Asshattery: Hannity Lashes Out at Mueller and the Report Trump Said ‘Totally Exonerates’ Him

There’s a point at which it is impossible to ignore that Donald Trump and his sycophantic bootlickers at Fox News are anything but irredeemably deranged. That point actually came long ago, but they keep reaffirming it every day with new and more absurd diatribes intended to sanitize Trump’s criminal presidency. It’s a futile exercise in shameless hackery that can only be pursued if one has zero self respect or integrity.

Fox News Sean Hannity

So naturally, Sean Hannity jumps in with both feet to demonstrate how devoid of reason the right’s defenses of Trump can be when they really put their diseased minds to it. On Thursday night he complained bitterly about Nancy Pelosi saying that she didn’t want to impeach Trump, she wanted him in prison. Hannity portrayed that as the sort of comment made in “banana republics.” Apparently he forgot that Trump leads his cult rallies in chants of “lock her up” every time hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned.

Then Hannity devoted most of the rest of his Fox News Trump-Fluffing Hour to the premise that Robert Mueller (a decorated war hero and life-long Republican public servant) is actually the leader of an evil liberal cabal bent on orchestrating a coup against the impeccably virtuous Trump regime. Never mind that Trump has been implicated in numerous criminal activities that extend from his private businesses to his presidential campaign to his inauguration and to his hopelessly corrupt administration. Not to mention his many conspicuous attempts to obstruct justice.

The whole of Hannity’s argument is that the report issued by special counsel Robert Mueller somehow proves that he set out from the start to frame Trump. Which is a pretty startling charge considering that Trump himself described the report as complete and total exoneration and that Mueller acted honorably.” But Hannity wasn’t having any of that (video below):

“We start tonight with a massive development out of the Mueller partisan witch hunt. Tonight more evidence has emerged that Bob Mueller’s 448 page report was nothing but pure, political garbage garbage full of errors put there purposely. […] He and his merry band of all Democratic donors, no Republican donors, all Trump haters – that means they lied in that report.”

Most of Hannity’s loopy rambling was based on the ludicrous and unsupported musings of conspiracy crackpot John Solomon. He was unable to comprehend that a Russian operative identified in the Mueller report might also have met with U.S. intelligence agents without that meaning he was a actually an American agent himself. In fact, U.S. intelligence agents actually make a point of encountering foreign agents as part of their investigative and surveillance duties. But that didn’t stop Hannity from making this the basis for his unhinged rant. And his preposterous attacks on Mueller just escalated as he went on. For instance:

“What this ends up being is outright deception, outright lying by Mueller, and of course his Democratic donor friends that he appointed.”

“Everything Mueller said in 9 1/2 minutes was false, it was phony, it was fake, it was innuendo, and Attorney General Barr pretty much bailed him out.”

“The pattern is clear. What we see now time and time again. The special counsel manipulates information to unjustly impugn a duly elected president of the United States.”

So Hannity is convinced that Mueller, who was appointed by a Republican Assistant Attorney General, who was himself appointed by Trump, is a Democratic plant tasked with spreading lies to destroy Trump. What an amazingly devious plot. How did Democrats get these Republicans – and even Trump – to participate in this Machiavellian scheme? But Hannity wasn’t through. He still needed to reinforce Trump’s whiny defense tactics by shamelessly parroting them:

“There was no collusion. There was no obstruction on the Trump campaign’s part. There was no conspiracy. All the Trump haters on Mueller’s team, well they just reverted to plan B. That’s a 448 page smear campaign. They created a document definitely intended to fuel even more lies, more conspiracy theories from Democrats and, of course, their allies in the abusively biased and corrupt media mob. It was a political hit job from the beginning through and through. And the President was right, it always was a witch hunt. And as far as Mueller was concerned, mission accomplished.”

Mission accomplished, indeed. Hannity truly served his purpose as Trump’s valiant martinet, maligning all those who dared to criticize Trump or attack him with the truth that he so despises. It’s a wonder how Hannity gets through these drooling harangues without bursting a vein in his forehead. But he does it in service to his master and Dear Leader who, despite holding the most powerful job in the world, is a pitiful victim of a bunch of snowflake Democrats and liberals. So sad.

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

Still Not Presidential: Trump’s D-Day TelePrompTer Spiel Marred By Disgraceful Political Rant

On the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, Donald Trump delivered a well-crafted speech paying tribute to both the fallen heroes and our wartime allies. He particularly distinguished himself by not wandering off-script and into one of his notoriously deranged, self-serving, and hostile tirades directed at his perceived political foes. And right on cue, much of the press covering the event remarked with some measure of astonishment that Trump might have finally become “presidential” and grown into the job.

Donald Trump, Presidenty

Really? How many times does this have to happen? On several occasions during his tumultuous presidency, Trump has managed stick to the words prepared for him by his professional speech writers. And each time he completes that feat the media fawns over him and his allegedly newfound respectability. But without exception Trump has disappointed them by reverting to his normal boorish self, usually within a few hours.

This time was apparently no different. Shortly after Trump delivered his premasticated oratory, Fox News released a clip of an interview he did with one of their primetime Trump-fluffers, Laura Ingraham. She sat with him for this insolent banter at the Normandy American Cemetery. Ingraham initiated the inappropriate dialog with a blatantly political question about whether he would mind if special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress. Trump mustered up his trademark loathsomeness and offered this reply (video below):

“He made such a fool out of himself because, what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong.”

First of all, Trump is confused because there has not been any “testimony” by Mueller. And let’s just set aside the fact that Trump is now staunchly opposed to Mueller testifying about the report that he says exonerates him. Because all innocent people want to suppress what they contend is proof of their innocence, don’t they? Also, it’s unseemly for Trump (a five time draft dodger) to be attacking Mueller (a decorated war hero) on this occasion, and at this place.

The meat that goes along with this whine is Trump’s assertion that Mueller “made a fool out of himself” because of some mysterious letter that allegedly admitted he was wrong about something that Trump fails to identify. The only plausible letter that Trump could be referencing is one that Mueller put out after his press conference on the completion of his investigation. But that letter merely affirmed his position on the relevence of a Justice Departemnt memo regarding whether a president could be indicted while still on office. The letter didn’t change anything about what Mueller said in either his press conference, or in the report itself. He stood by his conclusions that his office “would not reach a determination…about whether the President committed a crime” and that “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

Of course, Trump wasn’t through embarrassing himself and America. For the second time in a week he breached diplomatic protocol by devolving into rank politics while overseas. His comments about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (complete with a new, infantile nickname) were bizarrely unprovoked and insulting:

“But Nancy Pelosi, I call her Nervous Nancy, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t talk about it. Nancy Pelosi is a disaster, okay She’s a disaster. Let her do what she wants, you know what? I think they’re in big trouble.”

So while the press is all starry-eyed about Trump’s prefab speech, it’s important to remember that Trump will always be Trump. It’s a painful exercise to have to endure the media’s affinity for staged rhetoric when we know that Trump doesn’t mean a word of it, or even understands what he’s reading. And he can be counted on to revert to his customarily vile character before even a single day goes by. Just has he has done this time as well.

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

State TV (aka Fox News) Whines that US Media Isn’t Doing Enough Trump Fluffing

For the past week Donald Trump has been reaffirming his role as America’s Ambassador of International Embarrassment. On this brief junket he has managed to insult the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle), feud with the Mayor of London, call for a boycott of an American company in order to punish CNN (an unconstitutional, impeachable offense), Breach diplomatic protocol by attacking Joe Biden from foreign soil, and send orders back home to a former staffer (and current Fox News executive) to unlawfully defy a congressional subpoena.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Despite all of this evidence of his foreign fiasco, the fact that Trump has once again proven to be an incompetent, self-absorbed, loudmouth who is allergic to telling the truth, hasn’t stalled the devotional bootlicking of Fox News. On Wednesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends were primed to report on Trump’s “triumphant” mission to the United Kingdom. So in pursuit of that goal they invited their ultra-rightist media shill, Joe Concha, to opine on how Trump was maligned at the hands of the U.S. press corps. The premise that Fox tried vainly to peddle was that, while Trump was hammered here at home, he was beloved in the U.K. That phony propaganda resulted in this absurd exchange (video below):

Co-host Brian Kilmeade: “This state visit to the U.K. earning glowing reviews – get this – in Britain. But back here in the U.S. – or whatever planet we’re on – the American media is telling a whole different story.”
Concha: (on the British press): “They’re on the ground. They know how London works. They know the people. And they’re portraying this thing a lot more positively, as you just showed, than the U.S. media who’s concentrating almost solely on these protests. […] That’s the problem. We’re getting way too many opinions based solely on speculation and how people perceive things instead of what people see on their screens.”

Kilmeade’s assertion that the British press was unanimously “glowing” was based on a few headlines that he featured in a graphic. The only problem is that not one of them actually praise Trump. In fact, they were merely Trump paying tribute to the Queen:

  • Donald Trump praises ‘eternal friendship’ at state banquet (BBC)
  • Trump hails ‘common values’ uniting UK and US (Financial Times)
  • Donald Trump state banquet speech: US President says Queen embodies ‘patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart’ (Evening Standard)
  • ‘Treasured Friendship’ Trump in tribute to ‘great, great’ Queen who inspired UK to win WW2 (The Sun)

Meanwhile, those same news sources also ran with these headlines that Fox News ignored:

  • Anti-Trump protesters mix humour with expletives {BBC)
  • Trump sends mixed messages on US-UK trade deal (Financial Times)
  • Protesters cry ‘Nazi’ as Donald Trump attends D-Day event (Evening Standard)
  • Donald Trump sparks massive NHS row as he says health service must be on the table (The Sun)

So Fox News is blatantly disinforming their viewers about the coverage of Trump by the British media. It is, in fact, nearly identical to the coverage in the U.S. And if it’s negative, that’s only because he’s such a predictable screw-up.

But what’s truly bizarre is Concha’s complaint that there are “way too many opinions” in the U.S. press. And he’s saying that, unironically, on Fox News. What’s more, his criticism that coverage is “based solely on speculation and how people perceive things” is downright laughable considering he’s saying it to Kilmeade who, just the day before, told viewers that “boos” from the crowd when Ivanka Trump and John Bolton walked by were for Bolton. How Kilmeade divined that was unexplained.

This is the sort of feverishly pro-Trump hackery that is the hallmark of Fox News. They are so determined to exalt Dear Leader at every opportunity that they utterly abandon reason and reality. And above all, they continue to push the notion that the media would be so much better if only it slobbered over Trump the way they do. Yet somehow they they still believe that they should be taken seriously as a news network.

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

Trump Orders Fox News VP Hope Hicks to Break the Law By Withholding Docs From Congress

One of the most brazenly dishonest claims emanating from Donald Trump was expressed recently in this tweet saying that “there has NEVER been a President who has been more transparent.” Of course, the truth is that Trump has been extraordinarily resistant to allowing full and unfettered investigations into his activities as President, as a candidate, and as a private businessman.

Hope Hicks

Trump famously refused to grant special counsel Robert Mueller an interview. He declined to answer questions in written form. And most recently he decreed that he will fight any and all requests for information coming from Congress, and will oppose any attempts to subpoena documents or testimony. He has already seen to it that senior administration officials have put themselves in legal jeopardy by failing to comply with lawful subpoenas. They include White House counsel Don McGahn, Attorney General William Barr, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

However, now Trump has taken another unprecedented step into the realm of pure totalitarianism to which he clearly aspires. He sent a letter to former White House aides Annie Donaldson and Hope Hicks advising them to break the law as well by ignoring document subpoenas. These women are no longer in the employ of the President and their compliance is not covered by assertions of executive privilege. Donaldson was the deputy White House Counsel under McGahn. But Hicks, who served as Trump’s Communications Director, has a unique problem.

Hope Hicks is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for the Fox Corporation, which is the parent company of Fox News. That means that Trump is actually ordering an employee of Fox to disobey a congressional subpoena. Any other corporation would have a hard time justifying adherence to such a request. Particularly a news enterprise that is supposed to be independent of political associations.

The question of Fox’s political independence, of course, is a joke. There has never been a news enterprise more closely tied to an American president than Fox News is to Donald Trump. They were responsible for his election. And ever since they have showered him and his agenda with praise, while viciously attacking his critics. The top figures on the network (Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, etc.) have appeared at his cult rallies and given him private advice on both politics and policy.

Nevertheless, it is troubling that Trump is in a position to bark orders at executives of Fox News. This surpasses the ethical depravity of his recent call for a boycott of AT&T in order to punish CNN. If Fox obeys Trump’s commands they are complicit in his efforts to cover up his crimes. What’s more, they are derelict in their duty to cover the news by endorsing the President’s attempts to suppress it. They are, in effect, making themselves accomplices to obstruction of justice.

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

Fox News has not commented on Trump’s illegal demands on Hicks to withhold information that Congress has constitutional authority to request. But they have previously defended Trump when he ordered former staffers to disobey subpoenas. So why would Fox change their opinion now? Well, for one thing, the others were not employed by Fox. Will that matter to a network whose political partisanship is so obvious? We’ll see. But don’t expect Fox News to the honorable thing. It’s not in their blood.

Wannabe Dictator Trump Calls For Boycott of AT&T to ‘Do Something’ About CNN

The last time Trump left the country he breached diplomatic protocol in Japan with an infantile political attack on Joe Biden. At the same time, he took sides with Kim Jong Un, the murderous tyrant with whom he fell in love.” And now Trump is travelling abroad again, but this time, as he prepared to depart for the U.K., he managed to embarrass America before he even left by insulting the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Having arrived in England, Trump sought to escalate his diplomatic incompetence with another attack on the U.S. media. That in itself is to be expected from the president who hates the freedoms protected by the First Amendment and regards the press as “the enemy of the people.” However, this time he is attacking American institutions from foreign soil and attempting to bully them into obedience to his will.

These comments are despicable on many levels. First of all, he is admitting that the only news source he is comfortable watching is the Trump-fluffing sycophants of Fox News. And when away from home, he desperately needs Fox to stroke his fragile ego. Furthermore, he fails to document he what describes as “all negative” with any examples. Suffice to say that any criticism of him was enough to get him to change the channel to less objectionable programming like cooking or golf.

Trump is also displaying his utter ignorance of the television business. CNN is not only enjoying their highest ratings in years, they are more profitable than ever. But no one will be surprised that Trump is either stupid or lying. That’s the new normal for the Era of Trump.

The worst part of this Twitter tirade, though, is Trump’s gleeful assault on an American business. He doesn’t care who he hurts so long as he can get vengeance for whatever slight he thinks he’s the victim of. That’s typical of his inherent weakness and narcissism. But make no mistake, his petulant whining is aimed at more than 250,000 employees of an American company. It is totally unprecedented for an U.S. president to call for a boycott of an U.S. company with tens of thousands of American workers. And his malicious smear is even worse coming from overseas.

And as if all of that weren’t bad enough, Trump’s attack is based on his displeasure with how the free press is doing their job. What he thinks is negative reporting is really just a factual representation of what he actually does and says. The media can’t help it if his words and actions are glaringly dumb and harmful. And what exactly does Trump think that AT&T should do? He insists that they should be “forced to make big changes at CNN.” But forcing the press to behave in a manner that is acceptable to political leaders is what we would expect from the fascist regimes that control their media. Which is what Trump is advocating and yearning for.

What’s more, while he whines that the world “gets a false picture of USA” from CNN, the world has actually made a deliberate choice. Fox News used to be carried in the U.K. but they discontinued their service two years ago because nobody was watching it A company spokeswoman said that…

“Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”

So Trump wants to boycott AT&T, hurt American workers, and dishonor the Constitution, all in an effort to bully the media into slobbering over him the way Fox News does. Never mind that the Brits have already rejected the lies and propaganda that is the hallmark of Fox’s deceitful brand of “journalism.” Like his pals Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin, Trump wants to coerce the press into acting like his own personal PR agency. And the sentiments in these tweets are direct attacks on the free press, as well as free markets. They are are antithetical to long held and cherished American principles. But then, so is almost everything Trump does and says.

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

Fox News Issues a Ludicrous Defense of Laura Ingraham’s Support for White Nationalists

On Thursday night, Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News’ primetime “The Ingraham Angle,” made some nauseating, albeit typical, remarks of the sort that have endeared her to racists, neo-Nazis, and white nationalists everywhere. It’s not the first time she’s unleashed such repugnant commentaries, but it is one of the most flagrant (video below).

Laura Ingraham, Fox News

In the hours that have passed since Ingraham’s bigoted outburst she has been roundly criticized by thousands of decent people who were understandably offended and refuse to tolerate such vile hate speech. And eventually Fox News found it necessary to make an official statement regarding the controversy. Suffice to say that Fox was not apologizing:

“It is obscene to suggest that Laura Ingraham was defending Paul Nehlen’s despicable actions especially when some of the names on the graphic were pulled from an Associated Press report on best known political extremists banned from Facebook. Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech and the intent of the segment was to highlight the growing trend of unilateral censorship in America.”

What’s obscene is that Fox News can defend Ingraham’s unabashed support for an avowed neo-Nazi. Fox claims that Ingraham was not defending Nehlen, but the actual comments on her show prove that Fox is lying. Contrary to Fox’s description of some “political extremists,” Ingraham explicitly portrayed Nehlen, and seven other ultra-rightists, as innocent victims of unhinged lefties:

“They’re trying to bully social media, satirists, people with comedic flair […] Their goal is to use Russian hacking threats and manipulation of social media as part of a larger movement to silence conservative voices ahead of the 2020 election.”

So Ingraham is painting people like Nehlen, conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones, Islamophobe Laura Loomer, et al, as merely comedians, but also as legitimate voices of conservatism. She says that they are only proponents of “border enforcement” and “national sovereignty.” And she regards these false allegations of censorship as akin to the Russian election interference in 2016. It takes phenomenal mental derangement to execute that level of dishonest spin-meistering.

The statement from Fox News also sought to wave off any criticism because the people that Ingraham chose to praise were mentioned in an article by the Associated Press. So what? The AP didn’t pay tribute to them as embattled heroes of the right. In fact, they described them as “people and groups promoting objectionable material such as hate, racism and anti-Semitism.” And that is unambiguously true for Nehlen whose anti-Semitism and racism has been on display for years. He has even called for race wars and pondered the “Jewish Question.”

What’s more, Fox must have been joking when they said that “Anyone who watches Laura’s show knows that she is a fierce protector of freedom of speech. She is literally the author of a book called Shut Up and Sing,” whose thesis is that anyone who isn’t a politician or a pundit has no right to express a political opinion. She did a whole segment where she demanded that LeBron James and Kevin Durant should shut up and dribble after they criticized Donald Trump. She even lashed out a teenage survivor of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting for having the audacity to speak out for gun safety.

That’s what Fox News regards as a “fierce protector of freedom of speech?” It’s bad enough that Ingraham goes on the air every night to advance her cause of prejudice and privilege – along with her colleagues Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. But for Fox to put out a defense of that abhorrent philosophy only makes matters worse. But it is, in the end, just what should be expected of a network whose whole reason for being is to oppress minorities, women, and anyone they believe threatens the authority of the white upper class.

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

Fox News Spanks Guests for Citing ‘Doctored’ Pelosi Video, Fails to Mention Trump Tweeted It

The massive disinformation factory that we know as Fox News manufactures countless lies and propaganda messages on behalf of their benefactor in the White house, Donald Trump. It is a daily (hourly) chronicle of fake news and fluff pieces devoted to exalting Dear Leader and maligning his critics. But every now and then even they go too far and require a stern finger-wagging.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

For some utterly unexplainable reason Fox News regards the minstrel show duo, Diamond and Silk, as legitimate political analysts. Fox regularly features these allegedly comic dunces in segments that pretend that their opinions and laughable presentations aren’t really as humiliating as they appear. And on Friday morning they outdid themselves with their holy-roller style rhetoric that proved nothing but what shallow losers they are (video below).

As part of their spiel, Demean and Sulk lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the process they referenced a badly edited video that made Pelosi appear to be intoxicated. The video has been repudiated by every legitimate news enterprise, and even some illegitimate ones like Fox News. In fact, after the D&S segment, Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox and Friends, read a denunciation of the video:

“During the Diamond and Silk segment they mentioned Nancy Pelosi. I think they … I was unfamiliar with what they were talking about. I’m looking at foxnews.com, there’s a story:

“‘Manipulated videos of Nancy Pelosi edited to falsely depict her as drunk spread on social media. And according to a report from the Washington Post, experts believe the original video was slowed down to 75% from the original and that her pitch was also manipulated in order to present her under the influence.’

“Not a real video. It’s doctored.”

It stretches the bounds of probability that Doocy was actually unfamiliar with the video since it has been a viral story for two days now. But at least he took the time to acknowledge that the comments by D&S were untrue. Even though he tainted the “correction” in the eyes of Fox viewers by attributing it to the Washington Post, which they all regard as “fake news.”

What Doocy left out entirely is that Donald Trump also featured the phony video in a tweet that he captioned in all caps, “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE” So Trump not only helped to spread these repulsive lies, he elaborated on them in his own words. But for some reason this didn’t warrant a mention on Fox and Friends during a segment that explicitly chastised the use of it.

The actual Diamond and Silk segment could have been a Saturday Night Live routine without any rewriting. The main spokesperson (I think it was Silk, but does anyone really know?) slandered Pelosi saying that “She can’t even form a complete sentence without looking perplexed and confused.” And that “We’re all questioning her mental capacity. She always look like she’s a non-functioning alcoholic. She slur her words.” And that “She is deteriorating like a snowflake.”

Among other thing, D&S asserted that Pelosi had “lost control of the House.” Never mind that she has presided over a remarkably productive session with over 150 bills passed. They went on to whine about the investigations of Trump’s unsavory associations with Russia and obstruction of justice. They insisted, parroting Trump, that it’s Democrats who should be investigated.

It’s political discourse like this that has earned Fox News (aka State TV) its reputation as a low brow disseminator of pseudo-news for the cognitively impaired. And what’s really sad is that Fox’s own anchors and hosts aren’t any more respectable as journalists than these two frightwig models.

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

Here’s a Solution for Trump’s Whining that ‘Something Strange is Going on at Fox News’

The single most predictable expression emanating from Donald Trump at any given moment is his relentless, childish whining. If he isn’t whining about the Mueller investigation, he’s whining about something a Democrat said, or the “fake news,” or Hillary Clinton’s emails, or invading caravans of refugees at the border, or China, or Iran, or worst of all, Obama. And that’s the short list.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

A new entry into Trump’s parade of targets for his whine-feasting is one that many might not have expected. Although no one and nothing is safe from his wrath because all it takes is one slip up and you’re on his shitlist. But his recent attack on Fox News certainly raised some eyebrows.

During his latest cult rally in Pennsylvania, Trump ricocheted from one random nuisance to another with his typical flair for incoherence. He threatened to have his Attorney General, William Barr, investigate Democrats and the FBI for treason. He “joked” about serving five terms as president. And he accused Joe Biden of “deserting” Pennsylvania by moving to Delaware with his parents – when he was ten years old. This is a new wrinkle on his abhorrent policy of separating families. And then he unleashed this brilliant bit of paranoid mush (video below):

“What’s going on with Fox, by the way? They’re putting more Democrats on than Republicans. Something strange is going on at Fox, folks! Something very strange. […] Somebody’s gonna have to explain the whole Fox deal to me?”

Somebody’s gonna have to explain nearly everything to Trump. But more to the point, that was Trump’s response to the town hall Fox News aired on Monday with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. But more importantly, it was Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop where only his views – and those of his GOP allies – are authorized to be broadcast. And if Fox should dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, they are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and him personally. He did exactly the same thing after the Bernie Sanders town hall on Fox.

Trump is actually right in an odd way. Research by Media Matters found that Democrats do appear on Fox News with some frequency. In fact, that occurs far more often than the cowardly Republicans appear on CNN or MSNBC. Trump himself is the King of the Cowards. He has not done an interview with either of those networks since becoming President.

Part of the reason that Fox News is hosting more Democrats than usual is that the Democratic primary field currently consists of twenty-four candidates. However, there is solution to this foreboding problem. Since Trump believes that there are too many Democrats taking up airtime on Fox News, all they need to do is schedule some more Republicans to even out the alleged imbalance. At the moment there is only one other Republican challenging Trump for the GOP nomination. That’s former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld.

As the chief executive of a large state that generally skews blue, Weld should be considered at least as viable a candidate as Buttigieg, the mayor of a small town in rural Indiana. Although Weld is taking on an incumbent president, that shouldn’t be a consideration for a legitimate, independent news network. If Fox News isn’t a Trump-fluffing propaganda operation, they should have no problem inviting Weld to do a town hall.

On the other hand, if Fox fails to offer an invitation to Weld, they are conceding that they are in the tank for Trump and will abide no opposition. To date there is no indication that any such invitation has been proffered. This seems like a perfect opportunity for Weld to approach Fox and insist that he be given the same consideration as Buttigieg, Sanders, and Trump. He is a serious contender with a platform that resonates with millions of Americans. And he would satisfy Trump’s call for Fox News to book more Republicans. So it’s time for Fox to step up and try to prove that they have at least a sliver of journalistic integrity. That, of course, may be too much to ask.

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

Fox News Riles Big Baby Trump By Hosting Buttigieg Town Hall Rather than More Trump-Fluffing

For anyone who isn’t yet convinced that Fox News is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump Cult Enterprises (or maybe vice versa), Donald Trump has helped to affirm this fact himself. In a pair of tweets that reveal just how tightly integrated they are, the reality TV president made it clear that there should be no wavering on Fox’s mission to prop up all things Trump. And that also means shunning non-Trump news.

Fox News Friends

When Pete Buttigieg agreed to appear on Fox News for a town hall, he articulated his justifications for doing so. They were essentially the same as those by other Democrats who mistakenly believe that there is some merit to lending their credibility to a propaganda outfit that hasn’t earned it and doesn’t deserve it. In short, they argue that they need to reach out to Fox’s viewers. But there are other venues to communicate with any Fox viewer who isn’t devoutly pro-Trump. And those who are need not be bothered with. In the meantime, it’s counterproductive to help Fox earn more respect and revenue with which they will trash Democrats.

Nevertheless, Buttigieg showed up for the town hall ready to address what was expected to be an unfriendly encounter. Surprisingly, the audience was fairly receptive to his remarks. In particular they applauded vigorously when he said of Trump’s vile and infantile antics that “It is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away.” He also enjoyed a standing ovation at the end that caught anchor Chris Wallace off guard.

But Trump’s reaction to this program was somewhat different. He angrily tweeted that it’s:

Trump is giving away the propaganda game here. He is complaining that Fox News had the audacity to cover someone running for president other than the officially designated candidate of the Fox Nationalist Party. He did exactly the same thing following the Bernie Sanders town hall on Fox. According to Trump, just giving a Democrat one hour out of twenty-four is evidence that the network is “moving to the wrong side.” Even that phrasing indicates Trump’s impression is that Fox News is on his side and against his enemies.

Trump segues from that nonsense to taking a swipe at Wallace who he says “never speaks well of me.” Setting aside the fact that that’s patently false, a more interesting fact is that Trump is so scared of Wallace that he’s never granted him an interview as President. Which is ironic since the rightists in Fox World are always accusing Democrats of fearing Fox. The truth is just the opposite. Media Matters has done the research and found that Democrats appear on Fox News far more often than Republicans appear on CNN or MSNBC.

So what did Buttigieg gain by submitting to Fox? He earned a rebuke from Fox for having done so. The following morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends tore into Buttigieg for speaking candidly about what happens “when you see what goes on with some opinion hosts on this network.” He elaborated saying…

“I mean when you’ve got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make America dirty, when you’ve got Laura Ingraham comparing detention centers and children in cages to summer camps, then there is a reason why anybody has to swallow hard and think twice before participating in this media ecosystem.”

That drew the ire of Fox’s Brian Kilmeade who went on an extended rant where in warned prospective Fox guests that they shouldn’t show up if they intend to speak their minds and tell the truth:

“Don’t hop on our channel and continue to put down the other hosts on the channel. If you feel that negative about it, don’t come.”

Perhaps Fox News should publish a guidebook outlining what is and isn’t allowed to be said on their network. Because if you say anything the least bit critical you’re scolded and maligned for having “absolutely no courage” despite your presence in their studio. Then, for good measure, Kilmeade went on to lie about Trump’s tax cuts which Buttigieg correctly said benefited the wealthy. Kilmeade disputed that saying that the cuts were aimed at corporations (Is that better, or even different?) and that “the smallest tax cut was for those who pay the most.”

All of these lies and insults took place the morning after the Buttigieg town hall. They were done without giving Buttigieg an opportunity to respond. There was no Democratic voice on to set the Foxies straight. And the Buttigieg bashing continued on Fox News throughout the rest of the morning broadcasts and surely continued for the remainder of the day.

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

So how exactly did the hour that Buttigieg got justify the countless hours of attacks and lies? The lesson from both Sanders and Buttigieg is that doing these Fox town halls only sets you up for attacks without providing any benefit whatsoever. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have stated publicly that they will not be submitting to Fox. The rest of the Democratic field should take heed and do the same.

Hypocritical GOP Rep Says Insults are ‘Intellectually Void’ – But Ignores Trump and Fox News

The competition for rank hypocrisy in American politics has rarely been as one-sided as it has been since the advent of Donald Trump. He and his Republican Nationalist Party have dominated the field with brazenly dishonest rhetoric that stretches the outward boundaries of Olympic-grade duplicity and deceit.

Fox News Trump

Trump is the most shameless purveyor of pretense this country has ever seen. He says that he supports access to health care for every American while he’s cutting services and sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. He says that he’s for the environment while slashing regulations and dismantling the EPA. He ways that no one is a stronger advocate for women while he nominates judges who have sworn to decimate their civil and human rights. There are many more examples of Trump’s perfidy and that of the party that has devolved into little more than his blindly devoted pep squad.

One of the worst offenders is Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas. He recently sought to criticize Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her honorable decision to shun a Fox News invitation to do a town hall. She correctly called the network a “hate-for-profit racket,” which is an apt description for an alleged “news” enterprise that exists only to malign Democrats and liberals. Crenshaw was obviously upset with Warren’s brave and well -articulated position, so he tweeted smugly:

First of all, someone needs to help Crenshaw with his math. On its best night Fox News gets only about three million viewers. That’s less than one percent of America. So Crenshaw was only off by forty-nine percent. What’s more, Warren wasn’t showing any contempt for those viewers at all. She was showing well-deserved contempt for Fox News itself, where “racism and hate” are projected on a 24/7 basis.

Where Crenshaw’s hypocrisy tips the scale though is with his complaint about “labeling and insults.” Has he been in a coma for the past two years? The leader of his party has spent most of his term in office insulting his opponents and critics in the most childish manner imaginable. His infantile nicknames and vulgar put-downs have become the hallmark of his character (or rather, lack thereof). Hasn’t Crenshaw heard Trump’s cholicky whining about “Crooked” Hillary or “Crazy” Bernie or “Low IQ” Maxine Waters? Not to mention the profane slurs directed at Sen. “The Dick” Blumenthal or House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam “Schitt.”

Of course Trump’s State TV operation (aka Fox News) is just as bad. They routinely lash out at Democrats with similarly disparaging comments. If you watch Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham or Tucker Carlson, you’ll have noticed that they rarely mention any Democrat’s name without appending an insulting preface to it. They usually resort to various versions of “liar, creepy, disgusting, traitorous,” or “idiot.”

So if Crenshaw had any shred of integrity he would renounce both Trump and Fox News for their boorish behavior that he correctly believes is “a cheap attempt to undermine ideas.” But don’t hold your breath. Crenshaw isn’t the least bit interested in decency or fairness. If he were he wouldn’t have gotten literally everything wrong in that impudent tweet. But he can rest assured that he has a bright future with either the Republican Party or Fox News. He could even be the next Jeanine Pirro:

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