Hillary Clinton Has Some Urgent Questions For Trump About His ‘Bizarre Relationship With Russia’

In the past few weeks there have been some shocking stories about Donald Trump’s connections to foreign politicians and financiers. Especially Russian leader Vladimir Putin and figures associated with Russian mobsters. The media glosses over these alliances, even though they would have doomed the electoral prospects of any other candidate. If Hillary Clinton were linked to such shady characters they might start calling her “crooked.”

Trump Putin

Consequently, it was left To Clinton to raise the issues that the press fails to properly cover. A post on her website enumerates a few of the inquiries that ought to be at the top of every journalist’s agenda. Here is a summary of her concerns:

6 questions every voter should ask about Donald Trump’s bizarre relationship with Russia

1. What’s behind Trump’s fascination with Vladimir Putin?
Trump is on record praising dictators from some of the world’s most brutal regimes, from Kim Jong-Un to Saddam Hussein. But his praise for Russia’s president is the most extensive and the most adoring.

2. Why does Trump surround himself with advisers with links to the Kremlin?
Trump’s top adviser and campaign manager Paul Manafort built his political career as a lobbyist for international dictators, rebel groups, and human-rights violators. […] Manafort isn’t the only Trump adviser with a cozy relationship with the Kremlin.

3. Why do Trump’s foreign policy ideas read like a Putin wish list?
Trump’s talk of “America First” isolationism worries our allies, threatening the alliances that have kept America strong and safe.

4. Do Trump’s still-secret tax returns show ties to Russian oligarchs?
Unlike every other major party presidential nominee for the past 40 years, Trump refuses to release a single tax return—you have to ask yourself “what’s he hiding?”

5. Why is Trump encouraging Russia to interfere in our election?
Russia has a known history of interfering in foreign elections, and there’s now extensive evidence that they’re doing just that in the United States.

6. Is Trump’s pro-Russia stance the result of his business ties to Russia? And what is he going to prioritize as president: our national security or his business interests?
Trump has worked to keep his business dealings a secret (as of today, he still refuses to release his tax returns). But reporters at ABC News uncovered a bombshell: Trump has profited from hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian interests.

The affinity Trump shows for hostile foreign dictators is more than a curious quirk of personality. It would pose a dangerous conflict of interest and an overt threat to national security. Question #3 in particular requires further examination. The fact that Trump’s agenda could serve as a to-do list for a Putin lobbyist should not be dismissed. Trump actually went on a Russian controlled TV network and took Putin’s side against America. And Trump’s stubborn unwillingness to be forthcoming about any of this only deepens the mystery.

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

THIS JUST IN: U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.

“U.S. intelligence officials are seeking to determine whether an American businessman identified by Donald Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials — including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the issue.”

Hillary Goes ‘Between Two Ferns’ And It’s Freakin’ Hilarious (VIDEO)

It’s two weeks after Labor Day, the date generally regarded as the commencement of the campaign season. The conventions are behind us and voters are said to be paying attention to the candidates. So it makes perfect sense that just as people are taking this race seriously, Hillary Clinton would appear on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis (video below).

Hillary Clinton Between Two Ferns

Not generally recognized for her sense of humor, Clinton rises to the occasion and gives Galifianakis every bit as much as he gives her. The segment begins with a question that sets the tone for the remainder of the sketch:

Galifianakis: Critics have questioned some of your decision making recently and by you doing this show I hope it finally lays that to rest.
Clinton: Oh I think it absolutely proves their case, don’t you?

Galifianakis hits on all of the most pressing issues of the campaign. He asks about the historical significance of Hillary being the first “girl” president, not to mention the first white president for many young Americans. He challengers her on the Second Amendment. And he boldly raises the prospect of her losing the Scott Baio vote, something no mainstream journalists have had the courage to address. Galifianakis also explores the intricacies of Hillary’s wardrobe and her famous pantsuits.

Donald Trump is not neglected in this interview. Galifianakis wanted to know what he might wear during the debates. When Hillary speculated that he would probably wear his customary red “power” tie, Galifianakis offered that it might instead be a “white power” tie. He also pressed Clinton on campaign strategy asking:

“When you see how well it works for Donald Trump, do you ever think to yourself ‘Maybe I should be more racist?'”

When the discussion turned to the economy, Galifianakis interrupted for a message from the program’s sponsor. I won’t say who that was, but you might be able to guess. Then he closed with a reference to Clinton’s email “scandal.”

Edgy comedy showcases like this are an effective way to reach the elusive Millennial demographic with which Clinton has struggled. President Obama used it to great effect, including taking a spin between the same two ferns in 2014. Conservatives freaked out whenever Obama appeared on such programs and complained that it was “unpresidential.” That’s a criticism that would sound ludicrous coming from Trump.

However, these outings often humanize a candidate and reveal an ability to laugh at themselves. Clinton has a well enough established reputation for serious policy analysis that she can safely engage in some comic relief. It wouldn’t hurt her to do more of it. Trump, on the other hand, has yet to demonstrate that he grasps the seriousness of the office he seeks. He stubbornly refuses to offer any specifics as to how he would accomplish his outlandish campaign promises. Mexico isn’t paying for a wall that he isn’t going to build anyway. ISIS won’t be defeated overnight. The deficit isn’t going to shrink after his tax cuts for the rich, they are going to balloon by over five trillion dollars. And he isn’t going to end all street crime in America.

Although there is one area in which Trump has succeeded which may obviate the need for him to do shows like this. He is already perceived by most Americans as joke.

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

UPDATE: The co-creators of “Between Two Ferns” spoke to the Washington Post about the Clinton interview. It’s a really interesting bit of background that reveals in part that…

“…she was actually super warm and funny during the making of it. After one of the jokes, she let out a big laugh that put us all at ease. This one, compared with the Obama one, was much more improvisational. We didn’t clear most of the jokes through her people.”

Hannity Appears In Trump Ad, Fox News Brushes Off Flagrant Conflict Of Interest

It may come as a surprise to learn that Fox News has policies governing the ethical behavior of their employees. Over the years the network has brazenly promoted Republican politicians and pundits without regard for either fairness or balance. But the blurry lines they draw were recently crossed by primetime host Sean Hannity.

Sean Hannity

Hannity taped a tribute to Donald Trump that appears in a new web ad. Curiously, he is identified only as “Sean Hannity, TV personality.” Not only did they leave out his Fox News affiliation, but they reduced him to the status of Kim Kardashian or Ryan Seacrest. In the clip Hannity unequivocally states his support for Trump and outlines his reasons why.

“One of the reasons I’m supporting Donald Trump this year is number one, he’s going to put originalists on the Supreme Court. People that believe in fidelity to the Constitution, separation of powers, co-equal branches of government. He’s a guy that will vet refugees to keep Americans safe. And of course he’s gonna build that wall. He says he’s gonna have Mexico pay for it. That’s fine, as long as we secure the country and, of course, we don’t want people competing for jobs. He said he will eliminate Obamacare, make us energy-independent, and as somebody who’s been a marksman since I’m 11 years old, protecting our Second Amendment rights are paramount to me.”

This list of right-wing tripe is typical of the propaganda that Fox and Hannity regularly dispense. Nothing in it varies from the conservative politics that dominate the network. What’s unusual is that Hannity delivers his testimonial in an official Trump advertisement. Along with fellow asshats like Ted Nugent, Hannity plants a wet kiss full on the mouth of his hallowed hero. Unfortunately, he failed to get permission from his Fox bosses before contributing his services. That reckless disobedience resulted in Fox News taking swift disciplinary action:

“We were not aware of Sean Hannity participating in a promotional video and he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season.”

Well, that ought teach him. While distancing themselves from Hannity’s impropriety, Fox firmly forbade him from further misconduct. And that appears to be the extent of his punishment. He wasn’t suspended. His pay wasn’t docked. There doesn’t even seem to be a demand to remove his segment from Trump’s ad. What’s more, they gave him permission to continue his partisan antics after the election.

This absence of consequences isn’t the least bit peculiar. Why would Fox News punish Hannity for doing in an ad what he does everyday on his program? Hannity has publicly endorsed Trump. His show has hosted Trump more than any other program on television. Tonight, in fact, he’ll be holding his third “town hall” wherein Trump is given the full hour to advance his candidacy. Hannity’s role in these infomercials is mainly to toss Trump softballs that he often answers himself. Or, at least, polishes the frequently moronic answers Trump serves up.

As the election season proceeds, Fox News is frantically escalating their Trump crusade. On the air they are deploying ever more hysterical Trump surrogates. The Fox News website is fully engaged in PR for Trump. Their Twitter feed is brazenly distributing professionally designed pro-Trump memes (see this collection). They couldn’t be more engaged in the campaign without registering as a PAC, which technically they ought to do anyway.

Consequently, Hannity’s pathetic iPhone video contribution to a web ad really doesn’t make much difference. And the only people watching Fox’s disinformation blitz are dimwitted wingnuts who wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances. Fox’s incessant choir-preaching didn’t elect John McCain or Mitt Romney, and it isn’t going to elect Donald Trump either.

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

LMFAO: Trump Takes Credit For Sh*t He Didn’t Do (Again) – Twitter Bites Back

From the start of his campaign Donald Trump has attempted to fool people into thinking he has inspired a vigorous political debate. The truth is that he hasn’t had single original thought in fifteen months. That hasn’t stopped him from claiming that no one talked about immigration until he came along. Or that he was the first person ever to condemn terrorism. Likewise, he thinks his exploitation of veterans launched the nation’s concern for them. He even stole the Birther issue which he used to launch his candidacy.

Donald Trump

Today he took credit for something else for which he was an obvious latecomer. In a tweet meant to criticize Hillary Clinton, Trump whined:

“Do people notice Hillary is copying my airplane rallies – she puts the plane behind her like I have been doing from the beginning.”

Wow, that Hillary Clinton is a real jerk. How dare she steal that brilliant idea that Trump conceived with his own tremendous brain. Can’t she come up with ideas of her own? And while we’re at it, let’s condemn these slime buckets who traveled through time to swipe Trump’s strategic breakthrough.

Beginning with this guy:

And then there was Mitt Romney:

That war deserter John McCain:

Mission accomplisher George W. Bush:

The Great Communicator himself, Ronald Reagan:

And I’ll throw in a Naked Gun reference just for fun:

Donald Trump’s narcissism is totally off the scale. He’s the guy who comes late to the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square and takes credit for the ball dropping. His perverse obsession with himself has led him to declare that “My primary consultant is myself.” In the White House Trump would surely continue this blatant conceit, which could have disastrous consequences. In the best case scenario it would just make America the laughingstock of the world.

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

WTF? At Clinton’s Post-Terror Press Avail 3 Out Of 4 Questions Were About Trump

For much of the summer conservatives busied themselves counting the days that elapsed since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. To them it indicated that she had something to hide. The truth was that she was concentrating on local media and one-on-one interviews. She was hardly avoiding the press. However, if she wanted to she had ample reason. Her press conference this morning is a perfect illustration of why Clinton might be justified in dodging these affairs.

Hillary Clinton

Following a weekend of bombings and stabbings attributed to terror-linked suspects, Clinton delivered a statement and took a few question from reporters covering her campaign (video below). She began by offering her support to the communities affected by the attacks. She also expressed concern for the victims and determination to prevail over the perpetrators saying, in part:

“Like all Americans, my thoughts are with those who were wounded, their families and our brave first responders. This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower, we will prevail. We will defend our country and we will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.”

After her remarks, Clinton invited the press to ask questions. You might think this would be a good time to dig deeper into her plans to defeat the enemy. But that would only be true if you considered the enemy to be Donald Trump. Because the press seemed far more interested in him than in ISIS. Here are the four questions Clinton was asked by our intrepid journalists:

First Question:

Unidentified Reporter: The person of interest in this case is an Afghan immigrant, now U.S. citizen. What do you say to voters who may see this as a reason to consider supporting Trump’s approach to terror and immigration?

What do you say to those voters? Who gives a flying flapjack! Voters who are considering Trump’s approach to fighting terrorism are considering an approach that doesn’t exist. And his followers don’t care. In over fifteen months of campaigning he has yet to articulate a coherent policy. Trump’s ISIS “plan” consists of bashing Clinton and President Obama, while boldly declaring from the comfort of his gold-encrusted penthouse that he will bomb the sh*t out of them. Despite the obtuse phrasing of the question, Clinton’s reply was thoughtful, covering law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and immigration reform. All while respecting the civil liberties of American citizens and residents. Voters considering Trump have no interest in such trivialities.

Second Question:

Monica Alba, NBC News: Secretary Clinton, the White House has labeled these lone wolf attacks a top concern and given these weekend’s events, what more specifically should be done and what would you do specifically beyond what President Obama has done? Is the current plan enough?

Remember that question. You won’t hear another like during this event. It actually addressed a substantive issue and Clinton was able to respond in kind.

Third Question:

Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg Politics: Are you concerned that this weekend’s attacks or potential incidents in the coming weeks might be an attempt by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers or, really, any other group, maybe the Russians, to influence the presidential race in some way, And presumably try to drive votes to Donald Trump who, as you said before, widely seen as perhaps being somebody who they would be more willing to — or see as an easier person to be against?

Once again, the question was framed with an eye on how Trump figured into it. The reporter couldn’t simply inquire as to Clinton’s thoughts on the events of the day. Apparently the electoral consequences of terrorism are more important than defeating it. Nevertheless, Clinton soldiered on to provide an answer:

“We know that a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists, people who number in the maybe tens of thousands, not but tens of millions.” […and…] “we know that Donald Trump’s comments have been used online for recruitment of terrorists. We’ve heard that from former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who made it a very clear point when he said Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists. We also know from the former head of our Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.”

That business about “giving aid and comfort to our adversaries” was quickly snatched up by the Trump camp. They complained that Clinton was accusing him of treason. However, she was only citing the opinion of a counter-terrorism expert. The rest of her comments were accurate and well documented.

Fourth Question:

Nancy Cordes, CBS News: Secretary Clinton, as you know, Donald Trump has had a lot to say about your record on this issue over the weekend. Here’s one more example. “Under the leadership of Obama and Clinton, Americans have experienced more attacks at home than victories abroad. Time to change the playbook.” What’s your reaction to that characterization?

Cordes was referencing Trump’s tweet this morning. It hardly requires a response since it is so patently absurd. Americans have not experienced any near the number of attacks as the victories abroad. There have only been a handful of domestic terrorist attacks. That doesn’t diminish the tragedy resulting from them, but it’s simply a fact that there have been very few. Conversely, the U.S. has conducted thousands of missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, that have eliminated hundreds of terrorists including many of their top commanders. Clinton made that very point and ridiculed Trump’s “irresponsible, reckless rhetoric.”

Change the playbook? Trump doesn’t have a playbook at all, and we’re not even sure that he can read. Clinton, on the other hand, has laid out detailed plans for dealing with terrorism. She has the support of dozens of national security experts with credentials from both parties. While Trump has been shunned by members of his own party who say he is unqualified, ignorant, and dangerous.

The press showed itself in this candidate avail to be obsessed with horse-race politics to the exclusion of anything else. The issues that needed to be discussed today were the ones relating to the attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. There were real people with real injuries involved. But the media seemed to be interested in only the political circus generally, and the Trump sideshow in particular. That’s a sad state of journalistic affairs. And it would serve as justification should Clinton want to ditch her press corps for the remainder of the campaign. Unless the media can divest itself of its Trump fetish, they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

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

Fact-Challenged Trump Cult’s Blind Hate Drives Trust In Media To Historic Lows

Let’s face it, the media has very little to brag about lately. It has been embarrassingly inept in its coverage of the election. It lets Donald Trump get away with a torrent of lies unseen in modern times (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). Simultaneously, it harps on Hillary Clinton’s alleged scandals despite the absence of any evidence of actual wrongdoing.

Donald Trump

Consequently, it should come as no surprise that a new poll by Gallup reveals that trust in the media has sunk to historic lows. Gallup’s survey asked people “how much trust and confidence” they have in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.” The respondents who said “a great deal” or “a fair amount” totaled to only thirty-two percent. That’s the lowest score in over forty years that Gallup has been asking this question.

The cause of the decline becomes more apparent when the numbers are broken out by political affiliation. Gallup notes that “Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally.” Since last year those groups have fallen four percent and three percent respectively. However, Republicans have taken a dive of mammoth proportions, dropping twelve percent. Says Gallup:

“With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more.”

This part of Gallup’s analysis may be true so far as the perception of Republicans is concerned. As a group they are notoriously whiny about what they believe is unfair reporting. However, as a matter of fact it is demonstrably false. A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy showed that from the start of the campaign “Trump’s coverage was positive in tone — he received far more ‘good press’ than ‘bad press.’” The same study showed that “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate.” And people wonder why Clinton is wary of the press. But there is another reason Republicans lost faith in greater numbers. Gallup highlighted it saying that:

“It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press.”

Bingo! Donald Trump has taken a sledgehammer to the media from day one. He has complained relentlessly about a perceived bias by a press corps that has shamelessly coddled him. They air his repetitive stump speeches in full and uninterrupted. They fall for his stunts designed to draw more attention to him. They even admit that they cater to his whims because they are addicted to the ratings they think he generates. CBS CEO Les Moonves famously said that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Even worse, Trump frequently disparages reporters personally. He calls them dummies, losers, sleazy, and scum. He points at them viciously during his rallies while spitting insults and “joking” about killing them. An NBC reporter once had to be escorted to her car by Secret Service after a rally due to threats from Trump’s hostile followers.

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

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the media. It is a humongous industry controlled by a few monolithic, multinational corporations. It often pursues its own self-interest rather than the interests of the public they purport to serve. However, the delusional rantings of Donald Trump and his surrogates in no way justifies a loss of trust for the press. His unhinged rage is representative of a paranoid diversion from reality. And unfortunately, the damage he does to the public’s relationship with the media will far outlast this election season.

FINALLY: Trump Dumps Birther BS With No Apology, But Lies About Hillary Clinton

To call the campaign of Donald Trump chaotic would be an understatement. Very little of what they do makes much sense. It seems the primary occupation of its senior staff is cleaning up after ignorant or offensive remarks by the candidate.

Trump Baby Birther

Today is no exception. Trump once again exposed his worst flank to the public in an interview with the Washington Post. When asked by Post reporter Robert Costa where President Obama was born, Trump retreated to his safe place. He was unable to give the obvious answer, Hawaii. He stubbornly clung to the racist birther position for which he was a leading proponent. Instead of finally conceding what everyone knows is the truth he said:

“I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet. I want to focus on other things. I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

What a transparently manifest load of bull. If he wanted to end talk about his fixation on birtherism all he would have to do is renounce it and apologize. This morning he got part of that message. Trump staged a press avail to finally announce that “President Obama was born in the United States, period.” Well, duh! However, he did not apologize for the years of slander and insults to the first African-American president or the people to whom Trump lied repeatedly.

Even worse, he used the opportunity to perpetuate another birther-related lie about Hillary Clinton saying that “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.” Actually that’s two lies. Clinton did not start the birther controversy, and he certainly didn’t finish. The Clinton nonsense was also in his campaign’s official statement that was released yesterday:

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. […] Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”

The same things that are wrong with that statement are wrong in Trump’s remarks today. First of all, he is giving Trump credit for obtaining Obama’s birth certificate which is patently false. Trump is fond of declaring himself the cause of things that happen in proximity to his having mentioned it. Never mind that others have been involved in the matter for months or years prior to him. He comes late to the New Year’s Party in Times Square and then takes credit for the ball dropping. Typically narcissistic behavior.

Secondly, when Obama released his birth certificate, Trump was the first to object to its authenticity. He later tweeted that “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” Could it be the same source he sent to Hawaii to investigate Obama’s birth, but who was never heard from again? Suddenly, and without explanation, Trump is satisfied with the birth certificate?

Included in the campaign’s statement was another persistent lie promoted by Trump. It wasn’t enough to try to weasel out of his birtherism, he had to blame it all on Hillary Clinton. This is a falsehood that was debunked by every fact-checking organization long ago. Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly floated it as a means of taking the heat off of himself. But the facts are irrefutable. As PolitiFact found when rating this claim “False”:

“There is no record that Clinton herself or anyone within her campaign ever advanced the charge that Obama was not born in the United States. A review by our fellow fact-checkers at Factcheck.org reported that no journalist who investigated this ever found a connection to anyone in the Clinton organization.”

As For Hillary Clinton, she responded to Trump’s latest failure to take the opportunity to renounce his birther beliefs:

“He was asked one more time where was President Obama born, and he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America. This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry? Now, he’s tried to reset himself and his campaign many times. This is the best he can do. This is who he is.”


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


The bottom line is that Trump is still completely unwilling to own up to his racism. He is too cowardly to admit that he was wrong. And making disingenuous statements infused with lies that fail to explain when or how Trump allegedly changed his mind will not resolve the matter. Especially when they double down on lies and brag about false achievements. But that is the best that we can expect from a candidate who has made lying and bragging his brand.

Little Donnie Trump, Jr. Warns About Media ‘Warming Up The Gas Chamber’ For Daddy

The Trump family of whiners is continuing to complain about what they perceive as poor treatment from the media. Never mind that Donald Trump has consumed far more air time than any other candidate. Or that he has Fox News (the highest rated cable news network) dedicated 24/7 to his election. Somehow the delusion that they are victims keeps seeping into their daily bitchfest.

Trump Kids

The latest lament has Little Don expressing his belief that the media is plotting to “trip up” his father by asking him hard questions. You know, questions like what does he know, and what would he do as president. He whines about his false impression that Papa Trump is being treated unfairly. Then he floats his theory that it’s all a conspiracy to influence the moderators of the upcoming debates. Actually, the opposite is true.

This all occurred during an interview with Philadelphia radio host Chris Stigall. But the Trumpette really took a flyer when he sought to accuse the media of being biased in favor of Hillary Clinton

“The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up. They’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”

Seriously? Little Don is comparing imaginary unfair press coverage to the mass murder committed by Nazis in World War II? It is perpetually puzzling how these cretins can sink to such heinous rhetoric. They seem to have no filter that warns them about the injury they do to the memory of people who truly suffered such atrocities. Although it’s not inconceivable that they do it intentionally to dog-whistle at their deplorable, alt-right supporters.

For the record, Donald Trump has not only been covered more than his opponents, he has been covered more positively. A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media examined all the coverage and arrived at these results:

“The report shows that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Donald Trump in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump’s rise in the polls. Trump’s coverage was positive in tone—he received far more ‘good press’ than ‘bad press.’ The volume and tone of the coverage helped propel Trump to the top of Republican polls.”

Overall, the study found that “Trump’s coverage was roughly two-to-one favorable.” At the same time Hillary Clinton’s coverage was (and is) markedly negative:

“Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads.”

The evidence of the pro-Trump coverage continues to this day. Clinton is hammered incessantly about old email stories and speculation about her health. On the other hand, Trump’s current scandals are virtually ignored. Just yesterday there were stories about his unsavory business ties and his corrupt foundation. Today those stories are already off the table. And just try getting the press to ask him about his tax returns two days in a row.

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

Setting aside his offensive analogy, Trump. Jr. is right about one thing: “Without the media this wouldn’t even be a contest.” That’s true, although not in the way he intended. Had it not been for the ratings-obsessed media’s efforts to prop up a bigoted, narcissistic demagogue, Trump would have been a long forgotten punch line by now. The press’ attitude toward Trump was best summarized by CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Newsweek Exposes Trump’s Shady Foreign Ties, Hillary Pounces With Tweets About His Security Risks

The international web spun by Donald Trump’s businesses appear to be testing the limits of personal/political conflicts of interest. Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek published an article today that reveals the depths of Trump’s involvement with foreign businesses and governments. The extensive detail in the story makes it impossible to ignore the national security implications were Trump to become president.

Donald Trump Newsweek

In the opening paragraphs Eichenwald lays out the central theme of the article that questions whether it would be possible for Trump to govern unless he, and his family, completely severed ties with The Trump Organization:

If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States?

A close examination by Newsweek of the Trump Organization, including confidential interviews with business executives and some of its international partners, reveals an enterprise with deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals, although there is no evidence the Trump Organization has engaged in any illegal activities.

The questions raised in the Newsweek piece didn’t escape the view of Hillary Clinton. She posted a series of tweets (twenty, in fact) challenging Trump to respond to the allegations. She began in tweet #1 by asking “Will you sever ties with your company linked to foreign leaders, questionable organizations, and criminals if you become president?” And she concluded with tweet #20 saying “It’s pretty clear: Trump’s spent his life unscrupulously looking out for his own wallet above all. Why would that change as president?” And all the questions in between pose distinct dilemmas for Trump were he to try to answer them. Which, knowing the weakness of his character, he will certainly avoid.

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

Here are Clinton’s compiled tweets:

Big Baby Trump Is Still Afraid Of Hillary And ‘Rigged’ Debates

Among the many firsts of this unprecedented election year is that one candidate has distinguished himself as being obsessed with debate moderators and formats. Guess who.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has spent much of the campaign complaining about everything being rigged to crush him. The primaries were rigged. So are the polls and the press and even the election itself. It’s a position that reeks of paranoia and fear. There isn’t another candidate that has ever been so chronically neurotic about the forces supposedly aligned against him. It makes you wonder what sort of hysterics he we would resort to in negotiations with members of Congress or foreign leaders.

Yesterday Trump exposed another flank in the covert crusade to kneecap his candidacy. Interviewed by phone for a segment on CNBC, Trump alleged that his omnipresent enemies are “gaming the system” in order to tilt the debates in Hillary Clinton’s favor. His “evidence” was solely derived from his experience at last week’s Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC. Which, by the way, he said he won. This was his response to anchor Joe Kernan’s question about the upcoming debates with Clinton:

“The fact is that they are gaming the system, and I think maybe we should have no moderator. Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate. Because I think the system is being rigged so it’s going to be a very unfair debate. And I can see it happening right now because everybody was saying that [Matt Lauer] was soft on Trump. Well now the new person is going to try and be really hard on Trump just to show the establishment what he can do. So I think it’s very unfair what they are doing. So I think we should have a debate with no moderator, just Hillary and I sitting there talking.”

Trump, of course, is the one who has been trying to game the system for months. He’s the only one who has had anything to say about the process, particularly with regard to debates. During the GOP primaries his griping forced the party and the press to succumb to his whims.

His proposal to eliminate the moderator is peculiar for two reasons. First, it would make the discussion wholly controlled by the candidates, rather than a neutral party who would introduce topics of importance to voters. Any subject that the candidates found uncomfortable, they would just leave out. That doesn’t serve the principle purpose of the debates which is to enable voters to make informed decisions about the election. A good moderator will also make sure that there is an even distribution of time and that candidates stay on topic.

Secondly, for Trump to suggest a moderator-free debate after he went to such extreme lengths to influence the selection of the moderators is absurd. Politico is reporting that the Commission on Presidential Debates paid deference to Trump with their moderator selections due to their fear of offending him:

“[T]here is wide speculation among media executives that NBC’s Lester Holt, who Trump is comfortable with, was chosen to moderate the first debate with Clinton later this month in order to appease the GOP nominee. Similarly, some also believe that Fox News’ Chris Wallace was tapped to moderate the third and final debate to lessen the likelihood that Trump skips it.”

If that’s true, the Commission failed terribly at their primary task. Allowing any candidate to guide their selection taints the whole process. There ought to be no criteria for the moderators other than their experience and ability. Was Clinton asked who she would feel comfortable with? And Chris Wallace is close friends with (and until last month employed by) Trump’s debate adviser Roger Ailes. That’s more than an appearance of bias.

Yet with all of the advantages Trump has received, he is still the only one bitching about it. He is either the biggest crybaby in politics or he just feels entitled to the special treatment all narcissists expect. That, combined with his innate fear of facing Clinton one-on-one, is what’s driving his cascade of tantrums. However, the Commission and the press should not be capitulating to him. They have already gone way too far by lowering the bar of expectations in his favor.

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