Judge Jeanine on Fox News: Donald Trump ‘Fulfilled the Biblical Prophecy of the Gods’

So you think you’ve heard it all from Fox News? You think they have gone as far into the stratospheric fringe as it’s possible to go? Do you think there is a limit to the sycophantic Trump-fluffing that will be broadcast on the network known for its slobbering devotion to the Donald? If so, you’re not giving the tunnel-blind cultists at Fox enough credit.

Donald Trump Messiah

On Saturday evening, “Judge” Jeanine Pirro led off her program with her usual “Opening Statement,” which is typically an homage to Trump and/or an attack on his critics. She has perhaps the most virulently crazed demeanor of anyone on Fox, with wild-eyed tirades and sanctimonious condemnation in her voice. She could be an attraction at Jurassic Park with her teeth-baring facial expressions and her sharpened rhetorical claws.

As outrageous as her weekly televised tantrums have been in the past, she really outdid herself with the latest episode. Reporting from Israel, her topic was Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It’s an unnecessarily controversial action that is likely to provoke an increase in hostilities in the region, and make our diplomats more vulnerable to violence. But never mind that, Trump has made up his mind to pander to his ultra-Chrisianist base among American evangelicals. And naturally, Fox News and Pirro are all for it. This excerpt is all that you’ll need to grasp the depth of her madness (video below):

“Donald Trump sent Iranians, who are the descendants of Persia, a message to reflect on their own history, and that it was the king of Persia who, 1000 years before Mohammad was even born, said that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish people’s country.

“There will be no Ottoman empires or Shia nations that will destroy Jerusalem any longer. Donald Trump recognized history. He, like King Cyrus before him, fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods worshiped by Jews, Christians and, yes, Muslims, that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state and that the Jewish people deserve a righteous, free and sovereign Israel.”

Well, isn’t that considerate of Pirro to deign to lecture Iranians on their own past. But her anointing of Trump as having “fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods” goes farther than anyone at Fox News has ever gone to suggest the Messianic holiness of their Dear Leader. This is not an overreaction to Pirro’s sermon. She explicitly likens Trump to King Cyrus, who was regarded by the Jews as anointed by God and, in the view of some, a Messiah. So now it has come to pass that this greedy, foul-mouthed, narcissistic, desecrator of women is the heir to the throne of Heaven? Is she fucking serious?

The only interest that right-wing Christianists have in Israel is that they are praying for it to be conquered by the beasts of hell so that they can proclaim the commencement of Armageddon and the subsequent return of their savior. They would likely root for the Anti-Christ because his arrival presages these events. And that may be the real reason they are so devoted to Donald Trump. Because, really, who does he seem more like: Jesus or the Anti-Christ? Any Christian who has trouble answering that question has been watching too much Fox News. Because as we now know, Fox News is now officially the Sacred Pulpit of the Rapture.

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

Rudy Giuliani Gives Fox News a Flagrantly Incoherent ‘Clarification’ of His Previous Incoherence

The past week in Trump Land has been a roller coaster of bizarre tales and absurd explanations. Most of which were provided by Donald Trump’s newly minted lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In a whirlwind tour of Fox News programs, Giuliani tried to offer justifications for Trump’s web of lies related to his affair with Stormy Daniels and the subsequent hush money payoff to suppress news of the incident. But he only made things worse by blurting out admissions to potential criminal activity that hadn’t been raised before.

Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, Jeanine Pirro

On Saturday night Giuliani resumed stumping for Trump with a visit to “Judge” Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. And true to form, he only succeeded in stirring up more trouble for his client who is already in a fairly deep legal bog. Giuliani’s wild-eyed raving made little sense and his grasp of the law was laughably off kilter. And if he thought he was advancing the interests of Trump, he was insane as well.

One of the first things out of his mouth was speculation that a case before the Virginia grand jury involving Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, might just be an attempt to “flip” him into providing testimony against Trump. Of course there would nothing to worry about on that account unless there was something to flip. So Giuliani introduced that notion on his own. He followed that up with the false claim that the judge in that case called it a “witch hunt.” He didn’t.

Giuliani went on for awhile about how “Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step up and dismiss this entire investigation.” He asserted that “There is no evidence of collusion with the Russians. Gone. There is no evidence of obstruction of justice.” But there have already been dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas that suggest that the investigation has merit and should continue. And then he launched into a full blown manic episode (video below):

“The President of the United States did not in any way violate the campaign finance law. Every campaign finance expert, Republican and Democrat, will tell that if it was for another purpose, other than just for campaigns, even if it was for campaign purposes, if it was to save his family, to save embarrassment, it’s not a campaign donation.

“And second, even if it was a campaign donation, the President reimbursed it fully with a payment of $35,000 a month that paid for that and other expenses. No need to go beyond that. Case over. That case should be dismissed by the Southern district of New York. At least with regard to President Trump.”

First of all, it is preposterous to say that every campaign finance expert would say that there was no campaign finance violation. Lots of them are saying that there is. Just turn on the TV like your boss does all day long. More to the point, Giuliani asserts that there is no violation even if the funds were used for campaign purposes if it was to “save his family, to save embarrassment.” Is he listening to himself? If it was for campaign purposes it was unambiguously a violation. And Giuliani’s next point asserts that even a campaign donation would have been legal because Trump paid it back. But if it was paid back without disclosing it in his campaign finance reporting, that’s illegal. And as Giuliani says, “No need to go beyond that. Case over.”

It also isn’t especially good lawyering when your counsel says on national TV that “I’m not an expert on the facts.” And repeating a previous slander of the FBI as Nazi Storm Troopers hardly seems like positive messaging. Even if he falsely claims that “the judge basically said that.” He didn’t. And asking for the case in New York to be dismissed, “At least with regard to President Trump,” makes no sense at all. That case is against Michael Cohen, not Trump.

Giuliani appears intent on proving that he’s utterly incapable of handling a parking ticket, much less a case as complex and legally hazardous as this. But one of the most peculiar comments in this interview came when Giuliani attempted to belittle testimony given by Hillary Clinton (who was interviewed by both the FBI and Congress for eleven hours). He stroked his own hand and said:

“Nice nice nice. Poor little Hillary. We gotta be nice to her. No under oath. We’ll take that now.”

Setting aside Giuliani’s embarrassing playacting, if he’s willing to agree to an FBI interview without being under oath, no doubt Robert Mueller would be as well. After all, you don’t have to be under oath to be required to tell the truth. And lying to either the FBI or Congress is crime even without taking an oath. So shut up already and present your client (who says no one wants to talk more than he does) for the interview, and we can get this thing over with. What are you all afraid of?

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

Fox News Blames Obama (?) for Trump’s Wife-Beating Aide – And Joy Reid Aint Havin’ It

There’s nothing Fox News likes better than to invent phony scandals about Democrats, particularly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But second on their list of not-so-secret pleasures is blaming Donald Trump’s scandals on those same innocent Democrats. There doesn’t even need to be any plausible relationship between Fox’s victims and the heinous misbehavior of Trump.

Donald Trump

Case in point, on Saturday’s episode of Fox’s Justice with Jeanine Pirro, the former alleged judge stepped about as far off the limb of reality as possible when she sought to defend Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, and his wife-beating aide, Rob Porter. In a typically unhinged, spittle inflected rant, Pirro unloaded absurd accusations that only affirm that she must be suffering from a brain-eating virus. Outraged that anyone might criticize Trump or Kelly, Pirro bellowed:

“Stop a four-star general who is running the White House, who believes in chain of command, who made decision within forty minutes, becuase you hate Donald Trump? Find another scapegoat. You might want to look at the last president.”

That’s a good a point. I would much rather look at the last president than the orange-crusty facade of the current one. But if she’s implying that President Obama had something to do with Porter’s documented assaults on his former spouses, Pirro is barking up the wrong scapegoat.

Fortunately, MSNBC’s Joy Reid caught Pirro’s act and wasn’t impressed by the surreal performance art that passes for news on Fox. Reid replied to Pirro in a succinct manner that reminded everyone that, not only is Obama a role model for presidential fidelity, but that Pirro’s network has been a haven for sexual predators and perverts (video below):

“Fox News, Donald Trump’s favorite TV channel, has revived its tried and true tactic for getting the Republican president out of a jam: Blame Obama. Yes Fox has actually found a way to blame the former president – a man did not abuse women, much less his wife; who did not face multiple allegations or sexual misconduct or assault – for the latest White House scandal.

“Fox’s Trump defense should come as no surprise. The network reflects the attitude of Trump himself, who has a long history of defending men accused of misconduct against women and girls. Including Alabama’s Roy Moore and Fox’s own Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes.”

That pretty much says it all. But if you’d like a primer of the repulsive and deviant culture that Fox News nurtures, look no further than the list of perverts who were forced out due to “inappropriate” behavior. Then imagine how many others are still there who haven’t yet been caught. And the same can be said of this White House where the President predictably sides with abusive men over their victims.

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

Trump’s Fox News Fetish Could Be Making the Network a Security Risk Exploitable By Russia

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News has always been problematic. It represents the closest thing to state-run TV that the United States has ever had. The anchors and reporters on Fox serve as dutiful sycophants to the Trump administration, advancing his self-serving agenda and defending his every fault. While Trump repays Fox by promoting the network and its personalities with free advertisements on his Twitter feed and relentless attacks on their competition.

Fox News Commies

However, there may be more worrisome consequences from this political/media marriage of propagandistic convenience. Aki Peritz, a former CIA counterterrorism analyst, just wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that raises some frightening possibilities that might result from the parasitic combination of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and the dimwitted White House. The article, headlined “Foreign spies are watching — and probably targeting — Fox News Channel” delves into some reasonable speculation about how hostile foreign intelligence operations might benefit from monitoring – and possibly compromising – Fox News. What follows are some excerpts that provide a taste of how this problem could become a recipe for disaster:

“[I]f I were a spymaster in the employ of a hostile foreign service, I’d devote some significant effort to penetrating one specific private institution: Fox News Channel.”

“It’s no secret that Fox News — specifically, shows such as ‘Hannity,’ ‘Fox & Friends,’ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ — have outsize influence on the inner workings of how certain policies are carried out by the U.S. government.”

“[H]ostile foreign intelligence services are probably consuming as much Fox News as President Trump does.”

“Trump’s unfiltered Twitter feed provides world intelligence operatives with ‘a real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind’ – traits to be exploited in further dealings on the global stage. And what better way to determine what the president thinks – for the price of basic cable — than to watch selected Fox News programming?”

“A truly aggressive intelligence effort would not just monitor what’s being said on the network. It would target the on-air talent, as well as the folks behind the scenes who make the network’s programming possible: producers, bookers, associate producers, production assistants and the like. This might range from opening friendly contacts with these employees to outright recruitment.”

“Compared to government workers, Fox employees would make easy targets. That’s because they aren’t public officials — they’re news and entertainment people. Also, it’s television — full of trade secrets, big personalities and titanic egos. Most wouldn’t expect to be compromised by a hostile intelligence power, especially on American soil. Few, if any, have the sort of counterintelligence training the U.S. government administers to people in sensitive positions, because Fox employees are not the usual targets for intelligence operations. But the president’s continuing, very specific interest in the channel heightens their risk of being approached by a hostile government.”

Peritz specifically mentions the risk posed by covert operations aimed at Fox News staff. For instance, Sean Hannity is known to speak frequently with Trump. So bugging Hannity’s phone or office “could provide real-time intelligence on the American president and his thoughts.” The same could be true for others at Fox News. Trump’s chumminess with people at Fox has resulted in several of them getting jobs in the administration, including K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, and Heather Nauert. Two of Fox’s current prime time lineup, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, were reported to have been candidates for press secretary.

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

The WaPo article is careful not to present this theory as anything more than informed speculation. But given what is known about how Russia conducts its spy operations, it would be prudent for all Fox News employees to be wary, even suspicious, about contacts from friendly strangers. That is, if they aren’t actively seeking out Russians for collusion on behalf of Trump, who is already deeply compromised.

Gee Thanks: Donald Trump and Fox News Bring Back the Russia Pee-Pee Dossier

The nation, and the world, are presently enveloped in a myriad of potential catastrophes. For example: nuclear war with North Korea; tax reform; natural disasters; terrorism, etc. Under the circumstances, you might think that Donald Trump would seek to focus on any of those critical issues. If so, you don’t know Donald Trump. True to form, the President has managed to shine a spotlight on one of his biggest embarrassments.

Sean Hannity

The now infamous Trump Dossier is a treasure trove of salacious and politically damning information. Much of it is speculative, but much has also been vetted and independently corroborated. The former British spy who compiled it is considered reliable by many intelligence agencies, including those in the United States. And if there is one scandalous controversy that Trump should be anxious to ditch, it’s the one that has him cavorting with Russian prostitutes. But for some reason, the Twitter obsessed President can’t resist his self-destructive urges:

Poor Donnie, Always the victim. And now he’s helping to remind America of his alleged escapades in Moscow with a different kind of golden shower than the one in his Manhattan penthouse. Trump is reprising this story because the Washington Post just published an article that ties Democrats to the Dossier. The only problem with this breaking news is that it was broken a year ago. In October of 2016, David Corn wrote for Mother Jones that the Dossier’s author had been “researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere.” In his article Corn noted that:

“This was for an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul. (Before the former spy was retained, the project’s financing switched to a client allied with Democrats).”

So what began as opposition research for the GOP was taken up by Democratic operatives. That’s probably because the findings included “troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government.” Also, sources alleged “an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” But in any case, the Democratic connection was obviously known long before WaPo’s “scoop.” It was even known by wingnut propaganda dispensers at Fox News. Trump fluffers like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have long been peddling this partisan snake oil.

So it’s ironic that Trump is now relying on the “fake” news purveyors at WaPo for his smear campaign info. His tweet Wednesday morning credited Fox News with the data. However, there’s a bigger question here. Do Trump and Fox News really think it’s noteworthy that Democrats might have funded opposition research against their opposition? Isn’t that what all campaigns do as a matter of routine? When Fox’s Jeanine Pirro was defending Trump, Jr. for meeting with Russians during the campaign she bragged that:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-faced liar.”

In fact, Trump said pretty much the same thing:

Now suddenly it’s an abomination for Hillary Clinton’s campaign to engage in opposition research. The hypocrisy is palpable. But the objective for Trump and his pals at Fox News is to conflate this old, non-story with the more relevant allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. And it’s a talking point that was distributed to all of the network’s programs. Already the subject has been covered by Pirro, Tucker Carlson, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, and, of course, Sean Hannity. For his part, Hannity helpfully stirred the recollection of the most depraved portions of the Dossier:

“The Democrats, media, they were happy to repeat, for example, that ‘Oh, Donald Trump was at the Ritz in Moscow and he had hookers urinating in his bed.’ […] All of this makes the Clinton campaign and the DNC complicit in spreading Russian propaganda and Russian lies about then-candidate, Donald Trump.

You have to wonder why Hannity thought that would benefit his buddy Trump. He could have simply talked about the Dossier in disparaging terms and left it at that. But no. This genius thought visualizing Russian hookers urinating on Trump had to be a feature of the broadcast. Never mind that the entire story involving who paid for some routine opposition research doesn’t even come close to the scandal of enlisting Russians to tamper with an American election. Clearly they are pretending to be more interest in who paid for it than what’s in it. But all of this just illustrates how desperate they are to deflect from the real news and to attack their perennial foe, Hillary Clinton, who holds no office and says she never will.

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’ Fear Mongers That Any Trump Indictments Will Trigger a ‘Real Uprising’

It is becoming clearer with every passing day that Donald Trump and his criminal associates are in big trouble. The latest bombshell is the news that special counsel, Robert Mueller, has impaneled a Grand Jury. It’s purpose is to investigate Trump’s finances and connections to Russia. That has surely put everyone in the White House on edge as the legal noose gets tighter.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Consequently, Fox News is ramping up their obsequious support for the President with ever more ludicrous pronouncements. On Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, they interviewed Jeanine Pirro, host of Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” The segment featured Pirro unleashing what amounts to an incitement to riot (video below). And Trump thought so much of that that he retweeted it to his fans:

“My concern is, if they end up with an indictment against a family member just to get at Donald Trump when they couldn’t get at him, there’s gonna be a real uproar – a real uprising in this country.”

There is so much wrong with statement. First and foremost, Pirro is setting the stage for crackpot Trump supporters to take to the streets in an outburst of violence. She didn’t bother to offer any objection to the uprising she’s predicting. That will serve as permission to the StormTrumpers who believe that their Leader is God’s anointed savior of the alt-right’s America. She is also echoing Trump’s own inciteful rhetoric during the campaign. When asked about the prospect of his not getting the GOP nomination he said “I think you’d have riots.”

Additionally, Pirro’s framing of the subject of indictments was narrowly focused on Trump’s family. She seems to be deliberately avoiding any talk of Trump himself being charged with a crime. Of course, any neutral observer knows that he is the most likely target of prosecution. But in Pirro’s remarks it’s only the family that is at risk. Is that a purposeful deflection?

Finally, the notion that the current investigations would target Trump’s family because they can’t get to him is downright delusional. The President is virtually dripping with guilt. He has made public confessions to obstruction of justice on national television. His financial conflicts could be unraveled by a middle-schooler with a Scooby Doo junior detective badge. The number of times Trump and those around him have lied and altered their stories constitute a clear consciousness of guilt.

If it were really a concern of of Pirro’s that there might be an uprising in the wake of Trump indictments, she would have said something to mitigate it. She would have warned people to abstain from violence and let the courts do their job. She would have shown respect for the judiciary and the concept of justice, after which her show is named. Instead, she and the Fox News regulars chose to denigrate the law in defense of the wannabe dictator they so admire.

The good news is that any uprising by the lawless traitors fighting for Trump would have negligible effect. Their numbers are already in the low 30’s and sinking further every day. It wouldn’t take long to subdue them. And once the truth is well disseminated, there wouldn’t be very many people who would go to the mat for a lying grifter who brought nothing but shame to America.

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

Holy Sh*t: Fox News Host Would Take the ‘First Trolley to Hell’ For Dirt on Hillary

If you were wondering how low Fox News would go to make excuses for the Donald Trump Crime Family, we have a new baseline. And I do mean BASE! The cascading reports of Trump, Jr.’s collusion with Russian operatives continue to expose rampant criminality. Every day there is some new revelation that makes the meetings more troubling. But Fox News remains ready and willing to obfuscate, distract, and lie in defense of the Trumps.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Sunday, Fox’s Jeanine Pirro offered up a new serving of her patented vocal excrement. She was deeply upset about all the breaking news involving Russia and the Trumps. But she wasn’t upset with the unsavory behavior of the President and his family. She was angry at Democrats and the press for revealing it. Pirro’s tirade began with accusations that Democrats were “responsible for the demise of a workable and effective government.” She continued whining that “We simply can’t go four more years with Russia, Russia, Russia.” Indeed. We can’t go four more years of Trump. He needs to go now.

However, from Pirro’s perspective Don Jr. is an innocent victim. She insists that he did nothing wrong and, if he did, it was because of his inexperience. That’s an excuse that has been made for Trump himself, as if it makes any malfeasance forgivable. Here is the core of her televised tantrum (video below):

“So Donald Trump, Jr., a political neophyte, gets an email from a friend saying he has information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia that would be useful to his then-candidate father running for president. He has a meeting less than twenty minutes and the discussion ends up on rescinding the ban on Russian adoption. Nothing beneficial to the campaign comes out.

But now the hue and cry, “Indict him for treason, for collusion, campaign finance violations.” I got news for you. There is no law that says a campaign cannot accept information from a foreign government. If that were the case, everyone on a campaign who talked to a foreign national is committing a crime.”

Poor Donnie boy. Why should he be persecuted for being a political newbie? Fraternizing with enemy spies is an understandable mistake that anyone could make. Never mind that campaign veteran Paul Manafort was also in the meeting. Pirro would like the whole affair to be forgotten since nothing came of it. Except we have no proof that nothing came of it. Shortly after the meeting Hillary Clinton’s emails began to trickle out.

Furthermore, “Judge” Jeanine is flatly wrong about there being no law against getting information from a foreign government. It is a flagrant violation of campaign finance law that forbids anything of value being provided to a campaign by a foreign government. And opposition research has distinct and considerable value. Campaign consultants are paid handsomely for such work. And Pirro’s suggestion that any foreign national aiding a campaign would be a criminal is absurd. She makes no distinction between a foreign citizen and a representative of a foreign government.

Pirro also regurgitated a previously debunked falsehood about Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluding with Ukrainians to get information on Trump. That never happened. She also ranted wildly about alleged sales of uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. That’s also been proved to be completely false.

But Pirro’s longest leap off the end of the rationality plank came when she literally proposed a bargain with Satan:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the Devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-face liar.”

Really? Doesn’t she know that Team Trump is denying they were trying to get opposition research from the Russians? Which, in her eyes, would make them bald-faced liars. More to the point, Pirro is taking the position that conspiring with the Prince of Darkness is an acceptable campaign activity. Do the evangelical supporters of Trump and the Republican Party know about this? Pirro is saying, in effect, that there are no ethics in the politics of conservatives like herself. If it’s OK to work with Satan, than surely Vladimir Putin can be trusted as a collaborator. In fact, the willingness to embrace the devil would explain a lot about the GOP for the past few decades.

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

Whaaa? Trump Wants to Cancel All Press Briefings Because ‘The Ratings Are So High’

Last week Donald Trump floated a proposal to cancel all future press briefings. The comment was made during an interview with Jeanine Pirro on his favorite “news” network, Fox News. He followed that up with a tweet affirming his desire to silence the White House press office.

Donald Trump

Trump’s casual suggestion that he might just cancel all future press briefings reflects his tendencies toward fascist authoritarianism. The presidency is not his fiefdom. It is a position of service to the people. Press briefings are the method by which the people’s intermediaries in the media have opportunities to hold national leaders accountable. They cannot be replaced by written press releases. What’s more, Trump’s anger is entirely misplaced. He’s mad at the press because he and his staff are incompetent.

But Trump went even further with his hostile proposal to wrap his presidency in a soundproof cocoon. And his reasoning sunk even deeper into an illogical rant that exposes his deranged thought processes:

“These press conferences are like the biggest thing on daytime television, OK. You see the ratings. They’re blowing away everything, on just about, I think, everything, on daytime television. What I’d love to do is stop them.”

So Trump is now intent on stopping pressing briefings because – – – they are too popular? Trump is actually right, for once, about ratings. The Sean Spicer Show (Fibby Spice) does pull in an audience. And ratings reflect what America’s TV viewers want to see. Apparently they are anxious to see the media holding the President accountable and forcing his administration to explain its actions.

So obviously Trump wants to put an end to that. Ironically, three weeks ago Trump cited those same ratings as the reason he would never part with Spicer. He told the Washington Post that “I’m not firing Sean Spicer. That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.” Now insiders are hinting that Spicer will soon be replaced, possibly by Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

So what happened between then and now that made him so scared of the ratings? Could it possibly be that he’s incapable of justifying his unethical actions and comments with regard to the firing of FBI Director James Comey? Does he recognize that he’s confessed to impeachable acts and needs to shut down the press before the country finds out? Clearly his motivation, at least in part, includes a desire to punish the media. He said so himself:

“They will be very unhappy, because the ratings are so high that I don’t know what these networks are going to do. They’re going to start to cry. They get free ratings because of me and yet they don’t treat us fairly.”

Setting aside Trump’s authoritarian tendencies to clampdown on the press, his concept of their purpose is painfully ignorant. He is not there to produce ratings for the media. And to the extent that he does it’s a reflection on the public’s interest in government, not his popularity. But the kicker is that Trump thinks the media owes him positive coverage because of the ratings that he claims are his doing. Donald Trump can’t stop acting like a reality TV game show host long enough to be president. And that, along with his narcissism, paranoia, and general incompetence, makes him an imminent threat to the nation.

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

Trump Apologist On Fox News Flails Rabidly About Russian Hacking And Obama

The bombshell revelation that Russia directly interfered with the presidential election is still simmering. But that hasn’t stopped right-wing apologists for Donald Trump from cooking up absurd defenses. One of the most unhinged so far came Sunday night from Fox News host, Judge Jeanine Pirro. She’s well known for her overblown editorializing, but this one could earn her a Wingnut Hall of Shame award.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Pirro leaped feet first into her program’s “Opening Statement” with an all out onslaught against President Obama and other Democrats. Note: The all-caps quotes were cut-and-pasted directly from the Fox News website. The entire article is in caps. Which makes the sentiments in these first paragraphs seem even more deranged:

“LOOK IT’S TIME TO TAKE SIDES… THE ELECTION IS OVER – YOU’RE EITHER WITH US OR AGAINST US. THAT IS… WITH THE UNITED STATES OR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

“WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT ELECT…. HIS NAME IS DONALD J TRUMP. SO MOVE OVER BARACK,

“MOVE OVER HILLARY, HARRY, JILL AND ALL YOU NAMBY PAMBY PATHETIC LOSERS STILL CRYING IN YOUR GRANDE DOUBLE SHOT SKINNY LATTES.”

This is typical of the fascist right-wing tendency to demonize anything with which they disagree. They are utterly contemptuous of dissent, unless they are engaging in it themselves. To them the Tea Party was a patriotic movement, but civil rights activists are subversive commies. And to make sure that she wasn’t misunderstood, Pirro elaborated:

“THERE WAS A TIME IN THIS COUNTRY WHEN WE UNITED BEHIND THE FLAG IN CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S NEW PRESIDENT, OUR NEW LEADER, WE ALL DID SO IN 2008 WHEN BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED. WE HAD HIGH HOPES FOR A UNITED COUNTRY, IRRESPECTIVE OF OUR POLITICS. AND IT’S TIME FOR THE LEFT, ASSUMING THEY ARE CAPABLE, TO SHOW THE SAME DIGNITY AND CLASS TO THE 45TH PRESIDENT-ELECT.”

Is she friggin’ NUTZ! Wait, don’t answer that. On Obama’s inauguration day Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said that his top priority was to make him a one-term president. Fox’s Chris Wallace speculated that the flubbed oath of office (due to Chief Justice Roberts mangling the text) might mean that Obama isn’t really president. Rush Limbaugh said of the President-Elect that “I hope he fails.” A few weeks later Glenn Beck called Obama a racist with “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” And of course there was an army of crackpots insisting that Obama was a Muslim from Kenyan and ineligible to be president.

At what point did Pirro et al unite behind Obama? It didn’t happen after the election, nor at any time in the following eight years. She is exhibiting signs of acute dementia. Which might explain her outrage over Obama announcing an investigation into the hacking by Russia. This should be a bipartisan effort and supported by anyone who values our democracy. But along with Trump, his defenders at Fox News would rather suppress the truth than preserve our nation.

Among the nonsense that has irked Pirro is why this investigation should occur now. The answer, of course, is that until now we didn’t have the disclosures from the intelligence community to justify it. It could have been investigated earlier, but then the right would have complained that it was all speculative. And if the investigation were delayed for a year or two, they would say it’s old news, let it go.

Pirro also said that the Obama administration could have blocked the hacking if they wanted to. Butt, she didn’t say what body orifice she pulled that out of. She also maligned the CIA’s conclusions saying that they were the same people who got us into Iraq. Which isn’t true. That was sixteen years ago and those people are long gone. What’s more, it wasn’t the CIA pushing the WMD fallacies, it was the Bush White House. And Pirro joined Trump’s cheering squad with the lie that he had an “OVERWHELMING ELECTORAL COLLEGE WIN.” It wasn’t even in the top ten over the last sixty years.

Pirro concluded with praise for Vladimir Putin as “A RUSSIAN WHO AT LEAST IS A CHRISTIAN.” So that’s all it takes for an arch-conservative mouthpiece to embrace a brutal dictator. Murder your adversaries, invade foreign countries, and bomb hospitals full of children. So long as you’re a Christian it’s all good. Can you imagine the reaction from the right if Obama ever did such a thing? They pounced on him for honoring the Pope, for God’s sake.

For good measure Pirro took a closing swipe at retiring Senator Harry Reid, calling him “MR ONE EYE.” Reid is blind in one eye as a result of an accident. Would Pirro also call war hero, and Senator-Elect Tammy Duckworth “MISS NO LEGS?” Would she make up derogatory nicknames for every disabled person she doesn’t happen to like? This tells you something about her character, or lack thereof. As if having an unnatural and unpatriotic affinity for foreign dictators who disrupt our elections weren’t enough.

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

The Biggest Hillary Hater On Fox News Defends Clinton, Pummels FBI

There have been some historically unprecedented occurrences in this wildly turbulent presidential campaign. But through it all Fox News has maintained a consistent state of stridently partisan reporting in support of Donald Trump. Their programming relentlessly disparages Hillary Clinton and some of their most prominent hosts have explicitly endorsed Trump.

Clinton Pirro

In the wake of the FBI’s shameful disclosure about their investigation of Clinton, many critics have excoriated Director James Comey for breaching the agency’s policies and ethical responsibilities. These critics have spanned across the political spectrum with most law enforcement experts united in chastising Comey. Former Justice Department officials of both parties have publicly questioned his judgment and motives.

However, no critic is more surprising than Fox’s own Jeanine Pirro. Pirro is a former judge and prosecutor with years of experience in the legal system at the local and federal levels. She is also one of Fox’s most starkly anti-Clinton commentators. Her weekly rants against Clinton have accused her of having “corrupted the State Department.” She called Clinton “a liar, and a pathological one at that.” She falsely charged that the Clinton foundation is “nothing more than a money laundering operation.” In one commentary she lashed out that “Bill and Hillary Clinton are the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics.”

It’s difficult to imagine that someone who equates Clinton to cold-blooded murderers would suddenly come to her defense. But that’s an indication of just how seriously improper Comey’s behavior has been. In this week’s commentary on her Fox program, Pirro joined those who have assailed Comey saying that his announcement coming just “eleven days before one of the most hotly contested presidential elections of our time, both disgraces and politicizes the FBI.” Making certain to reinforce her political preference, Pirro said:

“Now you know that I support Donald Trump and I want him to win, but whether it’s Hillary Clinton or anyone else, Comey’s actions violate not only long-standing Justice Department policy, the directive of the person he works under, the Attorney General, but even more important, the most fundamental rules of fairness and impartiality.”

Pirro then relates her personal experience when she was as a candidate for New York State Attorny General. The FBI opened an investigation of her at the time about which she says “the adverse publicity cost me at the polls. What was done to me in 2006 was wrong, and what happened to Hillary Clinton [Friday] was equally wrong.” Continuing, Pirro laid out the fundamental reasons for her position:

“The Justice Department and the FBI’s policy to not comment publicly about politically sensitive investigations within 60 days of an election exists for a very important reason. Announcements so close to elections have an impact. Now this nation has already gone through an exhausting and traumatic campaign season. The FBI director should not now be front and center. One of the most revered agencies in our nation’s history, now seen as putting its finger on the scales of justice.”

No one should mistake Pirro’s remarks for anything resembling support for Clinton. And in the very same commentary Pirro made that crystal clear:

“Hillary Clinton should have been indicted a long time ago. She and Bill’s scandals have done nothing but soil this great nation’s image. It’s long-past time for both of them to start paying for their wrongdoing.”

Of course, she doesn’t expand on her vague condemnation of Clinton because there aren’t actually any violations of law for which she could be indicted. Virtually every alleged “scandal” attributed to the Clintons has been repudiated and debunked as purely political smear campaigns. But it does demonstrate the ferocity of her animosity toward the once and future First Family.

Yet with all of that seething hatred, Pirro cannot ignore the disgraceful and unjust actions by the FBI director. That should be enough to convince even the most glassy-eyed, alt-right, Trump disciple that Clinton was dealt an unfair blow. It is now incumbent on Comey to repair the damage he’s done by either releasing what he has, or clarifying that there is nothing in his findings that indicate any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton.

Short of that, Comey will continue to be suspected of partisanship that may even be illegal. As Senator Harry Reid noted, he may be in violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits such partisan activity by government officials. This includes the astonishing revelation that, while Comey is doing harm to Clinton’s campaign, he is protecting Trump. Says Reid:

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government.”

Reid wonders why Comey would release damaging information about an ongoing investigation of Clinton, but lets Trump off the hook. So should we all. Clinton’s past management of her email doesn’t compare with the threat of a Trump presidency that’s aligned with the Kremlin. So why won’t Comey reveal what he knows about Trump and the Russians? It’s a blatant double standard that tarnishes his reputation and that of the agency he heads. And if Jeanine Pirro, a notoriously shrill foe of Clinton notices the hypocrisy, it must be the genuine article.

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