STFU: Why Did the Media Cover Every Word of Trump’s Post-Impeachment Gloating?

Here we go again. In 2016 the press disgraced itself by falling victim to the reality TV campaign of Donald Trump. They broadcast every rally and public address live and uninterrupted as if it had some news value. It didn’t. They were just providing Trump with millions of dollars of free air time.

Donald Trump Not Exonerated

The press utterly failed in its journalistic obligations during the 2016 campaign with their fixation on a candidate that stuffed his speeches full of lies, insults, and self-exaltation. Their preference for featuring Trump’s cult rallies was blatantly unfair. They were not giving the same amount of time or exposure to any of his opponents during the Republican primary or the general election. Some of the media recognized their profoundly biased and unprofessional conduct after the election and even apologized to the nation for letting them down.

Well, they seem not to learned a damn thing. On Thursday morning Trump gave an address from the White House that he previously tweeted would be “to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” That preview was bad enough, serving as a warning that the speech would be a feast of falsehoods and a celebration of having escaped accountability for his obvious crimes.

Why would the press rush to cover something that Trump himself falsely described as the “country’s victory” and a “hoax”? He telegraphed his intention to exploit the event for his own selfish purposes. And that’s exactly what he did.

The hour plus speech was a rambling disgorgement of a bloated ego combined with back-slapping of the sycophantic, Republican bootlickers in the audience. Trump rattled off the names of every Trump-fluffing apologist who ran his defense in Congress. and he told brief stories about how brilliant they were for adoring him.

Of course, Trump also used this time to lash out at his perceived enemies. He repeated his tiresome charge that he was the victim of a “witch hunt.” He revived his obsession with President Obama, baselessly alleging that “a lot of people would have been in jail” if he had his way. He rehashed the Mueller probe, calling it “bullshit” despite the fact that it affirmed numerous breaches of the law and blatant obstruction of justice. He went off, again, on America’s intelligence community, complaining about “dirty cops” and other evil people. He singled out former FBI Director James Comey for special condemnation, calling him a “sleazebag.” This is the behavior of a “president” whose cult followers are currently denouncing the “decorum” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for tearing up a copy of his Dystopian State of the Union speech.

But he wasn’t nearly through. He slandered House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as “corrupt” and a “vicious, horrible person.” Trump unwound his frequent lie that Schiff had misrepresented his remarks in the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. He continues to insist that people read the memo that he calls a “transcript” of the call, even though it clearly indicates that he extorted Zelensky to get dirt on Joe Biden.

Naturally, Trump didn’t forget to attack Pelosi. He called her a horrible person also. But he went on to make reprehensible remarks about her faith, asserting that he “I doubts she prays at all.” Earlier in morning he made similar remarks the National Prayer Breakfast, where he attacked Mitt Romney’s faith as well, saying that he “used religion as a crutch.” and that “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” This, coming from someone who pretends to be a devout Christian but can’t cite a single passage from the bible and brags that he has never asked god for forgiveness because he’s never done anything wrong.

The entire address was nothing but a propaganda filled campaign rally with an audience of StormTrumpers engaged in idol worship. It allowed Trump to lie about being exonerated (he wasn’t) and to malign his critics for a solid hour without any pushback, fact-checking, or concessions to reality. And the media chose to air the whole thing live and without interruption.

For what purpose? There was nothing remotely newsworthy about it. They could have have easily recorded it and aired it later if they found anything that served the public interest. And then they would also have been able to provide context and corrections of his numerous untruths. If this is any indication of how they are going to cover the election between now and November, America is big trouble.

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

Trump Gloats Over Iowa Caucus Glitches While Covering Up Prior GOP Debacles

There is no point in trying to understate the unfortunate problems delaying results from the Democratic primary in Iowa. It’s the sort of thing that only reflects badly on the party, despite the cause and/or blame still being unknown. However, there are ways to overstate it. And Republicans are doing their best to demonstrate that with wild and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump, GOP

Chief among the mudslingers, of course, is the always hysterically hyperbolic master of harangue, Donald Trump. He eagerly embraced the botched returns as a welcome deflection from his impeachment affair. The morning after the Iowa caucuses, Trump took his usual post on the Twitter machine and blasted out missives intended to malign his Democratic rivals who had nothing to do with the glitches.

Trump’s attack began with a tweet calling the caucus “an unmitigated disaster” and declaring “a very big victory” for himself. He followed that up with a bizarre tweet asking “When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA?” No Democrat has even hinted at that although, it is not unreasonable to assume that Russia would exploit this event after the fact to cast aspersions on Democrats on behalf of their “useful idiot” in the White House. Then Trump closed with this:

Naturally, Trump had to draw a comparison between himself and the object of his obsession, Barack Obama. And just as predictably, Trump misrepresented the truth. While he did garner more votes, his percentage trailed that of Obama (Obama 98.9% vs. Trump 97.1%). However, Trump’s boast that “The Democrat Party in Iowa really messed up, but the Republican Party did not,” was very short-sighted.

In 2012 the Iowa Republican caucus had its own fiasco. Immediately after the results were tabulated the party declared Mitt Romney the victor. Two weeks later they announced that there was no clear winner. That was followed by another announcement that Rick Santorum had actually won. And even then they said that the real winner might never be known. It took them two weeks to arrive at that non-decision.

And that’s not all. Trump himself was suspicious of the results of the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus. In fact, he regarded it as so tainted by fraud the entire vote should be nullified:

Consequently, it’s ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest for Trump and the GOP to be feigning shock and outrage over the comparatively minor problems with this year’s Democratic caucus. At least there was no incorrect result announced, and no fraud alleged. And it will be resolved in less than 24 hours. But “ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest” could be the official tagline for the Trump presidency and for today’s Republican Party. So what, other than that, should we have expected?

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

Trump Thanks Congressman for Saying on Fox News that He’s Not Presidential

The closer Congress gets to impeaching Donald Trump, the farther Trump gets from sanity. He has lately taken to boosting himself with absurd conspiracy theories, and brazenly seeking to enrich himself while thumbing his nose at the Constitution, and making bizarre threats to sue the media for – get this – false advertising.

Donald Trump, Presidenty

Trump’s safe spaces are becoming much harder for him to locate and more confined to the corners of his mental bunker. He has had to suck harder than ever on his Fox News pacifier, but even that symbol of solace is leaving a bad taste in his mouth. Unfortunately for Trump, he doesn’t have many other sources of soothful ego stroking left. Breitbart and One America News Network (OANN) just aren’t cutting it. And his Republican colleagues in Congress are beginning to step away from his increasingly cringeworthy behaviors.

Consequently, Trump is forced to find comfort wherever he can. For example, on Saturday morning the forlorn President tweeted his appreciation to Republican congressman Tom McClintock who had just completed an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News (video below). But the brief segment was not all happy news for Trump.

McClintock spent much of the interview complaining that the House impeachment inquiry is unfair. He regurgitated the standard GOP talking points about the process not permitting Republicans the same authorities that Democrats have. Of course it’s routine in Congress for the majority to control the proceedings. What McClintock is asking for is to have the same power as the majority Democrats. When did Republicans ever offer that to Democrats when they were the majority? Even the senior legal analyst at Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, shot down these GOP talking points.

Following that canned opinionating, Cavuto asked McClintock about some of Trump’s recent self- made problems, including Syria, Ukraine, and his G7/Doral debacle. Cavuto characterized these fiascos as “embarrassing, morally repugnant incidents.” And McClintock agreed saying that…

“There’s an old saying that ‘There are many things that might be legal, but still don’t look good on the front page of the newspaper.’ [Trump] is a man who’s never had an un-tweeted thought, and on occasion I think that gets him into a great deal of trouble. I do wish he’d be more careful in his choice of words, more presidential in his bearing, and more sunny in his disposition.”

So this interviewed wrapped up with Trump’s surrogate essentially saying that the President is an inarticulate baboon whose demeanor is a downer. And for that Trumped thanked him on Twitter. At least that was better than Mitt Romney saying that Trump’s Syria policy is “so weak and so inept.” And it’s better than Fox’s Judge Napolitano saying that Trump’s G7/Doral scheme is a “direct and profound violation” of the Constitution. This may be the best Trump can expect for the foreseeable future. In fact, it’s likely to be only downhill from here.

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

Mitt Romney Scorches Donald Trump – Heads Explode At Fox News

This morning there was an unprecedented attack by a former Republican presidential candidate on a current front-runner for the GOP nomination. Mitt Romney’s speech was a well constructed and impassioned plea to Republican voters to reject Donald Trump, whom Romney called a phony and a fraud. Romney’s speech covered a panoply of Trump’s abhorrent remarks and disastrous proposals. Video of Romney’s address is below, along with some select quotations. But first…

Mitt Romney Donald Trump

The response by Fox News immediately following Romney’s speech was swift and decidedly hostile to Romney. Fox host Jon Scott impaneled three guests to discuss the uncommonly harsh criticism of Trump. All three of them bashed Romney and predicted that the ensuing controversy would benefit Trump. It was a lock-step, unified condemnation of Romney in defense of Trump that didn’t bother to address a single substantive point from the address.

The post-speech analysis on Fox was followed by the regularly scheduled program, Outnumbered. And guess what? The reaction was identical to the three panelists who preceded them. Guest co-host Eric Bolling got the ball rolling by complaining that if Romney were sincere about his critique he should have come out with this speech sooner. Having failed to do that everything he said should be dismissed now. The rest of the cast of co-hosts generally agreed that because Romney lost the election in 2012 his electoral advice should be forever after ignored. But co-host Andrea Tantaros had the most cutting rebuke when she implored voters to tell Romney to “take it and shove it.”

After Outnumbered, Fox News continued their Romney-bashing with another panel of two contributors who both dismissed Romney as ineffective and irrelevant. The consistency of the stance against Romney was so thorough that, by all appearances, it could only have been planned in advance. There was clearly a directive sent down to the newsroom from the ivory tower office of Roger Ailes to trash Romney and defend Trump. Nothing else could explain the uniformity of thought by so many Fox personalities. And it is that type of uniformity that Fox News has always sought to ensure in order to manipulate the cultish disciples that watch the network.

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

Update: Romney predicted in his speech that Trump would respond “with every imaginable low road insult.” He called that one right. When Trump spoke at a rally in Portland Maine, he was obsessed with Romney’s 2012 loss and ignored every substantive issue that Romney raised. Then Trump proceeded with his robo-speech extolling his greatness and his promise to build a wall. And, of course, every cable news net covered live in its entirety despite the absence of any news value.

Here is the video of Romney’s speech, followed by some select quotes from the transcript that capture the tone of Romney’s warnings about a Trump presidency.

If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into a prolonged recession. […] even as Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families.

But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t and no, he doesn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn’t create it. […] A business genius he is not.

Trump’s bombast is already alarming our allies and fueling the enmity of our enemies. Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS.

[T]his is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity. […] There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.

Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.

Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. [..] Now imagine your children and your grandchildren acting the way he does. Will you welcome that?

The audio and video of the infamous Tapper-Trump exchange on the Ku Klux Klan will play a hundred thousand times on cable and who knows how many million times on social media.
There are a number of people who claim that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. There is indeed evidence of that. Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign, and on the Ku Klux Klan, daily for three days in a row.

We will only really know if he is the real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns and the tape of his interview with the New York Times. I predict that there are more bombshells in his tax returns. I predict that he doesn’t give much if anything to the disabled and to our veterans. I predict that he told the New York Times that his immigration talk is just that: talk.

Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants, he calls for the use of torture and for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. He cheers assaults on protesters. He applauds the prospect of twisting the Constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. This is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.

Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

Not a bad rant for a Republican, conservative, establishment, one-percenter.

The Fox News Primary: CNN On Kissing Rupert’s Ring And Other Body Parts

Sunday morning’s media analysis program on CNN, Reliable Sources, aired a segment (video below) that exposed the overtly partisan promotion of Republican candidates on Fox News. The obvious biases that infect the network’s programming have long been known to anyone paying attention, and the necessity to win the favor of the Fox Politburo is unquestioned.

Fox News Primary

Host Brian Stelter introduced the segment saying…

“Will those two guys, Fox News president Roger Ailes and his boss Rupert Murdoch, be picking your next president? It may sound ridiculous. It may sound like some liberal conspiracy theory. But there’s no disputing that they have real power in the GOP primary.”

That’s an understatement. Not only is Fox News a real power in the GOP primary proper, they often launch candidates from among their own employees. Just looking at the 2016 presidential cycle, Fox vets Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, John Bolton, Rick Santorum and John Kasich have all indicated an interested in running. And most of the other prospective candidates (i.e. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan) have staked out territory on Fox’s air on a regular basis. This led Stelter’s guest, Gabriel Sherman, author of the Ailes bio The Loudest Voice in the Room, to say…

“Without a question Roger Ailes controls the largest block of reliable Republican voters. They watch Fox News. They turn out in large numbers on primary day. And the candidates are already kissing the ring.”

For some evidence of the influence imposed by Fox, News Corpse reported this week that Mitt Romney’s departure from the race likely received more than a little push from Rupert Murdoch, whose anti-Romney stance was expressed publicly on more than one occasion. Stelter also noticed Murdoch’s remarks and coyly called it “purely coincidental.” Nevertheless, when the Fox News media analysis program, MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, reported on Romney bailing out, they laughably portrayed it as being the result of some ambiguous, negative media coverage, with an on-screen graphic reading “Did The Media Sink Romney?”

Yeah right. No mention of Romney’s negative coverage on Fox. Likewise, no mention of the disparaging comments by Murdoch, or Sean Hannity, or numerous other Tea Party mouthpieces on Fox. Not surprisingly, a conservative guest on Reliable Sources, the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, dismissed any talk of influence on the part of Fox News. He would have to be seriously oblivious to reality in order believe that or to say…

“In terms of them having some sort of conspiracy to help boost one candidate or another – I mean look, if they had their way the Republican Party would be a pro-immigration reform party right now.”

Lewis must not watch very much Fox News if he hasn’t seen the Republican fluffing that goes on hour after hour. And to suggest that the network that continues to use the word “illegals” in reference to undocumented residents, even after most reputable news organizations have abandoned it (including the Fox Latino website), shows just how warped his view of the network is. Fox News is unashamedly hostile to immigration reform, as well as to immigrants, and so are most of the GOP candidates.

For the next year and a half Fox News will continue to work on behalf of the Republican Party. They are already in league with the Republican National Committee’s plans for primary debates. And during the general election Fox will openly promote the GOP candidate and lie shamelessly about the Democrat. It’s what they do. And the parade of GOP hopefuls kowtowing to Ailes and Murdoch know all too well how important it is to kiss their rings, and other body parts as required.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Was Mitt Romney Driven Out Of The Presidential Race By Rupert Murdoch?

The first casualty of the 2016 Republican presidential primary has been revealed to be the winner of the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney. Having only expressed his interest in running about six weeks, the prospective campaign crashed and burned in record time. What might have caused this flame-out?

Rupert Murdoch

It is notable that just two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch, the overlord of the Fox News media empire, made public his opposition to a Romney candidacy. Murdoch said of Romney that “He had his chance,” and that he was “a terrible candidate.” Murdoch also was upset at Romney “for failing to deflect criticism that he was ‘super rich.'” That seems like a rather personal complaint by another member of the “super rich” society.

Subsequent to Murdoch’s public letting, some of his minions began to pile on. Fox News contributors Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump all commenced to bashing Romney. And many of the Fox primary pundits are already lining up behind Jeb Bush, who Murdoch virtually endorsed. The conventional “wisdom” on the right is that Bush will benefit most from the Romney withdrawal. That, however, is far from certain as a flurry of other “establishment” GOP governors (Walker, Jindal, Kasich, Christie, Perry) are still competing for support and particularly donors.

It is also notable that Romney’s announcement came just one week after he met privately with Bush in Utah. It is inconceivable that there was not a decision made at or about the time of that highly secretive tryst. Did Bush make Romney an offer he could not refuse?

Romney’s statement outlining his reasons for dropping out reads more like a declaration of candidacy. He says that he is “convinced” that “we could win the nomination,” and that “I would have the best chance of beating the eventual Democrat nominee.” So obviously he’s quitting. It’s a unique position to take since most politicians who actually believed that they would win the nomination and the general election would stay and fight. But not Romney. He went on to deliver what appears to be an anti-Bush sentiment saying…

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

Who might Romney be talking about? Bush is certainly not one of the next generation, being a veteran Republican pol who would be 64 years old at the start of his first term. And as a member of one of the nations’s most prominent political dynasties, he also could hardly be described as less well known than Romney. Neither is the two-time governor of Florida “just getting started” in politics. So Romney has, in effect, dismissed Bush as the next Republican nominee. And worse, Romney has previously disparaged Bush as facing many of the same obstacles that he faced as a candidate – namely his wealth and elitist status. Romney once said of Bush “You saw what they did to me with Bain [Capital]. What do you think they’ll do to [Bush] over Barclays?”

And that’s it in a wingnut shell. The GOP is cram-packed with rich, privileged insiders who advocate on behalf of their fellow upper-crusters. They will all face the question of allegiance to their high society class to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans. Romney’s absence from the fray doesn’t change any of that. But we know at least one of the fat-cats applauding today’s news is Rupert Murdoch, who is one step closer to crowning his own favorite.

Update: The Ego-tastic Donald Trump is giving himself “full credit” for Romney’s bailout. What a shocker.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Romney Would CRUSH Obama If Fantasy Ruled The World

A new CNN poll was released that asked a frivolous little question that has no real bearing on anything. They asked who respondents would vote for in a hypothetical rematch between President Obama and Mitt Romney. However, the coverage of this poll by Fox Nation not only ignores the broader context of the data, it leaves out some fairly significant facts.

foxnation-reality-poll-obama-romney

For more documented examples of Fox lies…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

These sort of polls are merely fanciful diversions that have no real world insight or impact. There are several reasons why the results are useless for anything other than political posturing, but perfect for Fox News propagandists. First of all, this poll is only a reflection of the public’s satisfaction with the current state of the nation. It doesn’t really measure any actual campaign contest, nor does it measure Romney’s popularity. In fact, it tracks perfectly with Obama’s job approval rating in most other recent polls.

Secondly, the results of this poll are constrained by the fact that only Obama has a record for which an opinion can be formed. Since Romney lost the election in 2012, he has no record on which the public can make a judgment. If he had won two years ago he would very likely be suffering from the same dissatisfaction with current affairs and, more likely, would fare even worse since his policies would have exacerbated the problems begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Thirdly, the spectacle of Fox News gleefully reporting a Romney victory over Obama is nothing less than hysterical. After all, Fox insisted right up until election day 2012 that Romney was ahead in the polls then. In a fit of poll trutherism, they declared that all other polls were skewed and that Romney was headed for a landslide victory. They even failed to report their own polls when Obama was shown to be leading. On election night, Fox pundit Karl Rove threw a hissy fit, refusing to accept the network calling Ohio, and thus the election, for Obama. Apparently they still can’t accept it.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists plastered a decidedly biased headline on the article that ignores far more relevant data from the same poll. In a hypothetical contest between Romney and Hillary Clinton, Clinton would beat him by an even bigger margin in double digits (55-42). While all polling of this type is speculative, this has more merit in that it represents a real possibility in 2016. While no candidates have confirmed that they are running at this point, we know for certain that Obama will not be one of them. Fox is clearly fixated on the past and is oblivious to the future.

This is a perfect example of how Fox keeps their audience mired in ignorance. They feed them irrelevant information, witthold information that has actual value, and diverts their attention from realistic futures to a past that Fox can alter, dressing it up to look prettier to forlorn conservatives. Hopefully they will keep this up through election day 2014 and 2016.

CLASS WAR: So Now The Right Is Against People Who Make Money?

Whatever you have heard about the conservative movement’s mission to advance the welfare of the 1%, you may now discard it as yesterday’s news. All of their sycophantic worship of the wealthy as “job creators” (they are not), and entrepreneurs, and the Ayn Rand-inspired architects of abundance from whom the drops of prosperity trickle down to the peasants, is but a mirage of the past. No longer do they regard success as a worthy aspiration, but as something for which to be punished.

At least that’s how they see it so far as Bill and Hillary Clinton are concerned. Conservatives are bursting with hostility for the Clintons, whom they are comparing unfavorably to the Romneys. They have abandoned their defense of Mitt Romney as a paragon of American ingenuity and ambition, and are now conceding that he was just an arrogant, out-of-touch, elitist who lost credibility with average Americans. Which is precisely how they now see Hillary Clinton.

This sudden change of perspective was precipitated by recent remarks Clinton made in response to questions about the financial status of her family. Of course, in order to portray Clinton’s comments as socio-economically aloof, they first had to brutally mutilate her actual words and present the distortions as if they were verbatim quotes. In other words, they had to lie.

Fox News

The first rhetorical misrepresentation occurred last week when Clinton was asked about whether she would be hurt by perceptions of her rapid income growth after leaving the White House. Clinton defended her earnings saying that “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.” That, of course, was true. Not only that, but the Clinton’s were always middle-class. The first home they ever owned was the one they moved into in Chappaqua after they left Washington.

But the conservative media circus was not satisfied with the truth. They deliberately misrepresented Clinton’s remarks to suggest that she was complaining about being poor post-presidency, and even currently. But that isn’t what she said. She was merely pointing out, correctly, that her family had incurred debts greater than their assets and that they had to take steps to resolve that imbalance. She never said she was poor or that she had no opportunity to generate revenue. And recall that she was answering a specific question as to the reasons she began highly remunerative speaking engagements so soon after becoming a private citizen. She was not whining about her misfortune, as the media portrayed it. She was simply explaining why it was appropriate for her to make some money to pay her debts, as any responsible person would do.

With this week comes a new misrepresentation. This time a reporter with the Guardian asked Clinton whether she could be credible on the issue of income equality given her personal wealth. Clinton responded that voters “don’t see me as part of the problem, because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off – not to name names.”

As expected, disreputable conservative media hacks (pardon the redundancy) immediately set about to distort the nature of Clinton’s remarks. They uniformly characterized her as implying that she is not prosperous. However, the only rational interpretation of her comment requires the presumption that she was including herself in the group of those “people who are truly well off” It only makes sense as a comparison between herself and others in the same strata.

Clinton was referring to people in the upper income brackets who pay less than their fair share by arranging their returns to reflect only interest earnings which are taxed at lower rates. The Clintons, on the other hand, are taxed at ordinary rates associated with business earnings and labor. If Clinton was not comparing her tax status to others in high income brackets, her statement wouldn’t have made any point.

The attempt to cast Clinton as oblivious to her wealth, and consequently the plight of average citizens, was adopted by all of the usual suspects in the wingnut press. Fox News, of course, was prominent among them, airing this deceptive distortion repeatedly since the Guardian’s publication. In one instance, Fox’s supposedly serious White House correspondent, Ed Henry, agreed heartily with the co-hosts of Outnumbered that Clinton’s comment was troubling and potentially damaging to her prospects for the White House – for which she has not declared any intention to run.

The upshot to all of this concern-trolling by the right is that they seem to regard the fact that the Clintons have been financially successful as a fault. These are the same pseudo-free-market evangelists that generally praise people who manage to enrich themselves through ambition, creativity, and hard work. Unless those qualities are held by liberals. In that event, they are seen as opportunistic advocates of wealth distribution and socialism. There has always been a sharp distinction between rich conservatives and liberals. News Corpse examined this in detail last month saying in part that…

“The Republican rich can usually be found bankrolling people and projects that benefit them personally or professionally. Thus the Kochs’ fixation on opposing unions and denying climate change is closely aligned with their exploitative and polluting business interests. Well-off Dems, on the other hand, commonly finance more philanthropic endeavors (civil rights, environment, aid to the poor) that aim to improve the quality of life without necessarily enriching themselves.”

But if the right is going to concede that not all wealth reflects a positive social value, then maybe we ought to take them up on it. Let’s challenge right-wingers to take the same standards they are using to condemn Clinton and apply them to the Koch brothers. Let’s see if the newly sensitive conservatives will join the movement to reverse Citizen’s United. The right has already come out against SuperPACs – at least those benefiting progressive people or causes. For instance, Jonathon Soros, the son of the right’s all-purpose liberal bogyman, George Soros, created the Friends of Democracy PAC, a SuperPAC aimed at ending the influence of SuperPACs. Likewise, Lawrence Lessig’s MayDay PAC has the same noble goal of rescuing our country from the Big Money interests who are holding our democracy hostage. Lessig hopes to “pay the ransom and get it back” by building “a SuperPAC big enough to end all SuperPACs.”

Fox News has already come out against these SuperPACs. They published an article by the Daily Caller on Fox Nation attacking Lessig with the endearingly disparaging headline “Harvard Professor’s Anti-Big Money Super PAC Collects Big Money From Filthy Rich Leftists.”. But maybe we can get them to show some consistency and direct their SuperPAC hatred to the rest of the blatantly partisan special interests that are trying to destroy the environment, break unions, restrict access to voting, etc. After all, if it’s terrible what Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and Tom Steyer are doing and saying with regard to wealth, than isn’t it the same with the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, and Joe Ricketts?

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Even though Clinton’s remarks were savagely mischaracterized by right-wing deceivers, the gist of their criticisms should apply to anyone in the same caste. And if conservatives now want to attack rich people as out-of-touch and unfit to represent ordinary Americans, then let’s make them hold their own accountable to the same standards. The result could be fewer wealthy special interests crowding out the majority of the population at election time. The only problem is getting the right to apply their standards consistently. In fact, the probability of that is so remote that there really are just two words to sum up this entire article. And they are…..“Never mind.”

Sorry Tea-Publicans: America Made Its Choice And ObamaCare Won In A Landslide

House Republicans have succeeded in shutting down the government, a goal they have had for decades stretching back to Grover Norquist’s famous and heartless yearning to shrink it until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub.

In the course of the debate there has been some dispute about whether the last election was a sufficient referendum on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Republicans persistently assert that the American people oppose the law and that it should be repealed to conform with their wishes. Conveniently left out of this argument is the fact that the law was passed with a super-majority in both houses of congress and signed by a popularly elected president. It later passed constitutional muster according to a conservative leaning Supreme Court. Finally, President Obama was reelected by a significant margin. And while polls about ObamaCare seem mixed, they rarely take into account that a fair percentage of unfavorable sentiment is actually people who think the law did not go far enough and would prefer a single-payer plan.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the GOP from pretending that the election had nothing to do with ObamaCare and was not an affirmation of the people’s support. These Tea Party history revisionists might want to sign up for ObamaCare so they can get medical attention for their severely short-term memories.

Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney had made repealing ObamaCare a key factor in his vain pursuit of the White House. He spoke about it on almost every campaign stop. And he did not mince words. Here are just a few examples of his pointed rhetoric:

  • If elected, I will repeal Obamacare on day one.
  • What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare.
  • I’ve said that on the campaign trail, I think, every single day. Obamacare must be repealed –- in its entirety.
  • Our mission is clear: if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we are going to have to replace President Obama. That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the American people to join me.

Apparently the American people declined to join Romney on his mission to repeal ObamaCare. Obama won by more than five million votes. And what is abundantly clear is that Romney had thrust the health care law into the forefront of the campaign. Anyone who attempts to dismiss the prominence of it as an issue is deliberately lying (I’m looking at you, Fox Nation). And if these comments by Romney are not convincing enough, he also produced an ad in the thick of the campaign blasting ObamaCare and making this promise: “Day One. Job One. Repeal ObamaCare.”

Just to reiterate – “Day One. Job One. Repeal ObamaCare.” That hardly seems like an issue that was an afterthought in the Romney Campaign. So America was presented with a choice that was focused on this very subject. They made their choice and now they are just beginning to discover the rewards of having made the right one.

That is what is so terrifying to the Republican Party. If they really believed that ObamaCare would be a disaster, they would allow it to proceed and fail, and then they would ride a wave of support into a senate majority next year and the White House in 2016. Instead they are putting up roadblocks, disseminating disinformation, and trying to persuade people not to enroll. Because they know that once people see what the program actually provides, they will not only be excited and grateful, they will lobby their representatives to expand it.

So remember that the more you hear Republicans slamming ObamaCare and trying to prevent its implementation, the more you know they are running in fear of a law that they themselves believe will be popular and will help millions of people. And if there is one thing Republicans hate, it’s helping people, because – you know – socialism.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Mitt Romney’s Chinese Jeep Myth Revisited

When Fox News grabs hold of a blatant and self-serving lie, they just won’t let go no matter the cost to their credibility (assuming they had any). The latest of example of this destructive tenacity is a story on Fox Nation that unbelievably declares that “Romney Was Right: Chrysler CEO Announces Plans to Build More Jeeps in China.”

Fox Nation

Umm, no, Romney was not right. In fact he was so outrageously, horrendously, desperately wrong that his craven assertions about Jeep manufacturing were awarded “Lie of the Year” for 2012 by Politifact:

“Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad. And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.”

Of course, the Romney campaign had explicitly castoff any respect for truth when they introduced their Etch-a-Sketch strategy and declared that facts had “jumped the shark.” But for the Fox Nationalists to reach back to last year’s most notorious falsehood and feature it on their news feed is an act of the purest chutzpah.

The Washington Examiner article to which Fox Nation linked provided no new information relating to Chrysler’s Jeep production plans. Chrysler has always maintained that there would be jeep facilities in China and elsewhere for foreign consumption, but that the U.S. would be the “backbone of the brand,” and that American jobs would not be transferred to other countries. That is still the case and was merely reiterated in the recent news from Chrysler.

Nevertheless, Fox is dishonestly advancing a lie that was soundly debunked long ago, and with a smug, ersatz satisfaction that they were proven right, even though they were not. The only explanation for this departure from reality is that Fox is attempting to set new records for pathetic idiocy. Luckily for them, their editors are already the reigning record holders.

[Update 1/19/13] Talk about tenacious… Not four days since the Fox Nationalists posted this nonsense, they have repeated the falsehood with another posting headlined “Politifact’s ‘Lie Of The Year’ Is Actually True.” This time they sourced their sloppy pseudo-journalism to the Weekly Standard. But it is no less a lie now than it was the first time they proffered it.