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.

Fox News is Already Trash-Talking Mueller’s Upcoming Congressional Testimony

When you are Donald Trump’s State TV media mouthpiece, why should you wait three weeks until one of the most potentially consequential congressional hearings of all time? That must be the thinking in the editorial suites of Fox News as they prepare to malign and belittle Robert Mueller, who will be testifying before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17.

Fox News, Robert Mueller

On Wednesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends brought up the subject of Mueller’s upcoming testimony. They were clearly worried about what he might say and how the public might respond to a complete airing of the conclusions of the special counsel’s investigation. That may be because objective analyses of the report agree that it is a virtual criminal indictment of Trump and his associates.

The report states unequivocally that there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that was intended to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. It states that Trump could have been indicted, but for a controversial Justice Department memo that recommends against the indictment of a sitting president. And it enumerates at least ten instances of obstruction of justice committed by Trump.

Much of these conclusions were lost in the media cacophony that erupted when the report was released. And most the cacophony was orchestrated by Fox News and Trump’s dishonest and tedious repetition his “no collusion, no obstruction” mantra.

So when Mueller testifies next month it will be the first time that the American people will hear the special counsel explain the often ambiguous passages in his report. He will surely be asked whether he would have indicted Trump were it not for the DOJ memo. He will be asked if he was referring to impeachment when he said that the Constitution provided ways to hold the President accountable other than through the criminal justice system. He will be asked to make a distinction between not having sufficient evidence to indict and not having any evidence. And he will be asked about the spurious charges that he and his team were conflicted, and claims that the investigation was biased from the start.

It will interesting and informative for most Americans to hear the answers to these and other questions. But not for the Trump-fluffers at Fox News. They would prefer to sweep Trump’s crimes under the carpet. And with that goal in mind, they have already begun a campaign to denigrate the hearings and slander Mueller (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade came out swinging wildly on Wednesday saying that…

“I don’t think he knows the details of the report. He is like the King of England on this. He assigns the people. They’re gonna say ‘Why are most of them Democratically affiliated? Aren’t you concerned about the perception if you hire people like that to do this job? Do you understand why some feel there was an agenda in there?'”

Really? First of all, there is no King of England. But more to the point. Kilmeade’s assertion that Mueller was ignorant of the details of his own report is ludicrous. And Kilmeade failed to back up that nonsense with anything resembling logic or reason. In fact, he immediately veered off into a rant about the makeup of the special counsel’s team. And even that was a lie. Mueller himself is a lifelong Republican who was appointed by a Republican (Rod Rosenstein), who was appointed by Trump.

This is just another example of Fox News shilling for the President they worship like a cult leader. They are laying the groundwork to dismiss whatever truths come out of the hearings. Because there is nothing more dangerous to Trump’s Republican Nationalist Agenda than the truth. So be prepared for more of this unhinged hostility between now and July hearings. And expect Trump to join in with his own deflections and lies. In fact, Trump has three weeks to contrive some national “emergency” to completely torpedo the hearings or otherwise diminish their effectiveness in informing the American people. This is how aspiring dictators behave. And Fox News is fulfilling its role as Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda.

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) Whines that US Media Isn’t Doing Enough Trump Fluffing

For the past week Donald Trump has been reaffirming his role as America’s Ambassador of International Embarrassment. On this brief junket he has managed to insult the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle), feud with the Mayor of London, call for a boycott of an American company in order to punish CNN (an unconstitutional, impeachable offense), Breach diplomatic protocol by attacking Joe Biden from foreign soil, and send orders back home to a former staffer (and current Fox News executive) to unlawfully defy a congressional subpoena.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Despite all of this evidence of his foreign fiasco, the fact that Trump has once again proven to be an incompetent, self-absorbed, loudmouth who is allergic to telling the truth, hasn’t stalled the devotional bootlicking of Fox News. On Wednesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends were primed to report on Trump’s “triumphant” mission to the United Kingdom. So in pursuit of that goal they invited their ultra-rightist media shill, Joe Concha, to opine on how Trump was maligned at the hands of the U.S. press corps. The premise that Fox tried vainly to peddle was that, while Trump was hammered here at home, he was beloved in the U.K. That phony propaganda resulted in this absurd exchange (video below):

Co-host Brian Kilmeade: “This state visit to the U.K. earning glowing reviews – get this – in Britain. But back here in the U.S. – or whatever planet we’re on – the American media is telling a whole different story.”
Concha: (on the British press): “They’re on the ground. They know how London works. They know the people. And they’re portraying this thing a lot more positively, as you just showed, than the U.S. media who’s concentrating almost solely on these protests. […] That’s the problem. We’re getting way too many opinions based solely on speculation and how people perceive things instead of what people see on their screens.”

Kilmeade’s assertion that the British press was unanimously “glowing” was based on a few headlines that he featured in a graphic. The only problem is that not one of them actually praise Trump. In fact, they were merely Trump paying tribute to the Queen:

  • Donald Trump praises ‘eternal friendship’ at state banquet (BBC)
  • Trump hails ‘common values’ uniting UK and US (Financial Times)
  • Donald Trump state banquet speech: US President says Queen embodies ‘patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart’ (Evening Standard)
  • ‘Treasured Friendship’ Trump in tribute to ‘great, great’ Queen who inspired UK to win WW2 (The Sun)

Meanwhile, those same news sources also ran with these headlines that Fox News ignored:

  • Anti-Trump protesters mix humour with expletives {BBC)
  • Trump sends mixed messages on US-UK trade deal (Financial Times)
  • Protesters cry ‘Nazi’ as Donald Trump attends D-Day event (Evening Standard)
  • Donald Trump sparks massive NHS row as he says health service must be on the table (The Sun)

So Fox News is blatantly disinforming their viewers about the coverage of Trump by the British media. It is, in fact, nearly identical to the coverage in the U.S. And if it’s negative, that’s only because he’s such a predictable screw-up.

But what’s truly bizarre is Concha’s complaint that there are “way too many opinions” in the U.S. press. And he’s saying that, unironically, on Fox News. What’s more, his criticism that coverage is “based solely on speculation and how people perceive things” is downright laughable considering he’s saying it to Kilmeade who, just the day before, told viewers that “boos” from the crowd when Ivanka Trump and John Bolton walked by were for Bolton. How Kilmeade divined that was unexplained.

This is the sort of feverishly pro-Trump hackery that is the hallmark of Fox News. They are so determined to exalt Dear Leader at every opportunity that they utterly abandon reason and reality. And above all, they continue to push the notion that the media would be so much better if only it slobbered over Trump the way they do. Yet somehow they they still believe that they should be taken seriously as a news network.

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

Fox News Riles Big Baby Trump By Hosting Buttigieg Town Hall Rather than More Trump-Fluffing

For anyone who isn’t yet convinced that Fox News is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump Cult Enterprises (or maybe vice versa), Donald Trump has helped to affirm this fact himself. In a pair of tweets that reveal just how tightly integrated they are, the reality TV president made it clear that there should be no wavering on Fox’s mission to prop up all things Trump. And that also means shunning non-Trump news.

Fox News Friends

When Pete Buttigieg agreed to appear on Fox News for a town hall, he articulated his justifications for doing so. They were essentially the same as those by other Democrats who mistakenly believe that there is some merit to lending their credibility to a propaganda outfit that hasn’t earned it and doesn’t deserve it. In short, they argue that they need to reach out to Fox’s viewers. But there are other venues to communicate with any Fox viewer who isn’t devoutly pro-Trump. And those who are need not be bothered with. In the meantime, it’s counterproductive to help Fox earn more respect and revenue with which they will trash Democrats.

Nevertheless, Buttigieg showed up for the town hall ready to address what was expected to be an unfriendly encounter. Surprisingly, the audience was fairly receptive to his remarks. In particular they applauded vigorously when he said of Trump’s vile and infantile antics that “It is the nature of grotesque things that you can’t look away.” He also enjoyed a standing ovation at the end that caught anchor Chris Wallace off guard.

But Trump’s reaction to this program was somewhat different. He angrily tweeted that it’s:

Trump is giving away the propaganda game here. He is complaining that Fox News had the audacity to cover someone running for president other than the officially designated candidate of the Fox Nationalist Party. He did exactly the same thing following the Bernie Sanders town hall on Fox. According to Trump, just giving a Democrat one hour out of twenty-four is evidence that the network is “moving to the wrong side.” Even that phrasing indicates Trump’s impression is that Fox News is on his side and against his enemies.

Trump segues from that nonsense to taking a swipe at Wallace who he says “never speaks well of me.” Setting aside the fact that that’s patently false, a more interesting fact is that Trump is so scared of Wallace that he’s never granted him an interview as President. Which is ironic since the rightists in Fox World are always accusing Democrats of fearing Fox. The truth is just the opposite. Media Matters has done the research and found that Democrats appear on Fox News far more often than Republicans appear on CNN or MSNBC.

So what did Buttigieg gain by submitting to Fox? He earned a rebuke from Fox for having done so. The following morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends tore into Buttigieg for speaking candidly about what happens “when you see what goes on with some opinion hosts on this network.” He elaborated saying…

“I mean when you’ve got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make America dirty, when you’ve got Laura Ingraham comparing detention centers and children in cages to summer camps, then there is a reason why anybody has to swallow hard and think twice before participating in this media ecosystem.”

That drew the ire of Fox’s Brian Kilmeade who went on an extended rant where in warned prospective Fox guests that they shouldn’t show up if they intend to speak their minds and tell the truth:

“Don’t hop on our channel and continue to put down the other hosts on the channel. If you feel that negative about it, don’t come.”

Perhaps Fox News should publish a guidebook outlining what is and isn’t allowed to be said on their network. Because if you say anything the least bit critical you’re scolded and maligned for having “absolutely no courage” despite your presence in their studio. Then, for good measure, Kilmeade went on to lie about Trump’s tax cuts which Buttigieg correctly said benefited the wealthy. Kilmeade disputed that saying that the cuts were aimed at corporations (Is that better, or even different?) and that “the smallest tax cut was for those who pay the most.”

All of these lies and insults took place the morning after the Buttigieg town hall. They were done without giving Buttigieg an opportunity to respond. There was no Democratic voice on to set the Foxies straight. And the Buttigieg bashing continued on Fox News throughout the rest of the morning broadcasts and surely continued for the remainder of the day.

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

So how exactly did the hour that Buttigieg got justify the countless hours of attacks and lies? The lesson from both Sanders and Buttigieg is that doing these Fox town halls only sets you up for attacks without providing any benefit whatsoever. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have stated publicly that they will not be submitting to Fox. The rest of the Democratic field should take heed and do the same.

Fox News Pitifully Spins Trump’s Billion Dollar Losses as ‘Impressive’ – No, Really!

Most of the time watching Fox News is a chore that is fraught with frustration due to their brazen and shameless dissemination of lies and unrelenting Trump-fluffing. The network was always a right-wing purveyor of propaganda aimed at advancing a conservative agenda and maligning liberals and Democrats. But in the Era of Trump Fox has devolved into something more akin to Alex Jones conspiracy theorizing and even challenges The Onion for pure, lunatic satire.

Fox News Friends

Wednesday morning Trump’s favorite Fox program, Fox and Friends, demonstrated why they have earned the ridicule of intelligent news consumers everywhere. They did a segment on the breaking news from the New York Times that Trump had suffered massive financial losses in the 1980s and 1990s. The story documented losses that totalled over a billion dollars. This is consistent with many of the stories that detail Trump’s business incompetence that includes going bankrupt at least six times, even with casinos.

In response to the story in the Times, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes stiffened their spines to construct a defense that is so ludicrous it’s hard to believe they allowed it to get on the air (video below). Co-host Brian Kilmeade led off with a series of inane excuses for Trump’s failures. He tried to set the stage with dumbfuckery like this: “[Trump] lost a lot of money over the course of 10 years, if you consider a billion dollars a lot of money.” And he insisted that there was “nothing about this article that should surprise anybody.” Which is true if you’re aware of Trump’s past fiscal fiascos. But then he unleashed this explanation for why Trump’s losses were so spectacular::

“There might be an incentive to go buy that building, to buy that casino, because I’ll take a loss this year in order that on my tax returns because I wanna buy for a rainy day. […] For me, I can’t imagine having that much much money, spending that much money and being in debt. For him it makes sense.”

Of course. It makes perfect sense. That’s what all billionaires do. They buy so many failing properties that they lose their entire fortunes. And because U.S. institutions won’t have anything to do with them, they are forced to turn to foreign banks and Russian mobsters to be rescued. Just ask Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, the Walton family, or – – – oh wait. Never mind. They never did any of that, or lost those sums of money. But Kilmeade wasn’t through. He then offered some examples of Trump’s business prowess:

“In 1987 he spent $29 million on a yacht. The market crashed the next day. So no problem. He held on to it. He bought a shuttle operation. It didn’t do too well. But he held onto it.”

Sure. No problem. Except that Trump had to beg for help from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal to take that yacht off his hands after creditors initiated default proceedings. He didn’t hold on to it, contrary to Kilmeade’s deliberate lie. Alwaleed also bought Trump out of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan as it was falling into bankruptcy under Trump. And he didn’t hold onto that shuttle operation either. It folded and was sold off at a steep loss.

This is the sort of flagrant dishonesty that Fox News employs to keep their viewers stupid and devoted to the Trump Cult. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt summed it up for the segment by confidently asserting that:

“If anything, you read this and you’re like ‘Wow, it’s pretty impressive, all the things that he’s done in his life.’ It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”

Well, that’s true. Most of us will never become lawless, self-absorbed, grifters who live to rip off everyone they come into contact with, and then lie about everything they claim to have accomplished. But only Fox News can twist the reality of Trump’s total lack of ethics and business acumen as “impressive.” And only Fox News viewers are willfully blind enough to accept it as the truth.

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

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.

Fox & Friends Co-Host Brian Kilmeade Leaps Off the Trump Train, Says He ‘Refounded ISIS’

Things are getting really bad for Donald Trump. His secretary of Defense quit with a stinging rebuke of his policies and leadership. He’s heading for a prolonged shutdown that he took credit for in advance, even claiming to be proud of it. And all for a border wall that no one but his Deplorable cult followers want. The economy is in a tailspin with the markets negative for the whole year. And even his pals at Fox News are getting antsy about supporting his inane, reckless, and impulsive outbursts.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

Nothing is more representative of the trouble that Trump is in than when his favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends, gets weak-kneed about backing up his latest idiocy. They have a record of supporting nearly anything he’s done, no matter how ludicrous or destructive or even illegal. But these remarks by co-host Brian Kilmeade during an interview with Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, really hits a low note for Trump at Fox (video below):

Kilmeade: He’s giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS. They’ve got 30,000 men there, and they’re already striking back.

That gets pretty much everything in there but an apology to Hillary Clinton for all the Benghazi and email bashing. Kilmeade noted that Putin is on Trump’s side regarding the Syria withdrawal. He compared Trump to his nemsis, Barack Obama. And he hung the founding of ISIS around Trump’s turkey neck.

For her part, Sanders acted like a deer already run down by the bus with the headlights in her face. She “respectfully, but vehemently” disagreed with Kilmeade’s analysis. But her defense of Trump was pitifully weak and devoid of any factual basis. She tried to turn the whole ISIS fight into a personal one between them and Trump saying that “If ISIS wants to pick a fight with somebody, they sure as hell don’t want to pick one with Donald Trump.” Something tells me that they really do. He’s a coward who can’t concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror.

Then Sanders emulated her boss by making up numbers to glorify him. “We’ve wiped out 99.9% of ISIS in Syria,” she blurted out nonsensically. Where she got that figure from is – well it’s dark and ugly. Since there are estimated to be 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria today, that means that before having allegedly wiped out 99.9% of them there were 30,000,000. That’s nearly twice the population of Syria.

Sanders also parroted Trump’s own assertions that he has done more damage to ISIS than anyone. She insisted that he surely never did anything to help them. To which Kilmeade replied “Leaving is helping.” And he actually called her out for lying saying that “The word on the ground is different from what you just said.” That may be the first time that Sanders has been called a liar by a Fox News host on the air. And if it’s any indicator of what’s to come, Trump might as well start packing his bags for Mar-A-Lago – or prison.

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 Warns the Enemy (i.e. Media) via Fox News: Report the Story the Way I Want it Reported

Following the attempted mail bombings of at least fourteen critics of the President, there has been renewed focus on Donald Trump’s reckless rhetoric, particularly with regard to the press. The brazen hostility that Trump lobs at the media was bound to incite the sort of violence that now threatens every journalist in the country – and the world for that matter. Placing a target on your critics as “enemies” escalates common disagreements to outright war.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Despite the obvious danger imposed by provoking the mentally unstable malcontents who populate Trump’s cult rallies, he continues to inflame the division, hatred, and fear that inevitably leads to tragedy. And naturally, the sycophantic trolls at Fox News are on 24/7 standby to shield him from any loose barbs aimed in his direction. At the head of that class are the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. And they take their jobs seriously.

While there was a brief interlude last week wherein it appeared that some of the Fox Friendlies recognized that it wasn’t a very good idea to portray the free press as enemies of the state, it didn’t last long. Co-host Brian Kilmeade explicitly rebuked Trump for calling the media “the enemy of the people.” But at roughly the same time Trump was confessing that the network was his personal Pravda. Then, on Thursday morning, the tide receded again to reveal the network’s customary bias, as demonstrated in this show of empathy, by co-host Ainsley Earhardt, for the beleaguered leader of the free world (video below):

“How frustrating would it be when you’re the president of the United States and every single time you turn on the TV, on most of the channels, they’re misconstruing what you say? And you know your heart, and you know your words, and you know your voice. And you watch other people report on what you say and it’s completely different than what you mean.”

Heaven’s to Betsy. How can Trump ever be expected to withstand the onslaught of those ever-so-scary reporters constantly telling the American people what he actually says and does? After all, he’s just a weak, unprotected political head of the most powerful nation on Earth. He is forced to characterize the press as mortal enemies in his speeches and tweets because “It’s my only form of fighting back.” But the Fox News crew gets it. And Earhardt poignantly expresses the grief that must be roiling our Victim-in-Chief:

“That has to be frustrating. And that’s why he’s saying it’s fake news. And he’s saying if you don’t want to be called the enemy, then get the story right. Be accurate. And report the story the way I want it reported.”

See? That’s all Trump wants. Just report the news the way he wants it reported and he’ll stop maligning you as traitorous vermin worthy of extermination. Just regurgitate his propaganda the way that State TV (aka Fox News) does and he’ll call off his hit men and allow you to peacefully compose the adoring fluff pieces that he deserves. Is that too much to ask?

Remember, even though Trump lies virtually every time he opens his mouth, it isn’t because he wants to. Like he told Jonathan Karl of ABC News Thursday, “I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.” So we just have to be patient. When Trump can tell the truth, he will. And when the press starts reporting the way wants them to, he’ll refrain from telling his Deplorables to threaten and assault them. That’s fair, isn’t it?

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