Fox News PANICS Over New Voter Fraud Plot They TOTALLY Made Up

Seeking to prop up Donald Trump’s frantic and baseless cries of a “rigged” election, Fox News has their fiction writers working overtime. This morning on Fox & Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Betsy McCaughey to expound on a new theory. McCaughey is best known for having coined the term “death panels” which Sarah Palin made famous. It became PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009.

Fox News

McCaughey’s latest fiction is the charge that perennial wingnut boogieman, George Soros, is clandestinely maneuvering to steal the election from Trump. The plot alleges that voting machines manufactured by a company he controls are being used across the country. Fox host Steve Doocy lays out the conspiracy in a typically hysterical fashion (video below):

Doocy: “Donald Trump has made the rigged system a centerpiece in his campaign. And now there are new concerns after a report showing that 16 U.S. states, 16 of them, have used voting machines tied to leftist billionaire George Soros in the past […] tied directly to George Soros and his personal quest for open borders.”

McCaughey: “That’s right. This really bears investigating. Because Smartmatic, this UK company, one of the top guns there, Lord Mallach-Brown, is very involved with George Soros’ left-wing globalist enterprises, many of which are trying to tilt elections in Europe and in the United States.”

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? And it would be except for the fact that none of it is true. Soros has no financial involvement with Smartmatic whatsoever, and never has. The actual owner sits on the board of Soros’ Open Society Foundation along with dozens of other board members. That hardly equates to a direct connection to the voting machine manufacturer. But that didn’t stop distraught Trump supporters from launching a petition on the White House website demanding that Congress “meet in emergency session about removing George Soros owned voting machines.” At the time of this writing it had 89,000 signatures, on its way to a goal of 100,000.

However, that’s not even the most ridiculous part of this lame attempt at scandal mongering. The Smartmatic machines in question are not being used in the United States at all. Not a single one will be used in any state in the 2016 election. So Fox News, and nearly 90,000 crackpot conservatives, are incensed and determined to rid America of something that doesn’t exist.

Not satisfied with making unhinged allegations about voting, Mcaughey continued her rant to assert that mentally ill and homeless people are being paid to cause violence at Trump events. She doesn’t bother to provide any proof of that, and Doocy doesn’t ask for any. She further claims that:

“There is already an airtight case against Soros trying to tilt this election, steal this election, using his money. He’s very close to Hillary Clinton. He is pouring millions of dollars into third party organizations like the Super PAC, Priorities USA.”

To be clear, McCaughey is now criticizing the Super PACs that were set loose by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. Welcome to the progressive movement, Betsy. Liberals have been fighting that decision for years. But don’t expect her to have the same sense of outrage over the Koch brothers or the many other financiers of right-wing PACs. For the record, Soros’ own son started a Super Pac to end Super PACs.

What we can expect is for Fox News to get ever more absurd with far-fetched fairy tales in the few remaining days of this campaign. They are desperate and morose and ready to fling themselves off of rooftops. So maybe they can be forgiven for exhibiting signs of acute dementia.

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

Regrets My A$$: Lovesick Media Swoons At Trump’s Phony Non-Apology

For several months there has been breathless anticipation that the boorish and offensive personality of Donald Trump would vanish in a puff of smoke as he revealed his true graciousness and diplomacy. And the same people who believe that are still waiting for Santa to deliver their unicorn.

Donald Trump

In a speech in Charlotte, N.C., Trump recited the TelePrompted views that were prepared for him by the new regime managing his floundering campaign. For the most part it was typical Republican dogma with one new wrinkle. Reversing months of stubborn insistence that he has nothing to regret, Trump conceded that he does, indeed, feel some pangs for unspecified occasions when “you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.” But even he expressed skepticism of this new found contrition by prefacing his regrets with “believe it or not.”

Anyone who thinks that Trump is actually sorry has not been paying attention. He has unabashedly insulted Latinos, veterans, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. His rebukes of fellow Republicans during the primary were painfully immature. You can’t behave like that for nearly a year and then just turn around and issue a wishy-washy regret that was written by hired hacks. He never bothered to actually apologize or even show respect for those he demeaned by identifying them or what he said that was wrong. It’s fair to say that the only thing he really regrets about his comments is the extent to which they have hurt him.

What’s most disappointing about this is the ease with which the media is falling for Trump’s bad playacting. They seem to think that his “pivot” is a material transformation of his personality on the scale of a spiritual rebirth. In reality it’s a desperate political ploy to avoid a humiliating landslide loss in November. Is the media really so dense that they don’t see that?

Here are some examples compiled by Media Matters of how the press has taken up Trump’s narrative without a lick of critical analysis:

On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy said of Trump’s address that it was “one of the best speeches Donald Trump has ever given.” That was seconded by correspondent John Roberts who added that “he completed his pivot to the general election campaign.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough exclaimed “Wow. You have the reset button ready? Reset.” Guest reporter Katty Kay agreed saying “Yeah. That’s the kind of Trump that will make the Clinton campaign wake up.”

Christine Romans of CNN’s New Day marveled that it was “something I think six months ago we never thought we would have seen.”

On CBS This Morning host Margaret Brennan said “it may indicate a change in approach.” Her colleague Dean Reynolds called it “almost startling.” That was after he highlighted Trump’s “promise never to lie to voters.” They may want to take a look at the Trump Bullshitopedia to see the dozens of documented lies that are already on record.

Back on Fox, Chris Stirewalt declared it “a signal moment.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York gushed that we are seeing a “Very new Trump.”

The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese seemed relieved saying that “if we’ve been waiting for a pivot, this week is the one you should mark on the calendar.”

On NBC’s Today Hallie Jackson reported that this was “something we’ve almost never heard from him,” and that Trump sounded “strikingly more humble.”

These people are either terminally naive or too gullible to be living outside of an institution. The only sane response to Trump’s disingenuous attempts to appear remorseful is to throw right back at him the innumerable abusive and slanderous remarks he has unleashed and make him answer for each one individually. Short of that he deserves no praise for pasting a band-aid over the scars he has left on so many innocent people. And he certainly should not be taken at his word that he is regretful after all the times he swore to the contrary, even saying that “I like not to regret anything.” Here is some of the evidence in a four-video YouTube playlist:

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

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign weighs in with an awesome video on this subject: No Regrets. It’s a MUST see.

Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment, More Women Coming Forward

If anyone was wondering where Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has been for the past few weeks, the mystery has now been solved. Without any public notice or explanation she was fired last month and removed from the air. Now the reasons have been made clear. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Fox News

Carlson is alleging both sexual harassment by Ailes and retaliation for reporting discriminatory behavior prior to that by her Fox colleagues. Her complaint says in part that…

“When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”

Carlson had been with Fox News for eleven years and was hosting her own daytime program “The Real Story” which was number one in its time period. She was previously a co-host on Fox & Friends where she says was subjected to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” from her co-host Steve Doocy. The Hollywood Reporter notes that…

“In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, ‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast..”

It was in response to those and other incidents that Carlson met with Ailes in September of 2015. Carlson alleges that her complaints were not taken seriously at that meeting and she was further harassed by Ailes with more explicit demands for sex. After her refusal she charges that she was punished with a cut in salary and other retaliatory measures including slashing her appearances on the network, and being denied social media and public relations support.

Roger Ailes has a long history of exploiting sex in the workplace. He has required his female anchors and contributors to wear revealing clothing and engage in other provocative on-air behaviors. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. 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.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), 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. O’Reilly has had his own problems in this area. A few years ago he paid a multi-million dollar settlement to his former producer, Andrea Mackris, for sexual harassment. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

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

Additionally, there is another mystery surrounding a different female host at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros was a regular member of the panel on Fox’s “Outnumbered.” She disappeared in April with the only explanation being that it was “a contract issue.” While there were incidents of sexually improper conduct with regard to Tantaros as noted above, there is no evidence at this time that her departure is related to that.

It remains to seen if Roger Ailes will be held accountable for what appears to be a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But this complaint is a major breakthrough that took courage for Carlson to file and is likely to result in further revelations. The male-dominated culture at Fox News, conspicuously known for its abundance of blondes, could produce many more examples of sexist conduct and discrimination. We may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE: CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that “In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, ‘at least ten’ other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.” That didn’t take long.

Fox News “Psycho” Analyst: Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Exactly What America Needs

Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, has never been shy about taking absurd positions that make a mockery of the psychiatric calling that he pretends to represent. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. And now he is applying his remote diagnostic “skills” to the presumptuous Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.

Fox News Keith Ablow

Ablow was a guest on Fox & Friends (video below) to explain his latest theory on the psychology of leadership. He was introduced by host Steve Doocy who said:

“Conservatives, and some liberals alike, continuing to slam presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for being narcissistic, but is being narcissistic necessarily a bad trait for the president to have?”

In Ablow’s view, Trump’s narcissism is an asset that will benefit the nation that he says is “emerging from eight years of self-loathing.” Furthermore, he asserts that Trump’s “narcissism is deeply entwined with a love for America.” According to Ablow’s perverse logic, narcissism is pretty much the same thing as patriotism. This is a concept he expanded on in an op-ed for the Fox News website. Ablow associated Trump’s self-love with “loving his freedom to speak bluntly, in loving his freedom to own property…”

However, what Ablow is describing is not narcissism. his remarks seem to suggest that he has no idea what the term means. It’s possible to appreciate free speech and property ownership without being a narcissist – as most Americans can tell you. The Mayo Clinic defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as…

“…a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”

By that definition Trump appears to be a textbook example of a narcissist. He never stops talking about how awesome he thinks he is (even when it’s entirely undeserved) and how much he imagines everyone loves him. And his aversion to criticism is revealed in every hostile (and juvenile) tweet he posts whenever someone dares to be less than totally devoted to him.

What’s more, Ablow ignores negative traits, such as lacking empathy, that make narcissists wholly unfit for leadership roles. Their agenda would always be focused on how it benefits them, without regard for anyone else. The best leaders would actually reverse those traits and make the pursuit of helping others their primary objective.

Ablow has demonstrated that he qualifies as a loyal Trump toady. In his op-ed he praised Trump effusively saying that “Donald Trump is John Wayne. Donald Trump is Babe Ruth.” That praise is itself revealing. Notice that Ablow likened Trump to an actor and an athlete rather than to governing icons like Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. And he has been bitterly opposed to President Obama for years, even referring to him as a toxic virus from which our children must be immunized.

But Ablow has also demonstrated that he does not qualify as a reputable psychiatrist. This isn’t just because he doesn’t know what a narcissist is, or because his deep hatred and bias against Obama taints his analysis of everything he says. It’s because he uses his personal prejudice as a cudgel to attack those with whom he disagrees. And he is so determined to insult and defame his perceived enemies that he abandons all reason and logic. That’s why he can exalt Donald Trump for being a narcissist, while disparaging Obama for the same thing, as he did a few years ago. When Obama was running for reelection in 2012, Ablow condemned him saying:

“We’ve never had a self-regarding narcissist quite like the Oval Office’s current occupant.”

At the time, Ablow considered that an argument against voting for Obama’s second term. But now he is looking forward to having Donald Trump, a narcissist of his liking, in the Oval Office and arguing that his narcissism is an affirmative reason to give him your vote. That’s just crazy. I’m tempted to cite the old biblical proverb “physician, heal thyself,” but in Ablow’s case I wouldn’t recommend it. His psychological infirmity is so profound that he should make the effort to find someone who isn’t a quack.

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

Really? Fox News Debuts The Anti-Climate Change Armadillo

In its continuing effort to disinform its viewers on the indisputably real threat of climate change (as documented by 97% of the scientists who study it), Fox News invited the notorious climate denier, Marc Morano, to deliver one of the most absurd and dishonest arguments against the facts to date (and to plug his new propaganda film).

Fox News

On Fox & Friends Sunday morning, host Steve Doocy introduced Morano as an expert on climate science and took a swing at President Obama in the process (video below):

Doocy: The Obama administration bypassed Congress and signed a U.N. treaty on climate change. But many hailing the decision are the same people who swore doomsday was upon us decades ago and many of those scenarios never came true.

First of all, Doocy’s assertion that the Obama administration bypassed Congress is the sort of deliberate falsehood that Fox uses to smear the President as an out of control tyrant. In reality, the “Paris Agreement,” signed by Secretary of State John Kerry, was part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty that was ratified by the Senate in 1992. The Congress has no role whatsoever in the follow-on agreements to a treaty already ratified.

Secondly, Doocy’s contention that those supporting the Paris Agreement had made prior warnings that never materialized is also false. For one thing, he provides no names to back up his claim. And virtually everything that has been warned about climate change has, in fact, come to pass. 2015 was the hottest year on record, and 2016 is already poised to surpass that.

But what made this segment remarkable was the absurdity of how the argument was presented. Morano brought in a stuffed armadillo, in a cage for safety (?), to illustrate his fairy tale that the beleaguered beast was burdened by global cooling in the seventies and warming today. Once again, no evidence was provided to support the claim that “We were worried about a coming ice age” in the 70s. However, the global cooling fallacy has long been used by climate deniers, even though it was based on a single magazine article and was never advanced by anyone in the science community.

For the record, Morano has been lying about climate for several years despite the fact that he has no background at all in science. Just like Sarah Palin, who recently bragged that she is “as much a scientist” as Bill Nye (which is demonstrably untrue), Morano is as much a scientist as Palin.

Morano began his career as a Republican operative who worked for the Senate’s stupidest climate denier, Jim Inhofe. Morano’s resume also includes stints with Rush Limbaugh, the ultra-conservative CNSNews, and he was one of the original “swiftboat” liars who smeared Kerry’s service as a Vietnam veteran. He has a purely political past that in no way prepares him to comment on climate science. And with today’s partnership with a stuffed armadillo, Morano continues to turn an important issue into the sort of silliness that a Fox News viewer can understand, never mind that it is completely untrue.

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

WTF? Donald Trump’s Plan To Prevent Terrorism: Give America A Pep Talk?!

The news from Belgium overnight is a disturbing new chapter in the war against international terrorism. These incidents are too frequent and cause too much misery for the victims and their families, while serving no purpose other than to incite fear. Unfortunately, with news of this nature there also comes the inevitable opportunists who see it as their chance to advance some self-serving agenda. And first in line for that sick exploitation this morning is Fox News and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

The Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox and Friends wasted no time in getting Donald Trump on the phone to offer his uniquely idiotic and wholly vacant opinions on the Brussels tragedy. Yet even in this friendly setting, every time Trump was asked what he would do under these circumstances, he dodged the question entirely and resorted to spinning his dystopian perception of the world as a terrorist infested hell hole. In more than thirteen minutes he didn’t present a single policy proposal to address the problem other than curtailing immigration and building walls. However, he did have delusions about bad guys with fake passports who are coming into our country by the thousands. Add to that his disseminating long-debunked falsehoods about no-go zones in Paris and Brussels, and his general dismissal of all counter-terrorism measures currently in place, and you have a stew of dangerous ignorance seasoned with rancid hatred and buckets of fear.

The exchanges Trump had with his Fox pals were so embarrassingly meaningless that even the hosts seemed to struggle to get Trump say something – anything – intelligible. They tried asking him the same question multiple times to pry an answer out of him, but still failed to do so. That was when they weren’t making fools of themselves by lobbing softballs like when Brian Kilmeade wanted to know if Trump thought his assessment of Brussels was right. Trump answered “Of course I’m right.” Now that’s journalism. And it was quickly followed by Ainsley Earhardt asking Trump to comment as a businessman “because the market are down […] what happens now from a business perspective?” Trump answered “I think this whole thing will get worse as time goes by. It’s being perpetrated now all over the place.” Note: The markets in the U.S. and Europe were mostly up today (Dow, S&P, FTSE, Euronext, CAC, DAX).

That nonsense is just the start of the foray into fiction for which both Fox and Trump are known. At one point Trump bragged that “I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and look at Brussels. Brussels was a beautiful city, a beautiful place with zero crime, and now it’s a disaster city.” Well except for the fact that Brussels not only has had crime, like any other city, but terrorism as well. For instance, in March of 2012, there was an attack on a Shia mosque. In June of 2012, two Belgian police officers were stabbed in a subway station. In May of 2014, a shooter killed four individuals at the Brussels Jewish Museum. But other than that.

Here are a few other choice moments from the Trump interview:

Earhardt: If you were to become president and were in a situation like this, what would you do to protect America?
Trump: Well, again, I think I’ve said it. I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on. Look at Brussels, look at Paris, look at so many cities that were great cities.

Since Trump has already said that closing the borders would be among the first things he would do as president, then presumably they would already be closed if a situation like this occurred. So what’s his answer to the question? Close the borders harder? And there was this:

Kilmeade: The key to unwinding the issue is getting the Muslim community to trust us and the government more than they do maybe people in their own community. How do you do that?
Trump: Well you need to have, I mean you need to be very vigilant as to who you have and where they’re coming from. You have to look at people and look at their backgrounds so closely. But this is a story that seems to be more and more happening.

Did I miss something? He didn’t address at all the question of how he would get Muslims to trust the government so that they might help to prevent terror attacks. Undaunted, Kilmeade tried again:

Kilmeade: A lot of people listening right now might be misinterpreting your message, in the past and currently, that you have a problem with Muslims. You don’t have a problem with Muslims, in fact you just hired one, Walid Phares, to work for you. So how do you want to win over the trust of the Muslim community who want to be Americans, who are good citizens, and get them to oust the terrorists amongst them? How does Donald Trump do that?
Trump: Well that’s one of the things. They’re very untrusting of people other than Muslims. […] That community doesn’t believe in reporting. They know exactly what’s going on and they don’t believe in reporting to the police.

First of all, Walid Phares, a Fox News analyst, is a Christian, not a Muslim. Secondly, it was nice for Kilmeade to answer his own question for Trump on the matter of his “problem with Muslims.” But Trump’s answer once again avoided any response to the question of attaining the trust of Muslims. To the contrary, he just maligned them as willing accomplices to any terrorist act. But Kilmeade was unusually persistent:

Kilmeade: So what’s your message to them?
Trump: My message is not to them. My message to us is we better get smart and we better get smart fast.

And that’s the kind of substantive proposal that will surely put an end to terrorism for all time. Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner? A little later Trump did come up with a message for American Muslims:

Trump: My message to them is they have to be more open with police. They have to become part of the community. They have to let people know when they see people making bombs on the first floor of the apartment. They have to let people know. And they don’t do it. And then the bombs go off and the guns go off and everything happens and you have the situation like like you recently had in California. […] In my opinion this is just gonna get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish.

Finally, Trump addressed part of the question. He at least acknowledged that there needs to be some measure of trust between citizens and law enforcement. But he still didn’t offer any suggestions for achieving that. So Kilmeade’s colleague Ainsley Earhardt took a shot at it:

Earhardt: How do you penetrate communities like that? How do you make a difference and make change?
Trump: It’s not for us to penetrate. It’s for them to penetrate. They have to come to us. You know, we’re not the victims here. We’re acting like it’s our fault. That’s the problem with the liberal policies of this country and this world.

We’re not the victims? Does anyone know what he’s talking about? And his assertion that any penetration must be done by members of the Muslim community is downright ludicrous. It is the job of law enforcement to cultivate relations with the community. Trump thinks we should just hang around and wait until informants feel like coming forward without putting in any effort to encourage it. And then there was this:

Doocy: Let’s say you’re President of the United States today [I’d rather not, actually]. Obviously you would have cracked down on immigration to prevent what you were talking about earlier. What else would you do today?
Trump: Well, you know, I guess I would just talk to the people and give them, frankly, a pep talk. You know, we need a pep talk. We need spirit in our country, OK?

I’m not sure I have anything to say about that. Except for: Are people seriously thinking of voting for this imbecile? A PEP talk?! And Trump is just the guy to give one, he’s so positive and inspirational.

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

To put a rotting, maggot infested cherry on top of all of this, Fox’s Stuart Varney interviewed Trump’s senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, and asked him a question that makes a mockery of the tragedy in Brussels by shamelessly politicizing it: “We’ve been saying all morning that this makes Trump look good, because he’s addressed the issue of immigration, specifically Muslim immigration. I take it you agree with that?” Good guess, Stu. And thanks for spending the morning telling your dimwitted viewers that a terrorist attack that has taken the lives of at least thirty-one people, with many more injured, is good news for Donald Trump.

Miller began his response by trying to say that political advantage ought not be a part of the discussion, but he ended saying that his candidate, Trump, had a much better take on this than Ted Cruz. Which led Varney to say:

“I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of you vs. Cruz. I don’t want to do that. This is a solemn day. […] We’ve had an outrage in Europe which will have repercussions on our politics here in America. Stephen, one last question. I take it at the moment Donald Trump is ahead in the polls in Arizona by a substantial amount.”

Did you follow that? First Varney asks a pointedly political question. Then he admonishes his guest for giving a political answer. Then he asks another overtly political question. And with that I have to go lay down. My head is spinning. I’m sure there will be more exploitation of this sad affair as the day goes on. And surely Trump will say some more stupid crap. But I’ve had enough for now. Maybe I need a pep talk.

Fox News On Bloomingdale’s: What Could Be Funnier Than Date Rape?

Earlier this week Bloomingdale’s came under an onslaught of well-deserved criticism for an ad that seemed to advocate sexual assault by surreptitiously drugging your female friends. It is inconceivable that this ad went through their marketing department processes and emerged as acceptable to publish. Eventually Bloomingdale’s acknowledge their abysmally poor judgment and apologized.

Fox News Bloomingdale's

That, however, is not the end of the story. Because Fox News still had something to say on the subject. And it was left to the kids on the curvy couch of Fox & Friends to articulate the network’s response (video below). Thereupon, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone woman on the program, called it a reckless ad. Unfortunately her fellow-co-hosts were somewhat less disturbed. Clayton Morris jumped in to praise Bloomingdale’s for apologizing like a remorseful wife-beater. And Steve Doocy actually tried to make excuses for the ad saying “Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?” Morris then joined in to add “When people had a sense of humor.” Yeah, you remember humor? Those uniquely human moments when we are amused by violence against women. [Ironically, I just published an article about how Fox News aspires to be a comedy network]

Indeed, those were the good old days. Men could spike the drinks of women and have their way with them without repercussions. And alluding fondly to those carefree times (for men) is nothing more than a bit of good humor. Bill Cosby must be thinking back on those days with some longing. It’s reminiscent of the time when the Fox & Friends gang happily joked about NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiance in an elevator. Co-host Brian Kilmeade helpfully observed that “I think the message is – take the stairs,” presumably to avoid being videotaped in the commission of an assault.

Fox News has a history of downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault. On one particularly repulsive occasion, commentator Liz Trotta complained about women in the military who whined about being assaulted by their comrades. Trotta argued against “this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” Although she never actually defined how much rape was acceptable before it would be considered “too much.”

The takeaway from this is that whenever you hear Republicans talk about returning the country to a past that they imagine as serene and untroubled, what they really want is to roll back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights and any progress made on advancing individual freedom and reducing bigotry. They revere nothing more than a past when white, male, Christians dominated the nation’s social and governmental institutions. And that deranged expression of nostalgia just isn’t funny anymore.

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

Fox News Celebrates American Pride By Lying About America Pride Day

Anyone who watches Fox News for more than a few minutes quickly becomes aware that the network has a severe case of schizophrenia. They spend about half their airtime fawning over patriotic symbolism and pretending to embrace a near perverse love of country that borders on obsession. America probably wouldn’t have any trouble getting a judge to issue a restraining order to keep Fox stalkers away.

The other half of their airtime is consumed by the sheer hatred of everything about America today. They hate the President and the Congress. They hate school lunch programs and Social Security. They hate any effort to provide its citizens with healthcare or education. They even have a love/hate relationship with the military: They love invasions of foreign countries, but they hate training exercises in the southwest.

So when it comes to expressing pride in America, Fox News has to resort to making up stories that reflect their patriopathic fetishism. Case in point is a segment that aired this morning on Fox & Friends.

Fox News

The “Curvy Couch Potatoes” got wind of an appalling insult to America’s ego by some academic apparatchiks at Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming. The story first appeared on the Fox Nation website and was attributed to the Daily Caller (which is run by weekend Fox & Friends host Tucker Carlson). Here is what Fox reported (video below):

Heather Nauert: Proud to be an American. The teenagers refusing to stay silent after their principal canceled America Pride Day. They canceled it over fears it would make other students feel sad or left out. Instead of going with the principal’s plan, the students decked themselves out in red, white and blue in protest.

Imagine that! What kind of high school principal would cancel America Pride Day? The outrage on Fox continued as co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt read emails to Fox that castigated the school officials “who want to impose their personal agendas on students,” so that in the future “we will not recognize America.” To which Earhardt added “That’s scary. […] It’s ridiculous. If you don’t want to be here…”

Yeah! Just get out of here you un-American children. The only problem with this tale of America shaming is that none of it is true. The school officials did not cancel America Pride Day, the students did. There was a survey taken to ascertain what themes the students preferred for their upcoming homecoming week. As reported by the Jackson Hole High School News…

“A piece of the homecoming planning included JHHS student council representatives creating a Spirit Day school wide student survey, which was approved by the JHHS administration. This provided all students an opportunity to weigh in and engage in the democratic process of determining how to celebrate each day. This process included the voices of many of our students as opposed to just the opinions of JHHS student council leaders or JHHS administrators only, as had been past practice.

“The results of the survey are as follows: 1 Toga/Pajama Day 2 Lumberjack Day 3 America Day 4 School Spirit day (orange and black) 5 College Day 6 Decades Day 7 Cowboy Day 8 Sports Day.”

With regard to the naming of America Day, the JHHS report noted that…

“America Day had many personal student comments about why that day was uncomfortable for some students. In an effort to compromise on the title of a day, and to meet district goals, a conversation with JHHS student council leaders and JHHS administration discussed alternative ways to name the day ‘Patriot Day’ or ‘Heritage Day’ to be inclusive. Both of these days were declined by JHHS Student Council leaders.”

So contrary to Fox News, there was no imposition of personal agendas by school officials on hapless students. The entire series of events was driven by the students themselves. And to the students’ credit, they were striving to be inclusive and sensitive to their fellow students. It seems that they should be commended for that rather than becoming the subjects of falsified reporting that frames the story derogatorily.

The JHHS report also made specific mention of the fact that “on any given day, students are welcome to celebrate their national pride and heritage,” and that “we support the pride of our country and those that have faithfully served so these democratic principles can be expressed.” And that’s exactly the way it should be. Too bad Fox News has to come along and smear their school and their community with lies aimed at dividing people and manufacturing hostility. The good people of Jackson Hole don’t deserve that and, fortunately, they are strong enough to transcend it.

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

Fox News Admitted The Benghazi Probe Was A Political Sham Years Before McCarthy

Last night the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives (and prospective future Speaker), Kevin McCarthy, revealed what many people already knew about the GOP’s investigation into Benghazi. And contrary to some characterizations in the press, it was not a gaffe. McCarthy openly bragged to Sean Hannity of Fox News that he helped to orchestrate an anti-Hillary Clinton campaign by forming a Select Committee To Politicize Benghazi. It was, and still is, a repulsive endeavor that dishonors the dead and exposes the self-serving immorality of the Republican Party.

Fox News

However, McCarthy wasn’t the first to proudly disclose the rank partisanship of the phony Benghazi probe. Two years ago Fox News congratulated themselves on their dishonest Benghazi coverage with particular praise for Fox CEO Roger Ailes. Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends said that…

“Fox News has been doing this story from the get-go. And the mainstream media, the Daily Show, has mocked us for covering Benghazi. And now everybody else is catching up. It’s been a story they’re realizing. One of the reasons we’ve followed it is Roger Ailes, our chairman and CEO. […] Had Roger and Fox News not pushed this story the White House would have just left it in the dust.”

As News Corpse wrote last year:

“Roger Ailes spent decades as a professional Republican consultant before being tapped by Rupert Murdoch to run Fox News. Ordinarily media executives do not interfere with the operations of their editorial departments, but such journalistic ethics have never been a part of the Fox News mission. Thus we see their CEO openly shaping news coverage, even influencing policy, and getting praised for it on the air by his employees.”

And in a separate article on the same subject:

“Neither Boehner nor Gowdy have any interest in getting to the bottom of anything. Their statements and actions for the past year and a half show that they are only interested in politicizing a tragic loss of American lives. Having failed to uncover even a sliver of evidence of any wrongdoing, Boehner is, in effect, insulting his own colleagues in Congress (i.e. Darrell Issa) who have been conducting pseudo-investigations without producing the hoped for “smoking guns” with which they could continue their campaign of political slander. […]

“It is a desperate attempt to dig up some political mud to throw, to tarnish the prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and to salvage Boehner’s sinking reputation with the far-right fringe of his party whom he needs if he wants to be Speaker in the next session of congress.”

So McCarthy didn’t actually reveal anything new. He was merely corroborating what Fox News had admitted years ago: That they were the driving force keeping Benghazi alive. The arrogance they display with on-air graphics confessing that they “made terror attack a story” in response to a “push” by their CEO, is unprecedented.

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

Furthermore, that arrogance is matched by Republicans in Congress who obediently complied with the demands by Fox News to impanel a select committee. To put it in perspective, Republicans allocated more money to the phony Benghazi Committee (over $3 million) than to either the Intelligence Committee or the Veterans Committee, which deal with matters that have much more far-reaching impact on the nation’s citizens and security.

WTF? The Childish Fox News Reaction To Obama Saying Nig…. Um, The N Word

President Obama spent an hour in Marc Maron’s garage to record a podcast with the popular comedian (full audio below). They discussed numerous subjects including politics, climate change, family, and media. And given that the tragic massacre in South Carolina was just a few days earlier, it would have been surprising if they had not also talked about race and racism in America. But leave it to Fox News to inflate a trivial segment of an hour-long interview in order to insult the President and distract from the other important issues that were being discussed.

During the portion of the interview that dealt with race (@46:25), Obama spoke movingly about his personal experiences and the broader context of race relations in America. At one point he said…

“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 2-300 years prior.”

Oh lordy me. Pass the smellin’ salts Martha. The President uttered the unmentionable, and the inevitable demise of Western civilization will surely follow. Everyone knows that in adult conversations you have to spell naughty words rather than communicate with other grown-ups in a manner that reflects intellectual maturity. Because if you say the “F” word, or the “N” word, or the “X” word (don’t ask), no one will know that you really mean a word with more letters that will cause your ears to seal up. Responsible adults know to always speak as if you’re addressing children or others with stunted emotional development (or, as it turns out, Fox News viewers).

It’s notable that conservatives suddenly find this word so objectionable as an expression of hatred and division, yet they don’t have any problem with the official banner of hateful dividers, the Confederate flag.

Obama Confederate Flag

The reaction by conservative media to POTUS dropping the “N” Bomb was swift and stupid. Taking the lead, of course, was Fox News, where their early morning gabfest, Fox & Friends, accused Obama’s language of being beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency. Saying “‘N’ word” is so much more dignified. And besides, Fox News has declared that racism is over so there is no need to even bring the subject up anymore, much less use controversial language.

The Curvy Couch Potatoes, Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, both speculated that Obama might also use the word in a State of the Union address because, in their cartoon brains, whenever someone uses a word in one venue, it will then be used everywhere else: State of the Union, United Nations, The Tonight Show, PTA meetings, etc.

Throughout the morning (and afternoon and evening) the editorial mandate on Fox News was to keep repeating this non-story that involved a five-second blip from an hour long interview. Perhaps the most strikingly obtuse opinion was rendered by Fox contributor Deneen Borelli, who called Obama the “Rapper-in-Chief,” and said that “He has really dragged in the gutter speak of rap music. So now he is the first president of rap, of street?”

Really? Borelli’s attempt to equate a substantive discussion of race, wherein the President made thoughtful remarks about lingering problems, with the provocative creative license exercised by rappers, is beyond ludicrous. Apparently she would also blanch and\or giggle at the words breast or penis if a doctor used them in a medical context, because in her mind it’s the same as if they were used in a dirty limerick.

On Fox News and elsewhere, Obama was accused of using the word as a “grand distraction.” The absurd hilarity of that charge rests in the fact that it is only the right-wing media that is using this to distract. They plucked the sentence fragment out of a long, in-depth interview and ignored everything else that was discussed. As an indication of just how fixated they were on Obama’s use of this word, they completely missed what he said about Fox News:

Obama: There’s this big gap between who we are as a people and how our politics expresses itself. And part of that has to do with gerrymandering and SuperPACs and lobbyists, and a media that is so splintered now that we’re not in a common conversation. And the fact that if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read the New York Times. And that becomes self-reinforcing. And there’s a profit both for politicians and for news outlets simplifying and polarizing.

Fox News Obama Maron

Ordinarily, when Obama invokes Fox News, the network takes immediate and prolonged offense, even if it isn’t due, as is the case here where Obama also cited the New York Times. Regardless, Fox generally strikes back viciously and condemns Obama for trying to belittle or intimidate the alleged “news” channel that spends most of its time demonizing him. So for Fox to give this allusion a pass shows how seriously they were overwhelmed by the power of the “N” word’s utterance. Or at least it shows how seriously they are committed to using this to bash the President.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

[Update:] This afternoon the governor of South Carolina announced that she would back a plan to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol. She said that it was time to show that state property belongs to all South Carolinians. That’s funny, because all the South Carolinians who have been offended by the Confederate flag for decades never bothered these southerners until a white, racist brandishing the flag murdered nine African-Americans in a church. Let’s see how the other states that feature or allow the Confederate flag respond to this.