Math-Challenged Fox News Shills Callously Dismiss 100,000 American Deaths

At this point no one is surprised by Donald Trump’s heartless indifference to the tragic loss of nearly 100,000 Americans (so far), not to mention the 1.7 million who have been sickened, some with permanent disabilities. He refuses to acknowledge his direct responsibility for the pain and suffering that has resulted from his negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance. And he continually proves that all he cares about is himself.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, it would a grievous mistake to allow Trump’s loathsome inhumanity to become normalized just because of its frequency. But that’s precisely what Trump hopes will occur. And despite his recent vicious attacks of late, his mouthpieces at State TV (aka Fox News) are stepping up their campaign to achieve that goal.

On Tuesday’s episode of Trump’s favorite morning lie-fest, Fox and Friends, co host Brian Kilmeade took a valiant stab at flagrant Trump-fluffing during a segment discussing the death toll of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Naturally, Kilmeade and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were determined to downplay the catastrophic human consequences of Trump’s ineptitude. When addressing the magnitude of the pandemic’s destruction, Kilmeade launched into his propaganda spiel (video below):

“We definitely noticed the seriousness when almost 100,000 Americans die, but what I took from Dr. Siegel’s math was 0.3%, not even 3%, 0.3% — we’ve shut down an entire country for 0.3% of those who get it, lose their lives.”

It’s bad enough when Trump and his media sycophants purposefully lie to spread their disinformation, but these remarks are pitifully stupid. Let’s begin with the fact that 100,000 deaths is actually about 6% of the total population of infected persons in the United States (1,700,000). So Kilmeade is only off by 2,000%.

What’s more, Kilmeade’s argument is that, because the death toll is so low (according to his fractured math), the nation shouldn’t be subject to restrictions intended to impede the spread of the coronavirus. He is even suggesting that there should never have been such restrictions in the first place since the risks were so minimal. We’ll set aside for now that Fox News regards 100,000 deaths as trivial. Apparently none of the deceased were members of their families. But he actually believes that the mortality rate would be the same even if there were no restrictions at all from the start.

More to the point, Kilmeade is missing entirely the fact that the death toll is “only” 100,000 precisely because there were tough restrictions on risky behaviors, implemented by state governors in spite of Trump’s opposition. Had that not been the case there would have been many thousands of more fatalities. A recent study by Columbia University found that if the mitigation efforts (social distancing, face masks, etc.) were in place even one week earlier, it would have saved 36,000 lives.

The pressure being applied by Trump and Fox News to “reopen” the economy is, by all accounts, premature and dangerous. Every public health expert, including those on Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, are warning that a second wave of infections – and subsequent deaths – is almost certain. That’s particularly true if Trump’s call to stand down is followed by everything from businesses to churches to schools to his own upcoming Republican National Convention (that’s having its own problems getting off the ground).

Consequently, any further loss of life will be directly attributable to the Fox News Ministry of Disinformation that is lying to the American people. And Fox will share that dubious “honor” with Trump and the Republican confederacy that continues to enable what he himself called “American Carnage.”

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

Science FICTION: Now Fox News Says Coronavirus ‘Was Not and Is Not a Pandemic’

The United States is suffering through the slow torture of a painful unprecedented calamity. But enough about Donald Trump. The American people are enduring a hardship of mammoth proportions that is threatening both their health and economic welfare. It’s a challenge that requires a shared resolve to stare clear-eyed into the abyss of a frightful future.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

For the most part, Americans have been meeting this challenge with courage and a determination to prevail over the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Victory demands facing their troubles honestly and not being afraid to recognize difficult truths. It’s too bad that these efforts are made all the more difficult by the ignorant and dangerous misinformation that is disseminated by Trump and Fox News.

On Monday morning, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends interviewed former Reagan Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, a Fox contributor. His profoundly idiotic remarks made it hard to connect him with any office where education was involved. Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Bennett to comment on the 22,000+ deaths so far. This is what Bennett – and Fox News – are still shoving down America’s throat (video below):

Bennett: Now they say 60,000 people will die. 61,000 is what we lost to the flu in 2017 and 2018. The flu […] If you look at those numbers and see the comparable, we’re gonna have fewer fatalities from this than from the flu.

“For this we scared the hell out of the American people. We lost 17 million jobs. We put a major dent in the economy. We closed down the schools. You heard Dr. Oz say we didn’t have to do that. We shut down the churches and so on. You know, this was not and is not a pandemic. But we do have panic and pandemonium as a result of the hype of this.”

Kilmeade: Well, it is labeled a pandemic.

The measure of mendacity in those comments is hard to quantify. Let’s start with Bennett’s trivialization of the deaths attributed to COVID-19. His comparison of the coronavirus to the flu is absurd. The 61,000 deaths from the flu occurred over the course of a year. And he chose a particularly bad year. The 2018-2019 season saw half that many flu deaths. The 60,000 estimated deaths from the coronavirus would be over a few months. Also, the fatality rate for the coronavirus is much higher.

What’s more, the lowered projections are only because many states implemented their own “Stay at Home” orders and other precautionary guidelines that Trump foolishly neglected. Those guidelines must remain in effect if we are to avoid much higher rates of fatalities. But Bennett is advocating dropping those guidelines, which would result in a second wave that could be even worse than the first.

Bennett’s assertion that COVID-19 “was not and is not a pandemic” is beyond stupid. It’s a wholly dishonest attempt to deceive people that could end up costing many more lives. Kilmeade’s weak interjection that the virus is “labeled” a pandemic is hardly sufficient to correct the record. It is not “labeled” a pandemic. It IS a pandemic. That would be like saying that Hurricane Katrina was merely labeled a hurricane.

It would be bad enough if this interview took place in early February when Trump and the rest of his right-wing enablers were still saying that it was “totally under control,” with only five victims and it was “going down to zero” in a couple of days. But airing this now, after half a million Americans were infected and 22,000 died, tells us that Fox News still isn’t through misinforming the public about the risks of this pandemic. And if Fox News isn’t through, then neither is Trump.

Indeed, Trump is currently forming plans to “reopen” the country by May 1, a date that no health expert has endorsed. But then, his only considerations are for his bank account and his reelection prospects.

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

Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Visits Fox News to Launch Lie-Riddled Attack on Joe Biden

In recent days Trump and his surrogates in the White House and the media have been frantically trying to rewrite history. They are attempting to persuade people that Trump wasn’t negligently incompetent as COVID-19 was spreading, and that he always took it seriously. Never mind all the video of him belittling the threat as a minor problem that was a Democratic hoax and that it would soon disappear.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

Now Trump is saying that his handling of the coronavirus pandemic was “perfect” and that if “only” 100,000 to 200,000 Americans die he should be considered a hero. This is the same guy who said Barack Obama should resign when a single American doctor returned to the U.S. from Ebola-stricken West Africa.

Trump’s hypocrisy and dishonesty is nothing new. And it is abundantly evident in another “interview” on Fox News of Senior White House adviser, Kellyanne Conway (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Conway about Joe Biden’s suggestion that Trump should call President Obama for help. Conway spun that into an uninterrupted three minute rant attacking Biden and Obama, and lavishing undue praise for Trump’s objectively tragic handling of the coronavirus crisis. Conway began by unloading some of her trademark snarky animus:

“The President was asked that question. I think it’s really disappointing to have President Obama’s number two – who apparently doesn’t talk much to him – out there criticizing instead of saying “Hey, here’s what we did that we thought was effective.” Why doesn’t Vice-President Biden call the White House and offer some support? He’s in his bunker in Wilmington.”

First of all, Conway is correct when she said that Trump was asked that question. But she left out that Trump’s response was to arrogantly dismiss the notion that he should call Obama. “I don’t think I’m going to learn much,” know-it-all Trump said. “And, you know, I guess you could say that there’s probably a natural inclination not to call.” Secondly, Biden has already provided a detailed plan of what he would do were he charged with these responsibilities. And he warned of the potential harm of a pandemic – and Trump’s unfitness to respond – as far back as January 29, in a USA Today op-ed. Conway’s disingenuous suggestion that Obama or Biden call Trump makes even less sense when you factor in Trump’s personal animus toward them. In a recent tweet Trump wrote that “The Obama/Biden Administration is the most corrupt Administration in the history of our Country!”

After Conway’s flagrantly political diatribe, she added that Trump & Co. “aren’t talking politics at all” and that Trump’s critics seem “small” and “shrill.” And as if that wasn’t politically belligerent enough, she elaborated:

“I would ask Vice-President Biden why he can’t call and lend a hand. And isn’t it a time – doesn’t he think that he would actually do better by calling here and trying to help. But really, what would he say? What would he have to say? Our President’s made clear that we inherited a bad and broken system. And that’s true. The testing ecosystem and the surge of supplies that we’ve been able to do in short time is impressive.”

So not only did Conway ignore Trump’s open hostilities, she even shot down her own argument by saying that Biden would have nothing to say if he did call. Conway also reiterated the well-debunked lie that Trump “inherited a bad and broken system.” That’s the painfully lame excuse Trump has been using to absolve himself of guilt for having screwed up so badly and cost so many lives. The truth is that the Obama administration left Trump with a fully operational pandemic plan, and they briefed the incoming Trump team on it in detail. But Trump ignored those warnings and later eliminated the pandemic response team at the National Security Agency.

This is the quality – or lack thereof – of the Trump regime’s justifications for mishandling the COVID-19 crisis. And it’s emblematic of Trump’s dangerously egocentric refusal to concede that Obama, or Biden, or anyone other than himself, might have something to contribute to mitigating the disastrous consequences of his ignorance. He continues to reinforce the impression that all he cares about is himself, and that he believes that he alone can conquer any problem. That sort of malignant narcissism is what what got us into this trouble, and, if Trump is unimpeded, it’s only going to make things worse.

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

UH-OH: Trump’s Favorite Fox News Shills Admit He Extorted Ukraine to Smear Joe Biden

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is entering its second week with his Fox News Legal Team continuing to present a defense that is wholly composed of deflections and lies. And they are sticking with that game plan despite the bombshell revelations from former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, that Trump did indeed threaten to withhold critical military aid from Ukraine in order to coerce them into helping Trump smear Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Bolton’s account of events is soon to be published in his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” These incriminating disclosures are now frustrating efforts by Senate Republicans to dispense of the impeachment trial quickly. It is becoming much more likely that a sufficient number of Republicans will seek further testimony from witnesses, including Bolton. That could open the floodgates to additional witnesses and document production.

Furthermore, the media is appropriately curious as to what Bolton might have to contribute to the pool of evidence against Trump. And that’s not just what Trump refers to as the “fake news.” Even Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, is struggling to deal with these new reports. On Monday morning co-host Steve Doocy addressed the revelations in Bolton’s book (video below) noting that…

“Apparently it says Bolton was told ‘Trump wanted to continue freezing money to Ukraine until they helped with probes of the Bidens.’ But we heard him say in the transcripts he wanted President Zelensky to look into the Bidens and what happened in 2016. So is this a big, big, big story?”

That’s actually a good point, coming from someone who’s not known for making them. We did hear Trump say that he wanted Zelensky to look into the Bidens. Not only in the so-called “transcripts” that Trump keeps imploring people to read, but also in his own words during an episode of “Chopper Talk” wherein he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine and replied that…

“I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.”

It appears that Trump’s staunchest media bootlickers are now conceding that he cannot be defended with blanket denials that he did anything wrong. They can no longer say that it was “a perfect phone call.” They must accept the fact that Trump engaged in overt extortion, but then try to argue that it wasn’t illegal or impeachable.

That’s the argument that Trump-fluffer and Fox contributor Dan Bongino made for most of this segment. Co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected that Trump’s legal team needs to include in their scenario that Trump “was wanting an investigation into what happened with the Bidens in 2016” But in order to do that, Trump would have to repudiate everything he has asserted thus far in his defense. Kilmeade also closed the segment with a bizarre new bit of advice:

“I will say this. I will say the President should take from this, between the Lev [Parnas] and Igor [Fruman] tapes that are now out, and then people writing books about him, he’s got to do better a job vetting his staff to find out if they actually want to work for him or not. Or if they actually want to leak out information about him. So he’s got to do a better job hiring people.”

Really? So the lesson that Kilmeade is conveying to Trump is not that he should take care to comply with the law and refrain from engaging in treasonous acts. It’s that he should be more careful to associate only with those whose blind loyalty can be relied upon to become willing accomplices to his crimes. Good to know that Fox News has Trump’s interests at heart, even when they are contrary to those of the nation.

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

After Years of Backing Trump’s Denials, Fox News Asks If America is ‘Ready for Russia’ in 2020

New reporting has confirmed that “Russian hackers targeted the Ukrainian gas company [Burisma] that’s a major focus of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.” The significance of this cannot be overstated. Recall that candidate Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails before the 2016 election. And now we learn that Russia has hacked the company connected to his extortion of Ukraine to probe the Bidens prior to the 2020 election. This isn’t suspicious at all, is it?

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Throughout the campaign and into his presidency, Trump sought to defend Russia from charges that it was involved in the hacking of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He tried to shift blame to everyone form China to “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Trump even took the word of Vladimir Putin over that of the United States intelligence community that unanimously agreed that Russia was behind the hacking and the release of the stolen data. Asked point blank if he thought Russia was involved, Trump replied “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Naturally, Fox News has been taking Trump’s side in this mission to absolve Russia of any guilt and to deceive the American people. They backed up Trump’s denials at every turn and embraced his absurd call for a partnership with Russia on cyber-security matters. And they continue to do so to this day. On Tuesday morning’s episode of Outnumbered on Fox News, co-host Dagen McDowell rehashed the debunked theory that there were other perpetrators in the hacking, saying that “It’s Russia over here, but what about everything else that’s going on, whether it’s compromising our election or compromising our data security?” That led to this exchange (video below):

Harris Faulkner: I just hope we’re ready for the next election.
Jessica Tarlov: Well, it doesn’t sound like we are.
Brian Kilmeade: I think we are.
Tarlov: Really? But there are election security bills sitting on [Mitch] McConnell’s desk that he won’t touch.
Kilmeade: I do believe we’re ready. And I believe the Russians are gonna learn that we’re going to blink the lights on that country should they try it. I think that’s the best offense. The best defense is a great offense.
Tarlov: Can you call McConnell and tell him to pass some of those election security bills?
Kilmeade: It’s already done.

Kilmeade’s confidence in America’s readiness is peculiar considering that virtually nothing has been done an a national scale to secure our election systems. His assertion that Russia would be punished for any bad behavior has no factual basis, especially since Trump has let them off the hook for their prior transgressions. In fact, Trump still seems to be inviting foreign governments to interfere in our elections, as we’ve seen with Ukraine.

If a great offense is the best defense, then the U.S. is in big trouble. We have no offense whatsoever. And our captain has not said a single word about the new report of Russians hacking Burisma. Finally, Kilmeade’s off-hand response to a request to prod McConnell into action that “It’s already done,” doesn’t even make sense. What’s been done, by whom? Certainly McConnell isn’t going forward with any election security measures.

Let’s face it, Trump doesn’t want anything to be done about election security or Russia’s interference in our elections. Even if he isn’t colluding with Russia, he knows that their efforts benefit him and wants them to continue. That’s what special counsel Robert Mueller was referring to when he said that Trump had welcomed and encouraged Russia in the 2016 election.

It looks very much like the same thing is happening now. And it could have the same effect if nothing is done about it. Congress needs to act quickly and decisively to insure that our democracy isn’t subverted again. The American people need to let Congress know that we expect nothing less from them. And the media must not allow itself to be used again by foreign adversaries to disseminate their propaganda and choose our next president.

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

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Begin War Mongering Before Soleimani’s Body is Cold

On the second day of the new year Donald Trump launched a new conflict in the Middle East, this time with the region’s largest military, Iran. Contrary to his frequent promises to withdraw the United States from the Middle East, Trump’s assault is likely to result in another prolonged war that will be costly in both lives and dollars.

Donald Trump

No American will mourn the demise of General Qasem Soleimani. He was the leading purveyor of Iran’s international terrorism and was responsible for hundreds fatalities among both Americans and civilians in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. But the mission to assassinate Iran’s second highest military leader in Iraq was nevertheless a provocative act that could lead to further unnecessary tragedies for the U.S. and the region.

This is particularly apparent since Trump has no coherent strategy, policy, or end game. He failed to consult members of Congress as the law requires and, therefore, had no legal authorization for the attack. And in a flurry of syrupy, worshipful retweets, Trump included one by disgraced pundit Dinesh D’Souza that shamefully implied that had Trump told Congress they would have told Iran. To date, the only one who has disclosed state secrets to hostile foreign nations is Trump when he speaks to Putin.

In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that he discussed this attack with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in advance. So Trump informed Russia, but not Congress. It’s also notable that, by targeting an individual, as opposed to military assets, Trump possibly violated international laws against assassination.

Trump’s initial justification for the attack is that it was executed in order to prevent imminent future attacks on Americans. However, he provided no evidence of any such threat. It sounds very much like the false assertions of the Bush administration alleging nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Also familiar is the statement by Pompeo, who baselessly claimed that “We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.” That recalls Dick Cheney’s preposterous assertion that “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators [in Iraq].”

Immediately following Trump’s attack, Fox News predictably leaped to his defense with a vigor that can only be described as gleeful. Although he was on vacation, Sean Hannity called into his own program to insist that Iran had “put American lives in jeopardy and the president very quickly acted,” and that it was “a huge victory and total leadership by the president.” But Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends was representative of the Fox position when he rebutted Geraldo Rivera’s criticism of the attack by gloating that “I will cheer this on. I am elated.”

Make no mistake. This is the host of a popular Fox News program expressing his elation about a potential war that would result in untold casualties of Americans for a purpose that no one in the Trump administration has been able to define.

If you’re looking for a plausible reason for why Trump would take this action at this time, look no further than the news that broke earlier the same day. The release of newly unredacted emails from Trump’s national security personnel that state unequivocally that Trump knew his withholding of military aid to Ukraine was illegal. The discovery of this provides additional urgency for the Senate to agree to call witnesses and to introduce documents when it takes up Trump’s impeachment.

Trump knows this, and it escalates his fear that impeachment could result in his removal from office. So in order to deflect from the growing political peril he is enduring, Trump appears to have taken the course of action that he once falsely accused President Obama of considering: Start a war with Iran:

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

In Fox News Meltdown, Trump Press Secretary Comes Out as ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Kook

As the walls are crumbling all around him, Donald Trump is frantically trying to reinforce the White House bunker that is rapidly becoming his prison. His rants are becoming more incoherent. His tweets are getting more bizarre. And he is generally slumping into a haze of paranoia and victimhood.

Donald Trump, Deep State

Naturally, the Trump Bootlickers Brigade is marching obediently behind Dear Leader as he concocts ever more absurd tales of clandestine conspirators determined to destroy him. The latest soldier in this Battle of the Half-Wits is White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham. Her job title is a bit misleading since she has never held a press conference since assuming the position. But she does regularly submit herself to the brutal interrogations of Fox News Trump-fluffers.

On Thursday morning Grisham held court on Fox News to address a couple of critical matters of national security (video below). They began with a probing inquiry into Trump calling Republicans who occasionally dare to disagree with him human scum.” that’s a bold position to take against some of the GOP senators, and their colleagues, who will eventually sit in judgment of him at his impeachment. But it does reflect Trump’s shallow thought processes that ignore the fact that these are the same people who are supporting 95 percent of his agenda. So Grisham faced this issue head on in the following exchange with Fox’s Brian Kilmeade:

Kilmeade: The President yesterday called the “Never Trumpers” scum. Does he regret that?
Grisham: No. No he shouldn’t. The people who are against him and have been against him and have been working against him since the day they took office are just that. It is horrible that people are working against a president who is delivering results for this country.

So in Trump World, anyone who has different opinions than the “Stable Genius” are not merely political opponents, they are scum. Even if they are members of the President’s own Republican Nationalist Party. That’s because in aspiring totalitarian regimes like his, dissent is not tolerated in any form. Moving on, Kilmeade asked Grisham if the Intelligence Community that Trump has bitterly and falsely maligned for years, is “paying him back” saying that “It looks like the ‘Deep State’ has turned on the President.” Taking the bait in that loaded question, Grisham replied that…

Grisham: [Trump] has made no secret since the day he took office that this has been a “witch hunt” against him and there some really terrible people in the “Deep State” working against him and working against this country. This is dangerous for the country. […] The President has people working actively against him in his own government. And I just want to talk to the people of this country and let them know that that’s dangerous for them.

What we have here is the official spokesperson for the President of the United States telling a national television audience of glassy-eyed Deplorables that Trump believes that the government he is responsible for leading is harboring a cabal of subversives who are plotting to undermine him. It’s a de facto declaration of war against his own subordinates, most of whom are non-political career professionals. And Grisham is employing the familiar “Deep State” rhetoric of Fox’s primetime propagandists and the Internet’s conspiracy crackpot underground.

In the light of these ludicrous delusions, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends went on to grill Grisham about Wednesday’s “Storming of the Impeachment Inquiry,” wherein Republican members of the House sought to illegally gain access to private hearings and breach national security while they were at it. In her response to this criminal and childish behavior, Grisham gushed that “I’m glad they did it. Again, the Democrats have been doing everything behind closed doors and in secret.”

Setting aside her dismissal of the flagrant lawbreaking, Grisham is completely wrong in her assessment of the hearings. The hearings are actually attended by members of both parties, who have equal rights to access the evidence and question witnesses. In fact, on the very same episode of this program, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, schooled the Foxies on the matter:

“I read the House rules. And as frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind close doors – the hearings over which Congressman Schiff is presiding – they are consistent with the rules. And when were the rules written last? In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner. And who enacted them? A Republican majority.”

Napolitano also pointed out that the current hearings are analogous to a grand jury that is never done in public. The public stage comes after a vote on Articles of Impeachment and a trial is held in the Senate. The Republican Bitch Mob, as well as Trump and his press secretary, is purposefully lying about these matters of process that the Democrats are executing properly and lawfully.

The abject fear that is radiating from the White House is staggering. Trump is a severely paranoid individual who is utterly incapable of dealing with his psychoses. The nation has never had a chief executive who suspected his own intelligence agencies of plotting against him. And now it’s clear that other senior officials in his administration are taking up the mantle of his madness. Which makes impeachment all the more imperative. Because if neglected it is clear that this will not end well for America.

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

UNBELIEVABLE: Is Trump Kidding About Syria Like He Was About China and Biden?

If there is one thing that Donald Trump has demonstrated that he excels at, it’s betraying his friends, associates, and even his family, when it suits his purpose. Anyone doing business with him, personal or otherwise, knows that he is likely to turn on them with bitter aggression should they fail to show sufficient adoration and unqualified loyalty. In short, he simply cannot be trusted.

Donald Trump

On Monday Trump provided a horrifying example of his shameless disloyalty. He announced that he will be abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in Syria after they bravely sacrificed their lives on our behalf in the war against ISIS. It’s a decision so impulsive and reckless that it immediately drew rebukes from some of Trump’s staunchest supporters, including Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Liz Cheney, even Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. Even Fox News was torn apart (video below) as Brian Kilmeade argued with his Fox and Friends co-hosts about Trump’s abhorrent betrayal.

Trump’s stated reasoning for throwing our friends under the tank mainly rests on wanting to end a protracted fight on foreign land and handing off that responsibility to Turkey and Europe. It’s a shockingly shallow analysis that completely ignores the security and national interests of the United States. But Trump still foolishly regards himself as a “stable genius” and only heeds his own “great and unmatched wisdom.”

However, Trump’s actual reasons are more likely to involve issues he hasn’t mentioned. For one, there is his personal financial affairs in Turkey. And then there is his affection for and allegiance to authoritarian dictators like Erdogan. And of course he may just be attempting to divert attention from the breaking news related to his impending impeachment. That includes the revelation that there are now multiple new whistleblowers lining up to tell the truth about him. And there was a court ruling that requires him to produce eight years of his tax returns.

Another major problem with Trump’s announcement on abandoning the Kurds is that there is very little reason to believe him. He is a notoriously pathological liar (more than 12,000 lies documented) who often contradicts himself in the space of a single sentence. What’s more, even his supporters are lately excusing his most ridiculous comments as “jokes.” That was the case when he appeared before a media scrum and asked Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden. That is literally the crime that is fueling Congress’ impeachment inquiry.

So it didn’t take long for suck-ups like Rubio, Rep. Jim jordan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and a frantic flurry of Fox Newsers to insist that it was just a joke. But if that was just a joke, despite being said without a hint of a smile and reiterating similar prior statements, then which of Trump’s comments are we supposed to take seriously? It seems that every time he says something that is offensive, dangerous, contrary to U.S. policy, or just objectively stupid, he or his defenders say he was only kidding. Here are a few examples:

Consequently, the American people have no reason to believe Trump when he says he will withdraw from Syria. But even worse, Syria, Turkey, the Kurds, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Europe likewise have no reason to believe him. After all, he may just be kidding. His word is about as trustworthy as a snake oil salesman or a Trump press secretary (but I repeat myself). And while it is troubling that Trump makes absurd and dangerous decisions like this one about Syria, it is equally troubling that he can’t be believed about this or anything else.

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

John Bolton Texts Fox News Live to Say He Resigned, Contradicting Another Trump Lie

The administration of Donald Trump continues to be a hot mess. Having already achieved a record number of departures of White House top staff, Trump has just parted ways with his fourth National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Sources say that Trump and Bolton argued about the President’s foiled scheme to bring the Taliban to Camp David.

Donald Trump, John Bolton

The break up with Bolton leaves Trump’s national security team littered with “acting” heads, including National Security Advisor, Homeland Security Secretary, Director of National Intelligence, and Chief of Staff. These are all critical posts that have a particular significance during these times of international turmoil. Trump is awkwardly juggling relations with Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Russia, and many more foreign hot spots that threaten American interests. But the nation under Trump’s “leadership” lacks competent management in the jobs that oversee those crucial areas of statecraft.

Trump announced Bolton’s dismissal in his usual way – via Twitter saying “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation.” It isn’t surprising that Trump and Bolton disagreed. That was apparent even before Bolton was hired, and anyone paying attention knew it. But Trump’s staffing decisions are based on the shallowest criteria, such as how they look on Fox News.

Not surprisingly, Bolton had a different view of how his separation came about. Contrary to Trump’s claim that he asked Bolton to resign, Bolton says – also via Twitter – that he made the offer first. And just to drive the point home, Bolton live-tweeted Fox News where his pal and former colleague, Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends, read the tweet on the air:

So Bolton, a former Fox News contributor, hasn’t been unemployed for an hour and he’s already angling for his old job at back at Fox. But the more important question going forward is which Trump-fluffing Fox News shill will Trump name as the next National Security Advisor? There are several prospects in the the Fox family who would meet Trump’s low standards for work in his White House: 1) Be willing to lie unflinchingly for Trump; and … well, that’s pretty much it.

One candidate could be Walid Phares, a longtime right-wing pundit and advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Phares distinguished himself as an Islamophobe and a crackpot conspiracy theorist with claims that tied President Obama and Hillary Clinton to the Muslim Brotherhood. Another candidate could be retired Gen. Jack Keane who makes frequent appearances on Fox defending Trump blindly for whatever the atrocity of the day happens to be.

However, a more likely candidate would be this favorite of Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who was a presenter on the recently shuttered NRA-TV before becoming a full-fledged Fox contributor who sometimes fills in for Hannity. Bongino has already caught Trump’s eye with a book that makes wild assertions about the “Deep State” spying on Trump. The President has tweeted about or retweeted Bongino 84 times. Typically they are just factless tributes to Trump’s imaginary awesomeness and virginal innocence, such as…

So we can expect the next National Security Advisor to be a worshipful member of the Trump cult. And he will join a team of hacks who have never been confirmed by the Senate because, according to Trump, “I like ‘acting’ because I can move so quickly.” In other words, he likes “acting” because he can just pull sycophantic, unqualified names out of his arse without having to get the constitutionally mandated consensus of the Senate. And sadly, in these troubled times that’s what America has to suffer though with our wannabe dictator in the White House.

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

Trump-Fluffing on Fox News: Hosts Promote Bed-Buggy Doral Resort for the 2020 G7

In his closing remarks at the G7 summit in France, Donald Trump managed to deliver an infomercial for his Doral Miami Golf Resort to host the next G7 summit in 2020. It was a painfully self-serving spectacle that is also a likely violation of the Constitution. At the very least it’s a predictably Trumpy exhibit of greed and an utter lack of ethics.

Fox News Friends

Not surprisingly, Fox News weighed in on the idea the following morning. On Fox and Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes did a segment (video below) agreeing with Trump that Doral would be the perfect place for the summit. Even though there are thousands of hotels and conference centers across America that would be ideal for such an event. It’s just a weird coincidence that the site owned by Trump happens to be the best place of all. Who would have thought?

The segment began with Steve Doocy introducing Trump’s sales pitch from France. And it was all downhill from there. Brian Kilmeade jumped in to insist that there was no favoritism involved because Trump “would want to do it there anyway. It’s just the perfect site … Trump Tower is not available.” Then Doocy acknowledged the potential legal problems, but also provided an excuse:

“Critics say the use of his property for official business violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. I’m sure the president has asked the lawyers, ‘Hey, how can I donate this, how can we possibly work around it?”

The Emoluments Clause prohibits the President from accepting money, or anything of value, from foreign governments or persons. So if the representatives of the G7 had to actually pay Trump in order to attend the next summit, that’s a pretty obvious violation. Even if the site was donated, the publicity would have to be considered something of enormous value and, therefore, illegal. What’s more, Doocy is playing clairvoyant by surmising with certainty that Trump would have consulted his lawyers. You know, geniuses like Rudy Giuliani. But based on his past, that actually seems like the last thing Trump would do.

Ainsley Earhardt also contributed to the unpaid advertisement by remarking that “It would be a beautiful place, though, for world leaders to go and see what our country looks like.” Because all of America looks exactly like an elite golf spa in Miami? She then declared that Doral was “representative” of the country, before adding that “I’ve never been to Doral.” So in other words, she’s an expert, by Fox News standards.

None of the Fox friends bothered to mention that Doral had a serious problem with bed bugs a couple of years ago. But Trump couldn’t resist bringing it up:

Trump’s denials are in keeping with his tendency to lie about virtually anything. Even though – as in this case – he settled a lawsuit against the resort for the infestation. Trump and the Foxies also neglected to mention that Doral has been suffering a severe financial drought. It’s net operating income has dropped 69 percent in two years. So that would make Trump’s promotion of it even more suspicious as an attempt rescue another one of his floundering business enterprises.

It’s bad enough that Fox News is a 24/7, State TV, propaganda machine for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. But is there nothing too unethical for this so-called “news” network to do on behalf of their Dear Leader? They have already appeared at Trump’s political cult rallies. And they can be relied upon to defend any atrocity that Trump commits, while viciously maligning his critics. Now they are even serving as the sales agents for his failing golf resort. It would be oddly comforting if this were the bottom of the Fox News/Trump abyss. But every time it seems we’re there, they find a way dig even deeper.

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