Donald Trump Dines With Fox News Boss: Just Two Billionaire Plutocrats Chewing The Fat?

While in Scotland pimping his golf course and making idiotic statements about the United Kingdom quitting the European Union (#Brexit), Donald Trump set aside time to meet with the patriarch of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, for dinner. The dinner date was reported by Katy Tur of NBC in deliciously snarky tweet: “His eyes twinkling and a smile cracking his lips, Trump slowly mouthed the word Ruu-Pert when he told me he was dining with @rupertmurdoch.” (Cue the violins).

Donald Trump

Under other circumstances this might be just another opportunity for a couple of wealthy elitists to chow down and laugh at the tribulations of the little people. But, make no mistake, what happened here is unprecedented and ominous. The extraordinary nature of this high society supper becomes apparent by asking a couple of simple questions: 1) What other presidential candidate has Murdoch met with during this campaign? (None). And 2) What other media mogul has dined with any presidential candidate during this campaign? (None).

It is unseemly for anyone in the news business to have such cozy relations with candidates for high office. And it is particularly sleazy when those relations are blatantly one-sided. The “journalists” who work for Murdoch are keenly aware that their boss is signaling his preferences and that can have a chilling effect on how their reporting is conducted. Fox News is already heavily slanted with a starkly pro-Trump, anti-Clinton bias. By making such a public display of partisanship, Murdoch is making matters worse by dropping the full weight of his authority onto the weak-willed minions he employees.

Murdoch’s opinion of Trump has not always been so positive. Last year Murdoch tweeted this question that is still relevant today: “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?” Without ever answering that question, Murdoch let it be known that he is supporting Trump anyway. And he must have struggled mightily with that endorsement considering how fiercely Trump has maligned Fox News over the course of his campaign.

For example, Trump has burned just about everyone on the network. He said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. And for good measure, Trump took a swipe at the Fox family’s newspaper saying that the writers at the Wall Street Journal are also “dummies.”

I can’t argue with much of that, but then I’m not coming out in support of someone who has been so disparaging toward my most cherished business enterprise. Murdoch either has the forgiveness of a saint (unlikely), or he is so obsessed with defeating his good friend Hillary Clinton that he is willing to ignore these childish tantrums and embrace Trump, warts and all. There is one other intriguing possibility: Trump has some damaging information on Murdoch, Roger Ailes, or Fox News generally, and is blackmailing them. That would explain a lot.

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

In any case, it remains inappropriate for a media mogul Big Cheese to be feasting with The Big Cheeto. Their secret conversation is of far greater concern than anything that might have been said by Clinton in a speech to Wall Street. The potential for coordinating a media strategy between Fox News and the Trump campaign should make every American suspicious – and not a little nervous.

Is Fox News Shielding Donald Trump From Release Of Damaging Courtroom Video?

News organizations generally favor having access to as much information as possible. It is, in fact, their mission to compile as much raw data on a subject as they can in order to present a complete account to the public. It is almost unheard of for a media company to decline to advocate for access to relevant information, particularly from a government or legal entity. And yet, that is exactly what Fox News is doing.

Trump News Channel

A motion filed Friday with the U.S. District Court in San Diego is petitioning for the release of video depositions of Donald Trump made in connection with the fraud case against him and his defunct Trump University. And, yes, that’s the same court presided over by Judge Gonzalo Curiel who Trump has been attacking in a baseless and racist effort to smear the judge as unfair.

The videos referenced in the filing have the potential to reveal a more accurate representation Trump than the one he carefully crafts with his media and public appearances. The motion was filed on behalf of every major television news network (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN), as well some of the most prominent newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune).

Well, make that “almost” every major television news network. There are a couple of conspicuous holdouts who have not joined this filing, most notably Fox News. Along with Fox, the Wall Street Journal, another cog in Rupert Murdoch’s media machine, did not participate in the filing. This raises questions as to whether Fox News is deliberately abstaining so as not to harm the electoral prospects of the candidate they openly support, or to avoid aggravating Trump and thus lose access to his frequent and profitable appearances on the network (he has boycotted Fox News in the recent past). Another more fanciful theory is that Trump has dirt on Fox News, and/or its CEO Roger Ailes, and is steering clear for fear of retaliation.

The motion filed by the press succinctly describes the argument in favor of releasing the videos. It’s an argument that rests on the public’s right to know and the importance of transparency during a presidential campaign. The opening paragraphs say…

“For many years, Defendant Donald J. Trump has been at the center of an ongoing controversy over his namesake, Trump University (“TU”). This lawsuit – one of several actions alleging that TU defrauded its customers and encouraged their participation in the volatile late-2000s real estate market – drew significant public attention even before this year’s Presidential election.

“Now, Defendant is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and has made his business acumen an important element of his campaign. Thus, this lawsuit not only raises important questions about Defendant and his organization, it has become a prominent electoral issue. Opposing candidates have pointed to the allegations in this case in criticizing Defendant’s qualifications for the presidency; Defendant has cited TU as an example of his business success, and made this litigation itself a campaign issue.

“Given the undeniable and substantial public interest in these proceedings, the need for transparency could not be greater.”

Trump’s legal team is, predictably, opposing this motion, although they have not yet laid out the details of their rebuttal. But it’s one thing for Trump’s lawyers to argue against releasing material that will prove detrimental to his case and reputation. It’s their job to insulate him from legal jeopardy. However, it is not the job of Fox News, or any media enterprise, to protect Trump from embarrassing disclosures and to help him keep such information from the public.

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

By their conspicuous absence as plaintiffs in this filing, Fox News is signaling both their allegiance to Trump and their contempt for a free press. While they often feverishly complain that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats lack transparency, Fox is demonstrating that their “fair and balanced” slogan is nothing more than a phony marketing gimmick. If the court rules in favor of this motion Fox News will almost certainly air the videos that become available. But look for them to air along with vigorous defenses of Trump and attempts to dismiss their relevance and malign his critics. It’s the Fox News way.

Fox News Just Gift-Wrapped Their Primetime Schedule And Gave It To Donald Trump

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Fox News has jumped aboard the Donald Trump bandwagon in a big way. His most ardent supporters are featured regularly to exalt the presumptuous Republican presidential nominee. Those supporters include the anchors of Fox’s most watched programs in primetime.

Trump News Channel

This past week Fox News handed over its primetime schedule to hour-long specials dedicated to Trump. Every single program set aside all other news stories for an episode of fluffing their favorite candidate. This is unprecedented even for Fox. It comes just a week after the chairman of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, was reported to have embraced Trump’s candidacy. New York Magazine’s veteran Fox-watcher, Gabriel Sherman, revealed that…

“According to a half dozen sources familiar with Murdoch’s thinking, the media mogul has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.”

So it’s no coincidence that the following week Fox’s schedule is littered with packaged profiles of Trump that add nothing to the viewer’s store of knowledge or ability to make an informed decision. Here is what Fox’s primetime offered up last week as a gift to Donald Trump:

Greta Van Susteren’s “Meet The Trump’s”

Van Susteren devoted the whole hour of her show to interviews with Trump’s family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Megyn Kelly’s Donald Trump File

This episode of the Kelly File was partly a rebroadcast of “Megyn Kelly Presents,” the widely panned special that aired on the Fox Entertainment Network. There was some additional footage included that was left out of the original broadcast and, having seen it, Kelly was right to have cut it in the first place. It contained nothing new or interesting.

Bill O’Reilly’s “The Trump Phenomenon”

Not wanting to be left out, O’Reilly cobbled together a bunch of old interviews and presented them as a package for any of his viewers who haven’t seen enough of Donald Trump on television lately. O’Reilly and Trump are old pals and the interviews are a tribute to the sort of softball journalism that you would expect between friends.

And Then There’s Sean Hannity

To his credit, Hannity is the only one of the four primetime hosts who actually bothered to deliver a significant amount of new material featuring Trump. Of course it was substantially the same as everything that Hannity has delivered in the past. He has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television (over 17 hours). To illustrate how much time that is, Fox & Friends came in second with less than half that amount.

Since Trump just surpassed the number of delegates necessary to clinch the GOP nomination, we can expect much more of this hero worship from the folks at Fox News as the general election unfolds. The network that has been pretending to be “fair and balanced” for the past twenty years is wholly engaged in their mission to smear Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

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

While Clinton has not made herself available to Fox with much frequency (she did appear on Fox News Sunday recently), there is nothing stopping them assembling a packaged piece like these ones that they did for Trump. And maybe that’s for the best because, if they did, they would likely accuse her of blowing up the Hindenburg or assassinating Lincoln.

Donald Trump Is Now Officially The Candidate Of Fox News

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of the Fox News parent corporation, is reported to have made his decision to support the presumptuous nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. At first glance this news may seem unremarkable for the avowedly right-wing cable net, but there is a history of discomfort with Trump on the part of Murdoch that he must have overcome either by greed or force.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has been covering the inside stories on Fox News for several years. He has reliable sources and published the definitive, unauthorized biography of the network’s CEO Roger Ailes: The Loudest Voice in the Room. His latest scoop is one that casts a disturbing glow on the allegedly “fair and balanced” cable news network:

“According to a half dozen sources familiar with Murdoch’s thinking, the media mogul has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.”

Prior to this revelation, Murdoch was not particularly enthusiastic about his billionaire peer. He has tweeted that regarding the characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals, Trump was wrong. He was critical of Trump’s demeanor saying that “Trump finally loses it, in 95 minute rant.” And in a moment of unexpected clarity he asked “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”

So the question now is what would make Murdoch set aside those concerns to support a notoriously racist, misogynistic, loose cannon with tyrannical tendencies for president of the United States? It’s a question that Sherman addressed in his column suggesting that the shift may be due to financial considerations. Sherman notes that:

“It’s clear Trump is good for business. According to one Fox News producer, the channel’s ratings dip whenever an anti-Trump segment airs.”

There is no doubt that Murdoch is an aggressive businessman who appreciates any opportunity to make a profit. He has built his media empire around a model of tabloid journalism that places tawdry melodrama above factual reporting. And Donald Trump’s reality TV persona has been a boon to all of the networks covering him for the past year. Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, put it bluntly saying that Trump “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

However, there may be more to this than sheer greed or political compatibility. In a previous column, Sherman revealed that Trump had dealings with a former Fox News executive who left under suspicious circumstances. The result was that Trump may have acquired information that would be damaging to Fox News and/or its principals. Sherman concluded that “If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.” That sounds very much like something Trump would do.

This could also explain why Fox News was so generous with Trump, giving him more airtime than any other candidate, while simultaneously allowing him to get away with his brutal treatment of Fox News. As News Corpse reported at the time:

“Ordinarily, any Republican candidate would be conscious of the sway that Fox holds over the party and the fate of anyone hoping to rise up in it. But Trump, with an apparently reckless lack of concern, has spent much of the last nine months mercilessly battering the network and its staff. He said of Megyn Kelly that she ‘is the worst’ and has a ‘terrible show.’ He called Karl Rove a ‘total fool’ and ‘a biased dope.’ He said that George Will is a ‘broken down political pundit’ and ‘boring.’ Chris Stirewalt was deemed ‘one of the dumbest political pundits on television.’ Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as ‘a totally overrated clown,’ ‘a loser,’ and ‘a dummy.’

Wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was ‘having a really hard time watching Fox News.’ Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. He even went after one of the major shareholders of Fox’s parent corporation.”

Whatever the reason for Murdoch’s newfound infatuation for Trump, it is a troubling development for how the election will be reported. With the CEO of Fox’s parent corporation taking sides, it makes it inevitable that his editors, reporters, and presenters will be influenced and adjust their work accordingly.

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

Of course, Fox News has always been the mouthpiece for the Republican political agenda, so there may not be an apparent difference. But even the facade of neutrality is destroyed when powerful figures within a news organization set the tone for the enterprise. And it makes a mockery of events like today’s announcement that Fox News is seeking to host a Democratic debate before the California primary. Hopefully the party and the candidates will decline that invitation that is only meant to stir more controversy and damage the party’s prospect’s in November. With Murdoch’s capitulation to Donald Trump there is no way to pretend that the network is anything but hostile to whomever the Democrats nominate.

Irish Lives Matter? Fox News Celebrates Racism On St. Patrick’s Day

Leave it to Fox News to turn the most slammin’, sloshin’, party holiday of the year into an opportunity to demean a civil rights movement devoted to saving lives and improving relations with society’s institutions.


Today’s episode of “The Five” opened with an extended segment of the panel’s tribute to St. Patrick’s Day by parading an array of everything they could find that was painted green, including donuts, milkshakes, and tacos. But it didn’t take long for them find a way to devolve into the offensive rhetoric that is the hallmark America’s rightist wingnut network. Somehow a light-hearted discussion about green beer and leprechauns led to the following exchange between Juan Williams and Kimberly Guilfoyle:

Juan Williams: Irish people were stereotyped and denigrated for a long time.
Kimberly Guilfoyle: And the Irish got over it. They don’t run around going Irish Lives Matter

This is one of those times when screaming at the TV just isn’t sufficiently satisfying. Guilfoyle actually believes that there is a coherent equivalence in America today between the current state of prejudice experienced by African-Americans and the Irish. She thinks that her snide mockery of Black Lives Matters makes a cogent point about civil rights.

Guilfoyle would be right if the Irish were being gunned down in the streets while unarmed for trivial alleged crimes. She would be right if the Irish were subject to institutionalized racism during encounters with law enforcement. She would be right if driving while Irish was a thing. But since none of that exists in reality, she’s just another Fox News bigot trying and failing to disparage a movement that is working hard to resolve real problems.

Fox News, of course, has a history of being openly biased, and St. Patrick’s Day has been the springboard for it before. A couple of years ago the Guinness Beer company made a principled decision to skip New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because the LGBT community was prohibited from participating. That led Rupert Murdoch to tweet

“Where will this end? Guinness pulls out of religious parade bullied by gay orgs who try to take it over. Hope all Irish boycott the stuff.”

At the time, News Corpse spelled out all the reasons that tweet exposed Murdoch as being either senile or drunk. Not the least of which is his ludicrous suggestion that Irish Americans, or any other celebrant, is going to abstain from drinking the most famous Irish beer in the world on St. Patrick’s Day. And as if to rub it in that Murdoch is a raging fool, last year Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage and gays proudly marched in this year’s parade.

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

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch Rips Crybaby Donald Trump’s Crackpot Polling Conspiracy

Proving once again how thin-skinned and paranoid Donald Trump is, he flipped out after learning that a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed him trailing Ted Cruz nationally by two points. His bloated ego wouldn’t allow him to accept the possibility that his horrendous behavior at the last Republican debate might have caused his numbers to slip.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

So rather than face reality and get back to work, Trump attacked the Wall Street Journal and Fox News (for some unexplained reason he let NBC slide). Trump was interviewed by Breitbart News where he asserted that the poll was fixed and that “It was a Rupert Murdoch hit.” He further claimed that “The worst treatment I get is from Fox,” despite the fact that he gets far more airtime than any other candidate. Trump was also interviewed for a full hour on MSNBC (a disgraceful affair, but that’s another story), and told the sycophantic plant life known as Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, that…

“I think somebody at the Wall Street Journal doesn’t like me, but I never do well with the Wall Street Journal poll. So I don’t know.”

Clearly he doesn’t know. Or more likely he’s lying (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). Because a quick look at the facts show that the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has been reliably favorable to Trump. Prior to this new poll they had him leading in all but one poll since he announced his candidacy. It is typical of Trump, however, to swing wildly when wounded. Therefore, this record of his polling, wherein he topped five of six polls, is regarded by him as “never doing well.”


But Trump wasn’t finished. He continued his Twitter tirade to blast Fox News saying that “@FoxNews is so biased it is disgusting. They do not want Trump to win. All negative!” and that “.@FoxNews is changing their theme from ‘fair and balanced’ to ‘unfair and unbalanced.'” These would be reasonable complaints about Fox News except for the fact that Trump is utterly delusional. He has been the foremost beneficiary of the biases practiced at Fox.

After hearing Trump’s butt-hurt ranting, Rupert Murdoch, CEO of the media empire that includes both Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, had a bit of advice for the hyperventilating Trump. Murdoch tweeted

“Trump blames me for WSJ poll, fights FoxNews. Time to calm down. If I running anti-Trump conspiracy then doing lousy job!”

It’s hard to disagree with Murdoch on this one. It’s obvious that his media properties have not been plotting anti-Trump campaigns. However, what Murdoch left out is that his outlets are responsible for creating Trumpenstein in the first place. Fox was not only not anti-Trump, they were so pro-Trump it was nauseating to watch. Now that Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and company, have reanimated the beast, they are begging it to “calm down.” Good luck with that, Rupe. You’ve made your cult, now you have to “lie” with it.

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

Rupert Murdoch’s Downright Delusional Twit-Tastic Debate Analysis

Rupert Murdoch is the corporate overlord of one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world. That empire provides him with a vast array of platforms from which to express his extreme rightist ideology. And yet the man who created Donald Trump (and is now his slave) cannot seem to stop himself from posting the sort of stunted half-thoughts that flourish on Twitter.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

The morning after the ABC broadcast of the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire Murdoch was especially chatty. He unleashed a series of tweets that left an impossibly positive impression of his experience of the debate. You really have to wonder what debate he was watching, because his comments seemed astonishingly removed from reality. Let’s have a look.

The first Murdoch tweet was both a general compliment to all of the Republican candidates and a slap at the Democrats. He said “All candidates lifted game last night. Everyone seemed better than alternative Dems.”

This is the first indication that Murdoch has totally lost it. He’s talking about a debate that began with the most hilariously screwed-up introduction ever, wherein Ben Carson and Donald Trump appeared to have been cast into a trance that froze them in their tracks. And it just got worse from there. He didn’t bother to elaborate on why he thought the Dems were so unappealing, but since he is the chief honcho of Fox News we can just assume he’s on auto-hate of everything liberalish.

The next tweet was a bit more specific. He said “Trump better, somewhat contained and more presidential. Rubio inspirational speaker, a winner. But does he have real depth of knowledge?”

If this was Murdoch’s idea of Trump being “more presidential” than I would be curious to see what he regards as appropriate presidential demeanor. Trump was booed repeatedly for boorish behavior including shushing Jeb Bush and insulting the audience. Apparently Murdoch admires a leader who would shush visiting dignitaries and insult voters. As for Rubio’s “inspirational” speaking, that must have been when he masterfully repeated the same memorized catch phrase at least four times as if stuck in tape loop.

The next tweet covered another couple of candidates. Murdoch said “Cruz a great debater performed well, but why do all long-term acquaintances distrust him? Jeb Bush best yet. Easily visualise him in WH.”

Presumably Murdoch was praising Cruz’s debating skills such as when brazenly lied about how he sabotaged Ben Carson in Iowa by inventing a rumor that Carson had dropped out of the race. Or maybe it was when he couldn’t decide whether he loved waterboarding enough to actually use it. And if Murdoch doesn’t know yet why Cruz is so universally disliked, he really needs to come out from under that rock every now and then. As for Murdoch’s tribute to Bush, it was such empty praise that he couldn’t manage to provide an example of why Bush was so much better than ever before.

The next tweet was just more of the same substanceless blather. He said “Christie the tough bullying prosecutor. Not much on big issues. Kasich the safe moderate, everyone’s Vice President. Carson also best yet.”

It’s interesting to see Murdoch actually criticize someone. Especially Christie considering that he was personally lobbied to run for president in 2012 by Murdoch’s lieutenant Roger Ailes. Not surprisingly, Murdoch was soft on Kasich for the very reason he stated: Kasich is (allegedly) a moderate. And once again, He couldn’t explain what Carson did that was such a big improvement despite his obvious blunders. I guess he had already set the bar pretty low.

Finally, Murdoch went off an a tangential tweet to condemn all of the candidates for a shared failing. He said “All really failed to understand immensity of global Muslim problem. No easy answers, but Middle East just a forerunner to sub-Sahara Africa.”

This tells us where Fox News gets its rampant hatred of Muslims (i.e. from the top). Murdoch just hauls off at something he calls a “global Muslim problem” as if it were an outbreak of Ebola, and not a racist assault on 1.2 billion people, most of whom are peace-loving folks who have the very same hopes and dreams for themselves and their families as anyone else.

This Twitter rant exposes Murdoch’s obvious biases, both politically and personally. The fact that he can run a “news” network that is laughably described as “fair and balanced” without being ostracized from the ranks of honest journalists is testimony to how distorted the media has become. Of course, anyone who has paid much attention to Fox News already realizes that it is nothing but a propaganda outlet that seeks to disinform the already intellectually weak and frighten them into a state where they can be manipulated – just like any other cult.

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

Merry (War On) Christmas From A World Without Rupert Murdoch

The classic film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” has become a tradition in the holiday season. And despite the attempts by Fox News to wage a divisive and exclusionary war that pits Americans against one another for merely offering different versions of the season’s greetings, the movie’s message continues to uplift each new generation of viewers.

Wonderful Life

But the film was not always so well received. In fact, during the “Red Scare” in the late 1940’s the notorious anti-communist persecution conducted by that era’s Tea Party Congress had labeled the film as commie propaganda. A 1947 FBI memorandum alleged that

“…the film represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.”

It seems like satire now, but they were deadly serious (unlike Jimmy Kimmel’s Mr. Potter and the Commies of Bedford Falls). What these pathetically inept film reviewers apparently failed to notice was that the film’s hero, George Bailey, was also a banker (as head of Bailey Bros. Building and Loan) – just not a greedy, insensitive, and criminally corrupt one like the villainous Mr. Potter. And the lesson he learned in the course of the story was that he had made a difference in the lives of those he touched, and that they reciprocated in kind.

The heartwarming notion that the world would be worse off without the likes of George Bailey still makes eyes moist and brings families together in appreciation of their good fortune. However, in a re-telling of the “Wonderful Life” by comedians Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, the fate is very different for the arch-conservative media baron, Rupert Murdoch. So, in what is becoming a Christmas tradition for News Corpse, here is Fry & Laurie’s profound and hilarious production of “It’s A Soaraway Life,” which looks at what the world would be like if Rupert Murdoch had never been born.

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

Who’s Donald Trump Bashing Now? A Principal Owner Of Fox News

Another day, another juvenile insult hurled by thin-skinned, crybaby Donald Trump. You have to wonder how Trump would respond to foreign leaders who were critical of him were he president. Judging by his past childish behavior he would counter criticisms from Vladimir Putin by calling him a loser; Kim Jong Un by mocking his height; and Angela Merkel would be deemed fat and/or ugly. Then he’d stick out his tongue, blow raspberries, and grin as if he’d accomplished something.

Fox News Donald Trump

That kind of diplomacy is the best of what we can expect from Trump. As evidence, he just engaged in a twitter clash with Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. Alwaleed is a member of the royal Saud family of Saudi Arabia. He is also the largest shareholder of 21st Century Fox (the parent corporation of Fox News) outside of the Murdoch family. In response to Trump’s racist and unconstitutional proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, which include Alwaleed himself, Alwaleed tweeted

“You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from the US presidential race as you will never win.”

And Trump, fully displaying the level of his maturity, responded

“Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money. Can’t do it when I get elected.”

OK, the “dopey” part is typical Trumpian douchery. But what followed deserves some analysis. First of all, Trump has no moral ground to attack someone for having inherited wealth. Trump got his start with his daddy’s money and then proceeded to fail repeatedly in his business ventures. In fact, had Trump simply invested his inheritance in a Dow Jones index fund, he would be three or four times richer than he is today.

Secondly, Alwaleed isn’t trying to control U.S. politicians. He is simply expressing his opinion. It is Trump who, by his own admission, tried to control politicians for decades with his donations to their campaigns. And now he using his wealth to try to buy the White House (which he would only deface with his gauche taste and demeanor.

The spectacle that Trump is making of himself is precisely what Alwaleed called it: a disgrace. And Trump’s response just makes things worse. After all, “dopey” Alwaleed is #34 on the Forbes Magazine list of billionaires with $24.8 billion dollars. Trump is #405 with $4.3 billion – about one-sixth of Alwaleed’s fortune. Since Trump constantly tries to use his wealth as proof of how great he is (in his own mind), then Alwaleed is six times greater. Additionally, Alwaleed rescued Trump when he was floundering financially by buying his yacht, the Trump Princess (now rechristened as Kingdom 5KR), and his stake in the Plaza Hotel, for which Trump could not make his payments.

It needs to be said that Alwaleed is not a exactly a paragon of virtue. While he is a businessman/investor and not a politician, his country is one of the worst civil rights violators in the world, that discriminates against women, gays, and people of different faiths. But his remarks on this matter, and many other public issues, are fairly progressive and tolerant of diversity. It would be interesting to see what impact he would have if were elevated to a leadership role in his government. But that only makes his criticism of Trump more powerful because, if someone coming from a country with such a dismal record can righteously shame Trump, then Trump has has really sailed off the edge of the Earth.

Finally, it is significant that Trump is directing his puerile insults at one of the principle owners of Fox News. He has been a major beneficiary of the network’s coverage of his campaign. Media Matters has compiled data that shows Trump has dominated Fox’s airtime. And he achieved that despite having engaged in numerous, well-publicized feuds with the network. He has maligned many of their top people, including anchors, commentators, and all the way up to the executive suites of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.

Nevertheless, Fox News continues to lick Trump’s Ferragamos and treat him like their master. This swipe at Alwaleed is just the latest example of his arrogant disdain that not only goes unpunished by Fox, but gets rewarded with more fawning coverage and fierce defense every time he lets loose another gaffe, lie, or other expression of his overt hatefulness and fascistic tendencies.

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

It’s uncanny how Trump’s glassy-eyed supporters cling desperately to him no matter how much he lies to them (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). But equally bizarre is how Fox News clings to him no matter how abusive he is. They are like a battered spouse who come back for more after every beating. And sadly, the rest of the media isn’t much better at turning away from their batterer.

Pres. Obama: This Is An Attack On All Of Humanity. Rupert Murdoch: Nuh Uh

The world watches stunned as yet another horrific act of terrorism is carried out that senselessly takes the lives of innocent people. The city of Paris is in shock as it struggles to recover and to understand the nature of a lethal and elusory enemy. And decent people worldwide are united in sympathy, concern, and determination to prevail over evil.

President Obama expressed the condolences of the American people in statement (video below) that was heartfelt while recognizing the difficulties of the tasks that lie ahead. He said that “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

The truth of that statement is reflected in the nearly unanimous agreement from national leaders around the world such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that this “Attack on freedom was not only meant for Paris, it is against all of us.” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari condemned attacks saying that “Those terrorist groups that committed the Paris crimes do not believe in ethical principles and they are not loyal to any type of divine religions — including Islam.”

There was, however, a notable exception. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and Chairman of the parent corporation of Fox News, explicitly contradicted the President and others in a tweet saying that the “Paris outrage not an attack on all humanity, but an attack on us. ie, Western civilisation!”

Rupert Murdoch

What a despicable expression of egocentric, supremacist bullcrap. Murdoch’s insistence that terrorism is not a plague on all the nations of the world exposes his rancid bigotry and ignorance. It is self-centered and delusional to suggest that the only targets of terrorism are people like himself. He is apparently unaware that the most frequent victims by far of radical Islamists are other Muslims. Why does he think there are currently some three million refugees from Syria flowing into neighboring countries? They are peaceful and frightened people fleeing the barbarism of ISIS that has taken the lives of so many of their friends, families, and fellow citizens.

These people know the horror and heartbreak of terrorism far better than Murdoch does from the comfort and safety of his penthouse. Yet he callously dismisses them as not being the targets of terror. His assertion that Westerners are the only victims, that it isn’t an attack on humanity, may be because he doesn’t regard them as human. And choosing this time to excrete his vile prejudices, while the blood of Parisians, including very likely the blood of innocent Muslims, is still staining the streets of Paris, could not be more repulsive.

It is so sad that such a blatant bigot controls one of largest media empires in the world and that it so closely mirrors his hate mongering. Murdoch was a fervent proponent of, and propagandist for, the war in Iraq that destabilized the region and allowed groups like ISIS to flourish. And now he belittles the suffering of the people most devastated by the chaos and brutality for which his efforts were a major contributing factor.

Murdoch could not be more wrong. What happened in Paris was most definitely an attack on all of humanity. Murdoch just doesn’t have enough of it to know that.

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

[Addendum:] One of Murdoch’s favorite guests on Fox News, Milwaukee’s wingnut Sheriff David Clarke, tweeted his response to the Paris attacks: “If GOP plays this politically smart they can end any chance that the Dems win the WH in 2016. War is politics carried on by other means.” It’s bad enough that he is brazenly politicizing this tragedy while the bodies are still warm, but he’s also implying that the objectives of the terrorists are aligned with those of the Republican Party. In effect, he’s looking at “the bright side” of this horror for his political pals. How sick is that?

David Clarke