Hannity Repeatedly Called for Mueller to Be Fired in June 2017 When Trump Tried to Fire Him (Video)

Thursday night the New York Times released a disturbing story about Donald Trump’s ongoing malfeasance in office. The news that Trump ordered his White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller was another confirmation of the President’s attempt to obstruct justice and punish anyone he perceived to be a threat. The fact that the firing was only averted because McGahn refused to comply and threatened to quit doesn’t lessen the breach of law and ethics.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Not surprisingly, Fox News was contemporaneously backing Trump at the time without disclosing their collusion with the White House. Media Matters looked back and found video of the biggest Trump-fluffer on Fox News, Sean Hannity, advocating for the resignation, recusal, or termination of the special counsel.

Was it a coincidence that Hannity was speed-ranting about firing Mueller at exactly the same time that Trump was trying to do that? The tally per Media Matters was that Hannity pressed these attacks at least 111 times last June.

Trump was asked about the New York Times report while in Davos for the World Economic Forum. He casually sneered at the camera with his customary and tedious complaint that it’s “Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories.” However Trump is ignoring that the story was confirmed by NBC, Politico, the Washington Post, CNN, and even Fox News. So is Fox now fake news to Trump as well? He didn’t say.

And don’t expect Fox News to bring it up. They barely covered the story when it broke on Thursday, or the following morning. And when they did cover it they dismissed it as the media being anti-Trump and using unreliable anonymous sources. However, the best presentation of Fox’s determination to defend Trump at all costs came with Hannity (of course), who was in the middle of his program when the news broke. At first Hannity predictably rejected the story as the media attacking his perfect president. But shortly thereafter Fox’s Ed Henry reported that his own source confirmed what the Times reported. Hannity’s reaction was priceless. He quickly went from “Fake news,” to “OK, it’s real news,” to “Oh look, a car crash.”

The fact that Hannity was so adamant about Mueller’s termination last June cannot be disregarded as an accident. Mueller had only been appointed in May, so there was hardly time for Hannity to get worked up about his investigation. There had to have been some incentive for him to go ballistic in so short a period of time. And since we know that Trump and Hannity talk often, it is likely that Trump encouraged Hannity to go after Mueller to justify him getting axed by Trump. In fact, Hannity’s smear campaign of Mueller last June is just further affirmation of the New York Times’ reporting that Trump was (and is) after Mueller’s scalp.

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

Missing From Trump’s ‘Dishonest and Corrupt Media’ Awards: Any Dishonesty or Corruption

It will come as no surprise that Donald Trump’s latest media stunt turned out to be just another narcissistic waste of time and energy. Back on January 2, Trump posted an announcement on Twitter that he would be hosting what he called “The Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards of the Year.” It was an ironic choice considering his well documented proclivity for lying. But undeterred by facts or shame, Trump eventually went ahead with his award ceremony.

Donald Trump

Having been forewarned that this gala affair would run afoul of ethics laws if it was produced by the White House, Trump handed it off to a compliant Republican Party Politburo. The list of “honorees” was posted on the GOP website Wednesday afternoon and then immediately crashed the site. When the awards eventually became available they were presented with this introduction:

“2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.”

That’s the perfect lead in to these phony awards because it is itself demonstrably dishonest. The claim that “over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative” came from the ultra-rightist Media Research Center and was aired on Fox News by his his favorite show, Fox and Friends. It is a thoroughly biased and utterly false study that fails to back up its conclusions with facts. And to the extent that there were negative reports on Trump during the year, it’s because he did so many negative things. It isn’t the media’s fault if they accurately cover that.

The winners of Trump’s Dishonest and Corrupt Media awards all shared at least one thing in common: None of them were either dishonest or corrupt. They were mostly minor errors that were quickly corrected. No evidence was offered to prove that there was any deliberate intention to deceive or mislead. Here, for the record are the awardees:

  1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.
  2. ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.
  3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
  4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
  5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.
  6. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.
  7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”
  8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.
  9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.
  10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.
  11. And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!

Trump led off with the “failing” New York Times, whose two mentions gave it a second place to the four that CNN received. But conspicuously, most of the items were ridiculously trivial. Crowd size, feeding fish, and hand shakes hardly seem worthy of recognition for most dishonest and corrupt. Others weren’t even news stories, but opinions or other trifles. And this was, sadly, the best they could do.

Contrast that with the sort of awards that Trump might have been given if he were the recipient of similar trophies. They would include his purposeful lying about voter fraud, the firing of FBI Director James Comey, accusations that Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI, and his relentless assertions that inquiries into his collusion with Russia were a hoax. That was actually PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2017.

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

It’s fitting that these fake awards flopped so badly. Trump has been making dubious and dangerous allegations about the media throughout his presidency. The purpose is to damage the credibility of the one non-governmental institution that can hold him accountable for his despicable, and criminal, behavior. But clearly this phony spectacle failed to hit its target. It was petty and transparently self-serving. And it will be quickly forgotten after the requisite mockery that it deserves.

Delusional Donald Trump Declares That the Media Will ‘Have to Let Me Win’ in Lie-Riddled Interview

More than anything else, Donald Trump loves to congratulate himself as being the best at whatever he happens to be obsessing about at any given point in time. In his cartoon brain he has always done the most, rated the highest, known better, and achieved more than any recognized expert or experienced professional. For the most part his flaming ego is utterly out of control, but when it comes to slandering the media and opposing the free press, you just have to agree with him. He’s better at that than anybody.

Donald Trump

Channeling historical totalitarian dictators, Trump called the media the enemy of the American people.” And he spends more time insulting journalists than he does golfing. On Saturday he posted another frantic tweet expressing his rage at a mediasphere that he can’t control:

A usual, that’s just plain ludicrous. He obviously loves to tweet and does it obsessively. And he is primarily the one who refers to the media as “fake.” It would be interesting if he ever provided an example of the “non-existent sources” he whines about. But he won’t because he can’t.

However, he recently took a few questions from a New York Times reporter who approached him at Mar-A-Lago. The resulting interview was an embarrassment of incoherence and self-exaltation. And true to form, Trump managed to unleash a steady stream of lies that spilled out at the rate of nearly one false claim per minute. But perhaps the most painfully stupid remarks were regarding his relationship with the media. He said that:

“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K?”

To be sure, Trump has been good for ratings. The American people are aghast at what has assumed leadership in their country and they want to keep a close eye on it. That’s why viewership of MSNBC increased seventy-seven percent in 2017, far more than any other cable news network. However, no president is going to make or break the media. It’s an institution that has existed in America from the day it was born. It’s the only profession explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. It has had ups and downs, and will continue to do so in the future. But Trump’s presidency is no more newsworthy than the election of the first African-American president eight years ago.

The fact that Trump sees the role of the media only in terms of ratings demonstrates his shallow grasp of both politics and the press. He thinks everything hinges on the same metrics that his old reality TV game show did. And he sees himself as the star of an entertainment program that cannot survive without him. Of course any TV executive could tell him that when his show is cancelled, the network will carry on with new stars. And America will do likewise when he is impeached, resigns, or otherwise fails, and a new president assumes the role.

Trump’s example of the New York Times is ironically appropriate. He repeats robotically his catch phrase of the newspaper as “failing,” but in fact it has never thrived more than it does today with record digital subscriptions. What’s more, Trump’s logic (if you can call it that) which claims that the media will suddenly adore him six months before the next election doesn’t address why they didn’t fall in love with him prior to the last election.

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

Finally, Trump thinks that it’s within the power of the press to “let” him win. Surely the media can be influential to a significant degree, but if they had that kind of unchallenged control he wouldn’t be president today. And for him to suggest that the press would be forced to let him win in order to preserve their ratings shows how little he understands audience dynamics. Nothing would be more of a boost to television ratings than a good impeachment with plenty of drama stemming from treasonous Russian collusion, financial corruption, sex scandals, and the manufactured civil war threats from Trump’s PR division at Fox News. The networks would eat that (and him) up. So this is just another subject that Trump can’t understand because his acute narcissism clouds his already underwhelming intellect. Sad.

Serial sexual predator Bill O’Reilly goes Full Psycho in taped rant to the New York Times

If there is anything positive resulting from the disgusting Harvey Weinstein affair, it’s that perhaps the impunity of deviants like him will no longer be tolerated. Women have become emboldened to discuss their experiences and hold violators accountable. The problem will not go away overnight, but this is a necessary, if painful, first step.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

Unfortunately, some of the outrage generated by Weinstein is selectively applied. While his career and company are likely over, there are other known abusers still operating in places of power. Including in the White House, where Donald Trump’s admitted crimes have not cost him his privileged position. Part of the reason that Trump gets away with it is that he has supporters at a powerful media outlet who excuse his sexual misconduct. Fox News has fiercely defended the President despite the evidence, and his own confessions.

The irony of that, of course, is that Fox News is guilty of the same repulsive behavior. At the top of the list was their former CEO Roger Ailes, His termination was followed by that of their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly. It has since been discovered that O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle a case of sexual harassment and abuse. And a few weeks later Fox News, with knowledge of the settlement, renewed his contract. There were other victims who were also paid millions prior to this. So the message from Fox News is that they have no problem with employees who commit sexual crimes. You have to wonder how the women at the network feel about that.

However, you don’t have to wonder how O’Reilly feels. He has been thoroughly unrepentant. In fact, he has furiously attacked his accusers despite his having paid many of them to buy their silence. His adamant denials fly in the face of the facts. Even the response by Fox News, who saw the evidence and chose to fire him, speaks to his guilt. But that didn’t stop him from going into a white hot rage when the subject came up in an interview with the New York Times (video below):

“We have physical proof that this is bullshit. Bullshit. OK? So it’s on if you want to destroy my children further. Alright? Cause it’s all crap. Why don’t you be human beings for once? This is horrible.”

“It’s horrible what I went through. Horrible what my family went through. This is crap and you know it. It’s politically and financially motivated. And we can prove it with shocking information.”

Where to begin? Let’s start with O’Reilly’s claim that he has “physical proof that this is bullshit.” If that’s true, then what is he waiting for? Why doesn’t he produce it and clear his name? The only thing that he’s put forward are photos his attorney posted of thank you notes from Megyn Kelly, who has disclosed that she was among his victims. Of course, those notes mean nothing. Abused women are often reluctant to rock the boat. They fear disclosing the circumstances of their abuse due to the prospect of retaliation, shaming, etc. And they have seen their abusers get off scot free while they suffer personally and professionally.

As for O’Reilly’s concern about his children being “destroyed,” that’s a peculiar line of defense. Particularly considering that O’Reilly recently lost a custody battle for his children that included charges of battery against his ex-wife that was witnessed by his young daughter. The children both petitioned the court to live with their mother.

Finally, O’Reilly despicably tries to turn this into a pity party with himself as the victim. Poor Bill. It must have been so horrible for him to be called out for his abhorrent and predatory perversion. And all because he has mysterious, unnamed financial and political enemies determined to destroy the valiant culture warrior.

The only thing this latest audio rant proves is that Bill O’Reilly is an unstable and unremorseful monster. He thinks he’s entitled to hurt anyone he wants to advance his own interests. It’s an acute form of malignant narcissism that has him convinced of his superiority and the irrelevance of others. Remind you of anyone?

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

Shut Down Fox News For Facilitating Sexual Abusers Like Bill O’Reilly – Says Fox News?

A breaking story from the New York Times on Saturday revealed just how ingrained the culture of sexual deviancy is at Fox News. And it underscores their complicity in the abhorrent acts of their employees and management. So far the company has terminated their CEO Roger Ailes and their biggest star Bill O’Reilly. In addition, other executives and on-air hosts like Bill Shine, Eric Bolling, and Jaime Horowitz were jettisoned under similar circumstances.

Bill o'Reilly Fox News

This new story in the Times discloses that Bill O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle a sexual harassment and assault suit in January of 2017. This was after O’Reilly and Fox News made previous settlements involving O’Reilly’s sexual misconduct totaling over $13 million to five other women over a 15 year period. That disclosure led to his termination from Fox News in April. However, following the January settlement, Fox News renewed his contract despite knowing about all of these legal payoffs. Apparently being a serial sexual predator wasn’t disqualifying to be a host on Fox News.

To put this in perspective, Fox News has argued that such behavior is so irredeemable that punishing the abuser isn’t enough. The company employing him should literally be shut down. That assessment was provided by Fox host and pundit Gregg Jarrett in both a column of the Fox website and on the air (video below). Jarrett, however, was referring to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his production company. But by simply replacing references to Weinstein with Fox News, the commentary retains its meaning while pointing to an entirely different but equally guilty company. See this annotated version of excerpts from Jarrett’s article:

The Weinstein Company Fox News should immediately shut-down its operations and permanently close its doors. […] The Weinstein Company Fox News surely knew it had a sexual predator at the helm, but did little to stop him. Instead, it willingly fostered and sustained an environment that permitted him to continue abusing women.”

The Weinstein Company Fox News approved a written contract which deliberately enabled Weinstein Ailes, O’Reilly, et al, to sexually harass women and allowed [them] to cover-up the abusive conduct by paying off [their] victims. […] Weinstein’s O’Reilly’s contract appears to encourage or condone his suspected illegal behavior.”

“Viewed another way, the company seems to have aided and abetted Weinstein Ailes, O’Reilly, and others. They handed [them] a piece of paper which granted [them] permission to victimize women with impunity.”

Well, that’s pretty clear. Jarrett is an attorney and should know that his argument remains consistent regardless of the perpetrators. So he is, in effect, advocating that Fox News be shut down. And he isn’t the only one at Fox to say so. Tucker Carlson delivered a rant on the subject last week that made similar points about Weinstein that were easily transferable to Fox News. And let’s not forget another sexual predator to whom these rebukes could apply. Donald Trump has been accused by at least a dozen women of sexual harassment or abuse. And he has even confessed to criminal assault in the infamous Access Hollywood videotape. There are pending federal investigations against Fox News, and Weinstein may soon be be facing the same.

So bring it on, Fox, Let’s see you report on Trump and O’Reilly with the same righteous outrage you direct at Weinstein. And how about shutting down your irreparable and unrepentant operation that has proven to be a hotbed of criminal sexual assault. Any company that can reward cretins like O’Reilly with rich contract renewals despite knowing that he’s a recidivist pervert doesn’t deserve to continue polluting America’s airwaves.

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

Trump pathetically brags on Twitter about his many failures while swinging wildly at the press

Although it may seem like an eternity, it’s only been nine months since Donald Trump was inaugurated. In that time he has managed to take the country from a respected leader of the world community to an embarrassing has been. He has emboldened and praised our enemies and insulted and alienated our allies. His infantile tantrums have brought us to the brink or war. And his domestic agenda is focused narrowly on making life better for the wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

Donald Trump

At the same time, Trump has exalted himself with delusional claims that he has done more in his short tenure than any other president in history. But with a couple of tweets on Sunday morning he actually proved the opposite. The tweets were directed at Peter Baker of the New York Times. His latest column addressed Trump’s sorry record of “achievement” with the headline: “Promise the moon? Easy for trump. but now comes the reckoning.” Baker compared the President’s campaign rhetoric with his results so far. It’s not a pretty picture.

Baker’s article makes the unarguable point that Trump has fallen short on his most prominent campaign promises. While he is trying hard to sabotage ObamaCare, he has neither repealed nor replaced it. There is no border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. NAFTA is still the law of the land. ISIS has not been defeated. His Muslim ban is repeatedly blocked by the courts. The nuclear deal with Iran is still effective, although subject to a decision by Congress. Also punted to Congress was DACA, the program that deferred deportation of child immigrants. Recall that Trump had insisted that all eleven million undocumented immigrants “have to go.”

Responding to Baker’s analysis, Trump once again took his phone to his throne and fired off a couple of missives that were intended to set the record straight. However, anyone with a reasonable grasp of current events, or an Internet connection, would quickly see his departure from reality.

There are reasons that the “failing” New York Times (which is enjoying record digital subscriptions) didn’t mention the items on Trump’s list. It’s because they can hardly be described as successes for his floundering administration. Let’s take them each in order:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Trump didn’t terminate it because it was never ratified.
  • The Paris Accords on Climate Change: This wasn’t terminated either. While he did withdraw from the agreement on a federal level, the agreement stands with 195 other nations committed to its objectives. And fourteen U.S. states, along with other cities and companies, have vowed to adhere to the accords.
  • The Keystone XL pipeline: Despite Trump’s approval of the project, it is still mired in lawsuits that have blocked its progress. What’s more, the company building it is reconsidering whether it’s even commercially viable.
  • EPA Cancelations: This is something Trump has actually done. But making the nation’s air and water more poisonous, and damaging environmental sustainability, is hardly a success.
  • Supreme Court: Unfortunately, Justice Gorsuch is now sitting on the Supreme Court. But that was the doing of Sen. Mitch McConnell, who stole the seat from President Obama. And he couldn’t even get Gorsuch confirmed without throwing out the senate rules.

So in the space of two tweets (which were mysteriously twenty minutes apart), Trump proved that he’s a dismal failure. And these are his own examples of alleged accomplishments. But he only validated the experts Baker quoted in his article who said that Trump used “bluff and bombast substituting for actual deeds,” or that he’s “a choke artist at critical moments.” He’s relied on a record number of executive orders (forty-nine to date) to give the illusion of productivity. Remember when he castigated Obama’s executive orders as a “major power grabs of authority”?

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

For a more comprehensive accounting of Trump’s ineffectiveness, see PolitiFact’s tracking of his campaign promises. It completes the picture of a wholly unqualified fraud who was never fit to serve as president. And it further illustrates just how mentally unstable he is for trying to boast about nonexistent accomplishments. The combination of his incompetence and malignant narcissism is a recipe for an expedited apocalypse.

GIGO: White House Aides Reveal That Fox News is Trump’s ‘Primary Source of Information’

A story in Friday’s New York Times affirms something that has been well known to observant White House watchers. Donald Trump relies on a frighteningly narrow range of media outlets to provide him with critical information. He dwells in a bubble of exclusively right-wing propaganda that is nothing more than a shill factory for fact-challenged “news.” And when he isn’t fed the pablum he craves, he becomes inconsolably livid.

Fox News Donald Trump

The Times interviewed numerous insiders about Trump and his relationship with newly installed chief-of-staff, John Kelly. The former general has been trying to impose some order amid the chaos of Trump’s Oval Office party. By all accounts, that has been a difficult job. Trump is described as resistant to any attempt to “manage” him. The Times writes that:

“While Mr. Kelly has quickly brought some order to a disorganized and demoralized staff, he is fully aware of the president’s volcanic resentment about being managed, according to a dozen people close to Mr. Trump, and has treaded gingerly through the minefield of Mr. Trump’s psyche. But the president has still bridled at what he perceives as being told what to do.”

The notion of a president who is so unstable that aides need to tiptoe through his fragile psyche is disturbing. And it isn’t just Kelly who is troubled by this. Sixty percent of the American people regard Trump as “unstable” to various degrees. That’s according to a poll by Fox News.

And speaking of Fox News – – That’s the media outlet that Trump’s aides have described as his “primary source of information.” Kelly has reportedly had some success at curbing Trump’s exposure to the panoply of wingnut rags. But there are limits to how much Trump can be restrained. The Times reports that:

“Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering.

There is abundant evidence that Trump watches Fox News for hours on end. Many of his his tweets are obviously reactions to something he just saw on Fox. He refers to Fox News more often, and with more confidence, than he does his own intelligence agencies. And most of the time he cites his favorite program, Fox and Friends. This can explain in part why so much of what Trump says is so embarrassingly wrong. Garbage in, Garbage out (GIGO).

In addition to Trump’s addiction to Fox News, he has recently been suffering through a propaganda withdrawal of sorts. Kelly’s management of the White House has resulted in some of Trump’s closest aides being kept at arms length. The people who provided him with his daily dose of conspiracy theories and rabidly partisan screeds are being shut out. A friend of Trump told the Times that he “plaintively asked” where his fix of stories from The Daily Caller and Breitbart News were. And an article in the Daily Beast more specifically noted that:

“Kelly has taken steps to prevent [Omarosa Manigault] and other senior staffers from getting unvetted news articles on the president’s Resolute desk.” […Articles that…] “would often enrage the president, and resulted in him spending at least the rest of the day fuming about it.” “

Unfortunately, Kelly cannot prevent Trump from diving into the right-wing media swamp. While the door to the Oval Office is more closely watched, Trump still has his phone. And he uses it to contact those whose White House privileges have been curtailed. So the President is still being influenced by the same cadre of nutcases and sleazeballs as before Kelly. And the results will be the same as Trump gorges himself on Fox News lies and curses at the rest of the press corps. It’s a presidency that is seriously off track and driven by biased pundits and fake news. How long will Kelly tolerate this circus atmosphere that is harming the country?

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

Fox and Friends Lies About New York Times Calling Them ‘The Most Powerful TV Show in America’

Another morning, another flurry of dishonest reporting by Fox News and their “Curvy Couch” potatoes at Fox and Friends. While pretending to read the newspapers spread out on the coffee table, co-host Steve Doocy made a fake discovery. He held the paper so that the cameras got a good look at an advertisement on the back page. What viewers saw was a full page ad touting Fox and Friends.

Fox News Steve Doocy

The ad was obviously paid for by Fox News to promote the network and the program. It featured a quote attributed to the New York Times saying that Fox and Friends is “the most powerful TV show in America.” Doocy’s faux surprise was echoed by his co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade. They were pretending to be excited by the praise from an unexpected source:

Doocy: This program, the program you’re watching, according to the New York Times, is the most powerful TV show in America.
Earhardt: You know why Steve? Because we have the best viewers.

Earhardt would have been more correct if she had said “because we have the best viewer.” Because the only person in their audience that they play to is Donald Trump. That point was confirmed when that viewer proudly tweeted the same message Doocy was boasting about:

There’s just one problem. The Fox News crew horribly mangled what the New York Times was saying in their article. Calling the relationship between Fox and Friends and Trump a “Two Way Mirror,” the Times analyzed the perverse relationship between the TV program and the President. The full quote from the Times said:

“Suddenly, for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, it is the most powerful TV show in America,”

In context, the Times was criticizing both Trump and Fox for clinging to one another in a mockery of journalism. They went on to portray Fox’s posture toward Trump as a “Romper Room-style” broadcast intended to flatter our ego-obsessed, narcissistic president:

“President Trump is the show’s subject, its programmer, its publicist and its virtual fourth host. The stars offer him flattery, encouragement and advice. When he tweets, his words and image appear on a giant video wall. It’s the illusion of children’s TV — that your favorite show is as aware of you as you are of it — except that for Mr. Trump, it’s real.”

That’s an entirely different characterization than the one of pride that Doocy and company presented. And let’s not forget that Fox News paid for these ads. It’s an advertising campaign that deliberately distorts the quote they featured in the ad. And it’s further evidence of their aversion to ethics and truth. The author of the Times’ article, James Poniewozik, tweeted his own somewhat snarky thoughts about this saying that he was, “Excited to see @realDonaldTrump endorse my thesis that F&F’s weird childlike sway over him makes it hugely powerful! Thanks, POTUS!”

What’s more, why does Trump and Fox and Friends care what the New York Times has to say about them? Don’t they consider it fake news? In which case, Fox and Friends is not the most powerful TV show in America. And there is something peculiar about Fox News buying ad space in the Times. Trump has appended the word “failing” to every mention he makes of the paper. Fox News has adopted the same juvenile (and false) habit. But with this campaign they are helping the Times to be even more financially successful.

The Times’ article closed by noting that Fox and Friends has a unique mission with regard to Trump. They describe him as “the superfan in the White House who sees it as ‘Fox & Friend’ — singular.” That has been borne out by the numerous times that Trump has watched the show and, shortly after, tweeted what he saw. He has also promoted the program in dozens of tweets that amount to free publicity from the White House. The value of those tweet-vertisements has been put as high $5 million. So there is clearly a parasitical relationship between Fox News and Trump that benefits both. And we can expect that, and the lies, to continue for the foreseeable, lamentable future.

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

Fox News ‘Update’ of a False Story Smearing the New York Times, Just an Excuse to Re-Air It

The frequency of mistakes, gaffes, and outright lies that are broadcast daily on Fox News would be challenging to correct. If, that is, they ever cared to. On the rare occasions when they issue a correction, it is often halfhearted and buried in justifications. Their corrections seem to function more as vindications than apologies.

Fox News Steve Doocy

A perfect example of this occurred Monday morning on Fox and Friends. Co-host Steve Doocy looked sheepishly into the camera to address a segment from Saturday’s program. The segment featured Gen. Tony Thomas making a startling accusation that the New York Times was responsible for allowing a terrorist leader to escape. He said that the Army had a good lead on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “Unfortunately,” Thomas said, “it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead.” Fox weekend host Pete Hegseth elaborated to charge that Baghdadi would’ve been captured if not for the Times. Of course, there’s no way he could know that.

More to the point, the claim by Thomas was not accurate. The Times responded in detail, pointing out that their original story contained only information that had been previously published elsewhere. What’s more, the Times had cleared their story with the Pentagon who had no objections to publishing it. Nor were there any objections made after it was published, which was two years ago. So the day after Fox’s erroneous report, the Times sent a letter to Fox News requesting an on-air retraction and apology. It said in part:

“Neither the staff at Fox & Friends, nor the writers of a related story on Foxnews.com, appeared to make any attempt to confirm the relevant facts, nor did they reach out to the New York Times for comment. We understand that the segment and story are based on a misleading assertion by Gen. Thomas speaking at a conference in Aspen. However, that does not alleviate Fox News of the obligation to seek information from all the stakeholders in a story. With this segment, Fox & Friends has demonstrated what little regard it has for reporting facts.”

The statement made by Doocy, however, hardly satisfied the request by the Times. He neither apologized, nor conceded that a correction was in order. Doocy described his remarks as “an update,” and then replayed the false comments by Gen. Thomas in full. Finally, Doocy told viewers they could read the Times’ full response on the Fox website, but didn’t provide a URL.

So Fox News exploited the opportunity to correct the record by further distorting it. Their audience got to see the General’s false comments again, but were not told they were false. Fox News never gave a full accounting of the story’s factual flaws, or provided the evidence supplied by the Times. In effect they said “Here’s what we said before, and if you want to know what the Times said, go look it up yourself.”

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

Naturally, Fox’s biggest fan, Donald Trump, was watching when the story was first broadcast. Within half an hour he had tweeted the fake news to his Twitter followers. Two days later his tweet is still online with no comment or correction. That’s typical of Trump, who has even less regard for the truth than his primary source, Fox News.

How Deranged Are Trump Supporters? New Poll Shows That It’s Worse Than You Ever Imagined

In the Era of Trump, Americans have been been subjected to wild diversions from reality. Donald Trump and company have unleashed baseless accusations of “fake news,” and the ceaseless dissemination of “alternative facts.” They have violated constitutional protections of free speech and abused the media in an unprecedented manner. Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people.” And his White House Press Office has discontinued on-camera briefings.

Donald Trump

This overt hostility and flagrant assault on transparency has had an impact on a certain sector of the electorate. Trump voters have evolved into a breed of ill-informed, willfully ignorant yokels whose devotion to their Orange Julius Caesar borders on cult worship. This alarming descent into madness is frightfully illustrated in the results of a new survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP). The depth of the delirium of these lost souls is unimaginable. And yet, the data from the PPP pollsters is clear. Here are some examples from the study:

  • Only 45% of Trump voters believe Donald Trump Jr. had a meeting with Russians about information that might be harmful to Hillary Clinton…even though Trump Jr. admitted it. 32% say the meeting didn’t happen and 24% say they’re not sure.
  • 72% of Trump voters consider the Russia story overall to be ‘fake news,’ only 14% disagree.
  • Only 24% of Trump voters even want an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, 64% are opposed to an investigation.
  • Only 26% of Trump voters admit that Russia wanted Trump to win the election, 44% claim Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and 31% say they’re not sure one way or the other.
  • Even if there was an investigation, and it found that the Trump campaign did collude with Russia to aid his campaign, 77% of his supporters think he should still stay in office to just 16% who believe he should resign.

What manner of sickness is this? Less than half of the Trump disciples believe that Don, Jr. met with Russians despite his having confirmed it. Do they think he’s lying? More troubling though, is that more than three quarters of the StormTrumpers are comfortable with him serving as president even if he conspired with a foreign hostile enemy to steal the election.

Is there any line he can’t cross? Apparently not. Because the survey also asked a question referencing Trump’s campaign comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. And 45% of Trump voters said they would still approve of him if he shot someone. This is Jonestown-level dementia. When people talk about “drinking the Kool-Aid,” they can’t get closer to that comparison than this.

As a final humiliation to the President, PPP asked respondents to indicate who they trusted more: Trump or various media organizations. Trump lost in every match up:

Voters say they trust NBC and ABC each more than him, 56/38. They say they trust CBS more than him 56/39. They say they trust the New York Times more than him 55/38. Voters say they trust CNN more than him 54/39. And they say they trust the Washington Post more than him 53/38.

Those are significant majorities that favor the “failing” New York Times and “fake news” CNN. Despite Trump’s relentless efforts to negatively brand his media adversaries, he has had no success in doing so. And his continued whining in the face of that rejection is pathetic.

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

However, his glassy-eyed followers will undoubtedly fall in line no matter what atrocities he commits. That’s a sad commentary on the state of the nation. It remains to be seen how they will eventually react when the hammer comes down on his criminality. They may just pretend not to have supported him in the first place. After all, the one thing we’ve learned about them is that they have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion.