent for violating the “baloney” agreement to honor attorney/client privilege.

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

So Fox News took a rather uneventful account of the FBI meeting with Mills and transformed it into a fictional battle between valiant FBI heroes and a shady Clinton crony. Admittedly, that’s a more exciting narrative than what really happened, but it’s also patently untrue. But considering the dearth of any legitimate mud that Fox has to fling at Clinton, it’s understandable that they are resorting to these desperate measures. Expect more of the same for the next five months.

New York Post’s Latest Hillary Clinton Lie Refuted In Their Own Article

It takes a special kind of stupid to make an argument stating one thing, and then provide support for that argument that proves the opposite. Yet that’s exactly what the New York Post did Friday with an editorial attacking Hillary Clinton. The editorial carried the provocative headline: “Hillary’s latest email lie didn’t even last a week.”

Hillary Clinton New York Post

This headline is not only accusing Clinton of lying with her response to a new question about her email, it also declares, without evidence, that she has lied about it previously. The Post expects their readers to blindly absorb their dishonest “reporting” and, lucky for them, they are right. Conservatives have demonstrated that they are more than willing to accept unsubstantiated BS as gospel without ever bothering to verify it.

In this editorial, the unidentified authors claim that Clinton gave a false answer to a question by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell who asked “Have you been contacted — or your representatives contacted — by the FBI to set up an interview.” Clinton answered “No,” which the Post immediately labeled a lie. They gave two “reasons” to back up their accusation, both of which don’t hold up.

First, they pointed out that “the FBI has already interviewed Clinton’s closest confidant, Huma Abedin, and other top aides.” So how does that support the claim that Clinton lied? She wasn’t asked if any of her associates were interviewed. She was asked if there had been any efforts to set up an interview for her. She said that there have not been, and all of the available information supports her answer. The Post has no information whatsoever that contradicts her.

The second reason the Post gave to “prove” that Clinton lied is that “officials close to the probe say Hillary’s to be interviewed in the next few weeks — which means she’s surely been contacted.” Actually the Post has no knowledge that Clinton has “surely been contacted” and are themselves lying by making up what they would like to think it “means” when a general statement is made that Clinton will be interviewed at some unspecified time in the future. It does not, in fact, mean what they say it does.

What the Post is not reporting (and that CNN did report) is that “so far investigators haven’t found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law the U.S. officials say.” That’s not consistent with the guilty-until-proven-innocent (and probably not even then) narrative that the conservative media is pushing. So don’t expect to see it in the Post or 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.

As for the Post’s article, both of the reasons supplied in it to affirm that Clinton lied actually affirm that she told the truth. This is the sort of bogus perversion of journalism that is the hallmark of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The Post article was also published on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation which, along with the Post is owned by Murdoch.

Donald Trump Still Doesn’t Understand Why Women Hate Him

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president his unfavorable rating among women was an already dismal 58%. In the intervening months as he campaigned it has gotten considerably worse, rising to an unprecedented 70% unfavorable. And through it all, Trump has demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea why he is hated so much by America’s women.

Donald Trump Pig

In another of his rambling, rancid stump speeches (which he promised would be more presidential), Trump attempted to address his female problems by attacking Hillary Clinton’s past tribulations with her husband Bill. Apparently Trump still thinks that the former President’s infidelities reflect badly on her. However, the public doesn’t blame Hillary for Bill’s bad behavior, and raising the issue is more likely to bring her sympathy from other women.

So Trump is diverting to a new path aimed at accusing Clinton of ruining the lives of Bill’s booty calls. Trump complained that “they’re going after ME with women?” Then he told his glassy-eyed disciples that…

“She’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives. She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”

First of all, anything Hillary said about the situation was said at a time when she believed the allegations against her husband were false. She was defending him from what appeared to be political hit jobs. But more to the point, she never said anything that could be remotely described as nasty or destructive. There’s a reason that Trump doesn’t provide any examples to support his attack – they don’t exist.

For Trump, on the other hand, the evidence of his misogyny is voluminous. His attacks on Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, Elizabeth Warren, Rosie O’Donnell, Arianna Huffington, etc., are unarguably nasty and intended to cause harm. And unlike Clinton, Trump himself was the unfaithful person in his multiple marriages. He boasted in public of his infidelities.

But these personal incidents are not even what defines someone’s support for women in a political context. Trump’s new attack strategy is more proof that he continues to misunderstand what constitutes women’s issues. He is reducing it to the bad behavior of an individual. But when you take in the more expansive view of social equality, it has to be noted that it’s Hillary and Bill Clinton who support a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, prohibiting discrimination based on gender, support for victims of abuse, and family leave and child care. Those are actual women’s issues, not some guy being a horndog, and Donald Trump opposes them all – and is also a horndog.

For the record, when a poll was conducted earlier this year asking who is “more respectful of women” – Bill Clinton or Donald Trump – respondents overwhelming chose Bill Clinton (55% to 31%). And that was a Fox News poll.

In the battle for family values, Donald Trump cannot possibly prevail. He is a brutish hate monger who has repeatedly demonstrated a raging chauvinism that has been corroborated by his personal behavior. His defense often rests on the support he gets from his current wife and daughter, as if that validated anything. And don’t forget, we’re talking about the daughter that he wants to bang.

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

Will The Presidential Debate Commission Stand Up To Donald Trump’s Bullying?

Now that Donald Trump has been designated the “presumptuous” nominee of the Republican Party, it is a good time to look ahead to the debates that have been scheduled by the bipartisan Commission On Presidential Debates (CPD). If the recent history of candidate debates within the Republican Party is any guide, Trump’s contribution to the general election match ups could wind up turning the events into feral spectacles of crass immaturity and an avoidance of substance – i.e. pro-wrestling on meth.

Clinton Trump fight

The CPD has been responsible for managing these debates since 1988. It was formed “to ensure that the voting public has the opportunity to see the leading candidates debate during the general election campaign” in an environment that “is not controlled by any political party or outside organization.” While it has not always been a perfect solution, it has provided some measure of independence to prevent the candidates from dominating the process for their own benefit. This year, more than most, there is a significant threat to the independence of the debates as a fair and open discourse that informs voters. That threat is Donald Trump.

Throughout the GOP primary, Trump has forced himself and his rapacious self-interest on the candidates and the media participating in the party debates. Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, has made a determined effort to turn the debates into PR vehicles for the party by proclaiming that “allowing moderators who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party” is “ridiculous.” But that explicit endorsement of bias wasn’t enough for Trump who continued to strive to dominate the process and often got his way. He even refused to negotiate in concert with his party peers, preferring to conduct his own negotiations with the debate organizers and sponsors. Subsequently, Trump’s tantrums succeeded in forcing the RNC and the media to capitulate to his will on several occasions. For instance:

  • Following a contentious debate on CNBC, Trump’s complaints led the RNC to cancel any debates scheduled to be hosted by NBC, which is actually a different network with different management and moderators.
  • With regard to the CNBC debate, Trump’s whining successfully resulted in the debate hosts cutting the planned event from three hours to two in order to accommodate Trump’s lack of stamina and fear of having to answer questions.
  • After the conservative magazine National Review published a special issue that was critical of Trump, the RNC succumbed to his hissy fit by prohibiting the magazine from co-sponsoring a debate with CNN as scheduled.
  • Before the New Hampshire primary Trump exercised his virtual veto power over the New Hampshire Union Leader, the largest newspaper in the state, who was dropped as co-host of an ABC debate after they published an unflattering editorial about Trump.
  • Trump attempted to force the RNC to cancel a debate hosted by the Spanish-language network, Univision. Which was a bold move considering that Univision was never scheduled to host a debate. He took the same position with Telemundo without success.
  • The long-festering feud between Trump and Fox’s Megyn Kelly led to Trump threatening to boycott a Fox News debate unless Kelly was removed as a moderator. Trump followed through by skipping the debate in order to hold a phony telethon for veterans who still haven’t received the money he allegedly raised.

These examples of how the RNC and the media have let Trump dictate the terms of the debates during the primary raise concerns about how the CPD will respond if he tries to command the same tyrannical influence during the general election. Unlike the RNC, the CPD is theoretically not beholden to the candidates of any party, but Trump has demonstrated that he can throw a tantrum that rivals a snotty eight year old video gamer who desperately wants the latest edition of Assassin’s Creed.

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

It remains to be seen how the CPD will hold up under the pressure from Trump which, if the past is any indicator, will be as fierce as it is unethical. If they acquiesce to his demands it will demolish both their reputation and the credibility of the debates themselves. These are not meant to be infomercials for the candidates. Their purpose is to provide a candid discourse for voters so that they can make informed decisions. And while we can expect Trump to behave like a petulant child spewing insults and bitching about anything that isn’t flagrantly favorable to him, we have to hope the CPD stays above all of that and conducts fair and probing debates that serve the public interest. Stay tuned.

Fox News Takes Adulterous White House Correspondent Off The Air (What About Trump?)

The lascivious news scavengers are burning up the wires this morning reporting that Ed Henry, the Fox News Chief White House Correspondent, has been taken off the air due to the discovery that he has been engaging in a months-long extra-marital affair with a Las Vegas hostess.

Donald Trump Perv

This raises some questions that have not yet been addressed by most of the press. First and foremost, if marital infidelity is justification for taking a someone off the air then why is Bill O’Reilly still anchoring his primetime program? He has been alleged to have sexually harassed his former producer, Andrea Mackris. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids. In addition, other Fox contributors have also violated their marriage vows but remain on the air. Newt Gingrich has cheated on multiple wives. Mark Sanford infamously took a secret trip to Argentina to visit his mistress. Herman Cain’s presidential bid was short-circuited due his numerous infidelities. And those are just the ones we know about so far.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The Donald has frequently boasted about his lurid affairs during his multiple marriages. Of course, he isn’t currently a Fox News employee, but he is on the network more than any of their actual reporters and pundits. And when does anyone on Fox ever even bring up the facts about his salacious escapades? Even when Trump is peddling his phony evangelical, family values spiel he isn’t challenged by the Fox toadies lobbing softballs at him.

Fox News was right to bench Ed Henry. Not because of any sanctimonious moral statement on his personal behavior, which is none of their business. But because Henry is covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign and has already conducted interviews that include references to her husband’s unfaithfulness a quarter of a century ago. Henry even asked Trump to comment on the ancient allegations on a segment of Fox & Friends. The hypocrisy of Henry questioning Trump about Bill and Hillary’s past (and by all appearances resolved) marital problems at the same time that he was fully involved in his own extra-marital affair is an unacceptable breach of journalistic ethics.

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

However, if Fox is going to pull Henry off the air, they should be consistent and do the same for the others on their roster who have done the same or similar things. And they certainly shouldn’t allow Trump to get away with smearing Clinton without being held accountable for his own adulteries. Or for wanting to bang his own daughter.