Crybaby Trump Files Asinine ‘1st Amendment’ Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook, and Google

Last week Trump’s spokes shill tweeted that Trump would “make a huge announcement” on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. That day has come and the announcement is living down to the expectations that most people have for the one-term, twice-impeached, former reality TV game show host who is indisputably America’s biggest loser.

Donald Trump, Constitution

From his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort, Trump delivered a nearly hour long address to reveal his intention to file a lawsuit against “Big Tech” companies, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Make no mistake, this alleged litigation (there is no evidence yet that it’s been filed) is driven purely by Trump’s voracious ego and thirst for revenge.

After having his accounts on social media suspended for blatant violations of their terms of service, Trump is proposing to exploit the courts to punish the private companies who took responsible actions to stem his inflammatory rhetoric. He already incited a deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C., on January 6th, and he is continuing his bellicose “Big Lie” rants that drove his glassy-eyed disciples to riot and storm the Capitol.

Trump’s tedious dissertation on his pending lawsuit was filled with bizarre and legally preposterous assertions. He starts off describing this suit as the beginning of a much bigger initiative. “We will take this battle,” he promises, “to state legislatures, to Congress, and to the ballot box.” But the whole premise of the action is ludicrous. Trump thinks that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (which protects free speech) makes social media liable as “government actors” and subject to First Amendment prohibitions against censorship:

“Once they got Section 230 they’re no longer private companies anymore in a lot of views. […] These companies have been coopted, coerced and weaponized by government and by government actors to become the enforcers of illegal, unconstitutional censorship.

Not only is Trump’s interpretation of Section 230 completely off, he is articulating a paranoid, crackpot conspiracy theory that social media companies are in cahoots with the feds to silence him. Like his unhinged raving about election fraud, there is no evidence of these allegations either. But that doesn’t stop him from spouting off incoherently (video below) Some excerpts follow:

“Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative a major class action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as their CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey. Three real nice guys. We’re asking the district court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

We’re demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well. Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s completely un-American. We all know that. We know that very, very well. Our lawsuit also seeks injunctive relief to allow prompt restitution.”

Trump didn’t cite a single legal principle to support his claims. That’s because he can’t. The Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits government censorship. Hence the wording that “Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Trump actually undermines his case by bragging about all the avenues of speech he has available to him that he insists are successful (they aren’t).

“We’re in a fight, we’re in a fight that we’re going to win. So many people have said to me, ‘Please sir, do something about big tech. Sue them, sir. Sue them.’ And they’ve been saying it to me for a long time. But there has never been a better time to do it. Polling released by Scott Rasmussen, highly respected, shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that big tech companies should be required to abide by the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.”

Trump always has a “sir” story wherein some beleaguered soul begs him to do something that really only benefits Trump. And his reliance on the notoriously disreputable Rasmussen for polling data doesn’t advance his legal interests. Even reputable polls are not legal arguments. Cases are decided by statute and precedent, not popularity.

“Social Media has given extraordinary power to a group of Big Tech Giants that are working with government, the mainstream media, and a large segment of a political party to silence and suppress the views of the American people. And they’ve been very, very successful at that. Not in all cases, but in many cases totally successful.”

This is more conspiracy mongering that now includes a cabal comprised of the government, tech companies, the media, and Democrats. If you ask him, Trump would probably add academia, banking, the judiciary, liberal churches, and the Girl Scouts of America.

Following his prepared, TelePrompTer remarks, Trump took questions from what was obviously an exclusive club of ultra-conservative media. Every question was framed positively for Trump, or prefaced with adoring commentary. That’s just more proof that Trump can’t be taken seriously that he cares about a free press. Which, you recall, he has repeatedly maligned in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the People.”

It’s impossible to set aside Trump’s flaming hypocrisy in all of this. After all, he’s the first one to “cancel” anyone who dares to contradict him. He is the undisputed King of Cancel Culture. He has called for dozens of boycotts of American companies. He even expressed his regret that he didn’t ban Facebook and Twitter when he mistakenly thought he could have as president. And now his buddy, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, is pushing a state law that would make it illegal for private companies to monitor their own website comments.

It’s from that perch of police state prohibition that Trump is heralding his campaign for free speech. So not only is Trump on swampy ground legally, he’s up to both of his chins in hypocrisy. This lawsuit, if it is ever actually filed, is going nowhere in hurry, according to most legal experts.

However, let’s hope that this suit isn’t dismissed before the defendants can conduct discovery. There is a wealth of information that can be acquired regarding Trump’s activities prior to, and during the insurrection, his relationships with right-wing media (Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, etc.), and efforts to unlawfully damage the commercial interests of private companies against whom he holds grudges. That should be fun.

UPDATE: It’s All About the Grift! David Corn of Mother Jones spells out the latest con.

“In typical Trumpian fashion, the cases were amateurishly cobbled together, with arguments and contentions that legal experts immediately derided. […] Trump has a long history of both threatening suits that never materialize and filing bogus cases that go nowhere.” […]

“Other than ginning up the Big Lie believers, there is another strong reason for Trump to proceed with this case: money. Lots of money. No sooner had Trump’s lawyers filed when his grift-machine kicked into action. A text message was sent to Trump supporters hitting them up for donations. “President Trump is filing a LAWSUIT against Facebook and Twitter for UNFAIR CENSORSHIP!” it proclaimed.”

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

CANCEL CULTure: Fox News Attacks Olympic Athlete for Exercising Free Speech

The emergence of a new buzzword in Fox News is always a treasure trove of asininity. And as their embrace of their new and thoroughly contrived concept of “cancel culture” has spread across their airwaves, Fox News has proven that they are the foremost abusers of it.

Fox News, Censorship

Fox News has courageously stood up in opposition to the injustices suffered by esteemed, albeit imaginary, Americans like Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. Because of Fox, they now represent the class of victims who have been “canceled” by systemic intolerance of cartoon characters and plastic toys.

However, no one is more guilty than Fox News of “canceling” real people who dare to go against the grain of whatever narrative Fox News happens to be espousing. Just ask all of the Republicans censured and cast aside for their perceived disloyalty to Donald Trump. Or check with the American companies that Trump has targeted for boycotts.

Now we can add to those casualties Olympic hopeful Gwen Barry. Upon winning a bronze medal in the recent Olympic trials, Berry took the opportunity to express her commitment to social injustice. That act of free speech earned her a mention at the White House daily press briefing. The Fox News White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, chose to use his privileged position to focus on an issue that he believes far outweighs the other petty concerns of the President of the United States, such as the resurgent COVID pandemic, or the Florida condo catastrophe, or how the pending infrastructure bill will impact the economy and jobs. Nope, Doocy wanted to know about this:

Doocy: This weekend Gwen Berry, who represents the United States as an Olympian on the hammer-throwing events, won a bronze medal at the trials, and then she turned her back on the flag while the anthem played. Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?”
Psaki: I haven’t spoken to the President specifically about this. But I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American, and has great respect for the anthem, and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world. He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals. And it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the Constitution, to peacefully protest.

Was it really necessary for Doocy to ask that particular question? Did it advance the public’s knowledge of matters that actually affect them? Didn’t he know that the obvious answer would be a defense of the Constitution? Is he really that stupid? (Don’t answer that).

And if that weren’t enough, Fox News had already addressed this critical subject on their early morning program, Fox and Friends. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt put the question to Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw:

Earhardt: [Berry] turned her back on the flag during the anthem, and she also put a black t-shirt over her face that said “activist athlete.”
Crenshaw: We don’t need anymore activist athletes. She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point. It’s one thing when these NBA players do it. We’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country representing.

So Crenshaw doesn’t believe we need “anymore activist athletes.” That implies that we have some already and that the quota has met. Which leaves one to wonder exactly how many activist athletes we need? And if we’ve exceeded that need, are the rest just canceled/removed?

Crenshaw makes the bizarre assertion that “The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.” Most people probably thought it has something to do with athletic competitions. And he makes a distinction between the Olympics and the NBA because you don’t have to watch basketball. Does he think that watching the Olympics is legally mandated? Plus, he’s being profoundly disingenuous because he wouldn’t support the free speech of professional athletes either. Just ask Colin Kaepernick. And Fox News can tell you something about their demands on NBA players to Shut Up and Dribble.”

Finally, Crenshaw is asserting that a peaceful gesture of protest amounts to not believing in your country. That’s the opposite of the truth. Wanting to improve your country is an act of patriotism. If Berry didn’t care about America, she wouldn’t have felt compelled to make any statement at all. It’s the protestors who love America. It’s the “love it or leave it” types who refuse to acknowledge the nation’s flaws who really don’t care.

And that’s precisely what’s wrong with the attitude of Crenshaw, Fox News, and their audience. The same people who are offended by a woman of color peacefully protesting by turning her back to the flag, have actually defended violent protestors who used the flag as a weapon against police officers at Trump’s January 6th insurrection.

The Crenshaws and Foxists of the world wear blinders that keep them satisfied with America as it is. Don’t bother to resolve problems or help those who are not enjoying the full spectrum of the nation’s benefits. And to hell with anyone who thinks we can do better. Contrary to what Fox News and Crenshaw believe, that is not the true spirit of America.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Crybaby Trump and His Whining Republicans Threaten Illegal Retaliation Against Facebook

Several months ago, Donald Trump was suspended by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among others, for disseminating lies and disinformation that had a certifiably dangerous impact on the nation. On Wednesday morning Facebook released the decision by its independent Oversight Board to uphold that suspension, at least for the time being.

Donald Trump WTF

The Board found that…

“…in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.” […] “At the same time, the panel found the indefinite suspension inappropriate and asked Facebook over the next six months to review the decision and develop a ‘proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform.'”

The reaction to that decision by the Trump camp was as swift as it was ludicrous. Trump’s response was a post to his pitifully comical new “communications platform” saying that…

““What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country. Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before. The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.”

To give credit where credit is due, Trump knows plenty about being “a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country.” However, his assertion that “free speech has been taken away” from him proves that he doesn’t have any idea what the term means. For the record, free speech is the constitutional protection against the government (not private business) suppressing speech.

What’s more, Trump apparently doesn’t think that being able to appear at will on national cable TV propaganda networks (i.e. Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, etc.) and a multitude of other right-wing media outlets (i.e. Breitbart, Daily Caller, New York Post, etc.) constitute platforms for free speech. If he’s really concerned about free speech, he might want to stand up for Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who is presently being shut down for telling the truth about Trump and his incitement of the deadly Capitol insurrection.

More troubling is Trump’s overt threat that “social media companies must pay a political price.” That is, in itself, an attack on the free speech rights of the businesses that operate social media sites. And it is purely political retaliation for what he imagines is bias against conservatives. Never mind that the highest trafficked pages on Facebook are by right-wingers:

Joining Trump in this directed assault on social media are his Republican Party confederates. They are now openly threatening to retaliate against Facebook with legislation aimed at punishing them and even breaking them up. Those threats are, of course, being amplified by Fox News.

To be sure, there are problems with the power wielded by Facebook, Twitter, et al, that need to be addressed in a rational and fair manner. But Trump and the GOP are mounting a knee-jerk assault based entirely on their political peeves. You won’t see them make the same complaints about Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson not giving airtime to Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi. But you will see House GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy threatening to rein in big tech power. Or GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida introducing a bill to hold big tech accountable.”

Now Trump likely doesn’t know that these actions are blatantly illegal because he’s a raving ignoramous. But these legislators undoubtedly know that the Constitution prohibits them. They are called “Bills of Attainder,” and defined as “a legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment.” Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of the Constitution states plainly that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”

So whatever you think about Facebook’s decision regarding Trump, it is unarguable that Trump and the Republican Party are proposing to break the law with their retaliatory smackdown. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has paid attention to Trump and the GOP for past four years (or 40 years?). They simply don’t care about the law. The only thing that matters to them is the acquisition and preservation of power by any means necessary. And that, as Trump says, is something that “the people of our Country will not stand for.”

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Trump’s Final, Furious, Flabbergasted, Frothing, Frantic Tweet Annotated

Well, it took four years, but Twitter finally recognized that Donald Trump is a risk to the Constitution’s promise to “establish Justice, [and] insure domestic Tranquility.” It took Trump’s cheerleading of lawless insurrectionists in Washington, D.C., to get Twitter to act. But now Trump has been set adrift to languish in the obscurity of … oh wait. He still has Fox News and a plethora of other right-wing platforms to disseminate his lies and his appeals to terrorists that comprise his cult following.

Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

After Twitter shut down Trump’s account, he behaved like a cranky toddler who was determined cause a scene in the checkout line at Walmart. He barricaded himself in his bunker, watching Fox News and spitting out what become the last of his twantrums. He tried to continue posting his irate blather on the official White House Twitter account, but those tweets were quickly removed. However, there is some usefulness in observing just how deeply demented Trump has become, and it’s evident in those final tweets. What follows is an annotated version of Trump’s foaming anxiety and ire:

“As I have been saying for a long time, Twitter has gone further and further in banning free speech…”
Trump has been saying for a long time that every media outlet was hell-bent on quashing free speech. But in reality, he was only referring to any incident where private companies prevented him from flinging verbal feces, which they have a right and responsibility to do. And he apparently doesn’t know that, in constitutional terms, free speech only applies to government prohibition of speech.

“…and tonight, Twitter employees have coordinated with the Democrats and the Radical Left in removing my account from their platform…”
As usual, Trump has no more evidence for his assertion that Twitter coordinated with Democrats or anyone else, than he does of the election fraud he’s been whining about for months. What’s more, Twitter is notorious for their toleration of radical right-wingers who advocate violence and threaten their enemies.

“…to silence me — and YOU, the 75,000,000 great patriots who voted for me.”
Twitter is only “silencing” Trump if you believe that he has no other outlet for his rabid rants. And while he likes to pretend that any offense to him is an attack on all of his cult disciples, that is patently false. They are still able to tweet and whine and regurgitate his belligerent BS.

“…Twitter may be a private company, but without the government’s gift of Section 230 they would not exist for long. I predicted this would happen.”
Trump still has no idea what “Section 230” is or does. It is simply a rule that indemnifies any business that permits online comments from lawsuits for what their users post. Without that protection, the potential liabilities would demand that all such commentary be shut down. It would, in fact, diminish free speech.

“We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.”
Don’t hold your breath. Whenever Trump says he’ll have a “big announcement” soon it never seems to come to pass. We’re still waiting for his healthcare plan that he said would be revealed in two weeks for the past four years. And any platform of his own would likely just be his next humiliating failure and bankruptcy

“We will not be SILENCED! Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH. They are all about promoting a Radical Left platform where some of the most vicious people in the world are allowed to speak freely…”
Once again, when Trump says “WE,” he means “ME.” But he’s right that Twitter is not about free speech. It’s a forum for comments that must follow the terms and regulations that Twitter requires every user to agree to. But Trump refuses to follow the rules. He expects special treatment for his own viciousness, then whines petulantly when he doesn’t get it.

“…STAY TUNED!”
Don’t bother. Unless you’re a glutton for relentless griping, egomaniacal self-promotion, and sniveling lies.

This is actually a fantastic way for Trump go out. His Twitter finale could not be more appropriate. It includes all of the top psychotic raves that Trump is known for. And it is a fitting flourish with which to cap his legacy of lies, hostility, conceit, and ignorance.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow my alternate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

WHUT? Trump Issues Threat to Reopen Schools That He Says Indoctrinate Students

No one is going to be surprised that Donald Trump says things that are patently absurd. His grasp of the facts on any subject is minimal at best and, more often than not, utterly fictional. And he has a difficult time displaying an ability to express thoughts with simple logic or any semblance of coherence.

Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

On Friday morning Trump provided an outstanding example of his cognitive confusion. While rage-tweeting about resistance to his reckless intention to have schools open this fall, Trump employed his customary method of persuasion: vicious, albeit impotent, threats. And the proprietor of the fraudulent Trump University is unwise to bring up academics at all following the recent news that he cheated on his SATs (as reported in the new book by his niece, Mary Trump).

Never mind that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is surging throughout the nation and Trump would be putting students, teachers, administrative and support staff, vendors, security, and the families of them all at risk of deadly infection. Since Trump and his family don’t fall into any of those categories, he couldn’t care less. So he tweeted that…

This is so very like Trump. First of all, it’s another quid pro quo threat to withhold crucial funding unless his unreasonable, and possibly illegal, demands are met. It’s identical to his attempted extortion of Ukraine in order to coerce them to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. He was impeached for that.

Additionally, Trump wraps his mob-style shakedown in a brazenly partisan harangue that falsely accuses the entire institution of academia of being a bastion of “Radical Left Indoctrination.” Which is ironic considering that the whole of Trump’s presidency has been dominated by indoctrination, gaslighting, and outright lying for three and half years.

The consequences for not obediently complying with Dear Leader’s decree will supposedly be the loss of tax-exempt status and federal funding. The only problem with Trump’s ultimatum is that he doesn’t have the authority to carry out either of those penalties. Congress is responsible for appropriating funds for schools, and the president cannot unilaterally overrule them. The same is true for the tax code which is passed into law by Congress and, once signed by the president, can only be amended by Congress.

So as usual, Trump is talking tough out of his asinine misunderstanding of the law. But even worse, he is admitting that the proposed sanctions be applied due to what he says is left-wing political discourse in the schools. That is plainly unconstitutional. He is openly asserting that the government should have the ability to punish schools on the basis of the content of speech. Trump obviously hates liberal politics, but he cannot use federal funds to suppress speech that he doesn’t like.

Finally, Trump’s threat makes so little sense that it could only have come from someone suffering from severe mental infirmities. He is so determined to force schools to reopen that he is making bizarre and improper threats in order to achieve his goal. But he also believes that these same schools are hopelessly tainted by leftist politics. So he’s actually trying force students into the academies of radical indoctrination that he despises. Seriously, Trump is not running on all cylinders. But then, you all knew that.

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

Fox News Host Tells LeBron James to ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ in Vile, Racist Rant

Laura Ingraham has long been a vocal opponent of the First Amendment, particularly as it applies to entertainers and other creative or famous people. Fifteen years ago she wrote the book Shut Up and Sing purporting to reveal “How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the Media are Subverting America.” In reality it was an extended diatribe against the free expression rights of anyone with whom she disagrees. It was a transparent attempt to silence some of the most effective and passionate communicators our society produces. And it is no coincidence that these complaints from Ingraham and other right-wingers is only directed at liberals. They frequently, and hypocritically, embrace conservative “celebrities” like Scott Baio, Ted Nugent, and ballplayer Tim Tebow.

Fox News Laura Ingraham

On Thursday Ingraham expanded the scope of her anti-speech mission to include blatant racism. On her primetime Fox News program she ventured into a loopy tirade that attacked basketball greats LeBron James and Kevin Durant (video below). The spittle inflected rant displayed her overt racism and disrespect for important voices of successful contributors to American society and culture.

The segment featured badly edited clips from an interview of James and Durant by Cari Champion. Ingraham began the piece with a demeaning tone by misrepresenting the interview as an ESPN podcast. In fact, it was produced by James’ own media company, Uninterrupted. It was not on ESPN, and it was not a podcast. Following those journalistic failures, Ingraham continued with her trademarked assault on personalities who dare to speak out. Ironically, the part of the video she highlighted (which is well worth watching in full) was actually talking about the responsibility of role models in politics, entertainment, and sports. The featured exchange began with Champion asking “How do you describe the climate for an athlete with a platform nowadays that wants to talk about what’s happening in our world?”

What surely rattled Ingraham was the part of James’ response that portrayed Donald Trump as “someone who doesn’t understand the people and really don’t give a f*ck about the people.” That’s a characterization that perfectly fits this president, and he proves it every day. He is a narcissist who was born into wealth and spent a lifetime avoiding and insulting the “little people” for whom he had nothing but disdain. His background of exploitation and prejudice is well documented.

Nevertheless, Ingraham lashed out against James and Durant with ugly slurs intended to belittle them. She described them as “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical.” James discussed Trump’s racism noting that it was predictable to the point of being laughable. But he also agreed that it was “frightening” and that people shouldn’t become “numb” to it. Whereupon Ingraham mocked James with a Valley Girl “like” expression and asked “Must they run their mouths like that?”

Yes, they must. Especially because of people like Ingraham whose ignorance and bigotry actually affirms the criticisms that James and Durant put forward. She couldn’t possibly be a better example of the bias that permeates society at large and Fox News in particular. And her summation at the end of her screed closed the case on her contemptuousness:

“This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh and LeBron, Kevin, you’re great players but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself or, as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”

First of all, James graduated from high school. And his decision to join the NBA after that resulted in a remarkably successful career in sports and business. You have to wonder, has Ingraham ever criticized Bill Gates for dropping out of college? Secondly, James gets paid for winning. He gets paid for mastering both the physical and strategic aspects of a complex athletic enterprise. Ingraham is ignorantly diminishing the achievements of someone who has become a historic figure in his field.

Finally, if Ingraham wants to tout the millions of votes Trump got, she might also mention that Hillary Clinton got millions more. And also that he holds the distinct dishonor of having the lowest approval rating of any president on record. There’s good evidence that James knows more about the lives of average Americans than Trump ever will. And Ingraham’s repulsive and oppressive demand that he “shut up” is nothing more than a plantation master’s approach to uppity lessers who don’t know their place.

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

WTF? Donald Trump Just Used Low Ratings to Justify His Attacks on Kneeling NFL PLayers?

The embarrassing spectacle of Donald Trump’s feud with popular sports figures continues to heat up. It began several days ago with Trump lashing out at NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA star Steph Curry. These and other public figures have been actively expressing themselves regarding civil rights and racism in America. And what they get for exercising their First Amendment rights is ignorant insults from the White House.

Donald Trump NFL

In response to Trump’s Twitter tantrums, many more players are speaking out. What’s more, they have been joined by their coaches and team owners. Among those castigating Trump are friends and political supporters like former Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan, who is “pissed off.” Patriots owner, and Trump donor, Robert Kraft, said he is “disappointed” with Trump. On Sunday morning players for the Jaguars and the Ravens took a knee, joined by coaches and owners. The entire Steelers team will not take the field for the national anthem.

Trump’s ill-advised tirade is producing a backlash that any sensible person could have predicted. He has inspired more people to protest than ever would have had he kept his mouth shut. And the criticism directed at him points out the obvious racist overtones in his outburst. For instance, many observers have noticed that Trump called protesting athletes “sons of bitches,” but praised white supremacists in Charlottesville as “very fine people.” It’s apparent that the President has a case of tunnel blindness that prohibits him from seeing reality. And that may explain his latest tweets on Sunday morning:

First of all, it is unprecedented that a president of the United States would call for a boycott against American enterprises on purely political grounds. He is advocating financial harm and the loss of jobs for businesses and citizens who have done nothing more than employ free speech to lawfully and peacefully express their opinions. Furthermore, he is calling for Americans to be fired for constitutionally protected activities. Clearly Trump has no understanding of American values as he demonstrates his overtly anti-American position. But he wasn’t finished with this juvenile tantrum:

Trump totally skids off the rails with this criticism of the NFL’s ratings. He recently misrepresented the TV ratings as being “massively” lower. That’s a lie. They are modestly lower. And the reasons have more to do with the evolving state of television than with player protests. But what makes this criticism so absurd is that Trump’s own ratings have broken records for descending into an abyss. No president has ever had lower approval ratings at this point in his presidency. And he is bringing the whole Republican Party down with him.

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

By his own standard, therefore, Trump is “disrespecting our flag and country.” The American people “stay away [from him] because they love our country. They should boycott this presidency, and he should be fired. It’s fair to say that given the choice, voters would choose to keep the NFL over this failure of a president. And his most recent abhorrent behavior only solidifies the distaste and distrust they have for him. If there’s one thing that Trump has succeeded in, it’s getting people to join together in their hatred for him.

Bill Maher Misfires On Free Speech

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Bill Maher addressed the ongoing controversy over civility (or the lack thereof) by public figures in broadcasting, entertainment, and politics. As might be expected, the comedian had a few prime punchlines dispersed throughout the piece that essentially argued in favor of offensive speech. For instance:

“The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.”

The article began by correctly pointing out that a joke by Robert De Niro about whether the country was ready for a white first lady was wholly non-offensive and any umbrage taken was purposefully faked by people who “pretend to be outraged about nothing.” But, unfortunately, Maher went further to propose what he thinks would be an appropriate response to actual hate speech:

“If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.”

Maher’s position seems to be that free speech is exercised only by the first person to speak. If that person says something that offends someone else, the obligation of the offendee is to clam up and walk away. I couldn’t disagree more.

Free speech is a right granted to everyone, and the exercise of it is not limited to whoever gets to the microphone first. Responding to the comments of others with whom you disagree is still protected speech and is a part of the great tradition of open discourse in America. If Rush Limbaugh calls a law student a slut, it is entirely appropriate for people offended by that to respond, criticize, and even engage in protests and boycotts. The same is true for those offended by Maher. That is not censorship – it is the complete realization of the meaning of the First Amendment.

In short, you have the right to speak freely. But you do not have the right to be free from criticism for anything stupid that comes out when doing so.

Maher closes his article by saying that he doesn’t “want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone.” Neither do I. But I also don’t want to live in a country where no ever talks back when people incite racial division, or lie about important public policies, or insult civic-minded women and other citizens who only seek to participate in the affairs of their communities.

As usual, the pimply-faced editors at the Fox Nation continue to demonstrate their most juvenile tendencies by, once again, referring to Maher with an insulting epithet: Pig Maher Calls for Truce. First of all, Maher did not call for a truce. In fact, he called for continuing to use controversial language but advising people not to get upset about it. Secondly, isn’t it cute the way the Fox Nationalists use a story about toning down uncivil rhetoric by using uncivil rhetoric in their headline? And these people want to be regarded as legitimate “news.”

Fox Nation - Bill Maher

Bill O’Reilly: Censorship, Lies And Plunging Popularity

A couple of days ago Bill O’Reilly again demonstrated his aversion to free expression as well as his penchant for dishonesty. An op-ed that appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (a paper that O’Reilly regularly castigates as “far-left loons”) laid out a case for Impeachment: If not now, when? The column was accompanied by a political cartoon that had Bush and Cheney dressed up for their mugshots.

That was more than enough to set O’Reilly off on a rant that amounted to a call for censorship (YouTube):

“Look at this. This is ridiculous […] It’s based on nothing […] I want you to excoriate them. Let them have it […] It’s wrong though for them to do it. Don’t you think that showing a mug shot of a sitting president, a sitting vice president is irresponsible?”

O’Reilly is outraged that anyone would exercise their First Amendment rights to express an opinion about the criminality of this administration. He believes that such open expression “diminishes intelligent conversation,” (as if O’Reilly ever engaged in one) and his response is to shut down conversation entirely. Note that O’Reilly is complaining about the cartoon, not the content of the article. Although he does say that the cartoon is “based on nothing,” despite the fact that it is attached to a well-documented column that enumerates specific justifications for investigating the President and his administration.

After once again calling the paper “loons,” (an example of his idea of “intelligent conversation”) O’Reilly attacks the paper’s credibility by smugly declaring that it has lost 40% of its readers in the past ten years:

“Almost half of their readers have said ‘We don’t like you anymore, we’re not going to read you.'”

What O’Reilly leaves out is any actual context that would enlighten his viewers. The truth is that almost all major newspapers have suffered sharp declines in circulation over the past ten years. But more to the point, in only two years (Sept 2005 to Sept 2007) Bill O’Reilly himself has lost 33% of his total viewers and a whopping 59% of viewers in the all-important 25-54 age group. That’s more than half of his viewers saying, “We don’t like you anymore, we’re not going to watch you.”

This brief exchange reveals much about O’Reilly. It shows that while he is vociferously objecting to the free speech rights of others, he will use his own platform to misinform his viewers. No wonder they don’t like him anymore.