Laura Ingraham of Fox News Ponders Whether It’s ‘Time to Turn the Page’ on Donald Trump

It’s getting harder and harder for the fawning cult followers of Donald Trump justify their defense of his criminal activities. Especially following the search of his Mar-a-Lago bunker where numerous boxes of classified documents were found that Trump had previously denied were there.

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Fox News, Laura Ingraham

While much of the cult faithful remain devoted to their mango messiah, there are some notable cracks in the firmament. Among them are Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and Wall Street Journal where recent editorials castigated Trump as “unworthy to be this country’s chief executive again.” And GOP Rep. Steve Scalise underwent an unexpectedly harsh inquisition on Fox and Friends.

RELATED: Fox News Surprisingly Grills GOP Rep Scalise About His Wacko Charges of ‘Rogue’ FBI Agents

The latest weak-kneed Trumpist rat to leap overboard is Laura Ingraham of Fox News. During a guest appearance on the podcast of fellow Fox News hack Lisa Boothe, Ingraham was somewhat less than her ordinarily obsequious self when discussing the future political prospects of Trump. She began by making the utterly bizarre contention that “People conflate Trump with people’s overall sense of happiness in the country.” Which really makes you wonder what “people” she’s been hanging around with. She continued saying that…

“Donald Trump’s been a friend of mine for 25 years, and I’m always very open about this on my show. But, you know we’ll see whether that’s what the country wants. The country I think is so exhausted. They’re exhausted by the battle, the constant battle, that they may believe that, well, maybe it’s time to turn the page if we can get someone who has all Trump’s policies, who’s not Trump.”

So Ingraham is speculating that the American people are tiring of Trump’s rancorous hostility and non-stop temper tantrums. And she wonders whether those noxious features of Trump’s rancid personality might be the cause of Trump’s low standings in the polls.

However, Ingraham is ignoring the fact that Trump has always polled lower than any president before him. But more to the point, she is oblivious to the fact that people might just despise him for his traitorous attempts to undermine democracy and overthrow the government. Ingraham may be throwing Trump under the bus, but not because he exalts himself as an American dictator. Only because she thinks his shtick is getting old.

Ingraham thinks that the American people support the Trump Doctrine of dividing people by racial hatred, enriching the already wealthy, despoiling the planet, and curtailing constitutional rights. She believes that they just want someone who will pursue that apocalyptic agenda with a smile.

In addition to Ingraham’s slight tilt toward tossing Trump, Fox News anchor Eric Shawn made a similar sidestep. In the introduction to a segment about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, Shawn floated the notion that Trump may have already exploited his unlawful possession of classified documents. Shawn asked…

“Did former President Trump try to sell, share the highly classified material to the Russians or to the Saudis, or others? Or were the documents innocently mishandled and stored because he thought he had a legal right to have them?”

Shawn interviewed former intelligence officer and Russian expert Rebekah Koffler, who told him that “The real question, Eric, is what Russian President Putin has already done?” She added that Mar-a-Lago “is a counterintelligence nightmare.”, by which she meant that spies from Russia, China, and beyond may have already gotten their hands on information that Trump stored at his highly insecure golf resort.

RELATED: HUH? Trump Says Docs FBI Retrieved From Mar-a-Lago Were Covered By Attorney-Client Privilege

These brief departures from Trumpian orthodoxy do not necessarily portend an all out betrayal of Trump by Fox News. They may just be seeding the water with chum to see what bites. And they are likely to revert to form on their next broadcast. In the meantime, the rest of the Fox roster (Sean Hannity, Jesse Watters, Mark Levin, Jeanine Pirro, Brian Kilmeade, etc.) are still firmly crouching in Trump’s corner. The network as a whole is too scared of their own viewers to change course now.

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Trump in 2016: Disputing the Election Results is ‘A Direct Threat to Our Democracy’

In a fearful and despondent psychotic meltdown that surprises no one, Donald Trump is lashing out at a world that refuses to obey his narcissistic demands. He is coming face to face with his inability to control events that displease him. And he is utterly incapable of grasping onto reality and accepting the fact that he is the biggest loser of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Donald Trump

Trump’s dementia is in charge of his rapidly deteriorating mental state. He continues to rant incoherently about ludicrous allegations of election fraud for which he has zero evidence. His blathering on Twitter has been flagged more than 70 times as misleading in just the last week. And he has repeatedly tweeted this desperate plea of imaginary sovereignty:

Trump’s fantasy victory is based on allegations of fraud that have been debunked by every news organization, including a select few at Fox News.

And that certainly plays into Trump’s recent obsession with vilifying Fox News, the rabidly right-wing network that put him in the White House and serves as his Ministry of Propaganda. There is even talk that he intends to start his own media enterprise with the goal of wrecking Fox News.”

In the meantime, a profoundly paranoid Trump persists in his effort to prove that the only reason he lost so pitifully was because of alleged cheating by both Democrats and Republicans who are all out to get him. And just as he promised throughout the campaign, he is adamant about not accepting any election results that show him as the loser. None of that will shock anyone who has paid the slightest attention to Trump in the past. But what’s interesting is how he reacted in 2016 when there was some controversy over his defeat of Hillary Clinton.

The circumstances, of course, were completely different. For one thing, Clinton conceded the day after the election based on the race being called by media analysis of returns. Trump acknowledged this on Twitter. He also expressed his appreciation of Clinton’s statement that “We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them.”

Furthermore, in an effort to quell dissent by disappointed Democrats, Trump went on to highlight remarks by Clinton where she warned that Trump “refused to say that he would respect the results of this election.” He noted her assertion that such a refusal is “a direct threat to our democracy,” and that “We have to accept the results and look to the future.” Then he tweeted Clinton’s acceptance that “Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” And he added his own view that “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

So in 2016 Trump thought that contesting the election results was “a threat to democracy,” that everyone should shut up and “accept the results,” and that the new president deserved “an open mind and the chance to lead.” But in 2020 Trump is disavowing all of that. Now the election results themselves are the threat, no one should take them seriously, and Joe Biden is the mastermind of a bipartisan criminal cabal who must never be allowed to set foot in the Oval Office. As for his margin of victory, it just happens to be exactly the same as Joe Bidens’s, except that Biden’s popular vote was much higher.

For most people that would be considered quite a reversal and a display of rank hypocrisy. But for Trump it’s a routine shift to whatever he happens to believe is in his best interests at the moment.

For the record, Democrats didn’t actually dispute the election results in 2016. They were raising concerns about Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia, as well as his complicity with Russian operatives interfering in the campaign. What’s more, Trump’s obstruction of justice during the investigation was well documented in the Mueller report. But the actual process of voting and the vote tabulations were not being contested.

It’s Trump who is, for the first time in U.S. history, trying to exploit his position to delegitimize American democracy and invalidate the votes of millions of citizens. And he’s doing so without a sliver of proof for any of his preposterous allegations. To the contrary, he is actually dropping many of the lawsuits he filed and several of his lawyers are severing their relationships with him. And all the while he is aware that his actions are carving a dangerous divide among the population and risk inciting violence.

Trump is also neglecting the duties of his office. That’s especially true with respect to managing the increasingly deadly coronavirus pandemic. But then he’s been doing that for months. When his term is finally over, the only things he’ll be remembered for are his racism, his ignorance, his hostility, his ego, and his devotion to golfing, staging cult rallies, watching Fox News, and, of course, Twitter. That’s a legacy that will forever preserve for him the distinction of being the Worst President Ever! You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Nobody even comes close.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Michael Cohen’s Lawyer Drops Truth Bomb on Fox News: Rhetoric Without Facts is Too Common on Fox

In the wake of the felony convictions of Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, Fox News has endeavored to trivialize these historically unprecedented events. Their tactics include sweeping these legal bombshells under other stories that don’t have the national scope of presidential corruption, but which fit into the Fox themes of wingnuttery and racism. Or they entirely dismiss the crimes as even being criminal (which Trump did himself Wednesday morning on Twitter).

Fox News, nuclear Bomb

Joining the parade of propaganda, Fox News host Eric Shawn interviewed Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, on Wednesday’s episode of America’s Newsroom. Shawn thought he was going to bury Davis with a question that stuffed every Clinton cliche imaginable into thirty seconds of blather. But Davis wasn’t having it (video below):

Fox News: What do you say to those who say there should be a special counsel investigating the Clinton, the DNC, the dossier, Christopher Steele, and the way this was handled by the Department of Justice and FBI officials. Some of whom have been fired and certainly showed a distaste for Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.
Davis: First of all, you didn’t state a single fact involving the Clintons. And although I have a lot of friends at Fox, and have been a Fox guest on almost every show, that kind of rhetoric without facts is, unfortunately, too common on Fox shows. So state me facts of what Bill and Hillary Clinton actually have done that would suggest anything illegal suggesting a special counsel.

Shawn didn’t take Davis up on his request for facts. Davis did, however, masterfully let Fox News have it on their own air. Shawn’s question was reeking of bias and a predetermined mindset that Clinton is the real criminal. Never mind that she has been investigated for thirty years by hostile Republicans who still couldn’t find any trace of wrongdoing. Shawn’s reference to Steele and his dossier ignores the fact that much of it has been confirmed and that none of it has been proved untrue. And the only reason there is a distaste for Trump among law enforcement officials is because they know what he’s done. It’s like complaining that the police, after investigating, had a distaste for Charles Manson. Who wouldn’t?

What’s more, the knee-jerk reaction by Trump and so many of his sycophants/surrogates to point their fingers at the Clintons or Obama is merely their obvious attempt to change the subject by way of a scheme now known as “whataboutism.” Trump’s cult followers simply can’t focus on any of the facts about his crimes without resorting to whining about factless allegations involving retired Democrats.

That’s a pretty good indication that they have no coherent response to Team Trump’s crime spree. If they did they would present it, and not jingle their keys at the camera as a distraction. Then again, that’s just the sort of thing that compels the attention of babies and Trump supporters who have trouble comprehending the real world.

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

Prawn Of The Dead: Return Of The Fox News ‘Shrimp On A Treadmill’ Sham

The scandal mongers at Fox News must be getting bored with Donald Trump’s bitching about how the GOP is conspiring against him and their utter failure to convince anyone that Hillary Clinton should be thrown in jail. The desperation is visible in their latest recycling of an ancient story that was a core part of their propaganda back in 2011.

The venerable tale of the “Shrimp on a Treadmill” was an audience favorite for the Fox cultists. It had all the components of classic rightist mythology: It portrayed government as wasteful and stupid; it elevated Republican whiners in Congress; it disparaged scientists as greedy perpetrators of hoaxes; and most importantly, it was completely made up. There was literally no truth to the story at all.

This morning on Fox News the Scampi-Scam was resurrected in conjunction with a story about the release of the annual “Pig Book,” a publication from Citizens Against Government Waste that details what they allege are unnecessary government expenditures. Perhaps their report should include the millions of dollars in unnecessary government expenditures on useless and spiteful shutdowns, dozens of fruitless, partisan hearings on Benghazi, and fifty-plus futile attempts to repeal ObamaCare. Fox’s Eric Shawn introduced the today’s segment saying…

“So last year we had the famous shrimp on the treadmill study. There it goes. There goes the little guy. This thing costs over a number of years three million dollars, they say, in taxpayer money. And this absurdity, I mean, continues now?”

Even this many years after the story had been debunked, Fox News is still propagating the lie that it cost millions of dollars. News Corpse documented this journalistic malpractice back in 2014 in an article that include the account of the professor responsible for the experiment. This seems like a good time to reprise that article. So here it is in full:

Back in May of 2011, Fox News assigned its crack investigative reporting team to expose a case of government malfeasance on a grand scale. They claimed to have uncovered wasteful spending on scientific research that served no purpose other than to line the pockets of academics engaged in questionable studies. At the top of the list was a now infamous project that involved the absurd but adorable image of a “shrimp on a treadmill.”

Fox News Shrimp Treadmill

This story became emblematic of government’s incompetence and inability to exercise fiscal restraint. Fox News took it up in big way with hundreds of segments featuring the by now exhausted little sea creature. It was featured on nearly every Fox program with Neil Cavuto playing a prominent role in hyping it with a hefty dose of smugly delivered disgust.

Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, it turns out that this is just another fraudulent invention of the myth spinners at Fox News. David Scholnick is the professor of marine biology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the notorious research was conducted. Earlier this week he published an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that laid out for the umpteenth time what was actually being studied and the true costs involved.

On behalf of the National Science Foundation, Scholnick developed a project to ascertain “how recent changes in the oceans could potentially affect the ability of marine organisms to fight infections.” He justified the study by linking it to the very real risk of bacteria contamination to the food supply. But more to the point, he adamantly denied the accusations of any fiscal improprieties.

“Exactly how much taxpayer money did go into the now-famous shrimp treadmill? The treadmill was, in fact, made from spare parts—an old truck inner tube was used for the tread, the bearings were borrowed from a skateboard, and a used pump motor was salvaged to power the treadmill. The total price for the highly publicized icon of wasteful government research spending? Less than $50. (All of which I paid for out of my own pocket.)”

The truth is that the $3 million dollars attributed to the study was actually an aggregate sum that was used for a variety of NSF projects. It was not the amount spent on the shrimp experiment. And there is no evidence that any of the funds were misused or were not justifiable from a research perspective.

However, given the attitude of Fox News and conservative politicians toward science, it is not surprising to find them falsely accusing scientists of malfeasance. The wingnut community staunchly denies the existence of man-made climate change, evolution, and even the harmful effects of excessive sugar, salt, and tobacco. It’s only a matter of time before they begin to challenge the “theory” of gravity.

At the end of his article Scholnick takes a well deserved swipe at his right-wing critics by offering to sell his shrimp-sized NordicTrack for the bargain price of $1 million – a 67% discount on the bogusly reported cost. That’s the sort of special only found during the Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving. Some lucky buyer is going to get endless hours of satisfaction and be the envy of his friends and neighbors.

Stay tuned for the Fox News correction of their erroneous reporting, which I’m sure they will be broadcasting just as soon as they are finished spewing lies about Benghazi, IRS emails, executive amnesty, ObamaCare, the Keystone XL pipeline, voter fraud, Ebola, trickle-down economics, and – oh never mind. It may be better not to stay tuned after all.

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

Benghazi “Bombshell” Dropped Just In Time For The New Committee’s Maiden Hearing

The theatrics that go into the Fox News production of right-wing scandal mongering rival the most ambitious Broadway presentations. There is drama and conflict and complex stage management that grabs the audience and drags them through a narrative that is lurid and mysterious.

Gowdy DoodyThat applies nowhere more fully than to their long-running Benghazi blockbuster. It is what they turn to whenever they need a quick jolt of fabricated controversy. And with the first public hearing of Trey Gowdy’s brand spanking-new “Committee to Politicize Benghazi” scheduled for this week, Fox News has aired a promotional extra to accompany the premiere. Anchor Eric Shawn introduced the segment and correspondent Doug McKelway saying…

“We have a Fox News Alert, a ‘bombshell’ as they say, in the Benghazi terror attacks investigation. Turns out a former State Department employee speaking out in a new report now claims that aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they claim, took part in after-hours sessions to quote ‘separate’ damaging documents before those allegedly damaging documents were handed over to investigators.”

Golly willikers, this can’t be good news for Miss Hillary. Even though Fox has, in conjunction with Darrell Issa’s Committee on Overstepping, declared numerous other disclosures to be bombshells that turned out to be nothing but duds, this one is fer-sure a bona fide bombshell. That’s because it was discovered by Sharyl Attkisson, the disgraced former CBS reporter who was fired as a result of her shoddy and biased reporting including about Benghazi. Attkisson’s new story was published by The Daily Signal, an arm of the uber-rightist Heritage Foundation. It contains zero evidence of the alleged activities and relies on a single, and decidedly partial, source. No wonder she was fired by CBS, but found work at the Heritage rag. Attkisson writes that…

“As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ‘separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.”

There were a couple of notable omissions by Fox News that even Attkisson’s blatantly biased article included. First of all, Alec Gerlach, a State Department spokesman, said that “The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” In other words, no documents could have been separated out and withheld because they would have been available elsewhere. Secondly, Attkisson’s sole source, Raymond Maxwell, was not someone who could be plausibly described as neutral. He was a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa. The New York Times reported in December of 2012 that he was one of…

“…four State Department officials [who] were removed from their posts on Wednesday after an independent panel criticized the ‘grossly inadequate’ security at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that was attacked on Sept. 11, leading to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.”

Maxwell was a disgruntled employee who had filed grievances with the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau and the American Foreign Service Association. Whether or not his allegations are true, he cannot be regarded as impartial due to his obvious personnel entanglement. However, the ARB’s investigation does contain a certain measure of credibility because it was headed by Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat who served in the Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret), a Navy vet who was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by George W. Bush. These are not Clinton partisans hired to whitewash her record as Secretary of State.

The emergence of this phony bombshell on the eve of the Benghazi committee’s debut is an extraordinary coincidence. And its presentation on Fox News that left out critical details is likewise a convenient happenstance. If nothing else it allowed anchor Shawn to conclude with a smarmy “Some wonder if this could be a smoking gun of a potential cover-up.” So the bombshell is also a smoking gun, and it’s all part of a cover-up. At least to a mysterious “some” who are wondering. This masterpiece of fiction has blockbuster written all over it.

War On Voting: Fox News Exposes Voter “Fraud” In Ohio

The intrepid investigative journalism team at Fox News has uncovered a scandalous trend of voter fraud in the state of Ohio. Led by Fox News reporter Eric Shawn, the team delved into data provided by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. Here is what they found.

Fox News

Husted revealed that records indicate that seventeen undocumented immigrants actually voted in the 2012 election. In a swing state like Ohio that translates to about 0.0003% of the more than five million votes cast. Since President Obama won the state by 449,000 votes, the seventeen “fraudulent” votes would have had a negligible effect on the outcome.

It also needs to be considered that the votes deemed fraudulent may have been inadvertent or not even fraudulent at all. In prior assertions of fraud of this nature, it later turned out that there was merely a discrepancy between the status of the voter at the time of their registration and the actual voting day. In other words, the voter registered prior to officially becoming a citizen, but whose citizenship was complete by election day. That is perfectly acceptable and is not fraud. There were other cases where an undocumented resident simply misunderstood the technicalities of election law and overstepped his privileges. That is not fraud either because there was no intent to deceive.

In any case, Fox News failed to disclose any of the details of the seventeen cases they discovered. So it is difficult to draw a conclusion as to whether there was any fraud. But even if there was, it was at a level so low that it could not have possibly affected the outcome of any race. Since the whole controversy over the new laws proposed and passed by Republicans in the past few years is centered on preventing tainted election outcomes, these revelations of a handful of disputed cases don’t come close to justifying measures that result in thousands of legitimate citizens being denied their right to vote.

However, as we know, these voter suppression laws are not meant to prevent fraud, but to prevent Democrats from getting elected. It is a brazen effort to stack the deck in favor of Republicans under the guise of voter integrity. But you can hardly call it vindication when the best the advocates of voter suppression can do is scrape up a measly seventeen instances of fraud that might not actually be fraud. Nevertheless, Fox News can be counted on to hype the story to help their ideological allies on the right.

Liz Trotta Of Fox News Jokes About Knocking Off Obama

It doesn’t get much worse than this. Liz Trotta is a Fox News contributor and former New York bureau chief of The Washington [Moonie] Times.

As if it isn’t enough to conflate Osama and Obama by mixing up the names (as many have done before her), she goes on to assert with giddy laughter…

“and now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama …uh… Obama … well, both if we could.”

The Fox anchor, Eric Shawn, merely laughed along saying, “Talk about how you really feel.” This is, sadly, not the first call for violence from Fox News personalities. Bill O’Reilly told listeners that he didn’t want to lynch Michelle Obama unless there was “evidence.” Sean Hannity said that keeping Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker of the House was “worth fighting and dying for.” Non-Foxie Rush Limbaugh has been inciting his dittoheads to “riot in Denver” at the Democratic National Convention.

I suppose this just validates O’Reilly’s warning that “before this presidential election year is over somebody is going to get hurt.” And it makes me wonder what he, and the rest of the Fox terrorists, know that we don’t.

Update: In some quarters of the InterTubes™ there is grumbling that the video above was deceptively edited. For anyone interested, here is a longer clip. I don’t see how the context changes with regard to Obama, but it does include Trotta disparaging Clinton as an evasive, lying, pandering, race-baiter. So much for objectivity.

Update II: Trotta apologized this morning:

“I am so sorry about what happened yesterday and the lame attempt at humor. I feel all over myself, making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate, for that matter, and I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I have offended. It is a very colorful political season, and many of us are making mistakes and saying things we wish we had not said.”

I’m glad she apologized, but did she have to tack on the qualifier at the end that implies an excuse because, “Hey, everybody’s doing it.”?