Sexual Predator Donald Trump Hypocritically Threatens NBC’s ‘License’ Over Weinstein Story

As his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is being grilled in the Senate, it appears that Donald Trump is striving mightily to shift attention back to himself. So naturally he’s emulating the totalitarian policies of censorship and oppression, especially with regard to the media, that he admires so much. He frequently refers to the press as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase lifted straight from Stalin era tyranny. And even after being schooled on the historical horrors of his reference, Trump persists in his flagrantly anti-constitutional harangues.

Donald Trump, Censorship

On Tuesday morning, during his regularly scheduled Twitter tirade, Trump took another swipe at the press in the most appalling terms. Beginning with his incessant repetition of his now tedious “fake news” rhetoric, Trump launches into a peculiar criticism of NBC News for their handling of Ronan Farrow’s groundbreaking expose of Harvey Weinstein:

To be sure, there were some problems with how the network dealt with the allegations Farrow unveiled. NBC’s brass did not seem to be especially supportive of his efforts. Farrow charges that they tried to prevent him from proceeding with his investigation. NBC, however, claims that they just didn’t think the story was sufficiently documented. But the network didn’t try to interfere with Farrow taking the story to another publisher. In fact, according to Farrow, they suggested it. Subsequently, Farrow’s story ignited the #MeToo movement that has brought accountability to dozens of cretinous characters in the media, business, and politics. And it isn’t over.

What makes this so unbelievable is the shocking obliviousness on Trump’s part to reignite the Weinstein scandal. Of all the people to traffic in the sewer of sexual harassment and assault, Trump would be at or near the bottom of the list. After all, there are still outstanding allegations of the most repugnant misconduct by Trump from at least sixteen women (see video below). These charges have never been properly investigated and Trump has not been held accountable, as others in public life have.

When the President of the United States is credibly charged with actual sex crimes, it ought to be addressed in the press, the Congress, and especially the courts. But Trump has been given a free pass for his assaultive acts. For him to raise the matter of similar behavior by others is an Olympic-grade feat of suppression of self-awareness and shame.

And to make matters worse, Trump adds to the remarkably amoral mindset that led to this tweet by using it as reason to punish NBC via what he calls a “Look at their license.” What exactly does he intend to look at? There is no government authority that grants licenses to news organizations permitting them to engage in journalism. In fact, the Constitution explicitly prohibits it. Perhaps Trump was aiming at the licenses of local broadcasters. But even Trump’s own FCC chief, Ajit Pai, rebuked Trump’s prior license revocation fantasies saying that “The FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content.”

So Trump is, once again, just mouthing off in total ignorance as he attempts to threaten the media and chill any effort to criticize him. That isn’t going to work any better now than it has worked in all of his previous attempts at censorship. It just certifies that he is a wannabe dictator who aspires to silence any dissenting voices, much the way his heroes, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un, have done in their countries, where free speech is a crime against the state. Consequently, Trump will have to be satisfied with his version of State TV, aka Fox News.

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

Frantic Gaslighting: Trump Accuses Lester Holt of ‘Fudging’ Interview Where He Incriminated Himself

Thursday morning most of the media was focused on the first public memorial service for the late Sen. John McCain. So as the nation was united in paying tribute to McCain, Donald Trump naturally took to his Twitter throne and fired off a series of frighteningly incoherent outbursts at what he regards as “the enemy of the people.” It’s his way of continuing to show contempt for a man that had the audacity to challenge him.

Donald Trump

The substance of Thursdays’ tweetstorm was typically centered on his aversion to, and fear of, the free press and the Constitution. He began by taking a swipe at a perennial foe, CNN. Trump lashed out at the network’s boss, Jeff Zucker, and called on AT&T to fire him. Think about that. The president of the United States is issuing orders to a private company in order to control their executive management. That’s pretty much the definition of fascism.

But Trump didn’t stop there. The next tweet in the tantrum was aimed at NBC and their news anchor, Lester Holt. What Trump said was obviously pulled from the recesses of a deeply disturbed mind. It was based on nothing resembling reality, but it did serve to advance his mission to Make America Stupid Again:

This is a perfect example of Trump disseminating utter bullcrap to his pathetic and glassy-eyed cult followers who will believe anything Dear Leader disgorges. The interview with Holt was not “fudged” in any way, and Trump offers no evidence to support his charge. The entire interview is posted online for all to see. Trump’s sole purpose in hurling this lie is to mitigate the fact that he incriminated himself in that interview. Trump told Holt that he fired FBI director James Comey because of the Russia investigation.

So Trump literally confessed to obstruction of justice on national television. Now he’s trying to back out of it by saying the interview was doctored. But everyone knows that he’s making that up out of pure desperation. And by doing so he only makes things worse by being so transparently dishonest and by bringing attention back to his guilt. Even Fox News was taken aback by Trump’s glaringly false allegation.

Trump continued his Twitter tirade with a more generalized attack on what he called the “totally dishonest” media. He said that “Truth doesn’t matter to them,” and that “they only have their hatred & agenda.” This is coming from the man who has been documented as telling more than 4,200 lies since his poorly attended inauguration (which he lied about). And he’s also the man whose whole presidency has been marinated in hate and bigotry. He can’t go a single day without tossing around vicious and infantile insults at anyone he perceives as insufficiently worshipful.

Finally (for the time being), Trump circled back around to CNN to reiterate some completely fake allegations about a recent story concerning his troubles with his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, had told CNN that Cohen might tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the President knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians before it occurred. Davis later backpedaled and said that he could not actually confirm that. Note that he did not say it wasn’t true, only that he was no longer comfortable with the comment. That’s probably because it could put his client in legal jeopardy because it contradicted what Cohen told Congress.

Subsequently, Trump, Fox News, and other rightist media began accusing CNN of flubbing the story. But they actually got it right. It was Davis who admits that he made a statement that he would no longer stand by. That isn’t CNN’s fault, especially since they also had other sources corroborating their reporting. They continue stand by the story.

The fact that Trump would take this time, as the nation is still mourning the passing of John McCain, to trot out his self-serving delusions, is indicative of his utter lack of character and class. He simply isn’t able to allow anyone else to have the spotlight for a day or two. But the ludicrous charge that Lester Holt tampered with the video of his interview shows that Trump will propound any lie, no matter how outrageous and unfounded, to deceive the nation. And that sort of dishonesty has been the hallmark of his tenure so far in the White House.

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

Fox News Reports Poll Showing Democrats are ‘Out of Step’, But Guess What They Left Out

The deliberate deceit and hostility of Fox News is escalating as Donald Trump gets closer to being tossed into the dustbin of history. With special counsel Robert Mueller progressing toward the inevitable report of Trump’s criminality, and former insiders like Michael Cohen preparing to truth bomb the President, the weasels at Fox News are just getting more desperate in the most obvious and embarrassing ways.

Fox News Lies

On Saturday’s episode of the Greg Gutfeld show, the eponymous host (who thinks he’s a comedian) introduced the program with the “shocking” results of an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. [Note: Fox and Friends misused the same poll] Among other things it revealed that a majority of respondents (56% to 33%) said that Democrats are “out of step with most Americans’ thinking” That’s a pretty lousy number that indicates some trouble for the party. Although it doesn’t reflect the manner in which Democrats are disconnecting. While Fox News and the GOP want you to think it’s a condemnation of the Party’s embrace of lefties like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it could be just as easily that they think the Party isn’t embracing them tightly enough.

But what really makes this Fox News segment ludicrous is that they left out another significant result from the poll. Republicans were also deemed to be out of touch, and by a slightly larger margin (57% to 33%). For some reason that statistic was never mentioned on Fox News. Go figure.

In addition to this dissemination of blatantly distorted news, Fox also failed to mention everything else in the poll that revealed how badly the Trump administration is at odds with the American people. For instance:

  • They believe Trump’s tariffs will hurt, not help the economy (46-25)
  • Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice should continue (46-38)
  • Trump is too friendly with Vladimir Putin (46-39)
  • Russia is an adversary, not an ally (72-16)
  • Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election (65-26)
  • The interference by the Russians affected the outcome of the election (41-18)

Since Fox News went to the trouble of citing this poll, they ought to have reported the results more completely. And particularly with regard to the question of how badly Americans think the Republican Party is out of touch. But then again, Fox has never been known to responsibly cover the news, so why should they start now?

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

With the midterm elections coming up you can count on Fox to lie profusely about the issues and to smother Trump with accolades. Trump has promised to campaign on behalf of GOP candidates “six to seven days a week when we’re sixty days out.” So he’s effectively abdicating his presidency. And Fox News will devotedly air every single one of Trump’s boring, mindlessly repetitive rally speeches in their entirety. Which is certain to increase the incidence of cognitive infirmity among his glassy-eyed Deplorables.

Trump Calls the Media ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’ – But America Trusts the Media More

This is getting monotonous. Once again Donald Trump has lashed out at the free press and exhibited his utter contempt for the Constitution. In a Wednesday afternoon tweet the President made his position clear – again – about what he regards as the “biggest enemy” of the country. And it isn’t murderous dictators like Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin.

Donald Trump

The tweet that Trump posted was a response to his critics who correctly pointed out that his meeting with Kim produced nothing for the United States, but gave Kim everything he hoped for. Kim was able to stand next to the leader of the free world as an equal with the international diplomatic legitimacy that he craved. He got Trump to call off military exercises with South Korea, leaving us, as well as our allies, unprepared for whatever potential risks exist in the region. Trump even promised to remove the sanctions on North Korea before any action to denuclearize on Kim’s part.

The United States, however, got nothing but empty promises from a known liar – or liars (Kim and Trump). And Trump slammed unnamed (nonexistent) critics who he said “would have ‘begged’ for this deal-looked like war would break out.” But the only threat of war came from Trump himself. And now that he’s cozying up to Kim he wants credit for ending the crisis he manufactured. The tweet said:

The most troubling part of that deranged outburst is that Trump is repeating a dangerously anti-American rant that he has embraced for months. By calling CNN and NBC the biggest of America’s enemies he’s proving that he doesn’t understand foreign affairs or the risk scenarios that this country faces. He is completely wrapped up in his ego-bubble that informs him that only criticism of him is an actual threat. That could end up being a tragic mistake for the welfare of the nation.

Setting aside how delusional and perilous Trump’s paranoid fantasies are, they are also contradicted by hard data. A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows that the media that Trump detests so much is held in much higher esteem by the American people. The survey asked voters who they trust more, Trump or a variety of news enterprises. Here is a summary of who is more trusted:

  • CNN: 53% / Trump: 38%
  • NBC: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • ABC: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • CBS: 53% / Trump: 39%
  • New York Times: 52% / Trump: 38%
  • Washington Post: 51% / Trump: 38%
  • Fox News: 32% / Trump: 26%
  • Media: 48% / Sarah Huckabee Sanders: 35%

The trust of the media is pretty constant no matter the source. It’s a clear majority in the low fifties. The lack of trust for Trump is also consistently dismal in the upper thirties. Even poor Sarah Sanders is regarded as less credible than the media she lies to on a daily basis. The one anomaly in the group is Fox News. That’s likely because the survey respondents couldn’t decide who they trust most or least because they couldn’t tell the two apart. But even Fox News media correspondent Howard Kurtz says Trump’s media bashing has gone too far.

There was plenty of other bad news for Trump in this survey. For instance, Democratic voters are more excited about the upcoming election than Republicans. And voters overall prefer Democrats to the GOP. Trump’s approval still can’t crack forty percent. He’s considered dishonest, a liar, mentally unbalanced, in cahoots with Russia, and that he hasn’t made America great again.

The people think Trump should resign if proof emerges that he was working with Russia. They don’t want him to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or pardon himself. A plurality believe he should be impeached. And by wide margins people want a DACA bill passed, but do not want a wall along the Mexican border. His views on gun reforms are rejected by most Americans. And every Democrat posed as a 2020 challenger defeats him.

Other than that it’s clear sailing for Trump. And these results come after two years of endless bashing of Democrats and progressive policies by the President on Twitter and his State TV colleagues on Fox News. No wonder Trump thinks the biggest enemy is the media. Because it’s his enemy. Not because it’s biased against him. But because anything that might reveal more of his deceit and corruption is going to anger him. And that’s the only thing he cares about. And it’s also something that he has no control over, which only exacerbates his rage.

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

Donald Trump, Who Has No Time for TV, Thinks It’s ‘So Funny to Watch Fake News Networks’

The most anti-media president in the history of the country is once again attacking the free press. Donald Trump spent Monday morning posting racist tweets filled with lies about immigration and DACA, but that’s another story. In the midst of his tantrum he couldn’t help inserting a tweet reaffirming his aversion to the press and propping up a media enterprise that rivals Fox News for its sycophantic propagandizing.

Donald Trump

The tweet in question was utterly devoid of any factual information. It was wholly an effort to defend Sinclair Broadcasting, a right-wing tool of the administration and the GOP. Sinclair recently distributed a script to its nearly 200 stations nationwide that they forced their anchors to recite. And the folks at Deadspin put together a video collage of the groupthink editorial that went ultra-viral (video below). So of course Trump had to drop whatever he was doing (golfing? tweeting? Watching Fox News? Certainly not working) and come to Sinclair’s defense. He tweeted:

Yeah, it was hysterical. It’s always a laugh riot to see what happens when fascist media outlets order their employees to read Goebbels-inspired, Trump-approved doctrine against their will. Many of the Sinclair anchors were repulsed by the mandatory script, but fearing retribution, could only say so anonymously. One troubled reporter did however make his displeasure known in a tweet:

In case you didn’t notice, that’s a reporter from a local station in Los Angeles that’s owned by Fox News. Let that sink in. A Fox News reporter is disgusted by Sinclair for pushing biased garbage. That’s how low Sinclair has sunk with their latest homage to Dear Leader Trump. It isn’t exactly a tribute to the First Amendment. Or as comedian John Oliver says:

“Nothing says we value independent media like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult.”

The President’s tweet may aim to support Sinclair’s journalistic integrity, but it’s actually additional proof that Sinclair is a mouthpiece for the administration. Any reputable news enterprise would find it distinctly uncomfortable to be hailed for their supplication to a political leader. That’s not their job. Real journalists are dedicated to covering government aggressively to root out corruption and self-dealing. Fox News has made a name for itself as the nation’s top Trump-fluffer and, consquently, isn’t taken seriously by their journalistic peers. Sinclair is now attempting to challenge Fox to see who adores the President more.

What’s peculiar about Trump’s tweet (besides everything about it) is that it indicates that he watches a significant amount of what he calls “fake” news. He explicitly says that watching CNN and NBC News is “funny” to him. But he still has time available to watch Sinclair broadcasts which he praises as “superior.” Which raises questions about his remarks earlier this year wherein he insisted that:

“Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television. People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents. A lot.”

That contradicts what White House insiders told The New York Times. They say that Trump spends at least four hours a day watching TV, and sometimes as much as eight hours. The evidence of that is often demonstrated by Trump’s Twitter feed. It is full of instances where he’s tweeting about something that he just watched on Fox and Friends. Plus, he is in frequent communication with Fox News shills like Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro. And that’s not even counting the Fox yakkers who Trump has appointed to White House jobs.

UPDATE: Trump continued his tantrum on Tuesday with another unhinged tweet:

Says the Liar-In-Chief. Honest observers of the media know that the only fake news networks that “knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA” are Fox News, Sinclair, and their ilk. But it’s typical of Trump to accuse others of what he and his pals are guilty.

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

For your viewing pleasure via Deadspin: How America’s largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump’s war on the media.

Trump Aide Huckabee-Sanders Accuses the Press Corps of ‘Leaking Out Classified Information’

The daily White House press briefing has become a predictably contentious affair during the presidency of Donald Trump. His press secretaries, first Sean Spice and now Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, operate more like defense attorneys for Trump than public servants. And the briefing held on Monday affirmed that twisted perversion of the relationship between the White House and the people.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

Not surprisingly, much of the briefing focused on the weekend’s disturbing news regarding Trump’s staff secretary, Rob Porter, who was fired (or resigned depending on which story you believe) due to reports of his having assaulted his former wives. Trump’s only public comments on the matter were to offer praise for Porter and best wishes for his future. Trump shockingly expressed his sympathy for how sad it was for Porter, without mentioning the suffering of the victims.

Sanders was asked by several reporters about why Trump would not personally address the plight of the victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She could not offer an explanation for his deafening silence except to say that the President “supports the victims of any type of domestic violence, but the President also supports due process. And I don’t have anything else further to add beyond that.” When asked why he couldn’t just say that himself she said that he told her and that she’s telling the media, and that that was the end of the story.

Later, Sanders was asked if Trump still wishes Porter well, and hopes that he has a great career ahead. Her painfully tone deaf response was that “the President wants success for all Americans, and that he was elected to serve all Americans, and he hopes for the best for all American citizens across the country.” And apparently that goes for wife-beaters and other criminals as well. Good to know.

Addressing another angle of the Porter affair, NBC’s White House correspondent, Kristen Welker, sought to sail down some inconsistencies in the White House’s explanations for the lack of security clearances by top Trump officials. She engaged Sanders in the following exchange (video below):

Welker: Why are high-level aides allowed to work with classified information without a permanent security clearance?
Sanders: That’s a question that the FBI and other intelligence communities — they make that determination. That’s not something that’s decided by the White House.
Welker: Can you guarantee that you are protecting classified information given that you have someone like Rob Porter who didn’t have a permanent security clearance to access classified information?
Sanders: I think we’re doing and taking every step we can to protect classified information. I mean, frankly, if you guys have such concern with classified information, there’s plenty of it that’s leaked out of the Hill, that’s leaked out of other communities well beyond the White House walls. If you guys have real concerns about leaking out classified information, look around this room. You guys are the ones that publish classified information and put national security at risk that doesn’t come from this White House.

First of all, it is absolutely not the determination of the FBI whether the White House provides access to classified information to people without proper security credentials. That decision was made solely by the President. But more troubling is the way that Sanders deflected her answer to level scurrilous allegations at the press. The problem with unsecured persons receiving classified information isn’t just that they might leak it to the media. It’s that they might leak it to other unsecured persons, or even hostile foreign operatives. In addition, they could be subject to blackmail and present a serious national security risk.

But Sanders avoided all of that in favor of insulting the press. She had absolutely no evidence of anyone in the White House press corps leaking classified information. But she leveled that accusation as if it were a verified fact. What’s more, the press cannot leak anything at all. They can only report information that is leaked to them. They can be the recipients of leaks, not the originators. And the originators, contrary to what Sanders said, are in the White House.

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

The utterly irresponsible accusations by Sanders were unsupported by any proof of wrongdoing by reporters. And if she has “real concerns about leaking out classified information,” she should look to her colleagues in the administration. They are the ones who provide information to the press, and reporters are just doing their jobs when they inform the public. Sadly, that is often the only to get information to the people in this administration. Trump and company have been notoriously determined to keep deep, dark secrets like tax returns, financial backers, and clandestine meetings with Russians.

Impeach Now: Trump’s Hateful, Deranged Twitter Tirade Affirms His Total Mental Collapse

Where’s the bottom? Donald Trump is rapidly declining into a state of utter psychological incapacitation. The evidence has been apparent for years. But since becoming president the severity of his disturbance just keeps getting worse. It is unthinkable that such a diseased mind can actually occupy a position at the helm of the greatest power on Earth.

Donald Trump

This is not a common case of partisan political differences. Trump is spiraling into a profoundly dark space wherein nothing but his ego and grim hallucinations govern official acts. In just the past few days he has raged about not being chosen Time Magazine’s Person of the Year; he insulted soldiers deployed in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving; and his anti-media tweet helped slave traders in Libya.

This is not normal. It’s dangerous. And it’s getting worse. On Tuesday there were reports that he is regressing back to his birther beliefs that President Obama is Muslim born in Kenya. He is even telling confidants that the Access Hollywood video, where he bragged about committing sexual assault, isn’t him. That’s after he previously admitted that it was and apologized (just before hyping his new hotel).

On Wednesday morning Trump devolved further into his dementia. A series of tweets show that he is unarguably unfit to serve as president. Some of them were a continuation of his campaign against the free press. For instance:

Many politicians have had disputes with the media, but no president has ever advocated boycotting a particular network because he didn’t approve of the coverage. What’s more, Trump’s boycott threat is somewhat absurd considering that he has been doing that for nearly a year already.

Next Trump dived into the issue of sexual harassment with tweets about the firing of Matt Lauer. The irony is thick considering his own disgusting record of abuse and assault. However, typical of his malady, he drifted manically off the subject:

Trump’s repetitive whining about “fake news” is just getting tedious. He never actually proves any of his complaints, or even offers examples. It’s just a mindless flood of invective aimed at his perceived enemies. In this case, no one knows what the hell he’s referring to with regard to NBC News chairman Andy Lack or the others that he thinks should all be “terminated.” However, his swipe at Joe Scarborough is more proof that he’s living in a fantasy world. The incident that he wants investigated is neither a mystery nor unsolved.

Furthermore, it’s his favorite network, Fox News, that is by far the most mired in sexual harassment and abuse. It has already jettisoned its CEO (Roger Ailes), it’s biggest star (Bill O’Reilly), and several other prominent figures on the air and in the executive suites. The culture of misogyny continues at Fox with daily segments that disparage women on the news and their own personnel.

Where Trump really exhibits serious mental infirmity that calls into question his sanity is with his tweets of videos of alleged Muslim violence. The problem is that he’s retweeting a notorious British Islamophobe and an official with Britain First, a white nationalist organization. She is a convicted racist who has previously posted content that was proven to be hoaxes. Naturally, none of the videos in Trump’s tweets were verified as authentic.

Why would the President of the United States disseminate dubious materials whose only purpose is to incite hatred and violence? Trump would never post videos of the vast majority of responsible Muslims helping their community or country. He is focused squarely on creating more hate and division. It’s an obsession. Even the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, lashed out at Trump’s recklessness saying that “Britain First seeks to divide communities in their use of hateful narratives which pedal lies and stoke tensions. […] It is wrong for the President to have done this.”

On top of that, Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, is an enabler of Trump’s lunacy. When asked about the sketchy source for the videos he retweeted she gave an almost unimaginably obtuse reply:

“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about. That’s what the president is focused on.”

She is actually saying that it doesn’t matter if the videos are fake. This from the administration that constantly (and dishonestly) calls all media, except for Fox News, fake. Never mind that. Trump is allowed to promote phony videos any time he wants, even if they are openly bigoted hoaxes intended to incite violence.

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

The longer Trump is in office, the more perilous America’s future. If he doesn’t start a war with North Korea or Iran, he’ll incite white riots here at home. His muddled brain is too dysfunctional to perform his job and, if special counsel Robert Mueller doesn’t take him out of the game, then Congress and any sane members of the administration have to do it. And judging by the rapid descent he is showing, they don’t have much time.

Watch Trump say that Obama never called Gold Star families, then blame his generals for that lie

The catalog of lies accumulated by Donald Trump has broken all records. The Washington Post has compiled more than 1,100 just since his inauguration. No one who values honest discourse can pretend that this president engages in it. It’s an embarrassment and a stain on America’s reputation that may take decades to erase.

McMaster Trump

Perhaps the most repulsive lies are those that touch on the tragic fatalities of American soldiers. So naturally that’s precisely the course Trump took on Monday in an impromptu press conference (video below). He intended to address the media following a meeting with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. And he began by lying about what a tremendous relationship they have. But Trump was later asked about why, after twelve days, he had not bothered to make any public comment about four Green Berets who died in an ambush in Niger. His rambling, nearly incoherent response was filled with falsehoods:

“I’ve written them personal letters,” he began. “They’ve been sent, or will be going out tonight.” Less than a minute later he contradicted himself, saying the letters would be going out “either today or tomorrow.” Then, while pontificating about how “tough” it is for him, he said that he still plans to call the parents of the deceased:

“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

First of all, You have to wonder what makes him “able” to make these calls. He has been golfing at his luxury resorts five times since the soldiers were killed. So obviously that cut into whatever time he had for this presidential duty. But more importantly, his assertion that other presidents didn’t make such calls was a blatant lie. Every president in modern history has done so.

Trump’s remarks are disrespectful to both the former presidents and the Gold Star families who expect honest and sincere sympathies. A few minutes later, Peter Alexander of NBC News pressed Trump on his statement:

Alexander: “Earlier you said that President Obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. How can you make that claim?
Trump: I don’t know if he did. No, no, no. I was told that he didn’t often, and a lot of presidents don’t. They write letters. I do a combination of both. Sometimes it’s a very difficult thing to do, but I do a combination of both. President Obama, I think probably did sometimes. And maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told. All I can do is ask my generals.”

WTF was that? Trump started to walk back his original lie. But then he tap danced back to it to say that Obama didn’t call, or did, or didn’t. Or who knows? And it’s just so darn difficult for him. Finally, Trump laid the blame on the generals who are advising him. So if there is anything wrong in what he says, it’s their fault. Remember, these are the generals that he said he knows more than.

The take away from this press conference is that Trump doesn’t know whether or not other presidents have called Gold Star families. Also, that he thinks his generals are feeding him lies. And he never gave an answer as to why it took him twelve days to acknowledge the sacrifice of these soldiers. But none of that will stop this five-time draft-dodger from exploiting the military tomorrow for a photo-op. And then declaring himself the biggest supporter they have ever known. Believe me.

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

Trump Threatens NBC’s Broadcast License in a Straight-Up Tyrannical Move

Determined to emulate his hero, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump has issued a threat that brazenly violates the Constitutional guarantee of a free press. In a couple of utterly idiotic tweets, Trump threatened to challenge NBC’s broadcast license.

Donald Trump

Make no mistake, this is what dictators do. They begin by criticizing the media and ridiculing honest journalists. But they eventually resort to outright censorship and government control. Trump has already been lashing out at the press for years. But his repetitive and tedious cries of “fake news” are actually just whining about stories that he doesn’t like. These are his tweets Wednesday morning:


And This Just In: Another tweet:

First of all, Trump offers no support for his contention that NBC’s story is untrue. NBC is standing by the story which had numerous sources affirming the information. This is typical of Trump’s infantile reaction to anything remotely critical. His fragile ego is constantly on the brink of crumbling.

Secondly, Trump’s threat is another example of his Olympic-grade stupidity. If anyone still doubts that Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson called him a moron, you can set those doubts aside. The problem with Trump’s threat to challenge NBC’s license is that the government does not license television networks. There is no license to revoke. The FCC does license individual TV stations and requires them to serve in the public interest. There’s is no way that Trump could have the licenses pulled from every NBC affiliate throughout the country.

Even if Trump were dumb enough to pursue this, he would have to show that each affiliate deliberately broadcast false information that they knew was untrue. Of course, the network most guilty of doing that is Fox News. If that’s the standard being applied then let’s get Fox off the air ASAP. [NOTE: That isn’t possible either because the FCC rules apply only to broadcast television, not to cable].

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

So once again Trump has demonstrated that he is painfully stupid. And in the process he reaffirmed his devotion to authoritarian control of the media and government. He is clearly unfit to be president and is a danger to the country for this and many other reasons. That’s why an anxious nation is impatiently waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his investigation and for Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings. It can’t happen too soon.

Megyn Kelly Is Ditching Fox News For NBC. Watch Her Greatest ‘Hits’ Here

The new year has begun with some bad news for Fox News. Their second highest rated host just announced that she will be leaving the network for a new gig at NBC News. Friday will be Megyn Kelly’s last day on Fox. And while she will be gone from Fox, she leaves behind a legacy of disreputable “journalism” that won’t be forgotten. For example:

Megyn Kelly

1) Kelly was a devoted soldier in the war against the so-called “The Ground Zero Mosque.” Never mind that it was not a mosque and was several blocks from ground zero. She anchored a report that implied, without evidence, that its Muslim real estate developer, Sharif El-Gamal, was corrupt.

2) Kelly thought she had broken a scandalous story of voter fraud in Colorado. And it would have been a great scoop except for the fact that none of it was true.

3) Demonstrating the inbred racism that is emblematic of Fox News, Kelly utterly misrepresented a story of police brutality. She demeaned an African-America teenage victim as being “not a saint.” Which was starkly different from how she described a white sexual abuser.

4) Who can forget the time that a group of protesters were viciously assaulted by a rogue cop with pepper spray? On that occasion, Kelly downplayed the significance of the incident. She said that “It’s a derivative of actual pepper, it’s a food product, essentially.” Indeed it is. And waterboarding is actually done with water. So no big deal.

5) And then there’s my personal favorite. In a Christmas segment, Kelly was concerned that some kids might get the wrong idea about Santa Clause and Jesus. So she stepped up to assure them that both were undeniably white.

This is just a taste of the sort of journalistic credibility for which NBC is likely paying a substantial premium. In addition to the video samples above, there were many more examples from her Fox tenure. There was the time she moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts.” But were actually cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release. And the time she reported confirmation that the Boston marathon bomber had been arrested, while her on-screen graphics contradicted her.

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

Kelly studiously cultivates an image as a straight up news reporter. She once told Jay Leno that she is “not one of the opinion hosts at Fox News,” However, Media Matters conducted a survey of Kelly’s program and found that she “has hosted conservatives (56%) significantly more often than progressives (18%) and has surpassed even Fox’s Hannity in its divide between guests on the left and right.” So NBC has to know what they are getting with their new star. And that tells us something about where we can expect NBC to go as the Era of Trump takes shape.