After Manic Meltdown on Fox and Friends, Trump Says He Wants to Come Back Once a Month

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result, then Donald Trump is institutionalizing insanity as a standard operating doctrine for his presidency. Throughout his term in office he has stubbornly clung to blatant lies and policy proposals that defy logic or reason, even after he has been apprised of the errors in his alleged thinking.

Fox News, Kellyanne Conway

On Thursday morning Trump called in to Fox News to frantically unravel in a half hour interview – or more accurately, a frothing tantrum – with his fawning Fox and Friends. In the course of the spectacle, Trump admitted that he lied about how long he was Russia; threw his lawyer, Michael Cohen, under a freight train; contradicted his prior claim that he knew nothing about the Stormy Daniels affair; threatened to interfere with Justice Department activities and personnel; declared James Comey guilty of something or other; and lashed out at Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and, of course, the media. He was so deranged that the hosts actually struggled to interrupt his extended outburst and eventually cut him off.

The consensus reaction to the segment from across the media was that Trump was “unhinged,” “shocking,” “bonkers,” “bizarre,” “jaw-dropping,” “unwieldy,” “crazy,” “surreal.” And those were the more diplomatic descriptions. It was so awful that retired Four Star US Army General Barry McCaffrey tweeted that he is “Worried about health of Pres Trump.” Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, said that “the President should appear on Fox and Friends every morning.” And he just might get his wish.

Trump’s White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, visited Fox and Friends on Friday morning and the subject of Trump’s appearance the day before naturally came up. Ordinarily it wouldn’t be surprising for a paid shill to fiercely defend the President, but under these circumstances it might have been better to let the memory of this public breakdown subside. Instead, Conway doubled down in a bigly way. After conceding that Trump is “a tough act to follow with yesterday’s interview,” the creator of “alternate facts” proceeded directly to her alternate universe (video below):

Conway: The president had a great time bringing his case directly to the American people, as he does on social media and in these bilateral Q & A’s certainly at the south lawn, and in the press pool sprays, and with other interviews. And the president has said that he would like to, perhaps, come once a month and as news breaks.
Doocy: Wait. Come to Fox and Friends once a month? (Giggling and clapping) WOW!
Kilmeade: Alright. Fantastic. That’d be great.
Conway: He said he’d like to replicate that on pretty much a monthly basis. And you know, back in the private sector he was on every week. Every Monday.

Indeed. Trump did have a weekly call-in segment on Fox and Friends, prior to seeking the presidency, called “Mondays with Trump.” It was the launching pad that Fox News provided for Trump’s future political campaign. But after Thursday’s debacle, it’s unfathomable how anyone could suggest that they would want to “replicate” that epic embarrassment. Only in Trump World could someone get a pie in the face, slip on a banana peel, into a pile of manure, with their pants falling down, and think “Gee, we should do this once a month.”

Also during Trump’s interview, he gave himself an A+ for his performance in office. It’s that sort of self-delusion that makes it possible for him and his disciples to pretend that a nationally broadcast catastrophe was a huge PR success. But if he is determined to have a regular gig at Fox again, he should know that there’s a lot of support for him to do that – among Democrats. Go for it, Donnie.

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

Fox News in a Coma: ‘Nobody Was Asking Hillary Clinton About the Guy that She’s Married To’

If you thought that Fox News had run out of ways to shock people with examples of acute obliviousness, you might wanna sit down. The network that relentlessly pumps out provably false stories despite having been debunked – sometimes by their own reporters – still manages to find ways to sink ever lower into states of purposeful amnesia. Their corporate mission has always been to accuse other news networks of bias, ignoring the fact that they were created to be a flagrantly partisan mouthpiece of conservatives and the Republican Party.

Hillary Clinton

On Sunday’s “State of the Union” on CNN, Donald Trump’s Senior Shill, Kellyanne Conway, was interviewed by Dana Bash. Part of the discussion included an inquiry about Conway’s husband, George, who had curiously posted a number of tweets that were critical of Donald Trump. Conway feigned offense to this question and replied:

“We’re now going to talk about other people’s spouses and significant others just because they either work at the White House or CNN? Are we going to do that? You just went there. […] There has been a different standard for me than there have been for other people.”

Conway’s complaint is particularly absurd considering that less than a week ago she brought up the political leanings of the spouse and children of former FBI Director James Comey in an attempt to discredit him. However, there is plenty of available evidence that other political spouses have encountered the same line of questioning. The notion that she was subject to a double standard could not be more ridiculous.

Well, perhaps it can get more ludicrous. And leave it to Fox News to find a way to achieve that. On Monday morning, anchor Jon Scott led a panel in a discussion of Conway’s weekend remarks. His defense of Conway was typical of the wingnut cognitive breakdown that Fox News specializes in. He actually said that:

“Nobody was asking Hillary Clinton about the guy that she’s married to. It does seem that sometimes there’s a double standard in that regard.”

Did have a stroke? Was he in a Turkish prison for the last few years? There is something terribly wrong with someone who is supposed to be familiar with politics and current events who could make such a statement. Hardly a day went by when Hillary Clinton was not asked about her husband, Bill. And one of the most prominent inquisitors was Donald Trump. He even brought four women who alleged that Bill Clinton sexually harassed them to a debate in St. Louis.

And it wasn’t just Trump asking about Bill. The media was all over it. Two months before the election Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tweeted an article by Buzzfeed that she said was a “Pretty detailed read on Juanita Broaddrick’s long-ago allegations against Bill Clinton.” That’s the same Maggie Haberman who Trump attacked this weekend as being “a third rate reporter” and “a Crooked H flunkie.”

How Jon Scott could not know that Bill Clinton was a constant topic of both the media and the Trump campaign during the election is unimaginable. Which is probably the best evidence that he does know, he’s just lying. And the sad thing is that Fox News viewers are so delusional and hypnotized by their Tele-Master that they won’t question this glaringly preposterous comment. They’ll just nod obediently and absorb the lies like they always do.

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

If Trump Refuses to Hold Kellyanne Conway Accountable, the Media Must Refuse to Book Her

If anyone needed more evidence of the Trump administration’s flagrant criminality, it came Tuesday morning when it responded to allegations against senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. She was just found by the Office of the Special Counsel (not related to Robert Mueller) to have violated the Hatch Act that prohibits White House personnel from engaging in political advocacy. Twice.

Kellyanne Conway

What makes this such a great example of the administration’s casual relationship to crime is not just the illegal behavior, but the official response to it. Disregarding the OSC’s findings and referral for disciplinary action, Donald Trump’s White House chose to let Conway slide with no consequences for her actions whatsoever. Even though this is at least her third violation and she has supposedly been counseled. The White House said that:

“Kellyanne Conway did not advocate for or against the election of any particular candidate. She simply expressed the president’s obvious position that he have people in the House and Senate who support his agenda.”

That, of course, was totally untrue. Given her repeated breaches of federal law, and her absence of remorse, it is inconceivable that she would avoid punishment. Had an aide to President Obama done this, Republicans would be calling for his impeachment. Well, if Obama were caught jaywalking they’d call for his impeachment. But an unrepentant, recidivist federal law breaker like Conway doesn’t even get the proverbial slap on the wrist.

Consequently, Conway’s punishment should be meted out in the only other venue that matters to her: the media.

There is absolutely no justification for any responsible news enterprise to book this lawbreaker. It is on the news that Conway commits her crimes. So why provide her the opportunity to repeat her offenses? The victims of the Hatch Act are not just citizens who are deceived, but also news outlets that are exploited. So it is entirely appropriate for them to protect themselves and their audience from further harm.

What’s more, Conway has never respected the journalists with whom she associated. Her record of brazenly lying to reporters is well documented. She is, after all, the woman who coined the term “alternative facts.” Or as Chuck Todd observed, “falsehoods.”

Considering the frequency with which Conway has lied to the press, they would have been justified in banning her even before these legal judgments. In fact, that’s just what the hosts of Morning Joe did last year. Now that banishment needs to be extended to the rest of the media.

Since the criminals in the Trump administration believe that the law doesn’t apply to them, justice needs another outlet. Let Trump find someone else to lie to America. He has plenty of Deplorables around him who have no problem wallowing in that swamp. And leave them and Conway to Fox News where lying is a job requirement.

In the meantime, enjoy Michelle Wolf’s deconstruction of the Conway Method from the Daily Daily Show, where she notes that “For decades politicians have blown bullshit on TV. But Kellyanne Conway has changed the game.”

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

Fox News Pushes Trump Dictatorship, Tells Critics to Shut Up and Obey Their Master

As the legal noose tightens around Donald Trump and his confederacy of traitors, the stench of panic grows thicker and more pungent. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues on its course to determine whether Trump and/or his team colluded with Russia’s documented efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. And as Mueller goes forward, the Trump faction goes batshit crazy.

Fox News Kellyanne Conway

The latest point of departure for the GOP’s sanity is the discovery that Mueller has acquired “tens of thousands” of emails from the the Trump transition operation. That news sent the right into a frenzy with bogus claims that the emails were acquired illegally. That’s hysterical considering that Trump himself begged Russia to illegally hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and make them all public on Wikileaks.

But that’s only a small window into the dementia that plagues Trump World today. On Fox News there is a concerted and coordinated campaign to smear Mueller. They began by calling it a witch hunt, despite having already scored four indictments and two guilty pleas. But now they have escalated their conspiracy outrage to a new level. They now regard the entire investigation as an attempted coup. And they are pulling out all the propaganda stops to spread that inane theory.

Fox’s Jesse Watters explicitly used the word “coup” to describe Mueller’s activities during an interview with Trump shill Kellyanne Conway. Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett suggested that the FBI is America’s version of the KGB. Fox host Jeanine Pirro demanded that FBI agents involved with the investigation be “taken out in handcuffs.” And a veritable chorus line of Foxies are calling on Trump to fire Mueller. Not surprisingly, Sean Hannity is at front of that line.

On Trump’s favorite Fox News show, Fox and Friends, the totalitarian rhetoric is as thick as mud. On Sunday morning they hosted Darrin Porcher (video below), a former New York police officer whose point of view is perfectly aligned with the Fox Doctrine. Porcher is the model of the Fox News flunky who spouts pre-chewed talking points in support of Trump. He praised the performance of the stock market and the unemployment rate, both of which are still running up under policies put in place by President Obama. Trump has done nothing to impact either. In fact, before the election he considered the stock market to be in a bubble and the unemployment rate to be fake news.

Saying that he “bleed[s] red, white and blue,” Porcher urges Americans to “stand behind our Commander-in-Chief.” He asserts that we must “acquiesce behind the political structure in play.” (Note: acquiesce means to accept something reluctantly and without protest). He’s literally telling critics of the administration to shut up and obey their masters. But where he totally succumbs to the blindness of tyranny is his statement that…

“Rooting against the president is equivalent to getting on an airplane and hoping that the plane crashes.”

That remark didn’t get so much as a sideways glance from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Even though they were among the Fox throng that spent eight years rooting against Obama. Rush Limbaugh even said proudly that “I hope he fails.” And every step Obama took throughout his presidency he was dogged by the overt hatred and bias emanating from Fox News. Most of them believed he was an illegitimate, gay, pot-smoking, fraud who was born in Kenya and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

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

Porcher’s advocacy of blind obedience is the opposite of patriotism. America’s democracy was built on a foundation of respect for dissent. It’s inscribed in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Acquiescence is what tyrants demand of their peasant populace. You have to wonder where Porcher was when the Tea Party (remember them?) was hammering away at Obama – with the ever faithful help of Fox News. But people like Porcher are too myopic to grasp complex political concepts. His simile of the crashing plane is just plain stupid. A better perspective of it would be to consider how to respond to a president who is in the process of deliberately crashing the plane. Would you root for him?

Fox News Issues Rare (And Obnoxious) Correction To Fake Story About MSNBC

Sunday morning’s episode of Donald Trump’s favorite cable news show, Fox and Friends, contained a flagrant error intended to smear their competition at MSNBC. Co-host Pete Hegseth reported that MSNBC failed to cover the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial. This story has been a staple of Fox News propaganda aimed at demonizing undocumented immigrants. The not guilty verdict became a rallying cry at Fox News to their millions of racist viewers who believe that all immigrants are criminals.

Fox News Friends

There was just one problem. MSNBC did cover the story when it broke and for two days thereafter. The false reporting by Hegseth was uncorrected for at least twelve hours despite the network being informed of the error. Hegseth’s assertion that “MSNBC did not cover the verdict one time” was first broadcast and then disseminated tens of thousands of times across the Internet. And uncorrected references are still being retweeted.

On Monday Fox News finally got around to issuing a retraction, but not without taking a sarcastic swipe at the network they were lying about. This is what they tweeted from the Fox and Friends Twitter account:

Make no mistake, the reference to “2 minutes and 15 seconds” in a “48 hour span” was intended to belittle the coverage that MSNBC provided. In reality that is sufficient time to report the salient details of the story during time periods when viewers are awake to see it. But Fox News was more interested in mocking MSNBC than they were in sincerely correcting their dishonest reporting.

Nevertheless, getting a retraction from Fox News is so rare we might want to just be grateful for the effort no matter how grossly disingenuous. However, after acknowledging that MSNBC covered the Steinle verdict, they deleted the story and the video evidence of their lies. A copy of the clip can be seen here. What’s more, they have still not issued a correction on the air at Fox and Friends where the false report originated. To the contrary, Fox and Friends hosted Trump shill Kellyanne Conway Monday morning who actually brought up the fake MSNBC criticism (on Fox News video here at about 6:45). She repeated the lie that:

“MSNBC didn’t even cover the Kate Steinle murder verdict. Not a single moment according to your own graphic.”

None of the “Curvy Couch” potatoes bothered to inform her that what she was referencing was already determined to be untrue. That’s because it serves the interest of Fox News to allow bullshit to be freely disseminated. It’s especially repulsive considering the big deal they made out of a recent reporting error by ABC’s Brian Ross. Ross was suspended without pay for four weeks. At Fox News their lie was allowed to roam free and no one was punished. And that’s the real difference between professional journalism and Fox’s deliberately malicious fake news.

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

Trump Flunky Kellyanne Conway Spends 20 Minutes Dodging Questions and Bashing Hillary Clinton

On Sunday morning’s broadcast of CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter welcomed Donald Trump’s most fact-averse spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway. She may be best remembered for coining the colorfully deceptive phrase “alternative facts.” Otherwise known as lies.

CNN Brian Stelter Kellyanne Conway

Conway’s interview (video below) was twenty minutes of unparalleled evasion and blatant propaganda. Sporting a plastered on simulated smile, she dutifully misrepresented the truth. And all the while injecting rancorous venom into the usual victims of her wrath. The segment began with a timely question concerning Donald Trump’s abysmal public image:

Stelter: Given President Trump’s historically low approval ratings, what specific steps are you and your colleagues taking to try to repair Trump’s credibility?
Conway: Well Brian, I think that’s the usual hyperbolic opening to one of the CNN segments. But let me tell you about the numbers that matter to Americans.

Whereupon Conway rattled off statistics about jobs and the stock market that Trump had absolutely nothing to do with. Congress has not passed, nor has he signed, a single bill related to the economy. The country is still operating on President Obama’s last budget. Stelter noted that morsel of reality saying that “The American people are not giving him credit for the economic boom according to all of the polls.” Conway’s glassy-eyed response: “Yes they are.” Is she on drugs? After that delusional comment she drifted off into some robotic criticisms of CNN. The fact that she cannot acknowledge that Trump has set new records for disapproval is typical of the tunnel-blindness of the administration.

This exchange continued with more questions from Stelter that Conway refused to answer. Each reply clumsily stumbled off to unrelated issues, most of which involved the GOP’s favorite fetish, Hillary Clinton. Conway employed the Clinton dodge repeatedly citing last year’s election and even reviving Benghazi. On the infamous Trump Dossier, Stelter interrupted Conway to admonish her for dismissing it as “completely unverified.” “Parts of it have been verified,” he corrected her. “That is misinformation you’re spreading on my program and I don’t appreciate it.”

Stelter also called Conway out on her obvious evasionary tactics saying that “I think viewers see what you’re doing – pivoting. When I say Russia, you say Clinton. It’s part of the strategy” She disputed that, then went straight back to bashing Clinton. And when she wasn’t bashing Clinton, she was bashing CNN. She made CNN the subject of debate throughout the interview, but Stelter wasn’t laying down for it. When she went directly at the unsupported charge of political bias, Stelter made the perfect response:

Conway: Brian, why not just say “Look. It’s in our commercial interest at CNN to be anti-Trump. We’re profitable if we’re against the President. Most of our viewers are against the President.” Just own it. Don’t you think that would be more credible for CNN?
Stelter: I understand that you don’t want an adversarial media. You just want everybody to be like Fox News.
Conway: No, that’s not true. Stop being so jealous of Fox News, Brian, and their ratings.

Now ratings are suddenly important again? When it had to do with Trump’s pitiful numbers, they were totally irrelevant. More to the point, Conway didn’t dispute that Fox News is a non-adversarial, pro-Trump, state-run network. She simply bragged about their status in the television market (which is losing ground to MSNBC). This interview was only useful as a lesson in how to badly evade a reporter’s questions. Conway’s failing grades on style were matched by her lack of substance. It’s no wonder that she rarely appears anywhere but on Fox News. And CNN would be justified in barring her from future appearances on the grounds that she only disseminates useless, self-serving bullshit.

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

Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Complains That the Media Isn’t ‘Afraid Enough’ of Donald Trump

The Queen of Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, has been absent from the public eye for a while. But now she has returned to make an appearance on Fox News (of course). And she didn’t disappoint in the delivery of her unique brand of shilling for her boss, Donald Trump.

Kellyanne Conway

Conway was interviewed on Trump’s favorite TV show Fox and Friends (video below). The President has called it “the most honest show on television.” And it’s clear as to why he holds that opinion. They will lie relentlessly for him no matter the subject. And it’s why White House spokespersons appear almost exclusively on Fox News. They know they can get away with saying anything and not be subject to any challenge or criticism. For instance, Conway started right out of the gate slamming the media:

“There’s a huge disconnect between what the media are telling Americans what is important to them and what Americans are telling your pollsters and their pollsters and all of us what is important to them.”

That makes literally zero sense. What the media is telling Americans about what is important comes directly from the the pollsters. And virtually every poll shows Trump floundering personally, and his agenda in tatters. Undeterred, Conway continues:

“I think the media are obsessed with style. I saw a poll this morning. Forty-seven percent of Americans say the media are trying to impede the President’s progress on the agenda as opposed to just report the facts. And Gerry Baker at the Wall Street Journal just yesterday came out and said ‘Listen, you’ve gotta cover this as reporters. This has become opinion commentary disguised at reporting.’ Particularly when the President mentions the media.”

First of all, the poll Conway is referring to is by Rasmussen Reports, an unabashedly biased firm that spins everything to the far right. Secondly, Conway citing the editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper as a source of factual reporting is ludicrous. Especially because the quote she highlighted came from an email that has angered the Journal’s staff. Some were so upset that they turned to CNN to vent their frustration:

“At the time, some staffers told CNNMoney they believed that Baker was going out of his way to be deferential to Trump in order to maintain access to the White House and proximity to power. Staffers also chafe at Baker’s insistence on conducting the interviews with Trump himself, rather than letting the paper’s journalists take the lead.”

When reporters at a conservative paper accuse their editorial peers of being “deferential to Trump” you have a real problem. Many have them long demonstrated such deference, but apparently this editor has gone too far, even for the Journal. And they are also disturbed by his habit of usurping their duties when it comes to presidential interviews.

But Conway was only beginning to hit her stride. Answering a question that didn’t involve the media, Conway found a way to resume her attack on the free press. Co-host Steve Doocy’s raised the comments of former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, with regard to Trump’s mental stability. On CNN Clapper described Trump’s condition as “downright scary and disturbing.” And he asked how much longer the country would have to “endure this nightmare.” And Conway replied (skip to 7:50 in the video):

Doocy: A couple nights ago on television, [Clapper] said he wondered whether or not the president was fit to be president, fit to serve. If James Clapper is watching right now, what’s your message to him?

Conway: It’s such an absurd analysis, playing armchair psychiatrist. It’s not just him. It’s a lot of people on TV.

I’m old enough to remember when news stations reported the news and didn’t just have a parade of pundits going out there and opinionating and rendering their opinions and pontificating and conjecturing. And I think it leads to analysis like this, because people end up with very little to say. They are not compelled. They are not forced. Nobody demands that they actually report facts and figures. This is way over the line. You know, the media and other opinion figures, they were way too afraid of President Obama and his administration. They’re not afraid enough here.

It’s jaw-droppingly hysterical that Conway is complaining about pundits “opinionating” to the propagandists at Fox News. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends trail only Sean Hannity as Fox’s premiere Trump-fluffers.

More importantly, Conway is actually advocating for some kind of government control of the press. Her notion that journalists should be “forced” to report her alternative facts is contrary to the tenets of the Constitution. She and her White House cohorts are not the arbiters of what is real or fake news. And if America wants state-sponsored reporting, they already have Fox News.

Furthermore, the media should never be afraid of any president, and no president should deliberately intimidate the press. But that’s exactly what Trump has been doing. He is not merely offering criticism. His childish taunts that reporters are sick, dishonest, and bad people who hate America, amounts to overt threats. They could easily lead to violence against journalists who are just doing their job.

When Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people,” he effectively gave permission to his crackpot disciples to take the necessary action to defend the country from its “enemies.” Hopefully Conway and Trump will not get their wish to make the media afraid of Trump. And hopefully nobody gets hurt.

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

BENGHAZI? Watch Kellyanne Conway Resort to Classic Dodge to Avoid Defending Trump’s Lies

The guardians of Donald Trump’s floundering presidency are finding it ever more difficult carry out their task. They now have to deal with a special prosecutor ramping up investigations of the President. Grand juries are being impaneled in Washington, Virginia, and New York. And a flurry of new lies erupt from the White House every day. What’s a dedicated Trump shill supposed to do?

Kellyanne Conway

Well, Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” we may have found out. Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos about the blatant contradictions by Trump and company about their interactions with Russia. He summarized the situation and asked Conway for her explanation for the various accounts (video below):

“The White House and the President’s surrogates have told conflicting stories. First they said there no contacts with Russians. Then it turned out there were at least eighteen contacts. The story broke in the New York Times saying the President was involved in the drafting of his son Don, Jr.’s misleading response to that meeting he had with Russians during the campaign. And Jay Sekulow, the President’s attorney, came on GMA and told me the President was not involved.”

Stephanopoulos noted that the original statement and the one offered after the Times story were “very different answers in the space of two weeks.” But Conway’s response evaded the question to say that the meeting was of no consequence. She continues to deny the consequences of just agreeing to meet with Russian operatives to obtain campaign information. Even if nothing was obtained, the effort itself was an attempt at collusion. Conway added that Trump’s involvement in drafting Junior’s response was merely “weighing in as a father.” Of course. Every father has had that experience where they help their adult son to lie about meetings with America’s enemies.

Stephanopoulos persisted to challenge her on the shifting facts. He noted that the first statement was totally false and that the President and his lawyers “didn’t tell the truth.” To which Conway replied with a series of alleged falsehoods from the distant past. She raised the matter of whether or not people could keep their doctors under ObamaCare. And then she actually brought up Benghazi and tried to make that relevant to this discussion.

Let’s not get into a debate as to whether those were actually examples of untrue statements. The main point here is that Conway was utterly incapable of defending the lies from Trump’s White House. So reached into the past hoping to grasp a rhetorical lifeline. Stephanopoulos’ complaint that Conway was just changing the subject fell on deaf ears. When he asked if Trump could be truthful about the Russia investigations, Conway swerved to repeat Trump’s baseless assertion that the whole thing was fabricated.

By the end of the interview, Conway didn’t once respond directly to the charge that Trump and his surrogates lied. There are obvious differences between their initial accounts of the meetings and the facts that they later conceded. Plus, the false claim that Trump had nothing to do with Junior’s first statement remains unexplained. And Conway’s flagrant evasions only serve to highlight how overwhelmed she and her associates are.

They are quite simply out of answers. The tsunami of lies that flow from Trump have exhausted his defenders. And since they have emptied their arsenal of arguments, be prepared to hear more from yesteryear’s classics like Benghazi. And if they get desperate enough they might even revive Obama’s birth certificate and Monica Lewinski.

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

Kellyanne Conway is TOTALLY Oblivious to the Crisis in Trump White House

The Sunday Morning news fest was particularly exciting this week. Much of it was consumed by Donald Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. He made the rounds to demonstrate that he’s a sufficiently sizable asshole to represent this president. What America learned, for the most part part, was that he “loves” Donald Trump, which he said repeatedly. Plus, he gushed about Trump’s near divine perfection as a communicator and a leader. Good work, Mooch.

Kellyanne Conway

However, no Sunday is complete without the screwball antics of White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway. She was interviewed by Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources. And she lived up to her low standards for honesty and rational discourse. The conversation focused on the many scandals that have dogged the White House. Conway was surprised at the very notion and refuted it fiercely. And in a shockingly candid appraisal of the President’s proclivity for bald-face lies, Conway served up a unique justification:

Stelter: The scandals are the President’s lies. About voter fraud. About wiretapping. His repeated lies about those issues. That’s the scandal.
Conway: He doesn’t think he’s lying about those issues, and you know it.

Stelter went easy on Conway. There are literally hundreds of other demonstrable falsehoods that Trump has shamelessly uttered. But Conway is adopting the “Costanza Principle,” famously introduced in an episode of Seinfeld. Jerry’s friend George was advising him on how to beat a lie detector test. “If you believe it,” said George, “then it’s not a lie.” And now that principle has been put to the test in the “real” world of Kellyanne’s “alternative facts.” Stelter pointed out that just because the President says something, even if he believes it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t still untrue. But that was a concept that would be over the head of any Trump advisor.

In the same interview, Stelter’s reference to the many scandals plaguing the Trump administration seemed to come as a surprise to Conway. That led to this exchange:

Stelter: This is a White House in crisis whether you recognize it or not.
Conway: Why? I work there. Where do you get that?

Conway’s oblivious response ignores the fact that Trump is under investigation by the FBI, the GOP-controlled Senate and House, and an independent counsel. She also appears not to have noticed that Trump’s attempts to kill ObamaCare have failed. Or that his border wall is still a wingnut fantasy. Or that his immigration policies are stalled. And nothing has been on done taxes or infrastructure, or terrorism. This is likely the least productive administration in decades, despite Trump’s ludicrous claims to the contrary.

What’s more, Trump has the worst approval ratings of any president in modern history. Conway had an explanation for that which made no sense whatsoever:

“Part of the disapproval are the independents who voted for him and want him to ignore all the nonsense, and all the noise, and all the Russia nonsense. That’s part of it. Part of it are people upset with Congress. The President’s approval rating is far higher than the approval rating of the media or the Congress, and there’s a reason for that.”

So Trump’s abysmal ratings are due to his own supporters giving him poor marks because they don’t like Congress? Yeah, that’s the ticket. As for Trump vs. the media, numerous polls have shown that, given a choice, majorities of voters trust the media more. That includes the “failing” New York Times and “fake” news CNN.

Conway was insistent that CNN and others were pushing the “phony” stories about Russia. She suggested that they should cover real stories instead. Then she gave as an example that “millions of Americans don’t have healthcare.” Which is an interesting choice since her boss is advocating a bill that would would take healthcare away from 32 million more Americans. And of course, that story has been covered extensively across the spectrum of media.

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

It’s morbidly entertaining to watch Trump’s staff and surrogates struggle to put his disastrous administration in a positive light. There are no plausible arguments that can make any of this sound less than catastrophic. Consequently, their efforts seem more and more absurd and desperate. You have to wonder what they think of themselves at the end of a day of this futile spinning. But then, since they work for Donald Trump, what could they think of themselves anyway.

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Says Trump’s Medicaid Cuts Are Not Medicaid Cuts

Sunday morning the inventor of “alternative facts” was at it again. Donald Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway made an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. TrumpCare, as it is known, has been widely criticized by a bipartisan array of politicians and pundits. Even Trump tagged the House version of the bill as “mean.”

Kellyanne Conway

Among the complaints are that it would result in higher deductibles and premiums, eliminate protection for preexisting conditions, and throw more than twenty million people off of their health insurance plans. What’s more, it would be paid for by giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy.

It’s issues like those that have caused at least five GOP senators to announce their opposition to the bill. If those numbers hold the bill cannot pass. Republicans have a two-vote margin and can expect no help from Democrats. Adding to its problems is that TrumpCare would impose severe cuts to Medicaid. Despite repeatedly promising to never cut the program, Trump is nevertheless enthusiastically supporting the bill. This support comes even though the senate version is even meaner than the one the House passed:

“The much more drastic changes in the Senate bill as compared to the House bill come in the realm of Medicaid. The House bill immediately ended enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion to able-bodied low-income adults under the ACA, while the Senate bill would slowly phase that funding out. This, in theory, would put millions fewer people immediately in the ranks of the uninsured and increase government spending over the House plan.”

Undeterred by reality, Conway addressed the issue in her interview with Stephanopoulos. She was asked directly about the how the bill cuts 800 billion dollars from Medicaid and asked why Trump is going back on his promise. Her lie-riddled, word salad reply was that:

“These are not cuts to Medicaid. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility for the future with Medicaid dollars because they’re closer to the people in need. […] If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We’re talking about in the future.

“You know, ObamaCare took Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor, the needy, the elderly, the sick, the disabled. Also children and pregnant women. It took it and went way above the poverty line. Opened it up to many able-bodied Americans who should probably see if there are other options for them.”

Stephanopoulos deserves some credit for not allowing Conway to advance the falsehood that the bill doesn’t cut Medicaid. He also challenged her baseless assertion that no one on Medicaid now would be affected. He pressed Conway to address the matter of the 800 billion dollars in cuts, to which she replied, “You keep calling them cuts. But we don’t see them as cuts.”

And therein lies the heart of the problem. Trump and his shills have created their own language that ignores the reality of any situation. They will feverishly spin until the rhetoric is hopelessly removed from anything resembling the truth. It’s a strategy that is ultimately aimed at creating confusion and muddying the waters so that a coherent dialog is impossible. And no one is better at that than Conway.

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