Fox News is Owned By Trump? According to Kremlin Correspondent Following Putin Interview

It’s only Tuesday and already Donald Trump has sold out the United States to Russia, our perennial enemy and the country whose military intelligence corrupted our democratic process during the 2016 presidential election. And by all accounts is still doing it. Trump’s betrayal at the joint press conference with Vladimir Putin could not have been more obvious and dangerous.

Donald Trump Fox News

The President of the United States actually said that he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The reaction to this traitorous behavior was swift and nearly unanimous. Even many of the reliable Fox News shills veered from their customary Trump-fluffing to condemn the President for throwing America under the bus.

The exceptions to that were just who you might predict. Trump ran with his tail between his legs to be consoled by Sean Hannity at Fox News immediately after the disastrous press conference. And eager bootlickers like Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro came to Trump’s defense with nearly incomprehensible rationalizations for his glassy-eyed infatuation with Putin. And Putin himself chose Fox News as the network he would give his first post-summit interview to.

Which makes the following report from a Kremlin pool correspondent all the more understandable. Dmitry Smirnov is a journalist with the Special Corps of Komsomolskaya Pravda. He was covering the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki, Finland, and had this to say after Putin’s interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News (translated from the Russian in the tweet):

“Another gift to Trump: In Helsinki Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the American channel Fox News, owned by the US president.”

Owned by the US president? Not technically. However it is easy to understand how someone could have made that mistake. Fox News has been accurately described as America’s version of State TV. They feverishly defend Trump and shield him from any and all criticism. They tenaciously struggle to validate his glaringly evident lies. And they work furiously to smear his opponents and to advance crackpot conspiracy theories in order to misdirect the public’s attention from Trump’s abject failures.

But Trump doesn’t own Fox News. Rupert Murdoch does. Which is a distinction with very little difference. Murdoch is an unrelenting supporter of Trump throughout his media empire. He permits his “reporters” to post stories that are wholly lacking in facts, but abound in one-sided, extremist opinions. He even lets them act as Trump surrogates and mouthpieces at political events. That’s something that no reputable news organization would tolerate.

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

So the Russian correspondent was not far off base with his tweet. Perhaps the only thing that he got wrong was the direction of the ownership reference. It may be less accurate to say that Trump owns Fox News than to say that Fox News owns Trump. Either way, it’s an incestuous and unethical relationship that tarnishes them both – and hurts the media and the country.

Sean Hannity Defends Trump’s Treason Summit Even While His Fox News Colleagues Bail

Monday morning Donald Trump held hands with his bestie, Vladimir Putin, for the duration of a surreal press conference wherein he repeatedly took Russia’s side on every issue (here are some must see excerpts). It was a festival of betrayal the likes of which have never been seen.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

The reaction to this internationally televised farce was nearly unanimous disgust and, for most Americans, anger and embarrassment. Trump refused to condemn Russia for interfering with our election. He dismissed his own intelligence agencies in favor of Putin’s promises. He kept bringing up debunked conspiracy theories about Democratic computer servers and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

It was a pitiful sight that marked Trump as the deceitful dotard that he has become known to the world as. And he received the reception that he deserved from most rational observers. Which, of course, leaves out Sean Hannity. On his radio show Monday morning he unleashed an extended rant defending Trump and denigrating his critics. That included some of Hannity’s Fox News colleagues. Hannity said in part:

“These Republicans have been so pathetically weak. They have been so feckless. They have been so visionless.”

And it only got worse from there. Let’s review just who Hannity is referring to, and what they said that rattled Hannity so:

  • Abby Huntsman: No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.
  • Stuart Varney: It was not a very forceful presentation from President Trump with Putin standing right next to him. Not forceful at all.
  • Neil Cavuto: Trump’s performance was disgusting. I’m sorry. This is the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing to me. This is wrong. A U.S. president on foreign soil talking to our biggest enemy…is essentially letting the guy get away with this.
  • Trish Regan: This was clearly not his best performance… He should have defended us! He should have defended his own intelligence community.
  • General Jack Keane: What happened today is stunning and disappointing.
  • Brit Hume: Because Trump is unable to see past himself, he sees the Russia meddling investigation as only about him and the collusion claim, and thus calls it a witch hunt.
  • Shepard Smith: Shameful, disgraceful, treasonous. Three of the descriptions of what Trump did today in Helsinki.
  • John Roberts: There is a growing consensus tonight across this land that the President threw the United States under the bus.

And those are just the folks from Fox News. Republican politicians like John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham weighed in as well. Even the Worm of – I mean the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, distanced himself from the Trump train wreck. It’s no wonder that Trump chose Hannity for his post-summit interview, which was so lame it doesn’t even warrant a review. But it was probably just the sort of tongue bath that would restore Trump’s orange glow.

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

The Sunday Morning Trump (Not So) Funnies: Donald Trump’s Senile Dementia Kicked in Bigly

This weekend Donald Trump massively accelerated the level of nonsense that has been the hallmark of his presidency. Among the cognitive lapses he displayed while embarrassing America in Europe were his defensive response to the indictment of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential election, and his anti-First Amendment rebuke of the the “fake news” network CNN in favor of the “real” network, Fox News. But he was just getting started.

Donald Trump

There were several instances of acute mental confusion that Trump exhibited this weekend. But let’s begin with the most disturbing one, even though it may not be the most substantive. In an interview with British Trump-fluffer Piers Morgan, the President was asked “What is the incentive for America to do a great deal with the United Kingdom?” And this was Trump’s – – – answer?

“We would make a great deal with the United Kingdom because they have product that we like. I mean they have a lot of great product. They make phenomenal things, you know, and you have different names — you can say ‘England’, you can say ‘UK’, you can say ‘United Kingdom’ so many different — you know you have, you have so many different names – Great Britain. I always say: ‘Which one do you prefer? Great Britain?’ You understand what I’m saying?”

No. Nobody understands a single thing that you’re saying. But that’s only because you aren’t saying anything that is remotely intelligible. But other than that, it’s perfectly clear.

From there we go on to an interview Trump gave to CBS anchor Jeff Glor. Trump made several bits of “news” in this brief dialog. Like when he said that his father was born in the EU (Germany). Except that his father was born in New York. Trump will literally lie about anything. There are no limits to the outright absurdity of his frightening foolishness. For example:

GLOR: “What’s your goal from the Putin meeting?”
TRUMP: “I’ll let you know after the meeting.”

Well, that’s comforting. It shows how seriously Trump is taking this summit with the dictator of the nation that is occupying Crimea, helping Iran in Syria, and that attacked America’s democracy. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “The Russians who were indicted. Would you ask Putin to send them here?”
TRUMP: “Well I might. I hadn’t thought of that. But again — this was during the Obama administration.”

He hadn’t thought of the most obvious response to a historic indictment of a foreign nation’s criminal cyberwar against the United States? What the hell is he thinking of? Pee-pee tapes? And even after being given the idea, Trump still only says that he “might” bring it up. Then he goes on to blame President Obama for the whole mess. It may have happened DURING the Obama administration, but it was being done FOR (and with?) the Trump campaign. And then there’s this:

TRUMP: “I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too, but — and this may be wrong — but they had much stronger defenses.”

So now the DNC is responsible for Putin’s hacking of Democrats on behalf of Donald Trump. Classic “blaming the victim.” And Trump has the audacity to make this allegation even while admitting that “this may be wrong.” What sober-minded world leader would say things publicly that he doesn’t know are true? BTW, according to the Justice Department, the GOP was hacked, so their defenses were no better than the DNC. But Russia was only using hacked info against the Democrats. Whatever they hacked from Republicans is probably being used to blackmail Trump. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “Who is your biggest competitor? Your biggest foe globally right now?”
TRUMP: “Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union but they’re a foe.”

Indeed, we do have a lot of foes. Especially many of our former allies since Trump took office. But the first one he thinks of to mention is the European Union? Certainly not China, or North Korea, or Iran. And as for Russia, last week Trump referred to Putin only as a competitor, saying explicitly that he was “not my enemy.” Trump even went out of his way to congratulate Russia on Twitter Sunday morning. But the EU is a foe? And then there’s this:

TRUMP (On UK protests): “There are many, many protests in my favor.”

Um OK.

Following the Putin/Trump performance review on Monday, Trump is now scheduled for a lavish tongue bathing by Fox News shills Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Because who else would he turn to? And Vladimir Putin will also be visiting Fox News for an interview with Chris Wallace. So it’s an all-Fox, All Russia, all Trump festival of flagrant propaganda. I can hardly wait.

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

Is Trump More Scared of Putin or CNN? Cadet Bonespurs Cancels Bolton’s Interview on CNN

On Monday Donald Trump is going to sit down with his – Friend? Boss? Russian counterpart? – Vladimir Putin for a meeting that has no agenda or even a stated purpose. The Helsinki tryst comes just a few days after his own Justice Department announced indictments of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s only reaction to this was to say that he would “ask” Putin about it. Well, that should put the brutal dictator on notice.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In advance of this meeting, Trump’s National Security advisor, John Bolton was scheduled to appear on CNN’s State of the Union. But on Saturday SOTU host, Jake Tapper, tweeted that the White House has canceled that booking. So Trump won’t cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose spy network was just indicted for election tampering, but he will cancel a Sunday morning interview with Bolton. Who does this tell you that Trump is more afraid of?

This cancellation comes on the heels of Trump’s anti-free press harangue on Friday when he refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying that he doesn’t take questions from “fake news” CNN. He then called on John Roberts of Fox News, which he said was a “real network.” Now Trump has, without explanation, pulled his NSA chief from a CNN program.

In a tweet on Saturday morning Trump bragged about his “takedown” of Acosta, as if suppressing the free press was something to be proud of. He also falsely claimed that CNN was “dying in the ratings” (they aren’t), and that they didn’t report on the exchange (they did). What Trump neglected to mention was that Fox’s Roberts later called out Trump and defended the fairness and honesty of NBC and CNN.

Clearly Trump is scared witless. The only question is: Who is he afraid of more? There’s no doubt that Trump is horribly frightened at the prospect of having to answer any questions that aren’t pre-screened, criticism-free, and/or dripping with adoration. That’s why he doesn’t allow interviews with anyone but friendly “reporters” that he knows will not challenge him. And it’s why he snubbed Acosta and canceled Bolton’s interview.

But he’s also obviously fearful of Putin. Which is why he won’t risk offending him by not turning up for their get-together on Monday. People as politically diverse as senators Chuck Schumer and John McCain have been urging Trump to stay away. But Trump, as usual, isn’t listening to good advice. And his State TV affiliate (aka Fox News) is continuing to prove that they are on his side by booking Brother Vlad for an interview immediately following his tete-a-tete with Trump. Where else would Putin go other than the network that his biggest supporter outside of RT (Russian Television)?

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

UPDATE: Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the Bolton cancellation saying that it was due to a CNN reporter being “disrespectful” to Trump. So they “decided to reprioritize the TV appearances.” For the record, Trump called CNN’s Acosta “fake news.” He replied that CNN is a real network. That’s it. No discernible hint disrespect. But even if there were, she canceled an interview with Jake Tapper for something Acosta did? This whole excuse is bullshit – no disrespect intended.

Trump Says ‘I Don’t Take Questions From CNN,’ Only Real Networks Like – Fox News?

Donald Trump was visiting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Friday when he obliged the media by taking a few question to which he would respond with his customary obfuscation and lies. But in the process he employed one of his familiar tactics of demeaning the press even as he pretends to be accommodating them.

Donald Trump Fox News

Just as Jim Acosta of CNN began to ask a question, Trump interrupted him him saying “No.” and pointing to John Roberts of Fox News. Acosta was not immediately convinced that his opportunity to question the President was over. But Trump made it even more clear saying “CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN. John Roberts of Fox, let’s go to a real network.”

Roberts had an opportunity to stand up for the integrity and honor of his profession. But instead, he chose to ignore Trump’s malice toward the press and ask if Trump hopes to have a better relationship with Vladimir Putin. That question was a fairly obsequious waste of time that would provide no insight to any current affairs. However, it did successfully help Trump to throw another sucker punch at the media that he despises. And at the same time Trump got to promote the one network that has so obediently acted as his State TV affiliate of the White House.

By maligning the media this way on foreign soil, Trump is ensuring that other foreign dictators will feel encouraged to continue their own crusades against the press, which often include suppression and murder. Trump’s friend Vladimir can attest to that. It’s bad enough when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the American people” during one of his revival meeting style campaign rallies in South Dakota. But to export that hostile rhetoric to other countries only makes his animus toward the free press more dangerous for journalists throughout the world.

Roberts was castigated online by many of his peers for allowing Trump to insult Acosta and just going forward with his own lame question. As a result, he later appeared in a segment on Fox where he finally mustered up the courage to defend CNN, NBC, and his profession:

That would have been a great thing to say when Trump lashed out at Acosta. As it is, it was too little. too late. Especially considering the fact that it isn’t just Trump who is dispensing these attacks. It is also many of Roberts’ colleagues on Fox News. It’s Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy and Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, and few dozen other contributors who make regular appearances. Not to mention most of the GOP caucus in Congress.

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

For Roberts to be taken seriously he would have to call out all of those offenders. He would have to acknowledge that the cries of fake news, dishonesty, and unfairness are just as harmful and inappropriate when they come from a Fox News host as when the come from a desperately lying president. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Roberts, or anyone else at Fox, to be so consistent and honorable. Their mission is the same as it ever was: to defend Dear Leader Trump and to malign his critics. Expect that to continue unabated.

Fox News: Trump ‘is Going to Defecate All Over Everything, Squawk and Fly Away’

It’s getting more difficult with every new day to ignore just how deferential Donald Trump is to Vladimir Putin. Trump has never been shy about expressing his feelings, particularly when they are brash insults to anyone who he thinks is less than adoring to him. Trump will lash out viciously at friends, associates, and strangers who dare to criticize him, even in mild terms. But he never has a harsh word for his pal in the Kremlin. Many people are wondering what Putin has on Trump to guarantee this endless supply of affection.

Donald Trump Chicken

This peculiar – and conspicuously anti-American – behavior was exhibited again this week when Trump ventured off to Brussels for a meeting with our NATO allies. He even foreshadowed the position he intended to take when he told the media that his upcoming tete-a-tete with Putin would be “the easiest one” he would have on this junket. And in the very first public gathering open to the press, Trump demonstrated that his relations with our allies would not be easy at all by launching a wild harangue against Germany for partnering with Russia in a natural gas pipeline.

So the battlelines have already been drawn in just the first few hours of the NATO summit. And, naturally, Trump is bashing our friends and cozying up to our enemies. The brazen manner with which Trump displays his betrayal to long-time allies is now being noticed by his most vociferous defender: State TV (aka Fox News). As the summit was getting underway, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News digital politics editor, had a few words about the President’s disloyalty to America’s national interests (video below). Referring to members of Trump’s GOP who have been feverishly trying to spin Trump’s unsettling commentaries, Stirewalt said that:

“I want to tell these Republicans, quit kidding yourselves. You will not stop Donald Trump from undermining NATO, and you will not stop him from undermining U.S. foreign policy to be more favorable towards Russia. He is going to do it.

“And the Republicans who say, ‘Well, we have a broad foreign policy apparatus and we forced him to impose these sanctions, and we forced him to do these things.’ He is going to fly into Brussels like a seagull. He is going to defecate all over everything, squawk and fly away, is what he’s going to do in Brussels. And the Europeans are going to continue to say to each other, ‘We don’t have a reliable partner in the U.S. government right now. We don’t think this is a working relationship.’

“Plus, we have a trade war going with them. The President will succeed, whether it’s temporary or whether it’s lasting, realigning U.S. foreign policy away from Europe and toward Moscow.”

Clearly the quotable portion of that analysis concerns the defecating seagull. The media will likely highlight that colorful phrase to draw in readers and viewers (just as News Corpse did). But no one should let the more substantive part of Stirewalt’s remarks go by. Because the significance of a Fox News editor telling their primetime audience that Trump is “realigning U.S. foreign policy away from Europe and toward Moscow,” cannot be overstated. This isn’t Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow talking. It’s a senior Fox news editor who is issuing a warning to an audience that he knows won’t welcome it.

But will they listen? Probably not. At least not until one of the pharisees of the Fox/Trump cult like Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham says it. Until then, Trump’s disciples will continue to believe that he has the infallibility of the Messiah. And anything he says – no matter how destructive to American values or interests – will be agreed to and worshiped like gospel. And Stirewalt will be dismissed as a heretic. That’s how cults work.

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

Sean Hannity of Fox News Goes Off on ‘The Apocalyptic Left’ in Defense of Trump Nominee

On Monday night Donald Trump unveiled his second Supreme Court nominee in as many years. He did it in a splashy primetime ceremony that was wholly out of proportion to any actual news value. The fact that TV networks continue to cater to Trump’s insatiable appetite for attention is one of the most troubling failings of the media in the Trump era.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

The unveiling of Judge Brett Kavanaugh went off as expected, so long as you were expecting a rose granting ceremony on the finale of The Bachelor. Trump gave a speech that could have been written by a computer programmed to emulate Republican talking points. And Kavanuagh’s address could have been copied verbatim from “Right-Wing Judicial Nomination Speeches for Dummies.” The whole event was a predictably partisan political sham that wasted everybody’s time.

Well, except for Fox News. The reason that Trump requested this primetime slot was solely to boost his favorite cable news network and, not coincidentally, right during the time period of Sean Hannity’s show. It worked. The ratings for the Trump infomercial spiked for Fox News with 6.6 million glassy-eyed Deplorables glued to their sets.

Following the announcement, Hannity returned to surprise no one with his unreserved praise and adulation for Trump’s selection (video below). But he had more on his mind than the alleged qualifications of Kavanaugh. Hannity actually spent far more time attacking Democratic critics of Kavanaugh than he did applauding him. And he held nothing back in his assault on the liberal demons set on destroying America. He began by asserting that the left’s attacks were “bordering on insanity.” He continued saying that:

“You have the left, the Democrats, and their friends in the media, their echo chamber, always conducting what is a malicious campaign to impugn the character of good people. The track record of good people. Frankly anybody that President Trump would have nominated to the Supreme Court. The language gets downright apocalyptic, and this time is no different.”

Coming from someone who is casting Democrats as the harbingers of the apocalypse, it’s hard for a rational person to take Hannity seriously. Likewise, the accusation by someone on Fox News that Democrats are employing an echo chamber is hysterical. But he was just getting started. He went on to play some clips from CNN and MSNBC of people with criticisms of Trump and his potential nominees. The striking thing about these clips is that none of them were remotely apocalyptic or insane. Each one exhibited a rational – and truthful – argument against Trump’s shortlist of Supreme Court candidates. And while Hannity blasted these criticisms in the most hostile terms, he never offered a single substantive rebuttal to any one of them.

Following that intellectually vacant harangue, Hannity reminded his viewers of the confirmation fights that occurred during the nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He felt that it was important to show how committed Democrats were in opposition to such strident and extremist conservatives. Funny thing though, Hannity didn’t bother to show any examples of Republicans viciously maligning – and lying about – the nominees of Democratic presidents.

In short, this televised tantrum was fairly typical of Hannity’s nightly bluster. He was even kind enough to provide a summary of what makes the GOP so offensive and out of touch with most Americans. In an attempt to dismiss liberal critics, Hannity noted that criticisms of Kavanaugh would fit the mold wherein his rulings would “lead to dirty air, dirty water, the rise of racism, sexism, misogynism, etc.” Exactly. Thanks for that succinct rundown of the Republican agenda and what we can reasonably expect from Kavanaugh if he is confirmed.

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

Trump’s Supreme Court Pageant is a Fake News Farce that the Media Should Not Cover

For several days now Donald Trump has been hyping the announcement of his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He has been rolling it out like a new episode of Celebrity Apprentice. The trivialization of this process is typical of a president whose only prior experience was hosting a reality TV game show. However, the nation’s press ought to know better than to be taken in by such flagrant self-promotion.

Donald Trump

Trump has asked the major television networks for a primetime spot on Monday night. It’s the sort of thing that is generally reserved for declarations of war or death notices for prominent government officials. Clearly this doesn’t meet that high standard. Trump’s potential nominee short list has been widely reported, and the names on it have been analyzed in great detail. So the urgency for a primetime preemption of American Ninja Warrior and The Bachelorette is hardly justified. Nevertheless, Trump’s Twitter feed has been firing up the unveiling of his nominee for over a week:

It’s curious that the President is impressed by having “long heard” of the Supreme Court’s importance. It isn’t common knowledge to him, but more like a rumor that’s been going around. And all of the mystery and suspense of his already anti-climatic decision is about to blow up. All that’s missing from this charade is the advertising sponsorship notice that “This event is being brought to you by Capital One: Who’s in your pocket?”

At this point there is absolutely nothing newsworthy about this brazen hypesterism. There is no reason that the American television viewer can’t wait until their local news program to learn which Trump flunky got a rose. There will still be be weeks or months of confirmation hearings and the Court doesn’t reconvene until October. So why the rush to put Trump on TV to conduct what will be just another of his partisan rallies? We all know what he’ll say:

“My nominee for the Supreme Court is a tremendous person. Everyone says so. He will rule according to the original interpretation of the Constitution as defined by Founding Fathers like Antonin Scalia, that I can tell you. He will be strong on taxes and the border and national security, and he loves the military. He will respect the right to life and the values that all Deplorable Americans share. Believe me. The enemy of the American people, the media, who are broadcasting this (so dishonest), will try to tear him down. But they are going out business in a couple of years so that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you, my people, will love and support this nominee because I said so. Thank you for listening. Good night, and God bless my nominee, the Supreme Court, and the United Soviet Soc… I mean the United States of America.”

There you go, media. Now you don’t have to air Trump’s speech. Why bother when it will just be an extension of the revival meetings he has been holding around the country instead of, you know, doing the work of the president. If the press does air this propaganda it will be they who doing the work of this president, and that isn’t the media’s job. They should decline Trump’s request for time, and then report on anything newsworthy that comes from it after the fact.

For anyone who simply can’t wait, there is always State TV (aka Fox News), who will air virtually everything that Trump says like the obedient hype machine that they are. And Fox will follow their coverage of the announcement with a couple of hours of “analysis” explaining why Trump’s choice was so brilliant. However, the rest of the media should have more integrity. They should shun this undeserved demand for attention. Unfortunately, as of Monday morning, they all seem to be falling in line with the wannabe dictator in the White House. #SAD!

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

The Rigged Witch Hunt Starring Donald Trump: A New Un-Reality Show That’s Only Fox News

Beginning in 2004, and continuing for the next decade, Donald Trump was the host of a television reality game show known as “The Apprentice.” His hosting duties were minimal as he generally appeared only the the opening sequence and a staged “board meeting” at the end. So like most of Trump businesses he merely lent his name to the venture, collected a paycheck, and went off to play golf.

Donald Trump, Witch Hunt

That’s pretty much what Trump has done to the presidency. His name is widely promoted as he tries to take credit for anything positive that happens – or even that doesn’t happen, but which he says happened anyway. At the same time he lays the blame for anything negative on anyone but himself. Then he gets paid, mostly in the form of profits from his private enterprises that flagrantly exploit his position. And then he trots off to his golf resorts where he continues to advertise his Trump-label businesses.

In his free time Trump lounges in the White House executive suite where he watches Fox News and live-tweets what he sees. It doesn’t matter that the many of those Fox stories are riddled with inaccuracies and lies. In fact, that only makes it more consistent with the Trump brand. So it should surprise no one when Trump rattles off delusional commentaries on Twitter that are as far removed from the real world as the Chronicles of Narnia. Case in point:

This tweet reads like classic fantasy fiction. There is literally nothing in it that approaches the truth. But it does employ many of the tricks of effective storytellers. It could actually be a pitch for a new primetime fairy tale coming to a TV near you this fall. Let’s break it down:

Trump begins by introducing the heartwarming love story of FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. For some reason Trump and the right-wing press have become obsessed with their (alleged) relationship. It’s almost as important in the narrative as the content of their clandestine love letters. And as with any good fantasy, it is infused with phony characterizations and motives, but no substantive evidence of any wrongdoing. Despite repeated harping on this plot point for months, no one has shown that there was any bias whatsoever in their work product.

Then Trump unveils the story’s villains, which he has dubbed “the 13 Angry Democrats.” This theme is taken from Trump’s deranged perception of the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his investigators. It’s a brilliant plot twist because what could be more frightening than angry Democrats? Their “strongly-worded memos” are like swords of vengeance that can pierce the heart of our sainted hero. How could Trump ever face this baker’s dozen of bad guys when all he has is the entire force of the United States government. So unfair. However, Trump missed a gap in this plot point that ignores the fact that there are actually more than 65 million angry Democrats, and that isn’t even counting Independents and more than a few patriotic Republicans.

From here Trump’s story heads into episodes that explore specific adventures in the Trump World fantasy. First comes “The Mystery of the Missing DNC Server.” The mystery is that the server was never missing at all. Trump’s frequent assertions that the FBI was denied access to it are a figment of his imagination. The DNC actually worked with the FBI and a private security firm to deliver everything that the FBI required.

Next we delve into “Crooked Hillary’s Illegally Deleted Emails.” This is a yarn so unsettling because it involves a retired grandmother and her horror-filled communications that are mostly about vacation plans and grocery lists. And to top it off, none of these dastardly emails were deleted illegally.

At this point in the story, Trump introduces a super-villain know only as “The Pakistani Fraudster.” Well, the notorious PF was actually just the tech guy who worked for a Democratic member of Congress. He was caught committing a garden variety bank fraud that was unrelated to anything political. But it sure has a scary name.

Finally, Trump dives into a controversy that caught the whole nation in a web of utter indifference. “The Uranium One Affair” concerned allegations the Hillary Clinton secretly sold America’s supply of uranium to the Russians. Why that would bother Trump is unexplained. He loves the Russians and wants to be besties with Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, when Clinton does it there must be a devious intent to harm America. What makes this affair all the more curious is that there actually wasn’t any uranium at all sold or otherwise provide to Russia. None, zero, zip. The transaction involved a a Canadian processing facility located in the U.S. that was sold to a Russian energy company. And the sale was approved by nine separate government agencies of which Clinton’s State Department was only one.

Trump wraps up his scenario with vague references to John Podesta (who was the victim of a Russian hack) and a “Democrat Con Job.” The latter is Trump’s way of projecting his own motives onto his perceived enemies. Taken in full, “The Rigged Witch Hunt” promises to be a wild romp that splashes Trump’s famous lies and paranoid delusions across the small screen. If you’re the sort who enjoys getting lost in total fantasy that has no basis in truth whatsoever, “The Rigged Witch Hunt” may just be the entertainment event of the season for you. And you can catch it all on Fox News without having to pay anything extra for one of the elite Hollywood movie channels.

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

The Metamorphosis: Former GOP House Oversight Chair Fills In for Hannity on Fox News

News Corpse has documented the parade of former Fox News personnel into Donald Trump’s adminsitration. The White House is currently infested with ex-Fox News vermin including National Security Advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, HHS Secretary Ben Carson, Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow. Most recently, at the urging of Sean Hannity, Trump hired former Fox News president Bill Shine, whose experience covering up for liars and sexual predators will come in handy.

Fox News, Jason Chaffetz

However, the door swings both ways. Rejects from the White House have become familiar faces on Fox News. In recent weeks ex-Trump aides landing at Fox include Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, and Sean Spicer. But one of the most prominent new Foxies is the former Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz. He resigned his seat in Congress and almost immediately signed up with Fox News. And his star at Fox is rising. On Thursday night Chaffetz was the guest host on Fox’s number one program, Sean Hannity.

The Chaffetz debut as a host was jarring to watch. He was the most conspicuously partisan member of Congress who presided over endless inquisitions intended to bring down Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. From Benghazi to emails to Planned Parenthood to Fast and Furious, Chaffetz was the leader of the anti-Hillary crusade. It was a purely political assault that produced no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever after years of costly hearings and phony investigations.

On Thursday’s episode of Hannity, Chaffetz interviewed his partner in crime, Trey Gowdy. It was Gowdy who took the gavel of the House Oversight Committee when Chaffetz retired. He was also the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. So this “interview” was really just a televised reunion between two of Congress’ fiercest anti-Democratic partisans. They spent five full minutes just bashing Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

Then they segued to trying to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. From there Chaffetz led a discussion about the protester who scaled the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day. One subject that never came up was the surprise resignation of the wholly unethical and corrupt Scott Pruitt from the Environmental Protection Agency. Also not discussed were the thousands of immigrant children who are still not reunited with their parents.

The entire hour was nothing more than an extended session of the House committees they sat on in Congress. It was like watching CSPAN with better graphics and catheter commercials. And of course, only one side of every issue was offered through most of the show. It’s one thing to see Sean Hannity do the same thing every night. But when a former congressman is sitting in the anchor’s chair it just cements the impression that Fox News is not in any way differentiated from the political partisans they hype 24/7.

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

And what makes this even worse is that Chaffetz is probably a temporary pundit on Fox. He is widely expected to run for governor of Utah in 2020. So he’s using this platform to advance his candidacy. Which means that Fox is both paying him a healthy salary, and giving him millions of dollars of free promotion. It’s the merging of media with at least two branches of government, the legislative and the executive. And Trump is working furiously to add the judicial to the mix. That’s what is known in most other countries as a totalitarian dictatorship.