Trump Shocks Fox News By Leaking Secret Deal for a Weekly Segment.

Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has affirmed his cowardly approach to the media. The vast majority of his interviews have been reserved for the Fox News Trump-fluffers that he knows will be gentle with him. He has virtually sealed himself in a Fox News bunker. But despite his tedious and impotent repetition of Stalinist inspired catch phrases like “fake news” and “the media is the enemy of the people,” Trump, as he recently admitted, spends hours watching Fox every day.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

Trump’s reliance on glassy-eyed disciples like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, and Maria Bartiromo, is further evidence of the cult-like nature of his following. And no one can plausibly deny that Fox News isn’t fulfilling its role as Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation. It’s the same sort of mutually beneficial relationship that parasites enjoy with their willing hosts.

On Tuesday morning Trump visited once again with the network’s “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. The “interview” was typical of the slobbering tongue baths that Trump is accustomed to on the network. The adoring hosts smiled vacantly as Trump accused Joe Biden of using drugs during previous debates and public appearances. They declined to follow up after he asserted that the governor of Nevada is going to rig the ballots in his state. They fawned over his phony “peace” agreement that entirely excluded the Palestinians. They valiantly kept straight faces when Trump blamed wildfires on “exploding trees.”

However, there was a moment of melodrama when Trump seemed to reveal a secret agreement that he made with his Fox News benefactors. It went something like this…

Trump: It’s good to be here. It’s great to be with my friends. I think we’re gonna do this, we’ve agreed to do it once a week in the morning, and I look forward to it. Like the old days.
Steve Doocy: I haven’t heard that. Well, that’s an exclusive.right there.

So Trump just broke the news of a programming agreement between him and Fox. Trump was also fondly recalling his pre-presidential days when he had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” However, now that he resides in the White House, such an arrangement would be wholly inappropriate for both Trump and Fox News. It was so improper that when Trump repeated the news later in the program, Doocy – probably on orders from producers in the control room – shot it down in this awkward exchange:

Trump: We’re going to do it every week. Every Monday, I think they said. And if we can’t do it on a Monday, we’ll do it on a Tuesday like we did today.
Doocy: You may want to do it every week but Fox has not committed to that. We’re going to take it on a case-by-case basis. And Joe Biden, as well, is always welcome to join us for 47 minutes like we just did with the president.

Note that Trump had already hung up by the time Doocy issued his denial that an agreement had been reached. But Trump was not expressing some vague desire to have a weekly segment. He explicitly said that “we’ve agreed to do it,” and referred to what “they said” about his new regular Fox gig. Of course knowing Trump, that could have been either a lie, a figment of his imagination, or the truth that was supposed to be confidential.

No matter, Trump’s casual acceptance of such a flagrantly unethical deal reveals how comfortable he is with embracing blatant propaganda. It also tells us that he has an hour available to chat with with his Fox friends every week. That’s important because it would significantly cut into his other primary duties: golfing, tweeting, and watching other programs on Fox News.

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

Trump Wonders ‘How Different My Life Would Have Been’ if He Weren’t a Treasonous Swine

While it seems like this could be said about pretty much every week lately, this past week was one of the worst for Donald Trump. Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, exposed Trump for having known just how deadly the coronavirus is, but lying about it to the American people. An article in The Atlantic revealed Trump’s disregard for America’s war dead as “losers” and “suckers.” And his polling versus Joe Biden continues to decline, as does his fundraising.

Donald Trump Swine Pig

So what is a perpetually unpopular president (he’s never hit 50%) do to turn around his floundering campaign? In Trump’s case he resorts to moldy complaints about having been impeached due to an imaginary “witch hunt” and whining about his perceived persecutors:

When Trump says that “now we find out” something, he means that he just finished watching Sean Hannity on Fox News. Indeed, on Hannity’s Friday night program he discussed the “wiping” of phones with Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany (video below). “Now we learn what Mueller’s team was doing,” McEnany lied. “Several dozens – think about that – several dozens of devices returned damaged, wiped clean, some of them intentionally so.”

What Trump and McEnany are too ignorant to know (or too dishonest to admit) is that the federal government requires that phones and other electronic devices used by those with access to confidential and classified materials be either thoroughly cleansed of the data, or physically destroyed. A State Department official addressed this issue with regard to Hillary Clinton’s phones. He told WIRED magazine in 2016 that…

“‘…department security policies mandate that all electronic devices are cleared of sensitive or classified information prior to reuse or disposal.’ Some devices are wiped and reused, in other words, while others are destroyed as part of the recycling process.”

So the shock expressed by McEnany, Hannity, and Trump is really just confirmation of how woefully ill-equipped they are to do their jobs.

But Trump had only just begun to deceive. He went on to characterize the Mueller Report as a “scam,” saying that that “has now been determined.” Notice that he doesn’t say who or what determined it. That’s because he’s making it up. In fact, the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, found that the investigation was proper and was not motivated by political bias. Furthermore, the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee concluded pretty much the same thing.

All of this proves that Trump’s petulant whimpering and victimhood are the product of a weak and frightened man who is conscious of his guilt. And his plaintive yearning for a different life are really just the regrets of an inept criminal who is upset at having been caught.

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

Fox News Spins Ludicrous Comparison of 9/11 to the Coronavirus

It’s the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It was a day that shook the nation, and the world, in a profoundly painful way that woke many up to the reality of our vulnerabilities. And on this solemn day there have been some respectful remembrances and thoughtful condolences for the victims, their families, and for the first responders who sacrificed so much.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

Of course, there have also been some grossly inappropriate attempts to hijack this day for political and/or personal advantage. Donald Trump was notorious for that when he bragged on the day of the tragedy that his building in Manhattan had just become the tallest in the city:

It should come as no surprise that Fox News joined in on the brazen exploitation of horror. On Friday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends aired a segment that drew a preposterous comparison between 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic. Co-host Brian Kilmeade unleashed this nauseating rant (video below) that had no basis in reality or even sanity. “New York is attacked,” Kilmeade began. “America is under siege.” And he continued…

“But at the same time, New York kept moving. In a very short time the stock market was open. People were still getting into subways. People still went to work. At the same time keeping an ear to the news to find out what’s next as we would mobilize in a matter of months and kill almost every single person that was involved in this. The first generation of Al Qaeda.”

“That’s what’s different now. This, we stopped. And America looked around and go ‘What do we do?’ We knew who the enemy was then. Here we’ve got this invisible virus that the Chinese are responsible for, but it doesn’t look like that’s an attack. “

Kilmeade is earning his reputation for being the stupidest man on Fox News. He apparently doesn’t realize that people were comfortable returning to the subways after 9/11 because they were in no danger of contracting an airplane crash from another passenger. Their coworkers were unlikely to infect them with a collapsing skyscraper.

Kilmeade is likewise unaware that the reason we “stopped” this time is because COVID-19 is a highly transmissible infectious agent for which there is no vaccine or treatment. His attempt to draw parallels between these two events is simply pathetic, but not at all unexpected from Fox News.

In addition to his absurd correlations and xenophobic insults aimed at China, Kilmeade also made some blatantly false statements. While America was attacked, we were not under siege. There was no invading army and no subsequent assault. The stock markets remained closed until September 17, the longest shutdown since 1933, which Kilmeade characterized as “short.” We did retaliate against the Taliban that was harboring Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, we did not kill “every single person that was involved.” Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, wasn’t killed until ten years later.

Finally, Kilmeade’s description of Americans looking around wondering what to do utterly fails to explain why that’s so. It’s because we have a president who lied to the people about the peril this virus posed. Trump knew how deadly it was and purposefully withheld that information in order to advance his reelection prospects. He repeatedly downplayed the danger, oversold the development of a vaccine, and mocked those who advised and practiced safety guidelines such as social distancing and facial masks.

Trump also contradicted the experts and disseminated falsehoods about unproven cures such as hydroxychloroquine and injecting bleach. Even worse, he embraced quacks who ranted about “demon sperm” and spread crackpot conspiracy theories that only a fraction of those reported to have died from COVID-19 were actually its victims.

Is there any wonder why some Americans were baffled about what to do? Even now there are those who believe that the coronavirus is (as Trump has said) a hoax. Never mind the nearly 200,000 graves (6,400,000+ infected) and the grieving families and friends of those stricken. The confusion that Kilmeade referenced is almost entirely the fault of Trump. The remainder of the guilt lies with Kilmeade, and his confederates at Fox News, who continue to cover for him.

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

Trump’s Propaganda Press Conference Turns Into a Fox News Promo

On Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump held another of his phony press conferences that are really reelection campaign events illegally held in the White House. But this one was even more brazenly self-serving than those in the past, which were almost entirely self-serving.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As usual, Trump spent the first half hour bragging about accomplishments that didn’t exist. In his fantasy brain the economy is soaring (it’s in recession) and there is no pandemic (it’s still killing more than a thousand Americans every day).

Trump finished his fictional storytime reading and turned to the reporters to take questions. He only took two before he scurried off with his tail between his legs. The first question was about his deadly deception revealed in Bob Woodward’s new book, RAGE! ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked “Why did you lie to the American people, and why should we trust what you have to say now?” Trump replied “That’s a terrible question and the phraseology. I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked.”

But of course, he did very obviously lie. And it had nothing to do with avoiding panic. If a hurricane was coming you wouldn’t call it a Democratic hoax and insist that it would disappear like a miracle. You would alert the public and advise them to take all necessary precautions. That’s what Trump actually did prior to Hurricane Dorian) I guess he didn’t care about creating a panic then.

Trump went on to say that his confession that he lied was excusable because the person he confessed to didn’t report it quickly enough. Which is a rather bizarre justification for lying. And it doesn’t even dispute that it was a lie. He then took the second question was about the Durham report, a politically stained probe triggered by Trump’s hostility toward his predecessor, Barack Obama, and orchestrated by Trump’s flunky Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr.

In the course of Trump’s ranting falsely about how he was spied on by the Obama administration, he attempted to back up his allegations by citing his favorite source for classified intelligence, Fox News (video below):

“Probably the biggest political scandal in the history of our country. They got caught. Now, what the Durham report is going to say, I can’t tell you. But if they say half as much as I already know, just from seeing it.”

First of all, Trump’s own intelligence agencies, as well as the Republican-run Senate, have confirmed that there was no scandal, no spying on his campaign. Secondly, What the heck does he already know from “seeing” the Durham report, which would be an extraordinary breach of ethics for him to have seen? But he wasn’t finished:

“You know I watch some of the shows, I watched [Fox’s] Elizabeth McDonald, she’s fantastic. I watched Fox Business. I watched Lou Dobbs last night. Sean Hannity last night. Tucker [Carlson] last night. Laura [Ingraham]. I watched Fox and Friends in the morning. You watch these shows, you don’t have to go too far into the details. They cover things that are…it’s really an amazing thing.”

So every single one of the shows that Trump watched were Fox News shows. He spent at least four hours on these notoriously right-wing disseminators of Trump-fluffing propaganda. He has the world’s most extensive network of international intelligence operations reporting to him, but he’s parked in front of the television gulping down Kool-Aid from Hannity and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes. And he’s doing that instead of – you know – actually working. Which may be a good thing.

What’s more, Trump concedes that “you don’t have to go too far into the details,” mainly because the details wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny if you went any farther than scratching the surface. Everything these Trump cult shills promote on their State TV broadcasts is coordinated with, and complimentary to, Trump’s official PR playbook.

There isn’t any breakthrough revelation in the discovery that Trump is addicted to Fox News and vice versa. What’s notable is that he has gotten so mentally lazy that he would make a public statement that is so blatantly aligned with his Ministry of Disinformation. He didn’t even bother to slip in a few names from OANN, Breitbart, or any of the other irrelevant Internet clown shows Trump likes to patronize.

This was all Fox News. An exclusive promo for the network that made him what he is today. And never mind that he has frequently attacked Fox News when they weren’t sufficiently worshipful. He always comes back because there is no one more loyal, more willingly deceitful, and more successful at corralling the Trumpian hoards who are starving for ever more news about Dear Leader. Their relationship may be rocky at times, but it is still strong – and dangerous.

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

Trump is Running for Reelection as President of Fox News

Labor Day is often regarded as the official kickoff of the presidential campaign season. The party nominating conventions are over and many states are preparing to begin early voting and vote-by-mail operations. So it isn’t surprising to see Donald Trump abuse the power of his office to hold yet another “press conference” at the White House that is nothing more than a reelection rally at taxpayers expense (which the media really needs to stop covering).

Donald Trump Fox News

This alleged press conference was one of the most unfocused to date by Trump, who spent it unleashing a smorgasbord of familiar grievances. He ran the gamut from Barack Obama spying on his campaign, to the election being rigged, to Nancy Pelosi blocking pandemic relief, to Joe Biden being “clueless” and “stupid,” to the economy recovering, to coronavirus being cured. He even gave Vladimir Putin another pass for poisoning political opponent Alexei Navalny.

Virtually everything Trump asserted during the hour plus harangue was demonstrably false. The U.S. intelligence community has investigated the probes into Trump’s collusion with Russia and found that, not only is there zero evidence of Obama spying, there is ample proof of Trump’s misconduct. The only election rigging that has been uncovered is that done by Trump himself, who even committed a felony by telling his cult followers to vote twice. Pelosi passed a relief bill months ago that has been sitting on GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s desk as he refuses to negotiate. The economy is in recession. The coronavirus is still taking the lives of more than 1,000 Americans a day. But Putin remains the only person in Trump’s world that doesn’t have a derogatory nickname.

Trump’s list of grievances should sound familiar to anyone who watches Fox news. It’s a rehashing of the core issues that dominate Fox’s daily programming. [To see just how integrated Trump is to Fox News check out Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter] Not only do all of the Fox hosts and commentators disseminate the very same propaganda, but Trump is on almost as often as the network regulars to deliver the same spiel. And for the most part, Fox News is the only network that routinely airs Trump’s events live and uninterrupted. That is likely gnawing at the Narcissist-in-Chief who has become accustomed to being the center of attention all the time.

The result of this blanketing of Trump on Fox’s air alone is that his most brainwashed supporters are getting their brains an extra scrubbing on a regular basis. But his message isn’t going out to anyone else. That’s a big problem as the campaign season unfolds. In 2016, Trump didn’t have to spend much money because the media covered everything he did. Without that free advertising, 2020 is shaping up to be a much more difficult environment for him. There is even speculation that he is already running out of money.

Trump has recently pulled ads in critical battleground states. Joe Biden, meanwhile, just collected a record $364 million in donations in August. And he is outspending Trump for ads by more than 10-to-1. What’s more, it’s telling that Trump hasn’t even released his August financial reports yet. That generally portends bad news. Politicians don’t delay good news.

Trump apparently thinks he can win this race by appearing almost exclusively on Fox News and running on a platform developed by Fox’s most devoted Trump-fluffers. That’s a preposterous strategy. On its best night Fox draws about one percent of the nation’s population. If Trump is only seen on Fox News, whose viewers are already supporting him, he can’t possibly expand his base beyond the worshipful audience of Foxic true believers. And there aren’t enough of them to win an election.

However, Trump could run for President of Fox News. He has all the qualifications. He is obnoxious and arrogant and convinced of his own magnificence. He has a profound ignorance of the world and the issues that are most important to voters. He is completely at ease lying about things that are easily proven false. And he is comfortable subjugating himself to others with real power. The one thing that may stand in his way is all the times he has attacked Fox News and predicted their downfall. Not that Fox seems to mind. They take it like a battered spouse and ask for more.

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 Confirms that Trump Called Fallen Soldiers Losers and Suckers

The Atlantic’s recent story exposing Donald Trump’s nauseating remarks about America’s war dead and POWs has been dominating the news cycle this week. That’s remarkable considering that there is also a presidential election in progress and a deadly pandemic is killing more than a 1,000 people a day.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The article reported Trump complaining about visiting a cemetery in France where Americans soldiers were laid to rest. “Why should I go to that cemetery?” Trump whined. “It’s filled with losers.” He later added that 1,800 plus marines who died at Belleau Wood were “suckers” for getting killed. The article also revealed that Trump was opposed to, and angered by, tributes to the late Sen. John McCain saying “What the f**k are we doing that for? Guy was a f**king loser.”

Trump is predictably denying the story and calling it – wait for it – “fake news.” He doesn’t have any documentary evidence to support his denials. He’s just insisting that the four sources cited by the Atlantic are either lying or made up. It’s an absurd and irresponsible accusation to be making about a journalistic enterprise that has for decades been respected and credible. What’s more, the story has been corroborated with unrelated sources by reporters from the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and NBC News. Of course, those are all media organizations that Trump has furiously, and without foundation, dismissed as fake.

Now, however, Trump is going to have a harder time pretending the liberal media is out to get him. Jennifer Griffin, the National Security Correspondent for Fox News, is the latest reporter to corroborate the Atlantic’s story. She did so in a series of tweets beginning here:

Griffin elaborated in this thread of successive tweets:

According to one former senior Trump administration official: “When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker’.”

This former official heard the President say about American veterans: “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.” Source: “It was a character flaw of the President. He could not understand why someone would die for their country, not worth it.”

I read the source a few quotes from The Atlantic article. This former Trump admin official said, “The President would say things like that. He doesn’t know why people join the military. He would muse, ‘Why do they do it’?”

Re: trip to mark 100th anniversary of WW I
Source: “The President was not in a good mood. Macron had said something that made him mad about American reliability and the need perhaps for a European army. He questioned why he had to go to two cemeteries. ‘Why do I have to do two’?”

President Trump’s staff explained he could cancel (his visit to the cemetery), but he was warned, ‘They (the press) are going to kill you for this’.” The President was mad as a hornet when they did.

When asked IF the President could have driven to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery, this former official said confidently:”The President drives a lot. The other world leaders drove to the cemeteries. He just didn’t want to go.”

Regarding Trump’s July 4th military parade, during a planning session at the White House after seeing the Bastille Day parade in 2017, the President said regarding the inclusion of “wounded guys” “that’s not a good look” “Americans don’t like that,” source confirms.

Regarding McCain, “The President just hated John McCain. He always asked, ‘Why do you see him as a hero?” Two sources confirmed the President did not want flags lowered but others in the White House ordered them at half mast. There was a stand off and then the President relented.

It will be interesting to see if Trump even addresses this reporting by Fox News. While he has criticized Fox on occasion, it’s usually to complain about a poll he didn’t like or a Democratic guest. He is otherwise marching in lock step with bootlickers like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Griffin is supposed to be a representative of the alleged “hard news” side of the network. But that won’t likely insulate her from Trump’s wrath.

The bottom line is that Trump can no longer make the claim that it’s just a left-wing cabal of insurrectionists bent on destroying him and driving him from office. Whatever he thinks of Griffin or Fox News, it isn’t that they are collaborating with the revolutionary socialists Trump sees in his nightmares. And he can’t simply waive this off like he does with CNN. Well, you would think not. But then with Trump anything is possible. Especially now when he is desperately trying to stay in the White House and out of prison.

UPDATE: Trump did respond to the Fox News confirmation of the Atlantic’s article. Amidst a couple of dozen midnight tweets defending himself against the allegations, Trump tweeted that “Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!” That peevish hissy fit was to be expected from Trump. What’s odd is that he attached it to an article from the disreputable Breitbart News that said Griffin “did not confirm” the story. But he wants her fired anyway? Trump’s mind is gone.

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

Crybaby Trump Whines that Fox News Polls are Fake News

There is nothing more predictable than Donald Trump wailing like a colicky infant whenever he is criticized. His massive, yet fragile, ego simply can’t take the slightest bit of pushback, constructive or otherwise. So he throws petulant tantrums in the hopes that his critics will regret their offense and commit to unflinching adoration.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

That’s a pretty accurate description of his relationship with Fox News. It’s a network that was built to disseminate right-wing propaganda. And in the Era of Trump it has transformed into the Ministry of Disinformation for the cult that he leads. It employs devoted Trump worshipers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo, etc., who are also his the staff advisors of his shadow cabinet. And it is practically the only network that he will grant interviews to.

But apparently that it isn’t enough. When there is a rare critical commentary by a host or a guest, Trump lashes out mercilessly as if he’s been betrayed by a close confidant. That happens every time that Fox publishes a poll that isn’t as enamored with him as he is himself. Take for instance this Thursday morning…

First of all, Fox News polls were in the middle of that pack with regard to accuracy in 2016. Trump still refuses to accept that the national polling was largely correct, but did not reflect state-by-state returns that produced the Electoral College result. Secondly, Trump can “believe” that he’s “leading BIG” all he wants, but it doesn’t make it true. He is, in fact, getting crushed by Joe Biden nationally, as well as in the crucial swing states. And thirdly, his attempt to connect the Fox News poll with the stock market is just too preposterous to even respond to.

For the record, Trump has taken this stance before. Last year Trump cried about how Fox News polls “have always been terrible to me.” But in reality they have just as often been positive. And when they were, Trump noticed and celebrated their findings, as News Corpse observed at the time:

“What is abundantly clear is that Trump has been more than pleased with the results of Fox News polls in the past. But when one is less than adoring he flips out and insists that they have always had it in for him. That’s a sign of a severe mental infirmity consistent with narcissism, paranoia, and sociopathic disengagement from reality.”

Trump is a well documented malignant narcissist whose psychotic self-absorption twists his perception of reality. He can only accept flattering appraisals and glassy-eyed adulation from the media and even his personal relationships. Anything else is met with abject scorn and unqualified rejection. It’s a sickness that is putting this nation at risk. And if it isn’t brought to an end this November, the damage may be irreversible for decades.

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

Throwback Trump: If You Told a Republican to Vote Twice They’d Get Sick at the Thought of It

On Wednesday Donald Trump’s desperation and fear drove him to suborn felony voter fraud by telling his cult followers to vote twice this November. That would not only be a crime for anyone who tried it, it’s also a crime for Trump to make the solicitation. An honest Justice Department would indict him immediately, but the Justice Department of the Trump administration is nobody’s idea of honest.

Donald Trump Red Face

Not surprisingly, Trump has had fluid opinions on this subject that change whenever he perceives the opposite opinion to be more to his benefit. Or maybe he’s just to cognitively challenged to recall his own views from one moment to the next. He doubled down on these felonious solicitations Thursday morning on Twitter. But last May he was interviewed by Senior Fox News Trump-Fluffer Maria Bartiromo and he told her that…

“The level of dishonesty with Democrat voting is unbelievable. If you told a Republican to vote twice, they’d get sick at even the thought of it. And you have people that vote numerous times. What’s happening is crazy. So now they want to send out vote-by-mail. Who knows who’s signing this stuff?”

If what Trump said then was true, there are a lot of sick Republicans running around the country right now. Well … more than usual. And that isn’t even counting those with the coronavirus (which Trump thinks you can get from voting).

Due to the complicity of Trump’s traitorous Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, and the Senate GOP, Trump appears to be getting away with his crimes again – for now. But the record is clear and will be preserved for the next attorney general to investigate and prosecute. As is often the case, Trump documents his criminality on national television. “Let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said to the press. “And if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”

Trump’s babbling about how mail-in votes would be tabulated before in-person voting is pure nonsense. In some states that process doesn’t even begin until after the polls close. Anyone who takes Trump’s advice will be in a heap of trouble. This isn’t a gray area. Both state and federal statutes unambiguously state that even attempting to vote twice is against the law. And every reputable law enforcement official will affirm that. For instance…

Karen Brinson Bell, Executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections: It is illegal to vote twice in an election … Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.

Michigan Attorney General Nessel: Don’t try this at home. I will prosecute you […] Let me be perfectly clear: voting twice is illegal, no matter who tells you do to it. The president’s idea is a great one for people looking to go to jail.

Ellen L Weintraub, Federal Elections Commissioner: It is illegal in all 50 states and under federal law to vote twice. As any federal officeholder or law enforcement official should know.

Well, any federal officeholder or law enforcement official other than Barr. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Barr staggered around awkwardly as he tried to avoid contradicting his boss. He trotted out diversions about the point he thought Trump was trying to make, and absurd claims about not knowing state laws. Eventually, Blitzer had to educate him:

Trump was right about one thing. This is “crazy.” It’s so crazy, in fact, that it should trigger an indictment and his immediate removal from office. Or at least the 25th Amendment and a straitjacket. Unfortunately, Trump’s GOP confederates are as crazy as he is and wouldn’t hear of it. So we’ll just have to wait until November (actually January 20) to rid the White House of this madness. If we survive that long.

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

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Embraces Violence as a Political Plus for Trump

The predominant strategy of Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection has been to grossly mischaracterize Joe Biden as a wild-eyed socialist bent on destroying America. That’s a preposterous accusation that voters have already rejected. But it hasn’t dampened Trump’s zealous crusade to smear Biden and bring down his favorable ratings to the lows where Trump has been languishing throughout his presidency.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

On Thursday morning Trump’s (soon to be former) Senior White House Counselor and Director of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, held court with the Trump administration’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) to articulate what has become a familiar theme this election season. Trump and his Republican confederates have been furiously assaulting Democrats and citizen protesters as anarchists and vandals, despite the fact that most of the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and much of the violence was actually perpetrated by right-wing StormTrumpers. Conway told the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends that inciting violence is now a key component of the Trump electoral strategy:

Really? Conway is expressly admitting that violence in the streets is a political advantage for the Trump campaign. Which might explain why his supporters are engaging in violence everywhere they go. It isn’t a spontaneous response to events on the ground. It’s a pre-planned tactic to advance Trump’s floundering electoral prospects. And Fox News is a partner in this heinous scheme. Wednesday night Tucker Carlson actually defended the Trump-supporting shooter of demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin:

Trump and company nevertheless insist that the unrest seen in many cities, due to the unthinkably numerous incidents of police brutality and murder of Black citizens, is what will occur across the country if Biden is elected. What they are are too dense to notice is that this is what is occurring right now in Trump’s America. Trump is making the ludicrous argument that if you don’t like what’s going on now, then vote for Trump on whose watch this all took place.

The absurdity of this “logic” is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain. That, of course, leaves out Trump’s cult followers who are already irredeemably lost in a perverse, reality TV simulation of the real world. And to those misfits, Conway’s confession that more violence will help Trump get reelected is an unambiguous call to arms. She is deliberately fueling the sort of incidents that just got two innocent people killed in Kenosha.

And make no mistake, Trump is the instigator behind all of this. He supports it and will contribute to it with the intention of exacerbating further tensions and tragedies. The problem for Trump is that he has very little left in his electoral arsenal. He cannot rehabilitate his repugnant public image. He cannot restore confidence after his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. And he can’t brag about the economy after leading the nation into recession.

So Trump is leaning on an array of dirty dealings: character assassination of Biden and other Democrats; cheating by vote suppression and assaults on election integrity; assistance from his Russian pal Vladimir Putin and networks of right-wing Internet bots; and setting cities aflame to foment fear borne of ignorance and racism. That’s how Trump is befouling democracy in 2020. And he doesn’t care about the consequences. So the rest of us need to care all the more.

UPDATE: Joe Biden addressed this issue today. In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN he quoted Conway’s remarks saying that Trump is “rooting for violence.”

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

WOW! Trump Praises CNN’s Convention Coverage While His Cult Bashes Fox News

It has long been established that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist whose sociopathic obsessions produce a total lack of concern for anything or anyone other than himself. That sort of sickness can manifest in peculiar ways. Not only will such a person viciously castigate friends and enemies alike when sufficient adoration is not forthcoming, he might also embrace bitter foes should they offer a random compliment.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Tuesday morning Trump had a hell-freezes-over moment. He tweeted praise for CNN, the network he rarely mentions without adding the derogatory prefix, “fake news.” His description of them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” is almost robotically attached to every reference he makes. But on the morning following the first day of the Dystopian Republican National Abomination, Trump took to his Twitter machine and posted this:

Legitimate news networks don’t ordinarily get praised for reporting the news. But in Trump’s world the only thing that’s relevant is if he perceives the report to be beneficial to him. Consequently, he’s appreciative of CNN for airing what he believes was two hours of a joyous celebration of Trump. Never mind that the program was neither joyous nor beneficial. In fact, the convention that Trump promised would be overwhelmingly optimistic and hopeful was more like a nightmarish devolution into fear mongering.

So in a way, Trump was right. Broadcasting more of this convention would be “good for our country.” But only because the more people saw, the more likely they would be to vote for Joe Biden.

Trump wasn’t the only one to notice the disparity in coverage from one network to another. His cult disciples were keenly aware that Fox News was repeatedly cutting away from the prerecorded speeches to feature the babbling of their anchors and analysts instead. The Trumpians didn’t like that one bit and they let it be known on Twitter:

The comment by Brad Parscale is notable because he is the senior advisor (and recently demoted chairman) to Trump’s reelection campaign. But the criticism of Hannity was especially delightful. Hannity actually cut away from the convention to whine about other networks possibly cutting away from the convention, even while the other networks were airing the convention that Hannity was talking over.

It’s entirely possibly that some of the segments that Fox News declined to air were purposefully excised from their broadcast to avoid hurting Trump. The convention speeches were mostly prerecorded. So Fox News knew the content and tone before they went to air. It’s possible, therefore, that they may have seen the Guilfoyle harangue and chose not to subject their audience to what later became the most mocked address of the night. However, it’s also possible that another reason entered into Fox’s decision to erase Guilfoyle. She was, after all, fired by Fox News in 2018 for alleged sexual misconduct.

Trump’s sudden affection for CNN is unlikely to last for more than a day or two, if that. He will soon flip back to his predictable hostility as soon as anyone on CNN is even modestly critical. Meanwhile, Trump’s love/hate relationship with Fox News will continue as usual with him slobbering over sycophantic admirers like Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, and vehemently berating those who fail to worship him with unflinching devotion.

In the meantime, we’ll see if this attempt to work the refs results in changes of coverage for the remaining three days of the convention. But Trump really needs to be careful what he wishes for. By adding more coverage he will only be assuring that more people will witness the repugnance of his alleged personality and the blind reverence of the Republican cult. Which would be, once again, good for America to see.

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

AND THEN THERE’S THIS …