Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Is Donald Trump the President of the United States, or of Fox News Marketing and PR?

The torrid love affair between Donald Trump and Fox News has never been exactly secret. Fox has given him more free airtime than any other public figure. And he has granted them more interviews (40+) than all other news networks combined. And all of the exposure has been unceasingly adoring. Trump even had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends (Mornings with Trump) long before his presidential aspirations.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

The recent article in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer neatly sewed together much of the evidence proving that Fox News is not merely a conservative leaning network, but a blatantly biased propaganda mouthpiece for the President. And to demonstrate that it isn’t a relationship they are ashamed of, both Fox and Trump have escalated their fetishistic fondness for one another since the article was published. Trump, in particular, has unleashed a rash of promotions of Fox News and the shills who call it home. Just in the last four days Trump has posted ten videos from Fox:

  1. Lou Dobbs on Trump’s phony national emergency
  2. Lou Dobbs with cartoon pundits Diamond and Silk
  3. Outnumbered ranting about a “Witch Hunt”
  4. Jason Chaffetz exhibiting his undying Hillary Clinton fetish
  5. Fox and Friends pushing Trump’s idiotic vanity wall
  6. Maria Bartiromo obediently maligning the FBI
  7. Mark Levin spending seven minutes fluffing Trump with Bill Bennett
  8. Tucker Carlson doing the fake history of the Russia “hoax”
  9. Sean Hannity lying about a Democratic conspiracy against Trump
  10. Sean Hannity succumbing to his ludicrous “Deep State” dementia

Remember, this is the president who says that he doesn’t have time to watch TV because of all the documents that he has to read (as if he can read). But not only does he have plenty of time to watch TV, he even has time to feverishly post tweets of his viewing. And this doesn’t even count the numerous textual tweets that reference things he just saw on Fox News.

Last week Trump’s viewing was sufficiently disturbed that he plaintively pleaded with Fox News to return Jeanine Pirro, who Fox briefly suspended due to her flagrantly racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also stood up for Tucker Carlson whose past bigotry, and boorish profanity, was revealed in recordings from his radio guest spots with Bubba, the Love Sponge.

These promos for Fox News are pure puffery on behalf of the President for his favorite bootlicking broadcaster. It is wholly unprecedented in American politics. And the marketing executives at Fox News must be thrilled. The question is whether Trump is volunteering this assistance to Fox, or if Fox is directing it.

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

Trump Confirms that Fox News is State TV in Bonkers Defense of Bigotry, Pirro, Carlson, et al

Now there can be no further dispute. Donald Trump has made it absolutely clear that Fox News is unambiguously State TV, and that the Trump White (Nationalism) House is inextricably intertwined with the network’s mission of propaganda and right-wing tyranny.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s regularly scheduled Sunday Tweetstorm, the President unleashed one of his most deranged outbursts of all time. It was a sustained assault on the free press, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and a democratic government that honors individual freedom. While Trump has always been an opponent of the media – which he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” – he has taken his hostility to a new low that provides incontrovertible evidence that his regime and Fox News are conjoined partners in undermining the free society principles that the United States were founded on.

Trump began his Sunday sermonizing with an attack on Saturday Night Live, which he seems to be unaware was a rerun:

That’s right. The flailing Snowflake-in-Chief is now spending his time barking at comedians, even though there supposedly a “national emergency” in progress. But even worse, he thinks that his government agencies should have the power to investigate these comics due to their having the audacity to make fun of him. If he doesn’t like it, he shouldn’t give them so much material. But his inclination to use oppressive state measures to silence them should worry every patriotic American. And it wasn’t the first time he’s done this either.

What’s more, his impotent swings at SNL also include crazy allegations that the funny folks on late night TV are the ones colluding with Russia, a nation not well known for its sense of humor. And he follows that up with the false assertion that he enjoys a fifty-two percent approval rating. He got that from an ultra-biased Rasmussen poll that is now a moth old. Rasmussen currently has him at forty-eight percent, while most other polls put him the thirties.

However, if you think any of that was proof that Trump has lost his mind, you might want to sit down. Because he was just getting warmed up. His next tweets contained more of his psychotic whining about a “Witch Hunt,” followed by a personal attack on John McCain’s intelligence. How utterly repulsive for Trump to go after a dead senator/veteran who can’t defend himself. Especially for something that Trump is notably lacking in. Trump even had his “fixer” threaten his schools to keep his records secret.

Finally, Trump disgorged himself with a what could only be described as a slobbering suck-up to Fox News, the network that defends his every atrocity and maligns his critics with outright lies. What triggered Trump was the news that one of his adoring bootlickers, Jeanine Pirro, was bumped Saturday for a rerun of a tabloid documentary. While Fox wouldn’t comment on the preemption, it has been credibly speculated that they didn’t want her program to air so soon after the massacre at Muslim mosques in New Zealand, because of her recent Islamophobic comments. Based on that, Trump went to work on behalf of his bosses at Fox News:

Holy Crap! Trump is totally confirming that he and Fox News are locked in a political/governmental embrace that this country has never seen before. Not that we didn’t already know that, but Trump is shedding any pretense of independence that either of them might have sought to convey. And this comes at a time when Fox News has been trying to convince people that they are a legitimate news network capable of hosting a Democratic Party primary debate. Well, that’s blown all to hell now, isn’t it?

Trump has taken on the role of chief PR and marketing president for Fox News. And he’s offering advice that they “stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct.” When exactly have they ever done that? Trump implores Fox to “fight for our Country,” by which he clearly means to fight for him. And he warns them to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!” Obviously Trump sees this as a war, and he expects casualties.

As with his own delusional perception of his approval, Trump thinks that America is on the side of Fox News. But MSNBC has been beating them regularly for several months. Rachel Maddow is crushing her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night. And because of the obsessive bigotry of hosts like Pirro and the disgusting Tucker Carlson, Fox News is losing audience, advertisers, and revenue at an alarming rate.

If it wasn’t enough that Trump is virtually drooling over his Fox sycophants, he also found it necessary to bash the few people on the network that have a modicum of integrity:

For the record, Shepard Smith just won a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. And in his speech he gave a backhanded slap at the “opinion” hosts on the network that he fervently tries to disassociate himself from. But if you aren’t a fawning Trump-fluffer you can expect him to bring his tiny “mushroom” hammer down on you.

This Twitter tirade is the best evidence yet that Fox News cannot be taken seriously as a news network. They certainly cannot be trusted to host a Democratic primary debate. They shouldn’t even be considered as a platform for interviews by anyone but devout Trumpists. If Trump thinks that crazed outbursts like this are helpful to Fox News, he is, as usual, pitifully mistaken. It only certifies that Fox is a brazenly partisan mouthpiece for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party.

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

If Fox had any integrity they would repudiate Trump’s comments and insist that they don’t support such media bias. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Fox News knows that their audience is comprised mainly by loyal Trump cultists and they aren’t going to do anything that might alienate them or the racist white nationalists and neo-Nazis who wallow in this filth. These are the core components of their wretched business model.

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.

Fox News Dismisses Sean Hannity’s Unethical Appearance at Trump Rally as ‘a Distraction’

This is a quick update to the story about Sean Hannity making an appearance with Donald Trump at Monday night’s cult rally in Missouri. Fox News finally issued a statement on Hannity’s violation of Fox’s policy. But it was a weak attempt to sweep the whole matter under the rug and fails to hold Hannity (or Jeanine Pirro, who also stumped with Trump) accountable.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

The entire statement from Fox said said that:

“FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

So this was merely “an unfortunate distraction” rather than an egregious breach of journalistic principles? And it merited only this powder-puff, wrist slapping that was more complimentary and prideful than punitive. What’s more, Hannity posted a brazenly dishonest tweet that incredulously claimed that his stage show was unplanned:

Yeah right. He was literally featured in the White House press release saying that he would be a “special guest.” at the rally. Is he trying to tell us that he was the only person who didn’t know that Trump would call on him (and Pirro) to speak? Maybe his dimwitted audience on Fox News will fall for that. But the rest of us are laughing our butts off.

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

UPDATE: A reporter from CNN asked some of Hannity’s colleagues about this and they are “outraged” that he stumped for Trump and that the company won’t do anything about it.

Fox News ‘Judge’ Wonders If Trump Aides and Republicans Have Infiltrated the Refugee Caravan

As the midterm election gets closer, the deranged conspiracy theories of Fox News Trump-fluffers get more perverse and mired in absurdity. Donald Trump is the point man in this mission with his increasingly offensive, racist, and dishonest ravings from the podium at his cult rallies. But his minions at State TV (aka Fox News) are dutifully backing him up (when they aren’t occasionally repudiating him) with ludicrous fictions aimed at their willfully ignorant audience.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Friday’s episode of Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes hosted one of their own, “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, the Executive Harpy of Fox’s Libtard Attack Squad. Pirro came prepared with her unique brand of partisan tripe. The panel was discussing the “caravan” of migrants fleeing the violence and poverty in their home countries. However, on Fox News these refugees were portrayed as invaders intent on storming the U.S. borders to rape and pillage innocent Americans. It’s the same noxious bigotry that Trump has been prattling about for weeks as he attempts to exploit the fear and prejudices of his glassy-eyed disciples. But Pirro took it a step further (video below):

“I wanna know who’s in that caravan? Are there pedophiles? Are there career criminals? Are there people who think they can beat their wives without consequence? We don’t know, and that’s the whole issue.”

Indeed. That is the whole issue. We definitely need to know if there are menacing cretins infiltrating the caravaners that mean to harm our families and neighbors. Are there pedophiles like Roy Moore and Strom Thurmond? Are there wife abusers like former Trump staffer Rob Porter? Are there criminals like Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Tom Price, and Donald Trump himself? In short, is the entire caravan made up of members of Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party? Because we surely don’t want to allow any of those thugs into the country. They would just being more crime, disease, and probably some Russian subversives to undermine our democracy.

These are good questions that Pirro is raising, and we need to get the answers. But she wasn’t through with her prescient observations. She had some constructive opinions about how to protect us from these foreign threats. And her solutions were tightly intertwined with her infatuation for Trump:

“So the President, by taking a hard line saying look, you can only now seek asylum at ports of entry, and then dealing with the birthright citizenship issue, which has been like an anchor on our necks, is recognizing that this is an issue that we need to address.”

That’s an interesting set of proposals. Except for the fact that the invading refugees have always intended to present themselves to border officials at legal ports of entry to request asylum. And Trump’s assault on birthright citizenship is actually an assault on the U.S. Constitution that he swore to preserve and protect. But other than that, it’s super-keen. Hopefully Fox News will follow up on these questions and get to the bottom of the controversy over the GOP invaders threatening to destroy America. And if they don’t, the people need to take action by voting in massive numbers on November 6.

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

HUH? White House Will ‘Look Into’ Why State TV (Fox News) Stopped Airing Trump’s Rallies Live

Trump delivered another tedious and repetitive stump speech at one of his, now frequent, cult rallies Wednesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was a showcase for all of his “greatest hits” featuring “Build the Wall,” “Lock Her Up,” “Witch Hunt,” and many more. However, there was difference with this revival meeting that sets it apart from most of those in the past.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Politico reports that the Trump Broadcasting Network’s State TV (aka Fox News), declined to air the event live and uninterrupted as they usually do. Fox News has been a devoted servant of this administration when it comes to disseminating propaganda via their airwaves. They even promote on air with chyrons that read “Trump Rally Live & Only on Fox News, Other Networks Ignore Presidential Rally.” But it’s possible that Trump’s floundering popularity and financial concerns may be influencing their programming going forward. Politico notes that:

“As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.”

That’s right. Trump is losing fans on the network that has been his official fan club for more than two years. This cannot be good news for the President, especially since he is increasing the number of these affairs specifically to boost the campaign prospects of Republican candidates in the cities where he is performing.

Consequently, Trump is compensating for this reduced coverage by calling into Fox News programs by phone. In the past three days he’s done that three times, ringing up his buddies Jeanine Pirro, Shannon Bream, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. But this is not likely to satisfy the White House. They have grown accustomed to the fawning attention they get from Fox News and expect it to continue. And they aren’t sitting around waiting for Fox to correct the situation. According to Politico:

“One senior White House official was unsure why the network would decide to cut away from presidential rallies, saying officials planned ‘to look into that’ and wouldn’t be surprised if White House communications director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, was in touch with former colleagues about the trend.”

Let that sink in. The White House believes that they have some sort of right to free airtime on Fox News, and if they aren’t getting it they will take action to set the network straight. Notice that they aren’t talking about looking into CNN or MSNBC. They are focusing on their wholly owned platform for media exposure and dispatching Bill Shine to address this outrageous policy shift. Shine is the former president of Fox News and Trump’s current deputy chief of staff for communications. And if you think that this isn’t explicitly about having an impact on the upcoming midterm election, just take it from the mouth of a GOP campaign operative who worries about the loss of Trump’s TV time because:

“‘It exposes us to a national audience that we normally don’t get to,’ a Senate Republican campaign staffer said of the coverage of Trump rallies. ‘We tend to see lots of new sign-ups and small-dollar donations. There’s obviously folks streaming [rallies] online, but being able to be onstage with the president in front of a prime-time audience is huge for a campaign trying to reach conservatives across the country who will open up their wallets.'”

Among the other observations made by Politico are that Trump’s rallies are drawing fewer viewers. “His events at times popped for more than 4 million viewers on Fox News,” a source said. Which is “a number he hasn’t come close to in 2018.” What’s more, “network officials’ fear was that too much repetition would lead to lower ratings,” and that Fox News could lose millions of dollars in ad revenue because they “can’t take commercial breaks while Trump is speaking.”

Perhaps the decision to cut back on live rally airings led to Trump making a blatant promotional pitch for Fox in order to get more airtime via flattery. He gave a shout out on Wednesday to Foxies who he praised for maligning Democrats as “the Dimms,” saying:

“The great Lou Dobbs, he says that, right? Sean Hannity says that. ‘The Dimms.’ Judge Jeanine says that, doesn’t she? Laura [Ingraham]. Laura. How good has Laura been, right? Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker.”

Actually, only Lou Dobbs says that, but getting the facts straight has never been of much concern to Trump. All he wants is to have his face in front of the Deplorables who are glued to Fox News all day and night. He wants to make sure his perverse and incoherent message is being injected into the already acutely ill-informed brains of Fox’s loyal audience. And if Fox News thinks they can get away with reducing his airtime, they better be prepared for more of this:

Yeah, that’ll happen. More likely Fox will cave in to Trump’s tantrum and resume their live broadcasts. They can make up the lost revenue with the tax cuts Trump will promise them. And their hosts who get preempted by the rallies will all get “exclusive” interviews. That’s how State TV works. Trump is learning well from his friends in Russia and North Korea.

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

Fox News ‘Judge’ Spews Lies About Kavanaugh Case that Were Debunked – By Fox News

The Republican controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is continuing on its bullheaded mission to rush through the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Their callous approach to the charges of Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford could not even be slowed down by the resignation of the committee’s spokesperson due to charges of sexual harassment. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

However, Fox News can make up phony allegations against Dr. Ford to malign her character and introduce demonstrably false speculation as to her motives for coming forward. Throughout this melodrama, Fox News has participated in the deliberate vilification of a woman who has already endured untold suffering. She has been accused of lying, having a faulty memory, and even misidentifying her attacker. She has also been accused of having political motives that none of her critics can actually verify.

Among the worst of the Fox News attack squad is “judge” Jeanine Pirro. She has been relentless in her criticism of Dr. Ford, and her defense of Judge Kavanaugh. But she went to a new extreme on her program Saturday night. In her “Opening Statement” segment, Pirro launched a typically (for her) rancid, spittle inflected tirade against Dr. Ford that began with the baseless charge that she was “highly political.” And then she dived into what she said was an “even more compelling” incident (video below):

“Do you remember when the President nominated Brett Kavanaugh, we heard that Kavanaugh’s mother was a judge. Ford’s parents – follow me – Ford’s parents had a foreclosure claim against them and their home in 1996, in Maryland. Ford’s parents lost their home. The judge ruled against them. The judge was a woman. The judge was Brett Kavanaugh’s mother.”

There is no other way to put this than that Pirro is brazenly lying. The only part of those remarks that is true is that Kavanaugh’s mother was a judge. Follow me: Ford’s parents did not lose their home. And Kavanaugh’s mother did not rule against them. In fact, the foreclosure was dismissed by Kavanaugh’s mother after Ford’s parents and the bank agreed on a settlement. So the whole conspiracy theory that Dr. Ford was acting out as revenge is ridiculous since the ruling by Kavanaugh’s mother was favorable to the Fords. And these facts were reported by none other than Fox News:

“The parents of the woman who is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct have a connection to the Supreme Court nominee through his mother, a Maryland state judge, online court records show. Martha Kavanaugh granted a motion dismissing a 1996 foreclosure action against Ralph and Paula Blasey, according to the records.”

The story by Fox News was published five days ago, so Pirro has no excuse for disseminating her lies last night. Pirro likely got her bogus accounts from the phalanx of rightist websites that were pushing this notion despite all the evidence to the contrary. They included well known purveyors of fake news like America First, Pacific Pundit, and the renowned “Stupidest Man on the Internet,” the Gateway Pundit (and even he corrected his story). This was all previously debunked by PolitiFact.

For Fox News to permit this sort of flagrantly dishonest commentary on their network is further proof of how careless they are about factual reporting, and/or how biased they are and prepared to spread false information if it advances their ultra-conservative agenda. They must be especially desperate considering how poorly Kavanaugh is regarded by the American people, who in the latest Fox News poll are opposed to his confirmation by fifty percent to forty percent in favor. That wouldn’t be a sufficient reason to allow lies like these to be broadcast by any other news network. But for Fox it’s just business as usual.

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

Sean Hannity Forces a Fox News Lockdown on Opinions About the Rosenstein/Trump Affair

On Friday the New York Times published a bizarre story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The article alleged that Rosenstein had floated a suggestion to secretly record Donald Trump to gather evidence of his mental infirmity. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. That hardly seems like an allegation that needs any additional proof.

Fox News Sean Hannity

As noted yesterday, the article was peculiar because…

“…the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News.”

It looked like Trump was getting the support he would need to fire Rosenstein from a bevy of Fox News hacks. They included Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro. But all was not as tightly synchronized as one would expect of the Fox propaganda machine. Later that evening when Sean Hannity’s program came on, he had a decidedly different take on the matter. He looked squarely into the camera and delivered a personal message to Trump saying “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody. The president needs to know it is all a setup.” Hannity asserted that the whole thing might be an insidious attempt by the “deep state” to bait Trump into firing Rosenstein and then initiating impeachment proceedings against him for doing so.

Despite the absurdly Machiavellian flavor of that conspiracy theory, it appears to have taken hold and altered the Fox News playbook for this issue. Ingraham deleted her tweet without any explanation. And Pirro posted a subsequent tweet adopting Hannity’s framing. She even went a little further to speculate that Rosenstein was the Times’ anonymous source. Tucker Carlson was already on board having opined that it was former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who leaked the memos to the Times since he “has every incentive to want to see the president impeached.”

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

So now we have achieved the full hive-mind harmony that is required of a socio-political cult. This unanimity of viewpoint makes it possible for the borg Family to advance their robo-mission unencumbered by independent thought. And surprisingly, the leader of the Family has remained silent. Trump has not addressed the Times’ article directly since it’s publication. He did make a sideways reference at a rally that simply accused his Department of Justice of having a “lingering stench.” Which is something that, were he more self aware, he would realize was emanating from himself. But for the time being, Rosenstein’s job is safe due to the paranoid musings of Trump’s State TV (aka Fox News).

Fox News Urges Trump to Fire Rosenstein Over Comments in the ‘Fake News, Failing’ New York Times

The latest bombshell to emerge from Washington D.C. in the twisted era of Donald Trump comes just as the controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is reaching a boiling point. Is it a distraction or a legitimate news story that demands immediate attention? No matter, it’s already getting the airwave blanketing that was inevitable considering the subject.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The New York Times is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had floated the idea of secretly recording Trump to gather evidence that he was mentally unstable and unfit for service. There was reportedly further discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare the President incompetent and remove him from office. Other news reports have spoken to sources who say that Rosenstein was being sarcastic. And Rosenstein himself issued a firm denial.

What’s peculiar about this story, other than the distracting effect it has on Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, is that the only other beneficiary of it would be the White House. It gives Trump an excuse to fire Rosenstein and appoint someone in his place who would put the brakes on the investigation of special counsel, Robert Mueller. But it would be somewhat hypocritical for Trump to do that on the basis of a story from a news source that he considers fake and failing. Consequently, he might need some support from his cheering section (and shadow cabinet) at State TV, also known as Fox News. And he’s already getting it:


[Note: Ingraham deleted this tweet the next day. Was it because Hannity took the opposite position?]

Wow. Are these three confirmed Trump-fluffers all buying into the “fake news” from the New York Times? Laura Ingraham, Gregg Jarrett, and Jeanine Pirro are three of Trump’s most devoted supplicants on Fox News. And it stands to reason that they would want to rush to give him cover to jettison the bone spur that has traveled from Trump’s foot to his ample backside. But will he take the bait?

Trump has posted ten tweets since this news broke, and none of them are about Rosenstein or the New York Times. Is he consulting with Sean Hannity, Bill Shine, and the rest of his propaganda team to come up with a strategy? Is he afraid to get out too far ahead of the story while it’s still unfolding? Is he getting spanked by a porn star at Mar-A-Lago? Who knows? But the fear factor may be the most plausible scenario. Because even his pals at Fox News aren’t completely in his corner. Shelby Holliday of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal had this to say in an interview shortly after the story was released:

It probably won’t be long until Trump makes his views known about this. He is simply too lacking in self control to keep his mouth shut. But if he does fire Rosenstein he’s going to have to explain why he suddenly believes the “failing” New York Times” whose story was based on the anonymous sources that Trump says don’t exist. He will also have to face more charges of obstruction of justice as Mueller gets closer to wrapping up his probe. But if he let’s it go, then Mueller and company proceed as before. So all told, this is really a lose-lose proposition for Trump.

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

LATE BREAKING: Sean Hannity is diverging from his Fox colleagues above. On his program Friday night he had a personal message for Trump, warning him that “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody.” Hannity thinks Trump is being set up by Democrats – or the deep state, or Satan – and that giving Rosenstein the boot is a “set up,” a plot to justify impeachment. Those insidious demonrats.