Majority Say Trump Does Not Have the Mental Soundness to Serve: Fox News Poll

There is trouble in the Realm of the Stable Genius. And the more that reality contradicts the fantasy life of Donald Trump, the more bizarre and dangerous his delusional tales become. But Trump is, without a doubt, his biggest booster. He has to be. No one else with any scrap of credibility wants the job.

Donald Trump, coronavirus

Trump is constantly telling anyone who still bothers to listen that he is brilliant and infallible. He says he knows more than the generals about war; more than economists about the economy; more than doctors about healthcare. And always, Trump insists that he has a mind that is far superior to those of mere mortals.

Sadly for Trump, he has failed miserably at persuading the American people that any of that is true. A poll by his State TV Propaganda Network (aka Fox News), was just published that asked voters “Do you think Donald Trump has the mental soundness to serve effectively as president?” A majority of the people (51% to 43%) responded that he does not.

Of course, anyone paying attention to the steady stream of Trump’s incoherent babbling, whining, and flagrant lying, already arrived at this conclusion long ago. But the fact that Fox News is validating it with their poll has some significance and provides a stinging rebuke to Trump’s laughable self-appraisals.

What’s worse for Trump is that when Fox asked the same question about Joe Biden, a plurality of voters (47% to 39%) responded saying that he is mentally fit to serve. And that is after Trump has spent months trying to malign Biden, particularly with regard to his mental competence. That effort on Trump’s part has actually backfired.

Another poll published last week by Monmouth University had similar results. Only 35% said they are “very” or “somewhat” confident of Trump’s mental stability. A majority of 54% said they are “not to” or “not at all” confident. Biden’s numbers are the complete opposite with 52% saying they are “very” or “somewhat” confident, and only 35% saying they are “not to” or “not at all” confident.

Following the release of the Fox News poll, Trump was interviewed by Chris Wallace, who actually brought up this question. Which led to one of the most peculiar exchanges between a president and the press ever recorded:

Notice that Trump didn’t actually respond to the fact that a majority of the American people think he’s too demented to be president. Setting that aside, Trump’s “challenge” to both Biden and Wallace to take the test and compare results is a typical Trumpian dodge. That’s because he has not – and will not – release his own results. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time that Trump has issued this challenge. He is apparently exceptionally proud of the fact that he can identify an elephant and count backwards from 100. Well, allegedly. Without seeing his results we really don’t know if he “aced it” or even passed it.

In addition to the Fox News poll’s findings on Trump’s mental infirmities, it also showed Trump…

  • Losing to Biden by eight points
  • Losing women by 19 points
  • Losing Blacks by 64 points
  • Losing Hispanics by 30 points
  • Losing millennials by 22 points
  • Behind on favorability (Trump 43% / Biden 54%)
  • Negative on compassion (Trump 36% / Biden 56%)
  • Negative on intelligence (Trump 42% / Biden 51%)
  • Negative on judgment (Trump 40% / Biden 52%)
  • Less trusted on race relations (-21 points)
  • Less trusted on the coronavirus (-17 points)

And as if that weren’t enough, only 26% percent say they are better off than four years ago. A national mask-wearing order for indoor spaces is favored by 71%. Voting by mail is favored by 63%. Continuing the extra $600/week unemployment benefit is favored by 62%. There is almost nothing positive for Trump to cling to in this survey.

The Trump interview featured some nuggets of nonsense as well. Trump repeated his ludicrous assertion that testing for the coronavirus causes cases; he callously stated that the death toll “is what it is”; he claimed that he’s not losing because all the polls are fake; and he floated the crackpot conspiracy theory that “children are taught in school to hate our country.” These are the same schools that he is now recklessly pushing to reopen, which is also unpopular according to the Fox poll.

What’s more, Trump refused to say that he would accept the results of election if he lost. He railed some more about mail-in voting being rigged. And when asked “How will you regard your years as president” after your term ends, he replied “I think I was very unfairly treated […] I’ve been very unfairly treated. And I don’t say that as paranoid. Everybody says it.” Then he he repeated his oft-stated lie that Obama and Biden spied on his campaign.

Finally, Trump made a point of telling Wallace that “I’m not a big fan of Fox, I’ll be honest with you. They’ve changed a lot since Roger Ailes.” Actually, Trump isn’t a fan of any inference of negativity, regardless of where it comes from. And Trump missing former Fox CEO Roger Ailes isn’t surprising since they both have shared being dishonest, right-wing, sexual predators. But Trump still favors Fox News as his network of choice. It is almost the only network that he grants interviews. And his favorite media personalities (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, etc.) are all on Fox.

However, Trump isn’t shy about “working the refs” in an attempt to get Fox to be even more fawning and servile. So no matter how many times Trump says that it’s So Hard to Watch Fox News Anymore,” he keeps coming back for more fluffing and ego-stroking.

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

Fearful Trump’s Extremist Attacks Are Escalating and It’s Only Going to Get Worse

There is an unmistakable stench of desperation in the White House that is spreading like a virus. Donald Trump may be as delusionally confident as ever on the surface, but his behavior is more reflective of someone consumed by fear and a grossly misperceived sense of victimization. This has lead to a new “scorched earth” reelection approach to attacking Joe Biden and a nastier, more toxic campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Zombie

Trump has plenty to be worried about. His negligent and incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in a tragic surge that exceeds anything seen throughout the world. The economy is in recession and more than 40 million Americans have faced unemployment. There is civil unrest in the streets of America protesting systemic racism, while Trump is advocating for Confederate traitors who fought to preserve slavery. And his reelection campaign is coming apart at the seams amidst historically low polling and abysmal approval ratings.

As Trump’s mental state deteriorates, his paranoia increases. He has begun administering “loyalty tests” to staffers in the White House and virtually every cabinet agency, including the Pentagon. He and his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) are entertaining bizarre election theories aimed more at soothing his fragile ego than winning in November. And he sees himself as tormented by everyone from former advisors like John Bolton (see his book here) to family members like his niece Mary Trump (see her book here).

Consequently, Trump is resorting to ever more drastic methods of extraction from the electoral Mariana Trench he has dug himself into. He is ramping up his attacks on Joe Biden with allusions to his mental health. That’s a treacherous slope considering that the American people regard Trump as more mentally unfit than Biden. He sat for what he probably thought would be a softball Fox News interview, but ended up getting fact-checked live by Chris Wallace. Trump was called out for his lies about Biden’s position on defunding the police.

However, Trump’s primary concerns are never about the issues that are most important to the American people. He is endlessly and exclusively obsessed with his own welfare and image. Which explains much of his recent outrage over the media’s coverage of his floundering campaign. following his disastrous cult rally in Tulsa, Trump tweeted…

Trump’s uniquely deranged notion that TV ratings are “the real polls” is a perspective that can only come from someone whose otherwise pitifully thin resume is dominated by having hosted a reality TV game show for fourteen years. However, even by his own measure, Trump is a pathetic loser. The ratings for his tongue bath – er, interview – with Sean Hannity don’t look so good when compared to the ratings for Rachel Maddow’s interview of Mary Trump. Hannity pulled in 5.11 million viewers, while Maddow drew 5.23 million.

“Maddow’s sit-down with President Donald Trump’s niece drew a record 5.23 million viewers to the show, leading every show on cable and broadcast in primetime Thursday. […] Thursday’s edition also claimed the largest viewership for a regularly scheduled show in MSNBC’s history.”

So does Trump still believe that these are the real polls? Or will this just incite even more outrageous tweets that defy coherent explanation? It’s most likely going to spur more intense “hyperbollocks,” which is my word combining “hyperbole” and “bollocks” to describe rhetoric that is both exaggerated and unfathomable rubbish.

Regardless, Trump’s warped sociopathy is bound to get worse as the honest depictions of his failures continue to batter him mercilessly. so prepare yourselves for his his attacks on Biden that will grow ever more unhinged in the coming weeks. He simply cannot handle reality, and thus reacts by inventing psychotic fantasies wherein he is infallible and omnipotent. Unfortunately, he also reacts with greater hostility and viciousness. And where that might lead between now and January 20, 2021, is both a mystery and a troubling concern for this nation and the world.

UPDATE: The Washington Post published an editorial that reveals that the “scorched earth” strategy described above has actually been documented and circulated in the White House:

“President Trump has launched a slash-and-burn campaign against an exaggerated caricature of his Democratic opponent, casting former vice president Joe Biden as a destroyer of basic freedoms and a threat to voter’s safety who would ‘let terrorists roam free’ and ‘abolish the American way of life.’ […] In new advertising, tweets and public statements that began to appear earlier this month, Trump has argued that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a harbinger of chaos and destruction, depicting a fantastical scarecrow largely divorced from reality.”

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. And Biden, his surrogates, and Democrats everywhere need to be vigilant and ready to respond.

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

Fox News Insiders: They Created a White Supremacist Cell Inside the Network

The flamingly racist rhetoric of Donald Trump is somehow managing to heat up even further. His remarks supporting the Confederate flag, and the statues of the slavery proponents it represents, cut deeply into the concept of equality for all Americans. And his latest public statements have included thinly veiled bigotry such as his assertion that Joe Biden, if elected, will pursue policies that will bring an end to the white exclusivity of suburbia by prohibiting discrimination in the housing market.

Fox News, KKK

Trump’s reinvigorated boldness in advancing such blatant prejudice is attributable to two primary factors. First, there is his desperation resulting from how poorly he is doing in presidential polling. Biden is steamrolling him in every national poll, as well as in every crucial swing state. and his job approval rating is in the gutter.

Secondly, Trump is buoyed by his State TV Propaganda Network, Fox News, that remains devoted to him and his Republican cult despite his frequent attacks on the network. And Fox has particularly embraced the racist themes that have long been an integral part of Trump’s persona (as recently affirmed by his niece, Mary Trump).

The allegations of racism by Fox News are nothing new. The network was birthed in the bigotry of its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. But now there are increasing numbers of voices from within that are beginning to leak out to the world. The Daily Beast interviewed some of Fox’s Black staffers who took part in an internal company conference call discussing racial issues in the workplace. And as the Daily Beast described it, “It wasn’t pretty.” According to the Daily Beast, “participants on the call expressed anger and distress about rampant racism at Fox, both on- and off-air.”

“The Daily Beast spoke to more than a dozen Fox News insiders, who all suggested that behind the scenes there is a growing despair among employees about the network’s role in demonizing and spreading fear about Black Americans in particular. One employee was especially angry, saying, ‘They created a cell—they created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America, the one that directly influences the president… This is rank racism excused by Murdoch.'”

And what’s more…

“The network frequently deploys right-leaning Black contributors and guests to give cover to racially insensitive content. ‘That’s something they routinely do—they turn out these people, like Candace Owens, to support these things, and use Black apologists to denigrate other Black men and women and victimize them.'”

The article features examples of overt racism from Fox’s most watched hosts, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. A senior writer for Carlson’s program just got axed after his virulently racist comments on the Internet were revealed. Carlson issued a typically Foxian non-apology apology wherein he never even mentioned what the writer had done wrong. But he did attack anyone who took pleasure from the bigot’s departure from the show.

The outrage expressed by these Black Fox Newsers was met generally with either disingenuous platitudes or outright indifference by Fox brass. But the fact that they remain at the network and are able to continue disclosing what they see from inside the bubble is promising. It may even expose more of Trump’s rancid hatred as he continues to appear almost exclusively on the network that serves as his Ministry of Propaganda.

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

Fox News Furiously Spins Poll of Imaginary ‘Secret’ Trump Voters

The electoral landscape just seems to get worse for Donald Trump with each passing day. Every credible poll shows Joe Biden beating Trump nationally, as well as in every crucial swing state. Noted analyst Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” map of 2020 vote projections shows that Trump would have to win every toss-up state in order to be reelected. Biden needs only one to prevail in November.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As Trump’s prospects for reelection snowball into an avalanche of defeat, he is exhibiting ever more severe signs of mental distress. His appeals to potential donors have devolved into threats. And he is lashing out at any and all perceived critics, even those who are devoted supporters, like his State TV propaganda network, about which he whines that it is so hard to watch Fox News anymore.”

Despite Trump’s assertion of reluctance to watch Fox News (which is a lie since he still quotes it many times a day), the network continues to butter him up with bootlicking flattery and transparent bias intended to juice his floundering campaign. On Wednesday morning Fox News reported on a poll by Monmouth University. The poll’s headline result was that Joe Biden is crushing Trump in the swing state of Pennsylvania 53% to 40%. That 13 point lead is especially significant because it also puts Biden comfortably above the 50% mark. And it’s in line with most other recent polls.

However, on Fox’s website they ran with a curiously twisted headline that said “Silent Majority To Roar? New poll signals swing-state voters suspect ‘secret Trump’ backers could tilt November result.” The basis for that whirling spin was a poll question that asked respondents if they “think there are so-called secret voters in your community who support Donald Trump but won’t tell anyone about it.” Apparently there are about 57% who say yes in varying degrees.

It’s important to note that this is not a survey of actual “secret” voters who plan to clandestinely cast their ballots for Trump. It’s merely the opinions of people who believe that other people might be withholding their true voting intentions. It’s pure conjecture by laypersons with no substantive data to support their opinions. However, it conveniently buttresses Trump’s new assertion that there is a “silent majority” lurking in the shadows, lying to pollsters, and preparing to spring out on election day.

Trump himself has been pushing the “silent majority” theme and whining about what he calls “suppression” polls. These are a myth that, according to Trump, are polls designed by the media to suppress voter turnout of Trump’s supporters. But Fox’s view would refute that because the polls are actually correct and the secretive respondents are the ones responsible for Trump’s poor showing.

Trump’s delusional embrace of imaginary support is not Trump’s only problem. The Monmouth poll holds much more bad news for Trump. It reveals that Biden has greater support among Democrats (93-1) than Trump has among Republicans (84-12). Also, Biden leads Trump by 21 points with Independents, by 10 points among voters over 65, by 13 points among those 50-64, by 31 points among those under 50, and by a whopping 60 points among minorities (Black, Latino, Asian, etc).

With all of the evidence in this survey of how poorly Trump is doing, Fox News managed to cherry-pick one statistic that doesn’t even reflect a real data point, just an opinion that some people have of what other people might be thinking. And that becomes the headline at the top of the Fox News website. And then Fox wonders why people don’t regard the network as a credible source of news. Well, except for their cult followers and all those “secret” Fox News supporters who are too embarrassed to admit it.

UPDATE: Right on cue, Thursday morning Fox and Friends leapt to Trump’s defense with a ludicrous and fact-free rant affirming the nonsense about secret Trump voters.

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

Poor Crybaby Trump Whines that it’s ‘So Hard to Watch Fox News Anymore’

If there is one thing that Donald Trump reliably produces (other than flagrant lies, infantile insults, and delusional boasts), it’s a constant cacophony of complaining. From his privileged yet twisted perspective, he is the most aggrieved victim of circumstances that unfairly subject him to the torments and misfortunes of a cruel world. And he isn’t shy about displaying this emotionally stunted personality flaw. After all, Trump once bragged that I am the most fabulous whiner,” as if that were something to be proud of.

Donald Trump, Fox News

High on the list of his most frequent grievances are the relentless assaults on his own State TV network, Fox News. Never mind that it is practically the only network to which he grants interviews, and that it is the home of his closest “Shadow Cabinet” advisors (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, etc). Trump continues to find fault with the network. and his disappointment is so great that it has motivated him to embark on a desperate search for another more worshipful propaganda outlet like One America News (OANN).

On Monday morning, despite the unflinching sycophancy of Fox News, Trump has once again taken them to task for some unspecified wrong inflicted upon him:

Most Americans would agree that Fox News is “hard to watch.” Which is why the network only pulls in about one percent of the nation’s population on a good night. Trump’s focus on Fox’s contributors is a clue to what triggered him this morning. He likely saw an interview of a Democratic surrogate who told the truth about Trump’s innumerable failures. In Trump’s mind that is sacrilege. He really believes that Fox News should never host any Democrat or liberal.

It’s also possible that Trump may be reacting to reporting on recent polls that show Joe Biden crushing Trump nationally, as well as in every crucial swing state. In the most recent polling from Fox News Biden beats Trump by twelve points (50-38). And Trump’s approval rating is deeply underwater (44-55).

A couple of months ago Trump threw a Twitter tantrum because “FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd.” First of all, that’s a totally unfair criticism. Anyone who isn’t comatose can see that Fox News is working extremely hard to get him and other Republicans elected. Secondly, by whining about it, Trump is admitting that he regards Fox News as an arm of his reelection campaign committee. And Fox doesn’t deny it.

Finally, the notion that “the Radical Left has scared Fox into submission” could only have hatched in a severely diseased brain. Does Trump think that Hannity’s glassy-eyed adoration is submission? Or Carlson’s unvarnished white nationalism? Or the shameless bootlicking by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends? The only evidence of submission is that which is demanded by the Fox News Ministers of Propaganda who peddle their doctrine of cult worship 24/7. But that is apparently not enough for the Narcissist-in-Chief who requires 110% blind devotion and unquestioning loyalty. After all, it is a cult!

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

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

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

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DementiaDon: Trump Volunteers to Lose Cognition Contest to Joe Biden

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

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUH? Trump Celebrates Fox News Ratings, the Network He Says is ‘Terrible’

Apparently the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is over. And the nation is no longer in recession. And the 40 million unemployed Americans have all gone back to work. And there is no more civil unrest in the streets due to systemic racism. And Russia has revoked their bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is what you’d have to assume based on what Donald Trump has made his priorities.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning Trump was busily conducting his presidential Twittery. He was taking a break from his other main duties, golfing and watching Fox News. However, Fox wasn’t far from his wobbly consciousness. Prominent within his Twantrums were shout outs to the State TV network that so reliably disseminates Trump-fluffing propaganda. He tweeted that he…


And…

It’s almost needless to say that Trump, a former reality TV game show host, is badly misrepresenting reality. As published in the Hollywood Reporter, the ratings performance for the second quarter of 2020 showed unprecedented gains across the board for the news media:

“All three major cable news networks set ratings records in the second quarter of 2020, as ongoing stories including the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests drove viewers to Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

“The three channels recorded double-digit gains over the same period in 2019 in total viewers and adults 25-54. All three also delivered their biggest viewer tallies ever in both total-day averages and in primetime.”

Fox News predictably came out on top because they have no competition for the wingnut audience they pander to. However, the margin of victory was hardly worth celebrating. In the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds, Fox drew 366.000 viewers. CNN was close behind with 335,000, and MSNBC was narrowly lower with 315,000. Those are the rankings for what Trump characterized (and egocentrically thanked himself) as being “so far below … that you can barely find them.”

Trump lying about ratings – or anything else – won’t surprise anyone anymore. But it’s notable that after fourteen years on television, Trump is still obsessed with the medium and even believes that ratings are a better measure of popularity than scientific polling (they aren’t). But it is interesting to note the schizophrenia poking through Trump’s already diagnosed malignant narcissism. The fact that he’s congratulating Fox News for a ratings win comes after months of attacking Fox for being just another fake news front for liberals and Democrats.

Just in the past few weeks, Trump has whined that “The @FoxNews Polls are a JOKE!” ( a familiar complaint) He raged that “Fox is terrible!” He fumed that “FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd” (because he believes that that is their purpose). And he griped that “FoxNews is working hard pushing the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats.” Yeah, sure they are.

Trump can’t seem to figure out whether he loves Fox or hates them. But while he has committed himself to finding another network to carry his poisoned water, he still schedules his interviews almost exclusively with Fox. To be sure, he has some justification for being perturbed with his Ministry of Propaganda. One host recently speculated that Trump might drop out of the race due to his abysmal polling. But overall, Fox News is as biased in favor of Trump and his Republican confederates as ever. The problem is that they aren’t always 100% blindly loyal to him as he demands of everyone in his sphere of sycophancy. And that’s enough for him to go careening wildly off the rails.

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

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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump, Fox News, Polling

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

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

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

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

Fox News, KKK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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