U.S. Finishes Dead Last for Media Trust Among 46 Countries, and Fox News Lies About It

The state of the media suffered “bigly” during the years that Donald Trump occupied the White House. He hated the concept of free press, repeatedly calling it “the enemy of the people,” and berating and insulting reporters. It was his mission to sow discord. And it was one of the few things that he was good at. At least with regard to his worshipful cult followers.

Fox News, Bullshit Factory

Trump actually admitted to Leslie Stahl that he purposefully foments distrust of the media. She asked him why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Mission accomplished! A new report by the Reuters Institute ranked media trust among 46 countries. The United States came in dead last:

“The United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries. […] One explanation, though not necessarily the only one, is the extreme political polarization in the U.S. This study, like many others, found extremely high levels of distrust — 75% of those who identify as being on the right thought coverage of their views is unfair.”

So it was the deliberate slander of the press by Trump and his conservative mouthpieces at Fox News and elsewhere that produced this humiliating result for the U.S. And no one should be surprised to learn that it’s still going on. Fox News contributor Joe Concha wrote an op-ed for The Hill that brazenly misrepresented the Reuters study:

“The U.S. media is the least trustworthy in the world, according to a comprehensive new Reuters Institute survey encompassing 46 countries. Yes, you read that right. The country with among the most resources in this arena – human, technical and otherwise – finished dead last. Finland ranked the highest, with a 65 percent trust rating. In Kenya, the trust rating clocked in at 61 percent. But here in the U.S.A., the home of global media giants including the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, we’re trusted by a whopping 29 percent of those reading and watching.’

Notice what Concha left out? The primary cause of distrust in the media, his employer Fox News. Concha’s article went on to cite stories about Trump’s collusion with Russia an example of why the media isn’t trusted. He falsely claimed that “the Mueller Report didn’t find proof” when it actually did. Concha also maligned CNN and MSNBC reporters, saying that “they’re patently partisan opinion hosts” who “share their feelings, their opinions” and that they “pass it off as objective news reporting.” Which, of course, is what Fox News does 24/7, and what Concha is doing in this op-ed.

Digging deeper into the Reuters study confirms that Fox News is the main offender. When the survey results were broken down by media brand, Fox News had the distinction of being the most distrusted at 46% and only 35% trusted. That coincides with Trump’s most zealous base of support. Meanwhile, the most frequent media targets of Trump’s animus (NBC/MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post) all placed higher than Fox by 8 to 11 points.

Fox News, Reuters, Media Brands

The fact that Fox News would so flagrantly misrepresent this information is typical of their dishonesty and bias. This week Fox also misrepresented the ratings for cable news networks. They reported on the ratings decline of CNN and MSNBC, attributing it, without evidence, to a “credibility problem.” But for some reason Fox’s article never mentioned Fox News ratings at all, or the fact that they had declines that were just as bad and, more often than not, worse.

So in less than a week Fox News blatantly lied twice (at least) about how they are received in the media marketplace. And they are doing it deliberately with the intention to deceive. Which is no less than what should be expected of a “news” network that lies about everything else all day, every day. That’s just how Fox News rolls.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Trump Spends Most of the 60 Minutes Interview Lying and Whining About the Media

While awaiting the final presidential debate of 2020, Donald Trump is obsessing over a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl that won’t air until Sunday. Well, it ordinarily wouldn’t air, but Trump took it upon himself to release his own video in violation of his agreement with CBS.

Donald Trump Angry

On Thursday morning Trump pounded out some tweets referring to the interview. True to form, Trump displayed a familiar attitude of weakness and victimhood as he sought to portray Stahl as a big meanie who was out to get him. He whimpered that…

I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted “takeout” interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes. Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and “magnificently brilliant” answers to their “Q’s”.

And…

Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!”

If this is what Trump thinks is anger, hatred, and rudeness, he really is a fragile little snowflake. But that’s been glaringly apparent for years. In addition to this petulant grumbling, Trump has also blatantly violated the agreement he made with 60 Minutes not to release any video prior to the Sunday evening broadcast. CBS reacted to this breach of contract in a press release chastising his “unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement.” But anyone who expects Trump to behave ethically hasn’t been paying attention.

The interview itself was a shipload of lies (video below). Trump claimed repeatedly that he already has a healthcare plan (that he still refuses to reveal) to replace the Affordable Care Act, even as he expresses his desire that the Supreme Court strike down Obamacare. He also said that he doesn’t know anything about Steve Bannon (his former campaign chairman) and Rudy Giuliani (his current personal attorney) or their smear campaign against the Biden family. Never mind that he’s been talking and tweeting about it ever since it surfaced in the right-wing press. Trump repeated his frequent lie that the Obama administration spied on him. And that’s just the tip of iceberg.

Let’s set aside the voluminous lies that Trump told during this interview. That’s business as usual for Trump. He also spent much of the time complaining about Stahl and the media instead of answering the questions. She struggled, mostly in vain, to get him to stick to the subject. But his mind wandered aimlessly through a forest of incoherence as he tried desperately to deflect every inquiry into some form of media bashing. For instance…

In response to a question he obviously didn’t like, Trump began his reply attacking Stahl’s tone, saying that “The way you said that is why people think of you and everyone else as fake news.” When she pointed out the fallacy of Trump’s claim that his recent cult rallies are “the biggest rallies we’ve ever had,” (they aren’t), he responded with a brittle “You’re so negative.” And in a tired old complaint Trump whined that “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media. Because the media is corrupt. In my opinion the media is corrupt. The media is fake. And frankly, if I didn’t have social media I’d have no way of getting out my voice.” That’s the alleged “President” of the United States saying that he has no platform for communicating with the public.

Trump raised several objections that centered around his jealousy of Joe Biden. “You don’t ask Biden tough questions,” Trump cried. “I wish you would interview Joe Biden like you interview me. […] You’re like big tech. You’re protecting him. And everyone is. Except for a few people.” Trump complained again about being asked “tough questions.” Then he falsely claimed that “When you set up the interview you didn’t say that. You said ‘Oh, let’s have a lovely interview.'” Yeah sure, that’s what veteran journalist Lesley Stahl said. Then Trump whines again that Biden has never been asked a hard question. And shortly thereafter Trump concludes that his suffering was too much and decides to run away saying “That’s enough. Let’s go.”

Somehow, Trump’s cult disciples continue to view Trump as a pillar of strength. That’s an extraordinarily perverse image of a man who is so clearly a weakling and a coward. There has never been an American leader who wallows so deeply in victimhood. However, he does have much to fear now. He’s about to be resoundingly defeated for reelection. And after that he is likely to face multiple civil and criminal trials. So maybe we should cut him some slack if he’s trembling at the prospect of his crumbling future. Nah, let’s not. He brought it on himself, and it’s what he deserves.

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

Happy Easter from Donald Trump During a Pandemic

On this holy day for America’s Christian faithful, Donald Trump has spent the day demonstrating just how important the holiday is to him.

Donald Trump, Twitter

As usual, Trump was manning his Twitter machine and blasting out a flurry of frantic tweets that mainly expressed his rage and hostility and ignorance. It’s hardly what you would call piety. For instance…

Congress was too distracted? Trump himself said he was too distracted to deal with the coronavirus. In other words, he was admitting that he chose to prioritize his impeachment over the lives of the American people.

This is Trump celebrating that there are disaster declarations in all 50 states. That isn’t winning. By definition, it’s a disaster! But Trump’s mind was on his mortal enemy, the free press.

Trump, who said that he takes no responsibility for the management of the coronavirus crisis is shifting that responsibility to others.

For the record, there was no China ban. More than 40,000 came into the country after the alleged ban. Also, Trump just retweeted a message advocating that he fire Dr. Anthony Fauci.

To be clear, Trump is “working hard” to slander the media for telling the truth about him. He warned us that he would do this. When asked by Lesley Stahl why he attacked the press, he replied “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” And there you have it. That’s Easter in the Trump White House.

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

Whining on Fox News: Fact-Checking Trump Will ‘Reveal Him to Be Stupid, Uninformed, or a Liar’

From the outset of Donald Trump’s presidency he has regarded the media as his most dangerous foe. That’s why he he repeatedly refers to it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” He even explicitly tweeted on Wednesday that his “real opponent” is not the Democratic Party, but the press. It’s his innate hatred of any institution that is governed by facts and honesty that drives this dangerous and anti-constitutional hostility.

Donald Trump

Trump is right in a perverse way. He really does need to fear the press due to his unabashed and pathological lying. To date he has racked up more than 12,000 lies since his inauguration. Every fact-checker who tracks Trump’s pitiful record of falsehoods has compiled volumes of evidence that he simply doesn’t care about accuracy or truth. And his lies can range from easily verifiable nonsense like who pays for tariffs (which got shot down by Fox News), to his ludicrous battle to defend saying that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian (it wasn’t). Trump will lie about matters big and small because his internal morality doesn’t recognize the difference between truth and lies. He’s focused solely on whatever benefits him at the moment.

So it was not surprising to see Geraldo Rivera at his regular perch on Fox and Friends running defense for Trump. These relentless presidential bootlickers are as predictable as flies on bullshit, which is a pretty apt simile. During a segment that started out examining Trump’s diverting funds from the military to his vanity border wall, Geraldo took a detour to shield Trump from criticism about his lying ways, but belly-flopped painfully in the process:

“This is all clear to me what is happening is that this president gets the worst press of any president in the history of the republic. Everything he says and does is cross-checked and scrutinized to reveal him to be stupid, uninformed, or a liar, you know, it is very frustrating to see how other news networks obsess about any misstep or misstatement the president makes.”

Geraldo’s assessment of which president got the worst press might be disputed by Presidents Clinton, or Nixon, or even Lincoln. But to the extent that there is negative news about Trump, it’s entirely his own fault. After all, Trump is the worst president of any in the history of the republic. He’s the first to never have positive approval ratings (they never broke above 46 percent). And his inexperience, ignorance, and incompetence is exposed nearly every day in on his Twitter feed and his useless, impromptu “chopper talk” press avails. It would be easy for Trump to avoid bad press. Just stop doing idiotic, racist, and often illegal things.

More to the point, Geraldo is complaining because “Everything [Trump] says and does is cross-checked.” Oh my Gawd! What a horrible thing to do to a public servant who is pretending to lead the free world. What’s worse is that Geraldo actually admits that such scrutiny will result in Trump being revealed to be “stupid, uninformed, or a liar.” And that, as it happens, is the truth. So what Geraldo is upset about is that the true nature of Trump’s inadequacies will become apparent to everyone should he be held to reasonable standards of review. Which is the job of the press. But Geraldo isn’t seeking the truth. He’s seeking the suppression of it. Which is the job of Fox News.

Trump is upset about the very same thing as Geraldo. He doesn’t really care whether the media is honest or not. He’s only interested in making sure that his flagrant fabrications aren’t discovered and reported. And if they are, he will attempt to discredit the press so that no one – or at least his Deplorable cult followers – will believe them. He actually admitted that to Leslie Stahl when she asked why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” So as Stahl suggested, “Put that in your head for a minute.”

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