And You Thought Trump Was Nuts? Wait Til You See Giuliani on Fox News!

Watching Donald Trump descend into a steaming abyss of madness is horrifying for Americans who love their country. Although most can’t deny feeling at least a smidgen of satisfaction and relief that a dangerous sociopath is suffering the well deserved consequences of his betrayal. Trump is lost in a toxic fog of rancid anger and fear that threatens to turn every artery in his jellified skull into tiny anueristic IED’s

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Lately Trump’s desperation and paranoia has driven him to furious and false attacks on his perceived enemies including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff. He has made incoherent defenses of his obviously illegal entreaties to Ukraine and China. And his own behavior and words are turning out to be the best justifications for his impeachment.

However, as stunningly bizarre as all of his antics have been for the past few weeks, he has some stiff competition in the race for Psycho of the Year. His own personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is challenging the Lunatic-in-Chief with some memorable routines in the Fox News Cirque du So Lame. On Friday Giuliani told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that his mission is “to disrupt the world.” And on Sunday Giuliani was interviewed by Fox’s MediaBuzz host, Howard Kurtz. To say it was a hot mess would be far too mild. Giuliani was a virtual advertisement for cocaine-infused Red Bull. See for yourself:

WTF is he talking about? After telling Kurtz, a Trump-friendly Foxie, that he should be ashamed of himself, Giuliani took out what he said was “thirty years of articles,” which far pre-date Joe Biden’s term as Vice-President. What this has to do with the four year old Ukraine affair is anyone’s guess. But Giuliani was so hyped up that Kurtz couldn’t stop him to go to commercial.

A second clip in that thread shows Giuliani shushing Kurtz and calling him “pathetic” as the host tries to ask him about the “transcript” of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky and Trump’s own confession to extortion on national TV. Naturally, those questions weren’t answered. And while Giuliani was whining about being interrupted (which he wasn’t), the chyron below him read “Ukrainian says no evidence of Biden Wrongdoing.” That’s a Fox chyron!

A third video clip shows Giuliani responding to Biden’s suggestion that news programs stop booking him due to his constant and flagrant lying. So in the midst of his continued whining about imaginary interruptions, Giuliani raises a brand new issue saying that “We haven’t moved to Romania yet. Wait til we get to Romania.” We’re waiting, Rudy. Then he asserts that “they” are laughing at us. If by “us” he means himself, I’ll have to agree. And once again, Kurtz can’t get him to shut up long enough to end the segment.

With impeachment becoming an inevitability, Trump couldn’t be in more trouble. Well, unless he were saddled with a nutcase like Giuliani as his attorney. Giuliani has been reduced to spewing third-rate conspiracy theories and wailing like a insolent child who was denied a fourth cupcake. He makes no sense whatsoever as he connects dots that only he can see. And this is the legal counsel that Trump is relying on to get him through this debacle. No wonder he’s flipping out.

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

Awww: Fox News Worries that Democrats Might Be ‘Blowing Their Chance to Beat Trump’

There’s nothing like an election to get conservative blowhards to shed some crocodile tears over what they see as the declining fortunes of the Democratic Party. Never mind that the last election in 2018 saw a “blue wave” that swept Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives and made Nancy Pelosi Speaker. Republicans are never more sympathetic to the threat of Democrats losing voters than when the Democrats are actively and effectively beating up on the GOP. So naturally, right-wing politicos and pundits need to come out with their heartfelt advice to stop the Democrats from hurting themselves. How thoughtful.

Fox News, Donkey

On Tuesday morning, Fox News media analyst, Howard Kurtz, was interviewed by anchor Bill Hemmer about how dreadfully naive Democrats are for appealing to their own constituents, rather than kowtowing to Donald Trump and his cadre of Deplorables. The segment featured a chyron that read “2020 Dems Taking Extreme Positions on Key Issues.” And their examples of how the party is “lurching left” and “blowing their chance to defeat Trump,” were positions in favor of humanitarian treatment of refugees and support of Medicare for All – two issues that resonate with progressives and are wildly popular among Democrats and even many Republicans and independents.

This is a bold demonstration of political altruism on the part of Kurtz and company. Because who would know more about what’s best for Democrats than the staunchly Republican partisans on Fox News who spend most of their time viciously maligning and lying about the party? They nevertheless believe that they are perfectly positioned to give counsel to Democrats who might otherwise destroy their own electoral prospects by advocating for higher wages for workers, higher taxes for corporations and the wealthy, greater access to education, and addressing the imminent risks of the climate crisis. You know, the very issues that define the positive values of the Democratic Party, as well as the majority of Americans. But Kurtz is concerned because…

“What we can say is that some of these positions, way out on the left wing, things that nobody in the party would have said even in 2016, could be a vulnerability next year.”

Really? It’s funny that Kurtz is worried about what are actually mainstream positions that he ridiculously tags as “left wing.” But he doesn’t have a word to say about the radical right positions being taken by Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Doesn’t he think that incarcerating children in cages will blow Trump’s chances of being reelected? And what about Trump’s bizarre affinity for murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un? And his hostility toward agreements that made America safer by curtailing the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea?

Isn’t the GOP lurching to the right by repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich? Aren’t they pandering to GOP fanatics by rejecting the Paris accords on climate change? Won’t Trump’s sabotage of ObamaCare and determination to end popular protections for preexisting conditions drive voters away? And then there’s his relentless pursuit of a useless, idiotic, vanity wall along the southern border that most Americans oppose.

Why is it that wingnuts like Kurtz always pretend to be concerned about where Democrats are on the ideological spectrum? They would never countenance Democrats offering such advice to Republicans. You’ll never see Kurtz, or anyone on Fox News asking if Trump is blowing it by pandering so obsessively to his dwindling, cultist base.

If anyone should be worried about blowing 2020, it’s Donald Trump. His approval ratings are in the basement. He is the first president in history who has never cracked 50 percent. His positions are unpopular. He is regarded as a lying loudmouth who doesn’t know what he’s talking about on any subject. Meanwhile, the motivation of Democrats to vote next year forecasts a historically high turnout. That isn’t exactly good news for Trump and his paid shills at Fox News. But not to worry. They will never see those danger signals as warnings to moderate their regressive fanaticism.

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

WHUT? Fox News Media Hack Says it’s ‘Unfair’ if Networks Don’t Cover All of Trump’s Cult Rallies.

It is well known that Fox News has foraged an uncommonly close relationship between themselves and Donald Trump. In fact, Trump would not be president today but for Fox News. They shamelessly championed his campaign, while simultaneously maligning Hillary Clinton and slandering his critics. Subsequently, they have continued to serve as his private PR operation throughout his presidency.

Fox News, Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential cycle, Fox News covered every single one of his cult rallies in full and uninterrupted. It amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free TV airtime. And that’s not even counting the dozens of interviews Fox did with adoring Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. They never did anything similar for Clinton.

Now, Fox’s primary media correspondent and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, is weighing in on how Trump is being covered by the cable news networks. And he’s not a happy camper. In an interview with his colleague Bill Hemmer, Kurtz seemed to mimic Trump by raging against CNN and MSNBC for not carrying all of his alleged campaign kickoff rally in Orlando.

First of all, the assertion that this was the kickoff of Trump’s campaign is a blatant lie. He actually filed for reelection on the same day he was inaugurated in January of 2017. And he’s held dozens of rallies since then. This was a charade that was was really just another one of his cookie-cutter cult rallies where he repeated exactly the same tedious themes that he has in all of his other ego-stroking affairs. Just because he calls it a kickoff, doesn’t mean that the media has to obediently buy into that lie.

Consequently, CNN covered the rally just long enough to observe that Trump wasn’t saying anything that he hasn’t said at every other rally. MSNBC monitored the event in case Trump said anything newsworthy. He didn’t, and therefore they didn’t bother interrupting their regular programming for some of Trump’s harshly partisan and hostile rhetoric. And this infuriated Kurtz who said that…

“What I have to say about this is it’s just a lack of class. Now, I’m not saying that the cable networks have to cover every Trump rally, and it did turn into a highly partisan speech in Orlando last night. But this really is sort of networks playing into what Steve Bannon used to call acting like the opposition party. To just simply say we’d rather have our own pundits talking while the president is talking, spending the whole next day analyzing and picking apart what he said, rather than letting our viewers hear from the president as he asks for a second term or begins that process, just seems fundamentally unfair and raises questions about how they’re going to cover this entire campaign.”

A “lack of class”? Kurtz never bothers to explain what was newsworthy about Trump’s speech. But he did associate it with the disgraced former Trump aide and aspiring neo-Nazi, Steve Bannon. Kurtz thinks that people can’t form their own opinions of what Trump said unless they heard it in this address, even though they’ve had the opportunity to hear it dozens of times in the recent past. And he thinks it’s “fundamentally unfair” for news networks not to force Trump down everyone’s throats for the umpteenth time.

It’s interesting to note that Kurtz has never gone to bat like this for any Democrat. He has never whined that it’s unfair or lacks class that Fox News declined to air all of Clinton’s public speeches, or any of those by the current batch of Democratic candidates. No matter how many times they occur. It’s only Trump who is being treated unfairly if his drooling and repetitive rampages are not broadcast 24/7 on every channel.

The one thing that Kurtz said that has some merit, at least with regard to Fox News, is in his closing when he said that this “raises questions about how they’re going to cover this entire campaign.” Although, anyone who has watched Fox for more than few minutes knows exactly how they’re going to cover the campaign – like the loyal StormTrumpers that they are and have always been.

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

WTHolyF? Fox News Hysterically Whines that CNN and MSNBC ‘All Seem to Be Opinion Shows’

Well, we are through the looking glass, folks. Of course, that’s been said so many times in the Era of Donald Trump that most of us have built up an immunity to it. But on this occasion there is real concern that the fantasy (nightmare) weavers at Fox News have abandoned any pretense of reality.

Donald Trump Fox News

In a segment on Monday night’s episode Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program, the host interviewed Fox News’ media correspondent, and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz. The discussion was a particularly obtuse analysis of the editorial positions on MSNBC and CNN. It began with Varney calling out his competition for “Anti-Trump coverage” that is “wall to wall on those two networks.” And that led to this bizarre exchange with Kurtz (video below):

Varney: What’s your judgment, Howard, when two all news networks carry one single editorial message, which is resist Trump for everything and get him out? I mean, you’re a media guy. You can’t be that pleased that two major networks are going so consistently down that opinion road.
Kurtz: I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think there are some fair reporters at both networks. But certainly when you turn on the primetime shows, and it’s getting increasingly hard during the day, they all seem to be opinion shows. I mean, you know, you’ve got these panels that are six to one anti-Trump. I mean, there’s no secret about it. That’s the way they’re being programmed.

Seriously? That’s a media analyst on Fox News, the network that is best known today as “State TV” due to its unflinchingly adoring coverage of Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Fox News has dedicated it’s primetime block to three of the most biased Trump-fluffers on television (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson), Hannity even shows up to speak at Trump’s cult rallies.

As for panels that are partisanly skewed, Fox doesn’t leave that to just their primetimers. They begin with “Fox and Friends” in the morning. Then “Outnumbered” is aptly named with four (and sometimes five) right-wingers out of five co-hosts. And in the afternoon they have “The Five,” which is another four to one conservative pile-on. So Fox News actually designs their shows to have multiple wingnuts ganging up on a lonely alleged liberal. Neither MSNBC or CNN has such a program.

Kurtz did criticize Trump for advocating a boycott of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, in order to punish CNN. And even Varney acknowledged that MSNBC was doing well in the ratings prior to the release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Kurtz agreed and made the point that MSNBC’s viewers might have fallen off due their disappointment that Mueller wasn’t more aggressive in his indictment of Trump. That’s actually a pretty good explanation for MSNBC’s recent ratings slump, although it’s still the second highest rated cable news network.

However, for Kurtz to stare into the camera and complain about the partisan tilt of MSNBC and CNN is hypocrisy on an Olympian scale. At least both CNN and NBC have actual news divisions that break stories and win awards. But for him to do that without even the slightest acknowledgement of Fox’s extreme political prejudices, marks him as the same sort of propagandist as Varney, Hannity, and the rest of Fox’s flunkies. If it wasn’t such a serious breach of journalistic ethics, it would make a hilarious sketch for Saturday Night Live.

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

Fox News Hacks Say Media Coverage Honoring Bush is a ‘Weapon Against Trump’

Whenever a public figure like a president dies the media brings out their pre-written obituaries and biographies. It becomes a multi-day marathon of tributes and remembrances that focus on the most positive aspects of the dearly departed. And these past past few days since the passing of President George H.W. Bush has been no exception.

Donald Trump

What is exceptional, however, is the capacity for Fox News, and their stable of right-wing shills, to turn the whole thing into a political circus. And they valiantly manage to do it in the most brazenly asinine way possible. The coverage on Fox has taken a well-coordinated turn to spin any positive messaging about Bush as a calculated attack on Donald Trump. No, really. Here is the host of Fox’s MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, on how the press is weaponizing tributes to Bush (video below):

“There has been just a remarkable media outpouring of gratitude and affection and celebration since the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. But what’s really striking now are the tributes, because there’s just a lot of national affection for a guy who was such a gentleman, and sort of engaged in civility, and could debate his opponents without demonizing them, and often worked with Democrats.”

Kurtz went on to highlight what he perceives as “the contrast between all of the hoopla now” and the way Bush was covered at the time. Then he itemized some of Bush’s most notable missteps and failures, including the blatantly racist, “Willie Horton” ad (produced by a protege of Roger Ailes, who later founded Fox News), and his infamous broken promise of “no new taxes.” All of this was leading up to his premise that the complimentary coverage Bush in death is a deliberate attack on Donald Trump:

“Many of the journalists and pundits who don’t like this president have decided to use the passing of a previous president as a way to bash Trump. […] Very much in contrast to the way he was covered in the 1980’s and 1990’s. And very much used as a kind of a weapon against President Trump.”

Kurtz isn’t the only Fox News Trump-fluffer to make this connection between flattering Bush and insulting Trump. Sean Hannity did a whole segment on his Monday night program wherein he ranted that “They’ll try and bludgeon you when your alive, and now that you’re no longer a political threat oh, you were the greatest person that ever lived.” And Laura Ingraham weighed in on the same subject saying “Sadly though, with the death of George H.W. Bush, some in the media, and politicians from both parties, are abusing this moment to trash instead the sitting president.”

The main problem with these analyses is that they actually point to a big problem that is inherent to Trump’s malignant personality disorders. By praising anyone else for their civility, genteelness, character, unselfishness, and respect for others, you are by definition criticizing Trump’s lack of any of these traits. Just by saying that Bush often demonstrated kindness or concern, you’re making an inescapable comparison to the narcissistic blowhard currently occupying the Oval Office.

Furthermore, these Trump supplicants on Fox News seem to think that there’s something wrong if coverage of a deceased president is different, more complimentary, than the coverage they received when they were still on their government jobs. That’s absurd to the point of nonsense. Political leaders are subject to being critiqued while serving. They face good and bad press in response to their performance and behavior. They are not supposed to be lionized while in office as saintly figures upon whom only praise is lavished. And while that may be the way that Fox News always treats Trump, that doesn’t make it right, or ethical, or sane.

Bush had some successes as president. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. But he had his share of failures too. And if the press lays off for a few days after his passing, that’s to be expected. But complimenting him on matters of character that Trump is so sorely lacking isn’t an example of the press bashing Trump. It’s Trump’s fault for being such an unambiguous asshole that any discussion about someone who isn’t reflects badly on him. If he doesn’t like it he could try to stop being such a self-absorbed jackass. But it’s probably too late for that.

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

Two-Faced Fox News: Both Supporting and Attacking CNN’s Lawsuit Against Trump

The split personality of Fox News is on display with regard to the controversy over their treatment of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass last week after a contentious exchange with Donald Trump at a press conference. Trump’s behavior at the event was over the top, even for him. He viciously lashed out and insulted Acosta and several other reporters, including three African-American women.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, what’s making the headlines now is the administration’s revocation of access to the White House for Acosta and the subsequent lawsuit filed by CNN to restore his First Amendment rights. The suit has been hailed by most of the journalistic community including the White House Correspondents Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. And even Fox News issued a statement in support of CNN’s lawsuit:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox couldn’t resist highlighting what they called an “antagonistic tone.” but at least they included Trump in the criticism. The rest of the statement is a solid defense of the First Amendment. The problem is that this sentiment expressed by their management is not shared by their program hosts.

For instance, on her Tuesday night program Laura Ingraham is not so supportive. She called the lawsuit a “stunt” and a “farce.” Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, wrote an op-ed Tuesday criticizing CNN, saying that “By taking the president to court, CNN also reinforces its image among millions of Trump supporters as part of the opposition.” And Wednesday on the air Kurtz said that “I think this suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one.” Martha MacCallum hosted former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer who dismissed freedom of the press saying that “It’s not a right to be able to go over to the White House.” And Fox’s senior Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity, complained bitterly for ten minutes about the lawsuit. He disparaged Acosta as “a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger.” Trump was apparently watching, because he later used the “grandstanding” slur in an interview with Tucker Carlson’s rag, The Daily Caller. At no time did Hannity or the others stand up for the principles of freedom of the press.

This is representative of the two faces of Fox News. They like to pretend that they are a part of the journalistic community and committed to the constitutional provisions that protect the media. But their most watched personalities prefer the suppressive concepts favored by dictators who get to choose who cover them and what is permissible to say. And that’s also the position of the Trump White House that defended the President’s censorious punishment of Acosta in a statement that said:

“The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews.”

Actually, that isn’t the same thing at all. While Trump has been extremely selective with regard to interviews (the vast majority of which have been with Fox News), a press conference is an open event during which all attendees have equal access. And by selectively banning a reporter who asks tough questions, Trump is manipulating the coverage of his media avails to only those with whom he agrees, or believes he can overcome with bullying, filibustering, and lies. That is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned a free press. And Fox doesn’t get to be a “news” enterprise by issuing a statement in support of the First Amendment, while they put hacks on the air who advocate against 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 Fail: Host Flagrantly Lies that the Media Blamed Trump for Maryland Shooting

The propaganda machine that America knows as Fox News has been working overtime to slander the media on behalf of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump. Of course Trump himself has been the leading voice in the nation castigating the press as “the enemy of the American people,” and feverishly striving to discredit any news enterprise that dares to criticize him. Furthering that goal on Friday evening was Fox’s Laura Ingraham.

Fox News, Laura Ingraham

Ingraham opened her segment on the media (video below) with a montage of clips from CNN and MSNBC that she said demonstrated their attempts to blame Donald Trump for the murders in Annapolis, Maryland. In fact, it only showed these commentators making the obvious connection between the shooter’s hostility for the journalists at the Capital Gazette and Trump’s rabid animosity toward the media in general. It did not suggest, by any stretch of the imagination, that they were blaming Trump for the deaths of the journalists.

However, it cannot be denied that Trump has fostered an anti-press tone that is unjustified, un-American, and unsafe for journalists. In one of the clips reporter Brian Karem noted the fact that there has been a spike in threats against the media since Trump’s election. That doesn’t mean that Trump was responsible for the shootings in Maryland. But it does expose the potential dangers of his hateful rhetoric.

From there Ingraham sought to elaborate on her theme that there was a “rush to judgement blaming Trump.” Never mind that she utterly failed to prove that in her opening. She then turned to Mollie Hemingway of the ultra-rightist Federalist website who said that:

“it was bad enough to see many people in the media trying to blame Donald Trump before anybody knew what was happening. What was really alarming was that they kept with it even after the facts came out showing that there was no correlation between Donald Trump’s very strong criticism of the media and the shooting at the newspaper in Annapolis.”

Again, no evidence of the media blaming Trump was provided before or after the facts of came light. This is just Fox News relentlessly pounding on a false narrative until it sinks in to their willfully ignorant viewers. The same nonsense was pushed by Fox’s chief media correspondent, Howard Kurtz who said:

“This is reprehensible. It’s guilt by association and it’s being spread by journalists who want to blame Donald Trump for everything, including rainstorms and rush hour traffic.”

What’s reprehensible? Critics noting that Trump’s assault on the free press creates a toxic environment? That’s simply the truth. And Kurtz’s snide remarks about weather and traffic don’t bring any light to the discussion. He’s just exacerbating the problem he’s pretending to be so upset over. What’s reprehensible is for a media analyst to further the lie that journalists are spreading Trump’s “guilt” even though he can’t show any evidence of it. And if that weren’t enough, he then engaged in this brief and ludicrous exchange with Ingraham:

Kurtz: Too many organizations are playing to an anti-Trump audience.
Ingraham: A shrinking audience.
Kurtz: Yes, that is true.

WTF? On what basis do these two shills for State TV get the idea that the anti-Trump audience is shrinking? Trump’s approval ratings have skirted the all-time lows for the whole of his presidency. The American people are more disgusted by his ignorance, crudeness, corruption, and criminality than ever. These Fox News hacks are delusional and devoutly committed to spreading blatant lies and propaganda. And lucky for them, there is a faction of the television audience that is just vulnerable enough to their cult tactics for them to get some traction.

Topping it off was a comment by Kurtz that wrapped up the whole segment with a lovely bow of fake concern. He lamented the fact that five journalists were dead, but that that has been “overshadowed by all of this overheated political rhetoric.” Which is funny because that’s what this entire segment was doing. It was ten minutes of overheated political blather that ignored the real world tragedy.

And it was all the more absurd considering that they completely ignored the fact that their own Sean Hannity was the first to “rush to judgment” when he blamed Rep. Maxine Waters and President Obama for the shooting within minutes of the news breaking. Such world-class hypocrisy is emblematic of Fox News who have made it their mission to Make America Gullible and Asinine.

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

Fox News Ignores Trump’s Attack on ObamaCare – While Criticizing the Media for Ignoring It

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would not mount a defense of the provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. It is now the official position of Donald Trump’s Justice Department that if you have ever been diagnosed as diabetic, a had migraine, been pregnant, taken cholesterol medication, or suffered any of a thousand other common maladies, your insurance company should be allowed to charge you exorbitant rates or refuse to cover you at all.

Fox News, Howard Kurtz

This decision could result in millions of citizens losing their health insurance and risking the lives of themselves and their families. It is a coldhearted and utterly unnecessary action on the part of an administration that long ago proved it doesn’t care about ordinary Americans. The decision was covered by most news organizations last week. Perhaps not with the frequency and urgency it warranted, but there was broad coverage by the likes of the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS. Notice anyone missing?

The conspicuous absence of Fox News in this list should not surprise anybody. The Justice Department, under direction of the White House, has just taken a position that could seriously damage the electoral prospects of dozens of Republican candidates. The provision protecting for preexisting conditions may be the most popular part of ObamaCare. So Fox News appears to have made a deliberate decision to bury the story. And that possibility became more plausible on Monday when Fox’s chief media correspondent addressed the matter in a web-only video. Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News MediaBuzz, acknowledged both the significance of the issue and the limited coverage (video below):

“It was the most important issue in American politics for years. I’m talking here about ObamaCare. You’ll recall that the House Republicans – what – repealed ObamaCare about a thousand times while President Obama was still in office.” […]

“Now the Trump administration seems determined to strangle the law. And this news, it was covered and there’s been some newspaper stories but very little on television. The administration is now going to court – or getting involved in a court suit in which it says it will no longer defend really the pillar of ObamaCare which is no ban on preexisting conditions. This is pretty stunning news because if there’s one thing that almost everybody likes about the law – and lots of things that people did not like about the law – but it was the idea that if you were sick, you had a condition, you had a heart problem, you had cancer, whatever it was, insurance companies could not turn you down or charge you four times as much as any other people who got insurance.”

There’s just one glaring problem with this video. It never aired on Fox News. Kurtz spent four minutes decrying the sparse treatment this issue received on TV, but he said nothing about it on his own hour long media-focused program on Sunday. In this video he says that the “relatively little television coverage” the matter got was “striking” to him. But if he thought it was that important, then why didn’t he bring it up it on his show? And why didn’t he note that every other national television news network did multiple segments on it, but not Fox News? He is as guilty as his colleagues of ignoring this story, and maybe more hypocritical.

However, Kurtz is right about this issue needing more attention from the media. And it will likely get that attention as the November election gets closer and Democrats make an issue of it. Kurtz even pointed out that a recent poll showed that seventy-five percent of Democrats, and sixty-three percent of Republicans, approve of the law protecting people with preexisting conditions. He even noted that Trump had supported it during the 2016 election. But the only coverage you’ll see of this on Fox News will be in the service of Republicans as they attack proponents of healthcare during their upcoming campaigns. Or maybe in web-only videos that most people will never see.

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

Forgetful Fox News Hack Whines That SNL is Anti-Trump Because of Stormy Daniels’ Bit

It goes without saying that Fox News will leap to the most extreme conclusions in order to delegitimize any entity or person they regard as less than adoring of Donald Trump. Their automatic bias is dialed up to eleven at all times, as is their phony outrage.

Fox News Stormy Daniels

However, an example of this from Sunday’s episode of Fox’s MediaBuzz jumps off the charts as host Howard Kurtz complains about Saturday Night Live recruiting Stormy Daniels to play herself in the cold opening of the program. Kurtz and his guest, Kat Timpf, were both very unhappy that SNL would demonstrate such obvious political partisanship. Here is their exchange (video below):

Kurtz: Does SNL putting on Stormy Daniels herself kind of remove any last pretense that this program is virulently anti-Trump and it’s just about comedy?
Timpf: Yeah, absolutely. It’s very, very anti-Trump. And it’s not as funny because of it. Because we already know where all the jokes are gonna be going. We don’t watch the sketch and see Alec Baldwin and say, “Oh, I wonder what the punchline is gonna be here. The punchline is gonna be “Oh, the President’s an idiot. The President’s a liar.” And the bottom line is the people who are watching it and enjoy it, they are gonna hate President Trump no matter what. But the people who support him, they don’t care about Stormy Daniels. They don’t care about any of this. So it’s not like they’re changing any minds with any of these sketches.
Kurtz: Right. It’s not like Alec Baldwin hasn’t made clear that as a person he detests President Trump.
Timpf: You can tell by the way he acts.
Kurtz: I wouldn’t have any problem with a Stormy Daniels actrress, but Stormy Daniels herself? Really?
Timpf: I’ve had enough Stormy Daniels.
Kurtz: I think our viewers might agree with you.

If knowing what people with obvious agendas are going to say in advance negates their positions, then no one ever needs to watch anything on Fox News. We already know what the punchlines are and they aren’t the least bit funny. Although it’s interesting that Kurtz admits that his audience is a single-minded borg community who all think alike.

However, what really exposes Kurtz and his colleagues at Fox News as partisan propagandists is his deliberate blocking out any part of reality that contradicts his preconceived notions. Here’s why: He’s furious at SNL for casting Stormy, and insists that having done so is proof that the show is anti-Trump. So what did it mean in November of 2015 when Donald Trump was the host of the program for the whole hour and a half? Wasn’t that proof that SNL is hopelessly biased to the right and pro-Trump (despite the universally bad reviews)?

How Kurtz could have forgotten this infamous episode that created a huge stir in the press at the time is unfathomable. But he and his guest somehow managed to latch onto a couple of minutes in this weekend’s program and declare it evidence of a rampant liberal bias, while pretending that Trump’s hosting gig never existed. And Kurtz is the top media correspondent on Fox News. He should – and probably does – know better.

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

HUH? Fox News Wonders ‘How Can Professional Commentators Go On the Air and Speculate?’

From its inception, Fox News was determined to disguise their political biases. They fashioned a network that they would claim is “fair and balanced,” but would never even attempt to live up to that standard. Last year they finally abandoned that slogan and replaced it with one that was obviously and shamelessly inspired by Donald Trump’s anti-media histrionics: “Real News.”

Fox News, Howard Kurtz

So it isn’t surprising when the chief media correspondent on Fox News, Howard Kurtz, would host a discussion on his show about media bias that flagrantly ignores it own ethical breaches. Sunday’s episode of MediaBuzz delved into the controversy surrounding Fox News host, and official Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity. This week Hannity was revealed in court to be another client of Trump’s beleaguered attorney, Michael Cohen. He vehemently denied that which, in effect, means that he’s calling Cohen a liar. That’s something that Trump himself seems to be preparing to do.

Kurtz was disturbed by the media reaction to Hannity’s unambiguous ethical lapses (video below). Primarily, he found fault with the coverage of this story by his competitors on cable news. He led off the conversation saying that:

“In the aftermath, and it was such intense media reaction to this, a couple of people went on the air on other cable news channels and kind of just got out there.”

As examples of this alleged “outness,” Kurtz played video of two guests that appeared on MSNBC, but no other cable news channels. They raised questions about the undeniably conflicted relationship between Hannity and Cohen. The guests were Danielle Moodie-Mills, a SiriusXM talk show host, and Jennifer Rubin, a conservative opinion columnist from the Washington Post. Both observed the coincidence that Hannity had secured the services of Cohen, a “fixer” who had facilitated payoffs to the mistresses of his other clients (Trump and RNC official Elliot Broidy).

Since Hannity refused to disclose the nature of his relationship with Cohen, it’s entirely fair for pundits to assemble available data and offer analyses that seek to provide a coherent explanation. But that’s not how Kurtz sees it. He asked his guest, Shelby Holliday of the Wall Street Journal:

“How can professional commentators go on the air and speculate, without a shred of evidence right after this happened, that ‘Oh, there must have been a woman involved or something’ and there is absolutely no evidence to support it?”

Seriously? This is Fox News wondering whether it’s appropriate to speculate about public figures. It’s the network that spent years asserting that Barack Obama was an illegitimate president due his birth in Kenya. It’s the network that tried to blame Hillary Clinton for deliberately causing the deaths of American diplomats in Benghazi. It’s the network that advanced wild conspiracy theories like the child sex slave ring in the basement of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor. And it’s the network that pushed ludicrous allegations that DNC employee Seth Rich’s murder was a clandestine, “Deep State” political assassination. That last one was Hannity’s baby. And those are just a few of Fox’s innumerable adventures in ridiculous and defamatory speculation.

Holliday responded to Kurtz’s inquiry by agreeing that “Journalistically that’s out of bounds. No reporters or news people should be speculating like that.” Of course, the examples that Kurtz played were opinion commentators, not reporters. And to her credit, Holliday did point that out to Kurtz. But Kurtz shot back that “Fine. You can criticize him all you want, but you can’t make stuff up and speculate.”

Well, thanks for that completely obvious and, for Fox News, hypocritical advice. Being told by Fox not to speculate is like being told by Donald Trump not to lie. And the fact that their specialist in media is so woefully lacking in self-awareness makes anything he has to say about the press unworthy of consideration. It’s asinine comments like these that make laughter the only appropriate response to anything Fox News says.

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