POLL: Fox News Viewers are Hopelessly Gaslit Victims of Trump’s Propaganda

The recent release of the redacted version of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller has resulted in a couple of the worst weeks to date for Donald Trump. And that’s despite the fact that much of the most damaging material is still undisclosed. He is being barraged by legal experts who affirm that the report contains ample evidence of crimes and obstruction of justice that warrant consideration of initiating impeachment hearings.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

The public’s view of these matters leans decidedly toward a consensus that Trump is dishonest and likely guilty of criminal offenses. They may be related to the hundreds of contacts by him and his campaign with Russian operatives, or his suppression of documents and testimony that points to his guilt. But there is one notable constituency that is oblivious to the reality of Trump’s wrongdoing: Fox News viewers.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll breaks out the opinions of voters by their cable news preferences. And the disparity between those who watch Fox News and those who watch other networks is profound:

These results reveal that Fox News viewers have totally bought into the propaganda that Trump and his fluffers in the right-wing press feverishly disseminate. They are the victims of deliberate lies that don’t remotely resemble reality. This is evident by the extreme differences among the Fox News viewers with their fellow citizens. If the pro-Trump numbers were just a little higher, that might indicate some measure of media bias. But when the numbers are so radically far apart, that can only be the result of cult-like indoctrination.

It simply is not normal for 69 percent of the viewers of one network to say they aren’t worried about Russian interference in the U.S. election, when less that 50 percent of the viewers of all other networks feel the same way. It’s extraordinary that 50 percent of Fox viewers falsely believe that the Mueller report cleared Trump, when everyone else believes that by less than 25 percent. And how can 61 percent of Fox News viewers say that Trump has been honest about Russia, when less than 30 percent of the rest of the nation says that?

These numbers, of course, are reflected in the overall approval of Trump as president. And once again, 73 percent of Fox News viewers are blindly adoring of Trump, while significant majorities of all other respondents vehemently disapprove. What this tells us is that the Fox News audience is living in an alternate world. They are hypnotically devoted to Trump regardless of what he says or does. They even obediently agree with him when he contradicts himself.

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

And for that reason – along with many others – it is absurd for Democrats to consider gracing Fox News with their presence. It’s ludicrous to lend their credibility to a network that hasn’t earned it. And it makes no sense whatsoever to support a brazenly biased channel that exists – from its inception – to malign them, and whose viewers overwhelmingly despise them.

Sunday’s Trump Tweetstorm Calls First Amendment Illegal, ‘Should Be Tested in Courts’

If it’s Sunday, this Donald Trump’s regularly scheduled Twitter tantrum. Like clockwork, the President is firing off nearly incoherent messages that attack his critics, lie about easily verified matters, and promote his favorite source of propaganda, and the PR division of the Trump White House, Fox News. It’s a display of desperation that only serves to make him appear more guilty and afraid of the coming consequences of his criminal acts.

Donald Trump

Leading off Trump’s parade of polemics is a tweet that reinforces Trump’s long-held aversion to free speech and the First Amendment of the Constitution. We are all familiar with Trump’s denouncement of the press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” and his projectile vomiting of invectives at journalists who have the audacity to report what he actually does and says. And now we have Trump literally threatening to legally censor the media for doing its job:

Does Trump really think that Saturday Night Live is a news program that can be put alongside NBC News as a provider of coverage of his administration? Apparently any media entity that fails to kiss up to the Snowflake-in-Chief is subject to his hostile harangues. But this tweet goes even further to demand that the press be constrained by some legal authority to prostrate itself to what he believes is fair. Every president has had to undergo criticism from both journalists and satirists, but Trump’s skin is way to thin to take it. That’s common for cowards and tyrants who feel the need to control society and suppress those who don’t sufficiently worship Dear Leader.

The rest of Trump’s morning meltdown was equally disturbing. He babbled nonsensically about text messages by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. His rant was lifted from the ultra-rightist webzine The Federalist, which failed to understand the agency’s report regarding the disposition of those texts:

Trump agreed with the Federalist’s phony assertions that the messages were deleted and lost. They weren’t. The agency recovered and preserved them after a temporary tech glitch. But this triggered his knee-jerk outcry of “Witch Hunt” which he continued in another tweet:

What Trump calls “breaking in” is more commonly referred to as the accumulation of evidence by law enforcement. And the subject of the investigation, Trump’s lawyer, complimented the FBI as “extremely professional, courteous and respectful,” and later pleaded guilty to the charges against him. What’s more, Cohen unambiguously fingered Trump as being the facilitator of the crimes in his case. That’s surely what Trump is really mad about.

As for the bit about Hillary Clinton’s server, she voluntarily gave the FBI a complete copy of it, so they had no need to take physical possession. But having no legal ground to stand on, Trump resorted to dredging up old stories about his nemesis, President Obama.

Trump is falsely claiming that Obama’s immigration policies were “far worse” than what the Trump administration has done by grotesquely seperating children from their parents (which he’s still doing, and even justifying it). That’s demonstrably untrue. It was only Trump’s policy to charge every asylum seeker with felonies that resulted in the separations. And if that obvious attempt at misdirection wasn’t sufficient to deflect attention from his problems, Trump also tried this one:

Really? Ken Starr? He headed up the persecution of the Clintons twenty years ago, and after finding no evidence of any crime, started to dig into Bill Clinton’s sex life. He’s hardly a credible source for anything having to do with Trump’s criminal behavior. And naturally, Trump saw Starr’s comments while watching Fox News.

This frantic outburst on Twitter is just the latest example of a mind that is utterly warped by the trepidation of being caught having committed a historic crime spree. And in utter distress due to the gloomy fate that awaits him, Trump is lashing out like the wounded vermin that he is. And while every untrue utterance he made is bad enough for the nation to be worried about his mental degradation, his calls to punish the press are the most troubling.

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

Trump is acting out the behavior of a fallen dictator desperately trying to hang on to whatever power he has left. But with the walls of justice closing in around him, he has nowhere to hide. A recent report notes that every entity that he has headed – the Trump Org, Trump Foundation, Trump campaign, Trump transition team, Trump inaugural committee, and the Trump White House – are under investigation. When he does go down, he’s going to go down hard.

LATE BREAKING: Trump must not be very busy presidenting today because he posted four more tweets this afternoon (so far).

One was a demand to watch a Fox News interview of conspiracy crackpot Jerome Corsi.

Then two more (here and here), also triggered by Fox News, were about former Trump advisor, and confessed felon, Michael Flynn being “persecuted” by Robert Mueller. Of particular note was Trump saying that Jeff Sessions “should be ashamed of himself” for allowing the “HOAX” to get started. So should Trump’s new Acting AG Whitaker also be ashamed for not stopping it?

And finally, Trump added a tweet that was just boilerplate “Witch Hunt” bashing and denying his collusion. You know, like all innocent people do obsessively.

White House Shills Flagrantly Lie About Trump Hobbling the FBI Probe of Kavanaugh

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday at the White House as Donald Trump dispatches his surrogates to the Sunday morning news programs to assure America’s Deplorables that everything is fine despite the political fires raging all around them.

Donald Trump

The topic of the day is undoubtedly the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. His recent testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did nothing to exonerate him. But he did reveal himself to be a hot headed, ultra-partisan who traffics in preposterous conspiracy theories and has no aversion to lying about himself or others.

As a result of that hearing, rogue Republican Sen. Jeff Flake concluded that he could not vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless there was an FBI investigation into the charges. So Trump was reluctantly forced to comply and instructed the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background check. Unfortunately, our relentlessly deceitful president sought to game the system by putting harsh restrictions on what the FBI could look into. After this underhanded tactic was exposed, Trump whined on Twitter that it wasn’t true. He accused NBC News of having “incorrectly reported” the story, even though it was also reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

On the Sunday Circus of news shows, Trump’s surrogates are now making the rounds to reinforce his false claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that “The White House is not micromanaging this process,” and that “the Senate is dictating the terms.” And Senior White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway had this exchange with Jake Tapper of CNN:

Conway: The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way. The president very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels, as he said last night, that they should be looking at anything they feel is credible within this limited scope.
Tapper: What does that mean, ‘within this limited scope’?
Conway: That’s up to the FBI. In other words, I’m not involved in those specific conversations.

Of course none of those protestations were true. NBC’s follow up reporting on the matter reiterated that:

“The FBI has received no new instructions from the White House about how to proceed with its weeklong investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a senior U.S. official and another source familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

“According to the sources, the president’s Saturday night tweet saying he wants the FBI to interview whoever agents deem appropriate has not changed the limits imposed by the White House counsel’s office on the FBI investigation — including a specific witness list that does not include Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school.”

And furthermore…

“A White House official made clear that the White House is the client in this process. This is not an FBI criminal investigation — it is a background investigation in which the FBI is acting on behalf of the White House. Procedurally, the White House does not allow the FBI to investigate as it sees fit, the official acknowledged; the White House sets the parameters.”

The conservative, Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal affirmed NBC’s reporting that:

“it was unlikely that the shape of the investigation would change without official communication from the White House that it wanted the bureau to interview other people beyond the list already provided.”

So that’s confirmation that the White House is calling the shots and that they did provide a list of approved witnesses. Clearly Trump is determined to insure that whatever investigation is conducted will not be thorough or impartial. He’s deliberately stacking the deck against Dr. Ford to protect his tainted nominee. That raises the question of whether this process will satisfy Sen. Flake who initiated it. If it doesn’t, he may vote against confirming Kavanaugh, which could sink the nomination.

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

There is also the possibility that the FBI will consider itself empowered to explore any matter that is raised during their investigation, which could include the other witnesses as well as Kavanaugh’s truthfulness during his congressional testimony. There’s abundant evidence that Kavanaugh did perjure himself. So there are significant speed bumps on the road to Kavanaugh’s seat on the Supreme Court. And with any luck this nomination will crash and burn.

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.