Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.6 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox News

The bill is coming due for Fox News for having recklessly, repeatedly, and maliciously spread flagrant falsehoods to support Donald Trump’s Big Lie over election fraud. Dominion Voting Systems has just announced that they are suing Fox for defamation to the tune of $1.6 billion.

Fox News Sad

The Associated Press is reporting that Dominion’s case argues that “the cable news giant falsely claimed in an effort to boost faltering ratings that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election.” The story goes on to note that…

“The lawsuit is part of a growing body of legal action filed by the voting company and other targets of misleading, false and bizarre claims spread by President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden. Those claims helped spur on rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a violent siege that left five people dead, including a police officer. The siege led to Trump’s historic second impeachment.”

This lawsuit against Fox News follows on to Dominion’s previously announced suits against Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell (who is adopting the Tucker Carlson Defense), as well as Mike Lindell, the infamous MyPillow Guy. And Fox News has also been sued by Smartmatic, a voting software services company that alleges similar defamation in Fox’s election reporting.

Fox News is going to have a hard time defending itself from these lawsuits. There is an abundance of evidence that supports the claims, and most of it consists of video from Fox News itself. Their program hosts and guests relentlessly made baseless charges against Dominion on the air. Media Matters has documented some of the more egregious episodes:

  • Dominion Was Used to Rig the Election for President Joe Biden and the Company Has Done This Before
  • Dominion Is of Venezuelan Origin, Created at the Request of Hugo Chavez to Alter Election Results in Furtherance of an International Conspiracy
  • Dominion’s Scheme Was Run by a Deputy of George Soros
  • Kickbacks Were Paid to State Officials — Including Those in Georgia – to Utilize Dominion Machines
  • Smartmatic Owns Dominion and Its Software Is Embedded in Dominion Machines
  • Dominion Machines Are Unreliable and Cannot Be Truly Audited

This video has a summary of some of just a few of the Fox News references to Dominion Voting Systems:

In addition to this lawsuit, Dominion’s lawyers say that they are continuing to explore legal options that could include naming Fox News hosts such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and more. [NOTE: Dominion has added Newsmax and One America News Network (OAN) as defendants] The list of defendants could even extend to include Trump. Which would only be fair. There must be consequences for knowingly disseminating slanderous lies. And that is what Fox News does every day. This lawsuit should just be the first of many more to come.

UPDATE: Trump tried to peddle his Big Lie about election fraud again on Laura Ingraham’s show Thursday night. But Ingraham cut him off. Ya think that had anything to do with this lawsuit?

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

The Daily Show’s Depiction of Drooling, Doting Trump Disciple Lou Dobbs is Delicious

Last week Fox News abruptly canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight, featuring their Senior Donald Trump Bootlicker and Fawning Fanboy, Lou Dobbs. It was the number one show on their low-rated Fox Business Network. They bounced Dobbs from the Friday broadcast without notice or even an opportunity to thank or say goodbye to his production team and viewers. That is unheard of except in cases of severe misconduct, such as the cancelation of Bill O’Reilly over multiple sexual harassment allegations.

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Fox News, Lou Dobbs

The explanation by Fox News was pitifully vague and insufficient. They claimed that they were planning programming changes for months. But if that were true, there would have been plenty of time for Dobbs to sign off gracefully and a replacement program would have premiered the next day. What Fox isn’t talking about is the lawsuit brought by Smartmatic, the voting systems software company that is suing Fox for $2.7 billion, and for which Dobbs is a named defendant despite a lame attempt to avoid liability.

Meanwhile, the Daily Show produced a touching video farewell to “Lou Dobbs, the most North Korean broadcaster America has ever seen.” It revealed his embarrassingly sycophantic worship of Dear Leader Trump. And it’s a hilarious presentation of just how madly Dobbs adored the twice impeached former reality TV game show host. See and enjoy for yourselves:

For the record, here are a few of the choice excerpts that expose Dobbs’ undying devotion to the love of his life:

  • “We have a president who is a true leader in my opinion. One I happen to believe will be regarded as one of our country’s greatest presidents, indeed, the greatest.”
  • “Have you ever seen a man as strong?”
  • “He’s already set a standard for presidents that most mortals won’t be able to meet.”
  • “I think he’s doing God’s work … God sent this president.”
  • “It will be century after century of veneration for this president.”
  • “Have a great weekend. The President makes such a thing possible for us all.”

And whiping the drool off his chin, Dobbs signs off the air. He will likely be be seen again on One America News Network (OANN), or some other weak Fox News wannabe. Meanwhile, Fox will probably slip former Trump advisor Larry Kudlow into the Dobb’s time slot. Which means that nothing will really change.

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. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. 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.

Cancel Culture at Fox News: Lou Dobbs is Out. Will Tucker Carlson Be Next?

Cable TV news got much better on Friday with the announcement that Fox News has canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight on their so-called “business” channel. Dobbs has been divisive and deceitful figure on FBN for years. Whatever reputation he had as a financial journalist was long ago lost in favor of a hard-core, right-wing political sycophancy that turned his program into nothing more than flagrant propaganda.

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Fox News, Tucker Carlson

Prior to the election in November, there were predictions that the media would suffer massive declines if Donald Trump lost. Many of those predictions came from Donald Trump himself. He frequently tweeted (before he was cast out) that without him there would be “no ratings, media will go down along with our great USA!” Instead, that grim prognosis only held true for his Ministry of Disinformation, Fox News. CNN and MSNBC have both enjoyed record ratings and have thrust Fox into third place:

The Los Angeles Times just revealed that “Fox News Media has canceled ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight,’ the program hosted by television’s staunchest supporter of Donald Trump” Their reporting noted that “The cancellation comes a day after voting software company Smartmatic filed a $2.7-billion defamation suit against Fox News and three of its hosts — Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.”

It’s difficult to pretend that the Dobbs cancelation was unrelated to the lawsuit. Smartmatic has an extraordinarily strong case, and they aren’t the only potential litigants going after Fox. Serving up Dobbs as a sacrifice would seem like a prudent move for a company in such legal and financial peril. It would be foolish to ignore it. What’s more, after Fox News received a “cease and desist” letter from Smartmatic, they began running a bizarre video that appeared to be an attempt to counter their prior defamatory “reporting” on election fraud. That’s a de facto admission of guilt.

Nevertheless, Fox has decided to go with the story that Dobbs’ departure was already on their calendar. A representative of the network told the Times that “Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business.” But with this effort to save face, Fox is putting itself in the path of greater danger. By insisting that they canceled Dobbs for reasons other than to address the libelous content of the program, they are ensuring that his termination won’t indemnify them from the pending lawsuits.

Furthermore, Fox is clearly lying. Dobbs was FBN’s highest-rated show. You don’t fire your top host without notice and without giving him an opportunity to say goodbye and thank his production team and his audience unless there’s some underlying problem. And in this case there obviously was. In addition to Dobbs being a lawsuit magnet, according to the Times, “his program was a loss leader for Fox Business Network as major advertisers steered clear of it, probably out of fear of consumer boycotts.” That puts Dobbs in the same boat as his Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson.

Carlson’s reputation is even more toxic than that of Dobbs. In fact, Fox News lawyers argued successfully in court that the network could not be held liable for defamatory comments by Carlson because “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.'” In other words, Carlson is a known liar who is incapable of defamation because who, other than a complete imbecile, would believe him?

As for Carlson’s ratings, he is also currently the leader on Fox News, but with a similar business deficiency that makes his program expendable. Advertisers have abandoned his program due to the relentless racism and advocacy of violence. Most advertisers don’t want their brands associated with such negative content.

Consequently, Carlson is left with lower-tier advertisers that aren’t as discriminating. They include reverse mortgage lenders, dubious vitamin supplements, personal injury lawyers, and gold coin peddlers. Forbes has reported that “According to iSpot, Tucker Carlson Tonight’s biggest advertiser is My Pillow, which spent more than $40 million on spots during 2019 and 2020. That is about ten times as high as the show’s next biggest advertiser and more than the next four sponsors’ combined spending.” And Mike Lindell, the conspiracy theory spewing CEO of MyPillow has problems of his own.

The insufferable bigotry and lies that are such a staple on most of Fox’s programs culminated in a humiliating dismissal for Lou Dobbs. But others on the networks of Rupert Murdoch are no better. Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro regularly embarrass themselves with their drooling Trump worship. Sean Hannity Laura Ingraham, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, are veteran Trump-fluffers.

But no one outperforms Carlson for the sheer audacity of his falsehoods, drenched in the smug superiority of the white privilege that he denies exists. If anyone follows Dobbs out the door at Fox News, it should be Tucker Carlson. He’s earned that dishonor, and it would be a shame to deprive him (and us) of it.

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. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. 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.

Read Smartmatic’s Gripping Introduction to Their 2.7 Billion Lawsuit Against Fox News

Following his decisive loss to Joe Biden last November, Donald Trump orchestrated a brazenly dishonest and dangerous campaign to stir the passions of his cult disciples. He sought to persuade them that the presidential election was stolen from him, that he won in a landslide, and that the rigged election was aided abetted by corrupt media and voting technology firms.

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Fox News Sad

Of course, none of those allegations were supported by evidence or reality. Trump’s efforts to malign the press, Democrats, and even Republicans who declined to embrace his lies, grew more intense as he repeatedly lost cases in court after court challenging the election results. He turned a common electoral defeat into a humiliating spectacle. And in the process, his accomplices found themselves in legal peril of their own.

The voting technology company Smartmatic has now filed a lawsuit against the proponents of Trump’s election fraud fictions. They include Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. The introduction to the lawsuit reads like a captivating tale of political intrigue and depravity that rivals any great work of literature. So without further ado, here is that intro unabridged:

1. The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.

2. Defendants have always known these facts. They knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 U.S. election. They knew the election was not stolen. They knew the election was not rigged or fixed. They knew these truths just as they knew the Earth is round and two plus two equals four.

3. Defendants did not want Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win the election. They wanted President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence to win re-election. Defendants were disappointed. But they also saw an opportunity to capitalize on President Trump’s popularity by inventing a story. Defendants decided to tell people that the election was stolen from President Trump and Vice President Pence.

4. Defendants had an obvious problem with their story. They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil.

5. Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story. Smartmatic is an election technology and software company. It was incorporated in Delaware and its U.S. operations are headquartered in Florida. In the 2020 U.S. election, Smartmatic provided election technology and software in Los Angeles County. Nowhere else. Smartmatic had a relatively small, non-controversial role in the 2020 U.S. election.

6. Those facts would not do for Defendants. So, the Defendants invented new ones. In their story, Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries. In their story, Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used in many of the states with close outcomes. And, in their story, Smartmatic was responsible for stealing the 2020 election by switching and altering votes to rig the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

7. Having invented their story, and created their villain, Defendants set about spreading the word. In November and December 2020, Fox News broadcasted thirteen (13) reports stating and implying that Smartmatic had stolen the 2020 U.S. election. They repeated the story in articles and social media postings. Night after night, publication after publication, Fox News reached out to its millions of viewers and readers around the world with a story: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did not win the 2020 election; Smartmatic stole the election for them.

8. Defendants’ story evolved over time as they claimed evidence had come to their attention supporting the story. The story came to consist of eight themes:

  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software were widely used in the
    2020 U.S. election, including in six states with close outcomes;
  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used by Dominion
    Voting Systems Corporation (“Dominion”) during the 2020 U.S. election;
  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used to steal the 2020
    U.S. election by rigging and fixing the vote;
  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software sent votes to foreign
    countries for tabulation and manipulation during the 2020 U.S. election;
  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software were compromised and
    hacked during the 2020 U.S. election;
  • Smartmatic was previously banned from being used in U.S. elections;
  • Smartmatic is a Venezuelan company that was founded and funded by
    corrupt dictators from socialist and communist countries; and,
  • Smartmatic’s election technology and software were designed to rig and fix
    elections.

9. Defendants’ story was a lie. All of it. And they knew it. But, it was a story that sold. Millions of individuals who saw and read Defendants’ reports believed them to be true. Smartmatic and its officers began to receive hate mail and death threats. Smartmatic’s clients and potential clients began to panic. The company’s reputation for providing transparent, auditable, and secure election technology and software was irreparably harmed. Overnight, Smartmatic went from an under-the-radar election technology and software company with a track record of success to the villain in Defendants’ disinformation campaign.

10. Smartmatic’s loss was Defendants’ gain. Fox News used the story to preserve its grip on viewers and readers and curry favors with the outgoing administration – one of their anchors was even able to get a pardon for her ex-husband. Ms. Powell used the story to raise money and enrich herself. Mr. Giuliani used the story to guarantee himself a flow of funds from the sitting President and to sell products. Defendants knew the story could not change the outcome of the election. It could, and did, make them money.

11. The story, of course, did more than just make Defendants’ money and jeopardize Smartmatic’s survival. The story undermined people’s belief in democracy. The story turned neighbor against neighbor. The story led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol. Defendants started a fire for selfish and financial reasons and they cared not the damage their story caused to Smartmatic, its officers and employees, and the country.

That just about says it all. Fox News and the other defendants should be worried. The facts of the case are pretty airtight. And other defendants could be added as the litigation proceeds. Perhaps even Trump himself. Although he may also be busy untangling himself from his second impeachment trial where Democrats are asking that he testify under oath. And for Trump, that’s perjury waiting to happen.

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. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. 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.

Fox News Debunks Itself In Fear Of Defamation Lawsuit Over Election Fraud Lies

Anyone who has watched more than a few minutes of Fox News knows that they are a reliable source of flagrant lies, malicious slander, and brazenly biased right-wing propaganda. But for a network that has been shamelessly disseminating dangerous disinformation for years, Fox News has just exhibited a bit of uncharacteristic regret.

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Fox News, Titanic

Smartmatic is a voting software company that Fox has had in their crosshairs ever since Donald Trump suffered his decisive and humiliating loss to Joe Biden. The network aired numerous segments that accused Smartmatic of deliberately sabotaging their products in order to fraudulently deliver an election victory to Biden. The conspiracy theories that Trump and his incompetent attorneys constructed were bizarre and far removed from reality. But that didn’t stop Fox News from promoting them on Trump’s behalf.

Last week Smartmatic sent Fox News a “cease and desist” letter demanding that they retract the false and defamatory “election fraud” stories under threat of legal action. Shortly thereafter, Fox started airing a peculiar interview debunking the conspiracy theories that have been featured by some of their top hosts. It’s clear that Fox News is concerned about the potential lawsuit, so they manufactured this segment in order to divert attention from their lies, pretend they reported accurately, and thus protect themselves from legal liability.

The segment consisted of an interview of voting software expert Eddie Perez (video below). But it was not a retraction. It aired first during the Trump-fluffing Lou Dobbs program on the Fox Business Channel. Dobbs introduced it as just another “opinion.” Which means that Fox News remains at risk for the prior defamatory broadcasts.

However, Dobbs did not even conduct the interview. There was an unidentified, disembodied voice asking questions, with the answers by Perez edited in. Perez told CNN that he found this unusual and wasn’t told about this prior to his interview. Perez also said that “it was unusual for the news package to simply end with no comment from Dobbs and then cut to a commercial break.”

Perez told the mysterious interviewer that he “had not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, alter, anything related to vote tabulation.” He said that he wasn’t aware that Smartmatic software was used anywhere in the United States other than Los Angeles County. He refuted clams that Smartmatic and Dominion were connected to one another. He also shot down allegations that the company was connected to George Soros or that any votes were tabulated outside of the U.S. And lastly, he said that he was not aware of any incidents where Smartmatic’s software was “banned in the U.S. due to security weaknesses or wrongdoing.”

This interview subsequently aired during the programs of notorious Trump promoters “Judge” Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo. Along with Dobbs, these programs frequently hosted Trump’s “losing is winning” lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and his QAnon supporting lawyer Sidney Powell. They were among the Trump sycophants who regularly spread the sort of lies on Fox News that resulted in the legal action taken by Smartmatic.

Fox’s efforts to crawl out from under this legal rock are doomed to failure. They are not satisfying Smartmatic’s demands for a retraction. But they are indirectly conceding that their broadcasts were riddled with defamatory content. Why else would they suddenly air this awkwardly produced interview? And Fox’s history of refusing to correct the errors and lies they put on their air makes this concession all the more significant.

Fox News is plainly afraid of being held accountable and are desperately scrambling to shield themselves from liability. The network is folding like a lawn chair. That’s how bullies respond when they are challenged. Smartmatic is setting a good example for all of the others who have been defamed by Fox News. Hopefully we will see more of this in the future.

UPDATE: Newsmax has broadcast a retraction of the defamatory statements about Smartmatic that they previously aired. They refuted most of the lies that Trump and his media sycophants have been disseminating and blamed it all on “guests, attorneys, and elected officials” who appeared o the network. Clearly they are worried about the threatened litigation, As they should be.

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. 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.

Deluded Fox News Viewers Buy Into Trump’s Election Fraud Lies: Poll

On Tuesday the Supreme Court batted down yet another meritless election fraud lawsuit by Donald Trump and/or his sycophantic surrogates. To date Team Trump has lost more than 50 such cases. Yet he persists in pushing his evidence-free allegations despite his record of unprecedented legal failures.

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Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

On Wednesday Trump embarked on his regularly scheduled morning tweetstorm with a barrage of election related outbursts that share the common feature of being wholly removed from reality. For instance, Trump posted these examples of the articulate and coherent case he’s making to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters:

Well, that should settle it. Trump also tweeted his intention to intervene in the bogus lawsuit that Texas just filed that he falsely says contains “massive evidence of widespread fraud.” He tweeted his belief that “it was impossible for me to lose” because he won both Florida and Ohio, and because “the bookies” said so.

However, Trump is not alone alone in advancing this preposterous campaign to overturn the will of the American people. Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News) is right beside him with their patented brand of propaganda buttressed by flagrant falsehoods. And that relentless blast of bullpucky has taken its toll on Fox’s feeble minded viewers. A new poll by Daily Kos/Civiqs reveals that…

“…a large majority of Americans accept and acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election: President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. But among people who watch Fox News … rejecting the election’s result continues to be the norm.”

A majority of Americans overall (58%) accept that Biden clearly beat Trump. That’s a conclusion they base on Biden having received seven million more votes and a 306-232 electoral college victory. But among frequent Fox News viewers only 18% accept that Trump is a loser, versus 63% who still suffer from the delusion that he won.

This is what can be expected when a deliberately dishonest media enterprise embarks on a campaign of lies to promote their own agenda. And the threat it poses isn’t merely a division between those who accept reality and those who cling to faith-based fantasies. Both Trump and Fox News have overtly incited potential violence on the part of disappointed Trump cultists. They have promoted fringe voices calling for “a civil war.” Just last week Fox’s Lou Dobbs attacked not only those who defend democracy, but even Trump’s own law enforcement agencies. Dobbs accused them of being…

“…a politically corrupt Justice Department in Washington, D.C. A politically corrupt FBI. And I don’t know if he is a dullard, a fool, or a liar, but the Attorney General of this country is not enforcing the law. And I don’t know what he thinks he’s presiding over, but I guarantee William Barr this, it will not be a quiet surrender of this constitutional republic.”

That’s how radically removed Fox News is from any semblance of sanity. And it is all on behalf of their Dear Leader whose malignant narcissism, and lust for greed and power, prevents him from honoring the traditional peaceful transfer of power that characterizes functional democracies.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality:
The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.

Crybaby Trump Runs to Fox News Following His Latest Media Fiascoes

The flop sweat gushing from Donald Trump is flowing like a tsunami the closer we get to Election Day. His polling continues to languish near historic lows for both reelection and job approval. And even his traditional allies are politically distancing from him for fear of being swept away themselves. it’s a downward spiral that shows no sign of slowing down.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

Trump’s response to the imminent peril that he finds himself in has been to triple down on the lies, insults, and fear mongering, that have been the staples of his campaign. As a result he lashed out at Dr. Deborah Birx, his hand-picked Coronavirus Task Force medical expert, as “pathetic” just because she told the truth for a change. He flip-flopped on his opposition to mail-in voting (but only in Florida where he needs the votes of senior citizens who might not otherwise cast ballots). He made a ludicrous and unconstitutional proposal to delay the election. And he even threatened to ban TikTok from the United States in retaliation for criticism on the app from people like Sarah Cooper.

But that’s not all. Trump’s recent interview by Jonathan Swan of Axios exposed his shallow and hostile knee-jerk defensiveness and inability to engage in a coherent discussion. A PolitiFact analysis identified 22 false statements in the interview. And in a desperate effort to counteract the pitiful image he displayed, he immediately sought refuge in the warm embrace of his Fox News sycophants.

In the past three days Trump has done three phone-in interviews on Fox. One with his BFF Sean Hannity. One with Fox’s Senior Trump-Fluffer, Lou Dobbs. And on Wednesday morning, a full hour (video below) with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Here are a few of the lowlights:

ON SUSPENDING THE PAYROLL TAX:

FOX: What’s your plan for businesses when it comes to the payroll tax cut?
TRUMP: Well, I may do it myself. We’re negotiating right now. I have the right to suspend it. And I may do it myself. I have the absolute right to suspend…ah, the payroll…ah, do the payroll tax. We call it a payroll tax suspension.

Did our “stable genius” president come up with the idea of calling suspending the payroll tax a “payroll tax suspension” himself? More importantly, does he know that the payroll tax is used exclusively to fund Social Security, and that his proposed suspension would put the program at risk? And finally, he clearly doesn’t know that he has no authority whatsoever to suspend or otherwise alter tax laws passed by Congress. To his great dismay, he is not the American Dictator.

ON OPENING SCHOOLS:

FOX: What is the latest in your view as to how these schools should reopen?
TRUMP: My view is schools should reopen. This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away. And my view is that schools should be open. If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost immune from this disease.

My view is that Trump is almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost completely insane. He repeats himself ad nauseam without ever answering the question or making an intelligible point. And above all, he is comfortable with exposing children and their families to a deadly virus that is still out of control due to his negligence and incompetence.

ON OBAMA’S EULOGY FOR JOHN LEWIS:

FOX: Do you agree that [Obama’s eulogy for John Lewis] seemed like a campaign speech and less of a eulogy?
TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible speech, it was an angry speech. It showed there’s anger there that people don’t see. He lost control and he’s been really hit very hard by both sides for that speech. That speech was ridiculous.

You really have to wonder if Trump even saw Obama’s inspiring and heart-felt tribute. It is Trump’s review that is “terrible” and “angry” and utterly “ridiculous.”

ON HIS 2ND TERM:

FOX: Mr. President, what is your second term agenda? What are your top priorities?
TRUMP: I want to take where we left – we had the greatest economy in the history of the world. We were better than any other country. We were better than we were ever. We never had anything like it in this country […] What I want to do is take it from that point and build it even better.

Trump went off on a deranged rant about everything from unemployment to the stock market to how awful our allies are. What he never bothered to mention was anything about his second term agenda.

Needless to say, no one on Fox News challenged Trump’s lies or even bothered to ask a follow up question. They merely tossed him softballs and let Trump ramble on incoherently for twenty minutes. So Trump gets away with claiming he can unilaterally undo tax legislation, baselessly project his own anger onto Obama, and failing to articulate an agenda for the future. And for the record. Trump unleashed another 20 falsehoods on the Fox interview.

Which is why the one thing Trump said that is remotely connected to reality was just slightly off the mark. Referring to his prediction about the forward course of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump babbled that “This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away.” However, that typically inane Trumpism is more aptly applied to his presidency. And for those of you with exceptionally strong stomachs and nothing better to do, below is the full Fox and Friends interview.

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

Trump’s Dementia Shifts to High Gear as Impeachment Trial Winds Down

On Friday afternoon the cowardly and compromised Republicans in the Senate voted to allow Donald Trump to become America’s first de facto emperor. They endowed him with blatantly unconstitutional powers that would permit him to openly violate laws, suppress dissent, and engage in overt acts of tyranny so long as he deems it in the public interest. That is not what the Founders and Framers intended.

Donald Trump

This congressional betrayal was justified by the flimsiest of arguments. The Senate GOP has taken the position that Trump’s crimes were merely “inappropriate,” as opposed to criminal, and therefore not subject to reprimand. Emboldened by these events, Trump has withdrawn into his Mar-A-Lago bunker to wallow in this ascension to monarchism and virtually unchallangeable reign. In the morning hours of Saturday he celebrated with tweets that exalted himself as “America’s Greatest President” who is putting on “The Greatest Show On Earth.”

Setting aside Trump’s slobbering, narcissistic adoration of himself, everything else in those tweets was either grossly misrepresented or utterly false. Lou Dobbs of the Fox News business channel is one of the Fox family’s most ardent Trump-fluffers. But his show is hardly a national success. It has no business programming competition because CNBC is airing reruns of shows like Shark Tank at the same time. And Dobbs’ audience is about a quarter of the size of his time period competition on MSNBC. As for Dobbs covering Trump “fairly & objectively,” that’s so hysterically ludicrous it hardly warrants a response.

Trump’s claim that his “poll numbers are the highest since election,” is a pitiful statistic to brag about. His approval rating is sitting on an abysmal 44 percent, and has never hit 50 at any time during his presidency. That’s an achievement no other president can claim. Even the Fox News poll shows Trump is broadly unpopular. His disapproval, however, remains well above a majority of the American people, as it has for the last three years. There is even a majority favoring his impeachment and removal from office.

Trump’s ego is now reliant on being fed by his evermore frequent cult rallies. He believes that the glassy-eyed disciples who show up for the free, Trump-vangelical, revival meetings represent the mainstream of America. But what’s even more indicative of his mental infirmity is that he thinks he puts on a “great” show. That’s only true if you really like the tedious repetition of moldy lies and fetid talking points.

Trump also posted a picture of himself “exercising” on the golf course. That’s his way of pretending that he isn’t bothered by having been impeached, which regardless of how the Senate votes next week, will permanently stain his legacy that is already bursting with failures and embarrassments. For instance, he is conspicuously ignoring the news that 2019 was a dismal year for the U.S. economy. It achieved a paltry 2.3% growth rate. 2018 and 2017 weren’t any better (2.9% and 2.4% respectively). And that’s after Trump had promised that his tax scam and other economic policies would produce growth of up to six percent:

TRUMP (Dec 16, 2017): The economy now is at 3%. Nobody thought it would be anywhere close. I think it could go to 4, 5, and maybe even 6%, ultimately.

Trump also ignored the 600+ point drop on the Dow Jones on Friday. That brings the decline of the last two weeks to 1,100 points. Trump is always quick to tweet about stock market gains, but then clams up when it goes the other way. That’s how his psychotic obsession with exalting himself as all-knowing and infallible drives his obsessive behavior. But as time wears on him, his mental state is showing signs of deterioration. And that is evident in his public appearances more than anywhere else. As seen here:

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

Trump Fluffs Lou Dobbs of Fox News for Feeding His Mad Lust for Flattery

Wednesday morning was buzzing with historic news and revelations of scandal. and none of it was good news for Donald Trump. Most prominently was the House of Representatives voting to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. And none too soon. The American people’s desire to see Trump removed from office is growing. But there was also new reporting tying Trump to the nefarious activities of Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, and the troubling surveillance of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs

Trump has been actively employing petty tactics he picked up while hosting his reality TV game show. He’s been counter-programming events that he fears will reflect poorly on him. So on Tuesday evening he held another of his cult rallies to coincide with the Democratic primary debate in Iowa. And on Wednesday he scheduled a signing ceremony for what is being called “Phase One” of a trade deal with China. Never mind that no one has seen the contents of the alleged deal. Trump was only concerned with trying to steal attention away from the impeachment vote in the House. He failed at both of these cynical ploys.

Trump’s flagrantly manipulative signing ceremony was a wholly vacant waste of time that produced nothing newsworthy. Trump spent a full half hour thanking the shameless toadies in the room, including members of his Cabinet and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It was a such a painfully boring presentation that even Fox News cut away from it. Which is a shame, because had they stayed tuned they would have seen Trump planting a big fat wet kiss on Fox host Lou Dobbs (video below):

“A man who always liked me, because he’s smart, so smart. The great Lou Dobbs. You know, at first he said, ‘He’s the best since Reagan.’ Then he got to know me more and more and he said, ‘He’s even better than Reagan.’ […] He said ‘He’s the greatest of them all.’ I said ‘Does that include Washington and Lincoln?’ And he said ‘Yes.'”

Isn’t that sweet? Trump recites some nauseatingly worshipful praise about himself that he attributes to one of his biggest fans on the network that serves as his Ministry pf Propaganda. Dobbs surely has a deep infatuation with Trump and an opinion that is shared by almost nobody outside of State TV. In fact, historians ranked Trump dead last out of all forty-five presidents. Lincoln and Washington came in first and second respectively. Trump nemesis Barack Obama placed eighth. And even Bill Clinton, who was also impeached, was respectable at thirteen.

Trump also landed at the bottom of the heap in a ranking based on Gallup approval polls going back to 1937. He has never managed to hit 50% (his highest mark was only 46%). Both Obama and Clinton top out much higher, at 69% and 73% respectively. So Trump is the least popular president in history according to both historians and the American people.

Yet Dobbs – and Trump himself – have much more positive opinions that must be based on their mutual admiration society. Trump has long been enamored of Dobbs, whose advice he often seeks on official government policies. In the new book, A Very Stable Genius,” there is a revealing illustration of Trump’s dependence on Dobbs, particularly on matters involving immigration:

“The president would routinely call [former Homeland Security director Kirstjen] Nielsen to say a version of ‘Did you see Lou Dobbs? You’re totally f*cking embarrassing me. This is my issue!’… Sometimes, Trump would refer to one of Dobbs’s proposals and say, ‘Kirstjen, just do it. Just do it.’ ‘But we can’t do it,’ Nielsen would explain, usually because whatever Dobbs had uttered on TV was against the law.”

That’s how far into the abyss of ignorance Trump has driven this country. He relies on a “shadow cabinet” of Fox News flunkies like Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and others, including legal hacks like Alan Dershowitz and Mark levin. So if you wondered how things got so bad, you now know that you can blame it on both Trump and Fox News. There isn’t much we can do about Fox, but we can get rid of Trump this coming November, if we work for it.

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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