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.

HUH? Trump Celebrates Fox News Ratings, the Network He Says is ‘Terrible’

Apparently the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is over. And the nation is no longer in recession. And the 40 million unemployed Americans have all gone back to work. And there is no more civil unrest in the streets due to systemic racism. And Russia has revoked their bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is what you’d have to assume based on what Donald Trump has made his priorities.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Wednesday morning Trump was busily conducting his presidential Twittery. He was taking a break from his other main duties, golfing and watching Fox News. However, Fox wasn’t far from his wobbly consciousness. Prominent within his Twantrums were shout outs to the State TV network that so reliably disseminates Trump-fluffing propaganda. He tweeted that he…


And…

It’s almost needless to say that Trump, a former reality TV game show host, is badly misrepresenting reality. As published in the Hollywood Reporter, the ratings performance for the second quarter of 2020 showed unprecedented gains across the board for the news media:

“All three major cable news networks set ratings records in the second quarter of 2020, as ongoing stories including the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice protests drove viewers to Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

“The three channels recorded double-digit gains over the same period in 2019 in total viewers and adults 25-54. All three also delivered their biggest viewer tallies ever in both total-day averages and in primetime.”

Fox News predictably came out on top because they have no competition for the wingnut audience they pander to. However, the margin of victory was hardly worth celebrating. In the key advertiser demographic of 25-54 year olds, Fox drew 366.000 viewers. CNN was close behind with 335,000, and MSNBC was narrowly lower with 315,000. Those are the rankings for what Trump characterized (and egocentrically thanked himself) as being “so far below … that you can barely find them.”

Trump lying about ratings – or anything else – won’t surprise anyone anymore. But it’s notable that after fourteen years on television, Trump is still obsessed with the medium and even believes that ratings are a better measure of popularity than scientific polling (they aren’t). But it is interesting to note the schizophrenia poking through Trump’s already diagnosed malignant narcissism. The fact that he’s congratulating Fox News for a ratings win comes after months of attacking Fox for being just another fake news front for liberals and Democrats.

Just in the past few weeks, Trump has whined that “The @FoxNews Polls are a JOKE!” ( a familiar complaint) He raged that “Fox is terrible!” He fumed that “FoxNews is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd” (because he believes that that is their purpose). And he griped that “FoxNews is working hard pushing the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats.” Yeah, sure they are.

Trump can’t seem to figure out whether he loves Fox or hates them. But while he has committed himself to finding another network to carry his poisoned water, he still schedules his interviews almost exclusively with Fox. To be sure, he has some justification for being perturbed with his Ministry of Propaganda. One host recently speculated that Trump might drop out of the race due to his abysmal polling. But overall, Fox News is as biased in favor of Trump and his Republican confederates as ever. The problem is that they aren’t always 100% blindly loyal to him as he demands of everyone in his sphere of sycophancy. And that’s enough for him to go careening wildly off the rails.

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

Trump Tries to Demonize the Protesters Supported By 73% of the American People

The most consistent principle of Donald Trump’s public relations game plan (if you can call it a plan), is to flagrantly distort reality (aka lie) in order to shape it into a form that doesn’t frighten him. For instance, he insists that thousands more people attend his cult rallies than the venues can actually hold. He claims to have built hundreds of miles of walls along the southern border where there has been no new wall built at all. He boasts about being the best thing that ever happened to African-Americans. He celebrates his “progress” with the coronavirus despite more than 107,000 deaths due to his negligence and incompetence.

Trump Fear

Trump will lie about all things great and small, no matter how easily the truth can be validated proving his obvious dishonesty. These are lies rooted in fear of being seen for the fool that most people know he is. On Wednesday Trump posted a tweet that is emblematic of that behavior in the worst possible way:

This tweet begins by chastising the media (specifically his longtime nemises, CNN and MSNBC) for allegedly supporting a frightful array of evildoers who Trump asserts the media lavished with praise. Needless to say, that never occurred, and Trump doesn’t provide any evidence of his vile assertion. All the media did was to accurately report that those committing acts of violence or vandalism were in the minority, and that the vast majority of protesters were peaceful and devoted to positive change. Trump doesn’t want to hear that because it conflicts with his paranoid vision of a dystopian society where villains have taken control of the streets and his enemies are coming after him from every direction

What’s more, Trump is disgustingly maligning the honest, concerned Americans who are protesting real injustices as “killers, terrorists, arsonists, anarchists, thugs, hoodlums, looters, ANTIFA & others.” It’s a nauseating mischaracterization done purposefully to dehumanize good citizens for whom Trump has a deep seated, personal animosity. Notice that he doesn’t allow even a hint of any appreciation for the majority of people who are lawfully expressing their entirely justified anxiety with regard to systemic racism. Trump’s loaded rhetoric that accuses these protesters of being murderers and terrorists is way beyond the pale. And his invention of an Anti-fa(scist) organization is just another figment of his diseased imagination.

All of this is being done out of pure desperation on Trump’s part. He recognizes (or more likely has been told) that his approval ratings are in the sewer. Every poll shows that he is losing to Joe Biden nationally, as well as in most of the swing states. So he has embarked on a campaign of image restoration in order to plug his leaking ship of state. It’s what produced the travesty on Tuesday when he had protesters tear gassed in order to clear his way to a faux-religious photo-op that even some on his own staff found stomach churning.

What makes Trump’s PR plan all the more inept is that he is bucking popular opinion. A new poll by Reuters/Ipsos finds that…

“Three-quarters of Americans report they support the peaceful protests and demonstrations as a response to George Floyd’s death (73%). A majority of Democrats (86%) and Republicans (59%) report supporting the peaceful demonstrations.”

Also revealed in this survey is that those who strongly support the protests (43%) far exceed those who strongly oppose them (12%%). And that “Four in five Americans (82%) report that peaceful protests are an appropriate response to the killing of an unarmed man by police.” And that “Just 33% of Americans approve of how Donald Trump is handling the protests.”

In short, Trump is wrong the wrong side of the American people on everything. Yet, in his delusional stupor, he is still cranking out all-caps tweets shouting about some make-believe “SILENT MAJORITY” that he imagines is on his side. And this is how he thinks he will improve his standing in the polls and his prospects for reelection? Sure. Good luck with that, Bunker Boy.

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

Trump Flings Feces at Fox News for Poll Showing that America Favors Biden

As the nation continues to endure a deadly pandemic, Donald Trump continues to be obsessed over his public image. The death toll is approaching a tragic milestone of 100,000 Americans lost to COVID-19 (coronavirus). And recent studies show that tens of thousands of those deaths could have been avoided had Trump not been so negligent, incompetent, and even deliberately dismissive of the threat.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump Baby, Fake News

Trump manages to turn every public public appearance into an infomercial for his 2020 reelection campaign. He simply cannot address this crisis without ultimately referring to himself and what he regards as mistreatment by the media. For the alleged “leader of the free world” Trump sure seems to fall back into a state of paranoid victimhood every time he speaks.

For two days running Trump has also been lashing out wildly at his State TV network (aka Fox News). Anyone who is paying attention recognizes that Fox News is the unabashed propaganda organ of Trump’s presidency. But even with the unprecedented loyalty and adulation that Fox pours over Dear Leader, it can never be enough to mollify Trump’s acute narcissism. And when Fox is less than sufficiently adoring, Trump unleashes his wrath. For instance, on Thursday he whined that…

Trump apparently thinks that Fox “News” is obligated to “help Republicans, and me, get re-elected.” That’s how corrupted his concept of journalism is. Not that Fox practices much journalism. But you would have to believe that some of their “reporters” would take offense to being cast as Trump’s political lackeys. However, none of them have said so since this tweet was posted. And in Trump’s diseased brain, the difference between being “great” and “garbage” is the quality of your bootlicking. Any divergence from total obedience is not tolerated. That’s the deranged mindset behind Trump’s Friday morning tweet demanding that…

Naturally, Trump regards any negative polling results as “fake” and an offense that serves as grounds for termination. However, his complaint that he’s “Never had a good Fox Poll” is an easily provable lie. In fact, he’s had many, and he has effusively praised Fox on those occasions. That doesn’t mean he won’t forget that the moment there is a less positive poll. But Trump wasn’t through whining:

If Trump is really interested in examining a variety of polls, he might take a look at the RealClearPolitics poll of polls that averages the most recent published surveys. As of May 22, every single one of them has Joe Biden leading Trump, including CNBC and CNN. However, what’s particularly disturbing about this tweet is Trump’s shout out to the late Roger Ailes, the former Fox News CEO who was fired due to numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Although, you can’t blame Trump for admiring someone so much like himself. And with regard to the findings in the Fox News poll, it is understandable that Trump would be worried. It shows that

“…voters prefer Biden to Trump 48-40%. Biden wins on on health care by 17 points, coronavirus by 9, and relations with China by 6. Trump is trusted more on the economy by a slim 3-point margin.”

Trump’s outrage notwithstanding, he will surely continue to show favoritism to Fox News. He has done the vast majority of his television interviews on Fox. He regularly promotes Fox News Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, Maria Bartiromo, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. And while he will occasionally exploit other news sources (such as One America News Network – OANN – which some of his big donors have taken a financial interest in) in order to pressure Fox to be more subservient, he will always return to Fox for the ego stroking he craves. And Trump’s attacks will be passively tolerated because that’s what the Fox News Ministry of Propaganda was created to do.

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

Schizo Trump Loves/Hates Fox News and Misses their Sexual Predator Boss

On Monday Donald Trump unleashed another in his series of desperate deflections from the COVID-19 crisis that he has tragically exacerbated by his negligence and incompetence. He volunteered to a press gaggle that he is taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off the coronavirus.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Of course, as with everything Trump says, it needs evidence before it can be regarded as truthful. If he is taking it he is exposing himself to serious health risks for a treatment that has no proven efficacy. If he’s lying he’s encouraging his dimwitted cult followers to assume those risks. Either way it is an obvious attempt to steer the news cycle away from his inept and deadly mishandling of the raging pandemic.

Media manipulation may be the one skill that Trump puts any real effort into refining. He has proven his willingness to manufacture distractions at precisely the moment he is being scrutinized for some act of idiocy or scandal. But he doesn’t really have to be any good at it because he has Fox News to refurbish his floundering PR in the wake of his incessant bumbling. Which makes Trump’s schizophrenic, flip-flopping attitude toward Fox all the more bizarre. Tuesday morning Trump took to his Twitter machine to cheerlead for his favorite Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends.

In addition to celebrating the ratings of his Foxic friends, Trump engaged in the infantile name-calling that is the hallmark of his presidency. He is especially perturbed by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough who has been an effective critic. Recently Trump began lobbing slanderous allegations that Scarborough murdered an intern twenty years ago. But Trump’s glee over the ratings victory for Fox comes in stark contrast to a tweet he posted just a few hours before:

There is so much wrong with that tweet that it’s really going to need some deeper analysis. First of all, anyone who watches Fox knows that the network is far more pro-Trump now than ever. With a prime time line up that consists of dependable Trump-fluffers like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, there is a unanimity of opinion that would make North Korea’s media operation jealous. A recent example is how they virtually swapped out their coronavirus coverage in order to hype the phony “Obamagate” conspiracy theory.

Secondly, Trump is not “looking for a new outlet,” he’s already found one. He has been busily promoting the One America News Network (OANN), a tiny, little-watched, video blog that is even more worshipful of Dear Leader Trump than Fox. In fact, some of Trump’s financial backers recently bought OANN, which suggests that it may become his television home after he loses in November.

As for Trump “miss[ing] the great Roger Ailes,” that’s his testimonial to the now deceased CEO of Fox News who was terminated due to mounting evidence of his sexual harassment and assault. Ailes not only committed vile acts himself, but he actively covered up the misconduct of his colleagues like Bill O’Reilly, often paying millions to secure the silence of their victims. Naturally a sexual predator like Trump would find camaraderie in an equally nauseating pervert.

Finally, Trump’s fluctuating opinion of Fox News is just further proof of his mental infirmity. He can’t seem to remember whether he loves Fox or hates it. Here is just a sampling of the frothing hatred Trump has recently aimed at Fox News;

Despite the attacks on Fox above, he has also been dishing out effusive praise to Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Greg Gutfeld, Laura Ingraham, Brit Hume, Mark Levin, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Plus, he’s done recent interviews with Fox and Friends, Bartiromo, Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro. Nearly all of his interviews since becoming president have been on Fox. So which is it, Donnie? Is Fox News part of the liberal, Democratic, Deep State, cabal that’s out to destroy you? Or is it Trump’s loyal bastion of unflinching support and blind adulation? Well, it depends on what day it is.

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

JOURNALISTS BEWARE: Trump Admits that He Will ‘Use’ and then ‘Dump’ You

In seems implausible that anyone who has paid attention for the last three years could be surprised to discover that Donald Trump is a man utterly without honor. He behaves like a colicky infant, bragging undeservedly, insulting his perceived enemies, and lying about all things great and small.

Donald Trump, Snake Tongue

When this array of acute personality flaws are present in one demented and egocentric man-baby, the result can be catastrophic. And sadly, that’s precisely what we are suffering through now as Trump’s negligent and incompetent mishandling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has cost tens of thousands of American lives. The dire situation is actually getting worse according to the Trump regime’s own internal estimates that now predict the number of deaths could nearly double to 3,000 per day by June.

Despite these grim facts, Trump continues to flagrantly lie about the tragedies on the near horizon. He’s pushing to “reopen” the country to allow more businesses to operate in ways that will surely contribute to spreading the virus and increasing the death toll. And he persists with his propaganda and happy-talk in order to persuade his glassy-eyed cult followers that the worst is over and that those who still advocate caution are just trying to hurt him. In the end, all Trump really cares about is Trump.

On Monday morning Trump revealed just how afraid he is of his rapidly floundering approval, as well as his declining prospects for reelection. He tweeted one of the most repugnant and desperate comments that’s ever slithered through his Twittery fingers:

The sleazy reference that Trump is alluding to here concerns the death of an intern, Lori Klausutis, who worked in then-congressman Joe Scarborough’s office. Her death was attributed to a heart problem and the autopsy found that there was no evidence whatsoever of foul play. So Trump is reanimating this grotesque conspiracy theory in order to attack Scarborough who is now hosting a program on MSNBC. True to form, Trump resorts to childish insults, calling Scarborough “psycho” and his wife/cohost, Mika Brzezinski, “crazy.” Which are ironic choices for someone as mentally unstable as Trump, and who exhibits many of the symptoms of malignant narcissism and acute dementia. He also displays his perverse fetish with ratings, despite lying about about Morning Joe whose ratings are pretty good.

However, in addition to Trump’s nauseating rehashing of a two decade old intern conspiracy, Trump is also making an interesting confession in this tweet. He says of Scarborough and Brzezinski that he “used them beautifully in the last Election” and “dumped them nicely.” That’s an unambiguous admission of his intentional exploitation of journalists to achieve his nefarious ends.

It’s also a warning to all journalists that they should never trust Trump. Like all sociopaths, he is only in this for whatever benefit he can derive for himself. And he will roll over anyone who he regards as an obstacle. Even to the extent of slandering them with vicious lies. So the press better recognize that obsessive behavior and protect themselves from it.

Trump cannot be trusted and he must not be tolerated. In his own words he admits that it’s his intention to destroy the credibility of the press. As he told Lesley Stahl when she asked why he attacks the media, “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” What more do you need to know?

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

Hannity Freaks Out Over Holding Trump Accountable for His Coronavirus Death Toll

Donald Trump is without question the most reckless, ignorant, and incompetent president in America’s short history. Nevertheless, he is renowned for failing to take responsibility for any of his calamitous failures. Trump will vainly shift blame to others, employ awkward deflections, and lie shamelessly to avoid being held accountable. With Trump, the buck is always handed off to an innocent political foe or some hapless flunky.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Fortunately for Trump, he has a cadre of glassy-eyed disciples in right-wing media who will cover for him no matter how ludicrous the circumstances. Most of them reside at State TV (aka Fox News), such as his shadow chief-of-staff-infection, Sean Hannity. Trump relies on Hannity as a defensive shield against uncomfortable facts, propaganda dissemination, and contorted political strategy. And on Saturday Hannity fulfilled all three of those roles in a brief blog post.

The headline on Hannity’s harrangue was “A NEW LOW: Schiff Says ’50,000 Americans Are Dead’ Because Trump Wasn’t Impeached and Removed.” He lashed out at Rep. Adam Schiff for what he said were “Schiff’s vicious comments.” Elaborating, Hannity charged that…

“Congressman Adam Schiff escalated his war-of-words with the Trump administration Saturday; saying “50,000 Americans are dead” because the President was not impeached and removed from the Oval Office.”

What Hannity was referencing was a portion of a Schiff interview on Friday with Chris Hayes on MSNBC (video below). Schiff accurately observed about Trump that “A man with no moral compass will never find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.” The subject of the segment was Trump’s tragically negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Hayes asked Schiff about comments he made at the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment that speculated about the grave necessity of removing Trump from office to avert future catastrophes. Schiff’s response speculated about the degree of damage Trump would still be capable of if he remained:

“How much damage could he really do? We posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage. But frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead.

There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence. Because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence, sometimes his brand of malevolence, would be so fatal to the American people.

To be clear, Hannity’s assertion that Schiff said 50,000 Americans are dead because Trump wasn’t removed from office is inaccurate. What Schiff is that the deaths were because of Trump’s incompetence. Of course, those deaths would not have occurred had he been removed, but neither would they have occurred had he not been incompetent. What’s more, the severity of the coronavirus casualties is being under reported. The death toll is now over 65,000 with more than 1,100,000 infected.

A month ago Trump said that he would consider a total of 65,000 deaths to be a “victory.” That was an estimate for August that we reached in April. A few days ago his son-in-law (and senior advisor), Jared Kushner, called it a great success story.” But yesterday Trump was busy tearing down and reconstructing the goal posts at 100,000 fatalities. Expect those posts to be pushed back further in a few weeks.

As for Hannity, his concern about not holding Trump accountable for the death toll isn’t surprising. But he is also failing to hold himself accountable. He spent the past couple of months dismissing the coronavirus as an insignificant form of the flu. As a result, a recent study revealed that watching Hannity actually increased one’s likelihood of dying from the disease. So it would be wise to practice social distancing from Hannity as well as all other Fox News viewers and Trump supporters. You can’t be too careful these days.

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

Trump Reveals What He Cares About Now: ‘Going Around Fake News [to Lie] to the People’

The American people are struggling to cope with a crisis that most have never imagined. They are frightened for the welfare of themselves, their families, and their nation. And with the exception of a few misguided jackasses, they are bringing a profound measure of determination and courage to the fight to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and return to some semblance of normalcy.

Donald Trump Loves

And then there’s Donald Trump. From the outset of his presidency (and actually many decades before) Trump has demonstrated that the only thing he really cares about is himself. That’s repulsive and annoying for a private citizen or a reality TV game show host, but it’s frightfully dangerous for an alleged national leader.

During Monday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercial), Trump was asked “Is this really the time for self-congratulations,” with nearly 800,000 Americans infected and tens of thousands dead. He responded by callously saying that “It’s not about me. Nothing is about me.”

Of course, that’s ludicrous. His answer went on to reiterate how, in his view, he is the most put upon president ever, despite all of the miraculous accomplishments that exist only in his cartoon brain. But on Tuesday morning Trump was apparently less than satisfied with his self-exaltations, so he blasted out a series of tweets lavishing more praise on himself. For instance…

These are the ravings of a malignant narcissist whose perception of reality is deeply distorted by his voracious ego. When Trump takes credit for the ratings of the task force briefings, he is proving how little he knows about ratings. He thinks that people of all political persuasions tuning in to get information from health experts about a deadly pandemic is a reflection of his popularity. It isn’t. He has been making this mistake for several weeks and is convinced that he is the Pat Sajak of COVID-19, spinning the “Wheel of Misfortune” for bored television audiences.

More to the point, Trump openly discloses what he cares about during this time of tribulations, pretending that he doesn’t care about ratings (although he can’t stop talking about them), but that “I care about going around the Fake News to the PEOPLE!”

Yep. That’s what Trump says he cares about. He could have said that he cares about the tens of thousands of dead Americans and their grieving families and friends. He could have said that he cares about overcoming the pandemic and restoring the nation’s physical and financial health. But no. He is so consumed with his own PR that he couldn’t even suppress his ego long enough to pretend that he cared about something other than promoting himself and bashing his perceived foes in the press.

Trump elaborated on this theme of self-obsession in a trio of tweets posted along with the one above. In one he confessed that he watched Joe Scarborough on MSNBC and concluded that Scarborough was filled with “hatred and contempt” and that “his mind is shot.” That’s as good an example of pure psychotic projection as you’re ever likely to see.

In another tweet Trump whined that “It is amazing that I became President,” considering what he claims was the “corrupt” and “dishonest” media going after him day and night. He isn’t the only one who thinks his being elected president was amazing. But what’s really amazing is that Trump’s glassy-eyed cult followers aren’t repulsed by his constant and cowardly victimhood.

Finally, Trump bragged that he has a “96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party.” The only problem with that is that he absolutely doesn’t. He frequently posts this lie without ever providing a link to his (non-existent) source. But even if his approval was that high, Trump still doesn’t grasp that he’s not supposed to be the president of the GOP. Which isn’t going to help him in the upcoming election. In three years he’s done nothing to expand his tiny base of dimwits, but he’s determinedly sought to exacerbate division and partisan rancor.

So the most egomaniacal president ever spent much of the morning ignoring a still spreading pandemic and tweeting about himself. And his comments revealed that he cares more about that than about the welfare of the American people. But you can still expect him to show up at today’s task force briefing (that he has no business even attending) where he will resume lying, bragging, and yelling petulantly at reporters. Some things – unfortunately – never change.

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

Lying Has Consequences: Poll Shows Americans Trust the Media More than Trump

From the very first days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his compulsion to lie about all things great and small was a dominating feature of his character, or lack thereof. Trump lied about the crowd size at his inauguration, about millions of fraudulent Democratic voters, about his taxes and alleged wealth, and even about his faith. The odds were (and are) pretty good that if Trump is talking, he is lying.

Donald Trump

Now a new poll provides evidence of the consequences of Trump’s pathological prevaricating. After three years of spewing flagrant falsehoods on every subject (more than 16,000 lies documented), it turns out that that isn’t a very good way to establish trust. Who knew? According to the Monmouth University Poll:

“Trump is trusted less as source of information than three cable news outlets – except if you ask Republicans. Nearly half the American public (48%) trusts CNN more than Trump, compared with one-third (35%) who trust Trump more than CNN and another 13% who trust both equally as a source of information.

“The results are similar when Trump is pitted against the left-leaning MSNBC – 45% trust MSNBC more, 32% trust Trump more, and 16% trust both equally. The right-leaning Fox News also bests the president as a trusted information source – 30% trust Fox more and 20% trust Trump more, although a plurality of 37% trust both equally.”

So Americans trust CNN and MSNBC more than they trust Trump, each by a thirteen point margin. If Trump finds out about this, he could have a stroke. The public at large even trust Fox News more than Trump. Although Republicans are “more likely to trust Trump (35%) over Fox News (21%), with 40% trusting both GOP-aligned sources equally.” Which only proves that the Cult of Trump is strong, especially among Fox viewers.

This preference for the press as a credible source of information has been documented in many other polls over the past few years. And a recent poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist reveals that a majority of Americans don’t trust what Trump has been telling them specifically about COVID-19 (coronavirus). That’s not surprising considering the fact that Trump has been callously exploiting the White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefings as a replacement for the campaign rallies that he can’t hold anymore. He has hijacked those briefings for crass political gain and because he needs them to satisfy his ego. Although, it’s obvious to most viewers that he has nothing of substance to contribute, so he wastes time with falsehoods and lavish tributes to himself. Is it any wonder that he isn’t trusted?

As for Fox News, they posted an article on their website about this poll that completely misrepresented the results. The headline bleated that “Monmouth poll gives media lower job approval than Trump amid coronavirus crisis.” That’s technically correct if you ignore the whole of the results. The poll asked if various entities had “done a good job or bad job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.” If you look only at those who said Trump did a good job, he prevailed by 50-45 percent. But those who said he did a bad job (45%), were more than those who said the media did a bad job (43%). So that can hardly be called a victory for Trump.

What’s more, the poll showed that 72% of the American people said that state governors have done a good job. And 65% said that federal health agencies have done a good job. So the people do have confidence in specific leaders and agencies, just not Trump. That, along with Trump’s abysmal showing on trust when compared to the media, is an encouraging sign that the American people are paying attention and will hold those who failed them accountable in November. And that really can’t come too soon.

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

The Virus that Infects Donald Trump: ‘All I See is Hatred of Me’

One thing that has been clear about Donald Trump from the outset of his administration is that he has never exhibited the qualities demanded of the presidency. He lacks the intelligence, compassion, commitment, morality, and humility, that are the hallmarks of leadership. And he has never demonstrated that he has the ability to learn, take responsibility, or to bring the diverse community of Americans together.

Donald Trump, coronavirus

Trump is always about only Trump. He has brazenly profited from his position by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to his own properties. And he has focused his political attention exclusively on advancing his own partisan interests. These are traits that psychiatric professionals have diagnosed as malignant narcissism, a combination of ego-centrism and sociopathy.

The risks of having someone with those mental issues in positions of power are readily apparent. They portend a tendency toward authoritarian behaviors that demand unflinching loyalty and reject competent advice. What’s worse is that when someone like Trump is under pressure, he will cease to behave rationally. His fears will incite ever more defensive and destructive responses to events he is unable to cope with or comprehend. Like a wounded animal, he becomes more desperate and vicious.

That appears to be the state of Trump’s mental decline now. And his Twitter feed is the best evidence of his psychic decay. Late Sunday night Trump tweeted this frightening call for help:

Let’s break that down, shall we? First of all, Trump is confessing that he compulsively consumes news on six television networks and two newspapers that he frequently disparages as “enemies of the people.”. How could he possibly have time to do that and his duties as president as well? Especially during a national emergency brought on by a deadly pandemic.

We already know that much of his time is spent tweeting (dozens of times a day), staging photo-ops with corporate CEOs and supporters, and leading daily press briefings. Never mind that he has no business even attending those briefings considering that he has no relevant knowledge or experience to contribute. To the contrary, he generally disgorges lies and misinformation that others on his staff have to clean up later. Even worse, he diverts the discussion into his petty grievances with reporters or devolves into shameless episodes of self-exaltation or making excuses for his failures. That is, when he isn’t blatantly exploiting the crisis to boost his reelection prospects.

However, the most unambiguous sign of a severe mental breakdown is Trump’s assertion that “all I see is hatred of me.” Really? That’s ALL he sees? He doesn’t see any of the presentations of facts about the crisis in the U.S. and internationally? He doesn’t see any of the medical professionals offering their expertise to educate the public on how to stay safe? He doesn’t see any of the human interest stories and testimony from real people going through the hardships of surviving in these trying times? He doesn’t see the crushing anguish of victims or the inspirational acts of heroes or any of the human stories that define us as a people? He sees only what he perceives as hatred directed solely at him.

The fact that Trump is blind to all of these non-political, educational, uplifting, and heart-wrenching stories, says something unmistakable about him. Even worse, the only things he does see are his paranoid perceptions of the universal hostility that consumes his diseased mind. What sort of person unleashes public declarations that everyone hates him? And what does it say that he lashes out with vengeful visions of his perceived enemies “destroying themselves”? Is this the behavior of a psychologically stable leader? Is it even remotely sane? And how long can America endure the madness of a man who also tweeted this all-caps rant:

Trump is now implying that he would terminate the “social distancing” recommendations by health experts after a totally inadequate 15 day period, simply because he regards the economic impact to be worse than the pandemic itself. Unsurprisingly, Trump contracted this preposterous notion from Fox News. Now he’s putting money before the lives of thousands of Americans. And he’s only doing that because the financial downturn will negatively affect his reelection hopes. If it wasn’t clear before, it most certainly is now: Trump is suffering from a sickness that threatens every American. And if we don’t take the opportunity in November to socially distance ourselves from him and the Republicans he’s infected, we can all expect to be victims of the Trump Virus.

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