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

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

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump, Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: As I predicted…

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

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

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hilarity Ensues as the Trump Campaign Threatens To Sue CNN For False Advertising

The psychotic world of Donald Trump just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. The evidence of his rapidly accelerating descent into a paranoid dystopia increases with each new day. Already this week Trump has seen his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admit that he engaged in a quid pro quo deal to extort the Ukrainian president; selected his own Miami Doral golf resort to host the 2020 G7 summit; advanced a bizarre conspiracy theory about the 2016 election; and brokered a total surrender by our allies the Kurds to the murderous Erdogan regime of Turkey.

Donald Trump, CNN

Topping off this week from hell, one of Trump’s lawyers, Charles Harder, has just announced that Trump intends to sue CNN for what he calls “a sustained barrage of unfair, unfounded, unethical and unlawful attacks” – otherwise known as accurate journalism. Harder sent a letter advising of that intention to Jeff Zucker, the CEO of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia (posted below). The threatened lawsuit alleges that the network is in violation of the Lanham Act “by constituting misrepresentations to the public, to your advertisers, and others.” The Lanham Act is a federal statute that, among other things, prohibits trademark infringement and false advertising. It’s safe to say that Trump isn’t accusing CNN of trademark infringement.

The letter warns that the suit will seek “a substantial payment of damages.” But what Harder says is false advertising are merely CNN’s comments as to their reliability as a news source. For instance, they say that they “stand for excellence in journalism,” and that they are “truly fair and balanced.” These, of course, are subjective observations that are neither advertising, nor actionable in litigation. If it were possible to sue for not being “fair and balanced,” Fox News would have been bankrupted long ago by legal judgements against them.

The most preposterous part of this lawsuit is that it relies almost entirely on examples of bias taken from a hysterically bogus set of videos by professional right-wing propagandist, liar, pervert, and ex-con, James O’Keefe, and his deceptively named Project Veritas. His latest smear campaign was cited extensively in Harder’s letter. But it was just another flaming dud that proved nothing but how awful he is at his loathsome job. Harder’s letter included this reference to the O’Keefe scam:

“Recently released video footage of individuals alleged to be your employees indicates that your reporting relating to President Trump is contrary to your own mission and the aforementioned Code of Ethics. Your own employees appear to state that CNN is focused on trying to ‘takedown President Trump,’ driven by a ‘personal vendetta’ that Mr. Zucker purportedly has against him, rather than reporting the news in an objective manner.”

Note that Harder even refers to “individuals alleged to be your employees,” because he doesn’t know whether or not the people appearing in the video are actually who O’Keefe says they are. And he’s proposing to sue on that foundation of mush. Even if they are CNN employees, they are all low-level support staff with no editorial responsibilities or newsroom authority. So they don’t speak for CNN. And every comment attributed to Zucker actually affirmed his integrity as a news executive.

Should Trump go ahead with this lawsuit he will will surely be laughed out of court. But there is little reason to believe that this will go past this embarrassingly dumb letter. Trump often threatens to sue people as a bullying tactic, but rarely has the guts to follow through. He recently threatened to sue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chair, Adam Schiff. And we’re still holding our breath for that one.

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

Hysterical Impeachment Syndrome: Now Trump is Attacking Both CNN and Fox News

The severity of Trump’s psychotic breakdown is leading him to ever more bizarre outbursts and tantrums. As his mental infirmity declines, his incoherent raving accelerates. In just the past few days this has manifested in absurd threats to sue Nancy Pelosi, nauseating mimicry of orgasms, and hypocritical assaults on the business affairs of wealthy, politically connected children.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

As the inevitability of impeachment nears, Trump is spewing inanities like a schizophrenic on the street corner shouting gibberish at passing cars. It’s a pathetic display that only reinforces how critical it is to remove him from office as quickly as possible. He even conceded it himself in a carelessly worded tweeted that said “Impeach the Pres.” Another example of his derangement was evident in a Tuesday morning tweet where he whined…

Trump is cryptically referring a so-called exposé by notorious truth distorter James O’Keefe. As usual, O’Keefe’s imaginary “blockbuster” was a colossal bust. But that didn’t stop Trump – and Fox News – from hyping the heck out of it. With specific regard to Jeff Zucker, CEO of CNN parent WarnerMedia, Trump is actually trying to start the rumor he’s tweeting about. No one else has even mentioned Zucker resigning. And it’s a far cry from Trump’s previous opinion of Zucker when he said that Zucker “would be a great choice” to take over CNN. It’s fair to say that Trump will be gone before Zucker will.

In addition to this weak thrust at CNN, Trump is also throwing impotent swings at his very own State TV network (aka Fox News). Last week Fox News released the results of a poll that showed a majority of voters (51%) favoring Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. That set off the Snowflake-in-Chief who tweeted that “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck,” and that “Fox News doesn’t deliver for US anymore.” Nevermind that the Fox poll was in line with several others released at the same time. Trump, though, is continuing to malign Fox’s polling with another tweet on Monday that said…

It goes without saying that Trump is making this up. There was no “announcement” that the poll was incorrect. Consequently, there was no need to mention any correction, or to make one. What Trump’s diseased brain was mangling was an article in the rightist New York Post that took issue with the poll’s methodology. But the Post’s analysis was as shallow as puddle in a heat wave. Fox used a breakdown that represents an accurate sampling of the electorate, and one that most other pollsters use. Furthermore, Fox’s methodology used the same breakdown they used in previous polls where Trump’s impeachment was not favored. That makes this poll useful for tracking how the mood of the electorate is changing.

With Trump firing off hostile rhetoric at both CNN and Fox News he’s revealing just how sensitive he is to any criticism, even from friendly sources. He’s also narrowing the media outlets he trusts to lavish blind praise on him. It’s a sign that he knows his coverage is bound to get worse as new evidence of his criminality comes out. At some point, Fox is going to get jealous of the other news enterprises getting all the scoops, and start reporting some of their own. So it’s just a matter of time before Trump jumps off the cliff of sanity and buries himself in a crater of wrath and rancor as his defenses are drained of any ability to affect his unavoidable downfall.

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

Trump Flunky Propagandist’s Attempt to Take Down CNN is a Flaming Pile of Failure

We haven’t heard from ultra right-wing video mangler and truth distorter, James O’Keefe, for quite a while. There’s a good reason for that. He has been busy slapping together bullshit “exposés” that no one with a functioning brain has had any interest in watching. This ethically-challenged slime merchant has done a pretty darn good job of making himself a laughing stock and an irrelevant never-was.

Fox News, James O'Keefe

That said, O’Keefe just released his latest effort at maligning the media. But all he’s accomplished is to prove just how persistently stupid he is. In this episode O’Keefe purports to have planted a mole inside CNN with the intention of collecting damning video with which to slander the network. Unfortunately for the would-be news stalkers, all they collected was stale opinions of a few malcontents and some fairly routine remarks by Jeff Zucker, Chairman of CNN parent WarnerMedia News and Sports.

In a short clip that was posted on Twitter, O’Keefe discovered the shocking revelation that Zucker wanted his newsroom to “stay very focused on impeachment.” OMG! So Zucker was instructing his team to pay close attention to the biggest political story in years. And O’Keefe thinks that’s scandalous.

O’Keefe also showed video of a couple of low-level CNN employees privately expressing personal anti-Trump views. Which means that they’re aligned with the majority of the American people. They were not giving these views on the air and they had no authority whatsoever to direct news reporting. But O’Keefe wants people to believe that they represent CNN and that there aren’t any pro-Trump staffers at the network. Of course, that’s absurd. O’Keefe just edits out anyone who doesn’t advance his phony narrative.

As evidence of that, a sliver of reality managed to stick to O’Keefe’s video, contradicting his whole premise. He recorded Zucker saying that he knows that the network employs “a lot of people that are friendly with Lindsey Graham.” Exactly! They are some of the pro-Trump staffers that O’Keefe is exicising from his propaganda piece. And all Zucker said about that was that CNN reporters shouldn’t be “friendly” with Graham. Which, of course, is the ethical position for journalists to take with their subjects. So O’Keefe is actually accusing Zucker of being ethical.

The jewel of this clip appears to be a segment wherein O’Keefe’s mole clandestinely recorded Zucker making statements that O’Keefe seems think are controversial. Well, we report, you decide (video below):

Zucker: I think what’s going on in America right now is really fundamentally the result of years of fake news, conspiracy nonsense from Fox News. … The fake conspiracy nonsense that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society. And frankly, that is beyond destructive for America, and I do not think we should be scared to say so.

The HORROR! Zucker articulated out loud a truth that every rational, objective American already knows. Fox News is a deceitful, dishonest, biased, purveyor of manufactured propaganda on behalf of Trump and the Republican Nationalist Party. And the lies that Fox disseminates promote ignorance and division. This is what O’Keefe believes constitutes hard-hitting investigative journalism.

O’Keefe pretends to be a “guerilla” journalist who is only interested in media fairness and transparency. However, his own exploits have been heavily weighted to conservative politics and conspiracy theories. He was arrested and convicted of unlawful entry into a U.S. senator’s office. He was also caught trying and failing to “seduce” a CNN reporter. He also lost a $100,000 lawsuit for libel. This is the character of the guy assaulting CNN’s reputation.

And THIS JUST IN: Trump tweeted about O’Keefe’s bogus Veritas project. Because it’s also the character of our Dumbass-in-Chief.

Naturally Trump heard about it from Tucker Carlson of Fox News who cast CNN as “State Media.” Which is weird since they’re asserting that CNN is against the current State of Trump. What’s more, Carlson made the hilariously incredulous comment that “As of Monday night, we have not independently verified the [O’Keefe] tape … But we have no reason to believe any of this is fake.” Really? No reason other than O’Keefe’s many years of being caught lying? Also, Trump’s speculation about suing (for what, exercising First Amendment rights?) follows on his asinine talk of suing Nancy Pelosi for doing her job as House Speaker.

It’s funny though, while O’Keefe, sees himself as a media crusader, he never goes after Fox News where their “reporters” feign objectivity while blatantly sucking up to Trump. Why hasn’t O’Keefe done anything about Trump’s Attorney Genuflector, William Barr, meeting privately with Fox boss Rupert Murdoch? Why hasn’t he reported that Trump himself called Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott to bitch about their coverage of him? Maybe because O’Keefe is a fraud and a failure who is destined to be ridiculed for exposing nothing but his own impotent hackery.

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

The full 19 minute video is available for anyone with the stomach to sit through it.

Trump Flunky Lewandowski Admits Lying to the Media, AKA the American People

On Tuesday the House Judiciary Committee tried to get former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to respond a few questions about his interactions with Donald Trump. It predictably descended into a chaotic spectacle of deflection, lies, and bogus claims of “privilege” in order to avoid providing honest answers to simple questions. Lewandowski demonstrated a keen ability to parrot the obnoxious rhetorical patter of Trump as he showed complete disrespect for the truth.

Corey Lewandowski

In his testimony, Lewandowski repeatedly tried to claim that he could simply refuse to answer questions because Trump asked him not to. That has no basis in the law or reason. In fact, it is brazen contempt of Congress, which members of the Committee are reviewing to determine whether or not to press charges. Lewandowski also implicated himself and Trump in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by putting pressure on then-Attorney General Jeff sessions to drop or otherwise hamstring the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

However, the most striking remarks by Lewandowski came when he was asked by the Committee’s legal counsel, Barry Berke, about comments he made on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber. Lewandowski told Melbar that he had no conversations with Mueller regarding Trump’s efforts to interfere with the investigation. But, as Berke got Lewandowski to admit, that was not true. Then, in his defense, Lewandowski said that “I have no obligation to be honest with the media.”

Let that sink in. A top associate of the President of the United States admitted before Congress, and on national TV, that he lies to the press. Of course, we all know that Trump lies shamelessly nearly every time he opens his mouth. And his official spokespersons openly admit that they employ “alternative facts” to avoid telling the truth. But this admission is particularly galling because it was said with pride as if it were a virtue.

What the American people need to remember is that lying to the media is actually lying to them. No one tells anything to the press because they want the press to know it. They talk to the press in order to relay their comments to the public. So when Lewandowski says that he has “no obligation to be honest with the media,” he really saying that has no obligation to be honest with the American people. And that is also the established doctrine of the Trump administration.

Lewandowski proved that he couldn’t care less about lying to the public when he appeared on CNN the day after his congressional hearing. Why CNN even bothered to interview someone who brags that he will lie to them is troubling in itself. But Lewandowski was, ironically, true to his word by lying flagrantly throughout what turned into a mud-slinging shoutdown by Lewandowski (video below). Among the glaring untruths were his contention that the Mueller Report concluded that there was “no collusion, no obstruction” by Trump. That was contracted by Mueller himself when he testified before Congress. Also, Lewandowski was forced to admit that he had never even read the Mueller report. He also lied about whether the report he hadn’t bothered to read contained ten documented instances of Trump obstructing justice.

The media really needs to show better judgement when booking guests. They should not be helping admitted liars gain a national platform to propagate their lies. That is a disservice to their audience and it stains the reputation of the press. People like Lewandowski, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, amd Kellyanne Conway should be confined to Fox News where their their lies are appreciated and disseminated to glassy-eyed Deplorables who consume lies like candy. And that may also apply to the biggest liar of all, Donald Trump.

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

America First? Trump’s Attacks on the Media are Both Ignorant and Anti-American

Another day, another malicious assault on the Constitution and its First Amendment protections for a free press. Donald Trump is continuing to march toward a totalitarian state where he controls the media. And in his latest manic outburst on the subject he goes further than ever to lie about and threaten both journalists and American workers employed by the media that he so desperately hates.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper

Trump’s noxious tweetstorm began with a gleeful nod to the news that an “activist investor” has acquired a bundle of AT&T stock:

Trump’s celebration of this investment is a typically shallow analysis considering the investor purchased a share of AT&T that is only a little more than one percent of its outstanding shares. That isn’t gong give him any real leverage, and he’ll have no role in board or management decisions. What’s more, shareholders have absolutely zero influence over the editorial content of a news network, nor should they. So Trump is wandering around in a fantasy world that he clearly knows nothing about.

Trump also knows nothing about the state of the cable news business. His hatred for CNN notwithstanding, the network is enjoying the highest ratings and revenue in its history. This is an example of Trump expressing the delusions in his diseased brain as if they had some correlation to reality. But what’s worse about this Twitter tantrum is that Trump is maligning an American company before the whole world. That is recklessly inappropriate for the President of the United States, and a betrayal of the thousands of American workers at CNN and AT&T.

In addition, Trump repeated the flagrant lie that foreign leaders have asked him “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” Perhaps Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un might have asked him that, but they probably also ask why he doesn’t arrest and/or assassinate them. After all, he has openly yearned for those powers himself. For the record, the media doesn’t hate America, and they don’t even hate Trump. They hate lies, corruption, treason, and ignorance. It isn’t their fault that Trump exemplifies all of those abhorrent traits. But Trump wasn’t through ranting:

Once again, MSNBC’s ratings and revenue are growing rapidly. Trump may wish that news networks that tell the truth about him were failing, but the opposite is true. Meanwhile, at Fox News their ratings are still impressive, but their revenue is in a steep decline because advertisers don’t want to be associated with the Trump-fluffing, white supremacist dogma that is the hallmark of Fox. And if Trump is tiring of negative stories about him, he might try doing something positive for once. Or at least stop doing so many things that are objectively stupid, destructive, racist, and/or corrupt.

Trump went on to bash the media in general as “an arm of the Democrat Party.” without providing any proof whatsoever. But that’s been his modus operandi for years. And coming from someone who leans so heavily on his State TV network (aka Fox News), it’s starkly hypocritical. His intent is to drag down the reputation of the press to prevent people from taking it seriously when they report what he’s actually doing and saying. He actually admitted that to Leslie Stahl when she asked why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Everyone needs to remember that whenever they hear him criticize the media. By his own admission he isn’t doing it to correct the record or to stand up for the practice of journalism. He’s doing it to brainwash anyone dimwitted enough to fall for his deliberately deceitful disparagement of honest reporting. Sadly, there are way too many Deplorables who are happy to wallow in the filth that Trump spews, even after they’ve been told – by him – exactly what he’s doing.

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

Trump Summons Fox News White House Correspondent to Oval Woodshed for a Spanking

There is little in the current news cycle that is less important than Donald Trump’s absurd and pointless lies about Alabama being in the path of Hurricane Dorian. For the record, Alabama was ruled out as being at risk two days before Trump issued his warning to residents of that state. But despite the facts that were confirmed by the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center, Trump has elevated this nonsense to ridiculously atmospheric heights.

Donald Trump

There is a case to be made that Trump’s lying is significant because it might have unnecessarily rattled Alabamians or even shifted resources to areas where they weren’t needed. But more troubling is that it puts Trump’s severe mental instability on display. He could have just said that a mistake was made and this story would have slipped quietly away. Instead he turned his egotistical aversion to ever being challenged up to twelve – that’s twelve pile-on tweets insisting that he was correct, contrary to reality.

The latest of these demented tweets came on Friday morning when he accused the media of being fixated on the story he has been obsessively ranting about. “They went Crazy,” he tweeted, “hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t).” Well, yes he did, and all the evidence affirms it. He went on to whine about not getting an apology that he doesn’t deserve, including for “the Witch Hunt, or SpyGate!” Nevermind that the Mueller probe (aka “witch hunt” in Trump’s cartoon brain) produced abundant evidence of Trump’s illegal activities, and “SpyGate” was a figment of his imagination.

However, the most deplorable action on Trump’s part during this vacuous waste of time occurred on Thursday when, as reported by CNN, Trump ordered the Fox News White House correspondent, John Roberts, to appear before him in his chambers. Trump was very unhappy with the reporting by Roberts and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith. This was not the first time that Trump has lashed out at Fox for not being being sufficiently adoring. Just last week he even ordered his cult followers to “start looking for new news outlet.” But this may be the first time that he has reprimanded a Fox reporter in the oval Office.

In an email by Roberts that was provided to CNN, he said that Trump “insisted that it is unfair to say Alabama was never threatened by the storm.” Roberts wrote that Trump was “looking for acknowledgment that he was not wrong” when he falsely claimed on Sunday that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian. By that time it was already known that Dorian had turned sharply to the north and east. But that didn’t stop Trump from lobbying Roberts with outdated information and charts. Even in those old projections there was only a 5-10 percent chance of a slight brushing of a sliver of Alabama, while Trump had said that there was 95 percent probability of landfall in Alabama.

CNN also reported that Trump “voiced his displeasure about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s skeptical reporting about the Alabama map,” and asked Roberts “to hit back at Shepard Smith.” This would be regarded as wholly inappropriate for any president to say to any journalist, but this is Trump and Fox News, so all pretensions to credibility are irrelevant. What Trump was fuming about was Smith’s commentary (video below) on the Alabama non-controversy wherein he said that…

Some things in Trumplandia are inexplicable. This week’s edition, the President’s ongoing claim that Alabama was at risk from hurricane Dorian. It wasn’t. Maybe he got some bad info, somebody maybe he made a mistake. Maybe he was confused. We don’t know. But he was wrong. Everybody makes mistakes. Instead the next day, the president blamed the media for his own inaccurate warning and started to rewrite history on the matter. […]

Why would the president of the United States do this? He decries fake news that isn’t and disseminates fake news that is. Think China pays the tariffs. The wall is going up. Historic inauguration crowd. Russia probe is a witch hunt. You need an ID to buy cereal. Noise from windmills causes cancer. It’s endless.

Indeed, it does seem to be endless as Trump prolongs this spectacle into the weekend. And along with trying to bully his friends at Fox News, Trump ordered his Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown, to issue a flagrantly false work of propaganda that backed up Trump’s ever-expanding web of lies. And not surprisingly, Trump’s BFF, Sean Hannity, took to the air to criticize the “psychotic jackasses in the media mob” who he said were misreporting that Trump lied, even though they merely reported the actual events as they occurred.

The only reason this preposterous story persists is that Trump can’t keep his narcissistic mouth shut for thirty seconds. His deranged insistence that he be perceived as right in all matters at all times forces him to defend even the most trivial blather that oozes from his pie hole on an all too frequent basis. And this time he even tried to browbeat a friendly Foxie into complicity with his dishonest drivel. The fact that it didn’t work may be a sign of trouble ahead for Trump. We can only hope.

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