BLACKOUT: This is How Fox News Intentionally Keeps Its Viewers Stupid

There have been innumerable examples of Fox News airing false reports in an effort to misinform their viewers. A recent example just within the past week alleged that President Obama recruited British spies to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump’s campaign. Fox’s senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitian, made the claim without any supporting evidence. The network’s news division later refuted the report and put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. But that was after the story had been disseminated worldwide, creating an international incident. Even Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) cited the fake news during a White House press briefing.

Go Fox Yourself

However, another way of shaping an ignorant electorate is to refrain from covering important events. The choice of what not to cover is just as significant as what to cover. And on Tuesday Fox News demonstrated their determination to deny their audience information that is unarguably newsworthy.

The House Intelligence Committee’s hearings on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election were broadcast live by most news networks. Testimony by FBI Director James Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was investigating Trump and his associates. The proceedings were unusually compelling for a congressional hearing. And the proof of that came when Fox News decided to cease coverage of the hearings to host a panel of right-wing talking heads instead.

Fox was the only network that interrupted the live broadcast. And by doing so they deprived their viewers of first hand knowledge of what was happening at the hearings. What’s worse is that they replaced the hearings with conservative pundits providing a blatantly biased analysis. It was a deliberate programming strategy designed to advance the messaging of an embattled White House.

Unfortunately for Fox News, it may not have worked this time. Ratings for the cable news networks show that when Fox cut away from the hearings they lost about 29 percent of their audience. That’s a massive shift by viewers who were obviously disappointed by Fox’s programming decision. What’s more, viewers were plainly following the hearings to other channels. The ratings for CNN and MSNBC both spiked after Fox cut away.

This tells us that the American people are acutely interested in this matter. They want to know more about the potentially treasonous activities of their president. By suppressing that information Fox succeeded only in alienating their audience and further eroding their credibility. Plus, they probably don’t want to send their viewers off to competing networks.

The Trump administration has brought newfound prosperity to liberal programming. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has toppled Fox from its perch atop the ratings hill. She has won her time period for the past two weeks straight. Saturday Night Live, despite Trump’s insulting tweets (or because of them) has seen its best ratings in years. Stephen Colbert’s Late Show is now leading his late night talk show competition.

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

All of this suggests that Americans are hungry for honest reporting. They are tired of Fox’s propaganda and the phony “balance” sought by CNN and other conventional news outlets. They want the press to be skeptical when appropriate and aggressive when necessary. They know there’s something amiss in the Trump White House and they don’t want it papered over. And they are not going to sit still when a network like Fox decides that they don’t need to know what’s really going on. Fox News needs to adjust a new viewer mantra: We have remotes, and we’re prepared to use them.

Serial Liar Bill O’Reilly Of Fox News Advises Trump To Stop Lying – No Really!

In the latest episode of Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” (video below), the Fox News host tackled a serious issue. Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election was the subject. However, O’Reilly’s focus, like most Republicans, was more on White House leakers than on Donald Trump’s allegedly treasonous behavior.

Bill O'Reilly Fox News

O’Reilly began by whitewashing Trump’s association with unsavory figures like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. Stone is a long-time associate of Trump’s and Manafort was his campaign chairman. Both have disturbing connections to the unfolding Russian intrigue. But according to O’Reilly, they were merely incidentally associated with Trump. In fact, O’Reilly parroted Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) who also downplayed those relationships.

The Trump messaging machine is trying furiously to distance him from potential criminal acts. O’Reilly’s mission was to dismiss the whole affair, saying he would “be surprised if anything comes of this Russia investigation.” Even so, he cited it as a reason for Trump’s reckless accusation that President Obama wiretapped him. That weasley excuse is an indication of how desperate they are for absolution. But it also leads O’Reilly to provide an ironic bit of counsel:

“In the future, the President would be wise to embrace only facts in his pronouncements.”

That’s a deceptively significant statement. First of all, it presupposes that this president doesn’t already embrace only facts. Of course, most clear minded observers are well aware that Trump is a pathological liar. But for a close personal friend like O’Reilly to concede that point is itself newsworthy. You have to wonder what other pronouncements of Trump’s O’Reilly believes are not factual. He certainly has never made a point of criticizing Trump’s honesty before this.

What’s more, having to advise a president to stop lying in the future ought to be a milestone of embarrassment. However, O’Reilly takes it in stride as if it were routine. That might be because O’Reilly himself has been a fount of lies for much of his career. For someone who calls his program a “No Spin Zone” he does more turns than a meth-addled ballerina. His show is a daily parade of dishonesty and misinformation. On a personal level he has “embellished” his resume as a war correspondent with provably false tales of heroism. And PolitiFact’s file on O’Reilly shows that 53 percent of his comments have been rated as “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.”

With regard to the congressional hearings on Russia, O’Reilly managed to lie in the introduction of his first guest. In a summary of the hearings he said that FBI Director James Comey “couldn’t confirm an investigation” of Trump’s connections to Russia. But that is exactly what Comey did confirm at the outset of his testimony. Additionally, O’Reilly never mentioned that it was his colleague, Andrew Napolitano, who provided Trump with the phony allegations that Obama employed British spies to surveil The Donald. On Monday Fox News reportedly put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. That also went unmentioned.

O’Reilly exhibited little interest in the Russia story. He was far more concerned with finding and punishing leakers. That’s like having your neighbor tell you there’s a dead body in your backyard, but then only questioning him about how he found out. O’Reilly went even further to say that “These leakers, they gotta be arrested. And we’re gonna deal with whether the press should be arrested too.” So it’s not enough that O’Reilly is a lying, flunky for Trump and his Russian pals. He’s also intent on imprisoning journalists and abolishing the First Amendment.

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

Fox News ‘Security Moms’ Don’t Care About Russia And Trump; Fox News Poll Disagrees

On Monday the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing to investigate Donald Trump’s campaign and its connections to Russia. Witnesses included FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency. The testimony was conclusive with regard to Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. And their motives were plainly to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Furthermore, Comey confirmed that he knew of no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump’s phones. On that matter he was speaking for the Department of Justice as well. So Trump’s reckless tweets asserting that President Obama was guilty of that felony were exposed as lies.

Fox News

Many of the details of Russia’s election tampering were not provided due to the sensitive nature of the information. Comey had to be careful not to reveal classified data or compromise the conduct of an ongoing investigation. But there was no question that Trump’s campaign is the subject of an investigation and the consequences remain dire.

In light of that, Fox News sprung to action in order to protect Trump from any negative public relations fallout. His pals at Fox and Friends assembled a panel of what they called “Security Moms” (video below). In fact it was a group of pre-selected pro-Trump mouthpieces who would defend their hero under any circumstances. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt opened the segment saying:

“Even the mainstream media is admitting that there is probably no Russian connection to the Trump White House. So why can’t they stop talking about it? Is this really what American families want to know? Who better to ask than our panel of moms?”

First of all, Earhardt’s assertion that there is “no Russian connection to the Trump White House” was pulled straight out her assumptions file. There are numerous connections, as is documented by the research of Rep. Eric Salwell. His charts reveal a disturbing web of Trump/Russian connectivity. And secondly, Earhardt’s objection to the media’s focus on this issue belies her determination to squelch it.

Earhardt’s first question was a not so fair and balanced “Why is the mainstream media harping on this?” The answers from her panel of Trump Moms were typical rationalizations of his erratic behavior. They ran the gamut of wingnut allegations from “fake news” to delegitimizing the President. Earhardt also asked if any of the panel was concerned that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. They all immediately said “No.” By the end of the segment Earhardt and her support group all agreed that we should “move on” from the Russia story.

Clearly this was a deliberately biased group of women assembled to shield the President from criticism. It’s something Fox does on a regular basis. How else could they all be unconcerned about an American president colluding with a hostile foreign country? They expressed an interest in diverting to other issues such as immigration. But even in those comments they parroted the Trump agenda fomenting fear of “illegals” and terrorists.

Fox News displayed a graphic during the segment that read “NEWS YOU CAN’T USE. Do U.S. Families Want To Hear Russia Reports?” The conclusion expressed by the Trump Moms was a unanimous “No.” These Foxies must not be paying very close attention to Fox News. The network recently released a poll that specifically addressed these issues. The poll asked:

    Do you think there should be a Congressional investigation into:

  • Reported Russian hacking and attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election: YES 66% (including 41% of Republicans), NO 30%
  • Alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government: YES 63% (including 32% of Republicans), NO 33%

So about two-thirds of voters think there should be investigations into Russia’s election tampering and Trump’s potential complicity in it. That’s according to Fox’s own poll. Yet Fox and Friends puts four women on the air who all take the completely opposite view. If that isn’t an attempt at manipulation and propaganda, then nothing is. It’s just further proof that Fox serves as the PR division of the Trump administration.

Finally, we know that Trump pays attention to Fox’s polls because this same Monday morning he tweeted:

Actually, the poll he was referencing was not from CNN, it was from Gallup. It shows him near the lowest point in his already record-breaking low presidency with only 39 percent approval. Also, CNN’s election polls were pretty close to the final result. They had Clinton leading Trump by about five points. She finished three points ahead. Trump’s observation that Fox’s poll was more favorable is true. However, it also had him in a decidedly negative position with 43 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving. Apparently in Trump’s world that’s good news. At least Fox got a new slogan that actually makes sense: News You Can’t Use.

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

UH-OH: DOJ Inspector General To Probe FBI’s ‘Improper’ Handling Of Clinton Investigation

When reviewing the most consequential events of the 2016 presidential election, one strikingly inappropriate action comes immediately to mind. Less than two weeks before the nation voted, FBI Directer James Comey violated a long-held principle of law enforcement. He released confidential and unsubstantiated data concerning an in-progress investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Comey Trump

Comey’s action gave Donald Trump’s campaign a jet-propelled boost at a time when it needed it most. And it left little time for Clinton’s campaign to respond or recover from the political harm. As it turned out, there was nothing of significance in the additional analysis that Comey initiated, but the damage was done.

Thursday morning the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Justice announced that it will be reviewing these events. Requests from member of Congress, outside organizations, and members of the public, spurred the IG to commence this review. According to the Huffington Post, the review will address several specific topics, including:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information;
  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

These are the most salient issues that desperately need to be resolved. Comey’s behavior was suspiciously beneficial to one political candidate, and this investigation should explore any and all motivations. The IG’s review is being careful not to engage in further partisanship. Consequently, it’s also examining allegations that an assistant AG improperly disclosed non-public information to Clinton’s campaign.

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 what conclusions will be drawn when the review is complete. There could be consequences for Comey, or it could be swept under the FBI’s rug. Timing will also be critical. If this stretches too long into the Trump administration, and his anticipated purges at the DOJ are effected, then nothing of significance will result. Trump’s people will surely protect him and his allies in the FBI, including Comey. So stay tuned as this developing story continues to unfold.

TRUMP: Russia’s Hacking Was ‘A BIG PROBLEM’ – Before They Were Helping His Campaign

The appalling revelations about Russia’s hacking during the presidential election continue to taint its outcome. Anyone who thinks our democracy is credible under these circumstances is willfully blind. And no one is more dismissive of the truth in this regard than President-Elect Donald Trump.

Trump/Putin

Seventeen intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, agree that Russia engaged in cyber attacks aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump. Nevertheless, Trump persists in defending his BFF, Vladimir Putin, and refusing to accept Russia’s obvious guilt. When Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday asked him about Russia’s hacking he responded that “It’s ridiculous. It’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.” As recently as last week he tweeted:

In that comment he not only rejected Russia’s criminal complicity, but lied about the White House response. The Obama administration revealed the facts in October and it was covered prominently in the media. Trump’s position that Russia was not responsible for the hacking remained as strong as ever. Well, maybe not ever. Because in 2014 he appeared on his regular segment on Fox News, “Monday’s with Trump,” along with the Fox & Friends gang. He had a very different opinion then. When asked about hacking by China, Trump made it clear that China was not the only culprit:

“It’s disgraceful what’s going on with China generally. No, I think [FBI Director James Comey] is 100% right, it’s a big problem, and we have that problem also with Russia … doing the same thing.” […]

“This is a different world today. You say things on the Internet, you say things over a computer and people are going to find out what you’re saying it’s very dangerous and very bad in many ways.”

So two years ago Trump considered Russia’s hacking to be a big problem. Today he thinks the notion is ridiculous. What’s changed?

Well, for one thing, Trump wasn’t running for president in 2014 and didn’t have any motivation for distorting the truth. More to the point though, the allegations of Russia’s hacking two years ago was related to commerce and had an adverse personal impact on him. However, this year their hacking was blatantly advantageous to him and damaging to Clinton. If the harm done by the hacking was appropriately considered, the election results would have to be regarded as suspect and set aside pending an investigation. That would nullify, at least temporarily, Trump’s “victory.”

It is clearly in Trump’s favor, therefore, to vindicate Russia and oppose any further inquiry. Consequently, his position now is to waive off the allegations and absolve Russia of any guilt. That’s in stark contrast to his prior position just two years ago. And, as is so often the case with Trump, he will reshape his position to whatever is in his best interest at the time. That’s how he gets away with calls for border walls during the campaign, but settles for fences now. Or promising to repeal ObamaCare, but now claiming to want to preserve its most prominent features. Or bitterly insulting his rivals as dummies, but now embracing and even praising them as brilliant. Even President Obama, who he said was “the worst president in history,” is now his trusted friend and advisor.

That’s what we call a hypocrite, a con-man, a liar. There is literally nothing Trump says that you can take at face value. You always have to look for how it benefits him, and expect to find some contradictions from the past. This is emerging as a hallmark of his presidency and it hasn’t even officially begun yet. Sad.

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

The Biggest Hillary Hater On Fox News Defends Clinton, Pummels FBI

There have been some historically unprecedented occurrences in this wildly turbulent presidential campaign. But through it all Fox News has maintained a consistent state of stridently partisan reporting in support of Donald Trump. Their programming relentlessly disparages Hillary Clinton and some of their most prominent hosts have explicitly endorsed Trump.

Clinton Pirro

In the wake of the FBI’s shameful disclosure about their investigation of Clinton, many critics have excoriated Director James Comey for breaching the agency’s policies and ethical responsibilities. These critics have spanned across the political spectrum with most law enforcement experts united in chastising Comey. Former Justice Department officials of both parties have publicly questioned his judgment and motives.

However, no critic is more surprising than Fox’s own Jeanine Pirro. Pirro is a former judge and prosecutor with years of experience in the legal system at the local and federal levels. She is also one of Fox’s most starkly anti-Clinton commentators. Her weekly rants against Clinton have accused her of having “corrupted the State Department.” She called Clinton “a liar, and a pathological one at that.” She falsely charged that the Clinton foundation is “nothing more than a money laundering operation.” In one commentary she lashed out that “Bill and Hillary Clinton are the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics.”

It’s difficult to imagine that someone who equates Clinton to cold-blooded murderers would suddenly come to her defense. But that’s an indication of just how seriously improper Comey’s behavior has been. In this week’s commentary on her Fox program, Pirro joined those who have assailed Comey saying that his announcement coming just “eleven days before one of the most hotly contested presidential elections of our time, both disgraces and politicizes the FBI.” Making certain to reinforce her political preference, Pirro said:

“Now you know that I support Donald Trump and I want him to win, but whether it’s Hillary Clinton or anyone else, Comey’s actions violate not only long-standing Justice Department policy, the directive of the person he works under, the Attorney General, but even more important, the most fundamental rules of fairness and impartiality.”

Pirro then relates her personal experience when she was as a candidate for New York State Attorny General. The FBI opened an investigation of her at the time about which she says “the adverse publicity cost me at the polls. What was done to me in 2006 was wrong, and what happened to Hillary Clinton [Friday] was equally wrong.” Continuing, Pirro laid out the fundamental reasons for her position:

“The Justice Department and the FBI’s policy to not comment publicly about politically sensitive investigations within 60 days of an election exists for a very important reason. Announcements so close to elections have an impact. Now this nation has already gone through an exhausting and traumatic campaign season. The FBI director should not now be front and center. One of the most revered agencies in our nation’s history, now seen as putting its finger on the scales of justice.”

No one should mistake Pirro’s remarks for anything resembling support for Clinton. And in the very same commentary Pirro made that crystal clear:

“Hillary Clinton should have been indicted a long time ago. She and Bill’s scandals have done nothing but soil this great nation’s image. It’s long-past time for both of them to start paying for their wrongdoing.”

Of course, she doesn’t expand on her vague condemnation of Clinton because there aren’t actually any violations of law for which she could be indicted. Virtually every alleged “scandal” attributed to the Clintons has been repudiated and debunked as purely political smear campaigns. But it does demonstrate the ferocity of her animosity toward the once and future First Family.

Yet with all of that seething hatred, Pirro cannot ignore the disgraceful and unjust actions by the FBI director. That should be enough to convince even the most glassy-eyed, alt-right, Trump disciple that Clinton was dealt an unfair blow. It is now incumbent on Comey to repair the damage he’s done by either releasing what he has, or clarifying that there is nothing in his findings that indicate any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.

Short of that, Comey will continue to be suspected of partisanship that may even be illegal. As Senator Harry Reid noted, he may be in violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits such partisan activity by government officials. This includes the astonishing revelation that, while Comey is doing harm to Clinton’s campaign, he is protecting Trump. Says Reid:

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government.”

Reid wonders why Comey would release damaging information about an ongoing investigation of Clinton, but lets Trump off the hook. So should we all. Clinton’s past management of her email doesn’t compare with the threat of a Trump presidency that’s aligned with the Kremlin. So why won’t Comey reveal what he knows about Trump and the Russians? It’s a blatant double standard that tarnishes his reputation and that of the agency he heads. And if Jeanine Pirro, a notoriously shrill foe of Clinton notices the hypocrisy, it must be the genuine article.

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

How Director Comey’s SHAMEFUL Behavior Destroys The FBI’s Ethical Tradition

With less than two weeks before Election Day, James Comey, the Director of the FBI, injected himself into the campaign in a strikingly improper way. There is an unwritten rule at the FBI that has been in effect for decades. It states that the agency will not make public unconfirmed information regarding in-process investigations when the disclosure could have an impact on an election. This rule is typically enforced anytime within sixty days of an election. For some unexplained reason, Comey chose to violate that rule.

James Comey

By sending his letter to Congress announcing the FBI’s new investigation, Comey, wittingly or otherwise, benefited Donald Trump’s campaign. The unorthodox communique fueled a torrent of media speculation that Comey ought to have known would occur. He was especially negligent considering the qualifications he included in his own subsequent statements. Here is what he told his FBI colleagues following the letter’s release:

“Given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. […] there is significant risk of being misunderstood.”

Ya think? Given that you were well aware of the risk of creating a misleading impression, why did you proceed? By his own admission Comey knew of nothing of substance that would be of interest to the public. If he intended to complete the investigation prior to the election he might have had some justification. However, he already said that the investigation will not conclude until after Election Day. Therefore, the only consequence of his announcement is to unfairly prejudice voters against Hillary Clinton. So what happens if Clinton loses the race and is subsequently found to be innocent of any wrongdoing?

The media, of course, rushed headlong into reporting the most salacious interpretation of this news. However, there are numerous reasons to dismiss it as a prime-grade nothingburger. First of all, we already know that none of the emails found were to or from Clinton. Neither did any of them originate from her infamous private server. There is also no evidence that any of them are new. They may be duplicates of emails already submitted to the FBI. And even if any are new, they may not contain any classified information.

In light of how little is known about these emails, it could not have been more irresponsible for Comey to allow this titillating gossip to become public. But having made that mistake, he ought to be willing to set the record straight before anyone votes. Absent that, he should release everything he has so that the public can determine for themselves the significance of this. And that is precisely what Clinton has asked him to do in a hastily assembled press conference:

“The director himself has said he doesn’t know whether the emails referenced in his letter are significant or not. I’m confident whatever they are will not change the conclusion reached in July. […] That is why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they are talking about. Because right now your guess is as good as mine and I don’t think that is good enough.”

Comey has been receiving harsh criticism from his peers for his actions. Even Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her top deputy objected to his sending the letter to Congress. But Comey decided to disregard their objections and sent the letter anyway. Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice spokesman, chastised Comey on CNN about the 60-day rule:

“This latest example violates a long-standing practice, which is that the department goes out of its way not to do anything that can be seen as trying to influence an election when you are in the closing days of an election. Usually they interpret the ‘closing days’ as the last 60 days before the election, let alone the last 11 days.”

The Trump campaign is already reveling in this reckless disclosure. Trump himself is making wildly hyperbolic misinterpretations at his rallies. His surrogates have fanned out across the media to hype their knee-jerk, anti-Clinton accusations. And his glassy-eyed disciples are deliriously chanting “Lock her up.” This is representative of the harm done by an FBI director with loose lips.

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

It’s unfortunate that Comey chose to poison the election with this boneheaded move. As a result, Clinton’s rights as a candidate have been violated by a careless government agency. But more importantly, the people’s right to a fair election is being trampled as purely speculative rumors consume the discourse. Comey now has an obligation to mitigate the damage. He needs to release what he has acquired or to conclude the investigation well before Election Day. Only by doing that can he hope to salvage his reputation and that of the FBI.

Trump Campaign Linked To Russian Hacking Of DNC, FBI Asked To Investigate

In the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention reports that the party’s computer networks were hacked threatened to derail the entire affair. Stolen emails were timed for release in a deliberate attempt to harm the party’s prospective nominee, Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t long before Russian operatives were identified as the likely perpetrators.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The notion that Russians were attempting to interfere with American elections was not especially significant. The KGB has done this sort of thing before. However, their interest in advancing the campaign of Donald Trump ought to have raised red flags. What would motivate them to go to these lengths to get Trump into the White House? And who else would have an incentive to achieve that goal? There’s an obvious answer to the latter question and it may have been revealed in this article in The Hill:

“The ranking members of four House committees have asked the FBI to investigate whether officials from Donald Trump’s campaign had any role in recent cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).”

There are legitimate reasons to suspect that the Trump camp is connected to the hacking of Democratic networks. The Democrats, including House Oversight Committee member Elijah Cummings, have genuine concerns that they are asking FBI Directer James Comey to investigate. They want to know whether “connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian interests may have contributed” to the cyberattacks. As The Hill article notes:

“The five-page letter lists a number of press reports detailing an apparent relationship between Trump aides and Russia, including foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s reported dealings with Russian energy firm Gazprom and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to a pro-Russian official in Ukraine.”

That’s just the beginning. Trump’s affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin has been well established, along with myriad political and financial connections. He frequently praises Putin’s leadership. And who can forget Trump’s explicit request for the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email? That’s a naked call for foreign adversaries to commit crimes against an American candidate for president.

In addition, Trump has articulated policies that are favorable to the Russians. Most notably his willingness to abandon the NATO Treaty and allow Putin to annex parts of Ukraine and the Baltic states. What’s more, Trump and his associates are deeply intertwined with Russian financiers who hold significant amounts of his debt. Time Magazine recently reported that:

“…as major banks in America stopped lending him money following his many bankruptcies, the Trump organization was forced to seek financing from non-traditional institutions. Several had direct ties to Russian financial interests in ways that have raised eyebrows.”

The cumulative affect of these facts make it all the more critical that a full investigation is conducted. The integrity of our elections are stake. Republicans will howl, but this is not the sort of partisan hustle that typifies GOP efforts to slander Democrats.

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

The Republican Congress spent eight years twisting the nation’s legislative branch into a private investigative arm of the GOP. They held dozens of hearings on everything from Benghazi to Planned Parenthood. And in every case the only purpose was to harass Democrats and waste taxpayers’ money. Yet for all their trouble they never proved a single misdeed by the Democrats they sought to defame. By contrast, the abundant and sordid details evident here make the Democrats’ request for an investigation into Trump’s possible role in Russian hacks appropriate and necessary.

Fox News Host Rants About Clinton Emails – Was Bush Shill When 5 MILLION Emails Vanished

With the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, clearing her of legal wrongdoing, partisans on both sides are spinning this issue to their respective advantage. While FBI Director James Comey said plainly that there was no “evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,” Republicans chose to malign his reputation during nearly five hours of questioning in a congressional hearing that proved nothing.

George Bush Dana Perino

Throughout this matter, one of the most vocal critics of Clinton was a Fox News co-host of The Five, Dana Perino. She embarked on an extended Twitter tirade yesterday beginning with an introduction to a multi-tweet rant:

That was the opening for another twenty or so tweets about how dearly she appreciated the opportunity to work for the White House and how seriously she took her job. Each tweet contained an implied swipe at Clinton who she cast as not sharing her respect for the position. Perino sought to paint herself as having no political biases, she was just there to serve America:

That, of course, was utter bullcrap. She was the press secretary for a starkly partisan administration that sharply divided the America people. There was a sentiment within the Bush realm that “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Then Perino herself baselessly accused Comey of having a partisan double standard wherein he would have indicted a Republican under the same circumstances.

However, the most absurd part of this diatribe came when Perino referenced the time when she had to defend the Bush administration from charges of a cover up when they disclosed that two years of emails – more than five million – had been forever lost.

First of all, socks notwithstanding, Perino neglected to actually refer to any prior explaining rant. Secondly, if the emails were found (and that has not been established) it wouldn’t prove that there was no intent to deceive, only that the attempt at deception might have failed.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared.

So contrary to her assertion that it wasn’t the same, virtually every element of it is matched perfectly, There is classified information that was compromised, albeit in this case it was deliberate and it endangered the lives of covert CIA operatives. There were also improper political motivations in attempting to clean the Department of Justice of any attorneys left over from prior Democratic administrations. And there was an intent to hide official communications by using the RNC’s email servers instead of those at the White House as required by law. On top of all of that, there were millions of emails that were never recovered. And the explanation given was that it was just a computer glitch. Which is funny because Perino mocked any suggestion that any of Clinton’s missing emails might have been inadvertently deleted by tweeting:

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

What makes this even worse is that Perino just happened to be Bush’s press secretary at the time. That’s right, she was not a pundit, she was the President’s spokesperson. And this was the White House itself (not some home server) that lost millions of emails (not only 30,000) that were then being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who defended this blatant malfeasance. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News, but off the air because he was caught having an adulterous affair):

Perino actually used the defense that “there’s no indication the emails were intentionally lost,” which she dismisses as a defense for Clinton whom she believes should be prosecuted regardless of lack of intent. Now that’s a double standard. And it is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the FBI’s report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush. Of course, now that she’s at Fox News, she’s still spinning for the same right-wing gang.

FBI: No Charges For Hillary Clinton. Cue The VRWC Charges Of ‘Rigged System’

After months of painstaking research and investigation, the FBI has finally concluded their inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the legal implications involved. The bottom line as revealed in an unusually detailed public statement by FBI Director James Comey is that “there was no intentional misconduct” and that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Hillary Clinton

Comey concluded his statement saying that “we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.”

Comey: In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be sure, the investigation brought out numerous concerns about the carelessness of Clinton and others with respect to the handling of classified information. Comey enumerated the instances of documents that were classified at some level from among more than sixty thousand emails reviewed, including 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains. And he was not reticent in his summation of the results.

Comey: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

However, some of the most persistent conspiracy theories from Clinton’s opponents were notably disclaimed. For instance, the allegations that the inquiry would be biased in Clinton’s favor, or that President Obama or others in government would improperly interfere with the FBI’s work were soundly repudiated. Comey led off with a forthright statement saying that “I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.”

Additionally, Comey put to rest the suspicions that Clinton had furtively deleted potentially damaging emails prior to turning them over to the State Department or the FBI. He said that he “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

And while Comey did express his belief that the possibility of a hostile intrusion into Clinton’s computer system existed, he concluded that “we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.”

There is plenty of chum in the FBI’s review to keep both Clinton’s supporters and opponents busy for several days. But the failure to find any justification for recommending criminal charges will likely result in this matter eventually having a diminished role in the current election cycle.

However, that will not stop Republicans and Fox News from attempting to blow up the issue in the same manner that they did to Benghazi, another pseudo-scandal for which the right failed to find any significant wrongdoing after years of costly and partisan investigations. Already Donald Trump has tweeted that “FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem.”

Of course, the FBI director said no such thing. Comey never mentioned national security in his statement at all, nor implied that it had been compromised. What’s more, Trump’s allegation that the system is “rigged” is a serious charge. Exactly who does Trump believe is responsible for the alleged rigging? It would have to include Comey himself, a man whose integrity is respected by everyone in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike. If Trump and his GOP colleagues think that Comey is corrupt he should come out and say so and provide his evidence. Don’t hold your breath.

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

This statement by Comey will not put an immediate end to the furious debate over Clinton’s behavior with regard to her email. We are, after all, in the midst of a bitter campaign for president and her opponent is the most vulgar purveyor of crass insults and juvenile whining this country has ever seen. But in the end it will likely die down to an annoying roar from desperate partisans as voters begin to focus on the bread-and-butter issues that actually impact their lives. In the meantime, fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.