Wannabe Dictator Trump’s Campaign to Persecute His Political Rivals is Revealed on Fox News

It didn’t take Donald Trump long to convert his impeachment into what his diseased brain thinks is a plus for him. Deep down he knows that he’s been severely wounded and tainted for life. That’s evident by how obsessed he is with denying it. But he is now transferring his fear and desperation into a dangerous assault on American values and liberty.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Less than forty-eight hours after the Republican majority in the Senate voted to let Trump off and cover up his crimes, Trump began a purge of the witnesses who were courageous and honest enough to tell the truth about him. He fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, as well as the Ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland. He’s in discussion now to fire the intelligence community Inspector General. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the most loyal StormTrumpers in Congress is Sen. Lindsey Graham. Never mind that he once said that Trump is “a kook, crazy, and unfit for office.” Today Graham is another glassy-eyed disciple of the Cult of Trump. And he visited with Fox News Trump-fluffer Jeanine Pirro for a mutual worship session on Saturday night where he revealed the totalitarian aspirations of Trump and where it’s headed next.

Graham: Half the people behind the Russia investigation are gonna go to jail.
Pirro: Hopefully.
Graham: Well, just hang tight.

These are the sort of threats that plague the tyrannies that Trump so admires. Places like North Korea, China, and Russia. Now Graham is admitting that he and Trump will be implementing those policies here in the U.S. And it isn’t just Graham speaking out of turn. Trump is saying the very same things, and touting his partnership with Graham and the Senate Republicans:

What’s more, Graham’s appearance on Face the Nation included his assertion that there is an existing process by which Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is funneling dirt on Joe Biden to Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr:

Graham: The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of Ukraine from Rudy … He told me that they had created a process where Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.

To be perfectly clear, this is not a normal means of investigating possible criminal activity. Private attorneys do not work with federal prosecutors to collect and analyze alleged evidence. This is how totalitarian rulers engage their surrogates to suppress opposition and stoke fear into anyone that might consider being critical or even independent.

This is obviously Trump’s intention. It’s what he has been doing all along. It’s why he partners with the likes of Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman, etc. It’s why he attempted to extort the president of Ukraine. It’s what led to the ousters of everyone from Jeff Sessions to Gen. John Kelly to John Bolton, and so many more. It’s a mob style presidency that believes it can only survive via intimidation and punishment. And it’s why it is still so urgent that Trump be removed from office before he causes even more harm.

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

Trump-Fluffing Fox News ‘Judge’ is Profoundly Ignorant of Impeachment and the Constitution

Donald Trump is giving the world a close-up look at what happens when a reality TV game show host is foolishly put in charge of a government that he is wholly unprepared to manage. Apparently being a pathological liar, and sleazy wannabe playboy, who ran bankrupt casinos and fraudulent charities was not particularly good experience for leading a nation.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

Among the hallmarks of Trump’s tenure is his narrow-sighted attachment to television shills who lavished him with undo praise and adoration. That resulted in numerous people from Fox News getting jobs in the Trump White House. In addition, Trump assembled his favorite Fox News hosts into a “shadow” cabinet from which he received – and often took – advice on anything from foreign affairs to healthcare to economics and more.

One of Trump’s frequent legal advisers is Fox’s “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, a disgraced jurist (with a felon spouse) and a failed politician who landed a gig at State TV where she regularly delivers bizarre exaltations of Dear Leader. On Saturday night Pirro launched into a preposterous argument opposing Trump’s impeachment. As she commonly does, she employed legal arguments that exist nowhere in jurisprudence and make no sense whatsoever.

Pirro attempted to address House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay transmittal of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate until GOP leader Mitch McConnell sets procedures that allow for a fair hearing with witnesses and document production. Pirro ranted that (video below)

“I’ll tell you what I would do. I would tell Mitch McConnell that he ought to automatically dismiss it. There’s got to be a default. There’s got to be — if you’re entitled to a speedy trial, if you’re entitled to be able to — if there’s a statute of limitations, it’s passed. This thing — there should be a default judgment, overdone for non-prosecution. What is McConnell waiting for?”

Pirro must have received her law degree from Trump University. She doesn’t seem to realize that impeaching the president is not the same as a criminal prosecution. There is no provision for a speedy trial. There is no statute of limitations. If there were it certainly wouldn’t be applicable after only one month. What’s more, there no such thing as a default judgment with regard to impeachment. And there is no such thing as “overdone for non-prosecution.” with regard to anything in the law. Pirro is just making things up that she thinks sound lawyerly.

This is what happens when you rely on television “lawyers” for legal advice. Trump’s actual legal team is comprised of people he saw praising him on Fox News: Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow. And he often cites Gregg Jarrett and Mark Levin, as legal “experts,” despite the fact that they are professional Fox News flunkies who don’t do any legal work at all.

This embarrassingly shallow pool of intellect is representative of the whole Trump administration. Most of the people on his staff, and members of his cabinet, are people he recruited after seeing them on Fox. It’s one of the reasons the country is now on the verge of war with Iran. Trump’s judgment is abysmal to begin with. And it just makes matters worse that he is making incompetent and self-serving decisions on the basis of terrible advice from unqualified, bootlicking advisers. What could go wrong?

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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

Fox ‘News’ Embraces Trump’s Disgusting Lie that the Clintons Murdered Jeffrey Epstein

On Saturday the United States of America entered a new era of political shame and disgrace. Donald Trump, whose embarrassing behavior has humiliated the nation from the day he was inaugurated, dived into an ever deeper abyss of debasement. He lowered himself to depths never before imagined for a U.S. president by blasting out to his 62 million Twitter followers a reckless accusation, with zero evidence, that a former president, and political foe, was guilty of murder.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Trump’s unconscionably grotesque charge that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton had somehow managed to kill pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in his prison cell is not only slanderous and unethical, it makes no sense whatsoever. After all, if anyone had the motive and opportunity to off Epstein it was his former pal, Donald Trump. The Clintons have been out of power for years, but Trump’s presidency, and freedom, would be on the line if Epstein talked.

That said, this wouldn’t be a good time to be casting aspersions on anyone without some documentation or testimony, even though that’s precisely what Trump has already done. And to make matters worse, his State TV affiliate, Fox News, has now joined Trump in spewing the very same ridiculous accusations. Jeanine Pirro, a Fox host and unabashed Trump-fluffer, brought up the subject on her primetime Saturday night program. And she made sure that her allegations were as explicit as they were unfounded (video below):

“We already know that Jeffrey Epstein had very high profile people like Bill Clinton flying on his “Lolita Express” airplane to his private island. Other people mentioned, there’s Prince Andrew, Sen. George Mitchell, Bill Richardson. A lot of people mentioned. So this is a guy who, to a lot of people I guess, would have been better off dead. So a federal criminal investigation might be looking at that aspect of it, might it not?”

Pirro asked this question of her guest, former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik. It should also be noted that Kerik is a felon who served time in prison for tax fraud and perjury committed while employed by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Kerik affirmed Pirro’s implied charges by speculating about the motives of whoever took Epstein off of suicide watch.

To be sure, there are unanswered questions regarding how a prisoner who authorities already claimed had attempted suicide was able to hang himself in his cell. But by wrapping these questions in ludicrous and baseless conjecture about the Clintons, Fox News is sinking to new lows. Of course, they have never been a credible news enterprise, having been founded by a foreign, right-wing media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a Republican campaign consultant (Roger Ailes). But they are now crossing the line from a disreputable conservative propaganda outlet to a crackpot conspiracy theory dispensary that is willing to abandon reality – and sanity – in order to suck up to the lying, loathsome, abomination occupying the White House.

The names that Pirro rattled off were predictably partisan. And it was surely not an oversight that she deliberately left out Trump’s name, although it has been documented to have appeared on the passenger list for Epstein’s flights. What’s more, Pirro never even bothered to mention that the two had been friends, and abusers of young women, for years. These days Trump is pretending that he and Epstein had a falling out, but he offers no proof of that. And if anything, it was probably over a girl they both had designs on.

So now Both Trump and Fox News have shamelessly peddled some of the most asinine conspiracy theories ever dredged up from the bowels of the Internet. And they have forever stained what was left of their already tattered reputations. The time when they are removed from the national stage cannot come too soon. And hopefully the country can heal the wounds they’ve so callously opened. Unfortunately, we’ll still be stuck with the idiot jerkwads who have been lapping up that slime.

[UPDATE:] The White House Senior Director of Alternative Facts, KellyAnne Conway, went on Fox News and shamelessly defended Trump’s retweeting the conspiracy theory BS. She claimed he just wanted to have everything investigated, including all the people who had connections to Epstein. For some reason she left out Trump’s name among those people. And while she was at it, she made a preposterous argument that the Epstein matter was a hoax and, therefore, so was the matter of Russia interfering with the election. Sweet Jeebus, make it stop!

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

Hypocritical GOP Rep Says Insults are ‘Intellectually Void’ – But Ignores Trump and Fox News

The competition for rank hypocrisy in American politics has rarely been as one-sided as it has been since the advent of Donald Trump. He and his Republican Nationalist Party have dominated the field with brazenly dishonest rhetoric that stretches the outward boundaries of Olympic-grade duplicity and deceit.

Fox News Trump

Trump is the most shameless purveyor of pretense this country has ever seen. He says that he supports access to health care for every American while he’s cutting services and sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. He says that he’s for the environment while slashing regulations and dismantling the EPA. He ways that no one is a stronger advocate for women while he nominates judges who have sworn to decimate their civil and human rights. There are many more examples of Trump’s perfidy and that of the party that has devolved into little more than his blindly devoted pep squad.

One of the worst offenders is Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas. He recently sought to criticize Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her honorable decision to shun a Fox News invitation to do a town hall. She correctly called the network a “hate-for-profit racket,” which is an apt description for an alleged “news” enterprise that exists only to malign Democrats and liberals. Crenshaw was obviously upset with Warren’s brave and well -articulated position, so he tweeted smugly:

First of all, someone needs to help Crenshaw with his math. On its best night Fox News gets only about three million viewers. That’s less than one percent of America. So Crenshaw was only off by forty-nine percent. What’s more, Warren wasn’t showing any contempt for those viewers at all. She was showing well-deserved contempt for Fox News itself, where “racism and hate” are projected on a 24/7 basis.

Where Crenshaw’s hypocrisy tips the scale though is with his complaint about “labeling and insults.” Has he been in a coma for the past two years? The leader of his party has spent most of his term in office insulting his opponents and critics in the most childish manner imaginable. His infantile nicknames and vulgar put-downs have become the hallmark of his character (or rather, lack thereof). Hasn’t Crenshaw heard Trump’s cholicky whining about “Crooked” Hillary or “Crazy” Bernie or “Low IQ” Maxine Waters? Not to mention the profane slurs directed at Sen. “The Dick” Blumenthal or House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam “Schitt.”

Of course Trump’s State TV operation (aka Fox News) is just as bad. They routinely lash out at Democrats with similarly disparaging comments. If you watch Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham or Tucker Carlson, you’ll have noticed that they rarely mention any Democrat’s name without appending an insulting preface to it. They usually resort to various versions of “liar, creepy, disgusting, traitorous,” or “idiot.”

So if Crenshaw had any shred of integrity he would renounce both Trump and Fox News for their boorish behavior that he correctly believes is “a cheap attempt to undermine ideas.” But don’t hold your breath. Crenshaw isn’t the least bit interested in decency or fairness. If he were he wouldn’t have gotten literally everything wrong in that impudent tweet. But he can rest assured that he has a bright future with either the Republican Party or Fox News. He could even be the next Jeanine Pirro:

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

Jeanine Pirro of Fox News Unleashes a Bizarre Trump Defense with the Clintons as Bonnie and Clyde

There is no one on Fox News that makes life harder for Saturday Night Live than “Judge” Jeanine Pirro. Her cartoonishly feverish harangues are nearly impossible to satirize. Pirro herself seems to be doing a mock impersonation of a paranoid schizophrenic on acid. The best way to translate that into comedy is just to yell the already incoherent excerpts from her actual commentaries.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

On the latest episode of her Saturday Trump-Fluffing Hour (video below), Pirro outdid herself with an extended diatribe addressing the release of the redacted Mueller report by Trump’s disgraced Attorney General, William Barr. She began the program by asking an ironically self-owning question:

“Are you fed up yet? More than two years of non-stop, unprecedented maligning by the mainstream media, high level Obama administration officials, and disappointed, disgruntled and deranged Democrats, of the commander in chief as the ‘agent of a foreign government,’ a ‘Putin puppet,’ a ‘treasonous dictator,’ all because they despise the outsider president WE put in the Oval Office.”

Anytime a Fox News shill to mentions Trump in the same sentence with descriptives like “agent of a foreign government,” “Putin puppet,” and “treasonous dictator,” you’ve got to consider that a win. But Pirro’s take on conclusions of the Mueller report are indicative of a mind infected by cult worship. For one thing, her assertion that the alleged “maligning” of Trump was unprecedented ignores Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office where he was accused of being a gay, terrorist-sympathizing, communist Muslim, who was born in Kenya. And most of those attacks were by Pirro herself.

What’s more, Pirro’s characterization of Trump as the “outsider president WE put in the Oval Office,” begs the question: Who is “WE”? Fox News? The Deplorables? Vladimir Putin? It certainly wasn’t the American people who favored Hillary Clinton by a margin of three million votes. Nevertheless, Pirro has had enough:

“Enough already. The system worked. The process is over. No collusion. No obstruction. Full cooperation. Enough lives have been damaged. Enough reputations ruined. Enough families destroyed. They took down people with process crimes having nothing to do with Russia.”

So what Pirro regards as a working system is one that makes the election’s loser president. But that doesn’t mean the process is over if there were irregularities such as Trump exploiting Russian interference in the campaign by disseminating stolen data. That’s collusion whether or not he did it via direct interactions with Putin. As for “full cooperation,” that’s not something you can claim when you refused to to talk to the special counsel for fear of being caught in a lie. But Pirro was far from through bloviating:

“I’m not gonna dwell on the fact that the real collusion with Russia was with the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics – Bill and Hillary – who sold our uranium to Russia and pocketed a quick $145 million dollars through their trusty charity.”

There is that textbook passive aggressive attack by saying you aren’t going to dwell on something even as you’re dwelling all over it with frothy saliva dripping from the corner of your smarmy, sarcastic smile. Never mind that there is zero evidence that Hillary engaged in any with any Russian operatives. Or that she profited in any way from the sale of any uranium to Russia. Even Pirro’s Fox News colleague, Shepard Smith, debunked that flagrant lie.

Perhaps the most nauseating part of this mental unraveling is Pirro’s comparison of Bill and Hillary Clinton to Bonnie and Clyde. She didn’t bother to actually include any explanation for why she associated two American public servants with a couple of murderous bank robbers. She probably just thought it would arouse the nether regions of her dimwitted viewers to spill out some unintelligible insults. Which Pirro continued to do as this tedious program dragged on:

“They will seize on the language that you cannot indict a sitting president. Which is simply the law. Yet Mueller comes out and says he cannot exonerate the President of obstruction. There was not sufficient evidence to bring a charge. If there’s not sufficient evidence to bring a charge that should have been the end of it. But no. In a show of political whore-manship – that’s what I said, political whore-manship – Mueller left crumbs for Congress. He added he couldn’t exonerate Trump to give the Democrats something to work with.”

First of all, there is no law that prohibits indicting a sitting president. Pirro is outright lying about that. Also, Pirro complains that a finding that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring a charge should be “the end of it.” Which is exactly what Mueller did. He ended his investigation and wrote a report that the Attorney General still won’t allow the American people to see.

However, even the parts that we were allowed to see are filled with evidence that Trump engaged in activities that were either unlawful or immoral. And he clearly left these questions open for Congress to deal with, as is appropriate for his role as special counsel. And for that Pirro calls him a “whore” – twice! And on that note it’s impossible to resist acknowledging that Pirro just dived into a subject that she knows all too well.

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

Fox News is Referenced in the Mueller Report Four Times, and Each Makes Trump Look Worse

With the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report by Donald Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr, there is going to be a flurry of furious spinning by Trump’s devoted martinets in the right-wing press. Trump himself will continue his frantic robo-rant of “no collusion, no obstruction,” as he has been doing for months.

Fox News, Robert Mueller

Naturally, Fox News will assume its predictable role as the main line of defense for Trump. They will focus exclusively on any positive angles among the vague interpretations of Mueller’s report offered by Barr or other Republican partisans. And they will brazenly ignore anything in the report that is remotely detrimental to Trump, of which there is a significant amount. Even Chris Wallace of Fox News noted that “There is a lot of stuff in here that is damaging to the president, politically embarrassing to the president.”

However, Fox News itself had a place in the Mueller report with four references to Trump’s State TV affiliate. The following passages from the report illustrate just how deeply integrated Fox is with Trump and his associates. For instance:

Page 70:

“That night, the White House Press Office called the Department of Justice and said the White House wanted to put out a statement saying that it was Rosenstein’s idea to fire Comey. Rosenstein told other DOJ officials that he would not participate in putting out a ‘false story.’ The President then called Rosenstein directly and said he was watching Fox News, that the coverage had been great, and that he wanted Rosenstein to do a press conference. Rosenstein responded that this was not a good idea because if the press asked him, he would tell the truth that Comey’s firing was not his idea.”

What we have here is Trump keeping tabs on the investigation by watching Fox News, and then trying to get Deputy AG Rosenstein to lie for him about FBI Director James Comey’s firing. That’s obstruction of justice right there. The fact that Rosenstein refused doesn’t make Trump’s attempt any less illegal. And then there’s this:

Page 99:

“[Reince] Priebus recalled learning about the June 9 meeting from Fox News host Sean Hannity in late June 2017. Priebus notified one of the President’s personal attorneys, who told Priebus he was already working on it. By late June, several advisors recalled receiving media inquiries that could relate to the June 9 meeting.”

It’s rather remarkable that Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, found out about the infamous Trump Tower meeting (with Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and some Russian operatives) only by watching Fox News. That’s how out-of-the-loop Trump’s closest White House aide was, but also how integral Fox News is to Trump’s affairs. And that’s not all:

Page 126:

“In a Fox News interview on August 22, 2018, the President said: ‘[Cohen] makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else. And one of the reasons l respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial-you know they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. The President said that flipping was ‘not fair’ and ‘almost ought to be outlawed.'”

In this “interview” with the unabashedly pro-Trump “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, Trump is laying the groundwork for threats directed at his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, while simultaneously praising his more loyal campaign chairman, Manafort. This is a fairly clumsy attempt at witness tampering. Which he did some more of here:

Page 151:

“In January 2019, after the media reported that Cohen would provide public testimony in a congressional hearing, the President made additional public comments suggesting that Cohen’s family members had committed crimes. In an interview on Fox on January 12, 2019, the President was asked whether he was worried about Cohen’s testimony and responded:

‘[I]n order to get his sentence reduced, [Cohen] says “I have an idea, I’ll ah, tell-I’ll give you some information on the president.” Well, there is no information. But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law because that’s the one that people want to look at because where does that money-that’s the money in the family.'”

Trump made these accusations during an interview with his adoring acolyte, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. They were directed against Cohen’s family as a flagrant attempt to scare him into keeping his mouth shut.

It’s hard to see why Mueller didn’t think he had sufficient evidence to indict Trump, or at least to recommend that Congress take up an inquiry that could lead to impeachment. And as guilty as Trump now appears to be, it’s plain that Fox News was a willing accomplice every step of the way. It is not insignificant that Fox was referenced four times in the report. They were further included in twenty-seven footnotes. No other national news network was referenced in the body of the report even once. What does that tell you?

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

Judge Jeanine Pirro Returned Saturday Night – on Fox News and SNL – And Both Were Hysterical

Two weeks ago “Judge” Jeanine Pirro was suspended from her weekly perch on Fox News after she made comments so reprehensible that they even offended the suits at Fox. Pirro attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar whose Muslim faith, according to Pirro, was incompatible with the United States Constitution. Despite the nearly universal disgust for Pirro’s hate speech, she retained the fervent support of Donald Trump. who begged Fox News to return her to the air.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Saturday night Trump got his wish. Pirro once again hosted her Trump-fluffing White Nationalist Hour with all the drooling ferocity she had before her brief suspension. She obviously learned nothing from her time-out, and offered no apology. Her “Opening Statement” segment addressed the release of the “summary” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. However, it began with a torrid tirade that might better have been directed at Trump:

“When someone lies to you, do you just say ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll get over it’? Well that’s not how our system works. There has to be accountability. There has to be a consequence. Because as the President himself said ‘This should never happen again.’ And I can guarantee you it will happen again unless we make an example of the traitorous, treasonous group that accused Donald Trump of being an agent of the Russian government.”

Except for that last line that disputed accusations of Trump being a Russian agent, Pirro’s rant could have been a righteous assault on the relentless dishonesty of Trump. His flagrant lies and avoidance of accountability really is not the how system ought to work. And there definitely should be consequences for Trump and his vast army of criminal accomplices.

Pirro went on to warn that investigations like the one Mueller conducted could become “a blueprint for a future effort to overthrow the government.” But she got it completely backwards. Mueller was probing activities that included undermining our democratic election by Trump and a hostile foreign country. He was the one working to prevent government corruption. She further advised her viewers not to be “satisfied with the Mueller report,” which makes sense considering the fact that neither she nor any of her viewers have seen it. What’s more, what little we do know about the report is insufficient to vindicate the President. But what she meant was that they shouldn’t be satisfied with what she claimed was Trump’s exoneration, a conclusion that the report explicitly denied. And finally, she closed with a demand to stop all of Trump’s critics, by throwing them in jail, with what she called “behind the bars justice.”

A little later in the evening, Saturday Night Live weighed in with an appearance by Pirro (as played by Cecily Strong) during the Weekend Update news segment. It was a nearly identical portrayal of the injudicious judge who is pretty funny herself, albeit unintentionally. She made a point of thanking her superfans, the “mean, horny men laying on in-home hospital beds and white prison gangs who control the remote on Saturdays.” And I defy anyone to differentiate between Pirro’s wild-eyed raving and Strong’s satirical take on it. If anything, Strong’s impression was too understated.

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.