NOTE TO MEDIA: Stop Airing These Psychotic Trump Lie-Fests Without Fact-Checking

This is really getting tiresome. During the 2016 campaign, all of the cable news networks would air Trump’s stump speeches live and uninterrupted. They wouldn’t do the same for any other candidate. And after the election CNN and MSNBC admitted that it was a mistake. There were too many falsehoods being spread without proper journalistic scrutiny.

Donald Trump

Fox News, of course, has continued to faithfully air everything Leader Trump does as it happens and rarely provides any context or corrections, even after Trump is done. That’s something we can expect from Fox News as it is their corporate mission to advance the Trump Cult. But CNN and MSNBC had been behaving more responsibly in the months following the election.

However, if Monday is any indication, CNN and MSNBC are backsliding. They both aired Monday morning’s complete Trump Cabinet meeting that was rife with lies and myths and Trumpian insults. It is a disservice to the American people to shove this dishonest blather down the throats of news consumers and it’s long past time for these networks to put an end to it. Here is just a taste of the preposterous ramblings of Trump this morning:

  • Trump said that he has great respect for ambassadors that he also said he’s never heard of.
  • Referring to ISIS, Trump said that “I’m the one that did the capturing.”
  • Trump mangled the Constitution, complaining about what he called the “phony Emoluments Clause.”
  • Trump said that he gives away his presidential salary that is close to $450,000. It’s exactly $400,000.
  • Trump accused President Obama of violating the emoluments clause by striking book and movie deals. Which he didn’t do until after he left office.

Along with the nonsense above, Trump crammed several ludicrous remarks into a concise segment of his rant (video below). He began by praising himself for allegedly losing 2-5 billion dollars due to his having to suffer through being president. But not to worry because he went on to say that “I don’t care. If you’re rich it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this for the country, I’m doing it for the people.” Really? Then why does actually helping the country by paying a few dollars more in taxes matter? If it really didn’t matter, Trump wouldn’t have pushed through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. and he wouldn’t be funneling money to his own real estate properties every time he stays at one of his resorts. And he certainly wouldn’t have tried to book the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf club in Miami – a scam that blew up in his face.

Trump went on to brag about what he said are “my best poll numbers.” Nevermind that he is at or near the lows of his presidency with the average of polls at about 42 percent approval. Even the wildly biased Rasmussen, has Trump dropping to 45 percent, within a point of his low for the year by his favorite pollster. Then he launched into a rabid dog rant aimed at his congressional foes:

“I have my best polls now. I think it’s because people think it’s terrible what they’re doing. Pelosi, Shifty Schiff, Schumer, these people are trying to destroy the country. It’s a very bad thing what they’re doing. The President of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap.

Trump has been accusing Pelosi, Schiff, and Schumer of treason for months simply because they are pursuing remedies for Trump’s political poison that are written into the Constitution, a document he has either never read, or can’t understand. And proof of that is his assertion that he “should be allowed to run the country” as if he were an unimpeded dictator.

It is episodes of derangement like these that make it necessary for the media to refrain from blasting out Trump’s hysterical bluster. It creates needless anxiety along with the misinformation that Trump intends to spread. It harms both the public and the press. It serves no purpose other than the propaganda mission of the White House and the Republican Nationalist Party. And it must end if we are ever to get this nation back on an even keel.

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

Majority of Fox News Viewing Republicans: Trump Can Do Nothing To Lose Our Support

Most recent polls show Donald Trump at or near the lows of his presidency with the average of polls at about 42 percent approval. Even his favorite pollster, the wildly biased Rasmussen, has Trump dropping to 45 percent, within a point of his low for the year. But that didn’t stop Trump from lying today that “I have my best polls now.” And his most devoted disciples are hungrily slopping up his warped, narcissistic view of reality.

Donald Trump Messiah

The biggest reason for Trump’s small but fervent cult of worshipers has always been the propaganda disseminated by his State TV network, Fox News. And now there is yet another survey that confirms just how destructive Fox has been in deceiving their viewers. PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) is “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.” They just published their findings that show just how extreme the Fox audience is compared to the rest of the nation. But even more disturbing is the comparison between Republicans who cite Fox as their primary news source and those who don’t. For instance:

“A majority (55%) of Republicans for whom Fox News is their primary news source say there is nothing Trump could do to lose their approval, compared to only 29% of Republicans who do not cite Fox News as their primary news source.” That’s a 26 point difference.

“Virtually all Republican white evangelical Protestants (99%) and Republicans who say Fox News is their primary source of news (98%) oppose Trump being impeached and removed from office.” The public at large favors impeachment and removal by 52 percent.

“A majority of Republicans think men are punished just for being men (53%) and that society as a whole has become too soft and feminine (65%), compared to only around one in four Democrats (23% and 26%, respectively). More Republicans who cite Fox News as their primary source of news agree that society punishes men just of being men (68%) and that society has become too feminine (73%).”

“More than three-quarters of Republicans who rely on Fox News as their primary news source agree that whites face discrimination similar to black racism (77%) and that immigrants are invading the country (78%), compared to smaller majorities of Republicans who do not say Fox News is their primary news source (63% and 52%).”

In each of these cases the Republicans who feast on the Fox News fare are significantly more extremist in their views and more radically ill-informed. The correlation between harboring hyper-conservative views and watching Fox News is impossible to dismiss. And it reveals just how polarizing the network has been as it seeks to divide the nation. But you have to wonder if the Fox brass consider it a success that a majority of their Republican viewers say there is nothing Trump could do to lose their approval.

Nothing? Rape? Treason? Well, we already know the answer to those questions because Trump has been credibly accused of sexual assault by several women. And his unsavory relations with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, China, and North Korea, along with his breaches of the Constitution, demonstrate his hostility to America and American principles.

Still, Trump’s Fox News watching Republican disciples worship him unquestioningly. And it’s no coincidence that they are being told to do so daily by the Trump-fluffers on Fox News. So this poll is merely an affirmation of the result of that brainwashing. And it’s very likely going to get worse before it gets better. Because neither Fox nor Trump care about the harm they are doing to the nation.

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

Trump Flunky Propagandist’s Attempt to Take Down CNN is a Flaming Pile of Failure

We haven’t heard from ultra right-wing video mangler and truth distorter, James O’Keefe, for quite a while. There’s a good reason for that. He has been busy slapping together bullshit “exposés” that no one with a functioning brain has had any interest in watching. This ethically-challenged slime merchant has done a pretty darn good job of making himself a laughing stock and an irrelevant never-was.

Fox News, James O'Keefe

That said, O’Keefe just released his latest effort at maligning the media. But all he’s accomplished is to prove just how persistently stupid he is. In this episode O’Keefe purports to have planted a mole inside CNN with the intention of collecting damning video with which to slander the network. Unfortunately for the would-be news stalkers, all they collected was stale opinions of a few malcontents and some fairly routine remarks by Jeff Zucker, Chairman of CNN parent WarnerMedia News and Sports.

In a short clip that was posted on Twitter, O’Keefe discovered the shocking revelation that Zucker wanted his newsroom to “stay very focused on impeachment.” OMG! So Zucker was instructing his team to pay close attention to the biggest political story in years. And O’Keefe thinks that’s scandalous.

O’Keefe also showed video of a couple of low-level CNN employees privately expressing personal anti-Trump views. Which means that they’re aligned with the majority of the American people. They were not giving these views on the air and they had no authority whatsoever to direct news reporting. But O’Keefe wants people to believe that they represent CNN and that there aren’t any pro-Trump staffers at the network. Of course, that’s absurd. O’Keefe just edits out anyone who doesn’t advance his phony narrative.

As evidence of that, a sliver of reality managed to stick to O’Keefe’s video, contradicting his whole premise. He recorded Zucker saying that he knows that the network employs “a lot of people that are friendly with Lindsey Graham.” Exactly! They are some of the pro-Trump staffers that O’Keefe is exicising from his propaganda piece. And all Zucker said about that was that CNN reporters shouldn’t be “friendly” with Graham. Which, of course, is the ethical position for journalists to take with their subjects. So O’Keefe is actually accusing Zucker of being ethical.

The jewel of this clip appears to be a segment wherein O’Keefe’s mole clandestinely recorded Zucker making statements that O’Keefe seems think are controversial. Well, we report, you decide (video below):

Zucker: I think what’s going on in America right now is really fundamentally the result of years of fake news, conspiracy nonsense from Fox News. … The fake conspiracy nonsense that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society. And frankly, that is beyond destructive for America, and I do not think we should be scared to say so.

The HORROR! Zucker articulated out loud a truth that every rational, objective American already knows. Fox News is a deceitful, dishonest, biased, purveyor of manufactured propaganda on behalf of Trump and the Republican Nationalist Party. And the lies that Fox disseminates promote ignorance and division. This is what O’Keefe believes constitutes hard-hitting investigative journalism.

O’Keefe pretends to be a “guerilla” journalist who is only interested in media fairness and transparency. However, his own exploits have been heavily weighted to conservative politics and conspiracy theories. He was arrested and convicted of unlawful entry into a U.S. senator’s office. He was also caught trying and failing to “seduce” a CNN reporter. He also lost a $100,000 lawsuit for libel. This is the character of the guy assaulting CNN’s reputation.

And THIS JUST IN: Trump tweeted about O’Keefe’s bogus Veritas project. Because it’s also the character of our Dumbass-in-Chief.

Naturally Trump heard about it from Tucker Carlson of Fox News who cast CNN as “State Media.” Which is weird since they’re asserting that CNN is against the current State of Trump. What’s more, Carlson made the hilariously incredulous comment that “As of Monday night, we have not independently verified the [O’Keefe] tape … But we have no reason to believe any of this is fake.” Really? No reason other than O’Keefe’s many years of being caught lying? Also, Trump’s speculation about suing (for what, exercising First Amendment rights?) follows on his asinine talk of suing Nancy Pelosi for doing her job as House Speaker.

It’s funny though, while O’Keefe, sees himself as a media crusader, he never goes after Fox News where their “reporters” feign objectivity while blatantly sucking up to Trump. Why hasn’t O’Keefe done anything about Trump’s Attorney Genuflector, William Barr, meeting privately with Fox boss Rupert Murdoch? Why hasn’t he reported that Trump himself called Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott to bitch about their coverage of him? Maybe because O’Keefe is a fraud and a failure who is destined to be ridiculed for exposing nothing but his own impotent hackery.

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

The full 19 minute video is available for anyone with the stomach to sit through it.

Shepard Smith Suddenly Signs Off at Fox News the Day After Bill Barr met with Rupert Murdoch

The most jarring news in the media world today is that Shepard Smith of Fox News announced on the air that he was anchoring his last broadcast at the network. No one had anticipated his departure and there had been no speculation about it. His colleagues were dumbstruck and issued their own emotional reactions.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

Smith was out of place at Fox News. He was frequently reporting the actual facts of a story even while his primetime colleagues (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson) were deliberately lying and even maligning his work and his honor. Carlson engaged in an on-air feud with Smith just last month after his guest, Trump flunky Joe diGenova, called Smith a fool for daring to report honestly. However, despite the open hostility, Smith bravely endured in a losing war to inform Fox’s viewers. One of his recent valiant efforts involved setting the record straight on the Russia probe and the Mueller report. And on another occasion Smith brutally, yet subtly, roasted Fox News while accepting a First Amendment Award.

It cannot be ignored that Smith announced his departure (video below) the day after Donald Trump’s shill Attorney General, William Barr, had a private meeting with the overlord of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch. That confab was originally suspicious because it occurred the day after Fox News released a poll showing that a majority of voters favored Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Trump, who has long despised Smith, naturally expressed his disappointment with Fox tweeting falsely that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. […] @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore.” And then Barr traveled to Murdoch’s lair to kiss his ring.

However, this new development makes it all even more suspicious. There is no way of knowing at this time if that meeting had anything to do with Smith leaving Fox News. His on-air farewell was nothing but grateful and gracious. But it is extraordinarily rare for a figure so closely tied with a broadcaster (Smith was at Fox from day one) to leave without any notice. Normally one would announce they are going off to pursue other opportunities, and that their last day would be a week or a month away. But Smith is already gone. And in his goodbye he noted that there is an agreement with Fox that he will not work as a journalist anywhere else for some unspecified period of time.

There is already speculation that Smith was forced out. And of course, there is already speculation that that speculation is false. But get real. If Smith wasn’t forced out overtly by his bosses who were through tolerating his independence, then he was forced out covertly by the way he was treated. In the matter of his feud with Carlson, it was Smith who management reprimanded.

No doubt Smith’s departure will bring great joy to Trump. And he will surely tweet something nasty about it before long. But Fox News has lost one of its only connections to ethical journalism. And it could not have come at a worse time. Trump is suffering a hysterical meltdown as Congress gets closer to his inevitable impeachment, but which he insanely has taken to calling a “coup.”. Just last night he delivered what may be the most disgusting performance of his short residency in Washington.

What’s left at Fox News will be an increasingly sycophantic cadre of true believers who literally describe their Dear Leader in terms generally reserved for kings or gods. As Trump’s megalomaniania, paranoia, and malignant narcissism become more severe, his martinets at Fox News will become more unbearably worshipful. So as we heartily wish good luck to Shep, we nervously wish it also for ourselves.

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

Trumpocalypse Now: Trump Whines that ‘Fox News Doesn’t Deliver for Us Anymore’

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump and as they do his paranoia and desperation threaten to overwhelm his pitifully impotent capacity to cope with difficulty. He is becoming ever more sensitive to anything he regards as negative, even if come from a source that is reliably and nauseatingly adoring. Like Fox News.

Donald Trump Apocalypse

On Wednesday Fox News released the results of a survey that found a majority of 51 percent of voters favoring Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. That’s a devastating development for Trump who depends on Fox News to lie, distort, or otherwise misinform their viewers that he is infallibly proceeding with his mission to MAGA. It was so disturbing to Trump that he manned his Twitter machine and lashed out to condemn his State TV Network:

Trump’s petulant whining that he “NEVER had a good Fox News Poll” is predictably false. He’s had many, and he has tweeted those results with pride. The last time Trump went ape over what he considered Fox’s betrayal, News Corpse noted that it was…

“an unabashed confession that he regards them as being the propaganda battalion of his political army. And their betrayal is an unforgivable sin that cannot be ignored. [and that] all it takes is one less than flattering remark for Trump to explode with outrage and accuse you of treason.”

That’s true now as well as Trump complains that “Fox News doesn’t deliver for US anymore.” Clearly he believes that the their purpose is to “deliver” for him. A few weeks ago Trump said much the same thing in a tweet asserting that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!” Even Fox’s ultra-conservative Senior Political Analyst, Brit Hume, scolded Trump for that one saying that “Fox News isn’t supposed to work for you.” Of course, that’s exactly what they are supposed to do, but they don’t want to admit it or tolerate Trump doing so.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has had a public meltdown due to his butthurt about Fox News. Some recent outbursts include grumbling that he’s not happy with Fox and he threatened them saying that “I’m the one who calls the shots.” In July he attacked Fox saying that they were “worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN,” and that “they forgot the people who got them there!” Trump even threatened to conduct an official investigation into why Fox had stopped airing all of his cult rallies live.

Fox’s offense in this case was publishing their poll that had a fairly realistic assessment of Trump’s unprecedented unpopularity. In addition to bad news about impeachment, Trump is underwater on job performance, corruption, the Ukraine debacle, and he lags other national political figures in popular opinion. But despite Trump’s ire, Fox’s numbers are in line with other polling, particularly on the subject of his impeachment. However, that didn’t stop Trump from blowing up and tweeting bizarre falsehoods about imaginary polls:

At this point Trump is running out of options. He later tweeted his thanks to an aspiring, but lame, Fox News wannabe, One America News Network (OANN). And he has recently taken to posting the results of ridiculous online polls at Breitbart. The depth of the desperation he must be suffering is almost painful to imagine. But it explains his sign off in the tweet above where he woefully salves his wounded ego with the consolation that “Oh well, I’m President!” That’s miserably sad on so many levels.

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

Holy Kowtow: Trump-Fluffers on Fox News Come Out in Favor of ‘Abuse of Power’

As more evidence of Donald Trump’s betrayal of American principles and laws is revealed, he is sinking further into an abyss of fear, paranoia, and desperation. His language is becoming more maniacal and his attacks are losing any semblance of sanity. It’s a painful spectacle to watch for patriotic citizens.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Likewise, Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) are similarly abandoning logic and reason, and are foregoing any effort to employ facts in their pursuit of excusing Trump’s rancid dishonesty and criminality. Their arguments have devolved into denying objective reality – including Trump’s own statements – or insisting that his public pronouncements were merely jokes (which would be appalling by itself). They swing wildly from “Trump didn’t do that” to “Okay, he did it, but everybody does it” to “So what, it isn’t illegal” to frantic howls of “Witch Hunt!”

Now the Fox News defensive line has taken up a brand new and wholly repulsive approach to Trump’s misdeeds. Fox and Friends legal and political analyst, Gregg Jarrett, offered his predictably sycophantic exaltation of Trump. The segment sought to ignore Trump’s blatantly unlawful attempts to extort Ukraine’s President Zelensky into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. And Jarrett’s glassy-eyed apologia was ludicrous on its face (video below).

“The fact of the matter is the President’s conversation was not a crime, it’s not an impeachable offense. In the beginning Democrats and the media said ‘Oh, the conversation is a crime.’ Until the Department of Justice Criminal Division said ‘We looked at the transcript. It’s not a crime. It’s not a campaign violation.'”

Of course it is a crime to seek anything of value from a foreign government to benefit a U.S. political campaign. And it’s even worse when the pressure applied is the withholding of military aid that was allocated by Congress. What’s more, Jarrett’s suggestion that the decision of Trump’s lackey, Attorney General William Barr, has any legal merit is preposterous. But he wasn’t finished:

“So now Democrats have embraced this amorphous concept known as ‘abuse of power’ which is nowhere in the Constitution. And the trouble with that is that it’s this sort of shifting sands of subjective interpretation that can be abused for political reasons. Exactly what the framers did not want.”

Jarrett is actually arguing that abuse of power is not prohibited by the Constitution and that the Founders never intended for it be grounds for impeachment. That goes against every principle that America was founded upon. The impeachment language in the Constitution was specifically included as a remedy for abuse of power. Alexander Hamilton explicitly regarded it as a guard against “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” It is exactly what the Framers DID want.

The fact that the phrase “abuse of power” isn’t in the Constitution is irrelevant and, really, silly. A lot of things are not in the Constitution, including abortion, separation of church and state, executive orders, right to privacy, homosexuality, freedom of expression, and lots more. But there is abundant case law that defines constitutional rights that weren’t in the original document. That is, in fact, what the Founders intended. It’s why the Constitution was so short and had provisions for amendments.

For Jarrett to bemoan the “shifting sands of subjective interpretation” is ironic since that’s precisely what he’s engaging in. Except his interpretation is at odds with the Framers – and reality. He’s literally arguing that abuse of power – which was the impetus for the revolution against the British monarchy – should be permitted. It’s an advocacy of tyranny. And he wants to bestow that limitless authority unto his Dear Leader Trump. Which is especially troubling since Trump is a wannabe dictator who is already acting as if he has it.

Addendum: On Tuesday, Trump shill Joe DiGenova appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show and called the whistleblower a “suicide bomber.” He also referred to the impeachment as “regicide” (killing a king). Which, of course, means he thinks that Trump is a king. Which, of course, means that he is an un-American idiot.

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

Desperation Time: Trump Aims Tweet Tsunami At One of His Biggest Fox News Fluffers

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump and he knows it. With the House of Representatives conducting an official impeachment inquiry, the President is exhibiting clear signs of a psychotic meltdown, the likes of which have never been seen in the Oval Office. He’s suffering from a severe case of Hysterical Impeachment Syndrome and taking on the tactics of the Nazis he admires.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

On Sunday morning this display of desperation reached a boiling point as Trump unleashed a massive tweetstorm against one of his most reliable defenders. Ed Henry of Fox News has become a bona fide Trump-fluffer in his role as a Fox & Friends co-host. But that is apparently not enough to inoculate him from the gnawing animus of a cornered presidential rat. Following a segment of the Trump & Friends program, Henry was mobbed by angry StormTrumpers who were orgasming over what they thought was a takedown by Fox’s Trump attack dog, Mark Levin (video below).

In fact, Levin just spent a couple of minutes screaming at viewers about nonsense that never addressed the substance of Trump’s tribulations. He began by badgering Henry about why he hasn’t asked for the identity of the whistleblower. Of course the answer to that is obvious to those who aren’t infected by Levin’s cult worship of Trump. The whistleblower statute was designed to protect people from retribution and, in this case, violence and potential charges that Trump himself implied could lead to execution.

Levin bellowed that he wants to “know all about the whistleblower … What kind of dogs they’ve had, how many marriages they’ve had, if they had a DUI” Notice that he doesn’t want to know if the whistleblower is telling the truth or has corroborating evidence. He is only interested in irrelevant personal issues that are only useful for smear campaigns. Levin continued by mocking the need for the whistleblower’s anonymity merely because “his life might be in danger.”

Levin also ranted about why the whistleblower wasn’t being questioned by congress. For the record, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff (who’s resignation Trump has impotently demanded), has already announced that the whistleblower will be interviewed by the Committee. But Levin plowed forward making the absurd assertion that nobody has identified any laws that were broken by Trump’s extortion of the President of Ukraine. For starters, there’s extortion. And there’s campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.

Trump was so aroused by the reactions to Levin’s high-volume tirade that he retweeted twenty (20!) comments by random Twitteristas praising him. They included such brilliant and dignified retorts as “Ed Henry just got his ASS handed to him by Mark Levin,” and “Levin just tore Ed Henry to shreds,” and “Levin sure put that lying shit head Ed Henry in his place,” and “Levin ripped Ed Henry a new one.” Who can argue with logic like that?

So now Ed Henry is among the Fox News untouchables who Trump’s cult followers are ordered to despise. He joins Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. But what’s peculiar about this is that Henry is a devoted Trump-fluffer himself. Among his glassy-eyed defenses of Dear Leader, Henry has lied about seeing Trump’s non-existent border wall. He falsely claimed that “Hollywood has been threatening to blacklist” Trump supporters.
He celebrated a court ruling against Obamacare that could cause millions to suffer saying that it was “a little gift ahead of Christmas.”

When Trump has reached the point that he is attacking even his most faithful media shills on his favorite Fox News program, you know that he’s gone over the edge. It’s a state of fearful derangement that is only going to get worse as time goes by. And Trump isn’t doing himself any favors by maligning the Fox News protectorate that he needs to continue gaslighting his base. So buckle up, America. Trump is determined to make this a bumpy ride to impeachment.

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

Fox News Marches Lock-Step with ‘Impeaching Trump Will Hurt Democrats’ Talking Point

This week just keeps getting worse for Donald Trump. First it was revealed that a whistleblower charged him with serious breaches of national security in a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Then he was forced to release the memo containing an account of that phone call that was disturbing and incriminating. And on Thursday the text of the whistleblower’s complaint was also released after the White House could no longer persist in suppressing it. Simultaneous to this, his Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, was grilled about his conduct with regard to the whistleblower complaint in a pair of congressional hearings.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

In addition to that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House or Representatives would be formally conducting an impeachment inquiry. Much of the work on that had already begun, but this made it official. Trump’s response to these events was to panic-tweet dozens of bootlicking testimonials by worshipful disciples in politics and the press. It was a barrage of sycophantic adoration and utterly dishonest rationalizations for his flagrantly unlawful acts. It was most assuredly not the behavior of an innocent man.

Not surprisingly, Fox News was prominently featured among these tributes to Trump’s treason. Their mission to shield Trump from any and all harm continues as the news gets ever more precarious for his dangling presidency. And what appears to be a coordinated offensive by Fox news is taking shape. Thursday’s messaging was strikingly aligned across many of its programs. What they are pitching is that, regardless of how terrible this all looks for Trump, it’s really much worse for Democrats. For instance:

  • Karl Rove on Fox’s Daily Briefing told host Dana Perino that “Impeachment is a losing issue for Democrats.”
  • Rush Limbaugh warned Democrats that “They’re not thinking about blowback.”
  • Newt Gingrich offered his stale analysis that “When [Pelosi] starts an investigation the person who’s gonna get clobbered is Joe Biden.”
  • Tucker Carlson turned to frightening Democrats, saying that they “have just become so obsessed with destroying Donald Trump, that they’re destroying themselves.”
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed it all up by asserting that “All this is doing is helping [Trump] get reelected.”

WOW! That sounds pretty darn awful for Democrats. And by extension, it sounds like Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party should be celebrating. In fact, they ought to be thanking Democrats and promoting their efforts to impeach Trump at every opportunity. After all, it’s only going to help Trump get reelected and crush the Democrats’ hopes for majorities in Congress. If Republicans really believe what they are saying, then all of this drama over impeachment should be putting them in good mood.

However, for some reason that isn’t the case. Even after insisting that the Democrats are destroying themselves, and that Trump will be the beneficiary, they are still whining incessantly and demanding that all efforts to impeach Trump be halted. Trump himself is threatening legal action, which is not an option with regard to impeachment. And his Twitter feed is blowing up with more tweets and retweets than ever, almost all which are nasty reactions to his pending impeachment.

Apparently, Trump and his minions are not really as happy about him being impeached as they are trying to pretend. The reality is that his violations of law, ethics, and his oath of office, are more than sufficient to warrant impeachment and removal from office. And no one knows that better than Trump. He is aware of what he’s done and what the consequences are. And that is why he – and the Cult of Deplorables he leads – have been scared into incoherence. It’s almost pathetic enough to feel sorry for them. Nah, not really.

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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

Fox News Defends Trump’s State-Sponsored Political Extortion as Just ‘The Art of the Deal’

The news that Donald Trump may have promised the president of Ukraine hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid if he would open a bogus investigation into Joe Biden has captured the attention of the press. And rightfully so. This would amount to state-sponsored extortion by Trump in order to smear a political opponent. And it wouldn’t even be the first time that Trump has conspired with a foreign country to steal an election (see: Russia, 2016).

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As this scandal continues to build steam, Trump is managing to get himself into even more hot water. In a press avail with the Prime Minister of Australia, Trump gave contradictory answers about what he knew about the affair. In fact, when asked if he read the report he contradicted himself in the space of a single sentence saying, “No I haven’t. I just – I tell you, everybody’s read it. They laugh at it.” He went on to attack the press, as usual, saying that “Our media has become the laughingstock of the world […] You’re a joke.” Which only proves that he is pitifully incapable of recognizing who the world is actually laughing at.

In the midst of this unfolding melodrama, Fox News is adopting their routine position as Trump-fluffing propaganda disseminators. And taking the lead is Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends. Their defense of Trump is a bizarre spectacle of ludicrous justifications for Trump’s potentially treasonous behavior (video below). Co-host Steve Doocy began by telling his dimwitted viewers to…

“Keep in mind this whistleblower filed this report with the inspector general of the Intel community on August the 12th. That was over a month ago. Then they kicked it around, sent it to the Department of Justice, and said ‘We do not have to hand it over to Congress.'”

First of all, it is entirely improper for the Justice Department to interfere in this process in any way. It negates the whole purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act if the President’s henchmen (Attorney General William Barr, et al) can suppress information provided in good faith by insiders concerned about national security. And it endangers the welfare of the whistleblower whose identity is disclosed to people who have motive to retaliate.

That said, after having improperly interfered, the Justice Department has no authority to rule that the complaint can’t be turned over to Congress. The law says unambiguously that it “shall” be turned over. So the Justice Department is wrong, and Fox News is wrong to excuse this breach of the law. But Doocy wasn’t finished. He continued…

“The reason the whistleblower apparently said that it was ‘serious’ and ‘urgent’ is because that designation usually automatically triggers it getting to Congress. The Department of Justice says that that is not appropriate, so we don’t have to give it to the Committee. Well, somebody with knowledge of this person’s story didn’t like the fact that Congress wasn’t gonna get it and it wasn’t gonna become public. So they leaked the story to the Washington Post.”

Again, none of this is the Justice Department’s call. But Doocy is also introducing something that was never a part of this. He implies that somebody wanted this to become public. But had the complaint been turned over to Congress, they would have reviewed it privately. The only reason any of this is becoming public is because the process was breached by the administration.

It’s ironic that Fox News is more worried about this complaint leaking than the substance of the complaint which is Trump’s attempts to extort and/or bribe a foreign country and to pressure them into aiding his election fraud. But if you thought that Fox was bothered by any of that, here’s what Doocy’s co-host Ainsley Earhardt had to say about it:

“They say the President was making promises, leaking delicate information to another heads of state. But this is what they do. They talk. They negotiate. And the President’s known for that. The art of the deal. Who’s leaking this? Is it someone that works at the White House?”

So to Fox News this is standard operating procedure in negotiations. They consider it acceptable for Trump to bully foreign leaders into manufacturing political dirt on his opponents. They regard it as simple dealmaking, despite the fact that there are no components of this deal that are in the interests of the United States. It is a purely hostile swipe at Biden, who Trump expects to run against next year. So Earhardt is defending dealmaking that is only intended to disrupt an election. But then again, that’s what Fox News does every day. Disrupting elections by airing distortions and lies is the whole reason Fox News exists.

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