Watch Breitbart Editor Defend Roy Moore’s Sexual Encounters With Teenage Girls (Hannity Too)

Alabama’s Republican candidate for the senate, Roy Moore, has been accused of criminal sexual contact with multiple teenage girls. The youngest of them was only fourteen years old when Moore was a thirty-two year old assistant district attorney. These allegations are serious and profoundly disturbing. And while Moore is denying the charges, some of his GOP colleagues are already calling for him to drop out of the race. They include John McCain and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Breitbart Joel Pollak

Among those not seeking Moore’s withdrawal is Joel Pollak, senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart News. Pollak was interviewed by Ali Velshi on MSNBC and had some startling defenses of Moore’s aberrant behavior (video below). Pollak began by falsely claiming that the story in the Washington Post wasn’t accurate:

Pollak: You said yourself at the start of the segment that he’s being accused of relationships with teenagers. Now to me that’s not accurate. In fact it’s following in the narrative that the Post tried to set up.
Velshi: It is teenagers. It’s a fourteen year old, a sixteen year old, and two eighteen year olds. They’re teenagers.
Pollak: The sixteen year old and the eighteen year old have no business in that story because those are women of legal age of consent. […] There’s only been one relationship – that’s been alleged – that’s problematic.

What Pollak is asserting is that only the relationship with the fourteen year old is of concern. Therefore, he doesn’t think that a thirty-two year old public servant engaging in sexual conduct with sixteen year olds is any problem at all. That’s a position that most decent people will disagree with. Even if the age of consent in Alabama is sixteen, it doesn’t excuse Moore’s behavior. He’s still a much older man with the experience and power to dominate a girl that much younger. Anthony Weiner is jail right now just for texting a teenager.

Pollak’s knee-jerk defense of Moore is not surprising coming from Breitbart News. The website has been supporting Moore since the earliest days of his campaign. In addition to Pollak, Sean Hannity of Fox News has also come to Moore’s defense. He dismissed the charges as a mere “he said, she said” situation. Never mind that the Post cited dozens of sources.

The allegations against Moore also reveal something troubling about the Republican Party. They are quick to condemn liberals or Hollywood or Democrats for similar behavior. But when it comes to their own, Republicans and right-wing media circle the wagons. That’s why they can continue to back someone like Moore. And it also explains their continued support for Donald Trump, whose history of sexual harassment and abuse is well documented.

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

Fox News Whines Pitifully: Isn’t Country Music Supposed To Be Conservative?

Wednesday night saw the return of The annual Country Music Awards. It was a star-studded affair that featured the best and brightest of the genre. The program was a huge success in the ratings, topping the primetime lineup for the evening and hitting a three year high.

Fox News CMA

One of the highlights of the program was a duet between Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Their rendition of “Before He Tweets” was a lighthearted mockery of Donald Trump and his fetish with Twitter (video below).

So guess what? The “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends were bitterly distraught at the prospect of having lost country music to the evil liberals and anti-Trump media. They lamented over the unspeakable act of disrespectfully taunting their Dear Leader with a comical farce. The whine-fest began with a plaintive moan from co-host Steve Doocy:

“Remember the olden days when football wasn’t political, and so many things weren’t political? Well now, as it turns out, the CMAs have gotten very political.”

Brian Kilmeade made the painful observation that maybe “new country is a lot less conservative than old country.” And Ainsley Earhardt wondered “Where’s Dolly? Where’s Garth Brooks? They don’t get political.” Then she added wistfully “Really? It’s hitting country music now? Isn’t country music supposed to be conservative?”

These pop culture authorities apparently think that musical genres have a God-given political affiliation. Any divergence from that is sacrilege. And just the thought of it sends them into nostalgic yearnings for a bygone era that only existed in their imaginations. Don’t these new country heathens know that right-wingers own their musical biases? Hell, if they’re gonna act like liberals they should just go to MTV and play the Devil’s rock music.

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

Bill O’Reilly Has Totally Lost His Feeble Mind with this ‘Price of Freedom’ Rant on Guns

Being a notorious sexual predator who has paid out tens of millions of dollars to victimized women is taking its toll on Bill O’Reilly. Now that he’s sequestered to his chintzy weblog since Fox News fired him, O’Reilly is exhibiting signs of acute mental distress. Among other humiliations, he has been making guest appearances on Sean Hannity’s radio show despite having hated him when they were Fox News colleagues.

Bill Reilly

On Tuesday O’Reilly posted a mini-rant on Twitter (video below) to complain about criticism he received for his remarks on gun regulations. Following the Las Vegas massacre, O’Reilly wrote on his website that:

“This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.”

Gee. Why would anyone criticize that? O’Reilly is just quoting from the Constitution’s “Even the Loons” clause of the Second Amendment. Never mind that he is expressing a perverse comfort with potentially violent miscreants obtaining guns at will without any public safety oversight. Even worse, he is justifying the carnage as an acceptable consequence of making sure that every American has unfettered access to assemble a personal armory. And so O’Reilly takes to Twitter to double down on his lunacy, posting this belligerent response to his critics:

“The last time the Vegas thing happened I said this is the price we pay. This is the price of freedom. And all the left – ‘Oh O’Reilly, arrgh – [blubbering sounds].’ Look you pinheads, our freedom dictates that police cannot intervene unless a crime is committed.”

So O’Reilly is cool with dozens of people being slaughtered at a country music concert so long as psychopaths can still buy AR-15s. Then he asserts that “everybody knew this guy was bad news.” He was referring to the shooters in both Las Vegas and Texas. He went on to say that the price of freedom demands that the rights of people like these to buy guns supersedes the rights of the rest of us to live. And while he notes that there is an exception for people with felonies, he apparently forgot that the Texas shooter’s criminal record had not been properly recorded. But here is where O’Reilly slipped off the rails:

“In the Reagan years there was a downgrading in getting people institutionalized. So it used to be a lot easier, in this country, to put people who are misbehaving, or behaving in an aberrant way, under observation and to take them off the street. But then the ACLU stepped in, the civil liberties people, and ‘Ah, no no no.’ So now you’ve got people walking all over the place and the authorities can’t do anything. [Raising his voice} The Price of Freedom!”

First of all, there was no “downgrading” of criteria to institutionalize someone in the Reagan years. What Reagan did was to close institutions in order to cut his budget as governor of California. That meant that thousands of people who were previously being treated for mental illness – voluntarily in many cases – were put on the streets. It was a budgetary decision, not a medical one.

Secondly, WTF is he talking about? He starts off reminiscing about the good old days when it was easier to lock up people for psychological reasons. He even takes a swipe at the ACLU for protecting the rights of the mentally impaired. And he bitches about all the free-roaming nutcases who can’t be involuntarily incarcerated. Apparently, freedom doesn’t mean that people with mental problems should be allowed to actually be free. However, he then reasserts his premise that freedom does mean they should all be able to arm themselves to the teeth.

If O’Reilly got his way, and the “authorities” were allowed to pick up “people who are misbehaving,” O’Reilly would have to be at the top of the list. Anyone with his decades long history of sexually harassing and assaulting women ought not to be “walking all over the place.” And his clear inability to articulate a coherent thought makes his case all the more troubling. He’s obviously a very sick man, in more ways than one. And in the final analysis, his “price of freedom” was $32 million (and more) paid to silence his victims.

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

ObamaCare Signups Breaking Records Despite Trump’s Sabotage and Declaring it Dead

Last month Donald Trump gave a definitive assessment of what he considered the status of ObamaCare. “ObamaCare is finished,” he began. “It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer – You shouldn’t even mention it, it’s gone. There is no such thing as ObamaCare anymore.” Never mind that he sounded like the Monty Python sketch about the deceased parrot. In this case, the departed bird is actually showing signs of life.

Obama Trump Tweet

In fact, the number of people signing up for the Affordable Care Act this year is exceeding all records. It’s still the first week of open enrollment, but this surge is an unmistakably positive sign. As reported in The Hill:

“The surge in sign-ups, which was confirmed by an administration official, comes despite fears from Democrats that enrollment would fall off due to the Trump administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.

“On the first day of enrollment alone, Nov. 1, one source close to the process told The Hill that more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to about 750,000 last year, the source said.”

In one respect these numbers should not be all that surprising. The polls show that ObamaCare has an overwhelmingly positive approval rating. When asked if Trump should make the ACA work seventy-one percent said that he should. That includes a plurality (48%) of Republicans.

Which makes it all the more puzzling that Trump and the GOP are trying so hard to kill the program. They attempted three separate votes to do so, and all failed. So Trump took it upon himself to try to sabotage the healthcare plan. Among the steps he took to deliberately destroy a popular policy:

  • Trump pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season.
  • Trump attempted to bribe health insurers to support his bill to kill ObamaCare.
  • Trump misdirected funds intended to encourage enrollment into a public relations plan aimed at strangling it.
  • Trump stopped paying the cost-sharing reduction [CSR] payments that subsidize many individual policies.

The resiliency of ObamaCare demonstrates the enduring appreciation the American people have for its benefits. They continue to support it, and even to expand it. That’s why the movement to implement a universal Medicare-for-all plan continues to pick up steam. At the same time, Trump’s cynical and destructive efforts to kill ObamaCare will continue to fail. The people recognize it as a hostile assault on their interests and welfare. And it’s one of the primary reasons he is suffering with such historically low approval ratings.

Open enrollment began on November 1, and it continues until December 15 (some states have extended that date. Be sure to enroll or renew within those dates. And since the Trump administration has slashed promotional efforts to inform people, please pass this information on to everyone you know.

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

Here is Trump being an asshole:

Trump Said Shooting Was a Mental Health Problem, But Signed Bill Easing Their Access to Guns

Once again Donald Trump and every Republican NRA shill in America is serving up their “thoughts and prayers.” Meanwhile, the families and victims of another gun slaughter are suffering for the abject negligence of a cowardly Congress. The shooting in a Sutherland Springs, TX, church is just the latest episode of senseless violence that is turning the country into a war zone. But the absence of affirmative solutions isn’t the worst part of the right-wing response. They are proactively enabling the almost certain continuation of these tragedies. And it starts at the top with Trump himself.

Donald Trump

The President’s first remarks on the Texas massacre were given just hours after it occurred from his junket in Japan. As usual, he couldn’t help politicizing the subject. Absolving his friends in the gun lobby of any responsibility, Trump speculated on the cause despite having no facts. “This isn’t a guns situation,” he reckoned. “This is a mental health problem.”

With regard to the latter half of his comment, it’s unarguable that mental health played a role in this shooting. In fact, it plays a role in every mass shooting. None of these incidents can be described as normal psychological behavior. So Trump is telling us nothing by stating the obvious. However, the first part of his comment completely ignores reality. These tragedies are only exacerbated by the easy access to such dangerous assault-type weapons.

The Republican Party marches in lock step with the NRA to preserve access to virtually all weaponry. They oppose regulating cop-killer bullets, military firearms, and “smart” guns. They are even blocking regulation of the “bump stock” accessories that modify conventional weapons into fully automatic ones. That was what the Las Vegas gunman used to kill fifty-eight people just last month.

But the GOP position on mental health is no better. They are currently proposing cuts to mental health programs in their budget and tax bills, More to the point, they are determined to protect the rights of violent offenders, domestic abusers, and other unstable miscreants to own whatever guns they want. Donald Trump even signed a bill in February for that precise purpose. As reported by NBC News at the time:

“President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun. […] President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead. The measure sought to block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.”

Early reports suggest that the law Trump revoked was just the sort of regulation that might have kept the Texas shooter from obtaining his guns. He was discharged from the Air Force for “bad conduct.” Specifically, he was found to have assaulted his wife and child. Not coincidentally, domestic abuse has been found to be a consistent and accurate predictor of mass shooting perpetrators. Samantha Bee happened to do a segment on this subject last week. It should be required viewing for every member of Congress and law enforcement:

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

Trump Flunky Kellyanne Conway Spends 20 Minutes Dodging Questions and Bashing Hillary Clinton

On Sunday morning’s broadcast of CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter welcomed Donald Trump’s most fact-averse spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway. She may be best remembered for coining the colorfully deceptive phrase “alternative facts.” Otherwise known as lies.

CNN Brian Stelter Kellyanne Conway

Conway’s interview (video below) was twenty minutes of unparalleled evasion and blatant propaganda. Sporting a plastered on simulated smile, she dutifully misrepresented the truth. And all the while injecting rancorous venom into the usual victims of her wrath. The segment began with a timely question concerning Donald Trump’s abysmal public image:

Stelter: Given President Trump’s historically low approval ratings, what specific steps are you and your colleagues taking to try to repair Trump’s credibility?
Conway: Well Brian, I think that’s the usual hyperbolic opening to one of the CNN segments. But let me tell you about the numbers that matter to Americans.

Whereupon Conway rattled off statistics about jobs and the stock market that Trump had absolutely nothing to do with. Congress has not passed, nor has he signed, a single bill related to the economy. The country is still operating on President Obama’s last budget. Stelter noted that morsel of reality saying that “The American people are not giving him credit for the economic boom according to all of the polls.” Conway’s glassy-eyed response: “Yes they are.” Is she on drugs? After that delusional comment she drifted off into some robotic criticisms of CNN. The fact that she cannot acknowledge that Trump has set new records for disapproval is typical of the tunnel-blindness of the administration.

This exchange continued with more questions from Stelter that Conway refused to answer. Each reply clumsily stumbled off to unrelated issues, most of which involved the GOP’s favorite fetish, Hillary Clinton. Conway employed the Clinton dodge repeatedly citing last year’s election and even reviving Benghazi. On the infamous Trump Dossier, Stelter interrupted Conway to admonish her for dismissing it as “completely unverified.” “Parts of it have been verified,” he corrected her. “That is misinformation you’re spreading on my program and I don’t appreciate it.”

Stelter also called Conway out on her obvious evasionary tactics saying that “I think viewers see what you’re doing – pivoting. When I say Russia, you say Clinton. It’s part of the strategy” She disputed that, then went straight back to bashing Clinton. And when she wasn’t bashing Clinton, she was bashing CNN. She made CNN the subject of debate throughout the interview, but Stelter wasn’t laying down for it. When she went directly at the unsupported charge of political bias, Stelter made the perfect response:

Conway: Brian, why not just say “Look. It’s in our commercial interest at CNN to be anti-Trump. We’re profitable if we’re against the President. Most of our viewers are against the President.” Just own it. Don’t you think that would be more credible for CNN?
Stelter: I understand that you don’t want an adversarial media. You just want everybody to be like Fox News.
Conway: No, that’s not true. Stop being so jealous of Fox News, Brian, and their ratings.

Now ratings are suddenly important again? When it had to do with Trump’s pitiful numbers, they were totally irrelevant. More to the point, Conway didn’t dispute that Fox News is a non-adversarial, pro-Trump, state-run network. She simply bragged about their status in the television market (which is losing ground to MSNBC). This interview was only useful as a lesson in how to badly evade a reporter’s questions. Conway’s failing grades on style were matched by her lack of substance. It’s no wonder that she rarely appears anywhere but on Fox News. And CNN would be justified in barring her from future appearances on the grounds that she only disseminates useless, self-serving bullshit.

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

Frightened Fox News Pulls ‘Impeach Trump’ Ad After Trump and Viewers Complain

The cable news network that once promised to be “fair and balanced” has demonstrated again that it was never either. Which may be why they ditched that slogan earlier this year. Friday it was revealed that Fox News breached a contract with billionaire activist Tom Steyer to air a commercial advocating the “Need to Impeach” Donald Trump. Steyer had bought airtime on Fox News and the ad did air at least once on Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump Impeach

However, since then Fox News decided to yank the ad despite the fact that the time had already been paid for. They didn’t give Steyer any reason for breaching their contract. They didn’t even tell him they had done so. When Fox News was asked to explain why they pulled they ads they gave a surprisingly inappropriate response:

Jack Abernethy, Fox News co-president: Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money.

If that’s true, it is an extraordinary development. It may be the first time that a television network made a programming decision for advertisements based on viewer response. Maybe the TV audience could speak up and get those disgusting cartoon bears that are obsessed with which toilet paper they wipe their cartoon butts with off the air.

More likely, Fox News axed these ads because the content was contrary to their political biases. The propaganda ministry at the network just could not abide an advertisement that made a strong case for removing Trump from office. Add to that the fact that Trump himself had registered his own complaint via Twitter saying:

Steyer appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Friday when the subject of the ad came up (video below). He told Hayes about Fox’s action and explicitly called out the network for kowtowing to Trump. Steyer also had his attorneys contact Fox News to seek answers as to why they would unilaterally terminate the contract. The letter they wrote said in part that:

“Fox News abruptly pulled the advertisement without explanation (the ‘Cancellation’). We write to protest this baseless and unethical decision. The Cancellation is not only a breach of your agreement with Mr. Steyer – it is also a profound failure of journalistic integrity, a suppression of constitutionally protected speech, and likely a consequence of inexcusable political pressure.”

There are some good reasons for networks to decline to air certain ads. For instance, if the content is provably false, or if it is deliberately harmful or libelous. Political disagreement is not among the legitimate reasons. That would be censorship. Particularly if the President had a role in the decision.

However, the reasons that Fox News would have are easier to predict. They surely would not want to expose their viewers to this sort of information. And they wouldn’t want to piss off their prime benefactor in the White House. But the excuse that they felt guilty about taking Steyer’s money is patently absurd. That sort of argument would lead to rejecting any ads from Democratic candidates. Their predominantly Republican audience wouldn’t like those either. But maybe that’s precisely the ultra-partisan, spin doctoring that Fox News is aiming for.

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

Trump’s Perverse Fetish with Prosecuting Clinton Reeks of Both Ignorance and Fascism

Much of the news cycle on Friday morning was consumed with allegations by Donna Brazile against the Democratic National Committee. Her charges that the DNC “rigged” the primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton were lustily embraced by Republicans, Fox News, and Donald Trump. The debate over her account of the events will likely go on for days. And rather than contribute to the noise, I’ll just leave this brilliant Twitter thread by Joy Reid to explain things.

Hillary Clinton

More importantly, Trump’s reaction to the news provided more evidence of his profound stupidity and his obsession to be America’s dictator. He fired off a flurry of tweets calling for the prosecution of Clinton. This is the deranged behavior of a two-bit tyrant seeking unchallenged power:


That’s a Trump lie. Actually, Brazile explicitly said that the funding arrangement “was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical.” So in fact, it’s two Trump lies. There is nothing illegal about what the DNC did, and Brazile never said there was.


Here Trump is trying to re-purpose the word “collusion” to take the heat off of himself for having colluded with Russia to illegally steal the election. No campaign finance or money laundering laws were broken by anyone but Trump. However, with this tweet he begins his obvious signals to his Justice Department minions.


Trump and his cronies at Fox News are the only ones asking about this. And here he continues waving at the DoJ.


Having provided zero evidence of any crime, Trump brings up a bunch of other crazy and debunked conspiracy theories in hopes that something will stick to the wall (that Mexico isn’t paying for).


Well, Trump is sure angry. But polls show that most other Americans support Robert Mueller’s investigation and believe that Trump committed crimes. And he’s still putting pressure on his Attorney General to prosecute something that isn’t illegal.


Now Trump is just repeating himself like the old dotard that he is. And just because he’s a infantile jackass, he throws in an insult to Bernie Sanders.


Because racist insults play so well with his idiot base, he lobs one Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And he makes another plea to persecute his former political opponent, like all good tyrants do.


In case you’re wondering what Bernie Sanders thinks of all of this, he responded with this tweet:

Trump’s comments are those of a deeply disturbed individual. Trump appears to be suffering from acute dementia mixed with a dangerous portion of Malignant Narcissism. His multiple calls for prosecution of a political opponent reek of authoritarian power madness. And his total lack of knowledge of the law only exacerbates the potential harm he is capable of.

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

What’s more, he has no sense of the ethical restraints a president has with respect to the independence of the Justice Department and law enforcement. He only thinks of himself and what he wants. He said precisely that to Laura Ingraham on Fox News Thursday night. She asked about the numerous vacancies in his administration (which portend great risks to the nation). His typically egocentric response was that it doesn’t matter because “I’m the only one that matters.” Good f**king grief.

Trump Coverage at Fox News and WSJ is ‘Embarrassing,’ ‘Bats**t Crazy’ Say Staffers

Earlier this week employees at Fox News revealed some serious concerns they have about the network they work for. Turns out even they are embarrassed by the blatantly biased, pro-Donald Trump “reporting” the network does. Speaking anonymously to CNN they were quoted as saying things like “I’m watching now and screaming. I want to quit.” And that “Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House.”

Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump

Those of us outside of Fox News noticed long ago that it is a network devoted to right-wing propaganda. And more recently it has fallen into the abyss of Trump worship. Hacks like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson defend every dishonest, ignorant, and hateful thing he says and does. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends spend four hours every morning polishing Trump’s – let’s say apples.

Now a new report from Vanity Fair shows that a similar internal revolt is in progress at the Wall Street Journal. Author Joe Pompeo interviewed current and former Journal editors and reporters who were highly critical of the paper’s staunchly pro-Trump editorial slant. Pompeo got Journal staffers to confess that:

  • “The editorial page has been doing crazy shit for a long time.”
  • “It does feel like this is a different level of crazy.”
  • “It’s like living through the Vince Foster years.”
  • “It’s frustrating to have to contend with this.”
  • “I don’t know a single WSJ alum who’s not agog at where that edit page is heading.”
  • “We could disprove half the stuff [the opinion writers] are saying if they just read our own reporting. It’s like living in some alternate universe.”

Pompeo also notes that the Journal has suffered a rash of resignations recently. Many of their top reporters left to join the competition at the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc. There is speculation that those remaining are reconsidering their own prospects for the future at the Journal.

Much of the consternation has been triggered by the Journal’s recent editorials concerning Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. In particular, some columns have been hypercritical of special counsel Robert Mueller. Pompeo summarizes the seemingly coordinated attacks saying that:

“In recent days, of course, the opinion coverage has produced controversial commentary on Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, often flying in the face of the Journal’s own news reporting. On October 23, political scientist Peter Berkowitz proclaimed that the probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign ‘threaten[s] the rule of law.’ Days later, an October 29 piece by two attorneys from the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations called on President Donald Trump to ‘immediately [issue] a blanket presidential pardon to anyone involved in supposed collusion.'” […]

[One] editorial referred to Fusion [GPS] as ‘sleazy operators’; it didn’t mention that the guys who run Fusion were previously Wall Street Journal reporters. Former high-ranking Journal editor Bill Grueskin spoke for many when he tweeted, ‘WSJ edit page has gone full bats–t.'”

So now, in the same week, stories have emerged that feature employees of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal as being ashamed of those affiliations. It cannot be ignored that both of these entities are owned by ultra-rightist media baron Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch also happens to be a close friend and advisor to Trump. They are said to be talking to each other “almost every day.” Both have much to gain from the relationship. Trump obviously benefits from the fawning attention he gets from Fox News. And Murdoch is angling for government regulatory reforms that will advance his business interests.

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

However, the troops at both organizations appear to be in the throes of revolt. Apparently there is still some measure, however minuscule, of integrity lurking in the dank halls of Rupert’s Realm. And the expressions of disgust are beginning to seep out into the open. It was put into stark terms by former Journal writer Kara Swisher, now with Recode. She empathized with the poor clods still under Murdoch’s sway saying “I feel sorry for every decent reporter at the WSJ for this claptrap from Rupert Murdoch’s ever desiccated soul.”

Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.