Fox News Laughably Mangles Report on Mueller’s Subpoena for Russia Docs From Trump Org

There was breaking news on Thursday about the investigation into Donald Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a new subpoena to the Trump Organization for all documents related to its dealings with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. It’s a significant development that indicates that the investigation is continuing to expand and has the President squarely in its sights.

Robert Mueller Trump

So it will surprise nobody that Fox News found a way to report this news that is both trivializing and confusing. In fact, they made it sound like good news for Trump. The mission of Fox News, of course, is to act as a shield for Trump and his Republican backers by defending him, and maligning his critics, at all costs. To that end Fox News host Dana Perino broke into her program with a Fox News Alert to rapidly misinform their viewers before any morsels of the truth could get out. She interviewed reporter Catherine Herridge on the Mueller subpoena (video below):

Perino: The New York Times is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge is on Capitol Hill. Catherine, this news just broke right before the hour started.
Herridge: That’s right Dana. I’ve been making some phone calls and I spoke with one of the President’s personal attorneys who confirmed to me that the Trump Organization has been working closely and cooperatively with the office of the special counsel Robert Mueller. And at this time he was unaware that a subpoena had been issued, but he was going to check further. The key thing he said was the driving force, or the objective of the subpoena, whether it was in fact going down a new line of inquiry, or whether this was what they call a “wrap up subpoena” or a “clean up subpoena,” which is when you request records as you’re getting close to the end the of the investigation and you’re trying to tie up some loose ends.

First of all, it’s notable that Herridge only called Trump’s personal attorney to confirm this report, rather than someone at the Justice Department who would have knowledge of the subpoenas they issue. It’s also notable that Herridge didn’t identify the attorney she spoke with. Were these remarks off the record or anonymous?

More to the point, the introduction of the terms “wrap/clean up subpoena” muddies up the reporting. A quick Google of the terms found few results that weren’t referencing this Fox News segment. In fact, it’s a rather pointless distinction because all subpoenas are intended to secure information that’s relevant to the investigation and could lead to new paths of inquiry. But this spin by Fox News is intended to imply that the investigation is nearing completion and that nothing incriminating has been found. But they weren’t through trying to further deflect from the Trump/Russia connection:

Perino: So it might not signal a new aggressive approach by the special counselor?
Herridge: Well what we know through our own independent reporting is that the special counsel has been looking at the issue of the United Arab Emirates, and whether there was any financial input into the campaign by the United Arab Emirates, or whether there was a promise of better treatment after the election because of their support of then-candidate Trump.

Technically, that’s true. The UAE, along with other areas of financial misdeeds, is under investigation. But that has nothing to do with this new subpoena that specifically seeks documents from Trump related to Russia. This is an obvious dodge to create confusion and pretend that Russia isn’t the focus of this investigation. And the segment ended with a virtual admission that their furious spinning was probably all made up:

Perino: I’ve never heard of clean up subpoenas. I’m glad I had you on.
Herridge: I know. I learned of them recently too. That’s the kind of subpoena you want, apparently.
Perino: I used to work at the Justice Department. Someone was holding out on me.

See? It’s all very innocent. There’s nothing to worry about here. And the fact that these two experienced media professionals never heard of the type of subpoena that they just introduced on the air shouldn’t raise any suspicions. According to Fox News Mueller’s new subpoenas are not only uncontroversial, they are “the kind of subpoena you want.” It’s actually good news for Trump. And Fox News is the only place you’re gonna get that kind of twisted analysis.

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

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Larry Kudlow is the Latest Contestant on Trump’s Reality TV Game Show Presidency

The mayhem at the White House is continuing as Donald Trump’s behavior gets ever more frantic and irrational. in the past few hours he has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the State Department’s top diplomacy aide, Steve Goldstein, and his personal assistant, John McEntee. There are rumblings from insiders that Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Veterans Administration director David Shulkin are also on the chopping block.

Fox News Trump Apprentice

As these vacancies open up, Trump will have the opportunity to name new appointees that will be better supplicants to his will. That has already played out with his nomination of current CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. And the news on Wednesday is that Trump has picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed the fired Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor.

By selecting Kudlow, Trump is continuing a pattern of bringing television personalities into his administration. Mostly they have been from Fox News and include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. Former Fox and Friends co-host, Heather Nauert, was also tapped by Trump to be the State Department spokesperson last year. And now she has already been promoted to replace Goldstein. Her entire career has been with Fox News and she has no diplomatic experience whatsoever.

The departure of Trump’s communications director, Hope Hicks, last month has set off a flurry of speculation as to who would fill her shoes. Among those being considered is Fox News co-host of The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle. She has been on deck for a Trump slot for quite a while. And another Fox and Friends host, Pete Hegseth, is reportedly being wooed to lead the Veterans Administration should Shulkin get tossed. Prior to joining Fox, Hegseth headed up a Koch brothers front group that pretended to advocate for veterans. But he has zero experience running a massive bureaucracy like the VA, nor has he ever worked in the health services field that comprises much of what the VA does.

Trump’s National Security Advisor, McMaster, is also teetering on the brink. His successor is rumored to be another Fox News contributor, John Bolton. He served in George Bush’s state department and as Ambassador to the United Nations. Consequently Bolton played a major role in the fabricated weapons of mass destruction excuses to invade Iraq, as well as in the disastrous administration of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obviously Trump is most comfortable working with TV personalities. It seems like his entire pool of possible job applicants come from the ranks of people he’s seen on Fox or other programs. His experience is so bereft of substance that he can’t possibly know anyone that has actual credentials in the jobs he needs to fill. And he wouldn’t want them anyway because they might not be photogenic. As a result, America will be burdened with shallow, unqualified amateurs running government agencies whose work affects us all. But at least they’ll look good when they sit down for softball interviews with Sean Hannity.

This is what Fox’s Laura Ingraham considers Trump “hitting his stride,” and “getting a really strong team in place.” And coincidentally, that’s exactly how Trump sees it. On Tuesday he explained to reporters that these White House shake-ups were just the normal fine tuning of personnel. “I’m really at a point,” he said, “where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” That’s after a year in office where all of his original appointments were also his choices, but apparently not what he wanted. Ironically, not having the leadership one wants is something most Americans can relate to right now.

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

Fox News Excuses Tillerson Mess, White House Chaos By Saying that ‘Disarray is Trumpism’

The Tuesday Morning Massacre at Donald Trump’s White House rocked the political media. In the matter of a few hours Trump had fired the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Steve Goldstein, the State Dept spokesman whose announcement of Tillerson’s firing contradicted the White House story, and Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, whose dismissal was due to an investigation for serious financial crimes (He was then immediately hired by Trump’s 2020 campaign).


However, over on Fox News the presidential pandemonium was given a much more positive spin. It didn’t represent the turmoil that everyone else was seeing. It was merely, as Fox political editor Chris Stirewalt said, “Trump being Trump.” In an interview (video below) with anchor Sandra Smith, Stirewalt dutifully pardoned the President for any malfeasance in office or mismanagement.

Smith: “Does this add to the speculation of disarray inside the West Wing? Or should one just decide that this is the way the President works?”
Stirewalt: “Well, both things could be true. Disarray may be the methodology. If disarray is a methodology, then perhaps that is Trumpism. But let’s also remember if we put this in context of what else is going on, we saw Donald Trump govern in 2017 as a very traditional kind of Republican president. In 2018 we’re seeing Trump being Trump. […] And so I think we are seeing here, maybe not disarray, but instead this real pivot back to core nationalist, populist Trumpism.”

See? It’s just Trump executing his plan perfectly. It’s all unfolding exactly the way he wants it to. Nothing out of order, or out of the ordinary. He is just “pivoting” back to his “core nationalist, populist Trumpism,” whatever the hell that is.

If those remarks weren’t ludicrous enough, Stirewalt also had to assert that last year Trump was “very traditional.” In what dystopian nightmare? 2017 was a year filled with lying, hypocrisy, and a policy agenda that was either preposterous or dangerous or both. It was the year that he tried (and failed) to repeal ObamaCare. He rescinded DACA by executive action. He pushed through a tax bill that enriched corporations and his wealthy pals to the detriment of everyone else.

And his personnel management was a historical disaster. There was a forty-plus percent turnover in top presidential posts. And just to put a fine point on Trump’s deranged perspective, he had this to say regarding his recent staff shake-up: “I’m really at a point where I’m close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” He’s been in office for more than a year and he’s just now getting to that point? God help us all if he ever actually gets there.

But leave it to Fox News to sugar-coat Trump’s incompetence. And it didn’t take them an hour to develop this public relations propaganda spiel. Just think what they’ll be saying by this evening when Sean Hannity goes on the air. By then Trump will be heralded as the most brilliant national leader of the millennium. And sadly, way too many glassy-eyed Fox News disciples and Trump cultists will believe it.

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

FAKE NEWS! That’s What Trump Called Media Reports that Tillerson Would Be Fired – Um, OK

Another one bites the dust: On Tuesday morning it was announced that Donald Trump had fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. This move came after months of awkward conflicts between the President and his top diplomat. It was not an unexpected development, but most White House watchers probably thought it would come later, after the firing of H.R. McMaster, John Kelly, or Jeff Sessions.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

For the record, Trump has previously denied all reports that he was even considering terminating Tillerson. In fact, he called it “fake news.” That was just three months ago:

Apparently they work so well together that he had to go. Maybe Stormy – I mean Melania – was getting jealous. So this was tweeted on Tuesday:

This is rather startling timing for such a major personnel change. Trump recently announced that he would be meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un by May. Now the United States will be breaking in a new Secretary of State and still has no ambassador to South Korea. There are also significant issues pending with Iran, Israel, China, Russia, and the U.K. But not to worry. As Trump said in November regarding his dangerously understaffed State Department “I’m the only one that matters.”

Rest assured that whatever you hear from the administration about Tillerson’s departure will be a lie. It is no coincidence that he was jettisoned the day after he forcefully charged that Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England. Trump was not about to allow any criticism of his BFF, Vladimir Putin. When given the opportunity on Monday to hold Russia accountable, the White House balked, leaving our U.K. allies in the lurch.

Let this be a lesson to anyone serving this president. If you say anything unkind about Putin, you’re out of a job. It’s almost worse than saying something unkind about Trump himself. Actually, it is worse. Tillerson called Trump a moron last year and didn’t get fired. Putin is apparently the third rail in the Trump White House.

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

Fox News Lies: Trump’s Border Wall Can Be Paid for By Cutting Welfare – Still Not By Mexico

When Donald Trump spoke at the rally in Pennsylvania for some GOP candidate whose name he barely mentioned, Trump naturally launched into a medley of his campaign’s greatest hits. One of those most clamored for by his audience of fanatics was that old familiar refrain “Build the Wall.” And Trump didn’t disappoint his fans as he once again promised that the wall would be built “100 percent.”

Fox News Trump

The following day Fox News jumped on this critical breaking story with a report on Fox and Friends First. Host Heather Childers interviewed the Trump sycophant head of the so-called National Border Patrol Council, Brandon Judd. In Childers introduction of Judd she summarized what would be the theme of the whole segment:

“A brand new report says the wall could pay for itself by eliminating the need for welfare and other taxpayer funded benefits given to illegal immigrants.”

Wow, really? Actually, no. The report cited by Childers was published by the ultra-conservative assembly of xenophobes known as the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). It concluded that undocumented immigrants in the United States were consuming sixty-four billion dollars in federal benefits from welfare, public education and refundable tax credits. Outside of education, Childers and CIS were simply making most of that up. The immigrants in question are not eligible for welfare of any type, including ObamaCare. And how can they receive refundable tax credits if they aren’t filing tax returns? The truth is that immigrants provide far more financial benefits to the the country than anything they consume.

Through a flurry of leading questions, Judd repeated the findings from the same CIS study. And he went on to say that the wall “will cut down on what the taxpayer burden will be, which will then go straight into funding the wall.” That’s an impressively delusional statement. Let’s try to follow his logic. What Judd is saying that taxpayers would be relieved from having to pay welfare benefits for illegal immigrants (we’ll set aside for the moment that there are no such benefits). But that tax revenues would instead be shifted to paying for Trump’s wall. So contrary to Judd’s comment, there is no reduction in the burden of the taxpayers at all.

Furthermore, Judd is conceding that it’s the taxpayers who are paying for the wall. So the lede in this story where Childers claimed that the wall would pay for itself was a lie. It would be paid for by the aforementioned taxpayers. And in that case, it would not be paid for by Mexico, as promised by the President. Judd called this “a brilliant way to go about it. And that’s the business strategy that President Trump brings to the American people.”

It’s rather ludicrous to characterize this idiocy as “brilliant.” But it’s pretty accurate to say that it’s characteristic of Trump’s business strategy. As a failed businessman who has declared bankruptcy at least six times, Trump can hardly qualify as a business expert. He is a practitioner if “Disaster Capitalism” (hat tip: Naomi Klein), who exploits his failures for his own gain at the expense of everyone he does business with. And as president, that means the American people are the chumps in his greedy game. And Fox News is his PR division that airs garbage like this interview in order to help Trump fleece the nation.

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

Good News for Trump: Sexual Predator Bill O’Reilly is Defending Him on ‘The Women Issue’

The bad news about Donald Trump’s reprehensible conduct with women continues to escalate with new revelations every day. It’s not bad enough that he has at least sixteen women making credible allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against him. Nor have his own admissions of getting away with sexually assaulting women because he’s a celebrity tipped the scales against him in the minds of his glassy-eyed disciples. Now the scandal over his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels is heating up, while he tries to censor “60 Minutes” and she’s offering to return his $130,000 and rescind the questionable contract to silence her.

Bill O'Reilly Donald Trump

In this time of dire need, Trump might be consoled by having one of his long-time pals riding to his rescue. Bill O’Reilly has taken up the cause to shield Trump from the onslaught of persecution he’s been suffering at the hands of critics in the media. O’Reilly recognizes that Trump has been the real victim in all of this and he isn’t going to stand by and allow his buddy to be bullied by the press. O’Reilly’s defense comes in the form of tweets linked to articles on his almost totally ignored website:

So O’Reilly chose to begin by demonizing the women of America who are speaking out against mistreatment by repulsive men in politics and business. He thinks he’s smart to characterize women (and men) protesting abuse and advocating for equal opportunity as “radical and hateful.” That should play well on Main Street, USA. And then there’s this:

The prescient gifts that O’Reilly is bragging about are really just expressions of his own anger. He’s still mad that he was driven from his comfortable perch at Fox News by media reports of his heinous behavior. Both he and Fox paid out millions of dollars to cover up his deviancy. And both he and Trump have been the subjects of accusations by a variety of women. But is he really really sure he wants to remind everyone about that? Or this:

That’s just weird. Does O’Reilly think that Trump only recently became aware that his past is fair game for public discourse? And does he think that “the women issue” is just a cudgel with which to beat up on poor, innocent, men who like to grab women by the pussy? But the weirdest part is that O’Reilly seems to be suggesting that Trump will now have to start attacking the media. Where the heck has O’Reilly been for the past two years? Trump has been on a mission to destroy the free press in America and beyond. Even to the point of referring to the media in Stalinist rhetoric as “the enemy of the people.”

Probably the last thing that Donald Trump needs now is Bill O’Reilly’s help. O’Reilly is just another pervert in the Trump mold who has been banished to the deserted wilds of blogland as a result of his own acts of abuse and harassment. So it’s not especially surprising that O’Reilly would adopt this particular defense strategy. He’s really just relitigating his own crimes and using Trump as a surrogate. But both of them have earned condemnation and deserve to be ostracized and exiled from decent society.

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

Find us on Google+

Another Fox News Sleazeball Has Been Caught in a Sex Scandal with a 25 Year Old Co-Worker

If you thought Watters World was a documentary about Donald Trump’s adventures with hookers in a Moscow hotel, you’re mistaken, but understandably so. In fact, it’s a program on Fox News featuring Jesse Watters, who is also a co-host of the daily afternoon program The Five. Watters is best known for being a smug, smartass who did ambush interviews for Bill O’Reilly and allegedly humorous segments that were overtly racist.

Now the New York Daily News is reporting that Watters’ wife has filed for divorce due to his ongoing adulterous affair with a twenty-five year old co-worker, Emma DiGiovine. Watters has admitted his infidelity which he only reported to Fox News human resources after the divorce papers were filed. He and his now-estranged wife have twin six year old daughters.

Most companies have strict prohibitions against employees engaging in romantic relationships with subordinates on their staff. Generally it mandates termination of the superior employee who is in a position to abuse their power. Presumably, Fox News has the same policy. However, the response by Fox upon discovery of the relationship was to transfer DiGiovine to another program and let Watters off the hook entirely. Now he can continue leading classy discussions wherein he describes single women as “Beyoncé voters” who “depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care and they love to talk about equal pay.”

This is just the latest sex scandal at Fox News. Previously their founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes was fired after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Then their star host, Bill O’Reilly, got the ax when it became publicly known that he had paid millions of dollars in settlements to silence his accusers. Gee, Doanld Trump only paid $130,000 (that we know of). Fox and Friends anchor Ed Henry was suspended for several weeks for having an adulterous affair. Fox business host Charles Payne was also the subject of harassment charges. And Watters got his seat on The Five by replacing Eric Bolling, who was fired for sending explicit photos to women colleagues at Fox.

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

This obviously isn’t a case of a few bad apples. Fox News is a breeding ground for perverts. It’s a haven for men who exploit their power to demean and control women. Or as former Fox News host and victim Andrea Tantaros said in her lawsuit, “it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” And now Jesse Watters has become the latest face of the reprehensible pattern of misogynistic behavior that is nurtured by Fox and its management. But he certainly won’t be the last.

In Unhinged Speech Trump Slobbers Over Foreign Despots While Attacking America’s Free Press

The President of the United States left Washington, D.C. this Saturday, but didn’t head south to his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach as usual. Instead Donald Trump went up to Pennsylvania to deliver a campaign speech on behalf of Rick Saccone, who is at risk of losing to Democrat Conner Lamb next Tuesday in a district that Trump won by twenty points. The rally was reminiscent of Trump’s aimless campaign speeches in 2016 where he pontificated like a mad evangelist for an hour or more.

Donald Trump

In keeping with his practice of shrieking sermonizing, Trump made a point of attacking what he considers the the scourge of his existence: the media (video below). He rattled off the sort of derogatory slander that would ordinarily be reserved for bitter enemies of all that is righteous. It was a storm of damnation, both personal and broadly general.

For instance, Trump lashed out at NBC’s Meet the Press calling it “A show now headed by sleepy eyes Chuck Todd. He’s a sleeping son of a bitch, I’ll tell ya.” Remember, this speech was at a daytime rally with children present. He also went after an unnamed “certain anchor on CNN” who he said was “fake as hell, CNN. The worst. So fake. Fake news.” And he wasn’t letting NBC off either. He ranted that they were “perhaps worse than CNN, I have to tell you. And MSNBC is horrible.” Continuing down that path of raw animosity he called MSNBC “third rate. And NBC, which is horrible. Their newscast, by the way is not doing well. On NBC network. They’re heading down the tubes.”

This might be a good time to inject some facts into the discussion. NBC’s newscast anchored by Lester Holt has won ten consecutive quarters in the key advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds. They were also number one in the most recent sweeps period of February 2018. And their morning news program, the Today Show, topped their competition (ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning) in both the demo and total viewers. As for MSNBC, Rachel Maddow has been beating Trump’s BFF Sean Hannity on a regular basis.

But Trump wasn’t about to let mere reality interfere with his delusions. He went on to make a ludicrous and utterly nonsensical prediction about the media that he despises so, and which he is convinced hates him. Pointing to the press at the rally he said…

“Six months prior to the election, every one of those guys – ‘We really endorse Donald Trump. We think he has to win.’ You know why? Because if I don’t win the election their ratings are gonna go so far down they’re gonna be out of business, every one of them.”

WTF is he trying to say here? That the media that he accuses of trying to destroy him will suddenly reason that it’s in their interest to support him? If that’s true, then why wouldn’t they support him now for the same reasons? What’s more, he’s implying that the media’s surging ratings are the result of having him around to attack. Which means that more viewers are watching because they enjoy seeing him get hammered. That’s actually true. Every poll shows that Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president ever recorded. So people probably are happy to see him get cut down by responsible journalists whose reporting of Trump’s failures is just part their job.

The tone that Trump sets in these rallies is decidedly hostile and un-American. He praises China’s Xi Jinping, who just maneuvered himself into being president for life (of which Trump is envious). He declares that he blindly trusts Kim Jong Un’s promise to refrain from missile and nuclear testing. He protects Vladimir Putin’s Russia from sanctions mandated by Congress as punishment for their election tampering. Trump speaks of these and other anti-democratic tyrants in radiantly glowing terms. But he viciously insults fellow Americans who practice their Constitutionally protected right to freedom of the press. And he thinks that’s how to MAGA – or KAG, as he now says (Keep America Gross).

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

Trump’s Lawyer Tries to Deflect Crimes with Desperate and Obviously False Attacks on the Media

The Stormy Daniels affair is turning into one of the most persistent scandals of Donald Trump’s presidency. And given the sheer volume of scandals, that’s really saying something. It doesn’t help that this incident involves Trump’s own personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who arranged the $130,000 in hush money to keep Trump’s infidelity out of the news. Cohen is a long-time Trump toady who can always be relied on to prop up his pal, no matter how repulsive his behavior.

Michael Cohen

Having made himself the subject of the Stormy affair by asserting that he paid her from his own funds, Cohen is now as much an accomplice as he is an attorney. And his story that he ponied up the cash out of the kindness of his heart is falling apart. Consequently, he is adopting the tactics of his boss in order to deflect attention from his own potential criminal liability. On Saturday morning he tweeted this:

Cohen has somehow gotten the impression that the media is obsessed with his email account. In fact, they are just being responsible journalists by reporting that his contacts with Stormy were made using his Trump Organization email address. That’s relevant due to his prior insistence that the arrangements he made with Stormy had nothing to do with Trump and Trump knew nothing about them. By the way, that would be a violation of the New York Bar Association’s standards of conduct. An attorney may not take actions on behalf of a client without full disclosure and permission.

Having no other defense, Cohen is resorting to attacking the media on a completely different topic. And, much like Trump, his attack is rooted in deliberate falsification of reality. Cohen saying that he didn’t see reporting about the jobs numbers anywhere except for Fox News is really just a confession that he doesn’t watch anything but Fox News. Every other major news organization reported these numbers, as they do every time they are released. Just a few obvious examples:

So Cohen didn’t see or hear any of this? Is he blind and deaf? Or is he just a lying, propaganda sewer who parrots the anti-media bullshit of Donald Trump? If nothing else, he’s exposing his fear about the legal walls that are closing in around him. This painfully desperate tweet is evidence of his knowledge that he and his favorite client are going down fast. And there’s nothing he an do about it.

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

Trump Scolds Cabinet Secretaries for Embarrassing Stories, Not for Being Ethical Dirtbags

When Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” it was taken by his supporters to mean that he would rid Washington of corrupt and self-dealing insiders. Little did they know that he really intended to relocate the swamp dwellers to his administration. And in that respect he succeeded beyond all expectations.

Donald Trump

Trump’s appointees to high-level positions have proven to be the worst offenders of the sort he railed against. A report by ProPublica found that “At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists and … many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of.” But the standout abusers of the public trust are the heads of his cabinet agencies. People like:

  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who charged personal travel to his department and spent $139,000 on a door for his office.
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who ordered a $31,000 dining set for his office.
  • Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who took vacations with his wife on the taxpayers’ dime.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was found to have misused his travel funding by flying first class because he was afraid he would be accosted by angry coach passengers.

These are all egregious breaches of ethics by executive branch managers. Any administration would be shocked and embarrassed by such irresponsible behavior. And Trump’s administration is no exception. Indeed, the President was embarrassed by the news reports of these incidents. So embarrassed that he made sure that those involved were reprimanded. However, it’s clear from the reports that what they were being scolded for were the embarrassing stories, not their unethical behavior. Their mistake was that they cast a negative light on their egocentric boss. As CNN reports:

“The White House held private meetings with four Cabinet-level officials last month to scold them for embarrassing stories about questionable ethical behavior at their respective agencies, sources familiar with the sessions tell CNN.

“Internal watchdogs have launched at least nine audits, reviews or investigations across several Cabinet agencies, and stories about first-class travel, expensive office furniture, and internal strife have become commonplace.”

Notice that there is no indication that the White House was upset with what these agency heads did, only that they got caught and generated bad press. Nor is there any mention of punishment for the offenders. That’s typical of this White House that refuses to hold anyone accountable for their misdeeds. Just last week Trump senior counsel Kellyanne Conway was found to have violated the Hatch Act, which forbids politicking by government staffers. In fact, she broke this law three times. But she has not been fired or punished in any way. Except, perhaps, Trump may have pulled her aside to complain about having embarrassed him.

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

So for anyone who was wondering, the swamp is alive and well in Trump’s White House. It must be comforting to the alligators that they will always be defended against any effort to hold them accountable. Which insures that future misbehavior can be expected since there are no repercussions. That’s pretty much the way Trump lived his life of excess and crime before coming to Washington. And he’s apparently sticking to that method. Because, at least with regard to his dimwitted supporters, it’s working.