Trump’s Fear of Mueller’s Testimony is Exposed in Frantic, Lie-Riddled Tweets

There is nothing more pitiful than a criminal who is caught red-handed in the commission of his crimes and tries impotently to convince everyone that he’s innocent. That’s the sorry state in which Donald Trump has found himself as he unleashed his regularly scheduled Sunday Morning Tweetstorm.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

The flurry of panic-stricken whining from Trump included a some embarrassing missives aimed at a variety of trivial targets, mostly intended to act as distractions. They included a swipe at the Kentuky (sic) Derby wherein the President, who famously cheated in order to win, came to the defense of a horse that cheated and was subsequently disqualified. He also announced his nomination of Mark Morgan to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Trump had fired Morgan in the first few days of his administration because he was an Obama appointee. But now he’s been rehired after sucking up to Trump at least forty-nine times on Fox News. And Trump also made the painfully idiotic claim (again) that China was paying the United States for tariffs. Any first-year economics student knows that tariffs are paid by the importer (the U.S. company) and passed on to American consumers.

But without question the dumbest outburst of his morning rant was a pair of tweets attacking special counsel Robert Mueller:

Let’s examine the Olympic-grade derp in these remarks one at a time:

  1. The $35,000,000 spent was less than most other independent counsel investigations. And it was more than paid for by the asset forfeitures of Paul Manafort alone. He is the Trump campaign chairman who was convicted for crimes charged by the Mueller team.
  2. Trump keeps wandering around the allegation that 18, or 17, or 13 “Trump Hating Angry Democrats” were persecuting him. Never mind that Mueller is a life-long Republican who was appointed by Republican Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump while serving under Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And for the record, there are more like 65,000,000 angry Democrats.
  3. The 400 page report by Mueller never said that there was “NO COLLUSION.”
  4. The Democrats want Mueller to testify because Trump’s sycophantic Attorney General, William Barr, has refused to release the full report. and that’s after issuing a deliberately misleading four page summary, and lying to Congress about the contents of the report and his conversations with Mueller.
  5. Democrats are not looking for a redo. They are trying to get the facts about the first “do,” which both Barr and Trump are actively trying to suppress. And so is Fox News.
  6. There is no evidence whatsoever of any crimes by what Trump calls “the other side” (i.e. Hillary Clinton, the FBI) But there is ample evidence of Trump’s crimes. Even Fox News’ senior legal analyst, Andrew Napolitano, has said that evidence exists of collusion.
  7. The Mueller report was clear that there were at least ten instances of Trump obstructing justice. And the Fox News analyst agreed saying that Trump’s conduct was “Unlawful, Defenseless and Condemnable.”

Trump concluded by pleading that Mueller shouldn’t testify before Congress. That, of course, is not Trump’s call. In fact, it’s another instance of attempting to obstruct justice. But it’s also an indication of a sever mental infirmity since Trump keeps insisting that Mueller’s report was a “total exoneration” of him. He even said that Mueller “acted honorably.” If that’s true, shouldn’t Trump want Mueller to testify publicly and clear his name?

There’s a reason that Trump is so frightened by the prospect of Mueller testifying. Trump knows exactly what he did. He knows that he’s guilty. And he knows that the more public disclosure and transparency there is, the worse it is for him and his desperate efforts to avoid accountability.

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

Trump tries to pretend that he’s been cooperative throughout the investigation. But that’s a lie that is easily refuted. After all, Trump refused to be interviewed by Mueller. He’s working hard to keep others from being interviewed, including his former White House counsel, Don McGahn. And now he’s trying to intimidate those interested in finding the truth with these ludicrous demands to prevent Mueller’s testimony. This isn’t the behavior of an innocent man. It’s the desperation of a coward caught in the web of his own crimes and lies.

Fox News Senior Legal Analyst: Trump’s Obstruction is ‘Unlawful, Defenseless and Condemnable’

Ever since special counsel Robert Mueller began investigating the President, Donald Trump has been adamant that there has been “no collusion, no obstruction,” and no other illegal or unethical activity on his part. Trump made sure to drive that point home to his Deplorable followers on Twitter nearly every day. And backing him up all the way on this was his State TV affiliate, Fox News.

Donald Trump, Andrew Napolitano

But now the bottom appears to be falling out of Trump’s defense strategy. In recent weeks a few lonely voices on Fox News have displayed some measure of independence and honesty. They are still a minority, and they are often castigated by their own network colleagues, but they are there and they are beginning to be more outspoken.

Judge Andrew Napolitano is one of those expressing views that are decidedly un-Foxian. Last month Napolitano told Fox host Neil Cavuto that he agreed with the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, that there is evidence in the public record of Trump engaging in both conspiracy with Russia and obstruction of justice. He previously said that Trump’s firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was obstruction of justice. And now Napolitano is going even further with some hard and detailed facts:

“Mueller laid out at least a half-dozen crimes of obstruction committed by Trump — from asking former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland to write an untruthful letter about the reason for Flynn’s chat with Kislyak, to asking Corey Lewandowski and then-former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller and McGahn to lie about it, to firing Comey to impede the FBI’s investigations, to dangling a pardon in front of Michael Cohen to stay silent, to ordering his aides to hide and delete records.”

These remarks might not get much attention were they made by Rep. Schiff, or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. They would be be dismissed by right-wingers as partisan and political. But those criticisms cannot be credibly leveled against Napolitano who is a devoted conservative and a long-time fixture on Fox News. And he wasn’t done:

“The president’s job is to enforce federal law. If he had ordered its violation to save innocent life or preserve human freedom, he would have a moral defense. But ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”

That’s the sort of unambiguous statement of guilt (and from a judge no less) that you might expect from a partisan Democrat. But coming from a conservative legal expert on Fox News, it’s damn near conviction. It’s certainly justification for proceeding with impeachment hearings.

Napolitano also took Attorney General William Barr to task for wrongly defining obstruction of justice as only being applicable when it is successful or when there is an underlying crime committed by the obstructor. That’s nonsense and not rooted in the law. It is still obstruction if one attempts to interfere with the the judicial process and fails. If you try to rob a bank and don’t pull it off, you are going to jail. Likewise, it’s still obstruction if one attempts to interfere with a case that involves someone else. If you lie to the police about a crime you know you’re cousin committed, you are going to jail.

Barr’s absurd misinterpretation is a blatant attempt to cover for Trump and could be considered obstruction of justice itself. And it’s so egregiously conspicuous that even a Fox News legal analyst can see it and felt compelled to react. When this sort of blowback comes from the network that Trump regards as his own media division, it can’t be long before the damn breaks and others on Fox, along with Republicans who can no longer pretend that Trump isn’t an un-American charlatan, conclude that it’s time to put country before party – or before the naked emperor routine that Trump is trying to pull off.

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

UPDATE: Here’s video of Napolitano’s remarks. It is really worth watching.

UPDATE II: And naturally, Big Baby Trump lashed out at Napolitano in a pair of tweets that also slammed Shepard Smith, while praising Trump-fluffer Alan Dershowitz’s utterly imbecilic argument that there can be no obstruction of justice without a conviction of an underlying crime. No reputable lawyer believes that.

Poor Fox News is Pathetically Bragging About a Few Days of Beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Fox News was once the dominant news network on cable TV. It was so far ahead of its competition that it seemed unthinkable that it could be challenged. That’s mainly because they corralled all of the Deplorable right-wingers into one barnyard pen, while the rest of the television news was dispersed across many other channels. But it was still a marketing angle they could use as a cudgel against their competitors.

Fox News, Rachel Maddow

In recent years that domination has has dissipated substantially. And particularly in the past few months, MSNBC has caught up, and quite often surpassed Fox news in the ratings. Rachel Maddow’s program has been crushing Sean Hannity, her direct time period competitor, on a nearly nightly basis ever since the midterm elections last November.

In what seems to be a reaction to the surging performance of MSNBC, Donald Trump took measures to prop up Fox News which acts as his personal, state TV mouthpiece for propaganda. He’s has fervently promoted his fave hosts including Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro. He even did so on Thursday night at his latest cult rally in Michigan. It’s often hard to tell whether Trump thinks he’s working for the American people or for Fox’s PR department.

Fox News has also started to boast about their ratings. They featured a story on their website’s home page that celebrated what they called “Maddow’s Deep Dive.” What makes this extraordinary is that this isn’t the sort of thing that any network does. When was the last time anyone has seen CBS or CNN make a story about their ratings a news item? That’s generally reserved for the TV trade press. But even more embarrassing for Fox is that they have to do this at all. They are effectively conceding that they have been the big losers of late and now are proud that they’ve had a few days where they aren’t in the ratings cellar. It’s an admission that they are underperforming MSNBC and it is therefore cause for joy that they came out on top for a while.

It should be noted that this “success” for Fox News is occurring just after the release of a four page letter by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. The letter purports to be a summary of the 400+ page report by special counsel Robert Mueller. But it is a gross misrepresentation of that document by all accounts. And that includes the account of Fox’s senior legal analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who says that there is evidence of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the full report. So it’s natural for Maddow’s viewers to take a break from what can be considered a slow news cycle, while Fox’s viewers pile in to get their pro-Trump fantasies gassed up.

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

Whether or not this constitutes a trend in the ratings, or is a temporary blip remains to be seen. But the fact that Fox News was compelled to throw a party simply because they edged out Maddow – who rose from nowhere to become a giant killer – just proves that Fox is worried and has to brag about briefly beating a show that they used to ignore as unworthy of their attention. Maddow and MSNBC are clearly making Fox so nervous that they can’t even hide it. That’s great news for MSNBC.

Fox News Senior Legal Analyst: Adam Schiff is Correct on Evidence of Trump Conspiracy and Obstruction

The Republicans in Congress have been going absolutely batty over what they regard is the total exoneration of Donald Trump by the Mueller Report – which none of them have seen a single page of. They are even escalating their attacks on Trump’s Democratic critics to include absurd demands for apologies and the resignation of House Intelligence Committee Chair, Adam Schiff. Trump even weighed in on that matter in a typically reckless, dishonest, and hostile tweet.

Donald Trump, Robert Mueller

So you have to wonder how Trump and his MAGA Martinets will respond when they hear that the senior legal analyst at fox News agrees with Rep. Schiff. In a conversation with host Neil Cavuto (video below), Andrew Napolitano presented the bare legal facts that demonstrate Trump’s complicity in conspiratorial endeavors with Russia and efforts to cover them up. Napolitano noted that special counsel Robert Mueller “must have found some evidence of a conspiracy,” and that “there obviously is evidence of obstruction of justice.” He elaborated on those points during the interview:

“I think that Congressman Schiff is correct. In that report will be evidence of the existence of a conspiracy. Not enough evidence to prove the existence beyond a reasonable doubt. In that report will be evidence of obstruction of justice, interfering with an FBI investigation for a personal gain. But not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

That just happens to be precisely the case that Schiff has been making for months. He told CNN that:

“There was a big difference between whether there was evidence of collusion – and I think that evidence is in plain sight – and whether you can establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a criminal conspiracy.”

So all the hoopla by the right and the devoted cult followers of Trump is, as usual, just the yammering of ignorant partisans who are more interested in feeding their fantasies than in accepting reality. And the reality is that there is abundant evidence of criminality by Trump and his associates. Whether a prosecutor could obtain a conviction by the standards that apply in a courtroom is irrelevant to the discussion of whether the President’s activities were immoral, unethical, or proof of his unfitness for office.

The key point here is whether there is sufficient cause to proceed with efforts to release the Mueller Report in full and complete the investigation into Trump and Russia’s documented interference with the 2016 presidential election. Some of Schiff’s colleagues in Congress expressed their rage that anyone would continue to doubt that the President was vindicated. But Schiff masterfully put them in their place with an emotional and fact-filled response to their personal disparagement of him. “You may think it’s OK,” Schiff said, “how Trump and his associates interacted with Russians during the campaign. I don’t.”

And the America people don’t think it’s OK either. Which is why Schiff and the Democrats in Congress need to continue their efforts to bring light to the nefarious affairs of Trump et al, by demanding the release of the full Mueller Report and issuing subpoenas, if necessary, for Mueller and Attorney General Barr. The nation deserves to know, as another unscrupulous president once said, whether or not their president is a crook. Because if we don’t stop him now, he’ll just do it again (which he probably already is).

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

UH-OH: Michael Cohen Paints ‘Grave Picture’ for Trump, Says Fox News Sr. Judicial Analyst

The testimony in the House Oversight Committee by Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen on Wednesday provided both fireworks and yawns. Much of what was discussed was already known, but was given more weight by the dramatic nature of a congressional hearing. The fireworks were mainly due to Republican efforts to malign Cohen while obediently defending the President and deflecting from any potentially bad news.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

However, there were some revelatory moments that could expose Trump to some legal jeopardy if they are confirmed by other evidence or testimony. The risks for Trump were so apparent that even the senior judicial analyst on Fox News noticed. Andrew Napolitano was interviewed by Neil Cavuto after Cohen’s hearing (video below). His observations were decidedly unlike those that might be expected on Trump’s favorite propaganda network. He began by addressing the coordinated strategy of the committee’s Republicans to portray Cohen as an incorrigible liar. “If he’s that kind of a monster, Mr. President,” Napolitano asked, “why did you keep him around for ten years?”?

That’s a good question. He might also have pointed out that if lying was such an unforgivable sin, then how can the GOP continue to excuse Trump, whose documented record of lying has exceeded more than 8,000 falsehoods since he took office. But it was Napolitano’s legal analysis that really put Trump’s troubled future into perspective. He offered a brief synopsis of the legal peril that the President may soon find himself in. The upshot, according to Napolitano, is that in Cohen’s testimony “there’s at least four potential felonies” that Trump faces. Napolitano said that:

[Cohen] paints a potentially grave picture for the president. If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true, then the President lied under oath. Because the President swore to the accuracy of his answers to the written question from [special counsel] Bob Mueller, one of which was ‘Did you speak to Roger Stone about Julian Assange?’ Answer: ‘No’

“If what Michael Cohen says is true about the President meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June of 2016, then he lied under oath, because he told Bob Mueller he didn’t know about it.

“The payments by Donald Trump, signed while he was president, to Michael Cohen, showing a debt to Michael Cohen. The President swore in his financial statements filed with the Department of the Treasury, he didn’t have any debts with Michael Cohen. And two months after he swore to the accuracy of that he starts writing checks of $35,000 a month to Michael Cohen. That extends the conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission of accurate campaign information into the President’s presidency.”?

If this were an analysis by a Democrat or a liberal pundit it wouldn’t be especially notable. But for the senior judicial analyst at Fox News to be pointing out these legal problems for Trump is rare and, from Trump’s perspective, worrisome. Not that Trump isn’t already worried. His incessant tweeting about “Witch Hunts” and his childish insults aimed at his critics is the obvious behavior of someone consumed by fear. In remarks Trump made about Cohen’s testimony from Hanoi, he reinforced that image of a cornered rat:

“He lied a lot, but it was very interesting, because he didn’t lie about one thing: He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.”?

Actually, Cohen never said that there was no collusion. He only said that he had no direct evidence of it, but that he had his suspicions. So Trump is still desperately trying to distort reality to fit his twisted version of it wherein he can be free of the frightening consequences of his unlawful acts. And if his precariousness legal status is so apparent to a Fox News analyst, then he truly does have something worry about.

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.

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Napolitano, Calls McCabe Firing ‘Obstruction of Justice’

The President of the United States is trying his best to help his accusers make a case against him. Donald Trump’s relentless tweeting demonstrates what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.” On Monday morning he posted a message that said nothing more than “A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!” These hollow cries for absolution do nothing to exonerate him, but rather they portray him as pathetic and desperate.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

Now Trump is even losing some his most reliable defenders. While most of Fox News continues to place themselves as human shields to deflect any criticisms, a couple of stragglers have wondered off the track. One of those is Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News. He appeared on two Fox broadcasts Monday making remarks that will surely infuriate Trump, if his daycare nurses allow him to see it. The most damning commentary came during an interview with perplexed host Bill Hemmer. They were discussing the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe when Napolitano said this (video below):

“Andrew McCabe is more likely than not to be a witness against the Attorney General’s boss, the President of the United States. I think that firing him in that environment could very well be interpreted as an effort to diminish his effectiveness as a witness. What’s that called? Obstruction of justice.”

Indeed. And obstruction is one of the key facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Elsewhere on State TV (aka Fox News) Trump’s sycophants have been fiercely insisting that Trump is innocent of every allegation against him, and that Mueller is a corrupt partisan who is part of the conspiracy to drive Trump from office. So this assessment by Fox’s top legal contributor is a significant departure from their propaganda doctrine.

Also, on the Fox Business Network, Maria Bartiromo assembled a panel of Trump fluffers to defend the firing of McCabe, whom they slandered as a liar. Bartiromo’s introduction falsely stated that McCabe was found to have lied by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). In fact, since the report has not been made public yet, all that is known is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that McCabe “lacked candor.” There is a reason that Sessions used those weasel words rather than asserting as fact that McCabe had lied. Most likely the OPR’s report didn’t find McCabe to be untruthful. And When Napolitano got a chance to speak he pulled the rug out from under Bartiromo and her pro-Trump panel:

“I have to tell you though, terminating someone a day before their pension kicks in – after twenty-on years of service, the number two person in the FBI – strikes me as spiteful and politically reckless. And it’s reckless because this person, McCabe is about to testify against Jeff Sessions’ boss, the President of the United States. Why would you fire him in this environment?”

To which Bartiromo replied:

“Don’t you think that people started getting upset when they heard that he was set to get a million dollars in his pension … because of some of the broad outcry from the public saying ‘Why is he, after what he just did…'”

“Broad outcry?” What “public” is she referring to? I doubt most Americans – even Fox News viewers – were aware of or upset about anything relating to McCabe’s pension. She is desperately grasping at imaginary straws. And neither Bartiromo nor her panel had any response to Napolitano’s characterization of McCabe’s firing as spiteful and reckless.

The fact that Napolitano is making the rounds at Fox to reinforce the absurdity and vindictiveness of Sessions and Trump should cause the President’s tiny heart to tremor. But he will likely only pay attention to his loyal supporters at Fox and Friends and his pal Sean Hannity. He did, in fact, tweet a promo for Hannity’s guest spot on Fox and Friends Monday morning calling it “great” before it even aired. Somehow he knew what to expect. And his obviously guilty behavior suggests that he also knows what to expect from Mueller, McCabe, James Comey, Michael Flynn, etc., when the special counsel investigation is complete.

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

SRSLY? Trump’s Defense For His Mountain Of Bullsh*t Is That He Heard It On TV

Donald Trump made a lot of boastful promises during his campaign. He assured his supporters that he was smartest, richest, bestest at whatever particular pursuit was the topic at the moment. He knew more about ISIS than the generals. His were the best words. And the person he consulted most on national security was himself. But the only thing he has actually excelled in is racking up records for lies and embarrassing misstatements.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Thursday a Time Magazine interview with Trump offered an explanation for his endless stream of gaffes. However, his attempt at clearing up his trail of lies was littered with even more lies. Most notably, his first stab at redemption was to deny that he lied at all. “Name what’s wrong! I mean, honestly,” he said. Then he launched into a litany of past pronouncements which he defended as evidence of his unquestionable veracity. They included having predicted Brexit (he didn’t), allegations of voter fraud (that never happened), criticisms of NATO (about which he was wrong), refugee violence in Sweden (that was made up), and assertions that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11 (which he must have hallucinated).

Topping the list was his most recent display of cow droppings – that President Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower. After baselessly tweeting that his predecessor was guilty of a felony, Trump tried to pass it off as hearsay:

“I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.”

First of all, Bret Baier not only did not back up Trump’s reckless charges, he affirmatively denied them. “The Fox News division was never able to back up those claims,” said Baier. And Napolitano’s comments were so outrageously false that they earned him an indefinite suspension from Fox News. That’s why Trump doesn’t “know where he has gone with it since then.”

But the most troubling part of Trump’s execrable excuse was that he was just “quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.” This is the President of the United States admitting that his sources were TV pundits and commentators. Never mind that he has the world’s most extensive network of intelligence agencies at his disposal. He doesn’t rely on national security professionals or diplomats or academics or legal experts. No, not the bestest president ever. He relies on TV’s talking heads.

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

What’s more, it cannot be forgotten that Trump relentlessly bashes the media as “fake news.” They are, he said, the enemy of the American people.” So it’s unlikely that the respected networks to which he’s referring include CNN or NBC. In fact, the only network that he has offered any praise is Fox News. And, as anyone in journalism will tell you, they are not especially well respected. So it doesn’t provide much comfort that our lying president gets his misinformation from lying networks who get their misinformation from their overactive, right-wing imaginations.

BLACKOUT: This is How Fox News Intentionally Keeps Its Viewers Stupid

There have been innumerable examples of Fox News airing false reports in an effort to misinform their viewers. A recent example just within the past week alleged that President Obama recruited British spies to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump’s campaign. Fox’s senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitian, made the claim without any supporting evidence. The network’s news division later refuted the report and put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. But that was after the story had been disseminated worldwide, creating an international incident. Even Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) cited the fake news during a White House press briefing.

Go Fox Yourself

However, another way of shaping an ignorant electorate is to refrain from covering important events. The choice of what not to cover is just as significant as what to cover. And on Tuesday Fox News demonstrated their determination to deny their audience information that is unarguably newsworthy.

The House Intelligence Committee’s hearings on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election were broadcast live by most news networks. Testimony by FBI Director James Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was investigating Trump and his associates. The proceedings were unusually compelling for a congressional hearing. And the proof of that came when Fox News decided to cease coverage of the hearings to host a panel of right-wing talking heads instead.

Fox was the only network that interrupted the live broadcast. And by doing so they deprived their viewers of first hand knowledge of what was happening at the hearings. What’s worse is that they replaced the hearings with conservative pundits providing a blatantly biased analysis. It was a deliberate programming strategy designed to advance the messaging of an embattled White House.

Unfortunately for Fox News, it may not have worked this time. Ratings for the cable news networks show that when Fox cut away from the hearings they lost about 29 percent of their audience. That’s a massive shift by viewers who were obviously disappointed by Fox’s programming decision. What’s more, viewers were plainly following the hearings to other channels. The ratings for CNN and MSNBC both spiked after Fox cut away.

This tells us that the American people are acutely interested in this matter. They want to know more about the potentially treasonous activities of their president. By suppressing that information Fox succeeded only in alienating their audience and further eroding their credibility. Plus, they probably don’t want to send their viewers off to competing networks.

The Trump administration has brought newfound prosperity to liberal programming. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has toppled Fox from its perch atop the ratings hill. She has won her time period for the past two weeks straight. Saturday Night Live, despite Trump’s insulting tweets (or because of them) has seen its best ratings in years. Stephen Colbert’s Late Show is now leading his late night talk show competition.

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

All of this suggests that Americans are hungry for honest reporting. They are tired of Fox’s propaganda and the phony “balance” sought by CNN and other conventional news outlets. They want the press to be skeptical when appropriate and aggressive when necessary. They know there’s something amiss in the Trump White House and they don’t want it papered over. And they are not going to sit still when a network like Fox decides that they don’t need to know what’s really going on. Fox News needs to adjust a new viewer mantra: We have remotes, and we’re prepared to use them.

Serial Liar Bill O’Reilly Of Fox News Advises Trump To Stop Lying – No Really!

In the latest episode of Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” (video below), the Fox News host tackled a serious issue. Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election was the subject. However, O’Reilly’s focus, like most Republicans, was more on White House leakers than on Donald Trump’s allegedly treasonous behavior.

Bill O'Reilly Fox News

O’Reilly began by whitewashing Trump’s association with unsavory figures like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. Stone is a long-time associate of Trump’s and Manafort was his campaign chairman. Both have disturbing connections to the unfolding Russian intrigue. But according to O’Reilly, they were merely incidentally associated with Trump. In fact, O’Reilly parroted Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) who also downplayed those relationships.

The Trump messaging machine is trying furiously to distance him from potential criminal acts. O’Reilly’s mission was to dismiss the whole affair, saying he would “be surprised if anything comes of this Russia investigation.” Even so, he cited it as a reason for Trump’s reckless accusation that President Obama wiretapped him. That weasley excuse is an indication of how desperate they are for absolution. But it also leads O’Reilly to provide an ironic bit of counsel:

“In the future, the President would be wise to embrace only facts in his pronouncements.”

That’s a deceptively significant statement. First of all, it presupposes that this president doesn’t already embrace only facts. Of course, most clear minded observers are well aware that Trump is a pathological liar. But for a close personal friend like O’Reilly to concede that point is itself newsworthy. You have to wonder what other pronouncements of Trump’s O’Reilly believes are not factual. He certainly has never made a point of criticizing Trump’s honesty before this.

What’s more, having to advise a president to stop lying in the future ought to be a milestone of embarrassment. However, O’Reilly takes it in stride as if it were routine. That might be because O’Reilly himself has been a fount of lies for much of his career. For someone who calls his program a “No Spin Zone” he does more turns than a meth-addled ballerina. His show is a daily parade of dishonesty and misinformation. On a personal level he has “embellished” his resume as a war correspondent with provably false tales of heroism. And PolitiFact’s file on O’Reilly shows that 53 percent of his comments have been rated as “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.”

With regard to the congressional hearings on Russia, O’Reilly managed to lie in the introduction of his first guest. In a summary of the hearings he said that FBI Director James Comey “couldn’t confirm an investigation” of Trump’s connections to Russia. But that is exactly what Comey did confirm at the outset of his testimony. Additionally, O’Reilly never mentioned that it was his colleague, Andrew Napolitano, who provided Trump with the phony allegations that Obama employed British spies to surveil The Donald. On Monday Fox News reportedly put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. That also went unmentioned.

O’Reilly exhibited little interest in the Russia story. He was far more concerned with finding and punishing leakers. That’s like having your neighbor tell you there’s a dead body in your backyard, but then only questioning him about how he found out. O’Reilly went even further to say that “These leakers, they gotta be arrested. And we’re gonna deal with whether the press should be arrested too.” So it’s not enough that O’Reilly is a lying, flunky for Trump and his Russian pals. He’s also intent on imprisoning journalists and abolishing the First Amendment.

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