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.

How Not To News: Fox Resorts To Knee-Jerk Obama Blaming After Baton Rouge Shooting

Today brings a new incident of senseless violence that rips at the heart of the nation’s conscience. Six police officers were shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this morning, three of whom were killed. As usual in these circumstances, words are insufficient to convey the sour combination of sorrow, sympathy, and fury.

Fox News Alert

The motivation of the shooter(s) has yet to be determined as investigators are still trying to piece together the slowly unfolding evidence. President Obama spoke with passion and grace as he condemned the shootings and called on all Americans to be united in offering condolences and determination to end the cycle of violence. At times like these the least helpful contribution to the painful drama is irresponsible speculation and self-serving assignment of blame. So naturally, that’s what Fox News devoted itself to for most of the day. And it didn’t take them more than a few minutes to launch into a tirade of offensive and baseless allegations.

Long before any verifiable information was available, Fox was on the air condemning the shooting as a deliberate attack on law enforcement. Never mind that there was no evidence from either the police department, witnesses, suspects, or any other source affirming that conclusion. At Fox “News” facts just get in the way of the right-wing sensationalism that is the core of their narrative. Particularly when they are determined to cast blame for the crimes on their ideological foes.

Within minutes of the first reports, Fox News had drawn a conclusion about the shooter’s motives without having any proof. Host Harris Faulkner stated as fact that “This is an ambush of epic proportions.” Then she reached out to Fox’s trusty roster of knee-jerk conservatives for analysis. They included Steve Loomis, a police union official who embarked on a feverish rant about President Obama’s culpability for the shootings saying “the president of the United States has blood on his hands that will not be able to come washed off.” Then former FBI agent Steven Rogers asserted without foundation that the White House “added flames or fuel to the flame of racism.”

Fox’s own host Jeanine Pirro agreed with the Obama-blamers saying that “the killing of cops is now becoming normalized. It’s now becoming legitimized.” That’s a nearly delusional comment that defies reason. She went on to say that “I agree with your other guests to say that it starts at the top.” So Pirro believes that the President is legitimizing the killing of cops and, of course, no one on Fox asked her to validate that deranged and unsupported point of view.

Not to be left out, Donald Trump posted his reaction on Facebook and characteristically turned it into a self-serving political comment that also took aim at Obama: “We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today. How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.” He followed that up with several alarmist tweets that focused on negativity and division. Contrast that with the statements by Obama and Hillary Clinton who called for unity in the face of adversity.

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

The blatant manner with which Fox endeavors to malign the President, and more generally the #BlackLivesMatter movement, despite the absence of any evidence, is a testament to their innate prejudices. But worse, it is a perversion of the most basic tenets of ethical journalism. Rather than waiting for confirmation of what occurred, Fox jumped straight to spinning their favorite fables of an exploding anti-cop epidemic and the total breakdown of civil society. It’s a stance that conveniently fits with their hatred of all things Obama and their advocacy of Donald Trump. But it is not how professional journalists conduct themselves, not that Fox cares about that.

#FoxNewsFacts? New Hashtag Addresses Old Problem Of Fox News Aversion To The Truth

This weekend Jeanine Pirro of Fox News invited the in-house Fox “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson to explain the impending apocalypse that is looming over the planet due to radical Islamic terrorism spreading to every nook and cranny of the globe. Emerson warned that the crisis is so severe that murderous Muslims have already taken over some Western cities.

Emerson: In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.

It didn’t take long for that morsel of fear mongering to be shot down as utterly false. Later in the day Emerson himself apologized profusely for his “terrible error,” however, neither Pirro nor Fox News has issued a retraction. Consequently, Fox News viewers will remain profoundly misinformed, as usual.

The Internet, though, has a certain self-healing capability that tends to just this sort of dishonesty. Before long the hashtag “#FoxNewsFacts” was trending on Twitter with a barrage of both serious and satirical posts asserting a sort of cyber karma.

While it is gratifying to see people taking it upon themselves to set the record straight, the credibility of the facts on Fox News has been non-existent for years. There have so many examples of the network’s outright disregard for the truth that I wrote a book (Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault on Truth) compiling some of the worst episodes. In fact, Fox’s fib factory was so productive that I have just released the second volume of the book:

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Fox Nation vs. Reality

The book contains more than 50 examples of deliberate falsehoods and blatant propaganda. It’s available now on Amazon and every purchase helps to support the work we do at News Corpse.

The pathological liars at Fox have been particularly busy disseminating disinformation in this aborning new year. In addition to providing a platform for bona fide Islamophobes like Emerson, they have launched an assault on President Obama for not jetting off to Paris to march in a photo op with some other world leaders who Fox usually hate. And today they waxed panicky about what they called a hack into Pentagon computers that was really just a hack into Twitter and YouTube. No government network was accessed, but Fox spent most of the day ruminating on it. It’s what they do.

Fox News Pentagon Hack

Unhinged Fox News Reporter Warns Of Immigrant Children Trained By ISIL To Kill Us

The frenzy of frightened Fox News figures who have been consumed by panic over the threat of ISIL terrorists invading our tranquil communities continues to grow in numbers and intensity. On Saturday morning a panel of business correspondents took up the issue on Fox’s Bulls and Bears (and Immigrant Children, oh my).

Fox News Kids Trained To Kill Us

The segment (video below) was introduced by host Brenda Buttner as “the ISIS border threat we may all regret if we don’t stop it now.” She summarized the imminent doom facing America from terrorists plotting to sneak across our porous southern border to wipe us out as we sleep. This gruesome prospect was presented as more than speculation and she wondered how many more warnings would be required before Washington “gets it.”. Of course she never offered any evidence that any terror suspects had entered the U.S. in this manner, or that there was any credible intelligence of it . She just unloaded a series of allegations without any factual basis.

That was enough for the first panelist, John Layfield, a retired professional wrestler, to spew a stream of unrelated assertions involving ISIL’s alleged blueprint for international terrorism and the presence of murderous drug cartels in Mexico. Layfield’s background makes him the perfect guest to provide analysis on these sort of national security issues. He was rebutted rather effectively by Gary B. Smith, a hedge fund manager, who wisely kept his commentary limited to his area of expertise, the economic aspects of securing the border. He questioned the efficacy of building a border fence for an estimated $22 billion when none of the perpetrators of 9/11 entered the country illegally and other border barriers like the Berlin Wall were commonly breached thousands of times a year.

But Stealing the thunder of prominent members of the Psycho-Chicken Little Society like Lindsey Graham, was Fox regular Tracy Byrnes. Her hysterical assessment of the looming threat was riddled with indignation that nobody was treating the situation with the appropriate measure of urgency.

“It’s really serious and this has been something that has been bothering me for a while now. We are not taking it serious enough. ISIS is here. I don’t care what anybody says. They’re here.”

How typical of a Fox News commentator to declare that she doesn’t care what anybody says. She has her own delusional, nightmare scenarios firmly affixed in her mind and she will not be distracted by reality. But she’s only just getting started. She goes on…

“What scares me the most, Brenda, is that they infiltrate the minds of children and when children cross the border everyone, you know, the tears start coming down. We want to take care of them, but so many of these kids are trained to hate us and potentially kill us. And yet we are just letting them in, welcoming them with open arms, paying for their medical, paying for everything and it’s just going to come back to bite us.”

Exactly! Somehow ISIL has gotten to these gullible waifs, who are fleeing violence in their native countries, and brainwashing them to hate the Americans who are providing them with safety, food, and health care. All the while these kids are plotting to grow up and cut our throats or blow up our shopping malls. Byrnes didn’t reveal where the terrorists were conducting this training or why children who have been rescued from lives of misery, danger, and fear would succumb to an ideology that just perpetuated it and was directed at their rescuers.

Surprisingly, other than Byrnes and Layfield, the panel was fairly united in dismissing the most outlandish claims by the Fear Caucus. The frantic whimpering of the bed-wetting set has been shown to be utterly without foundation. Recently PolitiFact assessed a claim by GOP/Tea Party Rep. Trent Franks, who said that “It is true that we know that ISIS is present in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)” And except for the fact that it isn’t true and that we don’t know it, it was a pretty good soundbite. PolitFact rated it “mostly false,” while noting that similar false claims were made by Sen. Marco Rubio and many in the right-wing media such as the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and Sean Hannity. PolitiFact also revealed that the source of the claim was the ultra-conservative organization, Judicial Watch. When asked for more information to affirm their allegations, JW’s president Tom Fitton simply refused.

Not to be outdone, Fox host Jeanine Pirro served up her own steaming plate of crazy with a paranoia drenched tirade that boosted the profile of ISIL over the tyrant King George of England, Jefferson Davis’ Confederacy, Hirohito’s Japan, Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, and even the genocidal regime of Adolf Hitler:

“Tonight America faces the single biggest threat in her more than 200-year history. Worse than what we faced in World War I, World War II, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Al Qaeda on 9/11. […] The damage will be painful and it will be extensive. […] I’ve been telling you for months that you need to be afraid.”

Pirro’s grasp of history is pitifully weak. For the record, ISIL is, so far, responsible for the deaths of two Americans. They have a long way to go before they can be regarded as worse than World War I (116,000 fatalities), World War II (405,000), the Civil War (625,000), or even Al Qaeda who lag behind at 9,700 if you include 9/11 plus all casualties endured during both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (which, of course, are not all attributable to Al Qaeda). And on the basis of her stupendously ignorant raving, she boasts that “for months” she’s been telling her wretched viewers that they “need to be afraid.” How dumb do you need to be to continue following her advice?

The fanatics at Fox News are desperately trying to drive their viewers into a sky-is-falling state of psychotic distress, and they have no qualms about using blatant lies to achieve their ends. It’s a shameful and unethical tactic that squarely fits the definition of terrorism (ter-uh-riz-uh m) – noun: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

For more examples of Fox’s fear fetish…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

American Expect-ionalism: Why Is Every World Crisis America’s Responsibility?

The tragic downing of a civilian aircraft in Ukraine has opened a window on a peculiar phenomenon that emerges whenever there is an event, anywhere in the world, that has some international significance. The spotlight that this particular event casts is instructive because of the specific details and how they relate to the global distribution of obligations.

Let’s begin with the fact that the plane that was shot down was owned and operated by Malaysian Air. The passengers were from many nations, but mostly the Netherlands. There was only one American on the flight. The attack occurred along the eastern border of Ukraine on a flight path through Europe and Southeast Asia. And the perpetrators were almost certainly pro-Russian separatists with help from Russia itself.

American Expect-ionalism

So obviously it is up to the United States to take control of the situation and resolve all of the mysteries and criminal conspiracies that arise. It is expected of us. Never mind that there is almost no direct American connection to the attackers or the victims.

Conservative American politicians and pundits have been vocal in demanding that President Obama assume a leadership role in investigating the affair and punishing those responsible. Some have harshly criticized him for not being more aggressive. John McCain positioned himself in front of every TV news camera he could find to imply that Obama has been derelict by not imposing stiff sanctions in advance of possessing all the facts. McCain was joined by several other hyperactive Republicans whose advice ranged from empty rhetoric to declaring war on Russia.

One of the worst reactions from the press was from Fox News (surprise) anchor Jeanine Pirro. She launched into a tirade that called for the President to “put on his big boy pants.” Her venomous spew could only be interpreted as a call to arms. She had the audacity to cite Vladimir Putin as an example of the virile leadership she advocates. The very same Putin who is likely complicit in the jet attack. Pirro’s other example of manliness was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who she admires for his deployment of 50,000 troops in Gaza. In both cases she is clearly expressing her fondness for military involvement and her opinion that no other response is sufficient. What’s more, she falsely projects her bloodlust unto the American people by claiming that…

“Americans don’t want a spectator, they want a leader who’s also not kidding around. Americans want a president not afraid to get in the game, secure our future and re-assert himself on the world stage.”

Actually, Americans have made their views known in recent polling, and they do not agree with Pirro’s assessment of them. Only 17% of those polled said that the U.S should do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Furthermore, only 23% favor continuing a military presence in Afghanistan, and only 19% want us to go back to Iraq. Pirro obviously has her finger on the pulse of some other country, because she really doesn’t understand Americans.

Pirro’s lament included the already debunked comparison of Obama’s response to the Ukraine incident and Ronald Reagan’s response to Russia shooting down a Korean airliner in 1983. It’s just another of her detours from the real world. Although she is consistent in that she advocates for American military intervention in Iraq, Syria, and Israel, in addition to Russia. That’s what the macho man in her feverish fantasies would do. And after defeating Putin and Assad and various factions of Al Qaeda, he would carry her off to his Fortress of Solitude.

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There is no question that the United States has a role in the world that includes varying degrees of intervention. But a wise leader would always exhaust every diplomatic measure available before committing to warfare. The U.S. currently has a great many options that include diplomacy, economics, and international pressure. The conservative war mongers who believe that every foreign dust up requires the Marines to invade are delusional and dangerous. This is a time for collective composure and strategic thinking, not panicky overreactions. And our nation is fortunate that people like Pirro and McCain aren’t in positions of power where they could act on their bad judgment.

FACT CHECK: ISIS Leader, Baghdadi, Was Released By Bush, Not Obama

In yet another example of journalistic malpractice, the folks at Fox News broadcast a number of reports that got the most significant facts completely wrong. In order to do so, they relied on the assertions of a single, uncorroborated account, and failed to do the most basic follow-up with the people in a position to know.

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The latest lie-riddled reporting on Fox concerned the circumstances of the capture and release of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fox and other conservative media outlets are endeavoring to place the responsibility for Baghdadi’s brutal march through Iraq on President Obama. Representative commentaries include these by Fox hosts Jeanine Pirro and Megyn Kelly:

Pirro: The head of this band of savages is a man by the name of Abu al-Baghdadi. The new Osama Bin Laden. A man released by Obama in 2009, who started ISIS a year later.

Kelly: We are also learning more about the leader of the terror group, a man described as the new Bin Laden, the heir to Bin Laden. It turns out he had been in U.S. custody until 2009, over in Iraq, when he was then turned over to the Iraqi government as part of our troop drawdown. And then he was released.

On Pirro’s Saturday program she led into the subject with a mouth-foaming harangue about Obama’s “feckless” leadership and socialist designs on America. On Kelly’s primetime program she interviewed Col. Kenneth King who claimed to have been present when Baghdadi was transferred from the custody of U.S. forces to the Iraqis, who later allegedly released him to go on to form ISIS. However, an investigation by PolitiFact uncovered a very different story, confirmed by the Defense Department, and branding the Fox report as “false.”

“Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ was held as a ‘civilian internee’ by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time.”

Since the right-wing is so intent on assigning blame for Baghdadi’s campaign of terror on the president who was in office when he was set free, then according to their logic it is all Bush’s fault. But don’t expect Fox News to report the facts as laid out by actual journalists. They won’t even report the comments of their own witness, Col. King, who appeared on another network (ABC) and admitted that he “could be mistaken.” It turns out that he never knew the name of the man he presumed to be Baghdadi, he just thought there was a resemblance to the man he encountered. Nor will they report Col. King’s remarks to the Daily Beast where he downplayed the threat posed by Baghdadi, saying that “He was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.”

PolitiFact went on to note that, even if Col. King’s account were correct, and Baghdadi was still in custody in 2009, Obama still could not be held to blame for Baghdadi’s release. The terms of the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq required the U.S. to turn over all prisoners to the custody of Iraq’s criminal system. That agreement was negotiated and agreed to by the Bush administration in 2008.

Baghdadi and Bush

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So virtually everything reported by Fox News was wrong. And, not surprisingly, all of the misinformation leaned toward blaming President Obama for the mistakes of President Bush. It’a pattern that is all too familiar. Now that the truth has been revealed and confirmed, we can expect Fox to issue a correction at the earliest opportunity. And if you believe that you are probably already a dimwitted, gullible disciple of the Fox Disinformation Society.