Trump’s Favorite Fox News Show, and Top Advisor, Implores Him to ‘Shut the Government Down’

The New York Times recently spoke with several Trump administration insiders who expressed some concern about their boss. They characterized him as stubbornly devoted to Fox News which they described as his “primary source of information.” That observation was not a surprise to most Trump watchers, but it was a rare admission from those in his inner circle.

Fox News Pete Hegseth

Without a doubt, Donald Trump’s favorite TV show is Fox and Friends. He religiously views the morning program with the three “Curvy Couch” potatoes staunchly defending the his every utterance and action. He has re-tweeted them at least 120 times since his campaign began. And there are numerous examples of him making comments about something that had aired on the program minutes before.

Consequently, whenever someone on Fox News issues opinions or offers political guidance, it must be closely examined. After all, the President regards it as at least as credible any other Oval Office counsel he might receive. Trump often gives more consideration to advice he gets from Fox News than what he gets from his intelligence professionals. So what Fox and Friends co-host Pete Hegseth said Monday morning should be noted. He appeared on Fox’s Outnumbered to discuss Trump’s options for fulfilling his campaign promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico:

“You gotta build the wall. This is so central to why he ran, who he is, why his supporters love him, and to his candidacy from day one.” […] “But shut the government down. Shut it down if you can’t get the central campaign promise done. I think from the view of the people that got him elected, they expect it to happen. And how long will the establishment Republicans – and Democrats would obstruct no matter what – obstruct everything he wants to do?”

First of all, the people that got Trump elected were most likely based in Moscow. But even a more generous analysis requires acknowledging that his electors were a minority of the voters. What’s more, even among Republicans, the border wall is not popular. It was merely the hypnotic chant of the fevered disciples at his campaign rallies. But they are in no way representative of the broader GOP. They may share much of the same right-wing agenda, but the StormTrumpers are certifiably nuts.

More to the point, Hegseth’s fatally flawed punditry asserts that the wall must be built because Trump promised to build it. Not because it would effectively reduce illegal immigration or drug trafficking or crime. It wouldn’t. But because Hegseth believes that fulfilling his campaign promises is more important than doing what the voters want. And if shutting down the government is necessary to secure funding for the wall, down it goes. Along with millions of Social Security checks, national parks access, hurricane relief, and many other vital government services.

Tens of thousands of Americans would be thrown out of work. That would result in additional government expenses and loss of federal income tax revenue. The last time the government was shutdown it cost the federal government $24 billion. And the same polls that show the unpopularity of the wall also show that Americans oppose a shutdown.

So Hegseth’s rant about shutting down the government is both expensive and unpopular. But he thinks it should be done anyway. And for reasons that are based on politics rather than what’s in the best interests of the people. He was kind enough to mention the victims of Hurricane Harvey. But only as an aside that reduced the tragedy to “the complications with what happened in Houston.”

As ludicrous as his unqualified opinions are, they are still held in high regard by one very special member of the TV audience. Donald Trump was surely watching, and he very likely considers what he heard as justification for shutting down the government. That puts the whole country at the mercy of the twerps on Fox and Friends. And if that doesn’t frighten you, I can’t imagine what will.

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

Watch Fox News Try to Smear Democrats By Turning Antifa Into the ‘New’ New Black Panthers

The Fox News propagandists have been fiercely battling the flood of bad news for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Lately there has been more than the usual onslaught of lies and ignorance. Consequently, they have escalated their use of a hollow tactic that has come to be known as “Whataboutism.” So anytime someone brings up something negative about Trump or the GOP, Fox News responds with “What about this other thing?” It’s a means of avoiding a coherent defense when you obviously don’t have one.

Fox News

That strategy was in full force Monday morning when Fox News hosted a couple of pundits to discuss violent protests. The premise put forth by Fox was that “leftists” were not being sufficiently condemned for their acts of violence. The main reason for that is that leftists have not been engaging in any organized violent activities. What Fox News tried to pin on Democrats was behavior by the shadowy and leaderless group of anti-fascists known as Antifa. (See video below).

But here’s the problem with that. Antifa is not a Democratic movement. They do not campaign for Democrats. They do not vote for Democrats. None of them run for office as Democrats. And actual Democrats do not appear at their events. On the other hand, the alt-right, white nationalist, KKK crowd are tightly bound to Republicans. They openly campaign for GOP candidates and celebrate their electoral victories. Particularly that of Donald Trump. They feature GOP representatives at their rallies. And they have even run for office as Republicans.

It is entirely appropriate to expect a group of pro-Republican extremists to be renounced by the Republican Party. And when Trump failed to do so after the Charlottesville tragedy, he was effectively welcoming their support. However, Democrats cannot be expected to distance themselves from a group that they are in no way affiliated with. They can renounce violence broadly, and they have done so repeatedly. But they aren’t responsible for a group that isn’t among their supporters.

The efforts by Fox News to falsely tie Antifa to Democrats is reminiscent of their prior attempts to do the same with the ludicrous New Black Panthers. That was a group that may have had no more than four members, but Fox News built them up into a national terrorist enterprise. It was largely Megyn Kelly who focused on this nonsense. But now many hosts, contributors, and guests on Fox are pounding the Antifa drums.

This morning’s segment was a perfect example. Anchor Sandra Smith began by alluding to “Violence breaking out as thousands of left and right protesters descending on Berkeley.” The alt-right protesters were referred to as peaceful, but their motives were exposed simply by where they chose to protest. They knew that Berkeley would not be an especially welcoming locale. They were inviting counter-protests. But Fox’s Republican pundit, Lisa Boothe, immediately went on the attack against Democrats.

Boothe: I think we’re just seeing a lot of violence and a lot of hate in this country, and we have for a number of years recently. We saw it with the violence in Fergusson and Baltimore, where people are getting way out of hand. And I think what we really need to see is people marginalizing some of these hate groups. […] Unfortunately, we’re not seeing that same rebuke of groups like Antifa. I’ve not seen one Democratic leader say that these groups should stop their ways, should stop what we saw in Berkeley. Where is Congresswoman Barbara Lee who represents the thirteenth district of California? Where is former Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

Boothe completely avoided the alt-right’s record of violence and murder to blame Democrats for not denouncing a tiny fringe group that they have nothing to do with. The group would already be marginalized were it not for the publicity they get on Fox News. And contrary to Boothe’s tunnel-blind assessment, Democrats have condemned all violence of the sort that Boothe is addressing. The Democrat on the segment, Christie Setzer, had some trouble getting in her comments.

Setzer: I was just as horrified as most people by what transpired in Charlottesville. And I was equally inspired by what happened in Boston. Which is to say that there was a small number of neo-Nazi, KKK, and other hate groups who were calling themselves a free speech rally, but in fact were organized by a lot of the same people who were in charlottesville. And they were surrounded by 40,000 peace-loving, good Bostonians saying ‘We will not accept hate in our city, in our town, in our country.’

Setzer attempted to continue her remarks to insist that “We don’t want violent protests anywhere.” But Smith interrupted her saying that she “wanted Lisa to have the last word.” Never mind that Boothe had the first word and much longer uninterrupted time. Boothe used her conclusion to say that “We’ve seen the media prop up groups like Antifa.” Then complained again that Democrats had not denounced them, even though Setzer just did.

Boothe’s last comment, however, was true. It is the media that has propped up Antifa. Primarily the conservative media. They need it to deploy their Whataboutism tactic whenever there is violence from the alt-right supporters of the GOP. Some members of Antifa may be well-meaning anti-fascists, and who can argue with that? But the faction within the group that advocates violence is counterproductive to their own goals. That said, they still have no affiliation with the Democratic Party and it is dishonest for Fox News to make that linkage. But being dishonest has never stopped Fox before from disseminating lies in support of the Republican agenda. So we can expect this promotion and hyperbole about Antifa to continue until Fox News finds some even newer fake movement to promote.

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

STILL CRAZY: Trump Is ‘Stone Cold Sane’ According To This Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst

This week Fox News thought it would be a good idea to repost a six month old article by their resident “psycho” analyst, Keith Ablow. In it he asserted some ludicrous reasons to dismiss critics of Donald Trump who questioned his mental health. Trump’s sanity has only become more suspect as time has gone by.

Fox News Keith Ablow

The decision by Fox News to rerun this pathetic Trump-fluffing is difficult to understand. It made no sense at the time, and is even more embarrassing now. Nevertheless, it does provide a good opportunity for News Corpse to reprise its response to Ablow’s original posting. So here it is in its entirety:

ABLOW SAY RELAX: Trump Is ‘Stone Cold Sane’ According To This Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst

In recent weeks there have been several reports characterizing the mental stability of President Donald Trump. Some of these have been partisan assessments by political opponents. Others have been more detailed warnings from mental health professionals about his “malignant narcissism”. There have even been bipartisan bills drafted to mandate a White House psychiatrist. However, “Doctor” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, has his own professional diagnosis that comes to a different conclusion. He believes that Trump is as sane as you and I. But the reasons he gives are – well – batshit crazy.

Ablow starts off with a disclaimer that he has never examined Trump. It is considered unethical for doctors to make diagnoses of people who have never personally been under their care. Funny, Ablow never bothered to offer that disclaimer when he was unethically (and absurdly) diagnosing President Obama. What follows is a rundown from his latest article for Fox News. In it Ablow says Trump is totally sane because:

He’s rich and famous:

“When a man acquires billions of dollars through complex real estate transactions, invests in many countries, goes on to phenomenal success in television and turns his name into a worldwide brand, it is very unlikely that he is mentally unstable.”

Of course. Everyone knows there aren’t any wealthy business people with mental illness. They can just buy some new sanity if they lose theirs. Rich people are always perfect in body, mind, and bank account. Take Howard Hughes for example.

He’s a good family man:

“When the same man obviously enjoys the love and respect of his children and his wife, who seem to rely on him for support and guidance, it is extraordinarily unlikely that he is mentally unstable.”

Indeed. And Trump is so stable that he’s currently on his third wife. And each of his marriages have been marred by flagrant and public infidelities. Plus, his current wife and their child rely on him so much for support that they declined to live with him in the White House.

He’s a political wrecking crew:

“When the same man walks into the political arena and deftly defeats 16 Republican opponents and then the Democratic heir-apparent to a two-term president’s administration, the odds of that man being mentally unstable become vanishingly thin.”

Because nothing says mental stability like viciously maligning your own party colleagues with childish nicknames and outlandish allegations. Just ask Lyin’ Ted Cruz whose father worked with JFK assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

He’s a bureaucrat magnet:

“And when that very same man attracts to his team the kind of intellect and gravitas represented (to name just a few) by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general and commander of the U.S. Central Command, he cannot be mentally deranged. Period. It is a statistical impossibility.”

That’s right. After all, who ever heard of someone accepting a lucrative and powerful government job when offered one? That’s especially true of unqualified nominees like Carson, Rick Perry, and Betsy Devos. And the billionaire, Goldman Sachs, swamp dwellers have their own selfish reasons.

But perhaps the most profoundly absurd defense of Trump’s sanity was Ablow’s personal testimonial and endorsement of Trump branded products and services:

He’s a walking infomercial

“Anecdotally, by the way, I have never had one bad Trump experience. Not one. I own several of his ties — all of them of the highest quality. I have stayed in his hotels and never had a single complaint (and I am a born complainer). I have eaten in his New York restaurant — flawless service, excellent food. I own an apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan. Impeccable design, sturdy construction, fabulous amenities. A mentally unstable man would be unlikely to deliver superior products across multiple industries, don’t you think?”

Seriously? Ablow thinks that Trump is the picture of sanity because ties manufactured in China, but branded with his name, meet his standards as a consumer. Similarly, Ablow’s Trump Place condo is in a building that the Trump Organization developed but does not own. And does any sane person think that Trump is responsible for the food and service at a restaurant with his name plastered on the front?

Ablow went on to suggest that the performance of the stock market is another indication of Trump’s mental health. Sure, it’s up about 2,000 points since the election. It’s notable that none of Trump’s fiscal policies have been implemented in that time. Nor would it reflect on his sanity if they were. However, since he’s handing out credit, Obama must be super-sane, because the market rose 12,000 points during his presidency. Except that, as noted above, Ablow has already diagnosed Obama as mentally challenged. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the markets are still running on the economic policies of the Obama administration.

And if it weren’t enough for Ablow to construct a preposterous case for Trump’s mental health, he also had to portray his critics as mental deficients. He called anyone who questioned Trump’s psychological status “political opportunists, or fools, or both.” Then he singled out Sen. Al Franken as an example. Specifically, he called Franken’s sanity into question because Franken and Elizabeth Warren are allies and Warren once said she had Native American ancestry. First of all, she only said that because that’s what her parents told her. Having never bothered to fact-check her parents doesn’t make her nuts. But regardless, how would that reflect on Franken? Ablow’s psychological prognosis implies that anyone affiliated with Warren is crazy.

Ablow closes by saying “And they’re calling Trump’s sanity into question? Really, you can’t make this stuff up.” Wrong again. Ablow just proved that you can make up whatever the hell you want and Fox News will publish it. After all, this is the same guy who wrote that Donald Trump’s narcissism is exactly what America needs. And my personal favorite, his treatise praising the Unabomber. Now that certifies him as a perfectly sane psychiatrist, don’t you think?

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

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Complains That the Media Isn’t ‘Afraid Enough’ of Donald Trump

The Queen of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, has been absent from the public eye for a while. But now she has returned to make an appearance on Fox News (of course). And she didn’t disappoint in the delivery of her unique brand of shilling for her boss, Donald Trump.

Kellyanne Conway

Conway was interviewed on Trump’s favorite TV show Fox and Friends (video below). The President has called it “the most honest show on television.” And it’s clear as to why he holds that opinion. They will lie relentlessly for him no matter the subject. And it’s why White House spokespersons appear almost exclusively on Fox News. They know they can get away with saying anything and not be subject to any challenge or criticism. For instance, Conway started right out of the gate slamming the media:

“There’s a huge disconnect between what the media are telling Americans what is important to them and what Americans are telling your pollsters and their pollsters and all of us what is important to them.”

That makes literally zero sense. What the media is telling Americans about what is important comes directly from the the pollsters. And virtually every poll shows Trump floundering personally, and his agenda in tatters. Undeterred, Conway continues:

“I think the media are obsessed with style. I saw a poll this morning. Forty-seven percent of Americans say the media are trying to impede the President’s progress on the agenda as opposed to just report the facts. And Gerry Baker at the Wall Street Journal just yesterday came out and said ‘Listen, you’ve gotta cover this as reporters. This has become opinion commentary disguised at reporting.’ Particularly when the President mentions the media.”

First of all, the poll Conway is referring to is by Rasmussen Reports, an unabashedly biased firm that spins everything to the far right. Secondly, Conway citing the editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper as a source of factual reporting is ludicrous. Especially because the quote she highlighted came from an email that has angered the Journal’s staff. Some were so upset that they turned to CNN to vent their frustration:

“At the time, some staffers told CNNMoney they believed that Baker was going out of his way to be deferential to Trump in order to maintain access to the White House and proximity to power. Staffers also chafe at Baker’s insistence on conducting the interviews with Trump himself, rather than letting the paper’s journalists take the lead.”

When reporters at a conservative paper accuse their editorial peers of being “deferential to Trump” you have a real problem. Many have them long demonstrated such deference, but apparently this editor has gone too far, even for the Journal. And they are also disturbed by his habit of usurping their duties when it comes to presidential interviews.

But Conway was only beginning to hit her stride. Answering a question that didn’t involve the media, Conway found a way to resume her attack on the free press. Co-host Steve Doocy’s raised the comments of former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, with regard to Trump’s mental stability. On CNN Clapper described Trump’s condition as “downright scary and disturbing.” And he asked how much longer the country would have to “endure this nightmare.” And Conway replied (skip to 7:50 in the video):

Doocy: A couple nights ago on television, [Clapper] said he wondered whether or not the president was fit to be president, fit to serve. If James Clapper is watching right now, what’s your message to him?

Conway: It’s such an absurd analysis, playing armchair psychiatrist. It’s not just him. It’s a lot of people on TV.

I’m old enough to remember when news stations reported the news and didn’t just have a parade of pundits going out there and opinionating and rendering their opinions and pontificating and conjecturing. And I think it leads to analysis like this, because people end up with very little to say. They are not compelled. They are not forced. Nobody demands that they actually report facts and figures. This is way over the line. You know, the media and other opinion figures, they were way too afraid of President Obama and his administration. They’re not afraid enough here.

It’s jaw-droppingly hysterical that Conway is complaining about pundits “opinionating” to the propagandists at Fox News. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends trail only Sean Hannity as Fox’s premiere Trump-fluffers.

More importantly, Conway is actually advocating for some kind of government control of the press. Her notion that journalists should be “forced” to report her alternative facts is contrary to the tenets of the Constitution. She and her White House cohorts are not the arbiters of what is real or fake news. And if America wants state-sponsored reporting, they already have Fox News.

Furthermore, the media should never be afraid of any president, and no president should deliberately intimidate the press. But that’s exactly what Trump has been doing. He is not merely offering criticism. His childish taunts that reporters are sick, dishonest, and bad people who hate America, amounts to overt threats. They could easily lead to violence against journalists who are just doing their job.

When Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people,” he effectively gave permission to his crackpot disciples to take the necessary action to defend the country from its “enemies.” Hopefully Conway and Trump will not get their wish to make the media afraid of Trump. And hopefully nobody gets hurt.

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

A New Trump? Social Media Punishes WaPo Reporter for Buying Another Fake Trump Pivot

Monday night Donald Trump interrupted America’s TV viewing with a speech that was supposed to address the war in Afghanistan. That war is presently the longest running war in American history. It has burdened two previous presidents with its complexity and lack of effective solutions. So it hardly seems likely that a totally inexperienced “leader” with no military background is going to find the way to victory and peace.

Donald Trump

Nevertheless, that’s what Trump talked about in his rambling speech. And despite the false bravado he exuded, he said almost nothing of substance. He described a commitment to defeating the terrorists without offering any hint of a strategy. He wouldn’t confirm the deployment of more troops. There was a promise to attack at some unspecified future. The whole speech could have been summed up in tweet saying “I plan to do something at some time, and then we win.” And that wouldn’t have preempted the latest episodes of American Ninja Warrior, or Bachelor in Paradise.

Trump’s speech was another of his more restrained adventures with the Teleprompter. He read cautiously and devoid of emotion, often placing emphasis on the wrong words. But this is what some in the media regard as a “presidential” demeanor. It often triggers a knee-jerk response to proclaim that Trump has finally grown into the job. Sadly, that’s never true. But that doesn’t stop some reporters from gushing over Trump’s occasional ability to read without spitting up. For instance, here is what Philip Rucker of the Washington Post wrote following the speech:

Really? What exactly is new about this? It precisely what he has done on prior occasions when he’s been in deep trouble over some stupid remark or action. It’s a tactic to change the subject from something controversial to something utterly hollow. In this case, Trump wants to distract people from his abhorrent defense of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville. But for Rucker to assert that there was anything of substance in that speech is puzzling. The Twitter community noticed this and was quick to respond:

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

It’s long past time for the press to get over the notion that Trump is going to click his boot heels and become presidential. He’s a seventy-one year old narcissist who has only ever done and said whatever the hell he wanted. And every time the press has thrown out this nonsense about a pivot point they have been badly burned. Usually within a matter of hours. So stop it, already. Realize that Trump is Trump and no matter how frightening that may be, he isn’t going to change.

Right-Wing Media Gets Hysterically Overheated by Dumbass White House Petition

You know the loons that shill for Donald Trump are getting desperate when they latch onto petty nonsense. And that seems to be all they are doing these days. Many pundits are calling last week Trump’s worst week yet. But that could be said about almost any week since he was inaugurated. However, a week when he defends white supremacists and forces his political guru, Steve Bannon, to walk the plank, surely deserves a spot at the top of the list.

Donald Trump

In an effort to boost Trump’s spirits, some of his Deplorables posted a petition on the White House website. They are seeking to have the anti-fascist protest group, Antifa, officially designated a terrorist organization. The whole of the petition alleges that:

“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims’. This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations. AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States. It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions – and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group – on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”

Anti-=Fascist activists have lately been showing up at marches and rallies organized by neo-Nazis and KKK groups. They are often confrontational, but there is no evidence that they have ever initiated violence or “influenced” anyone to kill police officers. These are unsupported smears advanced by racists who don’t like being challenged.

More importantly, those responsible for this petition don’t seem the least bit disturbed by the rise of neo-Nazi groups who openly threaten violence. And they actually did commit a murder last week in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, they haven’t bothered to post a petition calling for those terrorists be officially designated as such.

Nevertheless, right-wing media has jumped all over this petition and through their promotion of it achieved a milestone. Petitions on the White House website need to get 100,000 signatures within sixty days to get a response from the Oval Office. This petition now has about 180,000. And that has set the hearts of the bigots on the right to fluttering. Here’s a short list of some of the more prominent right-wing media outlets that are all giddy over this:

  • Infowars: WHITE HOUSE PETITION CALLS ON TRUMP TO OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZE ‘ANTIFA’ AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
  • TheBlaze: White House petition: Formally recognize Antifa as a terrorist organization
  • Breitbart: White House Petition Calls on Trump to Officially Recognize ‘Antifa’ as a Terrorist Organization
  • RT: Petition to label Antifa as terrorists hits 100k signatures required for White House response
  • Daily Caller: White House Petition To Recognize Antifa As A Terrorist Organization Hits 100k Signatures
  • And of course, Fox News: Petition to Label Antifa Terror Group Has 146,000 Signatures So Far

In addition to the weakness of their argument for this petition, these “news” manglers are exposing the blindness of their prejudice by ignoring the hostility of the right. What’s more, they are also ignoring the petition on the White House site that has the most signatures of any petition posted. With over 1.1 million accumulated to date, here is what Americans really want the President to address:

Immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.

Since the threshold for a response is only 100,000, and Trump hasn’t responded, it’s safe to say he has no intention of doing so. But it remains to be seen if he will respond to the far less popular petition attacking anti-fascists. It’s a sad time for America when being opposed to fascism earns you a rebuke from the Republicans and, perhaps, the President. But that’s the times we are living in today in the Era of Trump.

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

Fox News Host Considers Confederate Traitors to Be ‘Revered’ American Leaders

It’s been five days since Donald Trump fell off the crazy train into the abyss of neo-Nazi advocacy. His press conference last Tuesday will be remembered as a tribute to the white supremacists that helped to elect him. To this day they comprise a significant segment of his remaining support. And despite the widespread criticism he’s received, Trump clings to his abhorrent views.

Fox News Jesse Watters

Naturally, Fox News continues to shill for the President. They have staunchly defended the most heinous comments that flow from his diseased psyche. Somehow they have managed to justify his admissions of sexual assault, his insults to veterans, his unsavory connections to Russia, and his glaring ignorance of every subject he addresses. So it isn’t surprising that they find cause to agree with his unimaginable covenant with treasonous Americans.

The debate over the preservation of statues commemorating Confederate traitors has taken center stage at Fox News. But they are intellectually incapable of grasping the simplest concepts. They complain that moving these offensive monuments to museums will result in the abolition of history. Since when do people learn history from lumps of bronze in the park? Statues are not historical lessons, they are tributes. We have no statues of Hitler, yet most Americans have a pretty good idea of who he was and what he represented. And anyone interested in the Civil War can find plenty of information at the library.

Undeterred by that common sense, Fox News ignoramus Jesse Watters stared into his camera Sunday night and literally perverted history. He regurgitated a favorite canard of conservative white-wingers who lie shamelessly about America’s past:

“Let’s also remember that all of these Confederate war heroes were Democrats. Democrats were the party of slavery. Maybe the Democrats want to tear down these statues so the country forgets that the Democratic Party enslaved black people. But I actually think that many on the left want to destroy any monument of revered historical American leaders.”

There is so much wrong with that brief mental flatulence that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with his bastardization of history. Most people with a high school diploma know that Southern Democrats did dominate the Confederacy. They rejected the Republican politics of Abraham Lincoln who led the nation in a war against the slave states. But that affiliation flipped in the twentieth century as Democrats became the party of working Americans. That includes African Americans. President Johnson cast the remaining bigots out of the Democratic Party when he signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. From that point on, the Southern racists abandoned the Democrats and took up with Republicans who were happy to preserve Jim Crow laws, segregation, and white rule.

Consequently, it’s a lie of omission to refer to Democrats as “the party of slavery.” And it’s readily apparent where the bigots reside today politically. The Republican Party is currently the home of the KKK, the neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and all the other groups with deceptive labels attached to institutional racism. Just ask former KKK Imperial Wizard, David Duke, or white Nationalist Richard Spencer. Both are fervent Trump supporters. The claim made by Watters is only valid if you deliberately ignore the past hundred hundred years and today’s reality.

Then Watters made the flagrantly idiotic claim that Democrats want to tear down the Confederate statues so the country forgets their role in slavery. That makes no sense at all. You don’t make people forget something by turning it into a raging controversy. What’s more, Democrats are openly condemning slavery and everyone who participated in it. And it’s Republicans who are insisting that the statues remain. The GOP is not asking to keep the statues to remind people of the Democrats’ past. They want to keep them as tributes to the slave states and the traitors who fought for them. That’s a fact that Watters has conveniently glanced past.

Finally, Watters admits that, in his view, the traitors of the Confederacy are “revered historical American leaders.” Now he is not mincing words. His theory is that Democrats want to suppress these treasonous cretins that he believes ought to be celebrated. So Watters has revealed his true feelings and his unpatriotic obsession with the people who fought to divide America.

This is what passes for journalism on Fox News. And it’s consistent with the network’s mission to advance Republican politics. All of their primetime hosts (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, The Five) have articulated the same themes. They truly believe that these Confederate statues provide deserved praise to “honorable” Americans. And if they regard Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson as honorable, what are they looking for in a leader today? Of course the disturbing answer to that is that they have already found what they’re looking for. And he is presently residing in the White House.

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

Fox News ‘Reporter’ Exalts White Supremacist Killer in Charlottesville as a ‘Vigilante’

It’s been three days since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The deliberately hostile affair claimed the life of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester, and injured dozens more. Donald Trump distinguished himself as a Nazi-sympathizer by refusing to condemn the hate groups that organized the event in his first public comments. It took him two more days to say anything remotely critical of the perpetrators of the violence.

Fox News

In the meantime, Fox News went to work covering for the callousness of the President. They made excuses that stretched the limits of credulity. Fox and Friends worked overtime to portray Trump as calm and restrained during his first non-comment, and bold and decisive after the second. Trump-fluffers Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson labored to turn him into a statesman who embodied harmony and fellowship.

For his part, Trump maintained his well-known posture of arrogance and bigotry. He posted tweets blaming the media for the public’s repudiation of his insensitivity. He also retweeted a comment by a known alt-right conspiracy monger that sought to shift the debate to evil black folks. And to top it off, he retweeted another Fox and Friends story (the 18th time this month). This one was about his consideration of a pardon for the racist former Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

It’s no secret that Fox and Friends, Hannity, et al, are opinion-based programs masquerading as news. But Fox’s Washington D.C. correspondent, Doug McKelway, seeks to present himself as an actual journalist. Which makes his report on Tuesday all the more troubling (video below). The segment began as a story about activists taking down statues that honored confederate traitors. But it quickly derailed into propaganda of the worst sort. McKelway’s commentary completely twisted the narrative into right-wing bullshit juxtaposing…

“…those who find the system of slavery to be so abhorrent that we should have no memories of it whatsoever to those who believe that what their great-great-great-great granddaddy did in the Civil War should be remembered and preserved.”

Is McKelway arguing that slavery was not really that abhorrent after all? Also, he apparently thinks that commemorative statues are the only way to record history. Maybe he should read a book. No one is suggesting that the memory of slavery be wiped out. Just that the memory be held in the context of its inhumanity, rather than being honored in bronze. And if anyone wants to preserve what their confederate forefathers did, let it be preserved as the treason and brutality it actually was.

But McKelway wasn’t through. It wasn’t enough that he wanted to remember the civil war slave states fondly, he implied that any other recollection was a communist plot:

“And then, this ventures into the area of airbrushing of history. A tactic of totalitarian governments, a common practice in the former Soviet Union where people who fell into disfavor in the government were literally airbrushed out of history.”

Again, no one is airbrushing anyone out of history. Patriotic Americans very much want to maintain the historical record of the civil war. Including the parts that document the barbarous agenda of the South. But to smear those who advocate an accurate retelling of history as totalitarians and commies is just plain nauseating. In fact, it is a tactic of totalitarians and commies. McKelway believes that slave owners have simply been unfortunate to have fallen out of favor. Poor babies.

And if you thought that was the end of McKelway’s atrocities, you’re not giving him and Fox News the credit they deserve. He closed the segment with a note regarding the funeral service for Heather Heyer. But in doing so he elevated her murderer to a status that is utterly offensive:

“We’ve also learned when the funeral service will be held for Heather Heyer, the young woman, the 32 year old that was killed by the white vigilante who mowed down people in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday.”

Vigilante? For the record, a vigilante is someone who has decided to take the law into his own hands. It is itself against the law. It is generally undertaken when the perpetrator believes that legal authorities are deemed inadequate or unresponsive. And the victim is someone who is thought to be guilty of a crime, at least in the eyes of the vigilante. It’s wrong and indefensible in civil society, and often leads to innocents being targeted and harmed. But some crackpots believe that it’s justifiable and romantic.

That said, what crime does McKelway think that Ms. Heyer committed that would make her fair game for a vigilante? The driver of the car that killed her, James Alex Fields, had only one motive: To do harm to innocent people who opposed his racist ideology. That is not a vigilante. It’s a cold-blooded murderer and a radical right-wing terrorist. McKelway really needs to adjust his definitions, as well as his heinous biases as a person and a so-called reporter.

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

Fox News Implies That Donald Trump is Just as Batty as Kim Jong-Un. Who Can Argue With That?

On Wednesday Donald Trump laid the foundation for a nuclear confrontation with North Korea. His brimstone laden “fire and fury” speech has brought new and unnecessary tensions to an already shaky relationship. It was an inevitable escalation of craziness from a narcissistic personality with a thirty-three percent approval rating. And of course, it didn’t take long for the media pundits to weigh in with predictably inane debates.

Donald Trump Kim Jong-Un

On Fox News Thursday morning there was a particularly confounding view offered by anchor Jon Scott. He wanted to know whether there was a “double standard among the press” for their criticism of Trump’s overheated rhetoric. He was puzzled as to why Trump was being criticized but “nobody seems to care all that much about the threats coming from Kim Jong-Un.”

Let’s be clear about this. Scott is making the absurd inference that the media should treat Trump’s statements with equal significance as a certified fruitcake. On the surface, I can’t really find any fault with that. Trump is at least as batty as Kim. However, when looked at as an American president vs. Kim, the distinction ought be huge. Under ordinary circumstances the U.S. should be regarded as far more serious and conscientious than raving madmen.

Unfortunately, these are not ordinary times. Hence the critique of the press by Scott, who thinks Trump should be regarded in the same league as Kim. But Scott’s guest, fellow Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, wasn’t having it:

“Well, look, we kind of expect crazy from Kim Jong-Un. As I said, he’s the head of the ‘Hermit Kingdom. He’s a pariah for almost the entire world. So, we don’t expect him to be judged the same standard as the president. […] I certainly hope we’re not judging Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un by the same standards.”

Wallace’s perspective is surely more coherent than Scott’s. But Scott’s is more prevalent on Fox News and throughout the right-wing mediasphere. Even Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that Trump was using “language that Kim Jong-Un would understand.” When did lowering our communications skills to the level of babbling nutcases become the goal of American diplomacy?

Wallace deserves some credit for batting down Scott’s absurd allegation of a press double standard. But he still managed to live down to Fox’s low standards for misleading reporting. Woven into his remarks was this completely false observation of the fallout from Trump’s “fire and fury” speech:

“I don’t think anybody objects to the idea that the president was tough and sent a very stern message to the North Koreans.”

Oh really? You would have to be ignoring the letter from sixty members of congress fervently objecting to Trump’s war mongering. And you would also have to have missed the objections from Democratic senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein. Not to mention Republican senators John McCain, Dan Sullivan, and Jeff Flake. Trump’s off-the-cuff bluster was widely considered to be inflammatory and counterproductive. And Wallace’s attempt to soft-peddle the backlash only keeps Fox News viewers ill-informed. But then, that’s the mission of Fox News, so Wallace and Scott are just doing their jobs.

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

LOCK ‘EM UP: Fox News Leaks Classified Info Based on Anonymous Sources – Trump Retweets

The White House recently embarked on a campaign to flush out the throngs of leakers in their midst. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press briefing to announce that anyone caught leaking would face stiff consequences. So it’s interesting that this warning is already being ignored by a surprising offender.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy interviewed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. In the course of their conversion Doocy let slip some information he obtained from a story on Fox News. The story revealed that U.S. satellites had detected North Korea loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. That, apparently, was not information approved for public dissemination. And Haley let Doocy know that in no uncertain terms (video below):

DOOCY: Ambassador, on the front page of foxnews.com right now there is a story that apparently the intel community has picked up anti-ship cruise missiles were being loaded onto a patrol boat or patrol boats in North Korea. What can you tell us about that?
HALEY: I can’t.
DOOCY: Why?
HALEY: I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. But –
DOOCY: You have no reason to believe that’s not accurate though?
HALEY: I have no reason to comment on it.
DOOCY: (Laughing) OK.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: That shouldn’t be in the newspaper? Is that another leak I guess?
HALEY: You know, it’s one of these things, I don’t know what’s going on. But, I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that. You are not only just getting a scoop on something, you are playing with people’s lives. And this has got to stop. Whatever the leaks are coming from, if somebody thinks they are getting power or fame from it, all you are doing is putting Americans in danger.

Haley was adamant in her first response that she could not answer Doocy’s questions. But that didn’t stop him from pressing her further. She reiterated her intention to refrain from commenting. Doocy thought that was funny. Haley had to school him on the serious nature of the data he was pushing her to reveal.

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox News was disclosing classified information, there was another culprit with loose fingertips. Trump, as usual, was watching Fox and Friends this morning. He retweeted three separate stories that he had seen on the broadcast. One of them was the story about North Korea with the classified data. So Trump was participating in the leaking of information that his own U.N. ambassador warned was “incredibly dangerous,” and “playing with people’s lives.” What’s more, he was propagating info obtained from anonymous sources. Recall, Trump’s position on the use of sources who are not identified in news reports:

It is endlessly perplexing that Trump still gets his intelligence data from Fox News. Apparently he is unaware of the resources he has at his disposal within the government he allegedly manages. Had he contacted his National Security Advisor or the CIA, he might have been cautioned as to the sensitive nature of the data he was about to publish. But that’s too much to ask this notoriously ignorant and reckless so-called president.

The only question now is whether the Department of Justice will follow through on their threat to prosecute anyone found to be leaking. This past weekend, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared on Fox News Sunday. He told Chris Wallace that he would prosecute whoever was discovered to be violating the law. He specifically that included members of Congress and the White House. In this case, Donald Trump is unambiguously guilty. And this is not the first time that Trump has breached this legal directive. If the DoJ expects to be taken seriously they need to investigate Trump’s leaks and prosecute if warranted. Otherwise, they will have no credibility to prosecute any other alleged leakers.

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