Trump Shill: If You Get Your News From Fox News You Probably Like the GOP Tax Scam

Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are hurtling headlong into passage of tax bill that will materially alter the tax code in ways that harm most Americans. It is flagrantly biased in favor of corporations and the wealthy with toxic provisions that will sabotage healthcare and cripple Social Security and Medicare. The GOP refused to hold hearings on the bill or even allow Democrats to review it prior to voting. Much of it was written by corporate lobbyists. And without any justification for their haste, Republicans are ramming it through before the already strong opposition becomes impossible to ignore.

foxnews-mulvaney

As usual, whenever Republicans require a boost in propaganda they turn to Fox News. They know that they can present whatever bullshit they want and that there will be no one to challenge their lies. They took advantage of that Thursday morning when they sent Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, to the studios of Fox and Friends to pimp the tax bill. He received precisely the welcome that he expected as co-host Steve Doocy offered up a softball for Mulvaney to hit out of the park. Surprisingly, Mulvaney took a wild swing that landed in foul territory (video below):

Doocy: People don’t like to pay taxes so you would think that this would be a good story for you. And yet, Mick, the Quinnipiac poll came out and shows that fifty-five percent of Americans don’t like it, as opposed to twenty-six percent who do. Can you explain to me why people don’t like the idea of a tax cut?
Mulvaney: Sure, because if you turn to any channel besides this one, all you’re going to hear is bad news about this particular bill. […] No one is focusing, as you folks do, on what’s good for people in this bill. So if you get your news here, you probably like it because your focused on what’s good for you. But if not, you don’t.

So the only reason Mulvaney had for people not liking the bill was that they weren’t watching enough Fox News. Or worse, they drifted from their “news” teet at Fox and were exposed to actual facts and honest scrutiny. Doocy was taking a chance by citing the Quinnipiac poll which he correctly quoted as showing a historic disapproval rating, especially for something being pitched as a tax cut. The poll provided an explanation for that which Fox News left out entirely. Nearly seventy percent of those polled said the bill favors the wealthy and only twenty-one percent think that it will help the middle class. In other words, people can see through the GOP spin and recognize a fraud when it’s right in front of their faces.

However, what was most interesting about Mulvaney’s response was that he explicitly admitted that Fox News was a pit of partisan bias where viewers would get only the conservative perspective peddled by the White House. He praised the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for being sycophantic hucksters upon whom he could rely to spew the government line. Just like state-run TV outlets are supposed to do. Heaven forbid that the American people might ever get an unbiased analysis of this bill that contained actual facts derived from independent experts. That isn’t what Fox News was created for, and it surely isn’t what they did this morning. Welcome to the American Pravda, now proudly out of the propaganda closet.

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

Watch Fox News Freak Out Over Doug Jones Victory, Pretend They Never Wanted Roy Moore Anyway

The good people of Alabama came through on Tuesday and elected the decent senate candidate (Doug Jones) rather than the racist, crackpot, pedophile (Roy Moore). That doesn’t absolve the a-holes in Alabama who voted for Moore, but it’s an encouraging sign that positive changes are coming. The only way to characterize this outcome is as a monumental transformation for a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator for a quarter of century.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to find other ways to characterize such an obviously anti-Trump, anti-Republican event. And it only took a matter of seconds for Fox to try to recast the Jones win as something positive for the GOP. Anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum were plainly unhappy with the call. Less than a minute after announcing that Jones would win the senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Fox went into hyper-spin mode saying this (video below):

MacCallum: “You know there was a lot of discussion about whether a Roy Moore win would be a win, really, for the GOP. And there’s some questions tonight about whether or not there’s some silver lining, perhaps, for Republicans tonight. A victory by Moore, who was embroiled in a sex scandal, might have made it more difficult for the GOP to have gained control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections.”

There’s so much to unpack here. Let’s start with the eagerness of Fox News to abandon Moore, the candidate they have been pimping for months. They are pretending that his loss is actually what they wanted all along. If they think this will be taken this seriously, it is a bitter insult to their dimwitted viewers. However, they know their viewers best, and they are probably right. The Fox audience would need a “silver lining” or a security blanket and a binky after what happened last night.

What’s more, by virtually conceding that Moore’s “sex scandal” would have been a major obstacle to the GOP’s electoral prospects next year, they are validating the very same case against Donald Trump. Actually, not quite the same. Trump has been accused by more women of more repulsive acts of harassment and abuse. If Fox News thinks that Moore’s loss will make those crimes go away they are deeply delusional. They will surely work hard to bury Trump’s reprehensible behavior, but in the comment above they have recognized that it cannot, and will not, be dismissed.

Finally, MacCallum’s phrasing is curious. The GOP does not have to “gain control” of the Senate next year. They currently have control. What she might be worried about is the growing possibility of Democrats assuming control of both houses of Congress. And once again, whatever difficulty she thinks the GOP would have had with Moore in the Senate isn’t going to be resolved as long Trump is in the White House.

Speaking of Trump, he also made an effort to distance himself from Moore after the loss. He tweeted that:

There is no record of Trump ever saying that Moore would “not be able to win.” What record there is of Trump’s endorsement was deleted from his Twitter feed (here and here and here). He also deleted a tweet congratulating Moore and cheering him on to victory. Ever since Moore won the GOP primary, Trump has been behind him. He even recorded a robo-call and staged a rally just across the Alabama border in Florida to whip up support. But following Moore’s loss, Trump has unceremoniously kicked him to the curb and proclaimed the he was right all along (as he always is in his sociopathic, narcissistic imagination).

These weren’t the only kicks Moore suffered. Other Fox News hosts were equally as dismissive. Ainsley Earhardt on Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, said that “This was not a referendum on Trump. I feel like it was a referendum on Harvey Weinstein.” Her fellow “Curvy Couch” potato, Todd Piro, added that he didn’t want to be a “Pollyanna,” noting that the Republicans still have a one seat majority in the senate. Isn’t that a little too obvious an expression of Republican bias, even for Fox News? And Laura Ingraham giddily opined that “Jones is a lame duck from day one. He has zero chance of winning in 2020. This state loves Trump. This is not an anti-Trump result.”

For the record, Trump’s approval rating in Alabama, according to exit polls, was a 48-48 percent split, with “strongly approve” at 32 percent and “strongly disapprove” at 41 percent. Those are catastrophic numbers for Trump and Republicans in Alabama. And Trump’s approval nationwide is even worse. But don’t expect Fox News to acknowledge that. They are on a mission to implant happy-talk in the minds of their glassy-eyed viewers who need some cheering up. That, however, won’t last long. Fox has already segued to renewed outrage over Hillary Clinton’s emails and denigrating special counsel Robert Mueller as treasonous abomination of justice. Just another day of shrill propaganda for Fox News.

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

All Foxed Up: The Humiliating Attempt By Fox News to Credit Trump for Obama’s Economy

It’s no secret that Fox News is the official PR division of Donald Trump’s administration. They relentlessly defend the President from any and all criticism and attack his political opponents in the most vile and dishonest terms. Fox News is worse than state-run TV. They are fully involved co-conspirators to the criminal enterprise operating out of the White House.

Fox News

Another example of just how far Fox News will go to fluff Trump occurred on his favorite TV show, Fox and Friends. This episode featured a feverishly biased “economist” who managed to get through an entire interview without citing a single economic fact. The segment began with co-host Pete Hegseth introducing a thoroughly false premise (video below):

“Under President Trump the U.S. economy continues to surge. Last month alone saw 40,000 new manufacturing jobs. Big number. And that’s just one example. But a familiar face is trying to steal President Trump’s credit.”

Hegseth’s opening was hardly fair and balanced (a slogan that Fox doesn’t use anymore). Besides cherry-picking data regarding the state of the economy, he states as a matter of fact that credit is being stolen from Trump. And the thief is, predictably, an unemployed black man. Then he plays a clip of President Obama:

“As we took these actions we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently. We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history, by far. A streak that still continues, by the way. Thanks Obama.”

Upon completion of the clip Hegseth abandons any editorial independence and asks “Shouldn’t we be thanking President Trump?” That question was thrown to University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici, who unhesitatingly agrees with Hegseth that Trump deserves all the credit for the current state of the economy. His scholarly justification for that assessment is that:

“President Obama reads from a very simple textbook of economics. All the problems in the world are caused by Republicans and when Republicans are in they cause nothing but problems.”

What’s missing from that economic analysis is anything remotely related to economics. It’s a brazenly political insult that completely avoids any factual basis. In other words, Morici has done his job as a Fox News analyst perfectly. Never get bogged down with facts when smear tactics are available.

Morici went on to concede that “during the Obama administration they created jobs, for sure,” but then he falsely asserted that it was at a slow pace. He compared Obama’s record to that of Ronald Reagan. Which makes you wonder why he didn’t bother to compare it to Trump’s. Perhaps because in the past ten months of Trump’s presidency job growth has significantly slowed. In fact, it has been the slowest ten months in over five years.

Hegseth interrupted Morici to provide additional ammunition for the argument that Trump is the savior of the American economy. He cited the thirty percent growth of the stack market (but left out that it more than doubled during the Obama years). He noted that GDP had grown in a couple of quarters by three precent (which also happened during Obama’s administration). And he praised Trump for the 4.1 percent unemployment rate (a figure that was an extension of Obama’s jobs policies).

What both Hegseth and Morici ignored is that there isn’t any Trump economy. He has done literally nothing that might have impacted any economic metrics. There has been no legislation passed relating to jobs, budget, debt, or anything else economy related. Consequently, the nation is still running on the programs put in place during Obama’s administration. The only thing that Republicans can cite as evidence of their impact is a vague claim to a “mood” in the country that has allegedly advanced the economy. So their whole argument is based on a feeling. How cute.

Morici’s closing argument was rooted firmly in typical “trickle-down” economics that have been proven repeatedly to be a right-wing hoax. And he had the gall to assert that after eight years of record growth, a continuation of the Obama plan would reduce America’s economy to that of North Korea’s. Of course, he never bothered to substantiate that bit of ultra-nonsense. And then he rattled of some of the Trumpian things he said help the economy, including tax cuts, infrastructure spending, immigration reform, and cutting entitlements. None of which have been implemented.

So in the end, Morici and Hegseth relied solely on emotional irrelevancies and their political biases to celebrate Trump’s successes that don’t exist. And somehow from that they conclude that Obama was the one stealing credit. But at least they can rest easily that their audience will believe whatever unfounded crap they dish out. That’s the benefit of having Fox News around to spread propaganda to the gullible yokels who are dumb enough to watch.

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

Fox News Escalates the War on Christmas With a Fake and Hypocritical Attack on Hillary Clinton

The eternal struggle over the embattled Christmas holiday continues. At least on Fox News where it originated and prospers. And as the alleged birthday of Christ approaches, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends take up their battle stations to fight once more against the forces of evil who want to destroy Christmas.

Fox News Christmas

On Thursday morning Fox and Friends suited up to face a fearsome enemy of Christmas. They aired a segment (video below) about a tree ornament that featured Hillary Clinton. The bit began with co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Ainsley Earhardt introducing a Fox News reporter who valiantly sluethed this affront to the baby Jesus:

Hegseth: This Christmas season deck the halls with Hillary Clinton. A Christmas tree topper, complete with angel wings, is turning heads online, and on this couch in my brain this morning.
Earhardt: Here with a response, blowing up social media, is Fox News Headlines 24/7 reporter Carly Shimlus.
Shimkus: People are calling this “Resistmas.” Have you heard of this? Christmas is now politically charged as well? Other people on Twitter not so sure about the whole Resistmas thing. Jack [Posobiec]on Twitter says “The Left has replaced Christmas with ‘Resistmas’ as their worship of themselves continues.”

For those unfamiliar with “Jack,” Fox News just featured a tweet by a notorious alt-right, white nationalist. Why they picked him out the all the possible Twitter commenters on this subject is obvious. Just like their Messiah, Donald Trump, they have a deeply held affinity for overt racists.

Back to the segment. The Fox News Klan were clearly disturbed by what they called the “politically charged” Christmas tree ornament. But there are a couple of big problems with that reaction. First of all, the ornament was not made or sold by Hillary Clinton or anyone associated with her in any way.

Secondly, If politicizing Christmas is so offensive, why don’t they ever complain when Trump does it? After all, he incessantly yowls about “bringing Christmas back” in a transparent attempt to exploit it as a political cudgel. Christmas, of course, has never been away. But that, like all other facts, is irrelevant to Trump and his glassy-eyed disciples. The only use Trump has for Christmas is as a means of firing up the goofballs who go to his rallies and for distracting the media from his myriad scandals.

However, the most galling part of this ludicrous segment is the flagrant hypocrisy. It took about two minutes to find Donald Trump’s blatantly political Christmas tree ornament. This ornament is not being offered by some third party profiteer. It’s actually being sold on his own website. And the message has nothing to do with Christmas, Jesus, or any other theme of the holiday season. It hypes his crass commercial slogan “Make America Great Again.” Because that’s just so Christmasy. According to the website, this tacky trinket will help his deplorables to “Get in the Christmas spirit.”

Donald Trump Christmas

The MAGA Christmas tree ornament is now selling for $45.00. That’s a substantial discount from the original price advertised in a Trump campaign donation email last year, when it cost donors $149.00. Apparently it wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves.

This is another example of Fox News going into hysterics over something pitifully lame and entirely meaningless. And in the process they lash out at their standard enemies (Clinton, Obama, Soros, Pelosi, etc.), while ignoring the far more offensive activities of their Dear Leader Donald Trump, who can do no wrong. It may seem like trivial fluff given the abundance of important issues that currently face our nation: Middle East turmoil, North Korea, terrorism, tax reform, climate change, sexual abuse, natural disasters, etc. And let’s not forget Trump’s treasonous connections to Russia and the special counsel investigating him.

But that’s the point. Fox News is using this to divert the attention of their viewers from those matters to petty concerns like Christmas tree ornaments. And what’s really sad is that they do it so very badly, but their audience is too stupid to notice.

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

Fox News Issues Rare (And Obnoxious) Correction To Fake Story About MSNBC

Sunday morning’s episode of Donald Trump’s favorite cable news show, Fox and Friends, contained a flagrant error intended to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth reported that MSNBC failed to cover the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial. This story has been a staple of Fox News propaganda aimed at demonizing undocumented immigrants. The not guilty verdict became a rallying cry at Fox News to their millions of racist viewers who believe that all immigrants are criminals.

Fox News Friends

There was just one problem. MSNBC did cover the story when it broke and for two days thereafter. The false reporting by Hegseth was uncorrected for at least twelve hours despite the network being informed of the error. Hegseth’s assertion that “MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time” was first broadcast and then disseminated tens of thousands of times across the Internet. And uncorrected references are still being retweeted.

On Monday Fox News finally got around to issuing a retraction, but not without taking a sarcastic swipe at the network they were lying about. This is what they tweeted from the Fox and Friends Twitter account:

Make no mistake, the reference to “2 minutes and 15 seconds” in a “48 hour span” was intended to belittle the coverage that MSNBC provided. In reality that is sufficient time to report the salient details of the story during time periods when viewers are awake to see it. But Fox News was more interested in mocking MSNBC than they were in sincerely correcting their dishonest reporting.

Nevertheless, getting a retraction from Fox News is so rare we might want to just be grateful for the effort no matter how grossly disingenuous. However, after acknowledging that MSNBC covered the Steinle verdict, they deleted the story and the video evidence of their lies. A copy of the clip can be seen here. What’s more, they have still not issued a correction on the air at Fox and Friends where the false report originated. To the contrary, Fox and Friends hosted Trump shill Kellyanne Conway Monday morning who actually brought up the fake MSNBC criticism (on Fox News video here at about 6:45). She repeated the lie that:

“MSNBC didn’t even cover the Kate Steinle murder verdict. Not a single moment according to your own graphic.”

None of the “Curvy Couch” potatoes bothered to inform her that what she was referencing was already determined to be untrue. That’s because it serves the interest of Fox News to allow bullshit to be freely disseminated. It’s especially repulsive considering the big deal they made out of a recent reporting error by ABC’s Brian Ross. Ross was suspended without pay for four weeks. At Fox News their lie was allowed to roam free and no one was punished. And that’s the real difference between professional journalism and Fox’s deliberately malicious fake news.

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

Trump Says Reporters Should Be Punished For Inaccurate Stories – OK, Let’s Start With Fox News

On Friday ABC News correspondent Brian Ross misreported a story about confessed liar, and Donald Trump’s disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Ross said that his sources told him that Flynn was prepared to testify that candidate Trump told him to contact the Russians. As it turned out it was during the transition, not during the campaign, that Trump told Flynn to hook up with Vladimir.

ABC News corrected the story, but the mistake cost Ross four weeks of pay and a suspension from duty. Naturally, Trump and his right-wing media mouthpieces wiggled their tails and began blasting out accusations of “fake news.” Never mind that the reaction to the error actually affirms the veracity of the so-called mainstream media. They acknowledged the mistake and punished the reporter. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Even Trump recognized that ABC deserved praise for their professionalism. He tweeted:

Setting aside Trump’s infantile and false characterization of the “Russia, Russia, Russia Witch Hunt,” his suggestion that more networks demonstrate this sort of integrity is on point. And the network that spews more lies than any other is, of course, Trump’s favorite: Fox News. It is a nearly non-stop, 24/7, fiction factory that invents slanderous stories about Democrats and liberals, while fantasizing about Trump’s Messianic reign and defending him from every criticism.

For instance, Sunday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends set out to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth began a segment that accused the network of suppressing news about the acquittal of the defendant in the Kate Steinle murder case. Hegseth said that:

“In the days following the acquittal of the illegal immigrant responsible for Kate Steinle’s death, the media has now had a mixed response in their coverage, unsurprisingly. But one network has completely ignored it. MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time on Friday or on Saturday.”

Oh really? Apparently the Foxies don’t get out of their bubble very much. MSNBC did, in fact, report this story beginning on Thursday when it broke. Their coverage continued on Friday. It would be fair to say that it lost the “breaking” aspect after that, especially since that’s when the news of Flynn’s guilty plea was announced. Ironically, it was Fox News that is actually guilty of downplaying a bombshell report. Their primetime programs barely glanced at the Flynn story, while furiously hyping the Steinle verdict.

[Update: A tweet was posted to the Fox and Friends Twitter account acknowledging that MSNBC did cover the Steinle verdict. They subsequently deleted the story and the video, but a copy of the clip can be seen here. They have not issued an on-air retraction on Fox and Friends.]

Fox News

The examples of Fox News deliberately disseminating false information are too numerous to list here. But the fact-checkers at PolitiFact have compiled the data and found that Fox News broadcasts contain at least sixty percent false content. Think about that. Significantly more than half of what you see on Fox News are lies.

Which is why I am in complete agreement with Donald Trump with regard to more networks suspending reporters whose work is found to be inaccurate. Because if Fox News were held to that standard they would go dark for the next couple of years. And that would truly Make America Great Again.

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

Fox News Hypocritically Attacks Washington Post for Something Fox Does Repeatedly

The spectacle of anyone at Fox News complaining about media bias is always an adventure in mind-blowing hypocrisy. The network created purposefully to disseminate right-wing propaganda has devolved into full fledged State TV during the Donald Trump administration. It’s entire schedule is populated by Trump-fluffers who unabashedly fawn over his every word and fiercely defend his innumerable lies, insults, and harmful and illegal actions.

Fox News

However, they may have outdone themselves this weekend with a segment on Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends (video below). Co-host Pete Hegseth found an article by the ultra-rightist Free Beacon that pretended to discover a covert liberal plot to meet with other liberals and talk to each other. Oh.My.God! It had all the elements of a wingnut nightmare: Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, and a representative of the lefty, mainstream, “fake” news. Hegseth stared vacantly into the camera and delivered this fearsome rant:

“A Washington Post reporter is under fire after she got caught attending a top secret meeting with the Democracy Alliance where Democratic donors were outlining their future of their progressive agenda. According to the Washington Free Beacon, that reporter, Janelle Ross, gave a presentation at the California event without notifying her superiors at the Washington Post. The paper says she’s been reminded that the Post discourages participating events that can be perceived as partisan. I wonder what would happen if the same so-called journalist attended an – I don’t know – a Koch brothers session.”

Let’s unwind this cognitive mess. First of all, the Democracy Alliance event was not “top secret.” It’s an annual affair that invites Democratic political dignitaries and donors. The notion that Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, could sneak off to a clandestine gathering at a fancy resort without being noticed is just plain stupid.

The presence of the Post’s Janelle Ross may have stepped over the line of journalistic neutrality, but it was hardly a conspiracy. She’s a little known beat reporter who attended the conference on her own with full disclosure in the event’s brochure. It in no way reflects on the Washington Post organization as whole.

However, the worst part of Hegseth’s tirade was when he speculated about the reaction if a reporter were to show up at a conservative conference sponsored by famous right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. What Hegseth somehow failed to mention was that the woman sitting next to him and co-hosting the program, Lisa Boothe, is currently being promoted as a featured speaker at an upcoming conservative conference sponsored by, among others, the Koch brothers. And it bears repeating that she’s sitting right next to him.

Turning Point USA is a right-wing operation that is reaching out to millennials. It lists its partners as the Leadership Institute, Heritage Action, and the Heartland Institute. All of these are recipients of Koch funding. A glance at the event’s advertisement reveals that Fox News is deeply embedded in the affair. And it’s not just some backbenchers. The network’s anchors are proudly attending and speaking at the conference. They include, in addition to Boothe, Jeanine Pirro, Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld, and Brian Kilmeade.

What’s more, some regular Fox News contributors and frequent guests are also on the roster. Notable names such as Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro, Sebastian Gorka, and Guy Benson. And let’s not leave out Trump’s inner circlers Steve Bannon (of Breitbart News), Kayleigh McEnany (RNC spokesperson), even headliner Donnie, Jr. Rounding out the team are the right’s premier scumbags Dinesh D’Zousa, Joe Walsh, James O’Keefe, and Anthony Scaramucci.

Fox News is obviously an integral part of this conservative conference. You don’t have five anchors as featured speakers without having fully signed on as partners. Fox News has not issued any statement as to their participation or indicated that it violates any internal standards (I know. “standards” and “Fox News” in the same sentence is a joke). The abundance of well known Fox associates makes the actions of WaPo’s reporter seem trivial. But Hegseth and Boothe ignoring the hypocrisy of this segment is almost too ludicrous to believe were it not on video.

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

Fox News Flack Donald Trump Tries to Save Sean Hannity’s Fast Sinking Program

Following an embarrassing “Make America Gag Again” tour of Asia, Donald Trump slinked back into the White House and immediately took up his Twitter machine to regale in his own wonderfulness. Having achieved nothing of significance, while kowtowing to foreign adversaries, the President needed to sing his own praises because no one else with any credibility was going to do it.

Trump Hannity

However, he has not neglected his primary role in public service since pretending to engage in it. As a candidate and an alleged president, Trump has spent more time promoting his PR department (aka Fox News) than any other “official” duty. Fox News has benefited greatly from this arrangement, scoring millions of dollars worth of free advertising. For example, for just one program, Fox and Friends, Trump has tweeted or retweeted 142 times since the beginning of his campaign. And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were among his first tweets upon returning to the U.S. Note that most of Trump’s Twitter activity is to promote something he recently saw on Fox. This one is promoting something that has yet to air. Apparently they are sharing their programming schedule with him in advance of broadcast:

Trump also wanted his Twitter followers to know how much he suffered while travelling the world. The itinerary that he pitifully regarded as “almost physically impossible” had the added torture of having to watch something other than relentlessly fawning Fox News coverage (i.e. real news):

What’s more, Trump gave a bigly shout out to his most devoted cheerleader on Fox, Sean Hannity. He retweeted this celebration of Hannity’s ratings:

This is the clearest sign that Hannity is big trouble. He has been losing advertisers at a rapid clip since coming out in support of the pedophile Republican running for the senate in Alabama, Roy Moore. The seventeen percent ad revenue slump at Fox News is evidence of the disastrous impact Hannity is having on the network. Consequently, Trump was called in to help plug the leak. But there are some serious problems with the help he’s providing.

First of all, the positive ratings tweet that Trump retweeted is two weeks old. It doesn’t represent the whole picture of Hannity’s ratings performance. He has been frequently beaten by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The most recent ratings for this past Monday show Maddow trouncing Hannity. No wonder Trump didn’t post something more timely.

Furthermore, the Twitter user Trump retweeted identifies himself as a media analyst, but his account was created less than three months ago and has only sixty-nine tweets. He follows only two Twitter accounts: Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow. He’s also a writer for the ultra-rightist web rag, American Thinker. And somehow Trump found a rotting two week old tweet from this nobody and saw fit to relay it to his glassy-eyed disciples.

Hannity must be hanging by a thread. When Fox News fired Bill O’Reilly it wasn’t because of the tens of millions of dollars that they had to pay out to multiple women who O’Reilly harassed and/or abused. Fox was cool with that. It was because his advertisers had ditched the program and it was no longer financially viable. That’s what Hannity is facing now. That’s why Trump is contributing, in his lame way, to Hannity’s rescue. Even Hannity recognizes that he’s sinking fast. Tuesday night he did a double back flip to throw Roy Moore under the bus:

Trump’s post-Asia tweetstorm was typical self-promotion and lies. It conveyed nothing of value to the American people. As usual he is just consumed with himself and fails to do any of the hard work of governing. He complains about being forced (by whom?) to watch CNN and spews endless praises for his pals at Fox. Yet he insists that he doesn’t have time to watch TV (which he also did five months ago). And in all of that Tweeting he left out any updates to this tweet from two days ago:

He must have forgotten what his “major statement” was. Maybe he’s picked up whatever virus caused Jeff Sessions to forget so much of his recent past with Russians. Or Maybe Trump’s aging and distorted memory is just incapable of functioning anymore.

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

Fox News Whines Pitifully: Isn’t Country Music Supposed To Be Conservative?

Wednesday night saw the return of The annual Country Music Awards. It was a star-studded affair that featured the best and brightest of the genre. The program was a huge success in the ratings, topping the primetime lineup for the evening and hitting a three year high.

Fox News CMA

One of the highlights of the program was a duet between Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Their rendition of “Before He Tweets” was a lighthearted mockery of Donald Trump and his fetish with Twitter (video below).

So guess what? The “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends were bitterly distraught at the prospect of having lost country music to the evil liberals and anti-Trump media. They lamented over the unspeakable act of disrespectfully taunting their Dear Leader with a comical farce. The whine-fest began with a plaintive moan from co-host Steve Doocy:

“Remember the olden days when football wasn’t political, and so many things weren’t political? Well now, as it turns out, the CMAs have gotten very political.”

Brian Kilmeade made the painful observation that maybe “new country is a lot less conservative than old country.” And Ainsley Earhardt wondered “Where’s Dolly? Where’s Garth Brooks? They don’t get political.” Then she added wistfully “Really? It’s hitting country music now? Isn’t country music supposed to be conservative?”

These pop culture authorities apparently think that musical genres have a God-given political affiliation. Any divergence from that is sacrilege. And just the thought of it sends them into nostalgic yearnings for a bygone era that only existed in their imaginations. Don’t these new country heathens know that right-wingers own their musical biases? Hell, if they’re gonna act like liberals they should just go to MTV and play the Devil’s rock music.

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

Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.