Obama’s Press Briefings Were Tongue Baths – Says Trump’s Tongue Bath Team on Fox News

Barack Obama has now been out of office for sixteen months. But that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from obsessing over him and making poorly constructed comparisons that only reveal his insecurity and jealousy. Naturally, Fox News is right there to stroke Trump’s fragile ego with positive affirmations and ludicrous conspiracy theories.

Obama Fox News

On Saturday Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, interviewed radical Chrisianist Mike Huckabee, whose daughter is the President’s press secretary. In the course of this segment Fox News reported comments made by Obama in jest at a recent tech conference. Obama said of his presidency that:

“There wasn’t any malicious intent, which is why I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about. But actually, if you look at the history of the modern presidency, coming out of the modern presidency without anybody going to jail is really good. It’s a big deal.”

Indeed. While it can hardly be claimed that the Obama years were free of error, there were precisely zero indictments or convictions of people associated with his administration in eight years. Obviously the same cannot be said of Trump in only a little over one year. But this unarguable fact became the subject of ridicule by Huckabee and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox (video below). When asked to comment, Huckabee said of Obama that:

“There were a lot of scandals. The difference was there wasn’t a scrutiny. And you can’t have the kind of scandals that you normally see in Washington if you don’t have a press corps that is doing their job of being a watchdog. In the case of the Obama administration, the press wasn’t a watchdog, they were a lap dog. […] A White House press briefing was a tongue bath.”

That analysis might require an extended pause for laughter. This is an ultra right-wing Obama hater complaining to America’s premiere Trump-fluffers that the press wasn’t tough enough on Obama. All that these Fox and Friends hacks do every day is slobber over Trump with their tongues hanging out and their tails wagging. It would be like Hannibal Lecter taking a waiter to task after finding a hair in his soup. (For the 1990’s pop culture challenged – the dude eats people).

Huckabee sought to debunk the truthful characterization of Obama’s presidency as scandal-free by rattling off what he claimed were bona fide scandals. They included:

  • The delivery of “palettes of cash” to Iran in conjunction with their agreement to scale back their nuclear weapons program.
    That was actually the return of funds that belonged to Iran that had been sequestered while sanctions were in place.
  • The murders of American diplomats in Benghazi.
    After years of congressional investigations and hearings, run by Republicans, it was determined that there was no wrongdoing on the part of anyone in the Obama administration.
  • Allegations that the IRS discriminated against conservative charitable organizations.
    This was debunked when it turned out that they didn’t treat conservatives any differently than they treated liberals. Not one conservative charity was denied its tax exempt status.
  • The so-called Fast and Furious gun running operation.
    This was actually a project that began in the Bush administration.

So giving it their best effort, Huckabee and Fox News were unable to cite a single verifiable scandal that occurred under Obama’s watch. And it wasn’t like Obama had the sort of friendly Congress that Trump has today. Republicans were in charge throughout most of his term. But they still failed to find sufficient evidence to indict or convict anyone from the Obama White House. Contrast that with the dozens of indictments that special counsel Robert Mueller has already obtained, along with five guilty pleas. And to be sure, there are more to come.

The spectacle of Huckabee appearing on State TV (aka Fox News) and trying to make the case that Obama got a free ride is just plain hysterical. If he had said it on any other network it might have been slightly less ridiculous. But saying that the media was overly deferential to Obama on a network that is so flagrantly pro-Trump is the reason that political satire is so hard to do these days. The skewed reality of Fox News and people like Huckabee are just way to funny for comedians to compete with.

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

Advanced Gaslighting: Trump is Now Denying that His Own Spokesperson Exists

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president there has been a debate over whether his frequently absurd comments were the result of his shameless dishonesty or his evident psychological degradation. Of course these are not mutually exclusive explanations for why Trump so flagrantly espouses known lies and insane conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump

In addition to diagnoses that Trump is a pathological liar, he exhibits clear signs of senility. But sometimes his ludicrous remarks are simply purposeful attempts create alternative realities that defy logic and serve no purpose other than to foster confusion and diversion. And if they’re also insulting, he probably thinks he’s hit the jackpot.

On Saturday morning Trump demonstrated this talent he has for irrational outbursts with a tweet attacking his media nemesis, the “failing” New York Times. He was lashing out about reporting on his embarrassing flips and flops with regard to whether he will meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un:

This may be one of the most unarguably deranged tweets Trump has posted to date. The “senior White House official” Trump is denying exists was Matt Pottinger who serves on the National Security Council (as reported by Yasher Ali). Pottinger actually said precisely what Trump is denying to a roomful of reporters with many more listening on a conference call. It was a background briefing that was authorized by the White House and was also attended by Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shaj.

In other words, the statement asserting that it would be impossible to hold the meeting on June 12 was an official White House communication by those responsible for that information. So Trump’s tweet is saying that his own spokespeople don’t exist. He literally said that they are not real people. Donald Trump is calling his own press staffers and national security advisors fake news.

Let that sink in. It’s one thing to falsely claim, as Trump does almost daily, that actual news that he doesn’t like is fake just because he doesn’t like it. He even does this to reporters he personally calls to “leak” information that he thinks he will benefit from. But it’s another thing entirely to send his staffers out to talk to reporters in the White House and then later deny whatever it was that he told them to say.

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

If Trump is going to refute his own official pronouncements from his own designated spokespeople, then the press has no responsibility honor any agreements with regard to those comments being off the record or on background. If a reporter publishes a statement from an anonymous source who lied to the reporter, the reporter is ethically permitted to reveal the identity of the source. And likewise, Trump cannot authorize statements to the media and then castigate the media for reporting what he said. The fact that he does this is proof that he doesn’t respect the press (obviously) or even the principle of truthfulness. And the press should approach everything he says, or whatever comes out of his administration, with the skepticism that his record of brazen dishonesty warrants.

UPDATE: There’s audio of Pottinger saying exactly what the press reported he said – and what Trump said was fake news: