The Fake Fox News Story About Seth Rich Was Planted By Russia and Promoted By Hannity

Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News has just published an extensive investigative report revealing that the bogus story about the murder of the Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich, was originally planted by Russian intelligence. (Insert SHOCKED! face here). This was a completely fabricated piece of actual fake news that was prominently pushed by Fox News, and particularly Sean Hannity.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Vladimir Putin

The article by Isikoff went into stark detail about the origins of the callous claims that Rich was actually the source of hacked emails the were published by Wikileaks. Those who told and spread these lies had no compassion whatsoever for the family that was grieving the loss of a loved one. Likewise, they didn’t care that they were disseminating falsehoods created by Russian spies intended to disrupt an American presidential election. Isikoff reported that

“The conspiracy claims reached their zenith in May 2017 — the same week as Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the Russia probe — when Fox News’ website posted a sensational story claiming that an FBI forensic report had discovered evidence on Rich’s laptop that he had been in communication with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Sean Hannity, the network’s primetime star, treated the account as major news on his nightly broadcast, calling it ‘explosive’ and proclaiming it ‘might expose the single biggest fraud, lies, perpetrated on the American people by the media and the Democrats in our history.'”

“In fact, the Fox story was a ‘complete fabrication,’ said [U.S. attorney Deborah] Sines, who consulted with the FBI about the Fox News claims. There was ‘no connection between Seth and WikiLeaks. And there was no evidence on his work computer of him downloading and disseminating things from the DNC.'”

In an interview on MSNBC, Isikoff elaborated on what his investigation uncovered (video below):

“The timing is so interesting here. The week that this breaks on Fox News, in the story they later had to retract and acknowledged didn’t ‘meet their editorial standards,’ Sean Hannity is shouting it from the rooftops. What’s going on that week? It’s the week that [special counsel Robert] Mueller was appointed. It’s the week [FBI Director James] Comey was fired. It’s when the Russia story was blowing up.”

Isikoff noted that Hannity’s guest was Trump’s attorney for the Russia affair, Jay Sekulow. He had just been hired by Trump, but Hannity left that fact out of the segment. Together they were pushing the phony Rich story as a means to undercut the Russia narrative.

Fox News later issued a mushy retraction that admitted no fault. They said they would conduct an internal investigation to ascertain where they went wrong, but any findings from the alleged investigation remain undisclosed. However, Hannity never conceded any wrongdoing at all. To the contrary, he insisted that his “reporting” was accurate and would continue:

“I am not Fox.com or FoxNews.com, I retracted nothing. For those accusing me of pushing a conspiracy theory, you are the biggest phony hypocrites in the entire world. This issue, it’s so big now that the entire Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread. […] These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask, and I will do the mainstream media’s job like I have most of my career.”

True to form, Hannity never did retract his lies about Rich. But he did delete all of his tweets about Rich (you can still see them here). He is exhibiting the same dishonesty, arrogance, and stubbornness as his bestie in the White House, Donald Trump. They both will cling to the most ludicrous assertions, even after they have been proven to be utterly false. The truth plays no part in their determined propaganda crusades. And neither does patriotism, as both Hannity and Trump have now been been shown to be willing confederates (aka “useful idiots”) of covert Russian operations.

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

Trump Goes Off (His Meds) on a Crazed Anti-Media Tweet Tantrum Against – Fox News?

It must be extraordinarily difficult for the President of the United States to get through every weekend without being fawned over by his most devoted supporters and promoters: the weekday primetime hosts on Fox News (aka State TV). Donald Trump’s notoriously fragile ego needs constant stroking or it erupts in an explosion of nonsensical ravings and unbound hostility from his Twitter stronghold.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

That’s the sensitive psychological condition that Trump found himself in on Sunday night when he unleashed a torrent of tweets bursting with self pity and anger at an unfair world that wasn’t sufficiently adoring. This hissy twit included an unexpected barrage of animus aimed squarely at Trump’s media confederates at Fox News. It’s not the first time, but it’s one of the most extended and shrill. And it’s a warning to Fox that if you dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, you are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and Trump personally. It’s Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop. The substance of this tweetstorm is so profoundly disturbing that we can just let it speak for itself.

Poor Trump is suffering the brutal symptoms of withdrawal due to the lack of his weekday Trump-fluffers: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Apparently Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin aren’t sufficient to get him through these lonely weekends. But does he have to be so cruel as to call the Fox weekenders worse than CNN? That’s a low blow coming from Trump.

Deprived of his State TV babysitters, Trump whines about the brass at Comcast. He’s referring to Chairman and CEO of Comcast Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. And he apparently believes that they tell everyone on NBC what to say. That must be because that’s the way the propaganda machine at Fox News operates, so he thinks real news organizations do the same.

He also unloads on what he says was a boring Democratic primary debate. Never mind that it was the most watched Democratic debate in history and drew more viewers on the second night than the first, which is not generally an indicator that the viewers were bored. Then Trump takes an odd, leftfield swipe at the New York Times because, well, what anti-media Trump rant would be complete without it?

Next, Trump takes aim directly at Fox News again, this time accusing them of having “forgot the people who got them there!” As if the network is obligated to behave in the manner that Trump demands or it’s being disloyal. That sentiment is extended with Trump’s complaint that Fox hired Donna Brazile, a former Democratic Party official. He lies about her having given Hillary Clinton debate questions during the 2016 Democratic primary. In fact, Brazile never had any actual debate questions. She only gave Clinton a list of topics and questions that she assumed would be covered. That’s still improper for a CNN contributor who was supposed to be unaffiliated, but it isn’t the same as stealing actual questions and handing them over to a candidate. Ironically, that’s an accusation that was levelled at Fox News for tipping off Trump before a GOP debate.

Finally, Trump insults all of the dayside Fox anchors as “terrible” and takes a swing at Fox’s chief news anchor and managing editor of breaking news, Shepard Smith. Considering how often Smith debunks Trump’s lies, that isn’t surprising. Take, for instance, this brutal fact check on Trump’s lies about Russian collusion. But then he closes this manic episode by proclaiming that he knows what the Fox News audience wants and that Fox is failing in its duty to be a staunchly partisan right-wing mouthpiece by not bending obediently to the bias that Trump thinks is required of them.

It’s difficult to be certain exactly what triggered this meltdown, but it doesn’t take much to set Trump off these days. He is becoming more frightened and unstable with each new poll that shows him losing in 2020, and each new revelation of his rampant criminal activity, including the arrest of his pal Jeffrey Epstein for sex trafficking.

However, there was an entertaining bit of “news” made on Fox Sunday when reporter Greg Palkot was covering reaction to the U.S. winning the World Cup. He was live from a sports bar in Lyon, France when the crowd began chanting “F*** Trump.” Then Palkot interviewed an American patron who cheered the U.S. team’s victory and then proudly exclaimed “Now we need to win in 2020, Democrats. Get that racist out of the White House.” That’s surely something that would gnaw at Trump if he saw it. But it warms the hearts of every truly patriotic American who can’t wait for Trump to booted from office whether by losing an election or well deserved impeachment.

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

Hmm: Trump is Tweeting Way Less Since His Pal Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest for Sex Trafficking

From the start of his presidency, Donald Trump has made Twitter his preferred platform for communicating with the American people. He has often unleashed rabid tweetstorms that exceeded forty posts in a single day. The vast majority of these posts are shamelessly self-serving tributes to himself – by himself – along with messages by his devoted sycophants in Congress and on Fox News who offer unquestioning praise for Trump and vicious assaults on his critics.

Donald Trump

Trump regards Twitter as his only means of speaking directly to his Deplorable followers since the media is, in his warped mind, “the enemy of the people.” It’s a position that he frequently brings up when questioned about his oppressive Twaddiction. He even believes that criticisms of his Twitter habit are plots to silence him:

So it’s rather peculiar that Trump has been muzzling himself on Twitter lately. The frequency of his posts has significantly declined in the past few days. Here is an accounting of Trump’s Twitter feed since the beginning of July (Only posts by Trump, no retweets):

  • July 1: 14 tweets.
  • July 2: 19 tweets.
  • July 3: 14 tweets.
  • July 4: 14 tweets.
  • July 5: 6 tweets.
  • July 6: 5 tweets.
  • July 7: 6 tweets

[UPDATE: Trump posted five more times on the night of July 7. They are all curiously attacking the weekend programs on Fox News. Something is clearly rattling him. His ordinary psychoses are flashing neon red. Trump is not comfortable with anyone on Fox who isn’t a Trump-fluffing toady, and Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends are all off until Monday]

Trump’s conspicuous decline from his favorite social media raises some awkward questions. What could possibly drive him away from a medium that he has been so attached to as a critical component of his propaganda machine? Ordinarily, even bad news would result in an increase in his tweet activity as he defends himself.

Well, there was some disturbing news this weekend that might have the scrubbing power to shut him up. It concerns a longtime friend of Trump’s who has been embroiled in a stomach-turning scandal involving the sexual exploitation and assault of underage girls:

“Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. Saturday’s arrest by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida.”

Epstein’s arrest was on July 6. Trump’s Twitter output took a dive on July 5. Assuming Trump got a heads up from either his lackey in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr, or someone in Epstein’s camp, that would coincide with his reduced Twitter activity. And not because Trump is worried about the fate of his buddy. Trump himself could be implicated in the scandal. After all, his association with Epstein included an appreciation for his perverse sexcapades:

This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention to Trump’s enjoyment of his own “social life.” He has had dozens of women come forward with charges of sexual harassment and/or assault. The latest one occurring just two weeks ago. What’s more, Trump has some exposure to Epstein’s previous legal affairs. Alex Acosta is Trump’s Secretary of Labor, a department which, among other things, has jurisdiction over sex trafficking crimes. Acosta’s connection to Epstein is noteworthy:

“Epstein’s bust comes mere months after a federal judge ruled his 2007 non-prosecution agreement (NPA)—secretly inked under former U.S. Attorney and current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta—violated federal law by keeping Epstein’s victims in the dark. Under the sweetheart deal, Epstein dodged federal charges that might have sent him to prison for life.”

So Trump is pals with Epstein, an alleged sex trafficker, and he placed the corrupt U.S. Attorney, who gave Epstein a slap on the wrist, in his cabinet. Could Trump be worried about what might come out revealing his participation in Epstein’s cabal of pedophiles? Granted, this is speculation at this point. But it’s not unreasonable to suspect Trump, a known sexual predator, to be among those who engaged in unlawful activities with an alleged trafficker of underage girls. And that’s just the sort of legal jeopardy that could zip Trump’s relentlessly flapping lips shut.

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

Trump Suffers Fit of Hysterical Projection Syndrome in Desperate Attack on Joe Biden

For nearly two and a half years Donald Trump has been a walking textbook of debilitating psychoses. He has displayed symptoms of malignant narcissism, dementia, senility, paranoia, and antisocial personality disorder (aka sociopathy). He is a sexual predator and a bully who resorts to infantile behaviors when angry or afraid. And a group of psychiatric doctors and academics at Yale University deemed him “too mentally ill to serve.”

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Now a new diagnosis can be made that describes Trump’s relentless determination to accuse others of what he does himself. The surest indicator of whether Trump has committed a crime is when he blasts out charges at someone else for the same criminal activity. And when that tendency reaches absurd levels of mania, as it so often does with Trump, we can call it Hysterical Projection Syndrome. And history will record Trump as Patient Zero for this malady. He presented a perfect example of it on Saturday morning with a frantic tweet (of course) aimed at Joe Biden, which we can break down to fully observe the depths to which Trump’s illness have driven him.

First of all, there’s no way Trump wrote this tweet. Too many syllables. More to the point, Trump begins by disparaging Biden as “a reclamation project” who is “not salvageable.” Both of those terms are thinly veiled insinuations about his age. Trump has also attached one of his childish nicknames – Sleepy Joe – to Biden. However, while Biden is 76 years old, Trump is 73 years old. And he is the laziest president in history. It has been reported that he doesn’t start his work day until 11:00 am, after his morning routine (executive time) of watching Fox News. And he has played more golf (at his resorts from which he profits) than any president before him.

Secondly, Trump says of Biden that China is “begging for him.” We’ll set aside the fact there is no evidence to support that charge. Trump is implying that China likes Biden and wants to deal with him. But that’s exactly what Trump says about his own relationship with China’s Xi Jinping. How can he criticize Biden for allegedly having the sort of relationship that he brags about having himself?

Third, Trump says that Biden “deserted our military.” Again (and as is true about almost everything Trump says) there is no support for that charge against Biden. Although there is abundant support for it against Trump. He is a five-time draft dodger. He insulted all POWs for having been captured. He denigrates Gold Star families who are not Trump sycophants. He terminated healthcare and other services for vets. And he deported veterans who served in combat despite not being citizens.

Fourth, Trump also baselessly said that Biden deserted law enforcement. However, it is Trump who has viciously attacked the FBI, the Department of Justice, and others in law enforcement. Notably, he does that primarily to tarnish their reputations when he is the subject of an investigation – of which there are many. Trump is against cops for the same reason bank robbers are: They make it harder for him to get away with his crimes. So he goes ballistic. His vile attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller have included charges of lying, corruption, conflict of interest, and even treason.

Fifth, Trump also said that Biden deserted healthcare. Of course, he was at President Obama’s right hand when the Affordable Care Act was passed. Trump, on the other hand, has worked hard to sabotage it and is currently supporting a lawsuit that could result in killing it entirely. He has no plan to replace it or to preserve the most popular provisions, including coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

Sixth, Trump complains about the national debt, which is rising to a record $22 trillion dollars under his administration. Much of that is due to his own tax bill that provided corporations and the wealthy with steep and undeserved tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office projects that Trump could add roughly the same amount of debt as Obama over two terms. However there’s a big difference between the two. Obama took office in the depths of the Bush recession when deficit financing was required to spur the recovery.

Trump, on the other hand, inherited a booming economy, which is the best time to pay off debt. But he nevertheless managed to increase it without any discernible gain. As Forbes Magazine (not exactly a bastion of liberalism) reported, “Trump’s deficits as a percent of GDP will exceed any other President’s during a time of economic expansion.” And the stock market, which Trump likes to use as a gauge of his success, performed far better during Obama’s term. The S&P 500 rose 66.2 percent under Obama, but less than half that (31.1%) under Trump.

Finally, Trump closed this tweet with the exclamation that Biden “Won’t win!” Well, that may be true. He may not even be the Democratic nominee. But the likelihood that Trump will win is pretty low considering that he is currently trailing all of the top Democratic contenders. And his approval rating is historically low. He is the first president ever to never crack 50 percent in approval.

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

That’s a lot of flaming wrongness by Trump in one little tweet. And all of the whining about Biden actually applies much better to Trump. It’s important to acknowledge just how delusional he is as we approach the coming 2020 election. Trump’s psychological infirmities need to be a part of the campaign for all Democrats. He must be exposed as not just another callous and greedy Republican, but as an incompetent whose ignorance, hostility, and mental imbalance puts the whole nation – and world – in danger.

Trump’s Reasoning for Citizenship Question on Census Could Also Prohibit Most Citizens From Voting

Among the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidency is his brazen disrespect for, and ignorance of, the Constitution of the United States. When he isn’t flagrantly misstating its meaning, he is fiercely striving to subvert its purpose. To him it is an inconvenient sheet of parchment that gets in the way of him doing whatever the heck he wants.

Donald Trump, Constitution

Case in point, Trump’s current dispute with the Supreme Court over whether to include a question about citizenship on the decennial census. The Court recently ruled against Trump on the matter, but he is refusing to let it rest. Never mind that the Constitution clearly states that the census is an enumeration of “persons,” not citizens.

At first, Trump’s own Justice and Commerce Departments acceded to the Court’s decision and stated that the Census would be printed without the citizenship question. But this must have angered Trump, or more likely his “Shadow Cabinet” on Fox News. Because Trump later tweeted that he was still seeking ways of going forward with the question despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. He even called his own cabinet secretaries fake news:

On Friday morning Trump elaborated on this “quest” when a reporter asked him about it (video below). His response was a startling display of arrogance and ignorance. After babbling about his his many alleged options, Trump revealed his absurd justification for including a question that has been independently assessed to be discriminatory:

“I just spoke with the Attorney General. We have a number of different avenues. We could use all of them or just one. […] If you look at the history of our country, it’s almost always been asked.”

Let’s set aside the fact that Attorney General William Barr is once again acting as Trump’s personal lawyer, rather than the chief law enforcement official for the American people.

More to the point, Trump is arguing that because there was a citizenship question on the census in the past, there should be one now. But If you take Trump’s advice and look at the history of our country, what you’ll find is that African-Americans and women have almost always been prohibited from voting. So by the same ludicrous logic, it would be justifiable to restore those prohibitions. And that would literally prohibit most citizens from voting.

For the record, a citizenship question was not asked for most of the first fifty years the U.S. existed. Then it began to be asked just after the civil war, until around 1950. That’s curious timing, don’t you think? Thereafter it has been asked of only a small sample of the population. But now Trump wants to ask everybody. In his morning media scrum, he was also asked why the question was so important. And here he said aloud what his aides surely meant for him to keep secret:

“You need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress. You need it for Congress for districting. You need it for appropriations. Where are the funds going?”

So Trump is now calling his own Justice Department liars. Their original reason had something to do with needing the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. That, of course, makes no sense at all. And it’s one of the reasons they lost in the Supreme Court. Even worse, a few weeks ago Trump’s Solicitor General explicitly told the Supreme Court that redistricting was not the reason for the question. So much for that transparently dishonest excuse.

Worst of all, trump is now admitting that his reason for the question is to impact redistricting in a manner that would suppress the votes of a largely Democratic electorate, while helping Republicans to hang on to their white nationalist power base. What we have here is Trump getting caught in a complex web of lies in order to justify a partisan and racist policy that violates the Constitution. In other, business as usual in the Era of Trump.

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

Trump’s Fourth of July Tweets Were a Manic Eruption of an Ego Gone Wild

The Independence Day debacle in Washington, D.C. lived down to it’s hype. Donald Trump managed to avoid overtly partisan political comments, but he failed to provide a presentation of leadership that anyone can be proud of. His remedial lecturing on American history fell flat. And his exploitation of the military only reminded people that he is a five-time draft dodger who frequently insults veterans.

Donald Trump

Trump’s speech (which was carried live only by Fox News because, well, they’re Fox News) contained no memorable lines that will be quoted for their insight or inspiration. However, he did make a couple of painful gaffes that will surely go down in history. Most notably, Trump told his enrapt audience of Deplorables that the Continental Army “took over” the airports during the Revolutionary War.

Trump’s White House nannies can still mark this one down as a victory for having kept Trump from engaging in his customary bragging and hostile political grandstanding. However, following the speech, Trump was no longer able to control himself. He unleashed a tweetstorm of epic proportions before the grounds at the National Mall could even dry from the day’s rainstorm. In fact, before and after the speech there forty-two tweets or retweets in all. This may be a record for Trump’s Twitter tantrums.

Most of the posts were about his speech and praise of it by himself or his glassy-eyed Trump-fluffers. But a good percentage were outbursts of the political angst that he was holding in during the speech. For instance, he tweeted…

  • A criticism of the week-old Democratic debates.
  • An attack on Rep. Justin Amash for quitting the Republican Party.
  • A Breitbart video allegedly of communists burning an American flag.
  • Ted Cruz berating Congress for not doing whatever Trump says on the border.
  • A GOP Rep on Fox News ranting about Mueller and Deep State abuse of power.
  • An article on Biden’s polls dropping against other Democrats, but still beating Trump.
  • Fox News wingnut Byron York being upset with Colin Kaepernick.
  • The Wall Street Journal touting Trump’s scam “health reimbursement” accounts.
  • Byron York (again) dissing Kamala Harris.
  • Another Fox Newser, Mollie Hemingway, on the border again.
  • A conspiracy crackpot plugging the ultra-right One America News Network.
  • Trump touting job creation with a link to the disreputable Breitbart News.
  • Trump touting job creation with a link to the disreputable CNSNews

These tweets will forever stand as a historical record of a president whose mind was a frothy lump of mush. Albeit the sort of mush that had healthy portions of hate, fear, and ignorance mixed in. It’s evidence that Trump never lets his hostility drift far from his thoughts. And we can always expect it to be released in torrents, even if he manages to keep it pent up for an hour or two at the urging of desperate and embarrassed staffers. This is who Trump is and will always be.

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

Trump’s Militaristic Exploitation of Independence Day Reflects His Insecurity and Impotence

In this highly charged era of partisan division, Donald Trump has succeeded in altering the meaning of Independence Day for many Americans. Among his Deplorables it has become a tribute to Trump as savior of the white nationalist principles he espouses. The rest of the nation is hoping to celebrate what the holiday has traditionally represented, in spite of the dark shadow cast by Trump’s self-aggrandizing bombast.

Donald Trump, Independence Day, Fourth of July, Flag

The degradation of the Fourth of July into what most resembles the autocratic parades of the brutal, warmongering dictators that Trump admires (Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, etc.) is a depressing development. But it’s also a fallacy that attempts to portray Trump as a patriot. His own words and deeds are proof that he and his promoters are lying. After all, Trump displays his alleged appreciation for the troops by maligning POWs for having been captured, insulting Gold Star families who are not Trump sycophants, terminating healthcare and other services for vets, and deporting veterans who served in combat despite not being citizens.

Trump is shamelessly politicizing the Fourth by offering preferred seating for Republican bigwigs and donors. Meanwhile, he is forcing the military to abandon plans to be with their families in order to participate in Soviet-style parades of weaponry. He even declined to invite the service chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Trump, on the other hand, is forcing his staff to spend the day trying to come up with ways to get around the Supreme Court’s rejection of his racist Census question on citizenship. Meanwhile, he’s golfing and, later, presenting himself as the star attraction of yet another one of his partisan campaign cult rallies.

What makes all of this even worse is that Trump’s affinity for the pageantry of war is really just over-compensation for his own inadequacies. His behavior is consistent with that of malignant narcissists who must have everything their way, no matter who suffers. It’s a cowardly display that defines his whole presidency – and life. And it reveals his pitiful insecurity and obsession with magnifying his own perception of his paltry and phony machismo.

The bastardization of patriotism by Cadet Bone Spurs has been an obvious facade from the start. And Trump always aims his wrath at the most vulnerable. His most recent targets are actual babies that he is incarcerating in cages simply because they were brought to the “land of the free” by parents desperate to escape starvation and violence. His callous response to critics was expressed in a tweet saying that…

Sure. Just remain in the dangerous environments that they fled and all problems will be solved. The question is “Whose problems?” Surely not the children, their parents, or even those still suffering in countries that Trump just cut off all foreign aid to. His ignorant vengeance will only result in more people seeking refugee status in the U.S.

And speaking of redistribution of funds, Trump’s DC party is taking money from the Park Service to pay for his ego-stroking extravaganza. Which means he is literally stealing money that otherwise would have supported national monuments honoring the nation and the troops. Instead, it will be wasted on a political sham intended to further inflate Trump’s ego and boost his reelection prospects.

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

Whatever benefit Trump thought he would receive from this vain exploitation, he may be bitterly disappointed. All of the broadcast television networks have declined to air the blatant campaign event live. Likewise CNN and MSNBC will not be showing it. Which leaves only State TV (aka Fox News) with the exclusive rights to Trump’s Reality TV presentation. Which is only fair (and balanced?) considering that Fox News previously said that that Trump “owns” the Fourth of July and therefore cannot be hijacking it for his own selfish purposes. How’s that for an inspiring holiday sentiment?

Fox News on Trump Hijacking the 4th of July: ‘You Can’t Hijack Something You Already Own’

The fact that millions of Americans are disgusted by Donald Trump’s brazen exploitation of Independence Day is reason enough for him to cancel his plans to turn the celebration into a tribute to himself. But then that wouldn’t be the Trump that America has come to know and despise. Instead, he is moving forward with the “Trump Day” affair and ignoring how offensive and divisive it is.

Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

So naturally, Fox News is coming to Trump’s defense as they always do. The State TV network is speaking in glowing terms about the perverse brand of patriotism that Trump is peddling. They aren’t the least bit bothered by this being the first time that the Fourth of July has been exploited for purely political purposes. In fact, they are portraying it as even more patriotic than ever because to them Trump represents the true meaning of America. That sentiment was expressed clearly by Fox News host, and cranky court jester, Jesse Watters (video below):

“You can’t hijack something you already own. The last time I checked, the president is an American, and he’s an American president. But the left falls into this trap all the time. […] They’re against whatever he does, and now they just look unpatriotic.”

So according to Watters, Trump “already owns” the Fourth of July. Therefore, any criticism of him or his actions is deemed “unpatriotic” by Watters and the rest of the Fox Newsies who didn’t object to this abhorrent commentary. And if you own the holiday you are allowed to stain it with partisanship, self-exaltations, and military parades that recall the brutal, war mongering dictatorships that Trump is so fond of.

Watters went on to say that Trump “adores the military” and is “very into the pomp and the pageantry.” Of course. And Trump displays that adoration by maligning POWs for having been captured, insulting Gold Star families who are not Trump sycophants, terminating healthcare and other services for vets, lying to soldiers about wages and other benefits that Trump falsely claimed to have provided, and deporting veterans who served in combat despite not being citizens.

For this Independence Day Trump is unashamedly politicizing the event by offering preferred seating for Republican supporters and donors. He is forcing the military to participate in Soviet-style parades of weaponry. And he even declined to invite the service chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

But this is what Fox News considers patriotic behavior. They embrace emulating the militarism of our enemies. They praise the viciously partisan current occupant of the White House and his Republican Nationalist Party. They exclude the majority of Americans who are repulsed by Trump and his Doctrine of Hate. And they declare that a hostile, ignorant, bigoted, infantile, five-time draft dodger “owns” the holiday commemorating independence, freedom, and the sacrifices of those who secured and preserve it. Nice work Fox.

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

Awww: Fox News Worries that Democrats Might Be ‘Blowing Their Chance to Beat Trump’

There’s nothing like an election to get conservative blowhards to shed some crocodile tears over what they see as the declining fortunes of the Democratic Party. Never mind that the last election in 2018 saw a “blue wave” that swept Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives and made Nancy Pelosi Speaker. Republicans are never more sympathetic to the threat of Democrats losing voters than when the Democrats are actively and effectively beating up on the GOP. So naturally, right-wing politicos and pundits need to come out with their heartfelt advice to stop the Democrats from hurting themselves. How thoughtful.

Fox News, Donkey

On Tuesday morning, Fox News media analyst, Howard Kurtz, was interviewed by anchor Bill Hemmer about how dreadfully naive Democrats are for appealing to their own constituents, rather than kowtowing to Donald Trump and his cadre of Deplorables. The segment featured a chyron that read “2020 Dems Taking Extreme Positions on Key Issues.” And their examples of how the party is “lurching left” and “blowing their chance to defeat Trump,” were positions in favor of humanitarian treatment of refugees and support of Medicare for All – two issues that resonate with progressives and are wildly popular among Democrats and even many Republicans and independents.

This is a bold demonstration of political altruism on the part of Kurtz and company. Because who would know more about what’s best for Democrats than the staunchly Republican partisans on Fox News who spend most of their time viciously maligning and lying about the party? They nevertheless believe that they are perfectly positioned to give counsel to Democrats who might otherwise destroy their own electoral prospects by advocating for higher wages for workers, higher taxes for corporations and the wealthy, greater access to education, and addressing the imminent risks of the climate crisis. You know, the very issues that define the positive values of the Democratic Party, as well as the majority of Americans. But Kurtz is concerned because…

“What we can say is that some of these positions, way out on the left wing, things that nobody in the party would have said even in 2016, could be a vulnerability next year.”

Really? It’s funny that Kurtz is worried about what are actually mainstream positions that he ridiculously tags as “left wing.” But he doesn’t have a word to say about the radical right positions being taken by Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Doesn’t he think that incarcerating children in cages will blow Trump’s chances of being reelected? And what about Trump’s bizarre affinity for murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un? And his hostility toward agreements that made America safer by curtailing the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea?

Isn’t the GOP lurching to the right by repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich? Aren’t they pandering to GOP fanatics by rejecting the Paris accords on climate change? Won’t Trump’s sabotage of ObamaCare and determination to end popular protections for preexisting conditions drive voters away? And then there’s his relentless pursuit of a useless, idiotic, vanity wall along the southern border that most Americans oppose.

Why is it that wingnuts like Kurtz always pretend to be concerned about where Democrats are on the ideological spectrum? They would never countenance Democrats offering such advice to Republicans. You’ll never see Kurtz, or anyone on Fox News asking if Trump is blowing it by pandering so obsessively to his dwindling, cultist base.

If anyone should be worried about blowing 2020, it’s Donald Trump. His approval ratings are in the basement. He is the first president in history who has never cracked 50 percent. His positions are unpopular. He is regarded as a lying loudmouth who doesn’t know what he’s talking about on any subject. Meanwhile, the motivation of Democrats to vote next year forecasts a historically high turnout. That isn’t exactly good news for Trump and his paid shills at Fox News. But not to worry. They will never see those danger signals as warnings to moderate their regressive fanaticism.

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

Holy Shih Tzu! Trump Attacks NY Corruption Probe with Bizarre Reference to Sexual Abuse

One might think that if there is a single subject that Donald Trump would be smart enough to stay away from, it would be the subject of sexual harassment and abuse. And one would be utterly wrong. As is often the case, it is impossible to underestimate the audacity and cretinism of Trump. That’s particularly true when he is backed into a corner igniting his feral anger and fear.

Donald Trump

Case in point: On Monday morning Trump unleashed another of his rabid tweetstorms. This one appears to have come out of nowhere, but was likely stirred by something he just saw on Fox News, or perhaps he received a legal summons of some sort. The topic of this outburst centered on the ongoing investigation into his criminal activities by the state of New York. And naturally, he led it off with an impotent countercharge aimed at his perceived persecutors:

Contrary to Trump’s paranoid ranting, the New York Attorney General’s office doesn’t “sue on everything.” However, if they are “in search of a crime” it’s only because that’s their job. Trump is whining about this in the same way that a bank robber would whine about those darn cops always sticking their noses into bank robberies.

So Trump tries to exonerate himself from the documented criminal activity that resulted in his phony foundation being shut down. Former New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (not Eric Schneiderman), found that the Foundation was a criminal enterprise devoted to enriching himself with other people’s donations (Here’s a quick primer on Trump’s scam foundation). Underwood’s report outlined “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation.” The ruling went on to declare that Trump’s sham included…

“…unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

The current NY AG, Letitia James, tweeted a message to Trump warning that “No one is above the law, not even the President.” What’s more, the lawsuit Trump faces continues to seek millions in restitution and prohibits Trump and his evil spawn from serving on the boards of other New York charities. Imagine that: Trump is barred from running a charitable foundation, but not from serving as president. There’s something horribly wrong with that picture.

As for Trump’s flailing assault on the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation, it is wildly off base. There have been investigations into the Clinton Foundation and there was never any hint of wrongdoing. In fact, the major organizations that assess the credibility of charitable groups have given the Clinton Foundation their highest ratings.

What makes this even more dumbfounding is Trump’s vicious sideswipe at the former NY Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. To be sure, Schneiderman had his problems for which he paid dearly. He voluntarily resigned from office, abandoned an almost guaranteed path to New York’s governorship, and has since receded from public life. And for the record, Schneiderman was never Clinton’s campaign chairman. That was John Podesta, whose emails were hacked by Trump’s Russian pals. Also, it’s ironic that Trump would go after anyone’s campaign chairman while his own, Paul Manafort, is currently sitting in prison for crimes against America.

It’s rather startling that Trump would venture into the area of sex crimes considering his own history of repulsiveness. Trump has been accused of harassing and/or assaulting dozens of women. He even admitted to sexual abuse on the infamous Access Hollywood recording. But he remains in the White House while even more credible accusations are coming out. If Trump wants to make this a contest of who is the most vile abuser of women, he’s a shoo-in for the big trophy. And perhaps it’s that confidence of victory that made him foolishly bring up the subject. After all, we know how much he likes to win.

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