Trump Spends Most of the 60 Minutes Interview Lying and Whining About the Media

While awaiting the final presidential debate of 2020, Donald Trump is obsessing over a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl that won’t air until Sunday. Well, it ordinarily wouldn’t air, but Trump took it upon himself to release his own video in violation of his agreement with CBS.

Donald Trump Angry

On Thursday morning Trump pounded out some tweets referring to the interview. True to form, Trump displayed a familiar attitude of weakness and victimhood as he sought to portray Stahl as a big meanie who was out to get him. He whimpered that…

I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted “takeout” interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes. Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and “magnificently brilliant” answers to their “Q’s”.


Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!”

If this is what Trump thinks is anger, hatred, and rudeness, he really is a fragile little snowflake. But that’s been glaringly apparent for years. In addition to this petulant grumbling, Trump has also blatantly violated the agreement he made with 60 Minutes not to release any video prior to the Sunday evening broadcast. CBS reacted to this breach of contract in a press release chastising his “unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement.” But anyone who expects Trump to behave ethically hasn’t been paying attention.

The interview itself was a shipload of lies (video below). Trump claimed repeatedly that he already has a healthcare plan (that he still refuses to reveal) to replace the Affordable Care Act, even as he expresses his desire that the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare. He also said that he doesn’t know anything about Steve Bannon (his former campaign chairman) and Rudy Giuliani (his current personal attorney) or their smear campaign against the Biden family. Never mind that he’s been talking and tweeting about it ever since it surfaced in the right-wing press. Trump repeated his frequent lie that the Obama administration spied on him. And that’s just the tip of iceberg.

Let’s set aside the voluminous lies that Trump told during this interview. That’s business as usual for Trump. He also spent much of the time complaining about Stahl and the media instead of answering the questions. She struggled, mostly in vain, to get him to stick to the subject. But his mind wandered aimlessly through a forest of incoherence as he tried desperately to deflect every inquiry into some form of media bashing. For instance…

In response to a question he obviously didn’t like, Trump began his reply attacking Stahl’s tone, saying that “The way you said that is why people think of you and everyone else as fake news.” When she pointed out the fallacy of Trump’s claim that his recent cult rallies are “the biggest rallies we’ve ever had,” (they aren’t), he responded with a brittle “You’re so negative.” And in a tired old complaint Trump whined that “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media. Because the media is corrupt. In my opinion the media is corrupt. The media is fake. And frankly, if I didn’t have social media I’d have no way of getting out my voice.” That’s the alleged “President” of the United States saying that he has no platform for communicating with the public.

Trump raised several objections that centered around his jealousy of Joe Biden. “You don’t ask Biden tough questions,” Trump cried. “I wish you would interview Joe Biden like you interview me. […] You’re like big tech. You’re protecting him. And everyone is. Except for a few people.” Trump complained again about being asked “tough questions.” Then he falsely claimed that “When you set up the interview you didn’t say that. You said ‘Oh, let’s have a lovely interview.'” Yeah sure, that’s what veteran journalist Lesley Stahl said. Then Trump whines again that Biden has never been asked a hard question. And shortly thereafter Trump concludes that his suffering was too much and decides to run away saying “That’s enough. Let’s go.”

Somehow, Trump’s cult disciples continue to view Trump as a pillar of strength. That’s an extraordinarily perverse image of a man who is so clearly a weakling and a coward. There has never been an American leader who wallows so deeply in victimhood. However, he does have much to fear now. He’s about to be resoundingly defeated for reelection. And after that he is likely to face multiple civil and criminal trials. So maybe we should cut him some slack if he’s trembling at the prospect of his crumbling future. Nah, let’s not. He brought it on himself, and it’s what he deserves.

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

Donors Have Abandoned Trump’s Failed Campaign, Including Trump

As the 2020 Presidential election season winds down to its final days, the red flags for Donald Trump are waving wildly in the hurricane force winds that are pummeling his increasingly desperate campaign. Most polls are showing him trailing Joe Biden by double digits nationally, and his prospects in the crucial swing states don’t look much better.

Donald Trump Circling the Drain

As a result of these harrowing conditions for Trump, he is becoming even more hysterical as he ramps up preposterous allegations against his opponent. Those include aiding and abetting Russian disinformation, whining petulantly that everyone is against him, and insisting that Democrats must, by law, become Republicans.

Among the warning signs that Trump is facing are defecting Republican leaders, television ratings defeats to Biden, and dwindling donations. On the latter, the most recent financial reports from Trump and Biden show a decided advantage for Biden during the most critical phase of the campaign:

However, Trump supporters should not be worried because Trump made this promise to them last week:

The only problem with that promise (other than most of it being flagrantly untruthful) is that Trump isn’t showing any indication that he intends to keep it. Trump still isn’t contributing to his floundering campaign. And if he doesn’t do so now, then when? What message does that send to any donors he has left? He expects them to keep shelling out for the lost cause that he won’t support himself. That makes them the suckers paying to fluff his ego.

Trump still thinks he’s running the 2016 campaign when he was a reality TV game show host without a political record. He thinks that he can coast to victory by exploiting hundreds of millions of dollars in free airtime from news networks covering his every word. But those networks are not airing his his cult rallies and press conferences any more. Not even Fox News is doing it regularly. So Trump needs to rely more heavily on paid media that he can’t afford to pay for.

By all appearances, Trump has already given up any hopes of being reelected. He isn’t reaching out to new constituencies. He is embargoing his TV appearances to Fox News or other similarly friendly venues. And his arguments for a second term consist mainly of conspiratorial nonsense and unbridled hostility. For instance, he’s issuing ludicrous demands to throw Biden in jail for imaginary crimes. He’s making wild, baseless claims about communist Democrats plotting the destruction of America. And he’s continuing to downplay the tragic consequences of the coronavirus that he allowed to spread uncontrollably across the country.

This is not the behavior of anyone who is seriously seeking the votes of the American people. It is more like the ravings a mental patient with acute narcissism and malignant paranoia. And it is unlikely to persuade any citizens to cast their votes for such a deranged candidate.

What’s more, Trump is also killing any opportunity he thinks he has for a career after he leaves the White House. Who would hire someone so unstable and bent on self-destruction? At this rate, Trump would be lucky to get a five minute weekly commentary on the low-rated, ultra-rightist, One America News Network (OANN). And even then, most people would just watch it for the laughs.

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

Trump Can’t Stop Whining About Imaginary Bias By Debate Moderator

Perhaps the most prominent of the myriad character flaws of Donald Trump isn’t his pathological lying, his infantile name-calling, his glaring ignorance, or his raging hostility. Perhaps it’s the relentless whining and victimhood that gushes from him whenever he is faced with even a mild challenge. It’s a pitiful display of the cowardice that permeates his personality, or lack thereof. No wonder Trump has bragged about being the most fabulous whiner.”

Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Debate Stage

This “feature” of Trump’s emotional frailty has been evident recently in his reaction to the upcoming and final presidential debate with Joe Biden. Note that the first of the scheduled debates resulted in Trump harassing both Biden and the the moderator, Chris Wallace, with repeated interruptions. That led to the Commission on Presidential Debates implementing a new rule wherein the mic of the opposing candidate will be muted during designated two minute periods at the beginning of each topical segment. The second debate was canceled altogether because Trump was afraid to participate remotely.

In advance of the final debate before the election, Trump is ramping up his griping about how unfair everyone and everything is to him. He has been complaining for several days that the debate, like the election itself, is “rigged” against him. And on Tuesday morning he took that complaint to Fox News so he could get some sympathy from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends.

During the discussion, co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Trump about the new rule for muting the mic. Trump replied by calling the Commission “ridiculous” and then segued to accusing them of purposely muting his mic in the 2016 debates with Hillary Clinton (which never happened). He said they are “not good people” and that “a lot of funny things go on with them.” Then he shifted to maligning the moderator of Thursday’s debate, Kristen Welker of NBC News, in a rambling word salad with an overflowing jug of whine:

“I just went through Savannah Guthrie. I knew what I was getting into and it worked out fine. But she was out of line. She was totally out of line. And so was Chris Wallace. I know you’ll defend him, but so was Chris Wallace. He was terrible. It was like two on one, and that was just fine with me. But at least they should admit that it was two on one.” […]

“Kristen Welker is terrible, I mean she is totally partisan. Her father and mother are big supporters of Joe Biden for a long time. They’re supporters of the Democrat Party. And she deleted her entire account. […] “Kristen Welker is far worse than [CSPAN’S Steve] Scully, but I do it anyway, I do it anyway, But this is the way it is. It’s so set up.”

For the so-called “Leader of the Free World,” Trump sure behaves like a petulant toddler who doesn’t get his way. And needless to say, he is lying about Welker. She is a straight-down-the-middle journalist who doesn’t exhibit any political bias in her reporting. The party affiliations of her parents, even if true, are irrelevant. And she did not delete her Twitter account.

Trump made no effort whatsoever to support his contention that Welker “can’t be neutral at all.” What’s more, He falsely asserted that the Commission changed plans to make foreign policy the sole topic of the debate. That notion was birthed entirely in his warped imagination. The Commission’s only reference to debate topics came in their announcement on October 16, of the topics that were chosen by the moderator.

For the record, the topics are fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership. If those topics bother Trump it’s only because he knows he can’t discuss them with anything approaching coherence. Nevertheless, he sought to disparage Biden’s debating skills by telling his Fox friends that…

“There is a chain of thought, that there are a lot of people that say let him talk, because he loses his train, he loses his train, he loses his mind, frankly.”

If Trump actually manages to muster up the discipline to let Biden talk without interrupting (doubtful), he will be sorely disappointed as Biden demonstrates far a superior grasp of the issues and a relatable empathy for the American people. In fact, Trump’s strategy would work much better for Biden. Just let Trump talk. The more people hear him, the more they despise him. Every time Trump opens his mouth Biden’s lead in the polls gets bigger. So please proceed, Donnie.

UPDATE: Trump is proceeding with his manic media maligning. He reportedly stomped out of an interview for 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl, and is now berating her as biased.

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

Trump is Aiding and Abetting Russian Propaganda to Smear the Biden Family

There is a new “scandal” brewing in Trump World as they desperately search for a way dig Donald Trump out of his political abyss. The recent rash of feigned outrage stems from an interview by Senior Fox News Trump-fluffer, Maria Bartiromo. She gifted her platform to the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, a Trump appointee who has no experience in intelligence. And the the result was a made-for-State-TV segment intended to rescue a floundering campaign.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The gist of the so-called scandal concerns a mysterious laptop computer that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden. The New York Post reported that it was left with a computer repair shop in Delaware where the owner claims to have found “incriminating” e-mails that he passed on to Rudy Giuliani and the FBI.

The whole story was rife with contradictions, unverifiable claims, and outright falsehoods. It was so bad that when Giuliani first brought it to Fox News, they declined to air it with sources saying that…

“…the lack of authentication of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop, combined with established concerns about Giuliani as a reliable source and his desire for unvetted publication, led the network’s news division to pass.”

Fox anchor Bret Baier called the story “sketchy,” and Chris Wallace said it was “suspicious.” Nevertheless, the primetime Ministers of Trump Propaganda (Sean Hannity, et al) were more than happy to jump feet first into the bogus hit piece.

During the Bartiromo interview, Ratcliffe sought to rebut the debunking that threatened to defuse the budding scandal. He insisted that there was no evidence that the information about the laptop, and the data supposedly found on it, were the product of Russian disinformation. He blamed the allegation of Russian involvement on Rep. Adam Schiff, but in fact, it came from the FBI that is currently run by Trump appointee Chris Wray:

“Federal authorities are investigating whether a Russian influence operation was behind the disclosure of emails purporting to document the Ukrainian and Chinese business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a person briefed on the matter said Friday.

“The FBI’s examination is tied to the New York Post’s reporting this week on the contents of a computer hard drive it obtained from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.”

What’s more, the associates who Giuliani relied on for his smear campaign have been positively identified as Russian intelligence operatives by Trump’s Treasury Department:

“Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, declared, ‘[Andriy ] Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world.’ Previously, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence told Congress that Derkach is ‘spreading claims about corruption’ as part of the Kremlin’s effort to undermine Biden’s campaign. And he worked with Guliani to do so.”

The New York Post’s story has been the talk of the Trump Cult. Trump himself has tweeted about it repeatedly since its publication. He called it the “smoking gun” proof that Biden is “a corrupt politician,” and that it’s “the second biggest political scandal in our history!” But the actual reporters were less convinced by the material they had assembled themselves. They wouldn’t even allow the Post to attach their names to the story:

“On Sunday night, the New York Times reported that the New York Post had a difficult time finding a reporter to put their byline on the story amidst internal concerns about its dubious sourcing. The Times reported that the staff writer who mostly wrote the story, Bruce Golding, refused put his name on the report because he doubted its credibility.” […]

“The story’s bylines eventually went to Emma-Jo Morris, a former associate producer on Fox News show Hannity, who joined the Post as an editor this year and had yet to publish a story with her byline, and Gabrielle Fonrouge, a Post reporter since 2014. According to the Times, Fonrouge only learned her name was on the story after it was published.”

So this story is so untrustworthy that its own authors don’t believe it. It is filled with contradictions and implausible allegations that were sourced to Russian intelligence operatives. And this is what Trump and Fox News and the rest of the Confederacy of Deplorables thinks will bring about the end of Joe Biden. But it isn’t quite working out that way. In fact, they’re about to learn something about how the boomerang effect works.

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

Dictator Trump Actually Said ‘You Must, By Law, Join the Republican Party’ (Video)

As the 2020 presidential campaign enters its final two weeks, Donald Trump is recognizing the futility of his hopes for reelection. The American people have clearly rejected his failed attempts to deal with the coronavirus, the economy, healthcare, etc. Likewise, they are repelled by his toxic divisiveness and flagrant ignorance.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Given the voters’ sharp disagreement with the policies of Trump, and the cowardly compliant Republican Party, there appears to have been a deliberate shift to a strategy of pure character assassination by the Trump camp. Since he can’t change minds on substance, Trump is ramping up his most hostile and preposterous personalized rhetoric in an effort to drive down the favorables of his opponent, Joe Biden. He’s actually been doing that for months without having any discernible effect. Biden’s approval rating continues to stay in positive territory, far outstripping Trump’s historically low disapproval.

Trump’s attack plan now consists exclusively of bizarre allegations that more closely resemble the babbling of conspiratorial kooks than competent public servants. In recent days he has…

  • Retweeted crackpot QAnon claims that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and Biden killed SEAL Team 6.
  • Demanded that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Joe Biden be “locked up.”
  • Aided and abetted Russian propaganda asserting debunked allegations against Biden.
  • Called Biden and his family criminals.
  • Lied that “we are rounding the turn” on the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if you think that’s as bad as Trump gets, you don’t know Trump. On Saturday he spoke to the crowd at the Michigan stop of his Coronavirus Super Spreader Tour. And amid the onslaught of lies, insults, and whining, Trump laid this bit of fascism on his cult followers:

“If you’re a moderate Democrat or a liberal who knows that your party has gone totally off the rails, you have a moral duty to immediately stop this lunacy. You must, by law, join the Republican Party.”

By law? It boggles the mind trying to predict how Trump will justify this blatant totalitarianism. He can’t say, as he often does, that it was a joke because neither he, nor anyone in the audience, were laughing. He can’t say that it was the “fake news” trying to smear him because this is his own video that he himself posted on his Twitter page. What’s more, it’s perfectly aligned with so much of the other tyrannical outbursts he makes that it’s hard to pretend it wasn’t intentional.

These are the ravings of a desperate candidate who sees his inevitable downfall closing in on him. This week he suffered an embarrassing defeat when the competing TV town hall melodrama that he orchestrated resulted in Biden drawing millions more viewers. His longtime benefactor, Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch, predicted that Biden will win in a landslide. A Fox News poll found that a majority of voters say he doesn’t have the “mental soundness” to serve. He nevertheless is taking refuge in his Fox News bunker. Even Trump’s favorite pollster, Rasmussen, shows Biden winning by twelve points.

Any other (sane) candidate would be seeking to wrap up the campaign in manner that might retain some dignity. They might be thinking about their future, or the future of their party. Suffice to say that Trump isn’t thinking about anything but his obsessive craving for attention and control. And as it becomes clearer to him that he has neither, he will just spiral farther down the rabid hole, making his dire circumstances even worse. So buckle up, people. These last two weeks are gonna be a rollercoaster of crazy.

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

Schizo Trump Withers Under Criticism From GOP Senator

One thing Donald Trump will never be accused of is maintaining a consistent pattern of thought on any subject. It simply isn’t possible given his severe psychotic malfunction. Trump’s wild cognitive deviations are driven by an acute case of malignant narcissism. He is hostage to his own addiction to relentlessly positive (albeit fake) views of himself. Consequently, whatever he thought or said yesterday is irrelevant if it doesn’t align with what he thinks is in his best interest today.

Donald Trump

Trump provided the perfect example of this demented behavior in his Saturday morning tweet session. His angst was triggered by some critical remarks made by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Sasse’s remarks were revealed in a leaked recording of comments he made to fellow Republicans. What Sasse said is reportedly in line with the opinions of other GOP politicians who, like Sasse, are too cowardly to state their opinions publicly. Among Sasse’s scathing observations of Trump are…

  • His values are “deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American.”
  • “The way he kisses dictators’ butts.”
  • “The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership.”
  • “The way he treats women.”
  • He “spends like a drunken sailor.”
  • That he “mocks evangelicals behind closed doors.”
  • He “has treated the presidency like a business opportunity.”
  • He “flirts with white supremacists.”
  • That he is “a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual.”

Sasse is also rightly afraid that it “looks likely that he’s going to take the Senate down with him” if he loses the White House. “I’m now looking at the possibility of a Republican bloodbath in the Senate,” Sasse said, adding “That’s why I’ve never been on the Trump train […] What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?'”

It would be nice if Sasse and others like him had the integrity to tell the American people what he tells his colleagues in private. Especially prior to a historically consequential election. But the absence of integrity may just be an inherent Republican personality flaw. That would explain Trump’s behavior with regard to Sasse’s criticisms. But before getting to Trump’s latest whining about any commentary about him that is less than adoring, let’s take a look at his opinion of Sasse over time.

In January of 2016, Trump had an early disagreement with Sasse that resulted in his tweeting that…

But that was apparently all straightened out by September of 2019, when Sasse went from “totally ineffective” to having Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement” because…

However, that was short lived as Trump now says that Sasse is “stupid and obnoxious” and…

It really isn’t important what Trump thinks of Sen. Sasse. That opinion is about as stable as nitroglycerin in a Cuisinart. What’s important is that Trump is a walking contradiction machine who can’t flip for flopping. He sees everything through the cracked prism of his whiny ego. And he is a snowflake who melts at the slightest hint of warmth and regards himself as a perennial victim. Trump’s cowardice can be seen in virtually every decision he makes and opinion he expresses.

It is, however, more significant what Sasse thinks of Trump. Despite the shallowness of his commitment to his principles, he is at least telling the truth to his confidants. That’s also the case with a great many other Trump associates including former White House aides like Chief of Staff, John Kelly, National Security advisor John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and many more.

The people who Trump once heralded as “the best” often come to realize that he is the worst. These are people who worked closely with Trump on critical matters of national security. They are in the best position to know about Trump’s inadequacies. And they were all later denounced as fools and disgruntled former employees by Trump after they candidly told the truth about him. And that just adds to the many reasons why he is unfit to serve as president or, for that matter, Walmart greeter.

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

Trump’s Nightmare: Biden Takes the Ratings Crown in Dueling Town Halls

Friday is going to be another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for Donald Trump, whose days of late are mostly filled with disappointment, bitterness, anger, jealousy, and fear. With every new poll Trump is falling farther behind Joe Biden, both nationally and in the critical battleground states. Even his favorite pollster, the rabidly biased, right-wing Rasmussen, has Trump facing near certain defeat.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

After chickening out of the second presidential debate, Trump plotted with NBC to schedule a town hall that would directly compete with the one previously scheduled with Joe Biden on ABC. There was a lot wrong with that decision on NBC’s part, and their poor judgement is not validated by this good news in the aftermath of both town halls (via Variety):

“Biden drew 12.7 million total viewers on the Disney-owned network, while Trump drew 10.4 million in the same 9-10 p.m. time slot on NBC. Across the entire runtime, the Biden town hall averaged 12.3 million viewers. In terms of the fast national 18-49 demographic, Biden is comfortably on top with a 2.6 rating to Trump’s 1.7.” [See updated numbers below]

Biden’s audience exceeded Trump’s by more than two million – 20%. [Note: these are preliminary ratings that will be updated later in the day]. That’s a significant victory that parallels Biden’s lead in both polling and fundraising. Biden pulled in a record $383 million in September, compared to Trump’s haul of only $247.8 million. But best of all, ratings are what Trump cares about more than anything else, and he has utterly failed in that arena. This will surely drive the Narcissist-In-Chief CRAZY(er).

[UPDATE: The total is now in for Trump’s town hall, including MSNBC and CNBC. The three networks combined drew 13.1 million viewers. So Biden’s town hall on ABC, whose final numbers are 14.1 million, still beat Trump by a million viewers]

There were additional differences between the the Trump and Biden town halls that are more substantive than ratings. While Biden made a couple of mistakes, Trump lied frequently in his town hall. He was also challenged – and failed – on issues like…

  • Refusing to renounce the QAnon domestic terrorists
  • Deliberate distortions of data concerning the coronavirus
  • His inability to recall whether he had taken a COVID-19 test prior to the first debate
  • His miniscule tax payments and to whom he owes more than $400 million
  • Disseminating conspiracy theories such as one about Biden killing SEAL Team 6

On that last matter Trump attempted to excuse himself by saying that “it was a retweet,” as if that makes any difference. It’s still Trump passing along a preposterous and dangerous lie. NBC’s moderator, Savannah Guthrie, called him out saying that “You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle that can just retweet whatever.”

All told, the night was a huge defeat for Trump. He embarrassed himself in his own town hall. He likely alienated even more voters. And worst of all, he was beaten up in the ratings by someone he says is a mentally deficient socialist. If Trump can’t even win against that sort of an opponent, what does that make him?

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

Fox News Boss Rupert Murdoch Predicts Biden Will Beat Trump in a Landslide

In the closing weeks of the 2020 presidential election, the bad news for Donald Trump just keeps piling up. Every new poll that is published shows him falling farther behind Joe Biden, including those that are devotedly biased toward Trump. He’s losing in most of the critical battleground states. His crazed rhetoric keeps descending into an abyss of dementia. He’s even threatening to go to war against aliens (from Mars, not Mexico).

Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump

Now the chairman of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, is predicting that Trump is going to lose to Biden in a landslide. This is an election year defection that should rattle the rafters of Trump’s campaign operation. Murdoch has been a reliable supporter of Trump for years (even if that support has been reciprocated). And his cable network is Trump’s de facto Ministry of Propaganda. According to the Daily Beast (via Talking Points Memo)…

“Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has predicted privately that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will defeat President Donald Trump in the presidential election in a landslide victory, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.

“The Australian-born billionaire who has been an influential supporter of the President in the past has remarked to close associates that Trump is his own worst enemy, according to the Daily Beast. Murdoch suggested to at least three Daily Beast sources that Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic poorly and ignored advice on how to better manage it, which has created a never-ending crisis for his administration.”

The suggestion that Trump has “handled the COVID-19 pandemic poorly” is a gross understatement. The deaths of more than 216,000 Americans, along with 7.5 million infected, many of whom will have permanent disabilities, is better described as mass murder. And it is Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance, that is directly responsible. And Trump’s newly adopted position on “herd immunity” would guarantee more than two million fatalities according to epidemiology experts.

Murdoch’s opinion on the likely outcome of the presidential race does not immunize him from criticism for his years of disseminating lies aimed at Democrats. He is not endorsing Biden. He is merely expressing his analysis of the direction of the campaign. But the harm that Fox News has done to the nation under his direction is immeasurable.

That’s especially true with regard to the coronavirus pandemic that Murdoch is suddenly so worried about. Fox News has been relentlessly supporting and advancing Trump’s tragically misguided view that COVID-19 is nothing to be concerned about. They say that it’s no worse than the flu and will disappear like magic (never mind that thousands are still dying every week). And they continue to air, and positively comment on, Trump’s Coronavirus Super Spreader Rallies wherein he recklessly repeats these lies that will undoubtedly bring more suffering and grieving.

What’s more, instead of reporting on the health crisis, Fox News is deflecting to ludicrous conspiracy theories about Biden and his family. Most recently they are obsessing over a baseless story in Murdoch’s New York Post that purportedly connects Biden to some sort of chicanery in Ukraine. Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that the story has no evidence of any wrongdoing, or even that what they allege is unlawful. The Post’s story has been documented to be aligned with Russian propaganda aimed at disrupting the U.S. election. So Murdoch, Fox News, and Trump (who has been tweeting about this and raising it during his cult rallies) are now actively abetting Russia’s efforts to interfere with our election. As reported by David Corn in Mother Jones:

“The key point of the article was predicated on false information that [Rudy] Giuliani has been spreading for a long time—and that appears to be linked to a Russian disinformation operation that the Post neglected to note in its article. That is, the Post piece, based on an unproven smear, is in sync with Moscow’s ongoing effort to influence the 2020 election to help President Donald Trump retain power.”

Corn poignantly notes that “The New York Post has provided all reporters a wonderful tutorial on how to be a useful idiot for Russia.” And the same goes for Fox News since they are plastering this story all over their air. Which makes Murdoch’s lament about Trump’s floundering reelection campaign utterly meaningless. It doesn’t immunize him from the guilt of having helped Trump to spread lies along with a deadly virus. He is as responsible for the tragic consequences as Trump, because he’s been right by his side as Trump led America down a deadly path. And if Trump does lose in a landslide, Murdoch can take at least half the credit for it. As well as the blame for all the harm that Trump’s has caused in the past four years.

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

NBC Joins Trump PR Team By Staging Town Hall Opposite Biden

Two weeks ago Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in their first presidential debate. However, Trump managed to succeed only in thoroughly embarrassing himself by repeatedly interrupting with incoherent and hostile remarks. So it came as no surprise that Trump subsequently chickened out of the second debate when the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that it would be held remotely in the interest of health and safety.

Donald Trump TV Set

Trump undoubtedly noticed that every post-debate poll showed him falling even farther behind Biden after the first debate, including the one by his favorite pollster, Rasmussen. So Trump jumped at the chance to use the CPD’s remote format as an excuse to bail out.

Shortly after Trump’s cowardice forced the cancelation of the second debate, Biden quickly accepted an offer by ABC News to have a town hall at the time the debate was originally scheduled. That has been promoted extensively and will air Thursday. Unfortunately, Biden is not being given the courtesy of speaking to the American people without Trump once again interrupting, this time with the help of NBC.

NBC has announced that they will be hosting a town hall at the same time and date as ABC’s Biden program. NBC had plenty of time to find another time slot, but appears to have made a deliberate decision to compete directly with Biden’s broadcast. This is a dreadful disservice to viewers and the American people as it forces them to choose between the two programs, rather being able to see both in order to make an informed judgment.

There are only two possible explanations for NBC’s abhorrent programming decision. They are either acting out of pure greed and self interest, or they have joined the Trump campaign’s PR team and are acting on their behalf. Or, of course, a combination of both. Either way, it exposes their utter disregard for the fair conduct of the election, the welfare of the nation, and the best interests of voters.

It’s worse than just the obvious gift that NBC is presenting to Trump as he uses them for his nefarious purposes. They are actually rewarding Trump for being a wimp and fearfully fleeing the Commission’s debate. NBC couldn’t be advancing Trump’s campaign objectives any better if they were on his payroll. And this should make people wonder if they are.

Every television news enterprise that uses public airwaves has a legal obligation to serve the public interest. NBC is affirmatively harming the public interest in order to boost Trump along with their bottom line. The American people should be appalled by this partisan counterprogramming. There are reports that even insiders at the network are angry and ashamed by their employer. As any journalist with an ounce of integrity should be.

The result will likely be that more television viewers will tune in to the Trump Hour of Lies and miss the more substantive discussion with Biden. That’s not because they support Trump, but because it holds the promise of a melodramatic meltdown that is the meat and potatoes of TV entertainment. It’s why people watch police car chases. It’s why more people watch the Kardashians than C-SPAN! And this is happening at a time when even Fox News has shown some restraint in declining to air Trump’s rallies live and uninterrupted as has been their practice in the past. Brian Stelter of CNN reports that

“The president held a campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania Tuesday night, but Fox News only showed small portions of it. Fox took the same approach on Monday. So, for the second night in a row, Trump urged his Twitter followers to watch on OANN, Newsmax or C-SPAN – which indicates that he is aware of Fox’s snub.”

And now Trump can point his glassy-eyed cult disciples to NBC as well. NBC is taking it’s place alongside the ultra-rightist conspiracy crackpots of OANN and Newsmax. Is that really the company they want to keep? It’s despicable, unethical, and contrary to the principles of professional journalism.

The American people should loudly object to this media manipulation. And those of us who are offended by this programming stunt should boycott the Trump show on NBC Thursday and get their friends and families, and even strangers online, to join the boycott of NBC’s cynical, self-serving assault on journalistic integrity. Trump must not be rewarded for his cowardice. And NBC must not be rewarded for their partisanship and greed.

UPDATE: Rachel Maddow brought up this subject during an interview with Kamala Harris and indicated that a lot of people were mad.

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

Trump has Already Abandoned His Campaign and the Presidency

As election day draws nearer, the beads of flop sweat on Donald Trump’s wrinkled brow are turning into a tsunami of orange cosmetics running down his face and turkey neck. There is the unmistakable stench of defeat emanating from him as his tweets and public commentaries grow ever more unhinged from sanity. Not that they were ever particularly well connected.

Donald Trump

The fuming desperation that is the driving force in the final days of the Trump regime is producing behavior that ranks near the lows of his public life. He’s issuing ludicrous demands to prosecute Barack Obama and Joe Biden for imaginary crimes. He’s making wild, baseless claims about communist Democrats plotting the destruction of America. And he’s continuing to downplay the tragic consequences of the coronavirus that he allowed to spread uncontrollably across the country. And even after being infected himself, he attempts to cast it as a positive development and a sort of messianic sacrifice he took on.

Naturally, Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) has backed Trump every step of the way. They have been devotedly fulfilling their mission to defend Dear Leader from all criticisms, while viciously attacking his critics. And joining him on the front lines of this battle are the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends.

On Tuesday morning the F&F crew was on the job. In a segment discussing the lopsided political horserace (video below), co-host Steve Doocy concedes that Biden is significantly outraising Trump. But he skims over that fact to extol the “enthusiasm” of the glassy-eyed disciples who populate Trump’s cult rallies. “You can’t buy that,” says Doocy, despite the fact that that’s exactly what Trump does by staging these ego-paloozas. Of course, Trump shares Doocy’s position on enthusiasm, as expressed in this tweet where he claims that “you win races with enthusiasm.”

Actually, Biden’s accumulated donations of massive amounts of money is a far better indicator of enthusiasm than getting unemployed hicks to show up for a free rally. Doocy then follows up by rattling off the names of cities to which Trump will be taking his Coronavirus Super Spreader Tour this week. Then he goes on to say that Trump’s tour schedule will soon expand into…

“…two or three events a day. And then in the final sprint – in the final week or so – he’s going to do half a dozen events a day. And think about it…if you are in those battleground states, and the President comes and gives one of those great big rallies, you’re gonna wind up with a lot of free media and a lot of excitement. And that is what he thinks got him over the finish line last time.”

What Doocy is describing here is the complete surrender of Donald Trump. It’s a surrender, first of all, from his duties as the alleged “president.” Apparently, he sees his only job now to be starring in pseudo-religious revival shows in airport hangers. Secondly, he’s conceding electoral defeat by abandoning any effort to persuade voters to back his candidacy. He’s focused solely on those who are already committed to the Church of Trump. And that isn’t nearly enough to win a national election.

What’s more, Doocy correctly notes that Trump’s 2016 victory was largely dependent on free media. Every news network irresponsibly and unfairly aired his rallies live and uninterrupted. But what Doocy – and Trump – fail to recognize is that 2020 is not 2016. This time around, the only network that is airing the Trump Show is Fox News. And, once again, the only audience he is reaching are the already converted and lost souls of Trumpism.

So Trump isn’t doing his job as president (which is a big plus for the country). And he isn’t doing his job as a candidate (which removes an annoyance from the airwaves). So what the heck is Trump doing? He’s laying the foundation for his post-presidency career on the road and in the media. But he may be in for a huge letdown.

How many of Trump’s “fans” will actually pay to see his smarmy, ego-logues over and over again? And his hostile, crackpot rants would likely wear out after a couple of episodes on TV. Which would leave Trump with nothing but his worthless name and a newly disinterested benefactor in Moscow. Oh, and a half dozen state prosecutors filing indictments for everything from tax fraud to crimes against the state. However, one thing is certain: With Trump circling the drain financially and legally, America will be great again.

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