Rachel Maddow Topped All Cable News Programs for the 1st Quarter of 2021

One of the more pompous predictions of the former guy (Donald Trump) was that without him “all forms of media will tank.” Although there is some truth to that in the sense that he attracted eyeballs in the same way that a bloody highway crash does. He insisted on constantly being the center of attention even if that meant making a fool of himself, which he did more often than not.

Rachel Maddow

However, what Trump failed to predict was the rise of progressive media and particularly MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Her performance has been a bright light in a media environment that has been shrouded by a global pandemic. During the first quarter of 2021, Maddow rose to become the number one cable news program, beating her competition on the prior leader, Fox News. For part of the quarter Maddow was the number one program on all of cable, not just cable news. She marked that milestone on March 3rd:

During the quarter Fox News was the biggest loser, having dropped 40 percent into third place behind both MSNBC and CNN. By comparison CNN was off 32 Percent, and MSNBC fell only 19 percent. It isn’t surprising that viewership was down this year. It was being compared to an unusually eventful prior year that was bombarded with profoundly significant developments like the pandemic, the second impeachment, and the presidential election.

This year by contrast has been languid, in the most pleasant way. President Biden has sought to make his policies the story, rather than himself. The ponderous presence of a psychotic narcissist has been banished from Washington, although it still emits it’s pitiful, emasculated roars from its new lair in Palm Beach. This sea change is a big plus for journalism. As Tom Jones at the Poynter Institute noted…

“Now, for the most part, Trump can be ignored. Which means stories that really matter can be covered. Maybe it won’t draw the audience we’ve seen in the past, but it will be important.”

The standings in the ratings are likely to be volatile in the coming months, Fox News may regain its leading post when viewers who abandoned it for more radical pastures (Newsmax, OANN) return. They may find those other outlets tiresome, specious, and devoid of substance. And Trump isn’t around to promote them anymore.

Fox’s CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, is confidant that Fox News ratings will increase because its viewers will appreciate Fox’s unethical commitment to right-wing propaganda. Murdoch recently admitted that Fox’s role is to be “the opposition” to Biden and the Democrats, saying “That’s what our job is now with the Biden administration, and you’ll see our ratings really improve from here.”

Maybe. But the fact that MSNBC and Rachel Maddow prevailed during one of the most competitive seasons in modern times is evidence that many viewers hunger for honest and informative reporting. Fox’s approach to journalism as an ultra-conservative confirmation bias generator can only succeed on a temporary basis. And its reporting will have no lasting impact anywhere other than in the minds of the indoctrinated wingnuttery.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Hapless Hannity Mocks CNN’s Ratings While Ignoring His Own Downward Spiral

The presidential election last November heralded real change for America. And it wasn’t just by evicting Donald Trump from the White House. Almost immediately the Fox News audience cratered due to the network having bent to reality by recognizing that Joe Biden had decisively beaten Trump.

Fox News, Sean Hannity

In addition to Fox’s viewers being disappointed that their formerly favorite dispenser of ultra-conservative propaganda had betrayed them by not embracing Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was “stolen,” Fox also had to deal with some competition from a couple of upstarts to their already extreme right (who are also having ratings troubles). Consequently, for the first time in twenty years, Fox News fell to third place behind MSNBC and CNN. And you know that’s gotta hurt. According to Forbes

“Fox News Channel, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp, has dominated the rating books since the start of the 21st-century, but over the first two weeks of 2021, it has averaged fewer viewers throughout the day than both CNN and MSNBC.”

The pain from having been crippled in the ratings clearly got to Sean Hannity. On Wednesday he posted an item on his website that celebrated that CNN was in a “Free Fall” having “Los[t] 47 PERCENT of Primetime Audience in Key Demographic Since Trump Left Office.” The article excitedly declared that…

“Without wall-to-wall coverage of all-things Donald Trump, CNN’s primetime line-up has lost nearly half of its entire audience in the 25-54 age demographic since the former President left the White House on January 20th.”

There are a couple of notable slants in Hannity’s twisted take. First of all, notice that he is only measuring the ratings decline from Biden’s inauguration day on January 20, rather than from election day on November 3rd. That’s because by January there had already been a massive spike for both CNN and MSNBC, so the subsequent drop looks considerably steeper.

Even more bizarre is Hannity’s description of CNN as having “wall-to-wall coverage of all-things Donald Trump,” when it is Fox News that wears that description so much better. Fox continued to cover every utterance of Trump during that period, which was not the case with CNN and MSNBC. They were, however, covering Biden’s public events that Fox virtually ignored. Hannity even commented on his program that he couldn’t find Biden. Obviously, he must have been looking on Fox News.

Fox News has regained some of its losses in the past couple of weeks, but it is still struggling to stay ahead of the competition. What’s more, while all three of the cable news networks saw rollercoaster ups and downs since election day, both MSNBC and CNN are averaging more viewers than they were a year ago. Rachel Maddow even rose to become the number one program in all of cable, not just cable news. Only Fox News is lower year over year. And Fox’s competitors succeeded by covering the real president and his administration. Bloomberg reports that…

“All three of the big cable news networks have seen a decline in viewers since their highs around Election Day. MSNBC, which has been broadcasting news conferences daily by Biden Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki, led in total viewers throughout the day last month. It and CNN were up year-over-year in February, while Fox saw a decline.”

However, Hannity’s article provided a hysterical analysis of the ratings landscape with a three year old quote from Ted Koppel:

“Longtime broadcaster Ted Koppel famously mocked CNN’s Brian Stelter to his face back in 2018, telling the network’s media pundit that ‘CNN’s ratings would be in the toilet without Donald Trump.'”

Let’s set aside that the fact that what Koppel said was hardly mockery. It was just an opinion that Brian Stelter likely agreed was plausible. What makes this so laughable is that Hannity must have forgotten this exchange he had with Koppel that literally mocked him to his face on his own show in March of 2017:

Hannity: Do you think I’m bad for America?
Koppel: Yes. … You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.

So Koppel not only told Hannity to his face that he was bad for America, but he insulted Hannity’s viewers as being ignorant cult followers who don’t care about facts. And all of this inspired Hannity to post a celebratory article full of wholly unwarranted pride. It’s hard to think of something more pathetic.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Fox News CEO Murdoch Admits that the Network Opposes Biden – For Ratings

When Fox News launched twenty-six years ago, its mission was to advance the interests of conservatives and Republicans, and to serve as a partisan counterweight to credible news enterprises and honest journalists. While that was no secret, it’s founders – right-wing newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch and GOP media consultant Roger Ailes – pretended to be “fair and balanced,” a slogan that falsely implied that other news operations were not (and which Fox ditched four years ago).

Fox News, Joe Biden

This week Rupert’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, who is now the network’s CEO, spoke at a Morgan Stanley investor conference where he said the quiet parts out loud. Apparently, in the Era of Trump and QAnon, it is no longer necessary to veil their biases in cheesy slogans. Murdoch said that…

“‘The main beneficiary of the Trump administration from a ratings point of view was MSNBC … and that’s because they were the loyal opposition,’ Murdoch said of the rival cable network. ‘That’s what our job is now with the Biden administration, and you’ll see our ratings really improve from here.'” […]

“‘Seventy-five million people voted for a Republican president, sometimes in spite of his personality at times,’ Murdoch said. ‘That’s what we represent. We’re going to stick to the center-right. That’s where our audience is.'”

Murdoch was obviously making excuses for the fact that, since the election last November, Fox News has slipped to third place in the cable news wars, behind MSNBC and CNN. Rachel Maddow is now the number one program in all of cable, not just cable news:

However, Murdoch’s explanation is peculiar in that he is also admitting that Fox News is “the loyal opposition” to the the administration of President Joe Biden. That’s wholly inappropriate from a journalistic ethics standpoint. Plus, it implies that they were affirmatively supporting Donald Trump for the past four years. Of course, anyone with a functioning cerebrum knew this, but it was rarely stated explicitly in public by Fox News executives.

What’s more, Murdoch is also saying that the reasons for his network’s blatant bias is for ratings. That’s also improper in the news business, where truth is the standard to which honest journalists aspire. Truth, of course, was the first casualty of Fox’s mangling of the reporter’s craft.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Murdoch went on to concede the repugnant nature of Trump’s personality, or lack thereof. Yet he is still supporting him because of the voters he hopes to keep as viewers. Murdoch outright slams Trump’s noxious demeanor and, in the same sentence, declares that that’s what Fox News represents, and will continue doing so.

The position that Murdoch is taking is not acceptable for any enterprise that purports to be in the news business. And while he seemingly spoke for MSNBC, NBC didn’t appreciate that presumptuousness:

“A spokesperson for NBCUniversal News Group, which includes NBC News and MSNBC, said in response that ‘our role, and the role of any legitimate news organization — whether it includes an ‘opinion section’ or not — is to hold power to account, regardless of party.'”

And therein lies the difference between Fox News and its competitors. While other news networks may have opinions, they are based on facts and applied uniformly. At Fox News their overt negativity is always aimed the Democrats and the liberals whom they regard as enemies (as conveniently illustrated by Tucker Carlson) this week. Fox’s extreme political prejudice has even irritated other members of the Murdoch family. Lachlan’s big brother James complained about the “toxic” politics practiced by Fox News:

“Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years. […] Spreading disinformation – whether about the election, public health or climate change – has real world consequences.”

That pretty much says it all. And it comes from a source that is embedded well inside the Fox bubble. Unfortunately, James has nothing to do with the network any more, other than being a shareholder. But when Daddy Murdoch is “off the air” that may change. And then, so may Fox.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Crybaby Trump to Screen Actors Guild: You Can’t Fire Me. I Quit!

America’s first (and hopefully only) reality TV game show host to have accidentally become president of the United States has provided the finishing touch to his career as a failed entertainer. And true to form, Donald Trump has made the whole affair about himself and his morbidly bloated ego. Now he has been wounded in way that is especially painful for someone so obsessed with himself.

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Donald Trump, Hollywood

Prior to launching his brand marketing scheme disguised as a presidential campaign, Trump was the villainous figure who arrived at the end of The Apprentice to fire some poor schnook like Gary Busey or Meatloaf because they couldn’t manage to set up a lemonade stand. Trump’s presence on the program required him to join the Screen Actos Guild (SAG-AFTRA). However, after his disastrous presidency – and particularly his responsibility for the deadly Capitol insurrection – the Guild took steps to expel Trump. Guild leaders issued these statements:

SAG President Gabrielle Carteris: “Donald Trump attacked the values that this union holds most sacred – democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of all races and faiths, and the sanctity of the free press. There’s a straight line from his wanton disregard for the truth to the attacks on journalists perpetrated by his followers.”

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White: “Our most important role as a union is the protection of our members. The unfortunate truth is, this individual’s words and actions over the past four years have presented actual harm to our broadcast journalist members. The board’s resolution addresses this effort to undermine freedom of the press and reaffirms the principles on which our democratic society rests, and which we must all work to protect and preserve.”

Naturally, Trump couldn’t keep his malignantly narcissistic yap shut. He hasn’t made a single public comment since being banished to Mar-a-Lago by the American people. He’s said nothing about his Seditionist Brigades in Washington or the the murder of a Capitol Hill Police officer. But he nevertheless felt compelled to announce to the world that “I no longer wish to be associated with your union,” which he baselessly accused of “promoting dangerous un-American policies and ideas.”

So after the Guild had already made clear its intention to kick Trump out, he penned a poison letter that is pure Trumpian egomania…

The letter is rife with the conceit that is the hallmark of Trump’s character, or lack thereof. He could not stop talking about himself and what he regards as his invaluable contributions to human existence. For instance…

“I write to you today regarding the so-called Disciplinary Committee hearing aimed at revoking my union membership. Who cares!”

” While I’m not familiar with your work, I’m very proud of my work.”

“I’ve also also greatly helped the cable news television business (said to be a dying platform with not much time left until I got involved in politics), and created thousands of jobs at networks such as MSDNC and Fake News CNN, among many others.”

For the record, cable news was a growing media phenomenon prior to and during the Trump presidency. What’s more, the ratings for both MSNBC and CNN have skyrocketed since Trump lost decisively to Joe Biden, who has has already articulated his aversion to Fox’s propaganda and lies. And Fox News has dropped to third place for the first time in twenty years.

If Trump wants to take credit for something, that would be it. He has managed to succeed at something progressive media activists have struggled with for years. He made Fox News as toxic as he is. The result is that Fox is turning even harder toward the loony right. Which will likely ensure and accelerate their descent into the ratings abyss. Thanks Donnie!

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Dr. Fauci Tells Rachel Maddow How the Trump Admin ‘Blocked’ Him From Her Show

The differences between the negligent, incompetent, and wantonly corrupt administration of Donald Trump, and that of the incoming Joe Biden administration have been evident in just the few hours that Biden has been President. The stench of ego-driven criminality has been replaced by the refreshing fragrance of experience and compassion. And America has heaved a massive, collective sigh of relief.

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Donald Trump, Anthony Fauci, Censored

Among those relieved by the passing of the Trump era is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the widely respected expert on infectious diseases. His presence on Trump’s phony Coronavirus Task Force – that was nothing more than a thinly veiled reelection campaign operation – was awkward, to say the least. He frequently had to cover his face in shame as Trump dispensed pure idiocy and flagrant falsehoods. Often he was ignored or even uninvited to the press briefings altogether.

Those times are over. Dr. Fauci was interviewed Friday for the first time on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show. It was the sort of enlightening hour of useful information that the public sorely needs during these troubling times. And Dr. Fauci was clearly pleased to have the opportunity to communicate with Maddow and her audience. In fact, he addressed his prior absence from the show during this exchange:

Maddow: Dr. Fauci…The country really trusts you in particular, but we’ve seen this sort of disappearance of, and sort of muzzling of, these other senior folks within the government. Do you think that we’ll have more access to you, both the press and the public?

Fauci: I’m positive of it. I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months, and it’s just gotten blocked. Let’s call it what it is: It just got blocked because they didn’t like the way you handle things, and they didn’t want me on. I mean it was just so clear when we sent it down. “Why would you want to go on Rachel Maddow’s show?” “Well, because I like her and she’s really good.” “It doesn’t make any difference. Don’t do it.”

I don’t think you’re going to see that now. I think you’re going to see a lot of transparency. You might not see everybody as often as you want, but you’re not gonna see deliberate holding back of good people when the press asks for them. We were assured that that’s the case. And that goes along with what you were mentioning before about different types of pressures that were put on. It was a tough situation. It really was.

Those gracious and honest remarks also reveal the dangerous censorship by Trump of critical information necessary for the preservation of life during a deadly pandemic. Trump never cared about the welfare of the American people, particularly if it contrasted with his own narcissistic self-interest. Dr. Fauci said as much in another interview on CNN (where he had also been barred by Trump from appearing) when asked…

John Berman: Did the lack of candor over the last year and lack of facts, in some cases, cost lives?
Fauci: You know, it very likely did… When you start talking about the things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, we are going to learn more and more about how unconscionably destructive Trump was for the nation and the world. And the damage he’s done will not be repaired overnight. But at least we won’t be seeing the sort of suppression and deliberate disinformation going forward that was so painfully prevalent while Trump was occupying the White House.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Trump’s Year of Vicious Bashing – and Devoted Sucking Up To – Fox News in 2020

Let’s face it … trying to unravel the acute psychoses of Donald Trump is an exercise in futility. It’s like trying to explain why pigs prefer poetry to pedicures. Seriously, don’t bother. And it’s particularly evident in his long-running love/hate relationship with Fox News, the propaganda machine that put him in the White House.

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Donald Trump Fox News

For the past year, Trump has lashed out furiously at Fox News for a myriad of perceived offenses. He vilified their pollsters as agents of “suppression.” He castigated their producers for having the gall to book Democrats for predominantly disparaging interviews. He lumped Fox in with “fake” news disseminators like CNN and the New York Times. He whined petulantly any time a Fox shill failed to exhibit unqualified adoration or presented him in a less than worshipful fashion.

Naturally, Trump’s anger was often expressed on his favorite communications platform, Twitter, which he also loves to bash (see his incoherent tirades aimed at Section 230). An example of Trump’s fury at Fox was posted last week when he declared that “Fox News is dead”:

The notion that Fox News is somehow aligned with “Radical Left Democrats” is too absurd to even bother responding to. And it is typical of Trump to single out one of the few Black contributors on Fox for criticism. But can anyone figure out what he’s talking about when he complains about “unedited commercials”? However, that specimen of nonsense was just his latest outburst. Here is some of what Trump has been griping about throughout 2020:

So only Trump knows what has happened to Fox News? And he’s keeping secret? Despite that hail of hysterics, Trump still managed to lavish Fox News with love when it suited his purpose. In 2020 Trump tweeted about Fox 230 times. That’s about once every day and a half. Of those, 79 were shout-outs to Sean Hannity (20 of which announced his interviews). Another 81 tweets were aimed at Fox and Friends (of which 11 announced his interviews). Mark Levin got 67 flattering tweets. Lou Dobbs got 55. Maria Bartiromo got 39. Laura Ingraham got 27. Jeanine Pirro got 21. And Tucker Carlson trailed the pack with 17.

In addition to those praiseful mentions of Fox News flacks, Trump also lathered Fox’s competitors with compliments. The One America News Network (OANN) got 80 tweets. And Newsmax gathered 27.

You have to wonder what’s in it Fox News. Why would they tolerate this sort of abuse from an obviously disturbed egomaniac that is headed for an epic flameout? Could it be that just the prospect of a temporary ratings boost would cause Fox to accept being Trump’s whipping boy? Are they so wrapped up in their mission to advance an ultra-conservative agenda that they’ll suffer Trump’s contempt? Does Fox News believe that they will recover from this assault after Trump is demoted to civilian rank?

Fox’s ratings have already taken a considerable hit since election day. Newsmax has been gaining viewers and CNN is regularly beating Fox. In fact, Fox is dangerously close to slipping to third place behind MSNBC. What’s more, Trump has been openly speculating about launching a cable network of his own. Given his track record for business ventures, that would probably just be his next bankruptcy. But it could also cause some further deterioration of Fox’s audience. So the question remains: Why is Fox News behaving like a battered spouse and submitting to this abuse? Are they just as brainwashed by the Cult of Trump as his dimwitted followers? Stay tuned!

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Thanks for your support.

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

MUST SEE VIDEO: The Fox News Virus: Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Misinformation

On Friday evening MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” aired a segment that neatly encapsulated the human atrocity that is Rupert Murdoch and his virulently un-American right-wing media empire.

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Fox News Rupert Murdoch

The segment simply must be seen to do it justice. And therefore, here is an excerpt of the opening, followed by the video of this righteous rant:

“For the past nine months Rupert Murdoch-owned media have, by and large, waged a war against public health and the scientific consensus on containing the corona virus. On Fox News and elsewhere they’ve been playing down the virus and peddling just outright lies and pushing junk science and elevating cranks. All of which has tangibly, materially contributed to behavior that has made the pandemic worse.

“And what makes it all the more infuriating is that — as we have noted — while Fox hosts have been dismissing the experts, and suggesting lockdowns don’t work, and ridiculing people that avoid the office and follow public health guidelines, many Fox News employees have been working remotely at the same time.

“So now we arrive at the question of the vaccine. And last night one of Murdoch’s minions went on air to coyly just ask questions and rail against the offense of pro-vaccine propaganda that’s propagated by all corners of the media and the elite consensus that you should get the vaccine. Quote: ‘On the question of the coronavirus vaccine, our leaders are definitely not pro-choice. Their view is “do what you’re told and don’t complain.”‘ Of course, no one is actually telling you what to do. The vaccine is voluntary.”

The “minion” of which Hayes spoke was Fox’s Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson. And he did indeed devote much of his program to disgorging flagrant lies about the coronavirus vaccine. He characterized it as the key component of a plot to enslave Americans under some undefined threat of “social control.” His preposterous horror story included evil doctors, tech companies, media figures, and politicians. He even fingered Dr. Anthony Fauci, who Carlson asserted was both a ring leader and incompetent.

Hayes went on to point out some blatant hypocrisies. For instance, Fox News never bothered castigate Vice-President Mike Pence, who publicly got the vaccination that Fox News is now disparaging as a marketing ploy to trap people in their net of social control. Hayes also recounted how Murdoch’s New York Post set out to deliberately ruin the life of an innocent and heroic COVID nurse by spreading lascivious tales about her personal life that had no news value. The only purpose for the story was to be cruel in order to make a trivial political point

Hayes closed with a summary of how Murdoch fits into in this picture by noting that it was just “another day In the life of one of the most destructive people on the planet.” Which pretty well captures Murdoch’s villainous role. He is the lynchpin in the cabal of conservativism that is dragging down the American principles of freedom and democracy. And if he is allowed to get away with it, the American experiment will end in failure.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Thanks for your support.

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

LOSERS: Both Trump and Fox News Came in Last on Saturday

Misery loves company. And there are few experiences more miserable than joining the One Term Club of failed U.S. presidents. That’s where Donald Trump finds himself today, even as he frantically tries to deny reality with his frivolous lawsuits and impotent tweets pitifully claiming that he “won by a lot.” He didn’t. And the American people are not going to miss the abundant abominations of his deviant detour from democracy.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Along with Trump’s humiliating loss to Joe Biden, a candidate that he unsuccessfully tried to demean as a mentally deficient socialist, Fox News has also proved to be a failure in the early stages of the post-Trump era. On Saturday most news agencies called the election for Biden. CNN came first, followed by NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, the Associated Press, and bringing up the rear, a clearly reluctant Fox News.

However, even more troubling from Fox’s perspective, they came in dead last in the ratings against their cable news competition. And it was a distant last place finish at that:

“‘CNN has been the most-watched network for continuing coverage of the 2020 presidential election, and that sterling performance culminated on Saturday, as the network earned by far the most viewers’ during Biden’s victory speech, TVNewser’s A.J. Katz wrote. […]

“CNN averaged 13.6 million viewers during the live coverage; MSNBC averaged 8.5 million; and Fox News had just 3 million. This is a pattern that we’ve seen with Fox for some time — the network fares very well as the ‘voice of the opposition’ to Democrats, but when Dem leaders are speaking live or celebrating something, Fox’s audience fades.”

This is more than just an affirmation that America’s news consumers prefer the honesty of CNN, NBC, etc., to the lies and propaganda of Fox News. It also reveals that Fox’s audience is a brainwashed cult of devotees who are unconcerned with truthful reporting. The audiences for the non-Fox news organizations grew substantially on Saturday, especially for the Biden victory speech. But the three million viewers for Fox were about the same number that they would have had on any other day. So the Fox News audience is apparently just a parish of disciples who will watch no matter what is going on.

Leading those disciples is the cult’s Dear Leader himself. Trump has been conspicuously absent from the media since election day. He hasn’t made a single public appearance or spoken to the press, including his Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News. However, he has been feverishly tweeting video clips of his State TV sycophants. On Sunday night, in fact, he posted ten videos of the Trump-fluffers on Fox News parroting his desperate denial that had Biden had won.

That’s a lot of video posts, even for Trump. Particularly when he has recently been upset with Fox. On election day he phoned into Fox and Friends and complained that the network gave too much airtime to Barack Obama. He also called Fox “a problem” because they’re going the way of CNN, and they’re going the way of MSNBC.” This summer Trump whined that it’s So hard to watch @FoxNews anymore because “The Radical Left has scared Fox into submission.” And there is so much more of this whining due to Fox not being sufficiently worshipful at all times.

Trump, however, seems to still be glued to Fox News because he knows there is nowhere else for him to go for such devoted support with a hefty audience of dimwitted cult followers. The alternatives (i.e. Newsmax, OANN, etc.) are low rated also rans. So Trump will stick with Fox, where the two losers can continue to offer each other solace and unquestioning promotional support. That is, until after he leaves office and decides to build his own, destined to fail, media empire.

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

Trump is Inciting His Deplorables to Commit Violence Against Journalists

No president in America’s history has been more hostile to the press than Donald Trump. He repeatedly refers to them in Stalinist terms as the “the enemy of the people.” That openly aggressive posturing is an unambiguous assault on the constitution’s First Amendment. And Trump’s vicious rhetoric has been cited as endangering the work – and lives – of journalists, not just in the United States, but around the world.

Trump Charlotsville

On Saturday Trump took another leap crossing over the line of decency and free speech during his latest Coronavirus Super Spreader event in Minnesota. Reading from his teleprompter, Trump told a story about a reporter covering Black Lives Matter protests in the state several weeks ago:

“I remember this guy Welshi. He got hit on the knee with a canister of tear gas and he went down. He was down. […] After we take all that crap – for weeks and weeks they would take that crap – and then you finally see men get up there and go right through… Wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order.”

Like virtually every story that Trump tells, almost none of this one was truthful. To begin with, the reporter’s name was Ali Velshi, not Welshi. Perhaps Trump was using the Russian pronunciation. Secondly, Velshi was hit by a rubber bullet, not a tear gas canister. But those are relatively trivial misstatements by Trump who is rarely able to express himself coherently (which has not gone unnoticed by the American people).

More troubling was Trump’s celebration of this assault on a journalist by government goons as “a beautiful sight.” How any American “leader” can describe such an attack in those favorable terms is unthinkable. Trump is affirming his long held reputation as a fascist wannabe who aligns himself with the noxious philosophies of the authoritarian dictators he so admires (i.e. Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, etc.). These are people who brazenly violate press freedoms and even torture and murder critical journalists. And Trump is moving more in that direction every day.

Trump elaborated on his praise for federal agents physically assaulting reporters in another speech later in the day in North Carolina. In that tirade Trump got Velshi’s network wrong, saying he was with CNN, rather than MSNBC. He also lied that Velshi was reporting from a “war zone” when the truth was that he was covering a peaceful demonstration. Well, except for the feds. The video of Velshi’s reporting proves that.

Velshi himself addressed Trump’s remarks about the incident when he was shot, and asks a relevant question that Trump will surely fail to answer:

Make no mistake, this was not an off the cuff commentary by a rambling lunatic. Yes, Trump is a rambling lunatic, but this wasn’t off the cuff. He was reading from a teleprompter. And he was deliberately sending a message to his glassy-eyed disciples that assaulting journalists is something that will earn his appreciation. Trump is overtly soliciting his cult followers to commit what can only be described as terrorism. And he is promising to reward them with compliments and praise for what a “beautiful” thing they’ve done.

These remarks by Trump pretty much guarantee that more reporters will be attacked just for doing their jobs. The assailants will feel justified because the president has given his approval in advance. And if there is any justice in this world, Trump will be charged criminally and civilly for any harm that comes to journalists due to his reckless ranting.

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

Fearful Trump’s Extremist Attacks Are Escalating and It’s Only Going to Get Worse

There is an unmistakable stench of desperation in the White House that is spreading like a virus. Donald Trump may be as delusionally confident as ever on the surface, but his behavior is more reflective of someone consumed by fear and a grossly misperceived sense of victimization. This has lead to a new “scorched earth” reelection approach to attacking Joe Biden and a nastier, more toxic campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Zombie

Trump has plenty to be worried about. His negligent and incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in a tragic surge that exceeds anything seen throughout the world. The economy is in recession and more than 40 million Americans have faced unemployment. There is civil unrest in the streets of America protesting systemic racism, while Trump is advocating for Confederate traitors who fought to preserve slavery. And his reelection campaign is coming apart at the seams amidst historically low polling and abysmal approval ratings.

As Trump’s mental state deteriorates, his paranoia increases. He has begun administering “loyalty tests” to staffers in the White House and virtually every cabinet agency, including the Pentagon. He and his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) are entertaining bizarre election theories aimed more at soothing his fragile ego than winning in November. And he sees himself as tormented by everyone from former advisors like John Bolton (see his book here) to family members like his niece Mary Trump (see her book here).

Consequently, Trump is resorting to ever more drastic methods of extraction from the electoral Mariana Trench he has dug himself into. He is ramping up his attacks on Joe Biden with allusions to his mental health. That’s a treacherous slope considering that the American people regard Trump as more mentally unfit than Biden. He sat for what he probably thought would be a softball Fox News interview, but ended up getting fact-checked live by Chris Wallace. Trump was called out for his lies about Biden’s position on defunding the police.

However, Trump’s primary concerns are never about the issues that are most important to the American people. He is endlessly and exclusively obsessed with his own welfare and image. Which explains much of his recent outrage over the media’s coverage of his floundering campaign. following his disastrous cult rally in Tulsa, Trump tweeted…

Trump’s uniquely deranged notion that TV ratings are “the real polls” is a perspective that can only come from someone whose otherwise pitifully thin resume is dominated by having hosted a reality TV game show for fourteen years. However, even by his own measure, Trump is a pathetic loser. The ratings for his tongue bath – er, interview – with Sean Hannity don’t look so good when compared to the ratings for Rachel Maddow’s interview of Mary Trump. Hannity pulled in 5.11 million viewers, while Maddow drew 5.23 million.

“Maddow’s sit-down with President Donald Trump’s niece drew a record 5.23 million viewers to the show, leading every show on cable and broadcast in primetime Thursday. […] Thursday’s edition also claimed the largest viewership for a regularly scheduled show in MSNBC’s history.”

So does Trump still believe that these are the real polls? Or will this just incite even more outrageous tweets that defy coherent explanation? It’s most likely going to spur more intense “hyperbollocks,” which is my word combining “hyperbole” and “bollocks” to describe rhetoric that is both exaggerated and unfathomable rubbish.

Regardless, Trump’s warped sociopathy is bound to get worse as the honest depictions of his failures continue to batter him mercilessly. so prepare yourselves for his his attacks on Biden that will grow ever more unhinged in the coming weeks. He simply cannot handle reality, and thus reacts by inventing psychotic fantasies wherein he is infallible and omnipotent. Unfortunately, he also reacts with greater hostility and viciousness. And where that might lead between now and January 20, 2021, is both a mystery and a troubling concern for this nation and the world.

UPDATE: The Washington Post published an editorial that reveals that the “scorched earth” strategy described above has actually been documented and circulated in the White House:

“President Trump has launched a slash-and-burn campaign against an exaggerated caricature of his Democratic opponent, casting former vice president Joe Biden as a destroyer of basic freedoms and a threat to voter’s safety who would ‘let terrorists roam free’ and ‘abolish the American way of life.’ […] In new advertising, tweets and public statements that began to appear earlier this month, Trump has argued that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a harbinger of chaos and destruction, depicting a fantastical scarecrow largely divorced from reality.”

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. And Biden, his surrogates, and Democrats everywhere need to be vigilant and ready to respond.

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