Fox News Viewers and Republicans are More Likely to Buy Trump’s COVID-19 Lies

The COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging America and the world continues to set new and more tragic milestones. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is still understating the threat and promising to end the “Stay at Home” and social distancing guidelines that health experts insist are still necessary. He is, as usual, more concerned about his bank account, and his reelection prospects, than about the lives of the American people.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

Trump’s callous disregard for the welfare of the nation’s citizenry is typical for a malignant narcissist who thinks only of himself. Unfortunately, his impact is felt more broadly by those caught up in the Cult of Trump who believe every lie he tells and who hate every enemy he targets.

The depth of devotion to Trump by his glassy-eyed disciples is revealed in a new survey by Gallup. The responses were broken down into various groupings, including what Gallup called the “news diet.” A conservative news diet is one where the respondents view only sources such as Fox News, One America News Network, and Breitbart News. A liberal news diet consisted of sources such as MSNBC, CNN, and the New York Times.

Among the questions in the survey was one that asked respondents if “the coronavirus is less deadly than, or as deadly as the flu.” More than twice as many in the conservative group believe that that COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu (57-28%). Never mind that all of the scientific data proves just the opposite by a wide margin.

Another question asked if “the Media is giving too much attention” to the pandemic. Once again, the disparity between the conservative group and the liberals is striking. Those who consume exclusively right-wing media (71%) already think think they’ve heard enough. Only 28% of liberals feel that way.

Finally, another question sought respondents’ opinions on Trump’s job performance. A whopping 94% of those who only view conservative media say that “Trump is doing an excellent/good job.” Those are unambiguously “cult” stats.

There was another survey released this week that further affirms the worshipful obedience to conservative lunacy. The Pew Research Center asked respondents whether they believed that the coronavirus came about naturally or was created in a lab. Once again, nearly twice as many Republicans (37%) as Democrats (21%) believe in the Frankenstein theory. This is the sort of conspiracy crackpottery that can only be produced by committed propagandists like those at Fox News.

Right-wing media and Donald Trump are the most productive purveyors of bullpucky about COVID-19, or any other subject for that matter. Trump continues to lie about the availability of medical supplies, the progress of testing, the success of his administration’s response, and virtually everything else related to this ongoing crisis. And Fox News is right there to back up his flagrant falsehoods.

No wonder people who confine themselves to conservative media are so dreadfully ill-informed. The only problem with that is that their ignorance could have an impact on the measures being taken to address the still considerable risks posed by the coronavirus. If they aren’t able to be educated, we are all likely to be in greater danger. And relying on the ability of Trump cultists to grasp reality is a precarious position for the nation to be in. Good luck everybody.

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

GOP and Fox News Oppose Coronavirus Oversight Committee

Last week Congress approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. It’s the largest congressional appropriation of any kind in United States history. You might think that this sort of government expenditure would produce bipartisan agreement on a means to ensure that these funds are spent effectively with an emphasis on providing the greatest benefit for the people and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

Unfortunately, the political harmony that ought to accompany efforts to allocate these funds never materialized. Almost immediately there was opposition from Republicans in Congress, and their official Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News, to a proposed House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. This committee would just be responsible for oversight going forward. It is not the sort of investigative committee that would seek to understand how the crisis developed and how to avoid similar tragedies in the future (which Reps. Bennie Thompson and Adam Schiff are exploring).

Nevertheless, the featured story on the Fox News website carried a blatantly biased headline reading “Pelosi Power Play: New House coronavirus oversight committee will have ability to subpoena Trump administration.”

The clear intention of that language was to spin the proposed committee as a Democratic effort to harm Trump. It characterizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a power monger who intends to hector Trump with subpoenas. In fact, the committee will be a bipartisan panel aimed at protecting taxpayer funds and ensuring that the people’s best interests are served. Pelosi’s announce says in part…

“We have no higher priority than making sure the money gets to those working families – struggling to pay rent and put food on the table – who need it most. The panel will root out waste, fraud, and abuse. It will protect against price gouging and profiteering. It will press to ensure that the federal response is based on the best possible science and guided by the nation’s best health experts.

“The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis will be bipartisan and have an expert staff. The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent to save lives, deliver relief and benefit our economy.”

That hardly seems controversial. Both parties should be supporting the objectives of this committee. And yet, Republicans in congress are already complaining on partisan grounds. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasted no time complaining that he thought the committee would be “really redundant,” and expressed his opposition to the appointment of Rep. Jim Clyburn as chairman. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the select committee a “mistake,” and “costly.” Apparently he thinks that the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse, would be less costly.

The need for oversight of federal spending shouldn’t be so contentious. However, there are those who are simply averse to being held accountable. Notable among them is the President, who regards any practical supervision as an intrusion on his perceived authority. When asked about the lack of accountability in an early draft of the relief bill, Trump laughably told reporters that “I’ll be the oversight.” No one in their right mind would be comfortable with that. Trump is forbidden from running a charity after a court found that his family foundation was misusing funds. His “university” was shuttered, and he paid out millions in compensation, after it was ruled to be fraudulent. He’s declared bankruptcy at least six times.

When Trump signed the relief bill, he included a signing statement that disputed some of the oversight provisions, including the authority of a new inspector general to notify Congress if the executive branch was not providing requested information. That’s a move explicitly designed to conceal misconduct.

It’s also further evidence that Trump cannot be trusted to spend the relief funds honestly or fairly. This is, after all, the same guy who said that he would not return the calls of governors who he didn’t think treated him right. If anyone ever needed oversight, it’s Trump. But while his Republican comrades and, of course, Fox News, would let him run wild, the American people must not. And that is sufficient justification for this House Select Committee, despite whining from the right.

UPDATE: And, of course, Trump weighs in by calling the proposed oversight committee a “witch hunt,” because he knows that oversight will reveal his corruption.

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

Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Visits Fox News to Launch Lie-Riddled Attack on Joe Biden

In recent days Trump and his surrogates in the White House and the media have been frantically trying to rewrite history. They are attempting to persuade people that Trump wasn’t negligently incompetent as COVID-19 was spreading, and that he always took it seriously. Never mind all the video of him belittling the threat as a minor problem that was a Democratic hoax and that it would soon disappear.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

Now Trump is saying that his handling of the coronavirus pandemic was “perfect” and that if “only” 100,000 to 200,000 Americans die he should be considered a hero. This is the same guy who said Barack Obama should resign when a single American doctor returned to the U.S. from Ebola-stricken West Africa.

Trump’s hypocrisy and dishonesty is nothing new. And it is abundantly evident in another “interview” on Fox News of Senior White House adviser, Kellyanne Conway (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Conway about Joe Biden’s suggestion that Trump should call President Obama for help. Conway spun that into an uninterrupted three minute rant attacking Biden and Obama, and lavishing undue praise for Trump’s objectively tragic handling of the coronavirus crisis. Conway began by unloading some of her trademark snarky animus:

“The President was asked that question. I think it’s really disappointing to have President Obama’s number two – who apparently doesn’t talk much to him – out there criticizing instead of saying “Hey, here’s what we did that we thought was effective.” Why doesn’t Vice-President Biden call the White House and offer some support? He’s in his bunker in Wilmington.”

First of all, Conway is correct when she said that Trump was asked that question. But she left out that Trump’s response was to arrogantly dismiss the notion that he should call Obama. “I don’t think I’m going to learn much,” know-it-all Trump said. “And, you know, I guess you could say that there’s probably a natural inclination not to call.” Secondly, Biden has already provided a detailed plan of what he would do were he charged with these responsibilities. And he warned of the potential harm of a pandemic – and Trump’s unfitness to respond – as far back as January 29, in a USA Today op-ed. Conway’s disingenuous suggestion that Obama or Biden call Trump makes even less sense when you factor in Trump’s personal animus toward them. In a recent tweet Trump wrote that “The Obama/Biden Administration is the most corrupt Administration in the history of our Country!”

After Conway’s flagrantly political diatribe, she added that Trump & Co. “aren’t talking politics at all” and that Trump’s critics seem “small” and “shrill.” And as if that wasn’t politically belligerent enough, she elaborated:

“I would ask Vice-President Biden why he can’t call and lend a hand. And isn’t it a time – doesn’t he think that he would actually do better by calling here and trying to help. But really, what would he say? What would he have to say? Our President’s made clear that we inherited a bad and broken system. And that’s true. The testing ecosystem and the surge of supplies that we’ve been able to do in short time is impressive.”

So not only did Conway ignore Trump’s open hostilities, she even shot down her own argument by saying that Biden would have nothing to say if he did call. Conway also reiterated the well-debunked lie that Trump “inherited a bad and broken system.” That’s the painfully lame excuse Trump has been using to absolve himself of guilt for having screwed up so badly and cost so many lives. The truth is that the Obama administration left Trump with a fully operational pandemic plan, and they briefed the incoming Trump team on it in detail. But Trump ignored those warnings and later eliminated the pandemic response team at the National Security Agency.

This is the quality – or lack thereof – of the Trump regime’s justifications for mishandling the COVID-19 crisis. And it’s emblematic of Trump’s dangerously egocentric refusal to concede that Obama, or Biden, or anyone other than himself, might have something to contribute to mitigating the disastrous consequences of his ignorance. He continues to reinforce the impression that all he cares about is himself, and that he believes that he alone can conquer any problem. That sort of malignant narcissism is what what got us into this trouble, and, if Trump is unimpeded, it’s only going to make things worse.

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

Messiah Trump Takes Credit For Saving the World: ‘Nobody Thought We Should Do It Except Me’

Donald Trump is fond of portraying himself as a pillar of strength who is unafraid to confront any obstacle or foe. However, his routine behavior exposes that facade as an obvious fraud. His knee-jerk defensiveness when challenged, along with his infantile insults aimed at critics, are ready evidence of his smoldering fear of being revealed as an impotent bully.

Donald Trump Messiah

One of the best indicators of Trump’s withering weakness is how tightly he clings to the bootlicking sycophants at his State TV network, Fox News. On Monday morning he made his 77th appearance on Fox News as president. But he has not permitted a single interview on CNN or MSNBC. What, you might ask, is he afraid of? This latest visit was a phone in to Fox and Friends, a program that he used to have a regular Monday gig on: Mondays with Trump. And, not surprisingly, the discussion was a full-on Trump-fluffing festival of fawning and flattery (Twitter video thread below).

Trump led off by falsely accusing the Obama administration of leaving him with an “empty shelf” of medical supplies. He compared it to the equally false and absurd assertion that the Pentagon had no ammunition when he took office. This is just Trump’s way of vilifying Obama, a president he knows he can never measure up to. He did the same thing this morning to another of his perceived enemies, Nancy Pelosi, about whom he said “She’s a sick puppy in my opinion. She really is. She’s got a lot of problems.” He called her San Francisco district a slum and bizarrely said that she “lost” the impeachment game. Does he not know that he was – and is – impeached?

What’s more, Trump took personal credit for saving the world. In a self-exalting rant based on nothing but his fertile imagination, Trump claimed that he stopped “thousands” of very, very sick people coming in from China, and that…

“…nobody thought we should do it except me. And I stopped everybody. We stopped it cold. It had never been done before. […] and if I hadn’t done that you have seen deaths like you had never seen before.”

So Trump wants people to believe that he defied the foolhardy dopes who consider themselves experts, and who all disagreed with him, and he single-handedly implemented a policy that saved untold souls. This is the sort of deranged thinking that can only come from someone who previously called himself the Chosen One.”

The truth is that Trump not only failed to save lives, he is unarguably responsible for the loss of thousands of Americans due to his negligence, incompetence, and ego. He was determined to underplay the threat presented by COVID-19 (the coronavirus) because he was afraid it would negatively impact his reelection prospects. He wasted at least a month lying to the public that there were few people infected and that the number would soon be zero.

In the interim Trump, who is no longer able to satisfy his voracious ego at his cult rallies, has hijacked the Coronavirus Task Force briefings and turned them into de facto campaign events. Never mind that his presence there is nothing but a distraction. He has no relevant knowledge or expertise to contribute, so he spends an hour or two lying with abandon and shamelessly boasting about things he hasn’t done.

Trump’s narcissism is evident in everything he does. And that is particularly true with regard to the briefings for which he has cast himself as the star. Which explains why he has been hyping the Nielsen ratings as if they were an indicator of his popularity. They are not. Both Trump supporters and opponents tune in to the briefings to get information. But in Trump’s diseased mind, any attention paid to him is proof of his glorious awesomeness. It’s what feeds his belief that he alone can fix everything. After all, he’s the Chosen One.

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

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Make Excuses for His Hijacking the Coronavirus Briefings

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited an unprecedented hostility toward the media and the very concept of a free press as enshrined in the Constitution. He repeatedly refers to it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” Trump is currently suing several news organizations and has recently threatened to revoke the broadcast licenses of stations that air ads critical of him. And in his flaming paranoia, he is convinced that the media is a collective entity that is unified in a covert mission to destroy him. “All I see,” whines Trump about every major news network (including Fox News), “is hatred of me.”

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Trump’s press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, has never held a press briefing since her appointment in July of 2019. However, she makes frequent appearances on Fox News, but no other network. Trump has been deservedly criticized for his shuttering of the White House from scrutiny by the press. But he believes that his rambling Chopper Talks suffice as an alternative to an orderly exchange of information and timely disclosures regarding White House activities. They are not. They are simply opportunities for Trump to rant incoherently and to berate his perceived foes in the press corps.

With the advent of an international pandemic, Trump is producing a daily, self-serving, reality show in which he is cast as the star attraction. It is a blatantly obvious attempt to exploit the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis for his own political benefit. These are nothing more than replacement vehicles for the cult rallies and campaign affairs that can no longer be held due to the risk of exacerbating the pandemic.

Not surprisingly, the press has been critical of this crass exploitation and many journalists are advocating that they not be covered, at least until after Trump’s remarks have been fact-checked and other extraneous campaign content is edited out. This has now caused Fox News to claim that there is some hypocrisy on the part of the press for first complaining about the administration’s abandonment of daily briefings, and now complaining that they are taking place. An op-ed on Fox’s website misconstrues that:

“The mainstream media were clamoring for regular press briefings from President Trump and his administration long before the coronavirus crisis escalated. Former press secretary Sarah Sanders stopped the daily routine in early 2019 and they eventually came to a halt altogether — much to the chagrin of many media members.

“But after Trump and his coronavirus team, including Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and Dr. Deborah Birx, began providing them on a daily basis in late February, some media figures said their networks should stop airing them, leading critics to question the sudden about-face.”

What Fox News is missing is that the press was never “clamoring” for staged events where Trump would lambaste the media, brag shamelessly about things he hadn’t done, and lie his asinine head off for two hours. They merely wanted his press secretary to do her job and be accountable to the public that the press represents.

What Trump is giving them instead is an interminable bitchfest that is intended solely to advance his reelection prospects and feed his voracious ego. This is particularly offensive considering the briefings that Trump is hijacking for his own purposes is supposed to be dedicated to informing the public about a deadly and growing pandemic.

If Trump had any real concern for the nation he would leave these Coronavirus Task Force briefings to the experts and stop wasting time with his lies and petulant attacks on reporters. Then he would reinstate the daily White House press briefings with the press secretary. It’s questionable that even under those circumstances we would get much useful or honest information considering how integral lying is to this administration. But at least we would avoid the endless tantrums and dangerous disinformation that Trump is disseminating with things as they are.

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

Lying Has Consequences: Poll Shows Americans Trust the Media More than Trump

From the very first days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his compulsion to lie about all things great and small was a dominating feature of his character, or lack thereof. Trump lied about the crowd size at his inauguration, about millions of fraudulent Democratic voters, about his taxes and alleged wealth, and even about his faith. The odds were (and are) pretty good that if Trump is talking, he is lying.

Donald Trump

Now a new poll provides evidence of the consequences of Trump’s pathological prevaricating. After three years of spewing flagrant falsehoods on every subject (more than 16,000 lies documented), it turns out that that isn’t a very good way to establish trust. Who knew? According to the Monmouth University Poll:

“Trump is trusted less as source of information than three cable news outlets – except if you ask Republicans. Nearly half the American public (48%) trusts CNN more than Trump, compared with one-third (35%) who trust Trump more than CNN and another 13% who trust both equally as a source of information.

“The results are similar when Trump is pitted against the left-leaning MSNBC – 45% trust MSNBC more, 32% trust Trump more, and 16% trust both equally. The right-leaning Fox News also bests the president as a trusted information source – 30% trust Fox more and 20% trust Trump more, although a plurality of 37% trust both equally.”

So Americans trust CNN and MSNBC more than they trust Trump, each by a thirteen point margin. If Trump finds out about this, he could have a stroke. The public at large even trust Fox News more than Trump. Although Republicans are “more likely to trust Trump (35%) over Fox News (21%), with 40% trusting both GOP-aligned sources equally.” Which only proves that the Cult of Trump is strong, especially among Fox viewers.

This preference for the press as a credible source of information has been documented in many other polls over the past few years. And a recent poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist reveals that a majority of Americans don’t trust what Trump has been telling them specifically about COVID-19 (coronavirus). That’s not surprising considering the fact that Trump has been callously exploiting the White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefings as a replacement for the campaign rallies that he can’t hold anymore. He has hijacked those briefings for crass political gain and because he needs them to satisfy his ego. Although, it’s obvious to most viewers that he has nothing of substance to contribute, so he wastes time with falsehoods and lavish tributes to himself. Is it any wonder that he isn’t trusted?

As for Fox News, they posted an article on their website about this poll that completely misrepresented the results. The headline bleated that “Monmouth poll gives media lower job approval than Trump amid coronavirus crisis.” That’s technically correct if you ignore the whole of the results. The poll asked if various entities had “done a good job or bad job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.” If you look only at those who said Trump did a good job, he prevailed by 50-45 percent. But those who said he did a bad job (45%), were more than those who said the media did a bad job (43%). So that can hardly be called a victory for Trump.

What’s more, the poll showed that 72% of the American people said that state governors have done a good job. And 65% said that federal health agencies have done a good job. So the people do have confidence in specific leaders and agencies, just not Trump. That, along with Trump’s abysmal showing on trust when compared to the media, is an encouraging sign that the American people are paying attention and will hold those who failed them accountable in November. And that really can’t come too soon.

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

While America Hunkers Down, Trump Exploits the Crisis to Campaign for Reelection

Remember back in the olden times when there were Democratic primaries that dominated the news? There was a “Super” Tuesday and people were anxiously and excitedly exercising their civic duties to vote for the candidates of their choice. That all seems like so long ago. And now they are anxious for a completely different reason.

Donald Trump Virus

The remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential race – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – have purposefully put the brakes on their official campaign activities. That’s the responsible thing to do when a global pandemic has erupted and is spreading rapidly throughout the nation and the world. However, while the Democrats are acting responsibly, Donald Trump has chosen to behave in a manner that is consistent with his narcissistic psychoses. Even while the entire country is focusing on how to survive during these challenging times, Trump is focusing on himself and his own best political interests.

Let’s face it, Trump’s presence is utterly irrelevant at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups. Much of his comments are simply boasting about what he asserts are unprecedented accomplishments and victories that exist only in his self-serving imagination. And he insists on presenting an absurdly rosy scenario that ignores reality and dangerously understates the risk we all face. It’s one thing to offer hope, but another to deliberately mislead.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. That’s why he avoids any discussion of the hardships that the American people are enduring. and it’s why he so brazenly exalts himself and his phony achievements. These are nothing but extended political ads for Trump. They are also Trump’s replacement for the cult rallies that he can no longer have.

In addition to Trump’s cynical commandeering of the press briefings, he has likewise devoted his Twitter account to his reelection effort. In the past week Trump has tweeted hundreds of times. The vast majority of those have been retweets of two varieties: Fox News bootlickers lavishing undue praise on him. And messages from his Republican Senate comrades (more than 50 in three days). It is impossible to miss the fact that Trump incessantly retweets only GOP members of Congress bragging about legislation to address the health – physically and financially – of the American people. It’s as if there aren’t any Democrats working on these bills, despite the fact that they authored most of them.

The lengths that Trump is going to to make Democrats invisible is further evidence of his politicization of this crisis. He will need a Republican majority in congress if (gawd forbid) he is reelected in November. So these retweets are another thinly veiled campaign tactic on Trump’s part. Virtually every reference to Democrats on his Twitter feed is negative. That is not how a conscientious leader would work to bring the nation together in turbulent times.

The bottom line is that Trump isn’t interest in bringing people together. He’s only interested in extending his power and disparaging his perceived enemies. He may think he’s clever by trying to disguise his political ambitions in staged press briefings and innocuous tweets, but the only people he’s fooling are his glassy-eyed cult disciples and – unfortunately – some members of the press.

If the media were living up to the principles that govern a free press, they would cease to cover his briefings live. There would be nothing lost by taping the events and spending a few minutes fact-checking before putting them on the air. But it would prevent more disinformation from being disseminated to the public. And it would stop Trump from unscrupulously hijacking otherwise vital communications to get free ad time.

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

And then there’s this…..

Trump ‘Loves’ Him Some Whiffleball Questions From Radical Right-Wing ‘Reporter’

Another day, another White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. These daily events serve no purpose other than to provide Trump with a forum to repeat his lies and disinform the public. And there is no plausible reason for him to be there except to satisfy his craving for ego-strokes now that he can no longer hold his traveling cult rallies.

Donald Trump

Saturday’s briefing was just a rehash of previous episodes where Trump leads a chorus of hallelujahs by sycophants paying tribute to his heroic awesomeness. In the course of his remarks Trump describes every alleged achievement as a never before seen breakthrough in human endeavors. Suffice to say that none of his barely coherent ramblings provide useful, factual information. The entirety of his presentation is an exercise in glassy-eyed happy-talk that painstakingly avoids the unsettling realities that the American people know all too well. After listening to Trump one might think that there was no pandemic crisis going on at all. Everything is fine and getting better.

In order to promulgate that deceit, Trump made a point of calling on Jenn Pellegrino, a “reporter” from the far-right, conspiracy factory, One America News Network (OANN). Her question, and Trump’s response, did nothing to advance the public’s well-being. physically or mentally. But it give Trump another opportunity to attack his perennial foes in the media (video below):

Pellegrino: This morning the Washington Post ran a story suggesting that you delayed taking action on the virus in January and February. Dr. Fauci has indicated that your action in the Chinese travel ban helped America immensely. What do you say to the Washington Post?
Trump: I love whoever you’re with. Cuz I think that’s such a nice question. I think the Washington Post covers us very inaccurately, covers me very inaccurately. I saw the story. I think it’s a disgrace. But it’s the Washington Post and I guess we have to live with it.

The story that they are obliquely referencing is one wherein the Post revealed that U.S. intelligence had warned him as early as January about the coronavirus and it’s potential risks, but that he disregarded the warnings. The Post reported that even though Trump’s advisers told him that “the system was blinking red […] they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”

So without putting the question into context, Trump complimented the Trump-fluffing reporter and her flagrantly biased network. Then went on to insult the Post without ever citing anything in their story that was inaccurate. Trump later noted that China had ejected the Post from the country, which he seems to think bolsters his position. Is that because he thinks China is so well regarded as a beacon of press freedom? And let’s not forget that Trump ejected the Post from the White House and other government offices.

Trump’s response to this question is especially notable considering how different it was from his response to a question he received the day before. Peter Alexander of NBC asked Trump “What do you say to Americans who are watching right now who are scared?” Whereupon, Trump jumped on him like a rabid jackal, calling Alexander a “terrible reporter” and the question “nasty.” But Pellegrino’s question asking “What do you say to the Washington Post,” drew Trump’s “love” for “such a nice question.”

The lesson here is that reporters are safer asking Trump what he has to say to news organizations that everyone knows he hates, than they are asking what he has to say to the American people. That’s because he cares more about attacking those who dare to tell the truth about him, than he does about the citizens of this country, a majority of whom voted against him. And it’s his indifference – and even hostility – to the people he is supposed to be serving, that has resulted in the disastrous way he has bungled the nation’s response to the worst pandemic in generations.

Majority of Americans Don’t Trust Trump on Coronavirus After Months of Lying: POLL

One of the most damaging consequences of having a president who is a pathological liar is that when a crisis occurs his word has no value. It’s impossible to lead when the public has no faith in what the leader says. That’s true whether the crisis involves foreign conflicts, economic turmoil, or viral pandemics.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been downplaying the severity of COVID-19 (coronavirus) for months. He has said that there were only a handful of cases and that they would soon go to zero. He said it would disappear miraculously. He called it a Democratic hoax. Just yesterday he said “it’s something that we have tremendous control over.” Obviously, none of that was true. And the American people seem to be aware that Trump has been lying to them. A new poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist reveals that a majority of Americans don’t trust what Trump has been telling them about COVID-19. According to the poll:

“Americans have little trust in the information they are hearing from President Trump about the novel coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government’s response to it is declining sharply. […] Just 37% of Americans now say they had a good amount or a great deal of trust in what they’re hearing from the president, while 60% say they had not very much or no trust at all in what he’s saying.”

This is worse than typical approval polls (which are also bad for Trump) because in this matter people’s lives depend on their ability to trust their leaders. Clearly they do not. And that distrust is specific to Trump. The poll also shows that other sources of information are generally well respected. People trust public health experts (84-13%), state and local officials (72-24%), and the media (50-47%). That last stat has gotta really steam Trump. He’s trailing the media in the trust gap by 20 points.

As result of Trump lying to his supporters, he is creating a situation that puts them (and all of us) in greater danger. The poll shows that a majority of Republicans (54%) believe that the coronavirus matter is blown out of proportion. Compared to Democrats who consider it a serious threat (76%). That makes socially distancing from Trump supports more critical than ever. If they don’t take this virus seriously they are much less likely to be taking precautions to avoid getting or transmitting it.

Of course Trump’s State TV propaganda machine, Fox News, has been backing him up all along. Every time he would undermine vital warnings that this could spread, his flunkies on Fox would agree and mock those who advised taking preventative measures. GOP congressman Devin Nunes told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo that “It’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant.” Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” Although, while Fox News was giving their viewers such terrible advice, they were instructing their own employees to comply with the safety guidelines provided by the CDC.

The American people are wise not to put their trust in Trump. He has never been honest with them about anything. He was impeached for lying about his efforts to extort the president of Ukraine in order to get dirt on Joe Biden. The Mueller report confirmed that Trump welcomed and encouraged help from Russia in the 2016 presidential election. And this week it was revealed that foreign entities are now spreading disinformation about the coronavirus. But you have to wonder if that disinformation isn’t coming more from domestic sources like 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.

The Daily Show’s timeline of Trump’s coronavirus lies. It’s funny, but it’s not funny.

Russia or Fox News? U.S. Intelligence Warns of Disinformation About Coronavirus

The American people have been struggling with the stress and uncertainty of a growing pandemic unlike anything we have seen before. The hardship that this is causing for many people is difficult enough without Donald Trump and his propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News, spreading lies faster than the coronavirus spreads itself.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, the Trump regime is not the only source of lies about COVID-19. The Associated Press is reporting that foreign entities are engaged in a disinformation campaign aimed at spreading fear and confusion in the United States. According to the AP…

“The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday.

“On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak. Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.”

For the most part the perpetrators are running a rumor mill to deceive people into believing that the U.S. is on the verge of a national lockdown and/or martial law. They are exploiting the very real concerns that people already have and blowing them up into the most extreme proportions.

What’s interesting about this is that Trump has accepted the analysis by these agencies and is using it to shape the government response. So Trump is taking a distinctly different approach than he did when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had used identical tactics to interfere with the 2016 presidential election in a way that helped him and hurt his opponent, Hillary Clinton. All of sudden they are no longer “Deep State” operatives intent on undermining his presidency. The AP also reported that…

“Intelligence officials have warned for years that Russia has been engaging in covert social media campaigns using fictional persona, bots, social media postings and disinformation aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord in the electorate.”

So the tactics and objectives of these foreign entities haven’t changed. They are continuing to interfere with American social and political life. This was disclosed earlier this year when Bernie Sanders was advised that Russia was trying to create discord by boosting his Democratic primary campaign. That effort was inadvertently (or perhaps not) advanced by Trump himself.

The revelation that this sort of disinformation has been circulating isn’t all that surprising. Anyone paying attention would be aware of these activities. The question is who is the source of the disinformation. The AP reporting didn’t identify their sources. So it could be Russia or China or Iran or some other foreign adversary. But it could also be Fox News. Because Fox has been at least as busy cooking up disinformation about the coronavirus as any of our international foes. Media Matters has documented a great deal of it:

“In the weeks leading up to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic, some of Fox News’ most frequent medical contributors and commentators have been spreading misinformation, pushing Trump’s bogus talking points, and blindly praising Trump’s botched response to the outbreak.”

The sad part of this is that it is so difficult to distinguish between the treachery of Russia and that of Fox News. And of course, the treachery of Fox News cannot be untethered from that of Donald Trump. Consequently, people need to be especially vigilant to avoid being taken in by propaganda and disinformation intended to create chaos and division.

There are those who will try to convince you that this virus is evidence that the world is coming to an end. Likewise, there are those who will try to persuade you to hate Joe Biden if you are are Sanders supporter, and vice versa. Don’t fall for it. There is a lot more peril out there these days than just a virus.

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