HUH? Trump Celebrates Fox News Ratings, the Network He Says is ‘Terrible’

Apparently the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is over. And the nation is no longer in recession. And the 40 million unemployed Americans have all gone back to work. And there is no more civil unrest in the streets due to systemic racism. And Russia has revoked their bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is what you’d have to assume based on what Donald Trump has made his priorities.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning Trump was busily conducting his presidential Twittery. He was taking a break from his other main duties, golfing and watching Fox News. However, Fox wasn’t far from his wobbly consciousness. Prominent within his Twantrums were shout outs to the State TV network that so reliably disseminates Trump-fluffing propaganda. He tweeted that he…


And…

It’s almost needless to say that Trump, a former reality TV game show host, is badly misrepresenting reality. As published in the Hollywood Reporter, the ratings performance for the second quarter of 2020 showed unprecedented gains across the board for the news media:

“All three major cable news networks set ratings records in the second quarter of 2020, as ongoing stories including the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests drove viewers to Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

“The three channels recorded double-digit gains over the same period in 2019 in total viewers and adults 25-54. All three also delivered their biggest viewer tallies ever in both total-day averages and in primetime.”

Fox News predictably came out on top because they have no competition for the wingnut audience they pander to. However, the margin of victory was hardly worth celebrating. In the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds, Fox drew 366.000 viewers. CNN was close behind with 335,000, and MSNBC was narrowly lower with 315,000. Those are the rankings for what Trump characterized (and egocentrically thanked himself) as being “so far below … that you can barely find them.”

Trump lying about ratings – or anything else – won’t surprise anyone anymore. But it’s notable that after fourteen years on television, Trump is still obsessed with the medium and even believes that ratings are a better measure of popularity than scientific polling (they aren’t). But it is interesting to note the schizophrenia poking through Trump’s already diagnosed malignant narcissism. The fact that he’s congratulating Fox News for a ratings win comes after months of attacking Fox for being just another fake news front for liberals and Democrats.

Just in the past few weeks, Trump has whined that “The @FoxNews Polls are a JOKE!” ( a familiar complaint) He raged that “Fox is terrible!” He fumed that “FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd” (because he believes that that is their purpose). And he griped that “FoxNews is working hard pushing the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats.” Yeah, sure they are.

Trump can’t seem to figure out whether he loves Fox or hates them. But while he has committed himself to finding another network to carry his poisoned water, he still schedules his interviews almost exclusively with Fox. To be sure, he has some justification for being perturbed with his Ministry of Propaganda. One host recently speculated that Trump might drop out of the race due to his abysmal polling. But overall, Fox News is as biased in favor of Trump and his Republican confederates as ever. The problem is that they aren’t always 100% blindly loyal to him as he demands of everyone in his sphere of sycophancy. And that’s enough for him to go careening wildly off the rails.

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

Fox News Defends Slave Owners: ‘It Doesn’t Mean They Were Terrible People’

There is a bitter controversy spreading across America like a viral pandemic. The nation’s past is being held to greater scrutiny as a result of repeated incidents of unarmed black Americans being murdered by the police. This evidence of systemic racism has boiled over into a much needed dialog on what values our country ought to be preserving and encouraging.

Fox News, KKK

Citizens have been pouring into the streets to express their anger and their refusal to tolerate the prejudice that presents itself in the form of “historical” statues. These monuments were intended to pay tribute to leaders of the treasonous Confederacy. In some cases these statues have been ripped from their pedestals or otherwise defaced. Donald Trump has taken the side of the traitors (while accusing others of treason) and is calling for the arrests and harsh punishment of the protesters. On Friday morning he even tweeted “Wanted” posters. He is doing far more to persecute these demonstrators than he has ever done to hold actual racist murderers accountable for their crimes.

Those making arguments in favor of maintaining these statues barely disguise their racist motives. They assert that it’s a matter of preserving history. But we do not erect statues of traitors and criminals as historical markers. If we did there would be statues of Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray. Statues are honorific, not history lessons. And removing them doesn’t erase any historical data. The South’s rebellion to preserve slavery is still recorded in history books and documentaries, as it should be.

Cut to Fox News (the network that is literally killing people). On Friday’s edition of Fox and Friends, the now social distancing “Curvy Couch” potatoes invited South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham to discuss these issues. Co-host Brian Kilmeade led off with this wholehearted embrace of what Trump once called the “very fine people on both sides” of the racial hatred debate. “These people were right,” Kilmeade began, and “Those people were wrong. But it doesn’t mean they were terrible people. They were people of their times.”

Really? Kilmeade is defending the slave holders who were wonderful folks who just liked to own and brutalize other human beings as if they were cattle. What’s so terrible about that? As “people of their times,” how could they be faulted? How are they any different than the Nazis who were people of the 1940s in Germany? How are they any different than the KKK and the white nationalists in America today who are merely people of these times?

Here’s a creative way some Bulgarian artists dealt with the Russian oppressors of their times:

The fact that Kilmeade considers that a valid argument is precisely what’s wrong with Fox News and those who align themselves with their heinous political ideology (including Trump and his Deplorables). When it was Sen. Graham’s turn to contribute to this dialog, he didn’t bother to renounce what had been said so far. In fact, he elaborated by attacking the protesters in even more loathsome terms (video below):

“The people doing this hate our country. They hate the way we were founded. They hate capitalism. They have no respect for religion. They have no respect for diversity of thought. These people are the most radical people known to America. We’re at war with them politically. They want to destroy America as we know it. They hate America and every symbol of our country from the flag to the statues.

They hate. They want to turn us into a socialist nation. They want to destroy the family unit as we know it. And I tell you what, to the listeners out there. You may not believe you’re in a war, but you are, politically, and you need to take sides, and you need to help this president.”

Sound familiar? This is the dehumanizing rhetoric of the Old South that regarded people as animals and property. In Graham’s view, they have no rights, no decency, no family values. They represent everything that is unholy and against the country as seen by Graham and his ilk. And the only solution, according to Graham and his Fox News cohorts, is (civil) war.

Make no mistake, Graham and Fox News speak for Trump. Not that anyone outside of their bubble believes them, or that Trump needs their help. He’s been saying the very same things himself. This is the diseased mindset of people who still haven’t accepted that the South lost. They still want the statues that honor traitors. They still want to fly the Confederate flag. They still want to oppress African-Americans and others they regard as non-white deviants. And they are terrified that they are losing the battle to retain their delusions of superiority. Which, thankfully, they are.

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

PROOF: Trump is Lying About Vote-By-Mail Fraud to Suppress Turnout

For several weeks Donald Trump has been accelerating his disinformation campaign to delegitimize mail-in voting. Never mind that it has been in practice since the Civil War, is used extensively by members of the military, and millions of people have voted safely for decades with only extremely rare incidents of misuse.

Donald Trump, Vote By Mail

Nevertheless, Trump is obsessed with what he is falsely maligning as a process rife with fraud. He has zero evidence to support that claim, but facts were never very high among his priorities. Instead, he simply tweets his flagrant lies hoping that repetition (such as this and this and this and this and this) will persuade the dimmest of his cult followers to buy into his fictional narrative. Take this one tweet for example:

Notice that Trump is focused solely on the partisan argument that Republicans need to oppose mail-in voting. Ironically, he’s admitting that greater access to the ballot box is detrimental to the GOP, which is actually true. That’s the real reason that Trump and his confederates are so worried about it. They know that they must suppress the vote in order to win.

However, that doesn’t stop Trump from taking advantage of mail-in voting when he determines that it’s in his interest to do so. Recent fundraising letters sent out by his campaign explicitly encouraged his supporters to request mail-in ballots and use them. “For the FIRST TIME EVER,” it reads, “every single eligible voter can now request a primary ballot and safely vote for President Trump from the comfort of their own home.” Well, is that special? It’s safe and so convenient and free of any potential for fraud. What’s more, Trump himself appealed to his glassy-eyed disciples to “Make sure you mail in those ballots before election day..”

So it’s clear that Trump is a flaming hypocrite on this issue. He wants his Klan to vote by mail, but is working furiously to prohibit it for everyone else. His ludicrous claims that Democrats favor it because they intend to cheat fall apart in light of these remarks.

Equally ludicrous are his shills on Fox News who back his lies. On Monday morning Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends suggested that Trump add the words “in my opinion” to avoid making his lies about election fraud controversial. Huh? How does that in any way change the fact that he’s fear mongering about election fraud with allegations he’s made up from thin air?

This is typical of the right-wing effort to suppress the vote and prevent Americans from exercising their most precious right as citizens. It’s what Republicans have been trying to do for decades. They know that the majority of the American people support progressive principles, and if they vote the GOP (Greedy One Percent) will suffer the consequences of their unpopular, self-serving, elitist agenda. But Trump cannot pretend that he’s ideologically opposed to voting by mail after having been caught promoting it. And we the people cannot let him forget that.

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

Math-Challenged Fox News Shills Callously Dismiss 100,000 American Deaths

At this point no one is surprised by Donald Trump’s heartless indifference to the tragic loss of nearly 100,000 Americans (so far), not to mention the 1.7 million who have been sickened, some with permanent disabilities. He refuses to acknowledge his direct responsibility for the pain and suffering that has resulted from his negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance. And he continually proves that all he cares about is himself.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, it would a grievous mistake to allow Trump’s loathsome inhumanity to become normalized just because of its frequency. But that’s precisely what Trump hopes will occur. And despite his recent vicious attacks of late, his mouthpieces at State TV (aka Fox News) are stepping up their campaign to achieve that goal.

On Tuesday’s episode of Trump’s favorite morning lie-fest, Fox and Friends, co host Brian Kilmeade took a valiant stab at flagrant Trump-fluffing during a segment discussing the death toll of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Naturally, Kilmeade and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were determined to downplay the catastrophic human consequences of Trump’s ineptitude. When addressing the magnitude of the pandemic’s destruction, Kilmeade launched into his propaganda spiel (video below):

“We definitely noticed the seriousness when almost 100,000 Americans die, but what I took from Dr. Siegel’s math was 0.3%, not even 3%, 0.3% — we’ve shut down an entire country for 0.3% of those who get it, lose their lives.”

It’s bad enough when Trump and his media sycophants purposefully lie to spread their disinformation, but these remarks are pitifully stupid. Let’s begin with the fact that 100,000 deaths is actually about 6% of the total population of infected persons in the United States (1,700,000). So Kilmeade is only off by 2,000%.

What’s more, Kilmeade’s argument is that, because the death toll is so low (according to his fractured math), the nation shouldn’t be subject to restrictions intended to impede the spread of the coronavirus. He is even suggesting that there should never have been such restrictions in the first place since the risks were so minimal. We’ll set aside for now that Fox News regards 100,000 deaths as trivial. Apparently none of the deceased were members of their families. But he actually believes that the mortality rate would be the same even if there were no restrictions at all from the start.

More to the point, Kilmeade is missing entirely the fact that the death toll is “only” 100,000 precisely because there were tough restrictions on risky behaviors, implemented by state governors in spite of Trump’s opposition. Had that not been the case there would have been many thousands of more fatalities. A recent study by Columbia University found that if the mitigation efforts (social distancing, face masks, etc.) were in place even one week earlier, it would have saved 36,000 lives.

The pressure being applied by Trump and Fox News to “reopen” the economy is, by all accounts, premature and dangerous. Every public health expert, including those on Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, are warning that a second wave of infections – and subsequent deaths – is almost certain. That’s particularly true if Trump’s call to stand down is followed by everything from businesses to churches to schools to his own upcoming Republican National Convention (that’s having its own problems getting off the ground).

Consequently, any further loss of life will be directly attributable to the Fox News Ministry of Disinformation that is lying to the American people. And Fox will share that dubious “honor” with Trump and the Republican confederacy that continues to enable what he himself called “American Carnage.”

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

Schizo Trump Loves/Hates Fox News and Misses their Sexual Predator Boss

On Monday Donald Trump unleashed another in his series of desperate deflections from the COVID-19 crisis that he has tragically exacerbated by his negligence and incompetence. He volunteered to a press gaggle that he is taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off the coronavirus.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Of course, as with everything Trump says, it needs evidence before it can be regarded as truthful. If he is taking it he is exposing himself to serious health risks for a treatment that has no proven efficacy. If he’s lying he’s encouraging his dimwitted cult followers to assume those risks. Either way it is an obvious attempt to steer the news cycle away from his inept and deadly mishandling of the raging pandemic.

Media manipulation may be the one skill that Trump puts any real effort into refining. He has proven his willingness to manufacture distractions at precisely the moment he is being scrutinized for some act of idiocy or scandal. But he doesn’t really have to be any good at it because he has Fox News to refurbish his floundering PR in the wake of his incessant bumbling. Which makes Trump’s schizophrenic, flip-flopping attitude toward Fox all the more bizarre. Tuesday morning Trump took to his Twitter machine to cheerlead for his favorite Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends.

In addition to celebrating the ratings of his Foxic friends, Trump engaged in the infantile name-calling that is the hallmark of his presidency. He is especially perturbed by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough who has been an effective critic. Recently Trump began lobbing slanderous allegations that Scarborough murdered an intern twenty years ago. But Trump’s glee over the ratings victory for Fox comes in stark contrast to a tweet he posted just a few hours before:

There is so much wrong with that tweet that it’s really going to need some deeper analysis. First of all, anyone who watches Fox knows that the network is far more pro-Trump now than ever. With a prime time line up that consists of dependable Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, there is a unanimity of opinion that would make North Korea’s media operation jealous. A recent example is how they virtually swapped out their coronavirus coverage in order to hype the phony “Obamagate” conspiracy theory.

Secondly, Trump is not “looking for a new outlet,” he’s already found one. He has been busily promoting the One America News Network (OANN), a tiny, little-watched, video blog that is even more worshipful of Dear Leader Trump than Fox. In fact, some of Trump’s financial backers recently bought OANN, which suggests that it may become his television home after he loses in November.

As for Trump “miss[ing] the great Roger Ailes,” that’s his testimonial to the now deceased CEO of Fox News who was terminated due to mounting evidence of his sexual harassment and assault. Ailes not only committed vile acts himself, but he actively covered up the misconduct of his colleagues like Bill O’Reilly, often paying millions to secure the silence of their victims. Naturally a sexual predator like Trump would find camaraderie in an equally nauseating pervert.

Finally, Trump’s fluctuating opinion of Fox News is just further proof of his mental infirmity. He can’t seem to remember whether he loves Fox or hates it. Here is just a sampling of the frothing hatred Trump has recently aimed at Fox News;

Despite the attacks on Fox above, he has also been dishing out effusive praise to Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Greg Gutfeld, Laura Ingraham, Brit Hume, Mark Levin, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Plus, he’s done recent interviews with Fox and Friends, Bartiromo, Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro. Nearly all of his interviews since becoming president have been on Fox. So which is it, Donnie? Is Fox News part of the liberal, Democratic, Deep State, cabal that’s out to destroy you? Or is it Trump’s loyal bastion of unflinching support and blind adulation? Well, it depends on what day it is.

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

PITY PARTY? Trump Clown Show Mocks Americans Suffering in Coronavirus Depression

As if it weren’t enough that Donald Trump neglected to act for two months as COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread throughout the nation – or that he trivialized it’s impact as being “totally under control” and that cases were “going down to zero” very soon, or that he blamed Democrats, China, and anyone but himself for the tragedies resulting from his incompetence – it’s agonizing to watch him continue to put the lives of more Americans at risk because his ego won’t permit him to take responsibility and act responsibly. Even worse, he actually brags about his flagrant failures.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump’s rush to send Americans back into a still dangerous workplace has the stench of hypocrisy. He can’t even keep the coronavirus out of the White House with daily testing, but he expects average folks to become the “warriors” in his battle to save corporations and the stock market. And they won’t have the testing, protective gear, or medical care that he and his comrades have.

In this environment of blatant privilege for the wealthy and the politically connected elite, Trump has proven that he just doesn’t care about the hardships of others. So he sent Peter Navarro, his advisor on trade and manufacturing, out to mingle with the Trump-fluffers at Fox News. Navarro’s visit with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends (video below) was jam-packed with the sort of happy-talk propaganda that totalitarian regimes are so fond of.

Navarro lead off with a callous characterization of the hard times that most Americans are struggling to cope with. He referred to the criticism of Trump’s dreadful mishandling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic with this tone-deaf phrasing: “That was a pity party yesterday on the Sunday shows.” Of course. Because what’s a more self-indulgent demonstration of whiners feeling sorry for themselves than a population ravaged by a fatal and infectious virus? Particularly one that has resulted in the deaths of more than 80,000 people, many of which were preventable had there been competent leadership. Navarro elaborated saying that…

“This is not the Great Depression. Anybody that thinks this is the Great Depression doesn’t understand either history or economics. […] Here’s what we have here. We have President Donald J. Trump who built up the strongest and most beautiful economy in three and half years. And then the Chinese communist party dropped a virus on the world that, within sixty days, has temporarily shut us down. And all we need to do here is focus on the mission, the original mission of Donald J. Trump […]

Now it’s gonna be a long process because of the structural adjustments that are gonna take place as we adapt to the virus socially, culturally, and economically. But this Great Depression pity party stuff I saw yesterday, this aint that..”

For an economic advisor, Navarro sure sounds a lot like a PR shill. He begins by failing to grasp that the economic decline, the collapse of markets in equities and bonds, and the 20+ million Americans who are now unemployed, actually fit the definition of a depression with painful precision. And he dresses up his fan fiction in tributes to Dear Leader Trump, who he believes has that divine gift of being able to do no wrong. Naturally, he adopts his master’s habit of shoveling any and all blame unto others, in this case China. And while China shares it’s measure of blame, it was Trump who praised President Xi saying that “I think he’s handled it really well,” and that his management of the budding pandemic was “strong, sharp and powerfully focused.” Trump effusively complimented Xi well into February.

Now, suddenly, it’s all China’s fault, Trump’s lazy and lethal disregard is being ignored, and the White House rhetoric is simultaneously insisting that our tribulations are both temporary and “a long process.” The confusion emanating from the Trump administration is indicative of their utter lack of any idea of what to do. They are paralyzed by ignorance and their desperation to avoid any political fallout, especially with regard to the presidential election in November, which currently has Joe Biden beating Trump nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states.

Nevertheless, Navarro thought it would be a good idea to go on Fox News and demean Trump’s critics – which includes the majority of American voters – as a pity party. It’s a pity that these cretins don’t have more sympathy for the sick and the scared and the families of the deceased. But then heartless narcissism has been the Trump brand from the very beginning of his occupation of the white House. And there’s no reason to expect that to change.

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

Trump’s Heartless Take on Dreadful Jobs Report: It’s Fully Expected and I’m Not to Blame

When the history of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, it will be difficult to find documentation of any genuine expressions of sympathy for the American people, whether those whose lives were upended by hurricanes, refugees from poverty and oppression, or the victims of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Trump appears utterly incapable of having a human feeling for people who have suffered misfortune. Although he always seems to be pretty charitable toward corporations and the wealthy.

Donald Trump

On Friday morning the latest jobs report was released and it revealed a historic decline for the month of April. More than 20.5 million jobs were lost, a number not seen since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate tripled to 14.7%, which is likely an undercount because it doesn’t include those who are not currently looking for work due to the Stay-At–Home policies currently in effect.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends when the report became public. The program interrupted their predictable Trump-fluffing to announce the new data and get a response from Trump. So in keeping with his callously uncaring demeanor, Trump’s initial message to the nation was this:

“It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise. Everybody knows that. Somebody said, ‘Oh, look at this.’ Well, even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that.”

That’s typical Trump. No compassion for the people who are now unemployed. No concern for how they will pay for rent, groceries, medicine, etc. No acknowledgement of the stress and anxiety that millions of people are enduring. Nope. Trump can be relied on to always put his own interests above those of the nation or any of its citizens. And that is openly in play as he seeks to stem his personal financial losses by rushing to allow hotels and golf courses to resume operations. So naturally, Trump’s first thoughts upon hearing the jobs report were both egocentric and dishonest.

Trump’s malignant narcissism was on display in his first remarks when he complained about the prospect of being blamed for the pandemic and its consequences. That’s a key concern for Trump. Never mind that his documented negligence and incompetence has directly resulted in exacerbating the severity of the pandemic’s impact in the U.S. Trump relentlessly rejects any responsibility. He is so afraid of having to accept the blame he so richly deserves that he is pushing for a premature relaxation of business restrictions. That will undoubtedly result in even more illnesses and fatalities. And he keeps moving the goalposts on estimates of the dead. For weeks he “bragged” that it would be under 60,000 by August. Now that we are over 76,000 in May he has upped it to 110,000. Keep in mind that neither estimate is worth bragging about.

Trump lied by saying that he expected this catastrophic jobs market. In truth, he denied that there was any problem at all for the first two months. He insisted that it was fully “under control” and that the handful of cases would quickly “go down to zero.” Instead they went up to 1.3 million with more than 76,000 deaths. And contrary to his current position that he expected this, he literally said that “Nobody ever expected a thing like this” during a Fox News town hall two weeks ago. What’s more, his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said this on January 30:

“I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider … I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

So not only was the Trump administration not planning for an employment debacle, they were actually looking forward to a jobs boom resulting from a rush by companies to relocate their manufacturing to the U.S. That turned out to be a figment of their overactive and self-serving imaginations. However, Trump did get one thing right during his segment with his Fox friends. “Next year,” he assured, “we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go.” Indeed. President Biden will see to that. And the American people are surely “ready to go” to the polls to vote in November to oust Trump and his enablers in the Republican Cult.

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

Jared Kushner Tells Fox News that 60,000 Dead ‘Is a Great Success Story’

History will record the total absence of “leadership” provided by Donald Trump and his regime as a catastrophic failure. It is unimaginable how thoroughly negligent Trump has been as a deadly pandemic spread across the nation and the world.

Donald Trump, Jared Kushner

Trump’s first inclination was to ignore the coronavirus entirely. He failed to take heed of at least a dozen warnings in his Daily Presidential Briefings. Then he cavalierly dismissed the threat as trivial, saying that it was “totally under control,” that it would “disappear…like a miracle,” and that “you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” It is now more than a million. And through it all he refused to take any responsibility for his negligence and incompetence as he wasted crucial months shifting blame to others.

At the same time, Trump hijacked the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings to cast himself as the star of what became an egocentric reality TV show that functioned more as a Trump 2020 reelection campaign infomercial. Instead of focusing on public education, he disseminated lies, insulted reporters, and bragged about the ratings. It got to the point that even his political allies were grimacing at his bizarre behavior. So he announced that he would cease to attend the briefings. That didn’t last but a couple of days.

Which brings us to Wednesday morning when Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made an appearance on Fox News for his regular propaganda and happy-talk segment (video below). And he didn’t disappoint his hosts, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He kept his remarks socially distant from reality by faithfully adhering to pre-established talking points such as his disparagement of health experts as “the eternal lockdown crowd.” Then he elaborated…

“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this, and I think that we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So the federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story.”

Literally every line of that is flagrantly untrue. We are certainly not “on the other side of the medical aspect of this.” To the contrary, the number of infections and fatalities continue to rise. We have not “achieved all the different milestones.” Unless Kushner regards 60,000 deaths an administration milestone. What’s more, we are not even close to the number of Americans tested that experts say are necessary to “flatten the curve.”

Kushner’s assertion that “the federal government rose to the challenge” is not only false considering its tragically poor performance, it contradicts what Trump says is the federal government’s role. Trump has repeatedly insisted that the states have primary responsibility and the feds are are just a backup of last resort.

Finally, Kushner closed by calling the Trump administration’s handling of this crisis “a great success story.” That’s an assessment so preposterous it hardly deserves a response. With tens of thousands of dead Americans, and over a million more suffering, any characterization of this as successful can only come from deranged and callously insensitive mind.

However, Trump is desperate to sell this snake oil story. The American people are not buying his self-serving presentations of an allegedly flawless response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor his utterly insufficient efforts to bring relief to a nation crippled physically, emotionally, and financially. And he has fallen behind Joe Biden in every national poll, as well as polling in many of the critical swing states. It is in that state of desperation that Trump is frantically struggling to survive politically and psychologically. But with each passing day he seems to be losing both battles.

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

COVID-1? How Stupid are the Trump-Fluffing Hacks on Fox News?

From the outset of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Donald Trump and his enablers at State TV (aka Fox News) have been producing an impressive amount of propaganda and outright lies. Trump spends the majority of his time at the Coronavirus Task Force briefings defending his abysmal record and yelling at reporters. He has, in fact, hijacked the briefings to transform them into campaign events for his reelection. And now Trump has ordered the Treasury Department to put his name on the stimulus checks that Congress allocated as relief for the severe economic hardship the nation is suffering.

Donald Trump, Stimulus Check

Never mind that it isn’t his money, it’s the American people’s money. Trump just wants to make sure that there is some acknowledgement that the checks are connected to him. He doesn’t need to worry about that. Most Americans already know that the only reason these checks had to be issued was due to Trump’s negligence and incompetence. Note also that some 80 million people will be getting these funds via direct deposit and will never see a paper check.

Meanwhile, Fox News continues to parrot whatever falsehoods and self-exalting disinformation flows from Trump and his regime. They recently ran a dangerously deceitful segment that actually asserted that the coronavirus was not and is not a pandemic.” And their perversions of reality are having an impact, at least on those foolish enough to rely on Fox News.

The startling abundance of idiocy never ceases to amaze. Just this week Trump declared that as President he has “total authority” to force states to bend to his fascistic will (a position he didn’t really think through). He also announced that in the middle of a global pandemic he was halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), ostensibly because they were soft on China near the beginning of the crisis. But they weren’t nearly as soft as Trump:

As if that weren’t dumb enough, Trump’s senior White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, visited the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends for a little Trump-fluffing and cult sermonizing. Conway sought to defend Trump’s defunding of the WHO by accusing them of not adhering to the facts. Which makes her remarks ever more asinine:

“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that.”

Is it possible that Conway actually believes that the pandemic was caused by the nineteenth iteration of the coronavirus and that there were eighteen prior strains that we should have learned from? For the record, COVID-19 was named for being the coronavirus disease of 2019. And yet, this is her argument for adhering to the facts?

Well, to be fair, it was Kellyanne Conway who originated the phrase alternative facts.” So it’s kind of her brand. But no one at Fox News bothered to correct her. And, in the end, it serves to validate the studies that have long proved that watching Fox News makes people stupider.

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

Science FICTION: Now Fox News Says Coronavirus ‘Was Not and Is Not a Pandemic’

The United States is suffering through the slow torture of a painful unprecedented calamity. But enough about Donald Trump. The American people are enduring a hardship of mammoth proportions that is threatening both their health and economic welfare. It’s a challenge that requires a shared resolve to stare clear-eyed into the abyss of a frightful future.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

For the most part, Americans have been meeting this challenge with courage and a determination to prevail over the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Victory demands facing their troubles honestly and not being afraid to recognize difficult truths. It’s too bad that these efforts are made all the more difficult by the ignorant and dangerous misinformation that is disseminated by Trump and Fox News.

On Monday morning, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends interviewed former Reagan Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, a Fox contributor. His profoundly idiotic remarks made it hard to connect him with any office where education was involved. Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Bennett to comment on the 22,000+ deaths so far. This is what Bennett – and Fox News – are still shoving down America’s throat (video below):

Bennett: Now they say 60,000 people will die. 61,000 is what we lost to the flu in 2017 and 2018. The flu […] If you look at those numbers and see the comparable, we’re gonna have fewer fatalities from this than from the flu.

“For this we scared the hell out of the American people. We lost 17 million jobs. We put a major dent in the economy. We closed down the schools. You heard Dr. Oz say we didn’t have to do that. We shut down the churches and so on. You know, this was not and is not a pandemic. But we do have panic and pandemonium as a result of the hype of this.”

Kilmeade: Well, it is labeled a pandemic.

The measure of mendacity in those comments is hard to quantify. Let’s start with Bennett’s trivialization of the deaths attributed to COVID-19. His comparison of the coronavirus to the flu is absurd. The 61,000 deaths from the flu occurred over the course of a year. And he chose a particularly bad year. The 2018-2019 season saw half that many flu deaths. The 60,000 estimated deaths from the coronavirus would be over a few months. Also, the fatality rate for the coronavirus is much higher.

What’s more, the lowered projections are only because many states implemented their own “Stay at Home” orders and other precautionary guidelines that Trump foolishly neglected. Those guidelines must remain in effect if we are to avoid much higher rates of fatalities. But Bennett is advocating dropping those guidelines, which would result in a second wave that could be even worse than the first.

Bennett’s assertion that COVID-19 “was not and is not a pandemic” is beyond stupid. It’s a wholly dishonest attempt to deceive people that could end up costing many more lives. Kilmeade’s weak interjection that the virus is “labeled” a pandemic is hardly sufficient to correct the record. It is not “labeled” a pandemic. It IS a pandemic. That would be like saying that Hurricane Katrina was merely labeled a hurricane.

It would be bad enough if this interview took place in early February when Trump and the rest of his right-wing enablers were still saying that it was “totally under control,” with only five victims and it was “going down to zero” in a couple of days. But airing this now, after half a million Americans were infected and 22,000 died, tells us that Fox News still isn’t through misinforming the public about the risks of this pandemic. And if Fox News isn’t through, then neither is Trump.

Indeed, Trump is currently forming plans to “reopen” the country by May 1, a date that no health expert has endorsed. But then, his only considerations are for his bank account and his reelection prospects.

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