It’s a Crime! Fox News Anchors Tell the Truth About Trump’s Witness Intimidation

On Friday the Congressional hearing on Donald Trump’s impeachment continued with the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, the former Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine. Most observers have noted that Yovanovitch is a respected diplomat whose decades of service to the country reflect her honor and honesty. That opinion, however, is not shared by the President, whose nasty animosity is starkly contrary to the consensus of those who know her and her work.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

While the hearing was in progress, Trump demonstrated his deep-seated fear of the consequences of Yovanovitch’s truthful and credible testimony. True to form, Trump grabbed his Twitter machine and lashed out savagely at her in a loathsome attempt to discredit an honorable public servant. Trump tweeted that…

First of all, the fact that Yovanovitch voluntarily served in “hardship” posts (or what Trump might call shithole countries) is evidence of her patriotism and commitment to the advancement of our national interests. She was not responsible for the adversity in those countries. To the contrary, she could be credited with mitigating the chaos and suffering they endured over many years prior to her tenure.

Trump’s tweets can only be interpreted as intending to intimidate this witness and discourage other witnesses from coming forward. It is a corrupt and potentially illegal act that exposes his consciousness of guilt and further incriminates him. That view is surprisingly shared by the principle “news” anchors at Fox News. Bret Baier was asked for his assessment immediately following the first session on the hearing. He said that…

“This whole hearing turned on a dime when the President tweeted about her real time. And during the questioning Adam Schiff stopped the Democratic questioning to read the President’s tweet to her and get her response. That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness, or tampering with the witness, which is a crime. Adding, essentially, an article of impeachment real time as this hearing is going on.

Not only did Baier identify the potential criminality embedded in Trump’s disparaging and threatening tweet, but he recognized that having tweeted while the hearing was still in progress was an unusual interruption that had a profound and improper impact. And he wasn’t alone. Fox’s Chris Wallace also commented on Yovanovitch’s testimony saying that “if you are not moved… by the testimony of Marie Yovanovich, you don’t have a pulse.” He went on to deliver a brief history of her sterling career with the State Department. And then he added that…

“I agree with Bret here that the really dramatic moment is that this wasn’t just testimony about the past. This played out in real time with the president attacking her and saying that every place that she served went bad. And she was asked by Adam Schiff, ‘Do you see that as an effort to intimidate you and other witnesses?’ And she said that ‘I feel that is quite intimidating.’ And that does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here.”

It was not, however, all hearts and flowers at Fox News. Yovanovitch has been bitterly attacked by the usual suspects during Fox’s primetime (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham) and their morning propaganda block (Fox and Friends, Outnumbered). Wallace alluded to this when he spoke of the “smear campaign that came from Rudy Giuliani and some of his cohorts and was repeated in some of the outlets in right-wing media.” What Wallace didn’t acknowledge is that Fox News is the most prominent of those right-wing media outlets that smeared her. And we can expect that to continue despite these rare and candid comments from Baier and Wallace.

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

UPDATE: As Fox took a break from the hearing, their senior Capitol Hill producer made the utterly irrelevant observation that “When we look at the U.S. Constitution and look at Article 2, Section 4, it doesn’t say anything about witness intimidation.” Of course it doesn’t. It also doesn’t say anything about murder, rape, bank fraud, perjury (see Bill Clinton), tax evasion, child pornography, cannibalism, etc. The Constitution never intended to itemize every possible illegal act that would warrant impeachment.

REALLY? Trump Complains About ‘TV Lawyers’ While Clinging to His Own TV Lawyers

No one is ever going to mistake Donald Trump for someone who can construct coherent analyses of current events. He has enough trouble pronouncing words with more than two syllables. Any sentence he utters risks contradicting itself before he reaches the period. And that’s not even considering the sheer volume of lies that flow from his infantile rhetoric and hostile bombast.

Donald Trump TV Set

Far too often Trump manages to express himself in ways that generate exasperated groans from people who remember when presidents were intelligent and articulate. And Wednesday was one of those days. Following the congressional hearings on his impeachment, Trump held a press conference with President Erdogan of Turkey. Naturally, there would be questions about the hearings, so you might assume that he would be prepared. Instead, Trump demonstrated that his thoughts on this critical and historic subject have the depth of an abandoned bird bath (video below).

The first question went to the friendliest of Trump-fluffers, a reporter from the rightist propaganda outfit, One America News Network (OANN). Her profoundly probing question inquired as to how Trump felt about how the hearings went. Gee, can anyone guess his answer?

Trump dished out every typical talking point that has fueled his robo-defense for the past several months. He sarcastically asked her if she was referring to “the witch hunt.” Then he said that “I haven’t watched for one minute,” despite having tweeted more than thirty times about it (although that wasn’t his his record). In true wannabe dictator form, he called it “a sham and shouldn’t be allowed.” He falsely asserted that “The Whistleblower gave a lot of incorrect information.” Nevermind that it was corroborated by Trump himself, as well as his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. He insisted that “All they have to do is look very, very simply at the transcript,” which explicitly affirms his guilt.

But even after all of that, Trump still had it in him to astound with his flagrant hypocrisy. Earlier that morning, Trump lashed out at Daniel Goldman, the lawyer that Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee appointed to question the witnesses. He whined that “I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers. They took some guys off television. I’m not surprised to see it because Schiff can’t do his own questions.”

First of all, Goldman may have been a legal analyst for a while with MSNBC, but he was also an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York for 10 years. The GOP’s lawyer (I guess they can’t do their own questions either) was Steve Castor, whose work has been limited to the Republican staff on the House Oversight Committee for the past fourteen years. More to the point, though, Trump is unleashing a bizarre complaint considering what he said in his press avail with Erdogan:

“If you read the transcript, this was analyzed by great lawyers. This was analyzed by Gregg Jarrett. It was analyzed by Mark Levin. It was analyzed by everybody. They said the call that I made with the president of Ukraine was a perfect one.”

Jarrett and Levin are both Fox News “lawyers” whose jobs are to appear on television as dedicated Trump-fluffers. They do not do any legal work at all. In other words, they are “TV lawyers.” And they are the only lawyers Trump could cite when looking for affirmation of his allegedly “perfect” telephone skills. What’s more, his personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, are frequent guests on Fox News. That’s where Trump saw them and subsequently hired them. So … more TV Lawyers. And all of them either working for, or closely affiliated with, Fox News.

As an aside, another pair of Fox News lawyers, the husband and wife team of Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, were briefly considered by Trump as additions to his personal legal team, but ultimately did not join up due to undisclosed “conflicts.” On Wednesday diGenova appeared on Fox News and made some of the most repulsive and bigoted remarks ever aired on Fox.

This is what you get when you elect a reality TV game show host with zero experience in government. Trump has no idea how to manage a large bureaucracy. And he doesn’t know any reputable attorneys other than those he sees on Fox News. The same goes for the secretaries in his Cabinet and the advisors on his White House staff. Trump is about as capable of putting together a competent team as your uncle in Alabama who watches Fox all day in his trailer park. And he’s even less aware of his own hypocrisies and ignorance.

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

Trump’s Twitter Frenzy Reveals His Sick Obsessions and Dangerous Incompetence

Impeachment Is Coming! And Donald Trump is getting noticeably more nervous. His poll numbers are tanking, even among Republicans. Next week marks the beginning of the public phase of the impeachment inquiry with witness that are expected to provide further incriminating testimony. And many of these witnesses have first hand knowledge of the inner workings of the Trump regime and personal relationships with his closest advisors. For Trump and his gooey sycophants, it is not gonna be pretty.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

To the extent that someone with severe mental infirmities is capable, Trump is aware of the political and legal peril he is facing. And that awareness is manifesting itself in his favorite mode of communication, Twitter. Saturday’s Trump Twitter feed was fraught with fury and panic as he struggled to crawl out from under the rubble of his collapsing presidency. An analysis of the tweetery is both revealing and frightening. Here, by the numbers, are Trump’s Twitter tales for one day in the life of a drowning man.

  • Trump achieved what appears to be a record in the sheer volume of tweets with 82 for one day.
  • Of those, 58 were retweets.
  • 38 were blatantly self-defensive retorts to the impeachment inquiry.
  • Fox News appeared in 16 of the tweets.
  • 10 tweets bragged about his appearance at the LSU/ALA football game.
  • 8 more were shameless (and phony) self-promotions (books, polls, etc.).
  • GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin was retweeted 8 times with anti-impeachment arguments.
  • Gregg Jarrett of Fox News was also retweeted 8 times with various Trump-fluffing remarks.
  • And Trump retweeted himself 9 times.

The most prominent obsession evident in this tweetstorm is that 38 (65%) of Trump’s tweets were desperate attempts to shield himself from the ongoing impeachment inquiry. He has said in the past that impeachment would a good thing politically for him and his Republican Nationalist Party. Obviously, he didn’t believe that nonsense himself. His singular focus on this subject exposes just how terrified he is.

The 58 retweets (70%) suggest that Trump can’t keep up with the avalanche of bad news for him. So he needs to lean on the tweets of others, some of which are several weeks old. He even retweeted a month old comment by John Bolton, the National Security Advisor that he unceremoniously fired. And of course Fox News was a frequent guest in Trump’s Twitter ravings.

It’s also clear that Trump was bitterly hurt by reports of sports fans booing him at the World Series and the UFC fighting event. So he tried to make up for it by repeatedly posting videos of cheering crowds in bright red Alabama, where booing was expressly prohibited. Many of those videos were retweets from the Breitbart website, which isn’t exactly a reliable source.

What’s especially notable in this record is that there wasn’t a single tweet about any substantive issue that affects the American people. Not even about subjects he often clings to, including immigration, Syria, the economy, trade with China, jobs, etc. It was an 82 tweet cavalcade of corpulent conceit. Proving that if it isn’t about Trump, it isn’t worthy of his attention.

There are so many reasons why Trump is an imminent danger to the United States. He is a patently incompetent manager. He maligns treasured American principles on a daily basis. His attacks on the free press as “the enemy of the people” is a de facto attack on the Constitution. He disparages the nation’s intelligence community, and favors Russia over our own agencies. He behaves like a petulant infant, casting insults and reckless accusations at anyone who dares to challenge him. He mocks the settled science of climate change.

And now we can add to these threats his psychopathic narcissism that is so abundantly displayed in his tweets and other public comments. His unstable obsession with himself, and his glaring incompetence, is indisputable proof that he is a danger to America and the world. And the sooner he is impeached and removed from office, the sooner the world can exhale and experience some relief from the nightmare circus we have been suffering through.

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

WTF? Fox News Hack Says Ukraine Isn’t a ‘Sexy’ Enough Scandal to Impeach Trump

Just when you thought that The Onion had not really taken over Fox News and replaced their vile Trump-fluffing with biting satire, a segment is aired that is so mind-numbingly idiotic that it could only be regarded as comedy. Except that it isn’t.

Donald Trump, Pervert

On Friday’s episode of “The Five” (a title that seems to be derived from the combined IQ of it’s right-wing panelists), co-host Jesse Watters delivered a commentary (video below) that purported to be his defense of Donald Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky. To be sure, there are few coherent arguments that excuse Trump for unlawfully withholding military aid unless Zelensky dug up dirt on Joe Biden. Especially after Trump admitted it. But Watters went above and beyond his everyday bootlicking duty to unload a laughably idiotic tirade that not only utterly failed to exonerate Trump, it also insulted every American in the process. He began…

“Leave it to the Democrats to make impeachment boring. This is about a transcript of a phone call with a country no one cares about. These are about transcripts from a deposition that we can’t even watch on television. And what do the transcripts say? It’s from the Under-Secretary of Affairs for Energy Policy at the EU. These aren’t household names. They aren’t heavy hitters. Wake me up when the big dogs testify in public.”

So right off the bat Watters reveals that in order for an impeachment inquiry to be credible, it has to stimulate him. Because “boring” (to him) violations of the Constitution should be ignored and those committing such crimes should be given a free pass. And his assertion that Ukraine is “a country no one cares about” exposes just how dysfunctional his puny little mind is.

What’s more, Watters seems to think that only TV-worthy crimes, committed by “household names,” should be prosecuted. For the record, none of the witnesses was an “Under-Secretary of Affairs for Energy Policy at the EU.” And most objective persons would regard the actual witnesses (National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch) as pretty heavy hitters. So maybe Watters should wake the f**k up. He continued…

“The other thing is, no one can find Ukraine on the map. If you ask the American people anything about Ukraine they don’t know a thing about it. Americans care about a few countries. They care about Saudi Arabia. They care about Israel. They care about Russia, China and Mexico. That’s it. Ukraine doesn’t rise to the level of a country that people care about.”

Here Watters is making the argument that Americans are so stupid that they can’t be bothered with all of the trivialities about which he claims they are ignorant. That should endear him to the nation. However, it’s a safe bet that Trump couldn’t find Ukraine (or the U.S.) on map either, unless he marked it with a sharpie beforehand. And Watters’ list of the countries that Americans care about depicts them all as slack-jawed yokels. Perhaps Watters is just referring to himself and the Trump voters he knows best. And he continued…

“We’re talking about a military aid package to a country that, I guess needs help, but that a lot of people don’t care that much about. If you turn on television you see a reporter standing in Congress saying someone was hearing something from someone else who was concerned about a military aid package. It’s obsolutely (sic) not registering in the American people’s frame because it’s not a sexy scandal.”

Watters must not regard the members of Congress as “a lot of people,” since they cared enough about Ukraine to allocate $390 million for their defense against the aggressions of Russia. As to whether or not this scandal is registering with the American people, most polls show that they favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

Worst of all is Watters bizarre assertion that a scandal must be “sexy” in order for the American people to have any interest in it. That probably exposes the perversions of Watters himself, rather than any insight into the American populace. Watters must think that if it doesn’t involve a Democrat getting a blow job it doesn’t qualify as a scandal. It is also another insult to Americans that he already said are stupid.

But if it’s a sexy scandal that Watters wants, he need look no further than Trump’s predatory sexual harassment and assault of more than forty women. But for some reason, and contrary to Watters’ premise, this nauseating “sex” scandal isn’t getting all that much attention – yet. Maybe Watters should bring it up on his program, if he can stop drooling long enough.

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

Fox News Bosses Told Hannity and Other Trump-Fluffers Not to Identify Whistleblower

The right-wing media machine has been chomping at the bit to expose the identity of the intelligence community whistleblower. He/she has been at risk since filing a complaint with the Inspector General regarding Donald Trump’s “quid pro quo” phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. That complaint led to Trump being pressured to release a “summary memo” of the phone call, that he falsely asserts is a verbatim transcript.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

Ever since the complaint was filed, Trump has been rattled and fearful due to the obvious legal jeopardy that it puts him in. He has repeatedly tweeted “READ THE TRANSCRIPT” in an effort to exonerate himself. Nevermind that even his edited memo incriminates him further. Trump’s desperate objections have wandered into deranged territory. And subsequent to the whistleblower’s complaint, additional witnesses and evidence has emerged that make his/her account moot.

Nevertheless, Trump and his propagandist media continue to demand that the whistleblower’s identity be revealed and that he/she testify in person before Congress. That would violate the security measures that the whistleblower statutes were designed to protect. And it would subject the whistleblower to potential harm. Consequently, Fox News found it necessary to advise their on-air “personalities” to refrain from reporting the alleged name of the whistleblower that has been floating around in wingnut media circles. CNN acquired a copy of the Fox News memo and reported that…

“…on October 31, a Fox executive sent an email to staffers that said the network had not ‘independently confirmed [the] name or identification of the anonymous whistleblower.’ A copy of the email was obtained by CNN Business.

“The executive further advised production staffers to ‘NOT fulfill any video or graphic requests’ related to the whistleblower’s identity.”

Among the hosts on Fox that were given these instructions was Sean Hannity. CNN reported that Hannity claimed to have “confirmed independently” the identity of the whistleblower, but declined, so far, to name the person on air. “But you know what?” Hannity said, “I will play the game for a little bit.” Then he pretended to not be afraid of being sued by the whistleblower’s attorney.

CNN’s report also included a paragraph that should be required in every article about Fox News:

“Much of Fox effectively operates as a messaging arm of the White House. Its opinion hosts have defended the President at nearly every turn, and the network employs a stable of pro-Trump contributors who appear throughout the day to offer commentary. Fox’s news anchors and journalists also frequently cover the day’s news from angles beneficial to the Trump White House.”

Well said. But Fox’s admonition to it’s personnel is not likely to be sufficient protection for the whistleblower. Hannity and others on the network have defied their bosses before, with little or no consequences. And people like Sen. Rand Paul are also claiming to know the whistleblower’s identity and threatening to release it. The StormTrumpers are fully prepared to violate the whistleblower statute without concern for the his/her welfare, or for the principle of confidential reporting of wrongdoing in the government.

Their intention is to scare off any other potential whistleblowers who discover criminal or unethical behavior. Which is a pretty good indicator that there is more illegal activity that has yet to be revealed. Hopefully, the patriots in government will stand strong and do what’s right despite these threats. They are a lifeline to keeping government honest and holding wrongdoers accountable.

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 Makes a Damn Good Argument to Vote for Democrats – No, Really!

The pressure is on at the White House as evidence incriminating Donald Trump continues to pile up. The impeachment inquiry is entering a new, more public phase that is exposing facts that are unarguably tying Trump and his cohorts to unlawful activities. And it’s causing him to lash out in ever more incoherent ways. Even his support among Republicans has begun a disastrous freefall.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Of course, whatever affects Trump also has a symbiotic reaction at the Fox News Channel, the network whose mission is to protect and defend Trump and the conservative wackosphere from all enemies, foreign and domesticated. But the weight of the pressure currently being applied by Congress and the Constitution may be overwhelming Fox’s capacity to respond as programmed. This is creating some bizarre departures from their expected behaviors.

On Wednesday morning, the day after Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party suffered severe electoral defeats in Kentucky and Virginia, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends engaged in an exchange that began uneventfully with a typically pro-GOP tirade by Ainsley Earhardt. However, it quickly veered off into something that was uncharacteristically (gasp) liberal! It went something like this (video below):

Earhardt: I don’t understand how that message … how she [Elizabeth Warren] is doing so well with that message. That message is saying “You have more than I do. I’m jealous of yours. I wanna take some of what you have.”
Steve Doocy: But if you don’t have anything, that’s a very potent message, believe me.
Earhardt: But that’s not the American way. The American way is to work your tail off. Keep working. Say yes, say yes. Work weekends, work nights, work your way to the top.
Doocy: I get that. But if you have worked really hard and you still don’t have anything … I mean, I’ve been to the Bernie Sanders rallies where there are a lot of people who need help. You know, they didn’t have health care. They have problems with college tuition. And things like that. So for the Democratic message … “Look, you don’t have anything. The government is going to make sure that the most successful people pay extra so you can get a hand up.” That is very powerful. That’s why you look at the number of people with that point of view, you add up all the people that support that, it’s a big number.

WOW! Doocy gave a pretty good summation of Democratic principles that favor providing for the basic needs of all Americans. He seemed to recognized the appeal of programs that insure that no American goes hungry, or is unable to get medical care, or is burdened by undue debts for education, in the richest nation in the world. He even acknowledged that those benefiting from such programs do work hard and are not shiftless layabouts seeking to take advantage of the system.

The people Doocy is talking about are indeed a large group. And their numbers grow exponentially by adding their families, friends, and other compassionate citizens, who care about the less fortunate among us. They are also many of the same people that Trump tries to attract. He calls them the “forgotten Americans,” and they populate his cult rallies. However, the difference between the Democratic solutions and Trump’s is that Democrats think the wealthy should pay more to fill the gap, as Doocy noted, Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP think the wealthy should pay less (in taxes), and the poor should pay more, by giving up benefits like food stamps, housing assistance, college loan aid, and access to health care.

To be sure, whatever caused that glitch in the Fox News system that resulted in them going haywire with concern for others, it will be temporary. Rest assured that there are already people huddling in the executive suites plotting how to correct the malfunction. But in the meantime it was interesting to hear a perspective on the network that wasn’t dripping with rancor, racism, and animosity toward Americans who need a little bit of help from time to time. So enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t get used to 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 Poll Proves that Trump Voters are Willing Captives of a Cult

In the past couple of weeks, Donald Trump has been crowing about what he says is unprecedented unity within the Republican Party. He couldn’t be more wrong. Trump repeatedly cites a 95% approval rating for him by GOP voters. That’s a false stat for which he never bothers to provide a source. Most other polls put it in the low 80s at best, and it’s heading down. Even Trump’s favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen, is showing him near his lows for the year.

Donald Trump, MAGA

However, there is an argument that Trump can make regarding the devotion of his dwindling cadre of supporters. They are enraptured by their Dear Leader to a degree unseen since the Manson Family. And a new poll by Fox News confirms that the worshipful adoration of Trump’s glassy-eyed followers is a powerful force, albeit only effective on a small minority of the electorate. The Fox News poll reveals that a majority 53% of voters want Trump to be impeached. And 49% want him impeached and removed from office. But the most notable figures in this poll address the subset of Trump supporters:

“Among those opposing impeachment, 57 percent say nothing could change their mind, while 34 percent say new evidence could make them support impeachment. […and…] over half of Republicans (53 percent) say it is generally okay for the president to ask foreign leaders for help in going after his rivals.”

So a majority of those who are currently against impeaching the President won’t change their minds regardless of the evidence. That means even if a smocking gun is found that incriminates him for treason, they will still back Trump. These are the people that Trump was talking about when he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support.

This is not the sort of movement that is generally associated with a political campaign. It is the defining characteristics of a cult. Trump’s followers don’t care whether he broke the law, or breached his oath of office, or violated the Constitution. They don’t even care about his policies that are demonstrably worse for them than for the public at large. They only care about genuflecting before “The Chosen One” (as he calls himself).

The poll has other bad news for Trump that is also ignored by his faithful Deplorables. It found that he is underwater on immigration (40% approve, 57% disapprove), foreign policy (37-56), and health care (35-53). He has a slim 3-point margin (49-46) on the economy. What’s more, Trump is shown to be losing to the top four Democrats included in the survey: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton. Although why Fox polled Clinton is a mystery, or perhaps wishful thinking.

Trump spent much of Sunday morning tweeting about his pathetic victimhood. Which is a peculiar position for someone who occupies what is often called the most powerful office on Earth. Much of his whining featured praise for the One America News Network (OANN), a channel so tiny that Nielsen doesn’t track their ratings. This must be part of his campaign to drive his followers away from Fox News, which he said doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” and declared that We have to start looking for a new News Outlet.”

So the cult is shopping around for a network that will be more complimentary and obedient. It’s hard to imagine that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently fulfilling that objective. But then, Fox is having problems of its own as their ratings have sharply declined lately. That’s more likely due to viewers tiring of the bias and lies, than to Trump’s temper tantrums. But he certainly isn’t doing Fox any good. Which just happens to be quite good for the rest of us.

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

The Trump Sycophant ‘Softball Question of the Year’ Award Goes to Fox News – Again

Donald Trump is turkey-neck deep in an impeachment inquiry that is accumulating evidence faster than it can be processed. At any other time in history, this much proof of criminal behavior and obstruction of justice would have been more than sufficient to shame the president from ever showing his face in public. He would have been humiliated as well prosecuted, and would have jumped ship long ago.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, in these peculiar times we have a president who is buttressed by a propaganda network that lavishes him with undying praise, defends him from any and all criticism, and maligns his political foes as schemers, liars, and even traitors. The worshipful devotion of Fox News to Trump and his regime is unprecedented. Many of their former employees are now on the White House payroll. Likewise, many former White House staff are now working for Fox.

Making matters worse, Trump’s current Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham (who is a certified “Deep State” conspiracy kook), has never held a single press conference. She has literally moved the media functions of the White House into the Fox News studio, which is the only place she ever appears before the public. This, of course, is fine with Fox because it gives them exclusive coverage of the Trump administration’s official disinformation. They are also the only network that still airs Trump’s lie and hate filled cult rallies in full and uninterrupted as they happen.

In an especially slobbering segment on Friday (video below), Grisham was “interviewed” by Fox’s Bill Hemmer. Naturally, the subject of impeachment came up and Hemmer forged valiantly into the fray with what is undoubtedly the softest ball thrown at a presidential spokesperson this year – maybe ever. It is truly impressive how Grisham managed to muddle through this wet kiss interrogation that began with Hemmer asking…

It seems as if you have concluded [impeachment] is a foregone conclusion. And if the president believes that as well, how has he described his feelings to you about that potential reality?

Feelings? Seriously? Hemmer is hammering Grisham by demanding that she dig deep and reveal Li’l Donnie’s unspoken feelings about becoming just the third president ever to be impeached. As if Trump has any “unspoken” feelings. And if he does, the last person to disclose them honestly is his designated disseminator of deception. Grisham responded with a flurry of robo-talking points:

He has described his feelings to the American people. You just have to look at his Twitter feed to show. This is a sham and a kangaroo court. This has been unjust and unfair. The president did absolutely nothing wrong. We released the transcript weeks ago for everybody to see. There was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian government themselves has said they felt absolutely no pressure. Aid was eventually released to the Ukraine.

Someone needs to reprogram Grisham. She is stuck on auto-spew, and even so, is digging Trump into a deeper abyss of political and legal jeopardy. Her reference to the “transcript” (which was really just a summary memo of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky) works against Trump’s interests. Although Trump has also been obsessed with what he is lately saying is an exact, verbatim transcription of the phone call. It isn’t, and it says so on the first page. Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly tweeted exhortations to “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” One has to wonder if he has read it, because it indisputably incriminates him. For instance, after Zelensky raises the issue of U.S. military aid, Trump replies…

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“There’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William barr] would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

That sounds horrible to a lot of people, but not for the reasons Trump is thinking. Trump recently suggested that he would like to have a nationally televised “fireside chat” wherein he would read the “transcript” to the American people. That’s a great idea, because we would then have him saying in his own voice the words that warrant his impeachment. Then Grisham could return to Fox News where they could ask her how he feels about making an ass of himself and being booted from 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.

Trump’s Impotent Response to Impeachment Vote is Flagrantly Delusional and Dishonest

On Thursday morning the House of Representatives did what Donald Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party has been asking for. They voted to proceed with the impeachment inquiry in an open, accessible manner that permits the GOP to review all documents and transcripts, issue subpoenas, and cross-examine witnesses. So naturally Trump and Republicans are still whining.

Donald Trump, Impeach

The spectacle of a president whining like a petulant child seems unthinkable, but for Trump it is business as usual. During his campaign he actually bragged that he is the most fabulous whiner.” And he has spent his presidency proving it. Now, with the walls closing in around him, Trump is lashing out incoherently in a panicked effort to escape accountability for his treasonous misconduct. In an official statement from the White House, Trump laid out an impotent case for his acquittal. Let’s take a closer look at the full statement with some explanatory annotations:

“The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it.”

The President has done a great many things wrong and, unfortunately for him, the Democrats and a majority of Americans know it. Among his criminal and impeachable offenses are extortion, campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy against the United States.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people.”

The right calls everything Democrats do unhinged and partisan, so those labels have lost any meaning or relevance. As for the impeachment hurting the American people, that’s impossible considering that fact that a majority of them are in favor of it.

“Instead of focusing on pressing issues that impact real families, like reducing gun violence, passing the USMCA, improving healthcare, lowering prescription drug costs, securing our southern border, and modernizing our aging infrastructure, the Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment—a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the President.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives have passed bills addressing nearly all of those issues, plus more than 300 others. It’s the GOP Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who is refusing to let them come to a vote in the Senate.

“With today’s vote, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, and the Democrats conducted secret, behind-closed-door meetings, blocked the Administration from participating, and have now voted to authorize a second round of hearings that still fails to provide any due process whatsoever to the Administration.”

Actually, the rules being followed by the Democrats were written and codified in 2015 by a Republican House majority led by Speaker John Boehner. This was notably pointed out by Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News. What’s more, Republicans were participants in every hearing and witness interview that the White House is now falsely portraying as “secret.”

“The Democrats want to render a verdict without giving the Administration a chance to mount a defense. That is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American.”

First of all, there is nothing unconstitutional about a process that is actually in the Constitution. But more to the point, Democrats are conducting an inquiry. In no legal proceeding is the “defendant” permitted to participate in that investigation. When it is concluded it will either be dropped for lack of evidence, or an indictment and trial will take place. And that’s when Trump’s side will have ample opportunity to present their defense. The White House is deliberately trying to deceive the public as to how these matters are conducted.

Of course, the Deceiver-in-Chief is Donald Trump himself. He is mounting a disinformation campaign to attack the process, and by extension, the Constitution. And he’s getting plenty of help from State TV (aka Fox News), which is having problems of its own.

Trump posted a four-tweet quote by Fox’s Laura Ingraham that is nothing more than a GOP pep talk to pressure the right to obediently follow Dear Leader and abandon integrity, honesty, and morality, and to place Trump’s interests above those of the country. And most of the Fox roster is doing the same thing. So once again, it needs to be pointed out that this network is an arm of the Trump regime and should be designated as such for campaign finance purposes.

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

Thanks Trump! The Pumpkinhead President Scares Fox News Ratings Into an Abyss

The month of October has been a frightening experience for Donald Trump. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted on national TV that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a nervous breakdown on Fox News. He was forced to reverse an idiotic plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami. And his one bit of good news – the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – produced a paltry two point bounce in a poll by his favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen. Scary, huh?

Donald Trump, Fox News, Halloween

Trump was so terrified throughout the month that he fear-posted 104 panic-tweets attacking the fearsome chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. And as if the Offender-in-Chief doesn’t already have enough reasons to soil his trousers, the Trump-fluffing “news” network that he relies on to prop him up with worshipful propaganda, Fox News, fell on some hard times as well. The ratings for October reveal that impeachment has been good news for both America and Fox’s chief competitor, MSNBC.

The total day ratings for Fox News declined by a whopping 27 percent in the all-important 25-54 demographic, compared to October of 2018. In the same period MSNBC rose 12 percent. MSNBC also increased total prime time viewers 25 percent, and prime time demo viewers 16 percent.

This growth was driven by impressive gains by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the #1 cable news program for the month among adults 25-54. Her show was up 13 percent, while Fox News’ Hannity declined 21 percent in that time slot. In total viewers Maddow was up 22 percent, compared to Fox’s 2 percent drop. She beat her direct competition, Sean Hannity, as well as Fox’s other prime time stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

These gains were also present in other MSNBC programs. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up 20 percent (Fox News dropped 22 percent). The 11th Hour with Brian Williams finished #1 in the 11 p.m. hour, up 25 percent (Fox News declined 31 percent). The Beat with Ari Melber delivered the network’s most-watched month ever in the 6 p.m. time period, up 34 percent (Fox News down 12 percent). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was #1 in total viewers, up 13 percent (Fox News dropped 27 percent). All In with Chris Hayes was up 24 percent (Fox News was down 19 percent). Even the weekend had great news with total day gains of 10 percent (Fox News dips of 32 percent).

There could be several explanations for this powerful performance by MSNBC and the simultaneous collapse of Fox News. Trump’s impeachment might have stirred more interest by progressive news consumers to tune in more. At the same time, it might have discouraged conservatives from watching the news at all. But there’s another possible factor that drove Fox’s viewers away: Donald Trump. He spent a fair amount of time bashing his own own best media outlet and even telling his followers to turn off Fox.

For instance, after a Fox poll showed him losing to Biden, Trump tweeted that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.” And then there was the time he tweeted that “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.” And not mincing words, Trump told his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

It’s hard to determine whether Trump’s Fox bashing had any real impact on their ratings. But it isn’t hard to see that he is a fickle and vengeful narcissist who demands 100 percent adoration at all times, lest you be cast into the corn fields, aka TrumpScorn. However, it is more likely that television audiences were simply more interested in getting honest presentations of the news by real journalists instead of slobbering, glassy-eyed sycophants. And since a majority of Americans favor Trump being impeached and removed from office (even in that Fox News poll), even the opinion side of MSNBC would figure to be more popular.

If Trump has anything going for him at this time, it’s the “bloody highway crash” appeal that might cause viewers to tune to Fox in order to see exactly how his mental breakdown will unfold in real time. Sure, it’s morbid and gruesome, but hell, it’s Halloween. Everybody may just be in a weird mood.

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