North Korea? NFL? Oh Wait – Russia Probes Are ‘Closing In’ on Donald Trump

For much of the past week Donald Trump has been tweeting in a frenzy over subjects not previously in the news. He has escalated the debate over professional athletes expressing themselves on matters of significant social importance. And he has also created a crisis situation with North Korea that wasn’t an issue until he starting mouthing off.

Carl Bernstein

Both of those issues are newsworthy on their own now. Certainly the message behind the movement that quarterback Colin Kaepernick started needs to be addressed. Systemic racism in America continues to cause real harm. And Trump’s overtly bigoted contribution has had the unintended effect of getting the issue more positive attention. As for North Korea, Trump’s childish feuding with Kim Jung Un has thrust the world into a rhetorical firestorm. And this one has frightening, nuclear overtones. The media can hardly ignore that.

And that may be the point. Trump is trying to control the news cycle to keep it clear of something that he’s truly afraid of. By injecting new and melodramatic subjects into the media, he hopes to prevent further revelations about his own scandals. To some degree it’s working. But in a segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter and famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein were not fooled. (Video below):

Stelter: It was reported this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the White House to provide documents related to Trump’s actions as president. Not just pre-campaign or pre-election day, but issues recently. That request includes at least thirteen areas in which investigators are seeking information. Including statements made about former FBI Director James Comey made in the presence of Russian officials. Also the firing of Michael Flynn. And the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr. As you recall, he sought to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian individual.

That introduction covered a broad swath of the potential criminal behaviors emanating from the White House. And Carl Bernstein’s response closed the circle with a concise summary of the President’s unsavory avtivities:

Bernstein: Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is looking at the conduct of President Donald Trump and members of his family, especially Jared Kushner. Also his closest campaign aides in terms of their dealings with Russia, ethno-Russians, during the campaign and before. And in business. But there’s a much larger context that now informs the whole investigation. And that is the conclusion of the American intelligence community – under Donald Trump, not under Obama – that now is certain that the Russians were very, very, effective at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton and specifically helping Donald Trump.

And we keep hearing the word collusion, which is not a legal term. What Mueller is focused on is quite different than the simple idea of collusion. It’s whether or not Donald Trump, and perhaps his family and business associates, knew that the Russians were trying to help his campaign. And if they knew that, why didn’t they blow the whistle on the Russians? Did they try to cover it up? Are they continuing to try and cover up that knowledge? That’s the real question. Not the word “collusion,” which Trump and the White House keep trying to focus on.

Finally, Bernstein proposed what might be the motivations driving Trump and his more recent scandal mongering:

Bernstein: But the reason is these investigations are closing in on him, his family, and his aides. And if indeed there’s nothing there and it’s a hoax, then why has Donald Trump tried to undermine, demean and obstruct – not necessarily in terms of the legal obstruction of justice – these investigations for six months at every turn? He’s done everything that he can, as have those around him, to keep these investigations from succeeding.

That pretty much says it all. Trump is engaging in a fierce effort to divert attention from himself and his possible prosecution and/or impeachment. And he’s using other news events, some serious, some fabricated, to achieve that goal. Hopefully more journalists like Bernstein and Stelter will demonstrate that they cannot be tricked into serving as his propaganda merchants.

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

In His Own Unhinged Words: Here’s EVERYTHING Trump Said About the Media in Phoenix

On Monday Donald Trump interrupted America’s television viewing to address what he plans to do about the war in Afghanistan. Some pundits regarded his Teleprompter recital as the latest evidence that he had pivoted to a more presidential demeanor. He didn’t. And his speech the next day in Phoenix proved that he is never going to change.

Donald Trump

True to form, Trump spent much of his time whining about what a victim he is. He regaled his glassy-eyed disciples with a string of his “greatest hits.” Build the wall, Democrats suck, some Republicans suck too, repeal ObamaCare, and of course, the media hates America.

Trump actually spent more time on the media than any other single subject. It is an obsession with him that consumes his daily routine of golf and Fox News watching. Plus, he is likely aware of how much trouble he’s in with the the special counsel. This accelerated media bashing may just be in anticipation of the bad news that is coming that may lead to his removal from office.

What follows is just the transcription from the speech of the parts about the press. There is minimal annotation, because it’s already so crazy it hardly needs any.

But the very dishonest media, those people right up there with all the cameras. So the — and I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories. They have no sources in many cases. They say “a source says” — there is no such thing. But they don’t report the facts.

Trump has made this allegation about non-existent sources before. He has never provided any evidence to back it up. However, he has later used the same stories to make a point of his, effectively affirming the credibility of the sources himself.

I’m really doing this to show you how damned dishonest these people are.

Yeah, that’s why he’s doing it. Sure it is.

The failing New York Times, which is like so bad. It’s so bad. Or the Washington Post, which I call a lobbying tool for Amazon, OK. That’s a lobbying tool for Amazon. Or CNN, which is so bad and so pathetic, and their ratings are going down. Right? But all the networks — I mean, CNN is really bad, but ABC this morning — I don’t watch it much, but I’m watching in the morning, and they have little George Stephanopoulos talking to Nikki Haley, right? Little George.

CNN’s ratings are hitting all time highs. And MSNBC, which Trump seems afraid to ever mention, is routinely beating beating former ratings champ, Fox News. Also, for someone who doesn’t watch much, he sure watches a lot.

Do they report that I said that racism is evil? You know why? Because they are very dishonest people. So I said, racism is evil. Now they only choose, you know, like a half a sentence here or there and then they just go on this long rampage. Or they put on these real lightweights all around a table that nobody ever heard of, and they all say what a bad guy I am. But, I mean do you ever see anything — and then you wonder why CNN is doing relatively poorly in the ratings. Because they’re putting like seven people all negative on Trump. And they fired Jeffrey Lord, poor Jeffrey. Jeffrey Lord.

Indeed, CNN fired Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute aimed at Angelo Carusone of Media Matters.

It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in formenting divisions. And yes, by the way — and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.

In the middle of this attack, Trump slips in some praise for the Confederacy. Which, by the way, is not the heritage of anyone from Arizona. It’s just racist.

These are truly dishonest people. And not all of them. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters. You have some very fair journalists. But for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, and they’re bad people. And I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that.

He REALLY believes that? Yep. A few months ago he called the press “the enemy of the American people.” It’s a tactic used commonly by aspiring authoritarians and dictators.

The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself, and the fake news.

Oh, that’s so funny. Look back there, the live red lights. They’re turning those suckers off fast out there. They’re turning those lights off fast. Like CNN. CNN does not want its falling viewership to watch what I’m saying tonight,

Everyone watching CNN when Trump said this must have had a giggle. They aired it live.

These are sick people. You know the thing I don’t understand? You would think — you would think they’d want to make our country great again, and I honestly believe they don’t. I honestly believe it. If you want to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media.

Well, look a little further. A recent poll by Quinnipiac shows that sixty-two percent feel that Trump is doing more to divide the country.

I mean, the New York Times has written some stories. How about this? The New York Times essentially apologized after I won the election, because their coverage was so bad. And it was so wrong, and they were losing so many subscribers that they practically apologized.

That never happened.

You have some great networks. I must tell you, Fox has treated me fairly. Fox treated me fairly. They’ve treated me fairly. Hey, I’ll let you know. You know what? Some day they might not treat me fairly, and I’ll tell you about it, OK? But they’ve treated me fairly,

Apparently Trump thinks that Fox News treated him fairly.

I get plenty of bad on Fox, too. But at least it’s within reason. And Hannity? How good is Hannity? How good is Hannity? And he’s a great guy, and he’s an honest guy. And “Fox and Friends in the Morning” is the best show, and it’s the absolute, most honest show, and it’s the show I watch.

How much does Trump get paid for these testimonials?

Not only does the media give a platform to hate groups, but the media turns a blind eye to the gang violence on our streets, the failures of our public school, the destruction of our wealth at the hands of the terrible, terrible trade deals made by politicians that should’ve never been allowed to be politicians.

Now Trump believes that he can decide who should be “allowed” to be a politician.

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

Among the many reasons that Trump is unarguably unfit to serve as president, his hostility to the free press and the Constitution rank near the top. He is a bitter, frightened, man-child who is in way over his head and he knows it. Or maybe he doesn’t, which would be even worse.

Profiles in Cowardice: Republicans Are Refusing All Interview Requests to Defend Trump’s Bigotry

On Thursday morning Donald Trump tripled down on his support for the Confederacy and the bigotry it fought to preserve. His latest tweetstorm gushed over the “beauty” of the statues of traitors that he says “will be greatly missed.” And he’s right. They will be missed by the white supremacists and racists who have been applauding Trump’s advocacy of their cause.

Shepard Smith Fox News

However, outside of the alt-rightists and Klan members that have rallied around his pro-Nazi remarks, Trump has garnered scant support from his own Republican colleagues. Many have taken to putting out their own condemnations of the violence instigated by bigots in Charlottesville. They include GOP leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, in most cases they merely express opposition to racism without holding their president accountable for exacerbating the hate.

These weakly conveyed messages of tolerance demonstrate the fear that Republicans have of directly countering Trump. They remain committed to his presidency and his agenda. They just can’t bring themselves to utter his name in conjunction with the division he is fomenting.

They also can’t bring themselves to defend him on television. Every cable news network is complaining that their efforts to book Republicans to defend the President are coming up empty. This is an astonishing turn of events. Publicity-hungry politicians are actually declining to appear on TV to promote their party and president. Here are some examples of the media response to this unprecedented situation:

Chuck Todd, MSNBC: We invited every single Republican senator on this program tonight, all 52. We asked roughly a dozen house Republicans including a bunch of committee chairs and we asked a half-dozen officials. And none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN: We did reach out to Republican leaders throughout the day. They all, at least for now, refused to join us. But the invitation is clearly still very much open.

Shepard Smith, Fox News: Our booking team reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today. Let’s be honest. Republicans don’t mind coming on Fox News channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here. We thought in balance, someone should do that. We worked very hard at it throughout the day. We were unsuccessful.

That’s right. Even Fox News, the PR division of the Republican Party, is unable to convince a single Republican to go on the air to support their leader. They can still book GOP advocates of nuking North Korea or throwing millions of Americans off of their healthcare plans. But asking them to backup the President’s recent cheerleading for neo-Nazis is apparently where they draw the line.

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

It remains to be seen how long they can hold out. Trump is already tweeting attacks on party mates who dare to criticize him. Thursday morning he unleashed his typically infantile insults on Senators Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake. Expect those Twitter tantrums to continue as Trump’s ultra-sensitive ego is bruised by others disloyal to Dear Leader. Before long the only people willing to defend Trump on TV will be David Duke and Ivanka. And I’m not all that sure about Ivanka.

Donald Trump’s Dementia Kicked in Bigly in This Bizarre Exchange with CNN (VIDEO)

Last Friday Donald Trump promised that he would be holding “a pretty big press conference” on Monday. Since then there was a violent march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, a murdered counter-protester, and a tin-ear statement by a president who is too cowardly to upset his racist supporters.

Donald Trump

Monday morning Trump finally got around to addressing the continuing controversy surrounding Charlottesville and his appallingly callous response. However, he spent the first several minutes exalting himself and his alleged accomplishments in office. Then he made a statement that was an emotionless recitation of a script crafted to mitigate the withering criticism he has suffered for the past two days. He reluctantly spat out the words he seemed forced to utter, then left without taking a single question.

Shortly after that, Trump appeared at a photo-op to hype a vague proposal related to trade with China. When finished, he turned to leave but stopped to respond to a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta. That led to this bizarre exchange (video below):

Acosta: Mr. President, can you explain why you didn’t condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?
Trump: They’ve been condemned. They have been condemned.

Notice that Trump did not answer the question he was asked. Acosta inquired as to why Trump didn’t condemn the hate groups prior to Monday’s statement. That was completely ignored. So too was the fact that every comment Trump made about the violence in Charlottesville included a qualification that spread blame to “other” unidentified groups. And then Acosta asked:

Acosta: Why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday you’d have a press conference.
Trump: We had a press conference. We just had a press conference.

What the fig is he talking about? There was no press conference, as Acosta noted. Unless Trump thinks that any gathering that includes reporters and photographers is press conference even if no questions are allowed. That’s a photo-op, not a press conference. However, Acosta took him up on the notion:

Acosta: Can we ask you some more questions then?
Trump: It doesn’t bother me at all. But, you know, I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news.
Acosta: With all due respect, Mr. President, haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself sir?

First of all, if it doesn’t bother him, then why didn’t he stick around and answer some questions? There were plenty of reporters there and some recent newsworthy subjects to discuss. Even if he didn’t want to engage with Acosta, he could have replied to other reporters and fulfilled his promise to hold a press conference. And secondly, Trump’s tiresome whining about fake news has never been supported by facts. But Acosta gave the perfect response. There is abundant evidence that Trump is the biggest purveyor of fake news who has ever occupied the White House.

Trump is clearly losing whatever cognitive ability he had. He didn’t understand the question about condemning hate groups. He doesn’t know what a press conference is. And he is obsessed with falsely labeling reporters he doesn’t like as fake news. It seems with every day, Trump drifts farther from reality. And with his bellicose posturing toward North Korea, and a looming prosecution for collusion with Russia, his deteriorating mental state poses a grave risk for the country – and the world.

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

UVA Prof to Trump: Fire All the White Nationalists on [Your] Staff, Starting with Steve Bannon’

The tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday has ironically united the nation. Most decent Americans are repulsed by the bigotry espoused by the alt-right white nationalists who organized the event. Unfortunately, the President is not among them.

Trump/Bannon

Donald Trump’s initial response to the violence was to issue a mealy-mouthed statement that blamed “all sides.” But only one side engaged in deliberate hostilities that resulted in the death of a young woman. Trump’s callous and tone-deaf response was criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike. Reacting to that criticism, the White House put out an anonymous, unsigned statement that continued to ignore the reality of the tragic events:

“The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. And of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups.”

So now it “includes” white supremacists. Which, of course, is reaffirmation of his position that it also includes others. He is still trying to dilute the grotesque actions of the bigots who are unarguably responsible. And the process of dilution is being carried out by Trump’s surrogates. On CNN’s State of the Union, Tom Bossert had a peculiar excuse for Trump not identifying the racists. He said that the President didn’t want to “dignify the names of these groups.” That argument flies in the face of relentless insistence that Muslims had to be identified as “radical Islamic terrorists.”

On the Fox News morning program, Fox and Friends, co-host Pete Hegseth sympathized with the racists. He complained on their behalf that they feel like they’re being “treated differently” and have become “second-class citizens.” Poor privileged, snowflake, babies.

Consequently, it was encouraging to hear someone on TV tell the truth about the rioting white supremacists. On CNN’s Reliable Sources, University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato didn’t mince words. And he gave some harsh advice to the President who can’t seem to do or say anything right. Here is the exchange he had with host Brian Stelter (video below):

Stelter: Would what the President says in the coming days matter in Charlottesville? Would it actually help or affect the community?

Sabato: Thanks for asking that, Brian, because Donald Trump, of course, is very unpopular anyway here, but he missed his moment. He had the opportunity to do something when it mattered yesterday afternoon. And any of his predecessors in modern times would have had the good instincts to say the right things. He wouldn’t because he won’t denounce part of his base. They’re white supremacists. We know what they are. We know who they voted for.

So listen Brian, if he wants to do something to help us and everbody else, let him fire all the white nationalists on his staff, starting with Steve Bannon. Actions speak louder than words. Words written by his staff.

Stelter: You know Bannon would reject being described as a white nationalist?

Sabato: I don’t care. We’ve read all that we need to read. And there are others on that staff too. You know darn well there are.

Exactly! Prior to joining Trump’s campaign, Bannon was the chairman of Breitbart News. The website openly bragged that it was “the platform for the alt-right.” He now occupies an office down the hall from the Oval Office. And he is likely the author of the statements that tread so lightly on the hateful culprits of the violence in Charlottesville.

Sabato’s observance that there are others in the Trump White House who hold these disgusting views is indisputable. On an earlier appearance on CNN he named one of them. Sebastian Gorka is a special advisor to the President. He also happens to be a former Breitbart editor and is associated with known Nazi groups. But people like Bannon and Gorka are among Trump’s favorite advisers. He isn’t likely to fire them and piss off his base of supporters.

As a result, Trump will continue to get counsel from the worst of the worst. And it’s precisely what he asked for. This is not a case of clandestine fascists infiltrating the government. These are people that Trump selected with full knowledge of their resumes. And if he thinks he can paper over these abhorrent cretins and their hateful philosophies, he is going to be sorely disappointed. Americans will not long tolerate this. Trump already has the worst approval ratings of any president in modern history. Don’t look for that to improve anytime soon.

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

WATCH: Assaulting a CNN Reporter is Hilarious to Tucker Carlson of Fox News

On Wednesday the White House press briefing briefly turned into rhetorical warfare. Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Stephen Miller, went ballistic on CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The issue was Trump’s latest xenophobic position on immigration reform. Acosta, the son of Cuban immigrants, asked if Trump’s policy amounted to “trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.” Miller appeared to take the question personally. He lashed out at Acosta, calling him “outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

Miller’s juvenile response typifies the emotional immaturity of the Trump administration. We should probably be grateful that Miller didn’t hurl profanities or feces. But the worst reaction to this exchange came from Fox News on the program hosted by proud Trump Fluffer, Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s guest was right-wing crackpot Mark Steyn, who unleashed a tirade of vitriol and bile (video below). He said that:

“One of the reasons we need immigrants to come here and do the jobs Americans won’t do is because one of the jobs Americans won’t do is drag Jim Acosta out of there, kick him to the sidewalk, and say ‘If you wanna do the Jim Acosta Show there’s a rusting boxcar round the back of the freight yards with three semi-comatose hobos who are interested in it. But nobody else here is.'”

So Steyn ignored everything that Acosta said and dismissed all of the substance of the debate. However, he did propose physically assaulting Acosta and denying him the free press rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The notion of violently attacking a journalist struck Carlson as hilarious. He repeatedly laughed at the thought of a beaten reporter being kicked out of a press briefing. This is what tickles the pro-Trump media during an era in which even the President has encouraged violence against reporters. Trump famously denigrated the media as the enemy of the American people.”

Steyn went on to adopt a view of the Statue of Liberty that has been a staple of white supremacists for years. He said that:

“The French gave the Americans a pretty great Statue of Liberty. And then the Americans hammered a lousy poem by Emma Lazerus onto it and turned a pretty great Statue of Liberty into a Statue of Immigration. I regret that.”

Steyn is joining the Hate America First crowd by insulting the contributions of a poet whose “lousy” work was used to finance the pedestal of the Statue. But he is also echoing the White House. Miller made a similarly belittling comment at the press briefing, saying that:

“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and light in the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to that was added later is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

And both of those comments reflect the abhorrent views of avowed white supremacist Richard Spencer:

For the record, the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus made a simple plea of compassion and acceptance:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Notice that there is nothing in there about skilled labor, education, preferred language, or personal wealth. It is plainly reaching a hand out to people in need. It’s a standard based on the necessity of the immigrant rather than the greed of the host nation. Unfortunately, the only standard recognized by Fox News and Tucker Carlson is personal self-interest and unfettered political power. And if that means committing assaults against journalists with whom you disagree, well that’s just hysterical, isn’t it?

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

Unfit for Command: Presidential Historian’s Horrifying Warning About Donald Trump

Last week may have been the worst one so far for Donald Trump’s floundering presidency. His new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, unleashed a profane rant against his White House colleagues. His Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, got the boot. The attempt to kill healthcare went down in flames as a Republican controlled Senate couldn’t pass three different versions. He misfired with an illegal proposal to discriminate against transgender soldiers. And the Boy Scouts felt compelled to issue a public apology after Trump’s politicized rant at their Jamboree. These failures cap a six month span of domestic dysfunction and international embarrassment.

Douglas Brinkley CNN

[LATE BREAKING:] Scaramucci has been fired. Sources say that the new White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, wanted to select his own team. Translation: Get that vulgar piece af crap out of my White House.

Not surprisingly, Trump is living in a bubble of narcissistic grandiosity. He is convinced that everything is going tremendously and that he is the bestest president ever. He tweeted Monday morning:

Of course, the performance of the stock market, the economy, and employment, has to be credited to the Obama administration. All of those metrics were ascending throughout his term and were the result of his policies. There has not been a single Trump initiative implemented that would impact any of them. Nothing on taxes, trade, jobs, and no budget has been passed in Congress. Trump is running on Obama’s fumes.

What’s more, if wages are “raising” (sic), it’s only because Democrats increased the minimum wage despite the opposition of Republicans. And if the border is secure, then we don’t need that damn wall anymore, right? As for the Supreme Court, the Senate couldn’t get Justice Gorsuch through without blowing up the rules to allow a 51-vote confirmation. Considering all of the above, Trump’s assertion that there is “No WH chaos” is absurd in the extreme.

Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley was asked about the state of the Trump administration. Host Brian Stelter noted that observers from across the political spectrum were stunned. They’ve been using words like “crisis” and “chaos” to describe the current White House. Brinkley responded with his view that “It’s in utter disarray,” and that “Donald Trump [is] unfit for command.” Then he spelled out in detail where it has all gone so horribly wrong (video below):

“I think when you have a White House communications director that uses the kind of foul language that he does against fellow employees of the federal government, and makes threats the way that he did, and that’s supposed to be your solution to the United States’ way they are going to communicate to the world? It means Donald Trump picked the wrong person to be his communications director.

“He has a White House that’s leaking like crazy. As just mentioned, there are people ready to whistle-blow. He thinks that you can govern by chaos and it’s not working. It is true he has that 36 percent of the American public backing him, but that means over 60 percent of Americans think that he is doing a miserable job. And the rest of the world is laughing.

“We have a crisis in North Korea and we’re playing these reality TV, big time wrestling games because Donald Trump was weaned and raised on television. And it’s become like a TV episodic president where every day you’ve got to say something sensational to make sure that your name is in the headlines.

“We had a problem with Nixon. If there is any president this is like, it’s Nixon. You listen to the Nixon Watergate tapes – the secret tapes – and you hear Nixon ramble and it sounds like Donald Trump’s tweets. And it didn’t turn out well for Nixon.”

It’s hard to add anything that. Except for what Brinkley himself added:

“The key to Donald Trump is just this kind of blind fierce loyalty, and that’s what Franco expected in Spain. It’s what Mussolini wanted in Italy. These are kind of ways in which you’re asking people to march in lock-step with you.”

In other words, Donald Trump is a wannabe dictator. He has demonstrated that he has never had the intelligence, experience, or character to be a legitimate president. He is a joke who parlayed his role as a TV game show host to the White House on the strength of his celebrity and ability to lie. But now the consequences of making such an incompetent, unethical fraud the head of state are becoming painfully clear. Hopefully he won’t be in charge of anything for much longer.

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

Hannity Orders His Trump-Cult Audience to Attack Journalists – Gets Slapped Back HARD!

Donald Trump’s First Amendment foes are assembling the troops in what they think is a massive show of force. They have a new general in the White House, Anthony Scaramucci, who unseated feeble Fibby Spice (Sean Spicer). The Mooch is already parroting the worst of Trump’s anti-media rhetoric. He is an avid supporter of the President’s Twitter tantrums and infantile assaults on free speech. And now he’s got some help from the Trump TV Network (aka Fox News).

Sean Hannity Fox News

Leading the way is Fox News Trump fluffer, Sean Hannity. Always a reliable soldier in the fight against honest journalism, Hannity has ordered a significant escalation. He’s taking the unusual step of enlisting his glassy-eyed audience into battle. On Monday night’s program he issued a call to the recruits to prepare to deploy for an all out offensive. And knowing his audience, they can be pretty damn offensive (video below):

Hannity began by praising the Trump administration for “ramping up one of the most effective tactics for combating all the fake news.” He was referring to the Propaganda Squad that has been fanning out to pick fights with their favorite media foils. They include Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, and Sebastian Gorka. Hannity lauded them for “standing up to pundits who treat the White House with hatred and disdain.” In reality they were just being jerks and insisting that the press accept Trump’s lies as truth. Then Hannity issued his orders to the troops:

“Members of the Trump administration, they’re beginning to shine a bright light on these dark corners of this fake news industry. And now thanks to social media, you can too. […] You can call out fake news right at the source. For example, you can tell fake news Jake Tapper exactly what you think of his interview with Anthony Scaramucci. You can do it on twitter.”

Tapper was only the beginning. Hannity also made juvenile insults aimed at CNN’s Brian Stelter and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. His diatribe was filled with childish taunts and ludicrous, debunked accusations against Hillary Clinton. And then he addressed those who might “want to take it to the next level.”

“Write a message to their bosses. Send a tweet over to [Jeff] Zucker over at fake news CNN or Andy Lack from NBC fake news. Right now the media is living in their little bubble. It is our job to remind them that there is an America way outside of New York, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. Tonight, technology is now making it possible for you to take your point of view directly to the source and show America’s elites that the forgotten men and forgotten women of this country voted for this agenda and they want it completed and for them to stop lying to you. Take to the social media, and I think you’re going to have a positive impact.”

First of all, if Hannity is really concerned about the people’s position on Trump’s agenda, he should take notice that Trump is the most unpopular president in modern history. And that goes for his policies as well.

More to the point, Hannity is apparently aware that his viewers don’t already know about Twitter. He has the oldest skewing audience in cable news. Recent demographic studies show that “The median age of the average primetime Fox News viewer is 68 — five years older than MSNBC, and nine years older than CNN.” And the consequences of that disparity can be devastating when reaching out to a more youthful, social media capable, audience. So Hannity’s Twitter blitz produced predictably contrary results, as documented by the Huffington Post:

And as Tapper noted in his reply thanking those tweeters: “I don’t think that turned out the way he intended.”

Hannity will always lose on this battleground. He is too much of an ideologue who spins so furiously that reality is unrecognizable. And his followers are handicapped by being dumb enough to watch him in the first place. There are plenty of problems with corporate media outlets like CNN, but they pale in comparison to the rancid hostility and blatant dishonesty of Hannity and Fox News. And online communities on Twitter and Facebook will continue to let him know how irrelevant he is.

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

How Deranged Are Trump Supporters? New Poll Shows That It’s Worse Than You Ever Imagined

In the Era of Trump, Americans have been been subjected to wild diversions from reality. Donald Trump and company have unleashed baseless accusations of “fake news,” and the ceaseless dissemination of “alternative facts.” They have violated constitutional protections of free speech and abused the media in an unprecedented manner. Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people.” And his White House Press Office has discontinued on-camera briefings.

Donald Trump

This overt hostility and flagrant assault on transparency has had an impact on a certain sector of the electorate. Trump voters have evolved into a breed of ill-informed, willfully ignorant yokels whose devotion to their Orange Julius Caesar borders on cult worship. This alarming descent into madness is frightfully illustrated in the results of a new survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP). The depth of the delirium of these lost souls is unimaginable. And yet, the data from the PPP pollsters is clear. Here are some examples from the study:

  • Only 45% of Trump voters believe Donald Trump Jr. had a meeting with Russians about information that might be harmful to Hillary Clinton…even though Trump Jr. admitted it. 32% say the meeting didn’t happen and 24% say they’re not sure.
  • 72% of Trump voters consider the Russia story overall to be ‘fake news,’ only 14% disagree.
  • Only 24% of Trump voters even want an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, 64% are opposed to an investigation.
  • Only 26% of Trump voters admit that Russia wanted Trump to win the election, 44% claim Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and 31% say they’re not sure one way or the other.
  • Even if there was an investigation, and it found that the Trump campaign did collude with Russia to aid his campaign, 77% of his supporters think he should still stay in office to just 16% who believe he should resign.

What manner of sickness is this? Less than half of the Trump disciples believe that Don, Jr. met with Russians despite his having confirmed it. Do they think he’s lying? More troubling though, is that more than three quarters of the StormTrumpers are comfortable with him serving as president even if he conspired with a foreign hostile enemy to steal the election.

Is there any line he can’t cross? Apparently not. Because the survey also asked a question referencing Trump’s campaign comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. And 45% of Trump voters said they would still approve of him if he shot someone. This is Jonestown-level dementia. When people talk about “drinking the Kool-Aid,” they can’t get closer to that comparison than this.

As a final humiliation to the President, PPP asked respondents to indicate who they trusted more: Trump or various media organizations. Trump lost in every match up:

Voters say they trust NBC and ABC each more than him, 56/38. They say they trust CBS more than him 56/39. They say they trust the New York Times more than him 55/38. Voters say they trust CNN more than him 54/39. And they say they trust the Washington Post more than him 53/38.

Those are significant majorities that favor the “failing” New York Times and “fake news” CNN. Despite Trump’s relentless efforts to negatively brand his media adversaries, he has had no success in doing so. And his continued whining in the face of that rejection is pathetic.

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

However, his glassy-eyed followers will undoubtedly fall in line no matter what atrocities he commits. That’s a sad commentary on the state of the nation. It remains to be seen how they will eventually react when the hammer comes down on his criminality. They may just pretend not to have supported him in the first place. After all, the one thing we’ve learned about them is that they have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion.

Trump’s State Department is Granting Hundreds of Visas for Russian Spies

Friday morning Donald Trump met with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. This is either their first meeting or their fifteenth, depending on which statement by Trump you choose to believe. In any case, according to the White House, Trump went into the meeting with no agenda. He told reporters that he was honored to meet Putin. That’s a pretty cavalier attitude toward encountering the man who everyone in the U.S. intelligence community says interfered with our election last year.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Trump obviously doesn’t care about the election hacking issue. He still insists that “nobody knows for sure” that the Russians were responsible. That opinion is not only dangerously misguided, it is an insult to America’s national security professionals. It also conveniently lets the guy who helped him get elected off the hook. However, it is not the only threat to which Trump is exposing the nation. CNN is reporting that Russian spies are pouring into the country courtesy of Trump’s State Department:

“Since the November election, US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have detected an increase in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the US under the guise of other business, according to multiple current and former senior US intelligence officials. The Russians are believed to now have nearly 150 suspected intelligence operatives in the US, these sources said. Officials who spoke to CNN say the Russians are replenishing their ranks after the US in December expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying in retaliation for election-meddling.”

Those 35 diplomats were expelled by President Obama in response to the Russian hacking. It was just one of the actions taken despite Trump having said that Obama had done nothing. But now that Trump’s team is in place they are readmitting suspicious characters. These are potential operatives who could ramp up election tampering activities for 2018 and 2020. And American intelligence officials are worried about just that:

“Fueling law enforcement officials’ concern is that the Russians are targeting people in the US who can provide access to classified information, in addition to ongoing efforts to hack the US government for intelligence, according to several of the officials. In some cases, Russian spies have tried to gain employment at places with sensitive information as part of their intelligence-gathering efforts, the sources say. But that hasn’t stopped the State Department from issuing the temporary duty visas.”

Reports coming out of Trump’s meeting with Putin indicate that he was less than eager to hold the Russian’s accountable. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the focus was on moving forward. That must have pleased Putin immensely. I’m sure he’d like to get on with his plans to hack future American elections. And now, thanks to Trump, he’ll have an army of spies in the country to help achieve his goals.

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