Crybaby Trump Whines that Fox News Polls are Fake News

There is nothing more predictable than Donald Trump wailing like a colicky infant whenever he is criticized. His massive, yet fragile, ego simply can’t take the slightest bit of pushback, constructive or otherwise. So he throws petulant tantrums in the hopes that his critics will regret their offense and commit to unflinching adoration.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

That’s a pretty accurate description of his relationship with Fox News. It’s a network that was built to disseminate right-wing propaganda. And in the Era of Trump it has transformed into the Ministry of Disinformation for the cult that he leads. It employs devoted Trump worshipers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo, etc., who are also his the staff advisors of his shadow cabinet. And it is practically the only network that he will grant interviews to.

But apparently that it isn’t enough. When there is a rare critical commentary by a host or a guest, Trump lashes out mercilessly as if he’s been betrayed by a close confidant. That happens every time that Fox publishes a poll that isn’t as enamored with him as he is himself. Take for instance this Thursday morning…

First of all, Fox News polls were in the middle of that pack with regard to accuracy in 2016. Trump still refuses to accept that the national polling was largely correct, but did not reflect state-by-state returns that produced the Electoral College result. Secondly, Trump can “believe” that he’s “leading BIG” all he wants, but it doesn’t make it true. He is, in fact, getting crushed by Joe Biden nationally, as well as in the crucial swing states. And thirdly, his attempt to connect the Fox News poll with the stock market is just too preposterous to even respond to.

For the record, Trump has taken this stance before. Last year Trump cried about how Fox News polls “have always been terrible to me.” But in reality they have just as often been positive. And when they were, Trump noticed and celebrated their findings, as News Corpse observed at the time:

“What is abundantly clear is that Trump has been more than pleased with the results of Fox News polls in the past. But when one is less than adoring he flips out and insists that they have always had it in for him. That’s a sign of a severe mental infirmity consistent with narcissism, paranoia, and sociopathic disengagement from reality.”

Trump is a well documented malignant narcissist whose psychotic self-absorption twists his perception of reality. He can only accept flattering appraisals and glassy-eyed adulation from the media and even his personal relationships. Anything else is met with abject scorn and unqualified rejection. It’s a sickness that is putting this nation at risk. And if it isn’t brought to an end this November, the damage may be irreversible for decades.

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

Throwback Trump: If You Told a Republican to Vote Twice They’d Get Sick at the Thought of It

On Wednesday Donald Trump’s desperation and fear drove him to suborn felony voter fraud by telling his cult followers to vote twice this November. That would not only be a crime for anyone who tried it, it’s also a crime for Trump to make the solicitation. An honest Justice Department would indict him immediately, but the Justice Department of the Trump administration is nobody’s idea of honest.

Donald Trump Red Face

Not surprisingly, Trump has had fluid opinions on this subject that change whenever he perceives the opposite opinion to be more to his benefit. Or maybe he’s just to cognitively challenged to recall his own views from one moment to the next. He doubled down on these felonious solicitations Thursday morning on Twitter. But last May he was interviewed by Senior Fox News Trump-Fluffer Maria Bartiromo and he told her that…

“The level of dishonesty with Democrat voting is unbelievable. If you told a Republican to vote twice, they’d get sick at even the thought of it. And you have people that vote numerous times. What’s happening is crazy. So now they want to send out vote-by-mail. Who knows who’s signing this stuff?”

If what Trump said then was true, there are a lot of sick Republicans running around the country right now. Well … more than usual. And that isn’t even counting those with the coronavirus (which Trump thinks you can get from voting).

Due to the complicity of Trump’s traitorous Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, and the Senate GOP, Trump appears to be getting away with his crimes again – for now. But the record is clear and will be preserved for the next attorney general to investigate and prosecute. As is often the case, Trump documents his criminality on national television. “Let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said to the press. “And if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”

Trump’s babbling about how mail-in votes would be tabulated before in-person voting is pure nonsense. In some states that process doesn’t even begin until after the polls close. Anyone who takes Trump’s advice will be in a heap of trouble. This isn’t a gray area. Both state and federal statutes unambiguously state that even attempting to vote twice is against the law. And every reputable law enforcement official will affirm that. For instance…

Karen Brinson Bell, Executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections: It is illegal to vote twice in an election … Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.

Michigan Attorney General Nessel: Don’t try this at home. I will prosecute you […] Let me be perfectly clear: voting twice is illegal, no matter who tells you do to it. The president’s idea is a great one for people looking to go to jail.

Ellen L Weintraub, Federal Elections Commissioner: It is illegal in all 50 states and under federal law to vote twice. As any federal officeholder or law enforcement official should know.

Well, any federal officeholder or law enforcement official other than Barr. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Barr staggered around awkwardly as he tried to avoid contradicting his boss. He trotted out diversions about the point he thought Trump was trying to make, and absurd claims about not knowing state laws. Eventually, Blitzer had to educate him:

Trump was right about one thing. This is “crazy.” It’s so crazy, in fact, that it should trigger an indictment and his immediate removal from office. Or at least the 25th Amendment and a straitjacket. Unfortunately, Trump’s GOP confederates are as crazy as he is and wouldn’t hear of it. So we’ll just have to wait until November (actually January 20) to rid the White House of this madness. If we survive that long.

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

Trump Is Toast: Post-Convention Polls Show Biden’s Lead Growing

With both party’s nominating conventions over, the 2020 presidential campaign begins in earnest. There has been much speculation about how these unprecedented, pandemic-challenged conventions would impact the race. For most of the election season to date, Joe Biden has maintained a steady lead nationally, as well as in the crucial swing states. And now we have some early indication as to what effect the conventions will have on that.

Donald Trump Circling the Drain

There have been several polls released since the conventions concluded. Every one of them show that Biden still holds the lead by significant margins. However, it’s important to note that most of them show Biden’s lead actually growing. As reported by RealClearPolitics, four polls have Biden increasing his lead, two show the lead narrowing, and one remains unchanged:

Polls Date Biden Trump Spread Prior Spread
RCP Average 8/21 – 9/1 49.4 42.3 Biden +7.1
YouGov 8/30 – 9/1 51 40 Biden +11 Biden +9
IBD/TIPP 8/29 – 9/1 49 41 Biden +8 Biden +7
Emerson 8/30 – 8/31 49 47 Biden +2 Biden +4
USA   Today 8/28 – 8/31 50 43 Biden +7 Biden +12
Rasmussen 8/26 – 9/1 49 45 Biden +4 Biden +2
Selzer 8/26 – 8/30 49 41 Biden +8 Biden +4
The   Hill 8/25 – 8/28 47 38 Biden +9 Biden +9

This is bad news for Donald Trump who certainly hoped his “American Carnage 2.0” RNC speech would have helped him crawl out of his slump. It surely didn’t help that he lost in the ratings war with the Democratic convention drawing more viewers overall, and Biden drawing more viewers specifically. it also doesn’t help that Trump is incapable of articulating a second term agenda. And on top of that, Biden just pulled in some record breaking fund raising.

As a result, Trump has had to embrace a dystopian theme of fear and loathing, while seeking to encourage violence among his cult followers, which he cynically believes will benefit his campaign. And he will use anything to deflect from his failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession, both of which are the result of his negligence and incompetence.

The most prominent lines of attack that Trump has hurled at Biden have been insinuations about his mental faculties. That has never been true (except for Trump himself), but it hasn’t stopped Trump from incessantly repeating his infantile nicknames and insults. And now that Biden has easily outperformed the low bar that Trump set for him, Trump’s entire campaign strategy is out the window. All he has left is to chase after the racist, white nationalists that have been his most loyal base of support.

None of this, however, will dampen Trump’s resolve to lie and cheat his way victory. He will continue to malign Biden as being stuck in his basement (which is false), or being unwilling to hold press conferences (which he did today). Ironically, it’s Trump who is stuck in a media bunker wherein he only allows Fox News bootlickers to interview him. But whats really sad is that he fouls those up, even as Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends struggle to throw him lifelines.

Nevertheless, Democrats must remain determined to see this through until November 3, without any let up or over confidence. We must run like we’re behind 10 points behind. And we must not let Trump get away with any of his deceitful messaging and hate mongering. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and every day counts.

Trump and the GOP have not yet exhausted their capacity for dishonesty and criminality. They are unlawfully exploiting federal agencies from intelligence to the census to the Postal Service and more, in order to achieve their nefarious ends. And they still have Russia on their team. So stay vigilant. Stay strong. And stay committed to winning for America.

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

Trump Desperately Pushes a Phony, Racist Narrative of Rampant Violence.

Psychotic delusions are tricky to interpret. For instance, it’s hard to tell if Donald Trump truly believes that he is a beloved national leader who is a shoo-in for reelection, or if he realizes that he’s toast but doesn’t want to suffer the humiliation of admitting it publicly. Either way it is confirmation of an acute mental infirmity.

Donald Trump, MAGA

Consequently, in response to the clear evidence of his floundering campaign, Trump is angling to shape an electoral narrative that he thinks will give him some advantage. But he is painfully incapable of articulating a second term agenda. Obviously the topics that matter most to the American people – the economy, jobs, racial equality, climate change, healthcare, and the still surging coronavirus pandemic – are not working for him. He is losing in every national poll, as well as in most of the crucial swing states. and he wasn’t helped by his “American Carnage II” convention.

The position that Trump seems to have settled on is patently absurd. He is seeking to convince voters that the streets of America are awash in blood and that it is the fault of Democrats. Trump is calling this cataclysm “Biden’s America.” Never mind that it is actually – literally – happening in Trump’s America. His argument is that if he’s reelected all of this turmoil that he has created will magically go away, as if it were a deadly virus (oh wait…).

In order to get that narrative to take hold, Trump has been furiously posting tweets that portray the nation as embroiled in a raging and constant conflagration of bloodshed and savagery. On Sunday he unleashed an avalanche of horror stories on Twitter. More than half (58 out of 110) of his tweets were about allegedly rampant violence and Black Lives Matter “mobs” that he says are running wild in the streets. It’s an unambiguously racist campaign aimed at dividing the nation and firing up his white nationalist base.

According to FiveThirtyEight Trump has become “singularly obsessed with the topic” of crime, and HuffPost reveals that in July the vast majority of his campaign dealt in some way with public safety. He speaks in utterly bizarre hyperboles, like a five year old who has no realistic comprehension of the world around him. For instance he said Monday that “If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now.” Really? The whole city of 100,000 would have disappeared from the face of the Earth?

There is, however, a small problem with this campaign theme. Crime in America is trending down. And the crime that occurs is taking place in both Democratic and Republican cities. So try as he might, Trump cannot blame lawlessness on Democrats, and certainly not on Joe Biden. However, Biden can, and does, make a rational argument for Trump’s culpability (videos below):

“I look at this violence and I see lives and communities and the dreams of small businesses being destroyed. And the opportunity for real problems on the issue of race and police reform and justice being put to the test. Donald Trump looks at this violence and he sees a political lifeline.”

Biden went on to note the absurdity of Trump running on the claim that “Quote ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.'” (video below)

“And what is their proof? The violence we are seeing in Donald Trump’s America. These are not images of some imagined Joe Biden America in the future. These are images of Donald Trump’s America today. He keeps telling you, if only he was president it wouldn’t happen. If he was president. He keeps telling you if he was president you’d feel safe. Well, he is president, whether he knows it or not. And it is happening.”

“It’s getting worse. You know why. Because Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire. Because he refuses to even acknowledge that there’s a racial justice problem in America. Because he won’t stand up to any form of violence. He has no problem with right-wing militias, white supremacists, and vigilantes with assault weapons”

On a side note, the infantile, lying, cretins running the Trump campaign clipped the part of Biden’s speech where he said that “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” and made it look like that’s his own opinion of himself when, in fact, he was quoting Trump. It has already been tagged as manipulated media by Twitter. That’s actually the second Trump video so labeled just today. The other video showed Biden supposedly sleeping prior to a TV interview. But the real video was an interview of Harry Belafonte.

That’s the kind of dishonesty and craven lack of ethics that we have to look forward to for the next couple of months. But hang in there, and continue to do the hard work necessary to achieve a landslide victory and to send Trump back to civilian life and, hopefully, to prison.

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

Fear and Loathing in Trump’s America: A Tweetstorm of Lies and Desperation

It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another episode of Donald Trump’s Sunday Morning Tweetstorm. The rest of America is enduring the hardships of a deadly pandemic made worse by Trump’s negligence and incompetence. They are suffering through the Trump Recession, replete with record bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions, and unemployment. And they are watching scenes of civil unrest incited by Trump’s craving for violence to justify his neo-fascist aspirations.

Donald Trump, Twitter

This Sunday’s Tweetstorm is jam-packed with Trumpian assholery. Beginning before sunrise at 5:49 AM, and for two hours and fifteen minutes after, Trump unleashed an avalanche of triggered tweets. There were 89 by 8:04 AM, when he had to quit in order to make his tee time (Really! He went from this to his golf resort). That’s one tweet every 1.5 minutes. Many of those 89 tweets were retweets (69) of sycophants and random Twitter trolls. [UPDATE: By day’s end Trump had tweeted a grand total of 110 times. Most of the later tweets were about Portland/violence or infantile attacks on Biden]

The most prominent subject for this morning’s Twitter tantrum was violence in the streets, particularly in Portland, Oregon. These tweets accounted for 41% (37) of the total tweets. Trump’s thinly disguised message to his cult disciples was that violence is good for his campaign so feel free to go out and stir some up. His Senior White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, literally said just that this week on Fox News. Trump himself praised the actual instigators, who came armed for confrontation with peaceful protesters, as…

Coming in second in Trump’s Tweet tirade (at 30%) was a parade of polling posts that purported to place Trump in the lead against Joe Biden. However, the 27 retweets were all from “PollWatch2020,” an unverified Twitter account and right-wing propaganda mill. The only polls they cited as sources for their data were the Trafalgar Group and the Democracy Institute. Both are rabidly partisan servants of conservative candidates and issues. Trafalgar has a C- rating by the analysts at FiveThirtyEight. And Democracy Institute isn’t even rated because they are considered to be a “fake” pollster. This blast of bullpucky is refuted by virtually every other poll available from credible survey organizations.

In addition to these putrid postings, Trump also retweeted an article from the Babylon Bee headlined “Biden: ‘If You Thought The Republican Convention Was Good, Just Wait ‘Til We Have Our Convention!” The purpose of this posting was to ridicule Biden for allegedly not knowing that the Democratic convention was held the previous week. However, the Babylon Bee is a wholly fictional, satirical website. It isn’t known if Trump was aware of that or not. However, it’s clear that many of his cult followers didn’t know. They replied to his tweet with laughter at what an idiot Biden must be. Who wants to tell them they are the idiots?

Trump also posted three tweets that falsely reported fatalities due to the coronavirus. All three tweets cited the conspiracy crackpot website, Gateway Pundit, run by Jim Hoft, the “stupidest man on the Internet” (seriously, Google the phrase). They made the claim that there have only been about 9,000 deaths. That number is drawn from the website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) where it says that only 6% of the reported fatalities were due “solely” to COVID-19. Most of the deaths had comorbidity factors like pneumonia.

Of course, the presence of contributing factors doesn’t mean that COVID-19 wasn’t the cause of death. But that’s the asinine assertion by Hoft. And now Trump has joined in that idiocy with these retweets, one of which was by Jenna Ellis, the Senior Legal Adviser to the Trump campaign and personal attorney to Trump. [UPDATE: The original tweet making this false claim was removed by Twitter for having violated the rules regarding spreading misinformation. But the Ellis retweet by Trump is still live]

The upshot of this cavalcade of dishonesty and hostility on Trump’s Twitter feed is that Trump is determined to inflame tensions and encourage hateful and hurtful confrontations. He has cheered on violent agitators as “great patriots.” He has maligned Democratic leaders as supportive of atrocities. And he is affirming the position that Conway made with regard to such violence as being beneficial to his reelection campaign. It’s despicable and dangerous and it needs to stop.

Unfortunately, we cannot rely on Trump to abandon these abhorrent tactics. Se we need to be cognizant of his nefarious scheme and resist giving in to his cynicism and purposeful destruction of civil society. If we are to prevail, we need to keep justice in our heads, peace in our hearts, and our eyes on the prize. The only blood will be on the hands of Trump and his racist, hate mongering Republican accomplices.

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

Babbling Incoherently, Trump Promises Unspecified ‘Other Things’ in 2nd Term

In his Republican Nationalist Confederation acceptance speech, Trump rattled off an array of objectives that were nothing but rehashes of what he’s been saying for nearly four years. Things like cutting taxes and regulations, defending the 2nd Amendment, and building the border wall. There was nothing new and nothing that he’s made any progress on. It was political boilerplate with no substance or commitment.

Donald Trump Angry

In the past few weeks Trump has been asked a question that is commonly asked of presidential candidates: What is your agenda for the next four years should you win? Trump has been asked this question at least four times, including by friendly “interviewers” like Sean Hannity of Fox News and the “Curvy Couch” of Fox and Friends, but has failed to give a comprehensible answer. You might think that after flopping once or twice, Trump would have an aide write up a response for him. But not Trump. On Thursday Peter Baker of the New York Times published his account of Trump’s answer to that question. And it makes even less sense than all the others that preceded it:

Holy shih tzu! Trump is descending even further into an acute state of mental infirmity, and the American people are noticing. He is not only unable to articulate an agenda, he is unable to complete a coherent sentence. Which may explain his bizarre nomination acceptance speech Thursday night. It was mish mosh of lies, boasts, and slanderous assaults of Joe Biden and Democrats generally. But not a single punch landed. That’s partially because it was all retreads of his past rants and so transparently false. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale documented at least twenty lies Trump told during his marathon 70 minute speech. That’s an average of one lie every three and half minutes.

Among the most loathsome untruths was Trump’s dismissal of the horror that America is suffering through due to his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has a perverse habit of downplaying human tragedies. For seven months he has pretended that the coronavirus was as trivial as the flu and completely under control. 180,000 deaths later it is still taking 1,000 lives every day.

So he is being true to form by beginning his speech with shameless bragging that “the casualties and damage [from Hurricane Laura] were far less than thought possible only 24 hours ago.” He doesn’t say what he considered possible, but there are six dead and estimates of total economic costs “in the neighborhood of $20 billion.” Hallelujah! What a success.

Trump’s speech was a meandering mess that checked off political boxes while ignoring the real world hardships Americans face. He demonstrated his priorities by mentioning COVID-19 only five times, but slandering Joe Biden 41 times. that included the ominous and hyperbolic assertion that Biden “will be the destroyer of American Greatness.” Trump also said that “For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain.” Trump emphasized “kisses” in an attempt to insinuate some sort of sexual aberration.

That’s an unbelievably brain dead attack considering that there have been no credible complaints of sexual misconduct by Biden in those 47 years. Conversely, there are dozens of credible allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Trump.

These are the kinds of vicious rhetorical bombs that Trump is going to be throwing for the remainder of this campaign. He has nothing positive to run on. He cannot defend his mangling of the pandemic response or the economic catastrophe that it produced. All of the obvious failures for which he is responsible will weigh heavily on his campaign. But in the midst of all of that, he still can’t tell voters what he would do if reelected. He can only mumble unintelligibly and whine about what a victim he is.

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

Trump’s RNC Speech Flops in the Ratings, Loses to Biden

Our reality TV game show host president has made it clear over the years that the most important thing to him are his television ratings. He cites them to validate the usefulness of his phony Coronavirus Task Force briefings. In his ego-soaked ignorance, he considers them to be the real polls.” But now he’s going to have to live with the yardstick for success that he created.

Donald Trump

The overnight Nielsen ratings for Trump’s nomination acceptance speech at the Republican Nationalist Confederation were an unmitigated flop. Despite his illegally using the White House for his political campaign, and cramming a couple of thousand cheering sycophants into a small space with no face masks, Trump still managed to underperform. As reported by CNN

“President Trump’s Thursday night convention speech making the case for his reelection was lower-rated than his challenger Joe Biden’s speech one week ago, according to overnight Nielsen ratings.

“About 23.8 million viewers watched coverage of Trump’s RNC address across thirteen cable and broadcast networks, down from 24.6 million viewers who watched Biden’s DNC address on twelve of those same networks.”

This is the method of measuring that Trump has insisted best reflects where the American people stand. He’s wrong! But since he’s made such a big deal of it, it would be unfair not to give it due consideration. Two million more people watched Biden, who Trump has maligned with infantile nicknames such as “sleepy” and “slow.” And the Democratic convention also beat the Republicans for the total four days combined. So where does that leave Trump now?

Even on Fox News immediately following Trump’s 70 minute harangue, Chris Wallace told the Trump cultists watching that the speech was “surprisingly flat,” “far too long,” and lacked substance. Yet somehow, in Trump’s delusional fantasy world, he posted a tweet that contradicted reality:

Seriously, where does he get this stuff? Are his aides purposefully lying to him? Are these his own original lies? Or is he suffering from an acute case of self-deception? Regardless, he is passing these blatant falsehoods on to his worshipful cult disciples who will believe whatever he says.

However, the American people aren’t fooled by any of this. Trump’s approval ratings have not improved since the convention began. In fact, Trump’s favorite pollster, the wildly biased Rasmussen, actually shows him dropping five points. And if that’s the story from the most pro-Trump pollster, guess where the rest of the surveys are going to wind up.

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

UPDATE: Naturally, Trump couldn’t keep his yap shut about this. But who would have expected him to completely defy reality by tweeting…

Well, actually everyone would have expected that. Trump lies like the rest of us breathe. But while it’s not surprising, it’s still shocking and disgusting.

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Embraces Violence as a Political Plus for Trump

The predominant strategy of Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection has been to grossly mischaracterize Joe Biden as a wild-eyed socialist bent on destroying America. That’s a preposterous accusation that voters have already rejected. But it hasn’t dampened Trump’s zealous crusade to smear Biden and bring down his favorable ratings to the lows where Trump has been languishing throughout his presidency.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

On Thursday morning Trump’s (soon to be former) Senior White House Counselor and Director of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, held court with the Trump administration’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) to articulate what has become a familiar theme this election season. Trump and his Republican confederates have been furiously assaulting Democrats and citizen protesters as anarchists and vandals, despite the fact that most of the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and much of the violence was actually perpetrated by right-wing StormTrumpers. Conway told the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends that inciting violence is now a key component of the Trump electoral strategy:

Really? Conway is expressly admitting that violence in the streets is a political advantage for the Trump campaign. Which might explain why his supporters are engaging in violence everywhere they go. It isn’t a spontaneous response to events on the ground. It’s a pre-planned tactic to advance Trump’s floundering electoral prospects. And Fox News is a partner in this heinous scheme. Wednesday night Tucker Carlson actually defended the Trump-supporting shooter of demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin:

Trump and company nevertheless insist that the unrest seen in many cities, due to the unthinkably numerous incidents of police brutality and murder of Black citizens, is what will occur across the country if Biden is elected. What they are are too dense to notice is that this is what is occurring right now in Trump’s America. Trump is making the ludicrous argument that if you don’t like what’s going on now, then vote for Trump on whose watch this all took place.

The absurdity of this “logic” is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain. That, of course, leaves out Trump’s cult followers who are already irredeemably lost in a perverse, reality TV simulation of the real world. And to those misfits, Conway’s confession that more violence will help Trump get reelected is an unambiguous call to arms. She is deliberately fueling the sort of incidents that just got two innocent people killed in Kenosha.

And make no mistake, Trump is the instigator behind all of this. He supports it and will contribute to it with the intention of exacerbating further tensions and tragedies. The problem for Trump is that he has very little left in his electoral arsenal. He cannot rehabilitate his repugnant public image. He cannot restore confidence after his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. And he can’t brag about the economy after leading the nation into recession.

So Trump is leaning on an array of dirty dealings: character assassination of Biden and other Democrats; cheating by vote suppression and assaults on election integrity; assistance from his Russian pal Vladimir Putin and networks of right-wing Internet bots; and setting cities aflame to foment fear borne of ignorance and racism. That’s how Trump is befouling democracy in 2020. And he doesn’t care about the consequences. So the rest of us need to care all the more.

UPDATE: Joe Biden addressed this issue today. In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN he quoted Conway’s remarks saying that Trump is “rooting for violence.”

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

Trump Approval Drops After Two Days of the Republican Nationalist Convention

What Donald Trump promised would be an optimistic and hopeful celebration of Republican leadership has predictably turned into a dystopian nightmare exalting an aspiring totalitarian dictator. The dark and hostile themes articulated by one speaker after another were unflinchingly foreboding and resolutely reverential of Trump and only Trump.

Donald Trump

This steadfast devotion to the Cult of Trump was intended to jump start his floundering reelection campaign. Joe Biden has been consistently beating Trump in both national and swing state polling for months. So the nasty tone set by Trump and his convention plotters was chosen in an attempt to boost his approval and to smear Biden in such a way as to bring him down to Trump’s level. They sent out their heavy artillery including four members of the Trump family (Eric, Don Jr, Tiffany, and Melania). They were fortified by notorious Trump-fluffers like Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Jim Jordan, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, and the screeching stylings of former Fox News host, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

However, early indicators show that this strategy is working about as well as everything else Trump has tried to do in his presidency (i.e. utter failure). One week ago Trump proudly tweeted that he had reached a peak approval rating of 51% as surveyed by the disreputable right-wing pollster, Rasmussen Reports. Rasmussen is without a doubt Trump’s favorite pollster and the only one who has ever shown Trump with a majority approval rating.

Now, after two days of RNC ranting, and worshipful characterizations of Trump as Messiah, Rasmussen has him at 47% approve, 51% disapprove. That’s a four point drop (and an eight point negative swing) that occurred in just the two days since the convention began. Additionally, Rasmussen has Trump with a 36% strongly approve rating, and 44% strongly disapprove. UPDATE: Another day, another drop for Trump as his approval on the Rasmussen poll goes down to 46%.

To repeat, Rasmussen is the most Trump-friendly pollster on the planet. For comparison, other recent polls show Trump with considerably worse numbers. RealClearPolitics’ average “poll of polls” has Trump in the red 10.6%. And his performance in the crucial swing states is particularly dismal. Biden is leading in six of the seven states considered as battlegrounds (Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio, and North Carolina). North Carolina is the only state where Biden is not ahead, but he is either tied or close. Biden is also challenging Trump in traditionally red states like Texas and Arizona.

Trump’s decline this week so far does not bode well for the remaining days of the convention, Ordinarily, a candidate could look forward to a game changing speech at the conclusion of the convention, But Trump has already played that card by casting himself in prominent roles every day. He even included official duties (the granting of clemency and a swearing in ceremony for new citizens) in his convention events, which many legal experts contend is a violation of federal law.

Consequently, the final two days hold little suspense. Firebrands like Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and a parade of d-list members of Congress will be speaking. The remaining star power consists of Mike Pence, who is scheduled to give one of his always tranquillizing addresses on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, Trump will close the show with what will likely be a sequel to his infamous “American Carnage” inaugural horror story.

How any of that can be expected to move the polling needle is a mystery. But that’s all that the Trump camp has in store. Unless, of course, he surprises us with Hillary’s lost emails, a check from Mexico for the border wall, or a coronavirus vaccine he whipped up in the White House guest bathroom. Stay tuned.

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

WOW! Trump Praises CNN’s Convention Coverage While His Cult Bashes Fox News

It has long been established that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist whose sociopathic obsessions produce a total lack of concern for anything or anyone other than himself. That sort of sickness can manifest in peculiar ways. Not only will such a person viciously castigate friends and enemies alike when sufficient adoration is not forthcoming, he might also embrace bitter foes should they offer a random compliment.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Tuesday morning Trump had a hell-freezes-over moment. He tweeted praise for CNN, the network he rarely mentions without adding the derogatory prefix, “fake news.” His description of them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” is almost robotically attached to every reference he makes. But on the morning following the first day of the Dystopian Republican National Abomination, Trump took to his Twitter machine and posted this:

Legitimate news networks don’t ordinarily get praised for reporting the news. But in Trump’s world the only thing that’s relevant is if he perceives the report to be beneficial to him. Consequently, he’s appreciative of CNN for airing what he believes was two hours of a joyous celebration of Trump. Never mind that the program was neither joyous nor beneficial. In fact, the convention that Trump promised would be overwhelmingly optimistic and hopeful was more like a nightmarish devolution into fear mongering.

So in a way, Trump was right. Broadcasting more of this convention would be “good for our country.” But only because the more people saw, the more likely they would be to vote for Joe Biden.

Trump wasn’t the only one to notice the disparity in coverage from one network to another. His cult disciples were keenly aware that Fox News was repeatedly cutting away from the prerecorded speeches to feature the babbling of their anchors and analysts instead. The Trumpians didn’t like that one bit and they let it be known on Twitter:

The comment by Brad Parscale is notable because he is the senior advisor (and recently demoted chairman) to Trump’s reelection campaign. But the criticism of Hannity was especially delightful. Hannity actually cut away from the convention to whine about other networks possibly cutting away from the convention, even while the other networks were airing the convention that Hannity was talking over.

It’s entirely possibly that some of the segments that Fox News declined to air were purposefully excised from their broadcast to avoid hurting Trump. The convention speeches were mostly prerecorded. So Fox News knew the content and tone before they went to air. It’s possible, therefore, that they may have seen the Guilfoyle harangue and chose not to subject their audience to what later became the most mocked address of the night. However, it’s also possible that another reason entered into Fox’s decision to erase Guilfoyle. She was, after all, fired by Fox News in 2018 for alleged sexual misconduct.

Trump’s sudden affection for CNN is unlikely to last for more than a day or two, if that. He will soon flip back to his predictable hostility as soon as anyone on CNN is even modestly critical. Meanwhile, Trump’s love/hate relationship with Fox News will continue as usual with him slobbering over sycophantic admirers like Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, and vehemently berating those who fail to worship him with unflinching devotion.

In the meantime, we’ll see if this attempt to work the refs results in changes of coverage for the remaining three days of the convention. But Trump really needs to be careful what he wishes for. By adding more coverage he will only be assuring that more people will witness the repugnance of his alleged personality and the blind reverence of the Republican cult. Which would be, once again, good for America to see.

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

AND THEN THERE’S THIS …