Aspiring Tyrant Trump Ponders Not Leaving White House, Accuses New York Times of Treason

If it’s Sunday, it’s time for our regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm by the totally “stable genius” who is currently occupying what he thinks is the White Nationalist House. That’s right, Donald Trump is spending Father’s Day posting hostile attacks on anyone he doesn’t believe is sufficiently adoring. But not to worry, when he’s done he’s going golfing with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Sycophant), so his kids won’t have to suffer his repugnant company.

Donald Trump

In today’s episode of Trump’s Tweet Tirade, he is lashing out at the media, because not having done so since yesterday must be driving him crazy. And he is in a ripe mood that further illustrates the ravages of a mind consumed by paranoia and narcissism:

First of all, Trump’s proposal for a poll comparing his insults toward two nationally respected newspapers doesn’t really make any sense. A more interesting poll would be one that compares the honesty and deceitfulness of the press to Trump himself. Oh wait. Many polls have already been done on that and Trump comes out the loser every single time. The American people repeatedly say that they trust the media – whether it be the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, or any other news source polled – over our notoriously perfidious president.

It’s becoming a bit tedious to have to continually point out every time that Trump invokes Stalin to malign the press as “the enemy of the people.” But that’s just too grotesque an abuse of his position to let it go by. And speaking of abuse, Trump is also speculating about declaring himself Dictator-for-Life, just like his heroes Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un. It’s a sentiment that he has expressed before, and continues to be abhorrent and terrifying. And he is pursuing a common path among despots to assume power by attacking the press, and even accusing it of crimes punishable by death:

For the record, the Times actually consulted with Trump’s national security team prior to publishing their story on U.S. cyberattacks against Russia. They responded to Trump’s tweet saying that:

“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous. We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns.”

So they were assured that there was no reason to withhold the story on national security grounds. Apparently Trump didn’t bother to check with his own people before calling the Times treasonous. What’s more, Trump also claims that the story isn’t true. So then how could it be treason to report something that he’s saying didn’t happen?

If these remarks by Trump cause you to be concerned about the welfare of the nation, you aren’t alone. There is a growing movement to have Congress begin an impeachment inquiry. And the more Trump displays this kind of mental impairment and animosity to American principles and institutions (including admitting that he would take dirt on political opponents from foreign enemies), the more people who will demand that he be removed from office and prosecuted for his many obvious crimes. And the sooner the better for the sake of the nation – and the world.

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

Trump Defiles ‘Freedom of Speech’ in a Bizarre Defense of His White Nationalist Supporters

If it’s Sunday, it’s time once again for Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm. This is where the crybaby President of the United States of America lashes out at all of the perceived slings and arrows of outrageous paranoia. And on this episode Trump outdoes himself by fouling the foundational American principle of freedom of speech.

Donald Trump

This isn’t just another one of Trump’s reckless slurs of the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” Although he does, as usual, fling that bag of tweet-poop as part of his tedious and repetitive robo-ranting. That would be bad enough, but Trump higher, and more odious, aspirations on this occasion. So after complaining in several tweets that a story in the New York Times misreported that his “agreement” with Mexico on immigration was “fake news,” (it wasn’t), Trump unleashed this morsel of derp:

To be clear, Trump is coming to the defense of some virulently racist white nationalists (e.g. his base) who Twitter and other social media recently suspended from their platforms. The bannees include cretins like avowed neo-Nazi Paul Nehlen, conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones, hate monger Laura Loomer, hoaxster Jacob Wohl, and boss of the violent, neo fascist Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes.

Trump not only wants these abhorrent stains on society returned to Twitter, he wants them returned “without restrictions,” a privilege that no one else on Twitter enjoys. And according to Trump, not doing so would amount to a breach of their right to free speech.

Once again, Trump needs a lesson on the Constitution. The freedom of speech that is protected by the First Amendment is a prohibition imposed on the government. Private businesses can set their own rules, and do so in their terms of service. But there is a disturbing irony in Trump complaining about these repulsively violent StormTrumpers being suppressed while he is openly trying to destroy any media outlet that dares to criticize him. That is actually a breach of the First Amendment because he is the head of the government. Just last week he called for a boycott of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, in order to punish the news network for reporting on what Trump actually does and says. It is unprecedented for a U.S. president to push for a boycott of an American company with more than 250,000 employees.

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

For Trump to set himself up as a protector of free speech is patently absurd. The hallmark of his presidency is one of bullying and repression. And this isn’t the first time he’s tried to bully the social media community. He even took it upon himself to censor his critics on Twitter. Until the courts stepped in, Trump was blocking those critics from commenting on his Twitter posts. And yet, Trump has the audacity to cite freedom of speech as his reason for promoting the dissemination of vile messages of hate and violence. But then again, that’s really the only message he has.

Wannabe Dictator Trump Calls For Boycott of AT&T to ‘Do Something’ About CNN

The last time Trump left the country he breached diplomatic protocol in Japan with an infantile political attack on Joe Biden. At the same time, he took sides with Kim Jong Un, the murderous tyrant with whom he fell in love.” And now Trump is travelling abroad again, but this time, as he prepared to depart for the U.K., he managed to embarrass America before he even left by insulting the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Having arrived in England, Trump sought to escalate his diplomatic incompetence with another attack on the U.S. media. That in itself is to be expected from the president who hates the freedoms protected by the First Amendment and regards the press as “the enemy of the people.” However, this time he is attacking American institutions from foreign soil and attempting to bully them into obedience to his will.

These comments are despicable on many levels. First of all, he is admitting that the only news source he is comfortable watching is the Trump-fluffing sycophants of Fox News. And when away from home, he desperately needs Fox to stroke his fragile ego. Furthermore, he fails to document he what describes as “all negative” with any examples. Suffice to say that any criticism of him was enough to get him to change the channel to less objectionable programming like cooking or golf.

Trump is also displaying his utter ignorance of the television business. CNN is not only enjoying their highest ratings in years, they are more profitable than ever. But no one will be surprised that Trump is either stupid or lying. That’s the new normal for the Era of Trump.

The worst part of this Twitter tirade, though, is Trump’s gleeful assault on an American business. He doesn’t care who he hurts so long as he can get vengeance for whatever slight he thinks he’s the victim of. That’s typical of his inherent weakness and narcissism. But make no mistake, his petulant whining is aimed at more than 250,000 employees of an American company. It is totally unprecedented for an U.S. president to call for a boycott of an U.S. company with tens of thousands of American workers. And his malicious smear is even worse coming from overseas.

And as if all of that weren’t bad enough, Trump’s attack is based on his displeasure with how the free press is doing their job. What he thinks is negative reporting is really just a factual representation of what he actually does and says. The media can’t help it if his words and actions are glaringly dumb and harmful. And what exactly does Trump think that AT&T should do? He insists that they should be “forced to make big changes at CNN.” But forcing the press to behave in a manner that is acceptable to political leaders is what we would expect from the fascist regimes that control their media. Which is what Trump is advocating and yearning for.

What’s more, while he whines that the world “gets a false picture of USA” from CNN, the world has actually made a deliberate choice. Fox News used to be carried in the U.K. but they discontinued their service two years ago because nobody was watching it A company spokeswoman said that…

“Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”

So Trump wants to boycott AT&T, hurt American workers, and dishonor the Constitution, all in an effort to bully the media into slobbering over him the way Fox News does. Never mind that the Brits have already rejected the lies and propaganda that is the hallmark of Fox’s deceitful brand of “journalism.” Like his pals Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin, Trump wants to coerce the press into acting like his own personal PR agency. And the sentiments in these tweets are direct attacks on the free press, as well as free markets. They are are antithetical to long held and cherished American principles. But then, so is almost everything Trump does and says.

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

Trump Cries ‘Fake News’ Over a Joke that Nailed His Hate for Biden and Love for Kim Jong Un

There is something particularly abhorrent about a political leader who disparages his fellow citizens on foreign soil and takes the side of murderous tyrants over American patriots. But that is precisely what Donald Trump has been doing while on his golf and sumo junket to Japan. He explicitly lashed out at his political foes in a way that borders on disloyalty and even betrayal.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump Baby, Fake News

When Trump landed in Tokyo, he almost immediately launched a hostile assault on Joe Biden, one of his potential opponents for president in 2020. In doing so he gleefully took sides with the America-hating North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un. Trump tweeted that he “smiled when [Kim] called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual.” Let’s set aside the fact that this exchange almost certainly never happened. It’s even worse if Trump invented it in his own diseased mind.

Trump later doubled down on these vile insults with comments during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He told the world’s media that “I don’t take sides as to who I’m in favor of and who I’m not, but I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster.” Notice that he contradicted himself in the space of a single sentence by claiming to not take sides, and then taking sides against Biden.

Then on Monday morning – Memorial Day – Trump tainted the holiday of reverence for departed patriots by once again raising the issue of his preference for Kim over Biden. This time he couched his animus in a tweet that attempted to celebrate some imaginary victory over what he routinely refers to as the “Fake News.”

As he does frequently, Trump fails to let anyone know what the heck he’s talking about. He cites an alleged admission of error by an Ian Bremmer, but doesn’t say who that is or what his misstatement was. As it turns out, Bremmer is a political scientist who posted a humorous tweet the day before. It said “President Trump in Tokyo: ‘Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden.'” Most people would have seen that this was a satirical comment that was based on Trump’s actual stated opinions. Nevertheless, because it was presented as a “quote,” Bremmer deleted the tweet and apologized for not having been clearer about it being a joke. That was hardly necessary. Not only was the humor obvious, the message was accurate.

None of that, however, stopped Trump from exploiting the matter in his own indignant tweet. He referred to it as “completely ludicrous,” which it definitely was not. Then he tried to smear all of the media as “fake,” despite the fact the Bremmer is not a journalist and does not represent any media organization. And then Trump complained about people getting away with saying anything they want. Apparently he would prefer that we abolish free speech and only permit officially approved statements. What’s more, for someone who has been documented to have lied more than 10,000 times, Trump’s complaint comes off as a rather hysterical hypocrisy.

Finally, Trump once again advocates for reforming libel laws so that he can sue those he believes have offended him. He has been doing this since his presidency began, and probably before that. News Corpse reported one especially notable meeting last year wherein Trump said that his administration would “take a strong look” at libel law reforms, which he apparently forgot to do. Not that it was really necessary. There are adequate laws already in place that prohibit the media from knowingly making false statements. But what Trump is proposing would very likely blow up in his face, as noted in the article linked above:

“No one has exposed himself to more potential libel allegations than Donald Trump. Every time he calls a reporter a liar, or asserts as fact that unnamed sources don’t exist, or alleges that a story was deliberately made up, Trump is slandering those reporters and harming their reputations and careers. Every time he lashes out with his juvenile nicknames at people he is claiming are ‘lyin,’ ‘failing,’ or ‘crooked,’ he is asserting a falsehood that could trigger litigation under his reforms.”

Trump couldn’t really care less about libel laws. All he wants is the ability to suppress dissent by intimidating his critics with threats of bogus lawsuits. He views everything in terms of the mob-style thuggery that he was accustomed to using in his Manhattan real estate business. And he thinks he can transfer that to White House politics. But he is likely to be sorely disappointed. His efforts to malign the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” along with his displays of affection for foreign dictators over Americans, is not likely to be a successful strategy. That isn’t how you win the hearts and minds of the nation. And Trump’s historically low approval ratings are pretty good evidence that his hate-spewing methods don’t work.

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

Sean Hannity of Fox News: Americans Should Not See the Mueller Report on Trump that They Paid For

A recent story by CNN is stating that special counsel Robert Mueller is wrapping up his investigation and that a report may be issued as soon as next week. There are some people familiar with the probe who dispute that timeline as unlikely considering the amount of unfinished business, including pending indictments and testimony. But the Trump-fluffers at Fox News are nevertheless preparing for the worst by advocating censorship.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity took the news from CNN as a warning call. That’s ironic since he generally agrees with Trump that CNN is “fake news.” But he’s apparently concerned that this story is accurate and that something must be done. Specifically, Hannity thinks that any report issued by Mueller should be suppressed and not made available to the public. That’s a peculiar position for someone in the media to take. Under ordinary circumstances, journalists are proponents of full transparency, especially with regard to government affairs.

But Hannity (who is getting trounced in the ratings by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow) has a different point of view (video below). He prefaced his opinion with a brief summary of how special counsel reports are handled and who was responsible for those procedures:

“According to special counsel regulations, Mueller will provide a confidential report to the Attorney General Bob Barr explaining the decisions reached by the special counsel. Next, the attorney general will notify the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees, quote, ‘upon the conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation.’ It is totally in the hands of the attorney general, and his alone to decide what, if any, details can be released in compliance with the law. He can control the timing of the notification over, quote, ‘legitimate investigative or privacy concerns.’

“Now, also, remember, these regulations, they were presented to Congress two decades ago by Democrats, Janet Reno, the AG, Deputy AG Eric Holder. That was after the Starr investigation.”

However, Hannity then goes on to completely misinterpret how those procedures would be applied to the Mueller report. He concluded that imposing certain limitations on releasing information that may have “legitimate investigative or privacy concerns” amounts to a free hand by the newly installed Attorney General, Bob Barr, to withhold whatever he wants. That’s not how it works.

Hannity continued by announcing that he would be traveling to Vietnam with Trump for the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. And he used that as another excuse to keep the American people from having access to the Mueller report:

“Would it not be wholly inappropriate to actually release the findings when the President is out of the country participating in these high stakes negotiations with with such an important topic?”

Okay then. How about releasing it the following week? Surely Hannity would have another reason why that would also be wholly inappropriate. But what’s really inappropriate is someone in the media arguing in favor of the government keeping secrets from the people. No credible journalist would ever say such a ridiculous thing.

Although there is some dispute on whether or not Hannity is a journalist – mainly by him. On his radio show he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” But on Twitter he angrily noted that “I’m not a journalist jackass. I’m a talk host.” Which raise the question that if he isn’t a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? Hannity later deleted that tweet, but the Internet Archive preserved it here.

Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later. And as for the release of the Mueller report, there are options available to gain access to it without the interference of Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General. For instance, Democrats in Congress are exploring their option for subpoenaing either the report or testimony from Mueller.

Either way, Hannity is not likely to get his wish that the report be kept secret from the American people who paid for it. And Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) and other right-wing media outlets are going to have to strain themselves to find ways to justify their advocacy of censorship. In the end, transparency will likely prevail. That’s important because without it the crimes of the President would never be resolved to the satisfaction of the nation he conspired against. No matter how badly Hannity and Trump want that.

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

Clarence Thomas Opinion Would Muzzle the Press for Donald (the Media is the Enemy of the People) Trump

There is much that Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Clarence have in common. For instance, their starkly conservative principles (although Thomas actually believes them, while Trump holds them as long as it’s convenient to do so). And they are also notorious abusers of women who have managed to escape the consequences of their repulsive behavior.

Clarence Thomas, Donald Trump

And now Thomas has written a new opinion that will surely please Trump. In a case involving another sexual predator, Bill Cosby, Thomas called for a total rewrite of a fifty year old precedent that shielded journalists from hostile lawsuits that would impose on their First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. The case is known as New York Times v. Sullivan,” and it prohibited the recovery of damages for defamation unless it could be shown that the alleged offense was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” As reported by ThinkProgress:

“Truth traditionally was not a defense to libel prosecutions,” the justice writes. “The crime was intended to punish provocations to a breach of the peace, not the falsity of the statement.” Thus, a journalist (or anyone else with a platform, for that matter) could face criminal prosecutions even if their reporting is 100 percent accurate.

Imagine that. A reporter could be held criminally liable for publishing a true story if the truth caused the subject harm. This is something that Trump would absolutely love. He is fond of slandering the media as “fake News” whenever they write accurate stories about what he actually does and says. If the law were rewritten in the manner that Thomas advocates, Trump could then sue the media enterprise that published it.

Trump has literally called for such a change in the law. At his cult rallies he has insisted that he should be able to sue the media when they publish stories that he regards as negative. And in one of his staged photo-op cabinet meetings, Trump said that:

“We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts. If somebody says something that is totally false, and knowingly false, that the person that has been abused, defamed, libeled, will have meaningful recourse.

“Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness. So we’re gonna take a strong look at that. We want fairness. You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account.”

First of all, the law already provides for recourse if someone is “knowingly” and “falsely” maligned. What Trump wants is to be able to sue anyone who criticizes him, even if the criticism is warranted and documented. Ironically, what Trump is calling for would put him in far more legal jeopardy than the journalists he is hoping to punish for being honest. Most reporters make conscious efforts to get their stories right. But Trump cavalierly lies whenever he gets the urge to attack his perceived foes.

This opinion by Thomas could not be more obedient to the whims of the President if were dictated by him. And for all we know it might have been. Trump’s goal has long been to incite hostility toward the press and to diminish its reputation. That’s how Trump seeks to soften the blow from all the deservedly negative press he generates.

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

He isn’t interested in truth. He’s seeking the sort of tyrannical control of the press that all dictators lust after. It’s precisely the same sort of intimidation that he aimed at Saturday Night Live recently when he called for “retribution” against them for a satirical bit featuring Alec Baldwin. If Trump had his way he would revoke the First Amendment. And if Thomas has his way, it will be a big step toward that nightmarish end.

Sunday’s Trump Tweetstorm Calls First Amendment Illegal, ‘Should Be Tested in Courts’

If it’s Sunday, this Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Twitter tantrum. Like clockwork, the President is firing off nearly incoherent messages that attack his critics, lie about easily verified matters, and promote his favorite source of propaganda, and the PR division of the Trump White House, Fox News. It’s a display of desperation that only serves to make him appear more guilty and afraid of the coming consequences of his criminal acts.

Donald Trump

Leading off Trump’s parade of polemics is a tweet that reinforces Trump’s long-held aversion to free speech and the First Amendment of the Constitution. We are all familiar with Trump’s denouncement of the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” and his projectile vomiting of invectives at journalists who have the audacity to report what he actually does and says. And now we have Trump literally threatening to legally censor the media for doing its job:

Does Trump really think that Saturday Night Live is a news program that can be put alongside NBC News as a provider of coverage of his administration? Apparently any media entity that fails to kiss up to the Snowflake-in-Chief is subject to his hostile harangues. But this tweet goes even further to demand that the press be constrained by some legal authority to prostrate itself to what he believes is fair. Every president has had to undergo criticism from both journalists and satirists, but Trump’s skin is way to thin to take it. That’s common for cowards and tyrants who feel the need to control society and suppress those who don’t sufficiently worship Dear Leader.

The rest of Trump’s morning meltdown was equally disturbing. He babbled nonsensically about text messages by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. His rant was lifted from the ultra-rightist webzine The Federalist, which failed to understand the agency’s report regarding the disposition of those texts:

Trump agreed with the Federalist’s phony assertions that the messages were deleted and lost. They weren’t. The agency recovered and preserved them after a temporary tech glitch. But this triggered his knee-jerk outcry of “Witch Hunt” which he continued in another tweet:

What Trump calls “breaking in” is more commonly referred to as the accumulation of evidence by law enforcement. And the subject of the investigation, Trump’s lawyer, complimented the FBI as “extremely professional, courteous and respectful,” and later pleaded guilty to the charges against him. What’s more, Cohen unambiguously fingered Trump as being the facilitator of the crimes in his case. That’s surely what Trump is really mad about.

As for the bit about Hillary Clinton’s server, she voluntarily gave the FBI a complete copy of it, so they had no need to take physical possession. But having no legal ground to stand on, Trump resorted to dredging up old stories about his nemesis, President Obama.

Trump is falsely claiming that Obama’s immigration policies were “far worse” than what the Trump administration has done by grotesquely seperating children from their parents (which he’s still doing, and even justifying it). That’s demonstrably untrue. It was only Trump’s policy to charge every asylum seeker with felonies that resulted in the separations. And if that obvious attempt at misdirection wasn’t sufficient to deflect attention from his problems, Trump also tried this one:

Really? Ken Starr? He headed up the persecution of the Clintons twenty years ago, and after finding no evidence of any crime, started to dig into Bill Clinton’s sex life. He’s hardly a credible source for anything having to do with Trump’s criminal behavior. And naturally, Trump saw Starr’s comments while watching Fox News.

This frantic outburst on Twitter is just the latest example of a mind that is utterly warped by the trepidation of being caught having committed a historic crime spree. And in utter distress due to the gloomy fate that awaits him, Trump is lashing out like the wounded vermin that he is. And while every untrue utterance he made is bad enough for the nation to be worried about his mental degradation, his calls to punish the press are the most troubling.

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

Trump is acting out the behavior of a fallen dictator desperately trying to hang on to whatever power he has left. But with the walls of justice closing in around him, he has nowhere to hide. A recent report notes that every entity that he has headed – the Trump Org, Trump Foundation, Trump campaign, Trump transition team, Trump inaugural committee, and the Trump White House – are under investigation. When he does go down, he’s going to go down hard.

LATE BREAKING: Trump must not be very busy presidenting today because he posted four more tweets this afternoon (so far).

One was a demand to watch a Fox News interview of conspiracy crackpot Jerome Corsi.

Then two more (here and here), also triggered by Fox News, were about former Trump advisor, and confessed felon, Michael Flynn being “persecuted” by Robert Mueller. Of particular note was Trump saying that Jeff Sessions “should be ashamed of himself” for allowing the “HOAX” to get started. So should Trump’s new Acting AG Whitaker also be ashamed for not stopping it?

And finally, Trump added a tweet that was just boilerplate “Witch Hunt” bashing and denying his collusion. You know, like all innocent people do obsessively.

Hair Trump Declares that ‘Something Has to Be Done’ About CNN Exercising Free Speech

The hostility that Donald Trump has shown for the media has been a constant dating back to his first days on the campaign trail. It only escalated as time went by and his insults became anti-constitutional assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people.” Add to that his overt threats, incitements to violence, and banning of reporters he doesn’t like, and you have the very model of a modern media oppressor.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Monday morning Trump reached another new low in his assaults on the free press. In a pair tweets the President attacked his favorite nemesis, CNN for having a “powerful voice” that is “portraying the United States in an unfair and and false way.” He tweeted that:

Make no mistake, this is a full frontal attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Trump has no business commenting on the ratings of a news network that covers his corrupt and criminal administration independently and accurately (FYI: CNN is enjoying some of their highest ratings in the network’s history). Especially considering that he has already tried to ban their White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, from the presidential press corps, but lost when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit his flagrant discrimination.

However, even worse is Trump’s proposal that the United States start its own “Worldwide Network” to disseminate what can only be presumed to be Trump-fluffing propaganda. The notion that the U.S. should launch a network to compete with commercial news outlets around the world is a frightening expansion of government interfering with the press. It is the sort of state-run tripe that totalitarian regimes like that of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kin Jong Un engage in. And note that Trump admits that his intention Is to produce only positive propaganda that portrays him as “GREAT!”

The U.S. already has government media services that distribute approved content around the world via the United States Agency for Global Media (formerly that Broadcasting Board of Governors). That agency runs the Voice of American, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and other government managed broadcast operations.

But what Trump is proposing is something far more ambitious and dishonest. He wants a network that competes with commercial news enterprises like CNN, SKY News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and more. He wants a network that will always praise him, defend him, and malign his critics. He wants constant adulation and coverage that portrays him as the returning Messiah. He wants cult worship.

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

Well, Fox News is already doing that. But setting that aside, presidential hero-worship is not the role of a government that was founded on the principles of freedom of the press. It is neither honest nor ethical. And there is no agency under federal law that could house such a media mutation. But it does display the aspirations of a wannabe dictator who is obsessed with controlling all of the media that covers him and his regime. And it is no surprise that Trump is openly advocating for something so contrary to American values. But this pathetic pandering to himself and his over-inflated ego will never fly in the U.S. Maybe Vladimir has some network space for it.

Trump Has a Fear of Comedians that’s Rooted in His Fear of Looking Like a Fool – Too Late

The White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) is an annual affair that raises funds to provide scholarships for gifted journalism students. In past years it has featured notable comedians who often skewer both the press and the politicians who attend the event. The President of the United States is almost always in attendance. However, Donald Trump has been a no-show for two years in a row.

Donald Trump

The last president to decline to attend was Ronald Reagan. But he had a pretty good excuse. He was recovering from the bullet wounds of a would-be assassin. Trump’s reason for snubbing the event is pure cowardice. For years Trump has whined about comedians making jokes at his expense. His skin is so thin that it needs a coat of orange primer before he can go out in a light breeze. And many of the targets of his animated anus (sorry, that was the auto-correct) animus have been comedians that deigned to make him the butthead of their jokes. From Rosie O’Donnell to Bill Maher to Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart, and so many more, Trump has devoted an incredible amount of time on maligning them personally and professionally.

Trump has focused particular attention on the past guest comedians of the WHCD. The routine by Seth Meyers in 2011 (video below) really set him off, and some say contributed to his decision to run for president as some sort of perverse revenge. But it was last year’s comic, Michelle Wolf, who brought out Trump’s inner (and outer) petulant child. Wolf did a brilliantly cutting monologue that burned both Trump and his surrogate, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who showed up in his place.

The controversy generated by Wolf’s routine has now caused the WHCD to announce that they will not have a comedian next year. It’s a pathetically weak response to controversy by an organization that is supposed to stand for freedom of speech. Instead they will feature a historian, Ron Chernow. And this news has pleased Donald Trump to no end. He even tweeted about:

First of all, Trump needs to be corrected, again. Wolf bombed so badly that she got her own TV show on Netflix. Poor thing. And she had an epic reply to Trump’s petty criticisms:

Nevertheless, Trump is so thrilled with the WHCD’s decision to host an author that he is hinting that he might actually attend this year. Or more accurately, threatening. Because no one really wants him to be there. His presence would be a disruption wherein he would demand all of the attention and then complain about it afterwards. However, Trump might be sorely disappointed if he musters the gumption to attend. Chernow is not exactly one of the Trump-fluffers that populate Fox News. He has some pointed opinions about Trump that could very well make their way into his presentation. According to Politico:

“During the 2016 election campaign, Chernow said he was disturbed by Trump’s campaign and feared that Americans ‘can forget who we are as a people and succumb to historical amnesia.’

“‘Make no mistake about it, when the past is scrubbed clean and American history becomes a blank slate, Donald Trump or any other demagogue can come along and write upon it whatever the hell he wants. And that disturbs me most of all,’ he said in a video posted on Facebook. ‘Please, please, please folks, don’t let it happen here.'”

A dinner affair with the press is not an especially good fit for this president who hates the media with a passion. And the journalists present surely would object to sitting next to a bloviating ignoramus who just tried to ban a CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, from the White House, and insulted three African-American journalists. As a result of those confrontations, Trump has now issued a decree to “govern the conduct of journalists,” something the press corps certainly won’t tolerate. In addition, Trump’s siding with the murderers in Saudi Arabia who killed and dismembered a Washington Post correspondent and American resident, Jamal Khashoggi, can’t sit well with an organization committed to the welfare of journalists.

However, the prospect of Trump attending the dinner could have a brighter side. It might be worth it to see Trump grimace through twenty minutes of a historian bashing his disrespect for the First Amendment and his Stalinist rhetoric about the media being “the enemy of the people.” The camera picking up his reactions to Chernow’s academically reinforced criticisms could be funnier than any of the comedians that might have been on the bill. Because there is one thing that hurts Trump even more than Melania laughing at his trouser toadstool (h/t Stormy). And that’s looking like a fool. But unfortunately for him, that ship of fools has sailed. And Trump has to eventually accept the fact that “The whole world is watching laughing. At him.

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

Trump Justifies the Khashoggi Murder Because Saudi Arabia Said He is an ‘Enemy of the State’

In Donald Trump’s statement in support of Saudi Arabia, he began with his nationalist-inspired slogan of “America First!” Then he launched into a tangentially related rant about Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Israel. All of this to support his childish contention that “The world is a very dangerous place!” But in the process he fails to recognize that his actions are making it considerably more dangerous.

Donald Trump

What Trump’s statement has done is to grant approval to the most brutal regimes in the world to assassinate their political opponents free from worry about accountability or repercussions from the Trump White House. All they have to do is promise to buy some military gear and invest in Trump’s businesses and they can commit vile acts with impunity.

Trump said so in so many words by alluding to a $450 billion arms deal that most analysts determined doesn’t exist when he claimed it was for $110 billion. He said that it will create “hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much additional wealth.” But there is no evidence that any of that is true. Trump, nevertheless, makes the case that the United States is somehow dependent on Saudi Arabia rather than the other way around. It’s a case for American weakness.

However, perhaps the most nauseating paragraph that Trump has ever published is this one wherein he actually insults the murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and excuses the Saudis for killing him. Trump implies that it is justifiable to assassinate a government critic if he is a journalist, because he is, therefore, an “enemy of the state.” Is Trump projecting what he wishes he could do? He said that:

“Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that – this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

By using the phrase that Trump made familiar in his attacks on America’s free press –“enemy of the state.” – he is expanding his view that the media are not only dangerous, but expendable, to an international audience who will use it to justify more political slayings. Trump is also taking the word of Prince Salman that he didn’t have anything to do with the murder, even though the CIA has definitively concluded that he personally ordered it.

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

Finally, Trump went on to say that “we may never know all of the facts.” Which is an insult to our intelligence agencies and their ability to conduct an investigation. Trump praises the Saudis as “a great ally” with whom he “intends to remain a steadfast partner,” and he concludes the statement the same way he began by chanting “America First!” By which he apparently means that whatever Trump thinks is in his own best interest takes priority over America’s values – or human decency.