Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.

Trump Confidant Alex Jones Spins INSANE Conspiracy Theory About the Las Vegas Massacre

The news yesterday of the massacre in Las Vegas was both horrific and predictable. It is unbearably sad that Americans are still being slaughtered by madmen with weapons that should only be available to soldiers at war. And yet, too many of our national leaders continue to resist common sense methods to keep such deadly artillery off the streets. So once again we are mourning the dead and sending out thoughts and prayers to their loved ones.

Alex Jones

Just as predictable is the fantastical fiction of conspiracy theorists and others seeking to exploit tragedy. Chief among them is Alex Jones, a devoted supporter of Donald Trump whom, he claims, he’s in frequent contact with. Trump has has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass.

Consequently, you have to wonder whether the President thinks the latest hallucinatory ramblings of Jones are also amazing. Within hours of the Las Vegas shooting, Jones was disgorging his deranged analysis. It consisted entirely of invented “facts” and lunatic outbursts. The wild ride begins here (video below):

“Now here’s the big news. Islamic State has taken responsibility, and the man known by the police for issues, I guess for mental illness, reportedly converted to Islam in the last two months. And even though that’s being reported by Reuters and others, you’re not seeing on it on CNN or MSNBC.”

Perhaps the reason other news outlets are reluctant to report it is because there’e no proof that it’s true. The report by the Associated Press includes the disclaimer that ISIS “has a history of exaggerated or false claims.” Even so, Jones’s media bashing was wrong. A tweet by CNN’s Brian Stelter explained that CNN and others ought not to cover the claim by ISIS because there isn’t “a shred of evidence” to support it. And NBC’s Pete Williams did discuss the claim on MSNBC, also noting that it wasn’t believable.

Jones then preposterously asserted that Al Gore was allied with ISIS and Al Qaeda. He connected that to a thoroughly made up claim that two months ago Gore and former CIA Director John Brennan had predicted a terrorist attack and the overthrow of Donald Trump within two months (i.e. now). Jones said that this was because October 1st was the 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. As nutty as that conspiracy theory is, it was also historically wrong. The Russian uprising against the tsarist regime actually began in February of 1917 and concluded in late October with the Bolsheviks assuming control of Parliament. There was no significant event on the first of October that would have warranted an anniversary remembrance. But then Jones really flew off the rails:

“Here’s the other big news. On Saturday night, Sunday morning, they released O.J. [Simpson] just twenty hours before the attack took place. So all the media would come and be in place to cover this event. The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by ‘deep state’ Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cutouts.”

Really? Simpson was released in the dead of night specifically to avoid any media coverage. And it worked. There was a single fixed camera at the prison that caught Simpson’s release. Jones also alleged that Democrats and communists were planning to “go violent and start shooting and killing police, conservatives, whites, you name it. And that white genocide needs to be carried out.” According to Jones, this was reported by national news organizations. It wasn’t. And even Saturday Night Live was accused of being a part of the plot to “cause a civil war in this country.” And before he was done, Jones regurgitated the debunked story that Democrats or unions refused to deliver emergency supplies to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

This is the level of depravity that Alex Jones sinks to on a regular basis. He previously said that 9//11 was an inside job. He charged that the mass murder of the children at Sandy Hook was a hoax staged by actors. And he still doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, he has the respect of Donald Trump who promised that “I will not let you down.” And given the quantity and quality of his lies, Trump is surely keeping that promise.

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

In the Wake of Terror in Barcelona, Trump Repeats 6 Month Old Pants on Fire Lie

Thursday afternoon the world was stunned by another terrorist attack on innocent civilians. This one took place on a popular street in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances and possible suspects. At this time there appear to be twelve fatalities and dozens more injured.

Donald Trump

Compounding this tragedy is the callousness of America’s pathologically dishonest president, Donald Trump. Shortly after the news broke, Trump rushed to the situation room – scratch that – to his cell phone to comment on Twitter:

This tweet was posted without the slightest bit of irony in recognition of the events of the past week. It took him only a couple of hours to publicly declare this unfolding incident a terror attack. Contrast that with the two days it took for him to condemn the white supremacist perpetrators of terrorism in Charlottesville. Does he care more about the victims in Spain than does about those in the United States? Or do white terrorists get a pass from Trump? And what about his insistence that “Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So I don’t want to rush into a statement.” That was his excuse for not speaking out sooner about the murder of Heather Heyer. But today facts seem to have gone out of favor in this White House.

To make matters worse, Trump’s cell phone fingers were still twitchy. Only forty-five minutes later he posted another tweet:

Trump is offering good advice by encouraging people to study. He ought to take that advice himself. Because the incident he’s alluding to never happened. It concerns a hoax that General Pershing had dissuaded Muslim opponents in the Philippines by executing them and burying their bodies with dead pigs. This is a lie that Trump has told before. In fact, in February of 2016 he was awarded one of his many “Pants-on-Fire” ratings from PolitiFact. At that time PolitiFact consulted actual historians and concluded that the incident Trump describe never took place:

“Of the eight historians we checked with, all were at least skeptical that what Trump said actually happened, and some expressed disbelief even more forcefully than that. The only evidence of something approximating what Trump said stems from one letter documenting a different scenario written by a veteran more than a half century after the fact.

“Perhaps more important, the historians took issue with Trump’s suggestion that the tactic — if it was even used at all — actually worked to end tensions, noting that unrest persisted for years. In all, Trump’s claim is ridiculous, so we rate it Pants on Fire.”

This is typical of Trump’s deliberate perversion of the truth to suit his own propaganda needs. He seems to have no shame in repeating falsehoods that have been unambiguously debunked by experts. The only thing he cares about is the promotion of his own interests. He is very likely only exploiting the tragedy in Spain to distract from the mess he created here at home. And if keeping his glassy-eyed disciples neck deep in lies is the result, that’s their tough luck. Remember, he loves the poorly educated, and this is one reason why.

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

John McCain Says Trump Admin’s Rhetoric Was ‘Partially to Blame” for Chemical Attack in Syria

Donald Trump’s demonstration of impotent machismo last week is beginning to get the scrutiny it deserves. The national press initially fawned over his missile attacks on Syria, suggesting that he had finally become “presidential.” It was an embarrassing display of the media’s war fetishism.

Donald Trump

It didn’t take but a few hours for reality to set in regarding the wisdom (or lack thereof) of Trump’s pointless aggression. The bombed airstrips were back in use the next day, and there was no perceptible impact on Assad’s barbarism.

On Face the Nation (video below), host John Dickerson asked Sen. John McCain about the strike. McCain indicated his general support for military action and the “message” it would deliver to Assad and other brutal tyrants. However he also noted that the failure to do any sustained damage rendered the mission ineffective. But McCain went on to express an even more startling opinion regarding Trump’s first act as Commander-in-Chief:

Dickerson: Do you think the administration did anything to encourage this behavior by the Syrians by saying that the Syrian people would determine Assad’s fate? And that removing him is not a priority? Things that were said before the use of chemical weapons?

McCain: I think it probably was partially to blame. And Secretary Tillerson basically is saying the same thing. After kind of contradicting himself and then saying the same thing, argues vigorously for a plan and a strategy.

That’s a rather damning assertion coming from a senior Republican and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. It’s the sort of blame that Republicans usually reserve to malign President Obama. But it isn’t the first time that a Republican has observed the potential harm of weak leadership. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, seeking to ramp up the fear quotient during George W. Bush’s reelection, said this:

“Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness.”

The unintended implication of that is that the 9/11 terrorists perceived weakness on the part of Bush which invited them to attack. The same could be attributed now to Assad perceiving such weakness in Trump. After all, after Obama forced Assad to relinquish the chemical weapons he had at the time, Assad never tried to use them again during Obama’s tenure. It wasn’t until Trump came into office that he felt he could risk it.

It’s more than a little curious that both Bush and Trump had a foreign policy crisis early in their terms. In Bush’s case, he was suffering from low poll numbers and much of the nation didn’t consider him legitimate due to the Florida election controversies and the Supreme Court eventually deciding the presidency. His invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq bolstered his public image. Similarly, Trump has the worst poll numbers ever for a new president. And now he has an excuse to start another war. Does this prove anything conclusively? Nope. I’m just sayin. Particularly in light of this tweet by Trump in 2012:

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

Trump vs. ISIS? Wingnut Video On Fox News That Mocks Harvard Students Backfires Terribly

One of the favorite stunts that conservatives use to try to shame liberals is the “man on the street” interview. Generally they purposefully skew the presentation to reflect their preconceived prejudices. Any responses that fail to advance their point of view are left on the editing room floor. Then they release a video with six people who agree with them, but never tell viewers that there were sixteen others who disagreed but were cut out.

fox news trump

This week on Fox and Friends they featured a “reporter,” Cabot Phillips, from the ultra right-wing organization Campus Reform. He visited Harvard University in an effort to expose the alleged liberalism of the students and faculty. The question he asked was “Who is more dangerous to Americans, Donald Trump or ISIS?” Of course, he fully expected to find students who selected Trump, whom he would then try to make look foolish.

Surprise! He found just what he expected. Then, after showing the video (posted below) on Fox News, Phillips sought to explain what could possibly cause these students to have such radical and shocking opinions. He said that:

“It’s from President Obama, who they all look up to. Who for so many years said, “Well, ISIS is the J.V. team. They’re not this real threat. And also it’s from professors and the media who are again constantly saying “Look, Donald Trump is the real threat here,” and trying to shield their eyes from actual threats.”

That analysis was wholly constructed from his over-active imagination. Nowhere in the video did any student attribute their views to either Obama or their professors. And Phillips didn’t bother to interview any of the faculty to ascertain their views. What’s more, while Obama did once try to marginalize ISIS as a J.V. team, he also spent years outlining precisely the peril they pose. More importantly, he attacked them relentlessly, killing thousands of their operatives, including many of their leaders.

However, what was most conspicuous about the video was the fact that the students who said Trump was more dangerous had good reasons for thinking so. One of the students spelled it out saying that:

“Do I think ISIS is going to cause a threat to me living my everyday life? Not really. Do I think the rhetoric that Donald Trump is using and empowering these folks hidden in a corner for a long time with hateful views … do I think that’s more of a threat than ISIS? Yes.”

Indeed, Trump has done more for hate groups in America who espouse prejudice and violence than any President before him. It is not coincidental that the KKK and white supremacists uniformly endorsed Trump and worked to get him elected. Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign and presidency has encouraged America’s bigots and increased the number of hate crimes. African-Americans, gays, Muslims, Latinos, and Jews have all been victimized in greater numbers in the Era of Trump.

The harassment and assaults that Trump has inspired have a much more direct impact on the safety of Americans. That doesn’t diminish the horror of terrorist activity by ISIS. It’s just a fact. It is not, therefore, the least bit surprising that people consider Trump more to be dangerous with respect to their personal lives.

A study by the CATO Institute last year revealed the relative dangers of common occurrences. Death by foreign terrorists came in 34th out of forty-eight items. Activities more likely than terrorism to be fatal included walking, choking on food, and police encounters. You are 260 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than by terrorists. You’re 129,000 times more likely to die in a gun assault.

Not mentioned in this video were risks posed by Trump’s actual policies. The president’s erratic behavior makes him a poor choice to be in charge of the nuclear codes. And his anti-environment stance could result in millions of lives lost due to famine, drought, extreme weather events and war.

Taking a logical approach to the question, it’s clear that Trump is potentially far more dangerous to America and the world than ISIS. He commands a much bigger military with far greater resources. The video is a blatantly partisan sham by conservative activists. Campus Reform is a project of the uber-rightist Leadership Institute that receives much of their funding from the Koch brothers. Their alumni includes hacks like Mitch McConnell, James O’Keefe, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove, and even Vice-President Mike Pence. That’s a fraternal order that speaks volumes as to their political and ideological mission. And it’s why Fox News devotes segments to their lies on a regular basis.

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

TBT: Trump’s Twitter Rants on Syria are a Steaming Heap of Hypocrisy

The videos of Syrian children suffering and dying from chemical bombings are almost too awful to watch. But even as Donald Trump castigates Assad, he pivots to blame President Obama for the atrocity. Trump’s public comments so far manage to produce nothing but bluster and impotent finger-pointing. He chastises Obama for not having done enough, but over the past couple of years Trump has repeatedly argued for doing nothing at all.

Donald Trump

Now CNN is reporting that:

“President Donald Trump has told some members of Congress that he is considering military action in Syria in retaliation for this week’s chemical attack, and recognizes the seriousness of the situation, a source familiar with the calls tells CNN.”

In light of that news, let’s revisit his Twitter posts for the past three years:

Those last two tweets have particular significance. Any military action has the potential of going awry. Civilians are too often the victims, even in well-intentioned missions. And already Trump has presided over more than 1,400 civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, according to some reports. More than 200 in one incident alone. And he’s been in office less than three months. Is this what he meant during the campaign when he said that he would “bomb the hell” out of ISIS?

Also, it will be interesting to see if Trump will comply with his demand to get congressional approval before taking any military action. Needless to say, Trump has not exactly been a bastion of consistency. But on this matter he will be challenged by his Republican colleagues on Capital Hill. Sen. Rand Paul has already said publicly that he will oppose any military moves on Syria without authorization from Congress.

There really are no good solutions to this problem. Surface level analyses that advocate sending in the Marines will almost certainly result in painful losses. That includes both innocent Syrians and American troops. But more complex combinations of diplomacy and international cooperation are seemingly beyond Trump’s mental capacity to comprehend. And none of these routes guarantee a desirable outcome.

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

Unfortunately, America is now burdened with a leader who has no experience addressing these kinds of problems. Nor does he have any relationships with other world leaders. And he has recruited a staff that is just as unfit as he is. Does anyone really think that Jared Kushner or Rex Tillerson will find a path to peace? That leaves us with little more than crossed fingers and anxious hopes that the Pentagon will muster up some common sense and be able to exert some influence over our incompetent president. It isn’t much to hang onto, but it’s all we’ve got.

Fox ‘FAKE’ News Falsely Reported Quebec Mosque Shooting Suspect Was Moroccan

Another tragic instance of hateful violence was reported Sunday. This time a man entered a mosque in Quebec and shot fourteen people as they were praying, killing six of them. This massacre of innocents occurred shortly after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Muslims immigrants and refugees from entering the United States. The measure was widely condemned as counter-productive to the fight against terrorism. And in some respect it encourages the impression of Muslims as dangerous and undesirable.

Fox News

As the facts surrounding the shooting were still unfolding, Fox News rushed out a story that falsely identified one of two suspects as Moroccan. The story has since been edited to remove that assertion, but it was never corrected. A tweet is still live on the Fox News Twitter account with the same accusation:


[Update 1/31/2017: Fox finally issued a statement expressing regret for their error and they deleted the tweet]

For the record, there is only one suspect. He is a white nationalist Canadian named Alexandre Bisonnette. His social media profile includes “Likes” of France’s fascist Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, and Donald Trump. There was a Moroccan individual who was briefly detained by the police, but who was later identified as a witness. That was all that Fox needed.

This is the sort of defamatory allegation that often finds a place on Fox News. If any event occurs that provides an opportunity to smear their perceived political foes, Fox News jumps on it. Therefore, Democratic protests, or Black Lives Matter rallies, are reported as assemblies of decadent liberals. And anything involving Muslims is automatically turned into a terrorist attack by radical Islamists.

The example shown here is not merely a journalistic mistake. It is representative of Fox’s deliberate intent to demonize Muslims. And that intention is getting support in the White House. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, referenced the Quebec shooting at the morning briefing. He said that:

“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”

Spicer’s comment makes the false assertion that there is a “reminder” in this shooting that relates to Trump’s policy. Of course, nothing in the Muslim ban implemented by Trump would have prevented this tragedy. That, however, didn’t stop Spicer from exploiting it. His irresponsible statement implies that there was a Muslim connection to the shooting. That falsehood can only exacerbate the bigotry that already infects the Fox News audience and Trump’s Republican Party.

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

At a time when victims and their families are trying to cope with this horror, Fox News and the White House are only making matters worse. Their misinformation spreads far more quickly than any attempt to correct it, which they haven’t made. So rather than receiving the sympathy and concern that was warranted, the Muslim community was victimized again by dishonest media and a bigoted administration that is more focused on political advantage than on truth or human decency.

Trump’s Bigoted Muslim Ban Prohibits Oscar Nominee From Entering The U.S.

With a flurry of executive orders this week, Donald Trump implemented some of the unsavory promises he made during his campaign. They include a revival of the KeystoneXL and DAPL oil pipelines, a gag order on women’s health services, laying the groundwork for repealing ObamaCare, and affirming his intention to spend billions on a pointless wall along the Mexican border.

Farhadi Oscar

However, perhaps the most abhorrent of his actions is an order that reeks of bigotry directed at victims of terror. He is prohibiting refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from immigrating to safety in the United States. Never mind that there has never been a terrorist attack in the U. S. by any refugee from these countries. Or that he inexplicably exempted countries with which he has a business relationship. For example Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from.

Among the casualties of Trump’s callousness is Asghar Farhadi, an Iranian filmmaker. Farhadi is the director of “Salesman,” an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film. Unfortunately, he won’t be at the awards gala due solely to his national origin.

So who really cares about whether the “Hollywood elites” get to honor a movie director for his work? Aren’t there thousands of more seriously at risk people who are also being denied entry to the U.S.?

Of course there are. The point of this is to illustrate the foolishness of Trump’s blanket ban. It punishes people based on their religion, regardless of their need. Farhadi doesn’t deserve to be barred from an honor that he earned. But Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice lumps Farhadi in with all of the evildoers he imagines are seeking refugee status. What’s more, Farhadi’s absence will likely hurt the marketing of the film. Consequently, Americans will miss the opportunity to witness the reality of this Iranian artist’s perspective. That should delight bigoted conservatives who prefer to propagate negative stereotypes.

If people like Farhadi are barred from entry into into the U.S., think about the fate of those who are persecuted. There are Iraqis who are helping American forces to defeat ISIS who will be turned away. Some of them will likely end up dead for their trouble. And thousands of families and children whose lives are at risk will be forced to endure further hardship and death. That’s a cruel fate to impose on National Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The impact of Trump’s policy is certain to result in more personal tragedy. But it is also likely to advance the cause of international terrorists. It will affirm their argument that the U.S. harbors a hatred for Muslims. That view is validated by the language in Trump’s executive order that prioritizes aid for Christian refugees.

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

Apparently Trump is unaware that Muslims are the most frequent victims of terrorism by ISIS and other radical groups. Then again, he is unaware of many of the critical issues that face the nation. And his ignorance will make America, and the world, more dangerous. Specifically, his policies can only incite an increase in terrorist activity, and particularly actions aimed at Christians. So, in the end, his racist outlook could become more accurate. Nice work, Donald.

Desperate Trump Invites A Terrorist Supporter To The Final Presidential Debate

At the last presidential debate Donald Trump thought he was smooth by bringing a few of Bill Clinton’s accusers from the past to the event. He apparently believed that their presence would rattle Hillary Clinton and he would rise to victory. He could not have been more wrong. Clinton never even noticed the ploy and went on to prevail over the second debate in a row.

Trump/Malik

Now, in a move that can only be described as desperate and clueless, Donald Trump is reprising the stunt. This time he has descended even lower into irrelevancy and smut. His guest at tonight’s debate will be Malik Obama, President Obama’s half-brother. How Trump thinks this will have any effect on Clinton is a mystery. Malik’s relationship with the President is, to put it mildly, distant. Consequently, Clinton’s reaction will likely be a barely perceptible smirk, if anything at all.

Malik endorsed Trump months ago and has long nursed bitterness and jealously toward Barack. His reason for backing Trump is that Clinton and Obama had killed his “best friend” Muammar Gaddafi. He also opposes the Democratic Party’s support for marriage equality.

However, the most disturbing aspect of this is that Malik has shown support for the terrorist group Hamas. He posed for a picture two years ago wearing a Hamas scarf with anti-Israel slogans on it. The slogans “Jerusalem is ours, we are coming,” and “From the river to the sea,” are popular with the group. Hamas advocates for the abolition of Israel.

Trump often pretends to be a strong supporter of Israel. He panders to American Jews with promises he can’t keep, while throwing obstacles in front of plausible peace initiatives. His hostile rhetoric is counterproductive and insulting to Israelis, the United Nations, and every American with whom he disagrees. He has been especially disparaging of the President who he believes is “trying to destroy Israel with all his bad moves.”

There is simply no justification for granting access to this debate to someone who has exhibited camaraderie with an anti-Israel terrorist group. Trump is demonstrating that his bluster over crushing ISIS is as meaningless as a diploma from Trump University. If you are opposed to “radical Islamic terrorism” you don’t hobnob with terrorist sympathizers.

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

As for the media, there has been virtually no mention of Malik’s abhorrent ties to Hamas. And this is the media that Trump asserts is “rigged” against him. Just imagine how the press would react if President Obama invited a terrorist supporter to the White House. It would be front page news for weeks. And Trump would be calling for his impeachment.

WTF? At Clinton’s Post-Terror Press Avail 3 Out Of 4 Questions Were About Trump

For much of the summer conservatives busied themselves counting the days that elapsed since Hillary Clinton held a press conference. To them it indicated that she had something to hide. The truth was that she was concentrating on local media and one-on-one interviews. She was hardly avoiding the press. However, if she wanted to she had ample reason. Her press conference this morning is a perfect illustration of why Clinton might be justified in dodging these affairs.

Hillary Clinton

Following a weekend of bombings and stabbings attributed to terror-linked suspects, Clinton delivered a statement and took a few question from reporters covering her campaign (video below). She began by offering her support to the communities affected by the attacks. She also expressed concern for the victims and determination to prevail over the perpetrators saying, in part:

“Like all Americans, my thoughts are with those who were wounded, their families and our brave first responders. This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower, we will prevail. We will defend our country and we will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.”

After her remarks, Clinton invited the press to ask questions. You might think this would be a good time to dig deeper into her plans to defeat the enemy. But that would only be true if you considered the enemy to be Donald Trump. Because the press seemed far more interested in him than in ISIS. Here are the four questions Clinton was asked by our intrepid journalists:

First Question:

Unidentified Reporter: The person of interest in this case is an Afghan immigrant, now U.S. citizen. What do you say to voters who may see this as a reason to consider supporting Trump’s approach to terror and immigration?

What do you say to those voters? Who gives a flying flapjack! Voters who are considering Trump’s approach to fighting terrorism are considering an approach that doesn’t exist. And his followers don’t care. In over fifteen months of campaigning he has yet to articulate a coherent policy. Trump’s ISIS “plan” consists of bashing Clinton and President Obama, while boldly declaring from the comfort of his gold-encrusted penthouse that he will bomb the sh*t out of them. Despite the obtuse phrasing of the question, Clinton’s reply was thoughtful, covering law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and immigration reform. All while respecting the civil liberties of American citizens and residents. Voters considering Trump have no interest in such trivialities.

Second Question:

Monica Alba, NBC News: Secretary Clinton, the White House has labeled these lone wolf attacks a top concern and given these weekend’s events, what more specifically should be done and what would you do specifically beyond what President Obama has done? Is the current plan enough?

Remember that question. You won’t hear another like during this event. It actually addressed a substantive issue and Clinton was able to respond in kind.

Third Question:

Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg Politics: Are you concerned that this weekend’s attacks or potential incidents in the coming weeks might be an attempt by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers or, really, any other group, maybe the Russians, to influence the presidential race in some way, And presumably try to drive votes to Donald Trump who, as you said before, widely seen as perhaps being somebody who they would be more willing to — or see as an easier person to be against?

Once again, the question was framed with an eye on how Trump figured into it. The reporter couldn’t simply inquire as to Clinton’s thoughts on the events of the day. Apparently the electoral consequences of terrorism are more important than defeating it. Nevertheless, Clinton soldiered on to provide an answer:

“We know that a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists, people who number in the maybe tens of thousands, not but tens of millions.” […and…] “we know that Donald Trump’s comments have been used online for recruitment of terrorists. We’ve heard that from former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who made it a very clear point when he said Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists. We also know from the former head of our Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.”

That business about “giving aid and comfort to our adversaries” was quickly snatched up by the Trump camp. They complained that Clinton was accusing him of treason. However, she was only citing the opinion of a counter-terrorism expert. The rest of her comments were accurate and well documented.

Fourth Question:

Nancy Cordes, CBS News: Secretary Clinton, as you know, Donald Trump has had a lot to say about your record on this issue over the weekend. Here’s one more example. “Under the leadership of Obama and Clinton, Americans have experienced more attacks at home than victories abroad. Time to change the playbook.” What’s your reaction to that characterization?

Cordes was referencing Trump’s tweet this morning. It hardly requires a response since it is so patently absurd. Americans have not experienced any near the number of attacks as the victories abroad. There have only been a handful of domestic terrorist attacks. That doesn’t diminish the tragedy resulting from them, but it’s simply a fact that there have been very few. Conversely, the U.S. has conducted thousands of missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, that have eliminated hundreds of terrorists including many of their top commanders. Clinton made that very point and ridiculed Trump’s “irresponsible, reckless rhetoric.”

Change the playbook? Trump doesn’t have a playbook at all, and we’re not even sure that he can read. Clinton, on the other hand, has laid out detailed plans for dealing with terrorism. She has the support of dozens of national security experts with credentials from both parties. While Trump has been shunned by members of his own party who say he is unqualified, ignorant, and dangerous.

The press showed itself in this candidate avail to be obsessed with horse-race politics to the exclusion of anything else. The issues that needed to be discussed today were the ones relating to the attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota. There were real people with real injuries involved. But the media seemed to be interested in only the political circus generally, and the Trump sideshow in particular. That’s a sad state of journalistic affairs. And it would serve as justification should Clinton want to ditch her press corps for the remainder of the campaign. Unless the media can divest itself of its Trump fetish, they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

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