Trump Defiles ‘Freedom of Speech’ in a Bizarre Defense of His White Nationalist Supporters

If it’s Sunday, it’s time once again for Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm. This is where the crybaby President of the United States of America lashes out at all of the perceived slings and arrows of outrageous paranoia. And on this episode Trump outdoes himself by fouling the foundational American principle of freedom of speech.

Donald Trump

This isn’t just another one of Trump’s reckless slurs of the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” Although he does, as usual, fling that bag of tweet-poop as part of his tedious and repetitive robo-ranting. That would be bad enough, but Trump higher, and more odious, aspirations on this occasion. So after complaining in several tweets that a story in the New York Times misreported that his “agreement” with Mexico on immigration was “fake news,” (it wasn’t), Trump unleashed this morsel of derp:

To be clear, Trump is coming to the defense of some virulently racist white nationalists (e.g. his base) who Twitter and other social media recently suspended from their platforms. The bannees include cretins like avowed neo-Nazi Paul Nehlen, conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones, hate monger Laura Loomer, hoaxster Jacob Wohl, and boss of the violent, neo fascist Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes.

Trump not only wants these abhorrent stains on society returned to Twitter, he wants them returned “without restrictions,” a privilege that no one else on Twitter enjoys. And according to Trump, not doing so would amount to a breach of their right to free speech.

Once again, Trump needs a lesson on the Constitution. The freedom of speech that is protected by the First Amendment is a prohibition imposed on the government. Private businesses can set their own rules, and do so in their terms of service. But there is a disturbing irony in Trump complaining about these repulsively violent StormTrumpers being suppressed while he is openly trying to destroy any media outlet that dares to criticize him. That is actually a breach of the First Amendment because he is the head of the government. Just last week he called for a boycott of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, in order to punish the news network for reporting on what Trump actually does and says. It is unprecedented for a U.S. president to push for a boycott of an American company with more than 250,000 employees.

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

For Trump to set himself up as a protector of free speech is patently absurd. The hallmark of his presidency is one of bullying and repression. And this isn’t the first time he’s tried to bully the social media community. He even took it upon himself to censor his critics on Twitter. Until the courts stepped in, Trump was blocking those critics from commenting on his Twitter posts. And yet, Trump has the audacity to cite freedom of speech as his reason for promoting the dissemination of vile messages of hate and violence. But then again, that’s really the only message he has.

Fox News Blacklists Conservatives for ‘Refusing to Fawn Over President Donald Trump’

Earlier this week Jane Mayer of the New Yorker published an exhaustive treatise detailing how Fox News and Donald Trump’s White House have become inextricably intertwined. The article presented numerous examples of the network working hand in hand with the administration to either whitewash Trump’s failures or malign his critics. While the political bias of Fox News is not a revelation, the aggregation of so much evidence in one story has a had a real impact.

Fox News, Censorship

Among those impacted was the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who shortly after the article was published reversed their prior position of allowing Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate. That was never a good idea, but it took the voluminous presentation by Mayer to convince the DNC. And subsequently, more testimony to Fox’s propagandistic aspirations have come to light.

Bernard Goldberg was once a familiar face on Fox’s right-wing roster. He was a frequent contributor to the O’Reilly Factor before Bill O’Reilly was fired for multiple instances of sexual harassment that cost the network millions of dollars in settlement fees. O’Reilly’s termination occurred just a couple of months after Trump’s inauguration. And it wasn’t long after that that Goldberg found himself person non grata for an entirely different reason. According to Newsweek (because Goldberg’s website is blocked by a paywall):

“Goldberg detailed how Fox News executives refused to allow conservatives to criticize Trump and other right-wing figures, such as Sarah Palin. Goldberg wrote a Tuesday blog post on his personal website saying top figures at the cable network sought retribution against him after he complained Sean Hannity and other hosts were only flattering Trump and Palin during interviews rather than pressing them journalistically.”

Goldberg went on to lambaste Fox and singled out Sean Hannity for conducting interviews that “resemble wet kisses a lot more than journalism.” And he further alleged that Fox News was blacklisting any conservative on the network who wasn’t unwaveringly adoring of Donald Trump. But the banishment was strictly limited to disloyal conservatives.

“Fox will tolerate a liberal criticizing President Trump, I said, but the network didn’t want conservatives taking shots at him. Sometimes I defended the president against what I thought was unfair criticism. But I was also critical of Mr. Trump, of his vindictiveness and his dishonesty.”

This is the environment at Fox News as described by a stalwart conservative commentator. And the treatment he’s receiving isn’t unique to him. Fox previously jettisoned conservative Trump critics like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and George Will. It’s clear that anyone who strays from the approved doctrine will be excommunicated and banished.

Now some people are aghast that the DNC nixed Fox as a host for their primary debates. It seems unarguable that a network that has devoted itself to destroying Democrats through insults and lies ought not to recognized as a legitimate news enterprise and rewarded for their abuse. Indeed, Fox’s rabid hatred for Democrats even led one of their top personalities, Lou Dobbs, to tweet a call for Democrats to be prosecuted for abuse of power and treason. It’s also rather hypocritical to criticize Democrats for blacklisting Fox when Fox itself is blacklisting their own conservatives who they now feel have wandered off the wingnut trail.

Some of the critics of the DNC’s decision claim that Fox has some reputable journalists and shouldn’t be shut out. But that’s an absurd argument. No one would attend a convention of their mortal enemies simply because there might be a handful of neutral bystanders hanging around. And those who say that Democrats who are “afraid” to appear on Fox aren’t fit for office are also missing the point. Nobody is afraid of Fox. It isn’t fear that brought about this decision. Quite the opposite. It’s having the courage to smack down a loud, aggressive, bullying opponent who means you nothing but harm. And it’s having the intelligence to deny a phony “news” operation the legitimacy of your presence and participation.

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

The portrait that Goldberg paints of the editorial prejudices at Fox News corroborates everything that Mayer revealed in her article. And that article corroborates everything that many critics of Fox have been saying for years. And while the biases of Fox have been well known for a long time, they have gotten much worse during the Trump era. It is now a fully devotional cult worshiping clan wherein there is no discernible distinction between Fox and the Trump administration. And that is no place hold a “fair and balanced” debate for any political party.

Sean Hannity of Fox News: Americans Should Not See the Mueller Report on Trump that They Paid For

A recent story by CNN is stating that special counsel Robert Mueller is wrapping up his investigation and that a report may be issued as soon as next week. There are some people familiar with the probe who dispute that timeline as unlikely considering the amount of unfinished business, including pending indictments and testimony. But the Trump-fluffers at Fox News are nevertheless preparing for the worst by advocating censorship.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity took the news from CNN as a warning call. That’s ironic since he generally agrees with Trump that CNN is “fake news.” But he’s apparently concerned that this story is accurate and that something must be done. Specifically, Hannity thinks that any report issued by Mueller should be suppressed and not made available to the public. That’s a peculiar position for someone in the media to take. Under ordinary circumstances, journalists are proponents of full transparency, especially with regard to government affairs.

But Hannity (who is getting trounced in the ratings by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow) has a different point of view (video below). He prefaced his opinion with a brief summary of how special counsel reports are handled and who was responsible for those procedures:

“According to special counsel regulations, Mueller will provide a confidential report to the Attorney General Bob Barr explaining the decisions reached by the special counsel. Next, the attorney general will notify the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees, quote, ‘upon the conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation.’ It is totally in the hands of the attorney general, and his alone to decide what, if any, details can be released in compliance with the law. He can control the timing of the notification over, quote, ‘legitimate investigative or privacy concerns.’

“Now, also, remember, these regulations, they were presented to Congress two decades ago by Democrats, Janet Reno, the AG, Deputy AG Eric Holder. That was after the Starr investigation.”

However, Hannity then goes on to completely misinterpret how those procedures would be applied to the Mueller report. He concluded that imposing certain limitations on releasing information that may have “legitimate investigative or privacy concerns” amounts to a free hand by the newly installed Attorney General, Bob Barr, to withhold whatever he wants. That’s not how it works.

Hannity continued by announcing that he would be traveling to Vietnam with Trump for the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. And he used that as another excuse to keep the American people from having access to the Mueller report:

“Would it not be wholly inappropriate to actually release the findings when the President is out of the country participating in these high stakes negotiations with with such an important topic?”

Okay then. How about releasing it the following week? Surely Hannity would have another reason why that would also be wholly inappropriate. But what’s really inappropriate is someone in the media arguing in favor of the government keeping secrets from the people. No credible journalist would ever say such a ridiculous thing.

Although there is some dispute on whether or not Hannity is a journalist – mainly by him. On his radio show he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” But on Twitter he angrily noted that “I’m not a journalist jackass. I’m a talk host.” Which raise the question that if he isn’t a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? Hannity later deleted that tweet, but the Internet Archive preserved it here.

Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later. And as for the release of the Mueller report, there are options available to gain access to it without the interference of Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General. For instance, Democrats in Congress are exploring their option for subpoenaing either the report or testimony from Mueller.

Either way, Hannity is not likely to get his wish that the report be kept secret from the American people who paid for it. And Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) and other right-wing media outlets are going to have to strain themselves to find ways to justify their advocacy of censorship. In the end, transparency will likely prevail. That’s important because without it the crimes of the President would never be resolved to the satisfaction of the nation he conspired against. No matter how badly Hannity and Trump want that.

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

Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump Lusts for the Jobs – and Blood – of American Journalists

It’s been going on for more than two years now. Donald Trump repeatedly refers to the media in Stalinist terms as the “enemy of the people.” He knows when he does this that he is putting people’s lives at risk. He simply doesn’t care. Because his objective is to utterly demolish the credibility of the free press so that people won’t believe their accurate reports of his criminal activities.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

The consequences of Trump’s smears have already been seen in attacks on the staff of the Capital Gazette in Maryland. It’s been seen in the mail bombs sent to multiple people in the media. The press reporting at Trump events are subject to physical assaults. And still Trump persists in inflaming these hostilities with reckless and ignorant messages to his Deplorables:

These Twitter outbursts are typically devoid of any substance. Trump has never proved a single one of his allegations of “fake news.” He just lashes out mindlessly, as if he were having a psychotic reaction to an overdose of PCP. But these mental spasms are not just fear-triggered hate mongering. They are dangerous signals to his deranged base of cult worshiping crackpots. And they are almost certain to incite more violence. That’s a concern that the publisher of the New York Times expressed in his response to these Trump tweets:

“In demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. […] As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”

In addition to Trump’s bloodlust, he is also revealing a noxious yearning for thousands of Americans in the media to lose their jobs. His undisguised pleasure at the notion that all news enterprises will “go BUST” is typical of his disregard for the American people and their families. It is unprecedented for a president to take a position advocating for the loss of thousands of American jobs. But that is precisely the position Trump is taking.

Even worse, Trump’s desire to see thousands of people become unemployed would simultaneously deprive the entire country of any sources of news. At least sources that are credible and independent. We would be left with only the state sanctioned media (i.e. Fox News) that Trump would exempt from his tyrannical suppression the press. This should trouble every citizen.

The lengths that Trump goes to to harm the media spreads throughout Trump World. It is vicious and hateful and exacerbates division. Which is exactly what Trump intends. And you end up with the sort of nauseating discourse exhibited in the grotesque video clip below from the ultra-rightist TruNews. This would be all that’s left if Trump got his way.

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

Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump Threatens Saturday Night Live with ‘Retribution’ for Mocking Him

The aspirations of Donald Trump to become America’s first nationalist dictator are well known to anyone who has listened to his deranged ranting for the past three years. He frequently cozies up to foreign tyrants and displays his obvious jealousy for their authoritarian control over their oppressed people. And on Sunday morning Trump let those desires loose again in a disturbing Twitter outburst.

Donald Trump

Responding to the opening of Saturday Night Live’s latest episode, Trump was clearly jolted out of his plush lazyboy at Mar-A-Lago. He may not even have been able to enjoy the omelette bar or his golf cart ride to tee time. What triggered the President this time was merely another appearance by Alec Baldwin as Trump in a satirical look at his embarrassing Rose Garden announcement of a fake national emergency. This was a speech where he sang a little song about the Supreme Court and admitted that Sean Hannity and Fox News are his chief advisors. Baldwin did his usual spot-on impression that we all know tortures Trump everytime he sees it. And for some reason, he keeps watching:

Trump, however, has demonstrated that he has no sense of humor (or decency) whatsoever. His reactions to satires like this are always overflowing with the petulance of a cholicky infant. But on this occasion he went a bit further than his standard “angry POTUS “ routine:

First of all, Trump seems to think that Saturday Night Live is part of NBC’s news division, referring to it explicitly as “Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC.” That may just be another symptom of his senile dementia kicking in. But then he went on to suggest that SNL shouldn’t be allowed to “get away with” mocking him. He apparently is unfamiliar with the Constitution and the right of free speech.

But the worst part of this bruised ego spasm was Trump’s threat that SNL ought to be subject to “retribution” for having the temerity to express themselves freely. Who does he think should have the authority to administer that retribution? And who else would he punish for similar “crimes” of believing they live in a free country? He says that this “should be looked into.” By whom, and for what? Does Trump want to make it illegal to say anything critical of him?

Naturally, he followed up his fascistic tweet with another one that goes even further. His common complaint that “the media is the enemy of the people” was lifted verbatim from Joseph Stalin. So no wonder Trump feels so connected to it and its message of pure despotism.

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

This may have been only a tweet about a late-night comedy show, but in Trump World it could very well be a prelude to prison camps for free thinkers and speakers. It’s happened before, even if Fox News wants to erase the memory of it. And not just in Hitler’s Germany. The legacy of Joseph McCarthy (who Trump admires) remains as a stain and a warning on the tapestry of American history.

Sunday’s Trump Tweetstorm Calls First Amendment Illegal, ‘Should Be Tested in Courts’

If it’s Sunday, this Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Twitter tantrum. Like clockwork, the President is firing off nearly incoherent messages that attack his critics, lie about easily verified matters, and promote his favorite source of propaganda, and the PR division of the Trump White House, Fox News. It’s a display of desperation that only serves to make him appear more guilty and afraid of the coming consequences of his criminal acts.

Donald Trump

Leading off Trump’s parade of polemics is a tweet that reinforces Trump’s long-held aversion to free speech and the First Amendment of the Constitution. We are all familiar with Trump’s denouncement of the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” and his projectile vomiting of invectives at journalists who have the audacity to report what he actually does and says. And now we have Trump literally threatening to legally censor the media for doing its job:

Does Trump really think that Saturday Night Live is a news program that can be put alongside NBC News as a provider of coverage of his administration? Apparently any media entity that fails to kiss up to the Snowflake-in-Chief is subject to his hostile harangues. But this tweet goes even further to demand that the press be constrained by some legal authority to prostrate itself to what he believes is fair. Every president has had to undergo criticism from both journalists and satirists, but Trump’s skin is way to thin to take it. That’s common for cowards and tyrants who feel the need to control society and suppress those who don’t sufficiently worship Dear Leader.

The rest of Trump’s morning meltdown was equally disturbing. He babbled nonsensically about text messages by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. His rant was lifted from the ultra-rightist webzine The Federalist, which failed to understand the agency’s report regarding the disposition of those texts:

Trump agreed with the Federalist’s phony assertions that the messages were deleted and lost. They weren’t. The agency recovered and preserved them after a temporary tech glitch. But this triggered his knee-jerk outcry of “Witch Hunt” which he continued in another tweet:

What Trump calls “breaking in” is more commonly referred to as the accumulation of evidence by law enforcement. And the subject of the investigation, Trump’s lawyer, complimented the FBI as “extremely professional, courteous and respectful,” and later pleaded guilty to the charges against him. What’s more, Cohen unambiguously fingered Trump as being the facilitator of the crimes in his case. That’s surely what Trump is really mad about.

As for the bit about Hillary Clinton’s server, she voluntarily gave the FBI a complete copy of it, so they had no need to take physical possession. But having no legal ground to stand on, Trump resorted to dredging up old stories about his nemesis, President Obama.

Trump is falsely claiming that Obama’s immigration policies were “far worse” than what the Trump administration has done by grotesquely seperating children from their parents (which he’s still doing, and even justifying it). That’s demonstrably untrue. It was only Trump’s policy to charge every asylum seeker with felonies that resulted in the separations. And if that obvious attempt at misdirection wasn’t sufficient to deflect attention from his problems, Trump also tried this one:

Really? Ken Starr? He headed up the persecution of the Clintons twenty years ago, and after finding no evidence of any crime, started to dig into Bill Clinton’s sex life. He’s hardly a credible source for anything having to do with Trump’s criminal behavior. And naturally, Trump saw Starr’s comments while watching Fox News.

This frantic outburst on Twitter is just the latest example of a mind that is utterly warped by the trepidation of being caught having committed a historic crime spree. And in utter distress due to the gloomy fate that awaits him, Trump is lashing out like the wounded vermin that he is. And while every untrue utterance he made is bad enough for the nation to be worried about his mental degradation, his calls to punish the press are the most troubling.

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

Trump is acting out the behavior of a fallen dictator desperately trying to hang on to whatever power he has left. But with the walls of justice closing in around him, he has nowhere to hide. A recent report notes that every entity that he has headed – the Trump Org, Trump Foundation, Trump campaign, Trump transition team, Trump inaugural committee, and the Trump White House – are under investigation. When he does go down, he’s going to go down hard.

LATE BREAKING: Trump must not be very busy presidenting today because he posted four more tweets this afternoon (so far).

One was a demand to watch a Fox News interview of conspiracy crackpot Jerome Corsi.

Then two more (here and here), also triggered by Fox News, were about former Trump advisor, and confessed felon, Michael Flynn being “persecuted” by Robert Mueller. Of particular note was Trump saying that Jeff Sessions “should be ashamed of himself” for allowing the “HOAX” to get started. So should Trump’s new Acting AG Whitaker also be ashamed for not stopping it?

And finally, Trump added a tweet that was just boilerplate “Witch Hunt” bashing and denying his collusion. You know, like all innocent people do obsessively.

Trump Has a Fear of Comedians that’s Rooted in His Fear of Looking Like a Fool – Too Late

The White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) is an annual affair that raises funds to provide scholarships for gifted journalism students. In past years it has featured notable comedians who often skewer both the press and the politicians who attend the event. The President of the United States is almost always in attendance. However, Donald Trump has been a no-show for two years in a row.

Donald Trump

The last president to decline to attend was Ronald Reagan. But he had a pretty good excuse. He was recovering from the bullet wounds of a would-be assassin. Trump’s reason for snubbing the event is pure cowardice. For years Trump has whined about comedians making jokes at his expense. His skin is so thin that it needs a coat of orange primer before he can go out in a light breeze. And many of the targets of his animated anus (sorry, that was the auto-correct) animus have been comedians that deigned to make him the butthead of their jokes. From Rosie O’Donnell to Bill Maher to Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart, and so many more, Trump has devoted an incredible amount of time on maligning them personally and professionally.

Trump has focused particular attention on the past guest comedians of the WHCD. The routine by Seth Meyers in 2011 (video below) really set him off, and some say contributed to his decision to run for president as some sort of perverse revenge. But it was last year’s comic, Michelle Wolf, who brought out Trump’s inner (and outer) petulant child. Wolf did a brilliantly cutting monologue that burned both Trump and his surrogate, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who showed up in his place.

The controversy generated by Wolf’s routine has now caused the WHCD to announce that they will not have a comedian next year. It’s a pathetically weak response to controversy by an organization that is supposed to stand for freedom of speech. Instead they will feature a historian, Ron Chernow. And this news has pleased Donald Trump to no end. He even tweeted about:

First of all, Trump needs to be corrected, again. Wolf bombed so badly that she got her own TV show on Netflix. Poor thing. And she had an epic reply to Trump’s petty criticisms:

Nevertheless, Trump is so thrilled with the WHCD’s decision to host an author that he is hinting that he might actually attend this year. Or more accurately, threatening. Because no one really wants him to be there. His presence would be a disruption wherein he would demand all of the attention and then complain about it afterwards. However, Trump might be sorely disappointed if he musters the gumption to attend. Chernow is not exactly one of the Trump-fluffers that populate Fox News. He has some pointed opinions about Trump that could very well make their way into his presentation. According to Politico:

“During the 2016 election campaign, Chernow said he was disturbed by Trump’s campaign and feared that Americans ‘can forget who we are as a people and succumb to historical amnesia.’

“‘Make no mistake about it, when the past is scrubbed clean and American history becomes a blank slate, Donald Trump or any other demagogue can come along and write upon it whatever the hell he wants. And that disturbs me most of all,’ he said in a video posted on Facebook. ‘Please, please, please folks, don’t let it happen here.'”

A dinner affair with the press is not an especially good fit for this president who hates the media with a passion. And the journalists present surely would object to sitting next to a bloviating ignoramus who just tried to ban a CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, from the White House, and insulted three African-American journalists. As a result of those confrontations, Trump has now issued a decree to “govern the conduct of journalists,” something the press corps certainly won’t tolerate. In addition, Trump’s siding with the murderers in Saudi Arabia who killed and dismembered a Washington Post correspondent and American resident, Jamal Khashoggi, can’t sit well with an organization committed to the welfare of journalists.

However, the prospect of Trump attending the dinner could have a brighter side. It might be worth it to see Trump grimace through twenty minutes of a historian bashing his disrespect for the First Amendment and his Stalinist rhetoric about the media being “the enemy of the people.” The camera picking up his reactions to Chernow’s academically reinforced criticisms could be funnier than any of the comedians that might have been on the bill. Because there is one thing that hurts Trump even more than Melania laughing at his trouser toadstool (h/t Stormy). And that’s looking like a fool. But unfortunately for him, that ship of fools has sailed. And Trump has to eventually accept the fact that “The whole world is watching laughing. At him.

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

Two-Faced Fox News: Both Supporting and Attacking CNN’s Lawsuit Against Trump

The split personality of Fox News is on display with regard to the controversy over their treatment of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass last week after a contentious exchange with Donald Trump at a press conference. Trump’s behavior at the event was over the top, even for him. He viciously lashed out and insulted Acosta and several other reporters, including three African-American women.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, what’s making the headlines now is the administration’s revocation of access to the White House for Acosta and the subsequent lawsuit filed by CNN to restore his First Amendment rights. The suit has been hailed by most of the journalistic community including the White House Correspondents Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. And even Fox News issued a statement in support of CNN’s lawsuit:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox couldn’t resist highlighting what they called an “antagonistic tone.” but at least they included Trump in the criticism. The rest of the statement is a solid defense of the First Amendment. The problem is that this sentiment expressed by their management is not shared by their program hosts.

For instance, on her Tuesday night program Laura Ingraham is not so supportive. She called the lawsuit a “stunt” and a “farce.” Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, wrote an op-ed Tuesday criticizing CNN, saying that “By taking the president to court, CNN also reinforces its image among millions of Trump supporters as part of the opposition.” And Wednesday on the air Kurtz said that “I think this suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one.” Martha MacCallum hosted former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer who dismissed freedom of the press saying that “It’s not a right to be able to go over to the White House.” And Fox’s senior Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity, complained bitterly for ten minutes about the lawsuit. He disparaged Acosta as “a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger.” Trump was apparently watching, because he later used the “grandstanding” slur in an interview with Tucker Carlson’s rag, The Daily Caller. At no time did Hannity or the others stand up for the principles of freedom of the press.

This is representative of the two faces of Fox News. They like to pretend that they are a part of the journalistic community and committed to the constitutional provisions that protect the media. But their most watched personalities prefer the suppressive concepts favored by dictators who get to choose who cover them and what is permissible to say. And that’s also the position of the Trump White House that defended the President’s censorious punishment of Acosta in a statement that said:

“The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews.”

Actually, that isn’t the same thing at all. While Trump has been extremely selective with regard to interviews (the vast majority of which have been with Fox News), a press conference is an open event during which all attendees have equal access. And by selectively banning a reporter who asks tough questions, Trump is manipulating the coverage of his media avails to only those with whom he agrees, or believes he can overcome with bullying, filibustering, and lies. That is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned a free press. And Fox doesn’t get to be a “news” enterprise by issuing a statement in support of the First Amendment, while they put hacks on the air who advocate against it.

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

CNN Files Lawsuit Against Trump & Co. for Violation of the First Amendment

Last week Donald Trump’s administration was especially hostile to the press that they despise so fiercely. Trump addressed a post-election press conference and proceeded to insult several (mostly African-American women) journalists. As News Corpse noted at the time: “It was a disgraceful display of infantile tantrum throwing by our crybaby president who is too weak to face a group of reporters without breaking down into insults and bullying.”

Donald Trump, CNN

Shortly after that press conference, the White House announced that they were suspending the credentials of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. They fabricated a story alleging that he “placed his hands” on an intern as she tried to grab the microphone away from him. However, the video of the event proved unambiguously that the White House was lying, as usual. But that didn’t stop them from distributing a “doctored” version of the video that they got from the disreputable conspiracy crackpots at Infowars.

On Tuesday morning CNN announced that they are suing Trump and his band of totalitarian oppressors of free speech. The suit explicitly cites the constitutional breach of the First Amendment’s rights to freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process. CNN’s statement reads:

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The lawsuit names several members of the administration who are complicit in the violation. They include Trump, his chief of staff John Kelly, his deputy chief of staff for communications (and former Fox News president) Bill Shine, and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s a confederacy of Republican Nationalists bent on subverting democracy and squelching free speech.

It would be surprising if this suit made it to court. Crybaby Trump will likely chicken out and restore Acosta’s credentials before that happens. But the damage is already done as this unlawful White House demonstrates that they couldn’t care less about America’s constitutional principles.

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

Fortunately, the next Congress plans to do something about that. Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has told reporters that he intends to hold hearings on Trump’s reckless assaults on the press which go way beyond mere name calling as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” It includes his use of the Justice Department to punish media organizations he doesn’t like. And because elections have consequences, he isn’t going to get away with it for much longer.

Sexual Predator Donald Trump Hypocritically Threatens NBC’s ‘License’ Over Weinstein Story

As his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is being grilled in the Senate, it appears that Donald Trump is striving mightily to shift attention back to himself. So naturally he’s emulating the totalitarian policies of censorship and oppression, especially with regard to the media, that he admires so much. He frequently refers to the press as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase lifted straight from Stalin era tyranny. And even after being schooled on the historical horrors of his reference, Trump persists in his flagrantly anti-constitutional harangues.

Donald Trump, Censorship

On Tuesday morning, during his regularly scheduled Twitter tirade, Trump took another swipe at the press in the most appalling terms. Beginning with his incessant repetition of his now tedious “fake news” rhetoric, Trump launches into a peculiar criticism of NBC News for their handling of Ronan Farrow’s groundbreaking expose of Harvey Weinstein:

To be sure, there were some problems with how the network dealt with the allegations Farrow unveiled. NBC’s brass did not seem to be especially supportive of his efforts. Farrow charges that they tried to prevent him from proceeding with his investigation. NBC, however, claims that they just didn’t think the story was sufficiently documented. But the network didn’t try to interfere with Farrow taking the story to another publisher. In fact, according to Farrow, they suggested it. Subsequently, Farrow’s story ignited the #MeToo movement that has brought accountability to dozens of cretinous characters in the media, business, and politics. And it isn’t over.

What makes this so unbelievable is the shocking obliviousness on Trump’s part to reignite the Weinstein scandal. Of all the people to traffic in the sewer of sexual harassment and assault, Trump would be at or near the bottom of the list. After all, there are still outstanding allegations of the most repugnant misconduct by Trump from at least sixteen women (see video below). These charges have never been properly investigated and Trump has not been held accountable, as others in public life have.

When the President of the United States is credibly charged with actual sex crimes, it ought to be addressed in the press, the Congress, and especially the courts. But Trump has been given a free pass for his assaultive acts. For him to raise the matter of similar behavior by others is an Olympic-grade feat of suppression of self-awareness and shame.

And to make matters worse, Trump adds to the remarkably amoral mindset that led to this tweet by using it as reason to punish NBC via what he calls a “Look at their license.” What exactly does he intend to look at? There is no government authority that grants licenses to news organizations permitting them to engage in journalism. In fact, the Constitution explicitly prohibits it. Perhaps Trump was aiming at the licenses of local broadcasters. But even Trump’s own FCC chief, Ajit Pai, rebuked Trump’s prior license revocation fantasies saying that “The FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content.”

So Trump is, once again, just mouthing off in total ignorance as he attempts to threaten the media and chill any effort to criticize him. That isn’t going to work any better now than it has worked in all of his previous attempts at censorship. It just certifies that he is a wannabe dictator who aspires to silence any dissenting voices, much the way his heroes, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un, have done in their countries, where free speech is a crime against the state. Consequently, Trump will have to be satisfied with his version of State TV, aka Fox News.

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