Rachel Maddow Crushes Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity in November Ratings War With Fox News

Two months ago Fox News moved Sean Hannity’s program to 9:00 pm. It was the latest schedule change resulting from the terminations of Fox anchors (Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling) accused of sexual harassment and abuse. For Hannity it was a promotion to a more desirable time slot with a potentially larger audience. He must have been excited for the opportunity.

Rachel Maddow

He very likely regrets it now. The latest Nielsen ratings report for November 2017, has some depressing news for Hannity and Fox News. In the new time period Hannity has been losing to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on a regular basis. The programs are not really competing for the same viewers, but the bragging rights for being number one are important for both promotion and advertising revenue. Hannity is especially hurting on the latter as a result of his support for the pedophile senate candidate in Alabama, Roy Moore. Advertisers have been fleeing the program and a successful Stop Hannity campaign was launched.

The Nielsen ratings results for the month of November reveal another bitter loss for Sean Hannity. With the pressure of going up against Fox’s top program, Rachel Maddow managed to score an impressive victory. That makes her the number one program in all of cable News in the coveted 25-54 year old demographic. Her ratings improved year-over-year by forty-eight percent. Fox News was down eighteen percent.

On the strength of Maddow’s popularity, the rest of the MSNBC lineup benefited as well. It was the only cable news network to grow its total audience from last year, rising thirty percent. Meanwhile CNN and Fox News both declined (-49% and -31% respectively). The MSNBC primetime was a strong contender across the board, finishing either first or second.

For early risers, Morning Joe took second place and delivered its best numbers in the twenty-one year history of the network. It was also the only show in the time period to grow its audience. In the 25-54 demo Morning Joe advanced twenty-two percent. CNN was down just three percent. And the “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Donald Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, fell by twelve percent.

This has to be a satisfying victory for Maddow and MSNBC. Having suffered a year of Donald Trump’s infantile whining about fake news and low ratings, the network can boast that it handily outperformed Fox News (aka State-Run TV). It’s an indication that the country is hungry for real, in-depth reporting and analysis that doesn’t talk down to them. And, more importantly, doesn’t lie or engage in humiliating episodes of fawning over and defending the ignoramus in 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.

As we go forward we will likely see more of the same as Trump’s star falls ever further and the legal noose around his neck gets tighter. Hannity and his Fox News colleagues will undoubtedly ramp up the crazy (just as Trump is doing) in a desperate attempt to keep from becoming totally irrelevant. But their desperation will result in even more ludicrous conspiracy theories and lunatic outbursts. Who knows? This might actually end up being kinda fun to watch.

Trump’s Deranged Reality TV Contest to Award a Fake News Trophy

America’s first Reality TV president still hasn’t risen from the inanities of television game shows to the seriousness of world leadership. Donald Trump’s total inability to behave at a level above a tantrum throwing toddler is frightening and dangerous for our nation – and planet.

Donald Trump

In another demonstration of his persistent infantilism, Trump returned from a Thanksgiving vacation at his Palm Beach golf resort to his porcelain throne at the White House and fired off a couple of tweets that affirm his narcissism and hatred of the free press. He began with this rhetorical flatulence:

The Donald should be careful what he wishes for. The contest he is proposing has already taken place in the form of polls that compare the public’s trust in the media to their trust in him. And despite his relentless smear campaign against the free press, he comes out the loser in every match-up. That’s right, he loses to CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and all of the broadcast news networks. He is even getting hammered in a Twitter poll attached to his own tweet.

It’s a rather pathetic display of hubris for Trump to proclaim himself anyone’s “favorite president.” Particularly when he is still wallowing in the lowest depths of presidential polling in modern history. Americans rebuke him on almost every character trait as well as his overwhelmingly unpopular policies. Yet the only thing he can do is swing wildly at the press in a tactic favored by dictators throughout time. And his tirades are entirely ego-driven. In another of his morning tweets he goes after his former pal, Joe Scarborough:

This was in response to a tweet by his Director of Social Media, Dan Scavino, who sought to embarrass Morning Joe for pre-taping a Thanksgiving episode. Someone should tell them that Sean Hannity pre-tapes every show he does on Fox News. And furthermore, they should be informed that Morning Joe is enjoying it’s highest ratings ever. It is currently the number two morning news program. And the only thing that Trump’s ranting does is make those ratings numbers go even higher.

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

Clearly Trump is suffering a massive meltdown due to his anxiety over the impending legal doom he’s facing. Special counsel Robert Mueller is closing in on him and his crime family. That fear is being manifested in incoherent tweets and empty (and sad) self-exaltation. But he’s right about one thing. If there were a contest for a fake news trophy, Fox News should not be allowed to compete. It would be decidedly unfair because they would win every category. Better to just exempt them and name the trophy on their behalf: The Fox News Fake News Award (aka The Foxy). This year’s top contenders would be Breitbart News, Rush Limbaugh, and Alex Jones.

Tweetstorming: Donald Trump Remains Manically Obsessed With His War on the Media

Just two days after repulsing the nation with his misogynistic attack on MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Donald Trump is at it again. It wasn’t enough to earn the condemnation of both Republicans and Democrats for his juvenile, and possibly unlawful, behavior. Trump appears to have no regrets (or conscience) for his hateful outbursts and, consequently, is resuming them unabated.

Trump Baby

In another of his characteristic displays of dickishness, Trump took to Twitter to escalate his war on the media. It’s a campaign that denigrates the Constitution as it emulates the tactics of tyrants. And proving that he has no sense of shame, he once again unloads on the hosts of Morning Joe:

In Thursday’s tweet, Joe Scarborough was “psycho.” It was Mika who was crazy. But in both tweets Mika’s intelligence was maligned without any examples of her alleged mental deficiencies. Clearly Trump was just throwing another tantrum over having been criticized. His gargantuan ego simply can’t handle it. What’s more, he’s projecting his own stupidity in a pathetic spasm of denial.

And because Trump can’t go two minutes without spewing blatant lies, he again wrote about “their low rated show.” However, Morning Joe is enjoying record high ratings with nine straight quarters of growth. For someone who spent fourteen years on television, he sure doesn’t know anything about the business. Which may explain another of his morning tweets:

This is ignorant on so many levels. First of all, Greta was let go because her show was a complete failure. The program was a virtual sinkhole in the schedule. Based on the performance of the shows before and after, people were obviously changing the channel when it came on and returning when it was over. It was the free market – a concept usually cherished by conservatives – at work. And the notion that her “out of control bosses” fired her for not hating Trump enough is ludicrous. If true, then why have they recently hired or promoted Nicolle Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, Bret Stephens, and Charlie Sykes, And let’s not forget another Fox News refugee, Megyn Kelly, whose new NBC program is already an epic dud.

The Twitter tantrum continued with a swipe at Trump’s favorite media target, CNN:

This tweet is simply Trump venting his irrational hostilities. CNN has not been exposed as “fake news” by anyone but Trump and his sycophantic minions. As for “garbage Journalism,” that term applies to anything that isn’t sufficiently flattering to Trump. What he regards as legitimate journalism is the National Enquirer and conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones. Trump may be referring to a video by convicted propagandist James O’Keefe. His latest scam featured deceptively edited comments by CNN staffers. But if it proved anything, it’s that CNN has a diverse roster of political opinions and is not the bastion of liberalism that wingnuts like to pretend it is.

The ferocity of Trump’s assault on the media represents a clear and present danger to the free press. His short term goal is to deflect attention from his many policy failures: healthcare, taxes, immigration, etc. But his longer term goal is to denigrate the work of all journalists in order to advance the state as the only “approved” source of information.

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

The reforms he has made to the White House press office are evidence of this. Press Secretary Sean Spicer no longer holds daily televised press briefings. On some occasions reporters aren’t even allowed to make audio recordings. Apparently the administration doesn’t want a record of what the President’s spokesperson says. Which is surprising since Spicer or his alternates often say nothing at all or claim to not know the answers to critical questions. Even worse, the briefings are now attended by the likes of Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ Infowars. If that isn’t proof that they are trying to kill respect for the media, nothing is.

Trump Press Secretary’s Response to His Gross Tweets About Mika Makes Things Even Worse

It’s mid-morning on Thursday and by now most of the country has heard about Donald Trump’s latest expression of his abhorrent character (or lack thereof). For those who haven’t, he tweeted a grotesque insult aimed at MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. It was fairly typical of his misogynistic tendencies. For some reason, his most vile comments are usually saved for women.

Huckabee Sanders Trump

Trump’s tweets, as usual, were as riddled with lies as with loathing. For the record, this what he wrote:

Let’s set aside the horrific remarks about Mika Brzezinski. They have been appropriately covered and condemned elsewhere. And not just by Democrats and liberals. Below are some of the responses from prominent Republicans.

However, it also needs to be noted that the parts of Trump’s tweets that weren’t nauseating and childish were untrue. Morning Joe has been enjoying record ratings and nine straight quarters of growth. Trump couldn’t possibly know what Mika’s IQ is, and given his raging ignorance, he’s certainly in no position to talk. At the New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago he did not say “no” to Mika and Joe. They were photographed socializing. And, of course, there was no sign of bleeding or recent surgery. Finally, how does he always know what’s on Morning Joe if he never watches it?

Trump’s tweets were received with both disgust and disbelief. Except, that is, from within his own camp. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rushed over to Fox News to try to address the erupting crisis. Her efforts were pathetic and even viewed skeptically by host Bill Hemmer. Her position was that Trump is the victim and he was merely defending himself:

“I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him, but to frankly everyone around him.

“People on that show have personally attacked me many times. This is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”

This prompted Hemmer to ask “Look, I get it. But is that necessary?’ Sanders just robotically repeated her prearranged talking points. What she apparently doesn’t understand is that, even if the program was critical of Trump, there’s a big difference. They are television pundits. He’s the President of the United States. And for him to lash out in such an infantile manner is disgraceful and embarrassing to the nation. Whenever he launches these odious tweetstorms he is avoiding his duty as president. The fact that he took the time to compose and post these tweets means that he wasn’t working on healthcare, North Korea, the economy, or terrorism. Well, that may actually be good news considering the harm he would likely cause.

Here is a collection of responses from Republicans who were rightfully disturbed by Trump’s hateful messaging:

And for good measure, here is the response from First Lady Melania Trump. Recall that she was going to make a campaign against cyberbullying her White House project.

No one should really be all that surprised by any of this. This is who a minority of the country elected. And he let us all know the rancidness of his character throughout his campaign. He’s a misogynist, racist, ignorant, bullying, narcissistic, pussy-grabbing, wannabe dictator. He’s also a corrupt, anti-constitution, Russian collaborating traitor. And for all of these substantive criticisms that warrant his immediate impeachment, he would likely only reply that I’m a goofy nobody with bad hair.

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

WATCH: Everyone on Morning Joe Agrees That Donald Trump’s ‘Behavior is Crazy’

It doesn’t take a professional psychiatrist to observe that Donald Trump has a severe personality disorder. Although dozens of such professionals have already weighed in on the matter and regard him as both sick and dangerous. The symptoms of what some are calling malignant narcissism have become painfully obvious.

Donald Trump

Trump’s recent behavior has done little to mitigate those warnings. He can’t seem to recall from one day to the next what he has said about critical issues. He is sabotaging his own agenda with tweets that contradict prior statements or chastise his own administration. He insults our international allies and praises hostile adversaries.

The mental condition of a president is something that is rarely discussed publicly. While partisans often mock political opponents as “nuts,” that’s generally a snide put-down that isn’t meant literally. But what makes the Trump presidency so extraordinary is that these observations are now being made by prominent people in the media. And they mean it. For example, a discussion took place Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that encapsulated this trend:

Joe Scarborough: How you can tell that somebody is not well and that there’s a serious issue, is when they continually do things against self-interest. […]
Donny Deutsch: As to why he does things that seem to be self-destructive and seem to go against him, I think he clearly has a personality disorder. […]
Elise Jordan: The behavior pattern that he’s demonstrating right now is not normal. And I kind of want to dispense with political correctness for a bit and just say what everyone is thinking. This behavior is crazy. […]
Eugene Robinson: We must wonder about his emotional stability, his grasp of reality, or both.

These commentaries cannot be characterized as partisan attacks by anti-Trump activists. Scarborough is a conservative Republican and a longtime personal friend of Trump. Jordan is a right-winger and a was a Rand Paul staffer. Robinson is a liberal columnist, but he’s also a Pulitzer Prize winner, which speaks to his credentials. And they are only the tip of the iceberg.

The fact that so many people are willing to speak so openly about Trump’s mental health is telling in itself. The only historical parallel to this would be the insider talk about Ronald Reagan’s progressing Alzheimer’s. But that was all behind the scenes while he was in office and never addressed on a network news program. Donald Trump has changed all of that. And for good reason.

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

Morning Joe Unleashes Epic Rant on GOP Liars: My Party is Going STRAIGHT TO HELL’

In the four unbearably long months that Donald Trump has been president his administration has achieved nothing but scandal and worldwide embarrassment. However, the biggest threat to Trump’s presidency and the Republican Party has always been the prospect of other Republicans abandoning him to save their own necks. Until that happens he faces only moderate risk from the criticism of Democrats.

Joe Scarborough

Well, the GOP dam is about to burst. The flood of Republicans distancing themselves from Trump is growing. For the most part that’s due to the tsunami of evidence accumulating about his unsavory connections to Russia. And his own statements that amount to confessions of obstruction of justice don’t endear him to his colleagues either. But while Russia is the most troubling of Trump’s basket of scandals, it isn’t the only one.

Friday morning a prominent Republican and MSNBC TV anchor was through with the brazen dishonesty of Trump’s brand of Republicanism. Joe Scarborough shocked his Morning Joe panel by firing off an impassioned commentary (video below). The trigger was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. At a Senate hearing Mulvaney flatly declared that Trump’s proposed budget would not cut Medicare. That’s an assertion that is plainly contradicted by reality. Or as Scarborough out it, it’s a “certifiable lie.” And that was just the beginning.

Scarborough continued with the question that formed the basis of his righteous rant. “Why do the Republicans,” he asked emphatically, “keep looking into cameras and lie?” It would be too easy to reply that “that’s all they’ve got,” or “it’s in their blood.” Scarborough himself couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. But his exasperation was showing. He railed against his party pals saying that:

“You’re cutting $850 billion in Medicare for the poorest of the poor. If you want to do it, embrace it. Don’t lie about it. Stop lying about it. We know you’re lying about it. We’re not stupid. And you Republicans in the House have been lying non-stop.” […]

“It’s so maddening. This is my party. My party is going straight to hell politically. They really are. They’re going straight to hell. They have embraced the coarsening of culture where the truth means absolutely nothing.”

This is the kind political crack in the wall that precedes massive defections. And it isn’t just limited to a specific policy. Scarborough made a point of connecting the lies of the GOP with its leader. Saying that “I understand Donald Trump lies all the time,” Scarborough recognized that the fish stinks from the head. And he warned his party peers that “You are selling your soul if you just keep lying about things.”

The only question now is how long it will take for the retreat to reach a tipping point. No elected Republican is willing to lose their seat to defend a crumbling administration that is mired in accusations of criminal conduct with hints of treason. When the light of truth is switched on they will scurry to political safety like startled cockroaches. The thing that voters will need to remember is that, even in their darkened crevices, they are still cockroaches.

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

Kellyanne Conway Told Morning Joe That ‘I Need to Take a Shower’ After Defending Trump

Let’s face it, political surrogates are a weaselly species who make a career of justifying the unjustifiable. For that reason we have to have some sympathy for Donald Trump’s surrogates. They have the dirtiest job in politics, and one that exceeds the bounds of any that came before it. Chief among those poor souls is Kellyanne Conway.

Kellyanne Conway

Conway served as Trump’s campaign manager last year and is currently Counselor to the President. She has had to dive feet first into the mud on more occasions than can be counted. Consequently, she often emerged with absurdities like “alternative facts,” including the fictional Bowling Green Massacre. She was in a constant struggle to cover for Trump’s lies with lies of her own. It’s notable that she wasn’t always so supportive.

Nevertheless, she continues to get booked on cable news shows that apparently aren’t interested in honest discourse. However, there was an exception on Monday when the hosts of Morning Joe decided to reveal some some of the backstage banter that frequently is more illuminating than what gets broadcast. In a conversation about the truthiness of the Trump White House, Mika Brzezinski related an exchange she had with Conway:

“This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would shill for Trump in extensive fashion. And then she would get off the air. The camera would be turned off. The microphone would be taken off and she would say, ‘Blech, I need to take a shower,’ because she disliked her candidate so much.”

The only thing surprising about Conway’s candid comments is that she she said them aloud. But she was saying what most of us were already thinking. Trying to defend a president who lies incessantly, insults his critics with vulgarities, and generally displays a level of intelligence that ranks lower than a banana slug, is going to leave a decent person somewhat nauseous. So in that context there might actually be some hope for Conway.

Brzezinski’s co-host (and fiance), Joe Scarborough added that Conway had implied that her job as a Trump apologist was merely a “summer job” which she would soon be over with. That appears not to be the case since she signed on full time with the administration. Therefore, we can expect to continue seeing her cleaning up after her floundering boss for the indeterminate future. Hopefully she has a sufficient supply of anti-bacterial soap to wash away the muck and grime.

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