Who Was Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Why Would Donald Trump Have Hated Her?

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland, Florida school, where fourteen kids and three adults were murdered by a maniac with an AR-15 assault weapon, has become a flash point in the debate for gun safety. That debate has been driven mainly by the student survivors themselves. Their passionate and articulate commitment to finally making change happen is one of the few signs of hope in the aftermath of yet another massacre.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

However, little has been reported about the namesake of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. As it turns out, she was an inspiring woman who was a fierce advocate for speaking out on matters of importance. During a life of activism and personal sacrifice she was quoted as saying “You have to stand up for some things in this world.” She lived those words throughout her life and inspired others to do the same. In 1993 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton. And while in the White House that day she was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill).

But that isn’t the only eerie coincidence about Douglas and the specific focus of her activism. According to a biography on the National Park Service website:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, born April 7, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduated from Wellesley with straight A’s with the elected honor of “Class Orator.” That title proved to be prophetic.

In 1915, following a brief and calamitous marriage, she arrived in Miami, working for her father at the Miami Herald. She worked first as a society reporter, then as an editorial page columnist, and later established herself as a writer of note. Here she took on the fight for feminism, racial justice, and conservation long before these causes became popular.

So Douglas began her professional career as a journalist. Or as Donald Trump would say “an enemy of the American people.” She went on to champion women’s rights, something Trump has ridiculed and whose personal history of sexual harassment and assault demonstrates extreme disrespect and misogyny. Douglas was also a proponent of civil rights and racial justice. That contrasts with Trump’s overt bigotry and that of his base, which includes KKK and Nazi leaders and organizations. And finally, Douglas was best known for her environmental activism and her work to conserve the Florida Everglades. She wrote a landmark book on the subject titled, The Everglades: River of Grass.

Trump surely doesn’t know anything about Douglas or her lifelong dedication to service and social change. But if he did he would certainly despise her and attack her with a flurry of furious and derogatory tweets. He would insult her and make up stupid nicknames. And he would express his opposition to everything she stood for. All of this adds a rather somber poignancy to the tragedy in Parkland. But it may explain the stirring and righteous reaction from the students who probably do know Douglas and her work. They are likely inspired by quotes like this one: “I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.”” And it may explain the heartrending intensity of their oratory as exemplified in this speech by student Emma Gonzalez:

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

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Moscow is Laughing: Trump’s Sunday Morning Tweetstorm is More Unhinged than Usual

It’s panic time at the White House. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments against Russians for election tampering are bringing the culpability of Donald Trump ever closer to the surface. And the best confirmation of that is the ferocity of Trump’s frantic and implausible denials. He is behaving like a cornered rat that is consumed with fear.

Donald Trump

Consequently, he is resorting to his standard means of projecting his fear outward. Secure in his Twitter safe space, Trump is lashing out at phantom foes and perceived enemies with ludicrous accusations, insults, and shaky justifications. His Sunday morning tweetstorm was bursting with madness and paranoia. It’s astonishing that someone hasn’t told him how guilty this hysteria makes him look. And it’s a symptom of his sickness that he thinks any of this helps. Let’s delve deeper into the diseased mind of Trump:

Trump has accidentally conceded something that is surely true. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. But it isn’t because of committee hearings and investigations. It’s because of how successful they were in putting their puppet at the helm of the American government. And they probably also think it’s pretty funny that he has proven to be so incompetent at governing. And the fact that Trump is advancing the agenda of Vladimir Putin and defending him against fellow Americans who see through these crimes is worth a guffaw or two in the Kremlin.

And then there’s this:

Trump’s desperation is showing in that it’s no longer enough to just attach childish nicknames (“Liddle”) to his opponents. He is now elongating them with ridiculous descriptions (“leakin’ monster of no control”). Sounds a little like Trump is accusing Rep. Adam Schiff of having a gastrointestinal problem. More to the point, Trump is actually admitting now that there was Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Although he is misdirecting the blame to his favorite black nemesis, Barack Obama. However, Trump is lying about what Schiff said. The Democratic congressman was talking about a missed opportunity to deal with hacking after an incident in 2014 with Sony Pictures. It was a call for more transparency that Schiff believed might have been a deterrent to the Russians who came along later.

But Trump wasn’t through yet:

This is just patently false. There is no poll by McLaughlin that puts Republicans ahead of Democrats in a generic congressional ballot. In fact, Democrats lead the GOP in almost every match-up on this. If Trump isn’t consumed with fear, then why is he lying?

Finally:

Trump really thinks the American people are stupid. And with regard to his followers, I can’t argue with that. He has been saying for months that the whole Russia investigation was a hoax, not just the the matter of collusion (which is also not a hoax). He actually told reporters that he had asked Putin about the meddling and that Putin denied it. And Trump insisted that he was satisfied with Putin’s word, saying “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.” How thoughtful. Trump believes his friend Vladimir, but not the American intelligence professionals who work for him. And if you need more evidence of Trump dismissing Russian election tampering, just listen to Trump himself:

Update: Later on Sunday Trump (who doesn’t have time to watch TV) saw Oprah Winfrey on 60 Minutes interviewing voters in Michigan. And, having no presidential work to do, he posted a new tweet attacking her:

WOW! Trump thinks Oprah is insecure? Mr. Small Hands, Big Buttons? The same Trump who constantly insults enemies with childish nicknames; who needs to brag incessantly about his imaginary awesomeness; who lies with every breath; who is obsessed with former political foes and past failures; who is clearly scared and panicked about his legal future? That Trump thinks Oprah is insecure?

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


Trump’s Dep. Press Secretary: Democrats and the Media Have Created More Chaos than Russia

The propaganda push to clear Donald Trump of all responsibility for the Russian interference in the 2016 election is in full force. The chair of the Republican National Committee has blamed it all on President Obama. Fox News is trivializing it as Rocky and Bullwinkle stuff. And now the White House Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, is making statements that baselessly allege crimes by Democrats that are worse than what the Russians are alleged to have done.

Fox News Gidley

On Saturday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends (where else), Gidley was stroked – I mean interviewed – by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes in a segment that addressed the indictments against Russia by special counsel Robert Mueller. Gidley’s remarks were so offensive and dishonest that I’ll just leave them here with little commentary (video below):

“First of all we have to understand, this began in 2014 under then-President Barack Obama’s nose. He didn’t do a thing about it. Long before Donald Trump announced for president this was going on. Also it points out clearly that in this process there was no collusion, as you just pointed out. The President said it multiple times. This makes it clear and concise for the American people and proves the President correct. No collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign, and Russia. And also, I think this is important too. It did not affect the outcome of the election whatsoever.”

First of all, what we really have to understand, is that the fact that Russia began interfering in American elections in 2014 does not vindicate Trump. It actually makes it worse that he and his associates had anything to do with foreign operatives who were already engaged in espionage against the United States. And the Mueller indictments do not in any way say that there was no collusion or that the outcome of the election was not affected. They simply say that these particular indictments are not alleging that. Which leaves the door wide open for such allegations in future indictments.

But if Gidley wants to assert that Mueller is proving Trump correct, that’s fine. It makes it that much harder for them to later say that Mueller is biased and try to fire him. However, Gidley had not yet reached the most disgusting part of his interview. He continued:

“What the Russians were trying to do, as outlined by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, was create chaos in the American election system. And I’ll just say this: There are two groups that created chaos more than the Russians. That’s the Democrats and the mainstream media who continued to push this lie on the American people for more than a year. And, quite frankly, America should be outraged by that.”

Really? So Gidley is now contending that Democrats and the American media are more guilty of election tampering and fraud than the Russians who have just been indicted by a Grand Jury? He is essentially accusing Democrats and journalists of being a bigger enemy than Russia, and of criminality on a scale that exceeds actual spies from a hostile foreign nation. And the twerps on Fox and Friends just sat there and nodded in agreement. The whole bunch of them are so determined to exonerate their beloved Orange Messiah that they are willing to make scurrilous accusations of treason. It’s an attack on both democracy and the free press. And it’s another new low for the Trump White House.

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


Trump-Fluffing Fox News Pundit Calls Russian Indictments ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle Kind of Stuff’

In the hours following special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest set of indictments, there has been flurry of frantic activity over at Fox News. The desperation of Donald Trump’s phalanx of sycophants rushing to his defense is thick enough to slice with a scimitar. When they aren’t celebrating Trump’s imaginary vindication, they are insisting that the charges are meaningless. To these bipolar shills Mueller has either produced a profound success or a pitiful failure. Or, of course, it was all Obama’s fault.

Fox News Schlapp

Case in point: On Special Report, the afternoon Fox program that is cited as its flagship “news” hour, they hosted a hard-boiled Trump supporter who demonstrated the absurdity of wingnut media. Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union and is married to Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications. In a fit of pique that threatened to burst a blood vessel, Schlapp offered a unique simile to illustrate his opinion of the Mueller indictments (video below):

“This is rather absurd. This is like Rocky and Bullwinkle kind of stuff. When I think of Russian collusion in our elections I am offended. I think it’s repulsive. Is this what it was? It was thirteen guys having some rallies?”

Boris and Natasha must be laughing their cartoon asses off. Schlapp’s attempt to trivialize these charges is an anguished plea for help. His first blatant cognitive lapse was to mistake that the thirteen indictments means there were only thirteen participants in the Russian operation. Rest assured that the White House, despite their outer dismissals, is not amused. These are serious violations of the law and they imply further legal jeopardy for the President and his crime family.

But never mind that. Reality is fungible to the goons who make up the Trump Defense League. This outburst by Schlapp is typical of the imprimatur that Fox News wants so badly to stamp on this affair. That’s why he goes unchallenged by guest host Mike Emanuel. Schlapp’s main point that the whole Russian espionage campaign was a silly plot devised by a small band of losers is a lie that is explicitly addressed in the indictment which states that hundreds of people were involved with an annual budget of millions of dollars:

“The ORGANIZATION employed hundreds of individuals for its online operations, ranging from creators of fictitious personas to technical and administrative support. The ORGANIZATION’s annual budget totaled the equivalent of millions of U.S. dollars.”

No one on Fox News corrected this material falsehood. Which explains why Fox News viewers are so clueless about the facts of pretty much any topic that is covered by Fox. The network deliberately misinforms their audience and leaves them to wallow in ignorance.

Schlapp continued with his disinformation rant by shifting the blame to the right’s favorite black president/villain saying that “Obama should have stopped it.” And he concluded by saying that undermining the foundation of our nation’s democracy “is not worth a year of the country’s time,” and that the charges are “ridiculous and not true.” He is so adamant in his arguments that you have to wonder if he is now serving as the defense counsel for the indicted Russians?

If so, Schlapp would have to take a backseat to Trump, who has been litigating the innocence of Putin’s spies for more than a year now. However, these indictments prove that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was not, as Trump whines, a hoax, or a witch hunt, or fake news. It is a cyberwar, and any complicity on the part of any American is treason.

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


Full video of the segment from Fox News can be seen here.


Trump’s GOP Chair on Mueller’s Indictments Against Russia: It’s Obama’s Fault (No, Really)

The Office of the Special Counsel announced today that thirteen Russians have been indicted for crimes related to interference with elections in the United States. This is part of Robert Mueller’s investigation that has already produced indictments against Donald Trump associates Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos (the latter two having pleaded guilty). This is a significant development that further exposes the unsavory connections between Russia and Trump.

Obama Trump Tweet

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Republicans leaped out in front of the story to accuse the real culprit in this affair: President Obama. That’s right, despite there being no mention of the former president or his activities in the indictments, the GOP wants to make sure that the American people will nevertheless hold him accountable. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee, told Fox news (of course) this shortly after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the announcement:

That is perhaps one of the most ludicrous diversions from reality that the loony-right has made – well, this hour. There’s much more looniness to come. But for the record, it was the Obama Justice Department and FBI that led the investigations into the Russian activities and supplied most of the evidence that Rosenstein cited in his indictment. There is an argument to made that these affairs should have been made public sooner, but the Obama administration maintained an abundance of caution so as not to influence the election themselves. That’s a worthy topic for debate. However, what is not debatable is Trump’s response to the indictments:

The fact that Russia began these operations before Trump’s candidacy only affirms that they have long been a hostile foreign entity who ought not to have been embraced as partners by the Trump campaign. Trump’s claim that the results of the election were not impacted is plainly false. All that Rosenstein said about that is there is no such allegation in this set of indictments. That’s not the same as saying it didn’t occur. It’s possible, even likely, that more indictments are still being prepared. Nevertheless, Trump reiterated his misreading of the indictments in an official statement saying that:

The President “is glad to see the Special Counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.”

Again, that is not what the indictments said. Particularly with regard to collusion. The indictments repeatedly refer to “the defendants and co-conspirators.” The co-conspirators are not identified at this time, but there are numerous references to contacts made by the Russian defendants and people in the Trump campaign. Contrary to the spin by Trump and Fox News, Bloomberg reports that “Mueller Still Investigating Possible Collusion, Source Says.” Trump is desperate to dismiss the apparent complicity of his campaign and thinks that simply saying it isn’t so will be enough to persuade his Deplorable base. And the GOP is similarly determined to advance that lie. Kayleigh McEnany, the RNC spokesperson tweeted that:

She must not recall that the election was on November eighth. And if it’s her contention that the Russian interference was directed against Trump rather than for him, she should read the indictment that says:

“Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (‘Trump Campaign’) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”

Finally, State-Run TV (aka Fox News) was playing its part in the Trump propaganda offensive. The RNC’s McEnany rushed over to the Fox studios to spew the party line in the minutes following Rosenstein’s announcement. Her frantic spin was that “Today marks the day that the Democrats’ Russia collusion conspiracy theory unraveled,” and that “Democrats deceived this country and they were caught today.” Seriously, that was the official GOP take on the news that Russia had interfered with the election of Donald Trump – a contention that he has repeatedly said was a hoax.

Now that Trump is apparently conceding that there was interference by the Russians, will he correct his previous denials and apologize? Will he finally implement the sanctions that Congress voted for overwhelmingly? Or will he continue shield his pal Vladimir Putin from any consequences for having tried to destabilize America’s democracy. It’s notable that his response to these new indictments is focused solely on how they affect him. He cries, falsely, that there is no collusion. But he doesn’t once acknowledge the harrowing allegations that Russia was meddling in our election in order to destabilize our democracy. Isn’t he, by oath, supposed to be protecting and defending the Constitution, not himself?

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

In summary, according to Trump and the GOP, the Russians worked against Trump. The indictments prove that there was no impact on the election and that there was no collusion on Trump’s part. And that it was all Obama’s fault anyway. The lesson that America truly needs to learn from all of this is to “Just say ‘No’ to drugs.” And let’s hope these Republican junkies get the help they so obviously need. Because if they aren’t high, then they have much more serious mental problems.

UPDATE: Sean Hannity boards the “It’s Obama’s fault” train. I’m shocked!


Fox News Host Tells LeBron James to ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ in Vile, Racist Rant

Laura Ingraham has long been a vocal opponent of the First Amendment, particularly as it applies to entertainers and other creative or famous people. Fifteen years ago she wrote the book Shut Up and Sing purporting to reveal “How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the Media are Subverting America.” In reality it was an extended diatribe against the free expression rights of anyone with whom she disagrees. It was a transparent attempt to silence some of the most effective and passionate communicators our society produces. And it is no coincidence that these complaints from Ingraham and other right-wingers is only directed at liberals. They frequently, and hypocritically, embrace conservative “celebrities” like Scott Baio, Ted Nugent, and ballplayer Tim Tebow.

Fox News Laura Ingraham

On Thursday Ingraham expanded the scope of her anti-speech mission to include blatant racism. On her primetime Fox News program she ventured into a loopy tirade that attacked basketball greats LeBron James and Kevin Durant (video below). The spittle inflected rant displayed her overt racism and disrespect for important voices of successful contributors to American society and culture.

The segment featured badly edited clips from an interview of James and Durant by Cari Champion. Ingraham began the piece with a demeaning tone by misrepresenting the interview as an ESPN podcast. In fact, it was produced by James’ own media company, Uninterrupted. It was not on ESPN, and it was not a podcast. Following those journalistic failures, Ingraham continued with her trademarked assault on personalities who dare to speak out. Ironically, the part of the video she highlighted (which is well worth watching in full) was actually talking about the responsibility of role models in politics, entertainment, and sports. The featured exchange began with Champion asking “How do you describe the climate for an athlete with a platform nowadays that wants to talk about what’s happening in our world?”

What surely rattled Ingraham was the part of James’ response that portrayed Donald Trump as “someone who doesn’t understand the people and really don’t give a f*ck about the people.” That’s a characterization that perfectly fits this president, and he proves it every day. He is a narcissist who was born into wealth and spent a lifetime avoiding and insulting the “little people” for whom he had nothing but disdain. His background of exploitation and prejudice is well documented.

Nevertheless, Ingraham lashed out against James and Durant with ugly slurs intended to belittle them. She described them as “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical.” James discussed Trump’s racism noting that it was predictable to the point of being laughable. But he also agreed that it was “frightening” and that people shouldn’t become “numb” to it. Whereupon Ingraham mocked James with a Valley Girl “like” expression and asked “Must they run their mouths like that?”

Yes, they must. Especially because of people like Ingraham whose ignorance and bigotry actually affirms the criticisms that James and Durant put forward. She couldn’t possibly be a better example of the bias that permeates society at large and Fox News in particular. And her summation at the end of her screed closed the case on her contemptuousness:

“This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh and LeBron, Kevin, you’re great players but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

First of all, James graduated from high school. And his decision to join the NBA after that resulted in a remarkably successful career in sports and business. You have to wonder, has Ingraham ever criticized Bill Gates for dropping out of college? Secondly, James gets paid for winning. He gets paid for mastering both the physical and strategic aspects of a complex athletic enterprise. Ingraham is ignorantly diminishing the achievements of someone who has become a historic figure in his field.

Finally, if Ingraham wants to tout the millions of votes Trump got, she might also mention that Hillary Clinton got millions more. And also that he holds the distinct dishonor of having the lowest approval rating of any president on record. There’s good evidence that James knows more about the lives of average Americans than Trump ever will. And Ingraham’s repulsive and oppressive demand that he “shut up” is nothing more than a plantation master’s approach to uppity lessers who don’t know their place.

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

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Warning Signs: Is Donald Trump the Next Mass Murderer? (See Something, Say Something)

It is unbelievable that it’s become so redundant and tedious to respond to yet another senseless massacre of children. But that’s where we are now in America. There have been eighteen school shootings so far this year, and it’s only February. And what have our “leaders” done about? Well Republicans have taken millions of dollars from the NRA and passed, with Donald Trump’s signature, a bill making it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns.

Donald Trump AR-15

There are actually ways to prevent these killings, but they are being actively suppressed by right-wing politicians and organizations. They say that after heinous shootings it is “not the right time” to discuss taking deadly weapons of war out of the hands of dangerous miscreants. But apparently, it is always time to offer “thoughts and prayers” (which worked so well the last time?). The callousness of people who refuse to seek common sense solutions are escalating the body count. They insist that there is no gun problem in America, only mental health issues.

The risks imposed by psychological deviants are all too real. But there is more to the matter than that. These sick individuals are helped by arming them with ever more destructive methods of killing. But if conservatives, who love their guns more than they love their kids, aren’t willing to do anything about that, than let’s take a look at those who truly present a danger to our society.

The preindicators for mentally disturbed persons who could pose a risk of becoming the next mass murderer are well documented. And, frighteningly, they are all observable in our president, Donald Trump. We have been told by law enforcement authorities that when we “see something, say something.” So in the spirit of community service it is critical that we take note of these warning signs:

Donald Trump:

  • Has amassed a lethal cache of deadly weapons. And he he’s seeking to expand it even more in his current budget proposal.
  • Has spoken casually of committing grievous crimes of mass violence and the use of nuclear arms: “If we have them, why can’t we use them?”
  • Has posted violent images attacking Hillary Clinton, the media and more on social media.
  • Is filled with resentment toward perceived enemies and yearns for revenge.
  • Incites violence among his followers and even offers to pay their legal fees.
  • Displays a near constant, uncontrollable rage.
  • Feels isolated and threatened by a world that he thinks is out to get him.
  • Has delusions of grandeur and imagined respect.
  • Associates with unsavory characters who share his flaws (i.e. Vladimir Putin, Rob Porter, Bill O’Reilly).
  • Dreams of vindication and making his persecutors sorry.

Allowing someone with these troubling psychological deviancies to remain in a position of power is asking for trouble. Trump tells us almost everyday that he is seething with animosity that could boil over into hostility. And the more he feels pressured and under attack, the more likely he is to explode into a tantrum of hatred and vengeance. That’s especially dangerous since he currently has the worst approval ratings of any president on record. Add to that the fact that is being investigated for serious and impeachable crimes. If ever there was someone who might be viewed as a threat to society, it is Donald Trump. And now that we’ve seen this, it would be irresponsible and potentially catastrophic not to do something about it. #Impeach #25thAmendment

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


Fox News Mainstreams Racism By Headlining Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Smear of Sen. Warren

The White House has now been struggling with their atrocious handling of Rob Porter, the wife-beating aide to Donald Trump, for eight days. By repeatedly putting out lies and contradictory accounts they have assured that it gets more coverage than if they had simply told the ugly truth. And Trump’s stubborn refusal to show any concern for the victims of domestic violence only makes matters worse, even though it’s exactly what we expect from the serial Sexual-Predator-in-Chief.

To be sure, the story is important. It involves a deviant figure at the highest levels of government. One who hasn’t been able to obtain the necessary clearances for access to the classified information that is part of the job. He therefore poses a significant risk to national security, in addition to being disgusting thug.

So what is Fox News to do under these circumstances? Their mission being to glorify and defend the President at all costs is hitting a massive obstacle. They tried ignoring the story through much of their broadcast day, and especially on their primetime programs. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham have downplayed the Porter scandal from the start. And when they did bring up it up, it was only to try to protect Trump with embarrassing excuses and awkward praise.

That leaves only one other tactic to get Porter, and Trump’s association with sexual abuse, out of the headlines: Distractions. Consequently, if you visited the Fox News website Wednesday morning you would have found a peculiar story in the top spot that was hardly the most newsworthy item of the day.

Fox News Trump Warren

Sen. Elisabeth Warren gave a speech to the National Congress of American Indians. It was a lovely speech, although a fairly typical appearance by a senator during an election year. She talked about her family history, told the moving story of the real Pocahontas, and promised to be a voice for Native Americans in Washington. And she even took a swing at Trump saying that…

“Now we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke.”

That was a reference to Trump’s disrespectful treatment of Native American war heroes at a ceremony meant to honor them. But her speech overall was by no means the sort of earth-shattering affair that would make it newsworthy enough to feature as the lead story. So Fox News dressed it up in the racism that has become integral to the Trump era Republican Party. The image that Fox News chose to run with the story revives Trump’s derogatory and juvenile use of the “Pocahontas” nickname he has attached to Warren.

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

Ignoring the demands of the Native American community to cease exploiting and insulting them, Trump and Fox continue to do so. It is a deliberate attempt to sow division and hatred and the disunity that is emblematic of the GOP. They rely on this sort of bigotry to inflame their base and to tear at the seams of the diversity that makes the country strong. And in this case, they are also cynically using it to shift attention from yet another Trump scandal that they can’t plausibly or morally defend.


Fox News is SHOCKED that President Obama Knew What Was Going On During His Presidency

Republicans are flailing furiously as they try to avoid sinking further into the depths of Donald Trump’s presidential sewer. The controversy over the now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s domestic violence continues to simmer as Trump’s excuses and explanations keep changing. And Trump’s legislative incompetence is preventing a popular resolution to the immigration debate from progressing.

Fox News Obama Hannity

Meanwhile, over at Fox News there is a budding pseudo-scandal involving an email that President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, sent to herself last year. The email was essentially a documentation of her notes after an Oval Office meeting. There is nothing remotely controversial about the email (which Rachel Maddow breaks down brilliantly here), but that doesn’t stop Fox News from trying to whip up outrage in their easily excitable and dimwitted viewers.

The most hair raising excerpt that the Fox folks could find is a single sentence that says merely that Obama “reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.” Grab the smellin’ salts, Bertha. That darky Kenyan tried to do some stuff the way it’s ‘sposed to be done!

Throughout the day Fox News hammered on this irrelevancy as if they had just resolved O.J. Simpson’s search for the “real” killers. And by the evening Sean Hannity was primed and rarin’ to go with his own hyperbolic distortions of reality. His ranting was on the order of Alex Jones-style conspiracy freak-outs. But that’s become so common it hardly needs mentioning. What stood out were the comments of one of his trio of ultra-rightist guests (video below). After offering his own interpretation of the Rice email as “CYA” (cover your ass), Hannity asked GOP Florida Attorney General (and enthusiastic Trump-fluffer), Pam Bondi for her interpretation. Bondi replied that:

“Of course that’s what it is. And to say that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, didn’t know what was going on is ludicrous.

Well, thank you very much. That was generous of Bondi to concede that the former president was well informed and competent. It is certainly ludicrous to suggest that Obama was ever negligent or inattentive in his duties. That’s such a stark contrast from what most Americans think about the current president. Even Republicans have been adamant that Trump doesn’t know what the heck is going on at any point in time.

For instance, they insist that he knew nothing about the Porter affair. He didn’t know that the anti-Muslim videos he retweeted were fake. He didn’t know that Nazis were marching in Charlottesville. He didn’t know that his son was meeting with Russians. He didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to tell Russian diplomats secrets he learned from Israeli intelligence. He didn’t know how hard it would be to be president. And on and on.

Given Trump’s obvious ignorance on so many issues critical to governing, it’s nice to see that someone appreciates that Obama knew what was going on. And for that opinion to make it to the air on Hannity’s program is downright startling. Unless I’m missing something. You don’t think I’ve misinterpreted Bondi’s meaning, do you?

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


Trump Aide Huckabee-Sanders Accuses the Press Corps of ‘Leaking Out Classified Information’

The daily White House press briefing has become a predictably contentious affair during the presidency of Donald Trump. His press secretaries, first Sean Spice and now Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, operate more like defense attorneys for Trump than public servants. And the briefing held on Monday affirmed that twisted perversion of the relationship between the White House and the people.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

Not surprisingly, much of the briefing focused on the weekend’s disturbing news regarding Trump’s staff secretary, Rob Porter, who was fired (or resigned depending on which story you believe) due to reports of his having assaulted his former wives. Trump’s only public comments on the matter were to offer praise for Porter and best wishes for his future. Trump shockingly expressed his sympathy for how sad it was for Porter, without mentioning the suffering of the victims.

Sanders was asked by several reporters about why Trump would not personally address the plight of the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She could not offer an explanation for his deafening silence except to say that the President “supports the victims of any type of domestic violence, but the President also supports due process. And I don’t have anything else further to add beyond that.” When asked why he couldn’t just say that himself she said that he told her and that she’s telling the media, and that that was the end of the story.

Later, Sanders was asked if Trump still wishes Porter well, and hopes that he has a great career ahead. Her painfully tone deaf response was that “the President wants success for all Americans, and that he was elected to serve all Americans, and he hopes for the best for all American citizens across the country.” And apparently that goes for wife-beaters and other criminals as well. Good to know.

Addressing another angle of the Porter affair, NBC’s White House correspondent, Kristen Welker, sought to sail down some inconsistencies in the White House’s explanations for the lack of security clearances by top Trump officials. She engaged Sanders in the following exchange (video below):

Welker: Why are high-level aides allowed to work with classified information without a permanent security clearance?
Sanders: That’s a question that the FBI and other intelligence communities — they make that determination. That’s not something that’s decided by the White House.
Welker: Can you guarantee that you are protecting classified information given that you have someone like Rob Porter who didn’t have a permanent security clearance to access classified information?
Sanders: I think we’re doing and taking every step we can to protect classified information. I mean, frankly, if you guys have such concern with classified information, there’s plenty of it that’s leaked out of the Hill, that’s leaked out of other communities well beyond the White House walls. If you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room. You guys are the ones that publish classified information and put national security at risk that doesn’t come from this White House.

First of all, it is absolutely not the determination of the FBI whether the White House provides access to classified information to people without proper security credentials. That decision was made solely by the President. But more troubling is the way that Sanders deflected her answer to level scurrilous allegations at the press. The problem with unsecured persons receiving classified information isn’t just that they might leak it to the media. It’s that they might leak it to other unsecured persons, or even hostile foreign operatives. In addition, they could be subject to blackmail and present a serious national security risk.

But Sanders avoided all of that in favor of insulting the press. She had absolutely no evidence of anyone in the White House press corps leaking classified information. But she leveled that accusation as if it were a verified fact. What’s more, the press cannot leak anything at all. They can only report information that is leaked to them. They can be the recipients of leaks, not the originators. And the originators, contrary to what Sanders said, are in the White House.

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The utterly irresponsible accusations by Sanders were unsupported by any proof of wrongdoing by reporters. And if she has “real concerns about leaking out classified information,” she should look to her colleagues in the administration. They are the ones who provide information to the press, and reporters are just doing their jobs when they inform the public. Sadly, that is often the only to get information to the people in this administration. Trump and company have been notoriously determined to keep deep, dark secrets like tax returns, financial backers, and clandestine meetings with Russians.