Fox News Is Becoming The Propaganda Ministry Of The Trump Administration

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News goes back years. Long before he was running for president he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” It served as the launching pad for his eventual campaign and a platform from which he could attack President Obama. In addition to that free political infomercial time, Trump was close friends with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Roger Ailes.

Donald Trump Fox News

This parasitic partnership served both the ego of Trump and the greed of Fox. Consequently, it’s not especially surprising that it would continue into his presidency. However no one could have predicted the depths it would reach. From the outset of the nascent Trump administration, he has used the right-wing network as a virtual farm team. The only other comparably rich pool of potential White House recruits was Goldman Sachs. This week two new Foxies became the beneficiaries of Trump’s job creation program.

Heather Nauert was most recently a co-host and news presenter on Fox and Friends. Now she has been tapped as spokeswoman for the State Department. This is her first government job.

Following her to Trumpville is Fox contributor Richard Grennell. He served as Director of Communications for the U.S. representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2008 before signing on at Fox. That means he was the key spokesman throughout the Iraq war debacle. Now Trump is nominating him to be the ambassador to NATO. What’s peculiar about this is that Trump has repeatedly criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq that it was Grennell’s job to defend. And now Trump wants to put him at NATO, an organization Trump said was outdated.

These two Foxugees are joining three former colleagues already on Team Trump. K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, and Sebastian Gorka. There would have been four but Monica Crowley withdrew from the National Security Council after being exposed as a plagiarist. She’s back at Fox now. Appearing on Hannity Tuesday night she whined that she had been the victim of “a straight up political hit job.” She also said that her publisher backed her up but, in fact, they halted all sales of her book.

Still more Fox personnel have been considered for administration roles. Trump appears to be building a de facto Ministry of Propaganda out of the White House. All of the elements are falling into place. He’s assembled a cast of characters that has experience in developing fiction and defending the indefensible. Now on the inside they can be counted on to continue showering him with praise and deflecting criticism.

On the other side of this partnership, Fox News is well positioned to take advantage of their unique circumstance. They can expect to be excluded from Trump’s tirades against “fake news.” More importantly, the network’s corporate parent can count on Trump to shepherd through regulations that benefit the company. Fox would love to have the FCC relax TV station ownership caps so they can monopolize markets by buying up more stations. Also high among the priorities of Fox’s CEO Rupert Murdoch, is scuttling the merger of competitors AT&T and TimeWarner. That’s actually a good idea, but not for the selfish reasons Murdoch harbors.

Finally, how can Fox News fairly cover an administration that’s lousy with its own former employees? This presents a conflict that is unprecedented. Those involved are closely associated with one another, and they likely expect to return to Fox after their government service. So neither will want to antagonize the other for fear of hampering future opportunities.

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

Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” is being kept by draining it right into the White House. The stench of corruption stemming from his unsavory connections to Russia now has a media machine to mask the odor. It’s the sort of thing that one observes in the regimes of dictators. There has never been anything similar in the United States. It’s up to what’s left of the independent press to make sure it doesn’t take hold. So we may be in big trouble.

Alarming New Law Could Allow ‘Voice Of America’ To Turn Into Trump’s Pravda

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is a federal agency with seventy-four years of history. It was created to produce pro-western news stories for distribution around the world. It was intended to advance democracy and counter propaganda in countries suffering from stiff censorship and suppression of free speech.

Donald Trump

The BBG manages outlets like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, among others. However, its mission of late has been muted by bureaucracy and mismanagement. In an effort to address these problems Congress passed a reform bill that would phase out the bipartisan board and replace it with a CEO to be appointed by the president.

These reforms were not considered especially controversial when they were proposed. They even received some bipartisan support in Congress. However, with the election of Donald Trump, some of the initiative’s backers are having second thoughts. As Politico reported:

“President-elect Donald Trump is about to inherit a newly empowered Voice of America that some officials fear could serve as an unfettered propaganda arm for the former reality TV star who has flirted for years with launching his own network.

“Buried on page 1,404 of the National Defense Authorization Act that passed last week is a provision that would disband the bipartisan board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent U.S. agency that includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcast Networks.”

Trump and his cohorts have demonstrated that they are not above lying to manufacture narratives that support their interests. Consequently, the new BBG could wind up being a version of Trump TV that is “financed by taxpayers to the tune of $800 million per year.” And with other recent legislation, there’s nothing to stop this agency from airing its broadcasts in the United States. This is troubling because the reformed board could produce propaganda aimed at American citizens and distribute it through conventional media and news programming.

Now some people might be thinking “So what? Isn’t that what Fox News already does?” And they would be right. Fox News is the de facto PR division of the Republican Party. And with the elevation of Trump to the White House, Fox becomes the President’s official mouthpiece. However, another production entity with a nearly billion dollar budget should not be dismissed. It’s programming could be distributed to hundreds of small TV stations throughout the country who could air it for free. This would expand the reach of the right’s propaganda to millions of new households.

The congressional managers of the bill insist that their reforms preserve a “firewall” that prohibits political influence from the White House or the new CEO. They maintain that journalists would still have a free hand to produce their own stories. But if the new CEO was inclined to throw his weight around, he could still bully his subordinates into submission. Plus he could hire journalists that were pre-screened for right-wing, ideological purity. Imagine someone like Stephen Bannon (Trump’s Strategic Advisor and former chairman of Breitbart News) in that role. And Roger Ailes, former CEO of Fox News, is looking for work after having been fired for sexual harassment. He and Trump are best buddies.

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

Both Democratic and Republican members of the current board have expressed concerns about the reforms. They recognize the potential for abuse without strict oversight. The Washington Post notes that, “If Congress’s intention was for US broadcasting to rival the Kremlin’s, it may well get its wish.” And what would make Trump happier than to emulate his hero in Russia with his very own version of Pravda?

SO F*CKING WHAT? Trump Tweets That He’ll Hand Business Over To His Fully Conflicted Kids

America’s Robber Baron-Elect, Donald Trump, disgorged himself on Twitter again in a pre-dawn diatribe. This one sought to allay the fears of his extensive conflicts of interest by repeating his prior insufficient explanations.

Donald Trump

Here are the tweets he fired off in his sleepless rant:

Once again, he seems to think that handing his businesses off to his kids removes the potential for corruption. All it does is appoints his kids as the executors of his worldwide graft and bribery operations. He still has complete knowledge of his assets and what government measures would benefit them. Family members cannot be characterized as a “blind trust” and most of his properties around the world have his name plastered on them in gold.

Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel is already playing host to foreign dignitaries. These guests have admitted that they booked the venue to ingratiate themselves to the President-elect. Consequently, Trump could be in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause immediately after taking the oath of office.

Trump casually asserts that he is not mandated by law to divest himself, but that’s not what the Constitution says. He further states that it is only “visually important” to avoid conflicts of interest. Actually avoiding them doesn’t appear to be on his agenda. That suggests that if he can effectively hide his crookedness it would be OK. If he really believes that the presidency is “a far more important task” than his real estate ventures, then why won’t he divest?

There is, perhaps, something more significant in his tweets than the old news that he is promoting his Trumpkins. That’s the announcement that he will hold a press conference on December 15, to address the subject. Trump has not held a press conference in the three weeks since Election Day. That’s the longest period a president-elect has gone without a post-election press conference in forty years. But it’s even worse than that because he hasn’t had a formal press conference at all since July. In fact, with only four exceptions, he hasn’t been interviewed on a non-Fox News outlet in nearly six months. This was so egregious that Fox News even reported it.

It’s not for lack of newsworthy discussion topics. By avoiding the press Trump has evaded questions on serious issues that impact the nation. For instance, an election that is tainted by allegations of voter suppression and his loss of the popular vote. At least a dozen women who are charging him with sexual assault. His unsavory connections to Russia and its efforts to interfere with the election. Payment of $25 million to settle a lawsuit to compensate the fraud victims of his phony Trump University. His cabinet and administration appointees who are affiliated with radical racist organizations. And, of course, his growing list of ethically compromising conflicts of interest.

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

Now he says he will hold a press conference. The last time he said that he ended up staging an infomercial for his hotel, steaks, and other sundry QVC-esque commodities. Trump enjoys screwing with the press almost as much as lying to it. Consequently, we ought not to expect him to keep his word about the purpose of this gathering. In fact, we should not necessarily expect there to be one at all. Stay tuned.

Trump Caught Disseminating False, Anti-Clinton Disinformation From Russian Media (VIDEO)

One of the most peculiar and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s campaign for president is often dismissed as fanciful meanderings. However, there is abundant evidence of Trump’s entanglements with members of the Russian oligarchy and government. Those relationships include both financial and political dealings that raise serious questions. And now there is new evidence of a connection between Trump and Russian media.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Kremlin Connection

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald has been doing yeoman’s work as an investigative journalist on the Trump beat. He has written well-documented articles uncovering the shady finances that characterize the Trump empire. And now he himself emerges as part of a story that ties Trump to Russian propaganda. At a rally in Pennsylvania (video below), Trump told his glassy-eyed followers that he had found a smoking gun email from Hillary Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. The email, Trump said, contained an admission that the tragedy in Benghazi could have been prevented, but for Clinton’s negligence.

There’s just one small problem. The relevant text in the email was not by Blumenthal. It was actually an out-of-context excerpt from an article by Eichenwald. Blumenthal was merely forwarding the article to Clinton’s team. As it turns out, the Russian-controlled Sputnik news agency had published a bogus story. They misreported Eichenwald’s words as having come from Blumenthal. Upon being advised of the error, Sputnik later deleted the article which had not been published anywhere else.

Here’s where it gets weird. If the article was only published briefly by a news outlet tied to the Russian government, how did Trump get a hold of it? Or, as Eichenwald framed it:

“This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin?”

Good question. The Sputnik article was only online for a couple of hours before Trump and his people could have gotten it. Sure, that might be long enough for some Breitbart-affiliated, alt-right, fruitcake to have seen it and forwarded it to Trump Tower. However, the timeline is pretty narrow. It suggests that a pathway from Sputnik, or other Russian media, to Trump is pretty well greased.

It’s a relationship that has erupted previously. Such as the time Trump appeared on RT (the Russian-controlled cable network) to badmouth President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In that program he also defended Russia from allegations that they were responsible for hacking Democratic email accounts. Those allegations later became formal charges by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security . Trump also made a public request that Russia continue hacking Democrats in order to find Clinton’s deleted emails, promising that their efforts would be rewarded. And at Sunday’s debate Trump again tried to exonerate his Russian pals. He ridiculously implied that there might not have been any hacking at all. You have to wonder whose side he’s on.

What’s more, long before Trump gave his speech in Pennsylvania, the truth about the deleted Sputnik article was available. Nevertheless, Trump went forward with his rant that repeated everything in the piece that was wrong. Granted, almost everything Trump says is wrong, but in this case the source is a dubious outfit known as a Kremlin mouthpiece. Whether deliberately or otherwise, Trump is acting as a syndicator of propaganda from the Politburo. Even worse, he’s syndicating propaganda that didn’t even meet the standards of the original Russian source who confirmed it was false and deleted it. No worries. It’s still good enough for Trump. That’s just reason #15,784 that Trump is unfit to be President of the United States.

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

Watch Trump lie about the hacked email:

UPDATE: Fox News did a segment on this and actually framed it HONESTLY! Someone check Hell for ice. This may be telling us something about Fox’s analysis of the electoral outcome.

Fox News

Fox News War Mongering EXPOSED: Former Exec Confesses ‘My Job Was To Sell The War’ In Iraq

The flagrantly right-wing bias of Fox News is no longer in doubt by anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the network’s aggressive propagandizing. Most of the network’s anchors, contributors, and guests lean so far to the right that Joseph Goebbels would have been proud to be associated with it. And yet, their own pride of ideological leaning is carefully hidden under a veil of phony fairness and balance.

Fox News

That’s why it was surprising to find a public admission of political spin from a high level Fox insider buried in a story on a completely different subject. Last week Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine published another article in his investigative series that contributed to the downfall of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Sherman is also the author of the Ailes biography The Loudest Voice in the Room.

The sexual harassment scandal that led to the humiliating ouster of the most powerful man in media had been steadily escalating. Dozens of women came forward to tell their painful stories of abuse. One of those women was Laurie Luhn who worked for Fox News for more than twenty years. The circumstances of her harrowing experience are spelled out in excruciating detail in Sherman’s article. But little noticed was this paragraph buried deep withing the article that revealed something unrelated to the abuse:

“As she was promoted through the ranks at Fox, Luhn worked harder and harder to please Ailes. She zealously promoted the network’s right-wing agenda. ‘I was very proud of the product. I was very proud of how we handled 9/11. Very proud of how we handled the run-up to the Iraq War,’ she said. ‘My job was to sell the war. I needed to get people on the air that were attractive and articulate and could convey the importance of this campaign. It was a drumbeat.'”

As the Director of Bookings for Fox News, Luhn saw her job as “selling the war” in Iraq. And she clearly recognized the benefits of seeking attractive, articulate salespeople to move the product. The “drumbeat” to which she refers was evident every day as the network hammered its advocacy of a war that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. This was much more than a typical news slant to sway public opinion. This was a blatant effort to steer the nation into an international conflict that has had disastrous results from which we are still suffering today.

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

These revelations turn the Luhn story into a much more complex affair. While she was on a daily mission to help her employer embroil the country in an immoral and illegal war, she was also a victim of unconscionable behavior from her despicable boss. There is no excuse for what Ailes allegedly did to her and the many other women making similar allegations against him. But there is a strange and sad irony that these heinous acts resulted in Luhn providing one of the most potent examples of how Fox News deliberately deceived the American people and unleashed an era of war, terrorism, and misery on the world.

Fox News Censors Guantanamo Ad

When the Center For Constitutional Rights submitted the ad below to Fox News, the network rejected it in a letter from Fox News account executive Erin Kelly:

“We cannot approve the spot with it being Danny Glover’s opinion that the Bush Administration is destroying the Constitution. If you have documentation that it is indeed being destroyed, we can look at that. Sorry about that,”

Does Kelly really think that the ad is asserting that the actual Constitution is literally being physically destroyed by George Bush? Or is she suggesting that documentation be provided to prove a metaphor for the administration’s anti-Constitutional behavior? Either way, she is treading dangerously close to clinical insanity.

More likely she is merely carrying out the policy of Fox News to suppress any and every critical opinion of their benefactors in the White House and the Republican Party. Censorship and propaganda once again rule the day at Fox.