Hunter Biden Threatens Fox News with Lawsuit Alleging Defamation and Revenge Porn

CNN has obtained a copy of a cease and desist letter from Hunter Biden’s attorneys to Fox News, demanding that they retract false stories that they have been disseminating for more than a year, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support them. Not that lacking evidence has ever stopped Fox News from lying to smear their political opponents before.

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Fox News, Bullshit Factory

The specific stories addressed in Biden’s letter refer to unfounded allegations that President Biden and his son accepted bribes from Ukrainian officials. The source of those allegations was a Russian operative, Alexander Smirnov, who was recently arrested for having lied to the FBI about these allegations and other disinformation he was spreading on behalf of his Russian handlers. And Fox News was well aware of the deceit because the White House had previously told them so…

SEE THIS: White House Seeks Retraction from Fox News of Biden Smears By GOP and Russian Indicted for Lying

On Monday, CNN’s Dana Bash revealed what Biden’s letter to Fox News said…

“Lawyers for Hunter Biden are telling Fox News to correct the record on bribery allegations made by a discredited FBI informant or face a defamation lawsuit. CNN obtained a cease and desist letter sent to Fox last week. In it Biden’s legal team points to Fox hosts like Maria Bartiromo continuing to push claims that Hunter Biden and his father took bribes from Alexander Smirnov. Even after Smirnov was indicted for lying to the FBI.

“Biden’s team also accused Fox of profiting off of a fictionalized show streaming on Fox Nation called “The Trial of Hunter Biden,” and of violating revenge porn laws because that show unlawfully published, and continues to publish, intimate pictures of Hunter Biden depicting him in the nude.”

This potential lawsuit would add to the legal troubles that Fox News has been facing. They have already settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787 million. That suit revealed the myriad lies that Fox News hosts and guests told about Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged and stolen” from him. The revelations that emerged included emails that showed that Fox knew they were lies while they were telling them. Fox News is also facing a similar defamation lawsuit by the voting software firm, Smartmatic, for $2.7 billion.

MORE HERE: The Fox News 3/4 Billion Dollar Dominion Defamation Settlement is Also a Judgment Against Trump

It’s interesting that Biden’s letter named specific Fox hosts as perpetrators of the defamation. In particular, Maria Bartiromo has been a frequent distributor of dishonest “reporting.” Media Matters has documented that her show pushed the indicted FBI informant’s story more than 200 times.”

Hunter Biden has a strong case against Fox News and the network would be wise to issue the retractions and settle with him. Otherwise, Biden’s legal team would begin the discovery process, wherein they could subpoena internal communications that would undoubtedly embarrass the network, its hosts, and executives. But expecting Fox News to do the right thing is always a suckers bet. So as they say…stay tuned.

UPDATE 4/30: Fox News has responded to Biden’s letter defending what they say is “constitutionally protected coverage,” and refusing to remove and retract their reports. However, the First Amendment does not shield them from defamation, known falsehoods, or purposefully “fictionalized” stories that contain stolen, private images. But Fox News is apparently worried because The Daily Beast is reporting that they did scrub the “mock trial” that ran on Fox Nation.

UPDATE 7/1: Hunter Biden has filed a lawsuit against Fox News for distributing “revenge porn.”


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Fox News ‘Demands’ that Media Matters Stop Publishing Leaked Videos of Tucker Carlson

The fallout from Fox News firing their Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson, continues to cast dark shadows on the network that tolerated and embraced his hate speech and lies for so many years. Apparently terminating Carlson after agreeing to settle the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for 3/4 of a billion dollars was only the beginning of their problems.

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Fox News, Fake News

This week Media Matters acquired some videos of Carlson that further exposed his racism, as well as the animosity he had for his own colleagues at Fox News who he thought weren’t sufficiently repellent. These videos revealed Carlson maligning his former employer, saying “I don’t want to be a slave to Fox Nation. [and that] Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks.” Additionally, there were text messages wherein he complained about having been deposed by Dominion’s lawyers and criticized violent Trump supporters because “It’s not how white men fight.”

SEE THIS: Leaked Video of Tucker Carlson Bashing Fox Nation as a Site that ‘Sucks’ and ‘Nobody Watches’

On Friday Fox News sent Media Matters a “cease and desist” letter demanding that they stop publishing these videos. The letter said…

“We write on behalf of Fox Corporation to clarify any misunderstandings Media Matters may have had regarding previously unaired footage that Media Matters has published in a series of articles headlined ‘Foxleaks.’ That unaired footage is Fox’s confidential intellectual property; Fox did not consent to its distribution or publication; and Fox does not consent to its further distribution or publication. This proprietary material was given to you without Fox’s authorization. Fox demands that Media Matters cease and desist from distribution, publication, and misuse of Fox’s misappropriated proprietary footage, which you are now on notice was unlawfully obtained. We reserve all rights and remedies.”

Seriously? First of all, Media Matters is well within their rights as a journalistic enterprise to publish these videos. Fox’s threat is empty and unsupported by the law, and particularly the Constitution.

What’s more, Fox News is a frequent exploiter of what they have insisted is their First Amendment rights to publish similarly obtained materials. They have had no problem with publishing private emails from Hillary Clinton, or text messages of FBI agent Peter Strzok, or the sort of videos that Project Veritas produced by secretly recording people that they purposefully deceived. Consequently, it is more likely that the source of these videos is actually Fox News. They have to incentive to dirty up Carlson before he lands at some other media outfit and starts smearing Fox.

Nevertheless, Fox News thinks they can intimidate Media Matters to prevent them from providing information that is relevant and important to the public regarding the state of affairs at Fox News. But Media Matters wasn’t intimidated. They released a response that brilliantly rejected Fox’s feeble threat.

“Reporting on newsworthy leaked material is a cornerstone of journalism. For Fox to argue otherwise is absurd and further dispels any pretense that they’re a news operation. Perhaps if I tell them that the footage came from a combination of WikiLeaks and Hunter Biden’s laptop, it will alleviate their concerns.”

OUCH! It’s unlikely that even proving that Fox News is brazenly hypocritical will “alleviate their concerns.” That’s because Fox’s concerns are rooted in their deeply held, ultra-rightist biases, and not in any logic, reason or facts. Which is one of the reasons why Fox is currently suffering the worst downtrend in their ratings in more than ten years. And ridiculous measures like this to try to censor their critics isn’t going to make anything better for them. Just imagine what would come out in any trial if Fox followed through with this threat.

RELATED: With Lawsuits, Lost Hosts, and Lying Pundits, the Future of Fox News Has Never Been Weaker

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Leaked Video of Tucker Carlson Bashing Fox Nation as a Site that ‘Sucks’ and ‘Nobody Watches’

It’s been a week since the shocking announcement that Fox News had fired their biggest star, and most repugnant personality, Tucker Carlson. And in the interim there has been much speculation about the reasons for his termination, which were never spelled out by either Fox News. Carlson didn’t even mention it in his pathetic, post-pink-slipped video.

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Fox News, Tucker Carlson

Not that it requires much imagination to explain why Carlson was summarily banished from his soap box on Fox. His programs featured his blatantly racist commentaries attacking Black politicians and private citizens; his crackpot conspiracy theories accusing the FBI of orchestrating the January 6th insurrection, and M&Ms of desexualizing their cartoon mascots; his embrace of authoritarian dictators like Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán; and his propagation of Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged and stolen” from him.

RELATED: A Post-Mortem on Tucker Carlson Following His Unusually Abrupt Departure From Fox News

Of course, none of those transgressions from reality and decency had anything to do with Carlson losing his job. They probably prevented him from losing it even sooner. His dismissal was more likely due to his trashing of his Fox colleagues and bosses. He is reported to have referred to a senior Fox News executive as a “C-word” on numerous occasions. He disparaged the “Brain Room” staff who called the state of Arizona for Joe Biden. And he generally strutted around like he was invincible and bigger than Fox.

Now a new leaked video (see below) exposes Carlson trashing the Fox Nation streaming service that runs his own programs. In the video Carlson was discussing an upcoming interview that was to appear on both his Fox News program and a longer version on Fox Nation. According to Media Matters

[Carlson was] doing some image rehab for misogynistic social media influencer Andrew Tate. [who is currently in Romania] being investigated on allegations of rape, people trafficking and forming an organised crime group..”

Carlson is seen saying that “I’m like a representative of the American media now, speaking to an exile in Romania and welcoming [Tate] back into the brotherhood of journalists.” Really? Journalists? That word doesn’t describe Tate or Carlson. But even worse from the standpoint of his employment status, Carlson says that…

“I don’t want to be a slave to Fox Nation. [and that] Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks. So I’d really like to just put the – dump the whole thing on YouTube. [… I don’t know why they’re not fixing it. It’s driving me insane.”

This is representative of the loathsome character of Carlson. He has alienated his associates and insulted his superiors. And it was likely that – not his abhorrent, hateful, and anti-American views – that cost him his propaganda perch on Fox.

It will be interesting to see if any other media enterprise (other than Russian TV or Steve Bannon’s War Room) will be willing to risk adopting this malevolent misfit. Because no one with any credibility takes Carlson seriously. Even Carlson doesn’t doesn’t take Carlson seriously.

SEE THIS: Tucker Carlson Finally Admits that ‘I Have No Freaking Idea What Goes On in American Politics’

UPDATE: More revelations of Carlson’s heinousness were disclosed in racist text messages wherein he describes a group of “Trump guys” brutally assaulting an “Antifa kid” and remarks that “It’s not how white men fight.” He said that he hoped they would kill him. He was also captured on video whining about his deposition in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit, maligning their lawyer as “a slimy little motherf**ker” who “triggered the shit out of me.”

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Fox News Caught Coddling Conspiracy Crackpots for Fear of Losing Audience and Advertisers – Again!

The billion dollar defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News is getting closer to being played out in court. And with an April 17 trial date, there is still more evidence of Fox’s fraudulence coming out on a nearly daily basis. The extent of their ethical emptiness continues to astonish and disgust.

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Fox News, Bullshit Factory

The latest exposure of Fox’s unscrupulousness came in the form of a “slide deck” that Dominion lawyers used at a March 28 hearing. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters posted images of the presentation by Dominion’s lawyers (in this Twitter thread). And while it contains some cringeworthy examples of deceitfulness, it is also all too reminiscent of what has been published previously.

RELATED: In Dominion v Fox News, Network Cries ‘We Can’t Make People Think We’ve Turned Against Trump’

Among the new disclosures are internal communications from Fox News executives and hosts. They show that these people have no regard for journalist principles or the welfare of the nation. What follows are some samplings from the hearing…

Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott:
[Reacting to a reporter’s fact checking] “This has to stop now. This is bad business and there clearly is a lack of understanding what is happening in these shows. The audience is furious and we are just feeding them material. Bad for business.” […]

“I can’t keep defending these reporters who don’t understand our viewers and how to handle stories. The audience feels like we crapped on and we have damaged their trust and belief in us. We lost 25k subs from FOX NATION.

Fox News Host Maria Bartiromo:
“We have to go to a full on war. They have used all systems to defraud… Jared says he doesn’t want to hear about any conspiracy theory… The campaign is not doing shit.” […]

“The country needs to survive. We need to keep this president. Noone (sic) thinks anyway that people voted for Biden.” […]

“It was sophisticated funded and orchestrate & uses all areas of fraud including digital. We now know Nancy Pelosi has an interest in it. It’s directed also by Soros.”

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson:
“[Sidney Powell] is a psychopath. She’s getting Trump all spun up and has zero evidence. Same with Rudy [Giuliani].” […]

“[Mike] Lindell seems to really have gone off the deep end. He is definitely crazy… I agree there’s concern about Lindell being a conspiracy theorist now. But he has bailed us out loads of times when no one else would.” […]

“We can concentrate on cancel culture rather than his wild claims… If no one is buying him, he loses money to be able to advertise with us. And then we lose our biggest advertiser.”

[Note: After most major advertisers pulled out of Carlson’s show to avoid association with his racism and conspiracy theories, Lindell was indeed his biggest advertiser. Although he had problems of his own]

Fox News “Brain Room” staffer Leonard Balducci:
“Claims about Dominion switching or deleting votes are 100% false. Dominion systems continue to reliably and accurately count ballots, and state and local authorities as well as fact checkers, have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process.” […]

“Dominion has no company ownership relationships with any member of the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, or the Clinton Global Initiative.”

These are the sort of statements that prompted the Society of Professional Journalists to respond to the allegations against Fox News in a damning statement by their Professional Standards and Ethics Committee. They found…

“…the allegations against Fox News deeply troubling. A fundamental ethical rule of journalism, set out in the SPJ Code of Ethics, is to seek the truth and report it. If a news organization knowingly spreads lies, either in news reporting or opinion, it has clearly breached this most sacred of principles. No responsible journalist can accept or excuse this behavior. […]

“[And that] responsible opinion hosts and commentators have a duty to use verified facts as the basis of their arguments and to not peddle what they know to be lies and disinformation. Many people use the information they get from their favorite hosts and commentators to form their own opinions.”

Indeed, that last line illustrates the problem that Fox News creates when they deliberately mislead their viewers. Of course, Fox doesn’t view it as a problem, It’s precisely the effect they intend to have on their audience. And the truly sad part of this is that it’s working.

SEE THIS: IT’S A CULT: Most Fox News Viewers Are Still Loyal After Dominion Lawsuit Discloses Their Lies

If anyone still thinks that Fox should be considered a “news” enterprise, ask yourselves this question: Why havn’t any of the alleged “journalists” at Fox resigned after learning about just how corrupt and dishonest the organization is? How could anyone who regards themselves as an ethical reporter continue to work for such a company? Why won’t they even make a public statement of disapproval?

The answer, of course, is that there isn’t anyone at Fox with the integrity to take such a stand. They are all equally responsible and, thus, reprehensible. There isn’t one of them with an ounce of honor or professional decency.

UPDATE I: In a March 31 ruling on summary judgement, the judge found that “The evidence is ‘CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements [made on Fox News] relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.'”

UPDATE II: The judge in the Dominion case has sanctioned Fox News for withholding evidence. He also made several other rulings that hamper Fox’s ability to deflect from the issue of defamation.

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In Dominion v Fox News, Network Cries ‘We Can’t Make People Think We’ve Turned Against Trump’

The billion dollar lawsuit against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems has been proceeding at a fairly rapid pace. And each new development has proven to be devastatingly damaging to Fox News. The evidence is particularly damning since most of it comes from either what Fox News aired or private communications between Fox hosts and executives.

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Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

The latest wrinkle in this affair is a motion of summary judgment filed by Dominion. Included in the motion were numerous examples of Fox News personnel admitting that they knew that their reports of election fraud were lies and that they were lying in order to benefit Donald Trump. The tone and quantity of these admissions is astonishing, but it isn’t new. In December a portion of Sean Hannity’s testimony was revealed wherein he confessed that he never believed the election fraud lies.

SEE THIS: Hannity Admits in Fox News Lawsuit that ‘I Did Not Believe [Trump’s Big Lie] for One Second’

However, in this new motion the case is bolstered with a slew of new revelations that affirm that Fox News was lying all along. A Twitter thread posted by John Whitehouse of Media Matters neatly compiles the evidence against Fox by their own people (More from Media Matters here). And among the flood of affirmations of Fox’s dishonesty was one that is especially incriminating. Not surprisingly, it came from Tucker Carlson’s team who were afraid of angering Trump further after Fox correctly called the state of Arizona for Joe Biden.

“We’re threading a needle that has to be thread because of the dumb f**ks at Fox News on Election Day. We can’t make people think we’ve turned against Trump. Yet also call out the bullshit. You and I see through it. But we have to reassure some in the audience.”

So apparently Fox News was more worried about how Trump would react than they were about reporting the truth. A lot of the well deserved criticism of Fox News as being biased generally toward Republicans and conservatives is only half the story. They have clearly leaned heavily toward Trump specifically. And their leanings were motivated more by fear of Trump and his glassy-eyed cult followers than by any particular ideology. That fear-based favoritism was evident in many other messages revealed in Dominion’s motion. such as…

  • Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch: Really crazy stuff.
  • Tucker Carlson: What [Trump is] good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.
  • More Tucker Carlson: I hate [Trump] passionately [and he is] a demonic force.
  • Rupert Murdoch to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott: We don’t want to antagonize Trump further, but Giuliani taken with a large grain of salt. Everything at stake here.
  • Bret Baier: There is NO evidence of Fraud. None. [and] We have to prevent this stuff…We need to fact check.
  • Fox News producer Justin Wells (on Jeanine Pirro): They took her off cuz she was being crazy. Optics are bad. But she is crazy.
  • Carlson (complaining to Hannity about Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich, who was fact checking a tweet by Trump): Please get her fired. Seriously….What the f*ck? I’m actually shocked…It needs to stop immediately, like tonight.
  • Suzanne Scott: You can’t give the crazies an inch right now […] The audience feels like we crapped on [them] and we have damaged their trust and belief in us … We can fix this but we cannot smirk at our viewers any longer.
  • Laura Ingraham: Sidney [Powell] is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy {Giuliani].
  • Sean Hannity: That whole narrative that [Sidney] Powell was pushing, I did not believe it for one second, [and that] she’s a f*cking lunatic.

Fox News responded to the Dominion motion with their predictably dishonest deflecting:

“According to Dominion, FNN had a duty not to truthfully report the President’s allegations but to suppress them or denounce them as false. Dominion is fundamentally mistaken. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press would be illusory if the prevailing side in a public controversy could sue the press for giving a forum to the losing side.”

The problem with Fox’s argument is that they were not merely “giving a forum to the losing side.” They were overtly taking that side’s position and affirmatively arguing their case. For some proof of that, see this…

Ironically, after shilling for Trump for years, Fox News now seems to be exhausted by his tedious obsession with nonexistent election fraud. Some at Fox Fox are even starting to tilt toward Ron DeSantis (or “Meatball Ron” as Trump calls him). But they are still taking baby steps because they are still terrified of the Trump cult. Just wait until he gets a whiff of the messaging in this Dominion motion.

RELATED: Trump Post Urges His Cult Followers to Take Up Arms and ‘Physically Fight’ for the Presidency

UPDATE I: Fox News is so afraid of the Dominion lawsuit that they have barred any mention of it on their network.

UPDATE II: The judge in the Dominion case has sanctioned Fox News for withholding evidence. He also made several other rulings that hamper Fox’s ability to deflect from the issue of defamation.

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LOL: Fox News Complains that Liberal Media Accurately Reports the News – Liberal Media Replies

If there is one thing that Fox News really hates, it’s actual journalists who dare to report the news accurately. That’s conceptionally foreign to Fox News. An honest presentation of facts about current events exposes how Fox lies so doggedly in pursuit of their ultra-rightist mission.

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Fox News Sad

A good example of Fox’s mangling of reality is how they reported the acquittal of Michael Sussmann, a former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer who was prosecuted – make that persecuted – by special counsel and Bill Barr flunky, John Durham. The not guilty verdict was a major black eye for Durham and his efforts to discredit the legitimate investigations into Donald Trump’s myriad criminal activities and unsavory connections to Russia. After wasting three years and millions of dollars, Durham’s fake scandal factory has succeeded only in humiliating itself.

RELATED: Crybaby Trump FREAKS OUT Over the Durham Nothingburger Resulting in Acquittal of Clinton Lawyer

On Thursday Fox News reacted to the acquittal by compiling a montage of video clips from what they call the “liberal” media, but which in their view is actually all media except for Fox News. They headlined their montage “MSNBC, CNN, ABC and more pan ‘asinine’ Durham probe after Sussmann verdict: ‘A flop’” Which is uncharacteristically accurate.

However, Fox’s intention was to malign the media as being aligned against Durham, and therefore conservatives, simply because there was rational agreement in the reporting of the trial’s outcome. Their story began by saying that “Left-leaning media personalities, reporters and guests of MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC and The Washington Post gloated” following the verdict. Ironically, the montage only served to publicize the intelligent analyses of the allegedly liberal press:

Nice work, Fox. Although Fox didn’t bother to rebut a single comment by any of the pundits and legal experts in the video. Perhaps that’s because there is no rebuttal to essentially factual commentaries. The only thing that Fox can do is try to create a false narrative by lying to their audience, and even turning failure into victory. Which is precisely what they did.

RELATED: Bill Barr Tells Fox News that Durham’s Failure to Railroad Clinton Lawyer Was a Victory

For contrast, Media Matters compiled a montage of their own. It contained some of the wholly counterfactual outrage that was unleashed by a variety of Fox News hacks. They struggled to find reasons to dismiss the verdict and to disparage the judge, the jury, and the entirety of the justice system. Because tearing down American institutions is what Fox News was designed to do:

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NAACP to NFL: ‘Don’t Fund Fox News’ Hatred, Bigotry, Lies and Racism’

For a quarter of a century Fox News has been disseminating a torrent of disinformation and purposefully twisted propaganda aimed at advancing their ultra-conservative agenda and propping up radically right-wing politicians. They have pursued that mission via a relentless crusade of flagrant lies and vicious slander.

Fox News Racist

For most of that time those offended by Fox’s deceit have sought to mitigate it by calling out their dishonesty, campaigning to persuade people not to watch, and boycotting Fox’s advertisers. Those tactics have produced uneven results. While successfully shaming many companies into refusing to advertise on certain programs (i.e. Tucker Carlson, whose show is surviving on the largesse of the MyPillow guy), Fox has the wealth and political will to keep money-losing programs on the air.

A more productive means of impacting and disabling Fox’s Lie Factory would be to persuade cable operators to either drop Fox News or put it on a tier that requires subscribers to pay specifically for that channel. Fox actually makes more from cable licensing than from advertising. Media Matters has a project aimed at addressing just that: UnFox My Cable Box.

Now another method has been initiated by the NAACP. The venerated civil rights organization’s CEO, Derrick Johnson, recently sent a letter to the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, asking him to stop helping Fox News to spread lies and hate. Johnson called Fox News “a uniquely destructive force” that “foments racism, undermines public health recovery from the pandemic, and repeatedly attacks the legitimacy of last year’s Presidential election.” USA Today reports further on the contents of the letter:

“The letter, sent to Goodell from Derrick Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, on March 9, and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, also says in part that ‘the NFL’s programming should not be used as a bargaining tool for Rupert Murdoch to help fund Fox News’ hatred, bigotry, lies and racism.'” […]

“In a statement to USA TODAY Sports, separate from his letter to the NFL, Johnson said: ‘It is immensely perturbing that the NFL would consider extending its relationship with Fox, especially after the January 6th insurrection on our Capitol. The NFL should not be used as a bargaining tool to help fund Fox News’ racist and dangerous programming.'” […]

“‘Fox News has gone far and beyond to disinform its viewers, inciting hate, bigotry, and ultimately threatening American democracy,’ Johnson said. ‘We have grave concerns with the NFL’s contract renewal with Fox, and we look forward to having a serious conversation'”

Unfortunately, The NAACP’s letter went out too late to prevent the NFL from making a deal with Fox. But that doesn’t diminish the potential for this as an effective means of protest. There are other organizations and other contracts pending. The NAACP has identified a rich vein of activism that should be mined by groups seeking to put an end to Fox’s destructive impact on our nation. And it’s critical that we use all the tools at our disposable to fight for truth and equality.

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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.

Has Trump’s Influence on Fox News – and America – Dwindled to an Impotent Trickle?

It’s been two months since Joe Biden was inaugurated as President of the United States. In that time of national celebration and relief, Donald Trump has retreated to his Mar-a-Lago bunker, emerging only briefly for a speech at the Conservative Political Action Cult (CPAC), and a phone-in to Senior Fox News Trump-fluffer, Maria Bartiromo.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

Trump is either suffering a severe depression at having been rejected by millions of voters, or he’s he’s hiding from legal process servers and state prosecutors. And while he’s cowering in near obscurity, unable to tweet his pent up outrages, his grip on the political world is slipping away. This shift to irrelevancy is evident in how the media covers his recent remarks about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Trump spent months promoting the vaccine development and bragging about accomplishments that exist only in his mind. After which he clammed up and refused to encourage his cult followers to get vaccinated. This week that changed after prodding from politicians, the press, and even Dr. Fauci. “I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it,” Trump told Bartiromo. “And a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.” For some reason Trump seems to be proud that his voters are uniquely ignorant about the wisdom of being immunized.

Despite Trump’s sudden interest in endorsing the vaccine, his former confederates in the media are not falling in line. Tucker Carlson is doing extended segments casting doubts on the safety, efficacy, and necessity of vaccinations. Sean Hannity immediately began having doubts about the vaccine after Biden was inaugurated. Laura Ingraham, in a reference to public health experts, told her audience that “it’s time to retire or just ignore the control freaks.”

This was all summed up nicely in a clip from The Daily Show that revealed how “Fox News isn’t explicitly telling its viewers not to get vaccinated, it’s just questioning whether they should over and over again”:

Trump’s waning influence was clearly displayed in how Fox News reported his vaccine recommendation. Media Matters reports that…

“Trump’s remarks will have an impact only if his supporters hear them. And while his comments originally aired on Fox, that network — by far the most popular and influential among Trump voters — has largely ignored them since.

In the 36 hours following Trump’s vaccine endorsement, Fox devoted only about six and a half minutes to the remarks. Only a handful of programs covered the remarks; flagship ‘straight news’ broadcast Special Report and popular opinion shows The Five, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and The Ingraham Angle are among those that have not referenced the comments.”

By contrast, in the 36 hours after Biden’s commentary about “Neanderthal” Republicans who prematurely lifted mask mandates, Fox News ran about 1 hour and 20 minutes of coverage about the phony “scandal.” That’s twelve times as much coverage as allotted to Trump’s weak vaccine plug.

So apparently Fox isn’t jumping on Trump’s bandwagon on this life-or-death subject. And his formerly reliable suck-ups aren’t sucking quite as vigorously. Does this mean anything with regard to Trump’s forward prospects as a politician or a public figure. Who knows? But it surely doesn’t bode well for a former president and future felon who was never particularly well liked or respected in the first place.

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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.

Fox News Downplays the Chaos as Senior Trump Aide Says ‘He Just Wants to Separate Families’

As Donald Trump begins another week of disastrous White House failures, his State TV division (aka Fox News) struggles to turn mountains of presidential manure into a sweet smelling garden of blooming propaganda. The week begins with Trump bellowing “You’re fired!” at his Secretary of Homeland Security for not being sufficiently cruel. But that bit of reality TV melodrama isn’t playing particularly well.

Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

The “Witch Hunt” that Trump is still obsessively whining about continues to be uppermost on his mind and in his tweets. Which makes the ousting of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen a convenient distraction. She is said to have been pushed out by Trump and his flying monkey sidekick, Stephen Miller. Insiders report that Nielsen was resisting some of Trump’s latest demands to violate the law with regard to asylum seekers and the babies he thinks are MS-13 members.

If this characterization is accurate, Nielsen doesn’t get any credit for finally exhibiting some signs of human empathy after a year and a half of emulating the evil headmistress of a Dickensian orphanage. But it does introduce a new wrinkle into what may be the most nauseating plank in Trump’s platform. His reasons for casting her overboard certify just how repulsive this president can be. And members of his own team are telling tales out of school. Here is what some have confided to CNN about Trump’s family separation policy:

“Sources told CNN that Nielsen tried to explain they could not bring the policy back because of court challenges, and White House staffers tried to explain it would be an unmitigated PR disaster. ‘He just wants to separate families,’ said a senior administration official. […] ‘At the end of the day,’ a senior administration official said, ‘the President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws.'”

And there you have it. Trump just wants to separate families. Just like he wants to kill healthcare for millions of Americans, and cut taxes for the wealthy at the expense of working people, and bomb innocent civilians in Yemen, and promote the interests of neo-Nazis, and cozy up to murderous dictators in Russia, and North Korea, and allow the planet to become uninhabitable by driving it to a climate apocalypse.

In the meantime, Fox News is predictably ignoring these signs of the Antichrist in favor of propping up the aspiring tyrant they created, and in many ways, control. Their Monday morning programs were filled with orchestrated rhetoric asserting that the kids in cages that have shocked and saddened most of the nation were actually props employed by smugglers. Lis Power of Media Matters documented several of these scripted rhetorical fallacies here and here and here and here and here. There are simply too many of these nearly identical versions of the same falsehoods to be coincidental.

Clearly Fox News is working hard to undermine any criticism that Trump might suffer for his heartless assault on children and families. And these poor souls were already suffering so badly from poverty and violence in their home countries that they risked their lives to find safety and solace in the land of the allegedly free. Unfortunately, they chose a time when our president was a loathsome cretin who seems to have a bright orange streak of sadism. Hopefully, those of us who still cherish the principles are country propounds will prevail and we will return to being the beacon of light and that has inspired immigrants for over two hundred years.

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

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.