Snowflake Trump is Morbidly Afraid of MSNBC, CNN, While Democrats Hold Town Halls on Fox News

In the week since the redacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller was released, Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated what he really thinks of it. Although he said that it “totally exonerated” him, his actions belie his words. He has done nothing but criticize it and try desperately to discredit it and its authors. That’s not what an innocent person does to a report that he believes vindicates him.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper

Trump’s reaction affirms his overall state of mind, which is an all-consuming fear of what his future holds. He knows what he did and is terrified that everyone else is going to find out. Consequently, he has receded into his bunker and refuses to deal with anyone other than loyal subjects, cult rally attendees, and of course, Fox News.

This strategy of hiding under the Lincoln Bedroom bed reveals that Trump and his Deplorables still languish in a fantasy world where they believe that he is a pillar of strength. There has been relentless criticism of the Democratic Party’s decision not to allow Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate. The StormTrumpers say that Democrats must be afraid of Fox. To the contrary. They are aware that Fox News is an overtly hostile environment that only exists to denigrate them.

Nevertheless, several Democratic candidates for president have either already agreed, or are holding talks, to appear on a Fox News hosted town hall. There are big differences between town halls that are aimed a broad audience, and primary debates that are more narrowly intended for voters of that particular party. And every survey shows that there aren’t very many Democrats watching Fox News.

The list of Democrats looking at Fox town halls includes Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, and Michael Bennet. They would follow Bernie Sanders, who already did one and was immediately castigated by Trump for doing so. That’s a clue to what the others should expect.

What’s interesting about this is that while Republicans are quick to attack Democrats for avoiding Fox News (which obviously isn’t true), the same Republicans never bother to note that Trump is petrified of MSNBC and CNN. He has never permitted these networks to interview him as president. Trump’s abject fear is palpable. It’s why he constantly maligns the media in Stalist terms as “the enemy of the people.” He will not allow himself to be in a situation where he can’t control the dialog.

So Trump and his GOP cohorts in politics and punditry should STFU about Democrats going on Fox News. At least until Trump appears in a town hall hosted by Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, or even “Morning Psycho” Joe Scarborough. Or maybe Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, or Jake Tapper.

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

But don’t hold your breath. Trump won’t even sit for an interview with Fox’s Shepard Smith, Bret Baier, or Chris Wallace. That pleasure (?) is reserved exclusively for Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. These are Trump’s safe spaces where he knows he won’t be challenged or met with anything other than adoring sycophancy. And the contrast between the relationship between Democrats and Fox News, to Trump’s panic-stricken dread of MSNBC or CNN, shows who the real snowflake is.

Trump ‘Congratulates’ CNN for Having Low Ratings, Even Though His Are Much Worse

Having a healthy ego is a requirement for anyone who aspires to be President of the United States. But there has never been a president with the kind of psychotically twisted self-image as Donald Trump. He has explicitly declared himself as the best in the world at whatever subject he happens to be babbling about at the time. Whether it’s taxes or war or energy or finance or women, Trump is adamant that he knows more than anybody else (see the video below). It’s rather impressive that he can be so self-aggrandizing and so wrong at the same time.

Donald Trump, Loser

So naturally Trump is obsessed with rankings and ratings and other measures of ability that he can exploit to make himself feel like he isn’t the miserable failure that he knows he is deep inside. And since he regards Fox News as an extension of himself, the cable TV ratings are a big part of Trump’s notion of self-worth. That’s why when he saw some ratings data (from the Daily Caller, the ultra-rightist website run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) that noted the poor performance of CNN, he leaped at the chance to sarcastically congratulate the network as if these results were specifically heralding him.

Of course, anyone who follows the cable news business already knows that CNN has been lagging behind both Fox News and MSNBC. So it’s hard to figure out why Trump got so excited. But more interesting is the fact that Trump’s joy seems to ignore an important part of reality: Trump’s approval is even worse than CNN’s ratings. In fact, as disclosed in a recent poll, the American people trust CNN more than they do Trump or Fox News:

“Attacks on the ‘fake news’ media have been a staple of President Donald Trump’s messaging as both a presidential candidate and commander in chief, but new polling from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter suggests that when it comes to credibility, that rhetoric really only resonates with Republicans.”

This poll shows that a majority of 53 percent regard CNN as “credible.” The same goes for another target of Trump’s, the New York Times. And all three broadcast networks came in higher than 60 percent. Fox News was below all of them at 52 percent. And that’s with 70 percent of Republicans believing it’s credible (a number that affirms the cult nature of their relationship with both Fox and Trump). Numerous other polls have been conducted on the question of trust, and in every single case the American people said that they trust the media more than they do Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump’s own ratings have achieved a dubious distinction as being lower than any president in history. So Trump is right about being the best – at least at being hated. Even the disreputable, right-wing, pro_Trump pollster, Rasmussen, has Trump down five points (to 47%) since the release of the redacted Mueller report less than a week ago. The more reliable Reuters poll shows that Trump has declined to a dismal 37 percent.

So to shore up his faltering standing with the public, Trump has spent Monday morning frantically posting clips of Fox News slobbering all over him. No less than five such clips were tweeted featuring crackpots like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin. It’s the only way he can manage to salve his wounded and fragile ego. He is a man consumed by fear. And every tweet wherein he lambastes special counsel Robert Mueller, and the “witch hunt,” and the “Angry Democrats,” and the media, just reinforces his guilt and his desperation to suppress it.

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

Trump’s Lies are Crushed By Senate Intel Vice-Chair: ‘There’s Plenty of Evidence’ of Collusion

Donald Trump has been stuck in a frantic and tedious loop of whiny denials for the past couple years. It consists primarily of him impotently proclaiming his innocence with regard to his nefarious associations with Russian operatives in an effort to steal the 2016 presidential election. For the most part his factless proclamations have only served to make him look more guilty.

Mark Warner, CNN

Among his most persistent citations of innocence has been a repeated reference to remarks by the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr. Last September Burr told reporters that he had not seen any direct evidence of collusion or conspiracy with Russia on the part of the President. Note that he did not say it didn’t happen, only that his committee had “no hard evidence” of it. But that was enough to trigger Trump into making multiple identical tweets on the subject. It began on Sep 12, 2018, and continued on Feb 7, 2019, and Feb 8, 2019 and Feb 9, 2019 and Feb 10, 2019 and Feb 22, 2019 and Feb 25, 2019.

Some of these tweets were Trump unleashing his standard “Witch Hunt” rants, and others were retweets from the likes of Sean Hannity. But they all said exactly the same thing incorrectly quoting Sen. Burr: “No Collusion!”

Well, on Sunday morning Trump’s favorite proof that he was a squeaky clean paragon of virtue fell apart. Sen. Mark Warner, the Vice-Chair of the Intelligence Committee appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and explicitly contradicted Trump’s distorted version of events (video below). His remarks could not have been more clear:

“Anyone who says there’s no evidence of collaboration – there’s plenty of evidence. […] The notion that there’s no evidence is just factually wrong. Just in the public domain there are literally reams and reams of evidence of Russian outreach to Trump officials and clear interest from Trump officials, including the President’s own son, welcoming the opportunity to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

Warner outlined a small portion of the evidence that was just revealed during the recent House Oversight Committee’s hearing with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. He cited three pieces of evidence from Cohen’s testimony:

“One, the fact that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen mislead the American public for months about the whole notion of trying to continue to get a Trump Tower project going in Moscow. […]

“The second is the evidence that Mr. Cohen put out that he was in the presence of Donald Trump when Roger Stone called indicating that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange from Wikileaks, indicating that Wikileaks was about to drop a bunch of very damaging information about Hillary Clinton. […]

“And finally we have this whole question wherein Mr. Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower that included Don Jr, Jared Kushner, the campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Clearly a meeting that was not about Russian adoption, but was about the idea of turning over dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

For good measure, Warner’s counterpart in the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, spoke on the same issues on CBS’s Face the Nation, saying that “there is both ‘direct evidence’ and ‘abundant circumstantial evidence’ of collusion with Russia.” He elaborated:

“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there is overt acts in furtherance of that. That is the meeting at Trump Tower and all the lies to cover up that meeting at the Trump Tower, and apparently lies that the president participated in.”

So this should put an end to the fallacy that there is no evidence against Trump for conspiracy with Russia. Quite the opposite is true. There are mountains of evidence. And that’s even the position of the Vice-Chair of the Senate committee that Trump is so fond of citing on his own behalf. But don’t expect this to end Trump’s plaintive wailing that he’s innocent. When has reality ever interfered with his determination to disgorge obvious lies to shield himself from the consequences of his criminal behavior?

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

Trump is Silent About a Real Domestic Terrorist’s Plot to Kill Democrats and Journalists

Early Wednesday morning Donald Trump posted another tweetstorm that ranted incoherently about the media being “the enemy of the people” and wishing for them to “go bust,” putting thousands of Americans out of work and leaving only State TV outlets like Fox News to provide their lies to the nation. It was the sort of reckless tirade that can (and has) lead to bloodshed.

Trump Charlotsville

Later in the day came news that just such an unthinkable act of mass murder was foiled by law enforcement officers of the FBI and the Coast Guard. According to NBC News:

“A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant working in the nation’s capital lived a secret life as a “domestic terrorist” who aspired to mass murder and compiled a target list of prominent politicians and journalists, federal prosecutors allege in court papers.”

The suspect, Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on drug and gun charges, but prosecutors said that he was intent on committing a killing spree against journalists and Democratic politicians. He described himself as a “white nationalist” and searched for pro-Russian and neo-Nazi literature online. The report went on to provide details of Hasson’s proposed victims:

“Prosecutors say the list included designations they believe referred to Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar and Sheila Jackson. Also on it was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

“Media figures on the list included [Joe] Scarborough, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, and CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.”

This is the sort of deadly, crackpot white nationalism that comes from watching too much Fox News and listening Trump’s deranged sermons at his cult rallies. Hasson is without a doubt a domestic terrorist with a determination to carry out the most hostile version of the dystopia advocated by Trump. But Trump has said nothing about his plot or arrest. However, Trump did post a tweet announcing that he gave an order to prohibit Hoda Muthana from reentering the U.S.

Muthana is an American citizen who traveled to Syria allegedly to join ISIS. She now regrets her decision and expresses remorse for her “naive, angry, and arrogant” behavior. Whatever you may think of her, or her desire to return to her family and birthplace, Trump’s participation in the matter is absurd. This is a decision that is generally made way below the presidency. So the only imaginable purpose for Trump’s involvement is the publicity.

Nevertheless, Trump doesn’t seem the least bit interested in publicizing the arrest of a straight-up domestic terrorist whose views are aligned with his own. And he doesn’t seem to think that it might be useful to condemn such actions in order to deter others like Hasson from concocting their own plots. Trump’s banning of Muthana will have negligible impact on anything. But his silence on Hasson will be viewed as greenlighting the revolution that his Deplorables dream about.

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

Hair Trump Declares that ‘Something Has to Be Done’ About CNN Exercising Free Speech

The hostility that Donald Trump has shown for the media has been a constant dating back to his first days on the campaign trail. It only escalated as time went by and his insults became anti-constitutional assertions that the media is “the enemy of the people.” Add to that his overt threats, incitements to violence, and banning of reporters he doesn’t like, and you have the very model of a modern media oppressor.

Donald Trump, CNN

On Monday morning Trump reached another new low in his assaults on the free press. In a pair tweets the President attacked his favorite nemesis, CNN for having a “powerful voice” that is “portraying the United States in an unfair and and false way.” He tweeted that:

Make no mistake, this is a full frontal attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Trump has no business commenting on the ratings of a news network that covers his corrupt and criminal administration independently and accurately (FYI: CNN is enjoying some of their highest ratings in the network’s history). Especially considering that he has already tried to ban their White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, from the presidential press corps, but lost when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit his flagrant discrimination.

However, even worse is Trump’s proposal that the United States start its own “Worldwide Network” to disseminate what can only be presumed to be Trump-fluffing propaganda. The notion that the U.S. should launch a network to compete with commercial news outlets around the world is a frightening expansion of government interfering with the press. It is the sort of state-run tripe that totalitarian regimes like that of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kin Jong Un engage in. And note that Trump admits that his intention Is to produce only positive propaganda that portrays him as “GREAT!”

The U.S. already has government media services that distribute approved content around the world via the United States Agency for Global Media (formerly that Broadcasting Board of Governors). That agency runs the Voice of American, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and other government managed broadcast operations.

But what Trump is proposing is something far more ambitious and dishonest. He wants a network that competes with commercial news enterprises like CNN, SKY News, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and more. He wants a network that will always praise him, defend him, and malign his critics. He wants constant adulation and coverage that portrays him as the returning Messiah. He wants cult worship.

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

Well, Fox News is already doing that. But setting that aside, presidential hero-worship is not the role of a government that was founded on the principles of freedom of the press. It is neither honest nor ethical. And there is no agency under federal law that could house such a media mutation. But it does display the aspirations of a wannabe dictator who is obsessed with controlling all of the media that covers him and his regime. And it is no surprise that Trump is openly advocating for something so contrary to American values. But this pathetic pandering to himself and his over-inflated ego will never fly in the U.S. Maybe Vladimir has some network space for it.

Donald Trump Issues a Flagrantly Authoritarian Decree for ‘Governing the Conduct of Journalists’

The transformation of the United States presidency into the sort of dictatorship presided over by the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un has taken a frightening leap forward. Donald Trump’s manifestly autocratic tendencies are rapidly being implemented by his administration with the willing complicity of the Republican Nationalist Party and right-wing media like Fox News.

Donald Trump, Censorship

Earlier this month Trump was so rattled by the questions of CNN’s Jim Acosta that he took the unprecedented step of banning Acosta from further press conferences. That overtly unconstitutional boot-stomping of the free press was quickly repudiated by most of the press corps, including the executive class at Fox News. Although most of the on-air Trump-fluffers at Fox continued to lambaste Acosta and his audacity for exercising freedom of the press. CNN took the White House to court and a judge appointed by Trump ordered the restoration of Acosta’s press pass.

Subsequently, the White House has now drafted a set of rules of behavior that they are imposing on the journalists covering the President. It’s an egregious breach of the American principles that have long been held by a nation that reveres the role that journalism plays in sustaining democracy. But it fits nicely into the oppressive schemes of the Trump regime. Here are the salient portions of what Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff (and former president of Fox News), Bill shine, and Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have cooked up for those disobedient reporters who refuse to kowtow to Dear Leader:

“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference. But, given your insistence that shared practices be replaced by ‘explicit…standards,’ this letter attempts to convert into rules the widely understood practices described in our prior letter.

  1. (1) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;
  2. (2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;
  3. (3) “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.
  4. (4) Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

“We are mindful that a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One.”

“The White House’s interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to a natural give-and-take. President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment, and interacts with the press in just such a way. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events.”

It is abundantly clear that the White House intends to bully reporters so that they can force them into submission. Trump is obviously scared of having an open dialog wherein reporters can ask tough questions and challenge him when he evades answering or outright lies – as he is known to do. So he is acting out with the weakness of his character to suppress the media. And it is worth noting that there are no rules for Trump or his supplicants. He can still call reporters “stupid,” “racist,” “fake,” “enemies,” etc. He can still abuse them and threaten them and interrupt them and ultimately silence them. When he claims to want “decorum” in the White House it couldn’t be more hysterically hypocritical.

These artificial and unnecessary mandates are intended to intimidate reporters who now must consider whether merely being assertive might result in their getting banished. They will have to think twice about challenging Trump for fear of violating these ludicrous rules that no White House in history has ever required. And Trump will not hesitate to cite these strictures to cast out any journalists that upset him or are less than obedient when he orders them to sit down and shut up.

The letter says that “Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment.” That is, perhaps, the biggest lie of all. Believing in the First Amendment is not demonstrated by calling the media “the enemy of the people” and recklessly labeling any news you don’t like as “fake news.” And it certainly isn’t demonstrated by imposing strict and insulting behavioral rules on what is supposed to be a free press. But this is how Trump’s belief system works. If you aren’t sufficiently adoring of him, then anything you have to say can be suppressed and your ability to question the President – a servant of the people, not a king – can be revoked. Hopefully the remaining members of the free press will refuse to observe this atrocity and demand that Trump submit to the constitutional principles he swore an oath to defend.

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

Et Tu Fox News? Will Trump Be Asked About the Acosta Ruling and Fox’s Support for CNN?

Last week, in fit of rage, Donald Trump revoked the White House pass for CNN’s presidential correspondent, Jim Acosta, Subsequently, CNN filed a lawsuit to against to get Acosta’s rights restored. Nearly everyone in the journalism community supported CNN, including Fox News. Although their support at the management level was contradicted by most of their on-air hosts and contributors.

Donald Trump Fox News

Friday morning the court (with a Trump-appointed judge) issued a preliminary injunction ordering Trump to restore Acosta’s press pass because his due process rights were violated. A final ruling on the matter is expected soon. However, there is a presumption that Acosta’s First Amendment rights were also violated because due process is a constitutional provision for the protection of underlying rights.

In any case, the White House is now legally mandated to permit Acosta to cover the President and his press briefings. That is likely to add to Trump’s severe anxiety and depression, as has been reported in recent days. From the midterm election shellacking he took, to special counsel Robert Mueller’s impending report and possible indictments, Trump is in a foul mood. And being forced to play nice with Acosta, who he just singled out as an “enemy of the people,” isn’t going to cheer him up.

What might make Trump feel a little better is a friendly visit with his favorite “news” network, Fox News. He is generally in a more relaxed frame of mind when being questioned by the State TV reporters that he knows won’t challenge him. So Trump has squeezed an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday into his schedule. Wallace, however, is often not as accommodating – or worshipful – as Foxies like Sean Hannity (who Trump just mocked for his fatuous adoration and dumb questions). So Trump may be surprised with a few inquiries that attempt to scratch below the surface.

There are plenty of subjects for Wallace to explore that have been neglected by Trump’s recent interviews with sycophants like Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. This will be Trump’s first one-on-one since the election. It will be an opportunity to catch up on recent developments concerning the Mueller probe. Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – and the possibly unlawful appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General – have not been discussed in detail. On the latter issue, it will be interesting to see if Wallace asks him to address his statements to the Daily Caller that his promotion of Whitaker was tied to his desire to terminate the Mueller investigation.

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

But one of the most interesting lines of questioning would be about Trump’s reaction to the Acosta court ruling and Fox News’ support for CNN. Will Trump now lump Fox into the basket of media organizations that he believes are the people’s enemies? Will he attack the judge that he appointed? Will he double down on his anti-free press rhetoric? Will he reiterate his opinion that he has the right to pick and choose who can cover him? And finally, will Wallace actually ask any of these questions? Tune in on Sunday for the big show.

Two-Faced Fox News: Both Supporting and Attacking CNN’s Lawsuit Against Trump

The split personality of Fox News is on display with regard to the controversy over their treatment of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass last week after a contentious exchange with Donald Trump at a press conference. Trump’s behavior at the event was over the top, even for him. He viciously lashed out and insulted Acosta and several other reporters, including three African-American women.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, what’s making the headlines now is the administration’s revocation of access to the White House for Acosta and the subsequent lawsuit filed by CNN to restore his First Amendment rights. The suit has been hailed by most of the journalistic community including the White House Correspondents Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. And even Fox News issued a statement in support of CNN’s lawsuit:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox couldn’t resist highlighting what they called an “antagonistic tone.” but at least they included Trump in the criticism. The rest of the statement is a solid defense of the First Amendment. The problem is that this sentiment expressed by their management is not shared by their program hosts.

For instance, on her Tuesday night program Laura Ingraham is not so supportive. She called the lawsuit a “stunt” and a “farce.” Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, wrote an op-ed Tuesday criticizing CNN, saying that “By taking the president to court, CNN also reinforces its image among millions of Trump supporters as part of the opposition.” And Wednesday on the air Kurtz said that “I think this suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one.” Martha MacCallum hosted former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer who dismissed freedom of the press saying that “It’s not a right to be able to go over to the White House.” And Fox’s senior Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity, complained bitterly for ten minutes about the lawsuit. He disparaged Acosta as “a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger.” Trump was apparently watching, because he later used the “grandstanding” slur in an interview with Tucker Carlson’s rag, The Daily Caller. At no time did Hannity or the others stand up for the principles of freedom of the press.

This is representative of the two faces of Fox News. They like to pretend that they are a part of the journalistic community and committed to the constitutional provisions that protect the media. But their most watched personalities prefer the suppressive concepts favored by dictators who get to choose who cover them and what is permissible to say. And that’s also the position of the Trump White House that defended the President’s censorious punishment of Acosta in a statement that said:

“The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews.”

Actually, that isn’t the same thing at all. While Trump has been extremely selective with regard to interviews (the vast majority of which have been with Fox News), a press conference is an open event during which all attendees have equal access. And by selectively banning a reporter who asks tough questions, Trump is manipulating the coverage of his media avails to only those with whom he agrees, or believes he can overcome with bullying, filibustering, and lies. That is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned a free press. And Fox doesn’t get to be a “news” enterprise by issuing a statement in support of the First Amendment, while they put hacks on the air who advocate against it.

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

CNN Files Lawsuit Against Trump & Co. for Violation of the First Amendment

Last week Donald Trump’s administration was especially hostile to the press that they despise so fiercely. Trump addressed a post-election press conference and proceeded to insult several (mostly African-American women) journalists. As News Corpse noted at the time: “It was a disgraceful display of infantile tantrum throwing by our crybaby president who is too weak to face a group of reporters without breaking down into insults and bullying.”

Donald Trump, CNN

Shortly after that press conference, the White House announced that they were suspending the credentials of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. They fabricated a story alleging that he “placed his hands” on an intern as she tried to grab the microphone away from him. However, the video of the event proved unambiguously that the White House was lying, as usual. But that didn’t stop them from distributing a “doctored” version of the video that they got from the disreputable conspiracy crackpots at Infowars.

On Tuesday morning CNN announced that they are suing Trump and his band of totalitarian oppressors of free speech. The suit explicitly cites the constitutional breach of the First Amendment’s rights to freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process. CNN’s statement reads:

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The lawsuit names several members of the administration who are complicit in the violation. They include Trump, his chief of staff John Kelly, his deputy chief of staff for communications (and former Fox News president) Bill Shine, and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s a confederacy of Republican Nationalists bent on subverting democracy and squelching free speech.

It would be surprising if this suit made it to court. Crybaby Trump will likely chicken out and restore Acosta’s credentials before that happens. But the damage is already done as this unlawful White House demonstrates that they couldn’t care less about America’s constitutional principles.

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

Fortunately, the next Congress plans to do something about that. Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has told reporters that he intends to hold hearings on Trump’s reckless assaults on the press which go way beyond mere name calling as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” It includes his use of the Justice Department to punish media organizations he doesn’t like. And because elections have consequences, he isn’t going to get away with it for much longer.

Trump’s Attack on the Free Press Escalates with Help from His Shadow Cabinet: Fox News

Having just returned from embarrassing America overseas, Donald Trump is resuming his obsessive campaign against the free press and the Constitution. This preoccupation with what he calls “the enemy of the people” is being pursued in lieu of honoring fallen troops on this Veterans Day, directing aid to the victims of the California fires, or performing any other routine presidential duties.

Donald Trump, Censorship

One thing that Trump can be expected to never neglect is his “Executive Time,” otherwise known as tweeting and watching Fox News. And on Monday that’s precisely what has been occupying his short attention span. In particular was a tweet wherein Trump complained about the alleged antitrust violations of the media megalith Comcast/NBCU:

Note that Trump is quoting from a comment by Fox Business contributor Charlie Gasparino, because Trump is incapable of having an original thought. Trump (via Gasparino) is terribly concerned about a report that the “American Cable Association has big problems with Comcast.” For those unfamiliar with the television video distribution market, the ACA is a lobbying group that represents small cable and broadband providers. It isn’t especially surprising that they are troubled by the business practices of a giant competitor.

To be clear, there are legitimate reasons to oppose Big Media enterprises like Comcast or AT&T/Time Warner or Verizon. But rest assured that Trump has no idea what those reasons are. He is narrowly focused on only what affects him personally. That’s why he opposes the AT&T/Time Warner merger (TW owns CNN). And it’s why he’s whining about Comcast/NBCU today (they own NBC/MSNBC). The fact that such mergers wind up giving consumers fewer choices and that cost more money never enters Trump’s ego-driven, cartoon brain.

Fortunately, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee is planning to hold hearings on Trump’s flagrantly self-serving assaults on the media. Among other things, they should prove that Trump couldn’t care less about antitrust laws. You’ll notice that he never complains about Disney, which owns ABC and just bought most of the assets of the parent corporation of Fox News (but not including Fox News). And he strongly supported the planned Sinclair/Tribune merger, which was blocked by his own Justice Department. Those are both rabidly right-wing media firms that shill for Trump on a 24/7 basis. Never mind that the merger would have resulted in a conglomerate that owned more local television stations than any other in America.

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

So while fires rage in California, our foreign allies are laughing at us, our veterans are neglected, our cities are tormented by mass shootings, our economy is declining, and democracy is being subverted by Republican Nationalist Party efforts to suppress voting in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and elsewhere, Trump is keeping his powder (and his orange bird’s nest of a wig) dry by staying indoors and live-tweeting Fox News. And the rancid smell of his panic is only going to become more pungent as the January inauguration of the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives gets closer.