Trump ‘Loves’ Him Some Whiffleball Questions From Radical Right-Wing ‘Reporter’

Another day, another White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. These daily events serve no purpose other than to provide Trump with a forum to repeat his lies and disinform the public. And there is no plausible reason for him to be there except to satisfy his craving for ego-strokes now that he can no longer hold his traveling cult rallies.

Donald Trump

Saturday’s briefing was just a rehash of previous episodes where Trump leads a chorus of hallelujahs by sycophants paying tribute to his heroic awesomeness. In the course of his remarks Trump describes every alleged achievement as a never before seen breakthrough in human endeavors. Suffice to say that none of his barely coherent ramblings provide useful, factual information. The entirety of his presentation is an exercise in glassy-eyed happy-talk that painstakingly avoids the unsettling realities that the American people know all too well. After listening to Trump one might think that there was no pandemic crisis going on at all. Everything is fine and getting better.

In order to promulgate that deceit, Trump made a point of calling on Jenn Pellegrino, a “reporter” from the far-right, conspiracy factory, One America News Network (OANN). Her question, and Trump’s response, did nothing to advance the public’s well-being. physically or mentally. But it give Trump another opportunity to attack his perennial foes in the media (video below):

Pellegrino: This morning the Washington Post ran a story suggesting that you delayed taking action on the virus in January and February. Dr. Fauci has indicated that your action in the Chinese travel ban helped America immensely. What do you say to the Washington Post?
Trump: I love whoever you’re with. Cuz I think that’s such a nice question. I think the Washington Post covers us very inaccurately, covers me very inaccurately. I saw the story. I think it’s a disgrace. But it’s the Washington Post and I guess we have to live with it.

The story that they are obliquely referencing is one wherein the Post revealed that U.S. intelligence had warned him as early as January about the coronavirus and it’s potential risks, but that he disregarded the warnings. The Post reported that even though Trump’s advisers told him that “the system was blinking red […] they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”

So without putting the question into context, Trump complimented the Trump-fluffing reporter and her flagrantly biased network. Then went on to insult the Post without ever citing anything in their story that was inaccurate. Trump later noted that China had ejected the Post from the country, which he seems to think bolsters his position. Is that because he thinks China is so well regarded as a beacon of press freedom? And let’s not forget that Trump ejected the Post from the White House and other government offices.

Trump’s response to this question is especially notable considering how different it was from his response to a question he received the day before. Peter Alexander of NBC asked Trump “What do you say to Americans who are watching right now who are scared?” Whereupon, Trump jumped on him like a rabid jackal, calling Alexander a “terrible reporter” and the question “nasty.” But Pellegrino’s question asking “What do you say to the Washington Post,” drew Trump’s “love” for “such a nice question.”

The lesson here is that reporters are safer asking Trump what he has to say to news organizations that everyone knows he hates, than they are asking what he has to say to the American people. That’s because he cares more about attacking those who dare to tell the truth about him, than he does about the citizens of this country, a majority of whom voted against him. And it’s his indifference – and even hostility – to the people he is supposed to be serving, that has resulted in the disastrous way he has bungled the nation’s response to the worst pandemic in generations.

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Trump Lashes Out at Reporter Who Made the Mistake of Telling Him the Truth

The media has an abysmal record for the way it has covered Donald Trump. From the very beginning of his campaign in 2015, to the present, the press has given Trump far too much latitude to lie and paid way too much attention to his reality show style hype. They really need to remember that their obligation is to the public, and to keeping them informed. Their mission is to present the truth, not an artificial facade of balance. Reporters are not stenographers.

Donald Trump

Trump is a confirmed self-promoter and a pathological liar. His words cannot be relied upon for anything other than evidence of his mammoth ego and infantile obsession with maligning those he regards as enemies. And considering his severe paranoia, there almost everyone is an enemy. Even under ordinary circumstances, these traits would require special treatment by the press to unravel the intentions of such a person in a position of power. But these are not normal times. The presence of a viral pandemic that is putting the lives of millions at risk makes these times unique and perilous.

On Friday morning Trump provided an outstanding example of what makes him such a difficult character to cover. It occurred at the daily press briefing from the White House. Trump actually should not even be attending these briefings. Presumably he would have more important work to do during this crisis, which is why he assigned his Vice-President, Mike Pence, to head the Coronavirus Task Force. But Trump has been showing up every day because it has replaced the ego-stroking cult rallies that he can’t hold anymore due to the risk of them becoming breeding grounds for the virus.

During the briefing, NBC reporter Peter Alexander was called on to ask a question. It all started off fairly mild, but Trump quickly changed his tone into one of reflexive defensiveness and overt hostility. Alexander began by asking Trump if it was possible that his “impulse to put a positive spin on things might be giving Americans a false sense of hope?” That led to this exchange:

Alexander: What do you say to American who are scared though? Nearly 200 dead. 14,000 who are sick. Millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching right now who are scared?
Trump: I say that you are a terrible reporter. That is what I say. I think that’s a nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the America people.

Seriously? What Trump has to say to scared Americans is that Alexander is bad reporter? That should make the nation feel better (see Alexander’s response below). Ironically, Trump inadvertently confirmed the premise of Alexander’s questions: that Trump is fixated on blanketing the media with his phony rosy scenarios. As a consequence of his tunnel-blindness, Trump simply cannot abide any discussion of the real-world hardships that the American people are enduring. That’s why he lashed out at Alexander’s reference to sicknesses and fatalities. And he rejected the opportunity to send a message of hope to worried citizens.

Trump cultists are fond of disparaging progressives as “snowflakes.” But what is more representative of that label than Trump’s pitiful inability to deal with the facts about the coronavirus crisis, and the reality that people are fearful for themselves and their families? Trump is only concerned about himself and his public image. And the only reason he wants to see this matter resolved is so that it doesn’t affect his prospects for reelection. Consequently, Trump is really the one who has something realistic to fear. And the sort of childish behavior he exhibited at this briefing will only make it more likely that his fears will come true. That’s the good news.

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


It’s Time to Quarantine Trump From the Coronavirus Briefings

What’s a malignant narcissist to do when his primary source of personal gratification is deemed too perilous to continue. That’s the dilemma that Donald Trump is facing as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis puts an end to the cult rallies that feed his ravenous ego.

Donald Trump TV Set

For many weeks Trump denied the obvious signs that the coronavirus was spreading and endangering people’s lives. So he continued to appear at the rallies that may have served as a breeding ground for more infections. But that’s no longer possible as state and federal guidelines are uniformly advising that people refrain from gathering in groups of more than ten. In many cases such gatherings are expressly prohibited. And since his travel has been curtailed, he hasn’t been able to hold court at his “Chopper Talk” sessions on the White House lawn either.

Consequently, the craving for adulation that consumes Trump was going unsatisfied until he decided to show up at the daily press briefings held by his Coronavirus Task Force. There he found himself the center of attention again as he disgorged his hallmark brand of self-exaltation and rancid invective. But his presence there is less than useless, it’s distracting and even destructive.

Trump’s tendency to express everything in frenetic hyperbole was evident in this morning’s press briefing. He spent an inordinate amount of time praising himself for his “tremendous” response to the current crisis, for the best economy ever, and other assorted imaginary achievements. He repeatedly – and falsely – claimed that no one ever thought that this virus could become so harmful, and that “There’s never been anything like this in history. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before.” (Note: whenever Trump says no one has seen/heard something, he means that he hasn’t). He said that, due to the virus, he views himself as a “wartime president,” apparently having forgotten that the U.S. has had troops deployed in three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria) throughout his presidency.

Trump lashed out at his usual foes, particularly the media. He bashed the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as dishonest. And in the same breath he claimed that “I know the the truth. And people out there in the world, they really don’t know the truth. They don’t know what it is.” This is his way of advancing the code of the cult: Only the cult leader tells the truth. Everyone else is lying or stupid. However, the people out there in the world seem better able to discern the truth than Trump would like. A recent poll shows that a broad majority of 60% don’t trust what Trump says about COVID-19.

When he manages to stay on topic, Trump’s coronavirus remarks focus predominantly on unrealistic, rosy scenarios and happy-talk wherein there has been nothing but incredible progress being made. That is not only false, it’s dangerous. It seduces people into a false state of security, believing that they don’t really have to alter their behavior or heed public warnings. What’s more, his presence produces more political rhetoric as he tries to twist every question into something he can exploit for partisan benefit.

Worst of all, Trump lies with abandon. He has told reporters at these briefings that millions of virus tests would be available by now (they aren’t), and that anyone who wants a test can get one (they can’t). He said that vaccines and treatments that will take more than a year to produce, would be available shortly. He invents partnerships with private entities that are later disclaimed. And he interjects vile bigotry such as his now frequent references to the “Chinese virus.”

Trump really needs to be quarantined from appearing at these briefings. He has nothing productive to contribute because he is so pitifully ignorant about the issues at hand. Of course, he regards himself as an expert on everything, so he ends up rambling incoherently about medicine, epidemiology, economics, sociology, and whatever else pops into his shrunken head.

The American people are justifiably worried about their welfare and that of their families and nation. Trump needs to appreciate this and suppress his ego for a while. Just leave these briefings to the experts so that we can all focus on getting through this. He can stay in his bedroom and watch more Fox News.

Unfortunately, that may be too much to ask of Trump. He is too mentally dependent on the attention he steals to think about the needs of anyone else. And that same lack of empathy prevents him from doing what’s necessary to lead the nation to the conclusion of this crisis. Hopefully, saner heads will prevail and take charge. if not, it’s gonna be long pandemic.

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

Here’s a portion of Trump’s aimless rambling at today’s press briefing.


The Most Flagrantly Dishonest and Idiotic Trump Tweet of 2020 (So Far)

In recent days Donald Trump has shifted his tone on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) to one that appears more appropriately concerned about the threat that it poses to Americans and the world. But while he seems to be reluctantly recognizing the risks going forward, he is still fixated on assigning blame to others and paying undeserved tribute to himself.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

When asked how he would rate his response to the coronavirus crisis, Trump inconceivably gave himself a “10.” Sure, if that’s out of 100. He also claimed, in an epic feat of gaslighting, and after downplaying the matter for weeks, that “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic” (see video below that documents his lies). But for sheer stupidity and/or rabid dishonesty, Trump has still not surpassed this tweet from February 24:

In that one Twantrum, Trump managed to get two very consequential things horribly wrong. First of all, as noted above, the coronavirus was very much NOT under control. On February 24, there were only 42 confirmed cases and zero fatalities in the U.S. That has now risen to more than 7,300 infected people and 135 deaths. If that’s what Trump considers “control” we are all gonna die.

Trump’s management of this crisis has been an unqualified disaster. He ignored the peril for far too long. He disbanded the pandemic office at the National Security Agency. He refused to use the test kits provided by the World Health Organization. He relied more on his Fox News sycophants than on scientists. He trivialized the matter as a political “hoax” that he imagined was perpetrated by Democrats. And he sought to blame previous administrations (translation: Obama) for burdening him with an archaic and inefficient system. The truth is that he gutted the system himself and did nothing to restore it.

As for his investment advice, it’s hard to image that it could have been worse. The stock market that was “starting to look very good” to Trump on February 24, has dropped more than 7,000 points (30%) since then. And that was after the Federal Reserve gave Trump the ill-advised interest rate cut he lusted after. All of the gains for the past three years – the whole of Trump’s presidency – have been wiped out. Anyone who acted on Trump’s analysis has lost a fortune. But then, it’s hard to sympathize with anyone who would take financial advice from a trust fund baby with six bankruptcies, a long list of defunct companies, a failed, phony “university,” and a charitable foundation that was found to be fraudulent?

There is, however, a bit of relatively good news. The American people aren’t buying Trump’s BS. A recent poll found that only 37% trust what he says about the coronavirus. That’s the predictable result of having lied more than 16,000 times since he was inaugurated.

Unfortunately, that’s a dangerous position for a nation to be in when it faces the sort of hardships that the U.S. faces today. Under the circumstance, we should have someone at the helm that isn’t a malignant narcissistic and a pathological liar. And with any luck (and a lot of hard work) we will have new, respectable leadership by next January. That is, if Trump hasn’t killed us all before then.

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


Majority of Americans Don’t Trust Trump on Coronavirus After Months of Lying: POLL

One of the most damaging consequences of having a president who is a pathological liar is that when a crisis occurs his word has no value. It’s impossible to lead when the public has no faith in what the leader says. That’s true whether the crisis involves foreign conflicts, economic turmoil, or viral pandemics.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been downplaying the severity of COVID-19 (coronavirus) for months. He has said that there were only a handful of cases and that they would soon go to zero. He said it would disappear miraculously. He called it a Democratic hoax. Just yesterday he said “it’s something that we have tremendous control over.” Obviously, none of that was true. And the American people seem to be aware that Trump has been lying to them. A new poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist reveals that a majority of Americans don’t trust what Trump has been telling them about COVID-19. According to the poll:

“Americans have little trust in the information they are hearing from President Trump about the novel coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government’s response to it is declining sharply. […] Just 37% of Americans now say they had a good amount or a great deal of trust in what they’re hearing from the president, while 60% say they had not very much or no trust at all in what he’s saying.”

This is worse than typical approval polls (which are also bad for Trump) because in this matter people’s lives depend on their ability to trust their leaders. Clearly they do not. And that distrust is specific to Trump. The poll also shows that other sources of information are generally well respected. People trust public health experts (84-13%), state and local officials (72-24%), and the media (50-47%). That last stat has gotta really steam Trump. He’s trailing the media in the trust gap by 20 points.

As result of Trump lying to his supporters, he is creating a situation that puts them (and all of us) in greater danger. The poll shows that a majority of Republicans (54%) believe that the coronavirus matter is blown out of proportion. Compared to Democrats who consider it a serious threat (76%). That makes socially distancing from Trump supports more critical than ever. If they don’t take this virus seriously they are much less likely to be taking precautions to avoid getting or transmitting it.

Of course Trump’s State TV propaganda machine, Fox News, has been backing him up all along. Every time he would undermine vital warnings that this could spread, his flunkies on Fox would agree and mock those who advised taking preventative measures. GOP congressman Devin Nunes told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo that “It’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant.” Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” Although, while Fox News was giving their viewers such terrible advice, they were instructing their own employees to comply with the safety guidelines provided by the CDC.

The American people are wise not to put their trust in Trump. He has never been honest with them about anything. He was impeached for lying about his efforts to extort the president of Ukraine in order to get dirt on Joe Biden. The Mueller report confirmed that Trump welcomed and encouraged help from Russia in the 2016 presidential election. And this week it was revealed that foreign entities are now spreading disinformation about the coronavirus. But you have to wonder if that disinformation isn’t coming more from domestic sources like Fox News and Donald Trump.

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

The Daily Show’s timeline of Trump’s coronavirus lies. It’s funny, but it’s not funny.


Russia or Fox News? U.S. Intelligence Warns of Disinformation About Coronavirus

The American people have been struggling with the stress and uncertainty of a growing pandemic unlike anything we have seen before. The hardship that this is causing for many people is difficult enough without Donald Trump and his propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News, spreading lies faster than the coronavirus spreads itself.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, the Trump regime is not the only source of lies about COVID-19. The Associated Press is reporting that foreign entities are engaged in a disinformation campaign aimed at spreading fear and confusion in the United States. According to the AP…

“The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday.

“On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak. Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.”

For the most part the perpetrators are running a rumor mill to deceive people into believing that the U.S. is on the verge of a national lockdown and/or martial law. They are exploiting the very real concerns that people already have and blowing them up into the most extreme proportions.

What’s interesting about this is that Trump has accepted the analysis by these agencies and is using it to shape the government response. So Trump is taking a distinctly different approach than he did when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had used identical tactics to interfere with the 2016 presidential election in a way that helped him and hurt his opponent, Hillary Clinton. All of sudden they are no longer “Deep State” operatives intent on undermining his presidency. The AP also reported that…

“Intelligence officials have warned for years that Russia has been engaging in covert social media campaigns using fictional persona, bots, social media postings and disinformation aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord in the electorate.”

So the tactics and objectives of these foreign entities haven’t changed. They are continuing to interfere with American social and political life. This was disclosed earlier this year when Bernie Sanders was advised that Russia was trying to create discord by boosting his Democratic primary campaign. That effort was inadvertently (or perhaps not) advanced by Trump himself.

The revelation that this sort of disinformation has been circulating isn’t all that surprising. Anyone paying attention would be aware of these activities. The question is who is the source of the disinformation. The AP reporting didn’t identify their sources. So it could be Russia or China or Iran or some other foreign adversary. But it could also be Fox News. Because Fox has been at least as busy cooking up disinformation about the coronavirus as any of our international foes. Media Matters has documented a great deal of it:

“In the weeks leading up to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic, some of Fox News’ most frequent medical contributors and commentators have been spreading misinformation, pushing Trump’s bogus talking points, and blindly praising Trump’s botched response to the outbreak.”

The sad part of this is that it is so difficult to distinguish between the treachery of Russia and that of Fox News. And of course, the treachery of Fox News cannot be untethered from that of Donald Trump. Consequently, people need to be especially vigilant to avoid being taken in by propaganda and disinformation intended to create chaos and division.

There are those who will try to convince you that this virus is evidence that the world is coming to an end. Likewise, there are those who will try to persuade you to hate Joe Biden if you are are Sanders supporter, and vice versa. Don’t fall for it. There is a lot more peril out there these days than just a virus.

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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Here’s Why The Fed Rate Cut Makes Trump ‘Very Happy’ But Signals Trouble For America

Donald Trump joined his Coronavirus Task Force for their press briefing on Sunday. He took the podium and began his remarks by saying that “I think we have some great things to talk about.” That’s a bizarre opening for a briefing where medical experts are about to disclose how many more Americans are infected and dead, and how much worse it’s going to get before it gets better.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

The reason Trump could start off so upbeat is that he wasn’t there to talk about the coronavirus. He immediately launched into the news that the Federal Reserve Board just announced an emergency cut in the interest rate and the intention to purchase up to &700 billion of treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (quantitative easing). For much of his presidency, Donald Trump has been railing against the Fed for not being a mindless functionary that obeys his every command (like his incompetent Cabinet and the GOP jellyfish in Congress). What he obviously doesn’t understand is that there is a reason that the FED was designed as an independent agency that is insulated from pressure by the White House. Their objectives are often not aligned. Nevertheless, he was giddy about this rate cut and burst into celebration (video below):

“I’ll start by discussing the Federal Reserve. As you know, it just happened ten minutes ago, but to me, it makes me very happy. And I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve. For starters, they’ve lowered fed rate from what it was, which was 1 to 1.25 and it’s been lowered down to 0 or 0.25. […] That’s really great for our country. It’s something that we’re very happy, I have to say this, I’m very happy.”

Trump has good reason to be happy. Contrary to his thoroughly bogus branding, Trump is failed businessman who has racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, much of it with variable-rate loans. When he took office in 2017 he was the most indebted president in history, owing more than $350 million to Deutsche Bank alone. That debt is expensive to service. But when interest rates go down, so do the costs of servicing debt. Bloomberg reports that prior rate increases “may raise President Donald Trump’s cumulative cost from the U.S. central bank’s hikes since his inauguration to $6 million per year.”

So Trump has a distinct personal financial benefit when interests rates decline. He also seeks a political benefit due to rate cuts artificially (and temporarily) goosing the stock market. That’s something he has been relying on to advance his reelection prospects. He often uses the market as a gauge for the health of the economy. That’s a viewpoint that only someone utterly ignorant about these matters could hold. The performance of the stock market only tells you what institutional investors think about the valuation of equities, which fluctuate independent of the broader economy. The economy, on the other hand, is comprised of many other factors such as consumption, employment, wages, trade, and inflation.

Along with his joyful reception for the rate cut, Trump also made a prediction that “People in the market should be very thrilled.” Maybe not. Shortly after the announcement was made the Dow Jones futures took a dive, forecasting an opening decline of more than 1,000 points on Monday morning. That’s because investors recognize that the Fed’s decision to make this emergency cut is confirmation that there is economic trouble on the horizon. [UPDATE: Trump’s foolish craving for a rate cut and quantitative easing didn’t produce the results he hoped for or predicted. The market opened sharply down Monday, dropping as much 2,500 points]

Trump’s slaphappy elation notwithstanding, professionals understand that rate cuts are a reaction to negative economic conditions. It could mean that we are headed downhill. Home sales, wage stagnation, depressed treasuries, illiquid credit, and the exploding debt, are all indicators that generally forecast a recession or worse. Which explains why futures have cratered in the few hours since the announcement. And little of this has anything to do with COVID-19. These economic realities were in place before the virus began to spread. It was just a trigger and an accelerant.

As usual, the people who would be hurt most by that would be the lower and middle income families whose savings would deplete and whose jobs would disappear. The rich would suffer a decline in their net worth, but would remain rich and well positioned to profit when the economy turns around. That is a built-in inequity in our economic system that advantages the wealthy by design. And Trump is purposefully exploiting it for personal financial and political gain, without the least bit of consideration for the harm it will cause to millions of working Americans. Even worse, he’s celebrating it.

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


WTF? Trump-Fluffer Devin Nunes Tells Fox News that ‘It’s a Great Time to Go Out’

For several months now, Donald Trump has been downplaying the seriousness of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. He has said that it would miraculously disappear; that it was just one guy from China; that there was nothing to worry about; and that it was totally under control. The facts, medical experts, and common sense all tell us that none of that is (or was) true.

Donald Trump, Devin Nunes

Throughout the same period of time, Fox News has supported Trump’s reckless and self-serving negligence. While most American are taking precautions to avoid infecting themselves and others, Fox News is continuing to promote activities that will not only put people’s lives at risk, it will exacerbate the severity of the health crisis that is sweeping the nation and the world.

Another example of Fox’s irresponsibility was on display during a segment of Maria Bartiromo’s program. She interviewed the utterly corrupt Trump bootlicker, Rep. Devin Nunes, wherein he gave this ill-considered advice to Fox News viewers and the American people:

“I will just say, one of the things you can do — if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant — Likely you can get in easily.”

That could not possibly be more ignorant and dangerous at this perilous time for our country. And it is completely contrary to what the healthcare professionals are saying. Even those who are leading Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force like renowned immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci:

“I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing.”

It appears that Nunes and Fox News are deliberately trying to get Americans killed. And they are doing it to advance the political interests of Trump. It has already been observed that his trivialization of this crisis was intended to help his reelection prospects. And these harmful remarks by Nunes come just one day after Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told Fox News viewers that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.”

As if that weren’t enough, Trump himself tweeted this on Sunday morning:

So now the President is happily recounting his gathering of sycophants at the White House. Never mind that he is also contradicting the advice by doctors to engage in “social distancing,” something that Trump bizarrely tweeted on Saturday in all-caps.

Furthermore, there is significant risk of contracting the coronavirus by being in close proximity to Trump and his entourage. While he just announced that he tested negative for the virus, his record of rampant, pathological lying causes many people to have reasonable doubts that anything he says is true.

What’s more, it has just been reported that a third person has tested positive for COVID-19 who was a guest at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. That means that there are more confirmed cases of coronavirus at Mar-a-Lago than in seven states. Perhaps they should consider shutting it down. And then maybe the White House as well. You can’t be too safe.

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


Fox News Warns Their Employees About COVID-19, While Lying to Their Viewers

After nearly two months of rapidly growing infection rates, anxiety, and fatalities, Donald Trump has finally declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 (the coronavirus). This declaration is both an acknowledgement that the problem is far more serious than he has previously let on, and an inadvertent confession that he was wrong to trivialize the all too apparent risks in the first place.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

However, Trump’s press conference continued to paint an unrealistically rosy scenario wherein everything would soon be fine due to the “perfectly” implemented response by his administration. Trump spent much of the presser praising himself and falsely smearing his predecessor, President Obama. Never mind that the Obama administration quickly declared a health emergency at the outset of the H1N1 (swine Flu) virus, and tested a million Americans the first month. It’s been two months since the first reported case of COVID-19, but Trump just got around to declaring an emergency and only about 10,000 Americans have been tested.

RELATED: Trump’s Flagrant Coronavirus Lies Are Turning His Supporters Into Carriers

The coverage of Trump’s declaration by his State TV news outlet (aka Fox News) was predictably sparkling with unflinching adoration and praise. This required a significant turnabout in their editorial stance considering that Fox News had been staunchly supporting Trump’s prior insistence that the coronavirus wasn’t a really a problem at all. For weeks Trump lied (video below) about there being only a handful of cases and that the number was going down. He assured the public that the whole thing would miraculously disappear in short order. And Fox News backed him up a hundred percent. But now that Trump has conceded that this situation requires an emergency declaration, Fox News has flipped their position in tandem with the President’s.

That position, however, is confusing, and perhaps deliberately so. While Trump did declare a national emergency, he continued to speak optimistically about how quickly his “flawless” management of the crisis would result in its timely conclusion. In other words, there is still nothing to worry about. Naturally, Fox News parroted that positivity. On many of its programs the slant was toward how confident the American people should be that Trump would would guide us all to safety. There was little of the caution that the rest of the media is encouraging.

For instance, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told viewers that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” This, while medical experts are advising people to avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips. And that’s especially true for those over 65, which is the bulk of Fox’s audience. Additionally, Trish Regan said that it’s all a Democratic hoax to impeach the President. That’s similar to Trump’s “shadow” chief of staff Sean Hannity’s take that pegged Democrats as the real threat, rather than the virus:

“Since the beginning, all they’ve done is use the virus, politicize the virus to bludgeon President Trump. All the same people who have done the same thing for three straight years. … Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine. And impeach, impeach. Now, corona, corona.”

What’s most disturbing about this is that, while Fox News is virtually encouraging risky behavior for their viewers, they are giving completely different advice to their employees. A memo that was sent by Fox’s CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace told staffers to…

“…cut back on studio bookings and to expect possible programming changes as a result of precautions being taken against the spread of coronavirus.”

And furthermore…

“Fox News told producers and bookers to rely more on remote interviews or interviews conducted via Skype; to cancel all in-person meetings; and to limit vendors for entering the building. Earlier this week, Fox News canceled the in-studio audience for its ‘Greg Gutfeld Show’ on Saturday nights and said it would stop doing a live-audience show for ‘Fox & Friends’ that had been taking place about once every month.”

That’s good advice that is consistent with the guidance given by medical experts. Many companies are instituting similar precautions. But while that’s good enough for the Fox staffers, it isn’t what Fox is telling their own viewers. And that isn’t just the view of outsiders and critics of the network. A Fox producer told CNN’s Brian Stelter that…

“The attempt to deflect and blame the media and Democrats from Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld — instead of addressing the coronavirus — is really irresponsible and hazardous to our viewers.”

The stark difference between Fox’s internal personnel guidance and their editorial policy is indicative of their political biases. It also demonstrates that their concerns for their audience (which is largely made up of vulnerable seniors) is focused more on pro-Trump propaganda and advancing his reelection prospects, than on protecting their health and welfare. Which, not surprisingly, is exactly what Trump himself is focused on. That’s why he has failed to implement broad-based testing and continues to understate the still very serious risks.

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


Trump is Patient Zero: His National Emergency Ignores His Own Role as a Risk Factor

After more than two months of slow-walking and trivialization, Donald Trump is finally taking the perils of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak more seriously. The declaration of a national emergency is not only an acknowledgement of the potential threat posed by the virus, but also an implicit admission that his previous approach was pitifully ineffective and even dangerous.

Donald Trump

While it is long past time to begin treating this as the pandemic that it is, Trump is still missing some critical aspects that can have a profound impact. Notably, Trump is setting a terrible example for personal behavior in the midst of a viral outbreak. Despite having been in close proximity to people known to have tested positive for COVID-19, Trump continues to refuse to self-quarantine, or even be tested. His first exposure occurred at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) a couple of weeks ago. That resulted in several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Cruz, self-quarantining. More recently Trump met with the Prime Minister of Brazil and his press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, who has tested positive.

Under any other circumstances, someone with the exposure Trump has had would voluntarily terminate his contacts with others. The possibility that he was infected would make such contacts too dangerous to continue, not just for those persons, but everyone they encounter afterward. That’s precisely how viral pandemics spread. Trump is also putting his senior staff and other government officials at risk. Imagine how that could affect the nation if numerous people responsible for critical government management were simultaneously sidelined.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health is a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force. On Friday he told told Willie Geist of MSNBC that anyone who had the interactions Trump has had should isolate themselves for two weeks. Dr. Fauci also told Congress that the Trump administration’s testing protocols are a failing.”

So why would Trump so brazenly reject the guidance provided by every medical expert? Perhaps because it’s consistent with his prior attempts to diminish the severity of the outbreak. He has stubbornly insisted that there really isn’t much of a problem at all. As the virus was spreading, Trump said that there were few victims and the number was going down. He told the nation that it would simply go away. And he recklessly compared it the common flu. Never mind that the fatality rate is 300 times higher for the COVID-19. His purpose was to shield himself from criticism while blaming Democrats for inciting panic and conspiring to use the crisis to hurt him politically.

Not surprisingly, that is exactly the same purpose that has been driving reporting on Fox News. Everyone from Sean Hannity to Laura Ingraham to Trish Regan to Lou Dobbs to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, have been downplaying the risks while hyping the alleged politicization by Democrats. And both Fox and Trump have been frantically shifting blame to others and falsely criticizing the Obama administration for it’s handling of the H1N1 virus in 2009. What that has to do with the current crisis is obviously just a dodge to attack Trump’s perennial nemesis. For the record, Obama declared a health emergency in the first month of the H1N1 outbreak and tested a million Americans. Trump has tested only about 10,000 people in more than two months.

Trump has been actively seeking to keep reports of infections and fatalities low in order to avoid publicity that makes him look bad and adversely affect his reelection prospects. He even said that he opposed allowing Americans from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase virus stats. What’s more, the Trump administration refused to the use the COVID-19 test developed by the World Health Organization. These actions are reported to have taken to tamp down the numbers. This, of course, delayed testing in the U.S. by crucial weeks. Trump is clearly more worried about his PR than human lives.

There are a lot of things that the administration can do now to address this crisis and protect the American people. Congress is working on bipartisan legislation to help workers, businesses, and healthcare professionals. But Trump’s bragging and paying tribute to himself is not among them. The virus doesn’t care about his narcissistic rambling.

However, a simple thing Trump can do would be to follow the advice of his own experts. He needs to immediately self-quarantine to prevent further viral infections. And he needs to be tested to give confidence to the nation that he hasn’t become infected himself. He needs to do these things for all of the reasons that healthcare experts have enumerated. But he also needs to do them to set an example for the nation and the world. His obstinance is irrational, counterproductive, and childish. In other words, so very Trumpian.

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