Scared Bro? Trump is Featuring Rachel Maddow in His Phony ‘Media Accountability’ Come-Ons

Throughout his public life – and especially while president – Donald Trump has demonstrated what an awful poker player he would be. He has what pros call a “a tell” that gives away what cards he’s holding. And for the most part, Trump is holding a hand that is panic full of fear. He displays that on a nearly daily (hourly?) basis with his insipid “Witch Hunt” tweets and his frantic attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow

Of course, Trump is also squarely focused on the media that he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” His frightened reaction to every new disclosure of wrongdoing by him or his crime family is obvious to anyone paying the least bit of attention. And the more he attacks CNN or the New York Times or whatever reporter happens to ask him the probing question of the day, the more he reveals what’s scaring him the most at that moment.

So what’s clearly scaring Trump now is MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” reelection committee just posted an ad Facebook that asks his dimwitted cult followers to take a survey, and Rachel Maddow is featured in the ad’s graphic, although not in the video to which it links. She’s the bait for this campaign that implores his fans to “Take the Survey.”

The alleged “survey,” however, is an old marketing trick aimed at getting respondents to sign up and divulge personal information, including their email addresses. These are later used to beg for donations and organize political events. The results of the fake survey are never published, and if they were they wouldn’t have any real value due to the smarmy tactics used to lure respondents. Like everything else Trump does, it is hardly scientific.

So what’s the news that has triggered Trump’s assault on Maddow, someone he rarely even mentions? Right now Maddow is perhaps the most insightful and effective commentator on Trump’s exploding legal problems. She is dissecting them in a coherent and relatable manner. But is that enough to set him off. After all, he has never tweeted about her since becoming president. Although he did retweet his son Eric once, nearly a year ago. And that retweet contains a clue:

Trump is very concerned about his friend, and “shadow” chief of staff, Sean Hannity. Lately Maddow has been beating the pants off of Hannity. She has dominated him in the ratings ever since the election last month. So far in December she has beaten him every single day in both total viewers and the all-important advertising demo of 25-54 year olds. So it looks like Trump is rushing in to rescue the floundering Hannity. Or maybe someone at Fox News reached out for this aid.

Let’s not forget that the former president of Fox News, Bill Shine (who was fired for mishandling the sexual misconduct of Fox CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly) is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Or that Shine was Hannity’s producer before being bumped up to the executive suites. So it isn’t particularly surprising that Maddow would suddenly appear as the face of the “Mainstream Media … out to bring down [his] Administration.” In reality, he’s doing that pretty much on his own. Maddow is merely providing a factual chronicle of the criminal path that Trump chose for himself. But consistent with his warped character flaws, he’s determined to blame it on someone – anyone – else.

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

Fox News Host Pushes Trump-Fluffing Fox Contributor for the President’s Chief of Staff

The State TV propagandists at Fox News are starting the week out with some profoundly self-serving commentaries. On a segment of Donald Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, the hosts went out of their way to advance the White House careers of a couple of their colleagues. This is further evidence of the tightly integrated relationship between Fox and this Reality TV administration. And coming so soon after Trump nominated former Fox News reader Heather Nauert to be the ambassador to the United Nations, it’s particularly troubling.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Beginning the segment (video below), co host Steve Doocy set out to make the case for Trump firing his current Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Doocy said that “It’s no secret that John Kelly and the President were not on the same page.” So Kelly is just becoming another reject from the Trump fold (see Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Reince Priebus, etc.) who was previously touted as “the best.” Doocy went on to explain why Republican Nationalist Party congressman (and wingnut Freedom Caucus leader), Mark Meadows, “would be a smart pick.” But that wasn’t smart enough for co-host Brian Kilmeade, who immediately jumped in to suggest someone else:

“I think David Bossie, not on that list, would be perfect. I think he understands politics, understands the President, he understands investigations because he was on the offensive side against Hillary Clinton with great success. He also understands how the President got to be president because he was there from day one.”

For the record, Bossie is a political activist who was responsible for the Citizens United case wherein the Supreme Court allowed unlimited donations to political candidates without disclosure. He also produced several ultra-conservative films, including one that viciously slandered Hillary Clinton. He was a deputy campaign manager for Trump’s Russia-infested 2016 election operation. And most recently he co-authored “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency,” with Corey Lewandowski. So obviously he’d make a great gatekeeper for a president mired in scandal and criminality. And just imagine how effective he would be working with the Democrats who now control the House of Representatives.

And if that weren’t enough, a Fox News reporter, Kevin Corke, later did a segment during a “news” cast wherein he floated another former Foxie for the chief of staff post:

“Our old colleague, White House Communications Director and former Fox News co-president, Bill Shine, could be a name to keep in mind.”

Prior to his former job as president of Fox News, Shine was the producer of Sean Hannity’s show. The same Hannity who is now reported to have nightly phone calls with Trump, and who campaigned with him during the midterm election. He is virulently anti-Democratic, which makes him suitable for a job in the Trump administration, but wholly unfit to be supported by American taxpayers as their employee in the Oval Office.

The spectacle of Fox News urging their bought-and-paid-for president to hire one of their own should make every American cringe. The bonds between Fox News and Trump (who himself once did a weekly “Mondays with Trump” segment on Fox and Friends) are outside the boundaries of ethical government or media. There has never been such a relationship in this country’s history, and it should not be tolerated now.

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

Trump’s Pick of Fox News Alum Heather Nauert for the UN is More Proof that He’s Anti-American

It seems that every time Donald Trump does something, he reminds the country – and the world – that he is incurably idiotic, self-absorbed, and uninterested in the welfare of America or its citizens. How else could he nominate Heather Nauert, formerly of Fox News, to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations?

Fox News, Heather Nauert

Just a little over a year ago Nauert was reading news headlines on Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. She has a degree in journalism which may have been an overqualification for her job at Fox News, but it is decidedly under-qualifying for the UN post. She has zero credentials in any diplomatic field. She hasn’t studied foreign policy, government administration, or international history. She has never held any position in diplomacy or where she would learn about the diplomatic processes of the UN.

And yet, Trump is putting her in position to negotiate with career professionals from around the world. To illustrate just how serious a hole this puts our country in, note that Russia’s UN Ambassador has thirty years of experience in the diplomatic corps, five of which were at the UN. But now she’s supposed to be able to play in the big leagues with foreign adversaries who are far superior at their jobs? That’s like making Steve Doocy Secretary of Defense. Or like making Donald Trump president of the United States.

If Nauert had any sense of duty or patriotism she would decline the nomination. She should know that her inexperience would disadvantage the U.S. in a body that is full of people who are more capable. A patriot would insist that the U.S. be represented by someone with comparable skills, knowledge, and experience. By taking the position she is willfully damaging the welfare of America’s status in the world.

But ultimately, it’s Donald Trump who is responsible for this travesty. He couldn’t care less about the prospects for the nation achieving its diplomatic goals. All he wants is a sycophant who will praise him and obey his directives. And if she’s a young blonde who used to brighten the lives of Fox’s geriatric male viewers, so much the better.

It should not be dismissed that Nauert is taking exactly the same path to her high level government job that Trump did. He was also a talking head on Fox News prior to running for president. He had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends called Mondays with Trump. And they aren’t the only two former Foxies in the White House. She joins National Security Advisor John Bolton, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and worst of all, Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine. Shine was fired as Fox News president for having covered up the sexual misconduct of CEO Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. So he’s a natural for Trump’s inner circle.

So Nauert is joining a team that is historically ill-equipped to perform the jobs they’ve been given. Her association with former Fox News colleagues (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, etc.) only makes things worse. They are now acting as Trump’s “Shadow Cabinet,” giving him media support and advice on policy. It’s a sick joke of an administration that is mirroring Trump’s own experience as a reality TV game show host. And it’s not in America’s interest. If Trump had any sense of duty or patriotism, he would resign.

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

State TV (aka Fox News) Literally Scripts and Rehearses Interviews with Trump Associates

Okay, okay. Everybody already knows that Fox News is a fake network that was created only to promote conservative politicians and policies. And more recently it has become the wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump’s White House. There is a revolving door between the network and the presidency, with personnel being shared by both and with a common purpose to advance the interests and propaganda of Trump. We know.

Donald Trump Fox News

Nevertheless, new revelations that shock and disgust continue to come forward. The latest is a scoop by the Daily Beast who acquired some damning emails between Trump’s disgraced former Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, and producers for Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. The Daily Beast reveals that:

“In past interviews with President Trump’s favorite cable-news show, the then-EPA chief’s team chose the topics for interviews, and knew the questions in advance.

“In one instance, according to emails revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Sierra Club and reviewed by The Daily Beast, Pruitt’s team even approved part of the show’s script. […]

“In multiple interviews on Fox & Friends, Pruitt was essentially allowed to dictate the terms for the interview and avoid any difficult questions.”

The Daily Beast posts copies of the emails that explicitly reveal how Fox News bent over backwards for Trump’s surrogates. Even to the point of asking them to approve the setups used to introduce them. This, of course, is in addition to the regular Trump-fluffing that occurs on Fox News throughout the day. The network is, after all, tightly integrated with Trump’s White House. Trump’s former Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, is the current Fox News executive vice-president and chief communications officer. And Trump’s current Deputy Chief of Staff is the former president of Fox News and Hannity producer, Bill Shine, who was fired for covering up sexual misconduct by Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. And it was recently discovered that Shine is still on the Fox payroll, so he’s being paid by both the White House (i.e. taxpayers) and Fox News simultaneously.

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

The Daily Beast contacted Fox about the Pruitt matter and they issued a vague statement saying that “This is not standard practice whatsoever and the matter is being addressed internally with those involved.” So you can rest assured that the proper disciplinary measures will be taken. After all, when Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities were caught campaigning for Trump and other Republicans, they were slapped on the wrist and told to stop. And then Hannity and Jeanine Pirro showed up at a recent Trump cult rally anyway. This is business as usual for Fox News and it isn’t going to change.

American Pravda: Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bill Shine, is Still on the Fox News Payroll

The bonds between Donald Trump and Fox News have been unmistakable from well before he even announced his candidacy for president. He had a regular weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And as he transitioned from a reality TV host to an elected “leader,” Fox News grew even closer to him, performing the duties of a devoted propaganda outlet. Trump himself has inadvertently admitted that Fox is essentially an in-house media organ.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Those already close ties have just been revealed to be even tighter than previously thought. The Trump administration is full of former Foxies, including top White House aides like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Under Secretary of State, Heather Nauert. But no one is more representative of this media/politics marriage than Bill Shine, Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was previously the president of Fox News, a position he rose to after serving as Sean Hannity’s producer.

Now it has been revealed that Shine is actually being paid simultaneously by taxpayers and Fox News. The Hollywood Reporter got ahold of Shine’s financial disclosure forms which are required for White House service. In addition to their already having been amended several times, they contain this troubling information:

“Bill Shine received an $8.4 million severance package upon leaving his post as co-president of Fox News […] Shine, who officially began working in the White House on July 5, will also receive a bonus and options of about $3.5 million from 21st Century Fox both this year and next year.”

This is an unprecedented breach of the principle of independent media. To say that Fox News is “State TV” actually understates the gravity of this perverse relationship. Shine cannot be regarded as serving the public interest in his White House position if he’s still working for Fox News, the network that has become an extension of Trump’s PR machine. When Fox News defends Trump, or criticizes his opponents, it is impossible to separate that from the agenda of the White House. Even worse, Fox’s on-air shills actively promote Trump politically and give him (horrible) advice on presidential decisions.

It should not be permissible for a White House employee to be on the payroll of any other enterprise, especially one in the media. It presents an unambiguous conflict of interest. But that’s where Trump and Shine are right now.

The article in the Hollywood Reporter provides additional details about this arrangement. But what the article doesn’t say is that the reason Shine was terminated from Fox was that he covered up the sexual harassment and abuse of Fox bigwigs like CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. That factoid makes it even more clear what binds Trump and Shine. In addition to their political affinities, they are both misogynistic perverts. It’s a marriage made in Hell, but the couple is honeymooning in the White House and the American people are paying for it – in more ways than one.

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

Donald Trump Issues a Flagrantly Authoritarian Decree for ‘Governing the Conduct of Journalists’

The transformation of the United States presidency into the sort of dictatorship presided over by the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un has taken a frightening leap forward. Donald Trump’s manifestly autocratic tendencies are rapidly being implemented by his administration with the willing complicity of the Republican Nationalist Party and right-wing media like Fox News.

Donald Trump, Censorship

Earlier this month Trump was so rattled by the questions of CNN’s Jim Acosta that he took the unprecedented step of banning Acosta from further press conferences. That overtly unconstitutional boot-stomping of the free press was quickly repudiated by most of the press corps, including the executive class at Fox News. Although most of the on-air Trump-fluffers at Fox continued to lambaste Acosta and his audacity for exercising freedom of the press. CNN took the White House to court and a judge appointed by Trump ordered the restoration of Acosta’s press pass.

Subsequently, the White House has now drafted a set of rules of behavior that they are imposing on the journalists covering the President. It’s an egregious breach of the American principles that have long been held by a nation that reveres the role that journalism plays in sustaining democracy. But it fits nicely into the oppressive schemes of the Trump regime. Here are the salient portions of what Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff (and former president of Fox News), Bill shine, and Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have cooked up for those disobedient reporters who refuse to kowtow to Dear Leader:

“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference. But, given your insistence that shared practices be replaced by ‘explicit…standards,’ this letter attempts to convert into rules the widely understood practices described in our prior letter.

  1. (1) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;
  2. (2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;
  3. (3) “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.
  4. (4) Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

“We are mindful that a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One.”

“The White House’s interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to a natural give-and-take. President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment, and interacts with the press in just such a way. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events.”

It is abundantly clear that the White House intends to bully reporters so that they can force them into submission. Trump is obviously scared of having an open dialog wherein reporters can ask tough questions and challenge him when he evades answering or outright lies – as he is known to do. So he is acting out with the weakness of his character to suppress the media. And it is worth noting that there are no rules for Trump or his supplicants. He can still call reporters “stupid,” “racist,” “fake,” “enemies,” etc. He can still abuse them and threaten them and interrupt them and ultimately silence them. When he claims to want “decorum” in the White House it couldn’t be more hysterically hypocritical.

These artificial and unnecessary mandates are intended to intimidate reporters who now must consider whether merely being assertive might result in their getting banished. They will have to think twice about challenging Trump for fear of violating these ludicrous rules that no White House in history has ever required. And Trump will not hesitate to cite these strictures to cast out any journalists that upset him or are less than obedient when he orders them to sit down and shut up.

The letter says that “Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment.” That is, perhaps, the biggest lie of all. Believing in the First Amendment is not demonstrated by calling the media “the enemy of the people” and recklessly labeling any news you don’t like as “fake news.” And it certainly isn’t demonstrated by imposing strict and insulting behavioral rules on what is supposed to be a free press. But this is how Trump’s belief system works. If you aren’t sufficiently adoring of him, then anything you have to say can be suppressed and your ability to question the President – a servant of the people, not a king – can be revoked. Hopefully the remaining members of the free press will refuse to observe this atrocity and demand that Trump submit to the constitutional principles he swore an oath to defend.

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

Make California Rake Again: Trump’s Fire Propaganda Video Callously Ignores the Victims

On Saturday Donald Trump took a trip to California to see for himself the devastation caused by the fires that have taken dozens of lives and destroyed thousands of homes. It was a purely PR affair that he thinks will make people forget his insensitive threat – while people were still suffering – that he would make “no more Fed payments” to the state. Those were his first public comments on the conflagration that he absurdly blamed on poor forest management.

Donald Trump Rake

Apparently someone on his White House Nanny Brigade eventually convinced him that insulting the victims was a bad idea. Particularly since his assessment was so idiotic and ill-informed. He was schooled by everyone, from the head of the California firefighters union (who called Trump’s comments “demeaning”), to prominent scientists, that forest management had nothing to with this blaze and that “raking the forest floor,” as Trump advised, was a ludicrous proposal to prevent future tragedies.

So Trump boarded Air Force One and ventured off to the West Coast that he is so fond of disparaging. He brought along a few Republican Nationalist Party pals, but no Democrats were among the delegation. Although he did meet with California’s Governor Jerry Brown, and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (who was married to Don Jr’s current girlfriend), both of whom are Democrats that Trump has frequently and viciously maligned. And afterward he posted a video on Twitter of his time in the Golden State:

Well, isn’t that a pretty propaganda piece? Complete with emotional music and heart-tugging scenes of destruction and the charred remains of people’s lives. What less would you expect from the White House whose new Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is Bill Shine, the former president of Fox News? This is exactly the sort of Trump-fluffing disinformation that Shine was brought aboard to manufacture. The public relations purpose of this video is painfully obvious. Along with the burnt out buildings and countryside, it featured numerous clips of Trump standing near some piles of ashes and conferring with firefighters as if he were actually directing these “great heroes” on how to proceed.

However, there is something fairly important that this video has left out. There is not a single shot of any of the victims or survivors of the fire. There are no images of Trump consoling the people who were hurt or meeting with those who lost their life’s possessions, work, or family. The absence of Trump engaging in activities that any other normal person would regard as essential – or human – under the circumstances is emblematic of his profoundly callous and neglectful behavior throughout his public life. And it underscores his comments to date that belittle the victims and distort the reality of the tragedy and its causes.

In his own words, this experience in no way altered Trump’s stubbornly twisted view of the world. He told reporters that it didn’t affect his opinion about climate change, which experts agree was a critical factor in these fires. But he did utter this rhetorical mutation: “I want great climate,” as if it were something that could be served up like a cup of coffee or built in a factory. And he reiterated his nonsense about forest management, comparing California’s situation to Finland, a tiny frozen nation that gets more than 200 days of rain annually, with sixty-four of those days in the summer. Even Finland disputed Trump’s comparison.

That’s the sort of ignorance that America has to put up with every day. But on days when Americans are grieving over painful losses it would be nice if we had a president who wasn’t so selfish and uneducated and bullheaded about his factless prejudices. Instead we are stuck with Trump and his Fox News production team making these lame videos for an audience of dimwits who think they display leadership.

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

CNN Files Lawsuit Against Trump & Co. for Violation of the First Amendment

Last week Donald Trump’s administration was especially hostile to the press that they despise so fiercely. Trump addressed a post-election press conference and proceeded to insult several (mostly African-American women) journalists. As News Corpse noted at the time: “It was a disgraceful display of infantile tantrum throwing by our crybaby president who is too weak to face a group of reporters without breaking down into insults and bullying.”

Donald Trump, CNN

Shortly after that press conference, the White House announced that they were suspending the credentials of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. They fabricated a story alleging that he “placed his hands” on an intern as she tried to grab the microphone away from him. However, the video of the event proved unambiguously that the White House was lying, as usual. But that didn’t stop them from distributing a “doctored” version of the video that they got from the disreputable conspiracy crackpots at Infowars.

On Tuesday morning CNN announced that they are suing Trump and his band of totalitarian oppressors of free speech. The suit explicitly cites the constitutional breach of the First Amendment’s rights to freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process. CNN’s statement reads:

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The lawsuit names several members of the administration who are complicit in the violation. They include Trump, his chief of staff John Kelly, his deputy chief of staff for communications (and former Fox News president) Bill Shine, and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s a confederacy of Republican Nationalists bent on subverting democracy and squelching free speech.

It would be surprising if this suit made it to court. Crybaby Trump will likely chicken out and restore Acosta’s credentials before that happens. But the damage is already done as this unlawful White House demonstrates that they couldn’t care less about America’s constitutional principles.

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

Fortunately, the next Congress plans to do something about that. Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has told reporters that he intends to hold hearings on Trump’s reckless assaults on the press which go way beyond mere name calling as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” It includes his use of the Justice Department to punish media organizations he doesn’t like. And because elections have consequences, he isn’t going to get away with it for much longer.

HUH? White House Will ‘Look Into’ Why State TV (Fox News) Stopped Airing Trump’s Rallies Live

Trump delivered another tedious and repetitive stump speech at one of his, now frequent, cult rallies Wednesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was a showcase for all of his “greatest hits” featuring “Build the Wall,” “Lock Her Up,” “Witch Hunt,” and many more. However, there was difference with this revival meeting that sets it apart from most of those in the past.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Politico reports that the Trump Broadcasting Network’s State TV (aka Fox News), declined to air the event live and uninterrupted as they usually do. Fox News has been a devoted servant of this administration when it comes to disseminating propaganda via their airwaves. They even promote on air with chyrons that read “Trump Rally Live & Only on Fox News, Other Networks Ignore Presidential Rally.” But it’s possible that Trump’s floundering popularity and financial concerns may be influencing their programming going forward. Politico notes that:

“As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.”

That’s right. Trump is losing fans on the network that has been his official fan club for more than two years. This cannot be good news for the President, especially since he is increasing the number of these affairs specifically to boost the campaign prospects of Republican candidates in the cities where he is performing.

Consequently, Trump is compensating for this reduced coverage by calling into Fox News programs by phone. In the past three days he’s done that three times, ringing up his buddies Jeanine Pirro, Shannon Bream, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. But this is not likely to satisfy the White House. They have grown accustomed to the fawning attention they get from Fox News and expect it to continue. And they aren’t sitting around waiting for Fox to correct the situation. According to Politico:

“One senior White House official was unsure why the network would decide to cut away from presidential rallies, saying officials planned ‘to look into that’ and wouldn’t be surprised if White House communications director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, was in touch with former colleagues about the trend.”

Let that sink in. The White House believes that they have some sort of right to free airtime on Fox News, and if they aren’t getting it they will take action to set the network straight. Notice that they aren’t talking about looking into CNN or MSNBC. They are focusing on their wholly owned platform for media exposure and dispatching Bill Shine to address this outrageous policy shift. Shine is the former president of Fox News and Trump’s current deputy chief of staff for communications. And if you think that this isn’t explicitly about having an impact on the upcoming midterm election, just take it from the mouth of a GOP campaign operative who worries about the loss of Trump’s TV time because:

“‘It exposes us to a national audience that we normally don’t get to,’ a Senate Republican campaign staffer said of the coverage of Trump rallies. ‘We tend to see lots of new sign-ups and small-dollar donations. There’s obviously folks streaming [rallies] online, but being able to be onstage with the president in front of a prime-time audience is huge for a campaign trying to reach conservatives across the country who will open up their wallets.'”

Among the other observations made by Politico are that Trump’s rallies are drawing fewer viewers. “His events at times popped for more than 4 million viewers on Fox News,” a source said. Which is “a number he hasn’t come close to in 2018.” What’s more, “network officials’ fear was that too much repetition would lead to lower ratings,” and that Fox News could lose millions of dollars in ad revenue because they “can’t take commercial breaks while Trump is speaking.”

Perhaps the decision to cut back on live rally airings led to Trump making a blatant promotional pitch for Fox in order to get more airtime via flattery. He gave a shout out on Wednesday to Foxies who he praised for maligning Democrats as “the Dimms,” saying:

“The great Lou Dobbs, he says that, right? Sean Hannity says that. ‘The Dimms.’ Judge Jeanine says that, doesn’t she? Laura [Ingraham]. Laura. How good has Laura been, right? Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker.”

Actually, only Lou Dobbs says that, but getting the facts straight has never been of much concern to Trump. All he wants is to have his face in front of the Deplorables who are glued to Fox News all day and night. He wants to make sure his perverse and incoherent message is being injected into the already acutely ill-informed brains of Fox’s loyal audience. And if Fox News thinks they can get away with reducing his airtime, they better be prepared for more of this:

Yeah, that’ll happen. More likely Fox will cave in to Trump’s tantrum and resume their live broadcasts. They can make up the lost revenue with the tax cuts Trump will promise them. And their hosts who get preempted by the rallies will all get “exclusive” interviews. That’s how State TV works. Trump is learning well from his friends in Russia and North Korea.

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

The Trump/Fox News Revolving Door Spins Again as Hope Hicks Takes PR Post at State TV

For the past two years there has been an unprecedented embrace between a media organization and the presidency. Donald Trump’s close association with Fox News began well before his election in 2016, when he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And throughout his occupation of the White House that relationship has only grown stronger.

Hope Hicks

On Monday morning it was announced that Trump’s former communications director, and official Trump Whisperer, Hope Hicks, was appointed the executive vice-president and chief communications officer for the new Fox, the remnants of the conglomerate that weren’t sold off to Disney earlier this year. It includes Fox News and Fox Business, two cable “news” networks that are conspicuously friendly to Trump and the Republican Party.

Hicks role at Fox won’t be especially different from her role at the White House. She will continue to promote Trump and the agenda of the ultra-rightist GOP along with her new colleagues at Fox. Those new colleagues include former Trump staffers Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, and Sean Spicer. However, they are all on-air contributors, while Hicks will be a top executive. And her appointment comes just as Fox News and the President are gearing up for the presidential election in 2020.

Of course, revolving doors spin all the way around. And it isn’t coincidental that many Fox Newsers have made the switch to the Trump White House. They include National Security advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. Even Fox’s former president, Bill Shine, is now working for Trump as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. In a less official capacity are Trump’s “Shadow Cabinet” consisting of Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. So the marriage of Fox News and the Trump administration is now sealed and consecrated before Rupert Murdoch.

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

Just prior to her resignation from the White House, Hicks testified before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. She admitted to telling “white lies” for Trump. In her new position her ability to lie will be unfettered by even the lax standards imposed by Trump’s White House. So going forward we can expect a new rainbow of lies that are consistent with the total absence of standards at Fox News.