Big Baby Trump Threatens to Sue MSNBC, O’Donnell Over Report that Russians Co-Signed Loans

Poor Donald Trump. He thought that all of his misdeeds and corruption would remain secret in perpetuity. Unfortunately for him, his methods of deception have been just as incompetent and ineffective as everything else he does. Consequently, each new day brings another revelation of some legal or ethical breach that he hoped would stay buried.

Donald Trump

The latest bit of bad news for Trump comes in the form of a speculative report that aired on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. On Tuesday night the program revealed allegations from a confidential source who said that some of Trump’s loans from the shady Deutsche Bank were co-signed by Russian oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin. This could be a bombshell story that would explain much of Trump’s affinity for – and coddling of – Russia generally, and Putin in particular.

The public disclosure of this sort of financial arrangement would be devastating for Trump. Consequently, he is punching back with all his impotent might. Trump had his personal attorney, Charles Harder, dash off a letter with a stern warning to O’Donnell and the network that should make them think twice:

“We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal […] The Program and Tweet make the false and defamatory statements that ‘Russian oligarchs’ cosigned loans provided to Mr. Trump by Deutsche Bank, and described these ‘co-signers’ as ‘Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.'” These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging.”

Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements. [and that] Failure to do so will leave my clients with no alternative but to consider their legal options which could include immediate legal proceedings against Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU.”

This is an entirely bogus threat that is highly unlikely to ever be carried out. The allegations that O’Donnell reported were presented as speculative from the outset. He presented it that way in a teaser at the beginning of the show where he said that “I want to stress that it is a single source that has not been confirmed by NBC News [and that] it’s going to require a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact.” He repeated these disclaimers in the segment that aired later. He could not have been more clear, repeatedly prefacing his remarks by saying “If true…” Therefore, he never presented it as fact, only the assertions of his source, as is evident in the video of the segment:

Trump is well known to engage in legal bullying, wherein he threatens people with lawsuits, but usually chickens out before filing any. In fact, he’s done that before with O’Donnell. In 2011 he threatened to sue O’Donnell for saying that Trump was not really a billionaire. That lawsuit never materialized. And neither will this one. O’Donnell has already taken the high road by tweeting that he “made an error in judgment” by reporting the unconfirmed story.

It’s hard to know if his walking this back was due to his own journalistic standards or pressure from the network which might have been spooked by the threat of litigation. But there are good reasons why they need not worry. This lawsuit, if pursued, could have some unintended consequences for Trump and company. First, it would disseminate to a much larger audience the allegation that he needed Russian oligarchs to co-sign his loans. That would confirm already known facts regarding Trump’s dire financial status and inability to secure loans on his own from reputable institutions. The lawsuit would also result in a discovery process which would require Trump to provide otherwise confidential documents to the legal representatives of O’Donnell and MSNBC. That requirement by itself will likely scare Trump out of ever actually filing any lawsuit.

So no one should be getting out the popcorn to watch this goofy episode of Trump’s reality show. It is almost certainly going to be preempted by some other Trump nonsense like buying Greenland or nuking hurricanes. This will just end up being another infantile tantrum thrown by our Crybaby-in-Chief that will amount to nothing but blather and the pathetic hissing of a wounded weasel.

UPDATE: True to his word, O’Donnell opened his program Wednesday night with a statement about the Deutsche Bank story. He reiterated the story had not gone through “the rigorous verification process” at MSNBC. Along with the retraction, he also pointedly noted that “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate. But the fact is we do know that it wasn’t ready for broadcast. And for that I apologize.”

Interestingly, although O’Donnell provided everything Trump’s lawyer’s asked for (a retraction and an apology), Eric Trump demonstrated why the Trump word is worthless. He tweeted that “Apologies are not enough,” and that “we will be taking legal action.” So there’s still hope that a lawsuit will proceed and the discovery process will force Trump to hand over documents they would otherwise keep secret. It’s still more likely that Trump will chicken out, but given his profound stupidity, he might just be dumb enough to go through with it.

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

Trump vs Fox News: Orders His Cult Followers to ‘Start Looking For a New News Outlet’

The hypersensitive state of Donald Trump’s thin skin and fragile ego is being tested as the country gets ever more disgusted by his ignorance and incompetence. Now his State TV network (aka Fox News) is taking heat for not having the purity of devotion that he requires. This is a peculiar development considering how worshipful Fox News is toward Trump and the network’s commitment to its mission of advancing the interests of the Republican Nationalist Party.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

On Wednesday morning Trump unleashed another of his crazed tweetstorms in response to an interview on Fox News with Democratic National Committee spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa. His anger seemed to be focused on just the fact that Fox would consent to book a Democrat.

So an interview, in Trump’s diseased mind, is tantamount to “heavily promoting” the Democratic Party that he has called the true enemies of America.” That’s in addition, of course, to his raving that the media is “the enemy of the people.” Trump seems to think that Fox News is forbidden to interview anyone that isn’t a card-carrying StormTrumper.

Trump’s complaint was that Hinojosa was “spewing out whatever she wanted,” because he clearly hates the free speech provisions in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Then Trump goes on to whine incoherently about the “socialists” he believes Fox has hired as pundits. He obviously doesn’t know the meaning of that word, or most others for that matter.

But despite his unbridled rage, he wants everyone to know that he’s still confident of his ability to win. Nevermind that recent polls show him losing to all five of the top Democrats, including in the battleground states he won in 2016. Even his favorite pollster, the disreputably biased Rasmussen, recently had Trump near his low point for the year.

However, the most astonishing tweet of the morning showed that Trump was through tolerating the radical left-wingers at Fox News:

So you have your marching orders, Deplorables. It’s time for you to “start looking for a new News Outlet,” because “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!” What’s interesting about this is that it’s another admission that Trump believes that Fox News is supposed to be working for him. That definitively confirms what has been observable for years to anyone with a functioning frontal cortex.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has made this connection to Fox. Just last week he whined that he was not happy with Fox and threatened them saying that “I’m the one who calls the shots.” Last month he attacked Fox saying that they were “worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN,” and that “they forgot the people who got them there!” Trump even threatened to conduct an official investigation into why Fox had stopped airing all of his cult rallies live.

You have to wonder what Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends will have to say about Trump ordering his brainwashed minions to find another propaganda network. To be sure, Trump still lauds these sycophantic shills, but when he makes broad-based denouncements like this, no one is safe from the rancid spray of his scattershot wrath. That’s how the mind of a malignant narcissist works. The only thing that registers is unqualified adoration, and any diversion from such constitutes treason.

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

Trump-Fluffing on Fox News: Hosts Promote Bed-Buggy Doral Resort for the 2020 G7

In his closing remarks at the G7 summit in France, Donald Trump managed to deliver an infomercial for his Doral Miami Golf Resort to host the next G7 summit in 2020. It was a painfully self-serving spectacle that is also a likely violation of the Constitution. At the very least it’s a predictably Trumpy exhibit of greed and an utter lack of ethics.

Fox News Friends

Not surprisingly, Fox News weighed in on the idea the following morning. On Fox and Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes did a segment (video below) agreeing with Trump that Doral would be the perfect place for the summit. Even though there are thousands of hotels and conference centers across America that would be ideal for such an event. It’s just a weird coincidence that the site owned by Trump happens to be the best place of all. Who would have thought?

The segment began with Steve Doocy introducing Trump’s sales pitch from France. And it was all downhill from there. Brian Kilmeade jumped in to insist that there was no favoritism involved because Trump “would want to do it there anyway. It’s just the perfect site … Trump Tower is not available.” Then Doocy acknowledged the potential legal problems, but also provided an excuse:

“Critics say the use of his property for official business violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. I’m sure the president has asked the lawyers, ‘Hey, how can I donate this, how can we possibly work around it?”

The Emoluments Clause prohibits the President from accepting money, or anything of value, from foreign governments or persons. So if the representatives of the G7 had to actually pay Trump in order to attend the next summit, that’s a pretty obvious violation. Even if the site was donated, the publicity would have to be considered something of enormous value and, therefore, illegal. What’s more, Doocy is playing clairvoyant by surmising with certainty that Trump would have consulted his lawyers. You know, geniuses like Rudy Giuliani. But based on his past, that actually seems like the last thing Trump would do.

Ainsley Earhardt also contributed to the unpaid advertisement by remarking that “It would be a beautiful place, though, for world leaders to go and see what our country looks like.” Because all of America looks exactly like an elite golf spa in Miami? She then declared that Doral was “representative” of the country, before adding that “I’ve never been to Doral.” So in other words, she’s an expert, by Fox News standards.

None of the Fox friends bothered to mention that Doral had a serious problem with bed bugs a couple of years ago. But Trump couldn’t resist bringing it up:

Trump’s denials are in keeping with his tendency to lie about virtually anything. Even though – as in this case – he settled a lawsuit against the resort for the infestation. Trump and the Foxies also neglected to mention that Doral has been suffering a severe financial drought. It’s net operating income has dropped 69 percent in two years. So that would make Trump’s promotion of it even more suspicious as an attempt rescue another one of his floundering business enterprises.

It’s bad enough that Fox News is a 24/7, State TV, propaganda machine for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. But is there nothing too unethical for this so-called “news” network to do on behalf of their Dear Leader? They have already appeared at Trump’s political cult rallies. And they can be relied upon to defend any atrocity that Trump commits, while viciously maligning his critics. Now they are even serving as the sales agents for his failing golf resort. It would be oddly comforting if this were the bottom of the Fox News/Trump abyss. But every time it seems we’re there, they find a way dig even deeper.

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

Fox News Accidentally Says that Donald Trump is An Unelectable Slimeball

Some of the best moments on Fox News occur when they have no idea what they are talking about. This happens with some frequency considering the low bar that Fox sets for hiring pundits and commentators. The prerequisites for a job at Fox News are primarily the willingness to lie effusively on behalf of Donald Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party, and blond hair.

Donald Trump, Fox News

On Monday morning’s episode of Outnumbered there was a perfect example of this tendency that Fox has to stumble onto something truthful without ever knowing they did so. The program had a segment on the just announced candidacy of radio host and, former Tea Party Republican, Joe Walsh, for the GOP nomination for president. He’s a longshot challenger to Trump, but his conservative credentials and passionate denouncements of Trump could take a toll on the embattled and mentally infirm incumbent. While discussing Walsh’s prospects in the race, Fox host Shannon Bream sought to itemize his weaknesses by revisiting some his previous abhorrent statements (video below):

“This is what Joe Walsh said: ‘Obama’s a Muslim. He’s an enemy and a traitor.’ He said this about Kamala Harris: ‘If you’re black and a woman you say dumb things, lowered bar.’ He also got duped by Sacha Baron Cohen about arming toddlers and kindergartners with guns. […] I think critics might say it’s astonishing that he even thinks he can run right now.”

Okay, then. That’s now the Fox News criteria for establishing when someone is unfit to run for president, There were four standards laid out: Calling Obama a Muslim, calling Obama an enemy, saying black women are stupid, and getting punked by a hoaxster. Let’s see how Trump stands up.

In March of 2011, Trump was interviewed on the Laura Ingraham radio show prior to her joining Fox News. Among Trump’s noxious remarks was praise for the racists who insisted that President Obama was not an American. “A lot of the so-called Birthers,” Trump said, “these are great people. These are really great American people.” Much like the “very fine” Nazis Trump gushed over a few years later. He went on to say of Obama that…

“He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him […] perhaps it would be that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ And if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion.”

One down. Moving on, there is always a Trump tweet that manages to demonstrate his utter idiocy and/or hypocrisy. And in this matter there’s one where he literally posted a comment that said: “Obama is our worst enemy.”

Two down. Moving on, Trump is a well-known misogynist who’s past is replete with harassment, assault, and ceaseless bullying and insults. But specific to the standard set above, he has been especially demeaning to women of color in Congress and the media. His remarks about sending several congresswomen “back where they came from” was only the most recent incident. On many occasions he blatantly attacked African-American reporters for doing their job. For instance, he shouted down Abby Phillip of CNN saying “What a stupid question that is. What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.”

Three down. Moving on, Trump was also the victim of a prank call. Comedian “Stuttering” John Melendez (of Howard Stern’s radio show) got through to Trump on Air Force One by pretending to be New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. The call was directed to Trump by his son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.

So that’s all four of the criteria enumerated by Bream that make it “astonishing that he even thinks he can run right now.” Of course there are innumerable other reasons that Trump’s campaign is astonishing. They include his brazen violations of the law by welcoming and encouraging Russia’s attack on our election; his obstruction of justice; his breach of the Constitution’s emoluments clause; his overt racism and support for white nationalists; his coziness with brutal foreign tyrants; and his 12,000+ lies to the American people.

And that’s just for starters. Trump has disparaged American intelligence agencies. He has sided with Vladimir Putin against the U.S. His economic idiocy (tax cuts for the wealthy, benefit cuts for Social Security and Medicare, trade war, bullying the Fed, etc.) will likely lead to a severe recession. So it will be interesting to see if Fox News will hold Trump to the same standards they laid out for Walsh. Or even if they will hold him to the principles that the GOP used to advocate. Don’t hold your breath.

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

Dumb Trump Lies: My Most Asked Question at G7 is ‘Why Does American Media Hate America?’

The leaders of the seven largest national economies in the world (the Group of Seven, or G7) are currently meeting in Biarritz, France. There is surely much to discuss about international trade, currencies, investments, labor, the climate crisis, and more. But Donald Trump, alone among his colleagues, is fixated on an issue that has long been a fetish that he can’t seem to shake off.

Donald Trump

While in France Trump has predictably tweeted up a storm about a variety of matters that have nothing to do with the G7 summit. He wished happy birthdays to Sean Connery and Regis Philbin. He thanked Fox News clowns Diamond & Silk for a flattering tweet that was more than a month old. He defended his blasphemous assertion that he was “the Chosen One” and the “second coming of God.” And he kept his Twitterati apprised of every time he had a meal.

However, by far Trump’s pronouncements revolved around his paranoid obsession with the media. It’s a topic so consuming that he virtually ignores everything else going on at at this annual gathering. At least seven times he whined about one complaint or another with the press that he regards as “the enemy of the people.” And this hyper-concentration on this subject managed to make the full circle back to a bizarre projection of his own neuroses onto others. In the course of this dissembling, Trump manufactures flagrant lies to support his delusions. For instance:

So Trump wants people to believe that the heads of the world’s biggest countries are all concerned, not with critical matters of international economics, but with Trump’s personal battle with the press that he despises. He tries to pretend that the problem is with media hating America, as opposed to the media simply doing its job by reporting on him and his administration’s efforts to ignore looming threats. He is not America. Trump also accuses the press of rooting for the country to fail when, in fact, they are only covering the very real danger signs in the economy. Dangers that he himself is responsible for, and may even have intended for his own benefit.

In addition to this ludicrous assertion that all the other world leaders are hounding him with questions about the press, Trump also tweeted that “The Media is destroying the Free Press!” Which is like saying that the shoes are destroying those things you wear on your feet. He claimed the press is trying to “force a Recession.” Which, if the past is any indicator, would likely hurt the media more than most other businesses. He said that the media’s purpose in destroying itself is to hurt his prospects for reelection. Which is a pretty unselfish thing to do, don’t you think?

Trump also tweet-bragged about disreputable polling in order to stroke his own fragile ego. But he forgot to note that even a couple of his favorite pollsters showed him at low points of the year. And he twice ranted about Fox News hiring former Democratic National Committee official, Donna Brazile, falsely accusing her of giving Hillary Clinton debate questions. He’s still obsessing over the 2016 election.

It would be nice to say that the American people can rest assured that their President is hard at work in France, hammering out global solutions with other leaders. But no one thought that was going to happen anyway. As usual, he is embarrassing himself and the country with his ignorance, incompetence, and narcissism. And he continues to make the case for his impeachment and/or commitment to an institution – penal or mental, take your pick.

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

Why the Press Needs to Quit Being Pawns in Trump’s Lie-Riddled ‘Chopper Talk’ Reality Show

It has been 166 days since the last White House press briefing. This is an unprecedented and deliberate strategy by the Trump regime to deprive the press – and by extension the American people – of critical information regarding the affairs of the government that is supposed to be serving them.

Donald Trump

The last press briefing was held by former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is now working for Fox News. The new press secretary is a two-time drunk driver with a shady resume, Stephanie Grisham, who has not held a single press briefing. You have to wonder why Trump even bothers to have a communications staff when they aren’t doing their job.

The argument from the White House is that Trump is his own best spokesperson and that he provides more frequent access to the media than they would have with conventional press briefings. There is some truth that. Trump does address the press whenever he’s traveling to or from the White House. It’s generally an informal gathering on the West Wing lawn with the whirring of a helicopter in the background. Hence “Chopper Talk.” However, it might be more accurate to call it “Whopper Talk,” because all he does is lie and and obstruct any kind of substantive dialog or dissemination of useful info.

These media scrums are not substitutes for real press briefings. They are lame versions of a reality show that Trump seems to think he’s still on. Reporters are not permitted to ask follow up questions, and often aren’t even allowed to get their initial questions out without Trump interrupting them. In many instances Trump will call on a reporter, but when he gets the gist of the question will stop it and complain that he doesn’t like the question or the reporter asking it. Then he moves on to his next victim.

During this charade it is usually impossible to hear the actual questions. So Trump’s answers are often disassociated from any intelligible topic. Not that his answers aren’t always incoherent, but without the questions it makes it even worse. And when there is an exchange that is audible, Trump’s replies are littered with flagrant falsehoods. But the press isn’t able to point that out and require Trump to validate his often ludicrous assertions (like “China pays the tariffs” or that there is no recession, or his being “the Chosen One“). Jesse Watters of Fox News offered a helpful explanation for why Trump favors this method of dealing with the media (video below):

“What he does is this walk to Marine One. This is the way he kind of conducts the orchestra. He’s saying “No. Shut up. Stop with the asinine questions. And he kind of glides down the row and kind of conducts the press like a maestro. And it’s a brilliant performance.

Watters is actually complimenting Trump here. He thinks it’s good thing when the President “orchestrates” his media avails so that only his spin is delivered, rather than truths the public can rely on. He praises the President’s “performance” as if this were all just playacting, rather than serious discussions that impact people’s lives. Watters also approves of Trump telling reporters to “shut up.” But it’s downright bizarre for someone on an alleged “news” network to celebrate a political leader for violating the First Amendment rights of the press. Watters continued saying that…

The other thing it does is, it removes the faces of the preening media reporters from the television. They shoot them from behind so they don’t get to stand up and really get their face on camera, and that shuts them down so they can’t pose.”

This is another example of Fox News applauding Trump for diminishing reporters and suppressing the value of their work and the importance of their contribution to democracy. At Fox the only priority is propping up Dear Leader and maligning his critics. They have no respect for the media or the Constitution’s protection for it.

The same thing is true for Trump, who’s dismantling of the White House facility for communicating with the people is undemocratic and dangerous. And for that reason, the press should refrain from participating in the sham that Trump has concocted to replace real press briefings.

His predictable ranting is pretty much the same every time. He calls the media “the enemy of the people,” lies about what he said the day before, and brags about achievements that don’t exist in real life. Why should the press bother to show up for those sorts of soap opera thatrics? Just let him get on his helicopter and fly off to his next cult rally and tell those lies to his Deplorables.

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

https://www.foxnews.com/media/trump-media-watters-news-nbc-cnn

The Chosen One ‘Hereby Ordered’ American Companies to Obey the Divine Will of Trump

The severity of Donald Trump’s mental infirmity is expanding at breakneck speed. Just two days after Trump proclaimed himself “The Chosen One,” and retweeted an anti-Semitic conspiracy crackpot who declared that Trump is the “Second Coming of God,” his Assholiness is now barking out deranged orders to his “subjects.”

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In another one of his hallmark tweetstorms, Trump went off the rails, then turned around and dug them up with a backhoe. The subject of this nine-tweet opus was the economy and his daft notion that the Federal Reserve is conspiring against him to hurt his reelection prospects and bankrupt America. Of course Trump knows something about bankruptcy, having had at least six of his own. However this tirade was utterly preposterous and downright dangerous.

For one thing, Trump (as usual) has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s furious that Fed chairman Jay Powell hasn’t cut interest rates. His reasoning is that the economy is doing spectacularly well and a rate cut would make it even better. However, anyone with any knowledge of monetary policy knows that you only cut rates when the economy is weakening. So maybe Trump is inadvertently admitting something there. What’s more, cutting rates would provide a huge financial benefit to Trump personally, which may be the real reason he’s pushing so hard for it.

Trump began his rant by insisting (again) that “The Economy is strong and good.” He ridiculed the idea that a recession might be imminent, contrary to the analyses of most credible economists. He then accused his critics of being “willing to lose their wealth” to defeat him in 2020. Which is pretty unselfish of them, don’t you think? Following that, Trump whined some more about the Fed and then fired off the big question:

That’s right. Trump thinks that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, who he appointed, might be a more fearsome enemy of the United States than the leader of a hostile nation that carries billions of dollars of U.S. debt, has a stockpile of nuclear weapons, and a standing army of more than 2,000,000. Of course, this question is easy for Trump because he doesn’t regard Xi as an enemy at all. He has repeatedly referred to him as his friend. Which leaves only Powell as the foe who must be vanquished.

Nevertheless, Trump goes on to demean China (which won’t help with future negotiations) as an outlaw nation and asserts that “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.” Within minutes of that tweet the stock market took a precipitous dive. However, the most disconcerting part of it was Trump’s assumption of dictatorial powers that he definitely does not have:

There is absolutely no authority in the Constitution, or any other legal document, that allows the President to issue such orders. It is, in fact, antithetical to the concepts of democracy and free markets. It’s ironic that this Republican president who bellows incessantly about the dangers of socialism, would make statements that only a communist tyrant (i.e. Xi, Putin, Kim) could embrace. And yet, none of his fellow Republicans have said a word to refute him.

As if to underscore all of this idiocy, Trump went on to demonstrate just how ignorant he is about world affairs and economics. His last tweet in this series bragged that “Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China.” The last two and half years? The U.S. economy has always been larger than China. This is like trying to take credit for the Sun being hotter than Pluto.

You have to wonder how Trump’s glassy-eyed disciples can continue to back him when he’s gushing out such ludicrous ideas and proposals. His evangelical supporters haven’t condemned his blasphemous Messiah Complex. And now his GOP backers are silent about his authoritarian commandments and his anti-free-market aspirations for control over American businesses. This type of loyalty has a name, and it’s been said before. Trumpism is not, as he calls it, “the greatest political movement in the history of our Country.” It’s a cult! And it threatens every ideal that Americans have cherished for 243 years.

UPDATE: Trump posted a tweet acknowledging the 600+ decline in the Dow, but made a joke out of it because American businesses and investors (including workers and retirees) losing a fortune is just so funny. But more importantly, he added four more tweets in the afternoon wherein he escalated the tariff disputes with China into a full-blown trade war. Enjoy the coming Great Trump Recession, everybody.

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

Fox News is Spinning (Lying) Furiously to Cover Up A Devastating Exodus of Advertisers

You almost have to feel sorry for the poor shills at State TV (aka Fox News). Their corporate mission is inextricably tied to defending Republican policies and politicians. And with Donald Trump gumming up the works every day with tirades that stretch the boundaries of either hate speech or humor, their jobs cannot be easy. In fact, it must be a downright nightmare having to make lame, impotent excuses for their Chosen One.”

Fox News, Titanic

In addition to facing Trump’s rapidly declining poll numbers, Fox is also having to absorb incoming rhetorical missiles from Trump, the guy they are working so hard to promote and protect. It’s a complex tango that results in everyone getting their toes stepped on. But Fox is up to the challenge. They just announced the hiring of Trump’s former Press Secretary and confessed liar, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She’s expected to be running for Arkansas governor, so this job is Fox’s campaign contribution.

Fox News is simultaneously suffering through some difficult financial times due to the noxious commentaries of some of their top program hosts. Particularly Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. In April of this year Variety reported that “ad dollars attached to ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ fell 47.8%, to $48.3 million from almost $92.7 million in 2017.” That’s a nearly 50 percent haircut. The numbers of ads on his program dropped a similar percentage to only fifteen from thirty-six last October. Laura Ingraham is experiencing the same drop-off in advertisers. So what could be causing these financial calamities while their viewership remains as passionately loyal as any cult?

Well, it could be that Tucker Carlson’s flagrant bigotry is a staple of his nightly program and advertisers are reaching their breaking point. His most recent controversy was triggered by his preposterous statement that white nationalism “is a hoax.” Never mind that most acts of domestic terrorism are by white nationalists, according to the Trump-appointed FBI Director, Christopher Wray.

Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham’s problems began after she attacked the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting. These are kids who suffered a nightmare that no one should ever face, but who Ingraham considered fair game for even more abuse. She is also notorious for her racist and elitist views, such as when she said that basketball legend and philanthropist LeBron James should shut up and dribble.”

Fox News, however, is fiercely defensive and unrepentant. They insist that they haven’t lost any revenue as a result of their loathsome hosts because the ads are merely shifted to other programs. That’s an outright lie. It would mean that the other programs had unsold ad inventory that these ads could be slipped into. If that’s true they are admitting to even bigger problems selling ads throughout the day. But even if we accept Fox’s explanation, that still means they lost money because moving a primetime ad to a less expensive daypart would require significant discounting. What’s more, Fox programming is now cluttered with unpaid Fox News promos and cheesy, low cost ads for reverse mortgages and MyPillow.

Any other business would be concerned about this sort of dwindling revenue. But since Fox News is a political operation first and a business second (and never a news enterprise), they are willing to take the hit. While they are surely as greedy as any other corporation, they are more committed to advancing the interests of Trump and the GOP. If that’s a costly proposition, they regard it as money well spent to disinform their audience and spread right-wing lies. And unless the movement to defund Fox escalates significantly, expect this to continue throughout the 2020 election cycle and beyond.

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

Trump Says ‘I Am the Chosen One’ After Tweeting that He’s ‘The Second Coming of God’

Many people have been predicting that as the tribulations of Donald Trump intensify, his mental state will become ever more unstable and dangerous. That appears to be the case as he is battered by devastating poll numbers, a weakening economy, and chaos on both domestic and foreign matters that is pulling back the curtains on his incompetence and failure.

Donald Trump Messiah

But did anyone see this coming? In response to a question about his trade war with China, Trump looked to the heavens and proclaimed to reporters today that “I am the chosen one.” Well, maybe if he means chosen by Vladimir Putin. And while some may regard this as typical Trumpian hyperbole, it needs to be viewed in relation to his other recent commentaries.

Trump has long been known to harbor aspirations of dictatorship. He has expressed jealousy over Xi Jinping’s status as “President for Life.” He openly yearned for Putin’s power to “get rid of” the press. But perhaps most troubling is his fervent wish that Americans worship him the way North Koreans do Kim Jong Un. That’s a theme that returned on Wednesday when Trump retweeted Wayne Allyn Root, a notorious conspiracy crackpot who, among other things, was a prominent Birther and believed that the Democratic Party murdered Seth Rich. Trump’s tweets quoted Root saying that…

President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him….”

….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for…..”

…..all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” Wow! @newsmax @foxandfriends @OANN

So Trump’s “America First” mantra is now being set aside to allow him to also be the president of Israel. Even worse, Trump is echoing the blasphemous assertion that he is the “King of Israel” and even the returning Messiah as “the second coming of God.” It’s also notable that Trump is crediting Fox News and the even more radical right One America News Network for these remarks.

For the record, Jews do not believe in the second coming. But Christians in America do. And are they really comfortable with Trump passing along these flagrantly unholy pronouncements? Is there any sacrilege that Trump can commit that will cause his pious devotees to question his omnipotence? Apparently telling more than 12,000 lies won’t do it. Nor will cheating on his three (so far) wives. Although there may be a bit of concern about his potty mouth.

Trump has previously made staggeringly irreligious remarks. For instance, when asked if had ever asked God for forgiveness, he replied that he didn’t need to because he has never done anything wrong:

“I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?”

That, of course, shows that Trump has a painfully misguided interpretation of the tenets of his own alleged Presbyterian faith, including “original sin,” wherein all are born with sin and require God’s forgiveness for salvation. But he also has a perversely delusional image of himself as infallible, a state that Christians believe only Christ had achieved. Which brings us back to these new comments wherein he regards himself as, at least, Christ-like.

In the past few days Trump has delivered abhorrent, anti-Semitic diatribes aimed at Democratic members of Congress, and Democratic voters in general. He said that they are both stupid and disloyal. That’s not only insulting, but it rekindles an old affront to Jews as not being patriotic Americans.

What’s more, it ignores the reality that American Jews are overwhelming Democratic and ardent opponents of Trump. So it’s fair to say that he hasn’t helped himself with that sector of the electorate this week. In fact, he’s just digging himself deeper into an abyss of hatred and division that Americans of all stripes will reject in November of 2020.

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

Trump’s Favorite Pollster Has Him Floundering Near His Lowest Point of the Year

The best way of determining what Donald Trump is most afraid of is by tracking what he’s tweeting about most furiously. Often it’s Democrats who he’s unable to debate on rational terms so he lashies out with racist insults. Other times he’s frantically trying to convince his Deplorables that the country isn’t headed for a painful recession of his own making.

Donald Trump

However, an extraordinary amount of Trump’s limited attention span is frequently consumed with the press that he thinks is engaging in a conspiracy to destroy him. His knee-jerk tirades against what he calls the “fake” news are never backed up by facts, but always dripping with acrimony and the bile of his gushing paranoia.

It’s bad enough when just the news outlets that he loves to attack are reporting honestly about his latest failure (which he hates), but now even his pet news sources are joining the resistance, in his mind. Fox News just released a poll that shows him with a near record high disapproval rating. It also shows the top Democratic challengers beating him in the general election. That, of course, has him hopping mad.

Consequently, he really isn’t going to like the latest polling from his favorite – and most flagrantly biased – pollster, Rasmussen. Trump often tweets every time Rasmussen reports a positive number. But don’t expect him to tweet that his approval rating is now at a dismal (for Rasmussen) 44 percent, with a disapproval of 54 percent. That’s one point off of his worst showing of the year.

Of course, these Rasmussen numbers fluctuate with little connection to real world events. Although in this case the multiple mass shootings a couple of weeks ago, and the effect of Trump’s tariffs on the economy and the pocketbooks of average Americans, may be taking a toll. So naturally Trump takes to Twitter to vent his outrage:

Notice that this eruption of his infamous and reckless “enemy of the people” mantra is not being directed at the media because of their reporting on Trump’s collusion with Russia or his idiotic border wall. Nope, this outburst is because they didn’t sufficiently swoon at the size of his crowd at a New Hampshire cult rally. To trump size matters. And he has been whining about this for several days now. It’s all he has left.

The notion that the media is “corrupt” because they aren’t fawning over the blind devotion of his glassy-eyed followers is patently absurd. Even worse, Trump is boasting that he broke an attendance record set by Elton John at the same venue. But that comparison is ridiculous considering that Elton’s fans paid upwards of $60.00 a piece, while Trump’s red-hatted geeks got in for free. Let him charge sixty bucks and see how many show up.

To sum up, Trump’s attempted negotiations with China, North Korea, Iran, and even allies like Mexico and Europe are falling apart. The nation is livid about his (and his GOP comrades in Congress) negligence to do anything affirmative about guns. Migrant children are still being separated from their parents and housed in cages. And most economists are predicting an imminent recession or worse. No wonder both Fox News and Rasmussen are delivering near record low numbers for Trump. And, as a result, you can expect his behavior to become even more unhinged going forward. It’s as predictable as a Trump casino going bankrupt.

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