The GOP’s Not-So-Secret Plot to Sabotage the Economy if They Gain Control of Congress

With the 2022 midterm election now less than a month away, this may be a good time to ponder what the Republican Party would do should they manage to win a majority in the House, the Senate, or both. And in some respects they have been helpfully candid as to their plans should their aspirations come to pass.

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Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

It isn’t exactly a pretty picture. Among the more brazenly shameless admissions on the the part of leading Republicans have been Sen. Lindsey Graham’s promise to advance legislation to ban abortion nationwide, and Sen. Rick Scott’s agenda proposing to sunset Social Security and Medicare.

RELATED: Rick Scott is the Best Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee the Democrats Ever Had

However, the most harrowing scenario cooked up by the power mad GOP is their plan to take the nation’s economy hostage by demanding that Democrats submit to their policy demands or else they will refuse to negotiate the debt ceiling. Those GOP proposals include cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and slashing benefits for seniors and healthcare recipients.

To be clear, the debt ceiling defines the government’s limits on issuing credit in order to pay its bills. If it isn’t appropriately adjusted, the result would be the U.S. government falling into default. That would create an economic crisis in the U.S. and around the world. It is the equivalent of the “nuclear” option for the economy. And Republicans are threatening to drop that bomb if they don’t get their way.

This isn’t idle speculation. Leading Republicans in Congress have openly expressed their intentions to deploy this political weapon. Bloomberg News reports that “‘The debt limit is clearly one of those tools that Republicans — that a Republican-controlled Congress — will use… ‘ said Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.).” And that… “House Republicans are openly threatening to cause an economic catastrophe in order to realize their obsession with slashing Medicare and Social Security,” Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman, said in a Tuesday statement to Bloomberg Government.”

It should come as no surprise that this economic terrorism is being ignited by the GOP cult messiah, Donald Trump. For months he has been chastising Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, for not issuing debt ceiling threats to allow a default. As recently as last month Trump whined on his floundering social media scam, Truth Social, that…

“Mitch McConnell is giving the Democrats everything they want. He is their lapdog! He didn’t stop trillions of dollars in spending by refusing to use the Debt Ceiling as a negotiating tool. He gave it up for nothing. […] in order to destroy America.”

Republicans have already been acting to tank the economy. They have voted against several bills that would have eased inflation, and lowered the costs of gas and healthcare. The threat of that betrayal, and the devastating default that Republicans are embracing, has not been getting the media attention that such catastrophes merit. Virtually the only recent television coverage has been on MSNBC by Chris Hayes, who warned that…

“If the economy is the number one issue to voters, then there is one party that will have an incentive to make it better. And that party is the one that has the presidency. The Democrats.

“The other side, the Republicans, have an explicit incentive to make the economy worse. And I will tell you, having covered the Tea Party Congress of 2011, amidst the recovery from the financial crisis, i feel confident in predicting that if Republicans win control of one or both houses of Congress, they will do everything in their power to sabotage the economy to best set them up to retake the White House in 2024.”

And Hayes’ guest during this segment, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, concurred, saying that…

“The Republicans are loud and clear about this. They’ve already said, for example, that they will use the debt ceiling negotiations. […] There are already Republicans saying that if they can get control of the House or the Senate then they’re going to hold hostage things like Social Security and Medicare.”

Republicans are aiming a weapon of mass economic destruction at the United States and all of its citizens. And there is little being done about it by the media, whose job it is to keep people informed of threats such as this. What the GOP is plotting would produce more harm than the recent hurricane in Florida. But there aren’t any hourly updates about the path of this disaster. That needs to change – and fast!

RELATED: BIDEN: Americans Have a Choice Between Two Very Different Sets of Values: Ultra-MAGA or Sanity

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Delivers a Righteous Rant Blasting Fox News for Advocating Starving Babies

The most predictable consequence of any crisis that America faces is that Fox News will waste no time trying to exploit it for purely partisan political purposes. And it won’t matter to Fox whether there is any truth to their exploitative endeavors, or how much rancid racism is ingrained in it.

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Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

The current shortage of baby formula in the U.S. is the latest example of how Fox manipulates the news to create division and fuel prejudice. Rather than explore ways to address the problem, or even to offer a rational debate on the subject, Fox News went directly to blaming President Biden and the innocent babies brought across the border by refugees fleeing poverty and violence.

RELATED: Biden Trashes Fox News Hack for ‘Garbage’ Question About Immigrant Children

The abhorrent positions expressed on Fox News reflect the bigotry against immigrants that Donald Trump has enabled and exacerbated. But Chris Hayes, host of “All In” on MSNBC, wasn’t taking it lightly. And he let loose with an impassioned monologue that effectively dismantled the noxious Fox News narrative (video below). Hayes began by saying that…

“We have reached the point where prominent figures in the conservative movement, including Republican politicians, office holders, and Fox News hosts, are calling for the United States to intentionally starve babies in its care. That is not hyperbole, and it’s not satire. It is the actual stated position now on the right.” […]

“Causes and solutions are not what the modern conservative movement really does when faced with a legitimate governing crisis. What they do is sniff around, like a dog after a carcass, to find the grossest way to demagogue the issue. And they have certainly found that here.”

Hayes then did something that is anathema to Fox News. He provided actual facts. He noted that there are less than a thousand infants in the custody of immigration authorities, and that they are required by law to feed them. That’s a miniscule percentage of the more than 3.7 million babies in America. So the argument that “illegal” babies (as Fox News disgustingly refers to them) are depriving American babies of formula is a deliberate and despicable lie. But that doesn’t stop Fox News from dispensing such hateful commentaries, and Hayes offers up a damning video compilation of them doing so.

Hayes also mocked the Fox News narrative that “The right solution to this formula crisis and shortage is to stop feeding the immigrant babies.” Obviously, if all of the formula provided to immigrant infants was redirected to Americans it wouldn’t make a dent in the problem. But, as previously noted, Fox News isn’t interested in solutions, just casting blame and manufacturing outrage. And while Fox News and heartless Republicans (yes, that’s redundant) are lying about the reasons for the formula shortage, the Biden administration is actually working to solve the problem.

In one especially loathsome part of the video that Hayes played, Fox hate monger Jesse Watters asked “Why are we feeding illegal babies ahead of American babies?” Just stop and think for moment about the repugnancy of that comment pitting one group of infants against another for life-saving sustenance. Hayes responded with apt revulsion saying, “Because they’re babies, you doofus!” He elaborated saying that…

“It would be a crime against humanity, and mass murder, to intentionally starve babies that you have in your custody, not to mention blatantly illegal. What is wrong with you?”

What is wrong with the cretins at Fox News is that they have no moral core. They are so fiercely fixated on their ultra-rightist political agenda that even the welfare of helpless infants is beyond their capacity to care. They would prefer to see migrant babies starve to death than to look realistically at the problem and seek collaborative solutions.

RELATED: Fox News Vigilantes, Lara Trump and ‘Judge’ Pirro, Issue Call to ‘Arm Up’ to Shoot Migrants

These allegedly “pro-life” Republicans and Fox News hacks would literally take the food from a baby’s mouth in order advance their crusade of cruelty. It’s what they have always done. They are just more open about it now.

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WHUT? Tucker Carlson of Fox News Boldly Refuses to Verify that His Disinformation is Reliable

The Olympic grade hypocrisy at Fox News continues to shine through everything they do. And nowhere is that more evident than with matters related to the coronavirus and the tragedies it has wrought on America, largely attributable to the lies and disinformation disseminated by Fox and Donald Trump. Studies show that the nation is currently suffering through what can accurately be described as The Fox News Pandemic.

Fox News. Tucker Carlson

Leading the way down to the depths of viral hell is Fox’s Senior Deceiver, Tucker Carlson. He has already peddled dangerous and flagrant falsehoods such as his promotion of quack cures, his paranoid conspiracy theories that the vaccines don’t work, his support for the unlawful use of fake vaccination cards, and his urging of viewers to make false police reports of child abuse against parents whose children wear face masks.

Despite that record of deliberate and deadly deception, Carlson is now complaining about social media sites trying to encourage the accurate and honest sharing of information upon which lives may depend. Because who would want that? On Wednesday night’s episode he delivered a diatribe against Instagram for what he falsely said was censorship. He was triggered by a message he received when he tried to post a video that was lousy with lies:

“When we put that video on Instagram the following message appeared: “Make sure the information is reliable before sharing!” And then it attempts to redirect you to a site, “Get Vaccine Info.” From some approved site. I guess info about policies at a company they don’t work at? So if you’re not allowed to explain information that you have first hand, credible knowledge of, like your own employer’s own policies, then what rights do you have?”

So Carlson is outraged that Instagram politely asked that he be certain of the reliability of what he was about to post. How dare they care about the accuracy of critical health data? Especially when they are asking someone who is so renowned for spreading lies that his employer, Fox News, argued in court that he couldn’t be guilty of defamation because “no reasonable person” would believe him.

Carlson falsely characterized Instagram’s message as censorship, claiming that he was not allowed to post his dishonest video. He also put his complaint in a chyron that read “Big Tech Tries to Censor this Show Once Again.” However, there was no censorship because Instagram allowed him to click through the message and post his video, which he did.

Another chyron in this segment told another lie regarding the video that he did, in fact, post on Instagram. This one read “There is no Vaccine Mandate at Fox News.” The truth is that Fox News has a policy that does mandate that their employees get vaccinated. It’s a conditional mandate that requires them to be tested daily if they are not vaccinated. That’s almost exactly the same as the policy that President Biden recently announced, except that Biden’s policy is actually less strict. requiring only weekly tests for the unvaccinated.

Apparently Carlson doesn’t know the Fox News position on vaccinations, despite having “first hand” knowledge of his “own employer’s own policies.” And in his ignorance he has slandered Biden as a tyrant for “forcing” people to get vaccinated. But if Biden is “waging war” on the American people, than Fox News has escalated it. Yet, as was scathingly pointed out by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Carlson is too cowardly to call out his bosses, or demonstrate an iota of integrity by quitting. And that goes for the rest of the Fox News roster of hypocrites who are nearly as bad as Carlson.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Exposes Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for the Slimy Little Coward that He Is

The commitment that Fox News has shown for advancing the spread of the coronavirus has been evident from the outset of the pandemic. When they weren’t outright dismissing the threat as a flu or a hoax (in conjunction with Donald Trump), they were disparaging efforts to mitigate the harm, such as wearing face masks and getting vaccinated. The result is that the nation is now suffering from what can accurately be called the Fox News Pandemic.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Bullshit Factory

The most offensive objector to the science-based solutions to COVID has been Fox’s Tucker Carlson. He has relentlessly promoted the use of quack cures, espoused paranoid conspiracy theories that the vaccines don’t work, supported the unlawful use of fake vaccination cards, and even exhorted his viewers to make false police reports of child abuse against parents whose children wear face masks.

On Tuesday Carlson was called out on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. Clearly Hayes was fed up with the blatant hypocrisy Carlson exuded every time he broached the subject of the pandemic. That was especially true when Carlson sought to malign President Biden’s efforts to actually save lives and return the country to some semblance of normalcy.

Most recently, Biden announced an initiative to get more Americans vaccinated. It included having federal agencies and large companies encouraging their employees to either get the shot or be tested weekly. and it was received with overwhelming support, even in a survey by Fox News.

Undeterred, Carlson persisted with his tunnel-vision, knee-jerk, pro-COVID positions. And he did so despite the fact that his employer had already implemented its own policy that is even stricter than Biden’s, requiring daily testing for the unvaccinated. Which led to Hayes unloading on Carlson and his hypocrisy:

“Tucker Carlson has even launched a personal campaign against the horrible, tyrannical employers out there who require their employees to get vaccinated. He has been giving sympathetic interviews to people who have taken the – in my mind – rather extreme step of quitting their job rather than getting vaccinated.”

“Tucker, buddy, I’ve got news for you: The call is coming from inside the house. Your own bosses are doing this. And I’ve got to ask, Why don’t you have the courage of your convictions? The very lowest level of that courage, which of course he’s failed to show, would be to simply use your platform to actually criticize your own bosses who are making this requirement. You could go on air and say ‘Hey, my bosses are doing this and I don’t agree with it.’

“But that would require the tiniest little sliver of moral integrity. You’d have to take some little, slight risk to your bottom line, and your paycheck, and your stature. You’re probably not going to do that. You certainly wouldn’t do the thing that you’ve celebrated in in others, which is to just quit and walk away rather than be subject to this tyranny.”

There are a couple of points in those remarks that Hayes might need to rethink. First of all, to ask Carlson why he doesn’t have the “courage of his convictions” you would have to assume that he has any convictions. And the same thing goes for any questions regarding Carlson’s alleged “moral integrity.”

Not only would Carlson never give up his Fox News gourmet meal ticket over something as principled as integrity, he will never even admit to his audience that Fox News has adopted the very policies that he is so petulantly whining about. Because to Carlson, none of this is about honor or honesty. It is simply about profit, power, and propaganda.

That goes for all of his confederates at Fox News as well. They are happy in the safety of their vaccinated corporate cocoon, while they simultaneously and deliberately frighten their dimwitted, vulnerable viewers away from the proven things that will protect them, their families, and their nation from illness and death. And somehow they still manage to sleep at night.

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

MUST SEE VIDEO: The Fox News Virus: Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Misinformation

On Friday evening MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” aired a segment that neatly encapsulated the human atrocity that is Rupert Murdoch and his virulently un-American right-wing media empire.

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Fox News Rupert Murdoch

The segment simply must be seen to do it justice. And therefore, here is an excerpt of the opening, followed by the video of this righteous rant:

“For the past nine months Rupert Murdoch-owned media have, by and large, waged a war against public health and the scientific consensus on containing the corona virus. On Fox News and elsewhere they’ve been playing down the virus and peddling just outright lies and pushing junk science and elevating cranks. All of which has tangibly, materially contributed to behavior that has made the pandemic worse.

“And what makes it all the more infuriating is that — as we have noted — while Fox hosts have been dismissing the experts, and suggesting lockdowns don’t work, and ridiculing people that avoid the office and follow public health guidelines, many Fox News employees have been working remotely at the same time.

“So now we arrive at the question of the vaccine. And last night one of Murdoch’s minions went on air to coyly just ask questions and rail against the offense of pro-vaccine propaganda that’s propagated by all corners of the media and the elite consensus that you should get the vaccine. Quote: ‘On the question of the coronavirus vaccine, our leaders are definitely not pro-choice. Their view is “do what you’re told and don’t complain.”‘ Of course, no one is actually telling you what to do. The vaccine is voluntary.”

The “minion” of which Hayes spoke was Fox’s Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson. And he did indeed devote much of his program to disgorging flagrant lies about the coronavirus vaccine. He characterized it as the key component of a plot to enslave Americans under some undefined threat of “social control.” His preposterous horror story included evil doctors, tech companies, media figures, and politicians. He even fingered Dr. Anthony Fauci, who Carlson asserted was both a ring leader and incompetent.

Hayes went on to point out some blatant hypocrisies. For instance, Fox News never bothered castigate Vice-President Mike Pence, who publicly got the vaccination that Fox News is now disparaging as a marketing ploy to trap people in their net of social control. Hayes also recounted how Murdoch’s New York Post set out to deliberately ruin the life of an innocent and heroic COVID nurse by spreading lascivious tales about her personal life that had no news value. The only purpose for the story was to be cruel in order to make a trivial political point

Hayes closed with a summary of how Murdoch fits into in this picture by noting that it was just “another day In the life of one of the most destructive people on the planet.” Which pretty well captures Murdoch’s villainous role. He is the lynchpin in the cabal of conservativism that is dragging down the American principles of freedom and democracy. And if he is allowed to get away with it, the American experiment will end in failure.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Thanks for your support.

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

Hannity Freaks Out Over Holding Trump Accountable for His Coronavirus Death Toll

Donald Trump is without question the most reckless, ignorant, and incompetent president in America’s short history. Nevertheless, he is renowned for failing to take responsibility for any of his calamitous failures. Trump will vainly shift blame to others, employ awkward deflections, and lie shamelessly to avoid being held accountable. With Trump, the buck is always handed off to an innocent political foe or some hapless flunky.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Fortunately for Trump, he has a cadre of glassy-eyed disciples in right-wing media who will cover for him no matter how ludicrous the circumstances. Most of them reside at State TV (aka Fox News), such as his shadow chief-of-staff-infection, Sean Hannity. Trump relies on Hannity as a defensive shield against uncomfortable facts, propaganda dissemination, and contorted political strategy. And on Saturday Hannity fulfilled all three of those roles in a brief blog post.

The headline on Hannity’s harrangue was “A NEW LOW: Schiff Says ’50,000 Americans Are Dead’ Because Trump Wasn’t Impeached and Removed.” He lashed out at Rep. Adam Schiff for what he said were “Schiff’s vicious comments.” Elaborating, Hannity charged that…

“Congressman Adam Schiff escalated his war-of-words with the Trump administration Saturday; saying “50,000 Americans are dead” because the President was not impeached and removed from the Oval Office.”

What Hannity was referencing was a portion of a Schiff interview on Friday with Chris Hayes on MSNBC (video below). Schiff accurately observed about Trump that “A man with no moral compass will never find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.” The subject of the segment was Trump’s tragically negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Hayes asked Schiff about comments he made at the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment that speculated about the grave necessity of removing Trump from office to avert future catastrophes. Schiff’s response speculated about the degree of damage Trump would still be capable of if he remained:

“How much damage could he really do? We posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage. But frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead.

There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence. Because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence, sometimes his brand of malevolence, would be so fatal to the American people.

To be clear, Hannity’s assertion that Schiff said 50,000 Americans are dead because Trump wasn’t removed from office is inaccurate. What Schiff is that the deaths were because of Trump’s incompetence. Of course, those deaths would not have occurred had he been removed, but neither would they have occurred had he not been incompetent. What’s more, the severity of the coronavirus casualties is being under reported. The death toll is now over 65,000 with more than 1,100,000 infected.

A month ago Trump said that he would consider a total of 65,000 deaths to be a “victory.” That was an estimate for August that we reached in April. A few days ago his son-in-law (and senior advisor), Jared Kushner, called it a great success story.” But yesterday Trump was busy tearing down and reconstructing the goal posts at 100,000 fatalities. Expect those posts to be pushed back further in a few weeks.

As for Hannity, his concern about not holding Trump accountable for the death toll isn’t surprising. But he is also failing to hold himself accountable. He spent the past couple of months dismissing the coronavirus as an insignificant form of the flu. As a result, a recent study revealed that watching Hannity actually increased one’s likelihood of dying from the disease. So it would be wise to practice social distancing from Hannity as well as all other Fox News viewers and Trump supporters. You can’t be too careful these days.

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

Thanks Trump! The Pumpkinhead President Scares Fox News Ratings Into an Abyss

The month of October has been a frightening experience for Donald Trump. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted on national TV that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a nervous breakdown on Fox News. He was forced to reverse an idiotic plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami. And his one bit of good news – the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – produced a paltry two point bounce in a poll by his favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen. Scary, huh?

Donald Trump, Fox News, Halloween

Trump was so terrified throughout the month that he fear-posted 104 panic-tweets attacking the fearsome chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. And as if the Offender-in-Chief doesn’t already have enough reasons to soil his trousers, the Trump-fluffing “news” network that he relies on to prop him up with worshipful propaganda, Fox News, fell on some hard times as well. The ratings for October reveal that impeachment has been good news for both America and Fox’s chief competitor, MSNBC.

The total day ratings for Fox News declined by a whopping 27 percent in the all-important 25-54 demographic, compared to October of 2018. In the same period MSNBC rose 12 percent. MSNBC also increased total prime time viewers 25 percent, and prime time demo viewers 16 percent.

This growth was driven by impressive gains by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the #1 cable news program for the month among adults 25-54. Her show was up 13 percent, while Fox News’ Hannity declined 21 percent in that time slot. In total viewers Maddow was up 22 percent, compared to Fox’s 2 percent drop. She beat her direct competition, Sean Hannity, as well as Fox’s other prime time stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

These gains were also present in other MSNBC programs. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up 20 percent (Fox News dropped 22 percent). The 11th Hour with Brian Williams finished #1 in the 11 p.m. hour, up 25 percent (Fox News declined 31 percent). The Beat with Ari Melber delivered the network’s most-watched month ever in the 6 p.m. time period, up 34 percent (Fox News down 12 percent). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was #1 in total viewers, up 13 percent (Fox News dropped 27 percent). All In with Chris Hayes was up 24 percent (Fox News was down 19 percent). Even the weekend had great news with total day gains of 10 percent (Fox News dips of 32 percent).

There could be several explanations for this powerful performance by MSNBC and the simultaneous collapse of Fox News. Trump’s impeachment might have stirred more interest by progressive news consumers to tune in more. At the same time, it might have discouraged conservatives from watching the news at all. But there’s another possible factor that drove Fox’s viewers away: Donald Trump. He spent a fair amount of time bashing his own own best media outlet and even telling his followers to turn off Fox.

For instance, after a Fox poll showed him losing to Biden, Trump tweeted that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.” And then there was the time he tweeted that “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.” And not mincing words, Trump told his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

It’s hard to determine whether Trump’s Fox bashing had any real impact on their ratings. But it isn’t hard to see that he is a fickle and vengeful narcissist who demands 100 percent adoration at all times, lest you be cast into the corn fields, aka TrumpScorn. However, it is more likely that television audiences were simply more interested in getting honest presentations of the news by real journalists instead of slobbering, glassy-eyed sycophants. And since a majority of Americans favor Trump being impeached and removed from office (even in that Fox News poll), even the opinion side of MSNBC would figure to be more popular.

If Trump has anything going for him at this time, it’s the “bloody highway crash” appeal that might cause viewers to tune to Fox in order to see exactly how his mental breakdown will unfold in real time. Sure, it’s morbid and gruesome, but hell, it’s Halloween. Everybody may just be in a weird mood.

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

Fox News Flat Out Lies that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Compared Climate Change to 9/11

It’s never exactly breaking to news to report that Fox News has broadcast something that is blatantly contrary to reality. In fact, it would be easier to point out when they say something that’s even marginally true. Nevertheless, it’s important to set the record straight lest we allow their lies to linger and get a foothold on the weaker minds that populate their audience of Deplorables.

Fox News, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Saturday morning, Donald Trump’s favorite breakfast club, Fox and Friends, put together a segment that was obviously intended to deceive. The target of their dishonesty was a familiar one: Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), for whom they have developed a perverse obsession. The subject of the segment was emblazoned on their chyron which read “Ocasio-Cortez Compares Climate Change to 9/11.” There’s just one little problem with that. AOC never did anything of the kind.

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes began the segment with a clip (video below) of AOC making a point about the of the Trump administration’s utterly incompetent response to the tragic hurricane in Puerto Rico. She said that:

“On the events on September 11, 2001, thousands of Americans died in the largest terror attack on US soil. Our national response was war in one, then eventually two countries. Three thousand Americans died in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria. Where is our response?”

So AOC did make some mention of 9/11, but it had nothing to do with climate change. And it wasn’t even a comparison to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico. She was only observing that this country can devote resources to a disaster when it has the will to do so. She was comparing the response, not the event. But the hosts of Fox and Friends were more committed to attacking AOC than to reporting what she actually said. Not that she didn’t address climate change in the hour long town hall she did with Chris Hayes of MSNBC. She did, and in a very profound and compelling manner. But Fox News never played that part:

“Our greatest existential threat is climate change. And to get us out of this situation – to revamp our economy, to create dignified jobs for working Americans, to guarantee healthcare, and elevate our educational opportunities and attainment – we will have to mobilize our entire economy around saving ourselves and taking care of this planet.”

The producers of this Fox program also appended a bit of video to the end of their clip that was unrelated to the rest of it. It showed her commenting about the critics of the “Green New Deal,” saying that she “didn’t expect them to make total fools of themselves.” That comment was actually a response to a video montage of Republicans and Fox News shills (which is redundant, I know) attacking her. And after maligning and misrepresenting her for the whole piece, the Fox hosts suggested that she should come on their show. Yeah, right. At least Fox didn’t compare her to Hitler and Stalin like it did a couple of months ago.

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

Frightened Fox News Pulls ‘Impeach Trump’ Ad After Trump and Viewers Complain

The cable news network that once promised to be “fair and balanced” has demonstrated again that it was never either. Which may be why they ditched that slogan earlier this year. Friday it was revealed that Fox News breached a contract with billionaire activist Tom Steyer to air a commercial advocating the “Need to Impeach” Donald Trump. Steyer had bought airtime on Fox News and the ad did air at least once on Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump Impeach

However, since then Fox News decided to yank the ad despite the fact that the time had already been paid for. They didn’t give Steyer any reason for breaching their contract. They didn’t even tell him they had done so. When Fox News was asked to explain why they pulled they ads they gave a surprisingly inappropriate response:

Jack Abernethy, Fox News co-president: Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money.

If that’s true, it is an extraordinary development. It may be the first time that a television network made a programming decision for advertisements based on viewer response. Maybe the TV audience could speak up and get those disgusting cartoon bears that are obsessed with which toilet paper they wipe their cartoon butts with off the air.

More likely, Fox News axed these ads because the content was contrary to their political biases. The propaganda ministry at the network just could not abide an advertisement that made a strong case for removing Trump from office. Add to that the fact that Trump himself had registered his own complaint via Twitter saying:

Steyer appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Friday when the subject of the ad came up (video below). He told Hayes about Fox’s action and explicitly called out the network for kowtowing to Trump. Steyer also had his attorneys contact Fox News to seek answers as to why they would unilaterally terminate the contract. The letter they wrote said in part that:

“Fox News abruptly pulled the advertisement without explanation (the ‘Cancellation’). We write to protest this baseless and unethical decision. The Cancellation is not only a breach of your agreement with Mr. Steyer – it is also a profound failure of journalistic integrity, a suppression of constitutionally protected speech, and likely a consequence of inexcusable political pressure.”

There are some good reasons for networks to decline to air certain ads. For instance, if the content is provably false, or if it is deliberately harmful or libelous. Political disagreement is not among the legitimate reasons. That would be censorship. Particularly if the President had a role in the decision.

However, the reasons that Fox News would have are easier to predict. They surely would not want to expose their viewers to this sort of information. And they wouldn’t want to piss off their prime benefactor in the White House. But the excuse that they felt guilty about taking Steyer’s money is patently absurd. That sort of argument would lead to rejecting any ads from Democratic candidates. Their predominantly Republican audience wouldn’t like those either. But maybe that’s precisely the ultra-partisan, spin doctoring that Fox News is aiming for.

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

John Kerry Rips Donald Trump’s ‘Unbelievable Contemptuous Ignorance’ On Climate Change

The Republican Party long ago committed itself to a position on climate change that is at odds with reality. The question is settled with 97 percent of the scientists who study the subject agreeing that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based GOP politicians, with help from the Fox News propaganda machine, from rejecting the voluminous data validating the unprecedented scientific consensus.

John Kerry

Leading the brigade of science deniers is the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. In a widely ridiculed comment he called climate change a hoax that “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He advocates anti-environment policies such as eliminating regulations on energy exploration and production, opening up federal lands to oil drilling, and building the KeystoneXL pipeline. He promises to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he thought was called the Department of Environmental (DEP?). And most recently he said that he would rip up the United Nations’ historic Paris climate agreement that currently has 177 signatories.

Responding to Trump’s attack on the Paris accords, Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes (video below). He did not mince words when asked about Trump’s hostility toward the international effort to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change:

“Ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counterproductive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path it would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issue as well as the actual policies we need to implement and it would in the end be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio.”

Kerry didn’t stop there. He addressed the fact that each of the past years and decades marked record highs in global warming and were each hotter than those that preceded them, poignantly noting that “Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening.” Along with the obvious and harmful impact of rising temperatures and sea levels, there is an alarming threat to national security. Kerry summarized this threat saying:

“Refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water, or fights over food, or the fact that they have to move from where they live today. To talk about casually, without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up would be one of the most reckless irresponsible, historically wrong acts I can think of.”

Conservative opponents of environmental reforms frequently try to belittle proponents as prioritizing climate change over terrorism. Of course, there is no reason why both issues cannot be tackled simultaneously. More to the point though, climate change actually is a more ominous threat that has the potential to instigate bloody wars and wipe out billions of people. Terrorism is unquestionably a tragic reality that requires a determined effort to defeat, but it does not approach the scale of climate change for global disaster. This was realized by no less a figure of right-wing stature than former George W. Bush defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. The Rolling Stone published a comprehensive examination of “The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk,” that cited Rumsfeld:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

OK? So now the climate-hoaxers cannot simply blame Obama and his socialist cabal of Sharia lawyers for inventing the crisis. Sources as deeply ingrained in the rightist dregs of warhawk free-marketism as Rumsfeld and Bush warned of the very same threat. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans.

That leaves Donald Trump and his ilk to be the standard bearers of an utterly delusional rejection of the dangers that face a planet that is rapidly heating up, both in terms of temperature and hostility. Kerry characterized Trump’s denialism perfectly by labeling it reckless and ignorant. Unfortunately the Republican Party is now Trump’s plaything and they can be expected to wholly embrace his ignorance with enthusiasm and obedient blindness.

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