Dumbfu*ks at Fox News Want to Know: What’s a Bigger Threat to America: Fake News or Russia?

The fair and balanced couch dwellers at Fox and Friends are suddenly very concerned about threats to America. Not the ones posed by hostile foreign adversaries disrupting our elections and hacking our politicians and candidates. Nor the ones saber-rattling about war with a crackpot dictator in North Korea. And certainly not the one that puts the entire planet at risk of becoming uninhabitable.

Fox News Dennis Prager

Nope. What Fox News is worried about is whether what they call “fake news” has surpassed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an imminent threat to the United States. Bear in mind that the issue that’s throwing Fox News into a tizzy is actually real news reporting of Donald Trump and his crime family’s collusion with Russia. But just the suggestion that Trump is anything less than divinely pure qualifies as fakery to Fox.

In Monday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, host Steve Doocy introduced a segment with sanctimonious radio talker Dennis Prager. He pretends to be a paragon of virtue and mentor to all of us inferior heathens. Prager tweeted his opinion that the media is America’s preeminent enemy.

And that led to Fox’s featured segment on the subject (video below):

Doocy: What’s a bigger threat to America: Fake news or Russia?

Prager: This may sound odd to you and many of the viewers. I don’t understand why this tweet is controversial. Putin does not threaten Western civilization. Western civilization is a set of ideas and values. When students remove the American flag from their campuses, that’s not Putin. All of the things happening in the West to undo Western civilization have nothing to do with Putin. The only thing I regret about the tweet is that I didn’t write that the universities and the media in the West are a greater threat to Western civilization.

I have to agree with Prager’s first point. It definitely sounds odd. Prager is making some sort of vague differentiation between Western civilization and the government and political institutions that uphold it. His babbling about our ideas and values being separate from Putin’s election tampering is pure gibberish. And yet he thinks that a cloth flag is a more tangible part of what makes America than democracy.

Prager went on to complain that “Half of American millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism. That’s a result of the media and the universities.” It’s also the result of critical thinking and independent analysis. For one thing, socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the United States is a working example of a hybrid of the two concepts. Social Security and public education have not hampered the economic success of Ford, Starbucks, or Amazon.

Finally, Prager whined that “The media have gone from news media to opinion media in the guise of news. That is extremely dangerous.” I can’t argue with that. But the irony is that he said it on Fox News – the indisputable champion of blatantly biased pseudo-journalism. Fox News practically invented the modern practice of opinion media. And, in closing, I’ll agree with Prager again. Fox News is extremely dangerous.

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

Fox News Issues Rare Story Correction – Trump, Who Retweeted It, Does Not

You have to cut Fox News a little slack. If they made public corrections for every mistake, or outright lie, they’d have no time left for any new lies. Consequently, when they do offer a correction it’s deserves some attention, if not appreciation.

Fox News

This rare mea culpa occurred Tuesday morning on Fox and Friends (video below). Steve Doocy took a moment to address some comments made on the program the day before. They were discussing a report by The Hill that provided some details on memos written by former FBI director James Comey about his meetings with Donald Trump. The report stated that some of the memos were retroactively designated as confidential or secret. But Fox and Friends completely misrepresented the story. Correspondent Jillian Mele described it as:

“[A] brand new bombshell report [that] accuses Comey of putting our national security at risk. According to The Hill, the former FBI director’s personal memos detailing private conversations with President Trump contained “Top Secret” information.”

The truth is that none of the memos were “Top Secret.” As noted above, some were classified at lower levels. But nowhere in the story did it say that any of the classified data was made public. Therefore, there was no security risk. On Tuesday morning, Doocy made this wholly inadequate correction on the air:

“Yesterday on this program, we aired and tweeted this story saying former FBI Director James Comey leaked memos containing top secret information. We were mistaken in that. According to the report, half of the memos contain information classified at the secret or confidential, not top-secret, level. Markings of the documents in which Mr. Comey leaked are, at this point, unclear. Just wanted to straighten that out.”

First of all, Comey didn’t “leak” anything. That’s a deliberately incendiary and overtly biased term. Comey merely made his own personal recollections to public. That’s something that is done in every political memoir ever published.

Secondly, there is confirmation from the Columbia professor who gave the memos to the press that nothing classified was revealed. So Doocy’s attempt to falsely inject malfeasance into the story is just plain dishonest. Clearly, he had no intention of straightening anything out.

While Doocy’s remarks only partially corrected the record, there’s another deceiver who hasn’t even gone that far. Donald Trump retweeted the phony segment from Fox News. And his added commentary made it even worse, saying “Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” Trump tweeted that unfounded opinion just minutes after it was conveniently broadcast on Fox News for him. However, while Fox has backtracked, Trump has not. His reckless accusation still remains on his Twitter feed unaltered or updated.

Trump is hopelessly addicted to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He watches them obsessively and frequently tweets what they say in real time. Yesterday he posted four segments from the program on Twitter, Today he added three more. And yet, when it is abundantly clear that the information is wrong, he stands by it with unwavering faith. Even when they admit they are wrong. That says a lot about our thin-skinned, ego-driven, bull-headed president, doesn’t it?

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

Seth Meyers: Fox News Is Basically The Closest Thing We Have To State TV

The political satire scene took a couple of body blows when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert gave up his Colbert Report. The slack was taken up ably by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and a resurgent Saturday Night Live. But a leading light in this arena has been Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Seth Meyers Fox News

This week Meyers delivered one of the best take downs of Fox News since Jon Stewart left the stage. In this segment Meyers begins by noting that the sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly offer an example of Fox News’ “symbiotic relationship” with Donald Trump. And, yes, Meyers makes the connection.

However, the segment goes into much greater detail on how Fox News is a network in service of propaganda. Meyers spells it out in plain language saying that “They [Fox] give him [Trump] glowing, unquestioning coverage, and in return he gives them unparalleled access.” That’s it in a nutshell. But Meyers isn’t through. He manages to put together a variety of samples of Fox’s sycophantic sucking up to Trump. “Fox News,” he said, “is basically the closest thing we have to state TV” And furthermore:

“This is the network that the President relies on for information? A network with an archaic culture of sexual harassment, fear, and intimidation, that also serves – with a few exceptions – as a propaganda arm.”

Meyers points out how Trump has been promoting Fox News programs on his Twitter feed. “Instead of a bible,” Meyers says, “Trump should have been sworn in on a TV Guide.” And Fox News happily reciprocates by promoting Trump’s promotions of Fox. The clip with Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy is worth the price of admission by itself.

The whole piece is a brilliant combination of humor and perceptive media analysis. This clip can be saved and replayed for both its entertainment value and its uncompromising honesty and insight.

Thank You Fox News: Trump Thanks Fox And Friends For Making Him President (No, REALLY!)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month of the embarrassment that Donald Trump has inflicted on America. With all of the fumbling, lying, and childish insults, it seems like a year. Now, as he prepares to give his first address to a joint session of Congress, Trump took a moment to show his appreciation for those responsible for his ascendancy to the seat of power.

Donald Trump Fox News

In an interview with Fox & Friends, Trump courageously faced the notorious suck ups on the curvy couch. The inquisition began with the hard-nosed Steve Doocy introducing Trump by saying:

“Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation. And, by the way, thank you very much for the shout-out you gave at your press conference about ten days ago.”

Doocy was referring to Trump’s praise of Fox & Friends during a press conference on February 16. In response to a question about leaks and fake news, Trump wondered completely off topic. Instead of answering the question, he ranted about the “hatred and venom” coming from Don Lemon at CNN. In the process he also slobbered all over Fox & Friends saying that:

“Fox & Friends in the morning, they’re very honorable people […] they have the most honest morning show.”

Of course they do. They spend three hours a day fluffing The Donald’s ego and inventing scandals about his critics and opponents. And don’t think that the President hasn’t noticed. He expressed his gratitude to his “Friends” and let them know exactly how much they meant to him:

“You have treated me very fairly. And I’ve been a friend of your show for a long time. Remember those call-ins, right? Maybe without those call-ins, someone else is sitting here.”

Indeed. Trump had a regular weekly segment on Fox & Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” He would phone in his incoherent opinions on whatever was the outrage of day. It surely had an impact on the Fox audience and juiced them up for his eventual candidacy. Combine that with the non-stop coverage of his stump speeches (by all the cable news networks), and their relentless defense of everything from pussy grabbing to Russian election tampering, and Fox’s designation as the PR division of The Trump Organization is irrefutable.

It’s not surprising that Trump would thank Fox News for getting him elected. He’s been haranguing the media as “fake news” and even worse, as the enemy of the American people,” for months. But he’s been careful to keep Fox out of the line of fire. In the same interview that he thanked Fox, he also said this of the media in general:

“When they make stories up, when they create sources, cause I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources, you know, the sources don’t exist, sometimes they do exist, I’m not saying all sources, but I do believe that a lot of the sources are made up. A lot of the stories are made up. I believe a lot of, the stories are pure fiction, they just pull it out of air.”

Never mind that he has no evidence of any of those accusations. Fake or nonexistent sources would be a fireable offense at any credible news organization. What’s more, he said the sources for stories about former NSA director Michael Flynn didn’t exist. But that didn’t stop him from firing Flynn based on facts revealed in those stories.

If Trump is going to assert that stories are made up, he should be required to present examples. Don’t hold your breath. His idea of fake news and honest news is warped beyond repair. That explains how he can lash out at CNN for telling the truth, but praise Fox & Friends as honest.

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

Fox News Asks Whether Jesus Was A Refugee – And Gets The Bible HORRIBLY Wrong

The debate over Donald Trump’s offensive Muslim ban has taken some peculiar turns. It’s already resulted in successful lawsuits rejecting his executive order as unconstitutional. And there are heartbreaking cases of heroes being refused entry after fighting alongside American soldiers in Iraq. Even a nominee for an Academy Award will be unable to attend the ceremony due to the restrictions.

Pray for Fox News

Tuesday morning the cast of Fox & Friends took up the volatile issue of refugees (video below). While intending to rebut arguments connecting current events to the life of Jesus, the Fox crew veered wildly off course. The segment led off with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes mocking a tweet by Rev. Al Sharpton:

On the surface, there isn’t anything especially controversial about that. However, to Fox News it was an abomination of the gospel and a personal attack on Trump. Co-host Steve Doocy introduced the segment and engaged in the following exchange with guest Carley Shimkus:

DOOCY: This morning a social media firestorm set off by the Rev. Al Sharpton after he slammed President Trump’s border order by calling Jesus a refugee. […] Well that’s not exactly accurate is it?

SHIMKUS: Well, according to the bible it’s really not. And a lot of people on social media had something to say about that.

Whereupon, Shimkus read two tweets replying to Sharpton. Oddly enough, they are the same two tweets posted in an article on this subject by The Daily Caller. That’s the website founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

It’s notable that Fox News turned to anonymous Twitter users for their biblical analysis. And they appeared to be quite proud of themselves for having debunked Sharpton’s sacrilege. Except for one thing: They couldn’t possibly have been more wrong. A quick glance at the bible’s book of Matthew (2:13-15) reveals that Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with their infant son Jesus to avoid King Herod’s “massacre of the innocents.” That sounds like they were refugees to me. They only returned after Herod’s death:

(13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (14) When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: (15) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

This is a perfect example of the approach to journalism as practiced by Fox News. Why bother consulting religious scholars, the clergy, or even the bible, when you have Twitter for divine guidance? It obviously doesn’t matter to Fox whether the information is correct, something that’s apparent in most of their reporting. And the cherry on top was co-host Brian Kilmeade’s closing shot at Sharpton saying “Who gave him his gift certificate to be a reverend?”

No doubt Kilmeade actually believes there are such certificates. Maybe someone should ask him where he got his gift certificate to host a “news” program. And why is Fox News always making African-Americans provide certificates of authenticity, birth, etc.?

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

Fox News FINALLY Apologizes For Lying About A Man And His 90 Year Old Grandmother

A month ago Fox News did a story about a protester at a Trump rally. Austyn Crites approached the stage with a sign saying “Republicans Against Trump.” A commotion in the crowd caused the Secret Service to hustle a cowering Trump off stage. There were varying accounts of what transpired, and some reports said that a Trump supporter yelled “Gun!” Crites was quickly taken into custody and escorted out of the rally.

Fox News Steve Doocy

As it turns out, there was no gun. Crites was not in any way threatening and was not arrested. The incident was an epic over-reaction that evolved into a mythical fable of the fake danger bedeviling The Donald. So naturally Fox News fabricated a fictional account of the event that featured Kellyanne Conway, who labeled Crites a Democratic plant. She also laughably implied on CNN that this innocent, lawful protest was an assassination attempt. Meanwhile, back at Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade falsely accused Crites of having committed voter fraud by casting a ballot for Clinton in the name of his grandmother, who Kilmeade said had died in 2002.

Kilmeade: “Democrats would like for you to believe that voter fraud does not exist. Better chance of getting hit by lightening, they always say. But this morning yet another reminder from the guy who interrupted Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday who many thought had a gun. […] He claims he was a Republican, but it turns out he’s a huge Hillary supporter. And his grandmother has been using this address to vote absentee for years. But she’s been dead since 2002. Although I miss her, I don’t think she should be voting.”

You’ll never guess what happened next. An actual journalist from the Guardian contacted Crites’ grandmother who stubbornly insisted that she was alive and well. She’s probably a Democrat who’s lying about being alive to smear Trump. Now virtually everything Fox News reported has been proven to be blatantly false. And what does Fox do about it? They wait for month after the truth was well known and then have Steve Doocy issue a correction. By this time, of course, no one remembers what he’s talking about. So he gets away with dismissing the lies as “exagerrated.”

That’s the Fox News brand of “journalism.” Notoriously unprofessional and entirely devoid of ethics. They still haven’t bothered to interview Crites or provide him him with an opportunity clear his name. The never reached out to his grandmother whose friends and family might have been distressed to hear of her death. However, just airing an apology is a big step for Fox News, so we probably should be grateful.

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

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 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.