Fox News has Instructed Its Anchors Not To Call Joe Biden ‘President-Elect’

The likelihood of Joe Biden advancing to the presidency is becoming more of a certainty with every hour and every release of new vote totals. And the likelihood of a mental breakdown by Donald Trump is increasing correspondingly. In fact, Trump is dangerously close to abandoning his already tenuous grasp of reality. He’s whining about imaginary “illegal” votes, as his fear and disbelief that he isn’t universally beloved threatens to boil over.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump Baby, Fake News

As the presidential race winds to a conclusion, Trump is reported to be incapable of conceiving the notion that he has lost. According to CNN, inside sources report that “Trump has not prepared a concession speech and in conversations with allies in recent days, he has said he has no intention of conceding the election.” To which the Biden campaign had a pithy reply:

“The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,’ Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement.”

In the meantime, Fox News is doing what Fox News does. As Trump’s official Ministry of Propaganda, Fox has been nursing Trump’s narcissistic psychoses. They encourage his utterly baseless allegations of election fraud and defend his brazenly dishonest public statements. And now, in a strikingly atrocious departure from journalistic integrity, they are embarking on a path of denial to avoid acknowledging Biden’s imminent victory. The nefarious intentions of Fox were disclosed by CNN’ Brian Stelter (video below):

Stelter: Two memos obtained by CNN from three different sources all around Fox News say that when Joe Biden reaches that point where he crosses the threshold of 270 [electoral votes], Fox will not identify him as “President-Elect.” […] These memos at Fox News say they will stay away from that description. These memos direct Fox stars, anchor, pundits, and talk show hosts, to avoid language like “President-Elect” because of the President’s legal challenges.

This is a blatant refusal to accept the decision of the American people and an assault on democracy. Fox News is affirming their loyalty to Trump, a despotic charlatan who is only interested in his own aspirations for unchecked power, over that of the United States. It’s a shameless concession to authoritarianism and a rejection of the principles upon which an honest media rests. As for Trump’s frivolous legal adventures…

Stelter: Of course, these are longshot legal challenges. We’ve been talking about this on the air. But Fox is taking these challenges very seriously, showing shocking deference to the President. After 25,000 false and misleading claims from this president, Fox still assumes he’s telling the truth. They’re promoting voter fraud innuendo. They’re denigrating cities like Philadelphia. And they’re treating these longshot lawsuits, these truthless suits, like they are serious pursuits.
Jake Tapper: This is so odd because there is no credible evidence of widespread fraud. None. So if you are a Fox reporter or anchor, somebody not on the opinion side, and you’re gonna abide by this crazy instruction, you might as well hand in your press credential at the same time because you can’t be taken seriously as a journalist.
Abby Phillip: Fox is acting as an arm of the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign is treating Fox like they’re an arm of their own campaign. They’ve been on the phone all week haranguing senior people over at Fox

What Phillip is referring to are conversations Trump had with Fox News chairman, Rupert Murdoch. As reported by Vanity Fair, “Trump phoned Fox owner Rupert Murdoch to scream about the [Arizona election] call and demand a retraction. Murdoch refused, and the call stood.” Murdoch had previously predicted that Biden would beat Trump in a landslide. So it appears that there are some mixed feelings at the network. On one hand, it’s their mission to support and defend their Dear Leader at every opportunity. On the other hand, they may be concerned about their floundering reputation if they don’t realistically observe current events.

It appears that the former hand has superseded the latter. Fox News is choosing to prop up Trump, the loser in this race, because they don’t have the honesty or integrity to show respect for Biden, the winner. And they have totally lost control of their on-air disseminators of propaganda (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, etc.). Even their so-called “news” side anchors (Brett Baier, Martha MacCallum, etc.) are subject to this directive. Which should alert every news consumer, once and for all, that Fox is a disreputable source to be avoided at all costs.

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

NOTE: News Corpse was notified by Twitter recently that its account would be permanently suspended for repeated violations of their rules. Which is strange because it has never been cited for a single violation in 11 years and they didn’t even identify this alleged violation. The notice had no reply address and provided no way to appeal. They just bounced the account and its 7,000 followers. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from this website, please feel free. Thanks for your support.

WTF? Bill Barr Told Rupert Murdoch to ‘Muzzle’ a Fox News Trump Critic

The creeping fascism of the Donald Trump regime continues to unfurl as the criminal accomplices in his cabinet carry out his nefarious agenda. Chief among them is Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, who doesn’t even bother anymore to disguise his desecration of the Justice Department into a pseudo-legal cabal that works solely as Trump’s personal defense team.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

A new book by CNN’s media correspondent, Brian Stelter, is set to be released next week, and excerpts are starting to make the rounds. Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, has already created quite a stir with revelations about how insiders at Fox News privately admit that they think Trump is “crazy,” even while they exalt him worshipfully on the air.

The toxic, codependent relationship between Trump and Fox News has been the source of incalculable damage to American media and democracy. It is an unprecedented political/press partnership that benefits both. Fox News gets an audience with cult-like devotion that they can brainwash with blatant scare tactics and the darkly unifying force of racism. While Trump gets an aggressive assault team to attack his critics and political opponents, and a constant defense for his unending stream of unsavory conduct and outright crimes. It’s a marriage whose foundation rests on lies and ignorance.

Another excerpt from the book was just published by The Guardian. This one describes a meeting that took place last October between Barr and Fox News Overlord, Rupert Murdoch. News Corpse speculated at the time that the meeting resulted in the resignation of Fox host Shepard Smith, which was announced the next day. But Stelter’s book reports that there was another topic of discussion on their agenda:

“The attorney general, William Barr, told Rupert Murdoch to ‘muzzle’ Andrew Napolitano, a prominent Fox News personality who became a critic of Donald Trump, according to a new book about the rightwing TV network. […] Trump ‘was so incensed by the judge’s TV broadcasts that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge’. [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.'”

Just to be clear, intimidating and manipulating the media is not a part of the Attorney General’s job. In fact, it isn’t a part of any government official’s job. It is a totalitarian tactic to control speech and clampdown on the free press. And this sort of suppression of the constitutional rights of journalists is part and parcel of the Trump Doctrine that has designated the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, has been known to criticize Trump. And for that heresy he was entirely excluded from Fox’s coverage of Trump’s impeachment. A few notable examples of his well-reasoned critiques include…

Napolitano has a right to his opinions, and quite often he agrees with Trump. But none of that is relevant here. It was grossly inappropriate for Trump to seek to censor a legal news commentator. And it only makes matters worse that Trump recruited his attorney general to deliver that message. And Barr, of course, should never have agreed to take the assignment. It’s not only improper, and a violation of the Constitution, it has absolutely nothing to with his duties at the Department of Justice.

It is, however, consistent with Trump’s flagrant disrespect for the law, his relentless abuse of power, and his frighteningly obvious tyrannical aspirations. And it’s further proof that neither Trump nor Barr are fit to serve in any position of government authority. They have both proven that they are utterly untrustworthy and the sooner they are deposed, the better for America.

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

Fox News Warns Their Employees About COVID-19, While Lying to Their Viewers

After nearly two months of rapidly growing infection rates, anxiety, and fatalities, Donald Trump has finally declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 (the coronavirus). This declaration is both an acknowledgement that the problem is far more serious than he has previously let on, and an inadvertent confession that he was wrong to trivialize the all too apparent risks in the first place.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

However, Trump’s press conference continued to paint an unrealistically rosy scenario wherein everything would soon be fine due to the “perfectly” implemented response by his administration. Trump spent much of the presser praising himself and falsely smearing his predecessor, President Obama. Never mind that the Obama administration quickly declared a health emergency at the outset of the H1N1 (swine Flu) virus, and tested a million Americans the first month. It’s been two months since the first reported case of COVID-19, but Trump just got around to declaring an emergency and only about 10,000 Americans have been tested.

RELATED: Trump’s Flagrant Coronavirus Lies Are Turning His Supporters Into Carriers

The coverage of Trump’s declaration by his State TV news outlet (aka Fox News) was predictably sparkling with unflinching adoration and praise. This required a significant turnabout in their editorial stance considering that Fox News had been staunchly supporting Trump’s prior insistence that the coronavirus wasn’t a really a problem at all. For weeks Trump lied (video below) about there being only a handful of cases and that the number was going down. He assured the public that the whole thing would miraculously disappear in short order. And Fox News backed him up a hundred percent. But now that Trump has conceded that this situation requires an emergency declaration, Fox News has flipped their position in tandem with the President’s.

That position, however, is confusing, and perhaps deliberately so. While Trump did declare a national emergency, he continued to speak optimistically about how quickly his “flawless” management of the crisis would result in its timely conclusion. In other words, there is still nothing to worry about. Naturally, Fox News parroted that positivity. On many of its programs the slant was toward how confident the American people should be that Trump would would guide us all to safety. There was little of the caution that the rest of the media is encouraging.

For instance, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told viewers that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” This, while medical experts are advising people to avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips. And that’s especially true for those over 65, which is the bulk of Fox’s audience. Additionally, Trish Regan said that it’s all a Democratic hoax to impeach the President. That’s similar to Trump’s “shadow” chief of staff Sean Hannity’s take that pegged Democrats as the real threat, rather than the virus:

“Since the beginning, all they’ve done is use the virus, politicize the virus to bludgeon President Trump. All the same people who have done the same thing for three straight years. … Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine. And impeach, impeach. Now, corona, corona.”

What’s most disturbing about this is that, while Fox News is virtually encouraging risky behavior for their viewers, they are giving completely different advice to their employees. A memo that was sent by Fox’s CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace told staffers to…

“…cut back on studio bookings and to expect possible programming changes as a result of precautions being taken against the spread of coronavirus.”

And furthermore…

“Fox News told producers and bookers to rely more on remote interviews or interviews conducted via Skype; to cancel all in-person meetings; and to limit vendors for entering the building. Earlier this week, Fox News canceled the in-studio audience for its ‘Greg Gutfeld Show’ on Saturday nights and said it would stop doing a live-audience show for ‘Fox & Friends’ that had been taking place about once every month.”

That’s good advice that is consistent with the guidance given by medical experts. Many companies are instituting similar precautions. But while that’s good enough for the Fox staffers, it isn’t what Fox is telling their own viewers. And that isn’t just the view of outsiders and critics of the network. A Fox producer told CNN’s Brian Stelter that…

“The attempt to deflect and blame the media and Democrats from Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld — instead of addressing the coronavirus — is really irresponsible and hazardous to our viewers.”

The stark difference between Fox’s internal personnel guidance and their editorial policy is indicative of their political biases. It also demonstrates that their concerns for their audience (which is largely made up of vulnerable seniors) is focused more on pro-Trump propaganda and advancing his reelection prospects, than on protecting their health and welfare. Which, not surprisingly, is exactly what Trump himself is focused on. That’s why he has failed to implement broad-based testing and continues to understate the still very serious risks.

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

The Fox News Audience is 1% African-American, So No Wonder It’s Openly Racist

This week the flagrant white nationalist sentiments of Fox News were on full display. “The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” primetime host Laura Ingraham said Wednesday night. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.” Who she means by “us” is the minority of rancid bigots who think they own the country and can demand that its residents all look like them.

Fox News Black Viewer

The America the rest of us (the majority) know and love is one that values diversity and welcomes people of all nations, ethnicities, faiths and race. Every poll shows that most people regard immigration as a positive contribution to a stronger and greater nation.

On Fox News, however, there is a decidedly different approach to the composition of the American populace. In addition to Ingraham, they have Tucker Carlson, with his own primetime slot, delivering a blatant message of white nationalism every night of the week. A large percentage of his program is consumed with stories about how white people are the real victims of prejudice. According to Carlson, white Americans suffer an unbearable burden due to the curse of their lightly pigmented skin. Poor babies. And it’s no coincidence that Donald Trump has adopted this same white nationalist theme as a primary component of his presidency.

Tom Kludt and Brian Stelter of CNN addressed the hateful programming of Fox News in an article that sought to explore the network’s record on race. Early on they hit on the explanation for how Fox can get away with producing and airing such programming:

“The Fox News audience is almost 100% white, according to Nielsen. And on the channel’s highest-rated shows, the politics of white anxiety play out practically every day, as hosts and guests warn about the impacts of immigration and minimize or mock the perspectives of people of color.”

That’s right. With an audience that is so blindingly white, Fox literally has no incentive to care about the welfare of people of color. They won’t suffer in the ratings for having offended anyone with their constant flow of bigotry. So why should they bother to temper their commentaries for an audience that is tuned in elsewhere (mostly MSNBC). Stelter elaborated on Fox’s audience composition in a tweet:

But it’s even worse than that. Fox doesn’t just have to appeal to overwhelmingly white viewers. They have to appeal to white viewers who aren’t offended by racism. Many Anglo-Americans are decent folks who embrace the whole of humanity. They wouldn’t stand for a network that insults and demeans anyone. So Fox’s viewers have to appreciate the naked prejudice that is so integral to Fox News. In other words, the Fox News audience is affirmatively pro-hate.

Appealing to that demographic is the only way the network can survive. And the absence of African-Americans, Latinos, and other people of color, as well as white folks who value tolerance and inclusion, explains how Fox gets away with it. That presents a problem for fighting back against this racist network. We can hardly pledge to boycott a channel that we already don’t watch. But we can refuse to patronize their advertisers and to let them know that. And we can make sure that the world knows that any business that advertises on Fox News is supporting hatred and intolerance.

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

UPDATE: On Thursday night’s episode of The Ingraham Angle, Laura Ingraham gave a weak walkback of her open embrace of white nationalism on Wednesday. She even tried to brush off the praise she received from former KKK Grand Dragon, David Duke. However, when you draw praise from someone like that, you have to admit that you said something wrong. She wouldn’t admit it or apologize, and therein lies the disingenuousness of her response.

‘Far More Fiction than Fact’: Trump Tweets the Perfect Description of His Own Twitter Feed

Heaven forbid that a single Sunday would go by without Donald Trump assuming his position on his throne and proclaiming the way the world is – or should be – on Twitter. His pronouncements have become a regular feature of the daily life of the White House. And this Sunday was no different as Trump took on everything from Hillary Clinton to Syria’s “Animal Assad” to President Obama.

Donald Trump Toilet

Of particular note was Trump’s latest broadside at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Washington Post. The tweet was a familiar attack on the newspaper that he hates so viscerally. And it all stemmed from an article that revealed the diminished status of his Chief of Staff, John Kelly.

Notice that Trump’s criticism is as substantively vacant as usual. He doesn’t cite one story that is “made up garbage.” He doesn’t give one example of anything being “poorly written.” And he can’t backup his delusional assertion that “many of [the sources] don’t exist.” He is just ranting uncontrollably in a fit of sweaty rage, unable to contain his anxiety or support the wild notions he is spewing. It’s another symptom of the fear that is eating him up. Although it is an excellent description of the blather he posts on Twitter.

The article in the Washington Post that got him all riled up was titled “‘When you lose that power’: How John Kelly faded as White House disciplinarian.” The Post did extensive research and was “based on interviews with 16 administration officials, outside advisers and presidential confidants, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to assess the chief of staff.”” The use of undisclosed sources is a critical part of journalism. It protects people in positions to know detailed and intimate facts from the retribution of powerful bosses. Every legitimate news enterprises uses them. Trump even uses them and cites articles where they’ve been used, so long as the article advances his interests.

For some idea of what made Trump go berserk this Sunday morning, here are a few choice excerpts from the Post that paint an accurate picture of the chaos in Trump’s White House:

“The recurring and escalating clashes between the president and his chief of staff trace the downward arc of Kelly’s eight months in the White House. Both his credibility and his influence have been severely diminished, administration officials said, a clear decline for the retired four-star Marine Corps general who arrived with a reputation for integrity and a mandate to bring order to a chaotic West Wing.”

“After White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly pressured President Trump last fall to install his top deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, atop the Department of Homeland Security, the president lost his temper when conservative allies argued that she wasn’t sufficiently hard line on immigration. ‘You didn’t tell me she was a [expletive] George W. Bush person.'”

“Kelly neither lurks around the Oval Office nor listens in on as many of the president’s calls, even with foreign leaders. He has not been fully consulted on several recent key personnel decisions. And he has lost the trust and support of some of the staff, as well as angered first lady Melania Trump, who officials said was upset over his sudden dismissal of Johnny McEntee, the president’s 27-year-old personal aide.”

“White House chief of staff John Kelly grew so frustrated on the day Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was fired that both Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis attempted to calm him down.”

Candid observers have noticed that Trump is increasingly perturbed with Kelly’s attempts to shackle him and rein in his worst impulses. According to one source, Trump said that he was “tired of being told no” by Kelly. Consequently, Trump has been leaving Kelly out of the loop on important matters. For instance, Kelly was not around when the President called Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on winning a sham election. Nor was Kelly consulted about the hiring of John Bolton to be his next national security adviser.

The article quotes Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta saying that “There are few things worse than being an impotent chief of staff. When you lose that power you become a virtual White House intern, being told where to go and what to do.” However, in Trump’s mind there are things much worse than that. Like losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, or allowing DREAMers to remain in the only country they know as home, or being exposed as a collaborator with Russian enemies to win an election and then obstructing justice to hide the truth.

But the most heinous atrocity that Trump can experience is the fact, and public awareness, that he is a loser at the things he thinks he excels at (which, of course, is everything). And that may be why he is so maddened by Jeff Bezos. It’s an embarrassment that was perfectly stated by this Washington Post editor to CNN’s Brian Stelter. And it is very likely the root cause of Trump’s derangement:

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

‘Drunk on Our Children’s Blood’: Alex Jones Goes on Psychotic, Grunting Rant Against CNN Host

No one is going to be surprised that the Grand Lizard of Conspiracy Crackpottery, Alex Jones, had a massive cerebral dysfunction and captured it all on video for his slobbering fans. That’s pretty much the theme of his entire career. But the latest maniacal episode to manifest itself is just too hysterical to ignore.

Alex Jones

It’s difficult to decipher what set Jones off on this tirade. None of what he said made the slightest bit of sense. But his radically bizarre outburst was clearly triggered by something that mortified him. The target of this daffy disgorging was CNN’s media correspondent, and host of “Reliable Sources,” Brian Stelter. Apparently Stelter is in cahoots with Satan in a plot to control schools and banks and feast on your children’s blood. No, really! (Video below):

“Just look at Stelter again. Put him on screen. I think that’s all the broadcast should be, is just a photo of Stelter smiling. Ugh. Ugh. Oh my gosh. Oh, hell on earth. He wants to run your life. He wants to control every aspect of your life because he knows he is a cowardly degenerate sack of anti-human trash.

“I pledge before my heavenly father that I will resist them every way I can. These people are the literal demon spawn of the pit of hell. Look at him. And you know what? He is better than you if you keep letting him run your life. He runs your kids, he runs the schools, he runs the banks. This guy, this spirit, this smiling, leering devil that thinks you can’t see what he is. He is your enemy. Period.

“All the narcissistic devil-worshiping filth. I see you enemy. I see you enemy. Enemy. Enemy. You are my enemy. And I swear total resistance to you with everything I’ve got. Disingenuous, fake, false, brokeback, twisted, a defiler, a betrayer, a back stabber, a devil. You will pay. Yeah, you don’t think I see your face, scum? You don’t think I don’t see you, Stelter? I see you, you understand me? I know what you think of me and my family. I see you right back. You understand that? You understand that, Stelter? Grrhrghararagh (sp?)

“Stelter, you will fall. You will not bring humanity down. God is going to destroy you. Get him off the screen. Oh, God, they’re so evil. Just please God, free us from them. They’re drunk on our children’s blood for God’s sake. OK, I’m going to stop right now.”

I had no idea that Stelter was so all-powerful. Sure, he runs the media and maybe a couple of Costco outlets. But who knew he was controlling our kids with his smiling and leering and having a face. And what a devious scheme by the Devil to appoint someone like Stelter to bring humanity down. No one would suspect him. So we can all take comfort knowing that Jones is marshaling the forces of Heaven against Stelter and his ilk. He “sees” Stelter and knows that God will destroy him. And then maybe he will go after Tom Hanks before that demon unleashes Hell’s fury on the world.

For the record, Jones and Donald Trump are close pals and mutual admirers. Trump has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass. Both Trump and Jones are obsessed with what they regard as “fake news,” and they both produce much of it themselves.

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

Sean Hannity Unleashes His Inner-Trump In a Full-Psycho, All-Caps Twitter Rant

The surest sign that someone is becoming unmoored from what’s left of their sanity is an all-caps upchuck on Twitter. It signals the impending collapse of mental stability along with a sense of grave desperation. And that’s precisely the state of mind that must be burdening Sean Hannity of Fox News.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

In the past few weeks Hannity has been the subject of an advertiser backlash due to his repugnant support for the pedophile Republican candidate for senate in Alabama, Roy Moore. His knee-jerk affinity for a man who has been accused of serious sexual misconduct by multiple women has proven too much for many of his commercial sponsors.

The campaign to inform advertisers of the risks of being associated with Hannity (Stop Hannity) is being advanced by Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America. So Hannity has focused his outrage on Carusone in the most deranged manner he can: a series of aimless, insulting, dishonest outbursts on Twitter. In this online tantrum, Hannity baselessly accuses Carusone of being an anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist. For example:

There is so much wrong with that tweet it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that Carusone is gay and his husband is Jewish. So there goes the homophobic, anti-Semitic allegations. Hannity offers no proof whatsoever of any racism on Carusone’s part. Additionally, Hannity directs this tweet to CNN and its media correspondent, Brian Stelter, asking why they would support those heinous behaviors that don’t actually exist. And one has to wonder what made Hannity think that anyone at CNN would take his criticisms seriously considering his relentless bashing of the network as “Fake News.” Finally, Hannity ended his tweet with a link to fake account on Twitter pretending to be Carusone (here is his real account).

Exacerbating the lunacy of this tweet is the fact that Hannity posted it five times in five minutes. The exact same message (although he swapped in different photos), one after another. After he got that out of system he continued his tirade with a tweet asserting that Media Matters “is atrocious as they are the most anti free speech, pro censorship group in America.” Consistent with right-wing doctrine, Hannity regards free speech as a one-way principle. He can say whatever bullcrap he wants, but no one else can reply or disagree. If they do it’s an attack on his constitutional rights.

Sean Hannity has always been an ultra-rightist shill for the GOP (Greedy One Percent). But since the election of Donald Trump he has devolved into the Fox News version of Alex Jones. He’s become America’s preeminent conspiracy theorist and hate monger. His manic idolatry of all things Trump has made him a favorite of the President who, it’s reported, calls him almost daily. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin has observed that their relationship has resulted in what he calls “the Sean Hannity Presidency.” “The only response Donald Trump has to any political event now,” Toobin notes, “is identical to that of Sean Hannity and Fox News.”

Indeed, it is impossible to distinguish any difference between Trump’s ignorant, unhinged rhetoric, and that of Hannity (or Tucker Carlson, or Laura Ingraham, or Jesse Watters, or the loonies on Fox and Friends). The only question is, is Trump the president Fox News created, or is Fox News the PR division of the Trump administration?

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

Angelo Carusone was interviewed Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Watch it here:

Trump Flunky Kellyanne Conway Spends 20 Minutes Dodging Questions and Bashing Hillary Clinton

On Sunday morning’s broadcast of CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter welcomed Donald Trump’s most fact-averse spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway. She may be best remembered for coining the colorfully deceptive phrase “alternative facts.” Otherwise known as lies.

CNN Brian Stelter Kellyanne Conway

Conway’s interview (video below) was twenty minutes of unparalleled evasion and blatant propaganda. Sporting a plastered on simulated smile, she dutifully misrepresented the truth. And all the while injecting rancorous venom into the usual victims of her wrath. The segment began with a timely question concerning Donald Trump’s abysmal public image:

Stelter: Given President Trump’s historically low approval ratings, what specific steps are you and your colleagues taking to try to repair Trump’s credibility?
Conway: Well Brian, I think that’s the usual hyperbolic opening to one of the CNN segments. But let me tell you about the numbers that matter to Americans.

Whereupon Conway rattled off statistics about jobs and the stock market that Trump had absolutely nothing to do with. Congress has not passed, nor has he signed, a single bill related to the economy. The country is still operating on President Obama’s last budget. Stelter noted that morsel of reality saying that “The American people are not giving him credit for the economic boom according to all of the polls.” Conway’s glassy-eyed response: “Yes they are.” Is she on drugs? After that delusional comment she drifted off into some robotic criticisms of CNN. The fact that she cannot acknowledge that Trump has set new records for disapproval is typical of the tunnel-blindness of the administration.

This exchange continued with more questions from Stelter that Conway refused to answer. Each reply clumsily stumbled off to unrelated issues, most of which involved the GOP’s favorite fetish, Hillary Clinton. Conway employed the Clinton dodge repeatedly citing last year’s election and even reviving Benghazi. On the infamous Trump Dossier, Stelter interrupted Conway to admonish her for dismissing it as “completely unverified.” “Parts of it have been verified,” he corrected her. “That is misinformation you’re spreading on my program and I don’t appreciate it.”

Stelter also called Conway out on her obvious evasionary tactics saying that “I think viewers see what you’re doing – pivoting. When I say Russia, you say Clinton. It’s part of the strategy” She disputed that, then went straight back to bashing Clinton. And when she wasn’t bashing Clinton, she was bashing CNN. She made CNN the subject of debate throughout the interview, but Stelter wasn’t laying down for it. When she went directly at the unsupported charge of political bias, Stelter made the perfect response:

Conway: Brian, why not just say “Look. It’s in our commercial interest at CNN to be anti-Trump. We’re profitable if we’re against the President. Most of our viewers are against the President.” Just own it. Don’t you think that would be more credible for CNN?
Stelter: I understand that you don’t want an adversarial media. You just want everybody to be like Fox News.
Conway: No, that’s not true. Stop being so jealous of Fox News, Brian, and their ratings.

Now ratings are suddenly important again? When it had to do with Trump’s pitiful numbers, they were totally irrelevant. More to the point, Conway didn’t dispute that Fox News is a non-adversarial, pro-Trump, state-run network. She simply bragged about their status in the television market (which is losing ground to MSNBC). This interview was only useful as a lesson in how to badly evade a reporter’s questions. Conway’s failing grades on style were matched by her lack of substance. It’s no wonder that she rarely appears anywhere but on Fox News. And CNN would be justified in barring her from future appearances on the grounds that she only disseminates useless, self-serving bullshit.

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

Trump Confidant Alex Jones Spins INSANE Conspiracy Theory About the Las Vegas Massacre

The news yesterday of the massacre in Las Vegas was both horrific and predictable. It is unbearably sad that Americans are still being slaughtered by madmen with weapons that should only be available to soldiers at war. And yet, too many of our national leaders continue to resist common sense methods to keep such deadly artillery off the streets. So once again we are mourning the dead and sending out thoughts and prayers to their loved ones.

Alex Jones

Just as predictable is the fantastical fiction of conspiracy theorists and others seeking to exploit tragedy. Chief among them is Alex Jones, a devoted supporter of Donald Trump whom, he claims, he’s in frequent contact with. Trump has has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass.

Consequently, you have to wonder whether the President thinks the latest hallucinatory ramblings of Jones are also amazing. Within hours of the Las Vegas shooting, Jones was disgorging his deranged analysis. It consisted entirely of invented “facts” and lunatic outbursts. The wild ride begins here (video below):

“Now here’s the big news. Islamic State has taken responsibility, and the man known by the police for issues, I guess for mental illness, reportedly converted to Islam in the last two months. And even though that’s being reported by Reuters and others, you’re not seeing on it on CNN or MSNBC.”

Perhaps the reason other news outlets are reluctant to report it is because there’e no proof that it’s true. The report by the Associated Press includes the disclaimer that ISIS “has a history of exaggerated or false claims.” Even so, Jones’s media bashing was wrong. A tweet by CNN’s Brian Stelter explained that CNN and others ought not to cover the claim by ISIS because there isn’t “a shred of evidence” to support it. And NBC’s Pete Williams did discuss the claim on MSNBC, also noting that it wasn’t believable.

Jones then preposterously asserted that Al Gore was allied with ISIS and Al Qaeda. He connected that to a thoroughly made up claim that two months ago Gore and former CIA Director John Brennan had predicted a terrorist attack and the overthrow of Donald Trump within two months (i.e. now). Jones said that this was because October 1st was the 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. As nutty as that conspiracy theory is, it was also historically wrong. The Russian uprising against the tsarist regime actually began in February of 1917 and concluded in late October with the Bolsheviks assuming control of Parliament. There was no significant event on the first of October that would have warranted an anniversary remembrance. But then Jones really flew off the rails:

“Here’s the other big news. On Saturday night, Sunday morning, they released O.J. [Simpson] just twenty hours before the attack took place. So all the media would come and be in place to cover this event. The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by ‘deep state’ Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cutouts.”

Really? Simpson was released in the dead of night specifically to avoid any media coverage. And it worked. There was a single fixed camera at the prison that caught Simpson’s release. Jones also alleged that Democrats and communists were planning to “go violent and start shooting and killing police, conservatives, whites, you name it. And that white genocide needs to be carried out.” According to Jones, this was reported by national news organizations. It wasn’t. And even Saturday Night Live was accused of being a part of the plot to “cause a civil war in this country.” And before he was done, Jones regurgitated the debunked story that Democrats or unions refused to deliver emergency supplies to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

This is the level of depravity that Alex Jones sinks to on a regular basis. He previously said that 9//11 was an inside job. He charged that the mass murder of the children at Sandy Hook was a hoax staged by actors. And he still doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, he has the respect of Donald Trump who promised that “I will not let you down.” And given the quantity and quality of his lies, Trump is surely keeping that promise.

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

North Korea? NFL? Oh Wait – Russia Probes Are ‘Closing In’ on Donald Trump

For much of the past week Donald Trump has been tweeting in a frenzy over subjects not previously in the news. He has escalated the debate over professional athletes expressing themselves on matters of significant social importance. And he has also created a crisis situation with North Korea that wasn’t an issue until he starting mouthing off.

Carl Bernstein

Both of those issues are newsworthy on their own now. Certainly the message behind the movement that quarterback Colin Kaepernick started needs to be addressed. Systemic racism in America continues to cause real harm. And Trump’s overtly bigoted contribution has had the unintended effect of getting the issue more positive attention. As for North Korea, Trump’s childish feuding with Kim Jung Un has thrust the world into a rhetorical firestorm. And this one has frightening, nuclear overtones. The media can hardly ignore that.

And that may be the point. Trump is trying to control the news cycle to keep it clear of something that he’s truly afraid of. By injecting new and melodramatic subjects into the media, he hopes to prevent further revelations about his own scandals. To some degree it’s working. But in a segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein were not fooled. (Video below):

Stelter: It was reported this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s actions as president. Not just pre-campaign or pre-election day, but issues recently. That request includes at least thirteen areas in which investigators are seeking information. Including statements made about former FBI Director James Comey made in the presence of Russian officials. Also the firing of Michael Flynn. And the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr. As you recall, he sought to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian individual.

That introduction covered a broad swath of the potential criminal behaviors emanating from the White House. And Carl Bernstein’s response closed the circle with a concise summary of the President’s unsavory avtivities:

Bernstein: Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is looking at the conduct of President Donald Trump and members of his family, especially Jared Kushner. Also his closest campaign aides in terms of their dealings with Russia, ethno-Russians, during the campaign and before. And in business. But there’s a much larger context that now informs the whole investigation. And that is the conclusion of the American intelligence community – under Donald Trump, not under Obama – that now is certain that the Russians were very, very, effective at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton and specifically helping Donald Trump.

And we keep hearing the word collusion, which is not a legal term. What Mueller is focused on is quite different than the simple idea of collusion. It’s whether or not Donald Trump, and perhaps his family and business associates, knew that the Russians were trying to help his campaign. And if they knew that, why didn’t they blow the whistle on the Russians? Did they try to cover it up? Are they continuing to try and cover up that knowledge? That’s the real question. Not the word “collusion,” which Trump and the White House keep trying to focus on.

Finally, Bernstein proposed what might be the motivations driving Trump and his more recent scandal mongering:

Bernstein: But the reason is these investigations are closing in on him, his family, and his aides. And if indeed there’s nothing there and it’s a hoax, then why has Donald Trump tried to undermine, demean and obstruct – not necessarily in terms of the legal obstruction of justice – these investigations for six months at every turn? He’s done everything that he can, as have those around him, to keep these investigations from succeeding.

That pretty much says it all. Trump is engaging in a fierce effort to divert attention from himself and his possible prosecution and/or impeachment. And he’s using other news events, some serious, some fabricated, to achieve that goal. Hopefully more journalists like Bernstein and Stelter will demonstrate that they cannot be tricked into serving as his propaganda merchants.

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