Whut? Fox News Joins Donald Trump in Promoting the Deranged QAnon Conspiracy Crackpottery

The husband of Donald Trump’s senior counsel, Kellyanne Conway, recently posted a tweet with the psychiatric definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The nine enumerated criteria are a frighteningly perfect match for the obvious character flaws of our mentally infirm president. But can a cable television “news” network also suffer from this mental illness?

Fox News, Pepe

Fox New seems to be trying its darndest to prove that it is just as psychologically diseased as Trump, the president they created and adore. A recent poll revealed that Republicans who watch Fox News are mind-melded to Trump with near unanimity on policies and opinions. It’s an ideological embrace that exists only in cults wherein the followers are forced to believe everything – and only the things – that their leader tells them to.

There have been numerous examples of Fox News adopting flagrantly dishonest conspiracy theories such as the PizzaGate nonsense that alleged that Hillary Clinton and her accomplices ran a child sex/slavery ring from the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. And there was the Seth Rich matter that fantasized that Rich was a “Deep State” operative who leaked Clinton’s hacked emails and was later murdered by her assassination squad.

These are the sort of ludicrous myths that have sprung up around the Internet cesspools of right-wing hysterics like Alex Jones of InfoWars. But they were also embraced by the hosts of Fox News primetime programs like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. And now Fox has taken another leap into the abyss of wingnuttery that proves they can never be considered a legitimate news network.

On Friday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends First, “reporter” Carley Shimkus read a tweet from the anonymous Twitter account of QAnon76. The tweet itself was rather innocuous, defending Trump’s Executive Order that ostensibly protected free speech on America’s college campuses (it doesn’t actually do anything, except to divert the news cycle from all the other bad news Trump generates). However, QAnon76 is part of the larger “QAnon” movement that believes there is a secret society, headed by Trump, that is organizing to destroy the anti-Trump “Deep State” factions burrowed into the U.S. government. The Twitter account has more than 160,000 delusional followers.

It is not plausible that Fox News didn’t know who this was when they filled the screen with a graphic clearly showing the name of the tweeter. So it has to be presumed that they did it deliberately to advance their screwy, cartoon agenda. And they would be aligning with their Dear Leader, Trump, in this endeavor. Just this past weekend, Trump retweeted a video that was originally posted by the Twitter account of “Deep State Exposed,” another confirmed QAnon disciple who also posts manufactured videos of Trump assaulting journalists. And Trump actually met with a QAnon figure in the Oval Office last August.

So for anyone who wasn’t convinced that the metamorphosis of the Trump White House into a full blown conspiracy theory factory wasn’t complete, we can put those doubts to rest. And the same goes for Fox News, who are now unashamedly coordinating their message and mission with the craziest freakazoids on the InterTubes. This could pass for one of the most hilarious bits from The Onion if it weren’t all true – and bone-chillingly scary.

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

POLL: The Fox News Audience is a Fanatical, Irredeemably Warped Cult of Right-Wing Extremists

A few weeks ago the Democratic National Committee chair, Tom Perez, announced that there would be no Democratic primary debates hosted by Fox News. There was considerable debate over whether this was a constructive policy, even though Fox News itself virtually validated it by repeatedly demonstrating their abject hatred for Democrats and their all-consuming adoration of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Now a new survey affirms the decision to banish Fox News from the Democratic primary schedule. Navigator Research interviewed 1,000 voters to ascertain the ideological gaps between members of both parties and their viewing of Fox News. The results were published in their paper: “Stepping Inside the Fox Hole, The Media Echo-Chamber of Fox News,” It revealed stark differences that were directly attributable to frequent exposure to the propaganda on Fox. According to Navigator Research:

“There is an alternate reality in American politics, and it plays an outsized role in the way many experience and form opinions on the most important issues facing the country. Progressives should be mindful of the challenge from the Fox News echo-chamber and how it skews public perceptions. […] The influence of Fox News Channel is undeniable: from their audience to their biggest promoter, President Trump.”

The report went on to note that there was “near unanimity” between the Fox News viewing Republicans (what they call the “Fox Hole”) and the Trump world of “alternative facts.” These voters have opinions that are “vastly different from the rest” of the American people, and even from other Republicans who don’t watch Fox. For instance:

  • 90% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s job performance. Compared to only 71% of the non-Fox GOP and 10% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 89% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s tax reform. Compared to only 62% of the non-Fox GOP and 6% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 84% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund a border wall. Compared to only 50% of the non-Fox GOP and 7% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 89% of the Fox Hole agree with Trump’s claims of “fake news.” Compared to only 76% of the non-Fox GOP and 11% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 78% of the Fox Hole agree that Trump accomplished more than any other president in two years. Compared to only 49% of the non-Fox GOP and 4% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 78% of the Fox Hole that think that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation should be shut down. Compared to only 60% of the non-Fox GOP and 12% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.

What this tells us is what many of us have already known for years. Fox News viewers are a segment of the electorate who are almost completely unpersuadable on political matters. They are no more open to debate than members of a cult. Democrats appearing on Fox News have practically no opportunity to change the minds of anyone in their audience. It’s a total waste of time and resources.

That’s not to say that there aren’t minds in the country that can be changed, even among Republicans. However, Republicans who are not Fox News viewers can be reached on broadcast networks, local TV, or online news. And Fox News viewers who are not Republicans also watch other cable news sources and can be reached there.

But the Republicans watching Fox News – The Fox Holes – are cemented into their Trumpist mindset and are unavailable to Democratic arguments or ideas. So the DNC was right to reject Fox News as a primary debate host (although the general election debates are another matter). And Democrats should feel no need to accept invitations to be cannon fodder for biased and bigoted Fox News interrogations.

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

Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Is Donald Trump the President of the United States, or of Fox News Marketing and PR?

The torrid love affair between Donald Trump and Fox News has never been exactly secret. Fox has given him more free airtime than any other public figure. And he has granted them more interviews (40+) than all other news networks combined. And all of the exposure has been unceasingly adoring. Trump even had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends (Mornings with Trump) long before his presidential aspirations.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

The recent article in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer neatly sewed together much of the evidence proving that Fox News is not merely a conservative leaning network, but a blatantly biased propaganda mouthpiece for the President. And to demonstrate that it isn’t a relationship they are ashamed of, both Fox and Trump have escalated their fetishistic fondness for one another since the article was published. Trump, in particular, has unleashed a rash of promotions of Fox News and the shills who call it home. Just in the last four days Trump has posted ten videos from Fox:

  1. Lou Dobbs on Trump’s phony national emergency
  2. Lou Dobbs with cartoon pundits Diamond and Silk
  3. Outnumbered ranting about a “Witch Hunt”
  4. Jason Chaffetz exhibiting his undying Hillary Clinton fetish
  5. Fox and Friends pushing Trump’s idiotic vanity wall
  6. Maria Bartiromo obediently maligning the FBI
  7. Mark Levin spending seven minutes fluffing Trump with Bill Bennett
  8. Tucker Carlson doing the fake history of the Russia “hoax”
  9. Sean Hannity lying about a Democratic conspiracy against Trump
  10. Sean Hannity succumbing to his ludicrous “Deep State” dementia

Remember, this is the president who says that he doesn’t have time to watch TV because of all the documents that he has to read (as if he can read). But not only does he have plenty of time to watch TV, he even has time to feverishly post tweets of his viewing. And this doesn’t even count the numerous textual tweets that reference things he just saw on Fox News.

Last week Trump’s viewing was sufficiently disturbed that he plaintively pleaded with Fox News to return Jeanine Pirro, who Fox briefly suspended due to her flagrantly racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also stood up for Tucker Carlson whose past bigotry, and boorish profanity, was revealed in recordings from his radio guest spots with Bubba, the Love Sponge.

These promos for Fox News are pure puffery on behalf of the President for his favorite bootlicking broadcaster. It is wholly unprecedented in American politics. And the marketing executives at Fox News must be thrilled. The question is whether Trump is volunteering this assistance to Fox, or if Fox is directing it.

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

Flip-Flop: Glenn Beck Now Says that Not Reelecting Trump Would Be ‘The End of the Country’

Rising from the ashes of his failing media dung heap, Glenn Beck has reemerged to prove that nobody is a better at hyperbolic inanities than the once and future master of the blackboard arts. Best known as a conspiracy crackpot, Beck has faded into the ether while grasping desperately at straws to revive his joke of a career.

Glenn Beck

However, Fox News, the one platform that still honors the brand of idiocy that Beck excels in, has thrown him a anchor in the hopes of inflating the prospects of Donald Trump’s reelection. What could go wrong?

Beck appeared with Sean Hannity on Monday night and was characteristically Beck-ish. The key take-away from this love fest between two Trump-fluffers was Beck’s frantic assertion that “If the Republicans don’t win in this next election, I think we are officially at the end of the country as we know it.”

That’s a bold statement. Especially coming from someone who said that ObamaCare would be the country, and that Obama’s reelection would be the end of the country, and that gay marriage would be the end of the country, and that Common Core education reform would be the end of the country, and that fluorides poisoning our vital fluids (h/t Dr. Strangelove) would be the end of the country. Virtually everything that Beck ever mentioned would produce the onset of an apocalypse that would be unavoidable. Including Donald Trump.

Glenn Beck, November 2016: “This guy [Trump] is dangerously unhinged. And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”

So what might have brought about this 180 degree flip-flop on the part of Beck, who is ordinarily so stable and consistent (that’s sarcasm, btw)? Could it have something to do with the fact that his media empire is floundering? The guy who previously tried to rescue his sinking career by admitting that “So much of what I used to believe was … a sham,” has suffered an economic Armageddon of his own. His Blaze Media enterprise, which once boasted aspirations of being the next Disney, has run through a throng of executives and pallets of cash. Recently it agreed to a desperation merger with CRTV, a puny right-wing video blog run by Fox News’ Mark Levin.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough to save his sorry arse either. So he shows up Sean Hannity’s Trump Suck-Up Hour to try to reinvent himself once more in the mold of the neo-fascist demagogue he originally sought to be. But with an even more pathetic and subservient demeanor that kowtows to both Hannity and Trump. It would sad if it weren’t so gratifying that these jerks eventually get what they deserve.

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

Trump Confirms that Fox News is State TV in Bonkers Defense of Bigotry, Pirro, Carlson, et al

Now there can be no further dispute. Donald Trump has made it absolutely clear that Fox News is unambiguously State TV, and that the Trump White (Nationalism) House is inextricably intertwined with the network’s mission of propaganda and right-wing tyranny.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Tweetstorm, the President unleashed one of his most deranged outbursts of all time. It was a sustained assault on the free press, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and a democratic government that honors individual freedom. While Trump has always been an opponent of the media – which he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” – he has taken his hostility to a new low that provides incontrovertible evidence that his regime and Fox News are conjoined partners in undermining the free society principles that the United States were founded on.

Trump began his Sunday sermonizing with an attack on Saturday Night Live, which he seems to be unaware was a rerun:

That’s right. The flailing Snowflake-in-Chief is now spending his time barking at comedians, even though there supposedly a “national emergency” in progress. But even worse, he thinks that his government agencies should have the power to investigate these comics due to their having the audacity to make fun of him. If he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t give them so much material. But his inclination to use oppressive state measures to silence them should worry every patriotic American. And it wasn’t the first time he’s done this either.

What’s more, his impotent swings at SNL also include crazy allegations that the funny folks on late night TV are the ones colluding with Russia, a nation not well known for its sense of humor. And he follows that up with the false assertion that he enjoys a fifty-two percent approval rating. He got that from an ultra-biased Rasmussen poll that is now a moth old. Rasmussen currently has him at forty-eight percent, while most other polls put him the thirties.

However, if you think any of that was proof that Trump has lost his mind, you might want to sit down. Because he was just getting warmed up. His next tweets contained more of his psychotic whining about a “Witch Hunt,” followed by a personal attack on John McCain’s intelligence. How utterly repulsive for Trump to go after a dead senator/veteran who can’t defend himself. Especially for something that Trump is notably lacking in. Trump even had his “fixer” threaten his schools to keep his records secret.

Finally, Trump disgorged himself with a what could only be described as a slobbering suck-up to Fox News, the network that defends his every atrocity and maligns his critics with outright lies. What triggered Trump was the news that one of his adoring bootlickers, Jeanine Pirro, was bumped Saturday for a rerun of a tabloid documentary. While Fox wouldn’t comment on the preemption, it has been credibly speculated that they didn’t want her program to air so soon after the massacre at Muslim mosques in New Zealand, because of her recent Islamophobic comments. Based on that, Trump went to work on behalf of his bosses at Fox News:

Holy Crap! Trump is totally confirming that he and Fox News are locked in a political/governmental embrace that this country has never seen before. Not that we didn’t already know that, but Trump is shedding any pretense of independence that either of them might have sought to convey. And this comes at a time when Fox News has been trying to convince people that they are a legitimate news network capable of hosting a Democratic Party primary debate. Well, that’s blown all to hell now, isn’t it?

Trump has taken on the role of chief PR and marketing president for Fox News. And he’s offering advice that they “stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct.” When exactly have they ever done that? Trump implores Fox to “fight for our Country,” by which he clearly means to fight for him. And he warns them to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!” Obviously Trump sees this as a war, and he expects casualties.

As with his own delusional perception of his approval, Trump thinks that America is on the side of Fox News. But MSNBC has been beating them regularly for several months. Rachel Maddow is crushing her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night. And because of the obsessive bigotry of hosts like Pirro and the disgusting Tucker Carlson, Fox News is losing audience, advertisers, and revenue at an alarming rate.

If it wasn’t enough that Trump is virtually drooling over his Fox sycophants, he also found it necessary to bash the few people on the network that have a modicum of integrity:

For the record, Shepard Smith just won a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. And in his speech he gave a backhanded slap at the “opinion” hosts on the network that he fervently tries to disassociate himself from. But if you aren’t a fawning Trump-fluffer you can expect him to bring his tiny “mushroom” hammer down on you.

This Twitter tirade is the best evidence yet that Fox News cannot be taken seriously as a news network. They certainly cannot be trusted to host a Democratic primary debate. They shouldn’t even be considered as a platform for interviews by anyone but devout Trumpists. If Trump thinks that crazed outbursts like this are helpful to Fox News, he is, as usual, pitifully mistaken. It only certifies that Fox is a brazenly partisan mouthpiece for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party.

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

If Fox had any integrity they would repudiate Trump’s comments and insist that they don’t support such media bias. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Fox News knows that their audience is comprised mainly by loyal Trump cultists and they aren’t going to do anything that might alienate them or the racist white nationalists and neo-Nazis who wallow in this filth. These are the core components of their wretched business model.

Trump’s Fox News Addiction is Eating Away at His (and All Fox Viewers’) Few Remaining Brain Cells

It’s Saturday and time for another episode of The Donald Trump Weekend Tweetstorm. This is how Trump spends most of his time – Watching Fox News and posting only the most obsequious videos that mindlessly profess an undying adoration for Dear Leader.

Donald Trump, Fox News

This is the behavior of a malignant narcissist who is frightened and dependent on constant positive reinforcement to prevent him from suffering mental seizures that result in more all-caps rage-tweeting.

The morning began with a shout out to 2018’s undisputed Most Deranged Lunatic on Fox News,” Lou Dobbs, who believes that the United Nations is trying to take over the world and that special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to kill Trump. In this clip Dobbs drools over the “emotional ceremony in the White House” where Trump vetoed the bipartisan bill to reject his unconstitutional declaration of a national emergency. His guest is a regular Fox Trump-fluffer who repeatedly exalts Trump as a “great president.”

That nauseating spectacle was followed by one that puts it to shame on the Nauseous Scale. Once again, it’s Lou Dobbs, but this time hosting those brilliant political gurus, Diamond & Silk. Does Fox really consider these helium-noggins to be legitimate news analysts? Dobbs lauds Trump’s signing of his first veto and then asks the pair of cartoonish crackpots for their loopy thoughts. This leads to a predictably smarmy display of cringeworthy bootlicking wherein Demean & Sulk lambaste the Republicans who voted against the national emergency hysteria as “swampettes.”

After that embarrassment, Trump interrupted his video montage with a dumbass statement all his own:

Note that Trump is actually bragging that he told Republican members of Congress to lie in order to “look good” since this constitutional issue is just a “game” to him. He’s also asserting that he has such complete control of his party’s congressional delegation that he can order them on how to vote. What’s more, he knew that his top sycophant in the senate, Lindsey Graham, was going to block the measure anyway when it reached that body.

So that brings us to Trump’s posting of a clip from the Fox News show they call “Outnumbered,” because it pits four ultra-rightist women against one equally wingnutty man. On this episode the token male was also a token Democrat, very rarely seen on this program. But no worries, because they wouldn’t even let him talk. And that was demonstrated in the video that Trump posted. He sat there smiling uncomfortably while co-host Kennedy ranted about the FBI not reviewing the contents of Hillary Clinton’s computers (which they actually did review).

Next up was a tweet that was just a propaganda photo-op of Trump signing his first veto. He surely regards this as a historical moment where he defies the will of the Congress and the American people who oppose both his idiotic vanity wall, and his phony national emergency to fund it.

Finally, Trump posted another video from Fox News (does he ever do anything else but watch Fox?) featuring Fox and Friends co-host Ed Henry and former GOP chair of the House intelligence Committee, Jason Chaffetz, who is now a Fox contributor. They ran through some of Trump’s favorite “Witch Hunt” fear mongering that imagined FBI conspiracies and returned to the undying GOP fantasy of Hillary Clinton’s evil empire that enabled her to escape prison. Even after hundreds of hours of hearings and testimony by Republican controlled committees, as well as the efforts of Trump’s own Department of Justice.

This avalanche of derp on an otherwise pleasant Saturday morning is further proof of Trump’s declining psychological state. Never mind that he insists the nation is in the midst of a national emergency due to an invasion at the southern border, that North Korea is ready to nuke us, that the Deep State is plotting a coup, or that white nationalists are murdering innocent churchgoers. These are the things that Trump is spending his time on. And these are the things that all Fox News viewers are being directed to pay special attention to.

It’s enough to convince you that there really is a national emergency, and that right at this very moment it’s laying in bed with a sweaty remote in one hand and a Big Mac in the other, trying to get Sean Hannity or Vladimir Putin on the phone.

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

LATE BREAKING: Trump dusted off his Twitter machine for one more comment that marks a new low, even for him:

So now he’s taking shots at a Senator/veteran who passed away and can’t defend himself. And what he’s upset about is the Steele dossier (much of which has been proven to be accurate), and John McCain’s principled vote to prevent Trump and the GOP from taking healthcare away from millions of Americans. You really have to try hard to be this disgusting.

Shepard Smith Brutally Roasts Fox News in First Amendment Award Acceptance Speech

There has been one voice on Fox News who has dared to challenge the doctrinal mission of America’s most nauseatingly right-wing network. Shepard Smith is an anomaly whose continued presence is something of a mystery. As part of the so-called “news” side of Fox News (which doesn’t really exist), Smith has repeatedly exposed the lies that his own colleagues disseminate on a daily basis.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

Smith has done segments where he slammed the network’s narrative on former Donald Trump advisor Michael Flynn. He ridiculed the administration’s immigration hysteria. He spelled out precisely why the Mueller investigation is legitimate and warranted. He even got into a war of words with Sean Hannity and the other “opinion” meisters on Fox, separating himself from whatever it is that they do:

“We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.”

Smith must have some pretty embarrassing photos of Rupert Murdoch locked away somewhere. His departure from the approved political Foxisms frequently contradicts the commentaries by other hosts and contributors. By provided detailed and factual reports on issues that Fox regulars routinely lie about, he’s exposing them as purposefully dishonest. But he’s getting away with it, so far.

The most recent swipe at his network pals came while Smith was receiving a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (video below). His remarks did not explicitly identify any individual or program, but the tone was unmistakably critical of the flagrantly biased Trump sycophants who litter most of the Fox News schedule. Smith said that:

“Being accurate and honest and thorough and fair is our primary mission. It’s our professional calling. And everyone on my team takes it extremely seriously. […] We must never manipulate or invent. We must never knowingly deceive. Because to do so is a disservice to our audience and potentially injurious to our society. I am convinced that upon those who intentionally misinform, history will poorly reflect. The times ahead will test all of us as finders and disseminators of accurate information.”

Those words must sting Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, like holy water stings the devil. Their whole reason for being is to manipulate, invent, and deceive. They are Trump’s first line of defense, as well as the hostile flank assembled to malign Democrats and other Trump critics.

Fortunately, the glow of Fox News is weakening as both their audience and their advertisers are fleeing the network. They are rapidly tiring of the relentless negativity and lies. And Fox isn’t helping themselves by allowing blatant hate speech to be broadcast without any repercussions. The result is that MSNBC has been beating Fox on a regular basis for the past four months, with Rachel Maddow leading the way as the most watched program on cable news.

You have to wonder how much longer Shepard Smith will be able to make fools of his Fox associates and keep his daily program. The cult of Fox News (aka the cult of Trump) is not exactly comfortable with Smith, who they demand be fired at once. Their hostile and profane attacks are proof that the network is aimed at a hive-mind audience of blind followers who can’t tolerate any exposure to facts, or diversity of opinion. Consequently, Smith is trying their patience by providing some occasional truths and having the audacity to win awards that honor the First Amendment – something that Fox News and Trump bitterly oppose.

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

Fox News Hypes Fake Trump Front Group Formed to Conceal that the Republican Party Hates Jews

The conservative manufactured controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks concerning Israel are continuing to be inflamed by Donald Trump’s State TV division, Fox News. The House of Representatives has already passed a resolution that condemns hate of all kinds – whether directed at Jews, Muslims, or anyone else – which all Democrats voted for, but which twenty-three Republicans voted against.

Fox News, Elizabeth Pipko

The determination by Republicans and Fox News now is to slander Democrats as as anti-Semitic. That’s an absurd stretch considering that Democrats have been the most supportive party of the generally progressive views of the majority of American Jews. At the same time, Republicans have been the welcoming home of neo-Nazis and racial hate groups who are often openly lobbied by GOP candidates, including Trump.

On Monday Trump lashed out incoherently (as usual) against Democrats, saying that they are “the anti-Israel party, the anti-Jewish Party.” Never mind that Jews having been voting Democratic in overwhelming majorities (70-80%) for decades. So naturally Fox News has had to come to Trump’s rescue by participating in a fraudulent campaign to pretend that Jews are suddenly unhappy as Democrats and are leaving for the Trump Republican Nationalist Party. To that end, Fox and Friends interviewed Elizabeth Pipko (video below), a former model enlisted as the spokesperson for a group called “Jexodus.” She began her contrivance by saying that:

“I thought it was time. Obviously we saw a lot of anti-Israel policies kinda start under the Obama administration. And it got worse and worse and it was blasted on our TV screens the last month. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They can hide it, they can do whatever they want. They failed to condemn it and now it’s there. So it’s time.”

Of course, they did condemn it. But Trump was watching (as he always does) and tweeted the above quote. During the segment Pipko conceded that Jews have been generally supportive of Democrats. But she failed to grasp that the reason for that is that Democratic policies of inclusion and compassion and equality are aligned with those of most Jewish voters. And there is also a reason why neo-Nazi and racist groups have been loyal supporters of the GOP and Trump. But Pipko seemed oblivious to the fact that Jews were already satisfied with the political judgments they’ve made:

“I thought that people would at least understand – my Jewish friends of mine – would understand why I supported [Trump]. They didn’t at first, and they never changed their mind. They stuck to the narrative that President Trump is bad and they refused to change. […] I don’t think they’re going to change.”

Exactly. The choices made by Jewish voters were based on their knowledge of the political landscape with a full understanding of the issues important to them. Pipko, Fox News, and Trump seem to think they are too stupid to make a decision regarding their own best interests. So this phony front group was formed to pretend that there is a movement of disaffected Democratic Jews. Even though Pipko admitted that her own friends were still staunchly Democratic. It is reminiscent of “Blexit,” which falsely asserted that African-Americans were also abandoning the Democrats.

There is nothing genuine about this “Jexodus” nonsense, including the name. After all, “Exodus” was already about Jews involved in a mass departure. It hardly needs a “J” added to the front. But more importantly, it’s a totally fabricated crusade to demonize Democrats – especially the Jewish ones – for their independent thinking. Pipko is just another spokesmodel for the right-wing’s exclusionary dogma. And her otherwise irrelevant project would have been deservedly ignored but for the prejudiced intervention of Fox News and Donald Trump.

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

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.