Fox News Apologizes for ‘Mistakenly’ Cropping Trump Out of Epstein Photo

The mission of Fox News from its inception has been to unreservedly promote right-wing propaganda and the agenda of the arch-conservative Republican Party. When Donald Trump was elected, Fox News saddled up and transformed itself into Trump’s official Ministry of Disinformation. The network’s programming unabashedly reflects and defends Trump’s hostility, dishonesty, and pompous ignorance.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

In pursuit of their mission, Fox News occasionally crosses a line that even they regard as over the top. When that occurs their standard reaction is to pretend it never happened and decline to comment. Any contrition, or even deference to journalistic integrity, is viewed, in the Trump mold, as weakness.

However, on Sunday Fox News aired a segment about the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein associate, Ghislaine Maxwell. The video that played during the segment included a photo of Maxwell, Epstein, and the future Melania Trump. Missing from the picture was Donald Trump himself, who was standing next to Melania. This deliberately deceptive edit could only have been done to protect Trump from being connected to Epstein and Maxwell. It was a brazenly deceitful action on the part of Fox News who know all too well that Trump and Epstein were pals.

The fraudulently edited picture was quickly exposed by online observers who were familiar with the famous photograph in its original form. This was apparently embarrassing enough that Fox News issued a rare apology:

“On Sunday, July 5, a report on Ghislaine Maxwell during FOX News Channel’s America’s News HQ mistakenly eliminated President Donald Trump from a photo alongside then Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell. We regret the error.”

There are two blatant misrepresentations in that rather disingenuous apology. First of all, there is precisely zero chance that Trump was edited out of this photo “mistakenly.” The cropping is so precise and focused on only the excision of Trump that it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that it was deliberate. And the segment ran this altered photo three times.

Secondly, Fox’s expression of regret is the least they could do – the very least. If they had any real regrets they would put them on the air with the same priority that the fake photo was given. But of course, to do that would mean giving the story about Trump’s long and unsavory friendship with Epstein more exposure. And that would go against the mission of Fox News and their Trump-fluffing hosts, editors, and executives. So, don’t hold your breath.

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

DementiaDon: Trump Volunteers to Lose Cognition Contest to Joe Biden

The reelection campaign of Donald Trump just keeps getting more bizarre and desperate with every passing day. His ludicrous diversions from viable political strategy have caused many Republicans to question whether Trump actually wants to win at all. His own aides are worried that he’s engaging in “self-sabotage” with his “incendiary behavior” in public and on Twitter. Even Fox News has speculated that he might just drop out of the race to avoid the humiliation of a landslide defeat.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Trump’s campaign has become a laughable parody of a candidate in distress. There’s no doubt that he is frightened by the universally dreadful polling showing Joe Biden crushing him nationally by double digits, as well as leading in every crucial swing state. So Trump has converted that fear into a raging hostility that is only making things worse for him.

Trump has decided to focus his reelection efforts on a few of the most divisive issues imaginable. He begins with “law & order” rhetoric that condemns the millions of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest police injustice and systemic racism. Then he extends that to include advocating for Confederate traitors and the monuments paying tribute to them. When he bothers to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, he continues to dismiss it as a trivial annoyance that will soon disappear by magic. Yet he still lavishes praise on himself for his success in conquering the “invisible enemy” that has taken the lives of nearly 130,000 Americans. Trump also touts the economy, despite the fact that the U.S. is in recession and 30 million people are unemployed.

What’s more, Trump is mired in yet another scandal involving his supplication to Russia and Vladimir Putin. The news that Russia is paying Taliban militants bounties to kill American soldiers has been met by Trump with lies about never having been briefed about it, And even more troubling, assertions that the well-documented story, corroborated by many news organizations and White House insiders, is a hoax.

All of this might seem to the average citizen like an insane strategy going into the 2020 presidential election cycle. And they would be right. Trump’s psychoses are clearly building up into a severely debilitating state of acute anxiety and paranoia. And a former Harvard psychiatrist regards Trump as mentally unwell in the extreme.” So naturally, Trump is responding by accusing Biden of the very thing Trump is suffering from. Projection is his goto defense mechanism.

However, while Biden is subject to making occasional verbal gaffes (he has suffered from stuttering since childhood), there is actual evidence that Trump is psychologically compromised. In fact, there was a conference at Yale University that featured testimony from numerous psychiatric professionals attesting to Trump’s unfitness for office. And an analysis of Trump’s behavior fits the diagnosis of senile dementia. For more confirmation, see The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” And in the midst of all this, Trump tweets this challenge:

First of all, the test that Trump says he “aced” asked him to identify a lion and count to ten. That, along with his demonstrated inability to drink water, walk down a ramp, and read, are among his latest reasons that he deserves your vote. Biden replied to Trump’s challenge by saying that he’s looking forward to the upcoming presidential debates where their cognitive faculties can be compared in real time. That duel of wits should scare Trump even more. It’s painfully obvious that Trump isn’t fit to run a lemonade stand. And if you need some proof of that, here’s a video that not only displays Trump’s mental infirmity, but exposes the biases of Fox News:

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.

UH-OH: Fox News Speculates that Trump is a Loser Who Might Drop Out of the Race

The downward spiral into which Donald Trump is descending may finally be beginning to sink in, not just to Trump, but to the right-wing media propagandists who are struggling to shore up his sickly presidency. With each day there is news that contributes to the terminal prognosis of Trump’s floundering reelection campaign. And the accumulating sense of doom has become impossible to ignore.

Donald Trump

Trump himself is well aware of the dilemma he faces as every national poll shows him getting crushed by Joe Biden. Even worse, polls of the seven most crucial swing states (Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, and Minnesota) are also showing Biden leading. So Trump has fallen back on his customary dismissal of the media and the independent firms they hire to conduct their surveys:

Trump is certainly “sorry,” but not for the reasons he states. He’s a sorry excuse for a leader who resorts to petulant whining whenever he doesn’t get his way. And he’s surely sorry that everyone from the New York Times to Fox News is reporting how thoroughly the American people have rejected him. Even his favorite pollster, the rabidly biased Rasmussen, has Trump’s approval rating at 42%, matching lows as far back as January of 2018.

These numbers have Trump repeating his oft-mentioned lie that he has 95% approval within the Republican Party. Not only is that untrue, it’s irrelevant. He is not the president of the GOP. What’s more, Republicans represent a measly 28% of the electorate. Which is hardly enough to secure a victory in November.

The conditions for Trump’s campaign have deteriorated so badly that close associates are speculating as to whether he might drop out of the race entirely rather than suffer defeat. Politico is reporting the prospect of Trump’s renowned cowardice, along with comments from insiders who say that…

“The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days, multiple people close to him told POLITICO, amid a mountain of bad polling and warnings from some of his staunchest allies that he’s on course to be a one-term president.”

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Fox News is joining those with suspicions of Trump running away from an expected rout. Fox host Trace Gallagher prefaced a question to Trump surrogate John Sununu (video below) saying that “President Trump’s poll numbers declining in recent weeks […] is leading some speculation that if his support keeps falling, the president might drop out of the race.” And Fox News featured a graphic during the segment that warned of a “rough polling stetch” (sic) for Trump.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Polling

Whether there is any chance of Trump bailing is an open question. He has a reputation as a coward who flees from any trouble that confronts him. But he also has a stubborn streak and a massive ego that can overwhelm his fears. In the end it makes no difference because either outcome would be similarly humiliating for Trump. His malignant narcissism prevents him from accepting that he is less than the manifestation of perfection. And that will result in his eventual downfall being all the more debilitating when it comes to pass.

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 Slave Owners: ‘It Doesn’t Mean They Were Terrible People’

There is a bitter controversy spreading across America like a viral pandemic. The nation’s past is being held to greater scrutiny as a result of repeated incidents of unarmed black Americans being murdered by the police. This evidence of systemic racism has boiled over into a much needed dialog on what values our country ought to be preserving and encouraging.

Fox News, KKK

Citizens have been pouring into the streets to express their anger and their refusal to tolerate the prejudice that presents itself in the form of “historical” statues. These monuments were intended to pay tribute to leaders of the treasonous Confederacy. In some cases these statues have been ripped from their pedestals or otherwise defaced. Donald Trump has taken the side of the traitors (while accusing others of treason) and is calling for the arrests and harsh punishment of the protesters. On Friday morning he even tweeted “Wanted” posters. He is doing far more to persecute these demonstrators than he has ever done to hold actual racist murderers accountable for their crimes.

Those making arguments in favor of maintaining these statues barely disguise their racist motives. They assert that it’s a matter of preserving history. But we do not erect statues of traitors and criminals as historical markers. If we did there would be statues of Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray. Statues are honorific, not history lessons. And removing them doesn’t erase any historical data. The South’s rebellion to preserve slavery is still recorded in history books and documentaries, as it should be.

Cut to Fox News (the network that is literally killing people). On Friday’s edition of Fox and Friends, the now social distancing “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham to discuss these issues. Co-host Brian Kilmeade led off with this wholehearted embrace of what Trump once called the “very fine people on both sides” of the racial hatred debate. “These people were right,” Kilmeade began, and “Those people were wrong. But it doesn’t mean they were terrible people. They were people of their times.”

Really? Kilmeade is defending the slave holders who were wonderful folks who just liked to own and brutalize other human beings as if they were cattle. What’s so terrible about that? As “people of their times,” how could they be faulted? How are they any different than the Nazis who were people of the 1940s in Germany? How are they any different than the KKK and the white nationalists in America today who are merely people of these times?

Here’s a creative way some Bulgarian artists dealt with the Russian oppressors of their times:

The fact that Kilmeade considers that a valid argument is precisely what’s wrong with Fox News and those who align themselves with their heinous political ideology (including Trump and his Deplorables). When it was Sen. Graham’s turn to contribute to this dialog, he didn’t bother to renounce what had been said so far. In fact, he elaborated by attacking the protesters in even more loathsome terms (video below):

“The people doing this hate our country. They hate the way we were founded. They hate capitalism. They have no respect for religion. They have no respect for diversity of thought. These people are the most radical people known to America. We’re at war with them politically. They want to destroy America as we know it. They hate America and every symbol of our country from the flag to the statues.

They hate. They want to turn us into a socialist nation. They want to destroy the family unit as we know it. And I tell you what, to the listeners out there. You may not believe you’re in a war, but you are, politically, and you need to take sides, and you need to help this president.”

Sound familiar? This is the dehumanizing rhetoric of the Old South that regarded people as animals and property. In Graham’s view, they have no rights, no decency, no family values. They represent everything that is unholy and against the country as seen by Graham and his ilk. And the only solution, according to Graham and his Fox News cohorts, is (civil) war.

Make no mistake, Graham and Fox News speak for Trump. Not that anyone outside of their bubble believes them, or that Trump needs their help. He’s been saying the very same things himself. This is the diseased mindset of people who still haven’t accepted that the South lost. They still want the statues that honor traitors. They still want to fly the Confederate flag. They still want to oppress African-Americans and others they regard as non-white deviants. And they are terrified that they are losing the battle to retain their delusions of superiority. Which, thankfully, they are.

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

Studies Prove that Watching Fox News Increases Coronavirus Fatalities

Media scholars and neutral observers almost universally agree that Fox News has been a source of flagrantly biased right-wing propaganda from the day it began broadcasting. It’s founders – an arch-conservative, foreign-born, media baron (Rupert Murdoch), and an ultra-rightist Republican campaign operative (Roger Ailes) – intended that political prejudice to be its primary mission when they launched the network.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, the presence of Fox News in a splintered media environment has had a more disastrous impact on the nation than anyone could have predicted. Amidst the spread of the deadly COVID -19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Fox News became the central point of infection to spread disinformation and deliberate lies that can now be shown to have directly contributed to the nation’s tragically high fatality rate. Along with Donald Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and purposeful malfeasance, Fox News deceived dimwitted Americans into volunteering the lives of themselves, their families, and their communities, in the service of partisan political power and the ego of a malignantly narcissistic president.

The Washington Post is reporting that – not one, not two – but three recent studies confirm the role that Fox News played in exacerbating the harm of the coronavirus. [NOTE: the first of these studies was reported here on News Corpse in April, revealing that higher rates of coronavirus deaths could be linked to watching Sean Hannity] Fox News, along with other right-wing media (i.e. Rush Limbaugh, OANN, Breitbart, etc.) distorted and/or invented narratives that downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. They portrayed it as equivalent to the common flu and mocked health experts who advised cautionary behavior such as social distancing and wearing face masks. According to the Post:

There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism.

In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.

The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences.

In other words, watching Fox News actually amplifies the mortality rate of an already deadly disease. Their viewers were deceived into believing that the virus wasn’t anything to worry about, and that they could conduct their lives as usual with no added risk. That was recklessly untrue. The Post continued pointing out the lethal mythology that Fox News disseminated:

Administering a nationally representative phone survey with 1,008 respondents, they found that people who got most of their information from mainstream print and broadcast outlets tended to have an accurate assessment of the severity of the pandemic and their risks of infection. But those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency.”

It is no coincidence that all of those conspiracy theories match up precisely with what Trump himself has been saying. Fox News is, after all, his State TV Ministry of Disinformation. And between the two they are unambiguously responsible for deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. But even worse, they are both continuing to spew the same falsehoods that have already proven to be so deadly.

Thankfully, most of the American people do not watch Fox News and will resist the lies that are being told by Trump and his media shills. And hopefully, the majority of us will engage in responsible, cautious, and healthy behavior. Unfortunately, the deluded Foxies and Trump cultists can’t be counted on to take the simple precautions that save lives.. So it would be wise for the rest of us to socially distance from anyone who watches Fox News or attends Trump rallies. For your own sake, and that of your loved ones.

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

Fox News Lawyers Tell Court: Our Audience Doesn’t Assume We Tell the Truth

Any fair-minded person who has watched Fox News for more than fifteen minutes knows that the network will twist, distort, mangle, and deliberately lie in the pursuit of their mission to disseminate right-wing propaganda. It is why they were created by conservative media baron Rupert Murdoch and Republican campaign hack Roger Ailes.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The evidence of Fox’s purposefully dishonest “reporting” has been documented for years by a multitude of journalists and fact-checkers. But for the purpose of this article it isn’t necessary to provide any links to that documentation. That’s because Fox news has admitted it themselves. And this time it isn’t some Fox idiot making an inadvertently true gaffe. This time it was in a court of law.

Tucker Carlson, one of Fox’s most prolific liars, is being sued for defamation. Karen McDougal is a former Playboy model who was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer on behalf of Donald Trump in order to buy her silence about their sexual affair. Subsequently, Carlson did frequent stories aiming to discredit McDougal and defend Trump. In the course of those stories Carlson accused McDougal of extorting Trump and made representations that he asserted were “undisputed facts.” The only problem is that they were easily disputed and not remotely factual.

So McDougal filed suit against Carlson and Fox News. And their in defense, Fox’s lawyers have taken a unique position. They are literally arguing that Carlson’s audience doesn’t expect him to tell the truth. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Fox News’ attorney Erin Murphy argued that Carlson repeatedly couched his statements as hypotheticals to promote conversation and that a reasonable viewer would know his show offers ‘provocative things that will help me think harder’ not straight news.

“‘What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of the New York Times,’ said Murphy. ‘It’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, which is a commentary show.'”

Let’s set aside the ludicrous contention that Carlson has any reasonable viewers. Likewise the suggestion that any Fox News viewer has the capacity to think hard. What we are talking about are devotees of a media cult who blindly believe whatever they are told by Fox News and their current cult master, Donald Trump. They not only assume that what Fox says is true, they regard it as the gospel from a divine source.

In reality, Carlson did not couch his statements as hypotheticals. He explicitly described them as facts. What’s more, Fox News also floats a defense that asserts Carlson’s remarks were not made in malice, a standard that may be relevant in a defamation case. But how can an accusation of having committed a criminal act (extortion) against someone who Carlson is personally associated with (Trump) not be perceived as malicious?

It’s also interesting that Fox News is introducing the New York Times as a standard for truth telling. By making a distinction between Carlson’s fictionalizations and what should be considered honest journalism, Fox’s lawyers chose the New York Times as the model of a professional media enterprise. What will Trump have to tweet about that?

The bottom line is that now any time Tucker Carlson, or Sean Hannity, or Laura Ingraham or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, attempt to pass off their lies and insults as “news,” it will be much easier to refute them with these admissions made by Fox’s legal team in a court of law. And the cherry on top of this sundae is that they will probably lose the defamation suit as well.

ADDENDUM: There has been some comparison of this defense to one used by MSNBC in defense of a defamation suit filed against Rachel Maddow by the Trump-fluffing conspiracy crackpots at OANN. However the only similarity is that both argued that their defendant offered opinions. The difference is that Fox’s lawyers argued that Carlson’s audience didn’t expect his opinions to be factually based. But MSNBC’s lawyers argued that Maddow’s opinions were “precise factual recitations that indisputably and accurately state the facts” and that her commentary was “fully protected opinion because (a) it was based on disclosed facts.” Big difference.

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

Trump Refuses to Confirm that He Would Leave the White House Peacefully

On Wednesday Joe Biden was interviewed by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. In the closing minutes of the segment he asked Biden whether he had given any thought to speculation that Donald Trump might not leave the White House voluntarily if he lost the election. It’s a question that has been asked many times considering Trump’s already disgraceful record of disrespect for the Constitution.

Donald Trump, White House

Biden’s response to Noah’s question was direct and punctuated with relevant facts. He began by predicting that “This president is going to try to steal this election.” That hardly stretches the imagination since that’s what Trump did in 2016, and he is already laying the groundwork to do so in 2020. Trump has flatly stated his belief that all mail-in voting is fraudulent and shouldn’t be counted. And he has his Senate lackeys holding kangaroo hearings aimed at smearing Biden with manufactured allegations. Biden elaborated on his reply saying that he has confidence that the military will uphold the Constitution if necessary:

“I was so damn proud. You have four [chairman of the Joint] Chiefs of Staff coming out and ripping the skin off of Trump, and you have so many rank-and-file military personnel saying, ‘Whoa, we’re not a military state. This is not who we are.’ I promise you, I’m absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”

The following day, Trump was interviewed (again) by Fox News (video below). Anchor Harris Faulkner conducted yet another televised tongue-bath enabling Trump to lie, deflect, and filibuster incoherently. Her last question for Trump addressed Biden’s remarks on the Daily Show, and produced this bit of surreal theater:

Faulkner: [Biden] said that he believes that you will steal the election, and if you don’t win he thinks that military will escort you from the White House.
Trump: Look, Joe’s not all there. Everybody knows it. And it’s sad when you look at it and you see it for yourself. He’s created his own sanctuary city in the basement of wherever he is, and he doesn’t come out. And certainly if I don’t win, I don’t win. I mean, you go on, do other things. I think it would be a very sad thing for our country.

It’s notable that Trump begins his response by launching into an attack on Biden’s mental health. It’s also pure projection, since Trump is the one that is showing actual signs of dementia. It’s also laughable that Trump attempts to characterize his utterly unqualified diagnosis as “sad” after having made innumerable jokes about it for months. And it wasn’t Biden who retreated to a real basement bunker when he felt threatened by peaceful demonstrators, and then lied about.

More importantly, Trump’s comments regarding leaving office have been twisted by the press into an assurance that he would quietly leave the White House if he loses to Biden in November. But that is not quite what he said. Trump merely stated that “if I don’t win, I don’t win.” So his departure from the White House would be reliant on his acceptance of having lost. But when has Trump ever admitted to having lost anything? He still thinks that he won the popular vote, had record breaking attendance at his inauguration, and was “totally exonerated” by the Mueller report.

Therefore, Trump could just say that the election was tainted by fraud and that he didn’t really lose. Consequently, in his diseased mind, he wouldn’t be required to leave. He would simply invent some “alternative facts,” challenge the results, and insist that he was victorious. That is what would initiate the process of involuntary removal to which Biden was referring. And it’s why the American people have to be vigilant and not allow Trump to usurp power in violation of the Constitution. Or to even let him get away with suggesting it, as Fox News did.

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

Fox News Senior Analyst Inadvertently Admits Fox News is NOT Real News

The schizophrenic ravings of Donald Trump continue to be displayed unabashedly to an astonished world. Trump’s love/hate relationship with Fox News is one of the most bizarre symptoms of mental infirmity ever observed in an American “president.” As often as Trump embraces the daily idolatry of Fox’s sycophantic shills, he likewise condemns them when they fall short of the unflinching adoration that he expects and demands.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Among Fox’s most ardent Trump-fluffers is their senior political analyst, and former chief anchor, Brit Hume. On Tuesday morning Trump initiated a series of domino retweets aimed at rewarding Hume for his brazenly biased and oblivious lack of insight. Trump retweeted the rabidly right-wing Washington Examiner’s Mollie Hemingway, who retweeted Hume, saying that…

What Trump via Hemingway via Hume via Byron York (another Fox News contributor), were referring to was a statement by the chief executive of Axios, Jim VandeHei, who told the New York Times that he “he supported staff members’ right to march in public protests, adding that the publisher would cover bail for any employee who is arrested.” That’s not a particularly newsworthy comment. It simply affirms that staffers are permitted to exercise their First Amendment rights. It does not, as Trump et al imply, authorize them to introduce bias into their articles or to report on the events in which they participated. In fact, VandeHei reiterated that in his response to the Times.

What stands out in this criticism by Hume is his ability to dissociate from realty with regard to his own network. There is no mass distributed “news” enterprise that is as blatantly prejudiced as Fox News. Someone should introduce Hume to Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. The daily on-air performances of these slavish bootlickers is far worse than being a near anonymous individual among thousands at a public demonstration.

Hume should also be reminded that his Fox News colleagues, Hannity and Pirro, did not merely attend Trump campaign rallies, they were featured, on-stage speakers. So Hume is outraged if someone is compelled to express themselves on matters of great social significance, like police brutality and equal justice, but he is silent when his buddies are openly stumping for a political candidate.

This makes Hume’s cranky criticism regarding what constitutes a “real news organization” all the more poignant, especially as it applies to Fox News itself. Open your friggin’ eyes, Brit, and stop feeding Trump false narratives. Real news organizations have usually forbidden that. Which I guess allows Fox to do it since they have never been a real news organization. Thanks for pointing that out.

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

Fox News Forced to Apologize for Grossly Racist Graphic

This is one of those days when you need to check the weather report in Hell. If it hasn’t frozen over, there is at least a severe polar vortex bearing down on Satan’s lair. The storm warning came in the form of an announcement by Fox News that they were sorry about having aired a graphic so drenched in bigotry that even they couldn’t tolerate it.

Fox News Sad

On the Friday episode of Fox’s signature evening “news” program, Special Report, (not an opinion show like Sean Hannity), they did a segment on the economy and the recent gains in the stock market. Seeking to contextualize these gains, Fox produced a graphic that compared past market increases with particular events in history.

The problem was that each of the historical events they selected was the murder of an African-American. The only feasible conclusion to draw from this presentation was that Fox News regards the killing of black men in America as a positive factor in economic growth. They seem to be saying “Just think how much higher the market would be if more black men were murdered.”

It is not coincidental that they did this the same day that the Racist-in-Chief, Donald Trump, tried to conflate the stock market with what he said is “a great day” for George Floyd. But in a rare gesture of journalistic remorse (only after an avalanche of crushing criticism) Fox News later issued a tepid apology:

That’s a big concession for the network that has never apologized for backing conspiracy theories like Barack Obama being born in Kenya. Or that a Democratic aide was murdered by Hillary Clinton associates. Or that Russia didn’t interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Or that the fictional Antifa(scist) “organization” is orchestrating civil unrest at protests over the killing of George Floyd by police. Or that Joe Biden is mentally unfit. Or that Donald Trump IS mentally fit.

Still, Fox is only apologizing for not having put the data in context. Although, it’s hard to imagine a context that wouldn’t have made this flagrantly racist. There is no framing for which this information would have been useful. The stock market rises and falls on a variety of triggering factors that include corporate earnings, international trade, employment statistics, federal legislation, and even gut feelings about speculative future economic environments. But nowhere is there any evidence of violence against African-Americans being the cause of any market activity.

In fact, it’s easy to make the case for virtually any activity producing some market movement based on one week’s worth of data. For instance, the market rose 1.5% in the week following Trump’s impeachment. Is that an indication that Wall Street was celebrating Trump’s political demise? The week after racist GOP icon George Wallace died the market rose 2.4%. And of particular interest to Fox News, the week following the death of their founder and CEO Roger Ailes, the market leapt 3.2%. Is that telling us something about bigoted, sexual predators who run propaganda machines?

With all of the naked racial prejudice that airs on Fox news on a daily basis, it is not nearly sufficient that they put out a perfunctory “apology” for this sort of behavior that is so consistent with their noxious conduct in their past. They need to demonstrate that they have a grasp of the consequences of their broadcasts by censuring their repeat racist offenders: Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, for starters. Absent that, they can take their apology and shove it.

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