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.

Trolling Trump? ‘Rule of Law’ Republicans Run Ad Defending Mueller During Fox And Friends

The Republican Party has demonstrated that they have little to no courage when it comes to mitigating the harm that Donald Trump causes to their party, the nation, and the world. At every turn they’ve had his back, whether it was regarding breaches of the Constitution, sexual harassment and assault, infantile tantrums on Twitter, and especially colluding with Russia to subvert democracy and obstructing justice.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

Efforts by Congress to reign in Trump’s worst instincts have been suppressed by congressional leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Bipartisan bills have been drafted to insure that Trump does not move to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a vain attempt shield himself from the consequences of his illegal activities. But those bills have been bottled up and, although there are sufficient votes for them to pass, the GOP leaders won’t allow them to come to the floor. Not only that, but Americans don’t want Mueller fired 69 percent to 13 percent. And that includes a majority (55%) of Republicans. Even a Twitter poll by Fox’s Lou Dobbs opposed firing Mueller (70% to 25%).

However, there now seems to be a growing assortment of GOP politicians and pundits whose disgust with the President can no longer be contained. They have launched an initiative seeking to protect Mueller from the vengeful Wrath of Trump. The Rule of Law Republicans include some of the most prominent party members, office holders and media. Their website features quotes from many of them that strongly support the work of the special counsel, including Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Ben Sasse, Rep. Trey Gowdy, Sen. John McCain, former Gov. Chris Christie, and National Review editor Rich Lowry, to name a few. In addition to the website, the group purchased ad time to run commercials like this one:

In a particularly inspired bit of programming, they bought airtime during Donald Trump’s favorite Fox News show, Fox and Friends, in the Washington, D.C. market. They know that Trump watches the show every morning, often live-tweeting what he sees. So it’s safe to say that Trump saw the ad. And since he relies more on Fox News than the combined resources of his White House staff, cabinet and intelligence agencies, they hope that this will be a way to influence his future behavior. That may be somewhat optimistic, but it’s as good a strategy as any other.

The urgency to protect Mueller escalated significantly after the U.S. Attorney’s office raided the home and offices of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. He immediately tweeted that “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” and called the probe “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!” On Wednesday morning’s regularly scheduled tweetstorm, Trump lashed out saying that:

Of course the inhabitants of the Real World know that all of the top managers of the inquiry (Mueller, Rosenstein, A.G. Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Chris Wray) are life long Republicans. What’s more, they were all appointed by Trump. So his accusation that Mueller is the “most conflicted of all” is not only delusional, it should be seen as a bright, high-flying red flag declaring his desire and intention to terminate Mueller.

Democrats have been concerned about Mueller’s status for months. Only now are a significant number of Republicans joining those who worry that Trump will pull the trigger. What’s funny is that there is also new outcry among conservatives that Democrats are trying to goad Trump into firing Mueller. Apparently they think that demanding that Trump leave Mueller alone is a sophisticated reverse psychology scheme by crafty leftists to get him to do the opposite. How insidious those Democrats are. But Media Matters has compiled evidence of who is actually trying to force Trump to act against Mueller. And it’s mostly people on Fox News:

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

Hannity Repeatedly Called for Mueller to Be Fired in June 2017 When Trump Tried to Fire Him (Video)

Thursday night the New York Times released a disturbing story about Donald Trump’s ongoing malfeasance in office. The news that Trump ordered his White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller was another confirmation of the President’s attempt to obstruct justice and punish anyone he perceived to be a threat. The fact that the firing was only averted because McGahn refused to comply and threatened to quit doesn’t lessen the breach of law and ethics.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Not surprisingly, Fox News was contemporaneously backing Trump at the time without disclosing their collusion with the White House. Media Matters looked back and found video of the biggest Trump-fluffer on Fox News, Sean Hannity, advocating for the resignation, recusal, or termination of the special counsel.

Was it a coincidence that Hannity was speed-ranting about firing Mueller at exactly the same time that Trump was trying to do that? The tally per Media Matters was that Hannity pressed these attacks at least 111 times last June.

Trump was asked about the New York Times report while in Davos for the World Economic Forum. He casually sneered at the camera with his customary and tedious complaint that it’s “Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories.” However Trump is ignoring that the story was confirmed by NBC, Politico, the Washington Post, CNN, and even Fox News. So is Fox now fake news to Trump as well? He didn’t say.

And don’t expect Fox News to bring it up. They barely covered the story when it broke on Thursday, or the following morning. And when they did cover it they dismissed it as the media being anti-Trump and using unreliable anonymous sources. However, the best presentation of Fox’s determination to defend Trump at all costs came with Hannity (of course), who was in the middle of his program when the news broke. At first Hannity predictably rejected the story as the media attacking his perfect president. But shortly thereafter Fox’s Ed Henry reported that his own source confirmed what the Times reported. Hannity’s reaction was priceless. He quickly went from “Fake news,” to “OK, it’s real news,” to “Oh look, a car crash.”

The fact that Hannity was so adamant about Mueller’s termination last June cannot be disregarded as an accident. Mueller had only been appointed in May, so there was hardly time for Hannity to get worked up about his investigation. There had to have been some incentive for him to go ballistic in so short a period of time. And since we know that Trump and Hannity talk often, it is likely that Trump encouraged Hannity to go after Mueller to justify him getting axed by Trump. In fact, Hannity’s smear campaign of Mueller last June is just further affirmation of the New York Times’ reporting that Trump was (and is) after Mueller’s scalp.

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

Sean Hannity Unleashes His Inner-Trump In a Full-Psycho, All-Caps Twitter Rant

The surest sign that someone is becoming unmoored from what’s left of their sanity is an all-caps upchuck on Twitter. It signals the impending collapse of mental stability along with a sense of grave desperation. And that’s precisely the state of mind that must be burdening Sean Hannity of Fox News.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

In the past few weeks Hannity has been the subject of an advertiser backlash due to his repugnant support for the pedophile Republican candidate for senate in Alabama, Roy Moore. His knee-jerk affinity for a man who has been accused of serious sexual misconduct by multiple women has proven too much for many of his commercial sponsors.

The campaign to inform advertisers of the risks of being associated with Hannity (Stop Hannity) is being advanced by Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America. So Hannity has focused his outrage on Carusone in the most deranged manner he can: a series of aimless, insulting, dishonest outbursts on Twitter. In this online tantrum, Hannity baselessly accuses Carusone of being an anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist. For example:

There is so much wrong with that tweet it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that Carusone is gay and his husband is Jewish. So there goes the homophobic, anti-Semitic allegations. Hannity offers no proof whatsoever of any racism on Carusone’s part. Additionally, Hannity directs this tweet to CNN and its media correspondent, Brian Stelter, asking why they would support those heinous behaviors that don’t actually exist. And one has to wonder what made Hannity think that anyone at CNN would take his criticisms seriously considering his relentless bashing of the network as “Fake News.” Finally, Hannity ended his tweet with a link to fake account on Twitter pretending to be Carusone (here is his real account).

Exacerbating the lunacy of this tweet is the fact that Hannity posted it five times in five minutes. The exact same message (although he swapped in different photos), one after another. After he got that out of system he continued his tirade with a tweet asserting that Media Matters “is atrocious as they are the most anti free speech, pro censorship group in America.” Consistent with right-wing doctrine, Hannity regards free speech as a one-way principle. He can say whatever bullcrap he wants, but no one else can reply or disagree. If they do it’s an attack on his constitutional rights.

Sean Hannity has always been an ultra-rightist shill for the GOP (Greedy One Percent). But since the election of Donald Trump he has devolved into the Fox News version of Alex Jones. He’s become America’s preeminent conspiracy theorist and hate monger. His manic idolatry of all things Trump has made him a favorite of the President who, it’s reported, calls him almost daily. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin has observed that their relationship has resulted in what he calls “the Sean Hannity Presidency.” “The only response Donald Trump has to any political event now,” Toobin notes, “is identical to that of Sean Hannity and Fox News.”

Indeed, it is impossible to distinguish any difference between Trump’s ignorant, unhinged rhetoric, and that of Hannity (or Tucker Carlson, or Laura Ingraham, or Jesse Watters, or the loonies on Fox and Friends). The only question is, is Trump the president Fox News created, or is Fox News the PR division of the Trump administration?

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

Angelo Carusone was interviewed Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Watch it here:

Fox News Anchor Scolds His Fox News Colleagues for ‘Bashing the Media’

There’s a peculiar thing about Donald Trump’s campaign against the First Amendment and freedom of the press. That’s how much he actually relies on the press to spew his propaganda and lies. Without the media broadcasting his hate speech who would know about it?

Fox News Chris Wallace Sean Hannity

To be sure, he has Fox News, the PR division of the Trump administration. And for some reason they are always left out of any criticism that the President has of the “mainstream” media, despite being the top rated cable news network. For the most part, Fox News is a willing accomplice in the murder of the media. They lay it on more thickly than any other network. And they never seem to grasp the irony that they are demeaning the news business that they pretend to be a part of.

Apparently that obliviousness has finally worn through to at least one member of the Fox team. Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, addressed this issue in an interview with ABC News and was not shy about expressing that “It bothers me.”

“I don’t like them bashing the media, because oftentimes what they’re bashing is stuff that we on the news side are doing. I don’t think they recognize that they have a role at Fox News and we have a role at Fox News. I don’t know what’s in their head. I just think it’s bad form.”

Make no mistake, he’s talking about his fellow Foxies Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the vegetative Trump bots of Fox and Friends – among others. Wallace seems to recognize that their knee-jerk assaults on any less than flattering coverage of their Orange Messiah isn’t in the best interest of journalism. And the manner in which he dresses them down is a scathing rebuke. Although he may be pulling punches by assuming that there’s “something” in their heads.

ABC News noted the obvious in their commentary, writing that Fox News is “the preferred network for conservatives.” And they cited a study by Media Matters that revealed the depth of Fox’s bias. For instance, Sean Hannity “criticized the press in 90 percent of his monologues from May 15 to Sept. 1.” And that he “used the term ‘fake news’ 67 times.” But something else stood out that makes the glaring prejudices of Fox even more appalling:

“As president, Trump has given interviews to Fox News more than any other outlet, but he has favored Hannity and other supportive hosts like Jeanine Pirro and Jesse Watters. News anchors Wallace, Bret Baier and Shepard Smith and chief White House correspondent John Roberts have been shut out.”

So even while Trump favors the garden variety sycophants at Fox, he is careful to narrow his exposure to only the most slobbering drool merchants at the network. He steers wide of anyone that might accidentally stumble over some honest journalistic principles. Even the Fox News version of a reporter must be avoided at all costs. Trump is only comfortable talking to mindless disciples. Lucky for him, there is no shortage of them at Fox News – or in their audience.

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

STOP HANNITY: Movement Begins to Shame Advertisers on the Trump-Fluffing Fox News Program

The rapid decline of Fox News over the past year has been an awesome spectacle. It began with the allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Roger Ailes. He was later fired and, shortly thereafter, died following a fall in his home. Then Bill O’Reilly was also terminated after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sean Hannity Fox News

Additionally, some executives were likewise dismissed for their own inappropriate behavior. And Fox News lost their rising star, Megyn Kelly, who joined NBC where her program is a ratings failure. Greta Van Susteren, also quit Fox for a show on MSNBC that has already been canceled. Most recently, Eric Bolling, host of two Fox News programs has been suspended for allegedly sending lewd pictures to network colleagues.

Fox’s reputation for being a brazenly biased mouthpiece for Republican politics is morphing into one of perversion and misogyny. But don’t worry – their mission of right-wing propagandizing is still being pursued in earnest by many remaining shills. Chief among them is Sean Hannity, who has escalated his efforts to promote Donald Trump. His program has become an unabashed platform for exalting and defending Trump no matter the circumstances.

Hannity has been performing some wild rhetorical acrobatics to that end. He has whirled from insisting that Trump was totally innocent of any collusion with Russia, to arguing that such collusion wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. More offensive are his ventures into conspiracy theories. Hannity has made a project of promoting the totally debunked story about Seth Rich. This fake news asserts that Rich, a former DNC staffer, was murdered for his involvement in hacking the Clinton/Podesta emails and sending them to Wikileaks. It’s a fascinating story that would be even more compelling if any of it were true.

As Hannity has ramps up the crazy on his show, he is beginning to attract some push-back from proponents of ethical journalism. Media Matters has initiated a campaign to “Stop Hannity” from further staining the airwaves with his lies and hate. They have previously engineered similar campaigns that targeted Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly. Both of them were eventually booted from their perches at Fox and now languish in near obscurity. It’s safe to say that Hannity is nervous. The Stop Hannity home page spells out how Media Matters intends to hold him, Fox News, and their advertisers accountable:

“Spreading misinformation is Hannity’s business model, and now he’s doing it on behalf of the Trump administration. His propagandizing has become so odious that he was condemned by some of his coworkers, who reportedly told The Daily Beast that the host was ’embarrassing’ the network and that ‘some people need to be fired.’

“It’s past time for Hannity to go. If Fox won’t fire Hannity, then advertisers should run as fast as they can, or else they run the risk of being complicit in his deceit and recklessness. Advertisers will get burned if they continue to associate with Hannity — plain and simple.”

This movement has only just begun, but it is already showing progress. Most notably, ultra-conservative pundits and websites are rising up in anger about this grassroots activism. The Daily Caller, Newsbusters, Western Journalism, and YoungCons have all posted stories labeling Media Matters a far-left provocateur. What’s more, Hannity’s ratings are suffering among the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds. For the most recent week for which there is complete ratings data, Hannity lost the whole week to his time period competition on MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. For the same week the Rachel Maddow Show was the highest rated program on all of cable news. Fox News was accustomed to dominating the ratings charts for years, but those days seem to be gone.

Time will tell if this campaign will be as successful as those aimed at Hannity’s former colleagues. But the track record of Media Matters on these actions is formidable. Advertisers have good reasons to be wary of associating themselves with a conspiracy monger like Hannity. And the more people that jump on this bandwagon, the more it can achieve. To that end, be sure to sign up at Stop Hannity and participate in the advertiser education program they are conducting. It’s a worthwhile cause because, as Ted Koppel told Hannity to his face, he is “bad for America.”

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

Uh-Oh: Rachel Maddow is Under Attack by Sean Hannity and Right-Wing Propaganda Groups

The conservative media machine is marshaling its forces to launch an all-out assault on journalists and pundits who fail to kowtow to Donald Trump. It’s a reactionary campaign in response to the success of the honest reporting by Rachel Maddow and other progressive voices. In recent weeks, Maddow has taken the lead in primetime programs from the previous ratings chart topper, Fox News. The rest of the MSNBC lineup has seen a similar surge in popularity. This massive shift in dominance is mainly driven by the strength of their straightforward reporting about Trump and Russia.

Maddow Hannity

Consequently, those on the right have begun shaking in their boots as their hammer lock on the ratings is broken. The last year has been dreadful for Fox News. Their CEO, Roger Ailes, and top star, Bill O’Reilly, were both terminated in disgrace due to sexual harassment scandals. They are being sued for gender and racial discrimination. And the New York Attorney General is investigating the network for securities violations.

The latest Fox News host to suffer as a result of his own sleazy misconduct is Sean Hannity. He has been pushing a widely debunked conspiracy theory about Seth Rich, a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer. Despite the absence of any facts, and pleas from the family to back off, Hannity has persisted. Even Fox News took down their report on the subject.

The determination of Hannity to spread this phony story has prompted Media Matters to post a list of his advertisers. The purpose was not to start a consumer boycott, but to alert the advertisers to what sort of program they were sponsoring. Then they could decide if it was in their best interest to continue.

Apparently, the desperate losers on the right were not pleased. So they have initiated their own campaign against Maddow and others whom they now refer to as “liberal fascists.” According to Politico:

“The groups plan to pressure advertisers for left-leaning shows like Maddow’s on MSNBC, in hopes that the sponsors will pull their ads. They charge that Maddow and other liberal hosts are peddling conspiracy theories and smearing conservatives with personal attacks.”

“They cited reports of alleged coordination between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian agents as an example of the smears.”

Notice what they’ve chosen as their example of a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact-based report that is affirmed by seventeen U.S. government intelligence agencies. No independent observer disputes that the Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. And the allegations of collusion are based on numerous reports connecting Trump and his associates with Russian operatives. Many of those connections were hidden by the participants until disclosed by persistent reporters.

The groups involved in the attack on Maddow et al are well known in the conservative hack community. The Media Research Center has a long history of smearing liberals in the press. They favor common right-wing talking points and exploiting lefty “villains” like George Soros. The Media Equality Project is a new entity headed by two former conservative radio talkers, Melanie Morgan and Brain Maloney. They both appeared on Hannity’s program Tuesday night to defend his campaign of slander and promote their anti-Maddow efforts. [Video below]

So far there is no discernible impact from the wingnut brigades. That may be because Maddow’s reporting is wrapped up tighter in facts than anything produced by Hannity and his ilk. The Media Equalizer’s told Hannity last night that they are getting millions of people supporting them. However, their Facebook page has fewer than 5,000 followers and they have even less on Twitter.

But let’s not get cocky. Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell need the continued support of Americans who appreciate honest news analysis. MSNBC still hasn’t signed a contract renewal for O’Donnell. Meanwhile they have hired or promoted the likes of Greta Van Susteren, Hugh Hewitt, and George Will.

The right has a built in advantage with the media because every media owner is a giant corporation whose interests are not aligned with the average American. We have to make sure they know that their financial well being is dependent on serving the public interest. In the meantime, it’s satisfying to see Hannity and his trolls floundering as they try to muddy the waters with their self-serving lies. But we can only expect that to make them more aggressive and repulsive. Stay tuned and stay strong.

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

Urgent (and hilarious) Update: Hannity is now so desperate that he’s threatening to go after Stephen Colbert. And that’s something Colbert — would absolutely LOVE.

SURPRISE? Journalist Assaulted By Security At Donald Trump Rally (Video)

What happened today at rally for Donald Trump in Radford, Virginia could have been predicted by a Psychic Hotline operator. It is the inevitable result of a steady stream of hatred coming straight from the putrid mouth of a crybaby candidate who doesn’t know when he will start acting presidential.”

Donald Trump

Chris Morris, a photographer for Time, was covering the rally when he sought to get pictures of a protest in the audience. He was stopped by a member of Trump’s security detail (there is some confusion as to whether it was Trump’s staff or Secret Service) and words were exchanged. The incident rapidly accelerated into an assault when the security man grabbed Morris by the throat and threw him to the ground.

Trump’s supporters were cheering wildly as this was occurring, and Trump himself was on stage egging them on. He even sarcastically said “Isn’t fun being at a Trump rally?” Morris was briefly placed under arrest and ejected from the rally, but he was later allowed to return. He gave a statement to a local television reporter describing how the incident unfolded.

What is notable about this is that an outbreak of violence aimed at journalists was bound to happen. As Trump stated today, this is his idea of fun. But his feelings about reporters have been articulated on many occasions prior to this. It is a staple of his stump speech to insult the press covering him. He points to them and stirs up the hatred in his audience by calling them dummies, liars, and scum, and disparages the news operations that employ them as dishonest and failing.

Trump’s previous attacks on the media have included throwing a Univision reporter out of a rally, calling Megyn Kelly of Fox News a “bimbo,” and grotesquely mocking the physical impairment of a disabled reporter. And then there was the time that his lawyer issued a mob-style threat against a reporter to scare him off of a story. This pattern of behavior was detailed last month by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters who wrote that…

“It’s sad that Donald Trump is normalizing so many unsavory traits with his presidential push this season. He’s normalizing bigotry and xenophobia in the campaign arena, for instance. He’s also mainstreaming the manhandling of the press.”

The violence that simmers just barely below the surface at every Trump rally was bound to flare up as Trump escalates his attacks on the press. Just a few days ago Trump declared that if he were president he would “open up our libel laws” so that he could sue them like they have “never been sued before.” That amounts to a proposal to repeal the First Amendment.

Trump’s campaign has relied on a constant barrage of hatred, and the media is not exempt from that. He even said as much at a rally last month when he literally said “I hate some of these people, I hate ’em.” But it got worse when he added “I would never kill them. I would never do that.” Then reconsidering said “Uh, let’s see, uh…” before concluding that he wouldn’t. He had to think about it. And his glassy-eyed disciples thought it was all very funny.

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

What we learn from all of this is that Trump is an unstable megalomaniac who isn’t shy about inciting violence. There have already been incidents wherein protesters were harmed while Trump stood by smiling and even encouraging it. Now it is journalists who are the targets. That’s a tactic that was used with some success by the Nazi regime. So Trump has made it crystal clear that hates reporters. In fact, he hates them so much that he would very likely favor using the Second Amendment to destroy the First.

Today’s GOP (aka Gross Out Party): As Seen On Fox News Everyday

An aura of indecency has enveloped the 2016 election season with both politicians and pundits lowering themselves to levels heretofore unthinkable. This isn’t merely about the rough and tumble of bitter rivals locked in battle for electoral supremacy. It’s something far more decadent.

Donald Trump

Media Matters recently reported that notorious dirty trickster Roger Stone has been banned from CNN after his history of obscene rants directed at their staff was revealed. But this is not new behavior from Stone who once ran an anti-Hillary Clinton operation that he called Citizens United Not Timid (or C.U.N.T).

A few weeks ago Fox News slapped the hands of a couple of their contributors for “inappropriate” language on the air. Outnumbered co-host Stacey Dash slipped by saying that President Obama didn’t “give a shit” about terrorism. She was upstaged by Fox’s strategic analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who called Obama a “pussy” (ironic coming from a guy whose name is a euphemism for penis). They received brief suspensions, but returned promptly thereafter to continue with their snotty and inappropriate commentaries.

For the most part, Fox couldn’t care less that their pundits cuss and growl at Obama and other Democrats. In fact, it’s what they get paid for. In 2012 News Corpse assembled a top-ten rogues gallery of miscreants who were at least as repulsive as Stone and who are still pundits in good standing at Fox. They include low life hate mongers like Todd Starnes who likened peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters to terrorists; Eric Bolling who accused President Obama of engaging in class warfare that was “forged in Marxist Germany;” and Liz Trotta who joked about “knocking off Obama.” Fox also employed profane cretins like Erick Erickson who called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child molester,” and Glenn Beck associate Dana Loesch who volunteered to urinate on the corpses of fallen Taliban soldiers.

This flight from decency has been a staple of the Fox news culture for years. So it should not come as a surprise that it has resulted in a creature like Donald Trump whose profanity flows like explosive diarrhea. He has adopted the Peters principle and called Ted Cruz a “pussy.” He told New Hampshire businesses with off-shore facilities to “fuck off.” In a fit of phony bravado he recently said that he would “bomb the sh*t out of ISIS.” In short, he has demonstrated that he is a classless buffoon who shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of the White House.

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

Now I’m no prude and naughty language doesn’t make me blush. But I still wouldn’t use it on a television news program or during a speech while I’m running for president. Context is everything, and there may be children in these audiences. However, the people who watch Fox News and profess to support conservative candidates are vocal about their adherence to Christian values and their insistence on forcing them on everybody else. They have made it a hallmark of their personal and political identities. So their tolerance for these sort of obscenities is a tall order of hypocrisy. And if they can’t manage to behave themselves they should STFU.

Legal Jiu-Jitsu: Grand Jury Probing Planned Parenthood Indicts Video Hucksters Instead

The Texas legal system delivered a sort of poetic justice yesterday when a grand jury handed down an indictment of David Daleiden, the founder of the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and his associate Sandra Merritt. The charges included “tampering with a governmental record” and “illegally offer[ing] to purchase human organs.” At the same time the grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.

Fox News

What’s surprising about this is that the grand jury was impaneled by a Republican District Attorney, who was appointed by a Republican governor, with the express purpose of going after Planned Parenthood for offences that were alleged in the deceptively edited CMP videos. From the very beginning Planned Parenthood and independent media demonstrated that the videos were flagrantly fraudulent in their depiction of the women’s health organization. And the members of the grand jury obviously agreed.

Since this news broke, conservative media has reacted with indignant fury declaring that justice was subverted by some undisclosed evil force. Never mind that the anti-choice activists were the ones who pushed for the probe and got everything they asked for in terms of its implementation. Now they are complaining that the charges against CMP are “a political hit job.” Those are exactly the words of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and their resident legal spinner Judge Andrew Napolitano:

Kelly: Now Judge, what does this mean?
Napolitano: This means that a political prosecutor has injected herself in a very serious issue about whether or not Planned Parenthood was profiting from the abortion of babies by selling body parts. […]
Kelly: So does this sound like a political hit job? Or what is this?
Napolitano: Absolutely. This is a political hit job.

They would actually be right if they were talking about why the grand jury was impaneled in the first place. But they have no rational argument for that accusation about the conclusion. It was their case, with their people, but unfortunately for them, the facts weren’t on their side.

What’s more, every federal, congressional, and state investigation into this matter has cleared Planned Parenthood. That includes many agencies in conservative states with Republican governors. Media Matters has been tracking these legal outcomes from the following authorities (so far): U.S. Dept. Of Health And Human Services, Massachusetts Attorney General, Indiana Department of Health, South Dakota Attorney General, Georgia Department of Public Health, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, Missouri Attorney General, Washington State Attorney General, and Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

The spectacle of having a Republican generated grand jury return indictments against the parties who sought the investigation isn’t really that surprising considering the sordid history of these particular scoundrels. CMP cut their pseudo-journalistic teeth with the notoriously dishonest video hack, James O’Keefe. The legal misadventures of O’Keefe include his having been arrested and convicted for nefarious activities in the office of a U.S. senator. He was also forced to pay a $100,000 judgement to an ACORN employee that he defamed. When a right-wing group tried to get Texas to investigate allegations of voter registration fraud the prosecutors examined O’Keefe’s video “evidence” and concluded that it “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

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

This is the predictable result of biased activists masquerading as reporters in order to produce the propaganda necessary to advance their dishonest agenda. They have no respect for journalism or ethical reporting. They are tightly focused on defaming their targets to achieve their purely political goals. And now it is clear that they are so determined to push their campaign of lies that they will violate the law to do so. Fortunately, at least this time, they got caught and are going to suffer the consequences.