Donald Trump and Fox News Advocate for a Global Prison-Like “Walls Around the World” Agenda

On the twenty-sixth day of the Trump Shutdown, Donald Trump and congressional Republicans continue to refuse to allow the government to reopen and let hundreds of thousands of Americans return to work. Speaker Nancy Pelosi advised the White House that there will be no State of the Union address on Capitol Hill as long as the Secret Service is hamstrung by the shutdown and working without pay. And the every poll shows that voters are staunchly opposed to Trump and his stonewalling on the matter.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs

So naturally Fox News has leaped to the rescue of their president with a brand new line of attack that blazes new trails of absurdity while obliterating any semblance of logic. On Tuesday’s episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight (video below), the Fox Business host (and undisputed “Most Deranged Host on Fox”) sought to shore up Trump’s argument for his idiotic vanity wall with statistics that were unattributed to any source. Dobbs asserted that there have been “at least 77 barriers built across the globe.” And that “45 countries have proposals for border walls.” And that “since 2015, over 800 miles of barriers have been built in Europe.” He also said that:

“It’s now day twenty-five of the shutdown and President Trump continues to fight for the $5.7 billion to secure our southern border. And make no mistake, walls do work. And other countries all across the world are using them battling their own influx of migrants or to stave off terrorists.”

It’s impossible to confirm any of this because Dobbs failed to provide any source for his assertions. But if it’s anything like the rest of what Fox News reports, it was made up by Fox or some right-wing think tank they employ. The segment featured a graphic with a headline blaring “Walls Around the World,” as if that description of worldwide bondage was a good thing. It’s also impossible to assess whether any of these alleged “walls” were built for reasons that had anything to do with the immigration concerns expressed by Trump. The situations in other countries are not necessarily applicable to those of the United States. But that didn’t stop Trump from straight-up copying the Dobbs data and pasting it into a morning tweet:

This is just the latest example of Trump getting his “intelligence” from Fox News and passing it on to his Deplorables without admitting where he took it from. And Trump, like Fox, didn’t bother to cite any reputable source for the info. But there’s something else about this argument that is peculiar.

Trump is now making the point that, if Europe and the rest of the world is allegedly building walls to prevent migration, then the U.S. should be doing it too. But since when has Trump ever cared what the rest of the world was doing, other than as an example of what the U.S. should avoid? America First! And if what the rest of the world is doing is now setting the example for America, then Trump should be fighting for universal healthcare, because every single industrialized nation on the planet already has it. Likewise, just about every country in the world is signatory to the Paris Accords on Climate Change.

Once again, Trump is demonstrating two of his most prominent characteristics: He never has an original thought, or one that didn’t begin at Fox News. And his ability to form a logical argument is nonexistent. All he is doing is throwing mud at the wall and hoping it builds up enough to form a barrier at the southern border. Either that or that it sticks to the insides of the empty craniums of his cult followers. Either way he is proving again that he is dishonest, incompetent, and unfit to serve as president.

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

Trump’s Braintrust (Fox News) is Pushing Him to Declare a National Emergency to Get His Border Wall

The presidency of Donald Trump has distinguished itself for its hostility to the media and the Constitution’s protection of a free press. His tedious whining about “fake news” and his Stalinist references to the media as “the enemy of the people” are evidence of his desire to poison the public’s minds in order to suppress criticism of him and his administration.

Donald Trump, Fox News

That said, no president has ever been more closely intertwined with a media enterprise than Trump is with Fox News. Before his election he was a regularly scheduled contributor to Fox and Friends with a segment called “Mondays with Trump.” He limits his interviews to Fox News on a nearly exclusive basis. His administration is infested with former Fox News staffers. They include: Deputy Chief of Staff, Bill Shine, who was the president of the network before being fired for mishandling incidents of sexual harassment; ambassador to the United Nations nominee, Heather Nauert, a former Fox host; National Security Advisor, John Bolton, an ex-Fox contributor.

In addition, Trump employs current Fox News anchors as his de facto cabinet, getting advice on everything from the economy to military engagements, to taxes and more. Sean Hannity is reported to talk with the President almost every night before bedtime. Lou Dobbs is often on conference call during Oval Office meetings. Jeanine Pirro is a favorite consultant on legal matters. And Trump is frequently live-tweeting whatever he happens to be watching on Fox, day and night.

Recently, Trump was prepared to sign a bipartisan bill to keep the government open. But when Fox Newsies heard that it didn’t provide funding for his idiotic vanity wall, they went berserk. Subsequently, Trump reversed course, and now we find ourselves in what is about to become the longest government shutdown in history. Which makes it all the more troubling that many of Trump’s Fox faves are now imploring him to declare a national emergency as a tactic to fund the wall that has nothing to do with any emergency, and that most Americans oppose. For instance, as reported by Media Matters:

Sean Hannity: So, with the president speaking, I’m guessing he’s going to declare a national emergency. […] victims of crime happening in this country, that should be enough of a national emergency.

Lou Dobbs: This is the president of the United States. He says a wall should be built; that it’s a national emergency. At that point, the nation should rally behind him. […] It is a national emergency, it is a crisis, and there could be no rational disputation of that.

Lou Dobbs (again): I really believe that the way forward here is for him to declare a national emergency, and simply sweep aside the recalcitrant left in this country.

Stuart Varney: I think this total refusal to negotiate has pushed the president to the point where he has to declare an emergency on the border.

Rush Limbaugh: And so they empowered the executive branch with the National Emergencies Act. He can confiscate private businesses, if he wants. All he has to do is declare it a national emergency.

Gregg Jarrett: The National Emergency Act authorizes the president to declare an emergency, and nobody can second-guess him. He has unfettered authority. […] he can use the military, redirect them for construction of an unauthorized project, whatever it is, the president wants it to be. That can be the barrier wall, and nobody can stop him from doing it.

Bob Bianchi (Fox guest): To me, politically, it makes perfect sense. [for Trump to] invoke my powers as the president under the National Emergency Act and under one of these sub-acts that allows me to move funds around to build this border wall.

Tom Fitton (on Tucker Carlson Tonight): It is a national emergency when we have a thousand plus miles of unsecured border in our southern area without any ability to figure out who’s coming across. We know the terrorists are targeting [the] southern border.

Considering how gullible Trump is, and how easily influenced he is by his Fox News brain(?) trust, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll declare a national emergency. However, contrary to the ravings of Trump and Fox, he does not have unfettered authority to do so. It will undoubtedly be challenged in court. And since the facts don’t support any claim to a crisis, he’ll almost certainly lose. In the meantime, millions of people are hurt and the nation is stifled by Trump’s ignorance and ego. Hopefully that can all be avoided by Congress waking up and doing the right thing. But given the abdication of its civic duty, Mitch McConnell’s Senate has to be considered a long shot.

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

It’s Official! Lou Dobbs is the Undisputed “Most Deranged Lunatic” on Fox News for 2018

The competition was fierce. With perennial Fox News favorites like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and the rabidly incoherent “Judge” Jeanine Pirro vying for the title, a longshot contender has emerged from the pack for a clear and unchallenged victory. Congratulations to Lou Dobbs.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs

While no one can dismiss the efforts by Hannity to relentlessly defend Donald Trump from any and all criticism, even to the point of appearing at his cult rallies to make his endorsement in public, it wasn’t enough. And Carlson’s ceaseless support for the white nationalism that is the foundation of Trump’s base wasn’t enough either. All of it, including the infantile babbling from the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, failed to knock Dobbs from his well deserved perch. Because how can you compete with material like this:

Charles Hurt, Washington Times: This is the entire problem that all of these people have. They all have been – have been peddling this fear-mongering, the end of the world nonsense.
Dobbs: Actually, the United Nations really wants to go a little bit beyond being a, if you will, a debate club. They’d like to take over the world. And they see the perfect opportunity in global warming. […] despite the fact that there is great, great debate over whether there is that quote-unquote “warming.”

That’s right. The United Nations is actively pursuing a plot of world domination. And their dastardly scheme is centered on a determination to prevent the Earth from becoming inhospitable for living creatures. How underhanded and devious of them. And Dobbs calls out these villains who he says are ignoring the “great, great debate” about the reality of climate change that is currently raging among the three percent of scientists (and 97% of Fox News shills) who deny that it’s happening. But this alone wouldn’t have secured Dobbs this great honor. He also unleashed this epic idiocy:

Dobbs: What in hell is wrong with the American people that they don’t understand this president deserves their support because he is trying to protect their lives and that of their children? […] Why shouldn’t it be frustrating to the American people to see [Trump] assailed every day? You’re watching in Robert Mueller a man trying to kill him.

Those damn American people! Somebody needs to put an end to them. Maybe the U.N. Dobbs also wondered why every preacher and history teacher isn’t talking about this and he ranted that “higher education is indoctrinating American students to become left-wing radicals.” That’s wrong because, according to Dobbs, they should should be indoctrinating those kids to worship Trump the Protector.

But worst of all, Dobbs has revealed the clandestine plot by the leader of the “Deep State” conspiracy, special counsel Robert Mueller, to actually assassinate the President. Why isn’t anyone else talking about this? Isn’t it obvious that Mueller is maneuvering himself and his “Band of Angry Democrats” (as Trump calls them) into position to shoot his lethal legal filings and deadly facts straight at Trump’s bulbous, yet empty head?

Lou Dobbs really does deserve credit for beating out some pretty darn tough competitors for this honor. The “Most Deranged Lunatic” on Fox News was never going to be an easy award to capture. But Dobbs rose to the occasion and he’s entitled to all the of the attention and ridicule that comes with it.

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.

Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief: Trump Floats Fake MAGABomber ‘Stuff’ as Politically Motivated

Friday morning there was good news out of Florida regarding the MAGABomber. Authorities have confirmed that a suspect, Cesar Sayoc, Jr, is in now custody. He is described as a Florida resident with ties to New York and a criminal past. And while that sounds a little like Donald Trump, it’s actually just a like-minded supporter with pro-trump, anti-media stickers plastered over most of his van. Now who would ever have guessed that?

MAGABomber, Donald Trump

Meanwhile, Trump himself spent the morning whining profusely about the sorry state of America and how everyone in it is out to get him. His latest tweetstorm is a prime example of the narcissism fueled state of rage that he is in virtually all the time. He began with this bit of crybaby bawling:

Apparently Trump is furious that the media can criticize the President “at will.” They didn’t even have to get official permission from the White House. What do they think this is? A democratic republic with a free press, or something? And the only reason that anyone blames him for the “current spate of bombs” is because he’s demonstrably responsible. Trump’s relentless and reckless attacks on his political opponents and the press have created an atmosphere that emboldens fringe characters like Sayoc. Trump complains that he is called “unpresidential” for criticisms. But the reality is that his criticisms are overtly hostile and explicitly advocate violence.

The next tweet shows just how unhinged Trump has become with regard to how the media has been reporting this domestic terrorism. Trump believes that it’s all about him and a plot to damage his presidency and the Republican prospects in the midterm election:

Trump leads off by gaslighting the nation with phony assessments of the state of the Republican campaign. If anything, the early voting is benefiting Democrats, as is the massive fundraising advantages that Democrats are enjoying. So Trump resorts to belittling the domestic terrorism by his supporter as “this ‘Bomb’ stuff.” It’s downright sickening that Trump’s reaction to mail bombs being sent to prominent Americans is to whine about the political ramifications, rather than the threat to human lives.

Furthermore, Trump’s complaint about a news story distracting from the election is absurd and hypocritical. He’s been demagoguing about the Central American refugees for weeks now, in an effort to influence his base of cult voters. Never mind that they are not expected to reach the U.S. border until at least a month after the election. By the way, the news is still talking about politics. Even Fox News.

Finally, Trump posted a laughably conspiratorial tweet about Twitter removing his followers and making it harder for new ones to join:

This is the sort of brilliant, expert analysis you might expect from Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, or Diamond & Silk. Which is almost certainly where he got it. And it isn’t the first time that Trump has ranted – with zero evidence – that he and other rightists were the victims of social media bias. He has even promised to stomp the boot of government down on Twitter, Google, etc., if they didn’t bend to his will.

Trump’s claim that the number of his Twitter followers has declined from a “Rocket Ship” to a “Blimp” is not supported by any documentation. Like almost everything else he says, it’s backed up by his big fat assumptions based on nothing but an overactive imagination. If anything, any declines are more likely attributable to the fact that more than half of his followers are fake (and probably Russian).

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

Throughout all of this blathering idiocy, Trump is failing any test of leadership by focusing the country on unity and a determination to make our politics more civil and our people safer. He hasn’t even reached out to the victims in this matter, which include two former presidents. He only sees these things in terms of how they affect him personally. But that’s been his modus operandi since even before he was President. So don’t expect him change or “pivot” to acting presidential. Any who still thinks that’s a possibility is terminally naive.

HUH? White House Will ‘Look Into’ Why State TV (Fox News) Stopped Airing Trump’s Rallies Live

Trump delivered another tedious and repetitive stump speech at one of his, now frequent, cult rallies Wednesday in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was a showcase for all of his “greatest hits” featuring “Build the Wall,” “Lock Her Up,” “Witch Hunt,” and many more. However, there was difference with this revival meeting that sets it apart from most of those in the past.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Politico reports that the Trump Broadcasting Network’s State TV (aka Fox News), declined to air the event live and uninterrupted as they usually do. Fox News has been a devoted servant of this administration when it comes to disseminating propaganda via their airwaves. They even promote on air with chyrons that read “Trump Rally Live & Only on Fox News, Other Networks Ignore Presidential Rally.” But it’s possible that Trump’s floundering popularity and financial concerns may be influencing their programming going forward. Politico notes that:

“As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.”

That’s right. Trump is losing fans on the network that has been his official fan club for more than two years. This cannot be good news for the President, especially since he is increasing the number of these affairs specifically to boost the campaign prospects of Republican candidates in the cities where he is performing.

Consequently, Trump is compensating for this reduced coverage by calling into Fox News programs by phone. In the past three days he’s done that three times, ringing up his buddies Jeanine Pirro, Shannon Bream, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. But this is not likely to satisfy the White House. They have grown accustomed to the fawning attention they get from Fox News and expect it to continue. And they aren’t sitting around waiting for Fox to correct the situation. According to Politico:

“One senior White House official was unsure why the network would decide to cut away from presidential rallies, saying officials planned ‘to look into that’ and wouldn’t be surprised if White House communications director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, was in touch with former colleagues about the trend.”

Let that sink in. The White House believes that they have some sort of right to free airtime on Fox News, and if they aren’t getting it they will take action to set the network straight. Notice that they aren’t talking about looking into CNN or MSNBC. They are focusing on their wholly owned platform for media exposure and dispatching Bill Shine to address this outrageous policy shift. Shine is the former president of Fox News and Trump’s current deputy chief of staff for communications. And if you think that this isn’t explicitly about having an impact on the upcoming midterm election, just take it from the mouth of a GOP campaign operative who worries about the loss of Trump’s TV time because:

“‘It exposes us to a national audience that we normally don’t get to,’ a Senate Republican campaign staffer said of the coverage of Trump rallies. ‘We tend to see lots of new sign-ups and small-dollar donations. There’s obviously folks streaming [rallies] online, but being able to be onstage with the president in front of a prime-time audience is huge for a campaign trying to reach conservatives across the country who will open up their wallets.'”

Among the other observations made by Politico are that Trump’s rallies are drawing fewer viewers. “His events at times popped for more than 4 million viewers on Fox News,” a source said. Which is “a number he hasn’t come close to in 2018.” What’s more, “network officials’ fear was that too much repetition would lead to lower ratings,” and that Fox News could lose millions of dollars in ad revenue because they “can’t take commercial breaks while Trump is speaking.”

Perhaps the decision to cut back on live rally airings led to Trump making a blatant promotional pitch for Fox in order to get more airtime via flattery. He gave a shout out on Wednesday to Foxies who he praised for maligning Democrats as “the Dimms,” saying:

“The great Lou Dobbs, he says that, right? Sean Hannity says that. ‘The Dimms.’ Judge Jeanine says that, doesn’t she? Laura [Ingraham]. Laura. How good has Laura been, right? Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker.”

Actually, only Lou Dobbs says that, but getting the facts straight has never been of much concern to Trump. All he wants is to have his face in front of the Deplorables who are glued to Fox News all day and night. He wants to make sure his perverse and incoherent message is being injected into the already acutely ill-informed brains of Fox’s loyal audience. And if Fox News thinks they can get away with reducing his airtime, they better be prepared for more of this:

Yeah, that’ll happen. More likely Fox will cave in to Trump’s tantrum and resume their live broadcasts. They can make up the lost revenue with the tax cuts Trump will promise them. And their hosts who get preempted by the rallies will all get “exclusive” interviews. That’s how State TV works. Trump is learning well from his friends in Russia and North Korea.

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

TFA: Eric Holder Slams Trump and Lou Dobbs of Fox News for Ignorant Tweet About the DOJ

One of the most fascinating aspects of Donald Trump’s dementia is how he frequently expresses something that has the effect of contradicting his intention. He did this recently in a tweet about his “witch hunt” delusion that actually affirmed it. And he did it again in a rant about the anonymous New York Times op-ed that validated the article’s warnings about his unfitness to serve.

Donald Trump, Eric Holder

Well, he’s done it again. On Tuesday morning, when the rest of America was deep in remembrance of the victims of 9/11, Trump decided he would go after his own Justice Department. And he did so with what he must regard as the worst possible indignity he could muster: comparing it to Obama’s Justice Department:

On the surface, what Trump is implying is that his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, was no better than his predecessor, Eric Holder. But this attempt at insulting Sessions could be interpreted another way. Trump might be saying, inadvertently of course, that the Justice Department is operating exactly as it should be. A change in administrations ought not to alter the mission of the agency, which is to be a nonpartisan seeker of facts and accountability for wrongdoing. So it should, in fact, not be any different under Sessions, than it was under Holder.

Trump, however, is wholly incapable of understanding anything as principled and anchored by ethics as that. What he was aiming at was the refusal of Sessions to turn the department into his own Office of Personal Persecution. Trump is livid that Sessions won’t lead an inquisition against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who Trump, in his paranoid haze, believes are conspirators in a “Deep State” plot to dethrone him.

As for Holder, he noticed Trump’s harangue at Sessions and observed some differences between the current DoJ and the one that he led. Holder tweeted in response to Trump:

Indeed, Holder took his responsibilities seriously as the nation’s top law enforcement official. He dedicated his service to advancing the rights of all Americans and bringing criminals to justice. His closing acronym, “TFA,” was a reference to the 25th Amendment that provides for the removal of a president who is incapable of carrying out his duties.

Finally, Trump’s tweet was his second of the morning that quoted Lou Dobbs, the Fox News hack who is so infatuated with Trump that he signs most of his own tweets with the hashtags #MAGA and #TrumpTrain. Nothing like being fair and balanced. The other Dobbs quote posted by Trump said:

Needlass to say that is 100% false. There are mountains of evidence that connect Trump directly to Russia and people close to Vladimir Putin. And there is literally nothing that connects Clinton to Russia except for the partial funding of the Steele Dossier, which included sources that were Russian dissidents, not Kremlin operatives. That’s a huge difference.

All of this underscores the differences between what Eric Holder sees as an honest Justice Department and what Trump thinks should be an agency that is obedient to his tyrannical rule. Fortunately, that perverse vision isn’t being carried out – yet. But with Trump threatening to fire Sessions after the midterm elections, who knows.

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

Trump, the Whiner, Parrots His Senior Media Advisors, Dobbs, Diamond & Silk, Via Fox News

Let’s put to rest the notion that Donald Trump regards himself as an icon of strength and triumph. If there is one thing that Trump has excelled in to the exclusion of all others, it’s his relentless whining about how hopelessly impotent and powerless he is. Trump literally bragged about being “the most fabulous whiner.” So despite having majority control of all three branches of government, Trump and company persist in their pathetic whimpering that they are mercilessly oppressed, suppressed and obstructed from achieving any of their repugnant goals.

Fox News, Diamond & Silk

In his latest attempt to create a media distraction from the horrendous drubbing he took for demeaning John McCain, Trump turned to Fox News for anything that he could post to Twitter that might take the heat off for a few moments of relief. He found it in a segment from the Lou Dobbs program on the Fox Business Network. And without bothering to confirm the ludicrous assertions in the clip, Trump tweeted out that:

Needless to say, that is all Grade A bunk that has no basis in fact. The Republican controlled Congress even held hearings to ascertain whether the Internet and social media were employing any tactics to inject political bias into what are supposed to be neutral search results and news feeds. They found nothing. Instead, they reaffirmed that the algorithms used by tech companies are not based on ideology, but that they respond to what people want to see.

However, that didn’t stop Trump from threatening Google Tuesday morning. And it didn’t stop Dobbs from spewing demonstrably false charges against Google and others along with his guest experts on media and technology, Diamond & Silk. This dynamic duo has been squealing about imaginary censorship for months. The exchange they had with Dobbs was an exercise in how to dumb down America on what is supposed to be a financial news channel (video below):

Dobbs: I take it that you’re not surprised that Google is sort of banning conservatives from their search results with President Trump?
Diamond: No, it’s not surprising. And to us it looks like it’s tyranny. You have these media outlets, along with Google, taking and they’re suppressing voices of conservatives. Not only that but they’re thumbing down our pages where we can’t see President Trump’s content or good news about what’s going on in this country when it comes to this president. And I am not for big government, but I really do believe that the government should step in and really check this out. Because this is, again, the sort of [inaudible] of tyranny. We don’t need dictatorship. We don’t need people controlling what we can and cannot see.
Silk: And this also look like a form of political lynching. Insteading of using the news, what they are doing is using algorithms and a form of censorship to Trump people’s platforms out, to keep you from being able to do your search whenever you want to search for our beautiful president.

Notice that Dobbs began with a matter of fact statement that Google is “banning conservatives” even though he has no facts to support that charge. And his Looney Tunes guests join the choir with even more extremist banter about tyranny and dictatorship and lynching and the deflowering of “our beautiful president.”

Dobbs went on to charge that Google’s search technology has become shallow and political. Then he complains about the “deep, profound concentration of wealth” and the “deep, profound concentration of political power.” Which is a position that would delight America’s socialists and critics of income inequality. Except that Dobbs is only applying this rhetoric to those who he perceives as foes of the President and the ultra-rightist agenda he represents.

What’s more, these stalwart defenders of conservative values are pushing for the government to stomp its boot down on the Internet’s defilers of Trumpian goodness. Never mind that the First Amendment prohibits the regulation of speech by private companies. The Constitution is an impediment to the propagandist objectives of Trump and Fox News. They can’t merely dismiss their hypocrisy by claiming to be against big government while advocating for such regulations. Even Trump’s chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, warned that “We’re taking a look at it,” And the one policy measure they could pursue that would prevent bias by anyone, would be the one they are affirmatively trying to kill: Network Nuetrality.

But while pounding on the political oppression by the enemies of Trumpism, at least Dobbs is comforted by the presence of Trump saying that “If we didn’t have a president like this one I don’t know where we’d be.” Then Dobbs contradicts the whole premise of the segment by noting that Trump “has his own access to the American people” via social media. So he’s now arguing that Trump and his confederates are enjoying unprecedented success getting their message out. So where the hell is the alleged censorship?

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

Goebbels Redux: White House Bans CNN Reporter Because She Asked Trump Some Questions

On Wednesday Donald Trump held an impromptu photo-op with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. This is the same European Union that Trump recently cited first when asked when to identify America’s “biggest foe.” He later added China and Russia as if they were afterthoughts. But now he was meeting with our EU foe’s president in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump, CNN

As the event drew to a close, Kaitlan Collins of CNN threw out some questions for Trump, just as reporters always do at these affairs. She was representing the television news community as the pool reporter for the day. Her questions were focused on subjects that were currently topical and that Trump himself was addressing to reporters and on his communications platform of choice, Twitter. Specifically, she asked about the release of Micheal Cohen’s recoreded conversations with Trump and Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin for a meeting at the White House. Trump often answers such questions in this setting, but on this occasion he chose not to.

Immediately thereafter, Collins was called into the office of Bill Shine, the former Fox News president who is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was fired by Fox for his enabling of the network’s sexual predators, including Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. Now he performs the same services for Trump. But as Trump’s chief media staffer he wanted to see Collins to tell her that she would be barred from covering the next event on the President’s calendar, a Rose Garden Q & A with Juncker. According to CNN, Collins arrived at Shine’s office and then:

Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders met Collins there. “They said ‘You are dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said in an interview. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”

A video clip of the exchange shows that Collins was speaking the same way journalists in the press pool usually speak.

Collins said she reacted by saying, “You’re banning me from an event because you didn’t like the questions I asked.”

Collins is only partly right. It is not insignificant that the reporter who was banned for doing something all reporters do works for CNN. Trump routinely maligns the press as being “sick,” and “sleazy,” and “the enemy of the American people.” But he frequently singles out CNN as being “the worst” of them all. So the banning of a credentialed CNN reporter is not a random incident. It is a retaliation.

What’s worse is that this sort of sanction is intended to send a message to the rest of the press corps. Either behave the way we want you to, or be banished from the White House and other presidential events. It’s notable that even Fox News issued a statement criticizing the White House and expressing solidarity with CNN. Although Fox host Lou Dobbs wasn’t on board with that, praising Collin’s punishment by saying that “it’s about time there were consequences.” As for the White House, they released a statement saying that:

“At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so. Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend. […] To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”

So Donald Trump is demanding that the press be “respectful” of him? The same guy who menacingly points to the journalists pen at his rallies, calling them “liars” and “horrible people,” and whipping up the hostility of his crazed followers? The guy who has proposed revoking the credentials of any reporter who is less than doe-eyed adoring? The guy who tries to undermine independent news operations by falsely smearing them as “failing” or criminal? Now he thinks they should be respectful, by which he means unquestioning sycophants?

The media is doing their job just as they have done for decades. And that has caused other administrations to have uncomfortable relationships with them. But this administration has gone further than any other to upend the very notion of press freedom. And if this is their idea of supporting a free press, they have a severe problem with the definition of “free press.” It doesn’t include bullying a woman from a network that you’ve already designated as your enemy. By abusing power in this manner the Trump administration has proven once again that they are intent on emulating the tyrannical governments of Putin and Kim Jong Un who Trump seems to admire so much. But he’s going to find out that America’s Constitution is stronger than his desire to suppress the freedom of the press.

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.