Idiots at Fox News Downplay Hurricane Damage ‘In Our Country’ vs Puerto Rico

As Hurricane Ian rumbles over Florida and much of the south eastern seaboard, leaving human and material destruction in its wake, the coverage of this unnatural product of climate change by Fox News proves to be just another opportunity to propagate disinformation and amplify ignorance.

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On Thursday morning, host Martha MacCallum responded to comments by her colleague Bill Hemmer regarding the the state of the power grid in Florida following the hurricane’s landfall. Hemmer noted that 200,000 people were reported to have lost power, and that that number was likely go up in the next few hours. MacCallum agreed and added that…

“You know you feel terrible for people in Puerto Rico who were just hit, in Cuba who were just hit. Thank God we have better infrastructure in our country. We’ve put a lot of investment into making sure that we’re ready for these things. But it’s an act of nature and you never know exactly what to expect.”

Who wants to tell MacCallum that Puerto Rico is “in our country”? This is a “mistake” that is often made on Fox News, where they seem loathe to concede that the mostly Latino citizens of Puerto Rico are, in fact, Americans.

However, as bad as that was, it wasn’t the only ignorant blunder made by both Hemmer and MacCallum. Their praise for authentic, unadulterated, American infrastructure neglected to notice that there are actually more than two million Floridians without power. So the failures of the energy facilities on the mainland were no less severe than those on the tiny and distant island. Even though they have the advantage of being connected to the broader national power grid.

This might be a good time for a reminder that the vast majority of Republicans in Congress voted against the passage of President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill.

RELATED: Crybaby Trump Whines Impotently About Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

What’s more, Donald Trump has been a prolific promoter of purposeful lies with regard to past natural disasters. Following his infamous paper towel throwing affair in Puerto Rico, Trump sought to make the tragedies of Hurricane Maria disappear. He tweeted that…

“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000. This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”

Actually, Democrats had nothing to do with the casualty estimates. And Trump doesn’t need anyone’s help to make him look bad. The 3,000 fatalities were verified by both non-partisan government agencies and independent researchers at George Washington University. They were also affirmed by the Republican governor of Puerto Rico.

The fact that Fox News is intent on callously discounting the hardship and grief suffered by victims of Hurricane Ian shouldn’t surprise anyone. They are the same network that stood behind Trump when he asked whether we could nuke a hurricane. And then there was the time that he described North Carolina’s Hurricane Florence in 2018 as “a tough hurricane. One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.” Both Florence and Ian were classified as Category 4. But maybe Trump declassified Florence with his mind, saving untold lives.

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Rick Scott is the Best Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee the Democrats Ever Had

The 2022 midterm election season officially started this week with Labor Day. And there is an abundance of political ingredients swirling in this year’s stew. Most notably is that the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, is sloshing around furiously as he attempts to avoid being indicted for a broad array of crimes.

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Democrats are enjoying a bit of a late surge following the successful passage of a flurry of popular bills addressing everything from infrastructure to gun safety, to climate change, and much more. Consequently, the down ballot Republicans are suffering nervous breakdowns as they try to navigate the perilous waters between being sufficiently worshipful of Trump, as he demands, and dodging the toxic animosity and controversy that the flailing Trump is splashing on his GOP colleagues.

RELATED: Wannabe Dictator Trump Decrees a Delusional Demand that He Be Anointed American Messiah

Sen Rick Scott of Florida is currently serving as the chairman of that National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is tasked with getting more Republicans elected to the Senate. He was a curious choice considering that in his pre-Senate career he was the head of a hospital chain that was fined billions of dollars for engaging in fraudulent activities.

Not surprisingly, the NRSC is now undergoing some financial hardship. This was brought up during an interview of Scott on Fox News by Martha MacCallum. MacCallum read to Scott from a report in the New York Times that asked “how a record cash haul vanished for Senate Republicans.” She elaborated saying that…

“It says ‘By the end of July National Republican Senatorial Committee had collected a record $181.5 million, but had already spent 95% of it.’ Then it goes to August where you have just $23.2 million left that is ‘less that half of what the Democratic Senatorial Committee had’ ahead of the really intense stage of this whole race that we’re now heading into. How did that happen? Where did all that money go?”

Scott’s reply illustrates just how much trouble the GOP is in under Scott’s mismanagement of their campaign.

Scott: We did the right thing. We spent early. Here’s the problem with campaigns. If you wait until the last month there’s too much static, too much noise out there. so what we did, as soon as out candidates got through their primaries we started helping them. We put up ads with them. Talked about what they believe in. And we started early on to define the Democrats. That’s put us in a position right now that we can not only keep our fifty Republican seats, we also can pick up probably as many – doesn’t mean we’ll get that many – but we’ve got six competitive states where the Democrats are… all the Democrats are underwater.
MacCallum: But Senator, you see a lot of these races that are tightening up in Florida, in Ohio, and these candidates are in need of money. at this point. some of them are pointing fingers at your leadership and saying that it’s not working. What do you say to them?
Scott: Well, Let’s look at the numbers. … Ron Johnson’s gonna win.
MacCallum: He’s behind by about five points right now, right?
Scott: Ron Johnson is either up a little or tied or down barely.

Well, thanks for clearing that up Ricky. So Ron Johnson, the incumbent senator from Wisconsin, is either ahead, tied or behind. That narrows it down to every conceivable possibility. Never mind that even MacCallum knows that Johnson is losing, although she understates the margin. The latest poll has Democrat Mandela Barnes ahead by seven points. Democrats are also leading or competitive in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Scott’s own Florida.

Scott goes on to cite the 2020 Georgia senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and the then-incumbent Kelly Loeffler. He said that Warnock won because Republicans failed to define him early and that that Loeffler was expected to win easily. That’s revisionist recent history, because that race was always close and ended up being decided in a runoff.

So Scott is citing a race that Republicans lost in 2020, and a current race where a Democrat is ahead of their incumbent, as examples of how he is doing everything right. Fine. Let’s not tell him. Poor guy can’t even fool Fox News.

RELATED: Fox News Producer Warned Network to Stop Putting Hosts on Air to Spew Election Conspiracy Lies

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Poor Crybaby Trump is ‘Confused’ About the Photo of the Classified Documents He Stole

Lawyers for Donald Trump filed a motion to appoint a “Special Master” to review the documents that were recently recovered by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago bunker. However, that motion may have been just another bit of poor judgment on the part of Trump and his legal team, because it gave the Department of Justice an opportunity to flesh out its case against Trump in public.

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The DOJ’s response was a detailed exposition of why Trump’s possession of classified materials was illegal and potentially harmful to national security. And among the evidence that the DOJ provided was a photograph of some of the classified documents that the FBI found.

The inclusion of that photo, and the subsequent reporting on it by the press, has triggered Trump into posting yet another deranged comment on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social. In a fit of desperation, Trump wrote that…

“There seems to be confusion as to the “picture” where documents were sloppily thrown on the floor and then released photographically for the world to see, as if that’s what the FBI found when they broke into my home. Wrong! They took them out of cartons and spread them around on the carpet, making it look like a big “find” for them. They dropped them, not me – Very deceiving…And remember, we could have NO representative, including lawyers, present during the Raid. They were told to wait outside.”

WOW! That’s a hefty bowl of bullshittery right there. First of all, Trump seems to think that the most significant revelation in this photo is not the presence of documents that are clearly marked “Secret/SCI” (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information), but instead, the manner in which the documents were displayed. He accuses the FBI of “sloppily throw[ing them] on the floor” in order to embarrass him. He thinks that the FBI considered this a way of “making it look like a big ‘find.'” And he thinks that the FBI intended for it to appear that Trump was the one who made the mess on the floor.

Really? The documents were obviously spread out by the FBI so that the classification markings could be seen. There was no attempt to suggest that Trump had left them out on the floor this way. And the text of the DOJ’s filing never even hinted at that. No one but Trump cares about how the documents were displayed.

What’s more, Trump’s whining about the FBI breaking into his home is hysteria in the extreme. They had a legally issued search warrant that was obtained after Trump failed to comply with a subpoena and lied to the FBI.

RELATED: Trump’s TV Lawyer Keeps Contradicting His (Variable) Excuses for Hoarding Classified Materials

More importantly, Trump is no longer making excuses for why he had these documents. He is has ceased pretending that they don’t exist. He isn’t accusing the FBI of planting them, or of someone else packing them. He is, in fact, confessing that he took them and kept them, despite having been told to return them to the National Archives. In effect, Trump has destroyed his own defense.

The legal peril that is engulfing Trump now just keeps getting worse. Even Fox News is having trouble defending him. Karl Rove was interviewed Wednesday by Martha MacCallum about the DOJ’s recent filing. MacCallum attempted to put forward Trump’s side saying that his lawyers had “their feelings about what was rightfully his and able to take.” Rove interrupted saying “Let’s be clear on this. None of these government documents are his to have taken.” He then elaborated…

“Under the Presidential Records Act of 1976, you cannot take original documents out of the White House with you when you leave the White House, whether you’re the President of the United States or any of his aides. It’s verboten under the law. Now there’s no criminal penalties for violating it, but why the former president packed up 20, nearly 30 some odd boxes of materials when he had no right to do so – and that’s what the government asserts incidentally in this filing.

“The former president asked for the return of the documents because, as he said in his filing, they were created during his administration. And the response of the government in their filing was that’s evidence that they aren’t his. If they were developed in the White House during the time of his presidency under the Presidential Records Act, they belong to the government, not to him.”

As they say in the propaganda game…“When you’ve lost Karl Rove…” Not to mention Fox News. Rove’s analysis is uncharacteristically correct. Although it should be noted that there are criminal penalties associated with Trump’s actions that include mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice for starters.

The hole Trump is digging for himself is approaching the depth of the Mariana Trench. And by all appearances, it’s all downhill from here.

RELATED: Trump Spins a New Crackpot Conspiracy Combining an FBI Retiree, Mar-a-Lago, and Hunter Biden

UPDATE: Trump phoned in to a right-wing Internet video show Thursday to whine more about the FBI making him “look like a slob” by taking ordinary evidence photos of the classified documents he stole.

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Fox News Frantically Struggles to Exonerate Trump After Release of the Redacted FBI Affidavit

For nearly three weeks Donald Trump has been plaintively whining about the FBI executing a legally obtained search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago bunker. The agency was seeking to retrieve highly sensitive national security materials that Trump had unlawfully absconded with when he was evicted from the White House by the American people.

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Among the complaints Trump had was a thoroughly contrived allegation that the search warrant was improperly issued by a politically biased Justice Department that Trump baselessly charged was influenced by President Biden. It was just one of many pitifully incoherent attempts by Trump to make excuses for his criminal behavior. And as the days wore on, those excuses got incrementally more bizarre.

RELATED: Trump’s Lawyers Have a Shiny New Excuse for His Hoarding Classified Documents at Mar-a-Lago

Lacking any evidence of his self-serving accusations, Trump resorted to demanding that the Justice Department’s affidavit used to justify the search warrant be released. Which, if he were capable of learning, may have taught him the lesson about being careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

On Friday the Justice Department did release a redacted version of the affidavit. The redactions were intended to prevent the disclosure of information that could reveal sources and methods of the FBI, or could interfere with ongoing investigations. Nevertheless, there was significant material in the release that only further incriminated Trump. For example, the affidavit confirmed that there were numerous classified documents stashed in the boxes Trump was hoarding at his Palm Beach resort hotel. According to Politico

“[A]gents found 184 unique documents, 25 of which were marked ‘top secret,’ 92 of which were marked ‘secret,’ and 67 of which were marked ‘confidential’ [and that] some of those ‘highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records.'”

The damning evidence of Trump’s blatant violation of the law was apparent to anyone who read the affidavit. Well, anyone who wasn’t deliberately trying to absolve him of his obvious guilt, such as the propagandists at his Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News). Upon the release of the affidavit, the news manglers at Fox commenced their whitewashing.

Martha MacCallum, host of Fox’s “The Story” interviewed her Fox colleague Bret Baier (video below). She began by asking an oddly unrelated question about “Whether or not this was an effort to dig for January 6th information.” To which Baier replied that “It really is.” He then elaborated saying that…

“There is a belief that there was something bigger here that they were searching for. But the impetus for it was these classified documents and the possession of them. Even just the possession of them is a question, even though it’s a former president. There’s a lot here that we have to digest. The 1978 Presidential Records Act, and how that affects all of this. We’re gonna dig in but, gosh, there’s a lot of black.”

If there is “a belief that there was something bigger here,” it exists only in the twisted imaginations of Fox News and their glassy-eyed viewers. Also, what does Baier think is bigger than the possible treason of Trump stealing classified documents, storing them at his home, and being unable to account for who might have had access to them?

As for the Presidential Records Act, Baier appears to be parroting Trump, who has been yammering about the same thing on his floundering Twitter ripoff, Trust Social. For the record, the Presidential Records Act “Establishes that Presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the Archivist as soon as the President leaves office.” In other words, a former president has no right to warehouse classified materials outside of the legal custody of the National Archives. And he surely has no right to lie to the FBI about having those materials.

However, MacCallum and Baier weren’t finished defending Trump. After describing The Former Guy’s actions as “a very Trumpian move,” MacCallum and Baier engaged in the following exchange…

MacCallum: The big question that remains is “why?”. Why was the [former] president holding on to these materials despite the fact that they continually asked for them? Why was there not an ability to make some sort of agreement about returning all of it that he could sort of be at peace with? And the reporting that he sort of felt like ‘”this is my stuff and I have the right to it.”
Baier: But why, also, wasn’t there another subpoena, another effort at interaction? Were they seeing a total stiff-arm from the Trump people? That’s not in this document yet, at least we can’t see it.

MacCallum actually made a good point at first by questioning why Trump should ever have had the documents at Mar-a-Lago in the first place. But she spoiled it by suggesting that there wasn’t a concerted effort by the FBI to retrieve the documents, which was resisted by Trump. And Trump has no rightful expectation of being “at peace” with his obligation to obey the law.

Baier went even further off the rails with his query about whether there should have been a another subpoena. That’s not how subpoenas work. If someone fails to comply with one, you don’t start issuing more. In fact, you get a search warrant, which is what the FBI did.

As more information comes out about this affair, we can expect more evidence of Trump’s guilt. And simultaneously, we can expect Fox News to continue covering for Trump. Even as some at the network are beginning to lean away from Trump, and toward potentially worse alternatives like Ron DeSantis, the network will feel compelled to soft peddle Trump’s crimes so that they don’t tarnish the already declining prospects of other republicans. It’s a tightrope that they are walking because they are trapped in Trump’s world and are too scared to walk away or – heaven forbid – tell the truth.

RELATED: Laura Ingraham of Fox News Ponders Whether It’s ‘Time to Turn the Page’ on Donald Trump

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Fox News Cuts Off Hillary Clinton So They Can Lie More About Spying on Trump that Never Happened

The editorial propagandists at Fox News are apparently unsatisfied with lying about President Biden’s economic successes, or whose side America should take between Ukraine and Russia, or the anti-vax Canadian trucker convoy. So they are reprising an old favorite political foil that they frequently fall back on when their other horror stories just aren’t cutting it.

Fox News, Hillary Clinton

For much of the day on Thursday, Fox News promoted a speech by Hillary Clinton at a Democratic conference in New York. They repeatedly promised to cover what the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State would be saying at the event. However, when it came time to actually put Clinton on the air, Fox News played about thirty seconds of her speech before interrupting it to dump a load of bona fide bullpucky that had nothing to do with what she was saying. And by some curious coincidence, they cut her off just as she began to criticize Dear Leader Donald Trump and his Republican Apostles of Asininity:

Clinton: We must reject the ‘Big Lie’ about the 2020 election and the cover up of the insurrection on January 6th…
Martha MacCallum: Alright, Hillary Clinton hitting some familiar themes here as she gets louder at the podium there in New York City, talking about January 6th, says it was a gift to China. Talking about unity and democracy, all of that, of course, at the same time as John Durham continues the investigation into whether or not her campaign was involved in an effort to listen in to president Trump, or listen in to candidate Trump. So all of that will play out in the courtroom as that unfolds in May. But right now a lot of speculation about whether or not Hillary Clinton sees weakness in the current President. Whether or not she sees an opportunity for herself in 2024 perhaps. And is this a moment where she’s starting to put herself back on the public stage.

Notice that MacCallum (who derisively described Clinton as getting louder, even though her voice doesn’t change at all) couldn’t allow Clinton to mention Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 election or the violent insurrection and coup attempt that he incited. That Foxish heresy had to be nipped in the bud. But more importantly, MacCallum blatantly lied about the “Durham Nothingburger,” a court filing containing information that was all previously reported, but that is now being misconstrued to accuse Clinton and her campaign of spying on Trump. MacCallum actually takes the lie about alleged spying farther than most of her colleagues by asserting that Clinton sought “to listen in to president Trump.”

For the record, special counsel John Durham never alleged that there was any surveillance of conversations whatsoever. His filing only addressed some tracking of publicly available Internet activity. It’s something like reporting that two phones had connected, but not having any access to anything that was said by either party. What’s more, Durham’s filing clearly states that the period of time that Internet activity was being monitored was during President Obama’s term, not Trump’s. So everything that MacCallum, and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber, have been raging about is totally bogus, as usual.

Fox’s Jesse Watters went even farther to invent a scandal that has no basis in reality. On his program Thursday he said that Durham’s documents showed that Clinton’s people not only hacked into Trump’s computers, but that they “planted evidence that he colluded with Russia. Yeah. You heard that right.” This is devolving into National Enquirer style “alien babies” idiocy.

RELATED: WTF? Giuliani Says He’s Stashed ‘Evidence’ Against Hillary Clinton in His Bedroom for Years

Finally, McCallum felt compelled to contribute some ridiculous speculation that Clinton is plotting a return to the campaign trail, adding that her supposed ambition was because she “sees weakness” in Biden. All of that is straight out of MacCallum’s warped imagination as Clinton has not done or said anything that would suggest she was considering running again, or that she was critical of Biden. However, she did have something to say about Fox News:

“They’ve been coming after me again lately, thank you. You might have noticed. It’s funny, the more trouble Trump gets into, the wilder the charges and conspiracy theories about me seem to get. So now his accountants have fired him, and investigations drop closer to him, and right on cue, the noise machine gets turned up, doesn’t it? Fox leads the charge with accusations against me, counting on their audience to fall for it again. And as an aside, they’re getting awfully close to actual malice in their attacks.”

That reference to “actual malice” is the legal standard for establishing defamation, if she were to file a lawsuit. While Clinton is unlikely to sue Fox News, she is putting them on notice that their lies are out of bounds and could place them in legal jeopardy. Sean Hannity heard this and dared her to “bring it on.” He will sorely regret it if he actually gets his wish.

RELATED: Trump Baselessly Accuses Hillary Clinton of a Capital Crime and Wishes He Could Put Her to Death

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Trump’s Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is Turning the DOJ Into an Internet Troll Farm.

The devolution of American politics has been noticeable on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for some time. The rancid outbursts and shrill animosity is inescapable. Much of what is posted is flagrantly false and rooted in crackpot conspiracy theories concocted by foreign, adversarial governments like Russia. And sadly, Donald Trump is one of the foremost diseminaters of this toxic dialog,

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

This online divisiveness and hatred has also been adopted by official representatives of the Trump regime. The wild assertions that many of them make in public – and particularly on Fox News – are indistinguishable from the trolls that inhabit the darkest recesses of the Intertubes. A perfect example of that occurred in a commentary by Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, during a recent interview with Martha MacCallum of Fox News. Barr seems to be making a habit of these appearances. On this occasion, MacCallum asked him about remarks he made during a speech that was rife with the stench of political partisanship (video below):

MacCallum: You talked in your piece about “social justice DAs” … What does that mean?
Barr: Well, there’s this recent development where George Soros has been coming in, in largely Democratic primaries where there has not been much voter turnout and putting in a lot of money to elect people who are not very supportive of law enforcement and don’t view the office as bringing to trial and prosecuting criminals but pursuing other social agendas. And they have started to win in a number of cities and they have, in my view, not given the proper support to the police. And they’re following policies that are ultimately gonna lead to an increase in violent crime and more victims.

There’s a lot of ugliness to unpack in that diatribe, beginning with Barr’s reference to George Soros. The right-wing Internet has been attacking Soros for years with vile inferences of evil intent and world domination. The attacks were typically comprised of common anti-Semitic tropes that accuse Jews of seeking to control everything from the banks to the media to the moral fabric of society. And as a self-made billionaire, Soros was used by the right to symbolize the most repulsive lies propagated by conservative hate groups. And now Barr is doing the same thing by asserting that Soros has some otherworldly power to shape society in terrible and frightening ways.

Barr’s accusation naturally springs from Soros’ wealth as the tool of his dastardly deeds. Great wealth, however, is only seen as the Devil’s plaything when it’s held by liberals. According to Barr, Soros is “putting in a lot of money” to install his minions in the upper ranks of law enforcement. And from there, Barr believes, they will implement an agenda that frees up villains to embark on unfettered crime sprees.

What’s more, Barr also says that any effort to hold the police accountable for bad behavior is an expression of disrespect. Of course, the opposite is the truth. Wanting the police to have the best reputations for honorable service is far more respectful than ignoring and excusing their faults. But to Barr, any constructive criticism should be viewed as “not supporting the police” for which the result could be that citizens “may not get the police protection they need.” That’s an overt and irresponsible threat that shouldn’t be tolerated coming from the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

The assertion that Democrats are hostile to law enforcement is demonstrably false, but it’s been a longstanding plank in the Republican platform. Trump himself has alleged that Democrats actually want more crime. He tweeted earlier this year that “the Radical Democrats are a Party of open borders and crime.” And that’s just one example of many.

What we’re seeing from these officials in Washington today is the sort of extremist garbage that was once reserved for the likes of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. But now it has been openly taken up by Trump and Barr. It is worse than merely insulting and dishonest. It is insane and dangerous. And yet, it is now routinely a part of the discourse by the White House and its surrogates. This needs to stop ASAP. If not by impeachment and removal from office, than at the ballot box in November.

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

Kavanaugh to Be Interviewed On Fox News, the Network that Employed Multiple Sexual Predators

If you were looking for a sign that the Donald Trump White House is getting desperate with regard to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, they just showed their cards. Fox News has announced – and Trump tweeted a promo for – Kavanaugh’s appearance Monday night on Fox News with Martha MacCallum.

Fox News Alert

There could not be a clearer indicator of Trump’s worrying that his nominee is floundering and is at risk for an embarrassing failure. It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to go on television to advance his nomination and defend himself against allegations that haven’t even been raised in Congress or investigated by the FBI.

What’s worse is that the television platform chosen by Kavanaugh (or was it the White House?) is Fox News. That’s the network whose founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired due to multiple complaints of sexual harassment and assault. It’s the network whose biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was fired for the same reasons, after paying out tens of millions of dollars in hush money to his victims. It’s the network whose president, Bill Shine, was fired for his shoddy handling of those affairs and his enabling of the wrongdoers. Shine is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

With a history of such tawdry behavior by Fox News, it seems to be a highly inappropriate media outlet to try to whitewash Kavanaugh’s history of alleged abuses. And the choice of Martha MacCallum to interview Kavanaugh is also troubling. Obviously they didn’t want a man like Sean Hannity to do it. So they picked a woman who was one of Ailes’ first and most vigorous defenders. And it needs to be noted also that, while Kavanaugh is swatting softballs from MacCallum on Fox News, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford has more respectfully declined any television offers:

“As I am not a lawyer or a Senator, I am relying on them and you to ensure that the committee will agree to conditions that allow me to testify in a fair setting that won’t disrupt families and become a media tv show. […] I have received an inordinate number of requests to appear on major TV shows to elucidate further information, to which I have not responded. My goal is to return soon to my workplace, once it is deemed safe for me and importantly, my students.”

The distasteful decision to parade Kavanaugh and his wife on TV in the hopes of generating some public sympathy is more evidence of how Trump is turning the White House into a Reality TV presidency. It’s all about making impressions and convincing the American people not to vote them off the island. And on that score they are failing miserably. Polls show that a majority of people oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And that was before the latest charges were revealed. But if you’re moved by his revelation that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school, than you won’t want to miss this interview (Note: Kavanaugh being a virgin doesn’t make Dr. Ford’s allegations false. She never claimed that there was intercourse):

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

Watch Fox News Freak Out Over Doug Jones Victory, Pretend They Never Wanted Roy Moore Anyway

The good people of Alabama came through on Tuesday and elected the decent senate candidate (Doug Jones) rather than the racist, crackpot, pedophile (Roy Moore). That doesn’t absolve the a-holes in Alabama who voted for Moore, but it’s an encouraging sign that positive changes are coming. The only way to characterize this outcome is as a monumental transformation for a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator for a quarter of century.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to find other ways to characterize such an obviously anti-Trump, anti-Republican event. And it only took a matter of seconds for Fox to try to recast the Jones win as something positive for the GOP. Anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum were plainly unhappy with the call. Less than a minute after announcing that Jones would win the senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Fox went into hyper-spin mode saying this (video below):

MacCallum: “You know there was a lot of discussion about whether a Roy Moore win would be a win, really, for the GOP. And there’s some questions tonight about whether or not there’s some silver lining, perhaps, for Republicans tonight. A victory by Moore, who was embroiled in a sex scandal, might have made it more difficult for the GOP to have gained control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections.”

There’s so much to unpack here. Let’s start with the eagerness of Fox News to abandon Moore, the candidate they have been pimping for months. They are pretending that his loss is actually what they wanted all along. If they think this will be taken this seriously, it is a bitter insult to their dimwitted viewers. However, they know their viewers best, and they are probably right. The Fox audience would need a “silver lining” or a security blanket and a binky after what happened last night.

What’s more, by virtually conceding that Moore’s “sex scandal” would have been a major obstacle to the GOP’s electoral prospects next year, they are validating the very same case against Donald Trump. Actually, not quite the same. Trump has been accused by more women of more repulsive acts of harassment and abuse. If Fox News thinks that Moore’s loss will make those crimes go away they are deeply delusional. They will surely work hard to bury Trump’s reprehensible behavior, but in the comment above they have recognized that it cannot, and will not, be dismissed.

Finally, MacCallum’s phrasing is curious. The GOP does not have to “gain control” of the Senate next year. They currently have control. What she might be worried about is the growing possibility of Democrats assuming control of both houses of Congress. And once again, whatever difficulty she thinks the GOP would have had with Moore in the Senate isn’t going to be resolved as long Trump is in the White House.

Speaking of Trump, he also made an effort to distance himself from Moore after the loss. He tweeted that:

There is no record of Trump ever saying that Moore would “not be able to win.” What record there is of Trump’s endorsement was deleted from his Twitter feed (here and here and here). He also deleted a tweet congratulating Moore and cheering him on to victory. Ever since Moore won the GOP primary, Trump has been behind him. He even recorded a robo-call and staged a rally just across the Alabama border in Florida to whip up support. But following Moore’s loss, Trump has unceremoniously kicked him to the curb and proclaimed the he was right all along (as he always is in his sociopathic, narcissistic imagination).

These weren’t the only kicks Moore suffered. Other Fox News hosts were equally as dismissive. Ainsley Earhardt on Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, said that “This was not a referendum on Trump. I feel like it was a referendum on Harvey Weinstein.” Her fellow “Curvy Couch” potato, Todd Piro, added that he didn’t want to be a “Pollyanna,” noting that the Republicans still have a one seat majority in the senate. Isn’t that a little too obvious an expression of Republican bias, even for Fox News? And Laura Ingraham giddily opined that “Jones is a lame duck from day one. He has zero chance of winning in 2020. This state loves Trump. This is not an anti-Trump result.”

For the record, Trump’s approval rating in Alabama, according to exit polls, was a 48-48 percent split, with “strongly approve” at 32 percent and “strongly disapprove” at 41 percent. Those are catastrophic numbers for Trump and Republicans in Alabama. And Trump’s approval nationwide is even worse. But don’t expect Fox News to acknowledge that. They are on a mission to implant happy-talk in the minds of their glassy-eyed viewers who need some cheering up. That, however, won’t last long. Fox has already segued to renewed outrage over Hillary Clinton’s emails and denigrating special counsel Robert Mueller as treasonous abomination of justice. Just another day of shrill propaganda for Fox News.

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

Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

ABSOLUTELY UN-AMERICAN: Fox News And Darrell Issa Squelch Democrats In IRS Hearing

In an extraordinary hearing Wednesday morning, Republicans put on a display of tyrannical suppression of speech that would make the Taliban green with envy.

Fox News

Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (and recidivist criminal), called to order a hearing on allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for enhanced scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt status. The sole item on the agenda was testimony from former IRS official Lois Lerner. Lerner had previously notified the committee that she would be exercising her Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions. Ignoring that, Issa scheduled the hearing anyway as a sideshow that he hoped would embarrass his Democratic colleagues. His strategy blew up in his face.

After making a five minute opening statement, Issa proceeded to ask a series of questions, each time eliciting the same response from Lerner saying that, on advice of counsel, she was exercising her constitutional right to decline to answer. Since Issa already knew that Lerner would not be testifying, it is clear that his only purpose was to hear himself ask a bunch of questions that he framed to imply something incriminating. But it’s what happened next that demonstrates just how disreputable and dictatorial Issa is. [Full video of the hearing via C-SPAN]

Upon completing his opening statement and faux inquiry, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, began his opening statement, as is the practice of congressional proceedings. However, Issa immediately cut him off and ordered the hearing adjourned. Issa did not permit Cummings, or any other Democrat to utter a single word on the record. And after silencing Cummings, Issa stomped out of the hearing room.

Not surprisingly, this outraged Cummings who insisted on having his time to address the committee and the witness. Whereupon Issa instructed his staff to cut Cummings microphone off. Cummings valiantly persevered without a mic and made his objections known. He pointed out that Issa’s behavior was one-sided, wrong, and “absolutely un-American.”

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The coverage on Fox News of this shameful display of Republican hubris was pretty much what you might expect. Fox broadcast most of Issa’s opening statement and questions. Then, when Cummings began to speak, Fox curtailed their coverage after showing a brief portion of the dust-up between Issa and Cummings. Fox did not show any of the remarks Cummings made after Issa walked out of the room. Ironically, Fox host Martha MacCallum said that “We’re trying to give equal time to both of these gentlemen here.” Apparently equal time on Fox News is seven uninterrupted minutes of a Republican harangue and 42 seconds of a Democratic response.

Following the hearing, the same measure of biased coverage occurred when Issa and Cummings addressed the press. Fox again broadcast Issa’s press conference in its entirety, but cut away as Cummings approached the same podium from which Issa had just finished speaking. Fox aired none of Cummings remarks to the press. [Full video of the press avails via C-SPAN]

To matters even worse, Fox aired a segment about the hearing shortly afterward with a reporter from U.S. News and World Report. In addressing concerns by Lerner that she was getting death threats, Fox host Jon Scott made this unbelievably grotesque comment:

“I can see why if you’re getting death threats, maybe you wouldn’t want to open yourself up to more scrutiny. But at the same time, it would seem that answering some of the questions might cause some of these people who are so angry to ease up if she’s got legitimate answers for why the IRS did what it did.”

In other words, just comply with the demands of those making death threats and maybe they won’t kill you. See? Problem solved.

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After numerous hearings, testimony from more than three dozen IRS employees, and review of thousands of pages of documents, the Issa Inquisition has proven none of its allegations about corruption, partisanship, or White House involvement. What Issa has proven is that he is a brazenly dishonest hack who has repeatedly deceived the public and the media by issuing reports and releasing documents that he purposefully manipulated to create a falsely negative impression of malfeasance by Democrats. In the process he would systematically remove any data that contradicted his fictional version of events.

As for Fox News, they could not have been more obviously biased in their coverage of this affair. In all they broadcast about a quarter hour of Issa’s propaganda and less than a minute of the Democratic side of the debate. What’s more, they are already promoting appearances by Issa (and only Issa) on Fox News later today. And not once has Fox made note of the fact that Issa, and his GOP led committee, held an unprecedented hearing where only he was allowed to speak.

[Update 3/6/14] The Congressional Black Caucus has put forward a motion to condemn Darrell Issa for his tyrannical abuse of power and to remove him from the chairmanship of the committee. However, Speaker John Boehner has already expressed his continuing support for Issa whom Boehner believes acted appropriately.

Also, Media Matters has obtained and posted the emails that Issa referenced during his sham hearing. Consistent with Issa’s repeated acts of deception and partisan cherry-picking of information to make public, these emails actually prove that IRS director Lois Lerner was taking great pains to avoid any politicization of the agencies activities. As usual, when all the information is made available, it shows that Issa and Co. have lied through their teeth.

IRS Email