Trump Brags that He and Putin are Holding Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich Hostage

The hatred that Donald Trump has for the media has been a core component of what passes for his ideology from before he was even a political candidate. And after he began his career in politics he escalated his animosity by repeatedly referring to the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” In virtually every public appearance Trump will insult journalists and news networks as “fake,” “corrupt,” and always out to get him.

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Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump’s assault on the Constitution’s protection of a free press is part of a calculated strategy to discredit any reporting about him that is less than reverential. He wants his cult followers to dismiss truthful accounts of his noxious words and behavior, and to believe only what he tells them to believe. That sort of messiah worship is, in fact, the prime directive of a cult. And at least so far as his glassy-eyed disciples go, it’s working.

SEE THIS: IT’S A CULT! Poll Shows Republicans Trust Only Criminal Messiah Trump to Tell Them the Truth

On Wednesday Trump posted a comment on his floundering social media scam, Truth Social, that is emblematic of both his aversion toward the press and his affinity toward his hero and role model, Vladimir Putin. In the comment Trump boasted that…

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office. He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!”

Gershkovich has been held captive in Russia for just over a year on trumped up charges of espionage. The Biden administration has been working continuously to secure his freedom, just as they did for WNBA star Brittney Griner and Marine veteran Trevor Reed. But this interference by Trump isn’t going to help. To the contrary, it appears to be an unlawful attempt to conduct foreign policy and endanger the lives of Americans in Russia and elsewhere abroad.

In asserting that Putin will only release Gershkovich to Trump, and only after he is reelected, what Trump is implying is that he and Putin are conspiring to hold Gershkovich hostage in exchange for helping Trump’s reelection campaign. If Trump really has the influence that he is claiming (which is doubtful), why doesn’t he just tell Putin to release Gershkovich now?

Clearly both Trump and Putin are using this situation to benefit themselves. They both want Trump back in the White House. Putin wants him there because he is a malleable and obedient servant who fulfills the interests of Russia, such as dismantling NATO and defunding Ukraine. Trump wants to be there for the power tripping he enjoys so much, and to avoid prison and the other consequences of his illegal activities.

It is reprehensible that Trump would use and exacerbate the suffering of an American – and a journalist to boot – to achieve his own selfish desires. But it isn’t surprising. Gershkovich is not the only American that Russia is unjustly incarcerating. Former Marine Paul Whelan has been there for five years. He was abducted during Trump’s term, and Trump did nothing to secure his release. Biden tried to include Whelan in the exchange with Griner and Reed, but Putin stubbornly refused. Perhaps he was saving him for this arrangement with Trump.

Whelan and his family are probably wondering what happened to that special relationship that Trump supposedly has with Putin. It’s notable that Trump didn’t even mention Whelan in his comment. So why should anyone believe Trump now when he says he can get Putin to release Gershkovich?

The obvious answer is that they should not believe him. Trump is only interested in one person, and that’s Trump. Always has been, and always will be. And anyone who doesn’t believe that is already a fully indoctrinated MAGA cult member.

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Biden Roasts ‘Mentally Unfit’ Trump While Honoring the Free Press at the Annual Gridiron Dinner

The Gridiron Club is a renowned organization comprised of journalists and other media professionals that hosts a dinner every year featuring pundits and politicians delivering humorous observations of the state of the media and the nation. Among the regular participants is the President of the United States. And this year President Joe Biden came prepared to mock his friends and foes alike, and even himself.

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Donald Trump

Coming shortly after Biden’s State of the Union Address (SOTU), this was another opportunity for Biden to demonstrate the fallacy of the Republican smear campaign demeaning him as cognitively impaired. The SOTU so effectively put that nonsense to rest that the GOP had to resort to accusing Biden of being pharmaceutically enhanced because they couldn’t otherwise explain his sharpness and vigor. In the meantime, their own guy, Donald Trump, made an ass of himself live “truthing” Biden’s speech…

SEE THIS: Trump’s Live-Bleating of Biden’s State of the Union Address Was Predictably Petty and Pathetic

Biden’s remarks at the Gridiron Dinner will only exacerbate the anxieties of the MAGA cult. Once again, he showed that he is on top of his game. He delivered the comedic material like a pro, and deftly segued to more serious subjects when necessary. And he wasn’t shy about referencing his opponent with what will likely be the event’s most memorable line…

“The big news this week is two candidates clinched their parties’ nomination for president. One candidate is too old and mentally unfit to be president. The other is me.”

That however, was not the only zinger in Biden’s monologue. What follows are few choice excerpts from the White House transcript

“It’s great to be here at the Gridiron dinner, though it’s six hours past my bedtime.”

“Look, it’s been a long night. So, I’ll keep my remarks just a few minutes less than my State of the Union.”

“Kamala and I and the members of the administration here tonight are proud — proud of our accomplishments on behalf of the American people: record job growth, wages rising, rigging the Super Bowl for Taylor Swift.”

“Our big plan to cancel student debt doesn’t apply to everyone. Just yesterday, a defeated-looking man came up to me and said, ‘I’m being crushed by debt. I’m completely wiped out.’ I said, “Sorry, Donald, I can’t help you.'”

“I heard House Republicans were going to do a skit tonight, but they couldn’t get a speaker.”

“And the biggest joke of the night: an impeachment inquiry. Imagine believing something so baseless that has a zero chance of succeeding. But Republicans would rather fail at impeachment than succeed at anything else.”

“I’m running against the same guy that I beat in 2020. But don’t tell him. He thinks he’s running against Barack Obama.”

“In the coming months, Kamala and I will be making the case how Americans are better off than four years ago. […] All without destroying the economy, embarrassing us around the world, or — or itching for insurrection.”

Not bad for someone that Trump and his MAGA media minions malign as a senile commie who can’t string two sentences together. And in his closing remarks Biden displayed another characteristic that he is well known for, but that his opponent lacks: Reverence for the American Constitution, and in particular, freedom of the press…

“As I said in my State of the Union Address, we live in an unprecedented moment in democracy, an unprecedented moment for history. Democracy and freedom are literally under attack. […] The lies about the 2020 election, the plots to overturn it, to embrace the January 6th insurrectionists pose the gravest threat to our democracy since the American Civil War. […]

“All the while, the other guy calls you the free press. Well, he calls you the enemy of the people, even as many of you risk your lives to do your job and sometimes even give your lives to do your jobs. […] Let me state the obvious. You’re not the enemy of the people. You are a pillar of any free society.” […]

“Good journalism holds a mirror up to a country for us to reflect the good, the bad, the truth about who we are. […] As a result, the choices you make really matter. And each story you make makes democracy stronger.”

That respect for the values articulated in the First Amendment stands in stark contrast to how Trump views this subject. In a Sunday interview on Fox News Trump clumsily slapped a backhanded compliment on the media that he despises.

“They’re like the police and frankly, they keep our country honest in a certain way if they do their job properly, and they haven’t been doing it properly.”

Describing the role of the press as that of the “police” reveals Trump’s twisted perception of the media’s function in a free society. He doesn’t see it as a “mirror,” but rather an authoritarian force to exert control. And he doesn’t think they’re doing that good enough. Were he to have his way, he would revoke the licenses of any media that isn’t sufficiently worshipful of him. And he has said so explicitly…

SEE ALSO: Herr Trump Decrees: If Media Doesn’t Air My Speeches They Should Have Their Licenses Revoked

Every American needs to remember that when they vote in November. There is one candidate who abhors the press and the Constitution; who is facing 91 felony charges for crimes against America; who has been found civilly liable for financial fraud and rape. And the other one is Joe Biden.

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THEY’RE EVIL! Wannabe Dictator Trump Says MSNBC ‘Shouldn’t Even Be Allowed’ to Be On the Air

The first target of every aspiring authoritarian tyrant is always the media. They regard it as an imperative to control whatever “news” is presented to the population that they are trying to plunder. In the process they manufacture flagrant falsehoods and fables intended to malign their opponents and exalt themselves. They invent scandals to denigrate their foes, and take credit for anything considered to be positive.

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Donald Trump TV Set

Sound familiar? Those are exactly the tactics currently being employed by Donald Trump and his malevolent mouthpieces in the MAGA media. Trump doesn’t hide his disdain for the Constitution’s protection of a free press. He has repeatedly referred to the press in Stalinist terms as the “enemy of the people.” His relentless attacks on journalists demean them as “lunatics” and “liars,” determined to destroy the nation, and more specifically, Trump himself. And he yearns to put them out of business, or at least under his command.

SEE THIS: Herr Trump Decrees: If Media Doesn’t Air My Speeches They Should Have Their Licenses Revoked

On Saturday Trump gave a campaign speech in Rome, Georgia, wherein he took another swipe at the media that he despises. And he resorted to the typical barrage of hyperbole and infantile insults and nicknames that are the hallmarks of his obnoxious oratory. This time his target was one of his perennial favorites, MSNBC.

“I tell you what. You take a look at MSDNC, how evil they are. They’re evil. They’re sick. They shouldn’t even be allowed to do what they do. Because it’s so corrupt. They shouldn’t be allowed to do it.

MSNBC has earned Trump’s ire mainly by reporting on what he actually says. So naturally they are evil and sick. But by continuing to advocate for blatant censorship, Trump is telegraphing what to expect should he return to his occupation of the White House. He longs to shut down media that fails to venerate him at all times. At the same rally Trump called the press covering the affair “criminals.” Their crime? Covering him and his bombastic and boneheaded ravings accurately.

This is not the first time that Trump has singled out MSNBC for his unique brand of vilification. For instance, there was this rant that revealed his ignorance of the television business (MSNBC is distributed on privately owned cable networks, not “FREE government approved airwaves”)

Trump Threatens to ‘Come Down Hard on’ MSNBC and ‘Make Them Pay’ for Daring to Criticize Him
Nov 28, 2023: “MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE. […] It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country.”

And there was also this…

Wannabe Dictator Trump Promises to Prosecute the ‘Country Threatening Treason’ of the Media
Sep 24, 2023: “MSNBC…should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason.’ […] I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage […] They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

So Trump is bragging “up front, openly, and proudly,” that he will abuse the power of the government to suppress his critics in the press. Not that anyone will be surprised about Trump’s penchant for abusing government power. This is not someone who should ever be permitted to hold any position of power. It doesn’t matter that he would have no legal authority to conduct the sort of oppressive operations that he is promising. He obviously doesn’t care about the law.

The law, however, cares about him. And his comeuppance has already begun with nearly half a billion dollars in civil judgments for defamation, rape and financial fraud. The criminal consequences are coming up next. And the media will exacerbate Trump’s mental meltdown by, you know, reporting on it.

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Herr Trump Decrees: If Media Doesn’t Air My Speeches They Should Have Their Licenses Revoked

It has long been established that Donald Trump has unwavering and unabashed aspirations of authoritarianism. He frequently expresses those ambitions himself in remarks that are reminiscent of his heroes such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and other notorious tyrants and dictators. It’s a club that Trump very much yearns to be a member of.

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Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

On Monday night, Trump delivered a speech in Iowa congratulating himself on his victory in the Republican presidential primary caucus there. The speech was mostly a rehashing of the same tedious talking points that he disgorges at his cult rallies and posts on his failing social media scam, Truth Social. And true to form, Trump used the opportunity of the post-caucus address to whine about what a sorry and pathetic victim he is.

When he isn’t lying about the 2020 election being “rigged and stolen” from him, he is raging about the multitude of civil and criminal charges that he is facing. He barely had time to brag about the weakness of his predictable triumph over Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.

SEE THIS: Trump’s Pyrrhic Victory in Iowa Forecasts His Next Defeat When He Faces Joe Biden in November

What Trump did have time to do was to reiterate his contempt for democracy and the Constitution. In his remarks he made a point of expressing his disdain for the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of the press…

“Last night, it was amazing. NBC and CNN refused to air my victory speech – think of it – because they are crooked, they’re dishonest and, frankly, they should have their licenses or whatever they have taken away.”

Of course, Trump would have no legal authority to shut down any news organization. Not that he cares about or respects the law. And for the record, NBC and CNN both aired a portion of Trump’s speech before cutting away when it was clear that he was just spewing nonsense and devolving into incoherent babbling. But there was a better reason to cut him off, which was explained by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who said that “His remarks will not air here live,” and then elaborated saying that…

“There is a reason that we, and other news platforms, have generally stopped giving an unfiltered live platform to former president Trump. It is not out of spite. It is not a decision that we relish. It is a decision that we regularly revisit. And honestly, earnestly, it is not an easy decision. But there is a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.

Exactly! The press has an obligation to insure that the truth is paramount in their reporting. When someone is known to lie profusely whenever they speak, that person’s remarks can be recorded and played later with the proper context and fact-checking. It’s what responsible journalists do.

However, in Trump’s twisted mind, any editing of his divinely inspired insights is tantamount to treason. He has actually said so in those precise terms. And if given the opportunity, he will make the traitors pay. Never mind the Constitution. Trump has repeatedly vowed to punish any and all media that is critical of him. For instance…

Trump Threatens to ‘Come Down Hard on’ MSNBC and ‘Make Them Pay’ for Daring to Criticize Him
Nov 28, 2023: “MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE. Brian Roberts, its Chairman and CEO, is a slimeball who has been able to get away with these constant attacks for years. It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity. Much more to come, watch!”

First of all, MSNBC does not use “FREE government approved airwaves.” Cable programming is delivered on private distribution networks. And their editorial positions are protected by the First Amendment. If he’s upset by MSNBC’s honest, left-leaning reporting, he should be equally upset by fox News’ flagrantly false, right-wing propaganda. But in neither case does the government have the authority to “come down hard on them and make them pay” for their views. That’s how dictators operate.

And then there was this…

Wannabe Dictator Trump Promises to Prosecute the ‘Country Threatening Treason’ of the Media
Sep 24, 2023: “MSNBC…should be investigated for its ‘Country Threatening Treason.’ […] I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage […] They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done!”

Trump is accusing MSNBC and other news enterprises of treason for exercising their constitutional rights. And he brags “up front, openly, and proudly,” that he will abuse the power of the government to suppress his critics in the press.

Trump’s brazen hostility toward the media and the Constitution is more proof of just how dangerous it would be to allow him to have any position of power. It doesn’t matter that he would have no legal authority to conduct the sort of oppressive operations that he is promising. He doesn’t care about the law. He would impose his own unethical standards on the media – and the nation – to get whatever results he craves.

Hopefully, this November, voters will grasp the imperative to prevent him from seizing that power and destroying America’s constitutional republic. And while they are at it, voters need to oust Trump’s flunkies in the House and Senate, and all state and local offices, and elect patriotic Democrats who will honor and preserve our nation’s principles.

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Trump Threatens to ‘Come Down Hard on’ MSNBC and ‘Make Them Pay’ for Daring to Criticize Him

One thing you can say for Donald Trump is that he isn’t ashamed to admit his authoritarian aspirations and his intentions to reign in the mold of his tyrannical heroes Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Xi Jinping. And the American people need to believe him when he promises to replace democracy with a dictatorship with him at the helm.

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Donald Trump, Constitution

This isn’t a momentary lapse in judgement or an inadvertent gaffe. Trump has been bragging about his dictatorial dreams for years. He yearns to have the unchallenged power of Putin whose political foes seem to keep falling out of windows. Those not done in by gravity would be jailed by Trump, who has no respect for the the rule of law or the Constitution.

SEE THIS: Trump Literally Calls for Termination of the Constitution and FREAKS OUT Over Bogus Fox News Story

On Wednesday morning Trump lashed out at the press that he regards, in Stalinist terms, as the “the enemy of the people.” In a post on his failing social media scam, Truth Social, Trump raged that…

“MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE. Brian Roberts, its Chairman and CEO, is a slimeball who has been able to get away with these constant attacks for years. It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity. Much more to come, watch!”

There’s a surprising quantity of bullpucky in that brief, bombastic outburst. Let’s start with the fact that Trump, as usual, doesn’t know what he’s talking about with regard to MSNBC’s programming. It is distributed on private cable networks, so there are no “government approved airwaves” involved.

As for Trump’s rant about MSNBC being biased against Republicans, the network has given four hours of every weekday morning to Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, and another two hours in the afternoon to Nicolle Wallace, who was the White House communications director for former president George W. Bush. To be sure, both are avowed critics of Trump, but as appropriately disgusted Republicans, not as “Radical Left Democrats.”

Trump is also showing his ignorance of the media business by citing Brian Roberts as MSNBC’s chairman and CEO. He is not. Rashida Jones is the president of MSNBC. Mike Cavanagh is the CEO the network’s parent company, NBC/Universal. Brian Roberts heads up Comcast, of which NBC/Universal is a subsidiary.

Furthermore, if Trump is so appalled by people on MSNBC criticizing Trump with well-reasoned and fully backed up analyses of his abhorrent positions and personality, what must he think of Fox News? After all, they slobber over him with undeserved and cultish adulation, while defaming his opponents with blatant falsehoods. Isn’t that “a 24 hour hit job” and “ELECTION INTERFERENCE?” It surely is a huge “political contribution” to Trump who actually is committed to “destroying our Country.” And it was Fox News, not MSNBC, who had to pay a nearly billion dollar settlement for their defamation and lies.

SEE ALSO: The Fox News 3/4 Billion Dollar Dominion Defamation Settlement is Also a Judgment Against Trump

The worst part of Trump’s commentary on MSNBC is his overt threat that, if given the opportunity, he would use the government to “come down hard on them and make them pay.” He is openly trying to intimidate MSNBC, as well as any other media enterprise that is less than worshipful toward him. He yearns to shut them down like Putin does in Russia.

Don’t think for a minute that he wouldn’t do it. He doesn’t believe that the media has the right to express themselves. He abhors the Constitution. Consequently, freedom of the press would become a relic of the past. And any independent reporting would be punishable by the state under his control. Which is another reason that he must never have any control or influence over this nation or the lives of its people.

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Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ Lawsuit Against CNN Tossed By Court Because Truth is Not Defamation

The most litigious president in American history is unquestionably Donald Trump. He has a penchant for suing anyone and everyone, generally without any legal merit, as a means of retribution and to punish his political enemies for daring to challenge his delusional divinity.

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Donald Trump, CNN

Trump’s most frequent attempts to abuse the court system have been through his challenges to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. He and his associates lost at least sixty such lawsuits, mostly for failing utterly to provide a shred of evidence supporting his baseless assertions of voter fraud. The parade of frivolous litigation came to be referred to by politicians and the press as Trump’s “Big Lie.” And that triggered the perpetually perturbed Trump to file a lawsuit against CNN for defamation.

SEE THIS: Trump Attorney Announces Laughable Lawsuit Against CNN for Accurately Calling Trump a Liar

On Friday Trump’s case against CNN was thrown out of court for failing to present any argument that the reporting by CNN wasn’t actually true. According to Deadline

“A federal judge dismissed Donald Trump’s $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN, litigation centered on references made by on-air figures to “the Big Lie,” or the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

Trump had argued in his lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, that the references to the phrase were defamatory as they created a “false and incendiary association” between him and Adolf Hitler.”

U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal, a Trump appointee, ruled that the lawsuit cited CNN segments that were merely “a stacking of inferences that cannot support a finding of falsehood.” In other words, Trump could not prove that describing his unfounded claims of election fraud as the “Big Lie” was untrue. And as always, truth is the best defense against defamation. CNN’s reporting, according to the court, was lawful opinion, and Trump failed to make a plausible argument that it was in any way false.

The court also appropriately refused to entertain Trump’s complaint that associating him with a phrase that has been attributed to Hitler’s Nazi propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, was defamatory. How could it be when such associations are objectively true. Trump has been a far more prolific and flagrant disseminator of lies and propaganda than the Nazi regime. If anything, Hitler might have a better case of defamation for being associated with Trump.

Many of Trump’s misadventures in legal malpractice involve the media. He is especially anxious to try to muzzle the free press that he believes is out to get him. Consequently, he has sued everyone from CNN, to the Washington Post, to Twitter, and more. He even sued the Pulitzer board for awarding prizes to newspapers that honestly reported on his unsavory ties to Russia.

SEE ALSO: Trump Sues the Pulitzer Prize Board for Honoring Accurate Stories of His Russian Collusion

Trump has yet to prevail in of his defamation lawsuits. That’s because he has never even bothered to present a coherent argument that he was defamed or suffered any damages to his already repugnant reputation. It has always been a poorly staged melodrama of malice meant to bully those he hated or feared. And his record of losses is the best evidence of his disingenuous intent. Yet somehow, he persists in these losing causes no matter how many times he is struck down in humiliation.

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After Tucker Carlson Fiasco, McCarthy Will Give January 6th Video to More MAGA Propagandists

From the very start of his tenure, Republican House Squeaker, Kevin McCarthy, demonstrated just how brazenly partisan and dishonest his speakership would be. After a historic 15 attempts to secure enough votes to become Speaker, McCarthy was indebted to ultra-rightist underlings like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene to hold onto the post.

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GOP Insurrection

Among the first actions by the new Speaker were the removal of Democrats Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar, and Eric Swalwell, from their respective committees. Then he formed a bogus committee on “Responsiveness and Accountability Oversight,” whose stated purpose was to “make life Hell” for Democrats. And of course, he oversaw the creation of the House’s first “Anti-Woke” Caucus.

However, nothing was more representative of McCarthy’s radical political prejudices than when he handed over 41,000 hours of video from the January 6th insurrection, that was incited by Donald Trump, to the pro-insurrection, Putin loving poseur, Tucker Carlson. McCarthy claimed that he was making these videos public, but Carlson was the only person who was given access to them. After which, Carlson predictably produced a preposterous program that portrayed the violent MAGA rioters as peaceful tourists visiting the Capitol.

SEE THIS: Tucker Carlson Spins January 6th Insurrection Videos to Spread Blatant Lies, Trump Praises Him

Carlson’s ludicrous narrative was widely mocked and condemned. In fact, he ended up airing only a few carefully edited, and particularly boring, minutes of the 41,000 hours of video over two nights that revealed nothing of significance. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has seen Carlson’s other “reporting” on January 6th, wherein he glorifies the rioters and accuses the FBI of orchestrating the whole thing.

McCarthy had promised to eventually release the videos to the public at large, including other media outlets. But three months later, McCarthy is apparently making the videos available to some more well known conspiracy crackpots. According to his boss, Marjorie Taylor Greene (admittedly not the most reliable source)…

“I’m excited to share the good news that just as I promised the J6 tapes are being released!

“@SpeakerMcCarthy has given @jsolomonReports, @Julie_kelly2, and a third outlet unfettered access to the J6 tapes, and their reporting on it starts tomorrow.

“This is the transparency the American people deserve and I look forward to their reporting!”

First of all, doling out the videos to selected conservative hacks is not “releasing” them. Nor is it “transparency” by any rational definition of the word. And what they will produce can hardly be called “reporting.” It is conspiring with confederates to manufacture more malicious propaganda.

What’s more, the people named by Greene are notorious fabricators of political fiction. John Solomon is a disgraced former Fox News contributor whose work is relentlessly slanted toward the ultra-right. Julie Kelly writes for the Trump-fluffing “American Greatness,” website, and is a prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories and slobbering Trump commentaries. The third party to whom McCarthy is giving the videos was apparently too embarrassing to even identify. Perhaps it is Rudy Giuliani or Don Trump Jr.

McCarthy’s refusal to grant access to these videos is a blatantly unethical, and possibly illegal, suppression of public materials and a breach of the First Amendment’s protection of a free press. He has already been sued by a coalition of media enterprises seeking access to the videos. They include CNN, Advance Publications, The Associated Press, CBS News, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Politico, ProPublica and The New York Times.

Finally, there is a disturbing irony and hypocrisy in McCarthy’s aversion to sharing information. He recently threatened the FBI Director with contempt of Congress for not turning over a document that he wants in order to smear President Biden.

SEE THIS: McCarthy Threatens FBI Director with Contempt for Not Aiding His Petty Persecution of Biden

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Fox News ‘Demands’ that Media Matters Stop Publishing Leaked Videos of Tucker Carlson

The fallout from Fox News firing their Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson, continues to cast dark shadows on the network that tolerated and embraced his hate speech and lies for so many years. Apparently terminating Carlson after agreeing to settle the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for 3/4 of a billion dollars was only the beginning of their problems.

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Fox News, Fake News

This week Media Matters acquired some videos of Carlson that further exposed his racism, as well as the animosity he had for his own colleagues at Fox News who he thought weren’t sufficiently repellent. These videos revealed Carlson maligning his former employer, saying “I don’t want to be a slave to Fox Nation. [and that] Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks.” Additionally, there were text messages wherein he complained about having been deposed by Dominion’s lawyers and criticized violent Trump supporters because “It’s not how white men fight.”

SEE THIS: Leaked Video of Tucker Carlson Bashing Fox Nation as a Site that ‘Sucks’ and ‘Nobody Watches’

On Friday Fox News sent Media Matters a “cease and desist” letter demanding that they stop publishing these videos. The letter said…

“We write on behalf of Fox Corporation to clarify any misunderstandings Media Matters may have had regarding previously unaired footage that Media Matters has published in a series of articles headlined ‘Foxleaks.’ That unaired footage is Fox’s confidential intellectual property; Fox did not consent to its distribution or publication; and Fox does not consent to its further distribution or publication. This proprietary material was given to you without Fox’s authorization. Fox demands that Media Matters cease and desist from distribution, publication, and misuse of Fox’s misappropriated proprietary footage, which you are now on notice was unlawfully obtained. We reserve all rights and remedies.”

Seriously? First of all, Media Matters is well within their rights as a journalistic enterprise to publish these videos. Fox’s threat is empty and unsupported by the law, and particularly the Constitution.

What’s more, Fox News is a frequent exploiter of what they have insisted is their First Amendment rights to publish similarly obtained materials. They have had no problem with publishing private emails from Hillary Clinton, or text messages of FBI agent Peter Strzok, or the sort of videos that Project Veritas produced by secretly recording people that they purposefully deceived. Consequently, it is more likely that the source of these videos is actually Fox News. They have to incentive to dirty up Carlson before he lands at some other media outfit and starts smearing Fox.

Nevertheless, Fox News thinks they can intimidate Media Matters to prevent them from providing information that is relevant and important to the public regarding the state of affairs at Fox News. But Media Matters wasn’t intimidated. They released a response that brilliantly rejected Fox’s feeble threat.

“Reporting on newsworthy leaked material is a cornerstone of journalism. For Fox to argue otherwise is absurd and further dispels any pretense that they’re a news operation. Perhaps if I tell them that the footage came from a combination of WikiLeaks and Hunter Biden’s laptop, it will alleviate their concerns.”

OUCH! It’s unlikely that even proving that Fox News is brazenly hypocritical will “alleviate their concerns.” That’s because Fox’s concerns are rooted in their deeply held, ultra-rightist biases, and not in any logic, reason or facts. Which is one of the reasons why Fox is currently suffering the worst downtrend in their ratings in more than ten years. And ridiculous measures like this to try to censor their critics isn’t going to make anything better for them. Just imagine what would come out in any trial if Fox followed through with this threat.

RELATED: With Lawsuits, Lost Hosts, and Lying Pundits, the Future of Fox News Has Never Been Weaker

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FOX News FINALLY Reports on the Dominion Lawsuit and is Predictably Dishonest and Biased

The biggest media story of the year – or even the century – is the billion dollar defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting systems against Fox News. Recent disclosures in court filings have unmasked just how brazenly Fox News has deceived their viewers by repeatedly lying on air about matters for which they privately held diametrically opposing views.

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Fox News, Howard Kurtz

For weeks following the Dominion filings, Fox News refused to even bring up the subject of the lawsuit. Then their chief media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, addressed it briefly on his Sunday program, MediaBuzz. However, his only comments were to tell his audience that he was not going to be reporting on the lawsuit because he had been forbidden to by Fox editors and executives.

MORE HERE: BANNED ON FOX NEWS: The Network Prohibits Any Reporting on the $1.6 Billion Dominion Lawsuit

Apparently that censorious edict has been revoked and Kurtz was given some sort of conditional permission to cover the story. So he did so in the most Fox-ish manner possible. Which means that he was overtly dishonest in his starkly biased presentation that looked like it was written by the Fox News PR department. What follows are some of the lowlights of Kurtz’s whitewashing coverage (video below).

Kurtz began by defending the indefensible saying that “there is a crucial First Amendment argument here involving the coverage of unsubstantiated claims of 2020 election fraud by Donald Trump and his allies.” That’s patently false. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Dominion is not Congress. Furthermore, Dominion is not seeking to censor Fox News. They are suing for damages due to Fox’s purposeful and repeated defamation, which is not protected by the First Amendment.

Kurtz then quotes from a Fox News statement saying that “Dominion has been caught red-handed using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear Fox News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press.” Nothing in that statement is true. Dominion was not “caught red-handed,” and Kurtz doesn’t bother to substantiate any of its charges of “distortions and misinformation.” Yet somehow, Kurtz asserts that his framing of the “facts” will be fair to both sides…

“Now I’m going to give you both sides, but let me say this: Fox’s critics and competitors are denouncing the network, and many of them are rooting not just for Fox to lose the suit, but to be wiped out as a company because they can’t stand the mostly conservative view of a relative handful of opinion hosts”

Notice that Kurtz immediately contradicts his own assertion to give both sides. The criticism of competitors is completely irrelevant to the misconduct that Fox has been engaging in. If Fox News were a legitimate news enterprise, they would tell the truth regardless of what their competitors are saying. And the claim that only “a relative handful of opinion hosts” are disgorging conservative views is pure fiction. Fox’s alleged “journalists” (i.e. Brett Baier) were shown to be just as dishonest as Sean Hannity in the Dominion filings. Even so, Fox’s opinion hosts are the highest rated personalities on the network, so their lies carry more weight than unknown field reporters.

Kurtz went on to soft-pedal Fox’s deceit saying that “The heart of dominion’s suit is a gap” between what hosts said on the air and what they said privately among each other. Referring to Fox’s outright lying as merely a “gap” is like referring to the Grand Canyon as a pothole. Kurtz is deliberately underplaying the severity of Fox’s corruption. And he spent the remainder of his remarks spewing defenses for it. For instance, Kurtz said that…

“There was, to be sure, straight reporting by the news division, which also caused some friction, but the fact that some people in the chain of command privately dismissed the fraud claims as nuts or outlandish or insane doesn’t necessarily mean Fox couldn’t cover and comment on the extremely newsworthy spectacle of a president saying an election was stolen.”

Actually, no reputable media organization would allow a reporter to cover a story they were caught lying about. What’s more, the problem wasn’t that Fox was “covering” what Donald Trump and others said about election fraud. The problem was that the Fox News hosts were endorsing the fraud allegations themselves. That isn’t journalism, it’s propaganda.

In conclusion, Kurtz – still claiming to be fair to both sides – closed with a comment by Fox’s CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, who said that…

“The network has an obligation to report the news fairly. I think a lot of the noise you hear about this case is actually not about the law, and is not about journalism, and is really about the politics.”

Really? For Murdoch to brag about Fox’s “obligation to report the news fairly” after what the Dominion lawsuit has revealed is preposterous. That has never been the mission of Fox News, and the recent disclosures of their internal communications proves that it isn’t now. Not when you have their hosts knowingly deceiving viewers and spreading flagrant falsehoods that undermine democracy and foment violence.

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BANNED ON FOX NEWS: The Network Prohibits Any Reporting on the $1.6 Billion Dominion Lawsuit

A few years ago Fox News dropped their long-time slogan that falsely declared that they were “Fair & Balanced.” Having been founded by an ultra-rightist newspaper baron (Rupert Murdoch) and a Republican media consultant (Roger Ailes), it was never true. It only served to imply that every other news source was unfair and imbalanced.

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Fox News, Censorship

That’s the modus operandi of a cult, wherein members are admonished that the cult is the only source of truth and that everyone else is lying. Fox News replaced their slogan with “Real News, Real Honest Opinion.” Which was equally false. And the extent of their brazen and deliberate dishonesty was recently revealed in a motion filed by Dominion Voting systems as part of their $1.6 defamation lawsuit against Fox. The motion cited numerous instances of Fox News hosts and executives saying in private that they didn’t believe the election fraud lies that they were reporting on air as facts.

RELATED: In Dominion v Fox News, Network Cries ‘We Can’t Make People Think We’ve Turned Against Trump’

The revelations in the Dominion motion were widely reported by virtually every news outlet. Except, of course, for Fox “News”. And on Sunday it was revealed why. Howard Kurtz, the network’s alleged media analyst, confessed on his program that his bosses had forbidden him to discuss the matter…

“Some of you have been asking why I’m not covering the Dominion Voting Machines lawsuit against Fox involving the unproven claims of election fraud in 2020, and it’s absolutely a fair question. I believe I should be covering it. It’s a major media story, given my role here at Fox. But the company has decided that as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now. I strongly disagree with that decision, but as an employee, I have to abide by it. And if that changes, I’ll let you know.”

It is not uncommon, when a company is the subject of a lawsuit, for it to order its employees to refrain from making any public statement about the case, for fear of them disclosing something detrimental. However, when it is a media company it poses a unique dilemma, because they have a professional and ethical obligation to report the news. In this case, Kurtz could easily have reported on the existence of the lawsuit without prejudicing it in any way. And his statement affirms that it is “a major media story,” and that his audience is interested in it.

Nevertheless, Fox News has imposed a total ban on reporting anything about the case. Clearly they are censoring themselves to avoid the embarrassment of having their viewers learn the truth about their purposeful lying. Fox surely doesn’t want them to know that their most popular hosts, such as Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, discussed among themselves that Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 presidential election being “rigged and stolen” from him, was a wholly fabricated fiction.

RELATED: Hannity Admits in Fox News Lawsuit that ‘I Did Not Believe [Trump’s Big Lie] for One Second’

Since Fox News banned Kurtz from reporting on the Dominion case, it’s fair to assume that they imposed the same blackout on the rest of their hosts, contributors, and guests. That muzzling of their own “reporters” is, in itself, news. However, Kurtz is wrong when he says that “as an employee, I have to abide by it.” Actually, he has several other options.

First of all, he could ignore this infringement on free speech and report on the case anyway. Secondly, he could argue with his superiors and organize his peers to get the restraint lifted. Thirdly, he could resign in protest and retain some measure of integrity. He could also offer to anonymously tell what he knows to other media, or even to the Dominion lawyers.

All of those options, however, would require that Kurtz have some dignity and respect for journalistic ethics. So it’s no wonder why he chose to simply obey his bosses and shut his mouth. Suppressing real news that Fox finds uncomfortable is their standard operating procedure. It’s why they didn’t air live a single minute of the hearings by the House Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection that Trump incited, despite the high ratings the hearings received on MSNBC and CNN.

SEE THIS: Trump Toady Lies that Fox News ‘Destroyed CNN and MSNBC’ By Not Airing the January 6th Hearings

Finally, in addition to gagging Kurtz, Fox also refused to air an ad by MoveOn that featured the words of their own hosts and executives. So Fox is not only rejecting journalistic ethics, they are even refusing revenue for advertising. And if they are turning down cold, hard, cash, you know they are scared witless.

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