Hannity Orders His Trump-Cult Audience to Attack Journalists – Gets Slapped Back HARD!

Donald Trump’s First Amendment foes are assembling the troops in what they think is a massive show of force. They have a new general in the White House, Anthony Scaramucci, who unseated feeble Fibby Spice (Sean Spicer). The Mooch is already parroting the worst of Trump’s anti-media rhetoric. He is an avid supporter of the President’s Twitter tantrums and infantile assaults on free speech. And now he’s got some help from the Trump TV Network (aka Fox News).

Sean Hannity Fox News

Leading the way is Fox News Trump fluffer, Sean Hannity. Always a reliable soldier in the fight against honest journalism, Hannity has ordered a significant escalation. He’s taking the unusual step of enlisting his glassy-eyed audience into battle. On Monday night’s program he issued a call to the recruits to prepare to deploy for an all out offensive. And knowing his audience, they can be pretty damn offensive (video below):

Hannity began by praising the Trump administration for “ramping up one of the most effective tactics for combating all the fake news.” He was referring to the Propaganda Squad that has been fanning out to pick fights with their favorite media foils. They include Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, and Sebastian Gorka. Hannity lauded them for “standing up to pundits who treat the White House with hatred and disdain.” In reality they were just being jerks and insisting that the press accept Trump’s lies as truth. Then Hannity issued his orders to the troops:

“Members of the Trump administration, they’re beginning to shine a bright light on these dark corners of this fake news industry. And now thanks to social media, you can too. […] You can call out fake news right at the source. For example, you can tell fake news Jake Tapper exactly what you think of his interview with Anthony Scaramucci. You can do it on twitter.”

Tapper was only the beginning. Hannity also made juvenile insults aimed at CNN’s Brian Stelter and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. His diatribe was filled with childish taunts and ludicrous, debunked accusations against Hillary Clinton. And then he addressed those who might “want to take it to the next level.”

“Write a message to their bosses. Send a tweet over to [Jeff] Zucker over at fake news CNN or Andy Lack from NBC fake news. Right now the media is living in their little bubble. It is our job to remind them that there is an America way outside of New York, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Tonight, technology is now making it possible for you to take your point of view directly to the source and show America’s elites that the forgotten men and forgotten women of this country voted for this agenda and they want it completed and for them to stop lying to you. Take to the social media, and I think you’re going to have a positive impact.”

First of all, if Hannity is really concerned about the people’s position on Trump’s agenda, he should take notice that Trump is the most unpopular president in modern history. And that goes for his policies as well.

More to the point, Hannity is apparently aware that his viewers don’t already know about Twitter. He has the oldest skewing audience in cable news. Recent demographic studies show that “The median age of the average primetime Fox News viewer is 68 — five years older than MSNBC, and nine years older than CNN.” And the consequences of that disparity can be devastating when reaching out to a more youthful, social media capable, audience. So Hannity’s Twitter blitz produced predictably contrary results, as documented by the Huffington Post:

And as Tapper noted in his reply thanking those tweeters: “I don’t think that turned out the way he intended.”

Hannity will always lose on this battleground. He is too much of an ideologue who spins so furiously that reality is unrecognizable. And his followers are handicapped by being dumb enough to watch him in the first place. There are plenty of problems with corporate media outlets like CNN, but they pale in comparison to the rancid hostility and blatant dishonesty of Hannity and Fox News. And online communities on Twitter and Facebook will continue to let him know how irrelevant he is.

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

Dumping on Trump: Spicer’s Replacement Caught on Video Slamming the President

Friday morning a bombshell announcement rattled the White House as another shake up hit the wires. Donald Trump’s acting communications director and press secretary, Sean Spicer unexpectedly resigned. The reason for his swift exit was that Trump brought in Anthony Scaramucci to fill the communications director position. Spicer was said to be unwilling to report to the totally inexperienced former hedge fund manager.

Fox News Scaramucci

The resignation of a key communications staffer only six months into the administration is emblematic of the disarray in the Trump White House. Spicer is only one of the top aides that didn’t last very long under Trump’s erratic and authoritarian control.

Another communications director, Mike Dubke, resigned in May. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn left under a cloud of lies about meetings with Russians. Monica Crowley barely moved in to the NSC when she turned and left due to revelations of rampant plagiarism. And two members of Trump’s legal team, Mark Corallo, and Marc Kasowitz, just quit. That doesn’t even count the hundreds of resignations/terminations from the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Pentagon, and more. Most of those positions remain unfilled.

Scaramucci has no experience in media relations whatsoever. He previously ran the Skybridge Capital hedge fund. He was also a Fox News contributor who appeared frequently on the Fox Business Network. It was in that role that he made some disparaging comments about his new boss a couple of years ago. On a panel discussing speculation of Trump’s presidential aspirations, Scaramucci candidly expressed his opinion (video below).

Among other things, Scaramucci accused Trump of being a “Democratic plant” for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Another current Fox News Trump shill, Charlie Gasparino, agreed saying “I’ve been saying that for a long time.” Scaramucci called Trump “divisive” and said that the only thing he would president of was the “Queens County Bullies Association.” He offered his prediction that Trump “is probably gonna make Elizabeth Warren his vice-presidential nominee.”

Then Dagen McDowell, another Fox News hack who breathlessly praises Trump these days, chimed in. “I like how you say that now,” she scolded him, “but I’ve had a problem with how he talks about women for years.” Scaramucci concurred, and went further to issue Trump a direct challenge.

“I don’t like the way he talks about women, I don’t like the way he talks about our friend Megyn Kelly. And you know what, the politicians don’t want to go at Trump because he’s got a big mouth and because [they’re] afraid he’s going to light them up on Fox News and all these other places. But I’m not a politician. Bring it. You’re an inherited money dude from Queens County. Bring it, Donald.”

Indeed. Trump is the beneficiary of having wealthy parents. He grew up spoiled and self-centered and developed a reputation for being a loud-mouthed bully. Scaramucci called it right at the time. And his assessment was aired on a Fox News network with concurrence from his right-wing colleagues. Now he will join the administration that already has several former Foxies on board. Among them K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Heather Nauert and Jonathan Wachtel.

The Trump administration is awash in chaos. Hundreds of critical jobs remain vacant. And many of those on staff are at odds with the president and/or each other. During the campaign Trump bragged that he would hire “all the best people.” But that appears to be just another phony promise that he can’t fulfill.

There appears to be a dearth of prospects who would even consider working for Trump. Particularly when he is under investigation for potentially impeachable crimes. Being connected to this administration is regarded as a resume killer. Consequently, that leaves only political bottom feeders as candidates. And with inquiries ongoing by the FBI, Congress, and special counsel Robert Mueller, it will only get worse.

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

Tweetstorming: Donald Trump Remains Manically Obsessed With His War on the Media

Just two days after repulsing the nation with his misogynistic attack on MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Donald Trump is at it again. It wasn’t enough to earn the condemnation of both Republicans and Democrats for his juvenile, and possibly unlawful, behavior. Trump appears to have no regrets (or conscience) for his hateful outbursts and, consequently, is resuming them unabated.

Trump Baby

In another of his characteristic displays of dickishness, Trump took to Twitter to escalate his war on the media. It’s a campaign that denigrates the Constitution as it emulates the tactics of tyrants. And proving that he has no sense of shame, he once again unloads on the hosts of Morning Joe:

In Thursday’s tweet, Joe Scarborough was “psycho.” It was Mika who was crazy. But in both tweets Mika’s intelligence was maligned without any examples of her alleged mental deficiencies. Clearly Trump was just throwing another tantrum over having been criticized. His gargantuan ego simply can’t handle it. What’s more, he’s projecting his own stupidity in a pathetic spasm of denial.

And because Trump can’t go two minutes without spewing blatant lies, he again wrote about “their low rated show.” However, Morning Joe is enjoying record high ratings with nine straight quarters of growth. For someone who spent fourteen years on television, he sure doesn’t know anything about the business. Which may explain another of his morning tweets:

This is ignorant on so many levels. First of all, Greta was let go because her show was a complete failure. The program was a virtual sinkhole in the schedule. Based on the performance of the shows before and after, people were obviously changing the channel when it came on and returning when it was over. It was the free market – a concept usually cherished by conservatives – at work. And the notion that her “out of control bosses” fired her for not hating Trump enough is ludicrous. If true, then why have they recently hired or promoted Nicolle Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, Bret Stephens, and Charlie Sykes, And let’s not forget another Fox News refugee, Megyn Kelly, whose new NBC program is already an epic dud.

The Twitter tantrum continued with a swipe at Trump’s favorite media target, CNN:

This tweet is simply Trump venting his irrational hostilities. CNN has not been exposed as “fake news” by anyone but Trump and his sycophantic minions. As for “garbage Journalism,” that term applies to anything that isn’t sufficiently flattering to Trump. What he regards as legitimate journalism is the National Enquirer and conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones. Trump may be referring to a video by convicted propagandist James O’Keefe. His latest scam featured deceptively edited comments by CNN staffers. But if it proved anything, it’s that CNN has a diverse roster of political opinions and is not the bastion of liberalism that wingnuts like to pretend it is.

The ferocity of Trump’s assault on the media represents a clear and present danger to the free press. His short term goal is to deflect attention from his many policy failures: healthcare, taxes, immigration, etc. But his longer term goal is to denigrate the work of all journalists in order to advance the state as the only “approved” source of information.

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

The reforms he has made to the White House press office are evidence of this. Press Secretary Sean Spicer no longer holds daily televised press briefings. On some occasions reporters aren’t even allowed to make audio recordings. Apparently the administration doesn’t want a record of what the President’s spokesperson says. Which is surprising since Spicer or his alternates often say nothing at all or claim to not know the answers to critical questions. Even worse, the briefings are now attended by the likes of Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars. If that isn’t proof that they are trying to kill respect for the media, nothing is.

Trump White House Sinks Into a Bunker Mentality to Avoid Answering Questions from the Press

There’s a lot going on in Washington these days. Perhaps more of a serious nature than at any time in modern history. Donald Trump has demonstrated ineptitude across a broad array of issues and responsibilities. He’s under investigation for obstruction of justice and unsavory connections to Russia as they sought to interfere with the election. Add to that the President’s improper financial dealings that may violate the Constitution. Then throw in the floundering Republican agenda to repeal ObamaCare, reform taxes, build walls, and defeat ISIS. What you have is a super-heated goulash of White House controversies boiling over.

Trump Bunker

All of these matters are of critical importance to the American people. And the institution that keeps the public informed is the press corps whose freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment. That makes this a bad time for the White House to build a wall between the President and the people. But that’s exactly what Trump’s White House is doing. In a bold move to silence the media, the White House Press Office has cut back on briefings. And when they hold them, they are prohibiting the use of cameras or recording devices. On Monday, CNN’s Jim Acosta expressed some of his frustration on the air (video below):

“The White House press secretary is getting to a point where he’s just kinda useless. If he can’t come out and answer the questions, and their not gonna do this on camera or on audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?”

Acosta went on to lament the “stonewalling” by the White House that has refused to answer questions even after promising to do so. Left dangling are queries into whether the President has secret Oval Office tapes, and if he believes in climate change. And so much more:

“I don’t know what world we’re living in. We’re standing at the White House and they bring us into the briefing room here at the White House and they won’t answer these questions on camera or let us record the audio. I don’t know why everybody is going along with this. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

“And it just feels like we’re slowly but surely being dragged into what is a new normal in this country where the President of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions. He hasn’t had a full blown press conference since February.”

That’s four months of cowering the bunker for the embattled and frightened President. Concluding that the briefings conducted in this manner were “pointless,” Acosta reiterated his surprise that the press corps goes along with the administration’s tactics. He complained that “this isn’t how we do things in this country.” But Acosta may not have factored in how this country does things under a wannabe tyrant like Donald Trump. He did however note in a tweet that:

To make matters worse, Trump’s press team may be looking to shake things up. According to Politico they have interviewed Laura Ingraham as a replacement for Sean Spicer as press secretary. That would put a Fox News contributor in front of a press corps that is already being lied to on a daily basis. This must be what they call “winning.”

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

The ‘COVFEFE Act’ Was Just Introduced in Congress to Preserve Trump’s Deranged Social Media

Last month Donald Trump took to Twitter to post one of his most coherent messages to date. It was a brief tweet that said only “Despite the negative press covfefe” (it was later deleted). Yep, that’s it. And with that he communicated with his devoted disciples who all seemed to know exactly what he was talking about. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, said that the meaning was known “to the President and a small group of people.” Spicer declined to reveal the meaning or the people who knew it.

Donald Trump covfefe

Now we have some added clarity of the issue thanks to a Mike Quigley, a congressman from Illinois. The Democratic representative just introduced a new bill that directly addresses the covfefe controversy. Creatively named “The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement” (aka the COVFEFE Act), it doesn’t exactly provide a definition. But it does give guidance on handling Trump’s Twitter blathering. According to Quigley’s House web page:

“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” said Rep. Quigley. “President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented. If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.”

The purpose of the COVFEFE Act is to make sure that all presidential communications are preserved for posterity. That’s actually the state of current law. However, at present it is unclear whether social media communications are regarded as official presidential records. This bill will solve that uncertainty by explicitly adding social media to the Presidential Records Act.

Administration staffers like Kellyanne Conway and Sebastian Gorka have contributed to the ambiguity regarding social media. They have both told reporters to dismiss Trump’s tweets as casual asides. However, those views were directly contradicted by others in the administration. Rep. Quigley notes that “Trump’s tweets frequently make national news and are a topic of everyday conversation.” When asked about Trump’s tweets Sean Spicer admitted that they are “considered official statements by the president of the United States.” Even the President has made clear that he considers his social media commentaries to be indispensable methods of communicating with the public:

This is why the COVFEFE Act is necessary to quell the confusion. And, for the record, no one in the media wants Trump to stop tweeting. For them it is a goldmine of insight into his thoughts and motivations. It’s only his staff who think he should quit.

The COVFEFE Act isn’t the first brilliantly designed legislative acronym of the Trump Era. We previously saw the introduction of the “No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency’ Act” (aka the No TRUMP Act).” It proposed to prohibit presidents from profiting off of official visits to properties they own. Then there was the “Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act” (aka Mar-A-Lago Act). It’s purpose was to make visitor logs publicly available, whether at the White House or any other place where official business was being conducted.

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

Despite the obvious humor, all of these bills have serious goals. They generally address the transparency of the President’s affairs. The public’s right to know is an indispensable component of a healthy democracy. Trump has been unusually secretive in his dealings. He continues to refuse to release his tax returns, and he is now making enigmatic references to covert recordings. These bills are a small step toward holding him, and any future president, accountable.

Trump’s Infowars Pals Are Paying Their Crazed Fans to Wear ‘CNN is ISIS’ T-Shirts on TV

Perhaps the one thing that Donald Trump will be best remembered for after his inevitable fall from grace is his relentless and dishonest war on the media. The President’s disrespect for the First Amendment is unprecedented. He has called the media “the enemy of the American people,” while smearing reporters as “sleazy” and “liars.” His press office, led by Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice), is a chaotic mess. That may be why they have floated the notion of eliminating the traditional daily press briefings altogether.

Alex Jones Infowars

Trump’s idea of a credible press corps consists of anointing members like Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars. These rabidly rightist conspiracy mongers are the perfect emblems of the crapola that Trump regards as journalism. And stepping up to prove the point, Infowars just launched a campaign to recruit paid goons to malign a real news organization. On his website, Jones introduced an initiative to recruit his fans to get on TV wearing “CNN is ISIS” T-shirts:

“We are launching a new contest to stand up to the Left’s calls for violence against the president and against other Americans for simply exercising their right to promote Americana. Infowars is launching a new $200,000 contest to expose CNN’s Kathy Griffin and mainstream media’s call for violence. We will expose the media’s terrorist campaign.”

To collect the prize, Jones’ for-hire hoodlums have to appear in a live broadcast wearing the shirt and audibly plugging Infowars. Each successful clod will earn $1,000 with a total of $200,000 in the pot. The purpose, according to Jones, is to expose CNN as a terrorist organization by virtue of their association with Kathy Griffin. Never mind that Griffin’s over-the-top stunt had nothing to do with CNN, or that she has profusely apologized. And forget that CNN quickly dismissed her from their New Year’s Eve special. The suggestion that Griffin had actually intended anyone to behead Trump is patently absurd.

Nevertheless, Jones is determined to proceed with his own offensive publicity stunt because, well, because that’s his whole shtick. In fact, he recently sweetened the offer to $10,000. The new prize calls for “the first person to say ‘MSM is fake news or terrorist media’ on live television.” And, of course, the all-important Infowars plug is still required.

This is what Donald Trump believes is journalism. He has personally appeared on Jones’ webcast and praised him adoringly saying “Your reputation is amazing.” And Jones has been rewarded for his sycophancy with a White House press pass (at least according to Jones). Just today Trump sent an email to his supporters bragging about pulling out of the Paris Accords on Climate Change. That email featured a link to an article on Infowars.

Let that sink in. The President of the United States sent his followers an official communication that cited Infowars as a credible source for more information. This is the same Infowars that says 9/11 was an inside, government operation. It’s the same Infowars that believes the murders at Sandy Hook were fake and staged by actors. Jones has also called the Boston Marathon bombing a hoax. It’s the very same Infowars run by a conspiracy spewing fruitcake who admitted in divorce court proceedings that he is just a “performance artist.”

It may not be surprising that Trump has an affinity for Jones. They both share a pathological compulsion for lying. Trump, after all, thinks that millions of people showed up for his poorly attended inauguration. He believes he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. He brags about his long-standing personal relationship with Vladimir Putin, whom he claims he’s never met. And while he stubbornly clings to the absurdity that Climate Change is a hoax, he never acknowledged that his obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate was one of the most ludicrous hoaxes of all time.

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

We’ll see if anyone manages to collect a prize from Jones’ contest. Last year he attempted a similar stunt where he tried to get fans to appear on TV shouting “Bill Clinton is a rapist.” There may have a been a couple of winners, but the project failed to achieve anything. The same fate is likely to befall this nonsense. In fact, it may provide some pretty good advertising for CNN.

Donald Trump’s $110B Weapons Deal w/Saudi Arabia Brings Windfall for Ivanka Aligned Foundation

Donald Trump is currently on the first foreign trip of his presidency. The White House is portraying it as an effort to advance global cooperation and peace. His itinerary begins in Saudi Arabia, a nation with a dismal record on human rights and terrorism.

Ivanka Trump

The featured accomplishment of the trip so far is the signing of an agreement to sell $110 billion dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia. That deal has raised concerns among foreign policy experts. They worry that the weapons could be used to further Saudi Arabia’s attacks in Yemen. Those missions have resulted in untold numbers of civilian casualties. In addition, there is concern that some of the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. President Obama had withheld certain categories of arms from Saudi Arabia for that reason, but Trump is permitting their sale.

Not mentioned in the Trump PR blitz is a “coincidental” financial arrangement that involves the President’s senior advisor – and daughter. Last month Ivanka Trump announced that she was working with the World Bank to start a “massive fund” to boost female entrepreneurship. The ethical dilemmas surrounding such a venture were immediately apparent. Ivanks’a role in the White House, and influence with her president father, are hard to dismiss. Consequently, the news today from the Wall Street Journal is somewhat more than troubling:

“The World Bank plans to announce Sunday at an event with Ivanka Trump, the U.S. president’s daughter and senior White House adviser, that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million collectively toward a fund for women who own or want to start businesses, according to people familiar with the announcement.”

The advancement of women’s rights in business is unarguably an admirable pursuit. However, it is curious that Saudi Arabia is Ivanka’s premiere partner. The Kingdom is not known for its fair treatment of women. Their rights are severely curtailed, including being prohibited from independently obtaining a passport or driving a car.

Ivanka is travelling with the President this week and attending various meetings. She was at the signing of the arms deal before Sunday’s event announcing the donation. The converging optics of these two affairs are disquieting. There is an implied relationship between the donation and the arms deal. While there is no direct evidence of any quid pro quo, the perception of impropriety is inescapable. Even Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, promoted it on Twitter

This is especially notable considering how Trump castigated Hillary Clinton for far less during the 2016 election. He called the Clinton Foundation a “criminal enterprise.” Trump also raised the subject at a debate (video below), demanding that Clinton return donations made by Saudi Arabia. He posted this on Facebook last June:

“Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”

This is the same Saudi Arabia that Trump is now effusively praising as a “magnificent Kingdom.” It’s the same country with which he just signed a “tremendous” deal to supply billions of dollars of modern weaponry. And it’s the same country that is now giving the Ivanka aligned foundation $100,000,000.00. Does that mean Ivanka is running a criminal enterprise? Is that pay-to-play? Will Trump ever acknowledge the hypocrisy? Will the media address it? Stay tuned.

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

REPORT: Chaffetz Is Ditching His Job Spinning in Congress to Do It Professionally on Fox News

Much has been made of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency from the ranks of reality TV game show hosts. And that surely was a dumbfounding development, with an emphasis on dumb. However, it is less often mentioned that Trump is also a former Fox News personality. He had a regular weekly phone-in segment on Fox & Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” Now that he’s in the White House the lines between Fox News and the Republican Party continue to blur. It’s often difficult to tell the players a scorecard.

Jason Chaffetz Fox News

This weekend a new report surfaced that offered an explanation for the sudden retirement announcement of Jason Chaffetz. The Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee recently disclosed that he would not be running for reelection. Sources also speculated that he would resign before his current term ended. The only explanation that Chaffetz himself provided was the familiar desire to spend more time with his family.

Now his GOP colleagues are revealing that Chaffetz has confided in them what he intends to do after leaving Washington. According to the Washingtonian:

“Chaffetz has been telling people he’ll take on what one source calls a ‘substantial role’ in on-air talent at Fox News Channel, possibly as early as July. […] ‘Let’s just say that when Jason told us he was headed to Fox, no one was surprised,’ says one senior House Republican aide.”

What is meant by “substantial role” is unclear, but implies that he will have more to do than guest commentaries. Perhaps he is angling for his own show. That would make him the third Republican politician to host a program on Fox News. Previously Mike Huckabee and John Kasich anchored shows even as they pursued elected offices. Chaffetz would be in the same position as he is expected to run for governor of Utah in the future.

Along with Huckabee and Kasich, Chaffetz would be following a well worn route from GOP politician to Fox News personality. Others include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, and Sarah Palin. The list gets longer when you include party operatives like Karl Rove, John Bolton, and Dana Perino.

And the road runs both ways. The Trump administration has already recruited several people from Fox News. They include Heather Nauert, Richard Grennell, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, and Jonathan Wachtel. Most recently Trump nominated Fox contributor Scott Brown to be ambassador to New Zealand.

And the rumor mill is churning new speculation that Trump is looking for even more Foxies to adorn his White House. Unhappy with his current communications staff, Trump is said to be interested in hiring producers from his favorite network. Even Press Secretary Sean Spicer isn’t safe. Trump insiders are telling the media that he’s souring on Spicey and “wants Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle to take his place.”

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

The symbiotic relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party is making it difficult to tell where the GOP ends and Fox begins. Is Fox the PR division of the GOP? Or is the GOP the operational unit of Fox News? It hardly matters. The bottom line is that they have effectively merged into a single entity. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is openly backing the Trump administration, and Trump is repaying the favor with nearly exclusive access and free advertising on Twitter. It’s a match made in Hell for America and what remains of its free press and democracy.

Whaaa? Trump Wants to Cancel All Press Briefings Because ‘The Ratings Are So High’

Last week Donald Trump floated a proposal to cancel all future press briefings. The comment was made during an interview with Jeanine Pirro on his favorite “news” network, Fox News. He followed that up with a tweet affirming his desire to silence the White House press office.

Donald Trump

Trump’s casual suggestion that he might just cancel all future press briefings reflects his tendencies toward fascist authoritarianism. The presidency is not his fiefdom. It is a position of service to the people. Press briefings are the method by which the people’s intermediaries in the media have opportunities to hold national leaders accountable. They cannot be replaced by written press releases. What’s more, Trump’s anger is entirely misplaced. He’s mad at the press because he and his staff are incompetent.

But Trump went even further with his hostile proposal to wrap his presidency in a soundproof cocoon. And his reasoning sunk even deeper into an illogical rant that exposes his deranged thought processes:

“These press conferences are like the biggest thing on daytime television, OK. You see the ratings. They’re blowing away everything, on just about, I think, everything, on daytime television. What I’d love to do is stop them.”

So Trump is now intent on stopping pressing briefings because – – – they are too popular? Trump is actually right, for once, about ratings. The Sean Spicer Show (Fibby Spice) does pull in an audience. And ratings reflect what America’s TV viewers want to see. Apparently they are anxious to see the media holding the President accountable and forcing his administration to explain its actions.

So obviously Trump wants to put an end to that. Ironically, three weeks ago Trump cited those same ratings as the reason he would never part with Spicer. He told the Washington Post that “I’m not firing Sean Spicer. That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.” Now insiders are hinting that Spicer will soon be replaced, possibly by Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

So what happened between then and now that made him so scared of the ratings? Could it possibly be that he’s incapable of justifying his unethical actions and comments with regard to the firing of FBI Director James Comey? Does he recognize that he’s confessed to impeachable acts and needs to shut down the press before the country finds out? Clearly his motivation, at least in part, includes a desire to punish the media. He said so himself:

“They will be very unhappy, because the ratings are so high that I don’t know what these networks are going to do. They’re going to start to cry. They get free ratings because of me and yet they don’t treat us fairly.”

Setting aside Trump’s authoritarian tendencies to clampdown on the press, his concept of their purpose is painfully ignorant. He is not there to produce ratings for the media. And to the extent that he does it’s a reflection on the public’s interest in government, not his popularity. But the kicker is that Trump thinks the media owes him positive coverage because of the ratings that he claims are his doing. Donald Trump can’t stop acting like a reality TV game show host long enough to be president. And that, along with his narcissism, paranoia, and general incompetence, makes him an imminent threat to the nation.

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

Trump is Frantically Looking to Hire Fox News People to Staff His Flailing Press Office

The controversy over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to unfold. And the President insists on making matters worse with comments that are implicit admissions of impeachable offenses. For instance, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he asked Comey if he was a subject of an FBI investigation. He also asked Comey to pledge an oath of loyalty and threatened him with releasing secret tape recordings. All of these could be regarded as ethical breaches sufficient to warrant an impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump Sean Spicer

While the core story is as disturbing as anything that’s come out of Washington in decades, there are spin-offs that are equally unsettling. Among them are recent reports concerning the toxic status of Trump’s White House Press Office. Sean Spicer and company have been taking a severe beating over their inability to communicate a consistent, coherent message. They have lost credibility among their peers and, apparently, their bosses as well. On Friday Jeanine Pirro of Fox News asked Trump if Spicer’s job was secure. He pointedly declined to give a straight answer.

Trump is so upset that he actually proposed eliminating the daily press briefings and communicating via Twitter. He also suggested that he might just hold weekly press conferences by himself. An article in the Associated Press noted that Trump “increasingly sees himself as the White House’s only effective spokesperson.” While the absence of regular press avails would ordinarily be an unprecedented insult to the public trust, in the case of this White House it hardly matters. Very little of substance, or truth, is derived from their daily get-togethers.

Now there are reports that Trump is sending out feelers to reshape his press operation more to his liking. In the same AP article there was a line that revealed where Trump’s thinking is headed for the near future:

“Trump is mulling expanding the communications team and has eyed hiring producers from Fox News, according to one White House official.”

That should fix everything. When your press office isn’t lying well enough, get yourself some professionals to do it. For the record, Trump has already tapped Fox News for several administration appointments. Former Foxies on the White House payroll currently include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastion Gorka, Heather Nauert, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. There has never been an administration that was so packed with people from a major news enterprise. And now that’s going to get even worse.

Among the rumored changes is one that predicts the departure of Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Trump insiders are telling the media that Trump “wants Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle to take his place.” Guilfoyle was an attorney who is currently a co-host of Fox’s right-wing gab-fest, The Five. She has never been a journalist and has no experience in press relations. That surely won’t bother Trump who regards inexperience as an asset. Trump may also appreciate Guilfoyle’s admiration for Vladimir Putin, who she thought would be a better president than Barack Obama. And if you don’t believe the anonymous sources speculating about Guilfoyle, the story broke two days earlier on Alex Jones’ Infowars. So that should settle it.

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

By bringing in Fox News producers and presenters, the White House press office would take on a new identity as an overtly partisan purveyor of propaganda. So one might ask, what’s the difference? Well, it would also cement Trump’s image as a TV character who relies on the fakery of entertainment values over honest journalism. And it would reinforce the relationship between Trump and Fox, which is already a marriage of political convenience and ideology. But most of all, it would abandon any hope of securing the respect of the American public or the world at large. It would turn the press office into a punchline. And considering that the Trump administration is already a bad joke, they don’t really have that far to go.