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.

The Fox News Fetish for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Keeps Getting Creepier: Ivanka Trump Edition

Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected last November, the right-wing media has been beside themselves trying to slander her as an ignorant and un-American little brown girl who has no business having an opinion, much less serving in Congress. And no one has been more determined to disseminate this disparagement than Fox News.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson

Consequently, the State TV network reached out to Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to deliver the administration’s smackdown on Ocasio-Cortez. Unfortunately, her interview merely revealed that she is a spoiled rich kid with no comprehension of what ordinary Americans are experiencing. She tried to respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement that she intended to pay her staff a {gasp} living wage. Previously on Fox News this was greeted with a pathetic display of math illiteracy. And Ivanka’s response was equally embarrassing:

“I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last 4 years. People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.”

So a woman who has lived her entire life off of what she was given by daddy is certain that other Americans wouldn’t want fair compensation for their work, which is all that Ocasio-Cortez is proposing. If this is what Ivanka learned from four years of traveling around the country, she has a severe learning disability. But she does have an excellent grasp of the sort of harebrained talking points required to be a Fox News pundit.

The obsession that Fox News is nursing every day is evidence that Ocasio-Cortez is one of the new class of representatives who Fox fears the most. There is no other explanation for how maniacally focused they are on her. She was only sworn in a month and a half ago, but Fox’s most prominent hosts are fixated squarely on her every word (as well as her youth, clothes, and dancing ability). The entire primetime roster on Fox all featured her on their programs Monday night. They were also transcribed into op-eds for the Fox website. The amusingly alarmist headlines and ledes were:

  • Sean Hannity: It’s scary how prominent Dems, the media are supporting Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist views.
    “We are once again featuring the 29-year-old socialist from New York who is both revered and feared inside her own party. […] But now, she is taking her insane views even a step further.”
  • Laura Ingraham: Spike Lee, Smollett, Ocasio-Cortez and her mini-mes tell us lots about modern day liberalism.
    “Like most of today’s social justice warriors, Ocasio-Cortez truly believes she is always morally right. And that notion entitles her to be one of the leaders of not the #MeToo movement, but the ‘Me-me-me’ movement.”
  • Tucker Carlson: How dumb, arrogant Ocasio-Cortez became the boss of the Democratic Party
    “It’s a measure of how cowardly impassive everyone has become all of a sudden that a chorus of right-thinking Democrats hasn’t told this idiotic windbag to be quiet and take a seat.”

These are the extreme, unhinged, and disrespectful lengths that the Foxies will go to in order to malign a committed, intelligent young woman who stepped up to serve her country. And the fear that she has stirred in their shriveled hearts is unmistakable. This is the sort of full-court press that the right generally reserves for Kenyan-born, terrorist-sympathizing, Muslim atheist commies who stole the presidency by actually getting a majority of the popular vote.

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

Ocasio-Cortez has earned this vitriol in record time. She should be proud that she has these dimwits from Fox News stalking her. It’s a validation of her effectiveness as an activist and a communicator. And at the same time it exposes Fox as a puerile confederacy of dunces who are utterly incapable of making a coherent response to someone they belittle as immature and inexperienced. Which, by the way, is a much better description of their Dear Leader, Donald Trump.

Trump Confirms that Fox News Shills Are His Chief Influencers in Psycho ‘National Emergency’ Speech

It’s official. The most aggressively biased Fox News propagandists are acting as Donald Trump’s primary advisors on the question of a “national emergency” to fund his precious vanity wall, as well as a host of other issues. In a Rose Garden address, the President cited the entire primetime roster on Fox News when asked about which conservative voices shape his views.

Donald Trump, Fox News

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Trump is known to consult his “braintrust” at Fox News frequently, even in nightly phone calls with Sean Hannity before bedtime. In fact, it was Hannity who gave the order for Trump to declare a national emergency in the first place. So when Trump stepped out onto the White House lawn to announce that he would sign the bipartisan congressional bill to fund the government – despite the fact that it contained no money for a wall – he answered an inquiry about the right-wing pundits he is known to rely on without hesitation or shame (video below):

Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News: Mr. President, could you tell us to what degree some of the outside conservative voices helped to shape your views on this national emergency?

Trump: Look, I would talk about it. Look, Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific support of what I do. Not of me. If I change my views he wouldn’t be with me. Rush Limbaugh, I think he’s a great guy. He can speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that sometime. For three hours he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of world. I mean this guy is unbelievable.”

Of course, Hannity would withdraw his support if Trump didn’t continue to advance the same radically rightist views that Hannity holds. That’s the whole point. And it’s why Trump doesn’t change his views. He fears losing Hannity’s support, and that of the Fox News Deplorables who are glued to him and the rest of the network’s crackpots. And it’s predictable that Trump admires Limbaugh’s ability to ramble on incoherently for hours on end. It’s a “skill” that they share. Then Trump continued:

Trump: They don’t decide policy. In fact, if I went opposite…I mean they have somebody, Ann Coulter, I don’t know her. I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying Ann Coulter. Probably if I did speak to her she’d be very nice. I just don’t have the time to speak to her. I would speak to her. I have nothing against her. In fact I like her for one reason. When they asked her like right at the beginning, ‘Who’s gonna wing the election? Donald Trump.’ And the two people that asked her that question smiled.

So Trump doesn’t know Ann Coulter. Well, except for his admission that he has spoken to her during his presidency. And the fact that she has appeared with him at his rallies. And he claims that she is one of his conservative critics, but then cites her prediction that he would become president as the one reason he likes her. Then he went on:

Trump: Laura’s been great, Laura Ingraham. Tucker Carlson’s been great. I actually have a couple of people on CNN that have been very good. I have some on MSNBC the other day. They did a great report on me. I say ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I think it was the only one in over a year.

And there you have it. Trump filled in the rest of the Fox News primetimers, all of whom he praised as being “great” because they are such constantly slobbering sycophants. As for the MSNBC segment, he actually tweeted about that last week, but included a video clip that was deceitfully edited to cut out the criticism and to make it appear as if it was wholly positive.

Trump’s speech was predictably deranged as he stumbled from one topic to another without any connecting logic. It was a smorgasbord of his unhinged rants that are familiar to anyone who has seen him at his cult rallies. He even did a childish, sing-song style bit about how he expects the legal challenges to his emergency declaration to go down. This performance was, in fact, sufficient to justify the reported considerations by former FBI official, Andrew McCabe, to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment for being mentally unfit to serve. But then, we already knew that.

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

Fox News Primetime Shows are Bleeding Audience, Advertisers, and Revenue Due to Excessive Assholery

The news just keeps getting worse for Donald Trump’s favorite television network. Over the past three months Fox News has been thrashed in the Nielsen ratings by MSNBC, particularly by Rachel Maddow who has topped her competition, Sean Hannity, almost every night since the November midterm election.

Fox News, Titanic

Now TheWrap is reporting that Hannity’s primetime colleagues have problems of their own. Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have both been the targets of advertiser boycotts as a result of commentaries that were especially loathsome. Not that their regular topics don’t routinely offend decent people. But even these weasels can cross lines that are impossible to ignore:

“According to an analysis for TheWrap by advertising data firm Standard Media Index, Fox News’ 10 p.m. slot, hosted by Ingraham, was down at least $16 million in ad revenue in 2018. Carlson’s show, which airs at 8 p.m., has lost another $2.2 million thanks to an ad boycott that began in December after he said mass immigration makes the U.S. ‘poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.'”

Tucker Carlson’s flagrant white nationalism has become a staple of his nightly program. It’s unconscionable that any advertisers continue to support him. But the exodus of ads has definitely proven to be more than a temporary setback. Carlson is currently is running about half of the ads he had prior to the boycott. And they have been replaced by unpaid Fox promos and public service announcements.

Laura Ingraham’s problems began after she attacked the survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting. These are kids who suffered a nightmare that no one should ever face, but who Ingraham considered fair game for even more abuse. She is also notorious for her racist and elitist views, such as when she said that basketball legend and philanthropist LeBron James should shut up and dribble.” Now her advertisers have also been cut in half.

Fox News is standing behind their repugnant hosts. They insist that they will not be bullied by lefties like Media Matters and Sleeping Giants. What’s more, they contend that they haven’t lost any revenue as a result of these boycotts because the ads were merely “shifted to other dayparts.” That’s an outright lie. It would mean that the other programs had unsold ad inventory that these ads could be slipped into. But even if they do, that means they still lost money because they were only replacing one ad for another. Additionally, an ad in primetime costs much more than other dayparts, so such shifting would require those ads to be discounted.

And that’s not all. With MSNBC taking the number one spot in most of the primetime cable news market, Fox News would have to lower their ad rates because advertisers aren’t going pay a premium for a number two network. And with that change in leadership comes an even bigger problem for Fox. Like every cable channel, Fox News makes most of its profits through licensing fees from cable system operators. They currently have a very lucrative contract that was negotiated at the height of their ratings success. Now that they are no longer the leader, those contracts will decline in value when they are up for renewal.

All of this is due to Fox’s determination to advance a radical right-wing agenda and to serve as the State TV mouthpiece for Donald Trump. It’s an unsustainable business model as the nation wakes up from its temporary lapse in judgement and rejects Trump and the sycophantic, cult-like GOP that he commandeered.

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

The midterm election that produced a historic shift in party control in the House of Representatives was just the beginning. And as the legal consequences of Trump’s criminal and treasonous activities unfold, Fox is going to find itself in ever deeper trenches of muck. That’s surely not going boost their bottom line.

Elizabeth Warren Slams the Fox News ‘Echo Chamber’ of ‘Fear and Hate’ in Presidential Campaign Video

On the precipice of a new year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a video (below) announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to test the waters for a prospective presidential campaign. She is the first of what will likely be a big pool of Democratic hopefuls seeking to cast out Donald Trump in 2020 – if he makes it that far (Mueller?).

Elizabeth Warren, Fox News

Notable in her video was the fact that she didn’t mention Trump’s name once. That will surely drive him nuts. There’s nothing he craves more than hearing his own name in pretty much any context. But she concentrated on bread-and-butter issues of importance to America’s middle class families. For instance, she laid out a platform that directly addresses the threat of corporatism and income inequality:

“I spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. And what I found was terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into. They’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie.”

Warren went on to link the political class to the problems that Americans are experiencing. She noted that the one-percenters “enlisted politicians [and] crippled unions.” to achieve their self-serving goals. And she pointedly stated that “Today corruption is poisoning our democracy.” She may not have said Trump’s name, but he was ever-present in her remarks.

It was also encouraging to see that Warren wasn’t shy about holding Fox News accountable for their contribution to the decline of Western Civilization. She took on the wealthy elites and Fox News saying forthrightly that:

“The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us.”

While she spoke those words there were images of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Fox and Friends, and Laura Ingraham prominently displayed. She got in the whole primetime lineup, plus Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show.

This is the kind of fearless honesty that will be needed to beat Trump (or whatever GOP hack runs in his place) in 2020. You can rest assured that Fox News will there to advance the lies and hostility of the Republican agenda and defeat the champions of unfettered democracy who are fighting for the welfare of the majority of American citizens.

The Trump presidency has shown us that the GOP couldn’t care less about ordinary people, honest representation, or the rule of law. But it has also shown us that there are voters who are susceptible to flagrant deception and who are willing – even eager – to be lied to. They are the rubes that Fox News is designed to corral into the GOP camp. And the rest of us need to be alert and engaged in order to preserve our country and the democracy that it pioneered.

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

Fox News (and Ann Coulter) Pile On Trump for Lying About His Border Wall Being Built Already

On Tuesday Donald Trump insisted that a meeting between himself and congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer be televised. That turned out to be a bad move for the President who behaved like a petulant child demanding that he get funds for his idiotic, useless border wall or he would shut down the government. He actually agreed to accept full responsibility for what Pelosi termed “the Trump Shutdown.”

Fox News, Laura Ingraham

In addition to the whining from Trump about Congress not submitting to his divine will, he repeated a flagrant lie that has been part of his stump speeches for months now. Trump wants to convince people that his wall is already being built and is near completion in some areas. That, of course, is pure fiction. He has never had funds allocated to it, and there has been no construction whatsoever. But he keeps saying this because he knows his glassy-eyed cult followers will believe whatever he says.

On this occasion, however, Some of the ordinarily loyal Trump-fluffers in the conservative media are falling off the wagon. Most notably, Laura Ingraham of Fox News, who addressed the subject on her program and told her Republican guests that…

“I must have missed the wall being built. What wall? That’s not a wall. Stop saying it’s a wall. There’s no wall … you gotta stop saying that.”

Coming from a primetime Fox News shill, that was rather surprising. Ingraham didn’t mince words either. And it was all the more significant since one of her guests was Steve Scalise, the third highest ranking Republican in the House. Of course, most of her other remarks during the segment were straight out of the Trump playbook (build the wall; stop the caravan; immigrants are criminals, drug dealers and disease carriers). But on the question of Trump lying that “A lot of wall has been built … big sections of wall,” she was spot on and uncharacteristically honest.

Ingraham was joined by another right-wing blowhard who usually shovels Trump propaganda by the barrel. Ann Coulter wondered whether Trump thinks his supporters are dumb in a tweet that called out his border wall lie:

Let’s just leave that business about what Trump thinks of his followers alone. It’s too easy. The important part of Coulter’s tweet is that she is not falling for Trump’s gaslighting of America with false claims that “People do not yet realize how much of the Wall … has already been built.” Coulter even posted a link to the Washington Post fact-checker who covered this issue earlier this year. Although, like Ingraham, Coulter swung back to her customary wingnut position. On the same episode of Ingraham’s show she unleashed a nauseatingly racist tirade against Democrats:

“We’re gonna be seeing a lot of these disputes in the Democratic Party base because they all hate one another. I mean you have the Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers. The only thing that keeps the Democratic base together is for them to keep focusing on white men are the ones keeping you down. You must hate white men. It’s the one thing they have in common.”

So while these devoted sycophants for Trump can be relied on to spew hatred and lies on behalf of their Dear Leader, it’s nice to see that once in awhile they can recognize the inconvenient truth that Trump is a bald-faced liar. Although they have the luxury of knowing that Trump isn’t going to tweet nasty epithets at them, or make up infantile nicknames, the way he does if Maxine Waters or Hillary Clinton says the exact same thing.

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

Fox News Hacks Say Media Coverage Honoring Bush is a ‘Weapon Against Trump’

Whenever a public figure like a president dies the media brings out their pre-written obituaries and biographies. It becomes a multi-day marathon of tributes and remembrances that focus on the most positive aspects of the dearly departed. And these past past few days since the passing of President George H.W. Bush has been no exception.

Donald Trump

What is exceptional, however, is the capacity for Fox News, and their stable of right-wing shills, to turn the whole thing into a political circus. And they valiantly manage to do it in the most brazenly asinine way possible. The coverage on Fox has taken a well-coordinated turn to spin any positive messaging about Bush as a calculated attack on Donald Trump. No, really. Here is the host of Fox’s MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, on how the press is weaponizing tributes to Bush (video below):

“There has been just a remarkable media outpouring of gratitude and affection and celebration since the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. But what’s really striking now are the tributes, because there’s just a lot of national affection for a guy who was such a gentleman, and sort of engaged in civility, and could debate his opponents without demonizing them, and often worked with Democrats.”

Kurtz went on to highlight what he perceives as “the contrast between all of the hoopla now” and the way Bush was covered at the time. Then he itemized some of Bush’s most notable missteps and failures, including the blatantly racist, “Willie Horton” ad (produced by a protege of Roger Ailes, who later founded Fox News), and his infamous broken promise of “no new taxes.” All of this was leading up to his premise that the complimentary coverage Bush in death is a deliberate attack on Donald Trump:

“Many of the journalists and pundits who don’t like this president have decided to use the passing of a previous president as a way to bash Trump. […] Very much in contrast to the way he was covered in the 1980’s and 1990’s. And very much used as a kind of a weapon against President Trump.”

Kurtz isn’t the only Fox News Trump-fluffer to make this connection between flattering Bush and insulting Trump. Sean Hannity did a whole segment on his Monday night program wherein he ranted that “They’ll try and bludgeon you when your alive, and now that you’re no longer a political threat oh, you were the greatest person that ever lived.” And Laura Ingraham weighed in on the same subject saying “Sadly though, with the death of George H.W. Bush, some in the media, and politicians from both parties, are abusing this moment to trash instead the sitting president.”

The main problem with these analyses is that they actually point to a big problem that is inherent to Trump’s malignant personality disorders. By praising anyone else for their civility, genteelness, character, unselfishness, and respect for others, you are by definition criticizing Trump’s lack of any of these traits. Just by saying that Bush often demonstrated kindness or concern, you’re making an inescapable comparison to the narcissistic blowhard currently occupying the Oval Office.

Furthermore, these Trump supplicants on Fox News seem to think that there’s something wrong if coverage of a deceased president is different, more complimentary, than the coverage they received when they were still on their government jobs. That’s absurd to the point of nonsense. Political leaders are subject to being critiqued while serving. They face good and bad press in response to their performance and behavior. They are not supposed to be lionized while in office as saintly figures upon whom only praise is lavished. And while that may be the way that Fox News always treats Trump, that doesn’t make it right, or ethical, or sane.

Bush had some successes as president. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act. But he had his share of failures too. And if the press lays off for a few days after his passing, that’s to be expected. But complimenting him on matters of character that Trump is so sorely lacking isn’t an example of the press bashing Trump. It’s Trump’s fault for being such an unambiguous asshole that any discussion about someone who isn’t reflects badly on him. If he doesn’t like it he could try to stop being such a self-absorbed jackass. But it’s probably too late for that.

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 for Lawless Tyranny in the White House: Tells Trump to Violate Judicial Rulings

The blatant biases of State TV (aka Fox News) have been well documented for many years. And particularly in the Era of Trump, their slobbering sycophancy has gone to extremes never before seen. But for most of that time they have confined their propaganda to slavishly supporting Donald Trump and falsely maligning his critics. Now they are upping their game.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Laura Ingraham

Throughout much of Trump’s presidency he has attempted to govern as if he had dictatorial powers. He has sidestepped Congress to issue more executive orders than any of his modern predecessors. He has interfered with ordinarily independent government agencies to impose his will. And he has implemented numerous policies that have been struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. And in all of these matters he insists that he has the ultimate power over whether his initiatives are carried out.

Now Trump is getting help from Fox News in his bid to become the American Fuhrer. A pair of court decisions has inflamed the network’s hosts to the point that they are openly advocating lawlessness on the part of the White House.

On Monday night, the embarrassingly brown-nosing Fox Business host, Lou Dobbs, presided over a discussion about the court decision forcing Trump to restore the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta. The White House’s original suspension of the pass was repudiated by most of the press corps, including the executives at Fox News (although not their on-air punditry). Following the court order, Trump issued a bizarre and unconstitutional decree that sought to enforce strict behavioral guidelines for reporters. But Dobbs and his guest Gregg Jarrett weren’t having any of it (video below):

Dobbs: Isn’t there a time where you have to just tell a district court judge to go to hell? I mean the idea that you have to follow the dicta of a district court judge and can’t make rules and can’t run the White House in the way that it has been run since time immemoriam.
Jarrett: There’s no freedom to be obnoxious and rude. There’s no freedom of the press to question the President. It’s a privilege to be there at the White House. And there are rules and norms that have always been followed. And now you’ve got a judge who has decided to expand due process beyond any resemblance of its intent.
Dobbs: He’s telling the President if the United States how to conduct business.
Jarrett: I agree with you. I would tell the judge to go to hell.

So these alleged “patriots” believe that “There’s no freedom of the press to question the President”? Apparently their constitutional education didn’t even make to the First Amendment. What’s more, they believe that they can simply tell judges to “go to hell”? That’s a form of ultra-rightist anarchy that is practiced in dictatorships, not constitutional republics. And now it’s openly advocated by Fox News, Trump’s designated media mouthpiece.

But that isn’t the end of it. Fox News host Laura Ingraham took a similar stand on different subject. Another recent court ruling found that Trump’s proposed restrictions on how and where immigrants can apply for asylum were unconstitutional. This pertains to the refugees that Trump falsely accused of being criminals and sent the military down to the border to prevent an imaginary “invasion.” In response to this ruling Ingraham lashed out saying that:

“These courts are out of control. […] Maybe it’s time to just defy these court orders and say, ‘Make me. Make me. We think your order is illegitimate.”

Once again, a Fox Newser is advising the President to violate the law, to act in contempt of court, and to impose his dictatorial will over the rule of law and the American people. This is beyond mere political advocacy. This is subjorning criminal acts. This is cheerleading for tyranny. This is profoundly disrespecting the principles enshrined in our nation’s Constitution.

And, not to be overlooked, this is being done with the full knowledge and approval of the network’s executives and owners. Fox News is acting in concert with the criminals in the White House and their accomplices in the Republican Nationalist Party.

This is a shockingly inappropriate abuse of the air waves and warrants an investigation by the FCC and the oversight committees in Congress. Just like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater is not protected free speech, compelling illegal acts on TV is not protected freedom of the press. If Sean Hannity were to look into the camera and tell his viewers to get their guns start shooting some Democrats he would be arrested immediately. This is the same thing. It’s a direct incitement to criminal activity. And Fox News needs to be held accountable.

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

Two-Faced Fox News: Both Supporting and Attacking CNN’s Lawsuit Against Trump

The split personality of Fox News is on display with regard to the controversy over their treatment of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s press pass last week after a contentious exchange with Donald Trump at a press conference. Trump’s behavior at the event was over the top, even for him. He viciously lashed out and insulted Acosta and several other reporters, including three African-American women.

Fox News, Donald Trump

However, what’s making the headlines now is the administration’s revocation of access to the White House for Acosta and the subsequent lawsuit filed by CNN to restore his First Amendment rights. The suit has been hailed by most of the journalistic community including the White House Correspondents Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. And even Fox News issued a statement in support of CNN’s lawsuit:

“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox couldn’t resist highlighting what they called an “antagonistic tone.” but at least they included Trump in the criticism. The rest of the statement is a solid defense of the First Amendment. The problem is that this sentiment expressed by their management is not shared by their program hosts.

For instance, on her Tuesday night program Laura Ingraham is not so supportive. She called the lawsuit a “stunt” and a “farce.” Fox’s media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, wrote an op-ed Tuesday criticizing CNN, saying that “By taking the president to court, CNN also reinforces its image among millions of Trump supporters as part of the opposition.” And Wednesday on the air Kurtz said that “I think this suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one.” Martha MacCallum hosted former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer who dismissed freedom of the press saying that “It’s not a right to be able to go over to the White House.” And Fox’s senior Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity, complained bitterly for ten minutes about the lawsuit. He disparaged Acosta as “a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger.” Trump was apparently watching, because he later used the “grandstanding” slur in an interview with Tucker Carlson’s rag, The Daily Caller. At no time did Hannity or the others stand up for the principles of freedom of the press.

This is representative of the two faces of Fox News. They like to pretend that they are a part of the journalistic community and committed to the constitutional provisions that protect the media. But their most watched personalities prefer the suppressive concepts favored by dictators who get to choose who cover them and what is permissible to say. And that’s also the position of the Trump White House that defended the President’s censorious punishment of Acosta in a statement that said:

“The President and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews.”

Actually, that isn’t the same thing at all. While Trump has been extremely selective with regard to interviews (the vast majority of which have been with Fox News), a press conference is an open event during which all attendees have equal access. And by selectively banning a reporter who asks tough questions, Trump is manipulating the coverage of his media avails to only those with whom he agrees, or believes he can overcome with bullying, filibustering, and lies. That is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned a free press. And Fox doesn’t get to be a “news” enterprise by issuing a statement in support of the First Amendment, while they put hacks on the air who advocate against it.

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

Trump Accidentally Admits that Fox News Really is the State TV Division of His White House

Continuing to demonstrate the cowardice that is an integral part of his nature, Donald Trump gave yet another interview to the only network that he isn’t afraid to be questioned by. He appeared on Fox News with the sickly sycophantic Laura Ingraham for a few minutes of fluffing interspersed with incoherent and irrelevant weaving and dodging.

Fox News, Laura Ingraham

The interview broke absolutely no news, making it the pointless waste of time that everyone expected. It was just Trump bragging (lying) about imaginary accomplishments and whining about how he is so beaten up by reporters. Seriously, this tough talking pile of unworthy conceit is actually so weak that, by his own account, those pesky, lightweight news nerds are ripping him to pieces. The only thing that can be described as a revelation from this softball fest is something Trump said that he didn’t mean to reveal (video below).

In a discussion that was ostensibly about his Stalinist references to the media as “the enemy of the people,” Trump tried to justify his reckless hyperbole by claiming that “It’s my form of telling the truth.” Because everyone needs their own “form” of the truth. Then he let this actual example of truth inadvertently slip out:

“We have a lot of supporters. You know that better than anybody. All you have to do is look at your ratings.”

What Trump is saying is that the proof of his popularity is evident in the ratings of Fox News. Really? That must mean that Fox News is an official arm of Trump’s administration and that their fortunes are inextricably intertwined. Which is true, but it’s not something you hear them confess very often.

The interview also addressed a couple of other media related matters. In the following exchange Ingraham helped Trump out by citing a harsh comment by a guest on CNN (who later apologized, which neither Ingraham or Trump acknowledged even though it happened hours before the interview):

Ingraham: There was a woman who was on CNN a short while ago saying that you have radicalized more people than ISIS — that was CNN today.
Trump: Well, that must be some kind of a sick woman. When I say “the enemy of the people,” I’m talking about the fake news and you know it better than anybody.

What Trump isn’t saying is that when he talks about the fake news he means almost all news, and probably everything other than Fox News and a few wingnut websites. Trump never gives an adequate explanation for his use of the “enemy of the people” line even after he is asked about it directly:

Ingraham: How does it help expand your base, to call them [the media] the enemy of the people? How does it help America heal?
Trump: That’s a very good question. Before we finish though – So we’ve done a great job with North Korea…”

Whereupon Trump changed the subject and Ingraham never brought it back up. Why should she when her assignment is to comply with the Fox News mission of falsely maligning Trump’s critics and defending him from any and all criticism aimed his way. She did that throughout the interview. And she even capped it off with this bit of twisted unfairness and imbalance: “You know they [the media] are going to be biased. […] They’re never going to be fair to you.” Left to the imagination is Ingraham’s unspoken elaboration that Trump can always rely on Fox News for unconditional fawning and slobbering tongue baths. Like the one she just gave him.

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