BENGHAZI? Watch Kellyanne Conway Resort to Classic Dodge to Avoid Defending Trump’s Lies

The guardians of Donald Trump’s floundering presidency are finding it ever more difficult carry out their task. They now have to deal with a special prosecutor ramping up investigations of the President. Grand juries are being impaneled in Washington, Virginia, and New York. And a flurry of new lies erupt from the White House every day. What’s a dedicated Trump shill supposed to do?

Kellyanne Conway

Well, Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” we may have found out. Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos about the blatant contradictions by Trump and company about their interactions with Russia. He summarized the situation and asked Conway for her explanation for the various accounts (video below):

“The White House and the President’s surrogates have told conflicting stories. First they said there no contacts with Russians. Then it turned out there were at least eighteen contacts. The story broke in the New York Times saying the President was involved in the drafting of his son Don, Jr.’s misleading response to that meeting he had with Russians during the campaign. And Jay Sekulow, the President’s attorney, came on GMA and told me the President was not involved.”

Stephanopoulos noted that the original statement and the one offered after the Times story were “very different answers in the space of two weeks.” But Conway’s response evaded the question to say that the meeting was of no consequence. She continues to deny the consequences of just agreeing to meet with Russian operatives to obtain campaign information. Even if nothing was obtained, the effort itself was an attempt at collusion. Conway added that Trump’s involvement in drafting Junior’s response was merely “weighing in as a father.” Of course. Every father has had that experience where they help their adult son to lie about meetings with America’s enemies.

Stephanopoulos persisted to challenge her on the shifting facts. He noted that the first statement was totally false and that the President and his lawyers “didn’t tell the truth.” To which Conway replied with a series of alleged falsehoods from the distant past. She raised the matter of whether or not people could keep their doctors under ObamaCare. And then she actually brought up Benghazi and tried to make that relevant to this discussion.

Let’s not get into a debate as to whether those were actually examples of untrue statements. The main point here is that Conway was utterly incapable of defending the lies from Trump’s White House. So reached into the past hoping to grasp a rhetorical lifeline. Stephanopoulos’ complaint that Conway was just changing the subject fell on deaf ears. When he asked if Trump could be truthful about the Russia investigations, Conway swerved to repeat Trump’s baseless assertion that the whole thing was fabricated.

By the end of the interview, Conway didn’t once respond directly to the charge that Trump and his surrogates lied. There are obvious differences between their initial accounts of the meetings and the facts that they later conceded. Plus, the false claim that Trump had nothing to do with Junior’s first statement remains unexplained. And Conway’s flagrant evasions only serve to highlight how overwhelmed she and her associates are.

They are quite simply out of answers. The tsunami of lies that flow from Trump have exhausted his defenders. And since they have emptied their arsenal of arguments, be prepared to hear more from yesteryear’s classics like Benghazi. And if they get desperate enough they might even revive Obama’s birth certificate and Monica Lewinski.

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

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Says Trump’s Medicaid Cuts Are Not Medicaid Cuts

Sunday morning the inventor of “alternative facts” was at it again. Donald Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway made an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. TrumpCare, as it is known, has been widely criticized by a bipartisan array of politicians and pundits. Even Trump tagged the House version of the bill as “mean.”

Kellyanne Conway

Among the complaints are that it would result in higher deductibles and premiums, eliminate protection for preexisting conditions, and throw more than twenty million people off of their health insurance plans. What’s more, it would be paid for by giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy.

It’s issues like those that have caused at least five GOP senators to announce their opposition to the bill. If those numbers hold the bill cannot pass. Republicans have a two-vote margin and can expect no help from Democrats. Adding to its problems is that TrumpCare would impose severe cuts to Medicaid. Despite repeatedly promising to never cut the program, Trump is nevertheless enthusiastically supporting the bill. This support comes even though the senate version is even meaner than the one the House passed:

“The much more drastic changes in the Senate bill as compared to the House bill come in the realm of Medicaid. The House bill immediately ended enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion to able-bodied low-income adults under the ACA, while the Senate bill would slowly phase that funding out. This, in theory, would put millions fewer people immediately in the ranks of the uninsured and increase government spending over the House plan.”

Undeterred by reality, Conway addressed the issue in her interview with Stephanopoulos. She was asked directly about the how the bill cuts 800 billion dollars from Medicaid and asked why Trump is going back on his promise. Her lie-riddled, word salad reply was that:

“These are not cuts to Medicaid. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars because they’re closer to the people in need. […] If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We’re talking about in the future.

“You know, ObamaCare took Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick, the disabled. Also children and pregnant women. It took it and went way above the poverty line. Opened it up to many able-bodied Americans who should probably see if there are other options for them.”

Stephanopoulos deserves some credit for not allowing Conway to advance the falsehood that the bill doesn’t cut Medicaid. He also challenged her baseless assertion that no one on Medicaid now would be affected. He pressed Conway to address the matter of the 800 billion dollars in cuts, to which she replied, “You keep calling them cuts. But we don’t see them as cuts.”

And therein lies the heart of the problem. Trump and his shills have created their own language that ignores the reality of any situation. They will feverishly spin until the rhetoric is hopelessly removed from anything resembling the truth. It’s a strategy that is ultimately aimed at creating confusion and muddying the waters so that a coherent dialog is impossible. And no one is better at that than Conway.

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

Trump’s Campaign Of Lies Is Portrayed As ‘Refreshing’ By His VP Mike Pence

A couple of weeks ago the Oxford Dictionary selected “post-truth” as its Word of the Year for 2016. They define it as the preference for emotion and personal belief over objective facts. That’s been the operative model for Donald Trump’s campaign from the very start. Now his top staff are cementing the strategy into his developing presidency.

Trump/Pence

Trump recently tweeted that he would have won the popular vote but for the “millions of people who voted illegally.” That nonsense won him his 61st Pants-On-Fire lie from PolitiFact. He never bothered to provide any evidence to support the claim. And the evidence provided by his spokespersons didn’t even address the subject.

It’s clear that Trump and his minions have no respect for the truth. One of his most prominent surrogates, Scottie Nell Hughes of CNN, came right out and admitted it. In a recent radio interview she said that “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” We are truly over the rainbow here, folks.

The latest tunnel-blind defense of Trump’s brazen dishonesty goes even further to malign the existence of facts. His Chief of Staff nominee, Reince Priebus, was asked by John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation about Trump’s tweet. Priebus responded saying:

“Here’s the thing, no one really knows. You don’t know. […] I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country. He’s not taking conventional thought on every single issue.”

Indeed. He has caused people to think – that their President-Elect is a pathological liar. What Priebus is calling “pushing the envelope” and “unconventional thought” are better known to most people as bullshitting. This parade of euphemisms continued on the Sunday TV news circuit with VP-Elect Mike Pence. George Stephanopoulos asked him if Trump had “a right to make false statements.” Pence replied that:

“It’s his right to express his opinion. […] And I think the American people find it very refreshing that they have a president who will tell them what’s on his mind.”

Once again, propagating purposeful falsehoods is framed benignly as expressing an opinion. These people don’t think there’s any difference between a politically partisan spin on a personal belief and a demonstrable fact. They are actually seeking to abolish the concept of facts in order to dispense their fabrications without consequences. It’s the same approach they take to disparaging the media. They don’t do it as responsible criticism, but as a means to eliminate any critical judgment of their deliberate distortions of reality. And to that end, Trump tweeted this defense of his obsession with Twitter:

Of course, what he really objects to are those rare occasions when the press does cover him accurately and honorably. Sad.

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

Tax-Dodger Donald: Trump’s Own Documents Prove He Lied About The Value Of His Properties

Is Donald Trump a billionaire or a world-class grifter?

It has been difficult to pin down Trump’s net worth because he refuses to release his taxes until an alleged audit is complete. That excuse has been ridiculed by experts and even the IRS says there is nothing preventing him from making his own tax information public. Nevertheless, he is continuing to hide behind his lawyers and now says that his returns might not be released until after the election.

Donald Trump

Tax returns have been a staple disclosure in politics for nearly half a century. Hillary Clinton has made more than thirty years of returns available to the public. But Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos this weekend that his tax rate is “none of your business.” However, there is data available through other tax filings that is shedding some light on Trump’s mysterious empire.

ABC News is reporting (video below) that the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, was valued on Trump’s candidate disclosure statement at “more than $50 million.” The high valuation serves Trump’s political purposes to portray himself as a successful businessman. But when he declared the assessment of the resort for tax purposes he claimed that it was worth only $1.75 million. The difference between his tax declaration and his candidate disclosure amounts to a savings of 90% on his tax bill.

When asked by ABC’s Brian Ross to comment on the discrepancy, he was told that the matter was “decades old and not worthy of a response.” He said much the same thing to reporters asking about the recent discovery of an audio tape of him posing as his own fictional press agent when talking to the media. This is a statute of limitations that only applies to Trump, whose obsession with the Clintons’ marital difficulties from the 1990s he still considers fair game.

The ABC story cited several other instances when Trump was less than honest about paying his taxes. One particularly egregious incident was when he purchased the yacht that became his beloved “Trump Princess.” At the time he pretended to have a patriotic incentive for buying the luxury liner. He said:

“I like to see the great jewels of the country being owned by the people of this country. And it had a big play as to why I bought this boat.”

However, as Ross reported, Trump “used off-shore and out-of-state corporations to buy the yacht and saved him a tax bill of some $1.75 million.” What a patriot. Something that Ross left out is that later, when Trump was undergoing a severe financial crisis, he sold the yacht to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. So much for “the great jewels of the country.”

The Trump National property was purchased in foreclosure for $8 million, and he spent another $45 million developing the golf course and the club house. So either this property suffered a massive decline in value and Trump isn’t worth what he says he is, or he is deliberately undervaluing it to avoid his legal tax bill. Either way, one of his public declarations is a flagrant lie. And with this report by ABC News will the media pick up the story and begin to tell the truth about Trump’s dishonesty?

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

Loyalty Loath: The GOP Pledge Of Allegiance Goes Up In Flames

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June of last year it was widely speculated that he would ditch the Republican Party if it failed to give him the party crown to which he feels entitled. That controversy caused the GOP to insist that all candidates sign a “loyalty oath” if they wanted to participate in party sanctioned debates or even get on the primary ballot in some states. The pledge required the candidates to promise allegiance to the party and its eventual nominee and to forswear any future attempt to go independent. It also commenced a roller-coaster ride of concessions and threats by an unstable megalomaniac whose word is worth less than a diploma from Trump University.

Donald Trump

It’s difficult understand how Trump could endorse other Republicans that he has already disparaged as weak, incompetent, corrupt, ugly losers, but then they all have that problem. Nevertheless, under pressure from the party, Trump signed the pledge and tweeted how proud he was of the commitment. He further stated that “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party,” and that “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.”

You’ll never guess what happened next. Just two and a half months later Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week and was asked whether he still intended to honor his pledge. He responded that “I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly.” Of course Trump’s idea of fair treatment is when everybody stoops to kiss his wrinkled butt. Consequently, anyone who relies on his pledge is asking to be bitch-slapped by the wannabe tyrant who invents his own exceptions to signed contracts. A few days later, Trump’s attorney offered a medieval-flavored affirmation of his threat to bolt the party saying “woe be on them,” who treat The Donald unfairly.

Trump’s vacillation on party allegiance was not matched by his opponents who continued to assert their loyalty. If anyone had justification for abandoning a Trump candidacy, it was the victims of his campaign abuse. What’s more, the disintegration of Trump’s campaign into a neo-fascist movement was all too apparent and did not go unnoticed. President Obama’s press Secretary, Josh Earnest, commented on it after Trump proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. He said that such a blatantly unconstitutional plan “disqualifies him from being president. And for Republican candidates to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.” Well, not to Republicans.

Trump was asked again during CNN’s GOP debate in December if he was “ready to assure Republicans tonight that you will run as a Republican and abide by the decision of the Republicans?” He answered “I really am. I’ll be honest, I really am.” Oh – so this time he’s being honest (allegedly). Since Trump has already made a public statement that he could renege on the written pledge that he signed, why would anyone trust that he would keep any promises made on a debate stage?

And you’ll never guess what happened next – again. In the midst of an unhinged tirade against Ted Cruz, who Trump accused of using negatively slanted push polls against him in South Carolina, Trump unleashed a flurry of threats to challenge Cruz’s eligibility to run for president with a lawsuit based on the fact that he was born in Canada. And attached to those threats was one aimed at the Republican National Committee warning that “the RNC should intervene and if they don’t they are in default of their pledge to me,” thus, once again, opening the path to his own renunciation of the pledge.

Following the CBS GOP debate in South Carolina, Trump escalated the un-pledging rhetoric with more complaints about the RNC that he said “does a terrible job.” He threw another of his patented tantrums alleging that the party was conspiring against him and that “they’re in default of their pledge.” And yet, the charade that the loyalty pledge remained in effect continued to be played out. Until now.

At a CNN town hall event in Wisconsin yesterday, Anderson Cooper asked Trump outright if he still stood by the pledge. His answer this time was an unequivocal “No, I don’t.” To be fair, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have indicated that they were also wavering on backing the GOP nominee depending on who it was, a thinly veiled inference that a Trump candidacy would be disavowed.

So now it appears that the entire field of Republican candidates has abandoned the pledge they made such a big deal about signing six months ago. It was a farce from the beginning designed to reign in Trump, which never worked, and now it is crumpled up in the trash along with the GOP’s principles and prospects for a November victory. Among the questions that linger are whether the pledge’s demise means that Trump is again considering a third party run. That would be the ultimate F.U. to the Republican Party that Trump is convinced is his enemy, but it would also bring joy to the Democratic Party.

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

An easier solution, however, is one that I proposed last December. Just let the crybaby Trump have his GOP nomination and then the rest of the party could leave and start a new club minus Trump and his racist, idiot brigade of Storm-Trumpers. Now THAT’S entertainment. It’s a solution that the reality TV celebrity candidate and the ratings hungry news networks could both embrace.

Mein Drumpf: Comparisons To Hitler Should Not Surprise Donald Trump

On Good Morning America today host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Donald Trump and raised the subject of the increasingly common comparisons of him to Adolf Hitler. This, in and of itself, isn’t new, but Trump’s response added another lie to the growing collection of falsehoods that he has accumulated (see the Trump Bullshitopedia).

Stephanopouplos didn’t go into much detail about the many similarities of Trump’s rhetoric to that of the Nazi leader, but he did note that critics as diverse as comedian Louis CK, and the unintentionally funny crackpot Glenn Beck, have both made the association. Then Stephanopoulos hit Trump with a fact that has become inescapable, saying that “The number of prominent people comparing you to Adolf Hitler is growing by the day.” Trump responded saying…

“I don’t know about the Hitler comparison. I hadn’t heard that, but it’s a terrible comparison. I’m not happy about that, certainly. I don’t want that comparison. But we have to be strong.”

Setting aside the perverse argument that being strong is somehow a defense for sounding like a fascist, Trump is flat out lying about not having heard the Hitler comparisons before. In fact, Trump heard these very same comparisons while being interviewed by the very same guy. Last December News Corpse reported on an exchange between Trump and Stephanopoulos that was nearly identical to the one today. The only notable difference is that today Trump feigned being unhappy with the comparison, while previously he said that it didn’t bother him. From News Corpse, Dec. 8, 2015:

It had to come to this. Donald Trump’s affinity for Nazis was always just beneath the diseased skin of his repulsive rhetoric. Now, after months of promulgating brazenly racist views, advocating policies that are indistinguishable from those of history’s fascists, and promising to commit war crimes if elected, will anybody be surprised by it bubbling to the surface? Trump’s true face was exposed today when he was asked a simple question on Good Morning America:

George Stephanopoulos: You’re increasingly compared to Hitler. Does that bother you?
Donald Trump: No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.

Donald Trump

So there you have it. Donald Trump is not bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler. And why should he be? He has been running on the platform of the Nazi Party since he announced his candidacy. What’s more, he justifies his comfort with the association by positively referencing the Japanese internment camps built during the FDR administration, which are universally condemned as one of America’s most shameful actions.

Trump frequently claims that he has “the greatest memory in the world,” but he is now pretending not to recall a recent discussion with the same interviewer on the same subject. Trump’s dishonesty is becoming so flagrant that he is having trouble keeping track of his previous lies. And his pretense that he is suddenly bothered by being associated with a megalomaniacal tyrant is hardly believable. His most recent rallies have been marred by violence that he openly encourages against protesters. He even promises to pay for the legal defense of anyone who assaults a protester. He has hired his own brand of brownshirts to patrol his rallies. And the loyalty pledge ceremonies that he orchestrates eerily resemble the throngs of Germans hailing Hitler with the Nazi salute.

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

So when you hear Trump claim that he is unaware of the comparisons to Hitler, you now know that it is a blatant lie. You also know that when he complains about that comparison, it is obvious that he is simply trying to deny the reality that his entire campaign is grounded in fascistic rhetoric, and worse, behavior. And as bad as it is that Trump would engage in such a repulsive campaign, we must not forget the people that attend his rallies cheering, pledging loyalty, beating protesters, and later voting for this nauseating candidate. It is what the Republican Party has sunk to in this age of rightist hate.

WTF? Donald Trump Doesn’t Deny That He’s “A Racist And A Neo-Fascist” On Fox News

One of Donald Trump’s core personality traits is his resistance to acknowledging when he’s wrong. He will make brazenly false statements that are easily proven to be lies, but when challenged he will stand firmly by them no matter how ridiculous he looks.

Donald Trump

For example, despite that fact that there is no evidence that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were cheering the fall of the World Trade Center on 9/11, Trump continues to insist that he saw it on a TV news broadcast. Also, he feverishly denied that he had mocked a disabled journalist, even though there is video of him doing so. [There are dozens more examples of Trump’s affinity for lying in the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia] It is due to his affinity for fabrication, even when facts are readily available to expose his deceit, that Bernie Sanders said this about Trump Sunday morning:

“I think you have a pathological liar there. Pathological, I really do. I mean, I think much of what he says are lies or gross distortion of reality.”

Trump’s aggressive defensiveness extends beyond the substance of his lies to the accusations that he is a liar. On Fox News’ MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz asked him if it’s his strategy to deliberately make “controversial” statements in order to get more media attention, Trump responded saying that “I have no strategy. You know what my strategy is? Honesty.” Of course, the record shows that that statement is just another helping of hogwash.

However, there was a more important revelation in the MediaBuzz interview. Kurtz questioned Trump about his adversarial relationship with media. He gave several examples of editorial opinions that hammered Trump for his frequently outrageous remarks, including Campbell Brown who referred to his “hateful and harmful demagoguery,” or Ben Smith (Buzzfeed) who called him a “mendacious racist,” or this exchange:

Kurtz: The Daily Beast executive editor Noah Schactman says people should boycott your businesses because he thinks you’re a racist and a neo-fascist. What do you make of this combined artillery?
Trump: I’m the only one that speaks my mind and tells the truth. And everybody knows I’m right.

Really? The man who is best known for his pugnacious self-defense; who viciously attacks anyone who is remotely critical of him; who has banned reporters from his public events because they held him to account for his crackpot rhetoric; that man failed to deny the charge that he is a racist and a neo-fascist? He simply explained that he’s speaking his mind – his a racist, neo-fascist mind.

Anyone else accused of such awful things would very likely lash out at the accuser, deny the scurrilous charges, and demand an apology. Trump, however, appears to take it as a compliment that acknowledges his open and candid expressions of hate. There was nothing in his reaction that indicated that he considered being regarded as a racist, neo-fascist an insult. Which is consistent with his campaign rhetoric that is veritably dripping with fascistic fervor.

Trump has already called for making Muslims wear ID badges, and for loading boxcars with Mexicans to ship them out of the country. He has essentially the same view of gays as his new BFF, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

This isn’t even the first time that Trump has virtually adopted Nazi ideology. Two weeks ago George Stephanopoulos asked him whether it bothered him to be compared to Hitler. Once again the notoriously bellicose candidate was given an opportunity to stand up against a harsh invective, but rather than pushing back he merely said “No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.” And with that he was not only embracing the Hitler comparison, but he was aligning himself with one of the most shameful episodes of American history, the Japanese internment camps, which Trump refused to say he would have opposed.

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

When someone with the personality of Donald Trump declines to fight back, it can only be because he doesn’t regard the attack as offensive. Being compared to Hitler, or accused of being a racist, neo-fascist, just doesn’t bother him because it’s true and, in his view, flattering. What’s more, he doesn’t want to alienate his supporters, many of whom are affiliated with America’s white supremacists. And by standing with Trump, the Republican Party is latching on to the same affiliation.

Donald Trump: The Republican Party Is My Bitch – Threatens Independent Run

Observers of Donald Trump’s bizarre campaign for the Republican nomination for president have seen in just a few months the ugliness that he can present as he seeks to attract voters by appealing to their fear, hatred, and ignorance. And now they can also see how worthless his word is as he throws a temper tantrum over being attacked by his political rivals.

Donald Trump GOP

When Trump announced his candidacy in June, there was speculation that he would not remain a Republican candidate if he faltered in the campaign or failed to get the nomination. That controversy caused the GOP to insist that all candidates sign a “loyalty pledge” if they wanted to participate in party sanctioned debates or even get on the primary ballot in some states. The pledge required the candidate’s to…

“…affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for President of the United States I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, regardless of who it is. I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination of any other party.”

It’s difficult understand how Trump could endorse other Republicans that he has already disparaged as weak, incompetent, corrupt, ugly losers, but under pressure from the party, Trump signed the pledge and tweeted how proud he was of the commitment. He further stated that “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands,” and that “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.”

That was on September 3, just two and a half months ago. Today, however, Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on This Week and was asked whether a new ad by his opponents, characterizing him as dangerously inexperienced, might cause him to change his mind. Stephanopoulos also quoted from a Wall Street Journal article that described the Republican establishment as “increasingly alarmed by the enduring strength of Donald Trump’s presidential bid,” and said that they were “ratcheting up efforts to knock him out of the race.” So when Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he still intended to honor his pledge, he responded:

“I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly. When I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is a level playing field.”

Trump’s idea of fair treatment is when everybody stoops to kiss his wrinkled butt. Consequently, any pledges he makes are subject to cancellation at will. His stance now is to wait and see. That flip-flop demonstrates that he is someone who is not to be trusted, even after he has signed a written commitment. He played Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, for access to the debates that have raised his profile, and now he is threatening to ditch the party to boost his own super-sized ego.

The prospect of Trump mounting a third-party run would be great news for Democrats. But the really interesting part of this is how the GOP will react to Trump’s deceit. Will they bend over with lips puckered and beg him not to torpedo their 2016 presidential hopes? If so, that would make them look pretty impotent going into the general election. But do they have the guts to stand up to him and refuse to be bullied by a painfully stupid trust fund baby whose sense of entitlement could blot out the sun?

Trump has already cowed two titans of the media. He made bitches of both Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes of Fox News, who scampered away in fear of offending The Donald. They let him make asses of them in order to preserve what they believed to be a ratings bonanza, but will prove to be a short-term blip. Will the Republican Party now follow in their baby steps and allow Trump to stomp all over them?

If the GOP/RNC has any guts they will demand that Trump reiterate his promise to endorse the Republican nominee and forswear a third-party run. They should force him to make a public proclamation of loyalty or face being booted from any future debates or, where allowed, access to state ballots as a Republican candidate.

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

The likelihood of that, however, is low. Republicans have not been known for their commitment to principle. And they have already demonstrated that they fear Trump more than they love their party or their country. Why else would they stand with him when he has insulted millions of minority voters, women, and seniors? And his recent fear mongering over refugees literally devolved into fascistic ranting that has no place in a free America. So It’s your move Republicans. What will you do with your treacherous Trump now that he is wiping your face in it?

Stephanopoulos Isn’t The Only Media Donor To The Clinton Foundation (Is He, Fox News?)

The conservative media circus is furiously banging their drums to chastise George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week, for his failure to disclose a donation to the Clinton Foundation. This oversight is being portrayed as an unforgivable offense of partisan bias. As with any matter that can be hyper-dramatized by zealous punditry, Fox News took the lead in running Stephanopoulos through the metaphorical grinder.

Fox News Stephanopoulos

A couple of notes need to be raised in order to fairly assess this situation. First of all, Stephanopoulos donated to a charitable organization, not a political campaign. Thus, it cannot really be regarded as partisan in that the Clinton Foundation does not engage in any political activities. Its mission is purely philanthropic and no fair observer has ever alleged any ideological leanings. Furthermore, unlike a corporate donor or a foreign entity, there isn’t any conceivable benefit that Stephanopoulos might have been seeking in exchange for a donation. Even his critics do not allege that his motives were anything but altruistic.

That said, there are problems with his failure to disclose that impact his reporting when the subject is the Foundation itself. For instance, Stephanopoulos recently interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book that alleges improprieties on the part of Hillary Clinton in connection to donations to the Foundation. The fact that the book was filled with factual errors and failed to prove its premise does not excuse Stephanopoulos from an ethical duty to reveal that he was also a donor.

Taken in its entirety, this scandalette hardly seems to approach the degree of significance that is being assigned to it by Fox News and other conservative media. There was no effort to extract any personal gain and the ethical lapse did not result in any reportorial distortion. But that hasn’t stopped right-wing muckrakers from attempting to whip it up into a full-blown catastrophe for Stephanopoulos. He has been maligned as hopelessly biased and there have been calls for him to resign or be fired. Fox’s Howard Kurtz described the affair as…

“…such a bombshell that George Stephanopoulos has now had to withdraw as ABC’s moderator in the Republican presidential debate next year.”

What makes the debate moderation move somewhat comical is that last November the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, ruled out anyone that he regarded as being unfriendly to the Party’s interests.

Priebus: [the] thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong.

Priebus reinforced that edict yesterday saying that “I’ve been very public about this. George Stephanopoulos was never going to moderate a Republican debate anyway.” Somewhere Priebus got the impression that debate moderators are supposed to serve the interests of the candidates. Certainly the interest of the voters never entered into it. And the last thing that the GOP wants is a debate that is truly spirited and informative. They are looking for something more on the order of an infomercial.

Amidst this tumultuous uproar over the fate of Stephanopoulos and his relatively modest $75,000 gift, what has gone unmentioned is that he is not alone in making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Fox News has been even more generous than Stephanopoulos. Rupert Murdoch’s son James, the COO of 21st Century Fox (parent company of Fox News), made a donation in the range of $1,000,000-$5,000,000. The News Corporation Foundation contributed between $500,000-$1,000,000. Fox regular Donald Trump forked over between $100,000-$250,000.

There might be more of these types of ethical problems involving media personalities on the right donating to Republican charities like the Bush Foundation. However, we can’t uncover them because the Bush Foundation doesn’t disclose their donors like the Clintons do. Curious, isn’t it?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So the question is: How can Fox News criticize George Stephanopoulos for his undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation, when they have made far bigger donations without disclosing them? What’s more, the donations from the Fox media empire can be regarded as possible bribes since, unlike Stephanopoulos, they have pending business before the government and its regulatory agencies. If Fox News wants to pretend to be “fair and balanced” they need to immediately come clean. And if Stephanopoulos is denied the opportunity to moderate any GOP debates, then Fox News should be prohibited from airing them.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to act ethically in this matter. They will neither remove themselves from the debate schedule, nor cease their attacks on Stephanopoulos. That’s just the way Fox does business and it will continue despite the obvious hypocrisy and lack of journalistic principle.

Fox News Is Preparing A Special Report On An Already Debunked Hillary Clinton Book

If you aren’t doing anything this coming Friday, and you have an hour to devote to becoming more ignorant, Fox News is airing special report based on a book that makes wholly unsubstantiated allegations against Hillary Clinton.

Fox News

The book “Clinton Cash” has been getting a great deal of promotion from Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, although it won’t be released for another couple of weeks. The author, Peter Schweizer, is one of the most widely discredited writers working today. His past is replete with criticisms from across the political spectrum and his books have been ridiculed for sloppy investigations and sources who don’t exist.

Schweizer is now the president of the Government Accountability Institute, an organization that is bankrolled by the Koch brothers and was founded by the head of Breitbart News. The GAI has previously embarrassed itself by publishing studies that brazenly misrepresented (or invented) the facts related to their bogus reporting. News Corpse covered one such incident involving an alleged foreign fundraising scandal that supposedly “rocked” the Obama reelection campaign. However, the study didn’t cite a single example of a foreign donation and the authors admitted to Fox’s Steve Doocy that there is no such evidence. Likewise, another GAI study claimed that Obama took more vacation days than average private sector workers. Once again, the study totally distorted the data that actually showed that Obama took far fewer days off.

Now Schweizer has a new book that has been been promoted as a devastating blow to Clinton’s campaign. Rand Paul teased the media by saying that he has “been briefed by Peter Schweizer on this book, and the facts are going to be alarming.” Sean Hannity unleashed a frantic rant saying that “These newest allegations…have the potential in the end to derail this presidential campaign.” These are just two examples of a flood of headlines and hyperbole that say much the thing, that Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations will be over just as soon as the book hits the shelves.

There is only one problem with their prognostications of doom. The book is a fraud that proves nothing. The early reports from people who have actually read it indicate that the author fails to connect any of the dots that the wingnut media is hyping. And according to ThinkProgress, who got a copy of the book, even Schweizer admits that he has no proof of anything untoward:

“Schweizer explains he cannot prove the allegations, leaving that up to investigative journalists and possibly law enforcement. ‘Short of someone involved coming forward to give sworn testimony, we don’t know what might or might not have been said in private conversations, the exact nature of the transition, or why people in power make the decision they do,’ he writes. Later, he concludes, ‘We cannot ultimately know what goes on in their minds and ultimately provide the links between the money they took and the benefits that subsequently accrued to themselves, their friends, and their associates.'”

In other words, he’s got nothing but wild accusations and speculation. But it gets even worse. ThinkProgress also found a segment in the book where Schweizer cites a press release as back-up for his charges. Unfortunately for Schweizer, the press release was revealed to be fake back in 2013, a fact that he had plenty of time to discover and avoid putting forth as corroborating evidence.

This is typical of the sloppiness that has dogged his career. The rebuttals to the book on the basis of his dishonesty and lack of professional ethics have already begun to worry his defenders at Fox News. They are resorting to propping him up by asserting that attacks on his credibility are rooted in partisanship, rather than the abundant evidence of his hackery. Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner rushed to his aid saying that “You talk about tearing Schweizer down because he was formerly with Republicans. What about George Stephanopoulos?”

Isn’t it cute how Faulkner tries to slip in the suggestion that Schweizer was “formerly” with Republicans, as if he is no longer a committed right-wing activist, as evidenced by his leading the Koch-funded GAI? But more to the point, what does Stephanopoulos have to do with this? He hasn’t written a book filled with lies aimed at smearing a Republican presidential candidate. No doubt Clinton backers are just as partisan as any other politicos, but the problem with Schweizer isn’t his party affiliation, it’s his credibility and integrity.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Which brings us back to the special on tap for Friday. Fox News will broadcast an hour long program titled “The Tangled Clinton Web” that is anchored by Bret Baier and based on Schweizer’s book. However, the book has already been revealed to be a fraud whose author admits that he doesn’t have the goods on Clinton and whose book is rife with errors and uses hoax press releases as proof. And there are still a couple of days before the special airs for more revelations to be uncovered.

This Fox News special is tainted before it has even aired. Will they include any of the info that has come out about the book in their broadcast? Will they try at all to be fair and balanced? Not likely, given the track record for Fox. And even though they’ve got plenty of lead time to include the truth, Fox has demonstrated that truth is not a part of their criteria for reporting what they mistakenly call news.