Wannabe Dictator Trump Threatens to Revoke Licenses of Stations that Air Critical Ads

As Americans sees the rising number of their fellow citizens becoming victims of COVID-19 (coronavirus), they are simultaneously losing confidence in the “leadership” of Donald Trump. From the beginning he downplayed the threat that the virus represented, insisting that the number of those affected was small and that it would shortly be zero. He could not have been more wrong. On Thursday the number of cases in the U.S. surpassed China.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

And while the virus infections and fatalities go up, Trump’s mental state spirals down. He is sinking into a defensive posture that resembles closely the behavior of paranoid authoritarians who perceive enemies all around them. And one of the most common reactions by such persons is to clamp down on what they believe is a hostile media. Thursday’s Coronavirus Task Force (which he really has no business attending) opened with Trump accusing the press of being “corrupt.” That’s nothing new for someone who has repeatedly referred to the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

More troubling is that now Trump is going after a progressive group that produced an ad recounting Trump’s failure to respond to the budding pandemic. Priorities USA compiled some of Trump’s own dismissive statements and juxtaposed them with a chart showing the virus’s rate of growth. This upset Trump and resulted in a “cease and desist” from the Trump campaign organization. Here’s the ad that triggered President Snowflake:

It’s bad enough that Trump would try to intimidate a political group by infringing on their First Amendment rights. But it’s even worse than that. The Trump campaign is actually threatening to revoke the broadcast licenses of any television station that airs the ad. That’s a fascist strongman’s solution to pesky critics who dare to speak out. According to a report in Bloomberg News, Trump’s campaign warned that…

“Failure to remove the ad ‘could put your station’s license in jeopardy’ before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said in the letter. ‘Your station has an obligation to cease and desist from airing it immediately to comply with FCC licensing requirements.'”

First of all, let’s establish the fact that the stations do not have any obligation to comply with the Trump campaign’s request that they do not air the ad. That request has no legal standing, and would likely fail to succeed if tried in court. The ad is comprised of Trump’s own words, and they were presented in a manner that reasonably represents their meaning. However, the campaign appears to suggest that the campaign has some ability to influence the FCC, a federal regulatory agency whose members are appointed by the President. That would be a wholly improper arrangement and an unlawful abuse of power on the part of the White House. What’s more…

“The FCC doesn’t appear to have grounds to act against the stations for airing contentious ads, said Jack Goodman, a Washington broadcast attorney, said in an interview. The ad ‘is core political speech’ protected by First Amendment guarantees of free speech, Goodman said.”

The primary complaint by Trump’s campaign concerns an audio clip of him referring to criticism from Democrats, saying that “This is their new hoax.” Trump asserts that he wasn’t referring to COVID-19 itself, but to the Democrats criticism. However, in the full context of his remarks he is itemizing events that he considered to be hoaxes. They included the investigation of Russia’s efforts on behalf of his 2016 presidential campaign, and his impeachment over his attempts to coerce the president of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. In both of those incidents his allegations of a hoax referred to the charges themselves, not criticism from Democrats. So why would his meaning be any different for the third item in that list?

This isn’t the first time that Trump has tried to use the courts to prohibit free speech. He is currently suing the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN for defamation. Trump is known for filing lawsuits – or threatening to – to harass his foes. But this time he has the power of the presidency to bolster those threats with punishment from agencies that are beholden to him. It’s the sort of authoritarianism that he so admires in his pals Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un. But it is anathema to American democracy and he must not be allowed to get away with it. So feel free to circulate the ad above, far and wide.

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

Lying Has Consequences: Poll Shows Americans Trust the Media More than Trump

From the very first days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his compulsion to lie about all things great and small was a dominating feature of his character, or lack thereof. Trump lied about the crowd size at his inauguration, about millions of fraudulent Democratic voters, about his taxes and alleged wealth, and even about his faith. The odds were (and are) pretty good that if Trump is talking, he is lying.

Donald Trump

Now a new poll provides evidence of the consequences of Trump’s pathological prevaricating. After three years of spewing flagrant falsehoods on every subject (more than 16,000 lies documented), it turns out that that isn’t a very good way to establish trust. Who knew? According to the Monmouth University Poll:

“Trump is trusted less as source of information than three cable news outlets – except if you ask Republicans. Nearly half the American public (48%) trusts CNN more than Trump, compared with one-third (35%) who trust Trump more than CNN and another 13% who trust both equally as a source of information.

“The results are similar when Trump is pitted against the left-leaning MSNBC – 45% trust MSNBC more, 32% trust Trump more, and 16% trust both equally. The right-leaning Fox News also bests the president as a trusted information source – 30% trust Fox more and 20% trust Trump more, although a plurality of 37% trust both equally.”

So Americans trust CNN and MSNBC more than they trust Trump, each by a thirteen point margin. If Trump finds out about this, he could have a stroke. The public at large even trust Fox News more than Trump. Although Republicans are “more likely to trust Trump (35%) over Fox News (21%), with 40% trusting both GOP-aligned sources equally.” Which only proves that the Cult of Trump is strong, especially among Fox viewers.

This preference for the press as a credible source of information has been documented in many other polls over the past few years. And a recent poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist reveals that a majority of Americans don’t trust what Trump has been telling them specifically about COVID-19 (coronavirus). That’s not surprising considering the fact that Trump has been callously exploiting the White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefings as a replacement for the campaign rallies that he can’t hold anymore. He has hijacked those briefings for crass political gain and because he needs them to satisfy his ego. Although, it’s obvious to most viewers that he has nothing of substance to contribute, so he wastes time with falsehoods and lavish tributes to himself. Is it any wonder that he isn’t trusted?

As for Fox News, they posted an article on their website about this poll that completely misrepresented the results. The headline bleated that “Monmouth poll gives media lower job approval than Trump amid coronavirus crisis.” That’s technically correct if you ignore the whole of the results. The poll asked if various entities had “done a good job or bad job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.” If you look only at those who said Trump did a good job, he prevailed by 50-45 percent. But those who said he did a bad job (45%), were more than those who said the media did a bad job (43%). So that can hardly be called a victory for Trump.

What’s more, the poll showed that 72% of the American people said that state governors have done a good job. And 65% said that federal health agencies have done a good job. So the people do have confidence in specific leaders and agencies, just not Trump. That, along with Trump’s abysmal showing on trust when compared to the media, is an encouraging sign that the American people are paying attention and will hold those who failed them accountable in November. And that really can’t come too soon.

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

The Virus that Infects Donald Trump: ‘All I See is Hatred of Me’

One thing that has been clear about Donald Trump from the outset of his administration is that he has never exhibited the qualities demanded of the presidency. He lacks the intelligence, compassion, commitment, morality, and humility, that are the hallmarks of leadership. And he has never demonstrated that he has the ability to learn, take responsibility, or to bring the diverse community of Americans together.

Donald Trump, coronavirus

Trump is always about only Trump. He has brazenly profited from his position by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to his own properties. And he has focused his political attention exclusively on advancing his own partisan interests. These are traits that psychiatric professionals have diagnosed as malignant narcissism, a combination of ego-centrism and sociopathy.

The risks of having someone with those mental issues in positions of power are readily apparent. They portend a tendency toward authoritarian behaviors that demand unflinching loyalty and reject competent advice. What’s worse is that when someone like Trump is under pressure, he will cease to behave rationally. His fears will incite ever more defensive and destructive responses to events he is unable to cope with or comprehend. Like a wounded animal, he becomes more desperate and vicious.

That appears to be the state of Trump’s mental decline now. And his Twitter feed is the best evidence of his psychic decay. Late Sunday night Trump tweeted this frightening call for help:

Let’s break that down, shall we? First of all, Trump is confessing that he compulsively consumes news on six television networks and two newspapers that he frequently disparages as “enemies of the people.”. How could he possibly have time to do that and his duties as president as well? Especially during a national emergency brought on by a deadly pandemic.

We already know that much of his time is spent tweeting (dozens of times a day), staging photo-ops with corporate CEOs and supporters, and leading daily press briefings. Never mind that he has no business even attending those briefings considering that he has no relevant knowledge or experience to contribute. To the contrary, he generally disgorges lies and misinformation that others on his staff have to clean up later. Even worse, he diverts the discussion into his petty grievances with reporters or devolves into shameless episodes of self-exaltation or making excuses for his failures. That is, when he isn’t blatantly exploiting the crisis to boost his reelection prospects.

However, the most unambiguous sign of a severe mental breakdown is Trump’s assertion that “all I see is hatred of me.” Really? That’s ALL he sees? He doesn’t see any of the presentations of facts about the crisis in the U.S. and internationally? He doesn’t see any of the medical professionals offering their expertise to educate the public on how to stay safe? He doesn’t see any of the human interest stories and testimony from real people going through the hardships of surviving in these trying times? He doesn’t see the crushing anguish of victims or the inspirational acts of heroes or any of the human stories that define us as a people? He sees only what he perceives as hatred directed solely at him.

The fact that Trump is blind to all of these non-political, educational, uplifting, and heart-wrenching stories, says something unmistakable about him. Even worse, the only things he does see are his paranoid perceptions of the universal hostility that consumes his diseased mind. What sort of person unleashes public declarations that everyone hates him? And what does it say that he lashes out with vengeful visions of his perceived enemies “destroying themselves”? Is this the behavior of a psychologically stable leader? Is it even remotely sane? And how long can America endure the madness of a man who also tweeted this all-caps rant:

Trump is now implying that he would terminate the “social distancing” recommendations by health experts after a totally inadequate 15 day period, simply because he regards the economic impact to be worse than the pandemic itself. Unsurprisingly, Trump contracted this preposterous notion from Fox News. Now he’s putting money before the lives of thousands of Americans. And he’s only doing that because the financial downturn will negatively affect his reelection hopes. If it wasn’t clear before, it most certainly is now: Trump is suffering from a sickness that threatens every American. And if we don’t take the opportunity in November to socially distance ourselves from him and the Republicans he’s infected, we can all expect to be victims of the Trump Virus.

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

Trump’s Paranoia Has Insiders Warning That ‘He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This’

The nation has been mired in uncertainty for several weeks now due to the (now official) COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Americans are worried about their health and the health of their loved ones. And the economy is in a tailspin that was triggered by the pandemic news. But one thing that has been confirmed during this crisis is that Donald Trump is the most ignorant, self-obsessed, ill-prepared, and insensitive leader this country has ever had.

Donald Trump

While most Americans are struggling to cope with the rush of bad news, Trump is struggling to lather himself with praise, diminish the risks, and cast blame on his numerous perceived enemies. His desperation is unmistakable as his outbursts become ever more incoherent.

On Wednesday morning he fired off a flurry of panic-tweets that put these fears on display. In one tweet he bragged that “America is the Greatest Country in the world,” as if that sort of chest-thumping would frighten off the virus. In another he wrote that he’s working to “create a vaccine,” which in reality will take 12-18 months. In yet another, he blamed the Democrats in Congress for politicizing the virus, which is pure projection. But perhaps the most bizarre and revealing of his tweets was this:

Notice that Trump doesn’t bother explain what he’s whining about? He just unleashes his hostility and expects his glassy-eyed disciples to nod their heads in unison and agree. For the record, Trump is referring to this Vanity Fair article by Gabriel Sherman: He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”: Trump, Germaphobe in Chief, Struggles to Control the Covid-19 Story.” The article cites several sources within the administration who express concerns about Trump’s faltering mental state. They worry that he is losing faith in his own team. For example, he just fired chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and replaced him with former Rep. Mark Meadows (who is now self-quarantined because he came in contact with someone who tested positive at CPAC).

Trump’s psychosis prevents him from being able to deal with any situation wherein he doesn’t feel he is in control. And, of course, he cannot control a virus. So in public he resorts to frantic boasting and overt lies about how brilliant and effective he is. But in private he is said to be harboring acute paranoid fears. For example, Sherman’s sources tell him that…

“Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. ‘He’s definitely melting down over this,’ the source said.”

So Trump thinks journalists are plotting to assassinate him with a virus. It’s hard to convey just how insane that is. For one thing, couldn’t they have done that two years ago? Trump is coming undone. Even his attack on Vanity Fair is evidence of derangement. However, it’s derangement that he has suffered from for years. This isn’t the first time that Trump has predicted the death of Vanity Fair:

    Oct 3, 2011: Sadly, Vanity Fair is a rapidly dying magazine.
    Apr 9, 2012: Vanity Fair Magazine, which used to be one of my favorites, is failing badly.
    May 24, 2013: Read this & you will understand why Vanity Fair is going down the tubes.
    Dec 8, 2013: Vanity Fair Magazine won’t be around much longer, it’s really in bad shape!
    Dec 28, 2017: Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs.

And it’s not just Vanity Fair. Trump has predicted the end of the New York Times on 39 separate occasions (Here’s one example). And then there’s this:

    Jun 26, 2019: CNN is dead as a door nail (no credibility), and MSNBC is dying fast.
    Dec 12, 2019: Fake News like CNN & MSNBC are dying.
    Dec 14, 2019: Both Commiecast MSNBC & Fake News CNN are watching their Ratings TANK. …. Don’t know why @FoxNews wants to be more like them? They’ll all die together.
    Jan 28, 2020: So, what the hell has happened to @FoxNews. Only I know! … Watch, this will be the beginning of the end for Fox.
    Feb 25, 2020: CNN & MSDNC are dying in the ratings!

At precisely the moment that America needs a steady hand guiding the course for the nation, we are stuck with a demonstrably demented character whose narcissism and paranoia are likely to result in far more misfortune than would otherwise be the case if a sane person were president. So for the time being the American people are going to have to rely on themselves and each other. Because the maniac occupying the White House is a basket case who can’t discern reality from the nightmares his mania manufactures. Good luck everyone.

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

Trump’s Lawsuits Against the Media Could Produce an Avalanche of Evidence – Against Him

This election year has seen norms in political activity be swept away by Donald Trump’s continued rejection of decency and honesty as he tweets his way through a failing presidency. The observations that Trump is either pitifully ignorant and/or severely demented are impossible to dismiss. His symptoms range from bizarre assertions about windmill cancer and toilet flushing, to intense paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and authoritarian aspirations.

Donald Trump, Constitution

In recent weeks Trump has also been escalating his war against the media that he repeatedly refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” which he did once again Sunday morning. Now Trump has set out on a path of litigation that is rooted in hostility and vengeance against the constitutional protections of a free press. This is behavior that reeks of fear, desperation, and the all-consuming mania of an unbridled persecution complex. It began with the announcement a week and a half ago that his campaign is suing his perennial nemesis (in his diseased mind), the New York Times for defamation. And in the short time since then, Trump has announced additional lawsuits against a couple of other perceived foes, the Washington Post and CNN.

Virtually every legal analyst who has commented on these lawsuits considers them not only frivolous, but dangerous. They are intended to inhibit free expression and punish those who dare to criticize Dear Leader. It’s a pure dictatorship play by a president who has repeatedly expressed his admiration for tyrants like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Xi Jinping. Each of these suits explicitly attack published opinions articles, not hard news. For instance, these are the specific citation in Trump’s legal complaints that he is alleging are defamatory:

New York Times
“There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.”

Washington Post
The lawsuit cites a June 13 opinion piece by Greg Sargent that said Trump “tried to conspire with” a “sweeping and systematic” attack by Russia against the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It also cites a June 20 opinion piece by Paul Waldman that asked “who knows what sort of aid Russia and North Korea will give to the Trump campaign, now that he has invited them to offer their assistance?”

CNN
“The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

All of these articles are expressing opinions that are rational, fact-based, and affirmed by authoritative sources. Some are even affirmed by Trump himself. After all, he did ask Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on national television. What’s more, an extensive investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller found that “Trump and his campaign welcomed & encouraged Russian interference.”

To this day, Trump continues to openly solicit political assistance from hostile foreign countries. And his actions prove that he is working in concert with our adversaries to boost his reelection prospects.

While Trump’s wrathful litigiousness is an assault on press freedom, and has an unambiguous chilling effect on journalists, there is a silver lining to his abhorrent conduct. Should any of these lawsuits ever see a courtroom, Trump will be obligated to comply with discovery orders to turn over documents relevant to his complaint. So the defendants can require him to produce materials that he has been refusing to provide to prosecutors and investigators in Congress. And should he do so, he will almost certainly reveal incriminating evidence that could subject him to criminal indictments.

Consequently, it is highly unlikely that Trump will pursue these lawsuits. He may try to use them for publicity for awhile, and to run up the legal fees for the defendants. But in the end he will probably run away (or try to), as he has done throughout his life. However, he may not be able to escape if the defendants countersue and seek a declarative judgment asserting their rights under the First Amendment. In which case, he might still be required to submit to discovery and even testimony. So even though his intentions are loathsome and anti-American, this could still wind up being kinda fun.

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

Trump Refuses to Pledge Not to Accept Foreign Assistance in His Campaign

For the second presidential election in a row, Donald Trump is thumbing his nose at the law and political morality. He is openly announcing his willingness to accept the help of hostile foreign nations in his quest to retain power at all costs. Never mind the Constitution or the welfare of american democracy. To Trump the only thing that matters is what Trump wants.

Donald Trump

In 2016 the Russians orchestrated an exhaustive scheme to benefit Trump’s candidacy for president. Trump even abetted that plan by inviting the Russians to hack the emails of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. After the election Trump conceded in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that he would do the same thing again. Recent reports indicate that the Russians are also anxious for another go round. And Trump is effectively greenlighting their renewed intentions.

The repeat of this partnership between Trump and Russia should worry every patriotic American. Unfortunately, Trump’s glassy-eyed cult followers, and his bootlicking sycophants in the Republican Party, are all to happy to embrace this evil cabal. Consequently, Trump is becoming evermore daring with regard to accepting such tainted assistance. And he proved that in an exchange on Tuesday with CNN reporter Jim Acosta (video below):

Acosta: Can you pledge to the American people that you will not accept any foreign assistance in the upcoming election?
Trump: First of all, I want no help from any country, and I haven’t been given help from any country. And if you see what CNN, your wonderful network, said, I guess they apologized in a way for – didn’t they apologize for the fact that they said certain things that weren’t true?

Notice that Trump’s response said only that he doesn’t “want” help and isn’t getting any. We know the second half of that comment is a lie because his own Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently briefed Congress on Russia’s ongoing election tampering on Trump’s behalf. Therefore, the first half of Trump’s comment can also be presumed to be a lie (which is the case with pretty much everything Trump says).

But it’s also notable that Trump did not directly answer the question by affirmatively pledging not to accept any such assistance, whether he wants it or not. By not making that pledge, Trump is effectively admitting that he will accept assistance from Russia, which he has done before. In addition to dodging the pledge, Trump also sought to attack the reporter and the question:

Trump: Tell me, what was their apology yesterday? What did they say?
Acosta: Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes, if you don’t mind me saying.
Trump: Let me tell you about your record. Your record is so bad you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You have the worst record in the history of broadcasting.
Acosta: I’m not ashamed of anything, and our organization is not ashamed.

Of course, the apology Trump is referring to exists only in his warped imagination. CNN’s reporting was accurate and corroborated by other news outlets. Trump is fond of inventing phony apologies to himself that never actually occurred. It’s how he satiates his narcissistic appetite for fawning worshipers. But Acosta’s response rattled Trump. It forced Trump to confront the reality that he is a pathological liar. So naturally Trump affirmed that observation by lying about CNN’s record with factual reporting. And if anyone should be ashamed, it’s Trump. That is, if Trump had the human capacity to feel shame.

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

Fox News Hits Record High Ratings of a Measly 0.8% of American Viewers in 2019

If there’s one thing we can learn from 2019 it’s that hostile, melodramatic lies can boost the profits of a flagrantly biased organ of propaganda like Fox News. The right-wing network abandoned all pretense of journalistic integrity (what little it had) in order to sign on to the Donald Trump White House’s perverse distortions of reality.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

The reward for Fox News was the undying devotion of an audience of willfully blind cult followers who agreed to believe only what they saw on Fox and heard from Dear Leader Trump. And their loyalty helped propel Fox News to the number one cable news network for the year.

Fox News – and their number one viewer, Donald Trump – surely celebrated this achievement. But as the year comes to a close it’s important to place this statistic in perspective. The numbers that produced this “victory” represent about 2.5 million viewers per night, or about 0.8% of the television audience on the United States. That’s not exactly a commanding presence of disinformed boob-tubers with eyes glazed over and chanting wingnut slogans.

Of course, any contribution to the thinly populated MAGA cult is troubling and can have negative consequences. But knowing that they are safely confined within the walled off world of Fox News makes their impact nearly irrelevant. The bigger problem with Fox is when they manage to persuade other news organizations that they have any credibility and use that to further spread their fabrications and slander.

The bragging rights for Fox News have always been the result of their having corralled all of the nation’s conservative TV news audience into their single channel pen. Meanwhile, all the other news networks are splitting up the rest of the viewers, which dilutes their total audience. But in 2019, just the combined numbers for MSNBC (1.75 million) and CNN (972,000) exceed the total for Fox News. So anyone who tries to argue that Fox’s numbers are proof of a conservative majority in the country are engaging in the same sort of dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News.

While Fox’s average numbers did earn them the top spot for the year, that doesn’t mean that they resided there the whole time with every program. In fact, Rachel Maddow beat her time period competition, Sean Hannity, for the entire first quarter of the year. She also won the months of September, October, and November. And both “Deadline: White House with Nicole Wallace” and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” won their time periods for the year outright.

The real ratings disaster for the year was, once again, Donald Trump. He remains the most unpopular president since modern polling began. Even his favorite pollster, the disreputable and biased Rasmussen Reports, has him underwater with only 46% approving. And a recent Fox News poll showed that a majority of Americans (53%) have an unfavorable view of his job performance. In addition to that, a solid majority of 54% in the Fox poll said that Trump should be impeached, with 50% saying that he should also be removed from office. So whatever influence Fox News purports to have by snagging 0.8% of the television audience, it isn’t having much effect on the views of the American people. And that’s something Trump will surely post an angry tweet about before long.

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

Fox News Poll: Voters Want to Impeach Trump, Who They Say is a Deceitful Crook

The mental state of Donald Trump has been precarious for years. He is a diagnosed malignant narcissist with megalomaniacal tendencies. He clings to ignorance and a distorted, fantastical perspective that reinforces his self-delusion. And his stunted, prepubescent emotional maturity only exacerbates the severity of his behavioral problems.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Trump’s infantile antics are routinely displayed in his name-calling and frantic Twitter outbursts. But there are deeper and darker examples of how far he has declined into a psychotic abyss. He is now firmly entrenched in the “bunker mentality” defined by one’s inability to associate with reality. Thus, every word and deed – by himself and others – is assessed by how closely it hews to his derangement. And this manifested in a recent tweet about the media that he fears and despises:

So it’s all there. Childish taunts, nicknames, and wild declarations that his perceived foes will “all die together,” while only his defenders will survive. It’s an embarrassing blast of blather that is hostile, demented, and patently false.

First of all, MSNBC frequently beats Fox News in the ratings. Fredo, Trump’s name for CNN’s Chris Cuomo, has increased viewing since taking over that time period. And former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is probably doing just fine. He’s waiting out his non-compete clause and will then likely be courted by every network.

But of course, Trump singles out Fox News as his most favored media martinet. And he insists that “only pro-Trump Fox shows do well.” That would mean all Fox shows, because they are all pro-Trump, and always there to shield him from his persecutors. Well, almost always.

A new poll just published by Fox News contains some very bad news indeed for Donald Trump. It begins by revealing that a majority of Americans (53%) have an unfavorable view of his job performance. That, despite his relentless self-praise wherein he takes credit for the economy, jobs, make-believe trade and foreign policy treaties, a variety of legislation he had little to do with, and a border wall that hasn’t added a single foot.

The Fox News poll also asked if Trump should be impeached. A solid majority of 54% said that he should be impeached, with 50% saying that he should also be removed from office. That debate is currently raging in the House of Representatives, and will shortly be sent to the Senate. Although the Senate’s role has been largely invalidated by the Republicans who are running the show and have admitted that they are colluding with the White House.

The poll also found that a majority of voters (53%) say that Trump abused his power as president. And significantly more respondents say that Trump also obstructed Congress (48%) and committed bribery (45%), than say that he didn’t. Drilling further into the details, a plurality of voters said that they believe Trump held up military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals (47%). And when asked if that was proper for a president to do, they resoundingly said “NO” by a 60%-24% margin.

And that’s not all. The poll found that a majority of 52% said that Trump is not cooperating with the Congressional impeachment inquiry. As for whether the Democrats presiding over the hearings in the House were conducting them fairly, a plurality of voters (45%-42%) said that they were. Voters also regard Republicans as being more partisan. By a 16-point margin they say that Republicans just want to protect Trump rather than believe that what he did is not impeachable. Conversely, they say that Democrats genuinely believe that Trump is guilty, rather than just being interested in hurting him politically.

Here’s some additional poll potpourri: 64% say they are the same, or worse off, since Trump’s election. Which does not bode well for his reelection. 68% favor a wealth tax. 66% want some version of Medicare-for-all. 52% oppose Trump’s border wall. And every candidate the poll pitted against Trump in 2020 beat him.

To be sure, Trump will attack this poll as being biased against him. He has attacked Fox News polling in the past, saying that they “have always been terrible to me.” But that is not only untrue, Trump has frequently praised Fox’s polling when it was positive. This is just another example of Trump’s dissociation from reality. If he encounters something negative, he will criticize it and insist that they’ve always been against him. But when he comes across something positive, he embraces it as irrefutable proof of his awesomeness. That isn’t a sane expression of opinion. It’s an illness. And Trump is getting sicker by the day.

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

UPDATE: As I predicted…

TRIGGERED II: Trump is Clearly Losing It – Fear of Impeachment Has Fried His ‘Brain’

On Wednesday Donald Trump displayed an astonishing capacity for hysterics by posting 77 tweets in one day. His twittering was done mostly in the morning while Congress was holding hearings on his impeachment. It was a horrifying spectacle that exposed Trump as a whining coward who is incapable of controlling his frayed emotions.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

Now on Thursday, Trump has surpassed his all-time record for daily tweets. Once again, he accomplished this feat before lunchtime by posting 108 tweets, 86 of which were retweets of primarily GOP members of Congress and bootlicking media sycophants. This brings a total of 437 tweets in the past week.

Trump is apparently trying to flood the zone with inanity, because there was almost nothing of substance in this avalanche of social media ego-stroking. You have to wonder who he thinks is reading this bullcrap, other than weary media analysts. And he seems to have quit the presidency, because his OCT (Obsessive-Compulsive Tweetery) is a full time job.

The vast majority of Trump’s tweets were tiresome clips of Republicans evading the facts that so compelling affirm Trump’s guilt. Their talking points were so tightly aligned that you could hardly tell one from another. However, there were a few tweets that merit attention, primarily due to their utter assholiness. And leading the list would have to be Trump’s attack on 16 year old climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg:

So Trump took some time out of his tweetstorming to bully a girl who is showing real courage in the fight for her future and that of the Earth. No doubt Trump is perturbed that Greta was named Time Magazine Person of the Year instead of him. And his complaint that she has an anger management problem is pure projection considering his near constant state of frothing rage.

Also notable is Trump’s brazen self-promotion of his own private business, the Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida.

It takes some real cojones to violate the Constitution while you are being impeached. But that’s exactly what Trump is doing here. It violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause to exploit the office of the presidency for personal profit. And by using his official Twitter page to announce that the resort’s season is open, Trump can’t wave this off as just posting his itinerary.

And what Trump tweetfest would be complete with his attack on the free press:

Not only is Trump disparaging – and lying about – the media, he is wrapping his assault in a blanket of narcissism. He is crediting the ratings of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, for good or ill, to himself. What’s more, he believes that by reporting positively about him, any network would enjoy greater success. Which of course is absurd considering the fact that MSNBC frequently beats Fox.

A couple of other tweets merit some note. In one he says that he is “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China.” But he’s said this many times before and it has never been true. What’s he’s really doing is manipulating the stock market that reacts feverishly to any remarks from the White House. In the other tweet of note, Trump complained “Why aren’t Germany, France and other European countries helping Ukraine more?” The only thing wrong with that is everything. Those countries are helping Ukraine with over $16 billion in aid. So Trump is, as usual, lying.

UPDATE: Trump finished the day with a grand total of 123 tweets!

The sheer volume of tweets by Trump is indicative of his crippling anxiety. To post that many tweets requires hours of scrolling, reading and watching videos. So it’s safe to say that Trump isn’t doing anything else but tweeting. It’s also safe to say that he is not just concerned about the impending impeachment, he is profoundly disturbed and suffering from a severe mental infirmity. This puts the nation at grave risk. and it makes it all the more urgent that he quickly be impeached and removed from office.

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

NOTE TO MEDIA: Stop Airing These Psychotic Trump Lie-Fests Without Fact-Checking

This is really getting tiresome. During the 2016 campaign, all of the cable news networks would air Trump’s stump speeches live and uninterrupted. They wouldn’t do the same for any other candidate. And after the election CNN and MSNBC admitted that it was a mistake. There were too many falsehoods being spread without proper journalistic scrutiny.

Donald Trump

Fox News, of course, has continued to faithfully air everything Leader Trump does as it happens and rarely provides any context or corrections, even after Trump is done. That’s something we can expect from Fox News as it is their corporate mission to advance the Trump Cult. But CNN and MSNBC had been behaving more responsibly in the months following the election.

However, if Monday is any indication, CNN and MSNBC are backsliding. They both aired Monday morning’s complete Trump Cabinet meeting that was rife with lies and myths and Trumpian insults. It is a disservice to the American people to shove this dishonest blather down the throats of news consumers and it’s long past time for these networks to put an end to it. Here is just a taste of the preposterous ramblings of Trump this morning:

  • Trump said that he has great respect for ambassadors that he also said he’s never heard of.
  • Referring to ISIS, Trump said that “I’m the one that did the capturing.”
  • Trump mangled the Constitution, complaining about what he called the “phony Emoluments Clause.”
  • Trump said that he gives away his presidential salary that is close to $450,000. It’s exactly $400,000.
  • Trump accused President Obama of violating the emoluments clause by striking book and movie deals. Which he didn’t do until after he left office.

Along with the nonsense above, Trump crammed several ludicrous remarks into a concise segment of his rant (video below). He began by praising himself for allegedly losing 2-5 billion dollars due to his having to suffer through being president. But not to worry because he went on to say that “I don’t care. If you’re rich it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this for the country, I’m doing it for the people.” Really? Then why does actually helping the country by paying a few dollars more in taxes matter? If it really didn’t matter, Trump wouldn’t have pushed through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. and he wouldn’t be funneling money to his own real estate properties every time he stays at one of his resorts. And he certainly wouldn’t have tried to book the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf club in Miami – a scam that blew up in his face.

Trump went on to brag about what he said are “my best poll numbers.” Nevermind that he is at or near the lows of his presidency with the average of polls at about 42 percent approval. Even the wildly biased Rasmussen, has Trump dropping to 45 percent, within a point of his low for the year by his favorite pollster. Then he launched into a rabid dog rant aimed at his congressional foes:

“I have my best polls now. I think it’s because people think it’s terrible what they’re doing. Pelosi, Shifty Schiff, Schumer, these people are trying to destroy the country. It’s a very bad thing what they’re doing. The President of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap.

Trump has been accusing Pelosi, Schiff, and Schumer of treason for months simply because they are pursuing remedies for Trump’s political poison that are written into the Constitution, a document he has either never read, or can’t understand. And proof of that is his assertion that he “should be allowed to run the country” as if he were an unimpeded dictator.

It is episodes of derangement like these that make it necessary for the media to refrain from blasting out Trump’s hysterical bluster. It creates needless anxiety along with the misinformation that Trump intends to spread. It harms both the public and the press. It serves no purpose other than the propaganda mission of the White House and the Republican Nationalist Party. And it must end if we are ever to get this nation back on an even keel.

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