Fox News Is NOT News: Network’s Own Ads Label Its Programming As ‘Entertainment’

Most Americans don’t need Fox News to inform them that the network is a rabidly partisan, right-wing propaganda machine. However, it’s nice of them to admit it from time to time, and to provide incontrovertible proof.

The latest public confession by Fox came when they posted promotions for the premiere of Tucker Carlson Tonight. Carlson is the Trump-loving, ultra-conservative, knee-jerk GOP mouthpiece tapped to fill Megyn Kelly’s stiletto heels. On the Fox News website they posted ads to draw viewers to the new primetime program under an unusual category heading: Entertainment.

Fox News Tucker Carlson

That’s right. Even Fox News doesn’t consider their programs to be news. That has been readily apparent to anyone who has watched the network for more than five minutes. But from Fox’s perspective it has been a key part of their business model from the start. As reported previously by News Corpse:

“Fox News has redefined television journalism by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear.

“Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their ‘talent’ in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, Fox CEO Roger Ailes demands it. As for news, Fox’s concentration on tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate is the news equivalent of porn.”

This isn’t the first time that Fox has been so candid about their intention to be perceived as an entertainment medium. In a 2015 profile in the Hollywood Reporter the now-disgraced former CEO of Fox made it clear what field of broadcasting he was interested in playing on. He told the trade mag that CNN and MSNBC were not on his radar:

“In fact, Ailes, 74, no longer views those networks as rivals. ‘We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,’ he says.”

So the boss admits that channels that are plainly entertainment and sports are his competition, not other news outlets. There’s a good reason for this. Entertainment routinely trounces news in the ratings. By dressing up the more staid genre of journalism as a sexier breed of programming, Fox hopes to attract larger, more loyal audiences.

Another Fox source confirmed this tactic, ironically in the form of criticism of rival news networks. On Bill O’Reilly’s show, former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg sought to explain why CNN and MSNBC were losing to Fox. His reasoning was that “Liberal news media violate the cardinal rule of all media. They’re not entertaining.” His point being that Fox had solved that “problem” by abandoning journalistic ethics and playing to their audience’s emotions.

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

Now, with Fox’s own promotions of a new primetime show, they have finally abandoned any pretense of being a news operation. If a network characterizes itself as entertainment, you might as well take their word for it. Wouldn’t they know? And in the Era of Trump a network populated by faux journalists fits neatly into the latest media trend: Fake News.

Sexual Harassment Claim Against Bill O’Reilly Secretly Settled By Fox News

The den of misogyny and debasement known as Fox News has suffered another blow to its reputation for family values. It’s only been a few months since Fox fired Roger Ailes, their founder and CEO, due to allegations of sexual harassment. About a dozen women lodged complaints against him, most notably Gretchen Carlson, who won a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

On Monday a new report revealed that Fox’s top star, Bill O’Reilly, has also been the target of harassment allegations. Former anchor Juliet Huddy made the complaint over charges stemming from her employment in 2011. She asserted that O’Reilly made unwanted advances and sexually explicit phone calls wherein he appeared to be masturbating. Additionally, he threatened to adversely affect her career and retaliated when she proved to be an uncooperative victim. The complaint also named Jack Abernethy, the newly appointed co-president of Fox who replaced Ailes.

The news reports indicate that Fox News paid a substantial amount to settle with Huddy. Both Fox News and O’Reilly, however, deny the charges. The settlement was arranged in secret and stipulated that Huddy refrain from disclosing its terms. According to the report:

“LawNewz.com has confirmed the settlement with three separate sources including a former Fox News executive with direct knowledge of the matter. In addition, we obtained a draft of the intent to sue letter which was sent or handed to Fox News and listed the allegations of sexual harassment against both men. While we weren’t able to confirm the exact amount of the settlement, our sources tell us the amount paid out was in the high six figures. Neither Abernethy, nor O’Reilly paid any money out personally and, we are told, Abernethy and O’Reilly strongly denied all of the charges made against them by Huddy from the start.”

This isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has undergone scrutiny for such misbehavior. In 2004 he paid a multimillion dollar settlement to a former producer, Andrea Mackris, who alleged that he harassed her. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his ex-wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids.

There appears to be an environment at Fox News that allows for the toleration of this sort of abuse. It’s part of a pattern of behavior where women are exploited and on and off camera. In the Ailes era female anchors were forbidden to wear pants on sets without desks. To say nothing of the infamous “leg cam” that was deployed to feature the assets of their mostly young, blonde presenters. Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman documented some of the techniques Fox employed to satisfy their largely male audience in his book “The Loudest Voice In The Room.” For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Even former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got reeled in. She recently revealed her own experiences with sexual harassment by Ailes and left Fox to join NBC News. But in a revealing pictorial for GQ Magazine a few years ago, her appearance was very much a part of Fox’s marketing. She was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses.

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

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?

Bill O’Reilly Says Sexual Harassment Victims Make Fox News Look Bad – Not The Harassers

The ousting of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes four months ago is apparently still a sore spot for some of Fox’s deadender loyalists. Ailes was accused of sexual harassment by at least a dozen women who worked for him over the years. It was Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit that fanned the embers of what became an all-consuming inferno. Eventually Ailes resigned in disgrace, only to join Donald Trump’s campaign as an advisor.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

Among the women victimized by Ailes was primetime host Megyn Kelly. Her disclosures were particularly damning. Unfortunately, she withheld the incidents until she was ready to publish her new book, Settle For More. Nevertheless, the revelations in the book have caused some turmoil at Fox News.

Specifically, Bill O’Reilly, who is on his own book tour, has been asked to comment on the controversy. He was, as he said during an interview with CBS This Morning, “not amused” (see video below). Then he went on an extended rant telling the host he was “not interested in making my network look bad.” He insisted that Fox was “a good place to work,” while belittling the trauma suffered by his female colleagues. Then, back on his own show, he doubled down:

“So here’s the deal. If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave. I’ve done that. And then take the action you need to take afterward if you feel aggrieved. There are labor laws in this country. But don’t run down the concern that supports you by trying to undermine it. Factor Tip of The Day: Loyalty is good.”

The following day, Megyn Kelly was on CBS This Morning and had the perfect response: “I believe that Roger Ailes made the company look bad.”

O’Reilly’s perverse sense of loyalty utterly ignores the reality that millions of women have to encounter in the workplace. His notion of what a company is entitled to when it pays your salary is absurd and repulsive. No employer is paying for your submission to criminal harassment, and allegiance under such circumstances is certainly not required.

The suggestion that a victim’s only recourse is to report the harassment to human resources or quit makes no sense. First of all, reporting such behavior about a co-worker is one thing. But when the perpetrator is the company CEO it’s not that simple. The human resources director reports to the same executive and may not want to put themselves at risk.

As for quitting, that forces the victim to make the sacrifice for the misdeeds of their perverted boss. Not to mention it leaves the jerk in a position to continue victimizing other women. And O’Reilly’s suggestion that speaking out about sexual harassment “undermines” the company illustrates his total disconnect from reality. A sane perspective of this would recognize that rooting out these weasels actually improves the company for everyone. In O’Reilly’s world abusive executives would run rampant in the suites of every corporation without fear of reprisal.

That would probably suit O’Reilly just fine, considering he has his own history of abusive behavior. He settled a sexual harassment claim against him by a former producer for millions of dollars. And he was accused by his own children of physically assaulting his wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids. No wonder he’s such close friends with Donald Trump, another deviant with a record of assaulting women. So O’Reilly’s views on how a company or an employee should respond when faced with harassment are worse than irrelevant. He has a clear conflict of interest and dearth of morals. And he calls himself a “Culture Warrior.”

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

CONFIRMED: Fox News Was ‘Nakedly Colluding’ With Donald Trump

File this one under “Things We Already Knew.” Yes, it was painfully obvious that Fox News always had a clear preference for then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump. But until now there hasn’t been such a profoundly forthright admission of their bias.

Megyn Kelly Donald Trump

Fox News host Megyn Kelly has a new book, Settle For More, that contains some surprising revelations about her experiences at work. Among those previously excerpted in the press were her allegations of being a victim of sexual harassment. After a dozen other women revealed their harrowing encounters with the disgraced ex-CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, Kelly finally came forward with her own account.

In a similarly late confession, Kelly’s book also exposes a small piece of the political propaganda machine at Fox News. The New York Times received a pre-release copy from which they quoted a section about the Trump campaign. The excerpt describes Kelly’s discovery that someone at Fox was funneling debate questions to Trump:

“Then, the day before the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump was in a lather again, Ms. Kelly writes. He called Fox executives, saying he’d heard that her first question ‘was a very pointed question directed at him.’ This disconcerted her, because it was true: It was about his history of using disparaging language about women.

“She doesn’t speculate where the leak came from. (She reports. You decide.) But that’s another unambiguous takeaway from this book: Parts of Fox — or at the very least, Roger Ailes, the network’s chairman until July, when he was given the boot after several allegations of sexual harassment were made against him — seemed to be nakedly colluding with the Republican presidential nominee.”

There you have it. An eyewitness account of Fox News deliberately interfering with a candidates debate to benefit their chosen one. And the witness isn’t a wild-eyed, liberal, Fox hating, radical. It’s the fastest rising star on the network who is frequently referred to as “the future of Fox News.” So in addition to providing Trump with millions of dollars of free airtime, they were fouling supposedly neutral debate broadcasts.

On one hand, it’s admirable that Kelly includes this in her book. It casts a decidedly negative light on the heavily slanted editorial processes at Fox. On the other hand, she failed her obligations as a “journalist” by not saying anything when it occurred. The fact that a candidate was receiving tips on the questions for an upcoming debate is big news. And Kelly certainly agrees with that principle. She made a big deal about the exact same accusation when it was aimed at Democratic operative Donna Brazile.

In a stolen email released by WikiLeaks, Brazile made comments that implied that she had advance knowledge of a debate question and passed it on to the Clinton campaign. Kelly even raised this issue in an interview with Brazile wherein she asked “Can you imagine if this were a Republican had been fed a question by Fox News? You know, the different reaction we’d be seeing in the media?”

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

Yes, we do know, and we don’t have to use our imagination. The reaction on Fox News would be to cover it up until a for-profit book tour could be scheduled. So Trump got away with colluding with Fox News to help him in a debate. And Kelly got a juicy morsel of gossip with which to promote her book. It’s a win-win – for deceitful propagandists and dishonest TV hosts. And, of course, for ignorant, racist, xenophobic, misogynist, narcissistic, wannabe dictators.

Megyn Kelly Is NOT The Women’s Champion Fox News Pretends She Is

Ever since Megyn Kelly was promoted to anchor of her own primetime program, “The Kelly File,” she has been heralded as “the future of Fox News.” These tributes came from a surprisingly diverse assembly of media watchers and even competitors. For the most part they were based on a couple of incidents wherein Kelly took positions that gently contradicted the Fox doctrine.

Megyn Kelly Roger Ailes Fox News

The most noticeable of those partisan detours occurred during discussions of issues of concern to women. But like most conservatives, Kelly only adopts progressive positions when they affect her personally. For instance, she soundly thrashed a couple of male colleagues who belittled her upon her return from maternity leave. And then there was her question to Donald Trump during a Fox News Republican primary debate. She put him on the defensive by asking about his derogatory references to women as “fat pigs, dogs, and slobs.” That led to a prolonged and public feud between Kelly and The Donald. She later made up with Trump and granted him an hour of softball questions that ignored his blatant misogyny.

However, a more thorough examination of her record does not show her to be much of a feminist icon. She has been a frequent critic of Planned Parenthood and efforts to advance reproductive health care. And she callously dismisses the gender pay gap as a “meme.” But the best evidence of her conflict with the interests of women comes in the pages of her new book.

RadarOnline got a pre-release copy of the upcoming book and published some excerpts. In these remarks she discusses her encounters with former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. For the first time Kelly admits that she was also a victim of his unwanted advances:

“Roger began pushing the limits,” she alleges. “There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me — veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (e.g. about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.” […]

“But in January 2006, she claims, he “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.” When she shoved him away, she alleges, “he asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”

It’s about time Kelly came clean on the abhorrent behavior of her ex-boss. The problem is that she waited ten years to do so. If she was harassed in 2006, then her silence for a decade thereafter allowed Ailes to victimize countless other women. She didn’t even come forward with a public statement after the Ailes affairs broke in the press. It was her colleague Gretchen Carlson who took the courageous step of challenging Ailes – her boss and the most powerful man in media. Kelly essentially left Carlson hanging in the wind.

It’s not as if Kelly wasn’t aware of the consequences of her silence. The book excerpts include a quote wherein she expresses her concerns about other potential victims. She asks “What if — God forbid — he was still doing it to someone?”

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

Yeah – What if? In fact, he was doing it to other women and Kelly permitted it to continue for ten years until she was ready to publish it for profit. That is not how a champion of women’s rights behaves. That’s the behavior of a self-absorbed coward who is only concerned about her own welfare. And now Kelly is exploiting her experiences to squeeze a richer contract out of Fox. She’ll probably get it. Proving that the only woman who benefits from her “activism” is Megyn Kelly.

Trump TV Network? Here’s 7 Reasons It Will Be His Next HUGE Failure

The idea of launching a right-wing television network has been rattling around the Trump camp for months. Last June News Corpse reported that Trump insiders were talking about the possibility of Donald Trump trying to drag his glassy-eyed disciples from the musty arenas and airport hangers where he stages his rallies to the comfort of their own trailer parks. It was a terrible idea then, and it’s still a terrible idea.

Donald Trump

Undeterred, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continues to pursue the venture. According to reports, “Kushner has informally approached one of the media industry’s top dealmakers about the prospect of setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election in November.” Also reported is that “Kushner and the Republican candidate himself are thinking about how to capitalize on the populist movement that has sprung up around their campaign in the event of an election defeat to Democrat Hillary Clinton next month.”

The first notable revelation here is that Trump is spending an inordinate amount of attention on his post-election activities. And they do not involve being president. Perhaps he has recognized what so many of us already know: He’s toast. But even more problematic for him, the TrumpTV project is destined for defeat. There are numerous reasons for that ranging from personal inadequacies to economic realities. Here is a list of the most obvious reasons for a TrumpTV disaster:

1) Donald Trump is one of the worst businessmen of his generation

Trump has suffered multiple bankruptcies. He has underperformed the markets within which his companies operate. He is currently being sued for fraud. And he couldn’t even manage to make money in the casino business. That’s not exactly a resume that inspires confidence.

2) Trump cannot deliver ratings

He’s fooling himself if he believes that his glowing orange presence is what drove the ratings during this election season. The reason people are watching is the prospect of seeing him speak in tongues, or otherwise breakdown on live TV.

3) The programming would suck

What could his network produce to capitalize on his campaign? Lectures to his emotionally unstable viewers on how awful America is? The Alex Jones Conspiracy Theory Theater Hour? Ivanka and Ted Nugent as a bizarro Donny and Marie? The NRA’s version of CSI? The Walking Dread with David Duke? Perhaps a home shopping angle wherein he tries to sell steaks, time shares, and worthless diplomas.

4) Trump’s brand is toxic

His hate-filled campaign has re-branded him as the nation’s foremost racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hate monger since Archie Bunker. And while his supporters may seem numerous when you stuff a few thousand into a baseball stadium in Alabama, in order to succeed in TV you need millions of viewers to tune in regularly. Will his fans do that to hear the same stump speech he has been rambling off for the past year?

5) Where will the advertisers come from?

Most companies do not want to be associated with demagogic bigots. Just ask Rush Limbaugh whose advertising revenue has collapsed to the point where it is threatening the continued existence of his radio show.

6) Trump hates the media

Someone who has such open disdain for the media is unlikely to be successful as a member of the club. In just the past week he has been condemned by multiple organizations that advocate for a free press. They have called him “an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists.” His continuous barrage of intimidation and insults have literally put reporters at risk.

7) The cable business is currently a terrible investment

Many people are abandoning cable (cord-cutters) in favor of services like Netflix and Hulu. There is an over-saturation of channels struggling to get attention. Cable systems have no space for new channels. And people with far more adoring fans have had a tough time rolling out new networks. Oprah Winfrey is perfect example of one of America’s most beloved figures whose cable channel is struggling. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have also bombed out while trying to launch video ventures.

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

Trump may try to coax Sean Hannity to leave his perch at Fox News. That could give him a quick, but short, burst of energy. Fox’s disgraced former CEO, Roger Ailes might be persuaded to play a role. However, that could only happen if he found a way to evade the non-competition clause of his separation agreement with Fox. His campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, would be a possibility to run the operation. Then again, that would only ensure that it appeals to the deplorable demographic that fuels his alt-right website, Breitbart News.

If Trump decides to go ahead with his cable project it will almost certainly be a personal and financial fiasco. It will follow on the heels of his landslide loss for the presidency. On that prospect Trump has expressed his opinion of what it will have meant if he loses the election. He said “if I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime.” Well, at least until his loopy media mogul ambitions implode.

Colin Powell’s LEAKED EMAILS Reveal What He Really Thinks Of Donald Trump

For several weeks the media has fixated on emails associated with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Some of them were obtained by anti-Democratic organizations and Republicans in Congress. Others were stolen by hackers affiliated with Russian intelligence operations. Now, if the story reported by BuzzFeed pans out, the GOP may get a taste of their own medicine.

Powell/Trump

Personal emails from former Secretary of State Colin Powell have been obtained by BuzzFeed News. Among the revelations in them is his assessment of Donald Trump as “a national disgrace” and an “international pariah.” BuzzFeed writes that:

“The remarks came in a June 17, 2016, email to Emily Miller, a journalist who was once Powell’s aide. In that same email Powell also said Trump ‘is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him.'”

Powell is not just a former Secretary of State. he is also a retired four-star general, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was National Security Adviser to President Ronald Reagan. His reputation took a hit when he shilled for George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, but as a Republican icon of international diplomacy he is without peer. For him to dismiss Trump in such potent terms could have a significant impact on right-leaning Republicans and independents.

Additionally, Powell’s emails revealed his disgust for the Birther movement which he described as racist. In fact, he said that “the whole birther movement was racist.” With respect to Trump’s leading role in it, Powell wrote “When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.”

Powell even commented on Trump bringing disgraced former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes into his campaign. Ailes, you recall, was ousted from the network he founded after numerous women came forward with complaints of sexual harassment. Powell made the cogent observation that “Ailes as an advisor wont heal women.” And he criticized the overall press coverage of Trump saying “You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen.”

[UPDATE] Additional reporting has revealed another fascinating email from Powell. In this one he says that “Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt.”

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

Colin Powell continues to be a respected figure in the Republican Party and more broadly across a swath of independents. Until the release of these emails his opinions of Trump were not publicly known. Trump will surely renounce Powell as a dummy and loser, and his supporters won’t be moved by these criticisms. But Powell is expressing the views of many conservatives who are troubled by Trump’s ignorance and repulsed by his bigotry. Only time will tell if enough of them are dissuaded to prevent a Trump victory from bringing shame to our nation.

Fox News Debate Moderator’s Ex-Boss Is Prepping Trump For The Debates

The 2016 presidential debates are now set with dates and moderators. They will be the most influential campaign events in the final two months of this election cycle. How they are produced and managed can have an impact nearly as significant as the performance of the candidates.

Baby Trump

For the past few weeks Donald Trump has been whining about the debate formats and moderators. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he has still not officially accepted the invitation to participate. To the contrary, he has been threatening to ditch the whole affair. He tweeted that the debates as scheduled were “Unacceptable,” and that “Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates.” Furthermore, in an attempt to work the refs, he told Time Magazine that “certain moderators would be unacceptable, absolutely.”

Well, Donald Trump’s tantrums may have yielded some results (much like they did throughout the GOP primary debates). The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) just released their list of moderators. Lester Holt of NBC will host the first debate on September 26. The second will feature CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Radditz in a town hall format. The final debate will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

The CPD managed to select journalists with reputations for fair, if bland, reporting for the first two debates. The problem comes in the third debate with Chris Wallace. Until a few weeks ago Wallace reported to Roger Ailes, the disgraced ex-CEO of Fox News who was ousted following multiple charges of sexual harassment. Prior to his exit, Wallace defended Ailes vigorously, and they remain close friends.

Ailes is now working for the Trump campaign, specifically helping to prep him for the debates with Clinton. The close relationship between Ailes and Wallace is unseemly at best. Will Ailes try to influence his pal on the topics or questions that will be asked? Will Wallace show favor to the candidate employing his friend and former boss?

While these questions can’t be answered with any certainty, the mere suggestions create enough of a conflict to have disqualified Wallace from moderating. Imagine the Republican howling that would ensue if a Clinton aide had a similar relationship with a debate moderator. Trump himself would throw fits of outrage at the bias and corruption of the system. Yet there has been nary a peep from anyone in the campaigns or the press about this blatant favoritism.

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

The presence of Wallace on the debate stage sets a low standard for fairness that will be difficult to overcome. Only time will tell if he has any interest in doing so. But the most revealing aspect of this development is what has not occurred. Donald Trump has not (as yet) complained about the lineup. That’s a pretty good indicator that he feels he got what he wanted. Too bad the voters who will be watching won’t be able to say the same thing.

Can Fox News, ‘A Playboy Mansion-Like Cult’, Cover Hillary’s Historic Run Fairly?

The wires are burning up this morning as another lawsuit is filed against serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes. You recall that Ailes was ousted as Fox News CEO after Gretchen Carlson, and a couple dozen other women, leveled charges against him.

Fox News/Playboy

The new suit was filed by Andrea Tantaros, the absent co-host of Fox’s Outnumbered. She alleges that Ailes engaged in repeated instances of sexual harassment, and that her complaints were ignored or belittled. Buzzfeed’s report on this contained a colorfully worded statement from Tantaros’ attorney:

“In the lawsuit, Tantaros’s attorney Judd Burstein describes Fox News as a ‘a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny’ and describes Ailes as a ‘sexual predator’ who ‘did not act alone.’ Tantaros alleges Ailes retaliated against her for rebuffing his advances by removing her from The Five and ordering the Fox News media relations department to turn against her.”

There have been many observations that Fox News has all the markings of a cult, including one by this author ( see: Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance). But a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” is even more troubling than your standard, garden variety cult.

In addition to Ailes, Tantaros identified several other Fox big wigs who “made unwanted sexual comments or advances” toward her. They include Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, as well as senior national correspondent John Roberts. Former Sen. Scott Brown and former Superman Dean Cain, both Fox contributors, were also named, but not cited as defendants.

Efforts to stop the inappropriate behavior were met with indifference by Fox News management. Particularly executive VP Bill Shine. According to the lawsuit Shine dismissed Tantaros, warning that Ailes was a powerful man and that she needed to “let this one go.” Shine was later promoted to co-president of Fox News after Ailes was terminated.

The blatant discrimination against women by Fox in their workplace is reflected in their election coverage. Even Megyn Kelly has had to admonish her colleagues on the air when they demonstrated insensitivity to women’s issues. That sort of prejudice taints the network in a year when the leading candidate for president happens to be a woman.

Already there have been distinctly misogynistic reports from Fox during the campaign. No candidate other than Clinton has been chastised for fashion faux pas, tone of voice, or physical stamina. And her critics on Fox have also railed against the alleged use of the fabled “Woman’s Card” in her policy positions. A male candidate would not have been similarly attacked for supporting Planned Parenthood or child care.

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

Descriptions of Fox News as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” make it difficult not to notice how it impacts coverage of Hillary Clinton. After all, she is the first female nominee of a major party to be president of the United States. There is no question that any Democratic candidate would be on the receiving end of Fox’s vitriolic political biases. However, Clinton’s gender is not an insignificant factor and is clearly playing a role in Fox’s coverage. Every viewer needs to keep in mind the heinous activities that go on behind the scenes at Fox News. Because it cannot be separated from the insulting remarks and story angles that actually make it to the air.