The Blue Wave Swept MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Into First Place for November 2018

The 2018 midterm elections truly lived up to the pre-election hype. All the talk of a “Blue Wave” panned out as Democrats took the majority in the House of Representatives with more gains (40 seats) than any election since Watergate. In addition, they flipped seven governorships, seven statehouse majorities, and almost 400 state legislative seats. It was an unambiguous blowout for the Trump Resistance.

Rachel Maddow

But there was a victory that was not related to the the electoral one. The campaign for the eyes and ears of America’s television news viewers also tilted broadly to the left. The perennial leader, Fox News, suffered a decline in November versus their numbers for November 2017. So did CNN. But MSNBC had a notable gain. And that increase was driven by the popularity of their primetime anchor, Rachel Maddow.

Following the election on November sixth, the ratings for Maddow went steadily up. She was the top performing program on cable news for the rest of the month. Her competition, Sean Hannity, was unable to keep up. Maddow pulled in total 2.9 million viewers on average per night, compared to Hannity’s 2.8 million. And in the advertiser demographic of 25-54 she did 527,000, far exceeding Hannity’s 497,000.

Throughout much of this time period the election was still in progress as many districts continued to count votes in close races. That might have held the interest of viewers for Maddow, but you have to wonder why it didn’t do the same for Hannity’s audience. The difference may be that the election wasn’t the only story being told.

Donald Trump was doing his part by inflaming new scandals every other day. They included his callous response to the California fires; his ever-present battle with the media; the ongoing inaction to the murder of a journalist, and U.S. resident, Jamal Khashoggi; his embarrassing neglect of respect for fallen troops during his junket to France; and so many more it’s hard to keep track.

Maddow was studiously reporting on all of these issues and more. While Fox News was desperately trying to figure out ways to avoid these subjects altogether. Consequently they wound up recycling their typically ludicrous “War on Christmas” fare or regurgitated segments about Hillary Clinton’s emails. No wonder even Fox’s viewers turned away.

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

Whatever the reasons, Maddow showed that she is still a force to reckoned with. And as the new year brings a myriad of stories about congressional investigations into Trump and his crime family, along with the expected release of a report by special counsel Robert Mueller, the future looks bright for Maddow and MSNBC. Meanwhile, Fox viewers can look forward to more of this:

Fox News Regular Says the Mueller Investigation is a ‘Stalinist Approach to Criminal Justice’

It’s only been one day since the bombshell report that Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. His plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller provided new information about Trump’s collusion with Russia. But already Fox News is spinning it in the most frantically defensive manner possible. And it isn’t just the primetime “opinion” hosts doing it. It’s smack in the middle of the midday “news” block and buttressed by so-called “journalists.”

Fox News, Robert Mueller

Mollie Hemingway is a regular guest on Fox News and writes for the ultra-conservative Federalist. Her appearances on Fox are consistently pro-Trump no matter what new atrocity he has committed. So it isn’t especially surprising that she was called upon to help soften the blow of the new wrinkle in the Cohen scandal (video below). What’s surprising is the tack she took to disinform the willfully ignorant Fox viewers. She began with a nonsensical legal argument:

“If someone has evidence of something wrong, then they should bring that forward. But in this country we don’t decide that someone’s guilty and then go on a fishing expedition until they find something that they did.”

Since when do investigators “bring forward” everything they have accumulated prior to the completion of the investigation? She seems to think that law enforcement should tip off criminal suspects before all the evidence has been gathered. And contrary to Hemingway’s suggestion that Mueller is on a “fishing expedition,” he is actually just following the evidence wherever it takes him.

And that’s what’s worrying Fox News most of all. Because the evidence is invariably pointing to the guilt of Trump and his crime family. Facts are stubborn things. And the more that come out, the more trouble Trump is finding himself in. And the more desperate and fearful he behaves. Even to the point of accusing Mueller of McCarthyism. But Hemingway has taken this tactic ten steps further:

“It’s not that Donald Trump was a businessman that we need to find out. We already know that. We know that he’s a global businessman. What was alleged was treasonous collusion, and not just ‘this guy is someone we don’t like so we’re gonna punish him and anyone that worked with him.’ That’s a very Stalinist approach to criminal justice. It’s not how we’re supposed to do things in this country.”

Stalinist? So Hemingway thinks that the special counsel, who is a lifelong Republican, appointed by a Republican Deputy Attorney General that Trump chose, and working for Trump’s Justice Department, is a Stalinist operative? What does that say about the Republican Party – and Trump? Also, this isn’t about whether Trump was a businessman. He was, and really bad one with multiple bankruptcies. But this is about Trump lying about the business he was engaging in.

More to the point, Mueller is following the code of law to the letter. There is nothing remotely resembling the totalitarian methods of Stalin’s dictatorship about this probe. Stalin would have simply ordered his critics executed. Mueller is just asking people associated with the President’s campaign some questions. Oh, The Horror!

What’s more, the only similarities to Stalin in any of this are coming from Trump. He is actually using Stalin’s own words when he calls the media “the enemy of the people.” And Trump has banned reporters from the White House. He has maligned them as “fake,” “stupid,” “dangerous,” “dishonest,” and “sleazy.” He recently imposed a set of behavioral conditions that he is forcing them to follow. Now that is a very Stalinist approach.

Trump’s aspirations to tyranny are evident in all of this, along with his deranged worship of America’s authoritarian enemies like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. If Hemingway wants to make references to Stalin in her sycophantic defense of Trump she should at least be cognizant of the fact that it’s Trump who is acting out the role of dictator, not Mueller. And if Stalin were around to see this, Trump’s words and deeds would make him proud – and perhaps a little jealous.

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

Fox News Recruits Trump-Fluffing Lawyer Alan Dershowitz to Smear Mueller and Michael Cohen

Thursday morning Donald Trump’s holiday season took a turn toward total apocalypse. And it wasn’t going all that well to begin with. This week alone Trump has exhibited his fear and desperation by attacking special counsel Robert Mueller as the new Joseph McCarthy, and posting deranged tweetstorms in a lame effort to undermine Mueller’s investigation. But the news this morning is certain to burst some blood vessels in Trump’s cartoon brain (or gut, as the case may be).

Robert Mueller Trump

Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, appeared in court to plead guilty to lying to Congress with regard to Trump’s business dealings in Russia. This confession irredeemably implicates Trump in his own web of lies and certifies a motive for colluding with Russia.

The seriousness of these revelations cannot be overstated. Cohen’s testimony alleges that Trump was actively seeking to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was also running for president. Trump defended himself by saying that that isn’t illegal. He’s right. But he had no defense for his having lied repeatedly when he said that he had no such deals in Russia. And those lies were told in order to cover up the deals, perhaps because of the influence that Putin was holding over him while the election was in progress. In other words, collusion.

So what is a devotedly pro-Trump, State TV, propaganda network like Fox News to do in the face of this devastating news? Naturally, they will spin furiously and call up reinforcements to shield their Dear Leader from any harm. So anchor Bill Hemmer frantically searched his phone book and found just the right unprincipled shill to take on this looming crisis (video below): the reliably unethical legal gun-for-hire, Alan Dershowitz. And if anyone was skeptical of whether Dershowitz was a fully pledged member of the Trump cult, that skepticism can now be laid to rest.

Dershowitz put on show that cannot be described as anything but full-on supplication to Trump. He made utterly ludicrous legal arguments that would embarrass a first-year law student. He began by asserting that Cohen’s “credibility as a witness diminishes” because he admitting to lying. However, Mueller surely has documents corroborating Cohen’s testimony, so he isn’t just taking his word. That fact also destroys Dershowitz’s argument that “the special prosecutor is making his decisions off of false statements.” Then Dershowitz launched this absurdity:

“They are going to comb through every one of his answers and see if they can come up with anybody who can contradict anything the president said. That’s why it’s called a perjury trap. Because even if the president believes what he said was true, if somebody will contradict it, then the president can be charged with lying to government officials, which is the equivalent of perjury. So, that’s why it is so dangerous for anybody who is the subject of an investigation to answer questions by the prosecution, because the prosecution then combs through evidence, tries to get evidence that they can then use to show contradictions.”

First of all, “combing through answers” isn’t a perjury trap. It’s an investigation. And if Trump were to be contradicted, that isn’t perjury. He would have to be shown to be deliberately lying about material matters. Furthermore, it isn’t “dangerous” to talk to prosecutors. It’s dangerous to lie to prosecutors. Dershowitz is a law professor and presumably knows all of this. But that didn’t stop him from making this idiotic statement:

“The very fact that [Mueller] is conducting an investigation has created these crimes. These are not crimes that have been committed prior to his appointment. They are crimes that were committed as a result of his appointment. And that raises some questions about the role of special prosecutors in creating crimes or creating opportunities for crimes to be committed. In the end, I don’t think Mueller is going to come up with very much in terms of criminal conduct. This was before he was appointed. That is quite shocking.”

That isn’t shocking. It’s actually quite routine. Let’s say “Dave” robs a bank. Then the police begin an investigation to find the perpetrators. So Dave becomes concerned that his accomplice “Billy” might talk. So Dave kills Billy to shut him up. That’s a crime that was committed after the investigation began. Perhaps because of the investigation. But it’s still a crime and can’t be dismissed as something investigators “created” because they were investigating. Dershowitz’s argument is laughably incoherent. It suggests that there shouldn’t be investigations because criminals might commit additional crimes in order to avoid getting caught.

That’s the depth of the derpitude that Dershowitz is engaging in. And he’s doing it in the service of a corrupt president on a “news” network that exists only to disseminate disinformation and propaganda.

Now that the election is over, there are likely to be more public disclosures like this. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort is already digging himself (and Trump) into deeper holes. And Ivanka has gotten into her own “lock her up” email scandal. The White House is in total disarray with once loyal rats deserting (or being cast off of) the ship of state. And Trump is left with legal counsel like Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani to shore things up. Good luck with that, Donnie.

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

Gut-Brained Donald Trump Accuses Mueller of McCarthyism in a Rant that is Pure McCarthyism

We now have Donald Trump to thank for an indelible image of his intellectual prowess. In an interview with the Jeff Bezos/Amazon Washington Post, Trump bragged about his own “high levels of intelligence” and offered as proof that “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.” Of course, it goes without saying that nobody’s brain can tell Trump anything. And he does have huge gut.

Donald Trump

The gut-infused brain of Trump later took to his Twitter machine to continue a tirade he has been unleashing against special counsel Robert Mueller this week. His previous tweetstorming certified just how fearful and desperate he is. But the latest addition to his wild-eyed raving is a true head-smacking classic:

Trump’s assertion that Mueller is engaging in the reprehensible tactics of the late, disgraced senator Joseph McCarthy is pure, unadulterated McCarthyism. The red-baiting senator famously held up a sheet of paper and declared that it contained the names of active communists in the United States government. And Trump is doing the very same thing in Twitterese by declaring that he knows of “major players” who are saying that Mueller’s team is “viciously telling witnesses to lie.” Trump, like McCarthy, doesn’t actually name those players or provide any evidence that Mueller is strong-arming witnesses to commit perjury. It’s all baseless innuendo and outright slander by a sitting president.

But that’s not all. Trump also retweeted a post (four of them actually) by an anonymous Trump-fluffing Twitter fan, TheTrumpTrain, that similarly channels the McCarthy method. The tweet said that “Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?” Setting aside the fact that Russia collusion is supported by mountains of evidence, let’s focus on the image in the tweet. It featured a jail cell populated by Mueller, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Podesta, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, and even the Deputy Attorney General that Trump appointed, Rod Rosenstein. Once again, all of these people are being slandered McCarthy-style for crimes that are unnamed and for which there is no evidence.

Trump is fond of raising McCarthyism as a slur against his critics. He has done so on Twitter several times recently, with each tweet an example of what real McCarthyism looks like:

This tendency by Trump to weaponize the McCarthy legacy is peculiar considering that he worked with and admired Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s attorney. So you have to wonder if Trump really believes that McCarthyism is a bad thing, or if he’s just exploiting it to attack his foes. But Trump wouldn’t say things that he doesn’t believe just to gain some perceived advantage for himself, would he? (Okay, stop laughing).

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

And for some truthiness on the subject of gut knowledge, here is Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2006:

State TV (aka Fox News) Literally Scripts and Rehearses Interviews with Trump Associates

Okay, okay. Everybody already knows that Fox News is a fake network that was created only to promote conservative politicians and policies. And more recently it has become the wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump’s White House. There is a revolving door between the network and the presidency, with personnel being shared by both and with a common purpose to advance the interests and propaganda of Trump. We know.

Donald Trump Fox News

Nevertheless, new revelations that shock and disgust continue to come forward. The latest is a scoop by the Daily Beast who acquired some damning emails between Trump’s disgraced former Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, and producers for Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. The Daily Beast reveals that:

“In past interviews with President Trump’s favorite cable-news show, the then-EPA chief’s team chose the topics for interviews, and knew the questions in advance.

“In one instance, according to emails revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Sierra Club and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Pruitt’s team even approved part of the show’s script. […]

“In multiple interviews on Fox & Friends, Pruitt was essentially allowed to dictate the terms for the interview and avoid any difficult questions.”

The Daily Beast posts copies of the emails that explicitly reveal how Fox News bent over backwards for Trump’s surrogates. Even to the point of asking them to approve the setups used to introduce them. This, of course, is in addition to the regular Trump-fluffing that occurs on Fox News throughout the day. The network is, after all, tightly integrated with Trump’s White House. Trump’s former Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, is the current Fox News executive vice-president and chief communications officer. And Trump’s current Deputy Chief of Staff is the former president of Fox News and Hannity producer, Bill Shine, who was fired for covering up sexual misconduct by Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. And it was recently discovered that Shine is still on the Fox payroll, so he’s being paid by both the White House (i.e. taxpayers) and Fox News simultaneously.

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

The Daily Beast contacted Fox about the Pruitt matter and they issued a vague statement saying that “This is not standard practice whatsoever and the matter is being addressed internally with those involved.” So you can rest assured that the proper disciplinary measures will be taken. After all, when Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities were caught campaigning for Trump and other Republicans, they were slapped on the wrist and told to stop. And then Hannity and Jeanine Pirro showed up at a recent Trump cult rally anyway. This is business as usual for Fox News and it isn’t going to change.

A Fear-Hobbled Trump Viciously Maligns Mueller as his Desperation Spins Totally Out of Control

It’s a terrible thing to see the United States being put to shame by a “leader” who is quite obviously incompetent, self-motivated, and willing to bring untold harm to the nation in order to pacify his own ego and fear. Unfortunately, that’s what America is suffering through as Donald Trump’s psychosis gets ever more severe and destructive.

Donald Trump, Witch Hunt

On Tuesday morning Trump unleashed the sort of tweetstorm that is sadly becoming routine in his demented presidency. In three tweets (here, here, and here, if you really want to see them) Trump has affirmed that he is incapable of performing the duties of his office. And the best way to present this evidence of pure insanity and paranoia is just to put it forward unedited. Hold tight:

The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue….

…The Fake News Media builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other. Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his…

….terrible Gang of Angry Democrats. Look at their past, and look where they come from. The now $30,000,000 Witch Hunt continues and they’ve got nothing but ruined lives. Where is the Server? Let these terrible people go back to the Clinton Foundation and “Justice” Department!

Needless to say, there is nothing either true or coherent in that twisted tantrum. There are no “Angry Dems” on the staff of special counsel Robert Mueller. Although there are more than sixty-five million of them throughout the country, and millions more independents and woke Republicans. And the only lives that are being ruined are the ones of those who willfully broke the law and lied about it to investigators.

Naturally, Trump has to blame the free press for the crime of reporting what is actually happening. But for him to effectively call Mueller the devil (if that’s the opposite of a saint) is an extreme line that he has not previously crossed. The accusation that Mueller is damaging the criminal justice system makes no sense whatsoever. Particularly since Mueller is a life-long Republican and his office is overseen by Trump’s own appointees at the Justice Department.

Finally, the now comical cries of “Witch Hunt” ignore the fact that many “witches” have already confessed, and dozens of indictments have been issued to others. But Trump persists in mindless blabber about “servers” and the cost of the probe (which has already been more than paid for by the estimated $46 million in asset forfeiture from Paul Manafort).

This latest tweet-burst only affirms that Trump is frightened and in an acute state of panic. As well he should be. But by being so transparently afraid and desperate he is only making matters worse for himself. It’s a pitiful display of cowardice in the face of his overwhelming anxiety driven by the knowledge that he is trapped by his own criminality and ignorance. And it’s nothing less than he deserves.

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

Hair Trump Declares that ‘Something Has to Be Done’ About CNN Exercising Free Speech

The hostility that Donald Trump has shown for the media has been a constant dating back to his first days on the campaign trail. It only escalated as time went by and his insults became anti-constitutional assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people.” Add to that his overt threats, incitements to violence, and banning of reporters he doesn’t like, and you have the very model of a modern media oppressor.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Monday morning Trump reached another new low in his assaults on the free press. In a pair tweets the President attacked his favorite nemesis, CNN for having a “powerful voice” that is “portraying the United States in an unfair and and false way.” He tweeted that:

Make no mistake, this is a full frontal attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Trump has no business commenting on the ratings of a news network that covers his corrupt and criminal administration independently and accurately (FYI: CNN is enjoying some of their highest ratings in the network’s history). Especially considering that he has already tried to ban their White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, from the presidential press corps, but lost when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit his flagrant discrimination.

However, even worse is Trump’s proposal that the United States start its own “Worldwide Network” to disseminate what can only be presumed to be Trump-fluffing propaganda. The notion that the U.S. should launch a network to compete with commercial news outlets around the world is a frightening expansion of government interfering with the press. It is the sort of state-run tripe that totalitarian regimes like that of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kin Jong Un engage in. And note that Trump admits that his intention Is to produce only positive propaganda that portrays him as “GREAT!”

The U.S. already has government media services that distribute approved content around the world via the United States Agency for Global Media (formerly that Broadcasting Board of Governors). That agency runs the Voice of American, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and other government managed broadcast operations.

But what Trump is proposing is something far more ambitious and dishonest. He wants a network that competes with commercial news enterprises like CNN, SKY News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and more. He wants a network that will always praise him, defend him, and malign his critics. He wants constant adulation and coverage that portrays him as the returning Messiah. He wants cult worship.

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

Well, Fox News is already doing that. But setting that aside, presidential hero-worship is not the role of a government that was founded on the principles of freedom of the press. It is neither honest nor ethical. And there is no agency under federal law that could house such a media mutation. But it does display the aspirations of a wannabe dictator who is obsessed with controlling all of the media that covers him and his regime. And it is no surprise that Trump is openly advocating for something so contrary to American values. But this pathetic pandering to himself and his over-inflated ego will never fly in the U.S. Maybe Vladimir has some network space for it.

Fox News Freak Out: Host Says of Democrats that ‘We’ve Always Known they Were Socialists’

Now that the 2018 election is over, and the “Blue Wave” has swept more Democrats into office than at any time since Watergate, the 2020 election is lining up at the starting gate. Democrats have much to be hopeful for considering the historically low approval ratings of Donald Trump (who has never managed to reach 50%) and the Senate map that has twice as many Republican Nationalists defending their seats as Democrats.

Fox News, Donald Trump Baby

This of course means that Fox News is already chomping at the bit to canonize Trump and malign Democrats. And nowhere more than Trump’s favorite Fox program, Fox and Friends, is the mudslinging perched at the ready to attack. On Sunday’s episode of the melodrama that Fox passes off as “news,” the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were on the edge of their sofa with excitement at the prospect of smearing those pesky liberals who won by a massive majority three weeks ago. They began by featuring a tweet thread by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) wherein he rejected the notion that Democrats would engage in a fight between moderates and progressives. But then the Foxies ignored that and rattled off their own bitterly partisan narrative.

Co-host Pete Hegseth demonstrated his low comprehension skills by insisting that the 2020 Democratic nominee for president is going to be “a far-left progressive.” Never mind that the Democrats could nominate noted conservative Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and the GOP would still label him as a far left radical. Republicans aren’t interested in honest assessments, only what they think will have a negative electoral impact. But then co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy (a former cast member on MTV’s The Real World, and wife of GOP congressman Sean Duffy) let loose what the GOP really believes (video below):

“A lot of people mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I think the moment she came out and proud as a socialist, and caused the other members of the caucus – all of them basically took their masks off and said ‘Yep. We’re there too.’ We’ve always known they were socialists. So I think what’s really important here is that 2020 is gonna be an honest election between socialism and American capitalism.”

Really? Campos-Duffy actually thinks that all of the Democrats who might run for president in 2020 are masked socialists? However, she and her Fox News comrades have known it all along. That’s actually an accurate representation of Fox’s long held bias that has earned them the State TV label that was recently affirmed by the discovery that Fox’s former president, Bill Shine, now works for Trump is being paid simultaneously by both.

What’s more, notice how Campos-Duffy characterizes capitalism as “American,” but leaves off any such judgment of patriotism when she mentions socialism. That’s typical of Fox News and the right who routinely ignore the fact that many of the core principles of American society are rooted in socialism. That includes everything from public libraries and schools to Medicare and Social Security.

Campos-Duffy went on to say that she hopes Democrats nominate a progressive, which she said “means socialist.” Co-host Griff Jenkins then chimed in to say that the 2018 election proved that there are no “blue dog” Democrats who are moderates or conservatives. And of course, Hegseth agreed saying that “You’re totally right. And there will be no more ‘code talk,'” by which he meant Democrats hiding their clandestine socialist conspiracy.

But they are deliberately misleading their willfully ignorant audience. The Democratic Party is far more diverse in every way than the Republican Nationalists, and that includes political ideology. In fact, there are even many right-leaning Democrats who Fox News has been crowing about for their opposition to Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House. So they are contradicting their own narratives.

Whoever the next Democratic nominee for president is, it will be someone who far surpasses the flagrantly idiotic, racist, narcissistic, criminal, treasonous, rage-aholic, fear fetishist who is occupying the White House now. And if it’s someone who recognizes the benefits of broad ideologies – including socialism – it will be the will of the people that got that person the nomination. And, hopefully, the White House. It’s called democracy. Get used to it Republicans, because your authoritarian, gerrymandering, voter suppressing ways are coming to an end.

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

American Pravda: Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bill Shine, is Still on the Fox News Payroll

The bonds between Donald Trump and Fox News have been unmistakable from well before he even announced his candidacy for president. He had a regular weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And as he transitioned from a reality TV host to an elected “leader,” Fox News grew even closer to him, performing the duties of a devoted propaganda outlet. Trump himself has inadvertently admitted that Fox is essentially an in-house media organ.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Those already close ties have just been revealed to be even tighter than previously thought. The Trump administration is full of former Foxies, including top White House aides like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Under Secretary of State, Heather Nauert. But no one is more representative of this media/politics marriage than Bill Shine, Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was previously the president of Fox News, a position he rose to after serving as Sean Hannity’s producer.

Now it has been revealed that Shine is actually being paid simultaneously by taxpayers and Fox News. The Hollywood Reporter got ahold of Shine’s financial disclosure forms which are required for White House service. In addition to their already having been amended several times, they contain this troubling information:

“Bill Shine received an $8.4 million severance package upon leaving his post as co-president of Fox News […] Shine, who officially began working in the White House on July 5, will also receive a bonus and options of about $3.5 million from 21st Century Fox both this year and next year.”

This is an unprecedented breach of the principle of independent media. To say that Fox News is “State TV” actually understates the gravity of this perverse relationship. Shine cannot be regarded as serving the public interest in his White House position if he’s still working for Fox News, the network that has become an extension of Trump’s PR machine. When Fox News defends Trump, or criticizes his opponents, it is impossible to separate that from the agenda of the White House. Even worse, Fox’s on-air shills actively promote Trump politically and give him (horrible) advice on presidential decisions.

It should not be permissible for a White House employee to be on the payroll of any other enterprise, especially one in the media. It presents an unambiguous conflict of interest. But that’s where Trump and Shine are right now.

The article in the Hollywood Reporter provides additional details about this arrangement. But what the article doesn’t say is that the reason Shine was terminated from Fox was that he covered up the sexual harassment and abuse of Fox bigwigs like CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. That factoid makes it even more clear what binds Trump and Shine. In addition to their political affinities, they are both misogynistic perverts. It’s a marriage made in Hell, but the couple is honeymooning in the White House and the American people are paying for it – in more ways than one.

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

Hillary Clinton Slamdunks Fox News as ‘a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Trump and the GOP’

It’s been two years since the election of the first Dotard President of the United States. See, children? In America anyone – ANYONE – can grow up to be president. Even if you’re an ignorant, narcissistic, rage-aholic, wannabe dictator whose only experience is bankrupting casinos and hosting unreality TV shows. It’s the land of opportunity.

Fox News, Hillary Clinton

Over the past two years Donald Trump and his State TV benefactors at Fox News have been unable cure themselves of their obsession over his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. They continuously wallow in misremebrances of the campaign and the fabricated “crimes” they imagine she concocted. Part of the reason for the durability of this obsession is the fact that Clinton actually “won” the election by more than three million votes. But mainly they are just too stupid to come up with something more relevant to discuss, and they are too immersed in Hillary fetishism to let go of a subject they think is advancing their incoherent agenda.

Clinton has been a mixed bag since the campaign. but it hardly matters because she isn’t a major factor in politics going forward. She has ruled out running for office again, so her opinions are just those of a former statesperson with considerable experience who is exercising her rights like any other citizen. And in that role Clinton was interviewed by The Guardian and she unleashed some of her views about Trump and Fox News. Here are some of the highlights:

“The Republican party has collapsed in the face of Trump.”

“I believe that where we are now in the political cycle is that the press does not know how to cover these candidates who are setting themselves on fire every day, who are masters of diversion and distraction.”

[Trump] is someone who craves dominance over any situation he finds himself in. He craves adulation, flattery, all of which fit the profile of leaders we can remember from the past.

“Now [Trump] doesn’t attack Fox News, because they’re like a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump and the Republican party now. So he attacks the press and the broadcast media that raise questions about him, that don’t give him fidelity and loyalty.”

“You watch Fox News, it’s always, ‘Something terrible is about to happen’, ‘Something terrible did happen’, ‘These people are doing all these awful things’. It is totally divorced from reality, but it is superb propaganda. I don’t know the best way to puncture that. You have to hope that reality catches up with politics and entertainment at some point.”

These are not necessarily revelations. Many people have noted the psychological aberrations of Trump and the sycophantic nature of his coverage by Fox News. But it isn’t often that these views are openly expressed by former First Ladies, Secretaries of State, or Senators. and that makes them welcome and constructive. After all, with Fox’s Hillary fetish, you can be sure that they will notice these remarks. Already Fox News host Mark Levin was so rattled that he tweeted what has now been immortalized as Dumb Question #4,782:

Levin is delusional. While Clinton’s criticisms are sharp, at no time time does she say anything that can be remotely regarded as a threat. As opposed to Trump who calls the media “the enemy of the people,” revokes their White House passes, issues decrees mandating their behavior, incites violence by the cult followers at his rallies, and advocates new laws to make it easier to sue them. Trump even castigated the press as enemies just hours after some of them had received mail bombs.

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

This is typical of the way that Fox News tries to muddy the waters of political discourse. They deliberately misrepresent facts and purposefully distort reality. Consequently, we need all the help we can get to enlighten the nation as to the nefarious intentions of Trump and Fox News. So even a flawed former public servant like Clinton is doing a significant service by providing an honest characterization of the anti-American agitprop of the Trump administration and their media comrades.