Deflated and Defeated: Trump’s Final Pre-Election Interview on Fox News

During a year burdened with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a historic recession, civil unrest, and the most divisive political environment in generations, election day may have seemed like it would never arrive. But, lo and behold, here we are. And now it’s just a matter of time before the nation learns whether it will go forward in a positive direction with the sane and decent leadership of Joe Biden, or if Donald Trump will somehow stumble back into the White House for another four years of turmoil, ignorance, and hostility.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

In advance of the day’s voting, Trump spent some time with his bootlicking mood boosters at Fox News for a phone-in “interview.” And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends performed their Trump-fluffing duties just as they have for the past four (plus) years. The only real difference between this appearance and those Trump has done previously was Trump himself.

The normally hyped up “president” was uncharacteristically reserved this morning. In fact, he sounded exhausted and depressed. It’s almost as if he knew that his prospects for winning were as remote as my prospects for dunking on Lebron James.

Trump’s speech patterns were slow and halting. He appeared to have trouble forming coherent thoughts. The pauses between words signaled an inability express himself without sinking into pessimism and depression. For example, early in the segment Trump was asked by co-host Steve Doocy a simple, softball question regarding speculation that he would try to declare victory long before the results were in:

Doocy: At what point will you declare victory?
Trump: When there’s victory, if there’s victory. I think we’ll have victory. You know, the polls are suppression polls. I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. There’s no reason to play games. And I think we’ll have victory. I look at it as being a very solid chance of winning. I don’t know what the chances are. I don’t know how they rate the chances. But I think we have a very solid chance of winning.

In that brief exchange Trump repeated himself incessantly, especially the word “victory” (six times) as if he was trying to convince himself. And he says that his chances are good, even while saying that he doesn’t know what the chances are or how they are arrived at. For the record, FiveThirtyEight puts his chances at ten percent, and the Economist puts them at only three percent.

Following that, Trump was asked another gimme by co-host Ainsley Earhardt:

Earhardt: What has it been like? Have you loved the job? Has it been worth it? Because you’ve been under so much attack.
Trump: Well, it’s been mean. You’ve dealt with horrible people like “shifty” Schiff and “crazy” Nancy, and “cryin” Chuck Schumer. You deal with some horrible people.

So Trump’s response to whether he considered it “worth it” to be president was to complain about the “horrible” people he had to deal with. Of course, those people are the elected representatives of the people who Trump was so disrespectful to with his infantile nicknames. But more to the point, he couldn’t articulate any reason why he might have “loved” serving the people of the United States as their president. It’s been obvious for the past four years that he has indeed hated the job. He’s done nothing but whine about having to deal with the media, our allies, and members of Congress. In fact, he elaborated in his answer to complain that dealing with the U.S. is more difficult than dealing with China, Russia, or North Korea. That’s what he calls patriotism?

Finally, Trump couldn’t resist taking a shot at Fox News right in the faces of his hosts:

Trump is whining that Fox News hasn’t been sufficiently adoring of him. But to him anything less than 110% unflinching worship is inadequate. His examples of Fox’s betrayal are mainly that the network has aired a few speeches by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Trump says that “there are other networks for that,” affirming his view that Fox News is his personal Ministry of Propaganda.

To hear Trump in this interview one can’t come away without the feeling that he’s given up. He’s recognized that he will not be reelected and that now he has to turn his attention to the legal jeopardy that will face him as a civilian. His demeanor is dripping with despair for the bleak future that awaits him. And for the majority of the American people, it can’t come fast enough.

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

Trump Parrots Illegal Advice By Fox News to Change Your Vote

There is now only one week left until election day. Not that election day has the significance it once had considering all of the opportunities to vote early or by mail. But it does still represent the end of the 2020 campaign season. And given the dreadful position that Donald Trump finds himself in, he is grasping desperately for ways to keep from suffering a historic landslide defeat.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

As usual, Trump is relying on his shadow cabinet of Fox News sycophants for advice. Never mind that Trump is simultaneously bashing Fox for not being 110% adoring at all times, he still knows that he has nowhere else to go for the drooling devotion that Fox regularly provides. And on Tuesday morning he got a healthy dose of it from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends (video below):

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt: According to Google Trends data, some people are thinking of changing their vote and they’re asking if they are able to do that. This is what’s trending right now: “Can I change my vote,” and “Hunter Biden.” Do you think that after we’ve learned the news of Hunter Biden, the alleged reports about him, people now want to change their Biden vote to Donald Trump vote?
Co-host Steve Doocy: Well, here’s the thing Ainsley. Every state has different rules. Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, all have specific laws where you can change your mind after you vote. If you vote, apparently, in person at an early voting place, you don’t get a do-over. But if you submit an absentee ballot, or one of those mail-in ballots, apparently you can go ahead and change it.
Earhardt: Or you can also go to the poll and vote in person and that’s the one that would count.

This is only partly true. If you voted in person already, you cannot change your vote. If you voted by mail, there are certain circumstance where you can request another ballot or vote in person. However, voting in person after casting a mail-in vote is only permitted in five states. One of them is New York. In the other 45 states you will be potentially committing felony voter fraud if you attempt to vote twice (which Trump has previously encouraged people to do).

So if voters in New York wish to take the advice of Fox News, they can do so. But what’s the point? First of all, how many Biden voters in New York are going to switch their votes to Trump because of a phony scandal about Hunter Biden that even the GOP chairwoman couldn’t defend in an appearance on Fox? And it wouldn’t have any impact whatsoever on the outcome of the election in the solid blue state of New York.

Nevertheless, Fox’s number one viewer was watching and couldn’t resist commenting on the possibility that Biden supporters are suddenly clamoring to switch their votes to Trump:

Trump’s assumption that a trending topic on Twitter regarding changing votes refers to switching to him is ludicrous. That’s particularly true with regard to his assertion that the switch is coming after a debate that most people say Biden won. And the Hunter Biden story has utterly failed to get any traction. Consequently, by urging people to change their votes now, Trump is probably only persuading Trump voters to switch, producing more votes for Joe Biden.

What’s more, Trump didn’t make any distinction about states where this is legal and those where it isn’t. He didn’t even link to the Fox News clip that did alert people to the differences in different state laws. That could result in people putting themselves in legal jeopardy. Not that Trump cares. If the nation’s coronavirus SuperSpreader-in-Chief doesn’t care about putting people’s lives in jeopardy, he surely doesn’t care about this.

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

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

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

Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Debate Stage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Reveals to Fox News His Plan to Get the Supreme Court to Declare Him President

This year appears to have a rather sadistic bent as it relentlessly piles on melodramas and anxieties. It’s not bad enough that we are suffering through a deadly pandemic that is being dreadfully mismanaged by Donald Trump. We are also having to deal with an economy in recession and civil unrest triggered by systemic racism. And all in an especially contentious election year.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Adding to those national migraines is the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only has America lost an iconic figure who has made innumerable contributions to civil liberties and equal justice, but it thrusts the nation into a bitterly partisan battle to replace her. Republicans are shamelessly contradicting their previous insistence that the president shouldn’t nominate a Justice during an election year. Apparently that principle only applies to Democratic presidents. The GOP is perfectly OK with nominations by an impeached president who still has multiple criminal and civil indictments hanging over his head.

Making matters worse is Trump himself (as usual), who was “interviewed” twice in two days by Fox News. In a sit-down with Fox’s Mark Levin on Sunday night Trump whined that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently worshipful, and that they catered too much to Democrats. Are we sure that Trump even knows what channel he’s watching?

On Monday Trump visited the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. This is apparently his new regular gig that he leaked last week. It was there that he unleashed some wild speculations and disturbing revelations. When the subject to Ginsburg’s replacement came up, Trump led off with a thoroughly disgraceful allegation maligning the integrity of Ginsburg and her family:

Ainsley Earhardt: Then you have Ruth Bader Ginsburg who told her granddaughter on her death bed, allegedly, that her dying wish was to have the next president choose her successor. How do you think all this plays out?
Trump: I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second. Okay, it came out of the wind. It sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind. Let’s see. I mean maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”

Trump’s assertion is entirely without foundation – or decency. He is of such weak character that he can’t help politicizing this tragedy by invoking the names of his favorite foils in Congress. Rep. Schiff replied on Twitter, telling Trump that “This is low. Even for you.” But how difficult would it be to believe that Ginsburg had such feelings. She said so many times before. Unfortunately, Trump has an insatiable need to drag everything down to his loathsome level, even if it means desecrating the memory of a universally respected and honorable American. Even if it means despicably disparaging Ginsburg’s last wishes as a Democratic hoax.

Perhaps Trump can’t believe that Ginsburg would make what he curiously concedes is a “beautiful” statement (that “came out of the wind,” whatever that means) because it so far outside anything he is capable of. But he went on to expose his true agenda that reeks of the totalitarian aspirations for which he is well known:

“The bottom line is that we won the election. We have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible. We should act quickly because we’re gonna have, probably, election things involved here, you know, because of the fake ballots they’ll be sending out. A terrible situation.”

Oh My! Our infamously inarticulate president is recognizing the threat of “election things” involved here. Never mind that those “things” are manufactured lies about mail-in voting that Trump has been telling for months without ever bothering to provide a scrap of evidence.

More importantly, Trump is confessing that his obsession with confirming a new Supreme Court Justice is rooted in his determination to steal the election. He is anticipating a legal battle for which he wants to make sure that he has a majority on the Court to rule in his favor and, if necessary, declare him the winner. This is the sort of court manipulation that is more common under dictators who pack their courts with subservients and sycophants.

What’s more, this is not an aberration or careless misstatement. Trump made similar remarks on Saturday at his latest cult rally and Super Spreader event in North Carolina. Worried about the prospect of there not being a declared winner on election night, Trump expressed his nefarious desire to put the decision in the hands of a court system that he has packed with allies:

“Now we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.”

This is Trump’s way of disenfranchising citizens who vote by mail. If their ballots are postmarked on or before election day, but the ballot processing and counting is not completed until some time after, Trump wants all of those votes to be invalidated. He is literally calling for the suppression of voter’s rights. And since more Democrats vote by mail, it’s easy to see why Trump is pursuing this. It is just the logical progression of his yearning for unchecked tyrannical power. And it must be vigorously challenged if America is to remain a free democratic republic.

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

‘Shocked’ Fox News Host Gets Schooled on Trump’s Lies about the Coronavirus

The endless stream of lies emanating from Donald Trump on a daily (hourly) basis continue without pause as the number of Americans infected by the coronavirus exceeds 5,000,000, and the fatalities surpass 163,000. Unmoved by these horrifying statistics, Trump persists in deflection and trivializing the suffering that the nation is enduring due to his negligence, incompetence, and egomaniacal refusal act responsibly.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

On Monday morning Trump took time away from his golfing regimen to express his desire to see more young people placed in danger by compelling them to participate in collegiate sports programs. Never mind that colleges around the country have already had to shut down due to spikes in coronavirus cases. Trump doesn’t care about kids, or anyone other than himself. As Trump told Fox News last week

“My view is schools should reopen. This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away. And my view is that schools should be open. If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely, but almost – immune from this disease.”

Exactly! COVID-19 will “go away like things go away.” Things like bone spurs and cancer and senile dementia. My view is that Trump is almost – and I would almost say definitely, but almost – completely insane. Trump’s view, though, is shared by his bootlickers on Fox News. In a segment on Fox and Friends (video below) discussing how the coronavirus affects children, co-host Ainsley Earhardt revealed her surprise that kids were affected at all:

Earhardt: 97,000 kids have tested positive? That was such a shock to me because we heard kids really don’t get it. If they do they’re all going to be okay. Do you have any details about that percentage of kids that do get it? Are they all doing okay? Do they have any deaths?
Dr. Natasha Kathuria: I don’t know about the mortality or morbidity right now in that group. That was just in two weeks. So about 100,000 new cases in pediatric kids just in two weeks. And I can guarantee you that number is much higher. We don’t really test kids that often. They’re usually asymptomatic, they have very mild symptoms, But they’re still shedding this virus.

This was a “shock” to Earhardt because she “heard kids don’t really get it” from her fellow propagandists on Fox News, where that lie has been a regular part of the disinformation that they disseminate every day. The data about the virus’s impact on children was revealed in a new study that tracked such cases and found a total of nearly 340,000 children have been infected to date. The number for the past two weeks (97,000) represents a 40% increase just as schools were reopening in some states, and includes at least 611 child fatalities.

Earhardt, however, wasn’t finished trying to shape the discussion to frame it more positively to align with Trump’s lies. Her follow up for Dr. Kathuria was couched in a false assumption that was quickly shot down:

Earhardt: We’re just going to have to be extremely careful. Most Americans want their kids back in school, but we want to do it safely. But it is true though that when the kids get it, they don’t have the – you said – it’s just minimal side effects, right? If they even see those at all.
Dr. Kathuria: That’s a majority of them. The likelihood of death and the likelihood of critical illness is lower. But it’s possible. A seven year old just died in Georgia with no medical problems. We hear about this and we see it all the time. Kids get sick.

Nice try, Ainsley. But reality demands recognition that children are not only susceptible to illness, they are also carriers who can bring the virus home to their parents, grandparents, and others in their community. The good doctor deserves credit for not buckling to Earhardt’s leading and biased questions. And if Earhardt was shocked to learn about kids getting sick, think how shocked she must have been that some morsel of truth managed to leak out onto the air at Fox News.

UPDATE: At his coronavirus briefing (aka 2020 reelection event) Trump was asked if he was concerned about 97,000 kids getting the virus. He replied that it didn’t concern him and then reiterated his false belief that kids are immune.

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.

According to Trump and Fox News MOST Americans are Dumb, Terrorist Lovers

It has been clear since his inauguration that Donald Trump was not a popular figure in American politics. He has never reached 50% in approval polls, and his policies have been universally disfavored by voters. What’s more, despite his frequent and desperate denials, support for his impeachment is growing.

Donald Trump TV Set

In the aftermath of Trump’s assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the divisive rhetoric emanating from the White House has intensified. There has been a noxious effort on the part of Trump and his sycophants to portray anyone who disagrees with him as a traitor who supports the terrorists. That’s a tactic used unsuccessfully by the Bush administration to malign opponents of his invasion of Iraq. And now the StormTrumpers are employing it to attack his critics. GOP Congressman Doug Collins went so far as to say that Democrats are in love with terrorists.”

That sort of ugliness has not been the exception from Republicans in recent days. They are desperately trying to claw their way out of the hole that Trump has dug for them. Trump’s reckless venture into international assassinations is not being met with approval by Americans or the world. And things aren’t getting any better for them as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduces a resolution to prohibit Trump from taking further rogue actions. That legislative move has triggered the Trump-fluffers on Fox News (video below):

Ainsley Earhardt: The president yesterday said the U.S. is ready to embrace peace. He’s calling for more economic sanctions on Iran’s already struggling economy. He did say that Iran is standing down, so why is the House putting up this resolution to try to limit the president’s powers?
Sarah Sanders: I can’t think of anything dumber than allowing Congress to take over our foreign policy. They can’t seem to manage to get anything done. I think the last thing we want to do is push powers into Congress’ hands and take them away from the president. Any Democrat that doesn’t understand that America is safer now that one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world is rotting in hell is completely naive and completely misses what we need to have in foreign policy.

First of all, Earhardt’s question was loaded with contradictions. She asserted that Trump was embracing peace while simultaneously imposing sanctions, which is a form of economic warfare. And that should be unnecessary if her claim that Iran is standing down is true.

While the question was a jumble of flagrantly biased presumptions, Sanders’ answer was downright demented. Apparently Sanders “can’t think of anything dumber” than the Constitution, which provides Congress with the sole authority to declare war. Congress also has the authority, under the doctrine of checks and balances, to impose limits on the executive branch’s aspirations to tyranny.

Furthermore, Sanders is among the Trump apologists who is suffering from the wishful thinking that the American people support Trump’s unlawful international adventurism. According to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos poll

  • An 18 point majority (52%-34%), called Trump’s behavior with Iran “reckless.”
  • A 44 point majority (52%-8%), said the attack made it more likely that Iran would develop nuclear weapons.
  • By far, most Americans (55%-24%) believe the assassination made the United States less safe. Including nearly a third of Republicans.
  • By 47%-39%, those surveyed said Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in an attempt to divert the focus from his impeachment.
  • And specifically addressing Pelosi’s resolution, a big majority (53%-33%) endorsed congressional action that would limit Trump’s ability to order military strikes or declare war without legislative approval.

So Trump, along with his surrogates and cult followers, are severely disengaged from the will of the public at large. This has been a common flaw in the thinking at the White House and their Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. They persist in trying to convince the people that they believe what they plainly do not believe. And the Trumpies may be succeeding in convincing themselves that the fantasy they imagine is actually reality. That might make them feel a little better today, but it won’t help them in November.

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

HEY FOX NEWS: Opposing Trump’s Derangement Is Not Support for Iran’s Terrorism

The debate over Donald Trump’s order to assassinate a top Iranian military commander is beginning to take on the familiar tones of the Bush administration’s dishonest and unlawful invasion of Iraq nearly twenty years ago. Following the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani there has arisen a cry from the Trump camp for an unquestioning embrace of the mission that still has not been justified or defined.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq was rooted in deliberate falsehoods about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. His national security team would not provide any proof of the claim, but insisted that the American people get on board and support the President on blind trust. Bush famously admonished rational skeptics that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

This is precisely how the Trump administration is framing its assault on Soleimani and his subsequent threats against Iran. Those threats include outright declarations of Trump’s intention to commit war crimes by targeting “cultural sites” with “disproportionate” force. And Trump is getting plenty of help from his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. The memo must have gone out over the weekend to portray all of Trump’s critics as unpatriotic and supporters of Iranian terrorism.

That, of course, could not be farther from the truth. It is not only possible, but necessary for free thinkers to raise questions about Trump’s actions. After all, he has refused to provide any evidence of his implausible contention that Iran was plotting attacks on the United States. And his resume of flagrant lying about all things great and small make him wholly unbelievable as a source for anything more significant than the weather (and he has blatantly lied about that as well).

That, however, isn’t what you’ll from Fox as their sycophantic shills campaign to canonize the Liar-in-Chief. It was evident early on with Trump’s favorite morning program, Fox and Friends, where co-host Ainsley Earhardt engaged in friendly banter with co-host Steve Doocy and squealed giddily that…

Earhardt: I find it so interesting that people are critical of the president’s decisions, of our intelligence community’s decisions, our general’s decisions.
Doocy: They want details.
Earhardt: Well, they can’t have it. They can’t have it. Everything can’t be made public.

That’s an astonishing commentary from the folks who have been lambasting the intelligence community as dishonest and corrupt and anti-Trump “Deep State” traitors, for the past three years. Nor have they been especially respectful of generals, three of whom Trump has fired from senior White House posts, while maligning them fools and insisting that he knows more than all of them.

Earhardt is also arguing that Trump should be permitted to withhold the intelligence that would justify his actions. That’s a bizarre position from someone supposedly in the “news” business whose job is to investigate and report on the government and the politicians who occupy it. Not that there have ever been any actual reporters on Fox News. They are there for one purpose only: to advance the propaganda of the Trump administration and, more broadly, the conservative agenda.

The notion that the media should accept and defend Trump’s secrecy was further articulated later in the day on Fox by commentator Katie Pavlich. During a debate with Democratic consultant Richard Fowler, who argued that the American people should be shown the intelligence that informed Trump’s decision, Pavlich shot back, “You’re not entitled to seeing it because people like you don’t believe in intelligence.”

Once again, this is coming from someone who has been a staunch critic of the intelligence community for years. And she’s directing this thinly veiled personal insult at “people like” Fowler, whose support for America’s intelligence agencies is well documented. What’s more, it’s absurd to suggest that disagreeing with Trump is also disagreeing with the intelligence community. There is absolutely zero evidence that intelligence was the basis for anything that Trump has done. If it was, there is surely some portion of it that he could make public.

The gist of the Fox News position is that anyone who doesn’t devotedly follow Trump and blindly believe whatever he says without question, is unpatriotic. They contend that requiring Trump to explain himself and his decisions is tantamount to sacrilege. They fail to comprehend that true patriotism requires politicians to continually justify themselves, particularly if they are known to be pathological liars.

Americans are not supposed to be regarded as, or treated like, sheep led by aspiring dictators who cannot be challenged or questioned. But according to the Fox Doctrine, Trump must be worshiped as a prophet sent by God to lead the nation into a dystopian future. That’s not how America works. Even if Trump’s lackeys appear on Fox and accuse his critics of “hero worship” of Soleimani, simply because they won’t submit to Trump’s holy version of reality. Which is what Kellyanne Conway did this morning:

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

Fox and Friends Makes a Damn Good Argument to Vote for Democrats – No, Really!

The pressure is on at the White House as evidence incriminating Donald Trump continues to pile up. The impeachment inquiry is entering a new, more public phase that is exposing facts that are unarguably tying Trump and his cohorts to unlawful activities. And it’s causing him to lash out in ever more incoherent ways. Even his support among Republicans has begun a disastrous freefall.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Of course, whatever affects Trump also has a symbiotic reaction at the Fox News Channel, the network whose mission is to protect and defend Trump and the conservative wackosphere from all enemies, foreign and domesticated. But the weight of the pressure currently being applied by Congress and the Constitution may be overwhelming Fox’s capacity to respond as programmed. This is creating some bizarre departures from their expected behaviors.

On Wednesday morning, the day after Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party suffered severe electoral defeats in Kentucky and Virginia, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends engaged in an exchange that began uneventfully with a typically pro-GOP tirade by Ainsley Earhardt. However, it quickly veered off into something that was uncharacteristically (gasp) liberal! It went something like this (video below):

Earhardt: I don’t understand how that message … how she [Elizabeth Warren] is doing so well with that message. That message is saying “You have more than I do. I’m jealous of yours. I wanna take some of what you have.”
Steve Doocy: But if you don’t have anything, that’s a very potent message, believe me.
Earhardt: But that’s not the American way. The American way is to work your tail off. Keep working. Say yes, say yes. Work weekends, work nights, work your way to the top.
Doocy: I get that. But if you have worked really hard and you still don’t have anything … I mean, I’ve been to the Bernie Sanders rallies where there are a lot of people who need help. You know, they didn’t have health care. They have problems with college tuition. And things like that. So for the Democratic message … “Look, you don’t have anything. The government is going to make sure that the most successful people pay extra so you can get a hand up.” That is very powerful. That’s why you look at the number of people with that point of view, you add up all the people that support that, it’s a big number.

WOW! Doocy gave a pretty good summation of Democratic principles that favor providing for the basic needs of all Americans. He seemed to recognized the appeal of programs that insure that no American goes hungry, or is unable to get medical care, or is burdened by undue debts for education, in the richest nation in the world. He even acknowledged that those benefiting from such programs do work hard and are not shiftless layabouts seeking to take advantage of the system.

The people Doocy is talking about are indeed a large group. And their numbers grow exponentially by adding their families, friends, and other compassionate citizens, who care about the less fortunate among us. They are also many of the same people that Trump tries to attract. He calls them the “forgotten Americans,” and they populate his cult rallies. However, the difference between the Democratic solutions and Trump’s is that Democrats think the wealthy should pay more to fill the gap, as Doocy noted, Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP think the wealthy should pay less (in taxes), and the poor should pay more, by giving up benefits like food stamps, housing assistance, college loan aid, and access to health care.

To be sure, whatever caused that glitch in the Fox News system that resulted in them going haywire with concern for others, it will be temporary. Rest assured that there are already people huddling in the executive suites plotting how to correct the malfunction. But in the meantime it was interesting to hear a perspective on the network that wasn’t dripping with rancor, racism, and animosity toward Americans who need a little bit of help from time to time. So enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t get used to it.

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

Fox News Defends Trump’s State-Sponsored Political Extortion as Just ‘The Art of the Deal’

The news that Donald Trump may have promised the president of Ukraine hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid if he would open a bogus investigation into Joe Biden has captured the attention of the press. And rightfully so. This would amount to state-sponsored extortion by Trump in order to smear a political opponent. And it wouldn’t even be the first time that Trump has conspired with a foreign country to steal an election (see: Russia, 2016).

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As this scandal continues to build steam, Trump is managing to get himself into even more hot water. In a press avail with the Prime Minister of Australia, Trump gave contradictory answers about what he knew about the affair. In fact, when asked if he read the report he contradicted himself in the space of a single sentence saying, “No I haven’t. I just – I tell you, everybody’s read it. They laugh at it.” He went on to attack the press, as usual, saying that “Our media has become the laughingstock of the world […] You’re a joke.” Which only proves that he is pitifully incapable of recognizing who the world is actually laughing at.

In the midst of this unfolding melodrama, Fox News is adopting their routine position as Trump-fluffing propaganda disseminators. And taking the lead is Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends. Their defense of Trump is a bizarre spectacle of ludicrous justifications for Trump’s potentially treasonous behavior (video below). Co-host Steve Doocy began by telling his dimwitted viewers to…

“Keep in mind this whistleblower filed this report with the inspector general of the Intel community on August the 12th. That was over a month ago. Then they kicked it around, sent it to the Department of Justice, and said ‘We do not have to hand it over to Congress.'”

First of all, it is entirely improper for the Justice Department to interfere in this process in any way. It negates the whole purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act if the President’s henchmen (Attorney General William Barr, et al) can suppress information provided in good faith by insiders concerned about national security. And it endangers the welfare of the whistleblower whose identity is disclosed to people who have motive to retaliate.

That said, after having improperly interfered, the Justice Department has no authority to rule that the complaint can’t be turned over to Congress. The law says unambiguously that it “shall” be turned over. So the Justice Department is wrong, and Fox News is wrong to excuse this breach of the law. But Doocy wasn’t finished. He continued…

“The reason the whistleblower apparently said that it was ‘serious’ and ‘urgent’ is because that designation usually automatically triggers it getting to Congress. The Department of Justice says that that is not appropriate, so we don’t have to give it to the Committee. Well, somebody with knowledge of this person’s story didn’t like the fact that Congress wasn’t gonna get it and it wasn’t gonna become public. So they leaked the story to the Washington Post.”

Again, none of this is the Justice Department’s call. But Doocy is also introducing something that was never a part of this. He implies that somebody wanted this to become public. But had the complaint been turned over to Congress, they would have reviewed it privately. The only reason any of this is becoming public is because the process was breached by the administration.

It’s ironic that Fox News is more worried about this complaint leaking than the substance of the complaint which is Trump’s attempts to extort and/or bribe a foreign country and to pressure them into aiding his election fraud. But if you thought that Fox was bothered by any of that, here’s what Doocy’s co-host Ainsley Earhardt had to say about it:

“They say the President was making promises, leaking delicate information to another heads of state. But this is what they do. They talk. They negotiate. And the President’s known for that. The art of the deal. Who’s leaking this? Is it someone that works at the White House?”

So to Fox News this is standard operating procedure in negotiations. They consider it acceptable for Trump to bully foreign leaders into manufacturing political dirt on his opponents. They regard it as simple dealmaking, despite the fact that there are no components of this deal that are in the interests of the United States. It is a purely hostile swipe at Biden, who Trump expects to run against next year. So Earhardt is defending dealmaking that is only intended to disrupt an election. But then again, that’s what Fox News does every day. Disrupting elections by airing distortions and lies is the whole reason Fox News exists.

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