Fox News Anchor Scolds His Fox News Colleagues for ‘Bashing the Media’

There’s a peculiar thing about Donald Trump’s campaign against the First Amendment and freedom of the press. That’s how much he actually relies on the press to spew his propaganda and lies. Without the media broadcasting his hate speech who would know about it?

Fox News Chris Wallace Sean Hannity

To be sure, he has Fox News, the PR division of the Trump administration. And for some reason they are always left out of any criticism that the President has of the “mainstream” media, despite being the top rated cable news network. For the most part, Fox News is a willing accomplice in the murder of the media. They lay it on more thickly than any other network. And they never seem to grasp the irony that they are demeaning the news business that they pretend to be a part of.

Apparently that obliviousness has finally worn through to at least one member of the Fox team. Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, addressed this issue in an interview with ABC News and was not shy about expressing that “It bothers me.”

“I don’t like them bashing the media, because oftentimes what they’re bashing is stuff that we on the news side are doing. I don’t think they recognize that they have a role at Fox News and we have a role at Fox News. I don’t know what’s in their head. I just think it’s bad form.”

Make no mistake, he’s talking about his fellow Foxies Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the vegetative Trump bots of Fox and Friends – among others. Wallace seems to recognize that their knee-jerk assaults on any less than flattering coverage of their Orange Messiah isn’t in the best interest of journalism. And the manner in which he dresses them down is a scathing rebuke. Although he may be pulling punches by assuming that there’s “something” in their heads.

ABC News noted the obvious in their commentary, writing that Fox News is “the preferred network for conservatives.” And they cited a study by Media Matters that revealed the depth of Fox’s bias. For instance, Sean Hannity “criticized the press in 90 percent of his monologues from May 15 to Sept. 1.” And that he “used the term ‘fake news’ 67 times.” But something else stood out that makes the glaring prejudices of Fox even more appalling:

“As president, Trump has given interviews to Fox News more than any other outlet, but he has favored Hannity and other supportive hosts like Jeanine Pirro and Jesse Watters. News anchors Wallace, Bret Baier and Shepard Smith and chief White House correspondent John Roberts have been shut out.”

So even while Trump favors the garden variety sycophants at Fox, he is careful to narrow his exposure to only the most slobbering drool merchants at the network. He steers wide of anyone that might accidentally stumble over some honest journalistic principles. Even the Fox News version of a reporter must be avoided at all costs. Trump is only comfortable talking to mindless disciples. Lucky for him, there is no shortage of them at Fox News – or in their audience.

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

POLL: Ignorant Trump-loving Republicans are cool with government shutting down media it doesn’t like

For nine months Donald Trump has been steering the country into something that more closely resembles a fascist dictatorship. His tendency toward a strict authoritarianism is evident in almost everything he does and says. And the fact that he has issued more executive orders at this point in his presidency than any president in fifty years affirms his inherent imperialism. Particularly since he was a fierce critic of executive orders when President Obama was issuing them.

Donald Trump Voter

A new poll shows that Trump’s view of government supremacy has caught on with the Republican Party. The numbers are disturbing for a supposedly free democracy that cherishes a free press. Overall forty-six percent of respondents said that “the news media fabricate news stories about President Donald Trump.” Even Trump was so moved by this poll that he tweeted about it Wednesday night (FYI: Trump’s tagging of Fox News is curious. They had nothing to do with this poll):

Indeed, it is much worse. But not in any way that Trump understands. Those numbers are heavily weighted by the views of Republicans. For GOP respondents alone it’s seventy-six percent who believe that bad Trump press is made up. It isn’t difficult to figure out where they got this idea from. Trump has been smearing the media for at least two years. His criticisms are not rational observations of press reporting. They are vicious insults and unsupported condemnations of journalists he says are evil. Just last week he told a radio talk show host that:

“I thought after I won, the media would become much more stable and much more honest. They’ve gone crazy. CNN is a joke. NBC is a total joke.”

In other words, he thought the media bend to the demands of those in power. Why else would journalists behave differently toward a candidate than a president. What’s more, he isn’t complaining about a particular story. He’s trashing whole networks as “jokes.” His undisguised purpose is to destroy the people’s faith in journalism as a whole. He wants people to believe no one but himself and his official proclamations on Twitter.

The consequences of his relentless propaganda have taken a toll. That’s how you end up with three-quarters of the GOP essentially opposing the First Amendment. And it gets worse. The poll also asked whether “the government should have the power to revoke broadcast licenses of major news organizations that it says are fabricating news stories about a president or the administration.” On this question as well there was a sharp partisan divide. Forty-six percent of Republicans said the government should have such power. Another twenty-one percent were undecided. So two-thirds of Republicans are comfortable with the government being able to shut down media based on content.

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

These are the views of a segment of the electorate that has been brainwashed to accept policies that are wholly un-American. Imagine what these same people would have thought if President Obama ever suggested taking such action. But they are perfectly fine with handing Trump the power to strip away the nation’s constitutionally protected press freedoms. That isn’t political partisanship. It’s cult worship. And it’s a dangerous trend that threatens the future of the American experiment in democracy.

Trump threatens congresswoman and fallen soldier’s family. And may have broken the law.

It is absolutely impossible to call the bottom of Donald Trump’s abhorrent character, or lack thereof. Just when you think he’s in the deepest sewer, he confounds everyone by finding a gutter that’s dug even lower. Case in point, the controversy over his insensitive remarks to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain Sgt. La David Johnson.

Myeshia Johnson

This affair began after Trump was harshly criticized for ignoring the deaths of four American Green Berets for two weeks. He had plenty of time to play golf and tweet about his media foes, but performing this traditional presidential duty was too much for him. When a reporter finally asked him to explain, he made some pathetic and plainly dishonest excuses. And true to form, he attempted to shift the blame and redirect the subject to others, notably President Obama.

Stung by the criticism, Trump condescended to do his job and finally called the families of the fallen. But even in performing this task he failed miserably. According to Rep. Frederika Wilson, Trump upset Ms. Johnson by telling her that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” Not surprisingly, Trump denied that he ever said any such thing. But to make matters worse, he made an implicit threat that he had “proof” that he would make public if needed.

There’s two problems with that:

ONE: It is horribly insensitive to make such threats to grieving families. Trump is challenging the veracity of Rep. Wilson, as well as Ms. Johnson and her mother, who all affirm his callous remarks. Rep. Wilson reiterated her account after Trump issued his threat.

TWO: It may have violated Florida law. The state has a statute that expressly forbids the kind of recordings that Trump is suggesting:

“Florida’s wiretapping law is a ‘two-party consent’ law. Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a ‘wire, oral, or electronic communication” in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent.'”

A few months ago Trump made a similar threat directed at former FBI Director, James Comey. He warned Comey that he “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.” Six months later no tapes have emerged.

Trump’s belligerent yowling turned out to be more of the phony blathering that bullies resort to. But this time it was aimed at a grieving widow. And in the unlikely case that any tapes exists, they are evidence his criminality. Plus, with all of the witnesses supporting Rep. Wilson’s account, any tapes are only likely to prove that he’s a repulsive liar.

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

UPDATE: At today’s press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to refute that Trump made the statement about “knowing what he signed up for.” In other words, he did say it. Also, she said that there were no tape recordings of the conversation. Trump’s alleged proof was witnesses to his phone call. In other words, no proof.

In mob-style threat Trump warns McCain and other critics that ‘People have to be careful’

America’s most psychotic president has already deftly demonstrated his gross ignorance, mental disabilities, and sociopathic tendencies. Donald Trump is a textbook example of a malignant narcissist whose self-exaltation is as important as destroying his perceived enemies. While Democrats have long been concerned about Trump’s aberrant behavior, Republicans are now joining in.

Donald Trump John McCain

One of Trump’s most notable Republican critics is Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Although he has supported much of the administration’s agenda, he has balked at some key moments, including the healthcare vote. On Monday McCain received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center. In his acceptance speech he took a thinly veiled swipe at Trump saying:

“To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism, cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

OUCH! The reference to “half-baked, spurious nationalism” is clearly aimed at Trump and his alt-right, white nationalist followers. McCain is obviously worried about the direction that Trump is taking the country. And he isn’t mincing words to express how he feels. That blunt assessment of the President hit its target, and on Tuesday Trump fired back. Speaking to ultra-rightist radio talker Chris Plante, he warned that:

“People have to be careful because at some point I fight back. You know, I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice but at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

If you think that sounds kind of familiar, you’ve probably seen a few gangster movies. The gentlemen hoodlums in the cinema are frequently represented as soft-peddling their threats. But they make their intentions crystal clear. “Nice grocery store you have here,” they would say. “Sure wouldn’t want to see anything happen to it.” Similarly, Trump is pretending to be the nice guy, but you damn well better not cross him.

Of course, Trump is not nearly as good at this as Don Corleone. In fact, it is absurd to present himself as being nice in any capacity. Here is what he’s had to say about McCain just on Twitter:

This is Trump being nice? Hardly. This president is an obnoxious, self-absorbed bully who is about as frightening as the troll dolls he resembles. And he isn’t scaring off McCain either. When asked about Trump’s threat, McCain modestly replied that “I’ve faced far greater challenges than this.” And for a veteran who spent years in a prisoner of war camp, who is now facing down brain cancer, he’s understating the matter.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump famously demeaned McCain’s military service. He began by denying that McCain was a war hero, then added that he “likes people who weren’t captured.” He therefore demeaned every soldier that was ever taken prisoner by a hostile enemy. And this coming from someone who took five deferments in order to evade service during the Vietnam War.

Trump has no moral standing to threaten John McCain. For that matter, he has no moral standing to threaten Ronald McDonald. Let’s just just leave it at: Trump has no morals.

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

Watch Trump say that Obama never called Gold Star families, then blame his generals for that lie

The catalog of lies accumulated by Donald Trump has broken all records. The Washington Post has compiled more than 1,100 just since his inauguration. No one who values honest discourse can pretend that this president engages in it. It’s an embarrassment and a stain on America’s reputation that may take decades to erase.

McMaster Trump

Perhaps the most repulsive lies are those that touch on the tragic fatalities of American soldiers. So naturally that’s precisely the course Trump took on Monday in an impromptu press conference (video below). He intended to address the media following a meeting with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. And he began by lying about what a tremendous relationship they have. But Trump was later asked about why, after twelve days, he had not bothered to make any public comment about four Green Berets who died in an ambush in Niger. His rambling, nearly incoherent response was filled with falsehoods:

“I’ve written them personal letters,” he began. “They’ve been sent, or will be going out tonight.” Less than a minute later he contradicted himself, saying the letters would be going out “either today or tomorrow.” Then, while pontificating about how “tough” it is for him, he said that he still plans to call the parents of the deceased:

“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

First of all, You have to wonder what makes him “able” to make these calls. He has been golfing at his luxury resorts five times since the soldiers were killed. So obviously that cut into whatever time he had for this presidential duty. But more importantly, his assertion that other presidents didn’t make such calls was a blatant lie. Every president in modern history has done so.

Trump’s remarks are disrespectful to both the former presidents and the Gold Star families who expect honest and sincere sympathies. A few minutes later, Peter Alexander of NBC News pressed Trump on his statement:

Alexander: “Earlier you said that President Obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. How can you make that claim?
Trump: I don’t know if he did. No, no, no. I was told that he didn’t often, and a lot of presidents don’t. They write letters. I do a combination of both. Sometimes it’s a very difficult thing to do, but I do a combination of both. President Obama, I think probably did sometimes. And maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told. All I can do is ask my generals.”

WTF was that? Trump started to walk back his original lie. But then he tap danced back to it to say that Obama didn’t call, or did, or didn’t. Or who knows? And it’s just so darn difficult for him. Finally, Trump laid the blame on the generals who are advising him. So if there is anything wrong in what he says, it’s their fault. Remember, these are the generals that he said he knows more than.

The take away from this press conference is that Trump doesn’t know whether or not other presidents have called Gold Star families. Also, that he thinks his generals are feeding him lies. And he never gave an answer as to why it took him twelve days to acknowledge the sacrifice of these soldiers. But none of that will stop this five-time draft-dodger from exploiting the military tomorrow for a photo-op. And then declaring himself the biggest supporter they have ever known. Believe me.

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

Trump pathetically brags on Twitter about his many failures while swinging wildly at the press

Although it may seem like an eternity, it’s only been nine months since Donald Trump was inaugurated. In that time he has managed to take the country from a respected leader of the world community to an embarrassing has been. He has emboldened and praised our enemies and insulted and alienated our allies. His infantile tantrums have brought us to the brink or war. And his domestic agenda is focused narrowly on making life better for the wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

Donald Trump

At the same time, Trump has exalted himself with delusional claims that he has done more in his short tenure than any other president in history. But with a couple of tweets on Sunday morning he actually proved the opposite. The tweets were directed at Peter Baker of the New York Times. His latest column addressed Trump’s sorry record of “achievement” with the headline: “Promise the moon? Easy for trump. but now comes the reckoning.” Baker compared the President’s campaign rhetoric with his results so far. It’s not a pretty picture.

Baker’s article makes the unarguable point that Trump has fallen short on his most prominent campaign promises. While he is trying hard to sabotage ObamaCare, he has neither repealed nor replaced it. There is no border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. NAFTA is still the law of the land. ISIS has not been defeated. His Muslim ban is repeatedly blocked by the courts. The nuclear deal with Iran is still effective, although subject to a decision by Congress. Also punted to Congress was DACA, the program that deferred deportation of child immigrants. Recall that Trump had insisted that all eleven million undocumented immigrants “have to go.”

Responding to Baker’s analysis, Trump once again took his phone to his throne and fired off a couple of missives that were intended to set the record straight. However, anyone with a reasonable grasp of current events, or an Internet connection, would quickly see his departure from reality.

There are reasons that the “failing” New York Times (which is enjoying record digital subscriptions) didn’t mention the items on Trump’s list. It’s because they can hardly be described as successes for his floundering administration. Let’s take them each in order:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Trump didn’t terminate it because it was never ratified.
  • The Paris Accords on Climate Change: This wasn’t terminated either. While he did withdraw from the agreement on a federal level, the agreement stands with 195 other nations committed to its objectives. And fourteen U.S. states, along with other cities and companies, have vowed to adhere to the accords.
  • The Keystone XL pipeline: Despite Trump’s approval of the project, it is still mired in lawsuits that have blocked its progress. What’s more, the company building it is reconsidering whether it’s even commercially viable.
  • EPA Cancelations: This is something Trump has actually done. But making the nation’s air and water more poisonous, and damaging environmental sustainability, is hardly a success.
  • Supreme Court: Unfortunately, Justice Gorsuch is now sitting on the Supreme Court. But that was the doing of Sen. Mitch McConnell, who stole the seat from President Obama. And he couldn’t even get Gorsuch confirmed without throwing out the senate rules.

So in the space of two tweets (which were mysteriously twenty minutes apart), Trump proved that he’s a dismal failure. And these are his own examples of alleged accomplishments. But he only validated the experts Baker quoted in his article who said that Trump used “bluff and bombast substituting for actual deeds,” or that he’s “a choke artist at critical moments.” He’s relied on a record number of executive orders (forty-nine to date) to give the illusion of productivity. Remember when he castigated Obama’s executive orders as a “major power grabs of authority”?

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

For a more comprehensive accounting of Trump’s ineffectiveness, see PolitiFact’s tracking of his campaign promises. It completes the picture of a wholly unqualified fraud who was never fit to serve as president. And it further illustrates just how mentally unstable he is for trying to boast about nonexistent accomplishments. The combination of his incompetence and malignant narcissism is a recipe for an expedited apocalypse.

Lying Trump confidant inadvertently makes case for Trump’s impeachment on Fox News

Republicans are known to be fond of making brash and false accusations about Democrats. In fact, it’s an obsession. They generally deploy this tactic when they are desperate to create a distraction from something horrible they did or said. And lucky for them, they have Fox News to broadcast their diversions and lies to millions of their glassy-eyed disciples.

Fox News

A perfect example of this took place Saturday morning on Fox and Friends. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and devoted bootlicker, Corey Lewandowski to talk about a variety of current events (video below). Among them were the allegations against Trump for sexual harassment and abuse. The segment featured a graphic that said “HRC Falsely Claims Trump is “Sexual Assaulter.” But the claim is factual based on Trump’s own words. They played video of Hillary Clinton’s BBC interview pointing out the similarities of Trump’s behavior to that of Harvey Weinstein. She correctly noted that:

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere. Whether it’s in entertainment, politics… After all we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.”

Indeed. No one should be excused from committing these atrocious acts, Democrat or Republican. But that’s not how Fox News sees it. Not only did Trump admit to his abuse, at least a dozen women have come forward with credible allegations. But Clinton’s remarks set Lewandowski off on a tangent that hardly exonerates Trump:

“There was a sexual assaulter in the White House and he was called Bill Clinton. He had to pay a $750,000 fine for abuses that he perpetrated while he was President of the United States. He was disbarred. He lost his law license. He lied under oath and he was impeached.”

First of all, let’s address the cluster of outright lies in Lewandowski’s comment. Nearly everything he said was demonstrably false. Politico covered these claims last year and debunked all of them:

“[Paula] Jones sued Clinton for allegedly exposing himself to her in a hotel room in 1991. The Jones suit, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, was ultimately dismissed by a judge on the grounds Jones could not show damages. While it was on appeal, Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to settle the suit without admitting liability.” […]

“An earlier version of this piece falsely stated that Bill Clinton was disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in Arkansas and in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, Clinton’s law license was suspended in Arkansas and he resigned from the Supreme Court bar; he was not disbarred.”

So the incident Lewandowski referred to did not happen while Clinton was president. The payment was a settlement, not a fine. There was no judicial finding against him. He was never disbarred. The House of Representatives did impeach Clinton, but that’s a political action, not a legal one. And the Senate declined to convict or remove him from office.

Lewandowski unleashed a tortured stream of lies to divert attention away from Trump’s gross and illegal behavior. But his argument wasn’t that Trump was innocent. Only that Clinton was guilty. What’s more, he seemed to agree with the punishment he wrongly asserted was carried out against Clinton. Therefore, he is essentially advocating that punishment for anyone guilty of these crimes. Presumably that includes his buddy in the White House. In other words, he’s in favor of fining and impeaching Trump. A plurality of Americans agree.

Of course, to expect an ultra-partisan hack like Lewandowski to grasp the logical extensions of his own argument may be too much to ask. And even if he did, he would likely struggle to find an exception for his right-wing confederates. Democrats weren’t shy about denouncing the behavior of Clinton or Weinstein. It’s too bad that Republicans can’t do the same about Trump. After all, as Fox’s Abby Huntsman said at the end of this segment: “It’s so important to point out the hypocrisy.” Of course, she was referring only to Democrats.

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

[The Clinton discussion begins at about 3:50]

In his own words: Trump reveals the real, spiteful reason he is sabotaging ObamaCare

On Wednesday Donald Trump signed an executive order that significantly damages the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s purpose is to force people into the old “junk” plans that failed to provide necessary coverage. What’s more, it will remove the protections for people with preexisting conditions. And he wasn’t finished with his mission to deliberately destroy ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Later the same day the White House released a statement advancing their assault on affordable healthcare. They announced that the administration would stop paying the cost-sharing reduction [CSR] payments that subsidize many individual policies These subsidies mainly go to lower and middle income families who otherwise would be unable to purchase insurance.

It’s a monstrously cruel decision on Trump’s part that defies reason. Except that Trump took a few questions from reporters Thursday morning wherein he helpfully offered the reason himself (video below):

“If you take a look at CSR payments, that money is going to insurance companies. To prop up insurance companies. That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price. And that’s not what I’m about. Take a look at who those insurance companies support, and I guarantee you one thing. It’s not Donald Trump.”

And there you have it. Trump is taking out his vengeance on an industry that he thinks hasn’t been generous enough to him. Like almost every other decision he makes, it’s all about Trump or go suck an egg. Like his attacks on media that is critical of him, including recent threats to revoke their licenses. That, by the way, ha cannot do because the federal government doesn’t license TV networks or journalists. But never mind the facts, Trump is openly admitting that his healthcare policy is driven by partisan politics and donations.

To make matters worse, the foundation for Trump’s revenge fetish is utterly false. In this morning’s rant he repeatedly complained about insurance companies making too much money. Let’s set aside the inappropriateness of a president castigating an American industry for being successful. Trump is wrong on the facts. The insurance sector’s equity growth over the past three years (14%) has only slightly exceeded that of the S&P 500’s financials index (12.5%). What’s more, his contention that the industry doesn’t support him could not be more off base. A look at the campaign contributions from big insurers shows that Republicans received far more than Democrats. Consequently, since his anger at insurers is so badly misdirected, his actions are just plain nasty and hurtful. And the victims are wholly undeserving of his wrath. That, of course, includes the people whose coverage will now be out reach. According to analysts at CNBC:

“Two months ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that individual health plan premiums would be 20 percent higher than originally projected if the [CSR] payments ceased. It also projected that premiums would be 25 percent higher than they otherwise would be by 2020, and that the federal deficit would be increased by almost $200 billion if the subsidies ended.”

Trump promised that he would provide more and better healthcare at lower cost. But his imperial executive actions yesterday ensure that millions will lose their health insurance, those who don’t will pay more, and the nation’s deficit will increase. And by taking this action unilaterally, without any input from the people’s representatives in Congress, Trump is essentially invoking the repeal of ObamaCare without any effort to replace it. It’s a disaster in the making that will be fully owned by Trump and the Republican Party, if they go along with it.

UPDATE: Now Trump is bragging that he hurt an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans. And his reason for hurting it, as stated above, was because he thinks it didn’t support him. That, by the way, is illegal and another to reason to impeach his fat ass.

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

SRSLY? The Fox News Den of Sexual Predators Accuses Democrats of Enabling Weinstein

Leave it to Fox News to politicize anything, no matter how repulsive. The salaciousness of the Harvey Weinstein scandal must have been too much for them to pass up. So for the past several days they have been desperately trying to tar any and all Democrats with Weinstein’s disgusting behavior. It’s a tactic commonly used by the political bottom-feeders on the right, and especially by Fox News.

Fox News Tucker Carlson

On Wednesday night Tucker Carlson, arguably the most annoying man on television, delivered one of his typically sour monologues. In his opening segment he spun furiously in an effort to intertwine Democrats with a story whose focus ought to have been on the victims. But at Fox News it is always more important to cravenly exploit political biases. Carlson made sure to single out Hillary Clinton in his remarks because what’s more relevant than someone who holds no government office, or likely ever will? “Weinstein couldn’t have gotten away with any of this,” Carlson smeared, “without enablers like Hillary Clinton.” And then he unleashed this cognitive mess:

“Sexual abuse is epidemic in Hollywood. The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused. It is time for the federal government to get involved. The Department of Justice should launch an immediate investigation into Hollywood’s culture of systematic sexual abuse.”

First of all, sexual abuse is epidemic in America. It isn’t unique to Hollywood, and that assertion minimizes the scale of the problem. Which may be deliberate on Carlson’s part. More to the point, Carlson’s statement would actually be more appropriate if applied to Fox News. The list of their high-level perverts began with former CEO, Roger Ailes. Then Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, finally succumbed to years of rumored sexual harassment. The president of Fox News, Bill Shine, was also dismissed under a cloud. As were Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz, Fox News Latino VP, Francisco Cortes, and most recently, host Eric Bolling.

As Carlson noted, “The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused.” It wasn’t until their victims started coming out publicly that the network acknowledged the cesspool they were wallowing in. So if the Justice Department should launch an investigation, they might want to start with Fox.

Oh wait, they already did. A probe of the personnel and finances of Fox News was initiated in the final days of the Obama administration. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, was in charge. That is, until Trump fired him.

On Wednesday the Daily Mail reported that Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has instructed the FBI to open a probe into the Weinstein affair. However, the Daily Mail is an ultra-conservative British tabloid, which makes this story somewhat suspicious. To date it has only been shared on other right-wing websites like Breitbart, Redstate, and Newsmax. But it’s premise is not implausible. Trump is known for taking positions based on something he just saw on Fox News. So if he watched Carlson make this proposal, he might well have directed Sessions to have the FBI initiate an investigation. And a good bootlicker like Sessions would surely have obeyed.

In his segment, Carlson complained that it took Hillary Clinton five days to denounce Weinstein. Donald Trump still hasn’t done so. The only comment he made was “I’m not surprised.” So apparently Trump has known that Weinstein is a sexual predator, but he never bothered to mention it. As for Carlson, his hypocrisy is off the charts. He works for a network that harbored some of the most despicable miscreants imaginable.

There is no evidence that Fox News has cleaned up its act. Carlson owes his program to the departure of Megyn Kelly, who left in part due to sexual harassment from Bill O’Reilly. And now Carlson’s show actually airs in O’Reilly’s old time slot. Meanwhile Sean Hannity has brought O’Reilly back into the Fox fold as his guest, without ever mentioning the reasons he was fired. So if Carlson had any integrity, he might want to reexamine who the real enablers are.

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

What Wannabe Dictator Trump Just called Freedom of the Press is ‘Disgusting’

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was first for a reason. It incorporates some of the most cherished and essential principles to maintaining America’s experiment in democracy. Among them is the explicit protection of freedom of the press. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about liking it or approving of its contents. But the unfettered freedom to investigate and report the news is sacrosanct.

Donald Trump

That’s why Donald Trump’s repeated assaults on this freedom are so appalling. He’s spent much of the past two years maligning the very notion of a free press. He calls anything that isn’t sufficiently adoring “fake news,” and personally insults honest journalists. His hostile rhetoric has even led to physical attacks and death threats to reporters who are just doing their jobs.

At a press avail Wednesday morning Trump lashed out again. This time he took aim directly at the First Amendment’s freedom of the press (video below). The attack came during a state visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Reporters asked Trump about recent reports that he had inquired about increasing the American nuclear arsenal. Trump denied that he ever discussed the matter and called the reports “fake news” by NBC. And then he added this:

It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it. […] And then they have their sources that don’t exist. In my opinion they don’t exist. They make up the sources. There are no sources.

Oh yeah. It’s so disgusting that the press gets to write whatever they want. Who’s responsible for that? Somebody has to do something about it. Before you know it they will expect to get away with criticizing the President and not land in jail. Trump must wonder how Vladimir Putin manages to lock up – or kill – critical journalists without any opposition to speak of.

Clearly that’s a goal for this president. He has taken this same position before. Last year he unleashed a particularly abhorrent rant wherein he called the press “the enemy of the American people.” And he fretted over the fact that “Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.”

When someone articulates such a plainly authoritarian stance once, it might be considered a gaffe. When it’s repeated multiple times, it’s a mission. Donald Trump has no understanding of, or respect for, the Constitution. And he will abuse it at will if given the opportunity. That opportunity must be withheld from him at all costs. And if his handlers or the Congress won’t do it, than it’s up to the American people. RESIST! IMPEACH!

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