UH-OH: Michael Cohen Paints ‘Grave Picture’ for Trump, Says Fox News Sr. Judicial Analyst

The testimony in the House Oversight Committee by Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen on Wednesday provided both fireworks and yawns. Much of what was discussed was already known, but was given more weight by the dramatic nature of a congressional hearing. The fireworks were mainly due to Republican efforts to malign Cohen while obediently defending the President and deflecting from any potentially bad news.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

However, there were some revelatory moments that could expose Trump to some legal jeopardy if they are confirmed by other evidence or testimony. The risks for Trump were so apparent that even the senior judicial analyst on Fox News noticed. Andrew Napolitano was interviewed by Neil Cavuto after Cohen’s hearing (video below). His observations were decidedly unlike those that might be expected on Trump’s favorite propaganda network. He began by addressing the coordinated strategy of the committee’s Republicans to portray Cohen as an incorrigible liar. “If he’s that kind of a monster, Mr. President,” Napolitano asked, “why did you keep him around for ten years?”?

That’s a good question. He might also have pointed out that if lying was such an unforgivable sin, then how can the GOP continue to excuse Trump, whose documented record of lying has exceeded more than 8,000 falsehoods since he took office. But it was Napolitano’s legal analysis that really put Trump’s troubled future into perspective. He offered a brief synopsis of the legal peril that the President may soon find himself in. The upshot, according to Napolitano, is that in Cohen’s testimony “there’s at least four potential felonies” that Trump faces. Napolitano said that:

[Cohen] paints a potentially grave picture for the president. If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true, then the President lied under oath. Because the President swore to the accuracy of his answers to the written question from [special counsel] Bob Mueller, one of which was ‘Did you speak to Roger Stone about Julian Assange?’ Answer: ‘No’

“If what Michael Cohen says is true about the President meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June of 2016, then he lied under oath, because he told Bob Mueller he didn’t know about it.

“The payments by Donald Trump, signed while he was president, to Michael Cohen, showing a debt to Michael Cohen. The President swore in his financial statements filed with the Department of the Treasury, he didn’t have any debts with Michael Cohen. And two months after he swore to the accuracy of that he starts writing checks of $35,000 a month to Michael Cohen. That extends the conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission of accurate campaign information into the President’s presidency.”?

If this were an analysis by a Democrat or a liberal pundit it wouldn’t be especially notable. But for the senior judicial analyst at Fox News to be pointing out these legal problems for Trump is rare and, from Trump’s perspective, worrisome. Not that Trump isn’t already worried. His incessant tweeting about “Witch Hunts” and his childish insults aimed at his critics is the obvious behavior of someone consumed by fear. In remarks Trump made about Cohen’s testimony from Hanoi, he reinforced that image of a cornered rat:

“He lied a lot, but it was very interesting, because he didn’t lie about one thing: He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.”?

Actually, Cohen never said that there was no collusion. He only said that he had no direct evidence of it, but that he had his suspicions. So Trump is still desperately trying to distort reality to fit his twisted version of it wherein he can be free of the frightening consequences of his unlawful acts. And if his precariousness legal status is so apparent to a Fox News analyst, then he truly does have something worry about.

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

Trump and Fox News Seek to Deflect from Michael Cohen Testimony By Accusing Democrats of Infanticide

On Wednesday morning the long anticipated testimony of Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, began before the House Oversight Committee. His prepared opening statement revealed that he intends to provide both testimony and documentary evidence that Trump is “a racist, con man, and cheat.” This has predictably triggered Trump who retweeted an absurd comment that did nothing but expose his flagrant fear of the truth.

Fox News, Laura Ingraham, Planned Parenthood

The fear of Cohen’s testimony has also infected Trump’s sycophantic defenders at State TV (aka Fox News). But their strategy for diverting attention away from the hearing has devolved into one of the most repulsive and dishonest series of accusations ever made, even by the low standards of the Trump era Republican Nationalist Party.

The onslaught began the night before the hearing with Fox’s primetime host, and devoted white supremacist, Laura Ingraham. In a segment that featured a chyron saying that the “Left Wants to Destroy Everything Traditional,” Ingraham practically drooled while asserting that “”Hitler, just like Planned Parenthood, practiced and defended mass extermination.”

So it’s Ingrahams’s position that individual women who choose to exercise their Constitutional rights regarding difficult health decisions are the equivalent of a murderous dictator who purposefully engaged in genocide? And this is the issue that Ingraham needed to raise on the eve of the Cohen testimony? Clearly her intent was to inflame a hostile fury among Fox’s viewers with the hopes of inciting an anger that would cloud their perspective of the pending hearing. And she wasn’t alone.

The following morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends broached the very same topic with the help of Trump’s White House counsel, Kellyanne Conway. And even though the subject of the segment was spelled out in the chyron reading “Michael Cohen Testifies on Capital Hill Today,” Conway unleashed a searing assault on Democrats that was completely false and defamatory:

“[Democrats] are for infanticide. They are for late-term abortion, taxpayer funded abortion, mid-term pregnancy abortion, sex selection abortion – when you don’t want another daughter, fine – just find out the sex of the baby and then exterminate it. Guess what? Now they’re for post-birth abortion.”

None of that is remotely true. However it is provocative and incendiary and intended to whip up a hysteria among the Deplorables watching Fox News that would shove aside any real discussion of the Cohen hearing. But these attempts to suppress any leakage of the news from the hearing only affirm just how terrified they are of the truth getting out. It’s a tactic that drips with fear. And it will work pretty well on Fox News viewers. Unfortunately for Trump, that is an ever-shrinking sector of the population.

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

The Fox News Fetish for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Keeps Getting Creepier: Ivanka Trump Edition

Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected last November, the right-wing media has been beside themselves trying to slander her as an ignorant and un-American little brown girl who has no business having an opinion, much less serving in Congress. And no one has been more determined to disseminate this disparagement than Fox News.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson

Consequently, the State TV network reached out to Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to deliver the administration’s smackdown on Ocasio-Cortez. Unfortunately, her interview merely revealed that she is a spoiled rich kid with no comprehension of what ordinary Americans are experiencing. She tried to respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement that she intended to pay her staff a {gasp} living wage. Previously on Fox News this was greeted with a pathetic display of math illiteracy. And Ivanka’s response was equally embarrassing:

“I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last 4 years. People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.”

So a woman who has lived her entire life off of what she was given by daddy is certain that other Americans wouldn’t want fair compensation for their work, which is all that Ocasio-Cortez is proposing. If this is what Ivanka learned from four years of traveling around the country, she has a severe learning disability. But she does have an excellent grasp of the sort of harebrained talking points required to be a Fox News pundit.

The obsession that Fox News is nursing every day is evidence that Ocasio-Cortez is one of the new class of representatives who Fox fears the most. There is no other explanation for how maniacally focused they are on her. She was only sworn in a month and a half ago, but Fox’s most prominent hosts are fixated squarely on her every word (as well as her youth, clothes, and dancing ability). The entire primetime roster on Fox all featured her on their programs Monday night. They were also transcribed into op-eds for the Fox website. The amusingly alarmist headlines and ledes were:

  • Sean Hannity: It’s scary how prominent Dems, the media are supporting Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist views.
    “We are once again featuring the 29-year-old socialist from New York who is both revered and feared inside her own party. […] But now, she is taking her insane views even a step further.”
  • Laura Ingraham: Spike Lee, Smollett, Ocasio-Cortez and her mini-mes tell us lots about modern day liberalism.
    “Like most of today’s social justice warriors, Ocasio-Cortez truly believes she is always morally right. And that notion entitles her to be one of the leaders of not the #MeToo movement, but the ‘Me-me-me’ movement.”
  • Tucker Carlson: How dumb, arrogant Ocasio-Cortez became the boss of the Democratic Party
    “It’s a measure of how cowardly impassive everyone has become all of a sudden that a chorus of right-thinking Democrats hasn’t told this idiotic windbag to be quiet and take a seat.”

These are the extreme, unhinged, and disrespectful lengths that the Foxies will go to in order to malign a committed, intelligent young woman who stepped up to serve her country. And the fear that she has stirred in their shriveled hearts is unmistakable. This is the sort of full-court press that the right generally reserves for Kenyan-born, terrorist-sympathizing, Muslim atheist commies who stole the presidency by actually getting a majority of the popular vote.

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

Ocasio-Cortez has earned this vitriol in record time. She should be proud that she has these dimwits from Fox News stalking her. It’s a validation of her effectiveness as an activist and a communicator. And at the same time it exposes Fox as a puerile confederacy of dunces who are utterly incapable of making a coherent response to someone they belittle as immature and inexperienced. Which, by the way, is a much better description of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump.

Whiny Baby Trump Lashes Out at Spike Lee for Telling Oscar Viewers to ‘Do the Right Thing’

The 91st Academy Awards was broadcast on Sunday night to the millions of fans of the cinema and celebrities. But there was one viewer that wasn’t especially pleased with what he saw. Although the Oscars were aired on the eve of Trump’s trip to Vietnam for a second summit with his BFF (“We fell in love”) Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump wasn’t bothering to prepare. Instead, he was gathering rage at what he assumed was Hollywood liberals disparaging him.

Spike Lee, Donald Trump, Oscars

Perhaps the most notable incident of Trump projecting himself into the event involved Spike Lee’s acceptance speech (video below). He won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his film BlacKkKlansman. He concluded his remarks by saying:

“If we all connect with our ancestors we will have love and wisdom regained. We will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing.”

Notice that Lee never mentioned Trump by name. He was speaking about history, humanity, love, and morality. So naturally Trump took it as a insult directed squarely at him:

First of all, Trump’s swipe at Lee’s note reading is a peculiar line of attack for him. After all, he cannot speak coherently without his ever-present TelePrompter (or even with it). And when Trump goes off script, that’s when he usually commits his most idiotic and damaging gaffes. But Trump went further by calling Lee’s remarks a “racist hit on your President.” What part of Lee’s speech could possibly be characterized that way?

Finally, Trump rattled off his routine ego-boosting self-praise about what a god-send he has been for African-Americans. Never mind that nothing he’s done has contributed to the welfare of the black community. To the contrary, Trump has exacerbated hostilities and the rise of racist hate groups across the country.

Nevertheless, Trump personalized Lee’s inspiring comments and turned them into a perceived put-down. It’s impossible for Trump to see anything as not being about him. And whether it’s a holiday or a funeral, Trump can only view it in terms of how it affects him.

However, in this case he’s got a point. Because any reference to overtly racist behavior can easily be associated with Trump, the first president to receive an endorsement from a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (David Duke), and the full support of the Nazi website, Daily Stormer. And if you are ever asked to “do the right thing,” you can be confident that that really means to vote against Donald Trump.

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

HUH? Fox News’ Math-Challenged Hosts Declare that Free Market Salaries are Communism

The disease that infects the talking headcases at Fox News is apparently degenerative and causes its victims to decline ever further into the abyss of cognitive infirmity. This is especially true of the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends, whose combined IQ has yet to break the grass ceiling.

Fox News, Pete Hegseth

Donald Trump’s favorite morning show has a long history of hysterically offbase utterings. Their ratio of wrongness is in the stratosphere. Which is probably why Trump loves it so much. And a stinging example of this dumbassedness was aired on Sunday morning in a segment (video below) that was trying to make Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez look dumb. They failed miserably.

The segment was a response to the recent announcement by Ocasio-Cortez that she would be paying all of her congressional staffers a living wage of at least $52,000 per year. The thought of people being treated with respect, and compensated fairly for their work was just too much for the Fox Newsies, so they concocted an argument that they were certain would slay the newest Democratic monster at their gates. It went a little something like this:

Griff Jenkins: Get a load of this. A tweet went out yesterday. She said “Leadership begins at home,” whatever, or however she put it. She’s basically announcing that she is going to ‘redistribute’ the money appropriated to her congressional office to make sure that the entry level staffers get a fair share of money.

Heaven Forbid! Whatever will become of our country if the representatives we elect to serve our interests start actually behaving in accordance with our values? Notice how Jenkins worked in the term “redistribute,” in order to invoke the memory of some imagined socialist nightmare. Never mind that redistribution of wealth is common in free societies (even capitalist ones) where some measure of equity is sought through taxation and public assistance. In fact, the Trump Tax Scam was textbook redistribution, except it went from the working class to the wealthy.

Jenkins then went on to “Fox-plain” what was so terribly wrong with Ocasio-Cortez’s salary plan. He failed to observe that it was completely in line with the free market decision making of any employer. Instead, he complained that in order to pay entry level staffers a little more, she would have to pay her chief of staff a little less. Holy Crap! Anything but that. Our nation was built on the principle that the elitists at the top should receive all the benefits and the peons should be grateful for scraps. And this is when Jenkins’ co-host chimed in to agree:

Pete Hegseth: She said, “Everyone in my office will be paid a living wage. So I’m going to pay $15 an hour.” Which means your entry level intern is making fifty-two grand, while your chief of staff, who has a very important role in a congressional office, now is capped at eighty, as opposed to the actual market rate on Capitol Hill, which is closer to $150,000. So everyone’s between 52 and 80. It’s actually socialism and communism on display.”

You have to wonder how much Hegseth is getting paid, since being able to do simple math is apparently not a requirement for his job. His claim that $15.00 an hour would be $52,000 per year is only off by $20,800. But more importantly, his contention that an employer choosing to set salaries as she sees fit is tantamount to communism proves that he is as bad at political science as he is at math.

Employers make these decisions based on multiple factors, including experience, recruiting, workplace morale, retention, and yes, even personal values. But according to Hegseth, all employers should be bound by externally imposed rules that may not satisfy their business goals. That’s actually closer to communism than anything Ocasio-Cortez has done. And it’s closer to assholery than anyone spewing opinions on television should be allowed to get away with.

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

Fox News Brazenly Lies to Smear Democrats on a Mission of Mercy to Reduce Global Poverty

On a day when there is an abundance of newsworthy stories to report, Fox News went out of its way to deliberately spread false accusations aimed at Democratic members of Congress. While they could be reporting on the riots in Venezuela or the arrest of Trump pal Robert Kraft or the pending report from special counsel Robert Mueller or Roger Stone’s gag order, or the domestic terrorist that Trump won’t talk about, Fox News went a different way.

Fox News Lies

On their website, Fox News featured as their top story an article about some Democratic members of Congress who traveled to South Africa to attend the “Global Citizen: Mandela 100” festival honoring the historic activist and former South African president, Nelson Mandela. The festival was also a charitable event to raise funds and awareness of global poverty. But to Fox News it was a just a bunch of grifters on a holiday to catch Beyonce in concert.

Fox News, Beyonce, Democrats

The headline on Fox’s story read: “5 House Democrats took $60,000 trip to South Africa for Beyoncé concert, records show.” The clear implication that Fox intended readers to take away from this was that congress members were wasting taxpayer money to enjoy themselves on a vacation with superstar celebrities. But even their own article refuted that characterization in the first few paragraphs:

“Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus took a $60,000 trip to see Beyoncé and other stars perform in concert in South Africa late last year, according to congressional disclosure records.

“The lawmakers were U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Barbara Lee of California, Bobby Rush of Illinois, Terri Sewell of Alabama and Hank Johnson of Georgia, according to the data.

“They attended the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” concert from Dec. 1-3 to celebrate the centenary birth of the late Nelson Mandela and raise awareness of global poverty.”

The article also noted that there were no taxpayer funds spent on this trip. It was “paid for by Global Citizen, a nonprofit that lobbies for anti-poverty programs around the world.” And Rep. Sewall told the press that the trip “was pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee.” She further described the festival as “a platform for world leaders to speak out against racial injustice and inequity, and voice their support for international assistance for underprivileged populations.”

So this attempt by Fox News to disparage representatives who were working to address the critical issues of racism and poverty was portrayed falsely by Fox as a self-serving joyride at taxpayers expense. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The mission of Fox News has always been to disseminate propaganda that maligns the good works of decent people, particularly if they are honorable efforts to improve the lives of the underprivileged.

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

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece for the Republican Nationalist Party, the Greedy One Percent (GOP), and the Cult of Donald Trump. They are the standard bearers for the elitist class who aspire to keep people oppressed. And what better way to do that than to denigrate the people and projects devoted to making life better for all people. To that end, Fox News works hard to manufacture headlines like the one above to assure that their audience remains insensitive, uncaring, and above all ignorant.

Lying Trump Shill Sarah Sanders Gives Solace to Domestic Terrorists and Russian Conspirators

It has been several days since the arrest of Christopher Hasson, a domestic terrorist who compiled a cache of weapons and ammunition with the intention of murdering Democrats and journalists. But Donald Trump has still said nothing about it, even though he has commented on the Jussie Smollett case, 6G communications technology (which doesn’t exist), and a remorseful “ISIS wife” who wants to return to her home in the U.S.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

In the absence of any comments from the President, reporters asked his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, if she could provide any insight into Trump’s feelings on the matter. This lead to an exchange that was purely pablum for Deplorables:

Reporter: Is there any plan for the President to maybe tone down his rhetoric, and do you think this contributes to these sorts of extremists getting these ideas?
Sanders: I certainly don’t think that the president at any point has done anything but condemn violence against journalists or anyone else. In fact, every single time something like this happens, the president is typically one of the first people to condemn the violence and the media is the first people to blame the president. We should all join together and start condemning the violence whether it’s against members of the media, whether it’s against Democrats, Republicans, any person in this country. That is unacceptable, and that is why every time it comes up we have been consistent and repeatedly said that we condemn violence in all forms.

The first notable part of this robo-reply is that it didn’t mention Hasson or his plot to commit mass murder. Sanders pointedly did not condemn him or make any statement to deter others from conspiring to commit the same atrocities. She simply generalized the horror and pretended that it’s a problem for both sides of the political aisle, although the data shows that right-wing domestic terrorism is far more prevalent and on the rise.

What’s more, Sanders’ claim that Trump hasn’t “done anything but condemn violence” is provably false. In fact, Trump has encouraged violence at his cult rallies, telling people to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and not to worry about it because “I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.” Trump also praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, who was convicted of assaulting a reporter, saying that “Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type.” And of course, Trump’s repeated assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people” are unambiguously incitements to violence, particularly of the sort aspired to by Hasson and committed against the Capital Gazette of Maryland.

During the same press avail, Sanders was asked about the media reports that special counsel Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation and what Trump’s thoughts were about the pending report. Here is the question and Sanders’ response:

Reporter: You were saying a minute ago that there was no need for the campaign to collude with the Russians, but there have been so many indictments. There have been convictions. And there were so many contacts with the Russians. How do you balance that?
Sanders: It’s real simple to me. The President was far and away the better candidate. He had a better message and he outworked Hillary Clinton. And that’s why he’s president. He didn’t need to, nor did he, collude with the Russians. Pretty simple.

Notice what’s missing in Sanders’ reply? Pretty everything that was asked about in the question. Sanders said nothing about the indictments, convictions and numerous contacts with Russians by many of Trump’s closest associates and family, all of whom lied about their activities before being confronted with evidence that forced the truth out of them.

The result of Sanders’ remarks are not inconsequential. By failing to specifically condemn Hasson and anyone else who would seek to emulate him, Sanders is implicitly condoning those actions. Why does she find it so easy to universally condemn innocent refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. as criminals, rapists, and drug traffickers, but cannot denounce actual right-wing terrorism? And by refusing to address the facts surrounding Trump and his nefarious relationships with Russia, she is giving permission for our foreign adversaries to continue to undermine our democracy.

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

What both of these failures to stand up for American principles and sovereignty demonstrate is the tendency by the Trump administration to act against the interests of the United States. In some circles that is referred to as treasonous. At the very least it reveals a suspicious leaning toward some self-interest on Trump’s part that benefits our enemies. And that’s about as solid a justification for impeachment that you’re ever going to see.

This Just In: Trump finally addressed the Hasson matter, but only after he was asked by Hallie Jackson of NBC News. His answer is unbelievably disgusting. He called it “a shame.” WTF? It’s a shame when your kid cheats on a math test. A terrorist plotting mass murder is an atrocity. And Trump’s assertion that he hasn’t been fully briefed a week after the arrest is undoubtedly another lie.

Sean Hannity of Fox News: Americans Should Not See the Mueller Report on Trump that They Paid For

A recent story by CNN is stating that special counsel Robert Mueller is wrapping up his investigation and that a report may be issued as soon as next week. There are some people familiar with the probe who dispute that timeline as unlikely considering the amount of unfinished business, including pending indictments and testimony. But the Trump-fluffers at Fox News are nevertheless preparing for the worst by advocating censorship.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity took the news from CNN as a warning call. That’s ironic since he generally agrees with Trump that CNN is “fake news.” But he’s apparently concerned that this story is accurate and that something must be done. Specifically, Hannity thinks that any report issued by Mueller should be suppressed and not made available to the public. That’s a peculiar position for someone in the media to take. Under ordinary circumstances, journalists are proponents of full transparency, especially with regard to government affairs.

But Hannity (who is getting trounced in the ratings by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow) has a different point of view (video below). He prefaced his opinion with a brief summary of how special counsel reports are handled and who was responsible for those procedures:

“According to special counsel regulations, Mueller will provide a confidential report to the Attorney General Bob Barr explaining the decisions reached by the special counsel. Next, the attorney general will notify the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees, quote, ‘upon the conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation.’ It is totally in the hands of the attorney general, and his alone to decide what, if any, details can be released in compliance with the law. He can control the timing of the notification over, quote, ‘legitimate investigative or privacy concerns.’

“Now, also, remember, these regulations, they were presented to Congress two decades ago by Democrats, Janet Reno, the AG, Deputy AG Eric Holder. That was after the Starr investigation.”

However, Hannity then goes on to completely misinterpret how those procedures would be applied to the Mueller report. He concluded that imposing certain limitations on releasing information that may have “legitimate investigative or privacy concerns” amounts to a free hand by the newly installed Attorney General, Bob Barr, to withhold whatever he wants. That’s not how it works.

Hannity continued by announcing that he would be traveling to Vietnam with Trump for the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. And he used that as another excuse to keep the American people from having access to the Mueller report:

“Would it not be wholly inappropriate to actually release the findings when the President is out of the country participating in these high stakes negotiations with with such an important topic?”

Okay then. How about releasing it the following week? Surely Hannity would have another reason why that would also be wholly inappropriate. But what’s really inappropriate is someone in the media arguing in favor of the government keeping secrets from the people. No credible journalist would ever say such a ridiculous thing.

Although there is some dispute on whether or not Hannity is a journalist – mainly by him. On his radio show he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” But on Twitter he angrily noted that “I’m not a journalist jackass. I’m a talk host.” Which raise the question that if he isn’t a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? Hannity later deleted that tweet, but the Internet Archive preserved it here.

Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later. And as for the release of the Mueller report, there are options available to gain access to it without the interference of Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General. For instance, Democrats in Congress are exploring their option for subpoenaing either the report or testimony from Mueller.

Either way, Hannity is not likely to get his wish that the report be kept secret from the American people who paid for it. And Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) and other right-wing media outlets are going to have to strain themselves to find ways to justify their advocacy of censorship. In the end, transparency will likely prevail. That’s important because without it the crimes of the President would never be resolved to the satisfaction of the nation he conspired against. No matter how badly Hannity and Trump want that.

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

Trump is Silent About a Real Domestic Terrorist’s Plot to Kill Democrats and Journalists

Early Wednesday morning Donald Trump posted another tweetstorm that ranted incoherently about the media being “the enemy of the people” and wishing for them to “go bust,” putting thousands of Americans out of work and leaving only State TV outlets like Fox News to provide their lies to the nation. It was the sort of reckless tirade that can (and has) lead to bloodshed.

Trump Charlotsville

Later in the day came news that just such an unthinkable act of mass murder was foiled by law enforcement officers of the FBI and the Coast Guard. According to NBC News:

“A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant working in the nation’s capital lived a secret life as a “domestic terrorist” who aspired to mass murder and compiled a target list of prominent politicians and journalists, federal prosecutors allege in court papers.”

The suspect, Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on drug and gun charges, but prosecutors said that he was intent on committing a killing spree against journalists and Democratic politicians. He described himself as a “white nationalist” and searched for pro-Russian and neo-Nazi literature online. The report went on to provide details of Hasson’s proposed victims:

“Prosecutors say the list included designations they believe referred to Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar and Sheila Jackson. Also on it was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

“Media figures on the list included [Joe] Scarborough, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, and CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.”

This is the sort of deadly, crackpot white nationalism that comes from watching too much Fox News and listening Trump’s deranged sermons at his cult rallies. Hasson is without a doubt a domestic terrorist with a determination to carry out the most hostile version of the dystopia advocated by Trump. But Trump has said nothing about his plot or arrest. However, Trump did post a tweet announcing that he gave an order to prohibit Hoda Muthana from reentering the U.S.

Muthana is an American citizen who traveled to Syria allegedly to join ISIS. She now regrets her decision and expresses remorse for her “naive, angry, and arrogant” behavior. Whatever you may think of her, or her desire to return to her family and birthplace, Trump’s participation in the matter is absurd. This is a decision that is generally made way below the presidency. So the only imaginable purpose for Trump’s involvement is the publicity.

Nevertheless, Trump doesn’t seem the least bit interested in publicizing the arrest of a straight-up domestic terrorist whose views are aligned with his own. And he doesn’t seem to think that it might be useful to condemn such actions in order to deter others like Hasson from concocting their own plots. Trump’s banning of Muthana will have negligible impact on anything. But his silence on Hasson will be viewed as greenlighting the revolution that his Deplorables dream about.

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

Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump Lusts for the Jobs – and Blood – of American Journalists

It’s been going on for more than two years now. Donald Trump repeatedly refers to the media in Stalinist terms as the “enemy of the people.” He knows when he does this that he is putting people’s lives at risk. He simply doesn’t care. Because his objective is to utterly demolish the credibility of the free press so that people won’t believe their accurate reports of his criminal activities.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

The consequences of Trump’s smears have already been seen in attacks on the staff of the Capital Gazette in Maryland. It’s been seen in the mail bombs sent to multiple people in the media. The press reporting at Trump events are subject to physical assaults. And still Trump persists in inflaming these hostilities with reckless and ignorant messages to his Deplorables:

These Twitter outbursts are typically devoid of any substance. Trump has never proved a single one of his allegations of “fake news.” He just lashes out mindlessly, as if he were having a psychotic reaction to an overdose of PCP. But these mental spasms are not just fear-triggered hate mongering. They are dangerous signals to his deranged base of cult worshiping crackpots. And they are almost certain to incite more violence. That’s a concern that the publisher of the New York Times expressed in his response to these Trump tweets:

“In demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. […] As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”

In addition to Trump’s bloodlust, he is also revealing a noxious yearning for thousands of Americans in the media to lose their jobs. His undisguised pleasure at the notion that all news enterprises will “go BUST” is typical of his disregard for the American people and their families. It is unprecedented for a president to take a position advocating for the loss of thousands of American jobs. But that is precisely the position Trump is taking.

Even worse, Trump’s desire to see thousands of people become unemployed would simultaneously deprive the entire country of any sources of news. At least sources that are credible and independent. We would be left with only the state sanctioned media (i.e. Fox News) that Trump would exempt from his tyrannical suppression the press. This should trouble every citizen.

The lengths that Trump goes to to harm the media spreads throughout Trump World. It is vicious and hateful and exacerbates division. Which is exactly what Trump intends. And you end up with the sort of nauseating discourse exhibited in the grotesque video clip below from the ultra-rightist TruNews. This would be all that’s left if Trump got his way.

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