Fox News Hack Defends Trump for Making 2019 the ‘Darkest Year Yet for Journalists’

After three years of bootlicking fealty to Donald Trump, there are very few people who would dispute that Fox News is serving as the Ministry of Propaganda for the Trump regime. There has never been a “news” organization more tightly aligned with a political leader and party than Fox News. They even regularly exchange personnel who seamlessly work for both the network and the White House. Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and others are card-carrying members of Trump’s “Shadow Cabinet.”

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Other than Fox News, Trump has been relentlessly hostile to the press from the beginning of his presidency. He routinely refers to it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” and dismisses any less than adoring coverage as “fake news.” Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York times took note of this in a year-end column that accurately described 2019 as the darkest year yet for journalists He elaborated…

“On Twitter, President Trump deployed the phrase ‘fake news’ 273 times this year — 50 percent more often than he did in 2018. He demanded ‘retribution’ over a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch, declared that Washington Post reporters ‘shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House,’ and accused The New York Times of ‘Treason.’ […]

Mr. Trump’s vilification of the news media is a hallmark of his tenure and a jagged break from the norms of his predecessors: Once a global champion of the free press, the presidency has become an inspiration to autocrats and dictators who ape Mr. Trump’s cry of ‘fake news.'”

Trump has terminated the daily press briefings that were a decades-long part of White House operations. He replaced them with his “Chopper Talk” harangues on the lawn of the White House where he’ll berate reporters and lie unashamedly while dodging their questions. And his constant assaults on the press creates an environment of imminent risk to the lives of reporters. Trump even whined to Vladimir Putin that he would like to “get rid of them,” expressing his envy of Putin’s ability to assassinate journalists who offend him. That’s the sort of loathsome rhetoric that caused the Committee to Protect Journalists to issue a long and detailed condemnation of Trump as “an unprecedented threat,” and went on to say…

“Donald Trump, through his words and actions as a candidate for president of the United States, has consistently betrayed First Amendment values. […] A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.”

In response to the article in the New York Times (a frequent victim of Trump’s attacks), right-wing media hack Joe Concha appeared on Fox News to defend Trump’s malicious behavior (video below). However, he proffered a badly mangled argument that Trump was justified in criticizing the press because they were so critical of him. The problem with that is that no one was suggesting that Trump couldn’t offer his own criticisms. But there is a difference between pointing out what he believes are inaccuracies, and accusing reporters of treason.

Likewise, Concha argued that Trump couldn’t be considered a threat to journalists because he speaks to them directly from time to time. Once again, that doesn’t excuse what he’s actually saying in those encounters. If you threaten reporters with cancellation of their credentials, or with prosecution and imprisonment, you cannot simultaneously claim you’re not a threat because you spoke to them.

Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy eagerly agreed with Concha’s premise, saying that Trump often approaches reporters at Mar-A-Lago and takes questions. What Doocy didn’t acknowledge is that those avails are always designed to give Trump the advantage. He takes only the questions he wants, and pretends he didn’t hear the others. And if his answers are insufficient, or totally irrelevant, he refuses follow-ups or any effort to clarify.

The problem with what Concha and Doocy are saying is that they regard Trump’s insults and threats as legitimate critiques of the media. They ignore Trump’s menacing outbursts that cast journalists as criminals and traitors. And they don’t seem to comprehend that labeling everything you disagree agree with as “Fake” isn’t a coherent rebuttal. It’s a flagrant attempt to demean an honorable profession, and the only one protected by the Constitution.

Trump’s purpose is to destroy the public’s confidence in the only institution they can rely on to keep them informed and hold the powerful accountable. In this way Trump hopes to get away with his criminal, amoral, and disloyal, activities. And Joe Concha and Fox News are right there to back him up.

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

IT’S A CULT! Trump’s Assault on the Press has Poisoned a Generation of Republican Chumps

The impeachment of Donald Trump has passed another milestone as the House Judiciary Committee voted to send two Articles of Impeachment to the full House. Article One is “Abuse of Power” and includes Trump’s extortion of a foreign leader, as wells as his efforts to coerce a foreign government to interfere with an American election. Article Two covers “Obstruction of Congress” and Trump’s attempts to cover up the crimes he committed in Article One.

Donald Trump

The prospect of being only the third U.S. president ever to be impeached is gnawing at Trump and driving him to bizarre behaviors such as Thursday’s 123 tweet day, a record for the Tweeter-in-chief. And on Friday Trump’s tweetstorming raged on with an emphasis on how adored he thinks he is by the American people. He posted several tweets alluded to that imaginary popularity, including the following:

The reality is that Trump is struggling in recent polling, including that of his favorite pollster, the utterly biased and disreputable Rasmussen, where he’s dropped three points since the impeachment hearings began. But Trump has even bigger problems as his support narrows to the fringe confines of his most loyal cult disciples. This fact of Trump’s sad life is borne out in a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Their study of how the media is perceived by different sectors of the population reveals that…

“On item after item, Republicans consistently express far greater skepticism of the news media and their motives than Democrats. […] Even more telling, the analysis reveals that divides emerge within party – particularly the Republican Party – based on how strongly people approve of Trump’s performance as president.”

It’s no secret that Trump has conditioned his followers to despise the constitutionally protected free press, which he calls “the enemy of the people.” But even among Republicans, the degree of animosity spikes in concert with the degree of Trump worship. The Pew study found that “The vast majority (79%) of Republicans say journalists have low or very low ethical standards.” Of those about one-third (31%) say journalists have very low ethical standards. However among the most fervent of Trump’s GOP supporters 40% say journalists’ ethics are very low. So the Deplorable set is far more distrusting of the media than their Republican chums.

This is undoubtedly the result of constant disparagement by Trump. He can’t seem to go a single day without instructing his hordes to hate the press. And that hostility is clearly transferring from Trump to his truest believers. But even so, this support is not nearly in the range that Trump says it is. According to Pew, it isn’t 95%, but only about 64% of GOPers who “strongly” approve of how Trump is handling his job as president. Even if you add the “somewhat approvers” (18%) it still only comes to 82%.

So no matter how you slice it, Trump is passing off fake numbers to boost the perception of his alleged acclaim and to massage his fragile ego. The good news for Trump is that his most faithful devotees will believe whatever he tells them. The bad news is that they are a small and dwindling cadre of dimwits.

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

FFS: Trump Whines to Putin About American Media, Says He’d Like to ‘Get Rid of Them’

With each new day Donald Trump manages to debase and humiliate America with his reckless and hateful comments and tweets. And this noxious behavior seems to get ramped up when he ventures overseas. This often results in his creating international incidents that stir up more controversy back home. It’s as if he thinks he has some sort of immunity from criticism while on foreign soil, so he lets his guard down and unleashes ever more embarrassing and destructive commentaries.

Donald Trump

One example that occurred during Trump’s trip to Japan was his response to questions from reporters about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Taking the side of Vladimir Putin again, he told the press that Putin “strongly denies” any meddling in the election. This is after U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded that they did. It’s after the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that explicitly cited the “sweeping and systematic fashion” with which Russia interfered. And yet Trump thought it was appropriate to joke about the matter with Putin. When asked if he would tell Putin to stop his interference, Trump turned to Putin with a smirk and said “Don’t meddle in the election, President.” They both laughed.

Another example was when Trump told reporters that “nobody has directly pointed a finger” at Mohammed bin Salman for the brutal murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamil Khashoggi. Well, that’s if you consider the CIA and the United Nations nobodies. Then Trump went further to refer to MBS as his “friend.” Which places him on a lower rung than Kim Jong Un, with whom Trump fell in love.” But still pretty cozy.

However, nothing Trump said comes close to the abhorrent comment he made about his relationship with American media. Of course he is well known for maligning them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” And he has threatened both reporters and news organizations with prohibitions and suppression of their First Amendment rights. But on this occasion Trump went further by actually expressing his interest to “get rid of them.” That led to this nauseating exchange (video below):

Trump: Fake … fake news. Great term, isn’t it? You don’t have that problem in Russia. We have it. You don’t have it.
Putin: Yes, yes. We also have. It’s the same.

It is astonishing, even for Trump, that he would engage in a jovial discussion about the presence of a free press in America with the dictator of a country where journalists are often murdered for being critical. To the extent that Trump was correct about Russia not having the problem, it’s only because the “problems” in Russia are dead. And Trump favorably pointing out that Russia is free of these journalist pests exposes his thinly veiled jealousy. Clearly he wishes that he didn’t have that problem in the U.S.

The sheer quantity of heinous Trumpian scandals is threatening to overwhelm our capacity for shock. But we must never allow ourselves to become numbed to this sort of loathsome rhetoric. It is vile, unconscionable, dangerous, and un-American. It cannot be tolerated or dealt with passively as if it’s merely a childish tantrum. It is the language of tyrants, and aspiring autocrats like Trump. Do not forget, or forgive. Trump must be held accountable and restrained from pursuing his perverse and corrosive agenda.

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

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.