Hannity and Dershowitz Display Their Utter Ignorance and Disrespect for the Constitution

On Wednesday Donald Trump announced that he intends to file a lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, Google, and their executives for not allowing him to disseminate dangerously inflammatory lies. It’s a laughably pathetic legal stunt populated by a clown show of disreputable attorneys making preposterous arguments.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Trump’s lawsuit has been recognized by most legal experts as a frivolous abuse of the court system that is aimed more at fleecing his cult followers than prevailing in court. But undeterred by rational legal analysis, Fox News jumped eagerly into supporting Trump’s futile legal antics. On Wednesday evening Sean Hannity invited Alan Dershowitz to comment on the litigation. Dershowitz was a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, so his prejudices and intellectual deficiencies are apparent. However, he was truly skirting the edges of coherence when he engaged in this exchange with Hannity:

Hannity: Seems like a strong case. But obviously nothing is a slam dunk.
Dershowitz: This is the most important First Amendment case of the 21st century, and it’s important because it pits freedom of speech on the one hand against the First Amendment on the other hand. That may sound paradoxical, but remember, it’s the high tech giants that are banning freedom of speech. They are censoring. But they are claiming the right to do so under the First Amendment. So they’re using the First Amendment as a sword against freedom of speech.

First of all, Hannity’s assertion that Trump has a “strong case” is contrary to reality. Not only does the case fail on legal grounds, it was filed in in the wrong jurisdiction – Florida rather than California – and may be dismissed on that alone. That’s just more proof that this is a charade for profit and that Trump and his lawyers don’t have any real intention of winning.

As for Dershowitz, he is making it hard to believe that he was ever regarded as a constitutional scholar. He began his remarks by portraying the case as “the most important First Amendment case of the 21st century,” when it isn’t actually a First Amendment case at all. For it to be a First Amendment case there would have to be government involvement in suppression of free speech. But Trump’s targets are all private companies. Trump’s lawyers are trying to claim that the social media companies are “government actors,” but that’s an imaginary label with no legal validity.

Where Dershowitz goes off the rails entirely is the nonsense that the “high tech giants” are claiming First Amendment protection to censor Trump. They are not. They have never asserted a First Amendment protection because they aren’t being suppressed by the government. What’s more, they have every right to monitor what appears on their websites. By Dershowitz’s standards, I should be able to force Fox News to give me airtime every night.

Furthermore, they are not “banning freedom of speech.” Trump, as he has said himself, has many opportunities to express himself, some of which he has claimed are superior to the companies he’s suing. “I’m really getting the big word out,” Trump bragged, “because we’re doing releases. And every time I do a release it’s all over the place. It’s more elegant than Twitter.”

Once again, Trump opens his big mouth and undermines his own arguments. In fact, his “releases” are actually undermining the entire premise of his lawsuit. Every time he makes incendiary statements about how the Radical Left Democrats will “further DESTROY our Country,” and that the 2020 presidential election was disgraceful and corrupt and “RIGGED and STOLEN,” he’s affirming the decisions by the social media platforms to remove his violence inciting account. So the more he keeps talking, the better. (Geez, I never thought I’d say that).

And meanwhile…

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

Crybaby Trump Files Asinine ‘1st Amendment’ Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook, and Google

Last week Trump’s spokes shill tweeted that Trump would “make a huge announcement” on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. That day has come and the announcement is living down to the expectations that most people have for the one-term, twice-impeached, former reality TV game show host who is indisputably America’s biggest loser.

Donald Trump, Constitution

From his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort, Trump delivered a nearly hour long address to reveal his intention to file a lawsuit against “Big Tech” companies, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Make no mistake, this alleged litigation (there is no evidence yet that it’s been filed) is driven purely by Trump’s voracious ego and thirst for revenge.

After having his accounts on social media suspended for blatant violations of their terms of service, Trump is proposing to exploit the courts to punish the private companies who took responsible actions to stem his inflammatory rhetoric. He already incited a deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C., on January 6th, and he is continuing his bellicose “Big Lie” rants that drove his glassy-eyed disciples to riot and storm the Capitol.

Trump’s tedious dissertation on his pending lawsuit was filled with bizarre and legally preposterous assertions. He starts off describing this suit as the beginning of a much bigger initiative. “We will take this battle,” he promises, “to state legislatures, to Congress, and to the ballot box.” But the whole premise of the action is ludicrous. Trump thinks that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which protects free speech) makes social media liable as “government actors” and subject to First Amendment prohibitions against censorship:

“Once they got Section 230 they’re no longer private companies anymore in a lot of views. […] These companies have been coopted, coerced and weaponized by government and by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship.

Not only is Trump’s interpretation of Section 230 completely off, he is articulating a paranoid, crackpot conspiracy theory that social media companies are in cahoots with the feds to silence him. Like his unhinged raving about election fraud, there is no evidence of these allegations either. But that doesn’t stop him from spouting off incoherently (video below) Some excerpts follow:

“Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative a major class action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as their CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey. Three real nice guys. We’re asking the district court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

We’re demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well. Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American. We all know that. We know that very, very well. Our lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief to allow prompt restitution.”

Trump didn’t cite a single legal principle to support his claims. That’s because he can’t. The Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits government censorship. Hence the wording that “Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Trump actually undermines his case by bragging about all the avenues of speech he has available to him that he insists are successful (they aren’t).

“We’re in a fight, we’re in a fight that we’re going to win. So many people have said to me, ‘Please sir, do something about big tech. Sue them, sir. Sue them.’ And they’ve been saying it to me for a long time. But there has never been a better time to do it. Polling released by Scott Rasmussen, highly respected, shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that big tech companies should be required to abide by the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.”

Trump always has a “sir” story wherein some beleaguered soul begs him to do something that really only benefits Trump. And his reliance on the notoriously disreputable Rasmussen for polling data doesn’t advance his legal interests. Even reputable polls are not legal arguments. Cases are decided by statute and precedent, not popularity.

“Social Media has given extraordinary power to a group of Big Tech Giants that are working with government, the mainstream media, and a large segment of a political party to silence and suppress the views of the American people. And they’ve been very, very successful at that. Not in all cases, but in many cases totally successful.”

This is more conspiracy mongering that now includes a cabal comprised of the government, tech companies, the media, and Democrats. If you ask him, Trump would probably add academia, banking, the judiciary, liberal churches, and the Girl Scouts of America.

Following his prepared, TelePrompTer remarks, Trump took questions from what was obviously an exclusive club of ultra-conservative media. Every question was framed positively for Trump, or prefaced with adoring commentary. That’s just more proof that Trump can’t be taken seriously that he cares about a free press. Which, you recall, he has repeatedly maligned in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the People.”

It’s impossible to set aside Trump’s flaming hypocrisy in all of this. After all, he’s the first one to “cancel” anyone who dares to contradict him. He is the undisputed King of Cancel Culture. He has called for dozens of boycotts of American companies. He even expressed his regret that he didn’t ban Facebook and Twitter when he mistakenly thought he could have as president. And now his buddy, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, is pushing a state law that would make it illegal for private companies to monitor their own website comments.

It’s from that perch of police state prohibition that Trump is heralding his campaign for free speech. So not only is Trump on swampy ground legally, he’s up to both of his chins in hypocrisy. This lawsuit, if it is ever actually filed, is going nowhere in hurry, according to most legal experts.

However, let’s hope that this suit isn’t dismissed before the defendants can conduct discovery. There is a wealth of information that can be acquired regarding Trump’s activities prior to, and during the insurrection, his relationships with right-wing media (Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, etc.), and efforts to unlawfully damage the commercial interests of private companies against whom he holds grudges. That should be fun.

UPDATE: It’s All About the Grift! David Corn of Mother Jones spells out the latest con.

“In typical Trumpian fashion, the cases were amateurishly cobbled together, with arguments and contentions that legal experts immediately derided. […] Trump has a long history of both threatening suits that never materialize and filing bogus cases that go nowhere.” […]

“Other than ginning up the Big Lie believers, there is another strong reason for Trump to proceed with this case: money. Lots of money. No sooner had Trump’s lawyers filed when his grift-machine kicked into action. A text message was sent to Trump supporters hitting them up for donations. “President Trump is filing a LAWSUIT against Facebook and Twitter for UNFAIR CENSORSHIP!” it proclaimed.”

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

GOP Bill Would Force Twitter to Allow Trump’s Inflammatory Lies and Disinformation

The Republican Party has been engaging in a full court press to cripple democracy across the country. They tried to obstruct and/or overturn the 2020 presidential election (and Trump is still doing so). They passed bills aimed at suppressing and disenfranchising voters, particularly those of people of color. They are disseminating the racist “white replacement theory” to frighten their base that “others” are conspiring to replace them in the electorate.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

Now they are upping the ante by advocating trashing the Constitution in order to impose totalitarian control over social media companies who fail to comply with their demands. NBC News is reporting that…

“Florida is on track to be the first state in the nation to punish social media companies that ban politicians like former President Donald Trump under a bill approved Thursday by the state’s Republican-led Legislature. […] the proposal appears destined to be challenged in court after a tech industry trade group called it a violation of the First Amendment speech rights of corporations.”

Let’s be clear about this. Florida Republicans are seeking to force private companies to bend to their partisan political will. Social media services like Twitter and Facebook took the extraordinary step of suspending the accounts of Donald Trump after his reckless and dishonest posts led to deadly riots in Washington, D.C. by insurrections for whom he professed his love. The sole purpose of the new law is to placate Trump and make it easier for him to advance his self-serving, anti-democratic crusade. The article went on to note that “Republicans have called social media bans unfair censorship,” and that…

“The Florida bill would prohibit social media companies from knowingly ‘deplatforming’ political candidates, meaning a service could not ‘permanently delete or ban’ a candidate. Suspensions of up to 14 days would still be allowed, and a service could remove individual posts that violate its terms of service.

“The state’s elections commission would be empowered to fine a social media company $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for other candidates if a company’s actions are found to violate the law.”

The state has absolutely no legal authority to force private companies to provide a platform for any individual. The constitutional protection against censorship applies only to the government. But Florida’s Republicans argue that the wide influence of social media is cause for increased regulation. If that’s true, then shouldn’t the same principle apply to television and newspapers that also enjoy wide influence? By that standard, shouldn’t Fox News be forced to carry my stories and opinions, and be fined if they refuse?

Republicans used to believe in something called a “free market.” They insisted that business should be free of government intervention and that the marketplace should decide the winners. Trump even made that argument recently when he predicted that Twitter and Facebook would fail without him and he floated a proposal to start his own social media company.

That’s competition. And while Trump’s alt-Twitter would likely suffer a humiliating defeat, at least it would be decided in the free market. Florida’s bill upends all of that and puts the boot of autocracy on businesses that they regard as disobedient. Which is further proof that Republicans are flaming hypocrites who will discard any and all principles when they don’t adhere to their advantage.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Joe Biden Ends Trump’s War on Truth and the Free Press – and Zings Fox News

The not-so-old adage that “elections have consequences” has proven once again to be an insightful admonition to those who would defy democracy and the indefatigable will of the American people. Donald Trump found this out the hard way by narrowing his appeal to an impotent minority of racists and far-right extremists, rather than seeking to broaden his base by reaching out to the reality-based community.

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Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Among the consequences that Trump will suffer, in addition to his humiliating electoral defeat, are a rapid undoing of his worst policy initiatives (i.e. climate change, immigration, healthcare, etc.), the expulsion of his most despicable appointees throughout his administration (i.e. Justice, Defense, Intelligence, EPA, etc.), and an avalanche of of both criminal and civil lawsuits (tax/financial, sexual harassment/assault, defamation, etc.). Trump may have less time available for golf and television as a private citizen than he did as the alleged “president.”

Joe Biden’s inauguration speech was surprisingly well received considering his reputation for something less than soaring oratory. Even Chris Wallace of Fox News said that it was “the best inaugural address I ever heard.” But don’t let that fool you into thinking that Fox News has turned over new leaf. Sean Hannity watched the same address and described our new president as “the weak, the frail, the cognitively struggling Biden.” Clearly Hannity was viewing it through his manure-caked eyeglasses.

While Biden touched an many subjects of great importance to the American people (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, international relations, and his commitment to national unity), he included some specific passages that foretold a renewed respect for the free press. Gone is Trump’s Stalinist yowl that “the media is the enemy of the people.” In Biden’s inaugural address he correctly observed that “We face an attack on democracy and on truth.” Then he pointedly made these profound remarks:

“Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”

“Manipulated” and “manufactured” facts are another way of saying “alternative” facts (h/t Kellyanne Conway). It’s also a nod to what Fox news has done throughout Trump’s occupation of the White House.

“There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation – to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”

This is another shout out to Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News), where “Lies told for power and for profit” is embedded in their corporate mission statement.

“But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.”

Here Biden is being generous by lumping Fox News in with legitimate sources of news. Even Fox doesn’t call what they do “news.” It is literally a part of their entertainment division. And it isn’t going to get any better in the post-Trump era. They have already announced programming changes that shift more airtime to their ultra-conservative opinion hosts.

For his part, Joe Biden is making good on his promise to restore truth and decency to the White House press corps and its relationship with the media. Early on in his term Trump abandoned daily press briefings. He went weeks without holding any. And when he did, they were filled with lies and self-serving blather. His press secretaries were a confederacy of dishonest spinners (Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Kayleigh McEnany) whose flair for flagrant falsehoods was famous.

Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, held her first press briefing on Inauguration Day. She told reporters that her goal was to “bring transparency and truth back to the American government.” Elaborating, she said that…

“I have deep respect for a free and independent press in our democracy and for the role that all of you play. As I noted earlier, there will be moments when we disagree and there will certainly be days we disagree for extensive parts of the briefing even perhaps. But we have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”

That’s a refreshing upgrade from the bellicose bundle of belligerence that stained Trump’s hostile and childish tantrum throwing tirades whenever he engaged the press. It’s a return to the more productive encounters that provide opportunities for political leaders to communicate with the public, while simultaneously allowing journalists to confront those leaders on the public’s behalf. And if both the President and the press pursue those as their goals, the nation can only be better off for it.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Study Proves that Banishing Trump From Twitter Improved the Internet 73%

On January 8th, two days after the Donald Trump Insurrectionists assaulted Congress, Twitter finally suspended his account. It was a long overdue action to prevent him from inciting further violence and disseminating ever more preposterous and self-serving lies. Unfortunately, it came after five deaths and the desecration of America’s seat of democracy.

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Donald Trump, Twitter

Trump got away with exploiting social media for years, where he recklessly radicalized an intellectually challenged and emotionally vulnerable confederacy of conspiracy crackpots. He deftly manipulated them to serve his own brazenly selfish and nefarious purposes. It culminated in the riots in Washington that Trump’s deliberately inflammatory rhetoric triggered.

However, that is not the end of the story. Trump will surely continue to advance his egomaniacal aspirations. And he will be aided and abetted by Fox News. On Saturday evening, Fox’s Senior Trump-Fluffer, “Judge” Jeannine Pirro, hosted the Republican’s leading propagator of political cowplop, Jim Jordan. This excerpt from their discussion is illustrative of the deranged mindset on the right:

Pirro: To limit those who are Republicans, to literally get them off the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. I mean there is basically, not just a removal of free speech, but it is a removal of our freedom.
Jordan: Yeah. This cancel culture is dangerous. It’s the most dangerous thing going

That’s right. Removing Trump from Twitter is “the most dangerous thing going.” Clearly more dangerous than the deadly rioters that Trump incited with his incendiary and delusional tweets about election fraud. And far more dangerous than the coronavirus that Trump downplayed and allowed to spread unchecked, killing 400,000 Americans.

Fox News would never engage in that sort of “cancel culture.” Well, except that they have totally refused to give me any airtime to reveal how dishonest and dangerous they are. I mean, what’s up with that? They are removing, not just my right to free speech, but my freedom.

And it’s not like Trump deserves this online suppression. Has he ever “cancelled” anyone? Well, you know, other than cancelling Fox News whenever they have been less than unconditionally adoring or insufficiently flattering for his elephantine ego. If Fox ever permits a Trump critic to speak – even if just momentarily so they can prepare an attack – Trump immediately whines that Fox News is dead and insists that everyone stop watching and switch to even more worshipful channels like OANN or Newsmax.

What Jordan, Pirro, and Fox News continue to fail to understand is that the free speech protections in the Constitution only prohibit government censorship. Twitter is a private company with stated rules that users must comply with. They include refraining from advocating violence and disseminating falsehoods that could result in harm. Trump violated those rules regularly.

The evidence of the harm Trump caused was recently documented in a study that found that after Twitter banned Trump, “online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent.” That’s a pretty revealing statistic that attests to the hypnotic influence Trump has on his cult disciples. It isn’t just an accounting of his Twitter activity, but the combined effect of the retweets and other regurgitation on the part of Trump’s followers.

The fact that Trump’s absence from Twitter and Facebook can have this profound an impact on the disinformation that circulates online is justification for removing him and any other party that seeks to mislead the public in ways that produce violence and tangible trauma to society at large. And that being the case, how about we do Fox News next?

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Trump’s Final, Furious, Flabbergasted, Frothing, Frantic Tweet Annotated

Well, it took four years, but Twitter finally recognized that Donald Trump is a risk to the Constitution’s promise to “establish Justice, [and] insure domestic Tranquility.” It took Trump’s cheerleading of lawless insurrectionists in Washington, D.C., to get Twitter to act. But now Trump has been set adrift to languish in the obscurity of … oh wait. He still has Fox News and a plethora of other right-wing platforms to disseminate his lies and his appeals to terrorists that comprise his cult following.

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Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

After Twitter shut down Trump’s account, he behaved like a cranky toddler who was determined cause a scene in the checkout line at Walmart. He barricaded himself in his bunker, watching Fox News and spitting out what become the last of his twantrums. He tried to continue posting his irate blather on the official White House Twitter account, but those tweets were quickly removed. However, there is some usefulness in observing just how deeply demented Trump has become, and it’s evident in those final tweets. What follows is an annotated version of Trump’s foaming anxiety and ire:

“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech…”
Trump has been saying for a long time that every media outlet was hell-bent on quashing free speech. But in reality, he was only referring to any incident where private companies prevented him from flinging verbal feces, which they have a right and responsibility to do. And he apparently doesn’t know that, in constitutional terms, free speech only applies to government prohibition of speech.

“…and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform…”
As usual, Trump has no more evidence for his assertion that Twitter coordinated with Democrats or anyone else, than he does of the election fraud he’s been whining about for months. What’s more, Twitter is notorious for their toleration of radical right-wingers who advocate violence and threaten their enemies.

“…to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.”
Twitter is only “silencing” Trump if you believe that he has no other outlet for his rabid rants. And while he likes to pretend that any offense to him is an attack on all of his cult disciples, that is patently false. They are still able to tweet and whine and regurgitate his belligerent BS.

“…Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long. I predicted this would happen.”
Trump still has no idea what “Section 230” is or does. It is simply a rule that indemnifies any business that permits online comments from lawsuits for what their users post. Without that protection, the potential liabilities would demand that all such commentary be shut down. It would, in fact, diminish free speech.

“We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.”
Don’t hold your breath. Whenever Trump says he’ll have a “big announcement” soon it never seems to come to pass. We’re still waiting for his healthcare plan that he said would be revealed in two weeks for the past four years. And any platform of his own would likely just be his next humiliating failure and bankruptcy

“We will not be SILENCED! Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely…”
Once again, when Trump says “WE,” he means “ME.” But he’s right that Twitter is not about free speech. It’s a forum for comments that must follow the terms and regulations that Twitter requires every user to agree to. But Trump refuses to follow the rules. He expects special treatment for his own viciousness, then whines petulantly when he doesn’t get it.

“…STAY TUNED!”
Don’t bother. Unless you’re a glutton for relentless griping, egomaniacal self-promotion, and sniveling lies.

This is actually a fantastic way for Trump go out. His Twitter finale could not be more appropriate. It includes all of the top psychotic raves that Trump is known for. And it is a fitting flourish with which to cap his legacy of lies, hostility, conceit, and ignorance.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow my alternate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Trump is Inciting His Deplorables to Commit Violence Against Journalists

No president in America’s history has been more hostile to the press than Donald Trump. He repeatedly refers to them in Stalinist terms as the “the enemy of the people.” That openly aggressive posturing is an unambiguous assault on the constitution’s First Amendment. And Trump’s vicious rhetoric has been cited as endangering the work – and lives – of journalists, not just in the United States, but around the world.

Trump Charlotsville

On Saturday Trump took another leap crossing over the line of decency and free speech during his latest Coronavirus Super Spreader event in Minnesota. Reading from his teleprompter, Trump told a story about a reporter covering Black Lives Matter protests in the state several weeks ago:

“I remember this guy Welshi. He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas and he went down. He was down. […] After we take all that crap – for weeks and weeks they would take that crap – and then you finally see men get up there and go right through… Wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order.”

Like virtually every story that Trump tells, almost none of this one was truthful. To begin with, the reporter’s name was Ali Velshi, not Welshi. Perhaps Trump was using the Russian pronunciation. Secondly, Velshi was hit by a rubber bullet, not a tear gas canister. But those are relatively trivial misstatements by Trump who is rarely able to express himself coherently (which has not gone unnoticed by the American people).

More troubling was Trump’s celebration of this assault on a journalist by government goons as “a beautiful sight.” How any American “leader” can describe such an attack in those favorable terms is unthinkable. Trump is affirming his long held reputation as a fascist wannabe who aligns himself with the noxious philosophies of the authoritarian dictators he so admires (i.e. Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, etc.). These are people who brazenly violate press freedoms and even torture and murder critical journalists. And Trump is moving more in that direction every day.

Trump elaborated on his praise for federal agents physically assaulting reporters in another speech later in the day in North Carolina. In that tirade Trump got Velshi’s network wrong, saying he was with CNN, rather than MSNBC. He also lied that Velshi was reporting from a “war zone” when the truth was that he was covering a peaceful demonstration. Well, except for the feds. The video of Velshi’s reporting proves that.

Velshi himself addressed Trump’s remarks about the incident when he was shot, and asks a relevant question that Trump will surely fail to answer:

Make no mistake, this was not an off the cuff commentary by a rambling lunatic. Yes, Trump is a rambling lunatic, but this wasn’t off the cuff. He was reading from a teleprompter. And he was deliberately sending a message to his glassy-eyed disciples that assaulting journalists is something that will earn his appreciation. Trump is overtly soliciting his cult followers to commit what can only be described as terrorism. And he is promising to reward them with compliments and praise for what a “beautiful” thing they’ve done.

These remarks by Trump pretty much guarantee that more reporters will be attacked just for doing their jobs. The assailants will feel justified because the president has given his approval in advance. And if there is any justice in this world, Trump will be charged criminally and civilly for any harm that comes to journalists due to his reckless ranting.

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

WTF? Bill Barr Told Rupert Murdoch to ‘Muzzle’ a Fox News Trump Critic

The creeping fascism of the Donald Trump regime continues to unfurl as the criminal accomplices in his cabinet carry out his nefarious agenda. Chief among them is Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, who doesn’t even bother anymore to disguise his desecration of the Justice Department into a pseudo-legal cabal that works solely as Trump’s personal defense team.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

A new book by CNN’s media correspondent, Brian Stelter, is set to be released next week, and excerpts are starting to make the rounds. Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, has already created quite a stir with revelations about how insiders at Fox News privately admit that they think Trump is “crazy,” even while they exalt him worshipfully on the air.

The toxic, codependent relationship between Trump and Fox News has been the source of incalculable damage to American media and democracy. It is an unprecedented political/press partnership that benefits both. Fox News gets an audience with cult-like devotion that they can brainwash with blatant scare tactics and the darkly unifying force of racism. While Trump gets an aggressive assault team to attack his critics and political opponents, and a constant defense for his unending stream of unsavory conduct and outright crimes. It’s a marriage whose foundation rests on lies and ignorance.

Another excerpt from the book was just published by The Guardian. This one describes a meeting that took place last October between Barr and Fox News Overlord, Rupert Murdoch. News Corpse speculated at the time that the meeting resulted in the resignation of Fox host Shepard Smith, which was announced the next day. But Stelter’s book reports that there was another topic of discussion on their agenda:

“The attorney general, William Barr, told Rupert Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Andrew Napolitano, a prominent Fox News personality who became a critic of Donald Trump, according to a new book about the rightwing TV network. […] Trump ‘was so incensed by the judge’s TV broadcasts that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge’. [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.'”

Just to be clear, intimidating and manipulating the media is not a part of the Attorney General’s job. In fact, it isn’t a part of any government official’s job. It is a totalitarian tactic to control speech and clampdown on the free press. And this sort of suppression of the constitutional rights of journalists is part and parcel of the Trump Doctrine that has designated the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, has been known to criticize Trump. And for that heresy he was entirely excluded from Fox’s coverage of Trump’s impeachment. A few notable examples of his well-reasoned critiques include…

Napolitano has a right to his opinions, and quite often he agrees with Trump. But none of that is relevant here. It was grossly inappropriate for Trump to seek to censor a legal news commentator. And it only makes matters worse that Trump recruited his attorney general to deliver that message. And Barr, of course, should never have agreed to take the assignment. It’s not only improper, and a violation of the Constitution, it has absolutely nothing to with his duties at the Department of Justice.

It is, however, consistent with Trump’s flagrant disrespect for the law, his relentless abuse of power, and his frighteningly obvious tyrannical aspirations. And it’s further proof that neither Trump nor Barr are fit to serve in any position of government authority. They have both proven that they are utterly untrustworthy and the sooner they are deposed, the better for America.

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

Trump’s Manic Twitter Tantrum Displays Contempt for the Constitution and Democracy

The United States is currently being tested in a manner that no one could ever have anticipated. During a global pandemic that has been most devastating for the U.S. (100,000+ now dead), the nation is burdened with a “president” who not only couldn’t care less, but is certifiably insane. His malignant narcissism, vicious hostility, infantile conduct, moral depravity, and cringe-worthy ignorance, make him uniquely unfit and dangerous.

Donald Trump

In recent days Trump has upped his crazy with nauseating and morbid attacks, including accusations of murder directed at Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, and sick meme postings of a coffin with Joe Biden’s name on it. Trump’s psychotic behavior has resulted in rapidly declining approval ratings, along with plummeting electoral prospects. Politico’s Morning Consult poll has Trump at 40% approval. Fox News has him at 44%. Even his favorite pollster, the notoriously biased Rasmussen, has his approval at 42%, the lowest in that poll since January of 2018, two and a half years ago. And Trump is trailing Biden in every recent national poll at RealClearPolitics, as well as in most of the crucial swing states.

Reality has taken its toll on Trump’s emotional state. He is becoming more unhinged and uninhibited in his rabid lunacies. That’s precisely what psychological professionals would predict for someone with Trump’s acute mental malfunctions who is trapped in a downward spiral over which he has no control. And naturally, Trump’s derangement is getting flushed out on his Twitter feed. For instance…

This is pure hallucination on Trump’s part. There is no evidence – none – of the election fraud he is asserting. It reads more like his strategy for the his own campaign (“Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed”). Furthermore, California is not sending ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” Only registered voters will receive them. Trump appears to be laying the groundwork for disputing the election results in November when he loses.

The lies embedded in these tweets were so abhorrent that Twitter was finally moved to act, albeit in baby steps. They attached a link to the tweets that says “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” and directs the reader to some of the sources debunking Trump’s disinformation. But even this wrist-slapping was too much criticism for the Snowflake-in-Chief. He embarked on a multi-tweet rant whining about Twitter’s fact-checking and making bizarre and frightening threats:

And as if that weren’t enough, Trump continued his threatening outbursts on Wednesday:

Trump still wasn’t satisfied. He followed up these schizoid remarks in another tweet by promising that there would be “Big action to follow!”

UPDATE:What that “big action” turned out to be was a vengeful, retaliatory Executive Order that would make it impossible for sites like Twitter and Facebook to operate. The EO is plainly unconstitutional and will not pass legal muster, but it further reveals Trump’s contempt for the Constitution and his intention to suppress free speech. He also said about Twitter that “If it were legal, if it could be legally shut down, I would do it.” And if that brazenly tyrannical remark doesn’t frighten you, you are so deeply indoctrinated into the Cult of Trump that you no longer value what America stands for.

What all of this bombastry has in common is a distinct contempt for the Constitution. Trump’s assertion that Twitter is “stifling FREE SPEECH” fails to recognize that the First Amendment only applies to governmental censorship. You know, like what Trump is trying to do to Twitter with threats of regulating them or even shutting them down. As a private company, Twitter has the right to moderate the content on their platform. What’s more, Twitter hasn’t censored Trump at all. His tweets are still available and unedited. What Trump is whining about is that actual facts are being place adjacent to his lies. That’s something that someone with more than 18,000 documented falsehoods will surely object to.

Nevertheless, Trump believes that he has the totalitarian authority to command Twitter, and other social media, to obey his orders. When he says that “I, as President, will not allow” Twitter to provide access to truthful information, and that there is “Big action to follow,” Trump is staking a claim to dictatorship. He doesn’t have any such authority and he knows it. When asked to cite this authority on Tuesday, he dissembled and dodged the question.

That, of course, is Trump’s customary method of answering almost any question. But the mere suggestion that he could exert that sort of tyrannical control is an insult to the freedom and democracy that is enshrined in the American ethic. And therein lies the problem. Trump is as utterly devoid of ethics as he is ignorant of, and averse to, American principles. And the American people have had enough!

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

While Americans Suffer, Trump is Laser Focused On – His Polling?

The voracious ego of Donald Trump continues to run roughshod over our nation. He seems unfazed by the latest reports of 1.1 million Americans infected by the coronavirus, and more than 67,000 dead. And he’s equally unmoved by the news that more than 30 millions Americans have lost their jobs. Trump posted 19 tweets on Sunday morning and hardly mentioned pandemic or it’s consequences at all. So what did he mention?

Donald Trump

It’s all too apparent what is consuming the thoughts of our “president” these days. He makes his priorities known by expressing them unabashedly on Twitter. And on this Sunday morn he revealed that his primary interest is – as usual – himself. The most frequent subject of his tweets was his approval rate polling, with four addressing that one fetish:

It needs to be said that what Trump is bragging about repeatedly is a Gallup poll that is a conspicuous outlier. Most other polls put Trump in the low forties. It is also notable that Trump is excited about this being the highest number Gallup has posted for him, even though it is still below 50% which he has never achieved.

For some reason Trump tempers his giddiness over this poll with a swipe at the “Fake News,” “Lamestream” media that he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” But whining that the press “doesn’t show real polls” while celebrating a Gallup poll that the press always shows is a strange way to boast about his alleged popularity. He’s tearing it down even as he’s using it to lift himself up.

Additionally, Trump twice makes reference to a “96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party” that he fails to back up with a link or even a name for the pollster. The fact is, that poll doesn’t exist. Nor does Trump offer a source for his assertion that he’s beating Joe Biden. Which is likewise not supported by reality. Biden is shown ahead of Trump both nationally and in critical swing states.

For contrast, the rest of Trump’s morning tweetstorm was littered with tributes to himself and bizarre divergences from the matters that are of interest to most Americans. For instance:

  • Whining that George Bush didn’t speak out against his impeachment.
  • Some guy who wrapped his boat in a Trump ad.
  • How much he misses his cult rallies.
  • Two propaganda videos (here and here)
  • Mike Tyson (?)
  • An old propaganda video attacking Democrats.
  • A shout out to his Turnberry golf course in Scotland.

And then there’s whatever the heck this is:

So rest assured that Trump is on the case, working to ensure that the American people don’t suffer from any deficiency in impotent Trump exaltations and syrupy propaganda. This is how a reality TV game show president thinks governing is done. When he isn’t neck deep in mounds of his own PR manure, he’s maligning the free press or the political foes that he is so transparently afraid of. and naturally, he’s always upselling, such as with these Trump-branded coronavirus face masks. This would all make an entertaining social satire if it weren’t for the corpses that are piling up due to Trump’s negligence and incompetence.

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