This Racist Trump Ad Calls Democrats ‘Complicit’ in Murders Committed By Illegal Immigrants

After only one uneventful year in office (if you don’t count disastrous and embarrassing events) Donald Trump is already focusing on 2020. It’s the earliest launch of a reelection campaign that anyone can recall. For the most part he’s using the guise of campaign as a slush fund to hold rallies that feed his insatiable ego. He craves the adoration of his glassy-eyed disciples, particularly considering his historically low approval ratings. And there is a fair chance he won’t finish his first term if special counsel Robert Mueller comes through.

Donald Trump

Trump just released a campaign ad (posted below) that mirrors his repulsive and bigoted personality perfectly. It begins with video of an alleged murderer spewing vulgarities. That may also be a first for an American political advertisement. But it gets worse. The ominous tone of an anxious narrator asserts that “President Trump is right” in his fetish to build a wall along the southern border that will solve nothing and won’t be paid for by Mexico. The ad is rife with thinly veiled insinuations that all immigrants are scary brown foreigners with a lust for American blood. Trump offers himself up as the sole savior of our vulnerable families. And then he drops this reprehensible rhetorical bullshit:

“Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”

Oh really? Trump is actually trying to lay the blame for random and heinous criminal activity on his political opponents. He’s associating differences of opinion with complicity to murder. It’s an absurd and unethical political attack that should be repudiated by his Republican peers. The logic of it is so weak that it, if anything, it blows up in his face. It’s more consistent with his own support for white nationalists and neo-Nazis who commit far more crimes of violence than any immigrants. In fact, even undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born citizens.

The racism is not the least bit disguised. The entire premise of the ad is that monsters from south of the border are plotting to invade our country, break into our homes, and commit unspeakable atrocities. The words “Stop Illegal Immigration” appear on screen over video of two Latino men whose faces have been eerily blurred. Never mind that the men in the picture are not engaging in any crime or acting in any way threatening. Just their ethnicity is enough to signal danger in the minds of Trump and his Deplorables.

There is also a hint of totalitarianism in the ad’s language that demands obedience on the part of Democrats, warning them not to “stand in our way.” It’s reminiscent of the threats leveled at German citizens who opposed Hitler’s enforcers as he rose to power. And the consequences of standing in Trump’s way are charges of murder, which have a penalty of death. The next step for the StormTrumpers would be to raid the homes of his perceived enemies, load them into freight cars, and deliver them to concentration camps. Don’t think it can’t happen here. That’s what many Germans thought.

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

Politicizing the #TrumpShutdown: Trump Seeks More Republicans, Rejects Working with Democrats

As the prospect of a government shutdown drew closer on Friday night the recriminations flew from both sides of the political aisle. Republicans sought to brand Donald Trump’s failure to make a deal as the SchumerShutdown, for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. From the other side, Schumer struck back with his branding of the legislative belly flop as the TrumpShutdown. Meanwhile, the American people appear to have already made up their minds, with polls showing overwhelming that they hold Trump and the GOP accountable.

Donald Trump

No one should be surprised that the party regulars are seeking to cast this crisis in terms most favorable to their own side. That’s standard operating procedure for politicians engulfed in a controversial dispute. But leave it to Donald Trump to bring the debate down to the lowest levels of rank self-interest and political cynicism.

In the hours following the Senate’s inability to pass a bill that would keep the government running, Trump was on duty, sitting on his throne with his phone and tweeting out nonsense. He clearly doesn’t understand the dynamics of Congress. It’s his party that controls the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. This is the first government shutdown ever during an administration with that unified control. And the Continuing Resolution that went down to defeat couldn’t even secure the votes of all GOP senators. So it’s hard, therefore, to place the blame on Democrats for the bill’s failure. What’s more, in a 2013 shutdown during the Obama administration Trump himself insisted that, under these circumstances, it’s the president who is responsible. Apparently that only applies to black presidents.

Trump’s post-shutdown Saturday morning tweets went further than just political jockeying for positive spin. He turned the closure of the government into a campaign event by overtly calling for the election of more Republicans:

Trump’s focus on politicizing his shutdown illustrates how narrow his grasp is of leadership and governing. By advocating for electoral gains he is pushing off any hopes of progress until next November. He is also effectively abandoning any effort to work with Democrats on crafting a compromise. He obviously isn’t going to get the extra Republicans he wants in the next few days or weeks. The only chance of ending the shutdown is to recognize the reality of the current situation and engage with Democrats. He might even want to consider keeping his word to sign whatever the Congress sent him. They actually did produce a bipartisan compromise, but Trump unilaterally rejected it.

However, the “Art of the Deal” president thinks that insulting Democrats is the way to get their cooperation. His press secretary issued a response to the shutdown that blamed it on Democrats and called them “obstructionist losers.” And Trump himself has been taking swipes, as usual, on Twitter. In addition to his preposterous claim that Democrats “want illegal immigration and weak borders,” he incoherently railed that “Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration.”

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

This is no way to run a government. But it is business as usual for Trump and the GOP. They aren’t interested in doing the people’s work or seeking their best interests. Whenever they manage to do anything it invariably produces more suffering, cuts services, or enriches the already privileged. You might say that, for all intents and purposes, the government has been shut down since January 20, 2017, the day Trump was inaugurated.

Most Republicans Are Devoted Fox News Cultists According to Study on Media Trust

Fox News was built from the bottom up to be a right wing propaganda machine. And for twenty years the network has faithfully pursued that mission. For their effort they have attracted an audience of glassy-eyed disciples who believe everything that Fox News tells them and none of what any other media source reports. And with the advent of Donald Trump, other media sources have all been tagged as “fake news.”

Pray for Fox News

A new study by the Gallup/Knight Foundation is confirming the spiritual bond between Fox News and its viewers. the Gallup/Knight’s “Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy” asked Americans a variety of questions about their viewing habits and opinions about the media. The results reveal that strikingly narrow minded conservative news consumers are listening to only one voice in the media: Fox News. According to the study:

“More than eight in 10 U.S. adults believe the news media are critical or very important to our democracy. They see the most important roles played by the media as making sure Americans have the knowledge they need to be informed about public affairs and holding leaders accountable for their actions. At the same time, Americans are more likely to say the media perform these roles poorly than to say they are performing them well.” […]

“Less than half of Americans, 44%, say they can think of a news source that reports the news objectively. Republicans who can name an accurate source overwhelmingly mention Fox News, while Democrats’ responses are more varied.”

The survey asked what news sources respondents considered to be objective. Twenty-four percent said Fox News. That left forty-nine percent divided up between several other sources including CNN, NPR, MSNBC, the New York Times and others. What stood out though, was that sixty percent of Republicans chose Fox News. By comparison, only twenty-one percent of Democrats chose CNN. While Democrats’ preferences were dispersed among a variety of news sources, Republicans were clutching tightly to their ideological security blanket, Fox News.

Another significant finding was that Republicans have a peculiar definition of “fake news.” Rather than the conventional view that regards made up stories intended to deceive as fake, forty-two percent of Republicans (versus seventeen percent of Democrats) consider “accurate news stories that cast a politician or political group in a negative light to always be ‘fake news.'” Let that sink in. They actually said that accurate reporting is fake if they don’t like it. That also happens to be the way Trump looks at it. Anything that he thinks is critical of him, even if it’s true, is automatically dismissed as fake.

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

The groupthink on the part of Republicans and conservatives is driving the party into a Fox News flavored abyss. They have a single source of information that is notoriously biased and often chases conspiracy theories that lead to embarrassing collisions with reality. And it’s also Trump’s base. Which means that as Trump continues to set records as the most unpopular president ever, Fox News and their viewers will become more isolated and irrelevant. And the sooner that happens, the better.

Tucker Carlson Says That In Order to Lead America You Must Love White Supremacists

With each and every day Fox News manages to sink lower into the sewer of bigotry and ignorance. After spending several days defending Donald Trump’s despicable degradation of Americans who migrated here from Haiti and Africa as “shithole countries,” the network’s most brazen hate-monger, Tucker Carlson, has overtly embraced the white supremacists that make up much of his audience.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

On Thursday night’s program (video below), Carlson led off with a tirade about immigration and the low-life moochers he considers to be destroying America. He disgustingly misrepresented DACA as protecting “people who snuck into our country and are demanding rights and money.” Never mind that they didn’t sneak into the country (they were children brought by their parents), and they are working people who provide for themselves and their families. They pay taxes and contribute to Social Security. They aren’t even eligible for federal financial aid, Medicaid, Obamacare, food stamps, etc. Carlson, as usual, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Carlson’s guest was ultra-rightist blowhard, Mark Steyn. An immigrant himself, he agreed with Carlson’s insulting characterizations of immigrants who don’t look like them. Steyn went on a blustering rant about how Democrats have a “preference for illegal immigrants over American citizens.” Steyn complained that liberal media and politicians say that…

“…the real problem is white supremacists in America. They’re the real monsters. Not these nice, hard working illegal immigrants. And that may be well and true. For the purposes of argument, let’s just say he’s right. It’s irrelevant. The white supremacists are American citizens. The illegal immigrants are people who shouldn’t be here. The organizing principle of nation-states is that they’re organized on behalf of their citizens, whether their citizens are cheerleaders or white supremacists or whatever. You’re stuck with them.

Really? Steyn is actually cuddling up to white supremacists just because they were fortunate enough to be born in America. And he prefers them to foreign born persons who actually represent the inclusive values of America. In his demented view they may be bigots, but they’re our bigots. And Carlson is totally on board with that view. In fact, he doesn’t think that an American leader can govern unless he loves this country’s racists:

“How can you lead a country whose population you despise? Would you be a good parent if you hated your kids? Would you be an effective officer if you didn’t care about the safety of your men? Doesn’t that kind of prima facie show that you’re not ready to lead if you don’t love the people you’re leading?”

That is the prevailing view on Fox News. It’s why Fox put Carlson in the lead off position of their primetime schedule. He sets the tone for the network’s editorial stance, which continues in primetime with noted bigots Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. And while Fox News frequently airs blatantly prejudiced segments with openly bigoted guests, they are rarely as explicit as they were in this segment. It was a literal embrace of white supremacists who happen to be citizens by accident of birth. All while shamelessly maligning goodhearted people who choose to be American because they love the country and it’s values.

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

In His Own Words: Trump’s Shutdown Demagoguery is Hypocritical, Dishonest, and Ignorant

Donald Trump has been frantic lately about the Congress not being able to pass a budget or a continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down. He is engulfed in a blustering frenzy of anger while trying feverishly to blame Democrats for the looming closure and termination of certain public services.

Donald Trump

But Trump’s yowling betrays his pathetic incompetence. First of all, he apparently doesn’t realize that his own party, the Republicans, is in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. That makes it impossible to shift responsibility to anyone but the GOP for the shut down. What’s more, Trump can’t seem to grasp the reason for the political schism. He keeps trying to assert that the military will be the victim of a shut down, despite the fact that all Pentagon programs will continue unabated.

The real breakdown in negotiations concerns the insistence by Trump and the Republican’s that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients be shut out of the legislation, even as they continue to lose their eligibility to remain in the U.S. Trump’s faction is steadfast in their heartless refusal to correct the problem he created that will send people who have lived their whole lives in America to countries they don’t know. And to make matters worse, they are trying to lure Democratic support by adding language to the bill that continues the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In effect they are holding both DACA and CHIP as hostages in opposition to one another. It’s both a cynical and reprehensible tactic that burdens people already in troubling circumstances.

What makes this all the more disturbing is that Trump’s position lacks any moral or intellectual consistency. He doesn’t really care about any of the affected persons, and he has no principles behind his manufactured conflict. Here is what Trump posted on Twitter Thursday on this matter:

And here is what he tweeted in the past:

So which is it? Does our government need a good shutdown that will be devastating to our military even though government continues to run with all essential services? That’s the deranged argument of our “stable genius” who just got a clean bill of physical and mental health despite showing signs of heart disease. And yes, none of that makes any sense.

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

Missing From Trump’s ‘Dishonest and Corrupt Media’ Awards: Any Dishonesty or Corruption

It will come as no surprise that Donald Trump’s latest media stunt turned out to be just another narcissistic waste of time and energy. Back on January 2, Trump posted an announcement on Twitter that he would be hosting what he called “The Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards of the Year.” It was an ironic choice considering his well documented proclivity for lying. But undeterred by facts or shame, Trump eventually went ahead with his award ceremony.

Donald Trump

Having been forewarned that this gala affair would run afoul of ethics laws if it was produced by the White House, Trump handed it off to a compliant Republican Party Politburo. The list of “honorees” was posted on the GOP website Wednesday afternoon and then immediately crashed the site. When the awards eventually became available they were presented with this introduction:

“2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.”

That’s the perfect lead in to these phony awards because it is itself demonstrably dishonest. The claim that “over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative” came from the ultra-rightist Media Research Center and was aired on Fox News by his his favorite show, Fox and Friends. It is a thoroughly biased and utterly false study that fails to back up its conclusions with facts. And to the extent that there were negative reports on Trump during the year, it’s because he did so many negative things. It isn’t the media’s fault if they accurately cover that.

The winners of Trump’s Dishonest and Corrupt Media awards all shared at least one thing in common: None of them were either dishonest or corrupt. They were mostly minor errors that were quickly corrected. No evidence was offered to prove that there was any deliberate intention to deceive or mislead. Here, for the record are the awardees:

  1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.
  2. ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.
  3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
  4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
  5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.
  6. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.
  7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”
  8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.
  9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.
  10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.
  11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!

Trump led off with the “failing” New York Times, whose two mentions gave it a second place to the four that CNN received. But conspicuously, most of the items were ridiculously trivial. Crowd size, feeding fish, and hand shakes hardly seem worthy of recognition for most dishonest and corrupt. Others weren’t even news stories, but opinions or other trifles. And this was, sadly, the best they could do.

Contrast that with the sort of awards that Trump might have been given if he were the recipient of similar trophies. They would include his purposeful lying about voter fraud, the firing of FBI Director James Comey, accusations that Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI, and his relentless assertions that inquiries into his collusion with Russia were a hoax. That was actually PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2017.

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

It’s fitting that these fake awards flopped so badly. Trump has been making dubious and dangerous allegations about the media throughout his presidency. The purpose is to damage the credibility of the one non-governmental institution that can hold him accountable for his despicable, and criminal, behavior. But clearly this phony spectacle failed to hit its target. It was petty and transparently self-serving. And it will be quickly forgotten after the requisite mockery that it deserves.

Jeff Flake Castigates Trump’s ‘Disgraceful’ Assault on the Free Press with Comparisons to Stalin

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate Wednesday that took Donald Trump to task for his attacks on the free press. Trump has been stomping on the First Amendment for the past couple of years with the intention of delegitimizing the only non-governmental institution that can hold politicians like Trump accountable. Trump needs to make certain that his base will reject the media when it is critical of him. And like every other cult leader, his goal is to insure that he is considered the only source of truth.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Flake’s speech dived deep into Trump’s thinly veiled aspirations for dictatorship. And he did a good job of highlighting the close relationship between Trump’s rhetoric and that of notorious tyrants of history. What follows are some excerpts of Flake’s address that are particularly relevant. And the full video is posted below.

“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.”

“And of course the President has it precisely backwards. Despotism is the enemy of the people. A free press is the despot’s enemy. Which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that figure who should be the person of suspicion, not the press. […] And so, we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality. No politician will ever tell us what the truth is, and what it is not.”

“No longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to those assaults on our institutions. And an American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame, is charting a very dangerous path. And a congress that fails to act as a check on the President adds to that danger. Now we are told via Twitter that today the President intends to announce his choice for ‘The Most Corrupt and Dishonest Media Awards.’ It beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle. But here we are.”

“This feedback loop is disgraceful, Mr. President. Not only has this past year seen an American president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press, but it seems he has now in turn inspired dictators and authoritarians with his own language. That is reprehensible.”

This speech clearly expresses what’s wrong with a president who seeks authoritarian powers and disrespects freedom of the press. It’s unfortunate that Flake waited to give it until after he had announced that he is not running for reelection. And it would be nice if his words were matched with actions that actually held Trump to account. Sadly, politicians often delay any display of courage until after they’ve quit being politicians. Let’s see if Flake, or any of his colleagues, will put some muscle behind their words and do what must be done when a president so badly violates his oath of office: Impeachment.

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

Rachel Maddow Starts 2018 With Commanding Lead Over Sean Hannity and Fox News

Washington politics in 2018 so far promises to be a rollicking ride with unrelenting foolishness and embarrassments from the White House. In a few short days Donald Trump has managed to insult El Salvador, Haiti, and the entire continent of Africa. His former campaign chair and White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was quoted accusing the President’s son of treason, and then was subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller. And growing concerns about Trump’s mental fitness spurred him to laughably declare that he’s a stable genius.”

Rachel Maddow

However, with regard to the Nielsen ratings of the cable news networks, the new year is starting off pretty much the way last year concluded. Rachel Maddow continues to surge with poignant reporting on subjects that America’s news consumers are clearly interested in. She is dominating her competition on Fox News and providing a boost to her colleagues on MSNBC. Meanwhile, Fox News is more often finding itself in the unfamiliar position of an also ran with reporting that is becoming more deranged everyday. They appear to be adopting the editorial lunacy of Alex Jones’ Infowars and other right-wing fringe outlets that specialize in conspiracy theories and propaganda.

In the first two weeks of 2018, Maddow has won every single night in the key 25-54 year old demographic. She’s consistently beating Sean Hannity and every other cable news program in primetime. She has a twenty-one percent average margin of victory over Hannity (686K vs. 568K) for the first half of January. Maddow is also topping Hannity in total viewers by about eight percent (3.1M vs. 2.9M), driven by victories in seven out of nine nights.

MSNBC is seeing its schedule score additional victories with the programs that follow Maddow. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams beat Fox News @Night with Shannon Bream every night. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell beat Fox’s Laura Ingraham Angle eight out of nine nights. And MSNBC took the whole primetime block four nights during the period.

Maddow’s dominance of Hannity is a huge embarrassment for Fox News. He was the only old-timer left after Bill O’Reilly was fired for serial sexually predatory behavior, and Megyn Kelly quit in part due to the sexual harassment she suffered. That left Hannity as the de facto face of Fox News. And as he drifted further over the edge of wingnut extremism his ratings were battered by his fetish for Hillary Clinton’s emails and a tedious obsession with the debunked Uranium One non-scandal.

With each new day Fox News is cementing its role as the state-run TV news network. If they think they will restore their past glory by sucking up to Donald Trump, the most unpopular president in history, they are going to be sorely disappointed. But don’t expect them to change course now. Fox News will continue to lavish undeserved praise on Trump, and defend his every failure, for the foreseeable future. At this point they have no clue, or interest, in functioning as a legitimate news operation. With Rupert Murdoch and his sons running the network it will remain a rabidly partisan source of racist, war mongering, science denying, treasonous Trumpism, and toadying for the GOP (Greedy One Percent).

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

The Walking White House Dead: Trump Declares Whatever He Doesn’t Like to Be Deceased

The White House released its first medical exam results on Tuesday and, lo and behold, they heralded the excellent health of Donald Trump. Never mind that his doctor warned that he’s border line obese, has high cholesterol, shows evidence of heart disease, has “stroke issues,” and worst of all, is on a hair loss prevention medication.

Donald Trump

The real health problems that plague the Trump White House are all the corpses laying around of policies and opponents that Trump has certified as having expired. The latest one is what Trump calls the “Russian Collusion Hoax,” which he declared dead in a tweet Tuesday morning:

Of course, Trump is not a doctor, nor has he played one on TV. So his diagnosis cannot be regarded as reliable. Especially since all the evidence shows a healthy investigation into Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia with a strong prognosis for impeachment. And Trump’s assertion that “the public gets it” is only true if what he means is that the public knows that he’s a pathological liar.

Recent polling shows that sixty-one percent of Americans think that the Russia probes are a serious matter that should be fully investigated. Only thirty-four percent disagree. Trump’s handling of Russia is favored by a mere thirty-two percent, while fifty-six percent disapprove. A majority of fifty-six percent also say that Trump’s comments on the Russia probe have been mostly or completely false. And special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has an overall approval rating of forty-seven percent vs. only thirty-four percent who disapprove of Mueller.

So it’s difficult to conclude that the Russia collusion story has seen its final days. What’s more, along with Muellers investigation and at least one Grand Jury, there are multiple committees in Congress conducting ongoing inquiries. Four indictments have been issued with trials pending, and two Trump associates having pleaded guilty. Just today Trump’s former campaign chair and chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury.

But the Russia affair is only one of Trump’s victims. He has previously announced the demise of numerous media enterprises. Most famously, Trump likes to refer to the “failing” New York Times, despite the record subscriptions and revenues they are enjoying. But there’s more where that came from:

There have been at least twelve death notices on Twitter that declared ObamaCare vanquished. Even though it had a record number of new sign-ups last year, despite Trump’s fierce efforts to sabotage it. Here are a couple representative tweets.

And of course, according to Trump, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program kicked the bucket too. That remains to be seen since it is currently being debated in Congress with Democrats determined to preserve it. The vast majority of Americans (eighty-six percent) favor allowing Dreamers to remain in the country. Despite that overwhelming public support, Trump and his Republican comrades are standing firm in opposition to the American people:

Donald Trump is distinguishing himself as the “Sixth Sense” president. Everywhere he turns he sees dead people or policies or other carcasses of whatever has riled him up for the moment. It’s a morbid existence he must endure in a White House draped in black. But it’s also a delusional existence that defies reality as he endeavors to force his demons on the rest of the nation.

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

Sean Hannity Falls Hard for Daffy James O’Keefe Video About Dick-Pics and Spies on Twitter

Sean Hannity posted an article on his website Monday that blows wide open the scandal of the decade. And it might even have been interesting except for one problem: It’s not this decade. The headline screams “TWITTER EXPOSED: Social Media Giant SPIES on Users’ ‘Private Sex Messages.'” Of course the video fails to prove anything of the sort. Apparently Hannity didn’t know that Twitter collects and analyzes user data, including tweets and direct messages, and compiles profiles that can be marketed to advertisers. This is something that all social media sites and web enterprises do, including Hannity’s employer, Fox News. And they’ve been doing it for years.

Sean Hannity Fox News

Luckily, Hannity has investigative slimeball James O’Keefe to bring him up date. O’Keefe just published his latest “undercover” video (posted below). It’s likely to have been edited to make its participants look bad because that’s the O’Keefe brand. Hannity, however, was clearly impressed by this pitiful waste of time. He featured O’Keefe’s video on his website with an introduction that described it as…

“…a bombshell video outlining social media giant Twitter’s shady policy of spying on users private communications, including ‘sex messages’ exchanged between individuals using the platform.”

Hannity has an awfully low standard for what constitutes a bombshell. This is more of a dud by conventional standards. Although there is actually a germ of a significant issue here that deserves some attention. How media organizations store and use private data is indeed a concern. That’s why legitimate privacy advocates have been concerned about it for years. O’Keefe thinks he discovered something new that’s been concealed from the public. Never mind that it’s a well known problem and people more serious and respectable than him are working on it. But even his lame pseudo-discovery is presented in an entirely asinine way.

Most of this video contains clips of secretly recorded conversations with allegedly former and current Twitter employees. It’s packaged in a way that implies some covert operation has been unveiled. But the only thing these supposed plotters reveal is that Twitter has computer algorithms (not people) that read your tweets to determine how best to exploit the ad value of their users. OMG! What a scoop. There might even be a few cave dwellers that didn’t know about this twenty years ago. But even that’s unlikely. Only pathetic dorks like Hannity and O’Keefe seem to still be in the dark.

Speaking of dorks, there is an inordinate amount of time spent musing about dick pics in the nine and a half minute video. It’s not clear whether that’s because O’Keefe is obsessed with penises, or if he is worried that Twitter might have uncovered some of his own perverse activity. The same could be said for Hannity. Either way, they can’t seem to let the subject go. You might think that they would be concerned about some political bias or free speech issue, but no. It’s all junk talk.

Despite their insinuations about nefarious spying by pervy Twitter ops, the video actually undoes its own premise. It shows one employee saying explicitly that no one at Twitter accesses private data except when it’s reported as a violation by a user. That destroys the whole phony narrative they were trying to contrive. So not only is this video exposing something most people already know, it’s even failing to tell that boring story coherently.

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