Fox News Politics Editor on Trump Holding the G7 at Doral: It’s Beyond My Imagination

As if there weren’t enough going on in the world today, Donald Trump had his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, hold a press conference to make a couple of important announcements. One turned out to be an admission that Trump did engage in a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian president. The other was an announcement that the G7 Meeting for 2020 will be held at his own Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami.

Trump Baby on Cash Pile

Apparently Trump has stopped caring about even the appearance of impropriety as he mocks the Congress and the American people with his shamelessly self-dealing and contempt for the Constitution.

Trump originally suggested his bedbug infested Doral resort at the close of the last G7. And that didn’t go well. But Trump’s disrespect for even the most basic expressions of ethics is painfully obvious. It’s as if he wants you to know that he’s a barefaced grifter and is daring you to do something about it. He’s rubbing his depraved corruption in our faces and laughing as he believes that he’ll get away with this, or any other immoral misconduct he might conceive.

But Trump may be in for a surprise. The first take on this by Fox News was by their digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt (video below). When he was asked about the decision to use Doral he replied with a sense of amazement…

“I got to tell you, the idea that this administration, dealing with what this administration is dealing with, right? A lot. You’ve got the unraveling in Syria. You’ve got the march toward Trump impeachment here at home. A breaking news story every day. The world is on fire.

“Why? It is beyond my imagination […] That is an unnecessary problem to create for himself. But then the next step, today. To do it now and do it in this way. I just wish I could think of a good reason for it.”

From Trump’s perspective, there may be more than one good reason for it. First, it makes him richer. Second, it promotes his brand worldwide. Third, it kicks sand in the face of his critics, including the media. And fourth, it serves as a distraction from the other atrocities he’s currently involved with.

The other countries in the G7 should seriously consider declining to attend this fraud. They should all agree to meet somewhere else, like maybe Greenland, the country Trump thought he could buy. And the hospitality industry should protest loudly. By selecting his own failing property, Trump is effectively saying that there is no other hotel or convention facility in all of America that is suitable to host this event. That, of course, isn’t true. But Trump’s putrid greed is sending that message to the nation and the world.

What will be truly unbelievable is if Congress let’s Trump get away with this. They have the right and the duty to review this decision and impose some measure ethical standards on this president whose morality has gone rogue. They need to take action and rein in contemptuous behavior. If not just because it is so flagrantly wrong, but to also make it clear that he can not run roughshod over the law and the American people who he plainly despises.

UPDATE: Trump’s “handlers” apparently managed to convince him that violating the Constitution by directing business to his own property was a bad idea. So Trump has withdrawn his intention to hold the 2020 G7 summit at Doral. Naturally, he blamed his backtracking on the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility because he’s too big a wimp to take responsibility. And the recidivist grifter turned his 3-tweet retreat into an infomercial for his bedbug infested golf dump and exalted his would-be – and imaginary – charitableness.

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

‘Quit Letting Trump Use You as a Foil,’ Fox News Politics Editor Tells the Press

It was just last Wednesday that Shepard Smith of Fox News delivered a searingly honest monologue about Donald Trump’s relentless lies concerning the special counsel’s probe of his collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. It was a timely effort to set the record straight as Trump gets more anxious and threatening toward Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Donald Trump

However, the surprising spectacle of a senior Fox News reporter being openly disparaging of the President may be getting more acceptable to the Fox brass. On Friday’s edition of Outnumbered, Fox’s politics editor, Chris Stirewalt, laid into the White House’s “useless” daily press briefings, which are hardly daily affairs anymore. There were five in June, and only three in July. And during a discussion on the subject, Stirewalt was unusually critical of Team Trump:

“I think we’re at a point where the White House briefs very rarely, and when they do it’s useless. We should stop the televised briefings. It’s counterproductive. It’s turned into showboat theater. No questions get answered. Well, not no questions. Substantive issues are not addressed. It has become a forum for personal achievement and political utility for the administration.”

Actually, Stirewalt was right the first time. Questions are not answered by this press secretary, Sarah Sanders. She routinely dodges and lies for half an hour, and then slips out of the room. But he was right about the administration using the briefings as a political tool to disseminate disinformation. He continued:

“I submit, we should stop having reporters at those Trump rallies. Everybody should stop having reporters penned up like veal in the back of those things for the President to use as a prop. And then some of the reporters exploit that for their own personal benefit. This is not helping anybody. Get out of the hall. Leave the cameras. Get the reporters out of the hall. Quit letting him use you as a foil.”

Exactly. Trump spends much of his time at his self-exalting rallies insulting the press. He points at them with a hostile glare and accuses them of lying and worse, treason. He encourages his glassy-eyed disciples to blast them with the sort of animus that can easily escalate to violence. He is inciting them to act in ever more dangerous ways that are almost certain to result in tragedy.

But Stirewalt does have a good idea, one that has been proposed before by media experts like Jay Rosen. The obvious futility of getting anything newsworthy from these briefings was apparent long ago. There is no journalistic need to cover them live because nothing urgent ever happens. The press can send interns and camera operators to record the snooze-fest and alert senior reporters if something important happens to shake loose. The result would be reporters would be freed up to do real journalism, and the White House communications office would have to find another platform for their propaganda.

Following Stirewalt’s righteous tirade on the uselessness of Trump’s press briefings, host Harris Faulkner ignored every point that he made in order to pivot into a tribute to the Trump administration. Because you can’t go for more than a minute or two on Fox News without lavishing the White House with undo praise. Faulkner applauded Trump for scheduling a press conference with members of his national security team. That event was pure photo-op with partisan insiders bragging about what a great job they were doing on preventing any new cyber attacks on the upcoming election. And they managed to do that without providing any details whatsoever on the activities they were allegedly engaged in.

Harris went further to demean CNN’s Jim Acosta for asking Sanders if she thinks that the media is the enemy of the people. She implied that maligning the media in Stalinist language was hardly worth paying attention to and that Acosta’s question was, therefore, a trivial waste of time. Shortly thereafter, co-host Trish Regan chimed in with her opinion that “the majority of Americans” look at CNN and MSNBC and “realize that they have a very extreme bias.” And yes, she was saying this on a Fox News program where four out of five panelists were overtly conservative supporters of Donald Trump.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the press actually failed to show up for these briefings. Would the White House learn a lesson and begin to make them more substantive? Well, let’s not get ridiculous. This White House would just whine that the media was being mean to them and book some more rallies where Trump could clown around for his cult followers. But at least Trump’s ability to funnel lies to a captive audience would be gone, and reporters could go back to doing what they became reporters for.

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

Fox News: Trump ‘is Going to Defecate All Over Everything, Squawk and Fly Away’

It’s getting more difficult with every new day to ignore just how deferential Donald Trump is to Vladimir Putin. Trump has never been shy about expressing his feelings, particularly when they are brash insults to anyone who he thinks is less than adoring to him. Trump will lash out viciously at friends, associates, and strangers who dare to criticize him, even in mild terms. But he never has a harsh word for his pal in the Kremlin. Many people are wondering what Putin has on Trump to guarantee this endless supply of affection.

Donald Trump Chicken

This peculiar – and conspicuously anti-American – behavior was exhibited again this week when Trump ventured off to Brussels for a meeting with our NATO allies. He even foreshadowed the position he intended to take when he told the media that his upcoming tete-a-tete with Putin would be “the easiest one” he would have on this junket. And in the very first public gathering open to the press, Trump demonstrated that his relations with our allies would not be easy at all by launching a wild harangue against Germany for partnering with Russia in a natural gas pipeline.

So the battlelines have already been drawn in just the first few hours of the NATO summit. And, naturally, Trump is bashing our friends and cozying up to our enemies. The brazen manner with which Trump displays his betrayal to long-time allies is now being noticed by his most vociferous defender: State TV (aka Fox News). As the summit was getting underway, Chris Stirewalt, Fox News digital politics editor, had a few words about the President’s disloyalty to America’s national interests (video below). Referring to members of Trump’s GOP who have been feverishly trying to spin Trump’s unsettling commentaries, Stirewalt said that:

“I want to tell these Republicans, quit kidding yourselves. You will not stop Donald Trump from undermining NATO, and you will not stop him from undermining U.S. foreign policy to be more favorable towards Russia. He is going to do it.

“And the Republicans who say, ‘Well, we have a broad foreign policy apparatus and we forced him to impose these sanctions, and we forced him to do these things.’ He is going to fly into Brussels like a seagull. He is going to defecate all over everything, squawk and fly away, is what he’s going to do in Brussels. And the Europeans are going to continue to say to each other, ‘We don’t have a reliable partner in the U.S. government right now. We don’t think this is a working relationship.’

“Plus, we have a trade war going with them. The President will succeed, whether it’s temporary or whether it’s lasting, realigning U.S. foreign policy away from Europe and toward Moscow.”

Clearly the quotable portion of that analysis concerns the defecating seagull. The media will likely highlight that colorful phrase to draw in readers and viewers (just as News Corpse did). But no one should let the more substantive part of Stirewalt’s remarks go by. Because the significance of a Fox News editor telling their primetime audience that Trump is “realigning U.S. foreign policy away from Europe and toward Moscow,” cannot be overstated. This isn’t Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow talking. It’s a senior Fox news editor who is issuing a warning to an audience that he knows won’t welcome it.

But will they listen? Probably not. At least not until one of the pharisees of the Fox/Trump cult like Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham says it. Until then, Trump’s disciples will continue to believe that he has the infallibility of the Messiah. And anything he says – no matter how destructive to American values or interests – will be agreed to and worshiped like gospel. And Stirewalt will be dismissed as a heretic. That’s how cults work.

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

Fox News Excuses Tillerson Mess, White House Chaos By Saying that ‘Disarray is Trumpism’

The Tuesday Morning Massacre at Donald Trump’s White House rocked the political media. In the matter of a few hours Trump had fired the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Steve Goldstein, the State Dept spokesman whose announcement of Tillerson’s firing contradicted the White House story, and Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, whose dismissal was due to an investigation for serious financial crimes (He was then immediately hired by Trump’s 2020 campaign).

trump-departures

However, over on Fox News the presidential pandemonium was given a much more positive spin. It didn’t represent the turmoil that everyone else was seeing. It was merely, as Fox political editor Chris Stirewalt said, “Trump being Trump.” In an interview (video below) with anchor Sandra Smith, Stirewalt dutifully pardoned the President for any malfeasance in office or mismanagement.

Smith: “Does this add to the speculation of disarray inside the West Wing? Or should one just decide that this is the way the President works?”
Stirewalt: “Well, both things could be true. Disarray may be the methodology. If disarray is a methodology, then perhaps that is Trumpism. But let’s also remember if we put this in context of what else is going on, we saw Donald Trump govern in 2017 as a very traditional kind of Republican president. In 2018 we’re seeing Trump being Trump. […] And so I think we are seeing here, maybe not disarray, but instead this real pivot back to core nationalist, populist Trumpism.”

See? It’s just Trump executing his plan perfectly. It’s all unfolding exactly the way he wants it to. Nothing out of order, or out of the ordinary. He is just “pivoting” back to his “core nationalist, populist Trumpism,” whatever the hell that is.

If those remarks weren’t ludicrous enough, Stirewalt also had to assert that last year Trump was “very traditional.” In what dystopian nightmare? 2017 was a year filled with lying, hypocrisy, and a policy agenda that was either preposterous or dangerous or both. It was the year that he tried (and failed) to repeal ObamaCare. He rescinded DACA by executive action. He pushed through a tax bill that enriched corporations and his wealthy pals to the detriment of everyone else.

And his personnel management was a historical disaster. There was a forty-plus percent turnover in top presidential posts. And just to put a fine point on Trump’s deranged perspective, he had this to say regarding his recent staff shake-up: “I’m really at a point where I’m close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” He’s been in office for more than a year and he’s just now getting to that point? God help us all if he ever actually gets there.

But leave it to Fox News to sugar-coat Trump’s incompetence. And it didn’t take them an hour to develop this public relations propaganda spiel. Just think what they’ll be saying by this evening when Sean Hannity goes on the air. By then Trump will be heralded as the most brilliant national leader of the millennium. And sadly, way too many glassy-eyed Fox News disciples and Trump cultists will believe it.

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

Regrets My A$$: Lovesick Media Swoons At Trump’s Phony Non-Apology

For several months there has been breathless anticipation that the boorish and offensive personality of Donald Trump would vanish in a puff of smoke as he revealed his true graciousness and diplomacy. And the same people who believe that are still waiting for Santa to deliver their unicorn.

Donald Trump

In a speech in Charlotte, N.C., Trump recited the TelePrompted views that were prepared for him by the new regime managing his floundering campaign. For the most part it was typical Republican dogma with one new wrinkle. Reversing months of stubborn insistence that he has nothing to regret, Trump conceded that he does, indeed, feel some pangs for unspecified occasions when “you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing.” But even he expressed skepticism of this new found contrition by prefacing his regrets with “believe it or not.”

Anyone who thinks that Trump is actually sorry has not been paying attention. He has unabashedly insulted Latinos, veterans, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. His rebukes of fellow Republicans during the primary were painfully immature. You can’t behave like that for nearly a year and then just turn around and issue a wishy-washy regret that was written by hired hacks. He never bothered to actually apologize or even show respect for those he demeaned by identifying them or what he said that was wrong. It’s fair to say that the only thing he really regrets about his comments is the extent to which they have hurt him.

What’s most disappointing about this is the ease with which the media is falling for Trump’s bad playacting. They seem to think that his “pivot” is a material transformation of his personality on the scale of a spiritual rebirth. In reality it’s a desperate political ploy to avoid a humiliating landslide loss in November. Is the media really so dense that they don’t see that?

Here are some examples compiled by Media Matters of how the press has taken up Trump’s narrative without a lick of critical analysis:

On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy said of Trump’s address that it was “one of the best speeches Donald Trump has ever given.” That was seconded by correspondent John Roberts who added that “he completed his pivot to the general election campaign.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Scarborough exclaimed “Wow. You have the reset button ready? Reset.” Guest reporter Katty Kay agreed saying “Yeah. That’s the kind of Trump that will make the Clinton campaign wake up.”

Christine Romans of CNN’s New Day marveled that it was “something I think six months ago we never thought we would have seen.”

On CBS This Morning host Margaret Brennan said “it may indicate a change in approach.” Her colleague Dean Reynolds called it “almost startling.” That was after he highlighted Trump’s “promise never to lie to voters.” They may want to take a look at the Trump Bullshitopedia to see the dozens of documented lies that are already on record.

Back on Fox, Chris Stirewalt declared it “a signal moment.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York gushed that we are seeing a “Very new Trump.”

The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese seemed relieved saying that “if we’ve been waiting for a pivot, this week is the one you should mark on the calendar.”

On NBC’s Today Hallie Jackson reported that this was “something we’ve almost never heard from him,” and that Trump sounded “strikingly more humble.”

These people are either terminally naive or too gullible to be living outside of an institution. The only sane response to Trump’s disingenuous attempts to appear remorseful is to throw right back at him the innumerable abusive and slanderous remarks he has unleashed and make him answer for each one individually. Short of that he deserves no praise for pasting a band-aid over the scars he has left on so many innocent people. And he certainly should not be taken at his word that he is regretful after all the times he swore to the contrary, even saying that “I like not to regret anything.” Here is some of the evidence in a four-video YouTube playlist:

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

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign weighs in with an awesome video on this subject: No Regrets. It’s a MUST see.

Irony Alert: First Issue Of Biased Fox News Newsletter Questions Media Bias

This morning marks the debut of a new service by the folks at Fox News aimed at delivering their trademarked GOP-authored propaganda directly to your email inbox. The “Fox News First” newsletter introduces itself asking…

“Always wanted Fox’s political must-reads? Now you can have them. Each weekday morning, our DC team, led by Chris Stirewalt, delivers the FOX NEWS FIRST political newsletter.”

For those of you who don’t know him, Chris Stirewalt, Fox’s digital politics editor, is the smarmy correspondent who appears daily on Fox’s “America Live” with a round-up of right-wing outrages to titillate their frenzy-starved audience. His television persona is reminiscent of a perverse Mr. Rogers approaching a potential child victim, complete with creepy, twisted smile, darting eyes, and sickly, syrupy voice.

Fox Nation vs. RealityThe premiere issue of Fox News First features a collection of anti-Obama stories and generally conservative items to whet the appetites of the Fox faithful. It is a compendium of broadsides aimed at liberals, but that have little connection to reality. [Speaking of which, have you read my ebook, “Fox Nation vs. Reality” yet?] They lead off with an obligatory shout out to the Benghazi conspiracy crowd, then segue to how Obama is screwing up Egypt. This is followed by a slap at ObamaCare that manages to include an ACORN angle. At Fox they never let an old pseudo-scandal go to waste.

The newsletter includes quotes from GOP governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker, along with critical comments by other conservative politicians and pundits. There is even a blurb about the most activist Supreme Court Justice in history, Antonin Scalia, who laments the activism of the Supreme Court. What’s missing is any attempt to provide balance by reporting the views of liberals or Democrats. But then, that isn’t the purpose of the newsletter, or of Fox News.

However, perhaps the funniest bit of blather in this utterly useless screed, is the nod to Fox’s new media analyst, Howard Kurtz. Commenting on today’s launch of the Al-Jazeera cable news network, Stirewalt notes that Kurtz is wondering whether the network can “shake its reputation for bias and fulfill its promise of more serious news and less fluff?”

Seriously? Is he talking about Al-Jazeera or his new boss, Fox News. Because the notion of Fox News questioning the ability of another network to shake it’s reputation for bias is downright hysterical. That’s Fox News, the network that hires half the Republican candidates for office as political analysts. Fox News, the network that cribs their stories from RNC press releases. Fox News, the network that fills their airtime with manufactured controversies and conspiracy theories against Democrats. Fox News, whose reputation for bias couldn’t be shaken by dropping it in the San Andreas fault during the Big One. That’s the Fox News that wonders about the seriousness and fluff of Al-Jazeera, an award-winning international news enterprise?

With the announcement of his hiring at Fox, Kurtz said that he wanted to bring his “independent brand of media criticism to Fox News.” He is off to a pitiful start.

Romney Derangement Syndrome Introduced By Fox News

Today fox News added Mitt Romney to the list of “Derangement” syndromes that have entered the vernacular. That in itself is not particularly noteworthy. The syndrome meme has been gaining popularity and has been attached to virtually every major political figure at one time or another.

What’s of note here is that this decidedly partisan expression was not coined by a Fox News opinion commentator and it did not appear on Fox Nation. It was authored by Chris Stirewalt, the politics editor for Fox News Digital: “Obama Suffers From Early Onset Romney Derangement Syndrome.”

Fox News Romney Derangement

The article addresses the phony controversy stirred up by Fox over whether Obama had politicized the killing of Osama Bin Laden by referencing it in a web video that enumerated some of the President’s accomplishments in office. It would be impossible to draw up such a list without including the Bin Laden episode, but the right wants to forbid the President from getting any credit for his role in accomplishing something his predecessor failed to do for seven years. Here is an excerpt from the article that Fox News considers to be “fair and balanced:”

“[M]aking a nakedly partisan attack surrounding the best military moment in a long time looks grubby and un-presidential. It makes the other things Obama is doing to capitalize on the killing – nuzzling Brian Williams in the Situation Room, etc. – go from eyebrow raising to just plain yucky.”

Does that sound like a hard news treatment of current events? To be clear, Fox News has an opinion section on their web site, but this article was not in it. They presented this brazenly biased screed as actual news. And what’s worse, Fox is completely wrong on the facts of the matter. Romney actually did criticize Obama for saying that he would pursue Bin Laden, even into Pakistan, and that if Pakistan would not act, he would. Romney responded by saying that he disagreed with Obama’s remarks and that he (Romney) would not violate the sovereignty of our Pakistani allies. Therefore, Romney would not have killed Bin Laden under the circumstances that Obama was faced with, despite the fact that he now says he would have done so.

If anyone is politicizing this affair it’s Romney. He is twisting the President’s representation of events and misquoting himself. It’s a classic case of Monday morning Commander-in-Chiefing.

Tea Party Pimps At Fox News Suddenly Oppose Coverage Of Protests

Fox News spent much of the past two years openly promoting the Tea Party. They beseeched viewers to attend rallies, donated millions of dollars of valuable air time, propped up candidates, and even branded events as Fox News productions. Fox News anchors were dispatched to rallies where they served as Tea Party MCs. Tea Party Express founder, Sal Russo, said that “There would not have been a tea party without Fox.”

Fox News Tea Party

From its inception the Tea Party was a phony circus of right-wing propaganda that never warranted the attention it received from the press. It couldn’t muster support from the public at large that exceeded the mid-twenties. Yet Fox News provided wall-to-wall coverage on a daily basis.

Now Fox has published an article by their digital politics editor, Chris Stirewalt, arguing that the Occupy Wall Street movement ought not to be getting coverage from the media. Stirewalt warns against “the temptation to overhype Occupy events,” and offers his advice that…

“…the press should consider taking a deep breath when it comes to coverage of the current movement.”

How convenient. After two years of relentless promotion of an AstroTurf affair that the majority of Americans oppose, Fox thinks that a truly grassroots movement, whose goals are supported by an overwhelming majority, should be swept aside and denied coverage.

Stirewalt’s article was notable also for its brazen bias against the Occupy movement. He begins the piece by saying…

“The California-as-Greece meme picked up steam this week when Oakland turned into the poor man’s Athens.”

However, he provides no support whatsoever for his fabricated meme, nor any evidence of it picking up steam. He further characterizes Occupiers as a “nuisance” and resorts to juvenile pejoratives like “malodorous emanations” to describe the protesters.

Stirewalt belittled the participation of 100 veterans who came to support the Occupation saying that their presence “isn’t significant,” but that…

“It might be effective messaging for the protesters to put forward a military appearance to undercut the popular notion that they are a bunch of hippies.”

First of all, the “popular notion” Stirewalt refers to is one that he and his cohorts at Fox invented. But more importantly, his dismissal of the veterans is an unconscionable display of disrespect. What ever happened to thanking them for their service?

This is typical of the hypocrisy in play at Fox News. They only appreciate veterans when they can be exploited for political gain (or utilized as fodder in phony wars). And they only assent to covering news when it conforms to their predetermined bias. This graphically illustrates the dishonesty of a so-called “news” organization that renounces coverage of popular protests despite having been such zealots for another group of protesters whom they just happen to favor.