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.

WARNING: Donald Trump #Scampaign is Using Your Money To Line His Own Pockets

Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president he has bragged about his alleged self-financing of his campaign. That was never actually true since he has been soliciting donations from the start and the funds from his own accounts were loans for which he could repay himself from his campaign treasury. But now ABC News is reporting that Trump’s deceit is much worse than merely misleading donors about the source of his funding.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been using his campaign as a marketing scheme to enrich himself and his eponymous business enterprises. By using Trump properties and products for campaign goods and services Trump has funneled more than six million dollars back into his own pocket. The services include transportation provided by his famous Trump jet ($3.7 million), office space at his Trump Tower in Manhattan ($915,000), rent and catering at his Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida ($423,000), dining at Trump restaurants ($135,000), end even purchases of Trump branded water and wine.

If anyone is thinking that this is just good business and a normal practice in politics, you could not be further from the truth. Other wealthy candidates with far-flung business interests made certain that their personal finances were not intermingled with their campaigns. Examples provided by ABC include these fellow billionaires:

“Trump isn’t the first high-profile politician to run a campaign while managing large corporate assets. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and presidential contender Steve Forbes both ran companies bearing their name.”

Both took great care to carefully separate their businesses and their campaigns, their former aides said, citing the complex maze of campaign finance regulations about using corporate resources.”

What this means for Trump’s prospective donors is that they will effectively be paying the tab for Trump to buy his own products and rent his own office space. His campaign is acting as a sort of shell company through which Trump can funnel money to his other businesses. Small donors would have to wonder whether that is a worthy investment of their limited funds. Large donors ought to be even more skeptical of giving thousands of dollars to Trump’s for-profit businesses.

This is particularly troublesome for donors when they consider Trump isn’t spending his campaign funds in a manner that would advance his candidacy. Recent campaign filings show that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has spent about $20 million on advertising in key swing states compared to Trump’s total spending of zero dollars. Additionally, Clinton currently has about $42 million of cash on hand, while Trump is comparatively broke with only $1.3 million. He says that all he needs to do is write a check, but while we’re waiting for that to happen he is still hitting up the usual suspects in the GOP millionaires club.

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

Given Trump’s peculiar approach to campaign spending, and his predilection for feathering his own gold-encrusted nest, donors will likely think twice before throwing cash at The Donald. And his rapidly deteriorating relationship with the Republican National Committee (RNC) only exacerbates the problem. Why should RNC donors dig into their wallets when Trump keeps insulting them and threatening to go it alone? The only parties who are helped by any of this are the #NeverTrump activists who still hope to keep him from becoming the Party’s nominee.

Watch In Disbelief As ABC News Paints Homophobe Donald Trump As Pro-Gay

The debate over the causes of the Orlando massacre last week have run the gamut from radical Islamic terrorism, to the availability of military-style assault weapons, to violent homophobic extremism. The reality from the available facts is that there are elements of all three contributing to the madness of the shooter. But the media isn’t helping matters when they introduce absurdities into their analysis that blatantly contradict the truth.

Donald Trump

Yesterday on ABC News (video below), their Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl, promoted Donald Trump’s delusional pronouncement that “LGBT is starting to like Donald Trump very much lately. I will tell you.” Neither Trump nor Karl offered any evidence of that, and polling shows that Trump has a dismal favorability rating with LGBT people of only 18 percent. By contrast, Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by 54 percent of the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, Karl continued to hype Trump’s stumping on the issue by running clips of Trump criticizing Clinton for accepting donations to the charitable Clinton Foundation from Saudi Arabia or other countries with poor records on human rights for gays and women. But both Trump and Karl neglected to put that claim in context by disclosing that Trump has many business relationships with people and businesses in the same countries that are not charitable in the least, but from which he will personally profit.

Karl closes the segment with a conclusion that can only be described as deranged. He said that…

“When it comes to gay rights, it’s Hillary Clinton who supports gay marriage, not Donald Trump. But even so, there is little doubt, David, that Trump is the most pro gay rights Republican presidential candidate that we have ever seen.”

WTF? Donald Trump cannot be portrayed as pro-gay rights by any stretch of the imagination. He has a long history of insulting remarks and hostile positions aimed at the LGBT community. He has publicly committed to appointing Supreme Court Justices who would overturn marriage equality. He has promised to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, which codifies discrimination against gays in commerce, employment, and housing. He meets with, and panders to, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. His solicitous embrace of anti-gay, evangelical extremists has been a core strategy of his campaign.

Karl might have been on firmer ground if he had merely suggested that Trump was less anti-gay than other Republicans who blame them for natural disasters and advocate stoning them to death. But only slightly firmer since many of Trump’s friends and allies (i.e. Jerry Falwell, Jr., Tony Perkins, and Alex Jones) proudly hold those views. But to put the words “pro” and “gay” in the same sentence as “Donald Trump” is a deliberate bastardization of the political reality that defines him. It is also a breach of journalistic principles that require adherence to honest representations of news events and figures.

Donald Trump’s cynical play for support from people whom he openly seeks to harm is a sinkhole of lies that no one should be so naive as to fall into. And it’s particularly reprehensible that he is using the tragedy in Orlando to fish for votes among people still in shock over what happened. Karl’s reporting on Trump only makes things worse by his failure to live up to his professional obligation to inform the public with facts and reason and coherent analysis. Karl failed miserably on all three counts.

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

Tax-Dodger Donald: Trump’s Own Documents Prove He Lied About The Value Of His Properties

Is Donald Trump a billionaire or a world-class grifter?

It has been difficult to pin down Trump’s net worth because he refuses to release his taxes until an alleged audit is complete. That excuse has been ridiculed by experts and even the IRS says there is nothing preventing him from making his own tax information public. Nevertheless, he is continuing to hide behind his lawyers and now says that his returns might not be released until after the election.

Donald Trump

Tax returns have been a staple disclosure in politics for nearly half a century. Hillary Clinton has made more than thirty years of returns available to the public. But Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this weekend that his tax rate is “none of your business.” However, there is data available through other tax filings that is shedding some light on Trump’s mysterious empire.

ABC News is reporting (video below) that the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, was valued on Trump’s candidate disclosure statement at “more than $50 million.” The high valuation serves Trump’s political purposes to portray himself as a successful businessman. But when he declared the assessment of the resort for tax purposes he claimed that it was worth only $1.75 million. The difference between his tax declaration and his candidate disclosure amounts to a savings of 90% on his tax bill.

When asked by ABC’s Brian Ross to comment on the discrepancy, he was told that the matter was “decades old and not worthy of a response.” He said much the same thing to reporters asking about the recent discovery of an audio tape of him posing as his own fictional press agent when talking to the media. This is a statute of limitations that only applies to Trump, whose obsession with the Clintons’ marital difficulties from the 1990s he still considers fair game.

The ABC story cited several other instances when Trump was less than honest about paying his taxes. One particularly egregious incident was when he purchased the yacht that became his beloved “Trump Princess.” At the time he pretended to have a patriotic incentive for buying the luxury liner. He said:

“I like to see the great jewels of the country being owned by the people of this country. And it had a big play as to why I bought this boat.”

However, as Ross reported, Trump “used off-shore and out-of-state corporations to buy the yacht and saved him a tax bill of some $1.75 million.” What a patriot. Something that Ross left out is that later, when Trump was undergoing a severe financial crisis, he sold the yacht to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. So much for “the great jewels of the country.”

The Trump National property was purchased in foreclosure for $8 million, and he spent another $45 million developing the golf course and the club house. So either this property suffered a massive decline in value and Trump isn’t worth what he says he is, or he is deliberately undervaluing it to avoid his legal tax bill. Either way, one of his public declarations is a flagrant lie. And with this report by ABC News will the media pick up the story and begin to tell the truth about Trump’s dishonesty?

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

Stephanopoulos Isn’t The Only Media Donor To The Clinton Foundation (Is He, Fox News?)

The conservative media circus is furiously banging their drums to chastise George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week, for his failure to disclose a donation to the Clinton Foundation. This oversight is being portrayed as an unforgivable offense of partisan bias. As with any matter that can be hyper-dramatized by zealous punditry, Fox News took the lead in running Stephanopoulos through the metaphorical grinder.

Fox News Stephanopoulos

A couple of notes need to be raised in order to fairly assess this situation. First of all, Stephanopoulos donated to a charitable organization, not a political campaign. Thus, it cannot really be regarded as partisan in that the Clinton Foundation does not engage in any political activities. Its mission is purely philanthropic and no fair observer has ever alleged any ideological leanings. Furthermore, unlike a corporate donor or a foreign entity, there isn’t any conceivable benefit that Stephanopoulos might have been seeking in exchange for a donation. Even his critics do not allege that his motives were anything but altruistic.

That said, there are problems with his failure to disclose that impact his reporting when the subject is the Foundation itself. For instance, Stephanopoulos recently interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book that alleges improprieties on the part of Hillary Clinton in connection to donations to the Foundation. The fact that the book was filled with factual errors and failed to prove its premise does not excuse Stephanopoulos from an ethical duty to reveal that he was also a donor.

Taken in its entirety, this scandalette hardly seems to approach the degree of significance that is being assigned to it by Fox News and other conservative media. There was no effort to extract any personal gain and the ethical lapse did not result in any reportorial distortion. But that hasn’t stopped right-wing muckrakers from attempting to whip it up into a full-blown catastrophe for Stephanopoulos. He has been maligned as hopelessly biased and there have been calls for him to resign or be fired. Fox’s Howard Kurtz described the affair as…

“…such a bombshell that George Stephanopoulos has now had to withdraw as ABC’s moderator in the Republican presidential debate next year.”

What makes the debate moderation move somewhat comical is that last November the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, ruled out anyone that he regarded as being unfriendly to the Party’s interests.

Priebus: [the] thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong.

Priebus reinforced that edict yesterday saying that “I’ve been very public about this. George Stephanopoulos was never going to moderate a Republican debate anyway.” Somewhere Priebus got the impression that debate moderators are supposed to serve the interests of the candidates. Certainly the interest of the voters never entered into it. And the last thing that the GOP wants is a debate that is truly spirited and informative. They are looking for something more on the order of an infomercial.

Amidst this tumultuous uproar over the fate of Stephanopoulos and his relatively modest $75,000 gift, what has gone unmentioned is that he is not alone in making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Fox News has been even more generous than Stephanopoulos. Rupert Murdoch’s son James, the COO of 21st Century Fox (parent company of Fox News), made a donation in the range of $1,000,000-$5,000,000. The News Corporation Foundation contributed between $500,000-$1,000,000. Fox regular Donald Trump forked over between $100,000-$250,000.

There might be more of these types of ethical problems involving media personalities on the right donating to Republican charities like the Bush Foundation. However, we can’t uncover them because the Bush Foundation doesn’t disclose their donors like the Clintons do. Curious, isn’t it?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So the question is: How can Fox News criticize George Stephanopoulos for his undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation, when they have made far bigger donations without disclosing them? What’s more, the donations from the Fox media empire can be regarded as possible bribes since, unlike Stephanopoulos, they have pending business before the government and its regulatory agencies. If Fox News wants to pretend to be “fair and balanced” they need to immediately come clean. And if Stephanopoulos is denied the opportunity to moderate any GOP debates, then Fox News should be prohibited from airing them.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to act ethically in this matter. They will neither remove themselves from the debate schedule, nor cease their attacks on Stephanopoulos. That’s just the way Fox does business and it will continue despite the obvious hypocrisy and lack of journalistic principle.

HUMILIATION: Breitbart News Tries To Blame Democrats For Dark Knight Shooting

When it comes to integrity and journalistic ethics, Breitbart News ranks somewhere between the National Enquirer and the Tehran Times. It makes Fox News look like PBS. And they can be expected to sink to ever greater depths of depravity when a story emerges that permits them to dial up the sensationalism and political rhetoric to eye-bleeding levels. The tragic Dark Knight shooting in Aurora, Colorado, was such a story.

On the morning after the shootings all the news networks were engaged in an endlessly repetitious barrage of a limited set of facts and a boundless pool of speculation. It didn’t matter what channel you turned to, you would hear the same recitation of the number of fatalities and injuries, interviews with frightened witnesses, and reminiscences of Columbine. Consequently, there was a determined effort on the part of the reporters to uncover something – anything – that was new or interesting.

In the course of their investigation, ABC News discovered that there was a man associated with the Aurora Tea Party who had the same name as the shooting suspect. They prematurely reported that fact without first verifying whether they were the same person.

George Stephanopoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Brian Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
Stephanopoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

ABC quickly corrected the report, but not before enduring some withering, and deserved, criticism. And it should be noted that, from the start, they acknowledged that all they had was speculation and that they were continuing to investigate. That’s not a proper justification, but it’s also not the same as making an outright accusation, which is what much of the right-wing media is saying.

Breitbart News leapt on this misstep with an article falsely charging “HUMILIATION: ABC News Tries To Blame Tea Party.” There was no attempt on the part of ABC News to blame anyone. They were following a lead and went to air before affirming it, but that’s not an assertion of blame. Breitbart’s column, by the notoriously addle-brained Joel Pollak, goes into hysterics over what he believes is an outrageous insult to his favorite extremist fringe group.

However, what makes Pollak’s pompous theatrics all the more ludicrous is that he immediately perpetrated the very same crime to which he took so much offense.

Breitbart News

Pollak’s article very directly accused the shooter of being a registered Democrat. He rambled through a list of supposed evidence that he never bothered to authenticate and arrived at a conclusion that he deemed certifiable. The only problem is that he was completely wrong – a state of being with which he must be comfortable by now. As it turns out, Pollak also had the wrong guy and the the suspect was not registered to vote at all.

So after castigating ABC for reporting incorrect information, Breitbrat Pollak did the same thing but took over five hours to make a correction. And even that was a weaselly effort that sought to explain away his incompetence by claiming that there was new information. Also, unlike ABC, Pollak included no apology for his gross error and slander of Democrats. But then that’s the sort of unprincipled, pseudo-reporting that is the hallmark of the Breitbart legacy.

ABC News Lists The Wealthy 1% Influencing Politics – But Leaves A Few Out

ABC News has published a list of what they call the “Top 8 Most Powerful Businessmen Influencing Politics.” It is a testament to the success of the Occupy Wall Street movement that a mainstream news organization is even attempting to tackle this issue.

Prior to OWS there was nary a peep about the appalling and dangerous wealth gap in America. The pundits and politicians had a single-minded focus on deficits and ignored the larger question of how they accumulated throughout the Bush administration via tax cuts for rich, off-the-books wars, and irresponsible deregulation.

The Occupy movement has completely shifted the debate to the more relevant issue of economic equity and the abuse of power by corporations and their wealthy proponents. That shift is the reason that ABC News has, for the first time, published a list of One Percenters who influence politics. Unfortunately, the list is woefully incomplete:

  • Koch Brothers
  • George Soros
  • Warren Buffett
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg
  • A. Jerrold Perenchio
  • George Kaiser
  • Howard Schultz

ABC seems to be going out of their way to be non-partisan. The problem with that approach is that the ranks of the wealthy are not themselves non-partisan. Here are a few more Republican power brokers that ABC omitted – and every one a billionaire:

  • Rupert Murdoch
  • Philip Anschutz
  • Sumner Redstone
  • Donald Trump
  • Steve Wynn
  • T. Boone Pickens
  • Arthur Blank
  • Meg Whitman
  • Richard Scaife

The noticeable leaning of wealthy businessmen to the conservative side ought to have been acknowledged by ABC. This is especially true given that so many of them are their colleagues in the media. It is particularly conspicuous that ABC left Rupert Murdoch off of their list given that he may be the world’s most prominent influencer of politics with both his blatantly biased news enterprises and his personal generosity toward conservative causes.

Other than these egregious omissions, it is encouraging to see the mainstream press starting to recognize the imbalance in this nation’s economic and political systems. And for that we can thank the Occupiers.