Jared Kushner Tells Fox News that 60,000 Dead ‘Is a Great Success Story’

History will record the total absence of “leadership” provided by Donald Trump and his regime as a catastrophic failure. It is unimaginable how thoroughly negligent Trump has been as a deadly pandemic spread across the nation and the world.

Donald Trump, Jared Kushner

Trump’s first inclination was to ignore the coronavirus entirely. He failed to take heed of at least a dozen warnings in his Daily Presidential Briefings. Then he cavalierly dismissed the threat as trivial, saying that it was “totally under control,” that it would “disappear…like a miracle,” and that “you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” It is now more than a million. And through it all he refused to take any responsibility for his negligence and incompetence as he wasted crucial months shifting blame to others.

At the same time, Trump hijacked the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings to cast himself as the star of what became an egocentric reality TV show that functioned more as a Trump 2020 reelection campaign infomercial. Instead of focusing on public education, he disseminated lies, insulted reporters, and bragged about the ratings. It got to the point that even his political allies were grimacing at his bizarre behavior. So he announced that he would cease to attend the briefings. That didn’t last but a couple of days.

Which brings us to Wednesday morning when Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made an appearance on Fox News for his regular propaganda and happy-talk segment (video below). And he didn’t disappoint his hosts, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He kept his remarks socially distant from reality by faithfully adhering to pre-established talking points such as his disparagement of health experts as “the eternal lockdown crowd.” Then he elaborated…

“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this, and I think that we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So the federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story.”

Literally every line of that is flagrantly untrue. We are certainly not “on the other side of the medical aspect of this.” To the contrary, the number of infections and fatalities continue to rise. We have not “achieved all the different milestones.” Unless Kushner regards 60,000 deaths an administration milestone. What’s more, we are not even close to the number of Americans tested that experts say are necessary to “flatten the curve.”

Kushner’s assertion that “the federal government rose to the challenge” is not only false considering its tragically poor performance, it contradicts what Trump says is the federal government’s role. Trump has repeatedly insisted that the states have primary responsibility and the feds are are just a backup of last resort.

Finally, Kushner closed by calling the Trump administration’s handling of this crisis “a great success story.” That’s an assessment so preposterous it hardly deserves a response. With tens of thousands of dead Americans, and over a million more suffering, any characterization of this as successful can only come from deranged and callously insensitive mind.

However, Trump is desperate to sell this snake oil story. The American people are not buying his self-serving presentations of an allegedly flawless response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor his utterly insufficient efforts to bring relief to a nation crippled physically, emotionally, and financially. And he has fallen behind Joe Biden in every national poll, as well as polling in many of the critical swing states. It is in that state of desperation that Trump is frantically struggling to survive politically and psychologically. But with each passing day he seems to be losing both battles.

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

This Trump Tweetstorm is a Frightening Display of a Psychotic Meltdown in Real Time

The downward spiraling mental state of Donald Trump has been observable for many months (years?). However, it has never been as unmistakably deranged as is evident in his latest Sunday tweetstorm. This is behavior that ought to be of concern to every America, even the presidential bootlickers in Congress and the Trump-fluffers at Fox News.

Donald Trump Zombie

The bizarre rhetoric that Trump unleashes in this Twitter tantrum comes shortly after he bailed out of his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercials). Having proposed one of the most preposterous notions of his presidency – that ingesting disinfectants could cure COVID-19 – Trump reportedly has chickened out of appearing at future briefings. And in anticipation of the loss of that platform, Trump is now lashing out wildly at the free press.

In fifteen tweets Trump never once mentions the coronavirus pandemic. This departure from sanity really speaks for itself. So here it is with minimal annotations (Note: Trump has already deleted some these tweets, but you can search for them here):

The people that know me< and know the history of our Country say that I am the hardest working President in history. I don’t know about that, but I am a hard worker and have probably gotten more done in the first 3 1/2 years than any President in history. The Fake News hates it!"

“…the hardest working president…”? No one is saying that but his glassy-eyed disciples who regard temper tantrums and insults as “work.”

I work from early in the morning until late at night, haven’t left the White House in many months (except to launch Hospital Ship Comfort) in order to take care of Trade Deals, Military Rebuilding etc., and then I read a phony story in the failing @nytimes about my work….”

What Trump thinks is work is tweeting and watching Fox News. Also, Trump left the White House< numerous time in February and March to attend his cult rallies.

“….schedule and eating habits, written by a third rate reporter who knows nothing about me. I will often be in the Oval Office late into the night & read & see that I am angrily eating a hamburger & Diet Coke in my bedroom. People with me are always stunned. Anything to demean!”

You have to wonder who these “people” in his bedroom are. Trump doesn’t bother to name the reporter or link to the article because he knows it’s all true. And it’s notable that he frequently claims that any story that doesn’t name its sources is fake news. Therefore, we can assume that this tweet is as well.

When will all of the “reporters” who have received Noble Prizes for their work on Russia, Russia, Russia, only to have been proven totally wrong (and, in fact, it was the other side who committed the crimes), be turning back their cherished “Nobles” so that they can be given….”

Trump, of course, was impeached (forever) due to his crimes. Not only have they not been proven wrong, they have been confirmed with additional evidence. And it isn’t “Noble,” it’s Nobel, you ignorant dotard. Also, there is no Nobel prize for journalism. Trump is probably thinking of the Pulitzer, if you call what he does “thinking.”

“….to the REAL REPORTERS & JOURNALISTS who got it right. I can give the Committee a very comprehensive list. When will the Noble Committee DEMAND the Prizes back, especially since they were gotten under fraud? The reporters and Lamestream Media knew the truth all along….”

Indeed the media knows the truth, which why they were awarded “Nobles.” The problem is that Trump hates the truth, particularly when it is applied to him.

“….Lawsuits should be brought against all, including the Fake News Organizations, to rectify this terrible injustice. For all of the great lawyers out there, do we have any takers? When will the Noble Committee Act? Better be fast!”

Here Trump is once again attempting to intimidate the free press with bogus legal harassment. I hope he follows through because it would be entertaining to see him get laughed out of court.

The quantity of certifiably insane dialog in these tweets may set new records for Trump. His malignant narcissism, sociopathy, hostility, pathological lying, and obvious desperation and fear jumps out at readers who aren’t unreachably brainwashed. Trump is clearly suffering new lows in his mental decline. And his continuing in office is becoming ever more perilous for the nation. Especially during an ongoing pandemic crisis. If there were ever a time to invoke the 25th Amendment it is NOW!.

UPDATE: As if the above weren’t enough, Trump’s paranoid hysterics continued through the afternoon with specific rage against his most sycophantic cable TV shills at Fox News:

@FoxNews just doesn’t get what’s happening! They are being fed Democrat talking points, and they play them without hesitation or research. They forgot that Fake News @CNN & MSDNC wouldn’t let @FoxNews participate, even a little bit, in the poor ratings Democrat Debates…..”

“….Even the Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats laughed at the Fox suggestion. No respect for the people running @FoxNews. But Fox keeps on plugging to try and become politically correct. They put RINO Paul Ryan on their Board. They hire “debate questions to Crooked Hillary”….”

“….fraud @donnabrazile (and others who are even worse). Chris Wallace is nastier to Republicans than even Deface the Nation or Sleepy Eyes. The people who are watching @FoxNews, in record numbers (thank you President Trump), are angry. They want an alternative now. So do I!”

Hasn’t he hit rock bottom yet? He’s gonna zone out and fall into a hysterical coma. Or overdose on Adderall. Bear in mind that Trump is engaging in these egomaniacal, manic outbursts on Melania’s birthday. Not to mention a global pandemic.

UPDATE II: This is getting ridiculous. Trump just tweeted that his misspelling of Nobel (as Noble) was intentional sarcasm. Yeah, sure. The last time he tried that excuse (Friday) he later admitted that he was lying. And it’s notable that he deleted all of those allegedly sarcastic tweets.

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

GOOD NEWS! Trump is Reportedly Retreating in Fear to His Bunker

For the past several weeks Donald Trump has cast himself as the star of his latest reality TV show, “The Coronavirus Task Force” (aka The Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercial). He has shamelessly exploited the public health crisis by hijacking these briefings to make himself the center of attention and advance his own political objectives.

Trump Fear

Trump’s voracious ego compelled him to take center stage for these pseudo-informational events because he was convinced that his magnetic presence would be impossible to resist. Unfortunately for him, his impression of his own charisma was a figment of his acutely narcissistic imagination. As the briefings played on (and on and on and on), it became clear that Trump wasn’t doing himself any favors. He was also hurting his fellow Republicans and even the reputations of the experts on the task force. Polling on both Trump’s job approval and his handling of the coronavirus have declined sharply. What’s more, surveys showed that he was losing the presidential election to Joe Biden nationally and in key swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Consequently, Trump’s advisors sought frantically to persuade him that he needs to fire himself as the COVID-19 spokesmodel. and it appears that they have finally gotten through. Axios is reporting that…

“A number of Trump’s most trusted advisers – both inside and outside the White House – have urged him to stop doing marathon televised briefings. They’ve told him he’s overexposed and these appearances are part of the reason polls aren’t looking good for him right now against Joe Biden. ‘I told him it’s not helping him,’ said one adviser to the president. ‘Seniors are scared. And the spectacle of him fighting with the press isn’t what people want to see.’ But Trump has defended the practice, telling critics that the briefings get good ratings.”

Indeed, Trump has been fiercely fixated on the ratings for the televised briefings. He has the shallow view that high ratings are reflective of his popularity. They aren’t. Many people tune in to get information from experts like Dr. Fauci. Still more watch to see what bizarre nonsense Trump will disgorge next. And on that front at least, Trump doesn’t disappoint.

It’s difficult to imagine that anyone finds Trump’s hysterics at these briefings appealing. He spends the bulk of his time lying about imaginary achievements, lavishing praise on himself, and yelling petulantly at reporters. His behavior is so outlandish that even many of his allies are repulsed. In addition to prescribing potentially fatal “cures” like injecting bleach, Trump passes off fiction as fact, such as his claim that the United States has done more virus testing than all major countries combined (Fact check: U.S. tests = 5 million, other countries = 20 million).

It’s no secret to those paying attention that Trump has been using the briefings to replace his cult rallies that can no longer be held. Not being able to soak up the adoration of his glassy-eyed disciples has put Trump in a funk. The briefings have allowed him to unload his spiel while lashing out at the press that for some reason still thinks they need to cover his mania as if it’s newsworthy. But lately he’s been frustrated by not being able to coherently respond to questions challenging his mounting failures. And Trump shut down Friday’s briefing in less than thirty minutes without taking a single question.

If Trump does retreat from the briefing podium he is surely going to find something else to satisfy his starving ego. He may visit factories that are making medical supplies and take credit for their productivity. He could show up at businesses that are prematurely reopening, putting the lives of their employees and customers at risk. He’ll surely be a more frequent guest on Fox News. Or he’ll do what was just announced on Friday: deliver a commencement speech at West Point which will require cadets, who had been sent home, to return to New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus, in order witness another Trumpian display of propaganda and rancor.

At this point Trump is running on the fumes of his fear. He is afraid to answer questions that aren’t posed by Trump-fluffers on Fox News. He is afraid of his polling declining even further. He is afraid of losing the election in November. Sadly, he isn’t afraid of making fatally misguided decisions that are putting the lives of more Americans at risk. But getting off of the the TV every day can only benefit the nation. Ironically, it will also benefit Trump, but he’s too stupid to realize it. As a result, he’ll somehow screw up whatever personal benefit he might have otherwise enjoyed. Which is more good news for America.

UPDATE: Trump tweeted about this and, typically, whined about the press being mean to him, displayed his ignorance of ratings, and proved that he can’t handle honest criticism so he calls it fake in an impotent effort to dismiss it. Can he be any more pathetic?

Trump saying that “the American people are getting nothing but Fake News” during an event where he is the dominant speaker is quite a confession. Notice also that Trump is only complaining about his role in the briefings. None of the other participants, the doctors, scientists, public health administrators, even Mike Pence, are complaining in this pitiful manner. But it sounds like Trump is planning to not only bow out of the the briefings, but eliminate them altogether. We’ll see.

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

Defending His Bleach Injection Insanity, Trump Lies and Makes Matters Even Worse

When lying holds no moral weight, the liar will carelessly compound his dishonesty. So it is with Donald Trump whose pathological falsification of all things great and small is bound to set historical records. Unfortunately, this isn’t sport, and the likelihood that people will be hurt, and even die,cannot be ignored.

Donald Trump Virus

Trump’s bizarre and dangerous assertions on Thursday that injections of bleach or alcohol could be potential treatments for COVID-19 (coronavirus) were the latest escalation of his war on human beings. Trump seems to cherish initiatives that put lives at risk. He displays that in his efforts to kill Obamacare, his rollback of fuel emission standards, and remarkably in his proposal to nuke hurricanes. He clearly doesn’t have even a kindergartners grasp of science. But more worrisome is that he has zero empathy for the citizens of the United States or the world.

On Friday Trump sought to disinfect his noxious suggestion about ingesting household cleaning solutions. But his pitifully lame effort only served to amplify his abundant ignorance. For the record, at Thursday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump 2020 reelection campaign infomercial), Trump hyped an insane theory of his own making with this inquiry: “The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning.”

Yes, of course there is. And it would totally kill the virus – along with the patient – but hey, that’s the trade-off. The comment was so preposterous that Trump had to walk it back early Friday as he spoke with reporters. However, his explanation only affirmed that he will lie shamelessly no matter how obvious it is. When asked to clarify his remarks, Trump told reporters that “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.”

The only problem with that excuse is that the video above shows that he wasn’t addressing reporters. He plainly turned to Dr. Deborah Birx and Bill Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security for affirmation of his wackadoodle theory. Furthermore, there was no hint of sarcasm in his voice or manner. And if that weren’t enough, Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, issued a statement saying that…

“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing. Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.”

Notice that McEnany doesn’t bother to point to whatever she is asserting was out of context. She knows that the media was merely quoting Trump, and doing so accurately. Even worse, McEnany doesn’t dispute the impression that Trump left as endorsing bleach injections. She merely advises that people consult with their doctors first. There’s a problem with that as well. Because if you ask your doctor if it’s okay to shoot up Clorox, you’re likely to be committed to a psyche ward.

Finally, Trump seems to think that it’s his job to float reckless and potentially fatal therapies to the American people on national television. And he said as much in this exchange:

Philip Bump, Washington Post: Respectfully sir, you’re the president and people tuning into these briefings they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do. They’re not looking for rumors.”
Trump: I’m the president and you are fake news. And you know what I’ll say to you? I’ll say it very nicely. You ready? It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man. He’s talking about sun. He’s talking about heat. And you see the numbers. So that’s it. That’s all I have. I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas.”

First of all, the suggestion to inject poisons was not from the “very smart, perhaps brilliant man.” That was all Trump. More to the point, it is not the president’s job to present any and all ideas, particularly those that are not validated by science and that can result in tragedy. That’s just rumor mongering. And Trump’s recent experience with hyping the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine proved the folly of such snake oil pitches when it turned out that it contributed to more deaths among a trial group of coronavirus patients, than those who did not receive it.

If there’s one thing that can be learned from this, it’s that Trump’s babbling must never be taken seriously. His ignorance and callous disregard for the welfare of others can only lead to pain and loss. And even when he’s called out for his fatal errors, he will manufacture distortions of reality to try to absolve himself of responsibility. These are the behaviors of a narcissistic sociopath. And those who continue to cover for him, whether in the public, the press, or politics, are not only complicit, they are hopelessly lost cultists.

UPDATE: So after suggesting that people ingest poison, then lying that it was HHS official Bill Bryan who said it, then lying that he was sarcastically addressing it to reporters, Trump has now tweeted that he did in fact say it to Bryan. Trump really needs someone on his staff to manage his lies better.

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

Reality TV Host Trump Appoints Another Fox News Regular to a High Profile Post

The gross negligence and incompetence of Donald Trump has been painfully evident in his tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. This intrusion of his ignorance and ego (observable at his daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings that make even his allies cringe) could not have resulted in anything but tragedy and loss.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Just as responsible for his personal failings is his reliance on a coterie of imbeciles and bootlickers, many recruited from his State TV propaganda operation, aka Fox News. On Thursday morning it was announced that yet another Fox News talking head has been elevated to a critical post in the Trump administration. Former general Anthony Tata has been a Fox News contributor for several years. His appearances are predictably slathered in adulation of Trump and blind loyalty to Trumpism. That’s been a sure-fire method of attaining employment in the administration of our reality TV game show host “president.” Politico reports that…

“Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general, novelist and Fox News regular, will be tapped as the next Pentagon policy chief, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

“If confirmed by the Senate, Tata would replace John Rood, who was forced out in February as part of President Donald Trump’s loyalty purge after two years in the job.”

Trump’s embrace of Fox News is an unprecedented merger of media and government. He routinely seeks the advice of Fox anchors who are bursting with shallow opinions, but have no relevant skills. Sean Hannity is Trump’s virtual chief of staff, despite lacking either education or experience. And the Fox News/White House revolving door has seen at least 21 people spinning through its portal. They include…

  • Senior advisor Hope Hicks
  • Former Fox president Bill Shine
  • State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert
  • Former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka
  • Former National Security Advisor John Bolton
  • White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
  • Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell
  • Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland

This is the sort of politicization of critical government roles that insures catastrophe. The White House utterly lacks any assembly of knowledge, experience, or historical memory. Consequently it suffers from a tunnel blind sameness of perspective that is wholly obedient to the Dear Leader responsible for doling out privilege and access to power.

As a recent example of this abysmal absence of leadership and devotion to unflinching personal loyalty, the Trump administration dismissed Dr. Richard Bright, the leading expert on viruses and vaccines at the Department of Health and Human Services. Bright subsequently spoke out about his “demotion” noting that, because he “resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs (i.e. hydroxychloroquine) promoted by those with political connections,” the administration retaliated against him with a punitive transfer. As it turns out, that drug, that was hyped repeatedly and recklessly by Trump and Fox News actually contributed to more deaths among a trial group of coronavirus patients, than those who did not receive it.

These efforts by Trump to pack his White House with ultra-partisan right-wingers that he finds at Fox News can only only lead to ever more incidents of bad judgment and potentially deadly mistakes, whether by misguided intent or flagrant ignorance. This is particularly dangerous during a time when the nation is engulfed in a pandemic that requires leadership driven by science, not politics. Unfortunately, Trump is incapable of governing that way. So we can expect to see more turmoil, suffering, and disastrous blunders until he is booted out of office. November cannot 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.

Study Shows Higher Rates of Coronavirus Deaths Linked to Watching Sean Hannity

Anyone who has observed how Donald Trump and Fox News have portrayed the emergence and spread of the coronavirus for the past few months cannot help but notice their trivialization of the pandemic threat. They have contradicted the health experts who have been issuing dire warnings all along. They have insisted, falsely, that it is less deadly than the common flu. They have accused Democrats of creating it as a hoax to bring down the President.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

More recently, the Fox/Trump cartel has been peddling the asinine exploits of astroturf protesters who seek to prematurely end the “stay-at-home” policies imposed by most state governors. These are measures that have been responsible for helping to mitigate the most tragic consequences of the pandemic. They seem to be operating a doomsday cult with a death wish for the nation in order to allow wealthy corporations to return to padding their bank accounts. And they’re too stupid to realize that the only way back to economic prosperity is to protect the health of all Americans by defeating the virus.

Not surprisingly, the field marshal for the COVID-19 militia is Sean Hannity of Fox News. And now his contributions to the success of the contagion have been affirmed by a study conducted by a trio of economists with the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago. The study compiled data related to the virus and matched it to television ratings for both Hannity, who routinely downplayed the virus, and Tucker Carlson, who, at least initially, reported on its potential for great harm. The key conclusions from their research reveal a distinct relationship between higher infection and death rates from the coronavirus and viewing of Hannity’s program:

“Using both a poll of Fox News viewers over age 55 and publicly available data on television-watching patterns, they calculate that Fox viewers who watched Hannity rather than Carlson were less likely to adhere to social distancing rules, and that areas where more people watched Hannity relative to Carlson had higher local rates of infection and death.”

While there are caveats to accepting these conclusions without some healthy skepticism (it is just one study and not yet peer reviewed), it satisfies a certain level of common sense. After all, any “trusted” source of information (as Fox News viewers consider Hannity) is likely to exert influence on the consumer of that information. So if Hannity tells his audience that there is nothing to worry about, they will behave in a dangerously cavalier manner that makes them more susceptible to virus transmission and acquisition. And that’s precisely the behavior that would produce the results seen in this study.

The study did not explore more broad associations involving Fox News as compared to other news networks. But it isn’t hard to imagine that the same factors would play out with similar results. In other words, if Fox News tells you it’s okay to go to work and ignore social distancing recommendations, you are probably going to be more at risk than viewers of CNN or MSNBC who are taking prudent precautions.

These conclusions are also aligned with rational logic. News Corpse speculated two months ago that Trump’s cult rallies were potential breeding grounds for the coronavirus due to their willingness to ignore the warnings. What’s more, a recent Gallup survey found that Fox News viewers and Republicans are more likely to buy Trump’s COVID-19 lies. Consequently, they too would have increased vulnerability. Which makes it impossible not to presume that it is far more dangerous to be in the company of reckless Republicans, Hannity viewers, and Trump supporters, than cautious Democrats. Proceed at your own risk.

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

Trump Reveals What He Cares About Now: ‘Going Around Fake News [to Lie] to the People’

The American people are struggling to cope with a crisis that most have never imagined. They are frightened for the welfare of themselves, their families, and their nation. And with the exception of a few misguided jackasses, they are bringing a profound measure of determination and courage to the fight to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and return to some semblance of normalcy.

Donald Trump Loves

And then there’s Donald Trump. From the outset of his presidency (and actually many decades before) Trump has demonstrated that the only thing he really cares about is himself. That’s repulsive and annoying for a private citizen or a reality TV game show host, but it’s frightfully dangerous for an alleged national leader.

During Monday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercial), Trump was asked “Is this really the time for self-congratulations,” with nearly 800,000 Americans infected and tens of thousands dead. He responded by callously saying that “It’s not about me. Nothing is about me.”

Of course, that’s ludicrous. His answer went on to reiterate how, in his view, he is the most put upon president ever, despite all of the miraculous accomplishments that exist only in his cartoon brain. But on Tuesday morning Trump was apparently less than satisfied with his self-exaltations, so he blasted out a series of tweets lavishing more praise on himself. For instance…

These are the ravings of a malignant narcissist whose perception of reality is deeply distorted by his voracious ego. When Trump takes credit for the ratings of the task force briefings, he is proving how little he knows about ratings. He thinks that people of all political persuasions tuning in to get information from health experts about a deadly pandemic is a reflection of his popularity. It isn’t. He has been making this mistake for several weeks and is convinced that he is the Pat Sajak of COVID-19, spinning the “Wheel of Misfortune” for bored television audiences.

More to the point, Trump openly discloses what he cares about during this time of tribulations, pretending that he doesn’t care about ratings (although he can’t stop talking about them), but that “I care about going around the Fake News to the PEOPLE!”

Yep. That’s what Trump says he cares about. He could have said that he cares about the tens of thousands of dead Americans and their grieving families and friends. He could have said that he cares about overcoming the pandemic and restoring the nation’s physical and financial health. But no. He is so consumed with his own PR that he couldn’t even suppress his ego long enough to pretend that he cared about something other than promoting himself and bashing his perceived foes in the press.

Trump elaborated on this theme of self-obsession in a trio of tweets posted along with the one above. In one he confessed that he watched Joe Scarborough on MSNBC and concluded that Scarborough was filled with “hatred and contempt” and that “his mind is shot.” That’s as good an example of pure psychotic projection as you’re ever likely to see.

In another tweet Trump whined that “It is amazing that I became President,” considering what he claims was the “corrupt” and “dishonest” media going after him day and night. He isn’t the only one who thinks his being elected president was amazing. But what’s really amazing is that Trump’s glassy-eyed cult followers aren’t repulsed by his constant and cowardly victimhood.

Finally, Trump bragged that he has a “96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party.” The only problem with that is that he absolutely doesn’t. He frequently posts this lie without ever providing a link to his (non-existent) source. But even if his approval was that high, Trump still doesn’t grasp that he’s not supposed to be the president of the GOP. Which isn’t going to help him in the upcoming election. In three years he’s done nothing to expand his tiny base of dimwits, but he’s determinedly sought to exacerbate division and partisan rancor.

So the most egomaniacal president ever spent much of the morning ignoring a still spreading pandemic and tweeting about himself. And his comments revealed that he cares more about that than about the welfare of the American people. But you can still expect him to show up at today’s task force briefing (that he has no business even attending) where he will resume lying, bragging, and yelling petulantly at reporters. Some things – unfortunately – never change.

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

Trump Says ‘This is Easy’ as He Leads America Into a Coronavirus Wasteland

Donald Trump’s criminally negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic will go down as one of the most deadly abdications of leadership in history. From the beginning he refused to take the threat seriously. He insisted that the few cases reported in the U.S. would shortly drop to zero. His claim that he had everything under control was either a flagrant lie or fatally ignorant.

Donald Trump Climate Change

Trump also failed to pressure his pal, Xi Jinping, into providing honest and accurate data on the rapidly spreading infections. At the time, Trump was bragging about a pretty rotten trade deal that he was negotiating with China. He was afraid to jeopardize it by holding Xi’s feet to the fire on a public health catastrophe that has now taken the lives of more than 40,000 Americans.

Trump continues to tread the hypocritical territory between total authority and “taking no responsibility at all.” He spends the vast majority of his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka Trump 2020 reelection campaign TV infomercials) bragging about what he imagines are unprecedented achievements, but that don’t actually exist in the real world. Yet somehow these claims of outright victory are adjacent to his accusations of abject failure for which he blames mostly Democratic governors and the media.

Monday morning Trump shoveled another heap of garbage into his Twitter feed. It was typically self-aggrandizing, while maligning anyone he regards as less than utterly adoring. He began by unleashing a tired and impotent attack on Democrats, and concluded by praising himself:

Let’s break down this tantrum. For starters, it was not the Democrats (radical, do nothing, or otherwise) who “screamed” for ventilators. It was doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and other public health experts. It was also patients who were suffering, many of whom later died.

Secondly, acquiring ventilators was not exclusively the job of state governors. The federal government has a long established role in responding to national emergencies like the one that is in effect today. By not coordinating that response, Trump produced an environment where states had to compete with other states to get critical medical equipment and supplies. What’s worse, they also had to compete with the feds, who were undercutting efforts by the states to get these supplies. And Trump’s claim that “everyone got their V’s” is patently false.

Thirdly, Trump segued into a bizarre rant about “Testing, Testing, Testing,” and claimed that the states were “playing a very dangerous political game” simply because they asked the Trump administration to do its job. While testing is done in the states, the responsibility for producing the test kits rests with the president who alone can invoke the Defense Production Act to compel companies to gear up the manufacture of necessary medical items.

Finally, Trump pretends that he’s going to work with the governors. That’s when he isn’t attacking them with childish insults and inciting his cult followers to engage in open rebellion to the “Stay at Home” and “social distancing” policies that are critical to flattening the curve of the pandemic. And perhaps the most preposterous assertion in Trump’s Twitter tirade is his claim that “This is easy compared to the fast production of thousands of complex Ventilators!”

Really? Trump thinks it’s easy to manufacture, distribute, and process the tens of millions of test kits that are required before we can ever return to some semblance of normality? If so, then there is just one simple question he needs to answer: Why hasn’t he done it?

Obviously, Trump is only focused on shifting blame for his failures to others. That’s because he’s desperate to halt the brutal decline he is suffering in the polls, and to salvage his floundering reelection prospects. He’s just too stupid to realize that everything he’s doing will have the opposite effect that he’s hoping for. But what’s worse is that he is continuing to contribute to the tragedies and loss that the American people are suffering. And he just doesn’t care.

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

Even Trump’s ‘Friends’ Think His Behavior at Coronavirus Briefings is Asinine

For several weeks Donald Trump has been serving as the host of a daily reality TV program known as “The Coronavirus Task Force Briefings.” Trump envisions himself as the COVID-19 pandemic’s Pat Sajak, spinning a Wheel of Falsehoods and propaganda. He has turned what was intended to be a platform for disseminating life and death information into a petty, partisan, political charade.

Donald Trump

No longer able to bask in the glassy-eyed adoration of his cult disciples at mass rallies, Trump is callously exploiting a public health crisis in order to advance his own reelection prospects. He has cast himself as the star of the daily briefings despite the fact that, due to his ignorance and ego, he has nothing of value to contribute. Consequently, he wastes the time of the public and the press by upstaging the experts so that he can disgorge more lies, brag about imaginary accomplishments, and yell at reporters.

Trump’s narcissism always gets the best of him. He can’t hold a thought in his orange-glazed noggin that isn’t laser focused on his own self interest. But his efforts to exalt himself are failing bigly. His approval ratings are sinking during a national disaster, a time when any other leader would be enjoying a “rally round the flag” bounce. And he’s reduced to having to boast about his TV ratings because the American people aren’t buying his lies.

Even worse, many of Trump’s closest allies are straying from the Trump dogma. Rupert Murdoch’s conservative Wall Street Journal published an editorial titled Trump’s Wasted Briefings that said “If Mr. Trump thinks these daily sessions will help him defeat Joe Biden, he’s wrong.” GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia is warning that the president should “let the health professionals guide where we’re going to go,” and that the briefings have gone “off the rails a little bit.” Trump’s chief Senate bootlicker, Lindsey Graham, said that Trump “drowns out his own message,” and suggested that he appear once a week rather than every day. Even a reliable Fox News Trump-fluffer, Brit Hume, responded harshly to a Trump tweet about the briefings, saying that…

To top it off, one of Trump’s closest friends, Piers Morgan, appeared on CNN Sunday morning and delivered an uncompromising smack down (video below). He prefaced it saying that Trump “won’t want me saying this, but I’m gonna say it anyway.” And his elaboration pretty much confirmed that:

“I’ve been watching these daily briefings with mounting horror frankly, because this is not what the president should be doing. […and what…] this requires of any world leader is that they’ve got to be calm. They have to show authority. They have to be honest. They have to be accurate, entirely factual with what they’re telling the people. And they have to have the ability to show empathy. And on almost every level of that Donald Trump, at the moment, is failing the American people.

“He’s turning these briefings into a self-aggrandizing, self-justifying, overly defensive, politically partisan, almost like a rally to him. Almost like what’s more important to him is winning the election in November. No it’s not, Donald Trump. What is more important right now is saving American lives.”

To be sure, Morgan is notorious right-wing jerk with a long history of racism and misogyny. His prior remarks about Trump have been effusively laudatory. Which makes this criticism all the more painful for Trump. We can expect some infantile and insulting tweets aimed at Morgan shortly, because Trump’s most predictable trait is lashing out at those whom he feels have betrayed him. And that’s pretty much everyone, since his paranoia and persecution was affirmed in his own words when he said that All I see is hatred of me.” Poor baby.

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

Talk About Desperate: Trump Celebrates an OANN Poll that Doesn’t Exist

On Wednesday Donald Trump unleashed one of his most bizarrely unhinged performances at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump Campaign Rally). He produced a fictional list of corporate executives he said were members of a new economic task force. He reiterated his delusional view that he has “total authority” and threatened to shut down Congress. And of course, he bragged about imaginary achievements and yelled petulantly at reporters. Then he stomped out in huff when he didn’t like the questions.

Donald Trump Pacifier Fox

Trump’s presence at these briefings has been a waste of time from the start. He contributes nothing of substance, but distracts from the experts who actually have some relevant knowledge to impart to the public. Trump has proved that the only things he cares about are those things that advance his personal self-interest and assuaging his voracious ego. That was affirmed on Thursday as he took to Twitter with bitterly partisan posts and flagrant lies.

The first of Trump’s tweets was his celebration of a poll by the ultra right-wing Fox News wannabe One America News Network (OANN). This is the network that doesn’t have a big enough audience to be rated by Nielsen. It’s the network whose reporter was recently booted out of the White House briefings for violating social distancing guidelines, but who got a personal reprieve to stand in the back of the room by Trump’s press secretary (since fired), Stephanie Grisham. It’s a network that has even less credibility than viewers. But Trump promotes them because he can always count on them to kiss his – let’s say ring. He also uses them to needle Fox News when he doesn’t think they are being sufficiently flattering. So Trump tweeted this Thursday morning:

The first thing that makes this tweet significant is that no such OANN poll exists. This is another example of Trump mangling the facts to disseminate whatever “news” he believes will put him the best light, even if it’s fictional. It’s similar to his repeated – and false – claims that he has a 95% approval rating among Republicans. Trump often makes things up on the fly.

There does appear to be a poll that has numbers aligned to Trump’s tweet. It was conducted by the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank in North Carolina. So even if Trump had gotten the reference correct, it is still not a reputable, non-partisan survey. The notoriously biased Rasmussen poll only has Trump with a 46% approval, 53% disapproval. What’s more, the Civitas results are hardly worth bragging about. The alleged seven point lead over Joe Biden still has Trump below 50% (49-42%). Nationally, Trump has taken a nosedive with the most recent Gallup poll showing a six point drop in approval and a nine point leap in disapproval.

To add another level of irrelevance, the poll was conducted from April 5-7, so it’s a week and a half old. A more recent poll of this North Carolina race by Public Policy Polling shows Biden with a small lead in the state (48-47%), and the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Cal Cunningham, well ahead of the GOP incumbent, Thom Tillis (47-40%).

Trump has also been obsessed with maligning his perceived foes, including, and especially, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of whom he has a mortal fear. He posted two tweets piling on as many derogatory adjectives as he could think of. He called her “crazy,” “weak,” “a poor leader,” “incompetent,” “a pathetic puppet,” and “third-rate.” The first tweet quoted the insults of Sean Hannity of Fox News. The second tweet accused Pelosi of being “responsible for many deaths.” It also accused her of deleting a tweet that she never actually posted.

In other words, Trump was suffering a severe bout of psychological projection. Because those are all characteristics that have long defined Trump himself. Particularly the one concerning responsibility for tens of thousands of deaths that are directly attributable to Trump’s criminal negligence, and incompetence. And to make matters worse, Trump is still insisting that he wants to “reopen” the country, despite the fact that every health expert says it would be disastrous and deadly to do so at this time. Not that Trump or his GOP confederates care.

For the perfect example of how callous, insensitive, and greedy they are, take a look at this clip of Dr. Oz on Hannity Wednesday evening saying that schools should be reopened now because the deaths of 2 to 3% of American children from the coronavirus would be an acceptable “tradeoff” to get the economy back on track. No, really. He actually said that while Hannity nodded approvingly. This is the so-called “pro-life” right-wing:

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