Thanks Trump! The Pumpkinhead President Scares Fox News Ratings Into an Abyss

The month of October has been a frightening experience for Donald Trump. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted on national TV that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a nervous breakdown on Fox News. He was forced to reverse an idiotic plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami. And his one bit of good news – the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – produced a paltry two point bounce in a poll by his favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen. Scary, huh?

Donald Trump, Fox News, Halloween

Trump was so terrified throughout the month that he fear-posted 104 panic-tweets attacking the fearsome chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. And as if the Offender-in-Chief doesn’t already have enough reasons to soil his trousers, the Trump-fluffing “news” network that he relies on to prop him up with worshipful propaganda, Fox News, fell on some hard times as well. The ratings for October reveal that impeachment has been good news for both America and Fox’s chief competitor, MSNBC.

The total day ratings for Fox News declined by a whopping 27 percent in the all-important 25-54 demographic, compared to October of 2018. In the same period MSNBC rose 12 percent. MSNBC also increased total prime time viewers 25 percent, and prime time demo viewers 16 percent.

This growth was driven by impressive gains by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the #1 cable news program for the month among adults 25-54. Her show was up 13 percent, while Fox News’ Hannity declined 21 percent in that time slot. In total viewers Maddow was up 22 percent, compared to Fox’s 2 percent drop. She beat her direct competition, Sean Hannity, as well as Fox’s other prime time stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

These gains were also present in other MSNBC programs. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up 20 percent (Fox News dropped 22 percent). The 11th Hour with Brian Williams finished #1 in the 11 p.m. hour, up 25 percent (Fox News declined 31 percent). The Beat with Ari Melber delivered the network’s most-watched month ever in the 6 p.m. time period, up 34 percent (Fox News down 12 percent). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was #1 in total viewers, up 13 percent (Fox News dropped 27 percent). All In with Chris Hayes was up 24 percent (Fox News was down 19 percent). Even the weekend had great news with total day gains of 10 percent (Fox News dips of 32 percent).

There could be several explanations for this powerful performance by MSNBC and the simultaneous collapse of Fox News. Trump’s impeachment might have stirred more interest by progressive news consumers to tune in more. At the same time, it might have discouraged conservatives from watching the news at all. But there’s another possible factor that drove Fox’s viewers away: Donald Trump. He spent a fair amount of time bashing his own own best media outlet and even telling his followers to turn off Fox.

For instance, after a Fox poll showed him losing to Biden, Trump tweeted that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.” And then there was the time he tweeted that “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.” And not mincing words, Trump told his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

It’s hard to determine whether Trump’s Fox bashing had any real impact on their ratings. But it isn’t hard to see that he is a fickle and vengeful narcissist who demands 100 percent adoration at all times, lest you be cast into the corn fields, aka TrumpScorn. However, it is more likely that television audiences were simply more interested in getting honest presentations of the news by real journalists instead of slobbering, glassy-eyed sycophants. And since a majority of Americans favor Trump being impeached and removed from office (even in that Fox News poll), even the opinion side of MSNBC would figure to be more popular.

If Trump has anything going for him at this time, it’s the “bloody highway crash” appeal that might cause viewers to tune to Fox in order to see exactly how his mental breakdown will unfold in real time. Sure, it’s morbid and gruesome, but hell, it’s Halloween. Everybody may just be in a weird mood.

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

NOTE TO MEDIA: Stop Airing These Psychotic Trump Lie-Fests Without Fact-Checking

This is really getting tiresome. During the 2016 campaign, all of the cable news networks would air Trump’s stump speeches live and uninterrupted. They wouldn’t do the same for any other candidate. And after the election CNN and MSNBC admitted that it was a mistake. There were too many falsehoods being spread without proper journalistic scrutiny.

Donald Trump

Fox News, of course, has continued to faithfully air everything Leader Trump does as it happens and rarely provides any context or corrections, even after Trump is done. That’s something we can expect from Fox News as it is their corporate mission to advance the Trump Cult. But CNN and MSNBC had been behaving more responsibly in the months following the election.

However, if Monday is any indication, CNN and MSNBC are backsliding. They both aired Monday morning’s complete Trump Cabinet meeting that was rife with lies and myths and Trumpian insults. It is a disservice to the American people to shove this dishonest blather down the throats of news consumers and it’s long past time for these networks to put an end to it. Here is just a taste of the preposterous ramblings of Trump this morning:

  • Trump said that he has great respect for ambassadors that he also said he’s never heard of.
  • Referring to ISIS, Trump said that “I’m the one that did the capturing.”
  • Trump mangled the Constitution, complaining about what he called the “phony Emoluments Clause.”
  • Trump said that he gives away his presidential salary that is close to $450,000. It’s exactly $400,000.
  • Trump accused President Obama of violating the emoluments clause by striking book and movie deals. Which he didn’t do until after he left office.

Along with the nonsense above, Trump crammed several ludicrous remarks into a concise segment of his rant (video below). He began by praising himself for allegedly losing 2-5 billion dollars due to his having to suffer through being president. But not to worry because he went on to say that “I don’t care. If you’re rich it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this for the country, I’m doing it for the people.” Really? Then why does actually helping the country by paying a few dollars more in taxes matter? If it really didn’t matter, Trump wouldn’t have pushed through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. and he wouldn’t be funneling money to his own real estate properties every time he stays at one of his resorts. And he certainly wouldn’t have tried to book the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf club in Miami – a scam that blew up in his face.

Trump went on to brag about what he said are “my best poll numbers.” Nevermind that he is at or near the lows of his presidency with the average of polls at about 42 percent approval. Even the wildly biased Rasmussen, has Trump dropping to 45 percent, within a point of his low for the year by his favorite pollster. Then he launched into a rabid dog rant aimed at his congressional foes:

“I have my best polls now. I think it’s because people think it’s terrible what they’re doing. Pelosi, Shifty Schiff, Schumer, these people are trying to destroy the country. It’s a very bad thing what they’re doing. The President of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap.

Trump has been accusing Pelosi, Schiff, and Schumer of treason for months simply because they are pursuing remedies for Trump’s political poison that are written into the Constitution, a document he has either never read, or can’t understand. And proof of that is his assertion that he “should be allowed to run the country” as if he were an unimpeded dictator.

It is episodes of derangement like these that make it necessary for the media to refrain from blasting out Trump’s hysterical bluster. It creates needless anxiety along with the misinformation that Trump intends to spread. It harms both the public and the press. It serves no purpose other than the propaganda mission of the White House and the Republican Nationalist Party. And it must end if we are ever to get this nation back on an even keel.

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

Rachel Maddow Rides Impeachment to Ratings Victory Over Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity

In the week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Donald Trump is the subject of an official House impeachment inquiry, there have been some extraordinary developments. Trump himself blew a gasket and began flinging rhetorical feces at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and what he called Democrat Savages,” and even his faithful defenders at Fox News. Trump descended head first into paranoid rants accusing his perceived enemies of treason and assorted other imaginary atrocities.

Rachel Maddow

What’s more, the public has been rapidly accepting that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting his removal from office. Recent polls show a net 20 point swing in favor of impeachment. The Ukraine affair has the advantage of being quickly understood without the complexities of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russian and the 400 page Mueller Report that reveals criminality and obstruction of justice – if people would read it.

As the impeachment story heats up it is also having an impact on television news viewing. The past week saw MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spike significantly as she focuses on Trump’s tribulations. Among the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds, Maddow handily beat her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. Maddow averaged 586,000 viewers a day for the week, compared to only 550,000 for Hannity. This is good timing for Maddow whose new book – Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth – comes out today.

As the ratings and the polls consistently reflect the trouble Trump has caused for himself, he is becoming ever more desperate for the sort of flattery that fuels his tender ego. He typically finds it in the cultish sycophancy of Fox News and the utterly disreputable polling by Rasmussen. But lately he has been feuding with Fox and Rasmussen just reported a five point drop in his approval in the past week. Consequently he resorted to posting the results of an online poll at Breitbart “News.”

You might think it’s pathetic that Trump would rely on such a blatantly biased and unreliable survey of the crackpots who patronize Breitbart. But what’s even worse is that a poll taken in his own Twitter feed, with more than twice the number of respondents, has support for impeachment exceeding 90 percent.

It’s apparent that the movement to impeach Trump is only going to pick up steam as it goes forward. And along the way more people will be exposed to the facts offered by Rachel Maddow, while Hannity’s viewers slink off to the comforting seclusion of the underside of the rocks they call home. But this is no time to get complacent. Trump’s exploding derangement is going to spray psycho-shrapnel everywhere. And his most devoted disciples will even threaten civil war. In fact, both he and they and Fox News already have. So stay alert and engaged Resistors. This is just the beginning.

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

The ‘It’ Fracture: Crybaby Trump is Afraid of Joy-Ann Reid and Thinks Journalism is Showbiz

If it’s Saturday, it’s time for another regularly scheduled Donald Trump Tweetstorm. And the “stable genius” occupying the White House doesn’t disappoint. In fact, he even reminded everyone of his alleged stability in a tweet thanking some unnamed admirer for recognizing his alleged genius. In a normal world that would be sufficient proof that he’s a flaming fruitcake.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Among the Twitticisms that Trump posted was a celebration that Republicans son a couple of seats in bright red districts that they were always favored to win. Although one of them was pulled out by a razor-thin two point margin. Another tweet bragged about his 94 percent support among Republicans, which in reality is only 83 percent. Which is irrelevant anyway because, contrary to his dementia, he isn’t running for president of the GOP. Then he dropped a couple of tweets that consisted only of his tiresome campaign quotes (MAGA, KAG) that he’s hammering into the numb skulls of his cult followers.

However, the most Trumpian eruption of the morning was one that attacked the media, of course. It’s his goto wankery when nothing on Fox News ignites his smoldering emotional tinder. And this time Trump lashed out at MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid for something that Trump didn’t bother to explain:

To answer Trump’s first question, Joy-Ann Reid has been a commentator and host on MSNBC for five years and currently hosts her own popular Saturday morning program, AM Joy. Not that Trump really needed this prompting. Despite pretending that he doesn’t know Reid, his own tweet goes on to reveal that he’s pretty familiar with her show, her reputation, her network, her reporting, and her ratings (she averages more than a million viewers each week). Although much of what he thinks he knows is wrong, as usual. Reid is also the author of a New York Times bestselling book that Trump surely knows about, but hasn’t read: The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story,”

What’s troubling about Trump’s attack on Reid – besides being another assault on an African-American journalist – is his bizarre characterization of her as lacking “the ‘it’ factor,” something he asserts is “needed for success in showbiz.” That’s right, “Showbiz!” Because that’s what Trump thinks journalism is. In fact, that’s what Trump thinks his presidency is. His job before becoming president was hosting a reality TV game show, which he did for 14 years. That’s not a hobby, it’s a career. And he still sees everything from within that Hollywood bubble.

So what might have triggered this outburst by Trump? He frequently insists that he never watches MSNBC, but with all of the whining he does about it, it’s obvious he watches every day. And today Reid did an extended segment on impeaching Trump (full video below). Undoubtedly he was watching while getting drool all over his Egg McMuffins. And his tweet tantrum makes much more sense when we know what he was almost certainly responding to.

Reid’s guests itemized a long list of impeachable offenses by Trump, beginning with obstruction of justice and continuing through encouraging Russia to interfere with the election, exploiting the presidency to enrich himself, violating campaign finance laws by paying hush money to his mistresses and not reporting it, defying subpoenas and suppressing evidence, and much more.

It’s easy to see why Trump is so afraid and desperate this morning. He knows what he did, and he knows that the truth is coming out. And he knows that changing the channel to Fox News won’t prevent the inevitable accountability he will be forced to face. So he resorts to this sort of deranged panic-tweeting. Expect more of this madness as Congress uncovers more of Trump criminal behavior. And expect it to get worse before it gets better.

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

America First? Trump’s Attacks on the Media are Both Ignorant and Anti-American

Another day, another malicious assault on the Constitution and its First Amendment protections for a free press. Donald Trump is continuing to march toward a totalitarian state where he controls the media. And in his latest manic outburst on the subject he goes further than ever to lie about and threaten both journalists and American workers employed by the media that he so desperately hates.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper

Trump’s noxious tweetstorm began with a gleeful nod to the news that an “activist investor” has acquired a bundle of AT&T stock:

Trump’s celebration of this investment is a typically shallow analysis considering the investor purchased a share of AT&T that is only a little more than one percent of its outstanding shares. That isn’t gong give him any real leverage, and he’ll have no role in board or management decisions. What’s more, shareholders have absolutely zero influence over the editorial content of a news network, nor should they. So Trump is wandering around in a fantasy world that he clearly knows nothing about.

Trump also knows nothing about the state of the cable news business. His hatred for CNN notwithstanding, the network is enjoying the highest ratings and revenue in its history. This is an example of Trump expressing the delusions in his diseased brain as if they had some correlation to reality. But what’s worse about this Twitter tantrum is that Trump is maligning an American company before the whole world. That is recklessly inappropriate for the President of the United States, and a betrayal of the thousands of American workers at CNN and AT&T.

In addition, Trump repeated the flagrant lie that foreign leaders have asked him “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” Perhaps Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un might have asked him that, but they probably also ask why he doesn’t arrest and/or assassinate them. After all, he has openly yearned for those powers himself. For the record, the media doesn’t hate America, and they don’t even hate Trump. They hate lies, corruption, treason, and ignorance. It isn’t their fault that Trump exemplifies all of those abhorrent traits. But Trump wasn’t through ranting:

Once again, MSNBC’s ratings and revenue are growing rapidly. Trump may wish that news networks that tell the truth about him were failing, but the opposite is true. Meanwhile, at Fox News their ratings are still impressive, but their revenue is in a steep decline because advertisers don’t want to be associated with the Trump-fluffing, white supremacist dogma that is the hallmark of Fox. And if Trump is tiring of negative stories about him, he might try doing something positive for once. Or at least stop doing so many things that are objectively stupid, destructive, racist, and/or corrupt.

Trump went on to bash the media in general as “an arm of the Democrat Party.” without providing any proof whatsoever. But that’s been his modus operandi for years. And coming from someone who leans so heavily on his State TV network (aka Fox News), it’s starkly hypocritical. His intent is to drag down the reputation of the press to prevent people from taking it seriously when they report what he’s actually doing and saying. He actually admitted that to Leslie Stahl when she asked why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Everyone needs to remember that whenever they hear him criticize the media. By his own admission he isn’t doing it to correct the record or to stand up for the practice of journalism. He’s doing it to brainwash anyone dimwitted enough to fall for his deliberately deceitful disparagement of honest reporting. Sadly, there are way too many Deplorables who are happy to wallow in the filth that Trump spews, even after they’ve been told – by him – exactly what he’s doing.

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

Big Baby Trump Threatens to Sue MSNBC, O’Donnell Over Report that Russians Co-Signed Loans

Poor Donald Trump. He thought that all of his misdeeds and corruption would remain secret in perpetuity. Unfortunately for him, his methods of deception have been just as incompetent and ineffective as everything else he does. Consequently, each new day brings another revelation of some legal or ethical breach that he hoped would stay buried.

Donald Trump

The latest bit of bad news for Trump comes in the form of a speculative report that aired on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. On Tuesday night the program revealed allegations from a confidential source who said that some of Trump’s loans from the shady Deutsche Bank were co-signed by Russian oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin. This could be a bombshell story that would explain much of Trump’s affinity for – and coddling of – Russia generally, and Putin in particular.

The public disclosure of this sort of financial arrangement would be devastating for Trump. Consequently, he is punching back with all his impotent might. Trump had his personal attorney, Charles Harder, dash off a letter with a stern warning to O’Donnell and the network that should make them think twice:

“We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal […] The Program and Tweet make the false and defamatory statements that ‘Russian oligarchs’ cosigned loans provided to Mr. Trump by Deutsche Bank, and described these ‘co-signers’ as ‘Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.'” These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging.”

Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements. [and that] Failure to do so will leave my clients with no alternative but to consider their legal options which could include immediate legal proceedings against Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU.”

This is an entirely bogus threat that is highly unlikely to ever be carried out. The allegations that O’Donnell reported were presented as speculative from the outset. He presented it that way in a teaser at the beginning of the show where he said that “I want to stress that it is a single source that has not been confirmed by NBC News [and that] it’s going to require a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact.” He repeated these disclaimers in the segment that aired later. He could not have been more clear, repeatedly prefacing his remarks by saying “If true…” Therefore, he never presented it as fact, only the assertions of his source, as is evident in the video of the segment:

Trump is well known to engage in legal bullying, wherein he threatens people with lawsuits, but usually chickens out before filing any. In fact, he’s done that before with O’Donnell. In 2011 he threatened to sue O’Donnell for saying that Trump was not really a billionaire. That lawsuit never materialized. And neither will this one. O’Donnell has already taken the high road by tweeting that he “made an error in judgment” by reporting the unconfirmed story.

It’s hard to know if his walking this back was due to his own journalistic standards or pressure from the network which might have been spooked by the threat of litigation. But there are good reasons why they need not worry. This lawsuit, if pursued, could have some unintended consequences for Trump and company. First, it would disseminate to a much larger audience the allegation that he needed Russian oligarchs to co-sign his loans. That would confirm already known facts regarding Trump’s dire financial status and inability to secure loans on his own from reputable institutions. The lawsuit would also result in a discovery process which would require Trump to provide otherwise confidential documents to the legal representatives of O’Donnell and MSNBC. That requirement by itself will likely scare Trump out of ever actually filing any lawsuit.

So no one should be getting out the popcorn to watch this goofy episode of Trump’s reality show. It is almost certainly going to be preempted by some other Trump nonsense like buying Greenland or nuking hurricanes. This will just end up being another infantile tantrum thrown by our Crybaby-in-Chief that will amount to nothing but blather and the pathetic hissing of a wounded weasel.

UPDATE: True to his word, O’Donnell opened his program Wednesday night with a statement about the Deutsche Bank story. He reiterated the story had not gone through “the rigorous verification process” at MSNBC. Along with the retraction, he also pointedly noted that “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate. But the fact is we do know that it wasn’t ready for broadcast. And for that I apologize.”

Interestingly, although O’Donnell provided everything Trump’s lawyer’s asked for (a retraction and an apology), Eric Trump demonstrated why the Trump word is worthless. He tweeted that “Apologies are not enough,” and that “we will be taking legal action.” So there’s still hope that a lawsuit will proceed and the discovery process will force Trump to hand over documents they would otherwise keep secret. It’s still more likely that Trump will chicken out, but given his profound stupidity, he might just be dumb enough to go through with it.

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

Trump Goes Off (His Meds) on a Crazed Anti-Media Tweet Tantrum Against – Fox News?

It must be extraordinarily difficult for the President of the United States to get through every weekend without being fawned over by his most devoted supporters and promoters: the weekday primetime hosts on Fox News (aka State TV). Donald Trump’s notoriously fragile ego needs constant stroking or it erupts in an explosion of nonsensical ravings and unbound hostility from his Twitter stronghold.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

That’s the sensitive psychological condition that Trump found himself in on Sunday night when he unleashed a torrent of tweets bursting with self pity and anger at an unfair world that wasn’t sufficiently adoring. This hissy twit included an unexpected barrage of animus aimed squarely at Trump’s media confederates at Fox News. It’s not the first time, but it’s one of the most extended and shrill. And it’s a warning to Fox that if you dare to stray from Trumpian orthodoxy, you are officially guilty of betraying the cause of white-wing nationalism, and Trump personally. It’s Trump’s admission that he regards Fox News as his personal publicity shop. The substance of this tweetstorm is so profoundly disturbing that we can just let it speak for itself.

Poor Trump is suffering the brutal symptoms of withdrawal due to the lack of his weekday Trump-fluffers: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Apparently Jeanine Pirro and Mark Levin aren’t sufficient to get him through these lonely weekends. But does he have to be so cruel as to call the Fox weekenders worse than CNN? That’s a low blow coming from Trump.

Deprived of his State TV babysitters, Trump whines about the brass at Comcast. He’s referring to Chairman and CEO of Comcast Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. And he apparently believes that they tell everyone on NBC what to say. That must be because that’s the way the propaganda machine at Fox News operates, so he thinks real news organizations do the same.

He also unloads on what he says was a boring Democratic primary debate. Never mind that it was the most watched Democratic debate in history and drew more viewers on the second night than the first, which is not generally an indicator that the viewers were bored. Then Trump takes an odd, leftfield swipe at the New York Times because, well, what anti-media Trump rant would be complete without it?

Next, Trump takes aim directly at Fox News again, this time accusing them of having “forgot the people who got them there!” As if the network is obligated to behave in the manner that Trump demands or it’s being disloyal. That sentiment is extended with Trump’s complaint that Fox hired Donna Brazile, a former Democratic Party official. He lies about her having given Hillary Clinton debate questions during the 2016 Democratic primary. In fact, Brazile never had any actual debate questions. She only gave Clinton a list of topics and questions that she assumed would be covered. That’s still improper for a CNN contributor who was supposed to be unaffiliated, but it isn’t the same as stealing actual questions and handing them over to a candidate. Ironically, that’s an accusation that was levelled at Fox News for tipping off Trump before a GOP debate.

Finally, Trump insults all of the dayside Fox anchors as “terrible” and takes a swing at Fox’s chief news anchor and managing editor of breaking news, Shepard Smith. Considering how often Smith debunks Trump’s lies, that isn’t surprising. Take, for instance, this brutal fact check on Trump’s lies about Russian collusion. But then he closes this manic episode by proclaiming that he knows what the Fox News audience wants and that Fox is failing in its duty to be a staunchly partisan right-wing mouthpiece by not bending obediently to the bias that Trump thinks is required of them.

It’s difficult to be certain exactly what triggered this meltdown, but it doesn’t take much to set Trump off these days. He is becoming more frightened and unstable with each new poll that shows him losing in 2020, and each new revelation of his rampant criminal activity, including the arrest of his pal Jeffrey Epstein for sex trafficking.

However, there was an entertaining bit of “news” made on Fox Sunday when reporter Greg Palkot was covering reaction to the U.S. winning the World Cup. He was live from a sports bar in Lyon, France when the crowd began chanting “F*** Trump.” Then Palkot interviewed an American patron who cheered the U.S. team’s victory and then proudly exclaimed “Now we need to win in 2020, Democrats. Get that racist out of the White House.” That’s surely something that would gnaw at Trump if he saw it. But it warms the hearts of every truly patriotic American who can’t wait for Trump to booted from office whether by losing an election or well deserved impeachment.

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

WHUT? Fox News Media Hack Says it’s ‘Unfair’ if Networks Don’t Cover All of Trump’s Cult Rallies.

It is well known that Fox News has foraged an uncommonly close relationship between themselves and Donald Trump. In fact, Trump would not be president today but for Fox News. They shamelessly championed his campaign, while simultaneously maligning Hillary Clinton and slandering his critics. Subsequently, they have continued to serve as his private PR operation throughout his presidency.

Fox News, Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential cycle, Fox News covered every single one of his cult rallies in full and uninterrupted. It amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free TV airtime. And that’s not even counting the dozens of interviews Fox did with adoring Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. They never did anything similar for Clinton.

Now, Fox’s primary media correspondent and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz, is weighing in on how Trump is being covered by the cable news networks. And he’s not a happy camper. In an interview with his colleague Bill Hemmer, Kurtz seemed to mimic Trump by raging against CNN and MSNBC for not carrying all of his alleged campaign kickoff rally in Orlando.

First of all, the assertion that this was the kickoff of Trump’s campaign is a blatant lie. He actually filed for reelection on the same day he was inaugurated in January of 2017. And he’s held dozens of rallies since then. This was a charade that was was really just another one of his cookie-cutter cult rallies where he repeated exactly the same tedious themes that he has in all of his other ego-stroking affairs. Just because he calls it a kickoff, doesn’t mean that the media has to obediently buy into that lie.

Consequently, CNN covered the rally just long enough to observe that Trump wasn’t saying anything that he hasn’t said at every other rally. MSNBC monitored the event in case Trump said anything newsworthy. He didn’t, and therefore they didn’t bother interrupting their regular programming for some of Trump’s harshly partisan and hostile rhetoric. And this infuriated Kurtz who said that…

“What I have to say about this is it’s just a lack of class. Now, I’m not saying that the cable networks have to cover every Trump rally, and it did turn into a highly partisan speech in Orlando last night. But this really is sort of networks playing into what Steve Bannon used to call acting like the opposition party. To just simply say we’d rather have our own pundits talking while the president is talking, spending the whole next day analyzing and picking apart what he said, rather than letting our viewers hear from the president as he asks for a second term or begins that process, just seems fundamentally unfair and raises questions about how they’re going to cover this entire campaign.”

A “lack of class”? Kurtz never bothers to explain what was newsworthy about Trump’s speech. But he did associate it with the disgraced former Trump aide and aspiring neo-Nazi, Steve Bannon. Kurtz thinks that people can’t form their own opinions of what Trump said unless they heard it in this address, even though they’ve had the opportunity to hear it dozens of times in the recent past. And he thinks it’s “fundamentally unfair” for news networks not to force Trump down everyone’s throats for the umpteenth time.

It’s interesting to note that Kurtz has never gone to bat like this for any Democrat. He has never whined that it’s unfair or lacks class that Fox News declined to air all of Clinton’s public speeches, or any of those by the current batch of Democratic candidates. No matter how many times they occur. It’s only Trump who is being treated unfairly if his drooling and repetitive rampages are not broadcast 24/7 on every channel.

The one thing that Kurtz said that has some merit, at least with regard to Fox News, is in his closing when he said that this “raises questions about how they’re going to cover this entire campaign.” Although, anyone who has watched Fox for more than few minutes knows exactly how they’re going to cover the campaign – like the loyal StormTrumpers that they are and have always been.

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

Hannity Attacks Maddow and Winds Up Admitting that He and Fox News are ‘Fake News’

MSNBC just announced that their panel of moderators for the first Democratic primary debate will include Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, José Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow. And as might be predicted, the last name on that list has already stirred some controversy.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

Rachel Maddow is unambiguously opinionated. Her program covers the news from a liberal perspective, although always dedicated to presentations that rely on factual sources. Whether or not it’s appropriate for her to be a moderator for a political debate is – well, debatable. But it’s MSNBC’s decision to make and her performance can be judged on the merits. That is, unless you’re Sean Hannity of Fox News. In which case Maddow must be preemptively denounced with childish nicknames (ala Donald Trump) like “Roswell Maddow” and absurd slurs that portray her as “left of Mao, by public admission” (an admission that exists only in Hannity’s cartoon brain).

Hannity devoted a whole segment of his program on Tuesday to this manufactured controversy, and brought in Sean Spicer and Jesse Watters to add their “unbiased” analysis (video below). Hannity led off by referring to Maddow as…

“Tinfoil hat-Maddow, the single biggest liar, conspiracy theorist in the country, the person that pushed the Russiagate lies night after night.”

Never mind that the role of “biggest liar, conspiracy theorist” has long been held by Hannity himself. He has pushed destructive falsehoods ranging from Obama’s birth certificate, to Pizzagate, to the Seth Rich murder, and to countless and malicious assaults on special counsel Robert Mueller. But Hannity was unable to cite a single alleged conspiracy theory promoted by Maddow. With regard to Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia, and his obstruction of justice, Maddow has actually broken stories that have held up over time. But that wasn’t the worst of Hannity’s drooling outburst. In response to the news of Maddow’s selection as a moderator, he offered a programming proposal of his own:

“Here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll have a debate moderated by me, the Great One [Mark Levin], Rush Limbaugh, Jesse [Watters] can join us, and Laura [Ingraham] and Tucker [Carlson]. How’s that?”

How’s that? That’s actually pretty funny. Hannity just slogged through several minutes of whining about how prejudicial and dishonest Maddow is, and thus unfit to be a moderator. So what’s his method of balancing out this partisan tilt? Countering it with his own flavor of prejudice and dishonesty. He is, in effect, admitting that he and his Fox News colleagues are as unfit to moderate a debate as he says Maddow is. It’s kind of like Hannity telling a schoolmate “You’re mother would win an ugly contest, unless my mother was a contestant. How’s that?”

For the record, Maddow already moderated a Democratic primary debate. Back in 2016, she was on a panel during a debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. At the time, Howard Kurtz of Fox News didn’t think she was the right choice. But he nevertheless said that “Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night.” And why wouldn’t she? She’s a Stanford graduate and a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in political science. Hannity is a dropout who rose to fame as a radio shock jock.

Hannity’s meltdown over this issue is typical of his bombastic response to everything that Democrats or liberals do, whether or not there is any cause. He is oblivious to the fact that a primary debate (as opposed to the general election) is a partisan event to begin with. He’d probably be shocked to learn that every one of those debaters are Democrats. And it’s not as if he and Fox News have distinguished themselves during their many interviews (aka tongue baths) with Trump, who is too scared to be interviewed by anyone on MSNBC or CNN. So much for being fair and balanced.

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

WTHolyF? Fox News Hysterically Whines that CNN and MSNBC ‘All Seem to Be Opinion Shows’

Well, we are through the looking glass, folks. Of course, that’s been said so many times in the Era of Donald Trump that most of us have built up an immunity to it. But on this occasion there is real concern that the fantasy (nightmare) weavers at Fox News have abandoned any pretense of reality.

Donald Trump Fox News

In a segment on Monday night’s episode Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program, the host interviewed Fox News’ media correspondent, and host of MediaBuzz, Howard Kurtz. The discussion was a particularly obtuse analysis of the editorial positions on MSNBC and CNN. It began with Varney calling out his competition for “Anti-Trump coverage” that is “wall to wall on those two networks.” And that led to this bizarre exchange with Kurtz (video below):

Varney: What’s your judgment, Howard, when two all news networks carry one single editorial message, which is resist Trump for everything and get him out? I mean, you’re a media guy. You can’t be that pleased that two major networks are going so consistently down that opinion road.
Kurtz: I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think there are some fair reporters at both networks. But certainly when you turn on the primetime shows, and it’s getting increasingly hard during the day, they all seem to be opinion shows. I mean, you know, you’ve got these panels that are six to one anti-Trump. I mean, there’s no secret about it. That’s the way they’re being programmed.

Seriously? That’s a media analyst on Fox News, the network that is best known today as “State TV” due to its unflinchingly adoring coverage of Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Fox News has dedicated it’s primetime block to three of the most biased Trump-fluffers on television (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson), Hannity even shows up to speak at Trump’s cult rallies.

As for panels that are partisanly skewed, Fox doesn’t leave that to just their primetimers. They begin with “Fox and Friends” in the morning. Then “Outnumbered” is aptly named with four (and sometimes five) right-wingers out of five co-hosts. And in the afternoon they have “The Five,” which is another four to one conservative pile-on. So Fox News actually designs their shows to have multiple wingnuts ganging up on a lonely alleged liberal. Neither MSNBC or CNN has such a program.

Kurtz did criticize Trump for advocating a boycott of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, in order to punish CNN. And even Varney acknowledged that MSNBC was doing well in the ratings prior to the release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Kurtz agreed and made the point that MSNBC’s viewers might have fallen off due their disappointment that Mueller wasn’t more aggressive in his indictment of Trump. That’s actually a pretty good explanation for MSNBC’s recent ratings slump, although it’s still the second highest rated cable news network.

However, for Kurtz to stare into the camera and complain about the partisan tilt of MSNBC and CNN is hypocrisy on an Olympian scale. At least both CNN and NBC have actual news divisions that break stories and win awards. But for him to do that without even the slightest acknowledgement of Fox’s extreme political prejudices, marks him as the same sort of propagandist as Varney, Hannity, and the rest of Fox’s flunkies. If it wasn’t such a serious breach of journalistic ethics, it would make a hilarious sketch for Saturday Night Live.

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