Trump’s Brand New, Fox News Lawyer May Already Have Lost His White House Job

The “stable genius” in the White House is becoming less stable with each passing day. And contrary to Donald Trump’s denials that there is chaos within his administration, the rampant pandemonium is impossible to ignore. This week alone he has turned over several key positions and announced new hires that are amongst the least qualified stooges populating his staff. And that’s saying something.

Donald Trump

One of those hires, Joseph DiGenova, was just announced this week as the newest member of Trump’s legal team. He is replacing John Dowd who reportedly resigned after numerous differences of opinion with Trump over legal strategy. Dowd is said to be opposed to Trump agreeing to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump apparently thinks he’s smart enough to scam his way through. Let’s all encourage that notion.

The acquisition of DiGenova, however, is more of a media strategy than a legal one. Trump wants someone he can dispatch to the press after he does something stupid like fire Mueller (or any of a thousand other stupid things he’s prone to doing). DiGenova fits the bill for that role given his long experience as a Fox News talking heel. There’s just one problem with this new direction, as reported by CNN:

Veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova’s role as part of President Donald Trump’s legal team is still in question, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

DiGenova’s hiring was announced on Monday by Jay Sekulow, counsel to the President. DiGenova, along with his wife and law partner, Victoria Toensing, had a Thursday meeting with the President, the sources said. Even so, diGenova’s role, as well as that of Toensing who is also in discussions about joining the team, are in flux. One source said no one has been officially hired.

The Thursday meeting was the first time the husband-and-wife legal team met with the President since the Monday announcement. One source said that while Trump liked their message, the President is not convinced they are right for the legal jobs.

Among the problems cited with DiGenova’s hiring is that his law firm, which includes his wife and fellow Fox News contributor, Victoria Toensing, has some significant conflicts of interest. They are already representing a couple of characters in the Trump/Russia probe who have been interviewed as witnesses by the special counsel. It would be difficult for DiGenova to represent both the President and his former associates who are testifying in the Mueller inquiry. So Joe may be gone before he even starts.

If this isn’t an example of chaos in the Trump camp, then what is? He is acting out so impulsively that he and his advisors can’t even spot the most obvious road blocks to their reckless plans. He is in a state of sheer panic and has no idea which way to turn. As a result he makes idiotic decisions that only make his precarious position worse.

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

We’ll have to wait and see what happens to DiGenova and whether or not he is voted off of Trump island. And then, of course, there will be the problem of who will be selected to fill the role DiGenova bombed out of. There are still a bunch of wingnut, Trump-fluffing, Fox News “lawyers” up for grab. Alan Dershowitz, “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, Gregg Jarrett, and Kimberly Guilfoyle are all prospects that Trump might consider. And none of them would actually serve the purpose of advancing his legal interests. But they sure could get booked on Fox News to spread his lies and propaganda.

CNN President Blisters State-Run TV (aka Fox News) as ‘a Pure Propaganda Machine’

Two decades ago a conservative media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a right-ring political operative (Roger Ailes) colluded to form America’s first overtly partisan news network devoted to advancing a regressive agenda that favored corporations and the wealthy. And ever since Fox News has faithfully served it’s masters, all the while pretending to be “fair and balanced” journalists.

Donald Trump Fox News

For most of that time the rest of the media sheepishly approached Fox News as just another competitor. They rarely spoke honestly about how Fox was deliberately staining the one profession explicitly cited in the Constitution. Consequently, Fox got away with a lot of brazenly biased propaganda and managed to corral America’s Deplorables into a media pen where they felt safe and secure.

So it was rather surprising to hear CNN president Jeff Zucker’s criticism of Fox at the Financial Times’ “Future of News” conference on Thursday. He nailed Fox News in a way that few media executives have in the past twenty years. While nothing he said would be a revelation to anyone who has watched the network for more than two minutes, coming from a corporate media honcho it is borderline breathtaking. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:

    Zucker said that…

  • Fox News “is really state-run TV. It is a pure propaganda machine, and I think does incredible disservice to this country.”
  • “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”
  • Fox News “has nothing on” the Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
  • “I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine.”

In addition, THR reports Zucker saying that “Fox News has changed substantially in the last two years, following the departure of late founder Roger Ailes. He described the change at the network as ‘shocking.'” However the only thing that might have changed is that in the post-Ailes era the executives at Fox were much less skilled at spewing rightist bullshit. Their deceitful machinations are more visible and sleazy. That may be what drove long-time Fox contributor Ralph Peters to quit the network that he now says he is “ashamed” to be associated with. According to THR Fox News was invited to participate in the event but declined.

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s most dedicated defender. It serves as the personnel recruiting pool for the Trump administration. Among those tapped by Trump for White House posts were Heather Nauert, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. And just today Trump announced that Fox’s John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. And even his legal team is now being stuffed with Fox News personalities, including Joseph DiGenova and, maybe his wife, Victoria Toensing.

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

CNN is not without its share of journalistic failures. They were among the news outlets that plastered the airwaves with Trump’s thoroughly un-newsworthy rallies (rants) during the campaign. And they still host Trump-fluffing flacks who are only there to further disseminate Trump’s lies. However, there has never been a presidential administration that was so rife with media shills from a single source. The only people that Trump recognizes are those he’s seen on TV. And the only TV he watches is Fox News. So after a year in office he still behaves like an intellectually shallow reality TV game show host, rather than the president that our nation needs. Hopefully he will be voted off this island soon by Robert Mueller’s team of Survivors.

John Dowd’s Exit Proves That Trump Can’t Be Trusted When He Says He Won’t Fire Mueller

The legal team representing Donald Trump took a major hit on Thursday. His lead attorney, John Dowd, has reportedly resigned. This was the part of Trump’s defense that is focused on matters related to the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s connections to Russia. So along with the chaos that is rampant in the Trump White House, his personal legal affairs are similarly falling apart.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

What makes this news especially significant is that less than two weeks ago Trump declared that he was happy with his legal team and any reports to the contrary were fake news. Naturally, he committed to that via his Official Presidential Announcement Office, Twitter:

In what may be a personal best for Trump, he only lied four times in that tweet. First, the New York Times is not failing. It is enjoying record high subscriptions and revenue. Second, the story is obviously not false, purposely or otherwise. Third, Trump did add a new lawyer – Fox News shill, Joseph DiGenova. And fourth, he apparently wasn’t all that happy with his lawyers, hence the Dowd departure. And that unhappiness was not a recent occurrence. As reported by the Times:

“Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.”

What this tells us is that Trump cannot be trusted when he says that everything is hunky dory and there is no reason to suspect that there will be any changes in his administration. In fact, a Trump claim that someone on his staff has his complete confidence and isn’t going anywhere is the best indicator that he is about to be canned. Just ask former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. If they are smart, Jeff Sessions, H.R. McMaster and John Kelly better have their bags packed.

By the same token, special counsel Robert Mueller should be keenly aware that Trump is aiming for his hide. Never mind the implausible statements from the White House that firing Mueller “is not being considered.” Of course it is. It is very likely the most prominent subject consuming Trump’s limited brain capacity. And as noted above, claims by Trump that somebody’s job is safe are merely precursors to their eventual and humiliating termination.

Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation that will protect Mueller from Trump’s seething wrath. Acting on behalf of the majority of Americans, they have introduced bills that would either require such a termination to be affirmed by a panel of independent judges, or otherwise allow the special counsel to appeal the firing. Republicans have been forthrightly opposing these efforts. Their excuse is always that there is no risk of Mueller being fired because the President says so. But it’s clear that Trump’s word is worthless. And beyond these political concerns, there is the likelihood that firing Mueller would set off a constitutional crisis leading to impeachment.

The changes in Trump’s legal representation are just the latest example of his doing the opposite of what he said he would do. Almost everyone he has fired to date was forewarned by a “heartfelt” affirmation of confidence. Consequently, the GOP ought not to be calmed by Trump’s denials that he might fire Mueller. Quite the opposite, they should recognize that it’s at the top of his agenda. And the protective legislation that Democrats have offered should be passed as quickly as possible. Anything else would be a demonstration of willful ignorance and neglect of their civic duty.

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

The Coming Arms Race? WTF is Trump Tweeting About Now?

Following Vladimir Putin’s reelection as president of Russia, Donald Trump called him to offer his hearty congratulations. The fact that Trump thinks that Putin deserves applause for masterminding a sham election is bad enough. But in the midst of ongoing atrocities related to Russia’s election tampering in the United States, and it’s complicity in executing opponents with nerve agents on British soil, it is utterly disgraceful. And he was even warned against sending congratulations by his top advisors, a warning that he ignored.

Donald Trump

Many Americans are outraged by Trump’s fealty to Putin, including a few Republicans who castigated him for praising the Russian tyrant’s undemocratic victory. But most Republicans are either defending Trump or remaining silent in the wake of yet another heinous act against the interests of America. And Trump’s greatest defender is, as usual, himself. In a Wednesday morning twitter rant, Trump tried to excuse sucking up to Putin by saying that…

First of all, Obama didn’t call Putin while Russia was still trying to undermine America’s democracy and attacking our allies with chemical weapons. Secondly, the media are not the only critics of Trump’s Putin-fluffing. Ask GOP senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham. Thirdly, would Trump have also said that getting along with Hitler was a good thing?

But the most troubling part of this tweet-plomacy is Trump’s curious reference to Russia helping with “the coming Arms Race.” Is there something he knows that he isn’t telling us?

It should be noted that any suggestion that an arms race is developing has to recognize that Trump himself is waging it. He has railed for months about what he regards as a depleted and ineffectual U.S. military. During his campaign, and now as president, Trump has promised to build up the military with an infusion of billions of dollars. He has advocated more and newer nuclear weapons, as well as piling on additional conventional munitions.

What’s more, Russia doesn’t seem to be a particularly helpful party when it comes to an arms race. Putin recently showed off what he said were invincible new missiles that could be used against the U.S. and for which we would have no defense. If anything, Trump and Putin appear to be engaged in a mutually agreed upon escalation of weapons of mass destruction. Which would just make this the latest sweetheart deal that Trump has executed with his BFF.

It is no longer shocking when Trump says something false or stupid. That’s a nearly daily occurrence. But it is still worrisome when he makes dangerous comments that bring the country closer to conflict with foreign adversaries. Especially when those comments are contrary to the public policies and best interests of the nation.

By announcing that there is a “coming Arms Race,” Trump is alerting Russia and other nations of an intention by the U.S. to expand its military advantage. In effect, the comment has the potential to be the trigger for an arms race that didn’t exist previously. Hopefully somebody in the media will ask Trump what the heck he’s talking about. Although it may be too much to hope for that he actually knows.

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

‘I Am Ashamed’ To Be Associated With Fox News, Says Long-Time Military Contributor

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret) is a familiar face on Fox News. He has been doing commentary on military matters and foreign affairs for more than a decade. He has always been a hard-core spokesman for ultra-conservative views and a fierce opponent of all things liberal. He once called President Obama a “total pussy” on the air (for which he got a two week suspension).

Fox News Ralph Peters

For a little background, Peters is so radical that he once complained that the U.S. military needed to buck up and produce more civilian casualties in order to win the war on terror. He also advocated targeting the media for military attacks, including in the U.S. But more recently he has assumed a strident “NeverTrump” position. He believes that Donald Trump is Putin’s puppet and even announced on Fox that he would be voting for Hillary Clinton because he doesn’t “want Moscow’s man in the White House,” and that “Vladimir Putin has a deep hold on Trump.”

Bearing all of that in mind, the letter Peters released on Tuesday is all the more remarkable. In it he announced that he was severing his relationship with Fox News. And the substance and tone of the document is just plain shocking. For someone so devoted to the far-right agenda, Peters’ descriptions of Fox News must sting. And no matter how much of a war-mongering neanderthal he is, he seems to have solid grasp of how reprehensible and dangerous Fox News is. So read on in amazement (emphasis added):

On March 1st, I informed Fox that I would not renew my contract. The purpose of this message to all of you is twofold:

First, I must thank each of you for the cooperation and support you’ve shown me over the years. Those working off-camera, the bookers and producers, don’t often get the recognition you deserve, but I want you to know that I have always appreciated the challenges you face and the skill with which you master them.

Second, I feel compelled to explain why I have to leave. Four decades ago, I took an oath as a newly commissioned officer. I swore to “support and defend the Constitution,” and that oath did not expire when I took off my uniform. Today, I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers. Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. Now I am ashamed.

In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts–who have never served our country in any capacity–dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller–all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations– I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.

As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the “nothing-burger” has been covered with Russian dressing all along. And by the way: As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things.. The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow.

I do not apply the above criticisms in full to Fox Business, where numerous hosts retain a respect for facts and maintain a measure of integrity (nor is every host at Fox News a propaganda mouthpiece–some have shown courage). I have enjoyed and valued my relationship with Fox Business, and I will miss a number of hosts and staff members. You’re the grown-ups.

Also, I deeply respect the hard-news reporters at Fox, who continue to do their best as talented professionals in a poisoned environment. These are some of the best men and women in the business.

So, to all of you: Thanks, and, as our president’s favorite world leader would say, “Das vidanya.”

That hardly requires any elaboration. However, Fox News issued a brief and uncharacteristically weak response:

“Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programing,”

Fox didn’t even bother to refute any of Peters’ allegations regarding Fox’s devolution into a propaganda machine. Nor did they defend the assertions that Trump is a hapless asset of Vladimir Putin. They just bragged about their on-air shills (only those in primetime) and made a wholly nonsensical accusation that Peters was seeking attention. By quitting his job at a major cable TV network? Um, Okay. Let’s see if any of his former colleagues have the guts to join a long overdue and righteous exodus from Fox. Or they can stay and forever wallow in the treasonous glow of Comrade Trump’s State TV.

In the meantime, The Daily Show compiled some of Peters’ greatest hits. This is the guy who has now come around (finally) to the view that Fox News is “fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers.”

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

Fox News Finally Books Stormy Daniels’ Attorney for an Interview – And Buries it Near Midnight

In the weeks since Donald Trump was accused of paying off a porn star to cover up his affair, Fox News has labored to keep the story from getting any traction. The Washington Post reports that between March 5 and March 9, the network only mentioned Stormy Daniels’s name nine times in their primetime shows. That compared with 144 mentions on MSNBC and 141 mentions on CNN. And last week Fox News didn’t mention her once during primetime.

Fox News Stormy Daniels

This neglect did not go unnoticed by Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti. He told Ari Melber on MSNBC that “I haven’t received a single interview request, not one, from Fox News.” That’s after Avenatti appeared repeatedly on many other news programs and frequently broke new information. So his absence on Fox was undoubtedly deliberate.

As a result of Avenatti’s complaints, it can now be reported that Fox News was apparently shamed into reaching out to him with a request for an interview. Avenatti accepted the offer and will appear Tuesday night. But before anyone gets the idea that Fox is being fair and balanced, note that the offer is for a segment on “Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream,” a program that airs from 11:00 PM to midnight. So Fox is burying the interview on a late night show that frequently comes in third after MSNBC’s Brian Williams and CNN’s Don Lemon.

For a topic this important, it is journalistic malpractice to tuck it away in the wee hours. It would ordinarily be the sort of program that would bring Fox’s lips to watering. It has the tabloid salaciousness of sordid sex with an X-rated beauty queen, the intrigue of a political cover up, and the lawlessness of election tampering. If President Obama had paid off an erotica celeb to hide his tawdry promiscuity, Fox News would have turned it into twelve part mini series.

One has to wonder where the allegedly “news” focused programs on Fox are during all of this. Bret Baier and Shepard Smith have apparently declined to seek an interview with Avenatti. And even the primetime shills Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, who you would think would love to grill this “floozy’s” rep, are laying low. Could that really be the result of independent booking decisions on the part of all of these Fox anchors? Not likely. More plausible is that an edict has been declared from on high in Fox’s executive suites that Stormy and her advocates are verboten during any time period when people are actually watching?

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

This is certainly additional evidence that Fox News isn’t really a news network. They are not making editorial decisions based on news worthiness or even ratings. They are deep-sixing a huge story that has shown persistence in the news cycle for weeks. They are obviously trying to mute the criticism that they have avoided this story by airing the interview but burying near midnight with an anchor most people have never heard of. And all of this is being done to shield Donald Trump from the embarrassment that is his actual life. But unfortunately for Fox News – and thanks to the sex angle – this story is getting out no matter how badly Fox wants to crush it. Only their own regular viewers will be left ignorant, as usual.

Sean Hannity Lost What Was Left of His Alleged Mind in Bonkers Fox and Friends Spot

Some things just have to be seen to be believed – and even then it’s not always believable. Other times it takes too strong a stomach to even sit through the unbelievable thing. Sean Hannity of Fox News has generously provided examples of all of the above.

Fox News Sean Hannity

On Monday morning Hannity visited his colleagues at Fox and Friends to unload a pile defenses for his beleaguered Messiah, Donald Trump. The world around the President must seem to be falling apart as new revelations concerning his unsavory connections to Russia keep spilling out. Trump himself is in pure panic mode and is posting tweets that affirm his guilty conscience. So he is in dire need of a valiant defender to come to his aid. Unfortunately, all he has is the Doofus Squad on Fox and Friends and Sean Hannity.

Hannity’s segment with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes went off the rails from the start. What follows is his run-on, addled-brain meltdown just as it occurred on the air. Buckle in (video below):

“You’ve got the whole issue of Christopher Steele. You know, all this talk about Trump/Russia collusion, the only person that colluded in that campaign with the Russians, was Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton bought and paid for what turned out to be Russian lies. She fixes a primary election against Bernie. Then Hillary has a criminal investigation fixed for her. She tries to use Russian lies she pays for and funnels through Perkins Coie to Fusion GPS to hire a British foreign outsider who uses Russian contacts. Then the worst part of this whole story is then that unverified uncorroborated dossier is then brought before a FISA court when a FISA application, and three subsequent renewal applications to spy on a campaign associate and ostensibly the Trump campaign. Nobody told that judge, or any of those four judges, how it’s possible that Hillary paid for that. They never told them.”

And inhale. Before anyone hurts themselves trying to absorb that, here is a brief summary: Hillary Clinton bought a dossier on Trump that was mean.

That’s really all there is to it. Hannity just repeated the same issues with different words for two minutes. And none of it was true. Neither Clinton nor her campaign colluded with Russians. They did partially fund research that was started by the right-wing Free Beacon. And the firm that conducted the research hired a respected former British intelligence professional to collect information from Russian sources.

And what Hannity calls “the worst part of this whole story” was a blatant lie. Much, but not all, of the Steele dossier was verified. None of of it was found to be false. The FISA court was, in fact, told that the dossier was partially funded by political partisans. Even Devin Nunes, who chaired the hopelessly biased Intelligence Committee inquiry, admitted that in his Republican report. And it was not the sole – or even main – justification for the FISA warrant. What’s more, Hannity proves that he doesn’t understand the FISA application process. The renewals are required every ninety days and may not use justifications that were cited in previous applications. So the dossier could only have been used once, not four times.

Sadly, the people who watch Hannity and Fox and Friends will never be told about these factual details. They will only hear the rapid-fire allegations that they can’t logically follow, and the fear in Hannity’s voice. And that will be enough for them to be certain that these crackpot conspiracy theories are true. After all, the glassy-eyed disciples of Trump are no more sane than Hannity is.

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

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Napolitano, Calls McCabe Firing ‘Obstruction of Justice’

The President of the United States is trying his best to help his accusers make a case against him. Donald Trump’s relentless tweeting demonstrates what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.” On Monday morning he posted a message that said nothing more than “A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!” These hollow cries for absolution do nothing to exonerate him, but rather they portray him as pathetic and desperate.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

Now Trump is even losing some his most reliable defenders. While most of Fox News continues to place themselves as human shields to deflect any criticisms, a couple of stragglers have wondered off the track. One of those is Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News. He appeared on two Fox broadcasts Monday making remarks that will surely infuriate Trump, if his daycare nurses allow him to see it. The most damning commentary came during an interview with perplexed host Bill Hemmer. They were discussing the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe when Napolitano said this (video below):

“Andrew McCabe is more likely than not to be a witness against the Attorney General’s boss, the President of the United States. I think that firing him in that environment could very well be interpreted as an effort to diminish his effectiveness as a witness. What’s that called? Obstruction of justice.”

Indeed. And obstruction is one of the key facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Elsewhere on State TV (aka Fox News) Trump’s sycophants have been fiercely insisting that Trump is innocent of every allegation against him, and that Mueller is a corrupt partisan who is part of the conspiracy to drive Trump from office. So this assessment by Fox’s top legal contributor is a significant departure from their propaganda doctrine.

Also, on the Fox Business Network, Maria Bartiromo assembled a panel of Trump fluffers to defend the firing of McCabe, whom they slandered as a liar. Bartiromo’s introduction falsely stated that McCabe was found to have lied by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). In fact, since the report has not been made public yet, all that is known is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that McCabe “lacked candor.” There is a reason that Sessions used those weasel words rather than asserting as fact that McCabe had lied. Most likely the OPR’s report didn’t find McCabe to be untruthful. And When Napolitano got a chance to speak he pulled the rug out from under Bartiromo and her pro-Trump panel:

“I have to tell you though, terminating someone a day before their pension kicks in – after twenty-on years of service, the number two person in the FBI – strikes me as spiteful and politically reckless. And it’s reckless because this person, McCabe is about to testify against Jeff Sessions’ boss, the President of the United States. Why would you fire him in this environment?”

To which Bartiromo replied:

“Don’t you think that people started getting upset when they heard that he was set to get a million dollars in his pension … because of some of the broad outcry from the public saying ‘Why is he, after what he just did…'”

“Broad outcry?” What “public” is she referring to? I doubt most Americans – even Fox News viewers – were aware of or upset about anything relating to McCabe’s pension. She is desperately grasping at imaginary straws. And neither Bartiromo nor her panel had any response to Napolitano’s characterization of McCabe’s firing as spiteful and reckless.

The fact that Napolitano is making the rounds at Fox to reinforce the absurdity and vindictiveness of Sessions and Trump should cause the President’s tiny heart to tremor. But he will likely only pay attention to his loyal supporters at Fox and Friends and his pal Sean Hannity. He did, in fact, tweet a promo for Hannity’s guest spot on Fox and Friends Monday morning calling it “great” before it even aired. Somehow he knew what to expect. And his obviously guilty behavior suggests that he also knows what to expect from Mueller, McCabe, James Comey, Michael Flynn, etc., when the special counsel investigation is complete.

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

This is ‘Real’ News? Fox and Friends Interview with Diamond and Silk Descends Into Lunacy

Last June Fox News retired their classic slogan “fair and balanced.’ It has taken nearly a year for them to come up with a new one. But earlier this month they revealed it to be “Real News, Real Honest Opinion.” Their promo promised that “It’s about to get REAL.” Which kind of implies that it’s been bullshit up until mow.

Trump Diamond and Silk

An example of what Fox regards as “Real News’ was on display Sunday morning on Fox and Friends. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes aired a segment about the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. That’s a serious issue and demands serious attention and thoughtful analysis. So naturally Fox and Friends turned to YouTube vloggers Diamond and Silk.

For those of you who are unaware of this dynamic duo, they are African-American sisters who were confirmed nobodies until they pledged their unquestioning allegiance to Donald Trump. At that point they were snatched up by Fox News and other right-wing media as representatives of the black Republican perspective. Since polls show that Trump is viewed favorably by only about three percent of African-American voters, D&S made a profitable choice to become among the few black supporters of Trump in the media. They join such intellectual icons as Herman Cain and Omarosa as Fox News regulars.

On Sunday’s episode of Fox and Friends, the subject of McCabe’s abrupt dismissal after more than twenty years of service to his country came up and the insight of D&S was sought out (video below). The pair, who seem to perform only as a twosome, began their predictably negative harangue in harmony by complaining that McCabe has been offered work by Democrats in congress so that he can preserve his pension:

Diamond: What we don’t understand is how is it that the Democrats wanna offer McCabe a job so he can have money in his pocket, but they wouldn’t even come to the table for law abiding Americans to make sure we had money in our pockets. What are the Democrats trying to hide? What do McCabe have over the Democrats’ head? What are they covering up? Are they colluding? Maybe we need to bring in a special prosecutor to watch the Democrats and McCabe. Because we know Mueller is gonna turn a blind eye. That’s what I think.
Silk: And it sounds like a kickback, patty whack, give a dog a bone kinda deal.

If that sounds like the Real Housewives of Trumplandia rattling off cliched talking points, that’s because it was. Most of it had nothing to do with the question at hand. They just wanted to rant about Democrats covering up – who knows what, and colluding with – who knows who. So they shoehorned it into their routine. For the record, it’s the Democrats who have been working to put money into the pockets of the American people through increases in the minimum wage and tax reform that favors the working and middle classes rather than the rich and corporations. But D&S aren’t especially concerned with facts.

The rest of the segment was spent attacking MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle for making a trivial comment that Fox Christianists blew up into an unholy abomination. Ruhle merely expressed some curiosity at Trump’s choice for chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, suggesting that the decision was “God’s will.” That led to a couple of minutes of of outright sermonizing. And of course, the conclusion by D&S was that Democrats “despise Christianity.”

So Fox News spent nearly four minutes interviewing these ignorant blowhards who have no qualifications whatsoever to provide political analyses. That puts them in the same boat as most of Fox’s hosts and contributors. Almost none of them came to their roles with any experience in journalism or political science. And yet Fox now wants to characterize itself as the network of “real news.” But with cartoon characters like Diamond and Silk weighing in on matters as important as the President’s collusion with Russia to tamper with our elections, and obstruction of justice, they must have a very twisted definition of reality. Stay tuned for their a riveting debate on gun reform between Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent. Followed by a probing discussion of North Korea’s nukes with Happy Days’ Chachi, Scott Baio.

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

Saturday Tweetstorm: Is Donald Trump TRYING to Get Himself Impeached?

When the President’s schedule was released for this weekend there was nothing on it. He wasn’t going to Mar-A-Lago, or a campaign rally in coal country, or to visit a bunch of wall prototypes in the California desert. He wasn’t occupied with Little Rocket Man or Russia’s assassinations in the U.K. And having just fired his Secretary of State, he is probably gonna avoid further dismantling his cabinet for a few days so he doesn’t appear to be unstable (too late). But this abundance of leisure time for Donald Trump is never a good sign. Idle tiny hands are the Devil’s plaything.

McCabe and Mr. Mueller

As expected, Trump filled the empty morning hours on Saturday with adventures on Twitter. Even after a year it is surprising and disturbing that the leader of the free world can occupy himself so frequently with mini-tantrums on social media. But there he was in the White House residence tweeting away. And the subject that was dominating his infantile thoughts was, as usual, himself.

Trump was clearly obsessed with the reaction to the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Never mind that he likely directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to execute the petty and vindictive termination. The timing was obviously intended to deprive a twenty-year veteran of law enforcement of his rightfully earned pension. But the larger purpose was to discredit McCabe as a witness against Trump in the still unfolding legal melodrama. Unfortunately for Trump, though, his tweets only serve to exacerbate his guilt. For instance:

In this missive Trump is proving that the firing of McCabe was tied directly to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. A major target of that probe is obstruction of justice partly demonstrated by Trump firing FBI Director James Comey. And if Trump thinks he’s making points by referencing “the hard working men and women of the FBI,” then he’s apparently unaware that those worker greatly admire and support Comey and McCabe, and resent they way they’ve been treated. Which leads us to this:

Once again Trump is connecting recent events to the Mueller inquiry. However, he falsely asserts that the House Intelligence Committee cleared him when it is only the bitterly partisan Republican members who signed onto the committee’s disinformation report. And Trump’s accusations against the FBI don’t do anything to help his legal cause. Nor does the last of his morning tweets:

Trump’s moaning about “fake news” is just becoming tedious and a satire of itself. All he’s doing is reminding everyone that the press is reporting what is actually happening and that Trump hates it when they do that. And in this tweet he unwisely asks the questions “How many lies? How many leaks?” Which most people are already asking, but about Trump. But the best part is where Trump notes that “Comey knew it all, and much more!” Indeed he does. And he’s anxious to share what he knows with the American people.

Trump, on the other hand, is desperate to keep Americans from learning about what he has done, and is doing. That’s why his attorney is calling for an abrupt end to the Mueller investigation. It’s why his other attorney is trying to gag Stormy Daniels. At every turn Trump is focused on keeping his affairs (both sexual and political) secret. That’s what legal professionals call “consciousness of guilt.” And it’s what Trump displays with each new tweet he posts. It’s almost as if he has a legal death wish. He must hate the White House so much that he’s doing everything he can to get out of it. If only he knew how much we would all like to help him do that.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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LATE BREAKING: Trump posted another guilt-dripping tweet Saturday afternoon:

No matter how many times he says there was no collusion, it doesn’t make it true. There is abundant evidence of collusion and he knows it. That’s why he keeps telling the same already debunked lies. Like that the Steele dossier (of which much was verified) was the basis for the special counsel investigation (it wasn’t). Or that the FISA court was mislead (they weren’t). And if this is a witch hunt, they have already nailed nineteen witches (indictments) with five pleading guilty. And they’ve only just begun.