Fox News Anchor Scolds His Fox News Colleagues for ‘Bashing the Media’

There’s a peculiar thing about Donald Trump’s campaign against the First Amendment and freedom of the press. That’s how much he actually relies on the press to spew his propaganda and lies. Without the media broadcasting his hate speech who would know about it?

Fox News Chris Wallace Sean Hannity

To be sure, he has Fox News, the PR division of the Trump administration. And for some reason they are always left out of any criticism that the President has of the “mainstream” media, despite being the top rated cable news network. For the most part, Fox News is a willing accomplice in the murder of the media. They lay it on more thickly than any other network. And they never seem to grasp the irony that they are demeaning the news business that they pretend to be a part of.

Apparently that obliviousness has finally worn through to at least one member of the Fox team. Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, addressed this issue in an interview with ABC News and was not shy about expressing that “It bothers me.”

“I don’t like them bashing the media, because oftentimes what they’re bashing is stuff that we on the news side are doing. I don’t think they recognize that they have a role at Fox News and we have a role at Fox News. I don’t know what’s in their head. I just think it’s bad form.”

Make no mistake, he’s talking about his fellow Foxies Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the vegetative Trump bots of Fox and Friends – among others. Wallace seems to recognize that their knee-jerk assaults on any less than flattering coverage of their Orange Messiah isn’t in the best interest of journalism. And the manner in which he dresses them down is a scathing rebuke. Although he may be pulling punches by assuming that there’s “something” in their heads.

ABC News noted the obvious in their commentary, writing that Fox News is “the preferred network for conservatives.” And they cited a study by Media Matters that revealed the depth of Fox’s bias. For instance, Sean Hannity “criticized the press in 90 percent of his monologues from May 15 to Sept. 1.” And that he “used the term ‘fake news’ 67 times.” But something else stood out that makes the glaring prejudices of Fox even more appalling:

“As president, Trump has given interviews to Fox News more than any other outlet, but he has favored Hannity and other supportive hosts like Jeanine Pirro and Jesse Watters. News anchors Wallace, Bret Baier and Shepard Smith and chief White House correspondent John Roberts have been shut out.”

So even while Trump favors the garden variety sycophants at Fox, he is careful to narrow his exposure to only the most slobbering drool merchants at the network. He steers wide of anyone that might accidentally stumble over some honest journalistic principles. Even the Fox News version of a reporter must be avoided at all costs. Trump is only comfortable talking to mindless disciples. Lucky for him, there is no shortage of them at Fox News – or in their audience.

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

It’s Official: Fox News and the GOP have merged into a single political media enterprise

It’s no secret that Fox News has been serving as the de facto PR division of the Republican Party since its inception. It was founded by an arch-conservative newspaper baron (Rupert Murdoch) and a former GOP media strategist (Roger Ailes). It’s schedule is replete with twenty-four straight hours of right-wing propaganda delivered by devoted partisans like Sean Hannity. It is, in fact, Donald Trump’s preferred network with his favorite show, Fox and Friends.

Fox News Marsha Blackburn

As chummy as this relationship has been for many years, on Thursday morning it took a big step. This political love story advanced from it’s long engagement to a blissful marriage. The wedding took place on Fox’s Outnumbered. This program usually features a rotating cast of female co-hosts from the Fox News roster, plus “one lucky guy” in the guest’s chair. But in this episode one of the co-hosts was not a Fox regular. It was Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) who also happens to be a candidate for the Senate in Tennessee.

Blackburn was not a guest. She was seated in a chair reserved for co-hosts and was introduced as one. That’s an uncommon position for a sitting congressperson and active candidate to take on an alleged news network. In effect, the network is admitting her into the Fox News family of partisan pundits. It’s a “privilege” that no Democratic representative is ever likely to enjoy. And especially during a contested election for a vacant senate seat, it’s a campaign bonus that is worth millions of dollars. Will Fox give her Democratic opponent equal time? Don’t hold your breath.

In addition to that appearance, Blackburn was on Fox and Friends earlier the same morning. In the teaser for the segment she was brought onto the set and greeted with kisses by the show’s hosts. When was the last you saw a politician arriving for an interview on a “news” network get a wet one planted on her by the people who would be conducting the interview. Imagine the outcry if Nancy Pelosi was greeted that way by Chuck Todd when she showed up for a segment on Meet the Press.

This has become the new normal for Fox News. They hardly even try to live up to the “fair and balanced” slogan (that they dropped earlier this year) anymore. Fox and Friends is the source of many of Donald Trump’s tweets. This morning, for example, they did a story on the long ago debunked conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton approved a give-away of uranium to the Russians. A few minutes later it showed up on Trump’s Twitter feed.

With the advent of GOP politicians and candidates taking up hosting duties on Fox News, it is impossible to deny the depth of their embrace. It was bad enough when Republicans simply moved back and forth between the two entities between official government jobs. For instance, former GOP Oversight Committee chair, Jason Chaffetz, is now a Fox News contributor. And former Fox and Friends co-host, Heather Nauert, is now the spokesperson for the State Department. They have completely dropped the requirement that these partisans be “former” anything. They are openly mixing up the roles that politicians and pundits are playing. And it’s a gross perversion of the the ethical principles of both.

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

Unbelieveably Stupid: Fox News anchor wonders why poor people would want to be healthy

If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time watching Fox News (and why would you), you are already used to some astonishingly idiotic comments and punditry. But every now and then they endeavor to outdo themselves in the dimwitted department.

Fox News Bozo

Today on the morning program, Happening Now, anchor Jon Scott went above and beyond the call of doofus. In a discussion about health insurance and the subsidies that Donald Trump recently halted, Scott asked a question so ludicrous it deserves special recognition (video below). Are you ready?

SCOTT: What’s the motivation? If these are the poorest Americans who are getting their co-pays and things like that covered, what’s the motivation for them to try to live a healthier lifestyle? I mean if it doesn’t cost them anything to go to the doctor, what’s the motivation?

Um, WHAT? Apparently Scott thinks that poor people don’t want to be healthy simply because it’s preferable to being sickly. He thinks having a low income makes one less appreciative of the blessings of good health. They must not care if their children or other loved ones are sick either.

According to Scott, the benefit of having society assist people of limited means to pay for medical care is too much fun to pass up. So they will deliberately eat junk food, or play on the freeway, so they can enjoy doctor visits that are partially paid for. They will let their kids develop diabetes or maybe a brain tumor in order to stick it to the government. What a thrill it must be for them to have their co-pays covered by Uncle Sam. No wonder they would lack motivation to stay healthy and keep their families that way as well. “We’ve got free healthcare kids. Go crazy.”

So Scott is puzzled by what would motivate poor people to live a healthy lifestyle if the government pays their medical bills. Does he also wonder why rich people would be motivated since they have more than enough to cover any malady they might contract? Does he wonder if everyone who lives in Canada or England or any other industrialized country lacks the motivation to stay healthy? Is he confused about the motivations of military personnel whose healthcare is paid for by the government?

Or maybe all people just want to stay healthy so they can enjoy their lives and spend more of it with those they love. That concept may be too complex for a Fox News anchor – or viewer. But the fact that he could ask that question out loud, on the air, reveals something about the culture at Fox News. They seem to not care how ridiculous they sound so long as they can demean poor people. And that’s a sickness I’m not sure their doctor can cure.

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

Lying Trump confidant inadvertently makes case for Trump’s impeachment on Fox News

Republicans are known to be fond of making brash and false accusations about Democrats. In fact, it’s an obsession. They generally deploy this tactic when they are desperate to create a distraction from something horrible they did or said. And lucky for them, they have Fox News to broadcast their diversions and lies to millions of their glassy-eyed disciples.

Fox News

A perfect example of this took place Saturday morning on Fox and Friends. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and devoted bootlicker, Corey Lewandowski to talk about a variety of current events (video below). Among them were the allegations against Trump for sexual harassment and abuse. The segment featured a graphic that said “HRC Falsely Claims Trump is “Sexual Assaulter.” But the claim is factual based on Trump’s own words. They played video of Hillary Clinton’s BBC interview pointing out the similarities of Trump’s behavior to that of Harvey Weinstein. She correctly noted that:

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere. Whether it’s in entertainment, politics… After all we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.”

Indeed. No one should be excused from committing these atrocious acts, Democrat or Republican. But that’s not how Fox News sees it. Not only did Trump admit to his abuse, at least a dozen women have come forward with credible allegations. But Clinton’s remarks set Lewandowski off on a tangent that hardly exonerates Trump:

“There was a sexual assaulter in the White House and he was called Bill Clinton. He had to pay a $750,000 fine for abuses that he perpetrated while he was President of the United States. He was disbarred. He lost his law license. He lied under oath and he was impeached.”

First of all, let’s address the cluster of outright lies in Lewandowski’s comment. Nearly everything he said was demonstrably false. Politico covered these claims last year and debunked all of them:

“[Paula] Jones sued Clinton for allegedly exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991. The Jones suit, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, was ultimately dismissed by a judge on the grounds Jones could not show damages. While it was on appeal, Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to settle the suit without admitting liability.” […]

“An earlier version of this piece falsely stated that Bill Clinton was disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in Arkansas and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, Clinton’s law license was suspended in Arkansas and he resigned from the Supreme Court bar; he was not disbarred.”

So the incident Lewandowski referred to did not happen while Clinton was president. The payment was a settlement, not a fine. There was no judicial finding against him. He was never disbarred. The House of Representatives did impeach Clinton, but that’s a political action, not a legal one. And the Senate declined to convict or remove him from office.

Lewandowski unleashed a tortured stream of lies to divert attention away from Trump’s gross and illegal behavior. But his argument wasn’t that Trump was innocent. Only that Clinton was guilty. What’s more, he seemed to agree with the punishment he wrongly asserted was carried out against Clinton. Therefore, he is essentially advocating that punishment for anyone guilty of these crimes. Presumably that includes his buddy in the White House. In other words, he’s in favor of fining and impeaching Trump. A plurality of Americans agree.

Of course, to expect an ultra-partisan hack like Lewandowski to grasp the logical extensions of his own argument may be too much to ask. And even if he did, he would likely struggle to find an exception for his right-wing confederates. Democrats weren’t shy about denouncing the behavior of Clinton or Weinstein. It’s too bad that Republicans can’t do the same about Trump. After all, as Fox’s Abby Huntsman said at the end of this segment: “It’s so important to point out the hypocrisy.” Of course, she was referring only to Democrats.

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

[The Clinton discussion begins at about 3:50]

SRSLY? The Fox News Den of Sexual Predators Accuses Democrats of Enabling Weinstein

Leave it to Fox News to politicize anything, no matter how repulsive. The salaciousness of the Harvey Weinstein scandal must have been too much for them to pass up. So for the past several days they have been desperately trying to tar any and all Democrats with Weinstein’s disgusting behavior. It’s a tactic commonly used by the political bottom-feeders on the right, and especially by Fox News.

Fox News Tucker Carlson

On Wednesday night Tucker Carlson, arguably the most annoying man on television, delivered one of his typically sour monologues. In his opening segment he spun furiously in an effort to intertwine Democrats with a story whose focus ought to have been on the victims. But at Fox News it is always more important to cravenly exploit political biases. Carlson made sure to single out Hillary Clinton in his remarks because what’s more relevant than someone who holds no government office, or likely ever will? “Weinstein couldn’t have gotten away with any of this,” Carlson smeared, “without enablers like Hillary Clinton.” And then he unleashed this cognitive mess:

“Sexual abuse is epidemic in Hollywood. The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused. It is time for the federal government to get involved. The Department of Justice should launch an immediate investigation into Hollywood’s culture of systematic sexual abuse.”

First of all, sexual abuse is epidemic in America. It isn’t unique to Hollywood, and that assertion minimizes the scale of the problem. Which may be deliberate on Carlson’s part. More to the point, Carlson’s statement would actually be more appropriate if applied to Fox News. The list of their high-level perverts began with former CEO, Roger Ailes. Then Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, finally succumbed to years of rumored sexual harassment. The president of Fox News, Bill Shine, was also dismissed under a cloud. As were Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz, Fox News Latino VP, Francisco Cortes, and most recently, host Eric Bolling.

As Carlson noted, “The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused.” It wasn’t until their victims started coming out publicly that the network acknowledged the cesspool they were wallowing in. So if the Justice Department should launch an investigation, they might want to start with Fox.

Oh wait, they already did. A probe of the personnel and finances of Fox News was initiated in the final days of the Obama administration. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, was in charge. That is, until Trump fired him.

On Wednesday the Daily Mail reported that Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has instructed the FBI to open a probe into the Weinstein affair. However, the Daily Mail is an ultra-conservative British tabloid, which makes this story somewhat suspicious. To date it has only been shared on other right-wing websites like Breitbart, Redstate, and Newsmax. But it’s premise is not implausible. Trump is known for taking positions based on something he just saw on Fox News. So if he watched Carlson make this proposal, he might well have directed Sessions to have the FBI initiate an investigation. And a good bootlicker like Sessions would surely have obeyed.

In his segment, Carlson complained that it took Hillary Clinton five days to denounce Weinstein. Donald Trump still hasn’t done so. The only comment he made was “I’m not surprised.” So apparently Trump has known that Weinstein is a sexual predator, but he never bothered to mention it. As for Carlson, his hypocrisy is off the charts. He works for a network that harbored some of the most despicable miscreants imaginable.

There is no evidence that Fox News has cleaned up its act. Carlson owes his program to the departure of Megyn Kelly, who left in part due to sexual harassment from Bill O’Reilly. And now Carlson’s show actually airs in O’Reilly’s old time slot. Meanwhile Sean Hannity has brought O’Reilly back into the Fox fold as his guest, without ever mentioning the reasons he was fired. So if Carlson had any integrity, he might want to reexamine who the real enablers are.

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

Donald Trump Wants ‘Equal Time’ on TV – And the Unintended Reason That’s a Fantastic Idea

It wouldn’t be Saturday morning without Donald Trump posting a flurry of frantic Tweets. True to form, his latest Twitter tantrum unleashed a stream of nonsense with more tedious swipes at the media. As usual he’s upset that there are reports that he considers negative. He’s right. But it isn’t the fault of the media that he screws up so much.

Donald Trump

This week the news about Trump included his troubles with White House staff, and particularly Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. NBC had multiple inside sources that heard Tillerson call Trump a “moron.” Trump further embarrassed himself by insulting victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. And he recklessly implied hostile intentions to both North Korea and Iran. If there was positive news about him last week it would have been reported. Followed by inane suggestions that he was finally pivoting to become presidential. So absent any of the good news Trump craves, he tweeted this:

Poor Donald. He simply cannot abide the sort of mockery that every president has endured since the founding of the nation. While he virulently insults his foes as “crooked, crazy, sick,” etc., he whines about being the butt of jokes.

As for the substance of his tweets, is Trump asking for an equal amount of “unfunny and repetitive” material? Because that can certainly be arranged by his comedy surrogates, if not by himself. Secondly, are there really “more and more people” who want to see more of Trump on TV? And are they currently under a doctor’s supervision? Finally, did he end his second tweet with a question mark because even he isn’t sure WTF he means?

More to the point, it’s his remedy for this perceived offense that is most worrisome. He actually believes that the media give him less time than his liberal and Democratic opponents. Hence his proposal to invoke the Equal Time rules to restore balance. However, the evidence shows that Trump has received far more airtime than any other public figure. This was true during the election when he received nearly three times the coverage of any of his opponents. After his inauguration he continued to dominate the press, as reported in a study by the Shorenstein Center of Harvard University:

“President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.”

The real world data clearly contradicts Trump’s self-serving bitchfest. But it’s also notable that he is, once again, demonstrating that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Equal Time Rule was intended prevent television stations from influencing the outcome of elections by favoring one candidate over another. It has nothing to do with airtime distribution when an election is not in progress. He may be thinking of the Fairness Doctrine, but the sainted Republican Ronald Reagan did away with that thirty years ago.

As is often the case, the motivation for these tweets by Trump was likely a segment on Fox News shortly before he tweeted. And speaking of Fox News, they would have an interesting dilemma if Trump got his way with regard to Equal Time. Fox News has distinguished itself as the PR division of the Trump administration. They are the closest thing to state-run television that America has ever known. If they were required to provide Equal Time to Democrats it would mean that half of their schedule would be taken over by the party they are devoted to destroying.

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

So let’s let Trump have his way. Let’s actually have an accounting of the network airtime distribution and require networks to balance their coverage. In all likelihood, that would result in Democrats getting significantly more coverage on Fox News, and even some marginally more coverage on every other network. It would be a welcome change in the broadcast environment that either favors Trump or the ratings-friendly melodrama he generates. So bring it on, Donnie.

Twitter Scorches Fox News and Trump for Taking Credit for Obama’s Economy

The big economic news on Friday was that 33,000 jobs were lost in September. It was the first time in seven years that the jobs numbers went negative. Most reports were quick to cite the rash of hurricanes that plagued the nation in recent weeks. However, the job growth statistics throughout 2017 have lagged behind the same time period in 2016.

Donald Trump economy

It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump and Fox News have been bragging about the performance of the stock market. It’s an easy, albeit deceitful, distraction from the other bad news of the day. Never mind that stocks are currently in the second longest bull market in history and that it started in 2009 under President Obama. Trump has done literally nothing that would change the momentum of Obama’s economy. Not a single economic bill has reached his desk for signature. But that hasn’t stopped him and his propaganda division at Fox News from trying to steal the credit, as demonstrated in these tweets:

The wealth increase that Fox News is touting is based solely on the rise of equities. Not only is it false to describe that as “the nation’s wealth,” it is a fluid indicator that could reverse course tomorrow. Indeed, many stock analysts regard the market’s current position as overvalued. These analysts are predicting a “correction” that could send the markets down ten or twenty percent. What’s more, the soaring stock market does not reflect the economic realities of most Americans. Other economic indicators (i.e. wages) are showing only small advances. The beneficiaries of stock gains are predominantly the usual suspects of the GOP (Greedy One Percent).

Some of these discrepancies were observed by the Twitter community, who proceeded to bludgeon Fox for their bullshit. A few of the notable comments follow:

It’s always dangerous to rely on stock market performance to validate the economy. There are too many factors that can shift investor sentiment. And with Trump’s saber-rattling over nukes with both North Korea and Iran he’s playing with fire, literally. And if that doesn’t sink the markets, then his proposed tax plan, which will benefit only the rich and blow up the deficit, will do the job.

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump Proposes Unconstitutional Senate Investigation of the Media

One of the first things that aspiring tyrants do after assuming power is to suppress and/or control the media. That’s a difficult task in a country that has explicitly protected a free press in its Constitution. But that isn’t stopping Donald Trump from trying anyway.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In his latest Twitter tantrum, Trump has taken another step toward the monarchy that he so fervently desires to lead. He has escalated his relentless (and unsuccessful) smear campaign against what he refers to as “fake” news, but is actually any news that isn’t fawning adulation. On Thursday morning he tweeted this disturbingly fascist proposition:

There are several easy answers to Trump’s frightful question. To begin with, “so much of our news” is not fake. Trump doesn’t bother to offer any proof of his allegation because he doesn’t have any. The media may get things wrong from time to time, but “made up” news is rare and dealt with harshly. Unlike what happens when Trump himself makes things up. He refuses to issue corrections or apologies and, more often than not, repeats the lies after he already knows they are lies. The Washington Post has documented more than 1,100 false or misleading claims since his inauguration. That’s almost five lies per day.

More importantly, what Trump is suggesting is blatantly unconstitutional. He is directing another independent government body to investigate the independent media. The Constitution prohibits Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” A White House sponsored Senate investigation based on news content is an unambiguous breach of the First Amendment.

Another reason the Senate Intelligence Committee isn’t looking into fake news is that it’s the Intelligence Committee. It has no jurisdiction in that area. Trump’s proposal is a clear effort to deflect the Committee, and the nation, from an entirely different investigation. Already under way is the probe into Trump’s electoral collusion with Russia and related financial corruption. Trump’s obviously afraid of what they’ll discover and is anxious to divert attention away from it.

Another reason Senate Intel isn’t looking into fake news is that it would likely turn up more evidence of fakery by Fox News than by any other media organization. The Republicans in charge of the Committee are aware of this and thus reluctant to pursue it. Fox News has been found to have lied far more often than any of their peers. PolitiFact scored their coverage as “Mostly False, False” or “Pants on Fire” sixty percent of the time. That compares to forty-one percent for MSNBC, and only twenty-seven percent for CNN. So Trump’s favorite network would suffer the most damage from such an investigation were it constitutionally permitted.

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

Trump’s obsession with portraying the media as fake is driven by fear. He’s afraid of reports that correctly describe his ignorance and incompetence. He’s afraid of being caught in bed with the Russians (literally and figuratively). He desperately wants to change the subject and poison the minds of news consumers. And he’s willing to subvert the Constitution in order to assuage his fears and achieve his goals. That’s what dictators do. And Trump has been behaving like a manic tyrant throughout his brief residence in the White House. And for most of his adult life for that matter.

Trump-Fluffing Psychiatrist Tells Fox News That CNN ‘Contributes to Mass Shooting’

In the world of conservative politics and punditry, the right time to talk about common sense gun safety is never. And they are especially adamant that such discussions be avoided following any gun-related tragedies. Which effectively nixes any dialog ever since these tragic events occur almost every day.

Fox News

However, talking about how Democrats and the liberal media are responsible for firearms massacres is fair game at any time. For example, Tuesday morning Fox News aired an interview with forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner (video below). Welner is a devoted supporter of Donald Trump. His appearance with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends was in keeping with the network’s obsessive partisanship. They acted together to brazenly politicize the horror of the Las Vegas calamity.

Welner began with a wholly invented proclamation that “people who are gun enthusiasts, and who are populists or nationalists in this country, are dehumanized. They’re demonized.” It’s impossible to know where he got that from. While there are protests aimed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) and politicians who kowtow to them, citizen gun owners have never a target of scorn. In fact most NRA members actually support measures like background checks and banning assault weapons. However, Welner’s inclusion of “nationalists” in his diatribe was peculiar. Whether or not they own guns, they are associated with the white supremacy movement. Welner apparently considers them victims in the same mold as he does gun owners.

Welner’s analysis of the shooter’s mindset was equally as bizarre. He led off by saying that “This is a sixty-four year old with no dramatic mental illness. No major decline. Someone who’s intact.” On the basis of what examination did he draw those conclusions? There have been no reports as to the shooter’s psychological profile from either the press or the police. Following that, Welner spouted off a stream of incoherent psychobabble that makes one wonder if he got his degree from Trump University. He asserted that all mass murderers are either seeking notoriety or advancing a cause. He left out many other possible motivations including racial or other prejudice, retribution or redress of perceived wrongs, and just plain insanity.

Welner’s primary theory involved looking at the victims and working backwards to establish a motive. So when Fox’s Brian Kilmeade asked what the country music fans at the concert represented, Welner replied, “Americana.” Between the two of them, the only notable characteristic of the victims was the entertainment venue they patronized. That led to this disturbing exchange between the two:

Kilmeade: Jeff Zelany [of CNN] says that country music fans are for the most part Republicans, and the President, by showing this type of sympathy is doing something for his base. Are country music fans symbolic of Republicans?

Welner: Well, I think that CNN is gonna have to answer for how they demonize gun enthusiasts and how CNN actually contributes to mass shooting. And I believe that they do.

First of all, Welner didn’t bother to answer Kilmeade’s embarrassingly biased and asinine question. And the answer he gave was embarrassing enough in it’s own right. That was the professional diagnosis of an allegedly trained psychiatrist? Actually, it’s the opinion of a quack who closed this segment with another absurd allegation. He complained that “We don’t demonize mass killing enough, and that’s why people feel they can do it for a cause.” Really?

Statements like these are not unfamiliar at Fox News. They frequently trade in slander and defamation that is unsupportable and way out of bounds. In this case, Welner may have even exceeded whatever flimsy standards Fox News maintains. Because later in the program, Kilmeade issued a disclaimer to note that the views Welner expressed were his own did not represent Fox. When Fox News is ashamed to be associated with you, that should be a wake up call that the doctor might need professional help himself.

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

Fox News Welcomes Serial Sexual Predator Bill O’Reilly Back as Guest on Hannity

If you’ve been watching Fox News this week (and, for God’s sake, why would you?), you will have noticed some blaring promotions mixed in with your daily dose of right-wing propaganda. Sean Hannity just moved to 9:00pm, taking over for The Five, which moved back to 5:00pm. Prior to that this time slot belonged Megyn Kelly who left Fox News in part due to her personal experience of sexual harassment from Bill O’Reilly.

Bill O'Reilly Sean Hannity

Speaking of which, Bill O’Reilly was fired by Fox News earlier this year. The termination followed a string of accusations that he sexually harassed women colleagues and guests. The tipping point was when news broke that he and/or Fox News paid millions to settle and silence those claims. Thereafter, O’Reilly’s advertisers began to peel off and Fox gave him the boot. It was another in a growing list of Fox News perverts who were jettisoned, including founder and CEO Roger Ailes. The network acquired a reputation for fostering a corporate culture that protected sexual abusers and gender and racial discrimination.

Now Fox News is welcoming back their former star. Sean Hannity will be featuring Bill O’Reilly on his program Tuesday night. It’s the first time that O’Reilly will appear on Fox since his April departure. Apparently the punishment for sexually harassing women at Fox News is a five month suspension from the network. After that, you are greeted with open arms as a respected confederate and news analyst. Maybe Hannity can book Bill Cosby for next week.

A preview of sorts was available on Monday when O’Reilly was a guest on Hannity’s radio show. He spent a fair portion of the time attacking the women who courageously came forward to report his sexual misconduct. The rest of the time was spent promoting the latest book in his terminally repetitious “Killing” series. His guest spot on Hannity’s TV program will likely be more of the same. Except that O’Reilly is already hyping the show with a promise of a “big announcement.”Maybe he landed a gig with his buddy Donald Trump, or a spot on Dancing with the Stars.

In fear of Rachel Maddow, this week’s guest lineup on Hannity is front-loaded with big names from the GOP and wingnut media. He began on Monday with Breitbart’s Steve Bannon. Tuesday is O’Reilly. Wednesday is House Speaker Paul Ryan. And Thursday is “dittohead” king, Rush Limbaugh. These conservative heavyweights will likely deliver good ratings for Hannity. However, he can’t be expected to maintain that pace. And Maddow, who has been scoring the top spot in cable news for several months, should continue to outperform her new competition.

Fox News has some interesting dilemmas with the O’Reilly booking. They are tempting the advertisers who ditched O’Reilly to leave Hannity’s program as well. They already have some incentive due to his irresponsible coverage of the conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of Seth Rich. Advertisers should also be wary of Hannity because of his close relationship with Donald Trump. He has been unabashedly promoting the President and serving as his most prominent media defender and spokesman. In addition to those matters, Fox News is trying to purchase a European network, but they are running into regulatory obstacles due to their dishonest and sleazy reputation. Booking a former host who was fired for sexual harassment is not likely to help Fox over those hurdles.

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

So there doesn’t appear to be any long-term upside to embracing O’Reilly and providing a platform for his revenge. Hannity seems to be poking a finger in his network’s eye to see how much he can get away with. But rest assured that his advertisers will hear about this atrocious booking. They want nothing to do with O’Reilly and may make the same determination about Fox News. The movement to Stop Hannity is gaining steam and O’Reilly’s return will only shovel more coal on that fire.