The Sunday Morning Trump (Not So) Funnies: Donald Trump’s Senile Dementia Kicked in Bigly

This weekend Donald Trump massively accelerated the level of nonsense that has been the hallmark of his presidency. Among the cognitive lapses he displayed while embarrassing America in Europe were his defensive response to the indictment of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential election, and his anti-First Amendment rebuke of the the “fake news” network CNN in favor of the “real” network, Fox News. But he was just getting started.

Donald Trump

There were several instances of acute mental confusion that Trump exhibited this weekend. But let’s begin with the most disturbing one, even though it may not be the most substantive. In an interview with British Trump-fluffer Piers Morgan, the President was asked “What is the incentive for America to do a great deal with the United Kingdom?” And this was Trump’s – – – answer?

“We would make a great deal with the United Kingdom because they have product that we like. I mean they have a lot of great product. They make phenomenal things, you know, and you have different names — you can say ‘England’, you can say ‘UK’, you can say ‘United Kingdom’ so many different — you know you have, you have so many different names – Great Britain. I always say: ‘Which one do you prefer? Great Britain?’ You understand what I’m saying?”

No. Nobody understands a single thing that you’re saying. But that’s only because you aren’t saying anything that is remotely intelligible. But other than that, it’s perfectly clear.

From there we go on to an interview Trump gave to CBS anchor Jeff Glor. Trump made several bits of “news” in this brief dialog. Like when he said that his father was born in the EU (Germany). Except that his father was born in New York. Trump will literally lie about anything. There are no limits to the outright absurdity of his frightening foolishness. For example:

GLOR: “What’s your goal from the Putin meeting?”
TRUMP: “I’ll let you know after the meeting.”

Well, that’s comforting. It shows how seriously Trump is taking this summit with the dictator of the nation that is occupying Crimea, helping Iran in Syria, and that attacked America’s democracy. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “The Russians who were indicted. Would you ask Putin to send them here?”
TRUMP: “Well I might. I hadn’t thought of that. But again — this was during the Obama administration.”

He hadn’t thought of the most obvious response to a historic indictment of a foreign nation’s criminal cyberwar against the United States? What the hell is he thinking of? Pee-pee tapes? And even after being given the idea, Trump still only says that he “might” bring it up. Then he goes on to blame President Obama for the whole mess. It may have happened DURING the Obama administration, but it was being done FOR (and with?) the Trump campaign. And then there’s this:

TRUMP: “I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too, but — and this may be wrong — but they had much stronger defenses.”

So now the DNC is responsible for Putin’s hacking of Democrats on behalf of Donald Trump. Classic “blaming the victim.” And Trump has the audacity to make this allegation even while admitting that “this may be wrong.” What sober-minded world leader would say things publicly that he doesn’t know are true? BTW, according to the Justice Department, the GOP was hacked, so their defenses were no better than the DNC. But Russia was only using hacked info against the Democrats. Whatever they hacked from Republicans is probably being used to blackmail Trump. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “Who is your biggest competitor? Your biggest foe globally right now?”
TRUMP: “Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union but they’re a foe.”

Indeed, we do have a lot of foes. Especially many of our former allies since Trump took office. But the first one he thinks of to mention is the European Union? Certainly not China, or North Korea, or Iran. And as for Russia, last week Trump referred to Putin only as a competitor, saying explicitly that he was “not my enemy.” Trump even went out of his way to congratulate Russia on Twitter Sunday morning. But the EU is a foe? And then there’s this:

TRUMP (On UK protests): “There are many, many protests in my favor.”

Um OK.

Following the Putin/Trump performance review on Monday, Trump is now scheduled for a lavish tongue bathing by Fox News shills Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Because who else would he turn to? And Vladimir Putin will also be visiting Fox News for an interview with Chris Wallace. So it’s an all-Fox, All Russia, all Trump festival of flagrant propaganda. I can hardly wait.

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

Is Trump More Scared of Putin or CNN? Cadet Bonespurs Cancels Bolton’s Interview on CNN

On Monday Donald Trump is going to sit down with his – Friend? Boss? Russian counterpart? – Vladimir Putin for a meeting that has no agenda or even a stated purpose. The Helsinki tryst comes just a few days after his own Justice Department announced indictments of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s only reaction to this was to say that he would “ask” Putin about it. Well, that should put the brutal dictator on notice.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In advance of this meeting, Trump’s National Security advisor, John Bolton was scheduled to appear on CNN’s State of the Union. But on Saturday SOTU host, Jake Tapper, tweeted that the White House has canceled that booking. So Trump won’t cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose spy network was just indicted for election tampering, but he will cancel a Sunday morning interview with Bolton. Who does this tell you that Trump is more afraid of?

This cancellation comes on the heels of Trump’s anti-free press harangue on Friday when he refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying that he doesn’t take questions from “fake news” CNN. He then called on John Roberts of Fox News, which he said was a “real network.” Now Trump has, without explanation, pulled his NSA chief from a CNN program.

In a tweet on Saturday morning Trump bragged about his “takedown” of Acosta, as if suppressing the free press was something to be proud of. He also falsely claimed that CNN was “dying in the ratings” (they aren’t), and that they didn’t report on the exchange (they did). What Trump neglected to mention was that Fox’s Roberts later called out Trump and defended the fairness and honesty of NBC and CNN.

Clearly Trump is scared witless. The only question is: Who is he afraid of more? There’s no doubt that Trump is horribly frightened at the prospect of having to answer any questions that aren’t pre-screened, criticism-free, and/or dripping with adoration. That’s why he doesn’t allow interviews with anyone but friendly “reporters” that he knows will not challenge him. And it’s why he snubbed Acosta and canceled Bolton’s interview.

But he’s also obviously fearful of Putin. Which is why he won’t risk offending him by not turning up for their get-together on Monday. People as politically diverse as senators Chuck Schumer and John McCain have been urging Trump to stay away. But Trump, as usual, isn’t listening to good advice. And his State TV affiliate (aka Fox News) is continuing to prove that they are on his side by booking Brother Vlad for an interview immediately following his tete-a-tete with Trump. Where else would Putin go other than the network that his biggest supporter outside of RT (Russian Television)?

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

UPDATE: Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the Bolton cancellation saying that it was due to a CNN reporter being “disrespectful” to Trump. So they “decided to reprioritize the TV appearances.” For the record, Trump called CNN’s Acosta “fake news.” He replied that CNN is a real network. That’s it. No discernible hint disrespect. But even if there were, she canceled an interview with Jake Tapper for something Acosta did? This whole excuse is bullshit – no disrespect intended.

Trump Says ‘I Don’t Take Questions From CNN,’ Only Real Networks Like – Fox News?

Donald Trump was visiting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Friday when he obliged the media by taking a few question to which he would respond with his customary obfuscation and lies. But in the process he employed one of his familiar tactics of demeaning the press even as he pretends to be accommodating them.

Donald Trump Fox News

Just as Jim Acosta of CNN began to ask a question, Trump interrupted him him saying “No.” and pointing to John Roberts of Fox News. Acosta was not immediately convinced that his opportunity to question the President was over. But Trump made it even more clear saying “CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN. John Roberts of Fox, let’s go to a real network.”

Roberts had an opportunity to stand up for the integrity and honor of his profession. But instead, he chose to ignore Trump’s malice toward the press and ask if Trump hopes to have a better relationship with Vladimir Putin. That question was a fairly obsequious waste of time that would provide no insight to any current affairs. However, it did successfully help Trump to throw another sucker punch at the media that he despises. And at the same time Trump got to promote the one network that has so obediently acted as his State TV affiliate of the White House.

By maligning the media this way on foreign soil, Trump is ensuring that other foreign dictators will feel encouraged to continue their own crusades against the press, which often include suppression and murder. Trump’s friend Vladimir can attest to that. It’s bad enough when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the American people” during one of his revival meeting style campaign rallies in South Dakota. But to export that hostile rhetoric to other countries only makes his animus toward the free press more dangerous for journalists throughout the world.

Roberts was castigated online by many of his peers for allowing Trump to insult Acosta and just going forward with his own lame question. As a result, he later appeared in a segment on Fox where he finally mustered up the courage to defend CNN, NBC, and his profession:

That would have been a great thing to say when Trump lashed out at Acosta. As it is, it was too little. too late. Especially considering the fact that it isn’t just Trump who is dispensing these attacks. It is also many of Roberts’ colleagues on Fox News. It’s Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy and Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, and few dozen other contributors who make regular appearances. Not to mention most of the GOP caucus in Congress.

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

For Roberts to be taken seriously he would have to call out all of those offenders. He would have to acknowledge that the cries of fake news, dishonesty, and unfairness are just as harmful and inappropriate when they come from a Fox News host as when the come from a desperately lying president. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Roberts, or anyone else at Fox, to be so consistent and honorable. Their mission is the same as it ever was: to defend Dear Leader Trump and to malign his critics. Expect that to continue unabated.

A Very Confused Fox News is Now Attacking a CNN Reporter – for Attacking CNN

When Fox News was treated badly during the Obama administration, the rest of the media would quickly come to their defense with unqualified support for the free press. And as an expression of their gratitude, Fox News has made sure to viciously slander their media colleagues at every opportunity. They are fulfilling their role as the State TV division of Donald Trump’s White House, where the media is considered to be “the enemy of the American people.”

Tucker Carlson Fox News

On Friday Brian Flood, a Fox News media reporter, did an analysis of old tweets by his counterpart at CNN, Oliver Darcy. The story was intended to reveal some sort of hypocrisy on Darcy’s part for being critical of CNN prior to joining them, but then failing to be critical of his new employer.

Really? Fox News is surprised that an employee of CNN isn’t bashing his own network? In a perfect world every media critic would hold all reporting to the same standards for ethics and professionalism. But for Fox News to lash out at Darcy for this reason is laughable. Fox is the most insulated pseudo-news enterprise ever created. Not only will they never criticize their own reporting, they won’t even correct or apologize for blatant errors of fact.

The examples Flood sited of Darcy’s criticisms of CNN were not exactly blistering They included a critique of Kathy Griffin appearing in a bra on the New Year’s Eve telecast. And mocking CNN’s use of a “Breaking News” banner that’s nearly a permanent fixture on the screen (which Fox News does as well). And a comment on CNN’s website that chided the network for posting a flurry of pro-Clinton stories. Would Flood have preferred that Darcy approved of that partisanship?

In addition to the awkward spectacle of Fox News complaining about a CNN reporter criticizing CNN, Flood also flagrantly misrepresented a tweet wherein Darcy allegedly accused CNN of letting “people just make stuff up on the airwaves.” In fact, the tweet wasn’t a hit on CNN, but was chastising a pro-Trump shill who was a guest on the network. And the charge that Darcy doesn’t criticize CNN now is also untrue. A quick search turned up this example wherein Darcy took CNN to task for taking Trump out of context. When CNN was reached for a response to Flood’s story, they said:

“Oliver was critical of CNN before, just as he is now. CNN is a place where opinions and ideas are valued. And we encourage staff to share their thoughts about the organization – both positive and critical. While this might seem like an exotic concept to you, we’d headline it ‘Media Reporter Does Job.’ This is a nothing story.”

However, if Fox News thinks it’s relevant to take old, negative comments from a network correspondent and insist that they have some significance today, then they had better look in the proverbial mirror. Fox’s newest star host in primetime is Tucker Carlson. But there was a time when Carlson had a less than flattering opinion of Fox News. In fact, he called them “a mean, sick group of people.” That’s a far worse, and far more personal assault than mocking a “Breaking News” chyron.

Perhaps even more troubling than what a current Foxie said long ago, is what former Foxies are saying right now. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was Fox’s military strategist for many years. He recently quit the network saying that he was “ashamed” to be associated with it, and that it has become “a propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” He also called Carlson a Nazi apologist. I’m waiting for Fox’s searing article on those commentaries by people associated with Fox News.

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

SRSLY? Now Trump Says ‘The Enemy of the American People’ Should Be Free from Fear of Attacks

Never let it be said that Donald Trump can’t pretend to be concerned when there is a political advantage to doing so. After all, this is the greedy (alleged) billionaire who convinced millions of working people that he sympathizes with their struggle. This is the guy who has fooled the nation’s evangelicals that he is a devout Christian despite never having practiced the religion or understanding its beliefs. He actually said that he doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness because he’s never done anything wrong.

Donald Trump

And so now that there has been yet another tragic mass shooting, Trump has come forward with his customary and useless “thoughts and prayers” charade. But in this case his disingenuous blather is deeper than usual. That’s because the victims were journalists, a category of citizen who Trump routinely describes as “the most dishonest,” “evil,” “sleazy,” “horrible.” people. He has repeatedly called them “the enemy of the American people,” which he did again just a few days ago.

No one should dismiss that assertion as harmless political rhetoric. It is the same language that Stalin used to suppress the media under his totalitarian rule. And the seriousness of that charge is one that could reasonably incite someone to take what they perversely consider to be patriotic measures to rid the country of an enemy. So it is outright immoral for Trump to offer fake condolences for the victims at the Capital Gazette by saying that “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.”

If Trump actually believed that he would apologize for his complicity in whipping up hatred for the press. He would renounce his attacks and attempt to heal the rift he deliberately created to inoculate himself from criticism. He would recognize the vital contribution that the press makes to democracy. And he would answer this question from CNN’s Jim Acosta:

Of course, Trump ignored the question. And he won’t stop denigrating the media anyway. It’s in his blood. He regards any press that isn’t unadulterated adoration to be fake, and even treasonous. He literally said just that last Monday regarding coverage of his photo-op vacation in Singapore with his bestie, Kim Jong Un. And now he expects people to believe that he cares about the lives of journalists? Yeah, right. Only the most demented, willfully ignorant, cult followers would buy that now. And sadly, that’s the majority of today’s Republican Party.

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

UPDATE: Trump was asked on Air Force One if he would stop calling the press “the enemy of the people.” He said that “I have a lot of respect for the press. Some of the greatest people I know are reporters.” Notice that he didn’t actually answer the question. So we can expect him to continue calling the the media the country’s enemy. Also, the great people/reporters he’s talking about are Sean Hannity and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends.

Sarah Sanders Uses Bible to Defend Trump’s Heinous Policy of Ripping Apart Families Seeking Asylum

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is best known for her ability to dispassionately lie about any matter that arises in the course of the daily press briefings. It’s a skill that most of the rabid zealots in Donald Trump’s administration sorely lack. But it often comes across as callous when the subject requires some measure of empathy.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

That was exhibited in spades on Thursday as Sanders was questioned about the heart-wrenching policy that Trump has enacted to rip crying children from the arms of their terrified parents. This policy has drawn broad condemnation from across the political spectrum, yet Trump and Co. refuse to halt its enforcement. That position took a peculiar turn when Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited a bible verse to justify his nauseating actions. However, the quotation he addressed only referred to obedience of the law, but made no reference to tearing families apart. Even Trump-supporting evangelical Franklin Graham called the policy “disgraceful.” At the daily press briefing, Sanders was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta to comment on the remarks by Sessions (video below):

Acosta: On these children that are being separated from their families as they come across the border, the Attorney General earlier today said that somehow there is justification for this in the bible. Where does it say in the Bible that it’s moral to take children away from their mothers?
Sanders: I’m not aware of the Attorney General’s comment or what he would be referencing. I can say say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.
Acosta: You just said it’s in the bible to follow the law…
Sanders: That’s not what I said. And I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess.

Huh? That’s exactly what she said just seconds before denying that she said it. This is advanced level gaslighting. And in the process of flagrantly lying about what she just said, Sanders delivers a wholly inappropriate insult with regard to Acosta’s ability to understand her short (dishonest) sentences. It’s notable that other reporters raised the same inquiries, but Acosta, a Latino reporter from CNN, was the only one she insulted. And if Sanders is looking for an appropriate bible verse to quote, she might try this one referring to refugees (sojourners) from Leviticus (19:33-34) which, when President Obama cited it, Fox News went berserk:

“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

Sanders then went on to accuse Democrats of being responsible for the law requiring the separation of undocumented children from their parents. But there is no such law. It is being done as a result of an arbitrary policy implemented solely by the Trump administration. Nevertheless, Sanders said that Trump has called on Democrats to change the (nonexistent) law. But she fails to explain how Democrats could do that when they are in the minority and have no power to introduce or pass such legislation. Likewise, she ignores why Republicans, who do have the power, don’t just change the law themselves. Since they have the majority, they could make this issue go away overnight. What’s stopping them?

Among the other journalists questioning Sanders about this were Paula Reid of CBS, who advised Sanders, in vain, that there was no law mandating the separation of children. Also Brian Karem of Sentinel Newspapers made an impassioned plea asking “Sarah, you’re a parent. Don’t you have empathy for what these people are going through?” Sanders responded by recognizing a different reporter for an unrelated question. And that’s fairly typical of how she and Trump deal with difficult issues that require compassion and some expression of humanity.

Also brought up in the briefing were reports that Sanders and her deputy, Raj Shah, are planning their exit from the White House sometime this year. She would neither confirm nor deny the reports, but still criticized the reporting. We’ll see what she say when she actually leaves, which is all but certain. And we’ll also see what direction Trump will take when he names her replacement. I’m betting on Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox News since she’s already sleeping with Don, Jr.

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

Trump Calls the Media ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’ – But America Trusts the Media More

This is getting monotonous. Once again Donald Trump has lashed out at the free press and exhibited his utter contempt for the Constitution. In a Wednesday afternoon tweet the President made his position clear – again – about what he regards as the “biggest enemy” of the country. And it isn’t murderous dictators like Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump

The tweet that Trump posted was a response to his critics who correctly pointed out that his meeting with Kim produced nothing for the United States, but gave Kim everything he hoped for. Kim was able to stand next to the leader of the free world as an equal with the international diplomatic legitimacy that he craved. He got Trump to call off military exercises with South Korea, leaving us, as well as our allies, unprepared for whatever potential risks exist in the region. Trump even promised to remove the sanctions on North Korea before any action to denuclearize on Kim’s part.

The United States, however, got nothing but empty promises from a known liar – or liars (Kim and Trump). And Trump slammed unnamed (nonexistent) critics who he said “would have ‘begged’ for this deal-looked like war would break out.” But the only threat of war came from Trump himself. And now that he’s cozying up to Kim he wants credit for ending the crisis he manufactured. The tweet said:

The most troubling part of that deranged outburst is that Trump is repeating a dangerously anti-American rant that he has embraced for months. By calling CNN and NBC the biggest of America’s enemies he’s proving that he doesn’t understand foreign affairs or the risk scenarios that this country faces. He is completely wrapped up in his ego-bubble that informs him that only criticism of him is an actual threat. That could end up being a tragic mistake for the welfare of the nation.

Setting aside how delusional and perilous Trump’s paranoid fantasies are, they are also contradicted by hard data. A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows that the media that Trump detests so much is held in much higher esteem by the American people. The survey asked voters who they trust more, Trump or a variety of news enterprises. Here is a summary of who is more trusted:

  • CNN: 53% / Trump: 38%
  • NBC: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • ABC: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • CBS: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • New York Times: 52% / Trump: 38%
  • Washington Post: 51% / Trump: 38%
  • Fox News: 32% / Trump: 26%
  • Media: 48% / Sarah Huckabee Sanders: 35%

The trust of the media is pretty constant no matter the source. It’s a clear majority in the low fifties. The lack of trust for Trump is also consistently dismal in the upper thirties. Even poor Sarah Sanders is regarded as less credible than the media she lies to on a daily basis. The one anomaly in the group is Fox News. That’s likely because the survey respondents couldn’t decide who they trust most or least because they couldn’t tell the two apart. But even Fox News media correspondent Howard Kurtz says Trump’s media bashing has gone too far.

There was plenty of other bad news for Trump in this survey. For instance, Democratic voters are more excited about the upcoming election than Republicans. And voters overall prefer Democrats to the GOP. Trump’s approval still can’t crack forty percent. He’s considered dishonest, a liar, mentally unbalanced, in cahoots with Russia, and that he hasn’t made America great again.

The people think Trump should resign if proof emerges that he was working with Russia. They don’t want him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or pardon himself. A plurality believe he should be impeached. And by wide margins people want a DACA bill passed, but do not want a wall along the Mexican border. His views on gun reforms are rejected by most Americans. And every Democrat posed as a 2020 challenger defeats him.

Other than that it’s clear sailing for Trump. And these results come after two years of endless bashing of Democrats and progressive policies by the President on Twitter and his State TV colleagues on Fox News. No wonder Trump thinks the biggest enemy is the media. Because it’s his enemy. Not because it’s biased against him. But because anything that might reveal more of his deceit and corruption is going to anger him. And that’s the only thing he cares about. And it’s also something that he has no control over, which only exacerbates his rage.

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

On Fox News Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Affirms Demand to Censor CNN Reporter

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency he has made a point expressing his hostility to the Constitution’s protection of the free press and to anyone who would challenge his supremacy as King of America. Trump has slandered the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the American people.” And he frequently calls out reporters by name to accuse them of being “fake news.” Of course, by his definition any news that is less than glassy-eyed adoration he regards as fake.

Kellyanne Conway

As the Trump-Kim Circus drew to a close this week, Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, parroted Trump’s loathing for the press in a Tweet that appears to imitate Trump’s own rancor. He said that:

That anti-American outburst drew an appropriate reply from CNN’s Acosta, who told Parscale that “Dictatorships take away press credentials. Not democracies.” Not that that will have any impact on the censorious attitudes of Trump and his minions. Earlier Parscale posted a similarly totalitarian notion in a tweet that said that “The media should be cheering @realDonaldTrump’s progress with North Korea.” As if it’s the job of the media to “cheer” for any politician.

Naturally, Fox News rushed to Parscale’s defense by delivering their own attack on Acosta. On Fox and Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced a segment with Trump’s Senior Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, by quoting the headline of an article from the ultra-rightist website, The Daily Wire: “Watch: CNN’s Jim Acosta interrupts historic signing ceremony, shouts at Trump.” Surprisingly, she then played the video showing Acosta to be rather demure and respectful, which contradicts the whole narrative of her reporting. That was followed by this exchange (video below):

Earhardt: So there are some critics, Kellyanne, saying that he was choosing the wrong moment, a historic moment, to throw out questions to the President. And then the 2020 campaign manager for President Trump, Brad Parscale, who’s been on our show before, he’s now calling for Acosta to lose his press credentials. He thought it was inappropriate. What are your thoughts, and what are the President’s thoughts?
Conway: Well, some people in the White House press corps do that routinely. I’m not naming any names cause why give it oxygen? They certainly want to make it about me, myself, and I. On Twitter they’re all a hot mess with all this snark and bark toward this president and those who work for him, including those at the White House, in the Cabinet and elsewhere. Things that would not pass editorial muster in the newspaper. I call it social media muscle, cable news cajones. Many of them demonstrate that but don’t have the courage.

Conway, of course, is an expert on hot messes and can snark and bark with the best of them. but if you’re paying attention you will have noticed that Conway failed to take issue with Parscale’s desire to see reporters get punished for being independent and aggressive seekers of truth. Rather, she affirmed the criticism that anyone who disagrees with the President is an annoyance and a coward who ought to be silenced. That’s the sort of philosophy practiced by tyrants like Trump’s new BFF, Kim Jong Un. And Conway elaborated on by adding that:

“People really need to figure out how to cover this president in a respectful manner. They can be skeptical. They can be probing. But there’s a time and a place. Be a polite house guest.”

Exactly. Treat Trump with the same measure of refined courtesy that Fox News and Conway treated President Obama for eight years. You remember. The constant allegations that he was a Muslim born in Kenya who associated with terrorists and hated America. That kind of “respectful manners.” Right?

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

Giuliani’s Mouth Erupts Again, Says Trump Lied About Not Interfering with AT&T/TimeWarner Merger

It really says something when your brand new attorney can’t stop making incriminating statements about you. Rudy Giuliani recently made the news when he publicly announced to the world that Donald Trump reimbursed his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 hush money payout to Stormy Daniels. That was something that Trump had been denying for months.

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Following that gargantuan gaffe, Giuliani went on a whirlwind tour of the media with clarifications that only made matters worse. If we didn’t know better, we’d think that he’s working for Robert Mueller and giving the special counsel more evidence of Trump’s guilt. What else could explain his relentless trashing of his own client?

Well, he’s done it again. On Friday Giuliani gave an interview to the Huffington Post wherein he sought to defend Trump from allegations arising out of Cohen’s suspicious financial dealings with a variety of corporations that have obvious interests in Trump’s decision making. Cohen took in millions from the likes of Novartis, Korean Aerospace, AT&T, and even a Russian oligarch connected to Vladimir Putin. All of these funds were funneled through the same account Cohen used to payoff Stormy Daniels.

The AT&T payola holds special significance to Trump considering their still pending merger with TimeWarner (parent of CNN). Trump’s Justice Department is currently suing to block the deal. So any involvement by Trump would violate both legal ethics and his statement that he would not interfere. Giuliani’s latest verbal misfire was launched while attempting to clear Trump of the perception that he was being influenced by Cohen and the money received from AT&T. Giuliani said that:

“Whatever lobbying was done didn’t reach the president. He did drain the swamp … The president denied the merger. They didn’t get the result they wanted.”

OK then. So Giuliani is now contradicting Trump’s assertion that he wouldn’t get involved. Giuliani is explicitly saying that Trump did step in to deny the merger. In effect, Giuliani is calling the President a liar. And as if to confirm Giuliani’s assessment of Trump as less than honest, Trump himself joined in with a tweet saying:

Of course, the media has reported that repeatedly. But more to the point, Trump is agreeing with Giuliani that the opposition to the merger is proof that Trump wasn’t improperly influenced by Cohen and AT&T. Which would only be true if the premise that Trump had something to do with it holds. Therefore Trump is now calling himself a liar for saying that he had not interfered.

Saturday morning Giuliani was once again walking back something he said that hurt his client in the White House. He told CNN’s Dana Bash that Trump didn’t interfere after all. So the merger is still being contested by Trump’s Justice Department, which Trump proudly boasted about in his tweet. It’s just not because of anything that Trump said, allegedly, despite Giuliani’s previous statement and Trump’s months of bashing the merger on the campaign trail.

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

If this is confusing you, you’re not alone. There has to be a reason that AT&T would pay Cohen $600,000 after Trump’s inauguration. Cohen has no discernible skills or knowledge relating to the communications industry or mergers and acquisitions. What he had to sell was access to the President. AT&T now says that their contract with Cohen was a mistake. Obviously, since the DOJ is still suing them. But the fact that the merger is still being contested in court doesn’t exonerate Trump. It just reveals that Trump hates CNN even more than he loves money. And he doesn’t care who he has to screw over to achieve his goals.

UPDATE: Giuliani is now telling CBS News that he’s standing by his Friday comments that Trump denied the merger. So we’re back to Trump interfered. Is anyone else getting nauseous?

Conservative Leader Says ‘Journalists Shouldn’t Be the Ones to Say Trump is Lying’

America’s right-wing has distinguished itself as a vocal opponent of the free press and the First Amendment. For many decades they have made reporters a convenient foil for their failures and an object of their hatred. And today they are obediently following Donald Trump’s lead in casting the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the American people.”

Donald Trump

When Michelle Wolf performed a comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, the wrath of the right was triggered once again to malign her for going to far with her jokes. They were bitterly offended that she had the gall to call out Trump and his chief spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for repeatedly and brazenly lying to the public. Never mind that what Wolf said in jest on Saturday was nowhere near as offensive as what Trump says seriously every day. And his petty revenge rally held the same day as the WHCD provided several examples.

Among those outraged by Wolf was Matt Schlapp, TV talking head and the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which produces the annual Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC). Schlapp, it should be noted, never bothered criticizing Trump for mocking a disabled reporter, or attacking Mika Brzezinski’s “bleeding face,” or grabbing women by the pussy, or any number of other atrocious remarks. But he couldn’t stop himself from complaining about Wolf’s completely valid criticism of Trump and Huckabee as liars. In an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota (video below), Schlapp said that Wolf’s routine was beyond the pale, and that:

“We have big political disagreements in this country. And I thinbk it’s wrong for journalists to take that next step. And granted, she’s a comedian, but plenty of journalists do it as well – is they take the next step. Just present the facts. Let the American people decide if they think someone’s lying.

“Journalists shouldn’t be the ones to say that the President or his spokesperson is lying. Because what that does to fifty percent of the country is it makes them feel they are not credible to listen to.”

At risk of stating the obvious: Journalists should absolutely be the ones to say that the President or his spokesperson is lying. It is the express duty of reporters to present the facts at all times. And when any public official misrepresents or distorts the facts, they need to be corrected unambiguously. And it’s much more than just pointing out that a comment differs from reality. The honesty of our political representatives is a crucial part of democracy, and they shouldn’t be let off the hook when they lie.

Conservative journalists have never been shy about calling Democrats liars. They used the term when criticizing President Obama for saying about the Affordable Care Act that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” They said Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi. Trump himself accused Clinton (falsely) of lying under oath to the FBI. But suddenly it is now “beyond the pale” to point out Trump’s lies.

Perhaps the rightist snowflakes have to draw a line because of the unwieldy quantity of lies that Trump exudes. Admittedly, it is a huge burden to have to monitor his unrelenting mendacity. But it has to be done, and journalists are exactly the right people to do it. They have the facts at their disposable and a platform for setting the record straight. Which is why Trump and shills like Schlapp hate the press so much.

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