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.

White House Shills Flagrantly Lie About Trump Hobbling the FBI Probe of Kavanaugh

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday at the White House as Donald Trump dispatches his surrogates to the Sunday morning news programs to assure America’s Deplorables that everything is fine despite the political fires raging all around them.

Donald Trump

The topic of the day is undoubtedly the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. His recent testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did nothing to exonerate him. But he did reveal himself to be a hot headed, ultra-partisan who traffics in preposterous conspiracy theories and has no aversion to lying about himself or others.

As a result of that hearing, rogue Republican Sen. Jeff Flake concluded that he could not vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless there was an FBI investigation into the charges. So Trump was reluctantly forced to comply and instructed the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background check. Unfortunately, our relentlessly deceitful president sought to game the system by putting harsh restrictions on what the FBI could look into. After this underhanded tactic was exposed, Trump whined on Twitter that it wasn’t true. He accused NBC News of having “incorrectly reported” the story, even though it was also reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

On the Sunday Circus of news shows, Trump’s surrogates are now making the rounds to reinforce his false claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that “The White House is not micromanaging this process,” and that “the Senate is dictating the terms.” And Senior White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway had this exchange with Jake Tapper of CNN:

Conway: The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way. The president very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels, as he said last night, that they should be looking at anything they feel is credible within this limited scope.
Tapper: What does that mean, ‘within this limited scope’?
Conway: That’s up to the FBI. In other words, I’m not involved in those specific conversations.

Of course none of those protestations were true. NBC’s follow up reporting on the matter reiterated that:

“The FBI has received no new instructions from the White House about how to proceed with its weeklong investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a senior U.S. official and another source familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

“According to the sources, the president’s Saturday night tweet saying he wants the FBI to interview whoever agents deem appropriate has not changed the limits imposed by the White House counsel’s office on the FBI investigation — including a specific witness list that does not include Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school.”

And furthermore…

“A White House official made clear that the White House is the client in this process. This is not an FBI criminal investigation — it is a background investigation in which the FBI is acting on behalf of the White House. Procedurally, the White House does not allow the FBI to investigate as it sees fit, the official acknowledged; the White House sets the parameters.”

The conservative, Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal affirmed NBC’s reporting that:

“it was unlikely that the shape of the investigation would change without official communication from the White House that it wanted the bureau to interview other people beyond the list already provided.”

So that’s confirmation that the White House is calling the shots and that they did provide a list of approved witnesses. Clearly Trump is determined to insure that whatever investigation is conducted will not be thorough or impartial. He’s deliberately stacking the deck against Dr. Ford to protect his tainted nominee. That raises the question of whether this process will satisfy Sen. Flake who initiated it. If it doesn’t, he may vote against confirming Kavanaugh, which could sink the nomination.

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

There is also the possibility that the FBI will consider itself empowered to explore any matter that is raised during their investigation, which could include the other witnesses as well as Kavanaugh’s truthfulness during his congressional testimony. There’s abundant evidence that Kavanaugh did perjure himself. So there are significant speed bumps on the road to Kavanaugh’s seat on the Supreme Court. And with any luck this nomination will crash and burn.

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Asks the Press ‘Why is Everybody So Obsessed with the President?’

The key surrogates in Donald Trump’s administration are a notorious confederacy of liars and knee-jerk defenders of the indefensible. People like press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the White House communications office turned obfuscation and deflection into an art form. As result, it is almost impossible to get a straight or truthful answer from this administration on any subject of importance.

Kellyanne Conway

However, they hit a new low with what may be one of the dumbest questions ever asked by a presidential spokesperson. Kellyanne Conway stopped to respond to a few questions from the press gaggle at the White House on Friday morning. Referring to the dictator-style revocation of CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, a reporter asked Conway as she walked away if Trump was “politically targeting his enemies.” That, of course, goes without saying. It’s something he has always done and no one could credibly deny it.

So naturally, Conway turns around and returns to the media scrum to deny it (video below). She began by saying that Brennan is a cable news pundit now who has “no interest in furthering the national security interests of this country.” That’s an absurd charge to make against someone who has spent his whole life in public service and particularly national security. She then complained about Brennan’s assertion that Trump did collude with Russia, saying that he should have told that to Congress when he testified before them. She added “It’s a great question. You oughta noodle it.” Really?

Conway, though, is ignoring two obvious noodlings that could explain it for her. First of all, much of Brennan’s testimony was in closed session and may very well have raised alarms about Trump’s nefarious associations with Russia. That cannot be made public. Secondly, there has been a lot of information uncovered since his congressional testimony more than a year ago that provides additional evidence of Trump’s guilt. Brennan’s conclusion that Trump did indeed conspire with Russian operatives to advance his candidacy is one that is shared by many in the intelligence community.

But when it comes to stupid questions, Conway offered one of the worst in replying to further questions by the press corps:

“Why is everybody so obsessed with the President of the United States that they can’t even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times. It’s kind of weird. And it’s infecting people on the news now who fancy themselves security experts.”

So Conway just asked a bunch of White House correspondents why they ask so many questions about the person it is their job to ask questions about. Weird. It’s like complaining about a waiter who keeps asking people what they’d like to order. What’s more, no one is has a greater obsession with the President than Donald Trump. He takes every opportunity to make sure that his name and face are plastered across all the media and that the nation’s attention is always focused on him.

So would Conway prefer that the press didn’t pay as much attention to him as they currently do? That would drive him even crazier. And it would surely be a disservice to the American people who rely on the press to keep them informed. But Conway’s question reflects the adversarial position that the Trump administration has with the First Amendment. They would love to deny the media – and the people – the critical information needed to sustain a free democracy. But then a free democracy is not what the wannabe dictator Trump wants.

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

Fox News Alert: Donald Trump Works Really Hard at Putting the White House in Total Disarray

Well, the rat is out of the bag. We finally have confirmation that Donald Trump’s White House is a swirling pit of ineptitude, staffed by morons who don’t know what the hell is going on. What’s more, they’re proud of it and they think it proves that they are dedicated overachievers. And these revelations are not insults thrown by partisan lefties. They’re straight from the horse’s ass: Fox News.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Saturday’s episode of Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro the “judge” hosted former Arkansas governor/Christianist minister, Mike Huckabee. In the course of their discussion, that was predictably bashing liberals, Huckabee decided to unveil some truths that are usually kept behind the dark curtain of rabid conservatism (video below). He said that:

“Here’s what I think people don’t understand about Donald Trump: he doesn’t sleep a lot, he works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen, he has so much going on that even his own staff cannot keep up with all that’s going on.

“I used to have a chief of staff and she would often say ‘If I know everything that’s going on, there’s not enough going on.’ Well let me assure you, in the Trump White House there is nobody that knows everything that’s going on because nobody can keep up with that much stuff.”

Is he kidding? This is Huckabee’s assessment of the laziest man in Washington. Trump has played golf for about a third of his presidency. He doesn’t attend or read his presidential daily briefings unless they have pictures or happy news about him. He refuses to prepare for critical events like summits with Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin. He holds meaningless photo-ops with his cabinet and for bill signings. He never seems to know about the corruption of his own senior staff. He wastes time traveling to friendly red states to hold ego-fluffing rallies. And he spends countless hours (his “Executive Time”) watching cable news. Mostly Fox News, of course, where he gets his intelligence reports, political strategies, policy updates from Sean Hannity.

What’s more, if it’s true that nobody knows what’s going on, then that only exposes the White House as incompetent and unable to fulfill its mission to serve the people. It also means that Huckabee’s own daughter, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is one of those who doesn’t know what’s going on. So how the hell can she inform the press of the administration’s activities? Not that she ever has any intention to.

We should probably be thankful to Huckabee for his candid assessment of a White House in disarray. That’s been painfully obvious to any conscientious observer, but we don’t often hear Trump’s insiders admitting it. Another word for not knowing what’s going is “ignorance.” And the ignorance of Trump’s staff is clearly not due to Trump’s allegedly dynamic schedule. It’s due to his own inability to comprehend the complexities of his job and his deliberate efforts to withhold pertinent information from more intelligent and experienced professionals. And that’s at least partly due to the need to keep his financial corruption and collusion with foreign enemies secret.

Much of Saturday’s program was consumed by Pirro whining about incivility in politics. That’s rich coming from perhaps the most vitriolic screecher on television. Pirro has been barking out contemptuous scorn at President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and every other left-of-center American for years. Just last week she complained about being “treated like a dog” by Whoopi Goldberg on The View. But she conveniently forget to mention that she called the whole cast of the show an epithet that rhymes with “sock cucker.” And then she has the nerve to say that:

“The level of hatred toward the 45th president of the United States is beyond anything we’ve seen in American history…Now Donald Trump is the target of vitriol so papable it’s simply frighten…It’s almost impossible to have a rational discussion that doesn’t turn into a food fight.”

Let’s just set aside that she appears to be drunk (“so papable it’s simply frighten”?) Her contention that Trump has been the victim of more vitriol than any other president is ludicrous. Barack Obama, who was accused of being the founder of ISIS and the Kenyan-born spawn of Satan, might have something to say about that. Or maybe John Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln, whose lives were cut short by rather vitriolic assassins.

Pirro had some help from her another guest on the program who was equally delusional about who in America is uncivil. Trump’s senior counsel, Kellyanne Conway showed up to assert that Trump “is a president who believes that diplomacy and conversation is better than hostility and conflict.” Seriously? The president who encouraged his supporters to assault protesters and opffered to pay their legal fees; who has disparaging and infantile nicknames for every opponent; and who goads unstable tyrants into nuclear confrontations? That president believes in diplomacy?

At least Pirro had a brief moment of self-awareness in the opning paragraphs of her new book, Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy. She writes that “We know what the liberal media think of Trump voters: They’re deplorables, idiots, rednecks, and people who cling to God, guns, and religion. To those charges, I plead guilty–guilty and proud!” So Pirro is guilty, even proud, of being a deplorable, idiot, redneck. That explains a lot.

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

Fox News is Literally Lobbying for Revocation of the Constitution’s Protection of the Free Press

On Thursday Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, presided over the White House’s (no longer) Daily Press Briefing and proceeded to turn it into a farce by evading questions and outright lying. That, of course, is nothing new. It’s the Standard Operating Procedure for the Trump Communications Office. But what has transpired on Fox News since then is deeply disturbing (which isn’t really new either).

Fox NOT News

At the briefing there were numerous reporters seeking to get Sanders to explain the administration’s position on it’s own policy of ripping children away from parents of asylum seekers. She spent much of her time affirming Trump’s blatant lie that Democrats were responsible for a law that forced him to carry out this heinous practice. But there is no such law. This abuse of human rights was wholly the work of Trump and his cohorts.

When confronted with these facts, Sanders went into a bunker mentality, refusing to answer direct questions or repeating unresponsive talking points. She even descended into personally insulting reporters for merely quoting things she just finished saying. She twisted bible verses in a cynical attempt to support her unconscionable defense of child abuse. And she displayed a callous disregard for the welfare of innocents.

Naturally, Fox News praised Sanders and the Trump administration without reservation or concern for the children. But they went even further to suggest that any criticism, or even just the pursuit of answers, was unpatriotic and disrespectful to a leader they believe must never be challenged. Fox News attacked the journalists who pressed Sanders for answers as animals, which is the same word Trump uses to describe undocumented immigrants. Coincidence?

On Friday two of Fox’s most prominent hosts actually advocated openly for censorship and the suppression of independent journalism. They flagrantly campaigned to silence dissenting voices in the media by prohibiting them from doing their jobs. That’s more than an attack on the reporters, it’s an attack on the Constitution. It violates the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press. However, it also puts the grotesque, fascist ideology of Fox News on display for all to see. Cases in point, these commentaries by Fox’s Lou Dobbs and Jesse Watters:

Dobbs: You would think someone would be assigned to slap the hell out of somebody. We’ll talk to our panel tonight about whether it’s time the bar some of these so-called journalists from the White House briefing room permanently.

Watters: These people don’t belong there. They are jokes. They need to start ripping press passes away. If you’re going to act like a wild animal, you don’t belong there.

Remember, the reporters they are criticizing were trying to get answers about the Trump administration’s practice of tearing apart families and warehousing babies in concentration camp-like facilities. So who are the animals? And this isn’t the first time that journalists have had their jobs threatened in this manner. On Tuesday, Trump’s 2020 campaign manger, Brad Parscale, tweeted that CNN’s Jim Acosta “should immediately have his press credentials suspended.” And Trump’s senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, appeared shortly after that on Fox and Friends to concur with Parscale’s totalitarian-friendly tweet.

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

There is something especially contemptible about an alleged “news” enterprise calling for the suppression of the rights of fellow journalists. But Fox News is unabashedly doing just that. They want all reporting to consist only of drooling adoration of Trump and anything less than that must be quashed. This is more evidence (as if it was necessary) that Fox is not a news outlet at all. They are the PR division of the Trump administration and an obedient purveyor of unvarnished propaganda. And if they are allowed to succeed with their mission to suppress free speech we can wave goodbye to the freedom and democracy upon which it relies.

On Fox News Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Affirms Demand to Censor CNN Reporter

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency he has made a point expressing his hostility to the Constitution’s protection of the free press and to anyone who would challenge his supremacy as King of America. Trump has slandered the media in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the American people.” And he frequently calls out reporters by name to accuse them of being “fake news.” Of course, by his definition any news that is less than glassy-eyed adoration he regards as fake.

Kellyanne Conway

As the Trump-Kim Circus drew to a close this week, Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, parroted Trump’s loathing for the press in a Tweet that appears to imitate Trump’s own rancor. He said that:

That anti-American outburst drew an appropriate reply from CNN’s Acosta, who told Parscale that “Dictatorships take away press credentials. Not democracies.” Not that that will have any impact on the censorious attitudes of Trump and his minions. Earlier Parscale posted a similarly totalitarian notion in a tweet that said that “The media should be cheering @realDonaldTrump’s progress with North Korea.” As if it’s the job of the media to “cheer” for any politician.

Naturally, Fox News rushed to Parscale’s defense by delivering their own attack on Acosta. On Fox and Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt introduced a segment with Trump’s Senior Counselor, Kellyanne Conway, by quoting the headline of an article from the ultra-rightist website, The Daily Wire: “Watch: CNN’s Jim Acosta interrupts historic signing ceremony, shouts at Trump.” Surprisingly, she then played the video showing Acosta to be rather demure and respectful, which contradicts the whole narrative of her reporting. That was followed by this exchange (video below):

Earhardt: So there are some critics, Kellyanne, saying that he was choosing the wrong moment, a historic moment, to throw out questions to the President. And then the 2020 campaign manager for President Trump, Brad Parscale, who’s been on our show before, he’s now calling for Acosta to lose his press credentials. He thought it was inappropriate. What are your thoughts, and what are the President’s thoughts?
Conway: Well, some people in the White House press corps do that routinely. I’m not naming any names cause why give it oxygen? They certainly want to make it about me, myself, and I. On Twitter they’re all a hot mess with all this snark and bark toward this president and those who work for him, including those at the White House, in the Cabinet and elsewhere. Things that would not pass editorial muster in the newspaper. I call it social media muscle, cable news cajones. Many of them demonstrate that but don’t have the courage.

Conway, of course, is an expert on hot messes and can snark and bark with the best of them. but if you’re paying attention you will have noticed that Conway failed to take issue with Parscale’s desire to see reporters get punished for being independent and aggressive seekers of truth. Rather, she affirmed the criticism that anyone who disagrees with the President is an annoyance and a coward who ought to be silenced. That’s the sort of philosophy practiced by tyrants like Trump’s new BFF, Kim Jong Un. And Conway elaborated on by adding that:

“People really need to figure out how to cover this president in a respectful manner. They can be skeptical. They can be probing. But there’s a time and a place. Be a polite house guest.”

Exactly. Treat Trump with the same measure of refined courtesy that Fox News and Conway treated President Obama for eight years. You remember. The constant allegations that he was a Muslim born in Kenya who associated with terrorists and hated America. That kind of “respectful manners.” Right?

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

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.