Trump’s Nightmare: Biden Takes the Ratings Crown in Dueling Town Halls

Friday is going to be another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for Donald Trump, whose days of late are mostly filled with disappointment, bitterness, anger, jealousy, and fear. With every new poll Trump is falling farther behind Joe Biden, both nationally and in the critical battleground states. Even his favorite pollster, the rabidly biased, right-wing Rasmussen, has Trump facing near certain defeat.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

After chickening out of the second presidential debate, Trump plotted with NBC to schedule a town hall that would directly compete with the one previously scheduled with Joe Biden on ABC. There was a lot wrong with that decision on NBC’s part, and their poor judgement is not validated by this good news in the aftermath of both town halls (via Variety):

“Biden drew 12.7 million total viewers on the Disney-owned network, while Trump drew 10.4 million in the same 9-10 p.m. time slot on NBC. Across the entire runtime, the Biden town hall averaged 12.3 million viewers. In terms of the fast national 18-49 demographic, Biden is comfortably on top with a 2.6 rating to Trump’s 1.7.” [See updated numbers below]

Biden’s audience exceeded Trump’s by more than two million – 20%. [Note: these are preliminary ratings that will be updated later in the day]. That’s a significant victory that parallels Biden’s lead in both polling and fundraising. Biden pulled in a record $383 million in September, compared to Trump’s haul of only $247.8 million. But best of all, ratings are what Trump cares about more than anything else, and he has utterly failed in that arena. This will surely drive the Narcissist-In-Chief CRAZY(er).

[UPDATE: The total is now in for Trump’s town hall, including MSNBC and CNBC. The three networks combined drew 13.1 million viewers. So Biden’s town hall on ABC, whose final numbers are 14.1 million, still beat Trump by a million viewers]

There were additional differences between the the Trump and Biden town halls that are more substantive than ratings. While Biden made a couple of mistakes, Trump lied frequently in his town hall. He was also challenged – and failed – on issues like…

  • Refusing to renounce the QAnon domestic terrorists
  • Deliberate distortions of data concerning the coronavirus
  • His inability to recall whether he had taken a COVID-19 test prior to the first debate
  • His miniscule tax payments and to whom he owes more than $400 million
  • Disseminating conspiracy theories such as one about Biden killing SEAL Team 6

On that last matter Trump attempted to excuse himself by saying that “it was a retweet,” as if that makes any difference. It’s still Trump passing along a preposterous and dangerous lie. NBC’s moderator, Savannah Guthrie, called him out saying that “You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle that can just retweet whatever.”

All told, the night was a huge defeat for Trump. He embarrassed himself in his own town hall. He likely alienated even more voters. And worst of all, he was beaten up in the ratings by someone he says is a mentally deficient socialist. If Trump can’t even win against that sort of an opponent, what does that make him?

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

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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fearful Trump’s Extremist Attacks Are Escalating and It’s Only Going to Get Worse

There is an unmistakable stench of desperation in the White House that is spreading like a virus. Donald Trump may be as delusionally confident as ever on the surface, but his behavior is more reflective of someone consumed by fear and a grossly misperceived sense of victimization. This has lead to a new “scorched earth” reelection approach to attacking Joe Biden and a nastier, more toxic campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Zombie

Trump has plenty to be worried about. His negligent and incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in a tragic surge that exceeds anything seen throughout the world. The economy is in recession and more than 40 million Americans have faced unemployment. There is civil unrest in the streets of America protesting systemic racism, while Trump is advocating for Confederate traitors who fought to preserve slavery. And his reelection campaign is coming apart at the seams amidst historically low polling and abysmal approval ratings.

As Trump’s mental state deteriorates, his paranoia increases. He has begun administering “loyalty tests” to staffers in the White House and virtually every cabinet agency, including the Pentagon. He and his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) are entertaining bizarre election theories aimed more at soothing his fragile ego than winning in November. And he sees himself as tormented by everyone from former advisors like John Bolton (see his book here) to family members like his niece Mary Trump (see her book here).

Consequently, Trump is resorting to ever more drastic methods of extraction from the electoral Mariana Trench he has dug himself into. He is ramping up his attacks on Joe Biden with allusions to his mental health. That’s a treacherous slope considering that the American people regard Trump as more mentally unfit than Biden. He sat for what he probably thought would be a softball Fox News interview, but ended up getting fact-checked live by Chris Wallace. Trump was called out for his lies about Biden’s position on defunding the police.

However, Trump’s primary concerns are never about the issues that are most important to the American people. He is endlessly and exclusively obsessed with his own welfare and image. Which explains much of his recent outrage over the media’s coverage of his floundering campaign. following his disastrous cult rally in Tulsa, Trump tweeted…

Trump’s uniquely deranged notion that TV ratings are “the real polls” is a perspective that can only come from someone whose otherwise pitifully thin resume is dominated by having hosted a reality TV game show for fourteen years. However, even by his own measure, Trump is a pathetic loser. The ratings for his tongue bath – er, interview – with Sean Hannity don’t look so good when compared to the ratings for Rachel Maddow’s interview of Mary Trump. Hannity pulled in 5.11 million viewers, while Maddow drew 5.23 million.

“Maddow’s sit-down with President Donald Trump’s niece drew a record 5.23 million viewers to the show, leading every show on cable and broadcast in primetime Thursday. […] Thursday’s edition also claimed the largest viewership for a regularly scheduled show in MSNBC’s history.”

So does Trump still believe that these are the real polls? Or will this just incite even more outrageous tweets that defy coherent explanation? It’s most likely going to spur more intense “hyperbollocks,” which is my word combining “hyperbole” and “bollocks” to describe rhetoric that is both exaggerated and unfathomable rubbish.

Regardless, Trump’s warped sociopathy is bound to get worse as the honest depictions of his failures continue to batter him mercilessly. so prepare yourselves for his his attacks on Biden that will grow ever more unhinged in the coming weeks. He simply cannot handle reality, and thus reacts by inventing psychotic fantasies wherein he is infallible and omnipotent. Unfortunately, he also reacts with greater hostility and viciousness. And where that might lead between now and January 20, 2021, is both a mystery and a troubling concern for this nation and the world.

UPDATE: The Washington Post published an editorial that reveals that the “scorched earth” strategy described above has actually been documented and circulated in the White House:

“President Trump has launched a slash-and-burn campaign against an exaggerated caricature of his Democratic opponent, casting former vice president Joe Biden as a destroyer of basic freedoms and a threat to voter’s safety who would ‘let terrorists roam free’ and ‘abolish the American way of life.’ […] In new advertising, tweets and public statements that began to appear earlier this month, Trump has argued that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a harbinger of chaos and destruction, depicting a fantastical scarecrow largely divorced from reality.”

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. And Biden, his surrogates, and Democrats everywhere need to be vigilant and ready to respond.

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

HUH? Trump Celebrates Fox News Ratings, the Network He Says is ‘Terrible’

Apparently the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is over. And the nation is no longer in recession. And the 40 million unemployed Americans have all gone back to work. And there is no more civil unrest in the streets due to systemic racism. And Russia has revoked their bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is what you’d have to assume based on what Donald Trump has made his priorities.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning Trump was busily conducting his presidential Twittery. He was taking a break from his other main duties, golfing and watching Fox News. However, Fox wasn’t far from his wobbly consciousness. Prominent within his Twantrums were shout outs to the State TV network that so reliably disseminates Trump-fluffing propaganda. He tweeted that he…


And…

It’s almost needless to say that Trump, a former reality TV game show host, is badly misrepresenting reality. As published in the Hollywood Reporter, the ratings performance for the second quarter of 2020 showed unprecedented gains across the board for the news media:

“All three major cable news networks set ratings records in the second quarter of 2020, as ongoing stories including the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests drove viewers to Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

“The three channels recorded double-digit gains over the same period in 2019 in total viewers and adults 25-54. All three also delivered their biggest viewer tallies ever in both total-day averages and in primetime.”

Fox News predictably came out on top because they have no competition for the wingnut audience they pander to. However, the margin of victory was hardly worth celebrating. In the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds, Fox drew 366.000 viewers. CNN was close behind with 335,000, and MSNBC was narrowly lower with 315,000. Those are the rankings for what Trump characterized (and egocentrically thanked himself) as being “so far below … that you can barely find them.”

Trump lying about ratings – or anything else – won’t surprise anyone anymore. But it’s notable that after fourteen years on television, Trump is still obsessed with the medium and even believes that ratings are a better measure of popularity than scientific polling (they aren’t). But it is interesting to note the schizophrenia poking through Trump’s already diagnosed malignant narcissism. The fact that he’s congratulating Fox News for a ratings win comes after months of attacking Fox for being just another fake news front for liberals and Democrats.

Just in the past few weeks, Trump has whined that “The @FoxNews Polls are a JOKE!” ( a familiar complaint) He raged that “Fox is terrible!” He fumed that “FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd” (because he believes that that is their purpose). And he griped that “FoxNews is working hard pushing the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats.” Yeah, sure they are.

Trump can’t seem to figure out whether he loves Fox or hates them. But while he has committed himself to finding another network to carry his poisoned water, he still schedules his interviews almost exclusively with Fox. To be sure, he has some justification for being perturbed with his Ministry of Propaganda. One host recently speculated that Trump might drop out of the race due to his abysmal polling. But overall, Fox News is as biased in favor of Trump and his Republican confederates as ever. The problem is that they aren’t always 100% blindly loyal to him as he demands of everyone in his sphere of sycophancy. And that’s enough for him to go careening wildly off the rails.

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

Reality Game Show ‘President’ Trump Thinks TV Ratings are ‘The Real Polls’

Every day seems to provide a new opportunity to declare that Donald Trump has done or said something that is even worse than anything he’s done or said before. It may seem redundant or hyperbole, but somehow Trump actually does rise to the challenge and manages to exceed whatever heinousness he excreted the day before. It’s a gift.

Donald Trump TV Set

On Saturday morning Trump took to his Twitter machine to unleash another series of frenzied, paranoid, and nearly incoherent rants. Among them, he has apparently abandoned his “Sleepy” nickname for Joe Biden and is trying out “Corrupt” because nothing is working for him. Biden continues to expand his lead in national polls, as well as in every swing state. Trump’s desperation shows in his Twittering that is now rampant with QAnon conspiracy crackpots. And he’s touting his efforts to kill healthcare for 20 million Americans during a pandemic in which he has already killed more than 125,000 people. It’s notable that he’s been promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for 4 years, but still doesn’t have a plan. The GOP has been running the same con for 10 years.

Of particular interest is one tweet that reveals just how shallow, delusional, and devoid of substance Trump is. His background as a failed real estate grifter and self-proclaimed King of Debt (with six bankruptcies under his bulging belt) never prepared him for the presidency. Nor did his most recent professional experience as a reality TV game show host. But that’s the one that continues to guide his conduct in office:

Trump is lashing out in a state of dread and hopelessness as he realizes that his prospects for the future more closely resemble his worst nightmares. So he grasps onto the ludicrous notion that television ratings are a reasonable alternative to scientifically conducted public opinion surveys. “These are the real polls,” Trump whines in an attempt spin some something positive out of the dregs of a news cycle that holds only misery for him.

Along with the horrific rise in coronavirus infections and fatalities (which studies prove were intensified by viewing Fox News), Trump is also having to explain the poor attendance at his revived cult rallies. He is saddled with responsibility for an economy in recession. His former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has exposed Trump’s ignorance in a new book that Trump was unsuccessful in suppressing. Same goes for the book by his niece, Mary Trump. And the New York Times just reported that Russia paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, and Trump knew but did nothing. How is that not treason?

With all of that going on, Trump found time to go golfing at his Virginia country club and tweet idiotic tributes to himself. For the record, Trump’s boasting about the TV ratings for his Oklahoma speech and his interview with Sean Hannity are just the ratings for Fox News programming. So naturally his Deplorables would be tuning in. That proves nothing except that he and Fox News are running a bona fide cult whose members have abandoned free thought. Those ratings are only “polls” of people watching that particular network and amount to less than one percent of the American population. That’s the pitiful pittance of viewers that Trump is trying to characterize as “the Silent Majority.”

Trump has been plaintively beseeching the nation to “not believe the Fake News Media” for at least four years now. But his whining has been met with ridicule as the American people continue to reject him by ever larger margins. In fact, the real polls show that more Americans trust CNN than either Trump or Fox News. So nice work, Bunker Boy. Despite tedious repetition and relentless hostility, the “fake news” branding campaign has been an epic flop. Pretty much like everything else Trump does.

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

Fox News Hits Record High Ratings of a Measly 0.8% of American Viewers in 2019

If there’s one thing we can learn from 2019 it’s that hostile, melodramatic lies can boost the profits of a flagrantly biased organ of propaganda like Fox News. The right-wing network abandoned all pretense of journalistic integrity (what little it had) in order to sign on to the Donald Trump White House’s perverse distortions of reality.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

The reward for Fox News was the undying devotion of an audience of willfully blind cult followers who agreed to believe only what they saw on Fox and heard from Dear Leader Trump. And their loyalty helped propel Fox News to the number one cable news network for the year.

Fox News – and their number one viewer, Donald Trump – surely celebrated this achievement. But as the year comes to a close it’s important to place this statistic in perspective. The numbers that produced this “victory” represent about 2.5 million viewers per night, or about 0.8% of the television audience on the United States. That’s not exactly a commanding presence of disinformed boob-tubers with eyes glazed over and chanting wingnut slogans.

Of course, any contribution to the thinly populated MAGA cult is troubling and can have negative consequences. But knowing that they are safely confined within the walled off world of Fox News makes their impact nearly irrelevant. The bigger problem with Fox is when they manage to persuade other news organizations that they have any credibility and use that to further spread their fabrications and slander.

The bragging rights for Fox News have always been the result of their having corralled all of the nation’s conservative TV news audience into their single channel pen. Meanwhile, all the other news networks are splitting up the rest of the viewers, which dilutes their total audience. But in 2019, just the combined numbers for MSNBC (1.75 million) and CNN (972,000) exceed the total for Fox News. So anyone who tries to argue that Fox’s numbers are proof of a conservative majority in the country are engaging in the same sort of dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News.

While Fox’s average numbers did earn them the top spot for the year, that doesn’t mean that they resided there the whole time with every program. In fact, Rachel Maddow beat her time period competition, Sean Hannity, for the entire first quarter of the year. She also won the months of September, October, and November. And both “Deadline: White House with Nicole Wallace” and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” won their time periods for the year outright.

The real ratings disaster for the year was, once again, Donald Trump. He remains the most unpopular president since modern polling began. Even his favorite pollster, the disreputable and biased Rasmussen Reports, has him underwater with only 46% approving. And a recent Fox News poll showed that a majority of Americans (53%) have an unfavorable view of his job performance. In addition to that, a solid majority of 54% in the Fox poll said that Trump should be impeached, with 50% saying that he should also be removed from office. So whatever influence Fox News purports to have by snagging 0.8% of the television audience, it isn’t having much effect on the views of the American people. And that’s something Trump will surely post an angry tweet about before long.

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

Fox News Ratings Continue to Sink During Month of Trump’s Impeachment Hearings

One of the most nauseating things about Donald Trump is how deliberately he has decimated the standards of honesty for the U.S. presidency. And while there is nothing he won’t lie about, his falsehoods are frequently employed to boost his own fragile ego. This is a man who began his term by lying about the size of his inauguration audience. He lies about his popularity among Republicans. He routinely lies about the attendance at his cult rallies. And lately he has been obsessed with lies about the impeachment hearings hurting Democrats.

Fox News, Titanic

Contrary to Trump’s plaintive whining, polls show that it’s his own approval rating that has suffered throughout the impeachment hearings. A majority of Americans still favor his impeachment and removal from office. But that isn’t the only downside for Trump World. His state TV propaganda network, Fox News, is also being dragged down by the loathing he has cultivated for himself and his Republican Nationalist Party.

The numbers for the month of November tell a tale of woe for Trump’s media minions. Year to year, Fox News viewership for the total day in the all-important 25-54 year old demographic declined 11%. That compared to MSNBC’s rise of 5%. Fox’s daytime ratings in the demo declined 5% (MSNBC was up 19%). And Fox’s primetime schedule featuring Trump-fluffers Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, dropped 12% (MSNBC was up 8%).

MSNBC’s strong performance was once again driven by Rachel Maddow. Her program handily beat Hannity with an average audience of 572,000 a night. Hannity, Fox’s top rated program, trailed with only 554,000. But she wasn’t alone. Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams all notched highs for the year in their time periods. Williams ranked No. 1 in his timeslot among adults 25-54. On the dayside, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was the most-watched cable news show at 4:00pm for the third straight month.

This is the second straight month where MSNBC’s growth outpaced Fox News. And it’s the third straight month that Maddow has topped Hannity. During most of this time the news has been consumed by contentious issues like impeachment and the 2020 election. Fox News has juiced its programming with live, interrupted coverage of Trump’s rallies (19 so far this year). But even that Trumpioid-fix for addicted Trump cultists didn’t keep viewers from fleeing.

Democrats should learn from this that they need to keep up the pressure on Trump. It’s not only educating the public about his criminal activities, it’s having a positive impact on impeachment in the polls, and on ratings for programs that aren’t afraid to tell the truth about Trump. Democrats need to ignore Trump’s impotent wailing about “witch hunts” and lies about how adored he is. He isn’t. And the more we point that out, the lower he sinks into the abyss of his own lies.

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

Thanks Trump! The Pumpkinhead President Scares Fox News Ratings Into an Abyss

The month of October has been a frightening experience for Donald Trump. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted on national TV that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a nervous breakdown on Fox News. He was forced to reverse an idiotic plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami. And his one bit of good news – the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – produced a paltry two point bounce in a poll by his favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen. Scary, huh?

Donald Trump, Fox News, Halloween

Trump was so terrified throughout the month that he fear-posted 104 panic-tweets attacking the fearsome chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. And as if the Offender-in-Chief doesn’t already have enough reasons to soil his trousers, the Trump-fluffing “news” network that he relies on to prop him up with worshipful propaganda, Fox News, fell on some hard times as well. The ratings for October reveal that impeachment has been good news for both America and Fox’s chief competitor, MSNBC.

The total day ratings for Fox News declined by a whopping 27 percent in the all-important 25-54 demographic, compared to October of 2018. In the same period MSNBC rose 12 percent. MSNBC also increased total prime time viewers 25 percent, and prime time demo viewers 16 percent.

This growth was driven by impressive gains by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the #1 cable news program for the month among adults 25-54. Her show was up 13 percent, while Fox News’ Hannity declined 21 percent in that time slot. In total viewers Maddow was up 22 percent, compared to Fox’s 2 percent drop. She beat her direct competition, Sean Hannity, as well as Fox’s other prime time stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

These gains were also present in other MSNBC programs. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up 20 percent (Fox News dropped 22 percent). The 11th Hour with Brian Williams finished #1 in the 11 p.m. hour, up 25 percent (Fox News declined 31 percent). The Beat with Ari Melber delivered the network’s most-watched month ever in the 6 p.m. time period, up 34 percent (Fox News down 12 percent). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was #1 in total viewers, up 13 percent (Fox News dropped 27 percent). All In with Chris Hayes was up 24 percent (Fox News was down 19 percent). Even the weekend had great news with total day gains of 10 percent (Fox News dips of 32 percent).

There could be several explanations for this powerful performance by MSNBC and the simultaneous collapse of Fox News. Trump’s impeachment might have stirred more interest by progressive news consumers to tune in more. At the same time, it might have discouraged conservatives from watching the news at all. But there’s another possible factor that drove Fox’s viewers away: Donald Trump. He spent a fair amount of time bashing his own own best media outlet and even telling his followers to turn off Fox.

For instance, after a Fox poll showed him losing to Biden, Trump tweeted that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.” And then there was the time he tweeted that “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.” And not mincing words, Trump told his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

It’s hard to determine whether Trump’s Fox bashing had any real impact on their ratings. But it isn’t hard to see that he is a fickle and vengeful narcissist who demands 100 percent adoration at all times, lest you be cast into the corn fields, aka TrumpScorn. However, it is more likely that television audiences were simply more interested in getting honest presentations of the news by real journalists instead of slobbering, glassy-eyed sycophants. And since a majority of Americans favor Trump being impeached and removed from office (even in that Fox News poll), even the opinion side of MSNBC would figure to be more popular.

If Trump has anything going for him at this time, it’s the “bloody highway crash” appeal that might cause viewers to tune to Fox in order to see exactly how his mental breakdown will unfold in real time. Sure, it’s morbid and gruesome, but hell, it’s Halloween. Everybody may just be in a weird mood.

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

Rachel Maddow Rides Impeachment to Ratings Victory Over Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity

In the week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Donald Trump is the subject of an official House impeachment inquiry, there have been some extraordinary developments. Trump himself blew a gasket and began flinging rhetorical feces at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and what he called Democrat Savages,” and even his faithful defenders at Fox News. Trump descended head first into paranoid rants accusing his perceived enemies of treason and assorted other imaginary atrocities.

Rachel Maddow

What’s more, the public has been rapidly accepting that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting his removal from office. Recent polls show a net 20 point swing in favor of impeachment. The Ukraine affair has the advantage of being quickly understood without the complexities of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russian and the 400 page Mueller Report that reveals criminality and obstruction of justice – if people would read it.

As the impeachment story heats up it is also having an impact on television news viewing. The past week saw MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spike significantly as she focuses on Trump’s tribulations. Among the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds, Maddow handily beat her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. Maddow averaged 586,000 viewers a day for the week, compared to only 550,000 for Hannity. This is good timing for Maddow whose new book – Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth – comes out today.

As the ratings and the polls consistently reflect the trouble Trump has caused for himself, he is becoming ever more desperate for the sort of flattery that fuels his tender ego. He typically finds it in the cultish sycophancy of Fox News and the utterly disreputable polling by Rasmussen. But lately he has been feuding with Fox and Rasmussen just reported a five point drop in his approval in the past week. Consequently he resorted to posting the results of an online poll at Breitbart “News.”

You might think it’s pathetic that Trump would rely on such a blatantly biased and unreliable survey of the crackpots who patronize Breitbart. But what’s even worse is that a poll taken in his own Twitter feed, with more than twice the number of respondents, has support for impeachment exceeding 90 percent.

It’s apparent that the movement to impeach Trump is only going to pick up steam as it goes forward. And along the way more people will be exposed to the facts offered by Rachel Maddow, while Hannity’s viewers slink off to the comforting seclusion of the underside of the rocks they call home. But this is no time to get complacent. Trump’s exploding derangement is going to spray psycho-shrapnel everywhere. And his most devoted disciples will even threaten civil war. In fact, both he and they and Fox News already have. So stay alert and engaged Resistors. This is just the beginning.

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

Trump ‘Congratulates’ CNN for Having Low Ratings, Even Though His Are Much Worse

Having a healthy ego is a requirement for anyone who aspires to be President of the United States. But there has never been a president with the kind of psychotically twisted self-image as Donald Trump. He has explicitly declared himself as the best in the world at whatever subject he happens to be babbling about at the time. Whether it’s taxes or war or energy or finance or women, Trump is adamant that he knows more than anybody else (see the video below). It’s rather impressive that he can be so self-aggrandizing and so wrong at the same time.

Donald Trump, Loser

So naturally Trump is obsessed with rankings and ratings and other measures of ability that he can exploit to make himself feel like he isn’t the miserable failure that he knows he is deep inside. And since he regards Fox News as an extension of himself, the cable TV ratings are a big part of Trump’s notion of self-worth. That’s why when he saw some ratings data (from the Daily Caller, the ultra-rightist website run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) that noted the poor performance of CNN, he leaped at the chance to sarcastically congratulate the network as if these results were specifically heralding him.

Of course, anyone who follows the cable news business already knows that CNN has been lagging behind both Fox News and MSNBC. So it’s hard to figure out why Trump got so excited. But more interesting is the fact that Trump’s joy seems to ignore an important part of reality: Trump’s approval is even worse than CNN’s ratings. In fact, as disclosed in a recent poll, the American people trust CNN more than they do Trump or Fox News:

“Attacks on the ‘fake news’ media have been a staple of President Donald Trump’s messaging as both a presidential candidate and commander in chief, but new polling from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter suggests that when it comes to credibility, that rhetoric really only resonates with Republicans.”

This poll shows that a majority of 53 percent regard CNN as “credible.” The same goes for another target of Trump’s, the New York Times. And all three broadcast networks came in higher than 60 percent. Fox News was below all of them at 52 percent. And that’s with 70 percent of Republicans believing it’s credible (a number that affirms the cult nature of their relationship with both Fox and Trump). Numerous other polls have been conducted on the question of trust, and in every single case the American people said that they trust the media more than they do Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump’s own ratings have achieved a dubious distinction as being lower than any president in history. So Trump is right about being the best – at least at being hated. Even the disreputable, right-wing, pro_Trump pollster, Rasmussen, has Trump down five points (to 47%) since the release of the redacted Mueller report less than a week ago. The more reliable Reuters poll shows that Trump has declined to a dismal 37 percent.

So to shore up his faltering standing with the public, Trump has spent Monday morning frantically posting clips of Fox News slobbering all over him. No less than five such clips were tweeted featuring crackpots like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin. It’s the only way he can manage to salve his wounded and fragile ego. He is a man consumed by fear. And every tweet wherein he lambastes special counsel Robert Mueller, and the “witch hunt,” and the “Angry Democrats,” and the media, just reinforces his guilt and his desperation to suppress it.

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