Crybaby Trump Wants to Know: ‘What the Hell Has Happened to Fox News?’

Every now and then, Donald Trump becomes despondent over the fact that he is not blindly worshiped by everyone in the known universe. His typically vicious response to that is to lash out at whoever he regards as being insufficiently adoring. Occasionally that happens to be his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Trump is currently exhibiting signs of the enormous burden that weighs on him as the Senate hears the case for removing him from office. He is tweeting more frequently and more furiously, with rage-filled outbursts aimed at his perceived enemies. Among them is his former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, whose new book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” affirms that Trump extorted Ukraine to get dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually something that Trump himself admitted.

However, on Tuesday morning Trump took a wild swing at the TV “news” network that has been his staunchest defender throughout his presidency. This is not the first time that Trump has gone after Fox News, but it’s a significant slap in the face to those who are working hardest at disseminating his disinformation during the Senate impeachment trial. He tweeted that it’s…

So Trump begins this tantrum by whining that Fox News interviewed the Senator from Maryland, Chris Van Hollen, who Trump alleges has no name after citing it in his tweet. Van Hollen had an appropriately stinging reply:

Don’t hold your breath. Apparently Trump believes that Fox should ban all Democrats from their network and only interview Trump-fluffing Republicans and other Fox Newsers. And in an immediate contradiction, he seems to think that Fox should have hosted a Democratic primary debate.

Continuing on this tirade against his sycophantic Fox friends, Trump posited a rather peculiar question: “What the hell has happened to Fox News?” And he replies to his own query with an even more peculiar answer: “Only I know!” He doesn’t bother to elaborate on what he allegedly “knows” about Fox. So he will continue to be the only one who knows. But he does single some of those on the network that he is most upset with, including Chris Wallace and the now departed Shepard Smith. Trump’s concern for Shep’s well being is touching. If he’s really interest, he should know that Shep is waiting for his non-compete clause to expire, whereupon he will surely sign a lucrative deal with another network.

Finally, Trump predicts a dire future for the network that employs his most fervent StormTrumpers. People like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and so many more. He predicts that this is “the beginning of the end for Fox.” That would strike many Americans as a positive development. But it’s difficult to imagine where Trump’s army of media shills would land if their Fox bunker were to collapse.

Not to worry. Like everything else Trump says, none of this is true, particularly the part about the networks that are “dying in the ratings.” Actually, all of the cable news networks are enjoying a banner year with high viewership and revenue. But Trump never lets facts get in the way of his raging animus or massive ego. Consequently, he has aimed his anger at Fox many times when he felt that they weren’t sucking up hard enough (here are some examples of his frothing hostilities).

As the Senate impeachment trial proceeds, it’s likely that Trump will get even more disturbed. There is also a likelihood of additional incriminating evidence coming out. And the case for the Senate calling witnesses became much stronger following the Bolton revelations. So look for Trump to escalate his whining and cries of victimhood, something that he takes enormous pride in. And prepare for more griping about Fox and the rest of media, which he still says he doesn’t understand.

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

UH-OH: Trump’s Favorite Fox News Shills Admit He Extorted Ukraine to Smear Joe Biden

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is entering its second week with his Fox News Legal Team continuing to present a defense that is wholly composed of deflections and lies. And they are sticking with that game plan despite the bombshell revelations from former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, that Trump did indeed threaten to withhold critical military aid from Ukraine in order to coerce them into helping Trump smear Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Bolton’s account of events is soon to be published in his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” These incriminating disclosures are now frustrating efforts by Senate Republicans to dispense of the impeachment trial quickly. It is becoming much more likely that a sufficient number of Republicans will seek further testimony from witnesses, including Bolton. That could open the floodgates to additional witnesses and document production.

Furthermore, the media is appropriately curious as to what Bolton might have to contribute to the pool of evidence against Trump. And that’s not just what Trump refers to as the “fake news.” Even Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, is struggling to deal with these new reports. On Monday morning co-host Steve Doocy addressed the revelations in Bolton’s book (video below) noting that…

“Apparently it says Bolton was told ‘Trump wanted to continue freezing money to Ukraine until they helped with probes of the Bidens.’ But we heard him say in the transcripts he wanted President Zelensky to look into the Bidens and what happened in 2016. So is this a big, big, big story?”

That’s actually a good point, coming from someone who’s not known for making them. We did hear Trump say that he wanted Zelensky to look into the Bidens. Not only in the so-called “transcripts” that Trump keeps imploring people to read, but also in his own words during an episode of “Chopper Talk” wherein he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine and replied that…

“I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.”

It appears that Trump’s staunchest media bootlickers are now conceding that he cannot be defended with blanket denials that he did anything wrong. They can no longer say that it was “a perfect phone call.” They must accept the fact that Trump engaged in overt extortion, but then try to argue that it wasn’t illegal or impeachable.

That’s the argument that Trump-fluffer and Fox contributor Dan Bongino made for most of this segment. Co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected that Trump’s legal team needs to include in their scenario that Trump “was wanting an investigation into what happened with the Bidens in 2016” But in order to do that, Trump would have to repudiate everything he has asserted thus far in his defense. Kilmeade also closed the segment with a bizarre new bit of advice:

“I will say this. I will say the President should take from this, between the Lev [Parnas] and Igor [Fruman] tapes that are now out, and then people writing books about him, he’s got to do better a job vetting his staff to find out if they actually want to work for him or not. Or if they actually want to leak out information about him. So he’s got to do a better job hiring people.”

Really? So the lesson that Kilmeade is conveying to Trump is not that he should take care to comply with the law and refrain from engaging in treasonous acts. It’s that he should be more careful to associate only with those whose blind loyalty can be relied upon to become willing accomplices to his crimes. Good to know that Fox News has Trump’s interests at heart, even when they are contrary to those of the nation.

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

Trump’s Inner Mob Boss Emerges with Alarming New Threats to Politicians and the Press

One of the most prominent and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is his tendency to embrace the language and behavior of mafia dons. He regards himself as an infallible and unchallengeable force who demands total obedience and blind loyalty. This weekend Trump displayed that mob boss fixation on several occasions.

Donald Trump

The recording of him telling Lev Parnas to “take out” U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich was chilling to hear. Trump gave orders to Parnas, a shady figure with ties to Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian politicos, to “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

Trump’s apologists in Congress and on Fox News dismiss this as being within the President’s power to fire an ambassador. That’s true, but then either he fires her or he instructs his Secretary of State to do so. Parnas has no government role or authority to terminate the employment of an American diplomat. So what did Trump mean and why would he assign this mission to such a fringe player who is currently under felony indictment?

Similarly, Trump threatened the whistleblower who reported Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky, as well as the whistleblower’s White House source[s]. Trump alleged that they could be considered spies and warned “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” That’s an overt death threat aimed at someone who legally protected from such retaliation.

On Sunday morning Trump also aimed a threat at House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, saying that he “is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet…” Here Trump is baselessly alleging that Schiff is both “corrupt” and “sick,” two traits that are more recognizable in Trump himself. And what “price” does Trump have in mind that he’s implying Schiff will soon be paying?

This is typical behavior from Trump. And it manifested again in another Sunday tweet wherein he implied his interest in sabotaging National Public Radio (NPR) by eliminating their federal funding. This attack was triggered by an NPR reporter’s interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mary Louise Kelly asked Pompeo a couple of perfectly fair questions about Ukraine that he wanted to avoid. He became angry and erupted in a profanity laced outburst which she reported.

This led to Fox News host Mark Levin tweeting his disapproval of Kelly and asking “Why does NPR still exist,” and “Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation?” Trump replied that it was “A very good question,” setting the stage for potential budget cuts to the public radio broadcaster.

First of all, NPR is not a “big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.” In fact, it receives very little federal funding. According to its latest financial report, just one percent of its annual operating budget consists of public monies. By far, most of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships, dues paid by member stations, and listener donations. The greater harm would come to radio stations that air NPR programming, most of which serve rural communities in what Trump would call his base.

What’s more, it’s simply ignorant to accuse NPR of being politically slanted to the left. If anything the opposite is true. After all, the board of its governing agency, the U.S. Global Media Agency (USGMA), is headed by Kenneth Weinstein, a Trump appointee. Also on the board … Mike Pompeo. That’s right. The Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the board of directors of the USGMA. And this is what Trump and Levin believe is a “Democrat Party propaganda operation.” It must be another department within the “Deep State” that is staffed by Trump loyalists.

Trump’s foul and menacing behavior is notable not only for its similarity to that of a mob boss. It represents an imminent danger to innocent people in politics and the press. Past episodes of this rhetoric has resulted in actual bomb threats and other attempted violence. And the scary part is that that is precisely what Trump wants. He is a bully who believes that he can get his way through threats and intimidation. It actually fits the legal definition of terrorism.

If he isn’t stopped he will only get worse. That’s why his impeachment is so urgent. Even if he were to be defeated at the ballot box in November, that would give him 77 days to exact revenge on those he deemed to have betrayed him. That’s a risk that American can’t afford.

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

SURPRISE! Trump’s Impeachment Defense Begins with 6 ‘Facts’ that Are All Lies

The day that Donald Trump has been waiting for (and whining about) has finally come. It’s the day that marks the commencement of his Fox News Legal Team’s presentation of his case against removing him from office now that he has been irrevocably impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Donald Trump, Impeach

Of course, everyone has already heard the case that Trump’s lawyers will be making. They have been making that case relentlessly on Fox News for weeks. The case that Fox viewers haven’t heard is the one by Democrats. That’s because Fox News chose to shield their snowflake viewers from any exposure to reality. Instead, they aired their own regularly scheduled, Trump-fluffing programs during prime time rather than the Senate hearings. They even admonished their viewers not to watch the hearings at all because Fox’s shills would watch for them.

To no one’s surprise, Trump’s defense was littered with familiar lies. His White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, led off by falsely characterizing the House impeachment hearings, saying that Democrats “lock[ed] everybody out of it from the President’s side.” In fact, Democrats invited the White House to participate, but the invitation was rejected in a letter from Cipollone himself. And all Republican members of the three committees holding hearings — Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight — participated and were given equal time.

Following Cipollone’s flagrant fictionalization of events, his deputy, Mike Purpura took center stage with what he said were the “six key facts that have not, and will not, change.” (video below) Let’s take a look, shall we?

FIRST: “The transcript shows that the President did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything.”
Actually, there has been no transcript released, only a memo purporting to summarize the phone call between Trump and Zelensky. And in that memo Trump is plainly seen to condition aid with a demand that Zelensky “do us a favor, though.” Trump then stated his interest in a conspiracy theory about a a Democratic computer server, and the Biden family. There was no discussion of corruption whatsoever.

SECOND: “President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said that there was no quid pro quo and no pressure on them to review anything.”
In fact, Zelensky had to be careful not to upset Trump at the risk of losing the aid. You can’t ask a hostage if he’s under pressure and expect a candid answer. Zelensky told an interviewer that he didn’t “want us to look like beggars.” Then went on to say that “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.” What’s more, Trump himself confessed on national television that he did condition aid on a demand that Zelensky help him smear Joe Biden. When asked directly what he hoped to get from Zelensky, Trump said “I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.”

Third: “President Zelensky and other high ranking Ukrainian officials did not even know the security assistance was paused until the end of August, over a month after the July 25 call.”
Not according to the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister who said that Ukraine was aware of a U.S. freeze in military aid as early as July.

Fourth: “Not a single witness testified that the President himself said that there was any connection between any investigation and security assistance, a presidential meeting, or anything else.”
Not true. Several witnesses (i.e. Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman) said that Trump had made a such a connection. But if Trump’s attorneys are concerned that there wasn’t sufficient testimony from first-hand witnesses, then why is Trump prohibiting staffers like Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, etc., from testifying? Why would he block testimony from those he says would exonerate him?

Fifth: “The security assistance flowed on September 11, and a presidential meeting took place on September 25, without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigations.”
What Trump’s team isn’t saying is that those things occurred only after he got caught. They were an attempt to paper over his criminal behavior after the fact.

Finally: “The Democrats blind drive to impeach the President does not, and cannot, change the fact, as attested to by the Democrats’ own witnesses, that President Trump has been a better friend and stronger support of Ukraine than his predecessor [President Obama].”
You can hardly call threatening a country with the loss of critical military aid during a war as “friendly.” And even if there were cursory signs of friendship, that doesn’t excuse Trump’s unlawful behavior. Furthermore, Trump has been a far better friend to Vladimir Putin and Russia, the country that is invading and annexing parts of Ukraine.

If this is any indication of how the Trump defense is going to go as it proceeds through next week, we are in for some hefty heapings of falsehoods and misdirection. They haven’t even even gotten to the Bidens yet, as Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow promised to do. But rest assured, that will come. And the whole of the Trump defense will be built on distortion and deception. But that’s only because they can’t defend Trump on the facts.

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

Trump Admits that He’s Only Interested in a Lie-Filled Reality TV Impeachment Show

Trump has been tweeting up a storm on this fourth day of his Senate impeachment trial. Most of it has been retweets of the sycophantic Trump-fluffers who vainly try to defend the indefensible criminality of Trump. But some are more puzzling than others, such as the one where he agreed with Joe Biden that he should be impeached and removed from office.

Donald Trump TV Set

However, in addition to his tweet agreeing with Biden, Trump also tweeted what amounts to an admission that he isn’t really concerned about the outcome of the Senate trial at all. That’s because the GOP leader, Mitch McConnell, has already assured him that he won’t permit a fair hearing to take place and that the outcome will be manipulated in Trump’s favor. So Trump tweeted this:

First of all, Trump had an invitation to have his representatives and witnesses appear during the House hearings, but he refused. So he can’t complain about not being represented when that was his own decision. Secondly, The prospect of the Trump defense in the Senate being pushed to Saturday was entirely the work of Mitch McConnell. The Democrats had no power to alter the schedule dictated by the GOP leader. And it appears likely that McConnell will alter it himself and shift the commencement of the Trump defense to Monday.

That said, it’s notable that what Trump is whining about isn’t how his case will be made to the senators who will be voting on his fate as president. Nope. What Trump is upset about is that his defenders might not have as big a television audience as he would like. In other words, he’s only interested in the reality TV elements of his impeachment hearings. That’s a so typically Trumpian.

Trump already has the benefit of Fox News, which has not been airing the Senate hearings during prime time. Fox has also benched their Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, in order to keep his contrary views away from the snowflakes who watch Fox (Napolitano called the evidence for Trump’s impeachment and removal “ample and uncontradicted”). Fox did, however, interrupt coverage of the hearings on Friday to show Trump giving a speech at the anti-abortion March for Life. They were in alone in that editorially biased decision.

In the end everything about Trump’s behavior and commentaries is focused on one thing only: What is in his own best interest, never mind the American people or the fate of the nation. It’s his malignantly narcissistic, massive ego that must be satisfied first. And ironically, that’s what got him into all this trouble to begin with.

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

HUH? Trump Agrees with Biden that He Must Be Impeached and Removed From Office

The longer the impeachment hearings for Donald Trump go on, the more deranged he becomes. He is clearly frightened and fixated on the proceedings despite his frequent and unconvincing dismissals. On Friday morning he once again posted a frantic flurry of more than fifty tweets assailing the Democrats in congress as they press their case against him.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Embedded in this Twitter tantrum, Trump included his familiar whining about how he is such a helpless victim of the meanies in the Democratic Party who refuse to adore him. He repeated for the umpteenth time his demand that everyone “Read the Transcripts” of his clearly incriminating phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. And he retweeted a phalanx of StormTrumpers in Congress and the media who are valiantly defending the indefensible. But perhaps the most bizarre tweet of the bunch was this beaut:

Trump is quoting Joe Biden’s assessment that Trump could gain some advantage after emerging “victorious” from the Senate’s impeachment trial. That’s debatable, but Biden’s view is not unreasonable. What’s peculiar is that Trump is latching onto – and agreeing with – Biden’s comments that “Congress has no choice, it has a Constitutional responsibility.” Biden is referring to to the responsibility to impeach Trump and remove him from office. And Trump, as expressed in this tweet, apparently agrees with that. Good to know.

The view that Trump will be “harder to beat” following these hearings is not cast in stone. On one hand, Trump has already been impeached, and that’s forever. The Senate hearings are driving home the facts surrounding Trump’s criminal coercion of Zelensky and his efforts to cover it up. They are also revealing the Republicans’ unprincipled obsession with suppressing new evidence and witness testimony. Consequently, any “acquittal” by a partisan vote of the GOP majority would immediately and totally lack credibility. And Trump’s guilt would still be presumed by most Americans, as it is now.

The argument that Trump would be stronger rests only on the notion that his cult followers might be more motivated to turn out in November. But that’s speculative at best. His most fervent supporters are already as buzzy as they can possibly be. And he isn’t likely to attract new supporters simply because the GOP-run Senate let him off the hook.

Nevertheless, Trump is continuing to pretend that all this impeachment stuff is helping him and hurting Democrats. That view might make him feel better and provide some encouragement to his despondent Deplorables, but it isn’t founded on any factual basis. And it won’t alter the public perception that he is a liar who has betrayed his country to further his own personal and political ambitions.

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

MISSING: Fox News Legal Expert Who Said Evidence Against Trump is ‘Ample and Uncontradicted’

The Fox News coverage of the Senate impeachment hearing has been just as bad as might have been expected. Even worse, actually. To be sure, their prime time Trump-fluffers have been predictably adoring and servile as they heap praise on Donald Trump and his defenders, while shoveling bile on his critics. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, have spared no shame in slobbering over Dear Leader while slandering the Democrats prosecuting him.

Donald Trump, Andrew Napolitano

The reason it’s been even worse than expected is that Fox News has ignored large swaths of the hearings. They chose to air their regularly scheduled programming rather than the live proceedings from the Senate. That way they can prevent their already ill-informed audience from accidentally being exposed to the truth about Trump.

Fox even advised their dimwitted viewers to avoid watching the hearings with admonitions like “We’re showing you the good stuff – it was unbelievably boring,” and “I don’t know how people can follow it,” and “We watched so that you don’t have to,” and “It is a little bit like watching paint dry,” and “If I were a terrible host I would force you to endure watching.” Fox News is behaving like parents shielding their children from naughty words. Which may explain why Fox viewers behave so much like children.

So while CNN and MSNBC were airing the hearings in prime time, Fox News was airing their squawking heads attacking responsible journalism, disparaging the Democratic managers, and insisting that Trump was as pure and virginal as Mother Mary. It’s a bizarre spectacle to see people in the media advocating against being fully informed and proactively disinforming them. But then, that’s what Fox News does every day.

Consequently, Fox’s viewers got their customary mush of one-sided blather. And their number one viewer, Donald Trump, will be spared the agonizing torture of encountering anything remotely negative – or truthful – about him.

Contributing to this extreme bias is the mystery disappearance of Fox’s Senior Judicial Analyst, Andrew Napolitano. He has not made a single appearance on the network during the most prominent judicial story of the decade. Instead, Fox has exclusively featured such pro-Trump commentators as Trey Gowdy and Andrew McCarthy. Napolitano has previously provided a far more cogent analysis with clear-eyed recognition of Trump’s guilt (for instance, here and here and here).

Had Napolitano been booked to give his impression of the impeachment hearings, he might have sparked some severe cognitive injuries. Particularly for Trump. Napolitano was permitted to publish an op-ed on the Fox News website that presented a starkly different viewpoint than anyone that Fox allowed on the air. He wrote that the impeachment trial…

“…is not a charade or a joke or a hoax. It is deadly serious business based on well-established constitutional norms. The House of Representatives — in proceedings in which the president chose not to participate — impeached Trump for abuse of power and contempt of Congress. The abuse consists of his efforts to extract a personal political ‘favor’ from the president of Ukraine as a precondition to the delivery of $391 million in military aid.”

Napolitano also addressed the question of Congress charging Trump with impeachable offenses saying that…

“…there is enough evidence here to do so. Federal election laws proscribe as criminal the mere solicitation of help for a political campaign from a foreign national or government. There is no dispute that Trump did this. In fact, the case for this is stronger now than it was when the House impeached him last year. Since then, more evidence, which Trump tried to suppress, has come to light.

On whether Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” Napolitano concluded that “the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.” Naturally, these sort of rational, independent opinions are verboten on Fox News. That’s why Napolitano had to be muzzled and stuffed in a basement somewhere in the bowels of Fox News headquarters.

After going to the trouble of censoring the Senate hearings and replacing them with drooling Trump propagandists, Fox could hardly allow these ideas to leak into the general population of vulnerable Trump cult followers. Their lack of critical thinking skills would subject them to the unbearable discomfort of reality. And that would violate everything Fox News stands for.

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

White House Counsel Regurgitates Trump’s Most Flagrant Lie at Impeachment Hearing

After three years of relentless lying, it’s clear to most Americans the Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth, particularly about himself. He is the most prolific liar ever recorded, having already racked up more than 16,000 documented falsehoods. Trump has made it plain that he will lie about anything – great or small.

Donald Trump, Adam Schiff

Making matters worse is that Trump’s proclivity for prevarication is apparently contagious. He is a fabrication carrier who infects all those around him. And on the opening day of Trump’s impeachment hearing in the Senate, Trump’s disease of deceit was ravaging through the body of his White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. This is far more troubling than the fantastical fictions of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, or his sycophantic mouthpieces in Congress or the wingnut press. Cipollone is employed by the American people to represent their interests and to protect and defend the Constitution. He is not Trump’s lawyer.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Cipollone from delivering a statement (video below) that was riddled with lies, beginning with his ludicrous assertion that “President Trump is a man of his word.” How anyone can say that with a straight face is inconceivable. Cipollone also claimed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, prohibited Republicans from participating in the House hearings. But not only did they participate, they had equal time with the Democrats. This is so egregiously false that it can’t be merely a misstatement.

Yet even that was not the most profoundly dishonest comment by Cipollone. He went on describe a scenario that was such a jumble of inaccuracies and outright nonsense that it makes everything else he might say utterly unbelievable. He began…

“It’s very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told. Let’s remember how we all got here. They made false allegations about a telephone call. The president of the United States declassified that telephone call and released it to the public. How’s that for transparency?”

Right from the start Cipollone is getting everything wrong. It wasn’t Schiff who made the original (and verified truthful) allegations revealing Trump’s misconduct during the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. It was the whistleblower, whose report was deemed credible by the intelligence community’s inspector general. Trump himself affirmed it on national TV. And Trump has still never released a transcript of the phone call, only a partial description in a memo. Now he says he has a tape recording. You’d think he would release that if it exonerated him. Cipollone continued…

“When Mr. Schiff found out that there was nothing to his allegations, he focused on the second telephone call. He and his colleagues made false allegations about that second telephone call that occurred before the one that he demanded. So the President of the United States declassified and released that telephone call. Still nothing.”

Cipollone is badly distorting the whole timeline. The only phone call that had any relevance to this inquiry was the second one that Trump keeps exhorting people to “Read the Transcript!” Indeed they should read it, because it clearly shows that Trump coerced Zelensky to help him smear Joe Biden. The first phone call was merely a congratulatory call after Zelensky won his election. Although Trump lied about that as well, claiming that they spoke about corruption. They didn’t. And Cipollone still wasn’t done lying…

“When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that phone call. He read it to the American people, and he didn’t tell them it was a complete fake.”

This is a flagrant, unadulterated, shameless, provable lie. And it’s a lie that Cipollone is parroting from one that Trump has been telling for months:

Let’s settle this once and for all. Trump’s obsession with Schiff stems from a brief portion of remarks made in a congressional hearing that Trump utterly failed to understand. Apparently Trump doesn’t grasp the concept of parody, or paraphrasing with emphasis, to make a point. That’s what Schiff was doing when Trump whined, falsely, that Schiff was quoting him verbatim.

Schiff actually prefaced his remarks by saying that Trump’s phone call with Zelensky “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates.” So contrary to Trump’s brazen lie, Schiff was not “supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call.” He explicitly stated that he was not quoting Trump and he had no intention of misleading anyone. It’s all available for anyone to see and hear for themselves in the video.

The fact that Cipollone would repeat Trump’s nakedly dishonest account of Schiff’s remarks is proof that he is unfit to serve as a White House counsel. He knows that Trump was lying, and he knows that his repetition is also a lie. He is abusing his oath of office, his duty to the American people, and his loyalty to the nation. In a just administration he would be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for perjury. But in Trump’s administration his disgraceful behavior will be heralded as heroic. Trump’s pseudo-patriotic cult followers are just too mesmerized to tell the difference between good and evil.

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

Trump’s Campaign Manager Responds to Bleak Fox News Poll by Insulting the American People

In recent days Donald Trump has been frantically posting tweets that proclaim him to be the most popular president ever, leading a country that is number one in the universe.” And he got that fact directly from the alien voices in his head, so it must be true. But Trump’s glowing review of himself is not only wrong, it’s evidence of his growing mental infirmity.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

On Monday Trump dispatched his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, to the studio of his Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. While there, Parscale met with some unexpectedly challenging questions (video below). Parscale delivered his doctrinaire dialogue that portrayed Trump and his administration as having a perfect record of nothing but success. He asserted that Trump’s standing in the polls – and in the hearts of the American people – is at an all time high. That is, of course, contrary to reality. Trump’s approval is in the low 40s in most polls. Even Trump’s favorite poll, the disreputable and biased Rasmussen poll, has Trump slumping. But these facts didn’t stop Parscale from making his blatantly false and unsupported comments.

What Parscale surely didn’t foresee was that the Fox News anchor, Bill Hemmer, would present him with some actual data that contradicted the rosy scenario he painted for Trump:

Parscale: Every standard we have to measure what’s going on with the President and trying to win victory in 2020, we’re doing better.
Hemmer: I’ve got some numbers for you. 2016 suburban voters. President Trump led Hillary Clinton by four points. Among suburban women he trailed her by only seven. Now we did a poll here at Fox about a month and a half ago, and these numbers are very different … Among suburban voters he now trails by eleven. Among suburban women he’s down by a whopping twenty-four points. How come?

Parscale struggled to explain the decline. He first resorted to a weak complaint that the numbers were different (duh). Then he returned to his robo-recitation that Trump was doing better in everything simply because he says so. After Hemmer reiterated that Trump’s poor showing was “substantial,” Parscale directly dismissed the Fox News poll (see page 19) saying that “I just don’t think those numbers are right.” Oh? Well that settles it then.

Parscale went on to claim that Trump is “far ahead” of the Democratic candidates in fundraising. But the aggregate total for the Democrats has “more than tripled [Trump’s] 2019 cash haul … No incumbent president this century has been so thoroughly outraised by a field of challengers” And in the face of those facts, Parscale sunk to belittling American voters as inattentive to their duties in a democracy:

“Right now the American people are tuned out. Because, honestly, what’s happened with impeachment and everything else, they’ve shut down. They’re enjoying the Super Bowl. They’re watching football games. Enjoying this country’s great economy. They’re not sitting around watching this stuff.”

First of all, Parscale’s derogatory remarks destroy his own assertion that Trump is flying high in the polls. Of what significance is that if voters aren’t paying attention, as he contends? But even worse, according To Trump’s campaign boss, Americans are a bunch of lazy, unpatriotic, sports slobs who don’t care about the future of their country or the election that is only nine months away.

This insulting impression of voters by the Trump team isn’t likely to pull Trump’s poll standings out of the gutter. All it does is confirm that Trump, and everyone around him, are mired in delusional perspectives of Trump as an invincible superhero who cannot be vanquished. Never mind that they have no data to support that worshipful view. It’s not like Trump ever relied on facts – or reality – for anything else he’s ever done. The only thing he relies on is the naivete of his tiny cadre of cult followers. And that’s just not gonna cut it now that the nation knows who Trump really is.

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

Does Trump Have Impeachment Dementia Or Are His Lies Just Getting More Bizarre?

There is something grossly disturbing about how extreme Donald Trump has become in his frantic outbursts decrying the fact that he has been impeached. It’s like watching a paranoid schizophrenic sinking deeper into the delusional hallucinations that drive his deviant behavior. Except this one has access to nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump Red Face

On Monday morning, Trump was suffering from an especially severe case of the whines. This was manifested on his Twitter feed where he posted a string of typically narcissistic messages exalting himself, interspersed with vitriolic attacks on his foes. The trigger for this episode may have been the release of his impeachment trial briefing by his Fox News legal team. The document is 110 pages of expanded Twitter rants that fail to even address the substance of the charges against him. Trump’s lawyers are focused solely on their ludicrous theory that whatever Trump did was okay and that he should not be convicted and removed from office even if every allegation is proved true.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is focused on an imaginary universe wherein everything morphs into whatever he wishes it would be at whatever moment he wishes it. That’s the only explanation for a couple of his morning tweets that bear no resemblance to reality. For instance…

Anyone who has paid even peripheral attention to the impeachment proceedings knows that the House wanted John Bolton’s testimony very much. The problem was that Trump invoked the fake privilege of “absolute immunity” in order to prohibit Bolton, and many other White House staffers, from testifying. There is no way that Trump could not know this. So he is either deliberately lying or mentally unhinged. Which would also explain this other tweet…

The House proceedings were always conducted fairly. Every Republican member of the relevant committees was give equal time to question witnesses and provide defensive arguments. Both Democrats and Republicans had counsel who were also afforded equal time to press their case in the hearings. The only diversion from equality was the absence of testimony from Trump’s White House. But again, they were only absent due to Trump’s refusal to allow them to participate. This is another situation that Trump has to be fully aware of, unless he is certifiably insane or flagrantly dishonest.

So it was Trump who was responsible for the absence of witnesses he is complaining about. And it was Trump whose refusal to cooperate produced the unfairness he is whining about. And it was actually people like Rep. Adam Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who were advocating for fairness all along. Trump was, and still is, the obstacle. That was articulated concisely in the Democratic response to Trump’s brief:

“Only if the Senate sees and hears all relevant evidence — only if it insists upon the whole truth — can it render impartial justice. That means the Senate should require the President to turn over the documents he is hiding. It should hear from witnesses, as it has done in every impeachment trial in American history; it especially should hear from witnesses the President blocked from testifying in the House. President Trump cannot have it both ways. His Answer directly disputes key facts. He must either surrender all evidence relevant to the facts he has disputed or concede the facts as charged. Otherwise, this impeachment trial will fall far short of the American system of justice.”

The tweets above show that Trump is either suffering from a massively psychotic departure from reality, or that he is shamelessly distorting the truth that everyone else can see as plain as day. That in itself would suggest that Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But then, what else is one to conclude about someone who has been documented to have told more than 16,000 lies in three years; or who cozies up to murderous dictators; or who compliments himself as “A Very Stable Genius.” It is simply no longer possible to ignore that America’s “president” is out of his friggin’ mind! Which means the same must be true for the cult followers who continue to support him in Congress, the press, and the wingnutty contingent of the public.

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