Fox News Is Ramping Up Their Flagrant, Dishonest Smearing Of Hillary Clinton

This week saw Hillary Clinton become the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States, an historic achievement as the first woman to do so. She also got the endorsement of President Obama and other party leaders. These events affirm that the 2016 general election has officially commenced. And with that. Fox News is rolling out its quadrennial blitzkrieg of smears and lies aimed at all things Democrat, and specifically Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday on Fox & Friends, the Curvy Couch Potatoes latched onto an interview Clinton gave to Scott Pelley of CBS New wherein she was asked the sort of tough question that Fox insists the lamestream media never ask her:

“It’s possible that your biggest obstacle is not your opponent but yourself. Fifty-two percent of the American people who participated in our CBS news poll have an unfavorable opinion of you. That is the highest negative impression of anyone ever nominated by the Democratic party since we started asking that question in 1984. Do you bear any responsibility for that?”

The Fox Newsers then spent several minutes lambasting Clinton for her answer which they portrayed as refusing to accept any responsibility. To them it was further proof of her arrogance and dishonesty. The only problem with that is the substance of her actual answer (video).

Fox News

Oh, I’m sure I do, but I think when I was secretary of state and serving our country, I had an approval rating of 66 percent, and I think it’s fair to ask, ‘Well, what’s happened?’ And what’s happened is tens of millions of dollars of negative advertising and coverage that has been sent my way.”

So right up front Clinton explicitly acknowledged that she bore responsibility for the public’s perception of her. The fact that she went on to cite other contributing factors doesn’t diminish what she said. And the ability of the media to influence public opinion is something that conservatives are usually the first to complain about. However, that criticism of the press is apparently off-limits to Clinton. The same subject, with the same dishonest spin, was also discussed later on Fox’s Outnumbered.

Today, another Fox News distortion of reality was broadcast following a White House press briefing. Fox News told their gullible viewers that Press Secretary Josh Earnest had confirmed that the FBI probe into Clinton’s email is a “criminal” investigation.

Fox News

Once again, there is a small problem with that characterization: It isn’t remotely true. Fox was referring to this exchange between Earnest and Fox’s correspondent, James Rosen:

Rosen: So when a career prosecutor or an FBI agent who’s working on the Clinton investigation hears this President speak openly of how he wants Hillary Clinton to succeed him, you don’t think that that career prosecutor or that FBI agent takes that as some indication of how the President wants to see this case resolved?
Earnest: No. I think that those career prosecutors understand that they have a job to do, and that that job that they’re supposed to — which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion — that that is a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. And the President expects them to do that job. […] That’s why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle: that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference.

Clearly Earnest was not referring to the Clinton case in that response. He was articulating a general principle of judicial propriety that is practiced by any White House. Had he been referring to the Clinton case he would have said “this criminal investigation,” rather than “any criminal investigation.” His statement was meant to be taken more broadly as a principle, just as he described it.

What’s more, Rosen’s question was downright stupid. The notion that a president expressing support for another candidate from the same party is not exactly a revelation. If investigators were susceptible to such pressure, they wouldn’t need Obama to announce his support in order to know that he backs Clinton. That should be obvious to anyone who isn’t desperately trying to construct a dishonest narrative. So it can be assumed that the investigators were already aware of Obama’s position with regard to Clinton. If Rosen had evidence that they had any bias toward Clinton, he would have presented it. Instead, he just floated some wild conspiracy theories. And even after that, Fox still felt they needed to lie about the answer given by Earnest.

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

Expect much more of this to come as the campaign proceeds toward November. Fox knows that all they have is lies and they will pour them out by the buckets full for the next four months. This says something about the dearth of negative information held by Fox. If they had anything truthful with which to skewer Clinton, they wouldn’t have to lie so badly or so frequently.

Loyalty Loath: The GOP Pledge Of Allegiance Goes Up In Flames

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June of last year it was widely speculated that he would ditch the Republican Party if it failed to give him the party crown to which he feels entitled. That controversy caused the GOP to insist that all candidates sign a “loyalty oath” if they wanted to participate in party sanctioned debates or even get on the primary ballot in some states. The pledge required the candidates to promise allegiance to the party and its eventual nominee and to forswear any future attempt to go independent. It also commenced a roller-coaster ride of concessions and threats by an unstable megalomaniac whose word is worth less than a diploma from Trump University.

Donald Trump

It’s difficult understand how Trump could endorse other Republicans that he has already disparaged as weak, incompetent, corrupt, ugly losers, but then they all have that problem. Nevertheless, under pressure from the party, Trump signed the pledge and tweeted how proud he was of the commitment. He further stated that “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party,” and that “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.”

You’ll never guess what happened next. Just two and a half months later Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week and was asked whether he still intended to honor his pledge. He responded that “I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly.” Of course Trump’s idea of fair treatment is when everybody stoops to kiss his wrinkled butt. Consequently, anyone who relies on his pledge is asking to be bitch-slapped by the wannabe tyrant who invents his own exceptions to signed contracts. A few days later, Trump’s attorney offered a medieval-flavored affirmation of his threat to bolt the party saying “woe be on them,” who treat The Donald unfairly.

Trump’s vacillation on party allegiance was not matched by his opponents who continued to assert their loyalty. If anyone had justification for abandoning a Trump candidacy, it was the victims of his campaign abuse. What’s more, the disintegration of Trump’s campaign into a neo-fascist movement was all too apparent and did not go unnoticed. President Obama’s press Secretary, Josh Earnest, commented on it after Trump proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. He said that such a blatantly unconstitutional plan “disqualifies him from being president. And for Republican candidates to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.” Well, not to Republicans.

Trump was asked again during CNN’s GOP debate in December if he was “ready to assure Republicans tonight that you will run as a Republican and abide by the decision of the Republicans?” He answered “I really am. I’ll be honest, I really am.” Oh – so this time he’s being honest (allegedly). Since Trump has already made a public statement that he could renege on the written pledge that he signed, why would anyone trust that he would keep any promises made on a debate stage?

And you’ll never guess what happened next – again. In the midst of an unhinged tirade against Ted Cruz, who Trump accused of using negatively slanted push polls against him in South Carolina, Trump unleashed a flurry of threats to challenge Cruz’s eligibility to run for president with a lawsuit based on the fact that he was born in Canada. And attached to those threats was one aimed at the Republican National Committee warning that “the RNC should intervene and if they don’t they are in default of their pledge to me,” thus, once again, opening the path to his own renunciation of the pledge.

Following the CBS GOP debate in South Carolina, Trump escalated the un-pledging rhetoric with more complaints about the RNC that he said “does a terrible job.” He threw another of his patented tantrums alleging that the party was conspiring against him and that “they’re in default of their pledge.” And yet, the charade that the loyalty pledge remained in effect continued to be played out. Until now.

At a CNN town hall event in Wisconsin yesterday, Anderson Cooper asked Trump outright if he still stood by the pledge. His answer this time was an unequivocal “No, I don’t.” To be fair, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have indicated that they were also wavering on backing the GOP nominee depending on who it was, a thinly veiled inference that a Trump candidacy would be disavowed.

So now it appears that the entire field of Republican candidates has abandoned the pledge they made such a big deal about signing six months ago. It was a farce from the beginning designed to reign in Trump, which never worked, and now it is crumpled up in the trash along with the GOP’s principles and prospects for a November victory. Among the questions that linger are whether the pledge’s demise means that Trump is again considering a third party run. That would be the ultimate F.U. to the Republican Party that Trump is convinced is his enemy, but it would also bring joy to the Democratic Party.

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

An easier solution, however, is one that I proposed last December. Just let the crybaby Trump have his GOP nomination and then the rest of the party could leave and start a new club minus Trump and his racist, idiot brigade of Storm-Trumpers. Now THAT’S entertainment. It’s a solution that the reality TV celebrity candidate and the ratings hungry news networks could both embrace.

Donald Trump Says He Is Not Bothered By Comparisons To Hitler. Is The GOP?

It had to come to this. Donald Trump’s affinity for Nazis was always just beneath the diseased skin of his repulsive rhetoric. Now, after months of promulgating brazenly racist views, advocating policies that are indistinguishable from those of history’s fascists, and promising to commit war crimes if elected, will anybody be surprised by it bubbling to the surface? Trump’s true face was exposed today when he was asked a simple question on Good Morning America:

George Stephanopoulos: You’re increasingly compared to Hitler. Does that bother you?
Donald Trump: No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.

Donald Trump

So there you have it. Donald Trump is not bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler. And why should he be? He has been running on the platform of the Nazi Party since he announced his candidacy. What’s more, he justifies his comfort with the association by positively referencing the Japanese internment camps built during the FDR administration, which are universally condemned as one of America’s most shameful actions.

When asked about those concentration camps by Michael Scherer of Time, Trump refused to say he would have opposed them. Instead, he said that he “would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer.” The rest of the civilized world doesn’t need to be there to know that it was a horrific violation of human rights. Would Trump have had to be there during slavery to give a proper answer?

Trump’s fascist tendencies are apparent in his signature issue, a border wall to keep out those inferior foreigners. And he goes even further by suggesting that foreigners already in the country be rounded up, herded into boxcars, and deported using the deadly model from the 1950’s charmingly called Operation Wetback.” He wants to create a database of American citizens based on their religion and require Muslims to wear identifying badges. He uses the media (mostly, but not exclusively, Fox News) to stir up irrational fears based on an ever-expanding catalog of lies (See the Trump Bullshitopedia). And, sadly, the media sheepishly complies with his campaign of propaganda.

The question now is: Where does the Republican Party go from here? With an avowed fascist currently leading their primary for president, the GOP has to decide which side they’re on. They simply cannot abide a candidate espousing Third Reich doctrine and expect to be taken seriously. Some of the other GOP contenders have distanced themselves from Trump’s most recent comments, and RNC chairman Reince Priebus even made a public statement of disapproval, an almost unheard of move for a party boss.

But that’s hardly enough. Earlier this year the Republican Party made all their candidates sign loyalty oaths promising to support the Party’s nominee regardless of who it is. But given the grotesque course of Trump’s campaign, that would mean pledging to support America’s foremost fascist. Anyone who honors a pledge to support Herr Trump for president is unfit for public service in a free nation. This sentiment was boldly expressed today by President Obama’s press Secretary, Josh Earnest (video below) who said that Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims…

“…disqualifies him from being president. And for Republican candidates to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.”

So far, none of the other GOP candidates has had the integrity (guts?) to publicly declare that they would not support Trump if he is the nominee. That is partly due to their innate cowardice, as they do not want to alienate Trump’s current constituency of fascist-friendly voters. Why they want those voters in their corner is a sick mystery. But a part of it is also due to their fear that Trump might ditch the GOP and run as a Third (Reich) Party candidate. A recent poll shows that 68% of his glassy-eyed disciples would vote for him were he to run as an independent. And Trump is reminding his Republican pals of this in his twitter feed.

So Trump is wrapping his GOP peers around his middle finger. But how much sway does he really have? He can’t possibly win as an independent. While more than two-thirds is a significant chunk of his base, it is a tiny slice of the electorate. Do the math: About 30% of the American people identify as Republican. Trump has about 30% support within the Republican Party. So that’s about 9% of the population at large. Those who would follow him to a third party reduces that by 30%. So Trump would get a measly 6% of the national vote from Republicans, plus whatever independents and Democrats would crossover. In short, he would lose in a landslide.

The problem for the GOP is that, in a close race, that 6% could swing the election to the Democrat. And that’s why Republicans are running scared and failing to show the character to renounce Trump. However, if they don’t renounce Trump they are doing serious damage to their reputation which could cost them more than 6% come November. So the only course of action for them is to have some intestinal fortitude and do the right thing. They need to modify their loyalty oath to exclude Trump from among those whom they would support as the GOP nominee. This shouldn’t be that hard for them because Trump has already hinted that he is ready to violate the pledge.

If Trump acts first and bolts the Party they can’t ever regain the dignity that would come by having kicked him out. But if they move first they can at least brag that they held to their principles and turned their backs on fascism (at least Trump’s brand of it). But they better move fast. Trump is just unpredictable (and egotistical) enough to make a surprise announcement before anyone expects it. And since the GOP has little to lose, they would be smart to cast him out now. Unfortunately for them, they may not be that smart. Of course, that would be quite fortunate for the Democrats.

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

[Update:] Donald Trump continues his Anti-American Crusade: “These are people that are outside the country, so we’re really not talking about the Constitution. And it’s not about religion. This is about safety.” In other words, in pursuit of his warped idea of safety he would scrap the Constitution.

Idiot Wingnutisms: Obama Shifts To Gun Control To Distract From Refugee Backlash

In the world of right wing media, there is an enduring contest to see who can construct the most asinine analyses of current events. It’s a fierce competition that is characterized by truly gifted producers of utter bullcrap. However, one name that is consistently in contention for the gold is Breitbart News, the journalistic equivalent of virtual fish wrapping.

Idiot Wingnutisms

In another masterpiece of moronic reporting, Breitbart posted an article that sought to reveal the underhanded inner workings of the Obama administration. They sensed a deep-seated deception that upon discovery would unmask the secret intentions of the gay, Kenyan, Muslim, usurper occupying the White House. And with a bold stroke of unashamed stupidity they declared that: “White House Shifts To Gun Control To Distract From Refugee Backlash.” The first paragraph began…

“On November 23 the White House focused on gun control as a means of shifting attention away from President Obama’s contentious push for Syrian refugees.”

Well of course they did! It is just the sort of thing that this administration would do. When they are confronted with a controversial issue that is consuming massive amounts of energy, they deftly deflect by injecting an alternative issue into the debate that is broadly agreeable and not the least bit contentious. Like gun control. That’s right, the Breitbrats think that Obama is avoiding controversy by suddenly raising the feel-good issue of gun control.

But that’s not the only high grade crackpottery in their article. They go on to criticize White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for “jabbing at Republicans” who just blocked legislation to prohibit people on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns. The Breitbrats complain that…

“Lost on Earnest is the fact that gun control in France is far more restrictive than in the US, yet it proved impotent to halt the slaughter of 130 people and the wounding of hundreds more.”

Lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that the less restrictive gun laws in the U.S. proved impotent to halt the slaughter of more than 33,000 Americans by guns every year and the wounding of tens of thousands more. [For comparison, France has about 35 gun homicides a year. On a homicides per 100,000 people, the U.S. rate is sixteen times higher than France] Also lost on the Breitbrats is the fact that civilians with guns have never once prevented an act of terrorism or mass shooting in the U.S.

The article went on to assert that “Earnest was on a mission to distract,” which they believed was why he brought up the matter of suspected terrorists having access to guns, rather than because the fact that suspected terrorists having access to guns is freaking insane. But this tactic of accusing Obama of employing distractions when he wants to change the subject is nothing new. Wingnuts have been using it for years. For example, they were sure they’d uncovered a whole slew of alleged distractions from ObamaCare.

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

Pretty much any time Obama brings up any subject, the paranoids on the right are certain that it’s an attempt to distract from something else. Never mind that it is always something that has been a core part of his agenda. That is certainly the case for gun safety reforms. He didn’t just latch onto this issue in a fit of desperation to misdirect America’s attention from Syrian refugees. They are both critical matters and, unlike his critics, this president is capable of managing more than one crisis at a time.

Shepard Smith Owes Obama’s Press Secretary “Every Penny He Will Ever Make” At Fox News

The military operation executed last night against ISIL in Syria surprised many in the nation and the media by its timing and force. However, there was another consequence of the mission that will have an impact on a much smaller scale, except for those involved.

Fox News

For more flubs and follies from Fox News…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest just became a very rich man. Last week he was interviewed on Fox News by Shepard Smith (video below) about the coalition that President Obama was building to “degrade and destroy” the terrorist organization ISIL. In the course of their discussion they had this exchange that included a very specific challenge from Smith to Earnest in the form of a wager:

Earnest: We are going to have Muslim majority countries, Muslim led countries, as part of this coalition. This is not going to be the United States against ISIL. This will be the international community, including the Muslim world, against these extremists.

Smith: Like Saudi Arabia’s going to have some boots over there, or Jordan.

Earnest: Well, I will let the individual members of the coalition announce the commitments that they’re prepared to make.

Smith: There will be no commitment from those two. On this I will bet every penny I will ever make at this network.

Earnest: That’s a substantial bet.

Smith: It is a big bet, and it is a good bet, because it’s not going to happen and the whole world knows it.

Of course the whole world now knows that the United States led a series of airstrikes last night in Syria against ISIL and other terrorist operations. The mission was conducted with substantial participation from neighboring Muslim nations. According to the Pentagon

“U.S. military forces and partner nations, including Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight.”

So the question is: How and when will Smith pay up? Will he even acknowledge the debt he owes or his horribly off-base prediction? At the very least he should apologize to Earnest, as well as to his viewers for misinforming them.

The smug and mocking tone Smith used when challenging Earnest only exacerbates his pitiful analysis of the situation. However, he proved that he fits right in on the network that gets everything else wrong, particularly when it comes to reporting on anything this president is doing, plans to do, or has done.

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Tweets That Are Not By The President Are Not By The President

It takes a remarkably obstinate personality to insist on a position even after acknowledging that the position is false. But that’s precisely what the editors at Fox Nation did when they reported on an exchange between Jonathan Karl of ABC News and Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary.

Fox Nation vs. Reality

For more blatant lies from the Fox Nationalists…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

At yesterday’s daily press briefing, Karl sought to determine whether President Obama was responsible for, or aware of, a tweet that was posted by Organizing for America [OFA], a political enterprise that was spun off of the Obama campaign for the presidency. In his preface to the question he appeared to already know the answer, but persisted with his contrived query anyway.

Karl: The President’s tweets – those tweets that go out @BarackObama – I understand those that aren’t signed “BO” aren’t directly written by him. Does he even read the others, does he know they’re going out? Are they reviewed by senior people at the White House or is that just simply OFA doing something on his behalf?
Earnest: The @BarackObama Twitter handle is maintained by OFA. That is the political organization that was the offshoot of the campaign, and that is a Twitter handle that is maintained independent of the White House.

That’s about as clear as it can be said. OFA is an independent operation that is not run through the White House. Neither the President, nor his staff, is responsible for what it posts, unless explicitly signed by the President. Yet somehow the editors at Fox Nation plastered a headline atop this story that falsely states “White House Not Sure If Obama Aware of His Own Tweets.”

The severity of the cognitive disconnect here is magnified by the fact that the video they themselves attached to the story contradicts their own headline. So how can they post a video that declares in absolute terms that these are not the President’s tweets, and still call them his tweets in bold type? Simple. They’re shameless liars. What’s more, the source for the story is the disreputable, GOP-run, Koch brothers affiliated, phony news service, the Washington Free Beacon. They are a brazenly biased organization for whom spreading lies is an integral part of their mission. With deception and disinformation being such an important facet of these operations, you would think that they would be better at it.

The article went on to further discuss the content of the tweet despite having already established that the President had nothing to do with it. In the process, the White House was able to reinforce their position in opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that elevated the rights of a corporation’s religious beliefs over those of the human beings who work for the corporation.

Karl: The tweet I’m gonna ask you about is after the Hobby Lobby decision, it’s a “Throwback Thursday” tweet: “Throwback to last week when a woman—not her boss—made her own decisions about her health care.” Does the president believe that because of the Hobby Lobby decision, women are not allowed to make their own decisions about their health care unless they consult with their boss?
Earnest: That is certainly true of women in some cases, and that’s the concern that this administration has. That the consequence of the Supreme Court ruling is that it will allow bosses to interfere with what the President believes should be the freedom any woman has to make her own decisions about her health care.

While Earnest handily disposed of the clumsy and argumentative question by a reporter who has repeatedly demonstrated his political prejudices, the truly pathetic part of this is the manner in which it was framed by the Fox Nationalists and their pals at the Free Beacon. These folks should try to comprehend the stories they cover before making fools of themselves by authoring articles that are contradicted by the story’s content.