Turncoat Trump: ‘John Bolton is a Patriot’ … Who I Fired, Barely Knew, and Never Liked Anyway

One of the most predictable symptoms of Donald Trump’s prominent psychoses has revealed itself again. When responding to former associates who have the audacity to tell the truth about him, Trump invariably lashes out with a fury generally reserved for sworn enemies and villains. The latest victim of this turncoat tantrum throwing exercise is Trump’s cast-off National Security Advisor, John Bolton.

Donald Trump, John Bolton

When Bolton joined Team Trump as the fourth NSC chief in only two years, he was hailed as a brilliant, devoted diplomat and conservative ally by Trump. And no one was happier than than Fox News and the right-wing media machine that propped up the Trump regime. Bolton was a hero of Republicans for decades, and his role as a Fox News contributor bolstered his reputation and brought him to the attention of Trump. Just two months ago Trump was praising Bolton as a “patriot” who would support his version of events regarding Ukraine:

Well, that’s kind of true. Bolton does have knowledge of Trump withholding funds from Ukraine. Except that the reason was to coerce them into helping Trump smear Joe Biden. That’s something that Trump himself confessed on national TV. It’s also notable that Trump was saying then that he “would actually like people to testify.” Either that was a blatant lie, or he has since discovered that such testimony is only going to further incriminate him. Or more likely, a little of both.

Now Trump is exhibiting considerably greater fear for the consequences he faces. On Wednesday morning he unloaded on his once admired White House staffer in a manner that could not have been more vicious and spiteful:

The remarkable thing about this tweet is that Trump is making the case that he chose to hire an incompetent loser who no one else would consider for employment. Was it a sympathy hire? Was Trump moved by Bolton’s alleged “begging” (which seems out of character for Bolton)? Yet Trump took him in despite warnings from unnamed “many” others not to do so? Wouldn’t that have been irresponsible and reckless?

Trump goes on to criticize Bolton’s judgment, which he asserts would have led the nation into four more world wars in the year and a half that Bolton served. That’s a pretty ambitious schedule of war mongering. And finally, Trump accuses Bolton of producing a book (The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,”) that is “All Classified National Security.” Really? All of it?

On the last point, the White House has now delivered an official notice that Bolton’s book contains material that is not just classified, but “Top Secret.” In an obvious attempt to censor Bolton, they assert that “The manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information.” That’s a specious claim considering that it comes over a month after the White House got the manuscript for review, and only after news reports that it contained material that is politically damaging to Trump. What’s more, Bolton’s attorneys don’t even regard the prepublication review by the White House as necessary, which they stated in a letter to the White House a month ago:

“Ambassador Bolton has carefully sought to avoid any discussion in the manuscript of sensitive compartmented information (“SCI”) other classified information, and we accordingly do not believe that prepublication review is required. We are nonetheless submitting this manuscript out of an abundance of caution.”

Trump’s hostility toward Bolton is typical of his thuggish behavior toward anyone he deems less than totally worshipful. Trump’s narcissism demands complete loyalty, and any wavering is grounds for the unleashing of a barrage of animus and defamation. But this behavior only reinforces the urgency to remove the already disgraced and impeached Trump from office. He is demonstrating that he will continue to abuse the power of the presidency to harm critics and truth-tellers, and to save his own unscrupulous neck.

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

Crybaby Trump Wants to Know: ‘What the Hell Has Happened to Fox News?’

Every now and then, Donald Trump becomes despondent over the fact that he is not blindly worshiped by everyone in the known universe. His typically vicious response to that is to lash out at whoever he regards as being insufficiently adoring. Occasionally that happens to be his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

Trump is currently exhibiting signs of the enormous burden that weighs on him as the Senate hears the case for removing him from office. He is tweeting more frequently and more furiously, with rage-filled outbursts aimed at his perceived enemies. Among them is his former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, whose new book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” affirms that Trump extorted Ukraine to get dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually something that Trump himself admitted.

However, on Tuesday morning Trump took a wild swing at the TV “news” network that has been his staunchest defender throughout his presidency. This is not the first time that Trump has gone after Fox News, but it’s a significant slap in the face to those who are working hardest at disseminating his disinformation during the Senate impeachment trial. He tweeted that it’s…

So Trump begins this tantrum by whining that Fox News interviewed the Senator from Maryland, Chris Van Hollen, who Trump alleges has no name after citing it in his tweet. Van Hollen had an appropriately stinging reply:

Don’t hold your breath. Apparently Trump believes that Fox should ban all Democrats from their network and only interview Trump-fluffing Republicans and other Fox Newsers. And in an immediate contradiction, he seems to think that Fox should have hosted a Democratic primary debate.

Continuing on this tirade against his sycophantic Fox friends, Trump posited a rather peculiar question: “What the hell has happened to Fox News?” And he replies to his own query with an even more peculiar answer: “Only I know!” He doesn’t bother to elaborate on what he allegedly “knows” about Fox. So he will continue to be the only one who knows. But he does single some of those on the network that he is most upset with, including Chris Wallace and the now departed Shepard Smith. Trump’s concern for Shep’s well being is touching. If he’s really interest, he should know that Shep is waiting for his non-compete clause to expire, whereupon he will surely sign a lucrative deal with another network.

Finally, Trump predicts a dire future for the network that employs his most fervent StormTrumpers. People like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and so many more. He predicts that this is “the beginning of the end for Fox.” That would strike many Americans as a positive development. But it’s difficult to imagine where Trump’s army of media shills would land if their Fox bunker were to collapse.

Not to worry. Like everything else Trump says, none of this is true, particularly the part about the networks that are “dying in the ratings.” Actually, all of the cable news networks are enjoying a banner year with high viewership and revenue. But Trump never lets facts get in the way of his raging animus or massive ego. Consequently, he has aimed his anger at Fox many times when he felt that they weren’t sucking up hard enough (here are some examples of his frothing hostilities).

As the Senate impeachment trial proceeds, it’s likely that Trump will get even more disturbed. There is also a likelihood of additional incriminating evidence coming out. And the case for the Senate calling witnesses became much stronger following the Bolton revelations. So look for Trump to escalate his whining and cries of victimhood, something that he takes enormous pride in. And prepare for more griping about Fox and the rest of media, which he still says he doesn’t understand.

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

UH-OH: Trump’s Favorite Fox News Shills Admit He Extorted Ukraine to Smear Joe Biden

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is entering its second week with his Fox News Legal Team continuing to present a defense that is wholly composed of deflections and lies. And they are sticking with that game plan despite the bombshell revelations from former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, that Trump did indeed threaten to withhold critical military aid from Ukraine in order to coerce them into helping Trump smear Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Bolton’s account of events is soon to be published in his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” These incriminating disclosures are now frustrating efforts by Senate Republicans to dispense of the impeachment trial quickly. It is becoming much more likely that a sufficient number of Republicans will seek further testimony from witnesses, including Bolton. That could open the floodgates to additional witnesses and document production.

Furthermore, the media is appropriately curious as to what Bolton might have to contribute to the pool of evidence against Trump. And that’s not just what Trump refers to as the “fake news.” Even Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, is struggling to deal with these new reports. On Monday morning co-host Steve Doocy addressed the revelations in Bolton’s book (video below) noting that…

“Apparently it says Bolton was told ‘Trump wanted to continue freezing money to Ukraine until they helped with probes of the Bidens.’ But we heard him say in the transcripts he wanted President Zelensky to look into the Bidens and what happened in 2016. So is this a big, big, big story?”

That’s actually a good point, coming from someone who’s not known for making them. We did hear Trump say that he wanted Zelensky to look into the Bidens. Not only in the so-called “transcripts” that Trump keeps imploring people to read, but also in his own words during an episode of “Chopper Talk” wherein he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine and replied that…

“I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.”

It appears that Trump’s staunchest media bootlickers are now conceding that he cannot be defended with blanket denials that he did anything wrong. They can no longer say that it was “a perfect phone call.” They must accept the fact that Trump engaged in overt extortion, but then try to argue that it wasn’t illegal or impeachable.

That’s the argument that Trump-fluffer and Fox contributor Dan Bongino made for most of this segment. Co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected that Trump’s legal team needs to include in their scenario that Trump “was wanting an investigation into what happened with the Bidens in 2016” But in order to do that, Trump would have to repudiate everything he has asserted thus far in his defense. Kilmeade also closed the segment with a bizarre new bit of advice:

“I will say this. I will say the President should take from this, between the Lev [Parnas] and Igor [Fruman] tapes that are now out, and then people writing books about him, he’s got to do better a job vetting his staff to find out if they actually want to work for him or not. Or if they actually want to leak out information about him. So he’s got to do a better job hiring people.”

Really? So the lesson that Kilmeade is conveying to Trump is not that he should take care to comply with the law and refrain from engaging in treasonous acts. It’s that he should be more careful to associate only with those whose blind loyalty can be relied upon to become willing accomplices to his crimes. Good to know that Fox News has Trump’s interests at heart, even when they are contrary to those of the nation.

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

Does Trump Have Impeachment Dementia Or Are His Lies Just Getting More Bizarre?

There is something grossly disturbing about how extreme Donald Trump has become in his frantic outbursts decrying the fact that he has been impeached. It’s like watching a paranoid schizophrenic sinking deeper into the delusional hallucinations that drive his deviant behavior. Except this one has access to nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump Red Face

On Monday morning, Trump was suffering from an especially severe case of the whines. This was manifested on his Twitter feed where he posted a string of typically narcissistic messages exalting himself, interspersed with vitriolic attacks on his foes. The trigger for this episode may have been the release of his impeachment trial briefing by his Fox News legal team. The document is 110 pages of expanded Twitter rants that fail to even address the substance of the charges against him. Trump’s lawyers are focused solely on their ludicrous theory that whatever Trump did was okay and that he should not be convicted and removed from office even if every allegation is proved true.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is focused on an imaginary universe wherein everything morphs into whatever he wishes it would be at whatever moment he wishes it. That’s the only explanation for a couple of his morning tweets that bear no resemblance to reality. For instance…

Anyone who has paid even peripheral attention to the impeachment proceedings knows that the House wanted John Bolton’s testimony very much. The problem was that Trump invoked the fake privilege of “absolute immunity” in order to prohibit Bolton, and many other White House staffers, from testifying. There is no way that Trump could not know this. So he is either deliberately lying or mentally unhinged. Which would also explain this other tweet…

The House proceedings were always conducted fairly. Every Republican member of the relevant committees was give equal time to question witnesses and provide defensive arguments. Both Democrats and Republicans had counsel who were also afforded equal time to press their case in the hearings. The only diversion from equality was the absence of testimony from Trump’s White House. But again, they were only absent due to Trump’s refusal to allow them to participate. This is another situation that Trump has to be fully aware of, unless he is certifiably insane or flagrantly dishonest.

So it was Trump who was responsible for the absence of witnesses he is complaining about. And it was Trump whose refusal to cooperate produced the unfairness he is whining about. And it was actually people like Rep. Adam Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who were advocating for fairness all along. Trump was, and still is, the obstacle. That was articulated concisely in the Democratic response to Trump’s brief:

“Only if the Senate sees and hears all relevant evidence — only if it insists upon the whole truth — can it render impartial justice. That means the Senate should require the President to turn over the documents he is hiding. It should hear from witnesses, as it has done in every impeachment trial in American history; it especially should hear from witnesses the President blocked from testifying in the House. President Trump cannot have it both ways. His Answer directly disputes key facts. He must either surrender all evidence relevant to the facts he has disputed or concede the facts as charged. Otherwise, this impeachment trial will fall far short of the American system of justice.”

The tweets above show that Trump is either suffering from a massively psychotic departure from reality, or that he is shamelessly distorting the truth that everyone else can see as plain as day. That in itself would suggest that Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But then, what else is one to conclude about someone who has been documented to have told more than 16,000 lies in three years; or who cozies up to murderous dictators; or who compliments himself as “A Very Stable Genius.” It is simply no longer possible to ignore that America’s “president” is out of his friggin’ mind! Which means the same must be true for the cult followers who continue to support him in Congress, the press, and the wingnutty contingent of the public.

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

John Bolton Texts Fox News Live to Say He Resigned, Contradicting Another Trump Lie

The administration of Donald Trump continues to be a hot mess. Having already achieved a record number of departures of White House top staff, Trump has just parted ways with his fourth National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Sources say that Trump and Bolton argued about the President’s foiled scheme to bring the Taliban to Camp David.

Donald Trump, John Bolton

The break up with Bolton leaves Trump’s national security team littered with “acting” heads, including National Security Advisor, Homeland Security Secretary, Director of National Intelligence, and Chief of Staff. These are all critical posts that have a particular significance during these times of international turmoil. Trump is awkwardly juggling relations with Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Russia, and many more foreign hot spots that threaten American interests. But the nation under Trump’s “leadership” lacks competent management in the jobs that oversee those crucial areas of statecraft.

Trump announced Bolton’s dismissal in his usual way – via Twitter saying “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation.” It isn’t surprising that Trump and Bolton disagreed. That was apparent even before Bolton was hired, and anyone paying attention knew it. But Trump’s staffing decisions are based on the shallowest criteria, such as how they look on Fox News.

Not surprisingly, Bolton had a different view of how his separation came about. Contrary to Trump’s claim that he asked Bolton to resign, Bolton says – also via Twitter – that he made the offer first. And just to drive the point home, Bolton live-tweeted Fox News where his pal and former colleague, Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends, read the tweet on the air:

So Bolton, a former Fox News contributor, hasn’t been unemployed for an hour and he’s already angling for his old job at back at Fox. But the more important question going forward is which Trump-fluffing Fox News shill will Trump name as the next National Security Advisor? There are several prospects in the the Fox family who would meet Trump’s low standards for work in his White House: 1) Be willing to lie unflinchingly for Trump; and … well, that’s pretty much it.

One candidate could be Walid Phares, a longtime right-wing pundit and advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Phares distinguished himself as an Islamophobe and a crackpot conspiracy theorist with claims that tied President Obama and Hillary Clinton to the Muslim Brotherhood. Another candidate could be retired Gen. Jack Keane who makes frequent appearances on Fox defending Trump blindly for whatever the atrocity of the day happens to be.

However, a more likely candidate would be this favorite of Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who was a presenter on the recently shuttered NRA-TV before becoming a full-fledged Fox contributor who sometimes fills in for Hannity. Bongino has already caught Trump’s eye with a book that makes wild assertions about the “Deep State” spying on Trump. The President has tweeted about or retweeted Bongino 84 times. Typically they are just factless tributes to Trump’s imaginary awesomeness and virginal innocence, such as…

So we can expect the next National Security Advisor to be a worshipful member of the Trump cult. And he will join a team of hacks who have never been confirmed by the Senate because, according to Trump, “I like ‘acting’ because I can move so quickly.” In other words, he likes “acting” because he can just pull sycophantic, unqualified names out of his arse without having to get the constitutionally mandated consensus of the Senate. And sadly, in these troubled times that’s what America has to suffer though with our wannabe dictator in the White House.

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

Fox News Helps GOP Congresswoman Spread Debunked Lies that Obama Paid Iran $1.5 Billion

Just in case you were looking for another example of Fox News casting off all pretense of being an honest news enterprise, they provided an excellent one Thursday morning. Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, invited Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney to discuss matters related to the Trump administration’s diplomatic agenda for Iran since Trump broke the agreement the United States made previously. And yes, that’s Dick Cheney’s daughter.

Fox News Friends

The segment began with Ainsley Earhardt reminding viewers that Donald Trump recently posted a deranged, all caps tweet that warned Iran to “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” It cannot be overstated that this was the President threatening the nuclear annihilation of men, women, and children, of a foreign adversary over mere words.

Much of the conversation centered on Cheney’s impressions of Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and his efforts to prevent Iran from advancing their nuclear ambitions. Of course, President Obama had already put an end to that prior to Trump blowing it up in his obsessive fetish to undo all things Obama. But Cheney was then asked specifically how the current administration’s approach to Iran differed from their predecessor. Which seems like a planted question that really had no purpose other than to bash Obama’s achievements. Cheney took full advantage of that saying:

“Oh it’s hugely different. If you look at the fact that Barack Obama paid $1.5 billion – U.S. taxpayer money – paid the Iranians to get them to enter into the nuclear agreement.”

The only problem with that response is that is utterly and provably false. PolitiFact, and every other fact-checker, has documented that the monies disbursed to Iran when the deal with the Obama administration (and by the way, six other nations) was executed, was Iran’s money to begin with. The U.S. was merely releasing funds that it had sequestered as part of the sanctions that were imposed on Iran in order to bring them to the negotiating table.

After Cheney made her wholly dishonest claim about these funds, Earhardt failed to challenge her or to let Fox’s viewers know that she was lying. So that false information was disseminated once again to Fox’s already ignorant and ill-informed viewers. And as if that weren’t enough, Fox News later posted a video clip of the segment on Twitter that featured Cheney’s remarks, but still didn’t point out that they were false. This is typical of Fox’s practice of mangling the news so that it misrepresents reality and feeds disinformation to an audience that can’t distinguish truth from fiction anyway.

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

Heartsick: Trump Breaks His Date With Putin Until 2019, After the ‘Witch Hunt’ is Over (Huh?)

The first date went so tremendously that Donald Trump almost immediately asked dreamy Vladimir Putin out again for a rendezvous in romantic Washington, D.C. in the fall. But Trump was dissed by his crush when Putin wavered as to whether he would accept the invitation. A crestfallen Trump is now saying that he has other plans as well.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump’s National Security Advisor, and mustache ride attendant, John Bolton, made the announcement that “The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year.” A dejected Trump is now employing the famous “You can’t fire me, I quit,” method of diplomatic courtship.

However, this statement has some peculiarities that warrant additional scrutiny. First of all, this is the first use of the phrase “witch hunt” by Mr. Bolton, and maybe by any senior White House staffer other than Trump himself. Apparently they are trying to cement its use as an acceptable descriptor of legal processes.

Secondly, Trump is assuming that Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation will be ongoing at least through the end of this year. That’s a long ways from the predictions of his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has been saying that the probe would be over in a couple of weeks ever since he joined Trump’s legal team.

Finally, it is very likely that the real reason for the delay has something to do with the upcoming midterm elections. It could be embarrassing if Trump were to repeat his disastrous performance in a rematch with Putin just prior to those contests. Republicans are already considered to be in dire shape as a massive blue wave of Democratic victory is forming. Putin may have been aware of that and was subtly nudging his politically naive American stooge into rescheduling until after election day. Not that things will be any better for Trump if the GOP takes the beating that is being forecast. But they could simply pretend to forget about the summit entirely should that happen.

What’s more, if Mueller completes his investigation anytime between now and year’s end, that will throw a huge Russian boot into plans for the two authoritarian aficionados to convene. Unless, of course, wherever they wind up incarcerating Trump allows for conjugal visits.

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

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

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

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNN President Blisters State-Run TV (aka Fox News) as ‘a Pure Propaganda Machine’

Two decades ago a conservative media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a right-ring political operative (Roger Ailes) colluded to form America’s first overtly partisan news network devoted to advancing a regressive agenda that favored corporations and the wealthy. And ever since Fox News has faithfully served it’s masters, all the while pretending to be “fair and balanced” journalists.

Donald Trump Fox News

For most of that time the rest of the media sheepishly approached Fox News as just another competitor. They rarely spoke honestly about how Fox was deliberately staining the one profession explicitly cited in the Constitution. Consequently, Fox got away with a lot of brazenly biased propaganda and managed to corral America’s Deplorables into a media pen where they felt safe and secure.

So it was rather surprising to hear CNN president Jeff Zucker’s criticism of Fox at the Financial Times’ “Future of News” conference on Thursday. He nailed Fox News in a way that few media executives have in the past twenty years. While nothing he said would be a revelation to anyone who has watched the network for more than two minutes, coming from a corporate media honcho it is borderline breathtaking. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:

    Zucker said that…

  • Fox News “is really state-run TV. It is a pure propaganda machine, and I think does incredible disservice to this country.”
  • “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”
  • Fox News “has nothing on” the Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
  • “I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine.”

In addition, THR reports Zucker saying that “Fox News has changed substantially in the last two years, following the departure of late founder Roger Ailes. He described the change at the network as ‘shocking.'” However the only thing that might have changed is that in the post-Ailes era the executives at Fox were much less skilled at spewing rightist bullshit. Their deceitful machinations are more visible and sleazy. That may be what drove long-time Fox contributor Ralph Peters to quit the network that he now says he is “ashamed” to be associated with. According to THR Fox News was invited to participate in the event but declined.

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s most dedicated defender. It serves as the personnel recruiting pool for the Trump administration. Among those tapped by Trump for White House posts were Heather Nauert, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. And just today Trump announced that Fox’s John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. And even his legal team is now being stuffed with Fox News personalities, including Joseph DiGenova and, maybe his wife, Victoria Toensing.

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

CNN is not without its share of journalistic failures. They were among the news outlets that plastered the airwaves with Trump’s thoroughly un-newsworthy rallies (rants) during the campaign. And they still host Trump-fluffing flacks who are only there to further disseminate Trump’s lies. However, there has never been a presidential administration that was so rife with media shills from a single source. The only people that Trump recognizes are those he’s seen on TV. And the only TV he watches is Fox News. So after a year in office he still behaves like an intellectually shallow reality TV game show host, rather than the president that our nation needs. Hopefully he will be voted off this island soon by Robert Mueller’s team of Survivors.

Larry Kudlow is the Latest Contestant on Trump’s Reality TV Game Show Presidency

The mayhem at the White House is continuing as Donald Trump’s behavior gets ever more frantic and irrational. in the past few hours he has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the State Department’s top diplomacy aide, Steve Goldstein, and his personal assistant, John McEntee. There are rumblings from insiders that Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Veterans Administration director David Shulkin are also on the chopping block.

Fox News Trump Apprentice

As these vacancies open up, Trump will have the opportunity to name new appointees that will be better supplicants to his will. That has already played out with his nomination of current CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. And the news on Wednesday is that Trump has picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed the fired Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor.

By selecting Kudlow, Trump is continuing a pattern of bringing television personalities into his administration. Mostly they have been from Fox News and include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. Former Fox and Friends co-host, Heather Nauert, was also tapped by Trump to be the State Department spokesperson last year. And now she has already been promoted to replace Goldstein. Her entire career has been with Fox News and she has no diplomatic experience whatsoever.

The departure of Trump’s communications director, Hope Hicks, last month has set off a flurry of speculation as to who would fill her shoes. Among those being considered is Fox News co-host of The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle. She has been on deck for a Trump slot for quite a while. And another Fox and Friends host, Pete Hegseth, is reportedly being wooed to lead the Veterans Administration should Shulkin get tossed. Prior to joining Fox, Hegseth headed up a Koch brothers front group that pretended to advocate for veterans. But he has zero experience running a massive bureaucracy like the VA, nor has he ever worked in the health services field that comprises much of what the VA does.

Trump’s National Security Advisor, McMaster, is also teetering on the brink. His successor is rumored to be another Fox News contributor, John Bolton. He served in George Bush’s state department and as Ambassador to the United Nations. Consequently Bolton played a major role in the fabricated weapons of mass destruction excuses to invade Iraq, as well as in the disastrous administration of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obviously Trump is most comfortable working with TV personalities. It seems like his entire pool of possible job applicants come from the ranks of people he’s seen on Fox or other programs. His experience is so bereft of substance that he can’t possibly know anyone that has actual credentials in the jobs he needs to fill. And he wouldn’t want them anyway because they might not be photogenic. As a result, America will be burdened with shallow, unqualified amateurs running government agencies whose work affects us all. But at least they’ll look good when they sit down for softball interviews with Sean Hannity.

This is what Fox’s Laura Ingraham considers Trump “hitting his stride,” and “getting a really strong team in place.” And coincidentally, that’s exactly how Trump sees it. On Tuesday he explained to reporters that these White House shake-ups were just the normal fine tuning of personnel. “I’m really at a point,” he said, “where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” That’s after a year in office where all of his original appointments were also his choices, but apparently not what he wanted. Ironically, not having the leadership one wants is something most Americans can relate to right now.

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