Sean Hannity Freaks Out Because Biden Declined an Interview with Fox News

The quantity of certified bull… oh, let’s just say malarkey, that is spun by Donald Trump continues to flow like an avalanche of asininity. Just this week he has waxed idiotic about the presidential debates, about politicization of the coronavirus, about voting by mail, and too much more to summarize here.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Naturally, Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News), has been quick to buttress his lies and the infantile hostilities that are the staples of his reality TV act. And first among the Fox News Trump-fluffers is his “shadow” Chief of Staff Infection, Sean Hannity, who has been scientifically linked to increasing COVID-19 fatalities.

On Saturday morning Hannity posted a tweet intended to embarrass Joe Biden by implying that he is afraid of Fox News and is dodging Chris Wallace who recently interviewed Trump. The tweet read “HIDIN’ BIDEN: Biden Campaign Tells Chris Wallace He’s ‘Not Available’ For Interviews at This Time.” It linked to a two week old article that claimed that Biden “is refusing to speak with the journalist” because he “is ‘not available’ at the moment.'”

First of all, informing a reporter that you’re not available “at the moment” is not the same as a refusal. It just means that another time might be better. After all, Biden is in the midst of a search for a vice-presidential running mate, and he’s planning an unprecedented virtual convention. On top of that, Biden is masterfully allowing Trump to take center stage and deliciously sabotage his own campaign with ever more bizarre outbursts and demented ravings.

However, Hannity’s attack tweet left out a fairly important piece of information. Biden had already done an interview with Wallace last March, months before Trump did. What’s more, if anyone is afraid of the press, it’s Trump. The vast majority of his interviews have been exclusively with his bootlicking pals at Fox News. He has not done a single interview with CNN or MSNBC as president.

Biden would have legitimate reasons to decline to be interviewed by the blatantly biased right-wing shills on Fox News. But he hasn’t done that. That makes Hannity’s lies all the more egregious. Particularly when you compound that with the fact that Trump is so obviously frightened of being challenged by the press when they aren’t his sycophants, or when he isn’t in a position to bully them or run away.

Trump’s rambling and incoherent rants are typical of a deeply disturbed narcissistic sociopath. And the attempts by Trump and Fox News to characterize Biden as unfit for the office of the presidency just seem more ridiculous every day. The bad news for Trump is that no one is buying his rancid assaults and viciousness. Even a poll by Fox News found that majorities of Americans say that Trump does not have the mental soundness to serve. Suck on that Bunker Boy.

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

Majority Say Trump Does Not Have the Mental Soundness to Serve: Fox News Poll

There is trouble in the Realm of the Stable Genius. And the more that reality contradicts the fantasy life of Donald Trump, the more bizarre and dangerous his delusional tales become. But Trump is, without a doubt, his biggest booster. He has to be. No one else with any scrap of credibility wants the job.

Donald Trump, coronavirus

Trump is constantly telling anyone who still bothers to listen that he is brilliant and infallible. He says he knows more than the generals about war; more than economists about the economy; more than doctors about healthcare. And always, Trump insists that he has a mind that is far superior to those of mere mortals.

Sadly for Trump, he has failed miserably at persuading the American people that any of that is true. A poll by his State TV Propaganda Network (aka Fox News), was just published that asked voters “Do you think Donald Trump has the mental soundness to serve effectively as president?” A majority of the people (51% to 43%) responded that he does not.

Of course, anyone paying attention to the steady stream of Trump’s incoherent babbling, whining, and flagrant lying, already arrived at this conclusion long ago. But the fact that Fox News is validating it with their poll has some significance and provides a stinging rebuke to Trump’s laughable self-appraisals.

What’s worse for Trump is that when Fox asked the same question about Joe Biden, a plurality of voters (47% to 39%) responded saying that he is mentally fit to serve. And that is after Trump has spent months trying to malign Biden, particularly with regard to his mental competence. That effort on Trump’s part has actually backfired.

Another poll published last week by Monmouth University had similar results. Only 35% said they are “very” or “somewhat” confident of Trump’s mental stability. A majority of 54% said they are “not to” or “not at all” confident. Biden’s numbers are the complete opposite with 52% saying they are “very” or “somewhat” confident, and only 35% saying they are “not to” or “not at all” confident.

Following the release of the Fox News poll, Trump was interviewed by Chris Wallace, who actually brought up this question. Which led to one of the most peculiar exchanges between a president and the press ever recorded:

Notice that Trump didn’t actually respond to the fact that a majority of the American people think he’s too demented to be president. Setting that aside, Trump’s “challenge” to both Biden and Wallace to take the test and compare results is a typical Trumpian dodge. That’s because he has not – and will not – release his own results. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time that Trump has issued this challenge. He is apparently exceptionally proud of the fact that he can identify an elephant and count backwards from 100. Well, allegedly. Without seeing his results we really don’t know if he “aced it” or even passed it.

In addition to the Fox News poll’s findings on Trump’s mental infirmities, it also showed Trump…

  • Losing to Biden by eight points
  • Losing women by 19 points
  • Losing Blacks by 64 points
  • Losing Hispanics by 30 points
  • Losing millennials by 22 points
  • Behind on favorability (Trump 43% / Biden 54%)
  • Negative on compassion (Trump 36% / Biden 56%)
  • Negative on intelligence (Trump 42% / Biden 51%)
  • Negative on judgment (Trump 40% / Biden 52%)
  • Less trusted on race relations (-21 points)
  • Less trusted on the coronavirus (-17 points)

And as if that weren’t enough, only 26% percent say they are better off than four years ago. A national mask-wearing order for indoor spaces is favored by 71%. Voting by mail is favored by 63%. Continuing the extra $600/week unemployment benefit is favored by 62%. There is almost nothing positive for Trump to cling to in this survey.

The Trump interview featured some nuggets of nonsense as well. Trump repeated his ludicrous assertion that testing for the coronavirus causes cases; he callously stated that the death toll “is what it is”; he claimed that he’s not losing because all the polls are fake; and he floated the crackpot conspiracy theory that “children are taught in school to hate our country.” These are the same schools that he is now recklessly pushing to reopen, which is also unpopular according to the Fox poll.

What’s more, Trump refused to say that he would accept the results of election if he lost. He railed some more about mail-in voting being rigged. And when asked “How will you regard your years as president” after your term ends, he replied “I think I was very unfairly treated […] I’ve been very unfairly treated. And I don’t say that as paranoid. Everybody says it.” Then he he repeated his oft-stated lie that Obama and Biden spied on his campaign.

Finally, Trump made a point of telling Wallace that “I’m not a big fan of Fox, I’ll be honest with you. They’ve changed a lot since Roger Ailes.” Actually, Trump isn’t a fan of any inference of negativity, regardless of where it comes from. And Trump missing former Fox CEO Roger Ailes isn’t surprising since they both have shared being dishonest, right-wing, sexual predators. But Trump still favors Fox News as his network of choice. It is almost the only network that he grants interviews. And his favorite media personalities (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, etc.) are all on Fox.

However, Trump isn’t shy about “working the refs” in an attempt to get Fox to be even more fawning and servile. So no matter how many times Trump says that it’s So Hard to Watch Fox News Anymore,” he keeps coming back for more fluffing and ego-stroking.

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

Fearful Trump’s Extremist Attacks Are Escalating and It’s Only Going to Get Worse

There is an unmistakable stench of desperation in the White House that is spreading like a virus. Donald Trump may be as delusionally confident as ever on the surface, but his behavior is more reflective of someone consumed by fear and a grossly misperceived sense of victimization. This has lead to a new “scorched earth” reelection approach to attacking Joe Biden and a nastier, more toxic campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Zombie

Trump has plenty to be worried about. His negligent and incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in a tragic surge that exceeds anything seen throughout the world. The economy is in recession and more than 40 million Americans have faced unemployment. There is civil unrest in the streets of America protesting systemic racism, while Trump is advocating for Confederate traitors who fought to preserve slavery. And his reelection campaign is coming apart at the seams amidst historically low polling and abysmal approval ratings.

As Trump’s mental state deteriorates, his paranoia increases. He has begun administering “loyalty tests” to staffers in the White House and virtually every cabinet agency, including the Pentagon. He and his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) are entertaining bizarre election theories aimed more at soothing his fragile ego than winning in November. And he sees himself as tormented by everyone from former advisors like John Bolton (see his book here) to family members like his niece Mary Trump (see her book here).

Consequently, Trump is resorting to ever more drastic methods of extraction from the electoral Mariana Trench he has dug himself into. He is ramping up his attacks on Joe Biden with allusions to his mental health. That’s a treacherous slope considering that the American people regard Trump as more mentally unfit than Biden. He sat for what he probably thought would be a softball Fox News interview, but ended up getting fact-checked live by Chris Wallace. Trump was called out for his lies about Biden’s position on defunding the police.

However, Trump’s primary concerns are never about the issues that are most important to the American people. He is endlessly and exclusively obsessed with his own welfare and image. Which explains much of his recent outrage over the media’s coverage of his floundering campaign. following his disastrous cult rally in Tulsa, Trump tweeted…

Trump’s uniquely deranged notion that TV ratings are “the real polls” is a perspective that can only come from someone whose otherwise pitifully thin resume is dominated by having hosted a reality TV game show for fourteen years. However, even by his own measure, Trump is a pathetic loser. The ratings for his tongue bath – er, interview – with Sean Hannity don’t look so good when compared to the ratings for Rachel Maddow’s interview of Mary Trump. Hannity pulled in 5.11 million viewers, while Maddow drew 5.23 million.

“Maddow’s sit-down with President Donald Trump’s niece drew a record 5.23 million viewers to the show, leading every show on cable and broadcast in primetime Thursday. […] Thursday’s edition also claimed the largest viewership for a regularly scheduled show in MSNBC’s history.”

So does Trump still believe that these are the real polls? Or will this just incite even more outrageous tweets that defy coherent explanation? It’s most likely going to spur more intense “hyperbollocks,” which is my word combining “hyperbole” and “bollocks” to describe rhetoric that is both exaggerated and unfathomable rubbish.

Regardless, Trump’s warped sociopathy is bound to get worse as the honest depictions of his failures continue to batter him mercilessly. so prepare yourselves for his his attacks on Biden that will grow ever more unhinged in the coming weeks. He simply cannot handle reality, and thus reacts by inventing psychotic fantasies wherein he is infallible and omnipotent. Unfortunately, he also reacts with greater hostility and viciousness. And where that might lead between now and January 20, 2021, is both a mystery and a troubling concern for this nation and the world.

UPDATE: The Washington Post published an editorial that reveals that the “scorched earth” strategy described above has actually been documented and circulated in the White House:

“President Trump has launched a slash-and-burn campaign against an exaggerated caricature of his Democratic opponent, casting former vice president Joe Biden as a destroyer of basic freedoms and a threat to voter’s safety who would ‘let terrorists roam free’ and ‘abolish the American way of life.’ […] In new advertising, tweets and public statements that began to appear earlier this month, Trump has argued that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a harbinger of chaos and destruction, depicting a fantastical scarecrow largely divorced from reality.”

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. And Biden, his surrogates, and Democrats everywhere need to be vigilant and ready to respond.

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

Trump’s Tulsa Rally Troubles Go Way Beyond the Pitiful Turnout

Donald Trump had several weeks to plan his return to the campaign trail after three months of a COVID-19 enforced lockdown. He chose Tulsa, Oklahoma, a deep red city and state that should have guaranteed a capacity crowd of glassy-eyed disciples. but things didn’t work out exactly as planned.

Donald Trump, Tulsa Rally

According to the Tulsa fire department, Trump’s rally managed to pack in a measly 6,200 of The Donald’s dimwitted devotees. That’s less than a third of the 19,000 people the arena can accommodate. What’s more, Trump and his campaign bragged repeatedly about having a million requests for tickets and they projected that there would be an overflow crowd of 40,000-60,000 out side the arena where Trump would give an additional speech.

However, the attendance turned out to be far less than projected. The overflow crowd never materialized at all, leading to the cancellation of the outdoor activities. If Trump thought that this rally would be his opportunity to turn around his polling slump (he’s losing to Joe Biden in every national poll, as well as in the crucial swing states), he must be mighty disappointed this morning. And his disappointment generally translates into fury directed at the “losers” responsible for his humiliation. Because, of course, it’s never him.

On Sunday morning Trump campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. She was there to attempt to put a positive spin on the previous evening’s fiasco. That plan didn’t work out very well either (video below):

Wallace: Your campaign said that more than a million people wanted tickets to this rally, but we all saw the pictures last night. The arena was no more than two-thirds full, and the outdoor rally that had been planned for the overflow crowd was canceled because there was no overflow crowd. Question: What happened?
Schlapp: When it comes to understanding how the rallies work, it’s a first-come-first-serve basis. Basically what the one million RSVPs include, it’s an opportunity for us to gather data, to get information obviously.

Schlapp went on to make absurd excuses about people having been too frightened by protesters to show up. But she didn’t explain how more than 90% of the predicted hundred thousand rally-goers were scared off by a few protesters, who were kept blocks away from the arena by the police. She also bragged about the number of people who watched online which, of course, included many Trump opponents and other curious independents. To his credit, Wallace wouldn’t let Schlapp deflect, and reminded her that Trump is always talking about the attendance at his rallies as a measure of his popularity. But now he isn’t popular enough to draw supporters in the right-wing hothouse of Oklahoma.

Wallace also disputed Schlapp’s false assertion that protesters prevented anyone from attending. Schlapp actually wants people to believe that Trump’s supporters stayed home because they didn’t want to expose their families to protesters. But exposing them to a deadly virus apparently wasn’t a problem.

More importantly, Schlapp’s reply to Wallace revealed what she considered to be the primary objective for the rally and the reason it should be regarded as a success. “It’s an opportunity,” Schlapp admitted, “for us to gather data.” Indeed it is. Everyone who requests a free ticket to the event is required to provide their name and other personal identification. That’s all entered into a database that is later used to contact potential voters. Trump’s campaign chairman, Brad Parscale made the same admission prior to the Tulsa affair, tweeting that this would be the “Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time.”

There’s just one problem. There are reports that an army of Tik-Tok users requested tickets that they had no intention of using. It’s hard to estimate the precise impact of this Trump trolling project, but there were thousands of interactions with the prank on social media. So somewhere between the 6,200 people who showed up at the rally, and the million who allegedly requested tickets, there an untold number of fake respondents. That means that there is a significant amount of fake data currently residing in the Trump campaign database. And that’s on top of the fake data that was there before this event. [NOTE: News Corpse is in that database, despite never having provided any information] So when the campaign begins its voter outreach they will be wasting huge sums of money and effort on ghost voters.

In the end, the legacy of the Tulsa rally will be that it revealed the softening support for Trump’s reelection, while simultaneously flooding his campaign database with bogus info. But at least he had the opportunity to soak up some cheers from his hardcore fans, while reinforcing his reelection themes of being able to drink water with one hand, stopping coronavirus testing, and defending Confederate statues. WINNING?

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

Happy Easter from Donald Trump During a Pandemic

On this holy day for America’s Christian faithful, Donald Trump has spent the day demonstrating just how important the holiday is to him.

Donald Trump, Twitter

As usual, Trump was manning his Twitter machine and blasting out a flurry of frantic tweets that mainly expressed his rage and hostility and ignorance. It’s hardly what you would call piety. For instance…

Congress was too distracted? Trump himself said he was too distracted to deal with the coronavirus. In other words, he was admitting that he chose to prioritize his impeachment over the lives of the American people.

This is Trump celebrating that there are disaster declarations in all 50 states. That isn’t winning. By definition, it’s a disaster! But Trump’s mind was on his mortal enemy, the free press.

Trump, who said that he takes no responsibility for the management of the coronavirus crisis is shifting that responsibility to others.

For the record, there was no China ban. More than 40,000 came into the country after the alleged ban. Also, Trump just retweeted a message advocating that he fire Dr. Anthony Fauci.

To be clear, Trump is “working hard” to slander the media for telling the truth about him. He warned us that he would do this. When asked by Lesley Stahl why he attacked the press, he replied “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” And there you have it. That’s Easter in the Trump White House.

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

Fox News Reminds Kellyanne Conway that Trump is a Serial Sexual Predator

There are innumerable reasons to be disgusted by Donald Trump. He is an unapologetic racist who praised neo-Nazis as “very fine people.”. He ripped babies from their parents arms and warehoused them in cages. He gushes affection for hostile foreign dictators. He maligns his critics as “enemies of America.” And he lies with every breath he takes.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

Those atrocities only scratch the surface of Trump’s loathsome character (or lack thereof). But high on the list of his noxious behaviors has to be his abusive treatment of women. It’s an appalling fact of the Era of Trump that a political figure can be charged with committing dozens of sexual assaults and not be punished or cast out of public life. A new book, All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator,” documents 43 new allegations against Trump. But somehow Trump has gotten away with all of this as new scandals emerge every day to wipe the previous ones from the public’s mind.

On Sunday morning, however, there was a reminder from an unexpected source. During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Trump’s most prolific media shill, Kellyanne Conway, encountered an inconvenient question from host Chris Wallace. In an exchange that raised the issue of alleged sexual misconduct at Michael Bloomberg’s company, Wallace challenged the hypocritical double standards from the Trump camp (video below):

Wallace: Is it fair game for President Trump when he’s made sexist comments too?
Conway: Oh please. First of all, I’ve been working by his side for four years. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had.
Wallace: There are plenty of people who would say the same thing about Michael Bloomberg. Is this any worse than the “Access Hollywood” tape?
Conway: It’s far worse. Oh my goodness, it’s far worse. And by the way, that was fully litigated. That happened October seventh. He won a month later.

First of all, Conway is lying (surprise). The matter of Trump’s confession that he assaulted women was never litigated. And, as Wallace pointed out, his election doesn’t negate that it happened.

More to the point, Trump’s remarks on the “Access Hollywood” recording are not merely “sexist comments.” They are admissions from his own mouth that he committed criminal sexual assault. And he did so because he considered himself entitled to, as a celebrity. But Conway thinks that sexual harassment in the workplace is “far worse” than repeatedly physically attacking women, bragging about it, and feeling no inhibition about doing it again.

The American people must never forget that Donald Trump is a repugnant and unrepentant abuser of women. It should remain a campaign issue in 2020. If the careers of Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Matt Lauer, and so many others can be ended for this conduct, then why should Trump be exempt from any consequences. If anything, he should be be more accountable due to his prominent place in American society and culture.

Furthermore, Trump’s sycophantic mouthpieces should be equally culpable when the appear on television defending his abhorrent behavior. Conway and the rest of Trump’s apologists need to be tarred with the same brush. They are enabling Trump’s vile activities and those of all who would follow his lead. They are all equally responsible for the harm done to innocent people. And they must be made to pay, politically, socially, and legally.

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

Crybaby Trump Wants to Know: ‘What the Hell Has Happened to Fox News?’

Every now and then, Donald Trump becomes despondent over the fact that he is not blindly worshiped by everyone in the known universe. His typically vicious response to that is to lash out at whoever he regards as being insufficiently adoring. Occasionally that happens to be his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Trump is currently exhibiting signs of the enormous burden that weighs on him as the Senate hears the case for removing him from office. He is tweeting more frequently and more furiously, with rage-filled outbursts aimed at his perceived enemies. Among them is his former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, whose new book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” affirms that Trump extorted Ukraine to get dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually something that Trump himself admitted.

However, on Tuesday morning Trump took a wild swing at the TV “news” network that has been his staunchest defender throughout his presidency. This is not the first time that Trump has gone after Fox News, but it’s a significant slap in the face to those who are working hardest at disseminating his disinformation during the Senate impeachment trial. He tweeted that it’s…

So Trump begins this tantrum by whining that Fox News interviewed the Senator from Maryland, Chris Van Hollen, who Trump alleges has no name after citing it in his tweet. Van Hollen had an appropriately stinging reply:

Don’t hold your breath. Apparently Trump believes that Fox should ban all Democrats from their network and only interview Trump-fluffing Republicans and other Fox Newsers. And in an immediate contradiction, he seems to think that Fox should have hosted a Democratic primary debate.

Continuing on this tirade against his sycophantic Fox friends, Trump posited a rather peculiar question: “What the hell has happened to Fox News?” And he replies to his own query with an even more peculiar answer: “Only I know!” He doesn’t bother to elaborate on what he allegedly “knows” about Fox. So he will continue to be the only one who knows. But he does single some of those on the network that he is most upset with, including Chris Wallace and the now departed Shepard Smith. Trump’s concern for Shep’s well being is touching. If he’s really interest, he should know that Shep is waiting for his non-compete clause to expire, whereupon he will surely sign a lucrative deal with another network.

Finally, Trump predicts a dire future for the network that employs his most fervent StormTrumpers. People like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and so many more. He predicts that this is “the beginning of the end for Fox.” That would strike many Americans as a positive development. But it’s difficult to imagine where Trump’s army of media shills would land if their Fox bunker were to collapse.

Not to worry. Like everything else Trump says, none of this is true, particularly the part about the networks that are “dying in the ratings.” Actually, all of the cable news networks are enjoying a banner year with high viewership and revenue. But Trump never lets facts get in the way of his raging animus or massive ego. Consequently, he has aimed his anger at Fox many times when he felt that they weren’t sucking up hard enough (here are some examples of his frothing hostilities).

As the Senate impeachment trial proceeds, it’s likely that Trump will get even more disturbed. There is also a likelihood of additional incriminating evidence coming out. And the case for the Senate calling witnesses became much stronger following the Bolton revelations. So look for Trump to escalate his whining and cries of victimhood, something that he takes enormous pride in. And prepare for more griping about Fox and the rest of media, which he still says he doesn’t understand.

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

It’s a Crime! Fox News Anchors Tell the Truth About Trump’s Witness Intimidation

On Friday the Congressional hearing on Donald Trump’s impeachment continued with the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, the former Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine. Most observers have noted that Yovanovitch is a respected diplomat whose decades of service to the country reflect her honor and honesty. That opinion, however, is not shared by the President, whose nasty animosity is starkly contrary to the consensus of those who know her and her work.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

While the hearing was in progress, Trump demonstrated his deep-seated fear of the consequences of Yovanovitch’s truthful and credible testimony. True to form, Trump grabbed his Twitter machine and lashed out savagely at her in a loathsome attempt to discredit an honorable public servant. Trump tweeted that…

First of all, the fact that Yovanovitch voluntarily served in “hardship” posts (or what Trump might call shithole countries) is evidence of her patriotism and commitment to the advancement of our national interests. She was not responsible for the adversity in those countries. To the contrary, she could be credited with mitigating the chaos and suffering they endured over many years prior to her tenure.

Trump’s tweets can only be interpreted as intending to intimidate this witness and discourage other witnesses from coming forward. It is a corrupt and potentially illegal act that exposes his consciousness of guilt and further incriminates him. That view is surprisingly shared by the principle “news” anchors at Fox News. Bret Baier was asked for his assessment immediately following the first session on the hearing. He said that…

“This whole hearing turned on a dime when the President tweeted about her real time. And during the questioning Adam Schiff stopped the Democratic questioning to read the President’s tweet to her and get her response. That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness, or tampering with the witness, which is a crime. Adding, essentially, an article of impeachment real time as this hearing is going on.

Not only did Baier identify the potential criminality embedded in Trump’s disparaging and threatening tweet, but he recognized that having tweeted while the hearing was still in progress was an unusual interruption that had a profound and improper impact. And he wasn’t alone. Fox’s Chris Wallace also commented on Yovanovitch’s testimony saying that “if you are not moved… by the testimony of Marie Yovanovich, you don’t have a pulse.” He went on to deliver a brief history of her sterling career with the State Department. And then he added that…

“I agree with Bret here that the really dramatic moment is that this wasn’t just testimony about the past. This played out in real time with the president attacking her and saying that every place that she served went bad. And she was asked by Adam Schiff, ‘Do you see that as an effort to intimidate you and other witnesses?’ And she said that ‘I feel that is quite intimidating.’ And that does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here.”

It was not, however, all hearts and flowers at Fox News. Yovanovitch has been bitterly attacked by the usual suspects during Fox’s primetime (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham) and their morning propaganda block (Fox and Friends, Outnumbered). Wallace alluded to this when he spoke of the “smear campaign that came from Rudy Giuliani and some of his cohorts and was repeated in some of the outlets in right-wing media.” What Wallace didn’t acknowledge is that Fox News is the most prominent of those right-wing media outlets that smeared her. And we can expect that to continue despite these rare and candid comments from Baier and Wallace.

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

UPDATE: As Fox took a break from the hearing, their senior Capitol Hill producer made the utterly irrelevant observation that “When we look at the U.S. Constitution and look at Article 2, Section 4, it doesn’t say anything about witness intimidation.” Of course it doesn’t. It also doesn’t say anything about murder, rape, bank fraud, perjury (see Bill Clinton), tax evasion, child pornography, cannibalism, etc. The Constitution never intended to itemize every possible illegal act that would warrant impeachment.

Trump’s Retreat on Hosting the G7 at Doral Exposes His Inherent Corruption and Weakness

One of the key characteristics that Donald Trump has tried hard to impress on the public is that he is a strong man (a strongman?) who will not bend to pressure. To that end he doubles and triples down on his most ludicrous rhetoric and policies, he refuses to ever concede that he’s wrong, and he hails is own wisdom and superiority over virtually everyone. But that conceit often ends up with Trump drowning in his own flop sweat.

Donald Trump Sweating

Returning to reality, Trump’s actual record paints a picture of a much weaker man with barely any observable conviction to anything. He reverses himself regularly, sometimes in the space of a single sentence, denying something he just finished saying. And the controversy over his recent decision to line his own pockets by hosting the 2020 G7 summit at his own bedbug infested Doral golf resort is another example of the fallacies embedded in his wholly manufactured persona.

Less than a week ago, Trump sent his Chief of Shill, Mick Mulvaney, out to announce and defend Trump’s intention to violate the Constitution by directing business to his own property and collect payments from foreign governments. It didn’t go well. Mulvaney was grilled by reporters who understood that what he was proposing was illegal. And the pushback from both politicians and the press was immediate and brutal. Consequently, Trump flip-flopped and declared that Doral would not be the site for the next G7 meeting.

Trump made this U-turn on Twitter (of course) in an historic 3-tweet retreat. And what it told us about him is significant and troubling.

First of all, while Trump will gladly take credit for anything he regards as positive, even when he’s had nothing to do with it, he is notably unable to take responsibility for any of his own failures. So he cast this G7/Doral debacle as being the fault of “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.” If you take him at his word (never a smart move), there’s a notable confession in that blame-letting. He is ostensibly admitting that he had to back down because the media and the Democrats are stronger than he is. That’s not the image that he generally pretends to put forward.

In reality, Trump caved because his nannies were able to convince him that openly breaching constitutional law isn’t a good idea, especially when you’re being impeached. Trump didn’t bow to the media or the Democrats. He bowed to Fox News, his motley crue of lawyers, and his fellow Republicans, who were in open revolt on this as well as Trump’s disasters in Syria and Ukraine. They all surely told him that he’d lose this battle so he abruptly surrendered. But he impotently threw little pebbles at his perceived enemies as he ran away.

In addition to his about-face on the hosting, Trump’s tweets managed to include a blatantly crass infomercial for his Miami golf club. He described it as “big [and] grand,” and with “tremendous ballrooms.” And he maligned virtually every other American hotel and conference center by bragging that his is “better than other alternatives.” You have to wonder what the rest of the hospitality industry must have been thinking. But leave it to Trump to use his defeat as a wholly inappropriate opportunity to promote his business. And Mulvaney even told Chris Wallace of Fox News that Trump “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

Trump also exploited this affair to promote himself (surprise). He tweeted that he thought he was “doing something very good for our Country” by unlawfully enriching himself. And he praised his selfless sense of charity for offering up his resort “at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA.” Of course, this deal would have brought Doral millions of dollars that would have rescued the failing resort, particularly during the summer months when no one is visiting Florida and his club is mostly vacant. And that isn’t even counting the promotional benefit.

No matter how you slice it, Trump is guilty of improper financial self-dealing. He was guilty before this, and he’s guilty now. Just because this deal didn’t go through doesn’t mean Trump didn’t set out to break the law. If you plot to rob a bank, but when you get there the security guard stops you, you’re still a bank robber. So despite his walk-back, Trump’s actions are still condemnable and impeachable. And he must be held accountable to the full extent of the law for this as well as the multitude of other impeachable crimes he’s committed.

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

UNFIT: Trump Okays Strike on Iran Without a Casualty Assessment, and Other Unpresidential Acts

There has been frequent speculation about the shaky temperament of Donald Trump and his mental unfitness for the office of the presidency. This has been observed in his pathological lying, infantile name-calling, nerve-rattling ignorance, affinity for murderous dictators, aversion to American intelligence agencies, and brazen disrespect for the law.

Donald Trump

Nevertheless, Trump continues to provide more evidence of how pitifully incompetent and unprepared he is for the duty he’s assumed. The latest demonstration of that is his response to the charge that Iran shot down an American drone. His first comment on the matter was (naturally) a threatening tweet that said only that “Iran made a very big mistake!” However, he followed that up by suggesting that he literally believes that what Iran did was accidental. Which makes his decision to strike back with military force (for an accident?) somewhat peculiar. But no more peculiar than his reversal of that decision, which he explained in another series of tweets. Let’s examine this tweetstorm:


Obama did not “give” money to Iran. Trump is referring to money that was Iran’s to begin with. It had been frozen in foreign accounts. Obama’s deal released the funds upon completion of the nuclear agreement. Also, Obama did not give Iran a “free path to nuclear weapons.” He secured a decades-long prohibition of further development of their nuclear capabilities which at the time were within a year of completing a functional weapon. Trump’s knee-jerk blaming of Obama is ironic considering that Trump had falsely accused him of plotting to attack Iran nine times before he was president.

Trump complaining about the nuclear agreement with Iran not being ratified by Congress is laughable considering his proclivity for executive orders and appointments of numerous “acting” cabinet officials (ominously including Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, and U.N. Ambassador) who have never been confirmed by the Senate. And Trump’s claim that Iran is now “Bust!” doesn’t jibe with reality. There’s no evidence that their military capabilities have been reduced in any way.


This first tweet contains several notable rhetorical errors. First of all, all drones are unmanned. Secondly, “International Waters” is not a pronoun. Third, it’s “locked and loaded” not “cocked.” Fourth, it’s “sites,” not “sights.”

More importantly, if it’s true that Trump approved a military strike, but only asked for a casualty assessment ten minutes before it began, he is even more disengaged and incompetent as Commander-in-Chief than we thought. However, casualty assessments are routinely given during mission briefings, and reports say this one was no exception. So Trump is likely lying about when he learned of the potential fatalities. Even Chris Wallace of Fox News was curious why Trump didn’t ask that question sooner, prompting him to wonder if Trump “has the stomach to launch this kind of attack.”

Trump often says that he has “rebuilt” the military which he describes disparagingly as having been “depleted.” In doing so, he is insulting every American officer and soldier who served prior to his election. Never mind the fact that his demeaning assertion is wholly unfounded.

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

Taken in total, these tweets are nothing more than Trump seeking to excuse his inadequacies, assign blame to others, and exalt himself as a national savior. They do nothing to advance a solution to rising tensions in the Middle East (which he has exacerbated), or to protect America’s interests. Like just about everything else he does, it was focused solely on glorifying himself and canonizing the image that he wants others to have of him. Unfortunately for Trump, that will only work on the glassy-eyed Deplorables that make up his cult following.