CNN’s Jake Tapper Goes Off on Biden for ‘Scolding’ Willfully Deceived Vaccine Refusers

For the majority of Americans who have done the sensible and responsible thing by getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, their obstinate counterparts who reject the vaccine (and science) are a mortal threat. They are putting both the health of people and the nation’s economic health at risk. And the President, as well as the American people, aren’t having it.

Joe Biden, Tweet

On Thursday President Biden addressed this threat with both blunt language and substantive policy. His plan to increase the rate of vaccinations by, among other things, directing large companies to require that their employees either get vaccinated or have weekly tests would provide greater protection for the population at large. Predictably, this was met with scorn by right-wing politicians and pundits. Especially Fox News (who Biden called out in his speech) where they maligned Biden as a “tyrant” who “declared war on millions of Americans.”

Unfortunately, over at CNN there was additional criticism of the President from a rather bizarre angle. Jake Tapper hosted a segment (video below) wherein he complained that Biden was taking the wrong approach by “scolding” the unvaccinated. He characterized them as victims of the liars in government and the press. While it is true that Republicans, Fox News, and their confederates have been flagrantly lying to the American people, it is naïve to portray them as victims. They have the same access to the truth about the COVID pandemic as everyone else. They just willfully choose to believe what are easily provable lies. Nevertheless, Tapper had this to say about it:

“I don’t think scolding is the approach. There are these purveyors of misinformation out there, and they’re not just on the right. Robert Kennedy Jr. is one of the most notorious ones. And I haven’t seen the president or anyone say, look, people, like, he’s scolding the people that are being lied to as opposed to the liars.

“Instead of saying there are a bunch of people trying to get your money, trying to get you attention, trying to get your votes, trying to get your views and clicks, they are lying to you. Instead of shaming the liars and trying to educate the people being lied to, he’s scolding the people being lied to. And again, as with the election lie, you can get mad at the people who believe the lies, but the villains are the liars.”

Tapper is correct that there are “villains” who are lying to people and that they deserve to be castigated for their reckless and potentially deadly dishonesty. But that’s the only part he got right.

It was wrong to describe Biden’s tone as “scolding,” when it was, in fact, appropriately caring as he implored the resisters to do the right thing for themselves and everyone else. It was also wrong to pretend that there was some equivalence between the long-running, fringe, anti-vaccine campaign by RFK, Jr, and the establishment Republicans and conservative media who are exacerbating the problem.

Tapper also claims not to have seen anyone criticizing or “shaming the liars” who have misled the resisters. Really? There has been significant amounts of such criticism whenever someone at Fox News, or some self-serving Republican hack, has expressed their hostility to vaccines and the need to get more people to partake of them. Biden even addressed it in his speech on Thursday saying that, “to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19.”

However, as guilty as the vaccine disinformers are of putting the nation at risk, the people who choose to believe them are not mere victims. They purposefully ignore and/or rebuke the truth about vaccines. They are hardened in their opposition to the facts, instead preferring to believe Facebook quacks, Fox News hacks, and political whacks.

Credible doctors, politicians and pundits have been trying for months to get the resisters on board. They’ve tried every type of persuasion imaginable, including education, appeals to compassion, profiles of resisters who died, and even cash rewards. If they haven’t been convinced by now, exactly what does Tapper think will finally convince them? Furthermore, isn’t Tapper’s position condescending to the resisters, implying that they are too stupid figure out that they are being lied to? While that may be true, how will it help his argument to succeed?

So yes, Tapper is correct about the guilt of those disseminating lies. But he is too easy on those consuming them. There is nothing remotely credible about Tucker Carlson’s paranoid ranting that vaccines don’t work and “they” won’t tell you. Nor are Sean Hannity’s efforts to plant doubts about the vaccine rooted in facts. But it is consistent with the rest of the rightist media that deliberately steers people away from life-saving guidance by medical experts. And the unvaccinated are not being forced to believe it. They a choosing to do so, freely.

Tapper might want to listen to Biden’s speech again and pay close attention to his appeal. Particularly this part that displays his empathy for all of the people of the country, and his genuine desire for everyone to be safe from the ravages of the pandemic:

“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine is FDA approved. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. We’ve been patient but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing.”

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.

Sen. Collins Lets Slip that ‘There Were Many Communications with Trump’ on January 6th

The investigations into Donald Trump’s culpability for the riots in Washington, D.C., on January 6th have barely just begun. So far there has been a one hearing that featured four law enforcement officers who were assaulted by Trump’s Insurrection Brigades. Naturally, Fox News immediately set out to malign the officers.

Donald Trump Insurrection

There is still much be learned as the investigation continues. The documentary and testimonial evidence is growing by the day. In that regard, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine helpfully added herself to the list of witnesses. On CNN’s State of the Union, Collins was questioned by host Jake Tapper about the House Select Committee that is probing the Trump-incited mob violence that sought to disrupt Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty to certify the election.

Collins told Tapper said that she “fought very hard” for an independent, bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection. But she failed to note that it was her Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, whose opposition killed it. Then she goes on to complain about the Select Committee not being bipartisan, despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi placing two Republicans on the panel. It was GOP House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, who refused to seat three other Republicans.

Tapper pointed out that two of McCarthy’s GOP picks for the Committee, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, were “election liars,” and Jordan is likely to be called as a witness. To which Collins replied that, “There were many communications with [then] president Trump that day.”

Really? Who would that be? We know about Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan who, by their own admissions, spoke with Trump. Although both are declining to reveal the substance of their conversations. But if there were “many” others, then maybe Collins needs to be subpoenaed as a witness to disclose what she knows about those members of Congress. Were they calling Trump to plead with him to call off his insurrectionist brigades? Were they calling to plot strategy for the attempted coup after the assault on Congress?

These questions must be answered. And now Collins has woven herself into the investigation as a material witness. We know that Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to subvert democracy. It is imperative that he be held accountable to restore faith in the American experiment. But all of those who were complicit in the domestic terrorism that Trump incited must also be held accountable. Including members of Congress who aided and abetted Trump’s treason.

Consequently, Collins must now be required to disclose what she knows, under oath, before the Committee. The seriousness of the crimes committed by Trump cannot be overstated. He was recently described as a war criminal by Carl Bernstein. And his accomplices must not be allowed to escape responsibility.

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.

Where’s Trump? And Why Isn’t He Ordering His QAnon Troops to Stand Down on March 4?

It has been less than two months since Donald Trump’s Insurrectionist Brigades attacked Congress and the very heart of American democracy. Five people died, and many dozens more were injured. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric in the months and hours prior to the attack clearly show that his role was instrumental in inciting the violent mob.

Trump Charlotsville

Now there is another threat that looms over Washington, D.C. The same criminals who conducted the traitorous riots on January 6th are threatening more violence for March 4th. CNN reports that…

“US officials on Wednesday alerted lawmakers to a potential threat against the US Capitol on March 4, for which security has been enhanced as a precaution, less than two months after the Capitol complex was stormed and lawmakers’ lives were threatened by rioters.

“Information provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned of increased chatter among extremists, including members of the Three Percenters extremist group, discussing possible plots against the Capitol on March 4, a date that conspiracy theorists have focused on, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

This news raises more questions about where Trump stands in this war against America. We know that he did nothing to stop his seditious supporters on January 6th. And he’s being equally negligent now. Jake Tapper of CNN raised this question, asking Republican congressman Michael McCaul whether Trump has a responsibility to intervene:

Tapper: It seems to me that, whether we’re talking about the attack on January 6th or this possible attack tomorrow, President Trump – these people, these attackers worship him. They love him. They think that they’re doing this in his name. Do you think Donald Trump should be saying more forcefully, clearly. ‘I’m not gonna be inaugurated tomorrow. Joe Biden was elected fair and square.’ That could potentially quell a lot of these violent threats.
McCaul: President Trump has the responsibility to tell them to stand down. This threat is credible. It’s real. It’s a right-wing militia group that believes that because the original inauguration date was March 4th until the 20th Amendment passed, they think that this is the true inauguration day and that President Trump should be inaugurated tomorrow. And that is the threat we face right now.

Exactly! And yet, Trump is nowhere to be found. He could have a significant influence on the glassy-eyed disciples of his perverse cult. They are awaiting his orders. He could prevent more violence and harm. But he’s holed up in his Mar-a-Lago bunker and, not unlike his gross and deliberate inaction on January 6th, he’s probably enjoying the prospect of a horde of StormTrumpers breaking down doors, smashing windows, and shedding blood.

All Trump needs to do is stand before a camera and insist that his goons stay home and refrain from any violent activity. But Trump isn’t making that simple gesture. Why do you suppose that is?

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 Shill McEnany Visits Fox News to Drop Another Flagrant Election Fraud Lie

Next week the Electoral College will certify that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. But even as this date approaches, and the outcome is unquestionably certain, Donald Trump continues to babble incoherently that he was the winner “by a landslide.” It’s position that just gets more pathetic every day as Trump affirms his departure from reality and psychotic deterioration. Unfortunately, he’s also veering closing to open advocacy of violence.

Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram.

Kayleigh McEnany, Donald Trump

However, it isn’t just Trump who is suffering from this deeply delusional defect. It has spread like an epidemic throughout Trump World. His dimwitted cult disciples are fully indoctrinated into believing that a cabal of thousands of coup conspirators have “stolen” the election without leaving behind a single shred of evidence. And Trump’s remaining dead-ender confederates in the White House persist in propagating a victory that exists only in his diseased mind.

Chief among those stubborn Trumpians is his combination press secretary and campaign mouthpiece, Kayleigh McEnany. She spent some quality time Monday night with Senior Fox News Trump-fluffer Sean Hannity where she tried to pass off a provable lie about alleged voting irregularities:

“This happened in the places where it needed to happen. Which is why the four metros, the only four where Joe Biden outperformed Hillary Clinton, were Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Detroit. The four he needed in the four key states.”

McEnany’s disinformation appears to have been cribbed from a tweet by the ultra right-wing pollster, Rasmussen. Their tweet linked to an article by the notorious Internet conspiracy crackpot, Gateway Pundit, who sourced his info to the website Townhall. Of course, the article was utterly fictional. Even Townhall later disclaimed their own post. But the presence of blatant falsehoods have never stopped McEnany, or Hannity, before. CNN’s Jake Tapper put it succinctly this weekend when he described his standards for booking Trump administration guests:

“There are some people that are just so mendacious I just wouldn’t put them on air. Kayleigh McEnany, I’ve never booked her. Jason Miller from the Trump campaign, I would never book him. These are just people, they just tell lies the way that most people breathe. There was no value in that. […] This is what she does. She tells lies all the time. She can’t acknowledge reality.”

For the record, USA Today conducted a study of “the country’s 10 largest cities — or the counties in which they’re located, if data by city was not available — plus Detroit, Milwaukee and Fulton County, where Atlanta is located.” It found that Biden actually did outperform Clinton in 10 of those 13 locations:

  • Chicago by 19,613 votes
  • Philadelphia by 20,150 votes
  • Milwaukee by 6,004 votes
  • Houston by 210,279 votes
  • San Antonio by 128,902 votes
  • San Diego by 226,849 votes
  • Dallas by 137,496 votes
  • San Jose by 103,574 votes
  • Phoenix by 337,867 votes
  • Atlanta by 84,093 votes

As further evidence of how far off McEnany et al are, Biden actually appears to have underperformed Clinton in Detroit. Another study conducted by the conservative National Review confirmed USA Today’s study. They found that “Biden improved his margin of victory compared to Clinton in 31 of 36 urban counties.” They also found that “There’s no evidence that swing states had more than 100% voter turnout.”

McEnany’s penchant for poisoning her diatribes with untruths is well known. She began doing it on day one of her employment as Trump’s press secretary, ably filling the deceitful shoes of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Following Tapper’s public rebuke, McEnany spitefully turned to Twitter to hysterically claim that she doesn’t lie. Which is just another lie in her ample supply of prevarication.

But if McEnany is really so offended by people accurately pointing out her aversion to truth telling, she just might want to take this advice…

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. 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.

Watch as Trump’s Incompetence and Hostility to the Free Press is Exposed

Every day there is new evidence of how Donald Trump neglected to act responsibly to prevent the loss of thousands of American lives. This week we learned that “Top White House advisers as well as experts deep in the Cabinet departments and intelligence agencies all sounded alarms and urged aggressive action to counter the threat from the coronavirus, but President Trump remained slow to respond.”

Trump TV

We also learned, through the release of a series of Red Dawn emails that circulated in the White House, just how determined Trump was to ignore the warning signs of imminent disaster. Even America’s preeminent expert on pandemics, and a member of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, responded with stark honesty on CNN’s State of the Union to the question of whether fewer lives would have been lost had Trump acted sooner:

“You could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously no one is going to deny that … But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back [in February].”

In other words, Trump & Co. allowed a pandemic to spread so that they wouldn’t lose money or risk hurting his reelection prospects. In will be interesting to see if Dr. Fauci survives this truth telling when Trump is told about it. (UPDATE: Trump retweeted a post calling for him to fire Fauci).

In another demonstration of the invaluable service that the media is capable of providing, CNN’s Jake Tapper delivered an editorial examining the Trump administration’s plan (or lack thereof) for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The segment (video below) included a compilation of Trump’s badgering of reporters and his impotent attempts to intimidate the White House press corps. Tapper led off by noting that “Trump is taking questions from reporters nearly every day, but that does not mean he’s answering them.”

What followed was a stream of examples of Trump lashing out at journalists who were simply doing their jobs. But his childish put downs were pathetic at best, and they only served to reveal his barely veiled fear. He called seasoned reporters “third rate.” “disgraceful,” and “nasty.” He interrupted them before they could complete their questions. And his answers, more often than not, dodged the substance of the questions.

This just adds to the argument that Trump should not even attend these briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. Then he tries to make a preposterous argument about the ratings, saying that they are indicative of his alleged popularity.

Tapper summed up his remarks by asking Trump another question that he surely will not answer: “Attacking journalists who ask questions does not make those questions go away. It only reveals that you might not have the answers. Again, sir, respectfully, what is the plan for a way out of this? Do you have one?” If Trump responds to that question at all, it will likely be in the form of tweet that merely says “FAKE NEWS” in all caps without ever referencing the original question about whether or not he has a plan. But that hardly matters. The American people already know the answer to that question.

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

Trump’s Heinous Attack on Tom Steyer, a Jewish Democrat and Target of the MAGABomber

Already? It didn’t take long for Donald Trump to back off of his obviously disingenuous calls for unity and peace following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In fact, it took less than twenty-fours. On Sunday morning Trump could no longer contain his regnant impulses, so he let loose on Twitter in a display of rancid anti-Semitism and a heinous disregard for human life.

Donald Trump

The latest target of Trump’s hostility is billionaire Tom Steyer, a prominent Democratic donor and vocal critic of the President. Trump’s tweet was both hostile and dishonest. In other words, business as usual for our loathsome, Pathological-Liar-in-Chief. The offensive tweet ignored every moral principle that a conscientious leader would ordinarily have. It said:

Let’s break that down. First of all. Trump is admitting that he lied when he said that he doesn’t watch CNN. He often quotes from segments on CNN and criticizes their coverage of him. But in this tweet he plainly admitted that he watched the whole interview. Trump also lied about not having seen Steyer before. Almost a year ago to the day, Trump tweeted about the “Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me.” Indeed, Steyer is the founder of Need To Impeach, which has already accumulated more than 6.1 million signatures of Americans seeking to remove Trump from office due to his well documented treasonous behavior and repeated violations of law.

Trump’s infantile compulsion to insult people was evident again with an absurd characterization of Steyer as “wacky,” “crazed,” and “lunatic.” Whatever you think of Steyer’s opinions, his demeanor is always composed and dignified. Trump is just projecting a description of himself onto someone for whom it is plainly unfitting. What’s more, Trump is revealing his jealousy of Steyer, who is a true self-made billionaire (unlike Trump, who got, millions from his father), with a peculiar and unsupported reference to him “running out of money.” And then, of course, Trump alludes to Steyer as being a potential rival in 2020, which Steyer has never affirmed.

In the interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union (video below), Steyer made a strong case refuting the false equivalency that conservatives allege with regard to violence against political leaders. He argued that there may have been perpetrators on both sides, but only one side has been flagrantly advocating the sort of hostilities that result in real, physical harm. And Trump is at the helm of that advocacy with his calls to assault protesters, his support for “body slamming” journalists, and his labeling political opponents, and the media, as enemies.

However, the worst part of Trump’s tweet is that he posted it just days after it was revealed that Steyer was a recipient of a mail bomb from the now infamous “MAGABomber.” Trump has not expressed any sympathies directly to any of the targets of that virulently pro-Trump domestic terrorist, including two former presidents. But now he is overtly attacking one of those targets. Additionally, Steyer is half-Jewish, which makes Trump’s tweet even more reprehensible considering the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue the day before.

It seems that every day Donald Trump exposes more of the noxious hatred and ignorance that is the core of his character, or lack thereof. And with this one tweet he has reaffirmed his relentless dishonesty, his insensitivity toward people who have suffered tragedies, and his brazen bigotry. You have to admit that he has a unique talent for being the worst human being to ever occupy a place of power in the United States. And that’s an accomplishment that surely fills him with pride.

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

Is Trump More Scared of Putin or CNN? Cadet Bonespurs Cancels Bolton’s Interview on CNN

On Monday Donald Trump is going to sit down with his – Friend? Boss? Russian counterpart? – Vladimir Putin for a meeting that has no agenda or even a stated purpose. The Helsinki tryst comes just a few days after his own Justice Department announced indictments of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s only reaction to this was to say that he would “ask” Putin about it. Well, that should put the brutal dictator on notice.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In advance of this meeting, Trump’s National Security advisor, John Bolton was scheduled to appear on CNN’s State of the Union. But on Saturday SOTU host, Jake Tapper, tweeted that the White House has canceled that booking. So Trump won’t cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose spy network was just indicted for election tampering, but he will cancel a Sunday morning interview with Bolton. Who does this tell you that Trump is more afraid of?

This cancellation comes on the heels of Trump’s anti-free press harangue on Friday when he refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying that he doesn’t take questions from “fake news” CNN. He then called on John Roberts of Fox News, which he said was a “real network.” Now Trump has, without explanation, pulled his NSA chief from a CNN program.

In a tweet on Saturday morning Trump bragged about his “takedown” of Acosta, as if suppressing the free press was something to be proud of. He also falsely claimed that CNN was “dying in the ratings” (they aren’t), and that they didn’t report on the exchange (they did). What Trump neglected to mention was that Fox’s Roberts later called out Trump and defended the fairness and honesty of NBC and CNN.

Clearly Trump is scared witless. The only question is: Who is he afraid of more? There’s no doubt that Trump is horribly frightened at the prospect of having to answer any questions that aren’t pre-screened, criticism-free, and/or dripping with adoration. That’s why he doesn’t allow interviews with anyone but friendly “reporters” that he knows will not challenge him. And it’s why he snubbed Acosta and canceled Bolton’s interview.

But he’s also obviously fearful of Putin. Which is why he won’t risk offending him by not turning up for their get-together on Monday. People as politically diverse as senators Chuck Schumer and John McCain have been urging Trump to stay away. But Trump, as usual, isn’t listening to good advice. And his State TV affiliate (aka Fox News) is continuing to prove that they are on his side by booking Brother Vlad for an interview immediately following his tete-a-tete with Trump. Where else would Putin go other than the network that his biggest supporter outside of RT (Russian Television)?

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

UPDATE: Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the Bolton cancellation saying that it was due to a CNN reporter being “disrespectful” to Trump. So they “decided to reprioritize the TV appearances.” For the record, Trump called CNN’s Acosta “fake news.” He replied that CNN is a real network. That’s it. No discernible hint disrespect. But even if there were, she canceled an interview with Jake Tapper for something Acosta did? This whole excuse is bullshit – no disrespect intended.

Trump Hypes Fox News Ratings While Ignoring the Success of Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

There is something deeply disturbing about a president who obsesses about television ratings. Especially when it’s focused so narrowly on one particular network that serves as his biggest media booster. Donald Trump has spent more time on Twitter fawning over Fox News than almost any other single subject. He frequently tweets or retweets things he just watched on Fox and Friends or Hannity as if they were his closest advisors.

Rachel Maddow

On Tuesday morning Trump retweeted a post by his son Eric that celebrated Fox’s ratings performance in February. Why on Earth was this so important to someone who is currently burdened with a nuclear standoff with North Korea, Russian interference in American elections, a trade war that he instigated, children being massacred in schools, undocumented residents who have spent nearly their whole lives in the U.S. facing deportation, and so many other serious matters? It’s almost as if his only experience for running the country came from being a TV personality.

Okay, so Fox had a pretty good month. They lost January, so it must be a relief to them – and to Trump. However, their February win wasn’t exactly a runaway. While Trump slams his arch-enemy CNN in this tweet, he neglects to mention MSNBC and Rachel Maddow. As News Corpse reported last week, Maddow had another impressive month, falling just short of beating Sean Hannity again in the key demographic of 25-54 year olds. And although her average audience was shy of an outright victory, she did win more days during the month than Hannity did.

What’s more, in January Fox News dropped fourteen percent in primetime. Now February has topped that with an additional fifteen percent decline. Meanwhile, MSNBC gained significantly in both months of this new year. February’s percentage gains were over twenty percent. Funny, Trump never mentioned any of that. But he did tweet about the ratings for the Oscar telecast on Sunday. And for some reason he took delight in the numbers having declined. Apparently our President is happy when the film industry, a major national employer and contributor to America’s domestic and export economy, is doing poorly.

Trump’s tweets on behalf of Fox News are more evidence that the network is a wholly owned and operated division of the Trump administration. Or is it the other way around? Or are both Trump and Fox News divisions of Russia’s Putin Enterprises Worldwide. All three scenarios are way too plausible. But most Americans would agree that the President has more important things to do than analyzing TV ratings and promoting programs that unfailingly exalt their Dear Leader. Jake Tapper of CNN had a pithy commentary himself on Twitter saying…

And conversely, if you’re a news organization and the folks in power are constantly maligning you, you’re doing it right. By definition. There’s a reason that Trump is relentlessly attacking CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. He’s afraid because actual journalists are revealing his criminal activities and those of his associates. His only recourse is a campaign of smear tactics. But that is only making him look even more guilty. So keep it up, Donnie. And remember, no matter how bad the ratings are for CNN, yours are still worse.

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

To CNN’s Jake Tapper: You HAVE Wasted Enough of Your Viewers’ Time, So Stop Doing It

On Sunday morning’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union, there was a remarkable interview by Jake Tapper. His guest was Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, and thirty-two year old man still stuck in a temper tantrum he began as a five year old, Stephen Miller. The segment (video below) was a train wreck due to Miller’s relentless interruptions and shameless Trump-fluffing.

CNN Stephen Miller

Tapper took a fair amount of abuse from Miller who accused him of being condescending, snide, and joyful for opportunities to “stick the knife in.” These personal insults were designed to evade the actual questions that Tapper asked. For instance, Tapper inquired twice whether Trump met with the people that attended Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower, as Steve Bannon said. In the course of Miller’s evasion, he never denied that Trump met with those Russians.

The majority of the interview consisted of Miller fawning over his boss. He described Trump as a political genius who “took down the Bush dynasty, took down the Clinton dynasty, took down the entire media complex.” Miller’s adoration of Trump was all-consuming and more than a little nauseating. He refused to allow a question to interrupt his arrogant filibustering. Which led to Tapper reclaiming control of his show and muzzling Trump’s unhinged attack dog:

“Okay, you’re not answering the questions, I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him. And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

With that, Tapper went to a commercial. This was exactly how a journalist with integrity should behave under these circumstances. It’s one thing to assure that all sides have an opportunity to be heard, but it’s something else to permit a political shill to hijack a news program for the purpose of force-feeding propaganda to the audience. If an interview subject is more interested in spewing talking points than honestly answering questions, then the interview should be terminated. One measure of Tapper’s correctness is the rage-soaked and delusional response he got shortly after from Trump:

While Tapper did exactly the right thing in this instance, he and most other TV reporters too often let themselves be exploited by partisan mouthpieces. It’s a game that Trump has benefited from since his first day as a presidential candidate. Every news network routinely broadcast his rallies in their entirety, despite the fact that they rarely contained anything that was newsworthy. And as President, Trump has dispatched surrogates like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders who view their jobs as being willing to lie without restraint in the service of Trump’s ego.

The media needs to reevaluate its relationship to this presidency. There has never been an administration that was so openly hostile to the press. Nor, ironically, one that so flagrantly exploits the press to deceive the public and advance such a brazenly dishonest agenda. Trump loves to bash the media that he relies on to disseminate his hatred for it. And there is no reason that the media should tolerate that.

The press needs to cut off right-wing trolls more often, and refuse to host those who repeatedly lie. They have to stop hiring bootlickers (like CNN’s Jason Miller and Jack Kingston), who add little substance to any debate and are as predictable as the sunrise. The media must recommit itself to its core mission of informing the public and exposing the truth. Hosting people like Stephen Miller does not advance that goal. CNN isn’t helping itself or the country by hosting pathological liars. That’s what Fox News is for.

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

WTF? Trump’s Treasury Secretary Says GOP Tax Plan Restores Great Depression Policies

When Donald Trump returns from his “Humiliate America Tour” of Asia he will be greeted by politics and scandals that he cannot continue to avoid. His embrace of Vladimir Putin, the ongoing investigation into his collusion with Russia, indictments of his campaign and administration staffers, sexual abuse by GOP senate candidate Roy Moore, and the already floundering Republican attempt at tax reform.

Donald Trump

Trump has dived hair first into the tax debate with his customary aversion to the truth. On multiple occasions he has referred to the still stewing tax legislation as the “biggest tax cut in history.” It isn’t. But that didn’t stop his Treasury Secretary (aka the Foreclosure King), Steve Mnuchin, from lying to CNN’s Jake Tapper on behalf of his pathological boss (video below). In this exchange Mnuchin attempts a shady two-step to relocate the goalposts to another county. Tapper addresses the falsehood that Trump is proposing the biggest tax cut in history:

Tapper: We’ve tried to find a way that this is true, but it’s not.
Mnuchin: This will be the largest change since President Reagan.

A large change since Reagan is not the same thing as the biggest cut ever. Tapper displayed several different ways to calculate the tax impact of the Trump bill, but none of them achieved the ludicrous claims of Mnuchin and the President. So Mnuchin reloads and aims to move the goal posts even further by pointing out that just the corporate tax rate would drop from thirty-five percent to twenty. That, of course, has no impact on the tax bills of average Americans. And it still doesn’t support Trump’s gross exaggerations.

Undeterred, Mnuchin followed that up with perhaps the worst defense of fiscal policy imaginable. He bragged that the pass-through tax rate (which mainly benefits large corporations) “is gonna be the lowest rate since the 1930’s.” So Mnuchin is expressing outright pride that his plan matches the one in effect during the Great Depression. Really?

The big lie that Mnuchin, Trump, et al, relentlessly propagate is that our current tax system makes the U.S. uncompetitive. And they say this at the same time that they brag about how great the American economy is doing. Trump praises himself regularly for the historic performance of the stock market (although he has nothing to do with that). But if that’s true, why would we need to give more tax breaks to the very people and businesses who are already disproportionately prospering? Especially at a time when there are so many other critical demands for resources, including natural disaster relief, healthcare, infrastructure, and deficit reduction.

The goal of the Republican Party has always been to restore the economic principles that benefit their primary constituency and donors – corporations. These are the same principles that brought about the Great Recession of 2008, and most other financial disasters. And that includes the Great Depression. However, we do not often hear them so openly admit that this is their objective. It’s bad enough that these robber barons are constantly trying to steal from the American people to enrich themselves. But when they are so comfortable that they feel no need to disguise what they’re doing, it’s a sure sign of trouble ahead.

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