John Bolton Texts Fox News Live to Say He Resigned, Contradicting Another Trump Lie

The administration of Donald Trump continues to be a hot mess. Having already achieved a record number of departures of White House top staff, Trump has just parted ways with his fourth National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Sources say that Trump and Bolton argued about the President’s foiled scheme to bring the Taliban to Camp David.

Donald Trump, John Bolton

The break up with Bolton leaves Trump’s national security team littered with “acting” heads, including National Security Advisor, Homeland Security Secretary, Director of National Intelligence, and Chief of Staff. These are all critical posts that have a particular significance during these times of international turmoil. Trump is awkwardly juggling relations with Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Russia, and many more foreign hot spots that threaten American interests. But the nation under Trump’s “leadership” lacks competent management in the jobs that oversee those crucial areas of statecraft.

Trump announced Bolton’s dismissal in his usual way – via Twitter saying “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation.” It isn’t surprising that Trump and Bolton disagreed. That was apparent even before Bolton was hired, and anyone paying attention knew it. But Trump’s staffing decisions are based on the shallowest criteria, such as how they look on Fox News.

Not surprisingly, Bolton had a different view of how his separation came about. Contrary to Trump’s claim that he asked Bolton to resign, Bolton says – also via Twitter – that he made the offer first. And just to drive the point home, Bolton live-tweeted Fox News where his pal and former colleague, Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends, read the tweet on the air:

So Bolton, a former Fox News contributor, hasn’t been unemployed for an hour and he’s already angling for his old job at back at Fox. But the more important question going forward is which Trump-fluffing Fox News shill will Trump name as the next National Security Advisor? There are several prospects in the the Fox family who would meet Trump’s low standards for work in his White House: 1) Be willing to lie unflinchingly for Trump; and … well, that’s pretty much it.

One candidate could be Walid Phares, a longtime right-wing pundit and advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Phares distinguished himself as an Islamophobe and a crackpot conspiracy theorist with claims that tied President Obama and Hillary Clinton to the Muslim Brotherhood. Another candidate could be retired Gen. Jack Keane who makes frequent appearances on Fox defending Trump blindly for whatever the atrocity of the day happens to be.

However, a more likely candidate would be this favorite of Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who was a presenter on the recently shuttered NRA-TV before becoming a full-fledged Fox contributor who sometimes fills in for Hannity. Bongino has already caught Trump’s eye with a book that makes wild assertions about the “Deep State” spying on Trump. The President has tweeted about or retweeted Bongino 84 times. Typically they are just factless tributes to Trump’s imaginary awesomeness and virginal innocence, such as…

So we can expect the next National Security Advisor to be a worshipful member of the Trump cult. And he will join a team of hacks who have never been confirmed by the Senate because, according to Trump, “I like ‘acting’ because I can move so quickly.” In other words, he likes “acting” because he can just pull sycophantic, unqualified names out of his arse without having to get the constitutionally mandated consensus of the Senate. And sadly, in these troubled times that’s what America has to suffer though with our wannabe dictator in the White House.

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

Whining on Fox News: Fact-Checking Trump Will ‘Reveal Him to Be Stupid, Uninformed, or a Liar’

From the outset of Donald Trump’s presidency he has regarded the media as his most dangerous foe. That’s why he he repeatedly refers to it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” He even explicitly tweeted on Wednesday that his “real opponent” is not the Democratic Party, but the press. It’s his innate hatred of any institution that is governed by facts and honesty that drives this dangerous and anti-constitutional hostility.

Donald Trump

Trump is right in a perverse way. He really does need to fear the press due to his unabashed and pathological lying. To date he has racked up more than 12,000 lies since his inauguration. Every fact-checker who tracks Trump’s pitiful record of falsehoods has compiled volumes of evidence that he simply doesn’t care about accuracy or truth. And his lies can range from easily verifiable nonsense like who pays for tariffs (which got shot down by Fox News), to his ludicrous battle to defend saying that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian (it wasn’t). Trump will lie about matters big and small because his internal morality doesn’t recognize the difference between truth and lies. He’s focused solely on whatever benefits him at the moment.

So it was not surprising to see Geraldo Rivera at his regular perch on Fox and Friends running defense for Trump. These relentless presidential bootlickers are as predictable as flies on bullshit, which is a pretty apt simile. During a segment that started out examining Trump’s diverting funds from the military to his vanity border wall, Geraldo took a detour to shield Trump from criticism about his lying ways, but belly-flopped painfully in the process:

“This is all clear to me what is happening is that this president gets the worst press of any president in the history of the republic. Everything he says and does is cross-checked and scrutinized to reveal him to be stupid, uninformed, or a liar, you know, it is very frustrating to see how other news networks obsess about any misstep or misstatement the president makes.”

Geraldo’s assessment of which president got the worst press might be disputed by Presidents Clinton, or Nixon, or even Lincoln. But to the extent that there is negative news about Trump, it’s entirely his own fault. After all, Trump is the worst president of any in the history of the republic. He’s the first to never have positive approval ratings (they never broke above 46 percent). And his inexperience, ignorance, and incompetence is exposed nearly every day in on his Twitter feed and his useless, impromptu “chopper talk” press avails. It would be easy for Trump to avoid bad press. Just stop doing idiotic, racist, and often illegal things.

More to the point, Geraldo is complaining because “Everything [Trump] says and does is cross-checked.” Oh my Gawd! What a horrible thing to do to a public servant who is pretending to lead the free world. What’s worse is that Geraldo actually admits that such scrutiny will result in Trump being revealed to be “stupid, uninformed, or a liar.” And that, as it happens, is the truth. So what Geraldo is upset about is that the true nature of Trump’s inadequacies will become apparent to everyone should he be held to reasonable standards of review. Which is the job of the press. But Geraldo isn’t seeking the truth. He’s seeking the suppression of it. Which is the job of Fox News.

Trump is upset about the very same thing as Geraldo. He doesn’t really care whether the media is honest or not. He’s only interested in making sure that his flagrant fabrications aren’t discovered and reported. And if they are, he will attempt to discredit the press so that no one – or at least his Deplorable cult followers – will believe them. He actually admitted that to Leslie Stahl when she asked why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” So as Stahl suggested, “Put that in your head for a minute.”

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

Trump-Fluffing on Fox News: Hosts Promote Bed-Buggy Doral Resort for the 2020 G7

In his closing remarks at the G7 summit in France, Donald Trump managed to deliver an infomercial for his Doral Miami Golf Resort to host the next G7 summit in 2020. It was a painfully self-serving spectacle that is also a likely violation of the Constitution. At the very least it’s a predictably Trumpy exhibit of greed and an utter lack of ethics.

Fox News Friends

Not surprisingly, Fox News weighed in on the idea the following morning. On Fox and Friends the “Curvy Couch” potatoes did a segment (video below) agreeing with Trump that Doral would be the perfect place for the summit. Even though there are thousands of hotels and conference centers across America that would be ideal for such an event. It’s just a weird coincidence that the site owned by Trump happens to be the best place of all. Who would have thought?

The segment began with Steve Doocy introducing Trump’s sales pitch from France. And it was all downhill from there. Brian Kilmeade jumped in to insist that there was no favoritism involved because Trump “would want to do it there anyway. It’s just the perfect site … Trump Tower is not available.” Then Doocy acknowledged the potential legal problems, but also provided an excuse:

“Critics say the use of his property for official business violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. I’m sure the president has asked the lawyers, ‘Hey, how can I donate this, how can we possibly work around it?”

The Emoluments Clause prohibits the President from accepting money, or anything of value, from foreign governments or persons. So if the representatives of the G7 had to actually pay Trump in order to attend the next summit, that’s a pretty obvious violation. Even if the site was donated, the publicity would have to be considered something of enormous value and, therefore, illegal. What’s more, Doocy is playing clairvoyant by surmising with certainty that Trump would have consulted his lawyers. You know, geniuses like Rudy Giuliani. But based on his past, that actually seems like the last thing Trump would do.

Ainsley Earhardt also contributed to the unpaid advertisement by remarking that “It would be a beautiful place, though, for world leaders to go and see what our country looks like.” Because all of America looks exactly like an elite golf spa in Miami? She then declared that Doral was “representative” of the country, before adding that “I’ve never been to Doral.” So in other words, she’s an expert, by Fox News standards.

None of the Fox friends bothered to mention that Doral had a serious problem with bed bugs a couple of years ago. But Trump couldn’t resist bringing it up:

Trump’s denials are in keeping with his tendency to lie about virtually anything. Even though – as in this case – he settled a lawsuit against the resort for the infestation. Trump and the Foxies also neglected to mention that Doral has been suffering a severe financial drought. It’s net operating income has dropped 69 percent in two years. So that would make Trump’s promotion of it even more suspicious as an attempt rescue another one of his floundering business enterprises.

It’s bad enough that Fox News is a 24/7, State TV, propaganda machine for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. But is there nothing too unethical for this so-called “news” network to do on behalf of their Dear Leader? They have already appeared at Trump’s political cult rallies. And they can be relied upon to defend any atrocity that Trump commits, while viciously maligning his critics. Now they are even serving as the sales agents for his failing golf resort. It would be oddly comforting if this were the bottom of the Fox News/Trump abyss. But every time it seems we’re there, they find a way dig even deeper.

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

Donald Trump Jr Admits on Fox News that Daddy’s Rhetoric Can Incite ‘Fringe Crazies’ to Kill

Most objective people recognize that the language used by national leaders can profoundly influence their followers. That’s especially true of cult-like movements wherein the leader is regarded as infallible and claims to be an omnipotent figure who know more than anyone about everything and is the only one who can fix every problem. Sound familiar?

Donald Trump Jr

Nevertheless, Donald Trump’s apologists have been frantically trying to absolve him of any responsibility for the hostilities that erupt from his careless rhetoric and hate speech. His Republican colleagues, and the fluffers on Fox News, refuse to concede that ranting endlessly about immigrants and refugees as rapists and invaders will have any impact on Trump’s glassy-eyed disciples. That’s true even after the El Paso massacre where the shooter left writings that were indistinguishable from Trump’s public tirades.

Among the diversions used by Trump’s defenders is that the gunman in Dayton, Ohio, might have had some more liberal leanings. Even if that’s true, it’s a bizarre effort to draw a false equivalency between the two events. Unlike the El Paso situation, the Dayton shooter never even hinted that he was motivated by any political person or ideology.

This is where Donald Trump Jr comes in. He appeared on his father’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends (video below), to commiserate with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes about how the President is the real victim in all of this. The TV bitch session repeatedly portrayed Trump as a good-hearted, well-meaning uniter who only wants everybody to get along. But at the same time Junior went out of his way to malign Daddy’s critics. He focused particularly on Rep. Joaquin Castro, chairman of Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the brother of Julian, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president. Castro had posted a graphic on Twitter that listed some of the San Antonio area’s donors to Trump’s campaign. So Junior lashed out in huff saying…

“That list sort of screams like the Dayton, Ohio, shooter’s list. When a radical, left-wing politician, who’s polling at about zero percent, does this for either attention or a call to action, it’s pretty scary. I mean, that was the same thing that the Dayton, Ohio shooter did.”

The same thing? Not quite. The President uses abhorrent language that was intended to make weak Americans fear migrants as potential assailants who are out for blood. He characterizes them as subhumans assembling to either take over America or destroy it. The only thing Castro’s tweet did was identify people who support Trump. Apparently they aren’t especially proud of that decision. To the contrary, Junior and the Fox hosts agree that merely being associated with Trump’s reelection effort is so reprehensible that it makes them potential targets for murder. That says more about what they think of themselves than anything else.

Think about that. People in Texas – IN TEXAS – are worried that being a supporter of Trump will cause them harm. There don’t appear to be any Biden (or Sanders, or Warren, or Harris or…) supporters that have that fear. And to be fair, neither do most of Trump’s supporters. This expression of fear by Junior and Fox is an utterly dishonest charade intended to disparage Castro and some nebulous conspiracy of allegedly hostile lefties. But when Junior was asked whether the list of Trump donors might really cause someone to hurt any of them, he conceded that it wouldn’t, except under certain circumstances:

“Perhaps not to reasonable people, but the fringe crazies on both sides – and we saw that in the last week, right? You have fringe crazies on all sides. They see that.”

Wow! This is exactly what people have been saying makes Trump’s racist harangues so dangerous. The possibility that some of his Deplorables would act out violently, believing that they were fulfilling his wishes. And Junior is now admitting that unstable people could take the words of his father as an inspiration to commit unlawful and violent acts. It’s precisely the charge that has been leveled at Trump. And it’s the same charge that Junior, Fox News, and the rest of Wingnutia, have been been so fiercely denying. Now, despite the fact that it doesn’t fit their narrative, it is being forthrightly validated.

Junior went on to whine (just like Daddy) about the tribulations of politics. “Our people,” he said, “don’t weaponize the political system the same way. We don’t do the organized boycotts that the left does.” He obviously isn’t paying much attention to his father who has called for numerous boycotts. But then there isn’t really much reason to listen to Trump when he lies so frequently and brazenly, In fact, just this morning, when asked by reporters if he regrets any of the harsh and divisive rhetoric he uses, he said that “No, I think my rhetoric brings people together.” Umm…nevermind. There is simply no satisfactory response to that degree of delusion.

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

False Equivalencies: Trump Tries to Smear Others with His Rancid and Inflammatory Rhetoric

In the wake of multiple episodes of horrific gun violence over the weekend. Donald Trump has scrambled to find, not solutions, but shelter from the well-deserved criticism crashing over him like a tsunami. His defenders in politics and punditry deployed in formation to praise their infallible Dear Leader and smear those who dared to question his radiant presence.

Donald Trump

Leading the charge was Cadet Bone Spurs himself. He posted a tweet that sought to deflect from his deliberately hostile language that incited the El Paso shooter. And he drew support from Fox News by quoting the Trump-fluffers on Fox and Friends who asked “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook?”

Well, no. President Bush never did that. But that’s only because Obama never did or said anything that could remotely be interpreted as incitement to commit any violent act. Trump, on the other hand, does that nearly every day. And this was typical of the charges that have been levied against anyone who sees a rational connection between Trump’s tirades and the murderers who take up his call to arms. Among the StormTrumpers attempting to shield him from censure is his Senior Alternative Fact Dispenser, Kellyanne Conway, who has had just about enough:

“I’m hopping mad this morning because I see very little, scant coverage of the fact that this Dayton shooter has been confirmed as having a Twitter feed that was supportive of Antifa, that was supportive of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders.”

First of all, the Twitter account in question has not yet been confirmed as belonging to the Dayton shooter. But more to the point, there has been significant of coverage of this Twitter feed by every major news outlet, including Trump’s nemesis, CNN.

However, the budding narrative that Sen. Warren, or any other Democrat, should bear any responsibility for the shooting is absurd. It’s proof that the right has exhausted any substantive arguments they might have had to defend Trump, so they’re resorting to this lunacy. Trump’s inspiration for the El Paso shooter is evident in his own words and deeds. He has called immigrants “criminals” and ‘rapists.” He leads his cult rallygoers in chants telling elected representatives – women of color who are American citizens – to “go back” to where they came from. He refers to refugees as “invaders.” And the writings of the shooter explicitly refer to Trump as an inspiration. But none of that is the case for the Dayton shooter and any connection to any liberal politician or media personnel.

The Republican rightists have also tried to compare murders in Chicago or Baltimore to the mass shootings in El Paso. That is another blatantly false equivalency that ignores reality. The Chicago area crimes are generally gang-related and inspired only by rivalry and/or greed. But the El Paso shootings are acts of terrorism with specific goals to invoke fear as a weapon to make social change. What’s more, local officials and law enforcement work vigorously to reduce the incidents of violence in their communities and to enact reforms when available. But the Republicans in Congress have spent decades obstructing any efforts to reduce the incidence of domestic terrorism by white nationalists.

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

These efforts by Trump and his media mouthpieces to introduce bogus comparisons between obviously disparate crimes are evidence of their callous disregard for the truth and for finding real solutions. It’s proof that Trump’s call for unity is an insincere charade intended only for media consumption. And until they can take responsibility for their words and actions, and renounce the inflammatory rhetoric that they have used so often, it will be impossible to take their pleas for bipartisanship seriously.

Thanks Fox News, for Exposing Trump as a Failure at Nearly Everything He Promised

Following the first round of the second set of Democratic presidential primary debates, Fox News thought they had found a way to advance their mission of disparaging the Democratic Party and it’s candidates. They didn’t go quite as far as Donald Trump did (who tweeted that “Democrats are the true enemies of America”), but it was still pretty damn awful.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The only problem with Fox’s anti-Democratic post-debate banter was that they ended up inadvertently slamming their own guy. In a segment on Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were especially enamored of 1% candidate John Delaney, mainly because he was criticizing other Democratic candidates who actually have a chance of winning and facing Trump in the general election.

Ainsley Earhardt of Fox and Friends interviewed Delaney (video below) and effusively praised him for countering Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for Medicare for All. They played a clip of Warren righteously blasting the allegedly “pragmatic” Delaney. “I don’t understand,” Warren asked, “why anybody goes through all the trouble of running for the President of the United States, just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” Earhardt then went on to say…

“I thought it was very practical what you were saying last night. I thought you did a good job with that because we all knew that kid in school that beat you when you were running for student body president because they promised to put snack machines in all the classes. You know that’s not gonna happen. But the kids hear that and they vote for that person. […] I don’t understand why people run and then they promise stuff and then it never happens.”

First of all, if Earhardt doesn’t understand why candidates make campaign promises, she needs to go back to doing local news in South Carolina and writing children’s books. Secondly, she has no basis for asserting that Democrats will not fulfill their promises to expand healthcare, particularly since President Obama already proved that they can do it.

However, the biggest blunder of Earhardt’s tantrum was her complaint about people who “promise stuff and then it never happens.” She could not have provided a better description of Donald Trump if she were the chair of the Democratic Party. Let’s explore a few of Trump’s broken vows.

Trump promised his own healthcare plan that he said would cover every American for much less than it costs now. Not only has he not delivered, he hasn’t even offered a draft of a plan. He promised to build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. That’s been a running joke for over two years now. He promised infrastructure construction and repair, but came up empty even though Democrats support it. I could go on.

OK, I will. He promised progress on trade, then imposed tariffs that only hurt American consumers. He promised denuclearization, but North Korea, Russia, and Iran are all expanding their programs after his bumbling missteps. He promised to eliminate the budget deficit and the national debt. But the deficit has grown by billions and the debt is now over $22 trillion dollars, thanks mostly to Trump’s tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy.

The reality is, as noted by PolitiFact, that only 16 percent of Trump’s campaign promises were graded as “Promises Kept.” The other 84 percent are distributed between “Compromised, Broken, Stalled,” or “In the Works.” That is hardly a record that anyone should be proud of. And even by his accounting Trump has been a dismal failure.

Although Trump does deserve credit for some notable successes. For instance, he has succeeded in dividing the nation, emboldening racist hate groups, cozying up to foreign dictators, fouling the planet, appointing corrupt government officials, suppressing voters, and advancing an economy that works only for corporations and the rich, while average Americans struggle. But at least we can all be grateful to Fox News for pointing out how horribly Trump has failed and why no one should even consider voting for him.

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

Dumba** Rumor Monger Trump Says Democrats are Changing Name to the Socialist Party

One of the only true records that Donald Trump has achieved as president is his Olympic-class achievement of having told more than 10,000 lies. It’s hard to imagine anyone taking that trophy from him. He is a leader in both quantity and sheer audaciousness, considering his unflinching ability to utter absurd, known falsehoods and to repeat his flagrant dishonesties ad nauseum.

Fox News, Socialism

However, having reached the pinnacle of prevarication, Trump is now broadening his horizons with a new form of deceit – Rumors! In an interview on Thursday, Trump thought he found an opportunity to take a jab at those he considers to be America’s most vicious adversaries. No, it wasn’t Russia or North Korea or ISIS or even Central American refugees. It’s just the plain old Democrats for whom his hatred is unbound. The Rumor-Monger-in-Chief told the interviewer that…

“I heard there’s a rumor the Democrats are going to change the name of the party from the Democratic Party to the Socialist Party.”

Let’s set aside the fact that there isn’t anything wrong with being a socialist. In fact, most Americans are socialists, whether they know it or not. Everything from Medicare to fire stations to interstate highways to public schools and libraries are societal benefits born of socialism. But Trump and his ignoramus Deplorables have no idea what the word means. They just use it as a handy pejorative because they don’t have vocabularies that allow them to converse above a third grade level.

And just to intercept the likely excuse that Trump and his defenders will probably serve up, you’ll notice that there isn’t a hint of a smile, or any indication that Trump was trying, in his pitiful way, to be funny. He’s simply casting out an asinine insult that has no basis in reality in order to malign his sworn enemies and to incite others to join him in his hate fest.

Not surprisingly, Fox News has already joined Trump’s Contempt Choir. On Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes reveled in a segment bashing the Democratic primary debate (which they also did the day before) that featured a full screen graphic that blared “Socialism Takes the Stage.” Once again, these clods couldn’t provide a definition of socialism if an immigrant child’s life depended on it. (OK, that’s a bad example because they would give a damn about an immigrant child’s life).

This is more support for the argument that Democrats should pay any attention to what Trump or Republicans say about them. The have been calling Democrats socialists for decades, even when they advocated for the same policies. They would call the most conservative Democrats socialists just to keep the phony narrative intact. Presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg was asked a question about this by Joy Behar on The View and had a pretty darn good response (video below):

“Literally anything we do they’re going to call socialist. If it’s conservative they’ll call it socialist because it’s coming from Democrats. If it’s further left they’ll call it socialist. So let’s not worry about what they’re calling it. Let’s worry about whether it’s a good idea … Call it whatever you like, but let’s get it done if it’s a good idea. And the others can argue about what label to slap on it.”

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

Fox News is Already Trash-Talking Mueller’s Upcoming Congressional Testimony

When you are Donald Trump’s State TV media mouthpiece, why should you wait three weeks until one of the most potentially consequential congressional hearings of all time? That must be the thinking in the editorial suites of Fox News as they prepare to malign and belittle Robert Mueller, who will be testifying before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17.

Fox News, Robert Mueller

On Wednesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends brought up the subject of Mueller’s upcoming testimony. They were clearly worried about what he might say and how the public might respond to a complete airing of the conclusions of the special counsel’s investigation. That may be because objective analyses of the report agree that it is a virtual criminal indictment of Trump and his associates.

The report states unequivocally that there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that was intended to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. It states that Trump could have been indicted, but for a controversial Justice Department memo that recommends against the indictment of a sitting president. And it enumerates at least ten instances of obstruction of justice committed by Trump.

Much of these conclusions were lost in the media cacophony that erupted when the report was released. And most the cacophony was orchestrated by Fox News and Trump’s dishonest and tedious repetition his “no collusion, no obstruction” mantra.

So when Mueller testifies next month it will be the first time that the American people will hear the special counsel explain the often ambiguous passages in his report. He will surely be asked whether he would have indicted Trump were it not for the DOJ memo. He will be asked if he was referring to impeachment when he said that the Constitution provided ways to hold the President accountable other than through the criminal justice system. He will be asked to make a distinction between not having sufficient evidence to indict and not having any evidence. And he will be asked about the spurious charges that he and his team were conflicted, and claims that the investigation was biased from the start.

It will interesting and informative for most Americans to hear the answers to these and other questions. But not for the Trump-fluffers at Fox News. They would prefer to sweep Trump’s crimes under the carpet. And with that goal in mind, they have already begun a campaign to denigrate the hearings and slander Mueller (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade came out swinging wildly on Wednesday saying that…

“I don’t think he knows the details of the report. He is like the King of England on this. He assigns the people. They’re gonna say ‘Why are most of them Democratically affiliated? Aren’t you concerned about the perception if you hire people like that to do this job? Do you understand why some feel there was an agenda in there?'”

Really? First of all, there is no King of England. But more to the point. Kilmeade’s assertion that Mueller was ignorant of the details of his own report is ludicrous. And Kilmeade failed to back up that nonsense with anything resembling logic or reason. In fact, he immediately veered off into a rant about the makeup of the special counsel’s team. And even that was a lie. Mueller himself is a lifelong Republican who was appointed by a Republican (Rod Rosenstein), who was appointed by Trump.

This is just another example of Fox News shilling for the President they worship like a cult leader. They are laying the groundwork to dismiss whatever truths come out of the hearings. Because there is nothing more dangerous to Trump’s Republican Nationalist Agenda than the truth. So be prepared for more of this unhinged hostility between now and July hearings. And expect Trump to join in with his own deflections and lies. In fact, Trump has three weeks to contrive some national “emergency” to completely torpedo the hearings or otherwise diminish their effectiveness in informing the American people. This is how aspiring dictators behave. And Fox News is fulfilling its role as Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda.

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

Fox and Friends Transforms Into the Official Trump Campaign Media Headquarters

On Tuesday Donald Trump is “officially” launching his 2020 presidential reelection campaign. But like everything Trump does, it’s a phony stunt with a purpose wholly unrelated to what is advertised. In fact, Trump launched his reelection bid the day of his inauguration in 2017. The rally that Trump is planning in Orlando is just another opportunity to assemble his cult hordes and rant incoherently for two hours about Democrats, the press, and how awesome he thinks he is.

Fox News Friends

It’s no coincidence that this rally is taking place a week before the first Democratic primary debate, also in Florida. Trump is fond of stepping on the political events of others. It’s his campaign equivalent of photo-bombing. And he’s preparing for the big day by enlisting his State TV (aka Fox News) confederates in the promotion effort. To that end, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends booked Trump’s campaign press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany for a few minutes of uninterrupted Trump-fluffing (video below).

The segment began with a “sneak peek” at Trump’s first campaign ad for the 2020 cycle. It was predictably jam-packed with words and pictures that exalted Trump as the returning Messiah. Notably, the clip that Fox and Friends aired prominently displayed a number to send a text message to the Trump campaign. Then they silently re-played the same segment – with the text number showing – in two-thirds of the screen while interviewing McEnany.

Following the campaign video, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced McEnany, and asked her “What do you think?” That’s right. She asked the spokesperson for the Trump campaign what she thinks about the advertisement produced by the campaign. That’s the sort of hard-hitting “journalism” we’ve all come to expect from Fox News. And naturally, McEnany’s response was the typical snake oil patter of a dedicated StormTrumper. Without even bothering to reply as to what she thinks about the ad, McEnany veered into an attack on “the dozens of socialists running in the Democratic field.” Fill-in co-host Dan Bongino then weighed into to ask a probing question which he prefaced by saying that…

“The tax cuts worked, the economy’s booming, unemployment is at historic lows, red tape is being cut. But when you look at polls – I was reading an article a while ago from the New York Times – a lot of Americans don’t even believe they got a tax cut. Contrary to the data which says they did. Do we as Republicans need to do a better job of getting the message out, that this economy is due to a change from the older Obama liberal ways?”

What we have here is an outright declaration by a Fox “News” host that he and his colleagues are Republicans and are seeking advice from Trump’s press secretary on how to advance their shared political agenda. Not that we didn’t already know that, but they don’t often admit it on the air. The rest of Bongino’s “question” was really a thinly disguised campaign pitch for Trump that was littered with provable lies. Most notably that the American people are somehow ignorant of their own tax burdens. Actually, they know very well that Trump’s Tax Scam has hurt them while helping corporations and the wealthy.

Then Earhardt returned to the video’s text message number. Because, just like any other commercial, you can’t repeat that often enough. At this point Fox and Friends began to sound more like the Home Shopping Network for Trump. She queried McEnany saying…

Earhardt: At the bottom of that video we just saw it says to text “Trump” to [REDACTED]. What happens if you do that?”
McEnany: It’s really important. It allows us to update our data. We have the best data in the business, Ainsley. That means we know what doors to knock on. We’re going to be able to isolate the handful of the few million voters who will decide this election. Because of that text you allow us to update our data. You also get to be a Trump volunteer. What’s better than that?

So now Fox News is participating in refining the Trump campaign’s election databases and recruiting volunteers. What’s better than that? This was followed by co-host Steve Doocy raising the issue of Trump’s floundering poll numbers. He noted that “The story over the weekend was that the President is not doing very well in his internal polls.” That’s true, and after denying that these polls exist, Trump fired the pollsters suspected of leaking the data. McEnany waved it all off with some lazy and transparent spin. But what Doocy didn’t bother to mention was that there was another poll over the weekend with similarly bad news for Trump. That one was by Fox News itself, and it showed Trump losing to all five of the Democrats that they pitted against him.

This is just the beginning of the 2020 election cycle, and already Fox News is fully engaged in their role as the media arm of the Trump reelection effort. If anything, they are even less ashamed of exposing their partisanship than in previous cycles. If there were any justice, Fox News would be forced to declare itself a political operation and report its services as in-kind contributions to Trump’s campaign. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen because integrity at Fox News is as rare as it is in the candidate they are working for.

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

State TV (aka Fox News) Whines that US Media Isn’t Doing Enough Trump Fluffing

For the past week Donald Trump has been reaffirming his role as America’s Ambassador of International Embarrassment. On this brief junket he has managed to insult the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle), feud with the Mayor of London, call for a boycott of an American company in order to punish CNN (an unconstitutional, impeachable offense), Breach diplomatic protocol by attacking Joe Biden from foreign soil, and send orders back home to a former staffer (and current Fox News executive) to unlawfully defy a congressional subpoena.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Despite all of this evidence of his foreign fiasco, the fact that Trump has once again proven to be an incompetent, self-absorbed, loudmouth who is allergic to telling the truth, hasn’t stalled the devotional bootlicking of Fox News. On Wednesday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends were primed to report on Trump’s “triumphant” mission to the United Kingdom. So in pursuit of that goal they invited their ultra-rightist media shill, Joe Concha, to opine on how Trump was maligned at the hands of the U.S. press corps. The premise that Fox tried vainly to peddle was that, while Trump was hammered here at home, he was beloved in the U.K. That phony propaganda resulted in this absurd exchange (video below):

Co-host Brian Kilmeade: “This state visit to the U.K. earning glowing reviews – get this – in Britain. But back here in the U.S. – or whatever planet we’re on – the American media is telling a whole different story.”
Concha: (on the British press): “They’re on the ground. They know how London works. They know the people. And they’re portraying this thing a lot more positively, as you just showed, than the U.S. media who’s concentrating almost solely on these protests. […] That’s the problem. We’re getting way too many opinions based solely on speculation and how people perceive things instead of what people see on their screens.”

Kilmeade’s assertion that the British press was unanimously “glowing” was based on a few headlines that he featured in a graphic. The only problem is that not one of them actually praise Trump. In fact, they were merely Trump paying tribute to the Queen:

  • Donald Trump praises ‘eternal friendship’ at state banquet (BBC)
  • Trump hails ‘common values’ uniting UK and US (Financial Times)
  • Donald Trump state banquet speech: US President says Queen embodies ‘patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart’ (Evening Standard)
  • ‘Treasured Friendship’ Trump in tribute to ‘great, great’ Queen who inspired UK to win WW2 (The Sun)

Meanwhile, those same news sources also ran with these headlines that Fox News ignored:

  • Anti-Trump protesters mix humour with expletives {BBC)
  • Trump sends mixed messages on US-UK trade deal (Financial Times)
  • Protesters cry ‘Nazi’ as Donald Trump attends D-Day event (Evening Standard)
  • Donald Trump sparks massive NHS row as he says health service must be on the table (The Sun)

So Fox News is blatantly disinforming their viewers about the coverage of Trump by the British media. It is, in fact, nearly identical to the coverage in the U.S. And if it’s negative, that’s only because he’s such a predictable screw-up.

But what’s truly bizarre is Concha’s complaint that there are “way too many opinions” in the U.S. press. And he’s saying that, unironically, on Fox News. What’s more, his criticism that coverage is “based solely on speculation and how people perceive things” is downright laughable considering he’s saying it to Kilmeade who, just the day before, told viewers that “boos” from the crowd when Ivanka Trump and John Bolton walked by were for Bolton. How Kilmeade divined that was unexplained.

This is the sort of feverishly pro-Trump hackery that is the hallmark of Fox News. They are so determined to exalt Dear Leader at every opportunity that they utterly abandon reason and reality. And above all, they continue to push the notion that the media would be so much better if only it slobbered over Trump the way they do. Yet somehow they they still believe that they should be taken seriously as a news network.

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