HEY FOX NEWS: Opposing Trump’s Derangement Is Not Support for Iran’s Terrorism

The debate over Donald Trump’s order to assassinate a top Iranian military commander is beginning to take on the familiar tones of the Bush administration’s dishonest and unlawful invasion of Iraq nearly twenty years ago. Following the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani there has arisen a cry from the Trump camp for an unquestioning embrace of the mission that still has not been justified or defined.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq was rooted in deliberate falsehoods about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. His national security team would not provide any proof of the claim, but insisted that the American people get on board and support the President on blind trust. Bush famously admonished rational skeptics that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

This is precisely how the Trump administration is framing its assault on Soleimani and his subsequent threats against Iran. Those threats include outright declarations of Trump’s intention to commit war crimes by targeting “cultural sites” with “disproportionate” force. And Trump is getting plenty of help from his State TV Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. The memo must have gone out over the weekend to portray all of Trump’s critics as unpatriotic and supporters of Iranian terrorism.

That, of course, could not be farther from the truth. It is not only possible, but necessary for free thinkers to raise questions about Trump’s actions. After all, he has refused to provide any evidence of his implausible contention that Iran was plotting attacks on the United States. And his resume of flagrant lying about all things great and small make him wholly unbelievable as a source for anything more significant than the weather (and he has blatantly lied about that as well).

That, however, isn’t what you’ll from Fox as their sycophantic shills campaign to canonize the Liar-in-Chief. It was evident early on with Trump’s favorite morning program, Fox and Friends, where co-host Ainsley Earhardt engaged in friendly banter with co-host Steve Doocy and squealed giddily that…

Earhardt: I find it so interesting that people are critical of the president’s decisions, of our intelligence community’s decisions, our general’s decisions.
Doocy: They want details.
Earhardt: Well, they can’t have it. They can’t have it. Everything can’t be made public.

That’s an astonishing commentary from the folks who have been lambasting the intelligence community as dishonest and corrupt and anti-Trump “Deep State” traitors, for the past three years. Nor have they been especially respectful of generals, three of whom Trump has fired from senior White House posts, while maligning them fools and insisting that he knows more than all of them.

Earhardt is also arguing that Trump should be permitted to withhold the intelligence that would justify his actions. That’s a bizarre position from someone supposedly in the “news” business whose job is to investigate and report on the government and the politicians who occupy it. Not that there have ever been any actual reporters on Fox News. They are there for one purpose only: to advance the propaganda of the Trump administration and, more broadly, the conservative agenda.

The notion that the media should accept and defend Trump’s secrecy was further articulated later in the day on Fox by commentator Katie Pavlich. During a debate with Democratic consultant Richard Fowler, who argued that the American people should be shown the intelligence that informed Trump’s decision, Pavlich shot back, “You’re not entitled to seeing it because people like you don’t believe in intelligence.”

Once again, this is coming from someone who has been a staunch critic of the intelligence community for years. And she’s directing this thinly veiled personal insult at “people like” Fowler, whose support for America’s intelligence agencies is well documented. What’s more, it’s absurd to suggest that disagreeing with Trump is also disagreeing with the intelligence community. There is absolutely zero evidence that intelligence was the basis for anything that Trump has done. If it was, there is surely some portion of it that he could make public.

The gist of the Fox News position is that anyone who doesn’t devotedly follow Trump and blindly believe whatever he says without question, is unpatriotic. They contend that requiring Trump to explain himself and his decisions is tantamount to sacrilege. They fail to comprehend that true patriotism requires politicians to continually justify themselves, particularly if they are known to be pathological liars.

Americans are not supposed to be regarded as, or treated like, sheep led by aspiring dictators who cannot be challenged or questioned. But according to the Fox Doctrine, Trump must be worshiped as a prophet sent by God to lead the nation into a dystopian future. That’s not how America works. Even if Trump’s lackeys appear on Fox and accuse his critics of “hero worship” of Soleimani, simply because they won’t submit to Trump’s holy version of reality. Which is what Kellyanne Conway did this morning:

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

Lying Fox News Host Lies that Trump Has Never Lied to the American People

The mission of Fox News from its inception was to advance the goals of the nationalist right-wing and the Republican Party. But when Donald Trump came along they transformed noticeably into a State TV propaganda outlet devoted single-mindedly to this president and his hostile and demented ravings. Virtually every program lavishes praise on Trump and viciously maligns his critics.

Fox News, Donald Trump

What’s worse, is that there is no lie that is beneath the already sunken principles of Fox News. They are taking their cues from a president who has already told more than 12,000 lies since his inauguration. The legacy of the Trump presidency (contrary to his delusional hopes) will surely include this historically depraved achievement, along with caging babies and being a puppet for Vladimir Putin.

As if to to emphasize the enthusiasm Fox News has for lying about Trump, one of his favorite Fox hosts, Stuart Varney, conducted a dumbfounding interview with conservative Republican Joe Walsh who is challenging Trump for the GOP nomination for president. Walsh is hardly a pristine representative of political ethics, but in this segment (video below) of Varney’s program he shines with uncharacteristic virtue, and makes Varney look like a flaccid Trump sycophant and cult follower.

Walsh began by correctly observing that “We’ve never had a situation like this where we have a president that we fundamentally cannot believe.” A surprisingly skeptical Varney asked Walsh for an example. That was his first mistake. Walsh quickly provided an example from just the day before when Trump’s own staff admitted that Trump lied at the G7 summit when he said that he held high level phone calls with China about tariffs. Walsh’s example led to this bizarre exchange and ludicrous denial:

Varney: That’s not a lie. Let’s not get technical. If the man said – and he did – that high level talks had been held with China, that is not a lie. They were held with China.
Walsh: Stuart, he said there were high level phone calls with Chinese officials. His staff admitted that was not true, that he lied in order to manipulate the market.
Varney: Okay, give me another one.
Walsh: Stuart, you really don’t believe that that’s a lie?
Varney: No I don’t.

It is impossible to have a coherent discussion with someone who hears a flagrant falsehood, but denies what he just heard and tries to move past it in complete blindness. Varney simply accepts whatever Trump says as the truth, even if his own staff says that it isn’t. This isn’t political loyalty. It’s cult worship. And it continued further as the interview progressed:

Walsh: Do you believe this president lies?
Varney: No.
Walsh: You don’t believed he’s ever lied?
Varney: He exaggerates and spins.
Walsh: Okay, do you believe he’s ever told the American people a lie?
Varney: No.

Walsh finally gave up in exasperation as he realized that Varney’s doctrinal programming was impenetrable. He has clearly adopted the first order of a cult: Believe only the Leader. Everyone else is lying. And this isn’t even the first time this week that a Trump shill has claimed that Trump never utters anything less than the God’s honest truth. On CNN Chris Cuomo interviewed Trump’s 2020 campaign Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She also insisted that Trump has never ever told a lie. Trump’s new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said that she doesn’t think his lies are lies. This is all reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts,” And Rudy Giuliani’s Truth isn’t truth.”

No rational person could ever assert that Trump has never told a lie. Trump has lied about things big and small. He’s lied about tariffs being paid by China; about his polling; about the size of his crowds; about Obama; about the environment; about the border wall; and always about the news being fake. But Trump’s disciples regard him as a messiah who is an infallible manifestation of perfection. Which is precisely how Trump regards himself, having recently declared that he is The Chosen One.” And sadly, his Deplorables believe that too.

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

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

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

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

False Equivalencies: Trump Tries to Smear Others with His Rancid and Inflammatory Rhetoric

In the wake of multiple episodes of horrific gun violence over the weekend. Donald Trump has scrambled to find, not solutions, but shelter from the well-deserved criticism crashing over him like a tsunami. His defenders in politics and punditry deployed in formation to praise their infallible Dear Leader and smear those who dared to question his radiant presence.

Donald Trump

Leading the charge was Cadet Bone Spurs himself. He posted a tweet that sought to deflect from his deliberately hostile language that incited the El Paso shooter. And he drew support from Fox News by quoting the Trump-fluffers on Fox and Friends who asked “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook?”

Well, no. President Bush never did that. But that’s only because Obama never did or said anything that could remotely be interpreted as incitement to commit any violent act. Trump, on the other hand, does that nearly every day. And this was typical of the charges that have been levied against anyone who sees a rational connection between Trump’s tirades and the murderers who take up his call to arms. Among the StormTrumpers attempting to shield him from censure is his Senior Alternative Fact Dispenser, Kellyanne Conway, who has had just about enough:

“I’m hopping mad this morning because I see very little, scant coverage of the fact that this Dayton shooter has been confirmed as having a Twitter feed that was supportive of Antifa, that was supportive of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders.”

First of all, the Twitter account in question has not yet been confirmed as belonging to the Dayton shooter. But more to the point, there has been significant of coverage of this Twitter feed by every major news outlet, including Trump’s nemesis, CNN.

However, the budding narrative that Sen. Warren, or any other Democrat, should bear any responsibility for the shooting is absurd. It’s proof that the right has exhausted any substantive arguments they might have had to defend Trump, so they’re resorting to this lunacy. Trump’s inspiration for the El Paso shooter is evident in his own words and deeds. He has called immigrants “criminals” and ‘rapists.” He leads his cult rallygoers in chants telling elected representatives – women of color who are American citizens – to “go back” to where they came from. He refers to refugees as “invaders.” And the writings of the shooter explicitly refer to Trump as an inspiration. But none of that is the case for the Dayton shooter and any connection to any liberal politician or media personnel.

The Republican rightists have also tried to compare murders in Chicago or Baltimore to the mass shootings in El Paso. That is another blatantly false equivalency that ignores reality. The Chicago area crimes are generally gang-related and inspired only by rivalry and/or greed. But the El Paso shootings are acts of terrorism with specific goals to invoke fear as a weapon to make social change. What’s more, local officials and law enforcement work vigorously to reduce the incidents of violence in their communities and to enact reforms when available. But the Republicans in Congress have spent decades obstructing any efforts to reduce the incidence of domestic terrorism by white nationalists.

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

These efforts by Trump and his media mouthpieces to introduce bogus comparisons between obviously disparate crimes are evidence of their callous disregard for the truth and for finding real solutions. It’s proof that Trump’s call for unity is an insincere charade intended only for media consumption. And until they can take responsibility for their words and actions, and renounce the inflammatory rhetoric that they have used so often, it will be impossible to take their pleas for bipartisanship seriously.

Fox News and Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Equate U.S. Media to Russian Election Tampering

The 2020 presidential election is approaching rapidly. And despite the problems with the 2016 election, Republicans are doing nothing to prevent Russia – or any other hostile foreign entity – from repeating efforts to interfere with America’s democracy. To the contrary, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell just blocked two bipartisan bills intended to protect the election. They are actually aiding and abetting the nefarious efforts of our enemies.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

It’s no wonder that the GOP is working on behalf of Russia. The Kremlin helped secure the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, and Republicans are well aware that they are unlikely to win in 2020 without more of that help. So the campaign is on by the Trump administration to pave the way for continued hacking and tampering in the upcoming election. He has decimated the Justice Department’s counterintelligence operations. He has installed hyper-loyal allies in critical White House posts. And, as usual, he is attacking the free press in order to keep the American people from learning the truth about his conspiracies with his BFF Vladimir Putin.

On Monday morning, Trump’s Senior Counselor and Chief Alternative Facts Dispenser, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. And she wasted no time in declaring that the American media is no different than Russian spies when it comes to to meddling in U.S. elections (video below):

“This President is very concerned about foreign interference in elections. We don’t want Russia to interfere. We don’t want China. But you know what? We also don’t want the mainstream media to interfere in the elections this time either, like they tried to do last time. Get your thumb off the electoral scale. Let people fight it out fairly and squarely.”

Conway’s message was clear: American journalists are unpatriotic agents of evil who are intent on destroying democracy. They are to be feared and, if necessary, silenced to prevent them from engaging in their anti-American plots. Conway regards the collection and dissemination of news to be a dangerous pursuit that must be shut down.

And why wouldn’t she think that? The more we find out about Trump and his unlawful activities throughout his campaign and presidency, as well as his efforts to obstruct justice with lies and failures to cooperate, the closer he is to impeachment and possible incarceration. So while Trump is repeatedly referring to the free press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” his designated mouthpieces are equating reporters with Russian spies.

What Conway and her boss are really afraid of is that the American people will discover the depths of criminality to which Trump and company have sunk. They aren’t concerned about the media putting their thumb on the electoral scale. They are concerned that their own thumbs aren’t pushing down hard enough. What does she think Fox News is doing all day and night with their obsequious fawning over Trump and disparaging of anyone who offers the slightest criticism.

Trump was exposed in the recent congressional hearings with Robert Mueller for “welcoming and encouraging” election help from Russia, as well as lying to cover it up. And he’s getting ready to do it again. Why not? There have, as yet, been no consequences for his prior crimes. He’s even so brazen about it that he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that he would not refuse help from Russia in future campaigns. How is that not treason?

All of this has been excused by State TV (aka Fox News), who seem to have no issues with the President revealing in advance his intention to commit crimes. This makes Fox News complicit with those crimes. This flagrantly biased Trump-fluffing by Fox should be considered in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign and monitored by the Federal Elections Commission. And Conway, who has her own legal problems for repeatedly campaigning in the course of her official duties (a violation of the Hatch Act), should be serving in the Big House, not 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.

On Fox News Kellyanne Conway Calls Democrats a ‘Dark Underbelly’ Who ‘Pal Around with Terrorists’

The obvious and nauseating bigotry of Donald Trump has been erupting like a flaming volcano of racism for several days now. The latest Vesuvial blast began with Trump’s heinous demands that a group of four congressional women of color should “go back” to where they came from. Never mind that they are all U.S. citizens, three of whom were born here. He further disparaged these elected representatives and proud Americans as communists who hate the country.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

On Tuesday morning Trump responded to the near unanimous condemnation of his hate speech by unleashing one of his typical tweetstorms, doubling down on his abhorrent “love it or leave it” diatribe. He posted seven tweets on this subject alone, exposing how desperately afraid he is and driven to malign anyone who dares to criticize him. He even whined about a proposed bill of censure in congress to denounce his loathsome remarks.

Remember, this is a President who, when asked if he was concerned that white nationalists find common cause with his comments, he replied, “It doesn’t concern me at all because many people agree with me.” He’s right. A lot of white nationalists do agree with him. They are, in fact, his base.

Also on Tuesday morning Trump’s Senior White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, managed to make matters even worse. She was “interviewed” on Fox News (video below) where she performed her famous filibuster routine, refusing to allow even the friendly Trump-fluffers of Fox to get a word in. And in this harangue, Conway let loose some more racist dog whistles to earn the affection of Trump and his Deplorables. Referring to the four Democratic women known as “The Squad,” Conway said that…

“They represent a dark underbelly in this country […] We’re tired of some of these women palling around with terrorists.”

The audacity of these people is shocking. Conway had no reservations whatsoever about highlighting the “darkness” of the critics she was so intent on vilifying and dehumanizing. And her reckless accusation of an imaginary terrorist affiliation is the sort of thing generally reserved for fascist propagandists. It is also a retread of Sarah Palin’s slanderous yelping at President Obama. The Fox News hosts didn’t react or follow up on these sick statements at all. Of course, Trump said much the same thing yesterday when he explicitly – and falsely – asserted that Rep. Ilhan Omar expressed pro-Al Qaeda sentiments. But Conway wasn’t finished with her crusade of defamation. She defended Trump’s racist tweet tantrum saying that…

“The President explained what he meant by those. The President explained that if you don’t like it here get out. That, by the way, goes way beyond these four people. That goes to everybody who’s tearing down the American flag and putting up the Mexican flag.”

How does that make anything better? Conway merely expanded the scope of her racism to include even more people. And she did it with a straw man argument that has no basis in reality. None of the Democrats she and Trump have been attacking have ever torn down an American flag or replaced it with any other. She fundamentally misunderstands the principle that dissent is patriotic in a healthy democracy. Trump also doesn’t get it, even though his past is one of unrelenting dissent and disparagement of America. He even called it a “Hell Hole” during his campaign.

Kellyanne might learn something from her husband George Conway, who wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post aptly titled “Trump is a Racist President.” But it is totally implausible that she would grasp the insight her husband is offering. Nevertheless, Conway did hit on a moment of truth during this segment when she complained that “People are analogizing a red hat to a swastika.” However, she utterly missed the fact that this analogy is only being put forth because of how accurate it is.

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

Trump is STILL Colluding With Russia (and Fox News) to Deny Putin’s Election Interference

It’s been four days since the Mueller Report has NOT been released – only the four page cover up by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. In that short span of time the right-wing media has been furiously crafting a brazenly false narrative that imagines that Donald Trump was exonerated even though Barr’s letter explicitly denies it and the American people don’t buy it.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Included in the campaign to vindicate from Trump are demands that the media apologize for accurately reporting about Trump’s crime-riddled administration. Which is ironic since it’s Trump who should be apologizing to special counsel Robert Mueller. For more than two years Trump has engaged in reckless character assassination, accusing Mueller of being a corrupt, dishonest partisan on an illegal witch hunt.

What’s more, the media’s MAGA Martinets are also calling for the President to actually escalate his war against the First Amendment. And perhaps the new king of anti-free press hysterics is the Fox News host of their alleged business channel, Stuart Varney went on an extended rant (video below) that proved nothing except for how valuable psychoactive pharmaceuticals could be if certain unhinged TV yakkers were taking them. Varney began his tirade by saying that:

“Now is the time for a presidential counterpunch. President Trump is good at this. Have a go at him and he’ll come right back at you, big time. Now is the time to counterpunch the media. For two years they’ve let their hatred show. I used to soften that word and say they have contempt for the President. No no, they hate him.”

Isn’t “contempt” actually strong than “hate”? And does Varney really believe that Trump hasn’t already been punching at the press with his Stalinist-inspired denunciations of it as “the enemy of the people” and “the opposition party”? He continued:

“For two years they’ve indulged in a orgy of hatred that colored absolutely everything. For two years they preened themselves, assuming the moral high ground. They’re the elite. They’re above the rest of us. They told us the President of the United States was a Russian agent. They told us he was a traitor. They breathlessly reported the most outrageous statements. They gave themselves prizes. Listen to this. It’s from the Pulitzer Prize awarded jointly to the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’ll read it.”

“For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”

Varney then mocked this tribute as referring to leaks to the press by former FBI director James Comey, and the false allegations against Hillary Clinton for allegedly funding the infamous Steele dossier. What’s peculiar about this is that Varney is attacking the Pulitzer awards for their recognition of reporting on the “Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election,” not the accusations that Trump and his criminal associates conspired with Russia.

Russia’s efforts to illegally influence our election have been documented and affirmed by everyone from the U.S. Intelligence community to the Mueller report, according to Attorney General Barr. But this rabid rundown by Varney is denying that the election interference ever occurred. And Trump posted this video on his Twitter feed. Which can only mean that he is, once again, denying Russia’s involvement in tampering with the election. In that way Trump is still colluding with Russia by taking their side, absolving them of guilt, and making it easier for them repeat their crimes in 2020. Vladimir Putin must be ecstatic.

And Varney wasn’t through. He wrapped up this atrocious gift to our enemies in the Kremlin by lavishing adoring praise on Trump and lashing out again at the media:

“The counterpunch has already started. Good! The Trump campaign has sent a letter to news outlets telling them to employ quote ‘basic journalistic standards’ when booking guests who have made outlandish and false claims. Way to go Mr. President.”

For the record, that letter to TV news outlets was pretty funny. It called on them to refuse to book any guests who had proven themselves to be repeated and unrepentant liars. It singled out politicians like like Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Adam Schiff. But it more accurately described people like Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose absence from the airwaves would make them decidedly more trustworthy.

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

HAH! Trump Campaign Memo Makes Strong Case for Banning Lying Trump Surrogates from TV

It’s was just two days ago that special counsel Robert Mueller completed his investigation of Donald Trump and the nefarious connections to Russia by the President and his close associates. And it’s been less than twenty-four hours since Attorney General William Barr released his deliberately distorted letter that misrepresented even the few sentence fragments from Mueller’s report that Barr bothered to cite.

Donald Trump

However, that was plenty of time for the Republican Political Machine to contrive their propaganda offensive and to craft a brazenly false narrative that Trump has been exonerated and that his critics are witch hunting liars. The project they rushed to implement included a bizarre memo from Tim Murtaugh, the Director of Communications for Trump’s 2020 campaign. Murtaugh’s memo echoed what most of the GOP Surrogate Squad has been saying: Barr’s letter is “a total and complete vindication of President Donald Trump.” Of course, Mueller’s actually words dispute that. He literally wrote that his report “does not exonerate” Trump, at least with regard to obstruction of justice.

The rest of the memo consisted primarily of a list of Democrats who made truthful statements about Trump and Russia. They included Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Eric Swalwell, DNC Chair Tom Perez, and former CIA Director John Brennan. Each of them correctly noted that there is abundant evidence that Trump did in fact conspire with Russians to advance his election prospects. Murtaugh sent the memo to TV producers in an effort to poison the media trough by baselessly accusing the Democrats of lying.

Notice that the only argument that Murtaugh makes to support his allegations is what Barr wrote in his highly partisan interpretation of the Mueller report, which he has so far refused to make public. And on the basis of that he asks TV bookers to reconsider inviting Democratic guests for interviews. It’s a familiar dictators’ ploy to silence their opponents by starving them of media exposure. But perhaps the most ludicrous paragraph in the Murtaugh memo was the question that he proposed for TV bookers to ask themselves:

“Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past.”

That’s a darn good question. The only problem for Trump’s whiny comms director is that if the media takes his advice, and uses that criteria for future bookings, it would be the end of all television appearances for Trump’s senior counsel Kellyanne Conway, his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, his campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, his son Don Jr., and pretty much anyone else who works for Trump. They are a team of recidivist liars who, when they aren’t mangling the truth, are feverishly trying to deflect and divert from the topic at hand. And of course, Trump’s record breaking 9,000+ lies would make him off limits for TV bookings.

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

So, come to think of it, this is a pretty good idea. Television news would be far better off without these tale-spinners butchering what should be an informative public discourse. Most of the time their interviews devolve into shouting fits wherein they cravenly try to filibuster the limited time available for their segment and avoid giving any substantive answers. So while Murtaugh meant to impose a thinly disguised demand for censorship, he ended up offering a solution to the pollution on the airwaves by dishonest Trump-fluffers and sycophants. We owe him our thanks.

Trump and Fox News Seek to Deflect from Michael Cohen Testimony By Accusing Democrats of Infanticide

On Wednesday morning the long anticipated testimony of Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, began before the House Oversight Committee. His prepared opening statement revealed that he intends to provide both testimony and documentary evidence that Trump is “a racist, con man, and cheat.” This has predictably triggered Trump who retweeted an absurd comment that did nothing but expose his flagrant fear of the truth.

Fox News, Laura Ingraham, Planned Parenthood

The fear of Cohen’s testimony has also infected Trump’s sycophantic defenders at State TV (aka Fox News). But their strategy for diverting attention away from the hearing has devolved into one of the most repulsive and dishonest series of accusations ever made, even by the low standards of the Trump era Republican Nationalist Party.

The onslaught began the night before the hearing with Fox’s primetime host, and devoted white supremacist, Laura Ingraham. In a segment that featured a chyron saying that the “Left Wants to Destroy Everything Traditional,” Ingraham practically drooled while asserting that “”Hitler, just like Planned Parenthood, practiced and defended mass extermination.”

So it’s Ingrahams’s position that individual women who choose to exercise their Constitutional rights regarding difficult health decisions are the equivalent of a murderous dictator who purposefully engaged in genocide? And this is the issue that Ingraham needed to raise on the eve of the Cohen testimony? Clearly her intent was to inflame a hostile fury among Fox’s viewers with the hopes of inciting an anger that would cloud their perspective of the pending hearing. And she wasn’t alone.

The following morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends broached the very same topic with the help of Trump’s White House counsel, Kellyanne Conway. And even though the subject of the segment was spelled out in the chyron reading “Michael Cohen Testifies on Capital Hill Today,” Conway unleashed a searing assault on Democrats that was completely false and defamatory:

“[Democrats] are for infanticide. They are for late-term abortion, taxpayer funded abortion, mid-term pregnancy abortion, sex selection abortion – when you don’t want another daughter, fine – just find out the sex of the baby and then exterminate it. Guess what? Now they’re for post-birth abortion.”

None of that is remotely true. However it is provocative and incendiary and intended to whip up a hysteria among the Deplorables watching Fox News that would shove aside any real discussion of the Cohen hearing. But these attempts to suppress any leakage of the news from the hearing only affirm just how terrified they are of the truth getting out. It’s a tactic that drips with fear. And it will work pretty well on Fox News viewers. Unfortunately for Trump, that is an ever-shrinking sector of the population.

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

Trump Freaks Out Over Cliff Sims: Nothing Screams ‘GUILTY’ Like Threatening a ‘Low Level Gofer’

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump. And they aren’t the walls that he is obsessed with building on the southern border. More of the criminal associates that comprise Trump’s inner circle are being swept up by the long arm of justice every day. And with each new arrest and indictment the evidence of Trump’s culpability becomes more apparent.

Donald Trump, Cliff Sims

The latest accomplice to Trump’s treason to face the music is Roger Stone. He has been a close friend and associate of Trump’s for decades. Now he has been charged with lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Trump’s defenders celebrate the fact that the word “collusion” isn’t spelled out in the indictment. But what do they think Stone was lying about? What do think he was threatening other witnesses about? What unlawful activity do they think he was endeavoring to obstruct?

As a result of this devastating blow to Trump World, the President is behaving typically frightened by another event that puts him at great risk. And consistent with his pattern of behavior, he is lashing out in desperation and hoping it takes some of the heat off. But his actions expose his abject fear.

Cliff Sims was Trump’s White House Communications Director for Message Strategy. That’s a post within the White House Press Office where Sims worked closely with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and Bill Shine. He held the position for about a year and a half, which is a lifetime in the Trump Administration. Sims just published a book about his experience (Team of Vipers) that is not sufficiently adoring of Trump. Consequently, on Tuesday morning Trump posted a tweet attacking and threatening Sims, who Trump now pretends he hardly knew:

This raises a couple of obvious questions. First, precisely how many gofers and “coffee boys” work for Trump? It seems like everyone who has written a tell-all book has turned out to be a nobody who Trump never met, despite all the photos of them together. And second, how does Trump know the book is boring since he surely hasn’t read it. He hasn’t even read the three dozen books he endorsed in his Book Club for Dummies.

More importantly, Trump’s tweet contains an overt threat. His reference to a “non-disclosure agreement” can only be interpreted as Trump’s intention of filing a lawsuit against Sims for speaking out. And that isn’t an idle threat. There is already a notice posted by Michael Glassner, the Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, announcing that “The Trump campaign is preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA.”

There are some obvious flaws to that legal strategy. First of all, how can they sue for a violation of a non-disclosure agreement if the the President himself is asserting that the book consists of “made up stories and fiction”? There is no violation if no truthful information is revealed. So either what’s in the book is actually true, or the lawsuit is null and void.

What’s more, non-disclosure agreements are not permitted for White House staff. That’s because they do not work for the President. They work for the United States government. So the government would have to be the plaintiff in the lawsuit. But the First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” The government can’t sue someone for exercising their constitutional rights.

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

So Trump is acting out in precisely the manner you might expect from anyone who is flagrantly guilty of serious crimes. He is trying to deflect blame to other less powerful subordinates. He is hoping that the public and the press can be distracted by his frantic gesturing toward some other shiny object. And he is pretending that he has no relationship with those who are implicating him, despite the fact that that relationship is public knowledge and well documented. It’s a sad and pathetic display of desperation that only makes Trump look more guilty. However, Sims should send Trump a “Thank You” note for helping to sell a few thousand more of his books.