Fox News Apologizes for ‘Mistakenly’ Cropping Trump Out of Epstein Photo

The mission of Fox News from its inception has been to unreservedly promote right-wing propaganda and the agenda of the arch-conservative Republican Party. When Donald Trump was elected, Fox News saddled up and transformed itself into Trump’s official Ministry of Disinformation. The network’s programming unabashedly reflects and defends Trump’s hostility, dishonesty, and pompous ignorance.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

In pursuit of their mission, Fox News occasionally crosses a line that even they regard as over the top. When that occurs their standard reaction is to pretend it never happened and decline to comment. Any contrition, or even deference to journalistic integrity, is viewed, in the Trump mold, as weakness.

However, on Sunday Fox News aired a segment about the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein associate, Ghislaine Maxwell. The video that played during the segment included a photo of Maxwell, Epstein, and the future Melania Trump. Missing from the picture was Donald Trump himself, who was standing next to Melania. This deliberately deceptive edit could only have been done to protect Trump from being connected to Epstein and Maxwell. It was a brazenly deceitful action on the part of Fox News who know all too well that Trump and Epstein were pals.

The fraudulently edited picture was quickly exposed by online observers who were familiar with the famous photograph in its original form. This was apparently embarrassing enough that Fox News issued a rare apology:

“On Sunday, July 5, a report on Ghislaine Maxwell during FOX News Channel’s America’s News HQ mistakenly eliminated President Donald Trump from a photo alongside then Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell. We regret the error.”

There are two blatant misrepresentations in that rather disingenuous apology. First of all, there is precisely zero chance that Trump was edited out of this photo “mistakenly.” The cropping is so precise and focused on only the excision of Trump that it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that it was deliberate. And the segment ran this altered photo three times.

Secondly, Fox’s expression of regret is the least they could do – the very least. If they had any real regrets they would put them on the air with the same priority that the fake photo was given. But of course, to do that would mean giving the story about Trump’s long and unsavory friendship with Epstein more exposure. And that would go against the mission of Fox News and their Trump-fluffing hosts, editors, and executives. So, don’t hold your breath.

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

Trump’s Dark and Divisive Diatribes Defile Independence Day

It’s the 4th of July and Donald Trump has taken this solemn occasion to produce the sequel to his inaugural address: “American Carnage.” This follow up can be called “American Mayhem,” because that’s the dominant narrative that Trump exuded throughout the speech. It was a spasm of hostility and alienation on a day that is meant to embrace unity. If anything it affirmed speculation as to Trump’s obvious and worsening mental infirmity.

Donald Trump Hugs Flag

The event should never have been held in the first place. It required people to defy all of the guidance of health experts to maintain physical distance and wear face masks. And this defiance occurred while the COVID-19 pandemic was spiking to record highs. Even close associates of Trump have recently tested positive for the coronavirus, including Don Jr’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle (who is also a Trump campaign official and former Fox News shill).

None of that, however, was sufficient to dissuade Trump from going forward with his ego-stroking cult rally. His selfish and narcissistic needs outweigh the welfare of the American people. And this is not merely a personal choice by those who wished to attend the event, because they will return to their homes and spread the virus in those communities to people who didn’t want anything to do with Trump’s festival of bombast.

The speech itself was purposefully composed to create more conflict and animosity within the American family. Trump focused heavily on his defense of Confederate traitors and the monuments erected to undeservedly honor them. It comprised the majority of his remarks, while the surging pandemic was reduced to a few words at the outset, then forgotten. Trump’s harangue took shape with this heinous rant:

“The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case, is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains.”

First of all, the protests that spontaneously erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police were overwhelmingly peaceful, and the participants included a broad array of America’s populace. And it’s simply a flagrant lie to say that these demonstrations were limited to “cities that are run by liberal Democrats.” They took place in over 250 cities, including many with Republican mayors (i.e. San Diego, Jacksonville, Fort Worth, Omaha, Miami, and many more). In fact, estimates show that up to 26 million people joined this Black Lives Matter movement, making it the largest in American history.

Trump’s wild and baseless assertions about “indoctrination” in education and journalism are rehashes of his relentless whining about Americans having the audacity to engage in independent thought that doesn’t idolize him. As usual, Trump offered no evidence of his preposterous claim that “children are taught in school to hate their own country.” Although, he did rattle on about the actual villains of the Confederacy that he has taken into his withered heart. But he was just getting started.

“In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us. Make no mistake. This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”

Once again, Trump is alleging disciplinary measures that are simply fabrications from his own diseased imagination. If anything, it’s the Trump administration that engages in that punitive behavior. He has literally conducted purges of Justice Department attorneys, inspectors general, and even his own personal picks for his top White House aides, when they were less than totally obedient. What’s more, Trump’s references to “far-left fascism” and “left-wing cultural revolution” are not only bizarre distortions of reality, they are unabashedly partisan attacks during what is supposed to be a non-partisan event.

If Trump wants to turn this into another campaign rally, then he, not the American people, should be paying for it. He is using taxpayer dollars to advance his political aspirations (pathetic as they are). It’s en encouraging sign that the only cable news network that carried Trump’s speech live was, of course, Fox News. So Trump is getting less exposure than he surely must have been hoping for.

It’s notable that Trump has been avoiding the media lately. In the past he would use these trips to hold impromptu “Chopper Talks” on the lawn of the White House, or going to and from these affairs. But in the wake of the surging pandemic, civil unrest, and news of his betrayal of American soldiers by permitting Russia to put bounties on their heads without repercussions, Trump is apparently afraid to face questions from the press. And while it’s a relief to have a respite from his incoherent bellowing, he still needs to be held accountable to the people.

UPDATE: On July 4th Trump doubled down on his racism and hostility in a speech in Washington, D.C. He made brazenly partisan attacks on what he called the “radical left,” comparing them to Nazis and terrorists. So in one broad sweep he’s trivializing the acts of history’s actual genocidal murderers, while offending the millions of Americans who took to the streets last month, and the Democratic patriots who support them.

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

DementiaDon: Trump Volunteers to Lose Cognition Contest to Joe Biden

The reelection campaign of Donald Trump just keeps getting more bizarre and desperate with every passing day. His ludicrous diversions from viable political strategy have caused many Republicans to question whether Trump actually wants to win at all. His own aides are worried that he’s engaging in “self-sabotage” with his “incendiary behavior” in public and on Twitter. Even Fox News has speculated that he might just drop out of the race to avoid the humiliation of a landslide defeat.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Trump’s campaign has become a laughable parody of a candidate in distress. There’s no doubt that he is frightened by the universally dreadful polling showing Joe Biden crushing him nationally by double digits, as well as leading in every crucial swing state. So Trump has converted that fear into a raging hostility that is only making things worse for him.

Trump has decided to focus his reelection efforts on a few of the most divisive issues imaginable. He begins with “law & order” rhetoric that condemns the millions of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest police injustice and systemic racism. Then he extends that to include advocating for Confederate traitors and the monuments paying tribute to them. When he bothers to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, he continues to dismiss it as a trivial annoyance that will soon disappear by magic. Yet he still lavishes praise on himself for his success in conquering the “invisible enemy” that has taken the lives of nearly 130,000 Americans. Trump also touts the economy, despite the fact that the U.S. is in recession and 30 million people are unemployed.

What’s more, Trump is mired in yet another scandal involving his supplication to Russia and Vladimir Putin. The news that Russia is paying Taliban militants bounties to kill American soldiers has been met by Trump with lies about never having been briefed about it, And even more troubling, assertions that the well-documented story, corroborated by many news organizations and White House insiders, is a hoax.

All of this might seem to the average citizen like an insane strategy going into the 2020 presidential election cycle. And they would be right. Trump’s psychoses are clearly building up into a severely debilitating state of acute anxiety and paranoia. And a former Harvard psychiatrist regards Trump as mentally unwell in the extreme.” So naturally, Trump is responding by accusing Biden of the very thing Trump is suffering from. Projection is his goto defense mechanism.

However, while Biden is subject to making occasional verbal gaffes (he has suffered from stuttering since childhood), there is actual evidence that Trump is psychologically compromised. In fact, there was a conference at Yale University that featured testimony from numerous psychiatric professionals attesting to Trump’s unfitness for office. And an analysis of Trump’s behavior fits the diagnosis of senile dementia. For more confirmation, see The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” And in the midst of all this, Trump tweets this challenge:

First of all, the test that Trump says he “aced” asked him to identify a lion and count to ten. That, along with his demonstrated inability to drink water, walk down a ramp, and read, are among his latest reasons that he deserves your vote. Biden replied to Trump’s challenge by saying that he’s looking forward to the upcoming presidential debates where their cognitive faculties can be compared in real time. That duel of wits should scare Trump even more. It’s painfully obvious that Trump isn’t fit to run a lemonade stand. And if you need some proof of that, here’s a video that not only displays Trump’s mental infirmity, but exposes the biases of Fox News:

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

Chicken Trump Flees Fake News Conference For Fear of Being Asked Questions

The character (or lack thereof) of Donald Trump is on display every day, and it isn’t a pretty picture. In addition to his pathological lying, infantile name-calling, flaming racism, and malignant narcissism, Trump also flaunts his unabashed weakness and cowardice. He is the first American “leader” who has actually bragged about being the most fabulous whiner.”

Donald Trump Chicken

On Thursday morning Trump held something that he called a “news” conference to announce the details of the latest jobs report. However, it was nothing but a self-serving public statement wherein he spoke for a few minutes, then left without taking a single question. The reasons for that were obvious after a quick analysis of his remarks.

First of all, the jobs report had some surface level good news that 4.8 million people had returned to work in June. But looking just slightly below the surface reveals that this report is not at all encouraging. None of those jobs were newly created. They were all just a small fraction of workers being called back from furloughs. More troubling is the fact that there are still more than 30 million people unemployed. The unemployment rate of 11.1% is still higher than at the peak of the Great Recession. And there were 1.4 million new unemployment filings. That’s likely to increase significantly next month reflecting that more than half the country has reinstated lockdown rules due the surging coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s phony fifteen minute press conference may be the shortest of his presidency. And no wonder. He was clearly afraid to face questions from the free press that he maligns in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”. He was afraid he would be asked about coronavirus deaths nearing 130,000, and cases exceeding 50,000 in a single day for the first time. He was afraid he would be challenged on his lies about Russia paying bounties to Taliban militants to kill American soldiers. And Trump was surely scared about having to field specific questions about this jobs report. He’d rather just unload his spin, waddle off the stage, and get back to satisfying his Twitter and Fox News addictions.

Consequently, Trump said nothing about the Russian bounty story that is, without a doubt, the most flagrantly treasonous conduct ever alleged against a U.S. president. As for the pandemic that is reaching new and tragic heights of cases and fatalities, Trump dismissively referred to them as “hotspots,” continuing to downplay the peril that he still thinks will “disappear” by magic. “Now we’re opening it up,” Trump boasted, “and it’s opening up far faster than anyone even thought possible. And more successfully.” If this is his idea of “success,” let’s hope we never see what he would call failure.

It would be an understatement to say that things are going badly for Trump lately. His standing in the polls is lower than any incumbent president in modern times. Speculation is growing that he might choose to drop out of the race, even on Fox News. His cherished cult rallies aren’t drawing the throngs of adoring disciples that he requires to satiate his ravenous ego. So it’s likely that he will continue to be ducking out of the public eye for the foreseeable future. If there’s one thing that we can rely on, it’s that Trump is a coward who would rather skulk in his bunker than face the prospect of accountability for his failures and crimes.

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

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.

UH-OH: Fox News Speculates that Trump is a Loser Who Might Drop Out of the Race

The downward spiral into which Donald Trump is descending may finally be beginning to sink in, not just to Trump, but to the right-wing media propagandists who are struggling to shore up his sickly presidency. With each day there is news that contributes to the terminal prognosis of Trump’s floundering reelection campaign. And the accumulating sense of doom has become impossible to ignore.

Donald Trump

Trump himself is well aware of the dilemma he faces as every national poll shows him getting crushed by Joe Biden. Even worse, polls of the seven most crucial swing states (Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, and Minnesota) are also showing Biden leading. So Trump has fallen back on his customary dismissal of the media and the independent firms they hire to conduct their surveys:

Trump is certainly “sorry,” but not for the reasons he states. He’s a sorry excuse for a leader who resorts to petulant whining whenever he doesn’t get his way. And he’s surely sorry that everyone from the New York Times to Fox News is reporting how thoroughly the American people have rejected him. Even his favorite pollster, the rabidly biased Rasmussen, has Trump’s approval rating at 42%, matching lows as far back as January of 2018.

These numbers have Trump repeating his oft-mentioned lie that he has 95% approval within the Republican Party. Not only is that untrue, it’s irrelevant. He is not the president of the GOP. What’s more, Republicans represent a measly 28% of the electorate. Which is hardly enough to secure a victory in November.

The conditions for Trump’s campaign have deteriorated so badly that close associates are speculating as to whether he might drop out of the race entirely rather than suffer defeat. Politico is reporting the prospect of Trump’s renowned cowardice, along with comments from insiders who say that…

“The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days, multiple people close to him told POLITICO, amid a mountain of bad polling and warnings from some of his staunchest allies that he’s on course to be a one-term president.”

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Fox News is joining those with suspicions of Trump running away from an expected rout. Fox host Trace Gallagher prefaced a question to Trump surrogate John Sununu (video below) saying that “President Trump’s poll numbers declining in recent weeks […] is leading some speculation that if his support keeps falling, the president might drop out of the race.” And Fox News featured a graphic during the segment that warned of a “rough polling stetch” (sic) for Trump.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Polling

Whether there is any chance of Trump bailing is an open question. He has a reputation as a coward who flees from any trouble that confronts him. But he also has a stubborn streak and a massive ego that can overwhelm his fears. In the end it makes no difference because either outcome would be similarly humiliating for Trump. His malignant narcissism prevents him from accepting that he is less than the manifestation of perfection. And that will result in his eventual downfall being all the more debilitating when it comes to pass.

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

Trump Fails to Renounce ‘White Power’ Tweet in Official Response

The White House Deflection Shields are on full force this morning as Donald Trump is faced with some of the most damning evidence of his despicable negligence, incompetence and malfeasance to date. He has turned to his customary tactic of hurling insults, shifting blame, and denying reality. In other words, it’s the same old Trump who is only concerned with himself and his image.

Donald Trump, MAGA

Following the publication of the New York Times story about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops, Trump tweeted that “Nobody briefed or told me” about the matter. Then he casually dismissed it with his tedious whining about “fake news.” There is virtually zero chance that this sort of intelligence report would not have been conveyed to the president. But even if Trump were not lying, the contention that he wasn’t told makes matters even worse. It would mean that his intelligence apparatus is dangerously inept and that Trump was ill-informed about the welfare of the troops he is allegedly commanding.

What’s more, Trump continues to downplay the increasing severity of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as its spread throughout the nation accelerates. He triples down on his defense of Confederate traitors and the offensive statues paying tribute to them. He obsessively watches his “shadow cabinet” advisors on Fox News. And then he goes golfing. This is how Trump is handling the duties of his office at a time of extreme crises and distress for the American people.

In addition to these disturbing examples of Trump’s dereliction of duty, he is also reaffirming his most abhorrently racist tendencies. He tweeted a video Sunday morning that featured his MAGA supporters shouting “white power” as they paraded in their golf carts through The Villages retirement community:

Trump’s comment in the tweet , which he deleted a few hours later (but is preserved here), thanked “the great people” expressing these repugnant views. That’s reminiscent of his praise for neo-Nazis in Charlottesville as “very fine people,” and the corroborating views of his Fox News sycophants who last week defended slave owners saying that “It doesn’t mean they were terrible people.”

White House spokesperson Judd Deere frantically issued a statement in an attempt to clean up Trump’s latest mess. Deere said that…

“President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters.”

Really? The “white power” chant occurred in the first ten seconds of the video. It’s hard to imagine how anyone, even someone as cognitively challenged as Trump, could have missed it. And if all he saw other than that was “tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters,” he must have a mental filter that edited out all the people shouting “F*ck Trump!” and asking “Where’s your white hoods?” All things considered, it’s surprising that Trump ever thought it was a good idea to post this video. In fact, it’s possible that he deleted it because of the criticism of him, not the racism.

What we didn’t hear from Trump’s spokesperson, or Trump himself, was any denunciation of the racist epithets so viciously bellowed by those unashamed bigots. There was not one word indicating that Trump disapproved of that hateful rhetoric. Perhaps he was worried about alienating his equally racist supporters and Klan pals. The entire statement said only that he hadn’t heard it and that he’s a big fan of those who said it. And that pretty much settles the question as to Trump’s flagrant racism. If he can’t repudiate this painfully obvious bigotry, then he simply doesn’t want to.

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

Reality Game Show ‘President’ Trump Thinks TV Ratings are ‘The Real Polls’

Every day seems to provide a new opportunity to declare that Donald Trump has done or said something that is even worse than anything he’s done or said before. It may seem redundant or hyperbole, but somehow Trump actually does rise to the challenge and manages to exceed whatever heinousness he excreted the day before. It’s a gift.

Donald Trump TV Set

On Saturday morning Trump took to his Twitter machine to unleash another series of frenzied, paranoid, and nearly incoherent rants. Among them, he has apparently abandoned his “Sleepy” nickname for Joe Biden and is trying out “Corrupt” because nothing is working for him. Biden continues to expand his lead in national polls, as well as in every swing state. Trump’s desperation shows in his Twittering that is now rampant with QAnon conspiracy crackpots. And he’s touting his efforts to kill healthcare for 20 million Americans during a pandemic in which he has already killed more than 125,000 people. It’s notable that he’s been promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for 4 years, but still doesn’t have a plan. The GOP has been running the same con for 10 years.

Of particular interest is one tweet that reveals just how shallow, delusional, and devoid of substance Trump is. His background as a failed real estate grifter and self-proclaimed King of Debt (with six bankruptcies under his bulging belt) never prepared him for the presidency. Nor did his most recent professional experience as a reality TV game show host. But that’s the one that continues to guide his conduct in office:

Trump is lashing out in a state of dread and hopelessness as he realizes that his prospects for the future more closely resemble his worst nightmares. So he grasps onto the ludicrous notion that television ratings are a reasonable alternative to scientifically conducted public opinion surveys. “These are the real polls,” Trump whines in an attempt spin some something positive out of the dregs of a news cycle that holds only misery for him.

Along with the horrific rise in coronavirus infections and fatalities (which studies prove were intensified by viewing Fox News), Trump is also having to explain the poor attendance at his revived cult rallies. He is saddled with responsibility for an economy in recession. His former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has exposed Trump’s ignorance in a new book that Trump was unsuccessful in suppressing. Same goes for the book by his niece, Mary Trump. And the New York Times just reported that Russia paid the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, and Trump knew but did nothing. How is that not treason?

With all of that going on, Trump found time to go golfing at his Virginia country club and tweet idiotic tributes to himself. For the record, Trump’s boasting about the TV ratings for his Oklahoma speech and his interview with Sean Hannity are just the ratings for Fox News programming. So naturally his Deplorables would be tuning in. That proves nothing except that he and Fox News are running a bona fide cult whose members have abandoned free thought. Those ratings are only “polls” of people watching that particular network and amount to less than one percent of the American population. That’s the pitiful pittance of viewers that Trump is trying to characterize as “the Silent Majority.”

Trump has been plaintively beseeching the nation to “not believe the Fake News Media” for at least four years now. But his whining has been met with ridicule as the American people continue to reject him by ever larger margins. In fact, the real polls show that more Americans trust CNN than either Trump or Fox News. So nice work, Bunker Boy. Despite tedious repetition and relentless hostility, the “fake news” branding campaign has been an epic flop. Pretty much like everything else Trump does.

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.

Studies Prove that Watching Fox News Increases Coronavirus Fatalities

Media scholars and neutral observers almost universally agree that Fox News has been a source of flagrantly biased right-wing propaganda from the day it began broadcasting. It’s founders – an arch-conservative, foreign-born, media baron (Rupert Murdoch), and an ultra-rightist Republican campaign operative (Roger Ailes) – intended that political prejudice to be its primary mission when they launched the network.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

However, the presence of Fox News in a splintered media environment has had a more disastrous impact on the nation than anyone could have predicted. Amidst the spread of the deadly COVID -19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Fox News became the central point of infection to spread disinformation and deliberate lies that can now be shown to have directly contributed to the nation’s tragically high fatality rate. Along with Donald Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and purposeful malfeasance, Fox News deceived dimwitted Americans into volunteering the lives of themselves, their families, and their communities, in the service of partisan political power and the ego of a malignantly narcissistic president.

The Washington Post is reporting that – not one, not two – but three recent studies confirm the role that Fox News played in exacerbating the harm of the coronavirus. [NOTE: the first of these studies was reported here on News Corpse in April, revealing that higher rates of coronavirus deaths could be linked to watching Sean Hannity] Fox News, along with other right-wing media (i.e. Rush Limbaugh, OANN, Breitbart, etc.) distorted and/or invented narratives that downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. They portrayed it as equivalent to the common flu and mocked health experts who advised cautionary behavior such as social distancing and wearing face masks. According to the Post:

There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal policy, missteps on testing and tracing, and a national culture emphasizing individualism.

In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.

The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences.

In other words, watching Fox News actually amplifies the mortality rate of an already deadly disease. Their viewers were deceived into believing that the virus wasn’t anything to worry about, and that they could conduct their lives as usual with no added risk. That was recklessly untrue. The Post continued pointing out the lethal mythology that Fox News disseminated:

Administering a nationally representative phone survey with 1,008 respondents, they found that people who got most of their information from mainstream print and broadcast outlets tended to have an accurate assessment of the severity of the pandemic and their risks of infection. But those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency.”

It is no coincidence that all of those conspiracy theories match up precisely with what Trump himself has been saying. Fox News is, after all, his State TV Ministry of Disinformation. And between the two they are unambiguously responsible for deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. But even worse, they are both continuing to spew the same falsehoods that have already proven to be so deadly.

Thankfully, most of the American people do not watch Fox News and will resist the lies that are being told by Trump and his media shills. And hopefully, the majority of us will engage in responsible, cautious, and healthy behavior. Unfortunately, the deluded Foxies and Trump cultists can’t be counted on to take the simple precautions that save lives.. So it would be wise for the rest of us to socially distance from anyone who watches Fox News or attends Trump rallies. For your own sake, and that of your loved ones.

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