Trump’s Insane Threat to ‘Totally Destroy North Korea’ Affirms His Mental Infirmity

The United Nations is holding its 72nd Session of the U.N. General Assembly. But it is also the first one that is being addressed by Donald Trump. If the diplomatic body was expecting to be surprised by Trump’s speech, they were not disappointed. Trump has been a frequent critic of the U.N., calling it ineffective and unfair to the United States. He has proposed withholding funding. But in today’s speech he crossed lines that call into question his psychological fitness.

Donald Trump

The bulk of the speech was standard Trumpian “America First” rhetoric with some disingenuous allusions to all nations working together. But the part that will surely get the most attention was his melodramatic threats to North Korea and Kim Jung Un. Trump said that:

“If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

Let’s set aside the childish name-calling that is so familiar from our juvenile president. It’s the cartoonish hyperbole that makes these remarks so disturbing. Trump’s assertion that “we will have no choice” is a self-limiting falsehood. There are always choices for intelligent leaders. Sometimes it comes down to making the best of a bad lot. But Trump’s narrow vision that limits his choices to total destruction demonstrates how ill-prepared he is for this job.

It should be noted that the United States never made totally destroying Germany or Japan a goal of their war effort. In fact, following the war we led the effort to rebuild the nations of our former enemies. The objective in war is not total destruction, but victory. Trump’s rhetoric shows incredible insensitivity to the human life that he is proposing to snuff out. And that includes the lives of Americans and our allies. In that respect there is truth to the framing of this as a “suicide mission.”

For some perspective, last year President Obama spoke at the U.N. General Assembly. The subject of North Korea was on the table then as well. In an interview with CBS News Obama said something similar to what Trump said, but with with an important caveat:

“Our first priority is to protect the American people and our allies, the Republic of Korea, Japan, that are vulnerable to the provocative actions that North Korea is engaging in. […] But it’s not something that lends itself to an easy solution. We could, obviously, destroy North Korea with our arsenals. But aside from the humanitarian costs of that, they are right next door to our vital ally, Republic of Korea.”

Obama was not threatening North Korea, but simply noting that the U.S. has a powerful military advantage. More importantly, he qualified his remarks by recognizing the “humanitarian costs” of a nuclear conflict. That’s how a conscientious, diplomatic leader approaches a sensitive subject like this. And it illustrates the massive disconnect from reality that drives Trump’s thinking. He acts as if he’s a character in a superhero movie where everything revolves around static questions of black and white, good and evil, and nothing in between or subject to consequences.

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

Trump’s ultimatum does nothing to ease tensions or arrive at a solution. They only exacerbate the problem and threaten to inflame the twisted sensitivities of Kim, who is no better suited to leadership than Trump. The two of them could seriously jeopardize the future for millions of people and much of the world. And while there is little we can do about Kim, Americans should make every effort to divert Trump from his disastrous course, including removing him from office as soon as possible.

Find us on Google+
Advertisement:

Fox News Wants You to Believe That Trump-Bashing Killed the Emmys – It Didn’t

The preliminary Nielsen ratings for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast are in and they aren’t particularly good. The program drew about 11.2 million viewers, which is down slightly from last year’s show. But leave it to Fox News to turn this minor slippage into a political catastrophe caused by the relentless liberalism of Hollywood elites.

Emmys Stephen Colbert

An op-ed on the Fox News website trumpeted the ratings results with a speculative headline asking “Emmys ratings crater; Trump-bashing to blame?” The argument presented by Fox’s Brian Flood was that criticism of Donald Trump sunk the broadcast to new lows. He writes that:

“It looks like the 69th annual Emmy Awards are heading into sub-basement territory in terms of ratings after host Stephen Colbert spent much of Sunday’s event attacking President Trump. It turns out American viewers may not have been as into Trump bashing as Hollywood would like them to be.”

For the record, host Stephen Colbert didn’t spend much of the night attacking Trump. In all he spent less than three minutes out of a three hour program. But the real absurdity of this analysis is that it proposes something that’s impossible. Fox News thinks that viewers chose not to watch the program based on their clairvoyant observation of the Trump-bashing before it even began. Obviously, without such ESP skills they would not have known not to tune in.

In fact, the Emmy broadcast has been scoring lower numbers for several years. Trump wasn’t president when the ratings began a falling trend. The reasons knowledgeable people attribute to the decline are that television doesn’t have the popular appeal of the Oscars and the Grammys. What’s more, many of the winning programs are now airing on services like Netflix and Hulu that have fewer viewers than broadcast TV. Consequently, the stars are not as familiar or compelling. And airing against Sunday Night Football didn’t help either.

That didn’t stop Fox News from setting up their biased perspective and interviewing political partisans to support it. Flood first sought the opinion of Dan Gainor of the ultra-conservative Media Research Center. Predictably, Gainor slammed the event as “a Hollywood bubble show.” He further castigated television’s creative community as out-of-touch with America and unqualified to express an opinion. That’s a point of view that disappears from right-wingers when the TV personality is one of theirs. Case in point: Donald Trump (or Ronald Reagan, Ted Nugent, Clint Eastwood, Scott Baio, etc.).

The argument that Americans might have tuned out the Emmys because they objected to jokes about Trump also fails logically. Trump is currently sitting on record low ratings himself. And that’s from the American people, not a select groups of show business professionals. With his approval numbers wallowing in the mid-thirties, it’s unlikely that the program lost many viewers who were loyal to Trump. If anything, the fact that most Americans are repulsed and embarrassed by him might have drawn in a bigger audience. There is substantial appetite in the country for the Trump-bashing that Fox News is lamenting. An example of that is the fact that Colbert has become the top rated late night talk show host largely due to his nightly mockery of the President.

The program did feature some sharp jabs at Trump’s expense. Veep’s Julia Louis Dreyfus noted that her show had considered an impeachment plot line, but abandoned it because they were worried that “someone else” might beat them to it. Alec Baldwin, who’s portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live won him an Emmy, consoled Trump by giving him partial credit for an award he never won himself. But the most cutting comedy came from the reunited stars of 9-to-5 who said:

Jane Fonda: Back in 1980 in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
Lily Tomlin: And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.

Those are the sort of comments that Fox News and their conservative disciples regard as intolerable attacks against their White House Messiah. And for some reason they get away with calling liberals “snowflakes” for being too sensitive. Yet it doesn’t bother them when Trump himself posts tweets that show him assaulting Hillary Clinton. Apparently joking about physically attacking women is perfectly acceptable to these Deplorables. But Fox News finds it necessary to write op-eds that lie about the Emmys just because they can’t handle a few harmless jokes.

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


When Signing an Anti-Racism Resolution, Trump Confirms the Worst Allegations of His Bigotry

Last week members of both parties joined to pass an unprecedented congressional joint resolution. It called on the President to explicitly “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, antisemitism and white supremacy.” The fact that there was even a need for this type of communication is evidence of a disturbing sickness that infects the nation. And that sickness has only gotten worse since the election of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

The impetus for this resolution was the violence and murder that erupted during a march of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. Following the tragedy, Donald Trump actually took the side of the white supremacists. He ignored their antisemitic and racist chants to falsely spread the blame around and charge that there was fault on both sides. It was that botched, insensitive, and universally condemned, reaction that moved Congress to act.

The result was S.J. 49, an uncommonly direct and bipartisan expression of the sense of the Congress that sought to force the President to go on record. It explicitly condemned “the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place during events between August 11 and August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia.” It further directed the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security “to investigate thoroughly all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence.”

Who could argue with any of that? It was a plainly stated rejection of racism and the hate groups that espouse it. There wasn’t a hint of politics in it. Which is why it easily gained the support of both parties. The only people who could fail to put their full support behind this resolution would be the bigots who it was condemning. So of course, Donald Trump could not simply sign it and move on. That would offend too much of his base. So he attached a signing statement to it that diluted the impact of its message:

“As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms. No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”

Notice that Trump failed to do what the resolution explicitly called for. Rather than citing the white supremacists, the KKK, etc., he reduced the criticism to a more vague censure of generalized prejudice “in all forms.” That was a deliberate gesture to take the heat off of his racist followers. And to insure that his point was crystal clear, he followed it up with another public statement placing the blame on both sides:

“You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also. […] When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”

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

Note that Trump is referring to the counter-protesters who oppose the white supremacists as “the other side.” Therefore, his side is the one aligned with the alt-right neo-Nazis. And this is how Trump responded to the congressional resolution seeking to put him on the record. Well, it certainly did just that.


Donald Trump Retweets Hateful, Misogynistic Video of Himself Assaulting Hillary Clinton

The tendency for the media to normalize Donald Trump has been evident in the past week or two. Following the tragic consequences of two major hurricanes, Trump behaved in a manner that would ordinarily be portrayed as routine. But for him it is heralded as a pivot to the presidential demeanor that has escaped him for the past ten months. The question of Trump pivoting keeps coming up despite the fact that he always reverts to his standard juvenile boorishness.

Donald Trump

Sunday morning Trump proved once again that he can’t maintain any semblance of dignity for more than a few minutes. He unleashed a fury of inane tweets that affirm his status as an infantile embarrassment to the nation. Most prominently is this one that also appears to advocate violence against women:

That’s right. Trump is now posting videos that show him deliberately assaulting Hillary Clinton. This is from the same man who frequently insults women and has confessed to sexual assaults. It is beyond repulsive that America now has a leader who has no qualms about such misogynistic hostility. Even worse, he thinks it’s funny.

Well, the Internet, not known for its subtlety, doesn’t agree. The reaction to Trump’s tastelessness was swift and brutal. For example:

A panel on CNN addressed this subject this morning and their reaction can be summed up by anchor John King saying that “We can’t find the words,” and that “It is insane.” A couple of panelists elaborated saying:

Julie Hirschfeld: He’ll come out on a Saturday morning and blow himself up with these crazy tweets that are not presidential. They don’t forward any particular agenda of his. I mean, this wasn’t about immigration, it wasn’t about any policy thing. It’s just something he probably thought was funny.

Malika Henderson: They believe in him they trust him. By and large they’re willing to make sort of excuses for him if he doesn’t follow through on whatever he says he would. He was right. He said that he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and he wouldn’t lose any followers.

Trump is so obsessed with his popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton that he can’t stop thinking about it. It’s eating him up, inside and out. So he has to attack her at every opportunity. His ego and vengefulness are character flaws that could erupt into catastrophe. He exhibits the same kind of schoolyard antics when referring to hostile foreign nations. This morning on Twitter he called North Korea’s Kim Jung Un “Rocket Man.” How is that supposed to ease tensions and resolve international conflicts?

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

Note the media: Donald Trump is NOT going to change. He’s a seventy-one year old narcissist and bully. He doesn’t know how to behave like an adult, much less a president. He’s an imminent threat to the security of the country and the world. And in his spare time he promotes violence against women. While his approval ratings are in the toilet, he manages to hang on to a few Deplorable disciples. WTF is wrong with them? This scourge on America must end, and soon. #ImpeachTrump ASAP.


Fox News is STILL Obsessed With Hillary Clinton’s Email, But ‘New’ Evidence is Laughably Lame

There’s a lot going on in the news lately. Two hurricanes have trampled major U.S. cities. North Korea is rattling nuclear sabers. Terrorists have attacked again in London. Congress is struggling with DACA, tax reform, and yet another attempt to kill Obamacare. And special counsel Robert Mueller continues to close in on Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton

Very little of this bodes well for Trump. His approval rating is still sliding down into record low territory. He has tried pathetically to change the subject with typically Trumpian attacks and juvenile insults aimed at capturing media attention. To no avail. So predictably, Fox News is riding to the rescue. They aired a segment Friday featuring an ultra-right wing guest who claimed to have new emails that prove Hillary Clinton guilty of pay-to-play.

The Fox News fetish over Clinton’s email is nearly psychotic. Despite years of trying, they have never produced anything that was remotely illegal. And it’s not for lack of effort. Fox News has devoted countless hours of valuable airtime to this subject, all aimed at defaming Clinton. And now, ten months after the election, they are still at it. It’s a demonstration of desperation. They simply have nothing else to distract the public from Trump’s disastrous reign of error.

On Friday Fox News hosted Tom Fitton of the conservative Judicial Watch (video below). Fitton claimed to have acquired new emails through the Freedom of Information Act that revealed wrongdoing by Clinton. The problem is, during the entire segment he didn’t produce a single one, or even offer a quote from any of the allegedly incriminating material.

Fitton began by accusing Clinton of having lied to Congress about turning over all her emails to the State Department. But the “new” emails he claimed to have were from the State Department, so obviously they had them. Then Fitton asserted that many of these emails contained classified information. But he didn’t offer any proof of that. And previous similar claims all turned out to be false. The gist of this appearance on Fox was to rehash the old email business, while presenting nothing new or relevant.

FITTON: Going back again to the pay-to-play scandal, it’s email after email of Doug Band, who was a Clinton Foundation top official, worked with the Clinton’s closely, coordinating and working with Huma Abedin to take care of favors for Clinton Foundation donors who were going through Band to get access and benefits from the state Department. Visas to Cuba. Meetings in Singapore. Other types of activity like that. It’s there in black and white.

None of that interminably run-on sentence contributed anything to the store of knowledge of this subject. There was nothing that could be described as proof of wrongdoing. What Fitton did say was rather mundane. He seems to think that the legitimate operations of the State Department (visas, diplomatic meetings) are inherently criminal. But he offered nothing to connect any of Clinton’s actions with her family foundation. No one ever has. And despite his assertion that “It’s there in black and white,” it actually wasn’t. Why didn’t he bring any of these supposedly damaging emails to the studio?

Fitton went on to make other random and unsupported allegations. He called the Comey investigation “a sham.” At one point he rolled completely off the rails by stating that Comey was fired because “no one trusted him.” But even Trump admitted that he fired Comey because of “the Russia stuff.” Then Fitton even undercut his own argument that this was new information by admitting that “The Justice Department knows about this.” Apparently he believes that Trump’s Justice Department, under the supervision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is covering up for “crooked” Hillary Clinton.

Clearly Fox News has run out of phony scandals to peddle. So they are reprising their hits from yesteryear. It’s the classic oldies network for Deplorables who still want to “Lock her up.” No wonder Fox’s ratings are lagging behind MSNBC. I suspect that even some Fox viewers are tiring of this rotting heap of garbage and are looking for some fresh news. And if this is the best Fox can do as they try to play defense for Trump, the President better start worrying about his future move from the White House to the Big House.

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


Fox News Attacks Superman Because He Defended Immigrants From a Racist Slaughter

For twenty years Fox News has marketed itself as an ultra-patriotic mouthpiece for conservative principles. Their editorial posture has brazenly taken the side of what it considers American exceptionalism. Never mind that such bias is a breach of journalistic standards. An ethical news operation cannot be seen as exhibiting such favoritism. It would make it impossible to objectively criticize the U.S. when necessary.

Superman

This makes the commentary by Fox News host Todd Starnes all the more peculiar. Starnes unleashed an opinionated column that viciously attacked the concepts of “truth, justice, and the American way.” That’s right, he’s taking on Superman. And the offensive behavior by the Man of Steel was that he saved the lives of brown people from a murderous racist. In an article titled “Superman defends illegals against angry American,” Starnes writes that:

“The Man of Steel has now become a propaganda tool for the defenders of illegal aliens. In the most recent issue of Action Comics, Superman comes to the rescue of a group of illegal aliens — under attack from a white guy wearing an American flag bandana and waving around a machine gun. The man is reportedly infuriated because the illegal aliens took his job,” […]

“Instead of rounding up the illegals and flying them back to where they came from, the Man of Steel snatches the white guy and with a menacing look snarls, ‘The only person responsible for the blackness smothering your soul — is you.'”

So Starnes is outraged that our fictional superhero prevented the mass slaying of innocent human beings. Which is pretty much what Superman has been doing for seventy-five years. But Starnes is unconcerned about the killer’s admitted racism and intention to kill Latinos he believes cost him his job. Apparently Starnes would have preferred a version of the story with more bloodshed and dead immigrants. He concludes his tirade with a lament that D.C. Comics is “turning its stable of iconic heroes into political pawns” and “indoctrinating our kids.” The author of the comic, however, sees it differently:

It’s notable that nowhere in the comic are the Latino victims described as undocumented. But that doesn’t stop Starnes from repeatedly referring to them as “illegals” And even if they were undocumented, that wouldn’t justify them being murdered to anyone but bigots like Starnes. Their hatred is exactly what heroes like Superman are dedicated to fighting against. And the comic contains a thought that could easily be applied to Starnes and his pals at Fox News and in Donald Trump’s White House:

“Something darker is at work here. As though anger and ignorance have boiled over all at once. Where people can’t look past their own selfishness and the common good is a foreign concept.”

Precisely. The dark anger and ignorance that is boiling over at Fox News is a product of selfishness and prejudice. It’s too bad we don’t have actual superheroes to protect us from the cretins who peddle such hate. But it’s even worse that we have to suffer idiots like Starnes who wallow in it.

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

Find us on Google+
Advertisement:

Trump Threatens to Veto Medicare-For-All, But Gets a Brutal Slapback From Bernie Sanders

In the past couple of weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders has been aggressively advocating for his proposal to make Medicare available to all Americans. The response from his senate colleagues has been exceedingly positive. He already has about sixteen co-sponsers. When he introduced a similar bill in 2013, he had none.

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is in panic mode castigating Sanders and his plan to insure everybody. Trump unleashed his typical fury on Twitter saying:

So now Trump is resorting to ultra-hyperbolic language to demonize single-payer healthcare as a “curse.” And the absurdity of telling people not to worry because he will veto it is downright laughable. He obviously doesn’t know what the American people are worried about.

Most polls show that a single-payer plan is broadly favored by a significant majority of voters. The Economist conducted a poll in April that showed sixty percent supporting Medicare-for-All. That included seventy-five percent of Democrats, fifty-eight percent of Independents, and even forty-six percent of Republicans. The poll also broke down the responses by candidate preference, showing support from eighty percent of Hillary Clinton’s voters and forty percent of Trump’s.

Clearly, the American people do not regard Medicare-for-All as a curse. Nor would vetoing the bill ease their worries. And given the level of support, Trump can hardly claim that such a veto would demonstrate that he loves the country and its people. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

Bernie Sanders took note of Trump’s tweet and had something to say about it as well. He replied with a couple of tweets of his own that put Trump in his place.

Good points. It seems rather surreal to characterize providing health care to everyone as a curse. Particularly since the United States is the only major industrialized country that doesn’t have a national health plan. As a result, we are paying many times more for care and getting less for it.

What’s more, throwing twenty-three million people off of their health plans is an odd way to express your love. Americans are well aware of this. That’s why only seventeen percent supported the Republican bills which deservedly went down to defeat.

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

The people are more tuned into this matter than at any time in the past. If Trump and his GOP cohorts think they can fool the people into accepting their deceptive plots to kill ObamaCare, or oppose Medicare-for-All, they are sadly mistaken. And we won’t have to worry about a presidential veto if Trump isn’t president. So there’s that.


TRUMP: ‘Does Anybody Really Want to Throw Out’ DREAMers? YES, You Do! (VIDEO)

Within the past twenty-four hours Donald Trump has surpassed his ordinary level of chaotic confusion. And that’s saying something. It began with the news that he had met with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They reportedly discussed the status of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), after he rescinded the executive order issued by President Obama.

Donald Trump

According to Pelosi, they agreed to codify DACA into law. But it didn’t take long for Trump’s team to flip and shoot that down, insisting that there was no agreement. And then, in another flop, Trump tweeted this:

So Trump wants to know if anyone really wants to throw out the DREAMers. And the answer to that is a resounding “YES!” Trump himself wants to throw them out. He said exactly that to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press in August of 2015:

CHUCK TODD: You’ll rescind the DREAM Act executive order–
DONALD TRUMP: You’re going to have to.
TODD: DACA?
TRUMP: We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in legally–
TODD: So you’re going to split up families?
TRUMP: Chuck.
TODD: You’re going to deport children–
TRUMP: Chuck. No, no. We’re going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.
TODD: But you’re going to keep them together out–
TRUMP: But they have to go. But they have to go.
TODD: What if they have no place to go?
TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country or we don’t have a country.

The gall of this lying cretin to pretend that he’s concerned about these young people who have demonstrated their patriotism, is gravity-defying. He could have simply said that he was convinced by Schumer and Pelosi that this was the right thing to do. Instead he chose a flagrantly dishonest path in order to exalt himself. So even when he tries to do the right thing, he wraps it in lies and conceit.

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


It’s Official: Fox ‘News’ Is Not News And is Allowed to Lie, Says UK Communications Agency

The mission of Fox News from its inception was to advance the agenda of America’s conservatives and the Republican Party. That could not have been more obvious due to its founding by ultra-rightist Rupert Murdoch and GOP media strategist Roger Ailes. The network has spent the last twenty years defaming liberals and Democrats while vigorously supporting right-wing politicians and policies.

Fox News Lies

Much of what Fox News produced brazenly ignored the standards of professional journalism. They aired overtly biased “news” stories that were filled with misrepresentations and outright lies. PolitiFact has rated sixty percent of their their work as “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.” The other cable news networks don’t even come close to that dubious achievement. This shameful record may have contributed to Fox News being yanked from British television for what they said was lack of viewers.

Now Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch is trying to acquire the remaining portion of Sky Broadcasting (a European network) that he doesn’t already own. The U.K. has some stringent requirements for approving media deals that will impact the independence of the nation’s journalism. They also review any deal that could put too much power into the hands of a single outlet. On those grounds their Office of Communications (OFCOM) has been investigating Murdoch and his 21st Century Fox corporation.

Unfortunately for Murdoch, concerns about Fox News are stalling, and might kill, the approval process. The network is awash in scandals involving presenters and executives engaging in sexual harassment and related misconduct. They fired their now-deceased CEO Roger Ailes, their top star Bill O’Reilly, host Eric Bolling, among others. That doesn’t look good to the regulatory body considering the acquisition.

And that’s not all. Fox News is also being scrutinized for its reporting and its chumminess with Donald Trump and his administration. Talking Points Memo writes that:

“British authorities have increased scrutiny of the impending deal following several complaints raising concerns that the Fox News parent company is not fit to own Sky News. That scrutiny followed several resignations at Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, as well as a lawsuit alleging that the network worked with the Trump administration to push a conspiracy theory about a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer.”

The characterization of the personnel matters as “resignations” is overly generous. These slimeballs did not leave voluntarily. But their terminations were also not likely due to Fox having a moral awakening. In fact, it was more likely a self-serving attempt to appease the U.K. regulators by trying to show that they were correcting their problems.

However, the most troubling conclusions coming out of OFCOM’s review were related directly to the editorial content of Fox News. In an ironic twist wherein the agency was actually defending approval, they offered an odd justification for why Fox’s misreporting should not stand in the way:

“In dismissing complaints about certain claims made on Fox News shows, Ofcom determined that ‘Hannity,’ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ and ‘Fox and Friends’ are not news programs and therefore do not have a ‘due accuracy requirement.'”

To be clear, the agency is making a judgment call that those programs do not qualify as “news.” Consequently, they have no obligation to report factually or even to tell the truth. Anyone who has watched for more than a couple of minutes already knows that those shows have abandoned fact-checking and honesty. And now their flagrantly unethical standards may actually help the company’s acquisition bid. But they would have to accept the argument that they are allowed to lie because they aren’t really news. So far, Fox News has not complained about this characterization of their programming. What does that tell you?

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


Fox News is Taking Drastic Measures to Deal With Rachel Maddow’s Awesome Success

For the past few months Rachel Maddow has been drawing big numbers in the Nielsen ratings. Her show has done what was thought to be impossible a couple of years ago. She is beating her competition on Fox News. On many occasions she has also been the highest rated programs on all cable news networks. And that includes Sean Hannity.

Rachel Maddow

Fox News is now reorganizing their schedule. In part that’s due to having parted ways with Eric Bolling, the co-host of “The Specialists.” Bolling had been on suspension after allegations that he sent lewd pictures to his female Fox colleagues. The suspension has now turned into a termination. Therefore, Fox News has canceled The Specialists and moved “The Five” from its primetime slot to that afternoon time period. That leaves an opening in primetime.

What Fox is doing with that vacancy reveals just how worried they are about Maddow. They are bringing in Laura Ingraham to host their 10:00 pm show, where Hannity has been for years. And they are moving Hannity to 9:00 pm, opposite Maddow. Hannity is Fox’s best performing program. By scheduling him against Maddow they are admitting that she has been hurting them and they need to juice their line-up. It’s a risk because TV audiences are creatures of habit. Fox’s viewers may not know where to find Hannity after he moves. And that could cause his ratings to suffer.

More importantly, if Fox News thinks that their top guy is a shoe-in to man-handle Maddow, they aren’t paying attention. As noted above, Maddow’s ratings have been better than Hannity’s even when they weren’t running head-to-head. There is no reason to expect anything different with Hannity’s move. Other than the viewer confusion previously mentioned. And if Maddow cleans Hannity’s clock in direct competition that would be a withering embarrassment for him.

The new Fox News primetime line-up would also be an unprecedentedly biased schedule with Tucker Carlson leading off, followed by Hannity and Ingraham. All three of these pundits are confirmed Trump-fluffers. Hannity is an unofficial advisor to Trump and even appeared in a ad for him. Ingraham was considered as a replacement for Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer.

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

With every day the Fox News network becomes more and more an arm of the Trump administration. It’s the closest thing that the United States has ever had to state-run TV. But that doesn’t mean that America is going to accept it or like it. The country has already expressed a profound favoritism for Maddow. We’ll know soon enough how the ratings war between Hannity and Maddow turns out. And we can expect Hannity to venture ever further down the path of conspiracy theory nonsense as he tries to generate interest in his noxious brand of spin.