Trump and Fox News Vainly Pretend that Polls Support The Border Wall and the Trump Shutdown

Desperation drives people to extreme and untenable measures. And that must be where Donald Trump and Fox News find themselves today as they try in vain to spin reality into something that resembles support for their positions on the Trump Shutdown and his idiotic vanity wall. With public opinion veering off into a bruising opposition to the Trump agenda, they are purposefully lying about recent poll results.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday’s episode of Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy introduced a segment about the border/shutdown with a reference to a new poll by Quinnipiac University. He was almost giddy about reporting the good news that this poll allegedly propped up the President and his standing in the eyes of the American people:

“There’s a Quinnipiac poll that essentially supports what the President has been saying all along for about the last month. And that’s fifty-four percent of you, according to Quinnipiac, say ‘yes,’ there is a crisis at our southern border.”

So there you have it. The debate can now be put to rest and the Democrats in Congress should immediately surrender and give Trump everything he wants. Right?

Well, no. Because the poll had some additional insights that make this tidbit fairly irrelevant. For instance:

“American voters support 63 – 30 percent a Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security while negotiating funding for the Wall, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Every party, gender, education, age and racial group supports this idea except Republicans, who are opposed 52 – 39 percent.

“Voters oppose 63 – 32 percent shutting down the government to force funding for the Wall, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds. Again, Republicans are the only listed group supporting the shutdown, 67 – 24 percent.

“The GOP is losing the battle as 56 percent of American voters say President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are responsible for the shutdown, while 36 percent say Democrats are responsible.

“Voters remain solidly opposed to a wall on the Mexican border, 55 – 43 percent, and reject every argument for the Wall.”

The poll also revealed that fifty-nine percent say that the wall “is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.” Fifty-five percent say that it “would not make the U.S. safer.” Fifty-nine percent say that “it is not necessary to protect the border.” And fifty-two percent say that it “is against American values.” What’s more, the fifty-four percent who agree that there is a crisis at the border may not be in agreement with Trump’s definition of “crisis.” They may be concerned about the welfare of the refugees who are seeking asylum, and the children who were separated from their parents by the Trump administration.

Additionally, by a wide margin of 46-32 percent, voters said that Trump’s Oval Office address was “mostly misleading.” And they believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer more than Trump by 46-36 percent. Only 2 percent say Trump’s address changed their mind. Sixty-five percent of respondents disapprove of Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to fund the wall. And yet Trump is just as deceitful about these survey results as Fox News is. He tweeted that:

As usual, Trump doesn’t provide any source for those fictional numbers. But if he bothered to do any research he would discover that every poll is pretty much in sync with this one from Quinnipiac. Even an op-ed on the Fox website noted Trump’s precarious standings and warned that he “needs to end the shutdown now” if he “wants to have even a chance of winning in 2020.”. And, of course, Trump is lying about Democrats not wanting border security. They just don’t want his stupid wall and, like most Americans, they know it won’t enhance security. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Russian asset in the White House would tell his followers the truth for a change?

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

Crybaby Trump’s Fear and Whining Loses to Pelosi and Schumer in Nielsen Ratings

The most prominent character flaw of Donald Trump (among so many) is his dangerously malignant narcissism. He has an ego so large and fragile that its collapse could produce a tsunami big enough to wipeout much of the civilized world. The evidence of this is often revealed in his frequent bragging about things he undeservedly takes credit for, and his whining about failures for which he refuses to take any responsibility.

Donald Trump, Loser

Naturally, any poll that he can strain something positive out of, he will feature prominently on his Twitter feed. And among the surveys that he most likes to promote are those taken by Nielsen Media Research. Trump just gets giddy with excitement when he excels in the ratings. So the results of his Oval Office speech on Tuesday night are likely to bring a storm of rage due to his defeat at the hands of his Democratic foes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

When Trump finds out that more people watched The Pelosi/Schumer Show than his pathetic babbling about steel barriers and beheadings, he may have a stroke. Sure, some Fox News viewers tuned out after he signed off. But the audience increased for the other cable networks enough to exceed the total for his audience. And the combined post-Trump total for MSNBC and CNN surpassed the number of viewers on Fox.

NETWORK TRUMP SCHUMER/PELOSI
FOX NEWS 8,221,000 7,864,000
MSNBC 4,025,000 4,461,000
CNN 3,390,000 3,742,000
TOTALS 15,636,000 16,067,000

If Trump was hoping to command a large audience of dimwits he could persuade with his oozing charm, he failed bigly. Not only did he give a presentation that induced narcolepsy, it lead to a Wednesday afternoon meeting with Democrats where Trump stormed out in a huff upon hearing that he still wasn’t gonna get the wall he wanted from Santa. Then he tweeted an insolent and incoherent message:

Trump seems to think that by agreeing to reopen the government, he’s entitled to total subservience from Democrats who still oppose the wall for a host of legitimate reasons. Those reasons don’t disappear because Trump finally behaves responsibly and Congress does the job they’re paid to do. And the wall isn’t his reward for releasing a hostage nation from his aspiring authoritarian grip.

There’s no way that Trump can win this argument because he’s relying only on an infantile insistence that everyone bow down to his demands. But Republicans in the Senate are already starting to fall away as they realize that deliberately hurting their constituents is bad politics. So it’s only a matter of time before Trump caves in with some face saving resolution that still denies him his precious wall.

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

Brett Kavanaugh’s Angry, Partisan, Yelling, and Crying Has Likely Torpedoed His Nomination

The single most damaging witness so far for the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United is without a doubt – Brett Kavanaugh. His opening statement was an extended, foaming at the mouth diatribe filled with invective and grievances against his perceived enemies. Donald Trump made it known that he was unhappy with Kavanaugh’s performance during his pitiful interview on Fox News. But if he thinks this was the way to rehabilitate his tattered reputation, he’s only proving that his faulty judgment makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

Brett Kavanaugh

The most notable impression left by Kavanaugh will be that he was furious with the women who were making allegations about his behavior, and with the Democrats in Congress who are seeking the truth. But his unhinged harangue will be viewed after the fact as detrimental to his confirmation. The spectacle of a potential justice of the Supreme Court throwing a public tantrum like this only reinforces the opinions of those who believe that he doesn’t have the temperment to do the job.

No one would hold it against him that he cried during his testimony. Well, no one except the President of the United States, Donald Trump. On more than a few occasions Trump has mocked others for showing such emotion. He routinely referred to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as “Cryin’ Chuck.” Should we expect a similarly disrespectful tweet from the President about “Cryin’ Brett”? And if Trump was disappointed with Kavanaugh’s appearance on the friendly Fox News network, what must he be thinking now after this extended display of shouting and weeping? If anything, it makes the charges that he is a belligerent drunk more believable.

Perhaps the most harmful part of Kavanaugh’s rant was his ferocious condemnation of Democrats. He implied that they had “laid in wait” and plotted to “blow me up and take me down.” His repetitious attacks made it clear that he regards the party as a political foe. He accused Democrats of conducting a campaign against him that was “well financed” by some unnamed and evil benefactor (George Soros?). He described their opposition to him in conspiratorial terms resembling Trump’s references to a “Deep State” cabal. Specifically, Kavanaugh said that his critics were deploying a “political hit” as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” Seriously?

With that sort of brazen and vile partisanship, how can Kavanaugh be relied upon to be a neutral arbiter of the law? His extreme prejudice is starkly apparent. And whether or not one believes he has justification to feel this way, it disqualifies him to be a justice whose impartiality is mandatory. No judicial authority can be allowed to harbor such obvious biases. He could certainly withdraw and run for the senate, where his partisanship would be expected. But he has morally resigned as any kind of judge and now needs to recognize that fact and resign in reality.

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

The Petrified President: Trump Lashes Out at Russia Investigators as ‘Thugs’

By all appearances Donald Trump is well aware of the legal peril he is in. He knows that there is ample evidence that he can be charged with serious crimes, including conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering, witness tampering, and more. Consequently he is resorting to the panic of a guilty man who is desperate to avoid being held accountable for his wrongdoing.

Donald Trump

Trump’s behavior gives away his debilitating anxiety and his abject fear of the dismal fate that awaits him. A first-year law student would recognize his ravings as consciousness of guilt. People as diverse as the GOP’s Benghazi inquisitor Trey Gowdy and senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have wondered why Trump is acting so damn guilty. But Trump cannot help himself. On Monday he, once again, took to Twitter to reveal to the world just how terrified he is.

An innocent man doesn’t malign career law enforcement professionals as “thugs.” He doesn’t repeatedly slander a respected Justice Department official and FBI director and war hero, Robert Mueller, as “disgraced and discredited.” That’s what a mob boss would do in an effort to intimidate those seeking to uphold the law.

Trump is now trying to trivialize Mueller’s interview with the White House counsel, Don McGahn. He waves off the thirty hours of testimony as Mueller “looking for trouble.” Perhaps he is, but he’s also finding it. That’s his job. It’s likely that McGahn provided Mueller with information damaging to the President. No one spends thirty hours over several days talking about nothing. What’s more, Trump’s assertion that Mueller is “enjoying ruining people’s lives” ignores the fact that it’s the people who committed crimes who ruined their own lives. The police officer who arrests the bank robber isn’t responsible for the robber’s sad new life in prison.

Finally, Trump again leans on his robo-rant that the investigation is a “witch hunt” and that there was no collusion, no obstruction.

The truth is that collusion with a foreign government to steal an election is a crime under conspiracy statutes. Not that Trump and company believe that truth is truth. And Trump’s obstruction is evident even in these new tweets.

This president obviously doesn’t know the difference between “fighting back” and obstruction. An innocent man would be satisfied to declare his innocence and show confidence that he will be exonerated. He would welcome the results of an investigation by someone who everyone agreed at the outset is an able and honorable public servant. He would not resort to infantile personal insults and unhinged harangues. That’s how someone frightened out of wits and contemplating his conviction and disgrace fights back.

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

Trump Suffers Brutal Senate Rebuke for Attacking the Free Press as ‘the Enemy of the People’

On Thursday there was a coordinated effort on the part of more than 350 independent newspapers to strike back at Donald Trump’s relentless and dangerous assault on the media. And it’s about time. As noted by one of the organizers, the Boston Globe, “This whole project is not anti-Trump. It’s really pro-press.”

Donald Trump

Naturally, Trump took time from his golf game to post tweets (three actually) criticising this overdue measure of self-defense and support for the First Amendment. Once again he demeaned the press by calling them the “opposition party.” Actually, that’s true. They are opposed to much of what Trump stands for: lying, corruption, racism, misogyny, and treason. And Trump’s GOP is defending all of those traits in this perverted White House.

Also on Thursday, the Senate passed by unanimous voice vote a resolution offered by Sens. Brian Schatz and Chuck Schumer. The resolution is focused directly at “affirming Congress’ support of the First Amendment and condemning attacks on the free press, which undermine the credibility of journalists and the press as a national institution.” What follows are some of the more pertinent passages from the text of the resolution:

Whereas the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the press from government control and suppression;

Whereas the freedom of the press—

  1. has been recognized as integral to the democratic foundations of the United States since the beginning of the United States; and< /li>
  2. has endured and been reaffirmed repeatedly throughout the history of the United States;

[…]

Whereas tyrannical and authoritarian governments and leaders throughout history have sought to undermine, censor, suppress, and control the press to advance their undemocratic goals and actions; and

Whereas the United States, including its long-held commitment to and constitutional protection of the free press, has stood as a shining example of democracy, self-government, and freedom for the world to emulate: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that:

The Senate –

  • affirms that the press is not the enemy of the people;
  • reaffirms the vital and indispensable role the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance our most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms; and
  • condemns attacks on the institution of the free press and views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as a whole as an attack on our democratic institutions.

It is the sense of the Senate that it is the sworn responsibility of all who serve the United States by taking the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States to uphold, cherish, and protect the entire Constitution, including the freedom of the press.

The fact that a resolution like this even needs to be brought up is a sad statement on the status of the United States government, and particularly the White House under Donald Trump. And its language is unambiguously aimed at Trump himself with the inclusion of the affirmation that “the press is not the enemy of the people.” Moreover, having been passed without any objections in a body controlled by Republicans is an indication that the GOP may finally be sick and tired of some of Trump’s overtly un-American tendencies.

Now if only they would see fit to challenge the President on matters like his punitive and intimidating revocation of security clearances for former intelligence officials; his assaults on the Justice Department and those conducting investigations on him; his reliance on Fox News instead of experienced national security professionals; and his predilection for lying and resorting to infantile name-calling.

And maybe, just maybe, the Congress might hold actual hearings to get to the bottom of his conspiracies with Russia and obstruction of justice. It’s their sworn duty to act as a check and balance, to hold the President accountable for misdeeds, and to offer solutions that will prevent similar problems in the future with rogue leaders and foreign attacks on America’s democracy. Is that asking too much?

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

Trump Plagiarizes a Dubious Fox News ‘DREAMer’ in an Inflammatory Anti-DACA Tweet

With the March 5 deadline rapidly approaching, Donald Trump continues to politicize immigration and blame Democrats for the lack of progress in Congress. Never mind that the problem only exists because Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was implemented by President Obama in 2012. And Trump’s insistence on tying the restoration of DACA to other punitive measures and his idiotic border wall further set back any reasonable resolution.

Fox News Dreamer

In this scenario Fox News predictably has come to the aid of the White House they are in collusion with on virtually everything. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends magically managed to find a conservative DACA recitpient to join them for a Trump-fluffing session on Saturday morning (video below). Hilario Yanez was introduced as a “DREAMer” and was immediately asked what he likes about Trump’s plan. He responded with praise for Trump’s alleged leadership, compassion, and courage. Presumably these are traits demonstrated by first rescinding DACA and then throwing up numerous obstacles to its restoration.

Yanez expanded on the reasons for his admiration of the President by noting his support for the border wall, his opposition to the diversity lottery, and his view that DACA advocates Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were using DREAMers as pawns. What Yanez was actually revealing was his ultra-conservative political bias which he seasoned with heavy doses of religiosity. He was hardly a representative DACA recipient, nor was he particularly knowledgeable on the subject. As an example, he offered this criticism of Democrats:

“Democrats owned all three branches of the government back in 2008 to 2011, and they still chose [not] to do anything.”

It’s true that Democrats did absolutely nothing about DACA between 2008 and 2011. They might have done more except for the fact that it didn’t exist. The policy was established by Obama in June of 2012 by executive action after the Congress was stymied by persistent GOP opposition. As noted above, it was later rescinded by Trump in September of 2017.

However, it’s absolutely untrue that Democrats “owned all three branches of the government” from 2008 to 2011. George W. Bush was president until January of 2009. And Democrats were short of filibuster-proof majorities during much of that time due to the months-long delayed election results in Minnesota (Al Franken’s race), and the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy. Also, Republicans assumed the majority in Congress in January of 2011. That’s a lot to get wrong and Fox didn’t bother (or know) to correct these easily identified falsehoods.

There’s a good reason for that. These distortions of reality play well on Fox News. And that’s especially true for its number one fan in the White House. Trump spends untold hours watching and recording Fox News and frequently regurgitates what he sees on Twitter as it happens. That appears to be the case here. Shortly after Yanez’s appearance on Fox and Friends, Trump tweeted out an almost verbatim replay of what he said:

There is so much wrong with that tweet it’s hard to know where to begin. First of all, Trump didn’t bother to attribute this comment to its source. That’s the definition of plagiarism. His language was nearly identical, complete with the factual inaccuracies. And the timing of the tweet further proves where he stole this from. Secondly, it’s ludicrous to assign any interest in DACA to Republicans who have been working tirelessly to quash it. And finally, Trump’s political cheerleading at the end does nothing to further a legislative solution. But it does imply that he isn’t interested in any solution until next year when a new congress is seated.

Ironically, Trump’s total abandonment of the DREAMers is going to frustrate his hopes for a more republican Congress. The American people overwhelming favor DACA with a pathway to citizenship. And Latinos are presently the fastest growing segment of the electorate. All of this combines to bolster what many election analysts are predicting will be a “blue wave” in November. Let’s hope that comes to pass. But more importantly, let’s work our butts off to insure that it comes to pass. We may have the political winds at our backs, but Trump has a massive propaganda platform and, of course, Russia.

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

A Graphic Lesson in How Fox News Perverts Even Their Own Skewed Polls

The recent shutdown of the government was the subject of controversy in the media for a couple of weeks. Both sides were spinning furiously to place the blame on the other. It should have been a simple task to figure out who was most responsible for the leadership vacuum considering that Republicans are in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. But when you’re dealing with a Republican Party that isn’t interested in the truth, and is led by a world-class liar, nothing is as easy as it seems.

Fox News Trump

Following the agreement to keep the government open for another three weeks, the press set about to determine where the American people stood. They conducted polls asking which party was most responsible for the shutdown. Fox News was among those media outlets conducting such surveys. And when they were ready to release the results, they made sure that their preferred political prejudices were front and center.

Rather than disclose the most relevant information, the crack Fox News creative department prepared a graphic that they immediately put on the air. The image contained partial results from the poll that put Republicans in an undeservedly positive light. Here is the tweet Fox News posted of the story that they broadcast:

Wow. So the American people think that Democrats were most responsible for the government shutdown? Not exactly. The survey question actually gave respondents another option. Donald Trump received thirteen percent of the poll’s votes. That means that the combined total for the GOP and Trump was thirty-seven percent, which exceeds that of the Democrats. Never mind that the built in biases of Fox’s poll likely undercounts the Trump votes. It was a deliberate tactic to divide the right-wing options and then only report one of them to insure that the number would be lower. Notice that they didn’t ask whether Democrats or Chuck Schumer were responsible, just the Democrats. And that’s after Republicans made a full court press to cast the blame on the so-called SchumerShutdown.

Remember, this is a Fox News poll that Fox News is distorting. It demonstrates the lengths they will go to in order to protect their lord and overseer, Donald Trump. For the record, every other poll decisively reports that Trump and Republicans were to blame for the shutdown (see this, and this, and this). There isn’t any real dispute on that question. So Fox News had only two options. They could report the news honestly (OK, stop laughing), or they could whip up a phony graphic that distorts the truth and makes their side look like winners. Guess which option they chose.

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

Politicizing the #TrumpShutdown: Trump Seeks More Republicans, Rejects Working with Democrats

As the prospect of a government shutdown drew closer on Friday night the recriminations flew from both sides of the political aisle. Republicans sought to brand Donald Trump’s failure to make a deal as the SchumerShutdown, for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. From the other side, Schumer struck back with his branding of the legislative belly flop as the TrumpShutdown. Meanwhile, the American people appear to have already made up their minds, with polls showing overwhelming that they hold Trump and the GOP accountable.

Donald Trump

No one should be surprised that the party regulars are seeking to cast this crisis in terms most favorable to their own side. That’s standard operating procedure for politicians engulfed in a controversial dispute. But leave it to Donald Trump to bring the debate down to the lowest levels of rank self-interest and political cynicism.

In the hours following the Senate’s inability to pass a bill that would keep the government running, Trump was on duty, sitting on his throne with his phone and tweeting out nonsense. He clearly doesn’t understand the dynamics of Congress. It’s his party that controls the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. This is the first government shutdown ever during an administration with that unified control. And the Continuing Resolution that went down to defeat couldn’t even secure the votes of all GOP senators. So it’s hard, therefore, to place the blame on Democrats for the bill’s failure. What’s more, in a 2013 shutdown during the Obama administration Trump himself insisted that, under these circumstances, it’s the president who is responsible. Apparently that only applies to black presidents.

Trump’s post-shutdown Saturday morning tweets went further than just political jockeying for positive spin. He turned the closure of the government into a campaign event by overtly calling for the election of more Republicans:

Trump’s focus on politicizing his shutdown illustrates how narrow his grasp is of leadership and governing. By advocating for electoral gains he is pushing off any hopes of progress until next November. He is also effectively abandoning any effort to work with Democrats on crafting a compromise. He obviously isn’t going to get the extra Republicans he wants in the next few days or weeks. The only chance of ending the shutdown is to recognize the reality of the current situation and engage with Democrats. He might even want to consider keeping his word to sign whatever the Congress sent him. They actually did produce a bipartisan compromise, but Trump unilaterally rejected it.

However, the “Art of the Deal” president thinks that insulting Democrats is the way to get their cooperation. His press secretary issued a response to the shutdown that blamed it on Democrats and called them “obstructionist losers.” And Trump himself has been taking swipes, as usual, on Twitter. In addition to his preposterous claim that Democrats “want illegal immigration and weak borders,” he incoherently railed that “Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration.”

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

This is no way to run a government. But it is business as usual for Trump and the GOP. They aren’t interested in doing the people’s work or seeking their best interests. Whenever they manage to do anything it invariably produces more suffering, cuts services, or enriches the already privileged. You might say that, for all intents and purposes, the government has been shut down since January 20, 2017, the day Trump was inaugurated.

Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.

SRSLY? Trump’s Utterly Idiotic Reason To Investigate ‘Ties To Russia’ – Let’s Call His Bluff

Evidence of Donald Trump’s unsavory connections to Vladimir Putin and Russia are continuing to mount. Most recently his new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, was revealed to have given false testimony at his confirmation hearing. He said that he had not met with Russian officials during the campaign, but now admits that wasn’t true. These revelations have ignited renewed efforts to appoint a special prosecutor to look into every aspect of the Trump administration’s relationship with Russia.

Schumer Putin

Now Trump himself is proposing an investigation of sorts. In a tweet that must have gotten past his handlers, Trump said:

SRSLY? The photo in Trump’s tweet is of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sharing a donut with Putin at the opening of a gas station in New York. It was the first domestic franchise station owned by a Russian oil company. They were essentially participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new business.

So Trump wants to probe Sen. Schumer’s “ties to Russia and Putin” because they were sharing Crispy Cremes at a public event? That is hardly comparable to AG Sessions “forgetting” about a private meeting with the Russian ambassador in his office. And Schumer didn’t misinform a senate committee while under oath.

The picture Trump tweeted appears to have been dredged up by Gateway Pundit, a notoriously unreliable source. It went from there to the Drudge Report and other wingnut blogs. That’s presumably where Trump found it. Then, without the least bit of coherent thought, he blasted it out to his 26 million (mostly fake) Twitter followers.

For his part, Schumer had an appropriate reply:

Indeed. If Trump wants to initiate an investigation we should eagerly accommodate him. Call his bluff. Let’s appoint a special prosecutor with a mandate to delve into everything related to the Russian connections of candidates and politicians. That would include Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia’s election tampering. Also, his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn’s activities during the campaign. Throw in Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and his foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and …

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

Let’s get to the bottom of all of it. In the process, I don’t think Sen. Schumer has much to worry about. But the American people deserve the truth. This is an investigation that needs to begin immediately. And let the chips fall where they may.

[UPDATE: Trump also went after Nancy Pelosi. The offer still stands. Investigate everything, you fat coward]