Trump Sues ABC and Stephanopoulos for Accurately Reporting a Judicial Opinion that He’s a Rapist

Apparently Donald Trump doesn’t think he’s spending enough time in courtrooms these days. He currently has multiple indictments in four jurisdictions, consisting of at least 88 felony charges. They range from paying hush money to a porn star, to stealing and hoarding classified documents. He’s already lost a case wherein he was found liable for financial fraud to the tune of $345 million.

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Donald Trump, Pervert

Most of Trump’s legal tribulations are still in preliminary stages. He has been engaging in a strategy of desperate delays in order to avoid suffering a conviction prior to the election in November. Of course, being an alleged criminal candidate isn’t that much better than being a convicted one, particularly when the evidence is so clear and voluminous. And his avoidance of trial only serves to make him look more guilty. An innocent person would want these matters to be concluded quickly to clear his name. But Trump knows that a conclusion means conviction.

SEE THIS: WOW! Dotard Donald Trump Makes Some Great Legal Arguments to Go to Trial Before the Election

Undeterred by the avalanche of litigation that is already dominating his time, Trump just filed a lawsuit against ABC News and “This Week” host, George Stephanopoulos. He is alleging defamation that he says took place during an interview of Trump-fluffing Republican Nancy Mace. As reported by Deadline

“Former President Donald Trump has again filed a defamation lawsuit against a major media outlet, this time over comments that ABC News‘ George Stephanopoulos made during a contentious recent interview with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC).” […]

“During the interview, Stephanopoulos played a video in which Mace said that she was a victim of rape. He first asked Mace, ‘You endorsed Donald Trump for president. Judges and two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming the victim of that rape. How do you square your endorsement of Donald Trump with the testimony that we just saw?'”

Mace dodged the question and tried to spin it as “rape-shaming” her. Which was a preposterous distortion of reality. Stephanopoulos’ question was relevant to understanding her support for Trump, a notorious abuser of women.

However, Trump’s lawsuit stretches the boundaries of reality even farther. He’s asserting that Stephanopoulos defamed him by referencing the rape charge. But Stephanopoulos was merely reporting the findings by the judge in the case where Trump was recently found liable for sexually assaulting writer, E. Jean Carroll. Deadline continued…

“Last year, a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll in a civil case. The jury did not find Trump liable for rape. But the judge in the case, Lewis Kaplan, wrote later, “The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape.’ Indeed, as the evidence at trial recounted below makes clear, the jury found that Mr. Trump in fact did exactly that.'”

Trump’s defamation lawsuit cannot possible prevail. Liability can’t be construed when a media enterprise accurately reports legal proceedings that are on the record. But Trump’s lawsuit can increase the amount of time he will spend in courtrooms, rather than on the campaign trail. Which is something that he has been whining about for months, and falsely blaming it on President Biden and various prosecutors.

What’s more, Trump’s lawsuit will surely provide tons of additional media exposure to the court’s finding that he raped Ms. Carroll. It’s an outcome that could only have been contrived by a certified “stable genius” like Donald Trump. Democrats will be happy to help Trump publicize his lawsuit as an opportunity to remind voters about the guy who bragged that he could “grab women by the p***y.”

This isn’t the first time that Trump has filed frivolous lawsuits against the free press that he regards as the “enemy of the people.” He has previously sued CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and more. And this one will surely end up like the others that were laughed out of court – sometimes literally.

Trump, however, is apparently determined to air out his perversions in public and have his depravities be judicially validated. The one thing that he has going for him is that his cult followers will slobber approvingly.


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Crybaby Trump Has a New Year’s Eve Breakdown Over Former Staffers Telling the Truth About Him

Poor Donald Trump isn’t having a very happy New Year. Instead, he is spending it posting odious outbursts on his failing social media scam, Truth Social. By noon he had posted 41 comments that put his psychoses prominently on display. And that was a holiday abbreviated crop of his crackpot commentary.

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Donald Trump, Snowflakes

Despite his hatred of the media that he calls “the enemy of the people,” Trump watches it almost constantly, anchoring himself to his sofa with a Diet Coke, a bucket of KFC, and his remote control. He pays particular attention to any program wherein his name is mentioned. And he takes no days off to let his rancor rest for a while. He’s a 24/7 malice machine. Not even Christmas could keep Trump from delivering one of his animus-fueled rants…

SEE THIS: Crybaby Trump is Whining (Again) About Having a Blue Xmas – Poor Thing

What triggered Trump on this New Year’s Eve was an interview that aired on ABC’s “This Week” that featured three of his former White House staffers (video below). Like many of the people who know Trump best, they have come to recognize just how dangerous he is, and how destructive to American democracy another Trump term would be. As ABC News reported

“Three women who served in former President Donald Trump’s White House are now warning against a possible second Trump term, with one of them saying it could mean ‘the end of American democracy as we know it.’

“For the first time, former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin, former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson sat down together with ABC News ‘This Week’ co-anchor Jonathan Karl to discuss their roles in speaking out against Trump in the wake of Jan. 6.

“‘Fundamentally, a second Trump term could mean the end of American democracy as we know it, and I don’t say that lightly,’ Griffin, now a co-host of ABC’s ‘The View,’ told Karl, accusing the former president of having gone to ‘historic and unconstitutional lengths’ in attempting to ‘steal a democratic election’ and to stay in power.”

It was Griffin who attracted the brunt of Trump’s anger. Of the 41 posts on Truth Social, 11 were about Griffin. Mostly they were complimentary quotes from when she was still working for him. Trump seems to think that people don’t change their minds after seeing their boss incite an insurrection, and watch with glee as his cult followers smash doors and windows to break into the Capitol, assault police officers and members of Congress, and attempt to prevent the certification of a democratic election.

Griffin’s view that another Trump term could mean “the end of American democracy” was shared by her colleagues. They all spoke about how dangerous Trump is, and his promises of “retribution” should he reoccupy the White House. They acknowledged knowing other former staffers and members of Congress who feel the same way they do, but who aren’t speaking out due to fear of Trump’s threats against them personally and professionally.

SEE ALSO: Trump Cloddishly Dodges Hannity’s Softball Questions About Whether He Would Be a Dictator

They have seen what Trump’s rabid disciples are capable of. In addition to the storming of the Capitol, many of Trump’s critics have had to hire private security to protect them from his fanatic supporters. Which makes the courage of these three women all the more commendable. All of them have received death threats and other obscene harassment. And it isn’t coincidental that Trump’s attacks are directed at women.

The new year is likely to see more of the same sort of bullying and intimidation by Trump and his minions. In fact, it is likely to become even more intense as his legal tribulations continue to unfold. He makes the very same sort of rhetorical assaults on the prosecutors, witnesses, and judges in his cases. Which may – and should – land him jail for contempt of court.

Given the abundance of evidence against him, Trump is certain to be convicted of at least some of the 91 felony charges that he is currently facing. And the prospect of that is gnawing at him day and night. That will undoubtedly produce ever more manic outbursts. Consequently, the sooner Trump is held accountable for his crimes, the better off the nation – and the world – will be. And the sooner that we all can have a truly HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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HUH? Trump Attorney Says ‘Criticisms of the Family [of D.A. and Judge] Were Not Something Personal’

Among the many mental deficiencies of Donald Trump is his notoriously atrocious ability (or lack thereof) to procure competent legal representation. In fact, several of his attorneys (i.e. Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis) have already had their licenses suspended and/or been reprimanded due to their flagrantly unethical behavior on Trump’s behalf and at his direction.

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Donald Trump, Godfather

The record for the Trump legal team is one of pitiful and repeated failure. Following the 2020 presidential election Trump and his allies lost more than 60 lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the election based on wholly unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Trump’s legal team has lost cases against his political foes, such one naming Hillary Clinton and nearly fifty other people, wherein the judge admonished the lawyers for “deliberate disregard for the truth.” Then there was the time that his lawyers were sanctioned by the court for making “frivolous filings.” And more recently, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, actually made the case against him on national television.

SEE THIS: Trump’s Attorney Admits that Trump Lied About Making Hush Money Payments to Stormy Daniels

On Sunday morning, one of Trump’s lawyers, the ironically named Jim Trusty, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to preach his innocence in all things. During the interview with Jonathan Karl, Trusty managed to mangle the meaning of what constitutes a “personal” attack.

Karl: We also saw the former president go after, again, in personal terms, the judge in this case. Going after not just the judge, but his wife, and even his daughter. We heard from another member of the legal team, from Joe Tacopina, saying that he didn’t think the judge is biased. Trump obviously does. Who’s right about this? Do you think this is an impartial judge or not?
Trusty: I don’t have any experience with this judge. And again, my practice as somebody who’s been in the criminal justice lane for about 35, 36 years is to not, you know, jump onto any bandwagon when it comes to criticizing. I think the criticisms of the family were not something personal. It was pointing out that they have a bias, that they have a political interest that is contrary to President Trump’s. […] I think there’s gonna be some very well placed motions to dismiss based on the legal frailties of this kind of mental gymnastics indictment that Alvin Bragg is trying to piece together.

So after responding that he customarily doesn’t criticize judges, Trusty promptly criticizes the judge. And his basis for the criticism is profoundly absurd. How can maligning a judge, his wife, and his daughter, not be regarded as personal? Where is the legal argument in that criticism?

For the record, the allegedly non-personal attacks made by Trump – that have resulted in numerous death threats – included calling the Manhattan district Attorney, Alvin Bragg, a “racist” And that was only the beginning. In just the past week Trump has lashed out at Bragg repeatedly on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social, with references such as…

  • “Radical Left Lunatics, Maniacs, and Perverts had me Indicted and ARRESTED for no reason whatsoever.”
  • “Biden and his ‘people’ knew all about the Radical Left, Soros backed D.A. (Bragg) going after ‘Trump.’ They pushed the Racist D.A.”
  • “The Corrupt D.A. has no case. […] and a Trump Hating Judge, hand selected by the Soros backed D.A. (he must be changed!).”

Apparently, Trusty believes that insults such as “racist,” “lunatic,” “pervert,’ “hater,” “corrupt,” etc., are appropriate legal terms and not the least bit personal. However, with that definition of what is personal, he sounds more like the Corleone family in “The Godfather” saying about an imminent “hit” that “It’s not personal…It’s strictly business.” And so far as Trump is concerned, insults and threats and other manner of personal invective, is precisely how he has done “business” his entire life.

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Liz Cheney Warns America that Trump ‘Can Never Be Anywhere Near the Oval Office Ever Again’

In a few days it will be the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s attempted coup and his violent January 6th insurrection in Washington, D.C. In that time Trump and his seditionist cult disciples have only become more deranged and hostile toward democracy and America. To commemorate the occasion, Trump has scheduled a “news” conference that will certainly be devoid of both news and conferring.

Donald Trump, Fox News, QAnon

Trump’s media charade was purposefully scheduled as a distraction from the more solemn observances previously announced by Congress and the White House to honor the sacrifices of the heroes who defended the Capitol and democracy. His phony affair should therefore be ignored by the press since they already know that it will be nothing but more of the same self-serving, ego-satiating lies that Trump has been disgorging for the past year. Along with some new lies wherein he is buying into Tucker Carlson’s “false flag” conspiracy theory.

In a pre-anniversary interview on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Rep. Liz Cheney explicitly articulated some of the reasons that the nation needs to be concerned about Trump and his persistent authoritarian aspirations. Cheney is one of two Republicans on the House Select Committee that is investigating the January 6th insurrection, and which has Trump fulminating in fear of what he childishly calls the Unselect Committee. Cheney’s words need little elaboration (video below):

“The Committee has first hand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television as the assault on the Capitol occurred. We know, as you know well, that the Briefing Room at the White House is just a mere few steps from the Oval Office.

“The president could have at any moment walked those very few steps into the Briefing Room, gone on live television, and told his supporters who were attacking the Capitol to stop. He could have told them to stand down. He could have told them to go home. And he failed to do so. It’s hard to imagine a more significant and more serious dereliction of duty than that.”

Not only did he not immediately tell his StormTrumpers to stand down, instead he waited for three horrifying hours and then told them that they were special and that he loved them. Cheney went on to assert that Trump’s failure to act could constitute criminal negligence. And she also made the point that…

“It’s important for the American people to understand how dangerous Donald Trump was. We know, as he was sitting there in the dining room next to the Oval Office, members of his staff were pleading with him to go on television to tell people to stop. We know Leader McCarthy was pleading with him to do that. We know members of his family – we know his daughter – we have first hand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence.

“Any man who would not do so; any man who would provoke a violent assault on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes; any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the Unites States; is clearly unfit for future office. Clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again.”

It wasn’t just members of his staff and family who were begging Trump to do the right thing. It was also his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) who were sending him frantic emails as the invasion was going down. And when asked if she shared Hillary Clinton’s recent statement that if Trump were to win a second term that could be the end of our democracy, Cheney answered simply…

“I do. I think it is critically important, given everything we know about the lines that he was willing to cross – he crossed lines that no American president has ever crossed before.”

There is no question that Trump is both dangerous and criminally negligent. And there is abundant evidence of it. But it’s still good to hear a staunchly conservative Republican saying it on national television. Now all we need is for the Attorney General to get the message and issue some indictments before Trump has a chance to cause more trouble.

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Trump Whines that Threats He’d Start a 3rd Party are ‘Fake News’ Because, Of Course He Does

It’s another Monday morning and another day of cranky kvetching by America’s biggest crybaby, Donald Trump. Once again he is wallowing in victimhood at the hands of the meanies in the media, or as he refers to call them so tediously, “fake news.”

Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

On this occasion Trump was triggered by an ABC News story previewing one of the revelations in an upcoming book by veteran journalist Jonathan Karl. In the book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” Trump spoke with the Republican National Committee chair, Ronna McDaniel, and delivered a bold threat. According to Karl…

“In an angry conversation on his final day as president, Donald Trump told the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee he was leaving the GOP and creating his own political party — and that he didn’t care if the move would destroy the Republican Party. […] Trump only backed down when Republican leaders threatened to take actions that would have cost Trump millions of dollars.”

In response, Trump released a statement (via his Twitter ban defying spokes-shill) making a predictable and familiar charge that…

“It’s a totally made up and fabricated story, it’s Fake News. Jonathan Karl is a third-rate reporter working for ABC Non-News. ABC Non-News and 3rd rate reporter Jonathan Karl have been writing Fake News about me from the beginning of my political career.”

Karl’s book says that he has “two sources with direct knowledge of these events.” They report that McDaniel “called to wish [Trump] farewell [and that] It was a very un-pleasant conversation.” Elaborating on this, Karl wrote that…

“Donald Trump was in no mood for small talk or nostalgic goodbyes. He got right to the point. He told her he was leaving the Republican Party and would be creating his own political party. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., was also on the phone. The younger Trump had been relentlessly denigrating the RNC for being insufficiently loyal to Trump. In fact, at the January 6 rally before the Capitol Riot, the younger Trump all but declared that the old Republican Party didn’t exist anymore.”

Karl also related the following exchange between Trump and McDaniel:

“I’m done,” Trump told McDaniel. “I’m starting my own party.”
“You cannot do that,” McDaniel told Trump. “If you do, we will lose forever.”
“Exactly. You lose forever without me,” Trump responded. “I don’t care.” […]
“This is what Republicans deserve for not sticking up for me.”

According to Karl, Trump eventually backed down after McDaniel issued threats of her own. She told Trump that if he left the Party it would cease to pay his quite substantial legal bills. And even more troubling for Trump, the Party would withhold the campaign’s email list containing some forty million Trump supporters who were worth millions of dollars to Trump politically and personally. That was the kicker.

Naturally Trump is dismissing all of this in his customary fashion by throwing a tantrum. But he had no objections Karl’s reporting back in June when a passage from the book was released that revealed what his Attorney General, Bill Barr, had to say about his baseless claims of election fraud. Barr confessed that…

“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time. If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bull—-.”

Trump’s fantasies about starting a third party would have zero chance of success. Unless his definition of success is damaging the Republican Party, which he is doing anyway. But whether or not Trump leaves the Party, there are plenty of long-time members who are leaving because they can no longer stomach Trump’s lies and disloyalty to the nation. Which is precisely how the majority of the American people feel. In the end, we don’t care if he goes with the GOP or his own party. We just want him to go.

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Rand Paul Gets Spanked as He Continues to Push the Big Lie that the Election Was Stolen

To Republican deadenders still fighting to overturn Joe Biden’s decisive victory over Donald Trump, there are an endless stream of lies and alternative facts to disseminate. Never mind that doing so incited a violent insurrection in Washington, D.C., by Trump’s glassy-eyed cult disciples. To Republicans the battle to install an authoritarian dictatorship is an overwhelming compulsion.

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Rand Paul, Republican Brand

Confirmation of the GOP’s tyrannical aspirations was provided by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. On Sunday morning he appeared for an interview on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. And he was as determined as ever to advance the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump. Stephanopoulos should have ended this interview after the first thirty seconds.

Paul didn’t add anything new in the six minutes that followed to his primary argument that consisted of two points: 1) There was massive fraud for which there is no evidence, and 2) Liberals are being mean to him by calling him a liar when he lies about there being massive fraud. (Full video below if you have the stomach for it).

Paul repeatedly whined that Stephanopoulos was calling all Republicans who pushed the Big Lie liars. But there’s a simple way to prevent being called a liar: Stop Lying! Paul never considered that option and throughout the interview continually reiterated the Big Lie that the election was stolen. That’s the same lie that resulted in the Capitol riots where five people died, dozens more injured, and American democracy fouled by the stench of Trump and Republican treason. Not that Paul cared about any of that, as demonstrated in this exchange:

Stephanopoulos: I want to begin with a threshold question for you. This election was not stolen. Do you accept that fact?
Paul: Well, what I would say is that the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur. We never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence since most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing, which is a procedural way of not actually hearing the question.

Notice that Paul does not accept the fact that “This election was not stolen.” Even worse, he expands on the lie by asserting that the matter was never adjudicated in court. It is patently false that “most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing.” In fact, very few were dismissed for that reason. Most of the cases – 86 of them – were thrown out after the evidence was presented and found to be wholly without merit. Paul went on to lie that…

“There were several states in which the law was changed by the Secretary of State, and not the state legislature. To me those are clearly unconstitutional.”

Actually, making decision of that sort is what secretaries of state were elected to do. And Paul is hallucinating if he sees anything in the Constitution that says otherwise. But he still wasn’t through lying…

“Were there people who voted twice? Were there dead people who voted? Were there illegal aliens who voted? Yes, and we should get to the bottom of it.”

There probably were some instances of invalid votes, just as there are in every election. But all fifty states, including those with Republican governors and election officials, certified the election results. Even Trump’s own Attorney General, Bill Barr, said there was no evidence of voter fraud that could have had any impact on the outcome. Yet that wasn’t enough for Paul either. He continued his lying…

“What I would suggest is that if we want greater confidence in our elections – and 75% of Republicans agree with me – is that we do need to look at election integrity, and we do need to see if we can restore confidence in the elections. […] Where you make a mistake is that people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say that everything’s a lie instead of saying there are two sides to everything.

First of all, the only reason that 75% of weak and impressionable Republicans agree with Paul and lack confidence in the election is because of Paul and Trump and the rest of the liars who have been hammering the blatantly false conspiracy nonsense that the election was stolen. If he wants to restore the people’s confidence in elections, he should try telling them the truth, that the election was fair and accurate.

Secondly, Paul’s contention that “there are two sides to everything” is pitifully idiotic. There are not two sides to facts. For instance, there isn’t another side to the fact that the Earth is round. And there isn’t another side to the facts that have been established by both Democratic and Republican officials that the election was not altered by fraud.

Paul’s reckless dishonesty is not just another incident of radical right-wing distortions of reality. The deadly consequences of his lies were seen by the world three weeks ago as his confederates sought to invade Congress and assassinate its members. People like Paul need to be held accountable and expelled from Congress for their deliberate and dangerous deceit. And the determination of these cretins to continue to spread their lies makes the impeachment conviction of Trump all the more necessary in order to preserve the integrity of our democracy.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
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Trump’s Approval Goes Down in Flames, After He Bragged About Rising Polls

Let’s face it, Donald Trump proves every day that the only thing he really cares about is Donald Trump. He rarely talks about anything other than his hyper-inflated self-adoration, and how magnificent he believes he is at whatever he does. He even wasted time during what was supposed to be a Coronavirus Task Force briefing (but which he has hijacked to exploit for his 2020 reelection campaign), to falsely claim that he’s number one on Facebook. He’s not (Trump has 29 million followers vs. Obama’s 53 million).

Flaming Trump

Trump frequently tries to justify himself with references to his polling. More often than not he either lies or cherry picks results that appeal to him. He has been leaning on that obvious PR tactic extra heavily in recent days. And while a couple of polls have shown some small improvements, they were short-lived and easily explained as some respondents exhibit the “rally round the flag” syndrome common to times of great distress.

Nevertheless, Trump continues to fluff himself with bogus boasts about his imaginary popularity. On Thursday, while complaining about a proposed congressional coronavirus oversight committee, Trump once again congratulated himself for fake numbers:

“It’s witch hunt, after witch hunt, after witch hunt. […] and we want to fight for American lives, not waste time and build up my poll numbers. Because that’s all their doing.”

What Trump has still yet to learn (among so many other things) is that if you live by the poll, you can die by it as well. On Friday morning, Trump’s favorite pollster, the rabidly right-wing Rasmussen Reports, delivered the lowest approval rating they have recorded for Trump in four months: 44% versus 53% disapproval. That’s sharply down from 48-50% the day before. And this is by the pollster that reliably delivers the most pro-Trump numbers, and after Trump’s daily COVID-19 unreality show.

What’s more, the “rally round the flag” syndrome seems to have already fizzled. An ABC News/Ipsos poll asked Americans what they thought of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus response. A majority of 52% said they disapprove of his management of the deadly outbreak, while only 47% approve. That’s a deep dive from the previous poll that had a majority approving (55-43%).

This is the sort of news that will drive Trump crazy. His gargantuan and tender ego can’t handle criticism of any kind. He is likely to lash out at the pollsters and the media outlets that publish the data. And while he can’t escape the truth, he’s going to try. For instance, a few days ago he tried to take credit for high Nielsen ratings for the Task Force briefings. Never mind that there are at least as many Trump opponents as supporters who tune in to get information from experts like Dr. Fauci.

Trump’s attempts to console himself with false and flattering representations of reality will just look more pathetic with each attempt. The American people are united in their distrust of whatever Trump says about COVID-19 (or anything else). Even worse from Trump’s perspective is that they trust the media more. And they do not appear ready to reassess that opinion as his negligence, incompetence, callousness, and failure is more evident with each passing day.

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

How Does VP Mike Pence Respond to Conclusive Evidence of Trump’s Lies? With Even More Lying!

On Tuesday evening Donald Trump will deliver his very first Oval Office address to the American people. And the critical subject matter that necessitates this extraordinary and urgent communication just happens to be a “humanitarian and national security crisis” that is being fabricated from thin air by Trump and his team of propaganda fabulists.

Mike Pence, Donald Trump

There is no credible evidence of a crisis at the southern border. By every metric that is measurable, undocumented immigration, drug trafficking, gang members, violent crime, etc., the incidence of illegal activity has been steadily declining for several years. But since Trump is badly losing the PR war for his idiotic and useless vanity wall, he has decided to take his case directly to the public. Which is a pretty terrible idea considering his historically low approval and the fact that he’s regarded by most Americans as untrustworthy. Even less trustworthy than the media that he despises.

Just who does Trump think he will convince that a wall that is decidedly unpopular, and the equally out of favor government shutdown he engineered to force Congress to pay for it, is really a great idea that everyone should embrace? If Trump thinks that his innate (albeit imaginary) charm will win over converts, he is going to be wallowing in a deep trench of disappointment.

Consequently, The administration sent their secret charisma weapon, Vice-President Mike Pence, out to save the day for Trump and company. He was interviewed by Jonathan Karl of ABC News. And one question in particular really hit the sweet spot for determining whether Trump’s TV ploy can succeed or not (video below):

Karl: How can the President’s word be trusted on this when he has said so many things that are just not true about this crisis? He said that Barack Obama had a ten foot wall built around his house here in Washington. You know that isn’t true. He said that some of his predecessors told him that they wanted to build a wall. But all four living presidents have now put out statements saying that they never had any such conversation with the President. And then you saw Sarah Sanders say that nearly 4,000 terrorists come into the country every year, and that’s not true either.

How can the American people trust the President when he says this is a crisis when he says things over and over again that aren’t true?

Pence: Well, the American people aren’t as concerned about the political debate as they are concerned about what’s really happening at the border. And that’s what the President’s been focusing on.

So Pence is spinning Trump’s flagrant dishonesty as “political debate”? This tells you something about how Republicans regard politics. And the absurdity of his contention that nobody cares about Trump lying is evident in Trump’s dismal approval polling.

When Karl tried to press Pence on the credibility question again, Pence launched into his robo-lie that 4,000 “known or suspected terrorists” were apprehended, still falsely implying that the southern border was their point of origin. Then he continued on auto-pilot with assertions about drugs pouring into the country, being deliberately deceitful about the fact that the vast majority come in by air or through valid checkpoints. And at this point you might be wondering what any of this have to do with the question about Trump’s lying? But finally, Pence painted Trump’s pathological fibs as simply his “passion” to “protect the American people”:

Pence: “The passion you hear from President Trump, his determination to take this to American people, as he will tonight in his national broadcast from the oval office, comes from his deep desire to do his job to protect the American people. And we’re gonna continue to carry that case forward until the Democrats in Congress come to the table and start negotiating. Not just to end the government shutdown, but to address what is an undeniable crisis at out southern border.”

It’s cute how Pence tries to evade the topic by shifting to a “blame the Democrats” posture, despite Trump being the immovable object who refuses to compromise, or even agree to the legislation that he previously agreed to. But Pence’s assertion of “an undeniable crisis” is especially ridiculous. That’s going to be a tough sell considering that even people like Fox News senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitan, denies it. He also denies that Trump has any legal right to move forward with his wall by declaring a national emergency. When his Fox colleague Maria Bartiromo asked this directly, Napolitano told her that:

“In a word, no. That’s not me saying no, because the Supreme Court said no when Harry Truman attempted to do that. […] the Supreme Court has made it very clear, even in times of emergency, the president of the United States of America cannot spend money unless it has been authorized by the Congress.”

None of this will prevent the circus that is going to unfold tonight for Trump’s Oval Office Reality TV episode. And his likely incoherent, lie-riddled speech won’t change the mind of a single viewer. Except for those who are finally disgusted enough by his ignorance and dishonesty and refuse to be further exploited by it. For Trump, this clown show is a lose-lose.

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

Trump Says Reporters Should Be Punished For Inaccurate Stories – OK, Let’s Start With Fox News

On Friday ABC News correspondent Brian Ross misreported a story about confessed liar, and Donald Trump’s disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Ross said that his sources told him that Flynn was prepared to testify that candidate Trump told him to contact the Russians. As it turned out it was during the transition, not during the campaign, that Trump told Flynn to hook up with Vladimir.

ABC News corrected the story, but the mistake cost Ross four weeks of pay and a suspension from duty. Naturally, Trump and his right-wing media mouthpieces wiggled their tails and began blasting out accusations of “fake news.” Never mind that the reaction to the error actually affirms the veracity of the so-called mainstream media. They acknowledged the mistake and punished the reporter. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Even Trump recognized that ABC deserved praise for their professionalism. He tweeted:

Setting aside Trump’s infantile and false characterization of the “Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt,” his suggestion that more networks demonstrate this sort of integrity is on point. And the network that spews more lies than any other is, of course, Trump’s favorite: Fox News. It is a nearly non-stop, 24/7, fiction factory that invents slanderous stories about Democrats and liberals, while fantasizing about Trump’s Messianic reign and defending him from every criticism.

For instance, Sunday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends set out to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth began a segment that accused the network of suppressing news about the acquittal of the defendant in the Kate Steinle murder case. Hegseth said that:

“In the days following the acquittal of the illegal immigrant responsible for Kate Steinle’s death, the media has now had a mixed response in their coverage, unsurprisingly. But one network has completely ignored it. MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time on Friday or on Saturday.”

Oh really? Apparently the Foxies don’t get out of their bubble very much. MSNBC did, in fact, report this story beginning on Thursday when it broke. Their coverage continued on Friday. It would be fair to say that it lost the “breaking” aspect after that, especially since that’s when the news of Flynn’s guilty plea was announced. Ironically, it was Fox News that is actually guilty of downplaying a bombshell report. Their primetime programs barely glanced at the Flynn story, while furiously hyping the Steinle verdict.

[Update: A tweet was posted to the Fox and Friends Twitter account acknowledging that MSNBC did cover the Steinle verdict. They subsequently deleted the story and the video, but a copy of the clip can be seen here. They have not issued an on-air retraction on Fox and Friends.]

Fox News

The examples of Fox News deliberately disseminating false information are too numerous to list here. But the fact-checkers at PolitiFact have compiled the data and found that Fox News broadcasts contain at least sixty percent false content. Think about that. Significantly more than half of what you see on Fox News are lies.

Which is why I am in complete agreement with Donald Trump with regard to more networks suspending reporters whose work is found to be inaccurate. Because if Fox News were held to that standard they would go dark for the next couple of years. And that would truly Make America Great Again.

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

BE AFRAID: Trump Admin is ‘Looking At’ Amending or Abolishing the First Amendment

The not-so-subtle inclination of Donald Trump toward totalitarian rule has been apparent for some time. He has repeatedly expressed his admiration for strongman dictators like Erdogan, Jong-Un, Hussein, and Vladimir Putin. What’s more, the alleged “dealmaker” is nakedly hostile to compromise or to accommodating opinions that differ from his own. It’s either conform to Trumpism or be denigrated as a lying, crooked, enemy of America.

Reince Priebus

In an interview Sunday, Trump’s Chief-of-Staff, Reince Priebus, affirmed the authoritarian aspirations of this president. ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Priebus about Trump’s prior statements concerning punishing or restricting the press when he doesn’t like what they say about him. That question led to this ominous exchange (video below):

KARL: I want to ask you about two things the President has said on related issues. First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws. Tweeting “the failing New York Times has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws?” That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue?

PRIEBUS: I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we’re sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters . . .

KARL: So you think the President should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?

PRIEBUS: Here’s what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired . . .

KARL: I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. It’s about whether or not the President should have a right to sue them.

PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at. But it’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.

Priebus could not have been more clear. The President is actively considering changes to the Constitution that would put the free press at risk. The changes he is considering would permit retaliation from hostile government officials seeking revenge for unfavorable coverage. Even short of litigation, such a move would have a chilling effect on journalists.

Trump has openly expressed his animosity toward the press. He calls them sleazy, liars, and “fake news” (although apparently without any understanding of what that phrase means). During the campaign he corralled them in pens and revoked the credentials of those he felt were not sufficiently adoring. His comments have even put some of them at risk for physical harm.

Trump’s consolidation of control goes beyond just the media. This weekend he also complained about the processes in Congress that interfere with him getting his way. “The rules of the Senate,” he said, “in some of the things you have to go through, it’s really a bad thing for the country in my opinion. They’re archaic rules.” In other words, he is opposed to the sort of democratic form of government wherein the people’s representatives work together to shape a consensus on legislation. He prefers dictating his demands and having everyone comply unquestioningly.

The purpose of these assaults on the Constitution is to delegitimize any criticism or opposition, no matter how appropriate. Trump wants only positive stories about him and his administration. And he will not tolerate anyone exposing his frequent mistakes, misstatements and lies. For that reason, every American should be wary of Trump’s efforts to silence the press. And particularly any attempt to codify such censorship into law or Constitutional amendments.

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