WOW! Watch A Fox News Anchor Call Out Donald Trump For Lying About Voter Fraud

It hasn’t even been a full week since Donald Trump became President of the United States. Yet he’s already managed to alienate a nation in which he didn’t even receive a majority of the votes cast. On the second day of his presidency a national protest broke all records for attendance. Meanwhile, his administration immortalized the phrase “alternative facts” (aka lies).

Shepard Smith Fox News

Joining the rush to condemn Trump’s embrace of the post-truth era was a surprising member of the fourth estate. Shepard Smith of Fox News interviewed A.B. Stoddard of RealClear Politics in a segment covering Trump’s intention to launch a “major investigation” into voter fraud. Trump revealed his intention in a two-tweet message:

[One] I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and…. [Two] even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!

Never mind that there’s no evidence of any fraud that might justify an investigation or the cost to conduct it. Or that his examples of potential fraud are nothing but ordinary instances of people moving, becoming citizens, or dying. Trump is determined to get to the bottom of a big fat nothing. And Fox’s Smith isn’t having it. He introduced the segment with a question for Stoddard:

“Continuing coverage now of President Trump’s call to launch an investigation in his unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud. […] It is the reporting of Fox News that widespread voter fraud did not happen. There’s no evidence that widespread voter fraud happened. There never has been. What is this really about?”

Stoddard responded saying that the debunked claim is something that Trump “believes.” And as Trump’s press secretary poignantly said, “he believes what he believes.” Stoddard also noted that Trump cited a Pew poll, whose pollsters deny that their work supports the voter fraud claim. In fact, they reiterated that the only thing their survey found was inaccuracies in registration records, but no fraud whatsoever. Whereupon, Smith continued his presentation of the facts and their consequences with confirmation from an unlikely source:

“John Busby from the Wall Street Journal suggests that the big picture here is start an investigation; find some instances here, there, and yon of voter fraud; get people whipped up; and then put in rules to suppress the vote across the country. A pattern that we’ve seen in state after state over the past four or five years.”

Perhaps the most startling comment from Smith was an overt acknowledgement of Trump’s casual disregard for the truth. Turning to Stoddard he said “The list of falsehoods from the President is growing. Does this have a cumulative effect?”

Stoddard replied that it was unfortunate that Trump was fixated on “crowd assessments that were demonstrably false.” Or that he sent “his press secretary out to lie on Saturday night.” And now, she said, he resumes the voter fraud nonsense. She further noted that his rambling “hinders his credibility around the world and the credibility of our democracy.”

This segment was both accurate and informative. which makes it all the more surprising that it aired on Fox News. It’s a bad sign for Trump because, if Fox News is starting to report honestly about him, his popularity is likely to descend to depths below its already record lows.

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

UH-OH: DOJ Inspector General To Probe FBI’s ‘Improper’ Handling Of Clinton Investigation

When reviewing the most consequential events of the 2016 presidential election, one strikingly inappropriate action comes immediately to mind. Less than two weeks before the nation voted, FBI Directer James Comey violated a long-held principle of law enforcement. He released confidential and unsubstantiated data concerning an in-progress investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Comey Trump

Comey’s action gave Donald Trump’s campaign a jet-propelled boost at a time when it needed it most. And it left little time for Clinton’s campaign to respond or recover from the political harm. As it turned out, there was nothing of significance in the additional analysis that Comey initiated, but the damage was done.

Thursday morning the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Justice announced that it will be reviewing these events. Requests from member of Congress, outside organizations, and members of the public, spurred the IG to commence this review. According to the Huffington Post, the review will address several specific topics, including:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information;
  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

These are the most salient issues that desperately need to be resolved. Comey’s behavior was suspiciously beneficial to one political candidate, and this investigation should explore any and all motivations. The IG’s review is being careful not to engage in further partisanship. Consequently, it’s also examining allegations that an assistant AG improperly disclosed non-public information to Clinton’s campaign.

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

It remains to be seen what conclusions will be drawn when the review is complete. There could be consequences for Comey, or it could be swept under the FBI’s rug. Timing will also be critical. If this stretches too long into the Trump administration, and his anticipated purges at the DOJ are effected, then nothing of significance will result. Trump’s people will surely protect him and his allies in the FBI, including Comey. So stay tuned as this developing story continues to unfold.

Donald Trump’s Post-Christmas, Narcissistic, Delusional, Tweet-A-Rama

Apparently America is going to suffer through four years of deranged ranting by an infantile tweetaholic pretending to be president. Donald Trump’s skin is just as rice paper thin as ever. Despite having claimed an Electoral College victory and promising to “act presidential,” such behavior continues to evade him.

Obama Trump Tweet

On the day after Christmas Trump, who still doesn’t have time to attend national security briefings, managed to keep his Twitter followers entertained. And true to form, he had nothing to say other than to disparage his foes and glorify himself. The first Xmas exaltation was directed at President Obama’s recent assertion that he would have beaten Trump in a rematch:

It’s cute that the issues Trump chose to feature in his rebuttal were all examples of Obama successes. He presided over the creation of 22 million jobs in the longest period of private sector job growth in history. The unemployment rate was cut by more than half, from 10.1 percent to 4.9 percent. As for ISIS, under Obama’s command the terrorist organization lost tens of thousands of fighters. According to the general in charge we have killed 45,000 in just the last two years. And that includes many of their top leaders. We have also substantially reduced the territory that ISIS controlled and their ability to raise revenue. And ObamaCare just completed the sign up period for 2017 with record numbers (6.4 million) of newly insured citizens.

Trump’s blatantly wrong commentary on Obama’s record was not his only glaring mistake. He also made the ludicrous assertion that there is “NO WAY” that Obama would have beaten him. He doesn’t explain his reasoning, but since he is the most unpopular president-elect in history it seems like a difficult argument to make. Especially when Obama is enjoying sky high favorability ratings.

Not content to embarrass himself with that tweet, Trump let loose again with one that may be even more absurd:

You will have to use your imagination to figure out what “gloomy” world Trump is living in. Although he spoke of it often during his campaign. To hear it from him, America is hell hole on the scale of something out of Mad Max. Never mind the employment and economic advances that occurred over the past eight years. Trump touts the 10 percent increase in the stock market since the beginning of November. Of course, he isn’t president and couldn’t have had anything to do with it. And he doesn’t mention the 150 percent increase since the beginning of Obama’s presidency. Pretty gloomy, huh?

What’s more, Trump thinks that somehow he is responsible for people buying their loved ones Christmas presents. So now Trump is Santa Claus too? How appropriate that he would exhibit his messiah complex on the anniversary of the birth of his messiah. Perhaps he is also responsible for everyone who was healed of an illness in the past month.

Continuing late into the evening, Trump posted a tweet lauding his philanthropy:

Now he’s just flat out lying, which for him is a natural state of being. IRS records show that Trump has not donated anything to his foundation since 2008. And his disbursements mainly benefited himself. He gave $25,000 to a Florida Attorney General who then dropped the investigation on him that her office was conducting. He gave another $250,000 to settle the terms of a lawsuit he lost. Those are both illegal uses for charitable funds.

And then there were the portraits of himself that he purchased as well as some sports memorabilia. Again, that’s misuse of foundation funds. Last week he announced that he’s shutting down his foundation, which he can’t do while the New York Attorney General is investigating it for fraud.

Finally, one Twitter response to Trump’s brag-fest offered a poll to gauge who would really have won in an Obama/Trump match-up. At the time of this writing, Obama was ahead by three to one. Of course, this is not a scientific poll. However it is posted on Trump’s Twitter feed where he might be expected to have an advantage:

So even on his home turf, Trump is a loser. And that’s after losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by a historic margin (over 2.8 million votes). And Clinton’s favorables aren’t anywhere near as high as Obama’s. So let that sink in, Mr. Trump. And I’m sure we can expect some thin-skinned, half-baked tweets to follow as soon as you get your tiny hands on your phone.

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

So Now Trump Is Applauding The Dictator Putin’s Observations On Democracy?

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed has been a cornucopia of comedy, curiosity, and horror. He uses it to brag about himself, insult his foes, and spread disinformation. He has even suggested altering the U.S. government’s policies on international relations in ways that make experts tremble.

Putin Trump Tweet

The latest tweet from the President-Elect takes a disturbing stand alongside Vladimir Putin (again):

This deceptively simple comment raises a couple of red flags (pun intended). First of all, why is Trump taking advice on democracy from a murderous dictator? Putin is widely known for assassinating his political rivals. What’s more, Russia is not exactly a model of free and fair elections. Putin doesn’t have to worry about losing with dignity because he doesn’t have to worry about losing at all. By complimenting Putin’s remarks, Trump is validating his undemocratic dictatorship.

Secondly, since when has Trump ever lost with dignity. Or won with dignity, for that matter. In 2012, Trump went on an unhinged Twitter tirade following Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama. He said it was a “disgusting injustice.” a “travesty,” and called for a revolution. And in a complete reversal of his current position, he said the Electoral College was “a disaster for a democracy.”

Just a couple of months ago, Trump demonstrated his dignified approach to democratic participation. He said “if I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime.” And after winning the Electoral College he’s done nothing but whine about losing the popular vote by a historic margin.

Trump’s tweet did not go unnoticed by the Twitterverse. Here are few select examples of the barrage against his foolish and unpatriotic embrace of Russia’s tyrant:

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

Before Trump lectures Americans on democracy, he might want to find a better source of democratic wisdom. Somehow, a totalitarian who oppresses his people and kills unfriendly politicians and journalists doesn’t make the grade. And his observations on dignity only make him look more callous, ignorant, undignified.

Donald Trump’s Grossly Contradictory Positions On The Electoral College

Like many things with Donald Trump, it doesn’t take much effort to find him contradicting himself. Either that or reversing his stance. Or downright lying. Here is a Twitter Moment that perfectly illustrates this with regard to his opinions on the Electoral College.

Sadly, his followers will forgive him any lie, misstatement, disinformation, insult, or contradiction. So be prepared for four years of this, barring some stroke of good fortune like his resignation or impeachment.

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

Christine Pelosi Is Getting Death Threats For Seeking Info On Russia’s Hacking – Fox News Berates Her For It

There is a surprisingly effective effort in progress to inform the Electoral College about the Russian hacking of the election. Ever since the Washington Post reported the CIA’s conclusion that “Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” electors have been reconsidering how they might vote on December 19. It’s taken on a life of its own online with the hashtag #InformTheElectors

Cavuto Pelosi

One of those electors is Christine Pelosi, a long time activist and daughter of the Democratic leader in House, Nancy Pelosi. She appeared Tuesday on Fox News with Neil Cavuto who berated her for seeking information. Right from the start Cavuto maligned the CIA with the GOP talking point that they are the same people who said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Pelosi corrected him saying that it was the Bush/Cheney administration who pushed that, not the CIA.

Cavuto continued his harangue in an attempt to paint Pelosi as a partisan who is trying to hurt Donald Trump. She repeatedly informs him that all she is asking is for the information to be made available so the electors can make an informed decision. Cavuto seemed oblivious to her response and shot back:

Cavuto: “You are trying to get electors who are heretofore bound to the Republican candidate in Republican states to switch their allegiance.”

Pelosi: “Don’t put words in my mouth. You owe it to the American people to let me tell the truth and to not lie about what I just said.”

Not satisfied, Cavuto hauled off again with the same question, all the while talking over Pelosi and not allowing her to give a complete answer:

Cavuto: “Do you want them to switch their votes? Yes or no.”

Pelosi: “What I want to do is get the information. What I want to do is not to have you mischaracterize what I say so that I get even more death threats and more insults.”

Cavuto had no sympathy for the danger that Pelosi has encountered specifically due to people like him lying about her. He even tried to waive it off with talk about “threats” that he’s received. As if that made her suffering alright.

Throughout the onslaught, Pelosi more than held her own. She continued to drive home the point that she was not prejudging the contents of the intelligence data. It would be up to the electors to decide for themselves whether it was significant enough to change their vote. But she was adamant that the information be available. And when he couldn’t succeed in getting to Pelosi to cower to his bullying, he resorted to a hackneyed bit of fact-mangling about the election results:

Cavuto: “When you include all the candidates, more people voted against Hillary Clinton than voted for her.”

That’s true. However, when you include all the candidates, even more people voted against Trump than voted for him or against Clinton. So what exactly was his point? That’s the sort of dishonest spin that is typical of Cavuto and Fox News. And you can bet that Cavuto won’t be inviting Pelosi back on in the near future.

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

Watch parts 1 and 2 of the Fox News segments here:


CONFIRMED: Russia WAS Helping Donald Trump To Win The Election After All

Charges that Russia played a role in tampering with the just concluded U.S. election have been floating around for months. Insiders have revealed some of the covert actions with disturbing specificity. However, official government channels have been reluctant to make these charges formal. Until now.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The Washington Post just published an article that blows the roof off of this story. The article states that:

“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

That’s a shocking statement from ordinarily tight-lipped agencies to make. The ramifications of this disclosure are profound and can lead to prosecutions and alter the outcome of the election. Making matters worse, this was known long before Election Day by both the CIA and Congress.

The leaders of both houses of Congress, and the chairmen of the intelligence committees, were informed of this in September. Democrats sought to form a bipartisan agreement to make this critical information available to the public. That ought to have been the only responsible course of action given the circumstances. However, Republicans balked and acted to suppress the CIA’s findings and keep the American people in the dark.

Despite the obvious importance to voters, GOP leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the consensus view of the intelligence professionals. He said that he would publicly oppose the release of the non-partisan info as being politically motivated. Never mind that he had no evidence to suspect any bias on the part of the CIA. Trump’s team made a statement Friday that also cast doubt on the intelligence community. That should make it hard for them to work together if he becomes their boss in a few weeks. His statement said:

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Actually, that isn’t true. The allegations about WMDs were orchestrated from the White House of George W. Bush and dictated to intelligence officials, not the other way around. Plus, the CIA isn’t made of the same people after sixteen years anyway. As for the Electoral College, Trump’s victory isn’t even in the top ten going back sixty years.

The revelations in this report are all the more troubling when you factor in Trump’s unsavory relationships with Russia. He has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and defended him against previous charges of hacking. As recently as last week he told Time Magazine that “I don’t believe they interfered.” He also went further than that in a campaign speech when he actually asked Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email. What’s more, many of Trump’s aides and early cabinet picks are also affiliated with Russia.

President Obama has ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign. He asked for that review to be completed prior to January 20, 2017, when he will leave office. That’s important in order to prevent Trump from “round-filing” it after inauguration. However, if justice is to be served, whatever is known currently should be made public now. The Electoral College should have this information before voting on December 19.

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

Even with what is only known now, any member of the Electoral College that votes for Trump is potentially complicit in treason. At the very least it would be irresponsible to allow Trump to take residency in the White House with this cloud hanging over him. This is precisely the sort of event that the Electoral College was designed to deal with by the Founders. And the evidence is damning enough to take the extraordinary action of denying Trump the presidency for the sake of national security.

SO LIKE TRUMP: Spokesman Can’t Defend Trump’s Lies – So He Lies Even More

The stunning spectacle of President-Elect Donald Trump continuing his midnight tweet tirades is a harbinger of a surreal future. He’s the first American president to sink to such juvenile 140 character trash-talk.

Trump Baby

In response to the effort to recount votes in three battleground states, Trump disgorged a stream of ludicrous tweets. They contained both delusional fiction and stark contradiction. He led off with a claim that the recount was a scam that wouldn’t change the election results. But then he flipped to asserting that there were indeed “millions of illegal votes.” That should be justification for a recount. He never bothered to reconcile his disjointed logic.

Monday morning Trump’s communications director, Jason Miller, held a conference call with the press. Tamara Keith of NPR brought up Trump’s tweets asking:

KEITH: I am hoping that you could point to the evidence of millions of people who Mr. Trump claims voted illegally and also any evidence you have of election fraud that he claimed on Twitter happened in New Hampshire, Virginia and California.

MILLER: You know, one of the things I’d say just, kind of, on the front end that I really do think that it’s been ridiculous that so much oxygen’s been given to the recount effort where there’s absolutely no chance of any election results changing. […]

You know, with regard to, you know, additional — you know, but I think it’s also important to point out that if so much time and attention is gonna be given to recount issues and some of the other things that Jill Stein has been bringing up, it’s important to talk about some of the other concerns that are out there with regard to voting.

For some reason, Miller drifted off into Palin-speak. Perhaps she is advising the campaign on how to be incomprehensible in order to avoid tough questions. Then he returned to the topic and gave an answer that defies credibility:

In particular, I’d point to the 2014 Washington Post study that indicated more than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 elections indicated they were registered to vote, and that Washington Post story is important.

I’d also point out some of the other examples that we had raised during the campaign. Some numbers include the Pew Research study that said approximately 24 million, or one out of every eight, voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate. And in that same Pew Research study, the fact that 2.5 million people have registrations in more than one state.

First of all, the Washington Post study to which Miller referred was from 2014 and had nothing to do with this election. Secondly, it was debunked by fact-checkers and the Washington Post itself. In fact, WaPo added a preface to their own article saying that “the findings were biased and that the author’s data do not provide evidence of non-citizen voting in U.S. elections.”

Similarly, the Pew study (from 2012) had no bearing on 2016 presidential voting. And both studies involved only voter registration. Neither one made any claims with regard to illegal voting or voter fraud. Even the registration issues didn’t indicate any fraud. They were mainly due to voters dying, moving or otherwise not updating their registration status. That includes immigrants who showed up on voter rolls after they became citizens, but who were still identified in other government databases as non-citizens. The studies did not allege that any of these mis-registered people ever improperly voted. Nevertheless, Miller insisted that he had uncovered bona fide examples of election fraud:

So all these are studies and examples of where there have been issues of both voter fraud and illegal immigrants voting. So if this much attention and oxygen’s gonna be given to a completely frivolous, throwaway fund-raising scheme by someone like Jill Stein, then there should be actual substantive looks at the — the overall examples of voter fraud and illegal immigrants voting in recent years. And so that’s — that’s the — the broader message that I think should be taken away here.

No, these are plainly not examples of “voter fraud and illegal immigrants voting.” However, if Miller really believes that they are, he should join Stein’s effort to call for an even more expansive recount of the 2016 election. Recount the whole country. How can he argue that there’s rampant fraud that undermines our democracy, but that we shouldn’t do anything about it? We welcome him to the fight for fair and honest elections. Let’s root out these imaginary ne’er do wells once and for all.

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

Tweet-aholic Trump Pours Out His Frantic Fear Of Vote Recount (Millions Voted Illegally?)

As the Trump team continues to stitch together their administration, efforts to certify the election results are also progressing. In an unprecedented display of support, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has raised over six million dollars for recounts. That’s enough for Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and Michigan will require only a million more.

Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is aghast at the potential challenge to his Electoral College victory. And consistent with his juvenile temperament, he is once again taking to Twitter to whine about the burdens of democracy. Terrified of being exposed as a loser, crybaby Trump is lashing out at Hillary Clinton for doing exactly what he planned on doing himself. The tweet-storm began Saturday afternoon and continued through Sunday afternoon. He began with this:


Trump’s characterization of the recount as a scam is not supported by any evidence. It’s just him swinging wildly. And who knows what he means by “impossible recounts.” This is surely possible and even routine. As for “badly defeated” Dems, maybe his handlers haven’t told him that Clinton got over two million more votes than he did. And if they were demoralized, raising six million dollars is a funny way of showing it. Next up was this:


An important distinction here is that Clinton, unlike Trump, never said that she wouldn’t accept the results of the election. She isn’t even saying that the recount is aimed at changing the result as called on election night. Both Clinton and Stein are saying that this is being done to insure election integrity. In the face of mounting evidence that nefarious players (i.e. Russia) may have interfered with voting, it is imperative that a review be done to preserve confidence in the system. Why is Trump afraid of that?

The next few tweets were merely his recounting of Clinton’s election night comments:

Trump is chastising Clinton for wanting nothing more than to have certainty that the election was conducted fairly. He refers to her remarks about “respecting the results,” which is, and has always been, her position. However, that was not his position. He said repeatedly during the campaign that the election was rigged. And he stated that as fact despite having no proof of it. Therefore, he wasn’t prepared to accept the results – unless he won.

Clinton is still prepared to accept the results, but wants to put to rest the discrepancies that have been uncovered. If the results show that she is the actual winner, all the better. But if they don’t, she isn’t contesting the election. That’s the difference between her ethical review and Trump’s deranged, baseless accusations. But he still isn’t through:


This is just plain delusional. Trump’s Electoral College margin of victory was a mere 36 votes. That would easily be exceeded by the the three states that are being recounted. Plus, there is zero evidence of even a single person voting illegally, much less millions. The discrepancies being reviewed in the recount are for other irregularities, not fraudulent voters. And if Trump really believes there were millions of illegal votes, that actually makes a recount even more important. He should donate to Stein’s effort.


These tweets make no sense whatsoever. What three or four states is he referring to? Surely not the most populace states (California, New York, Illinois) where Clinton obliterated him. And, of course, there is no way to affirm his boastful speculation.

Late Addition: Idiot Trump makes another case FOR a recount. Even though he still provides no evidence:

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

Another benefit of a recount is that we will have a more accurate record of the vote totals. That would be useful in the fight to eliminate the Electoral College. It is an anachronism that only serves to distort democracy. When the candidate that received over two million more votes is not the one sworn in as president, there is a serious problem. It affirms the fundamental unfairness of the system. And that may be why Trump is so scared of an accurate recount. He is relying on that unfairness to secure his victory, whether deserved or not.

John Oliver Trashes Trump As ‘A Klan-Backed Misogynist Internet Troll’

It may be difficult to find the humor in last week’s election results. Americans who are appropriately terrified by the prospect of Donald Trump’s presidency may be in no mood to laugh. However, some comic relief could be just the right medicine for a nation infected by the Great Orange Plague of 2016. And who better to fill that prescription than John Oliver.

John Oliver

In the season finale of his HBO program, Oliver spent the whole show assessing the consequences of Tuesday’s debacle. He began by finding a smidgen of positivity by noticing that the promise of opportunity in this country is still alive. “America proved,” Oliver wryly observed, “that no grandpa is too racist to become leader of the free world.” Only in America. He went on to question the potential causes that led us to the edge of this political cliff:

“How the fuck did we get here? Well clearly, there are many possible answers to that question, including: misleading forecasts that bred complacency; a flawed candidate who failed to appeal to white rural and working-class voters; and — and this is worth repeating — deep racism and/or indifference to it.”

It’s impossible to argue with that assessment, as far as it goes. But Oliver then launched an assault on what is certainly one of the primary factors in Trump’s victory: The Media! He castigated it for having neglected its professional obligations to the public. He was stunned by “how a system that is supposed to catch a serial liar failed.” But he was also aware of the shameful malfeasance of the corporate press hacks who seemed to be oblivious to their ineptitude. He quoted CNN’s president Jeff Zucker:

“I’d say that if we made a mistake last year, it’s that we probably did put on too many of his campaign rallies in those early months, unedited, and just let them run. And I think, in hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have done that as much.”

Is he freakin’ kidding?! Zucker considers that an insightful reflection on his performance as a news executive? Well, how could he have known not to pander to Trump incessantly for hours on end? Other than by having been chastised for it repeatedly while he was doing it. Every respected media analyst was loudly condemning the networks for kowtowing to Trump. If this “mistake” came as a surprise to him he is either totally incompetent or in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. More likely he was taking the same approach as a network colleague who at least was honest enough to admit that he was in it for the ratings. Les Moonves of CBS told a media conference that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” And that’s the same theory by which all the networks operate. Greed before patriotism.

Oliver went on to urge viewers to “stay here and fight” because the country can no longer assume that we have a president who will “stand up for the rights of all Americans.” And he pegged Trump as deceitful and opportunistic saying that:

“Trump is a masterful denier of both reality and responsibility. He is a man that would kick you in the nuts and then tell you that your penis did it. So the press is gonna face challenges. Not just because Trump’s chief strategist is Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, but also because of yet another promise that Trump made:

“‘If I become president they are gonna have such problems. Oh, are they gonna have problems. I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.'”

Let that sink in. Trump, having benefited inordinately from a star-struck press corps, is also threatening to sue them into oblivion. It’s a sort of battered spouse relationship with Trump receiving all the love while meting out the abuse. Unfortunately, that perverse relationship is likely continue as Trump moves into the White House. And Oliver had some closing remarks to make sure that citizens don’t become numbed to the insanity. He urged people to “get actively involved to at least mitigate Trump’s damage” and that:

“It is gonna be too easy for things to start feeling normal, especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions. So keep reminding yourself: This is not normal. […] because a Klan-backed, misogynist, internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address. And that is NOT normal! It is FUCKED UP.”

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