Biden’s Broad Based Approval Proves the Impotence of Fox News Propaganda

Joe Biden has been president for nearly four months. Throughout that time Fox News has done what Fox News always does: Attacks Democrats, liberals, and anyone who fails to fall in line with the the network’s ultra-rightist dogma. Fox’s CEO, Lachlan Murdoch even said publicly that he considers it Fox’s job to oppose Biden.

Fox News, Joe Biden

That mission has narrowed of late to more directly apply exclusively to Donald Trump, rather than the conservative “principles” that once guided the propaganda spew of Fox News. It has become the mandate of both Fox News and the Republican Party to back up Trump, even when it goes against their agenda, the best interests of the party, or the law.

So how’s that working out for them? A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC has an abundance of good news for Biden, along with proof that Fox News has utterly failed in their smear campaign. The poll found that 63% of the American people approve of the job Biden is doing as president. That was broken down between a whopping 96% of Democrats, a healthy 62% of independents, and even a significant 23% of Republicans.

The poll also found that Americans are more optimistic about the direction of the country (54%) than they have been in four years. Which means that this increased optimism isn’t just due to the success Biden has had managing the COVID pandemic. It contrasts with the sullen pessimism that infected the whole of Trump’s term.

As for the handling of the pandemic, Biden has a stellar 71% approval, including 47% of Republicans. The relief and stimulus bill that Biden and congressional Democrats passed (without a single Republican vote) was overwhelming popular across the political spectrum. What’s more, Biden also has majority approval of his handling of healthcare (62%) and the economy (57%).

These numbers are notable, not only because they reflect a growing appreciation for Biden and the progressive initiatives being implemented by Democrats, but also because they were achieved while the most watched cable “news” network was engaged in a full court press to malign the new president. Fox News has labored mightily to undermine Biden at every turn. Although it wasn’t an easy task considering the difficulty they had finding anything to criticize. For that reason Fox obsessed over bizarre trivialities like the “canceling” of Mr. Potato Head, or Grammy porn, or the fallacy that Biden plotted to ban hamburgers.

It’s encouraging to see that despite their best efforts, Fox News has been a dismal failure at dragging down Biden and the positive agenda he’s pursued. Their propaganda blitz doesn’t seem to have tarnished him in the least. If anything, it suggests that he would be even more popular had they not been so obsessively denigrating him.

The only people being hurt by Fox’s avalanche of lies are Fox’s own viewers. They are now more distant from reality than ever. They are more likely to contract the coronavirus due to the scare mongering of Fox News anti-vaxxers like Tucker Carlson. They are more willing to believe Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen” from him. They are more comfortable with the rancid racism that is integral to Fox’s messaging.

In short, the audience that is still transfixed by Fox News and its toxic brand of anti-American hostility will continue to wallow in the cesspool of falsehoods that Fox peddles as “news.” But, as this and other polls certify, the majority of the American people remain uncontaminated by Fox and hopeful about the nation’s future. So Fox is just screeching to the choir and having little impact on congregation.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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The GOP Response to Biden’s Speech Sounded Like a Trump Rally Rant

President Biden’s long anticipated address to Congress was delivered Wednesday night with the grace, compassion, and appeal for unity that has become the hallmark of Joe Biden’s presidency

Joe Biden, GOP, Titanic

Biden spoke to the full array of issues that have been at the top of the American people’s list of priorities, including the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery, jobs, climate change, healthcare, infrastructure, race, police reform, education, tax equity, gun safety, immigration, and foreign policy. It was a speech that radiated the calm resolve of a confidant and competent leader, as opposed to the fire-breathing bluster and lie-riddled babbling of the Former Guy, Donald Trump.

Apparently, the American people are relieved to finally have a sane president after four years of lunacy, incompetence, rancor and chaos. They appreciated hearing a speech that wasn’t crammed with flagrant falsehoods, vicious insults, and the pathological, undeserved bragging of malignant narcissist.

A CBS News poll found that Biden’s speech was received with overwhelming favorability. The poll showed that a huge majority of those who watched the speech approved of it (85%). They thought Biden was “presidential” (89%), “caring” (89%), “inspiring” (84%), and “bold” (80%). They said the speech made them feel “optimistic” (78%), and that his plans would “mostly help” them (74%).

However, it didn’t take long to be reminded of the GOP’s way outside Trumpian view as Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina stepped up to deliver the Republican response (video below). He began by throwing some passive-aggressive shade saying that “We just heard President Biden’s first address to Congress. Our President seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words.”

“Seems like” a good man? That’s the sort of backhanded “compliment” someone might say about Ted Bundy. Scott went on to disparage Biden’s promise to “unite a nation,” “lower the temperature,” and to “govern for all Americans.” “But three months in,” Scott complained without any basis, “the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further apart.”

Scott also vowed that he wouldn’t “waste your time tonight with finger-pointing or partisan bickering.” What came next was fourteen minutes of finger-pointing and bitterly partisan rhetoric. For instance:

“Democrats wanted to go it alone. They spent almost $2 trillion on a partisan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history!”
That was the COVID relief and stimulus bill that had the support of 76% of the American people, including 60% of Republicans.

And yet, every single Republican in Congress voted against it.

“Less than 6% of the President’s plan goes to roads and bridges. It’s a liberal wish-list of Big Government waste… plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation.”
Except that most analysts agree that the broadly popular plan would create millions of jobs in emerging technologies that transcend the conventional and crumbling definition of “infrastructure.”

“Tonight we also heard about a so-called ‘Family Plan.’ Even more taxing, even more spending.”
More Republican “tax and spend” talking points. Never mind that most voters (64%) want corporations and the wealthy to finally pay their fair share. And once again, that includes a majority (53%) of Republicans.

“Now, he says your tax dollars should fund abortions. He’s laying groundwork to pack the Supreme Court.”
These are not just GOP talking points, they are blatant lies.

“Democrats used the filibuster to block the debate from even happening.”
It’s always cute when Republicans project their own flaws onto others. Their rampant obstructionism when they held the Senate majority reached unprecedented levels. And if the GOP is upset that Democrats used the filibuster to block legislation, then why are they complaining when Democrats are volunteering to abolish it?

“Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
They have a funny way of showing it. They are passing bills across the country to suppress and/or disenfranchise voters, especially people of color. And they still can’t show any evidence of any significant voter fraud.

“Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams.”
You can’t have a Republican rant without throwing in baseless allegations of socialism. Even though they don’t know what it means. To them it’s just a buzzword intended to stir irrational fears.

However, perhaps the most disturbing part of Scott’s harangue was when he raised the matter of race. As the only Black Republican in the Senate he has some license to speak on the subject. Sadly, he wasted it. He forcefully beseeched the nation to “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.” But that came just two minutes after relating this real-world experience of most Black Americans:

“I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I’m shopping.”

So which is it? it’s hardly possible to undergo those indignities and prejudices in a country that isn’t racist to some notable degree. And add to that the way too frequent incidents of police shootings of Black people; the recent Capitol insurrection that featured Confederate flags and rioters shouting epithets at Black officers; the growth of white nationalist groups and militias. At least Biden actually referenced that brand of domestic terrorism in his speech, saying that…

“We won’t ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.”

The speech by Scott could have been written by Donald Trump, or more likely one of his speech writers, since Trump is borderline illiterate. It was hostile, dishonest, and littered with right-wing rhetoric and invective. There wasn’t a hint of any policy proposals because Republicans don’t have any actual ideas other than hating on Democrats. That was the resounding message contained in the GOP response. And the American people saw it and will have their own response when election time comes again.

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

Biden’s Popularity is Driving Fox News Crazy, Reporting Insane Distortions of Polls

As President Joe Biden approaches the 100 day mark of his presidency, his critics at Fox News are struggling to find anything coherent to complain about. That’s a profound failure coming from the network whose CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, publicly declared that the network’s “job” is to be “the opposition” to the Biden administration. Apparently they are doing a lousy job.

Fox News, Joe Biden

Consequently, Fox News has had to resort to petty and embarrassing contrivances and manufactured “scandals” involving such political luminaries as Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. Yet somehow, these tactics haven’t produced the avalanche of anti-Biden sentiment that Fox News hoped for. As a result, the right-wing propagandists at Fox are attempting to misinterpret the mostly positive polling that Biden has enjoyed. Monday morning Fox contributor Liz Peek reported that…

“They want us to believe that Biden’s progressive juggernaut is wildly popular, and that the president’s obvious inadequacies are a figment of right-wing imagination. They want us to think that common-sense Americans are OK with having our schools closed and our borders open, that we are on board with declaring our country racist and allowing riots to wreck our cities. They want us to believe that Biden is way more successful – already – than President Trump ever was. It is not true. None of it.”

For the record, literally everything in that paragraph is a lie. No Democrat has ever suggested that closed schools are OK. Nor have they ever advocated for open borders. Nor have they declared the country racist (just the cretins like Tucker Carlson who are proudly racist and those who deny that it ever existed). And certainly no Democrat has ever supported “allowing riots to wreck our cities.”

However, Peek’s reference to Biden being “way more successful – already – than President Trump ever was” is demonstrably true. In four years Trump has nothing substantive to show for himself. He failed at everything that he defined as his top priorities. His border wall was never completed or paid for by Mexico. He didn’t eliminate the national debt. He never brought jobs back from foreign countries, but he did lose more of them than any president in modern times. And he presided over the loss of more than half a million America lives due to his negligence and incompetence. His only “accomplishment” was the passage of a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefited corporations and his wealthy pals.

Biden, on the other hand, ushered through a two trillion dollar pandemic relief and stimulus plan. He rejoined the Paris Climate Accords. He signed numerous executive orders reversing much of the damage done by Trump. He is advancing historic infrastructure legislation. He’s moving forward expeditiously on reforms for immigration, gun safety, and voting rights. And he effectively managed COVID vaccine programs that have already resulted in 30% the country being fully vaccinated.

To support her flawed analysis that Biden is broadly unpopular, Peek cited a Gallup poll that found that only “32% of the nation is “satisfied” with the way things are going, while 67% is dissatisfied.” What she left out was that the same poll showed only 11% satisfied at the end of Trump’s term three months ago. All this proves is that Americans are notoriously unsatisfied, but that Biden produced a 21 point increase in short order.

Further distorting reality, Peek cherry-picked a poll that shows Biden with a plurality approval of 48%, which is pretty good in these divisive times. But then she spins it negatively because the “strongly approve” number is only 34%, which is still pretty good. She neglects to note that many other polls show Biden’s approval comfortably above 50% and as high as 61%. And his policies – including on the economy, jobs, terrorism, immigration, and COVID-19 – are similarly favored by significant majorities.

Interestingly, Peek notes that a majority of Biden voters said they were voting against Trump rather than for Biden. That’s nice of her to concede that Trump is widely despised. She also pointed out that voters approve of Biden’s jobs plan, but only if it’s paid for “through higher corporate taxes or hiking taxes on high earners.” Which is another helpful concession on her part that Trump’s tax scam was a disaster, and that the nation wants the rich to pay their fair share.

In the end, after dismissing the obvious distortions and lies, Fox’s analysis is fairly positive for Biden. That’s how difficult it’s been for them to land a punch against this President, even in spite of all the dishonesty they pack into the effort. If they were smart they would back off until there’s a realistic issue to whine about. Something will always come up. But the operative word there is “smart,” which may be too high a bar for anyone at Fox News.

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

POLL: Half of Republicans are Psycho Trump Cultists Who Believe Capitol Riots Were ‘Peaceful’

On January 6, 2021, hundreds of hostile right-wing extremists invaded the United States Congress in an attempt to violently obstruct the constitutionally mandated certification of the 2020 presidential election. They were sent by their faux messiah, Donald Trump, who insisted that the election was “stolen” in a fearmongering and reckless rant, saying that “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Donald Trump Rally, Sieg Heil

Three months later a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos has documented what common sense had already confirmed: That the glassy-eyed disciples of the Cult of Trump are a bastion of delusional cretins who are willingly deceived and certifiably insane:

“Since the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the event that left five dead and scores of others wounded. His supporters appear to have listened. […]”

“[A]bout half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists ‘trying to make Trump look bad,’ a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found. Six in 10 Republicans also believe the false claim put out by Trump that November’s presidential election ‘was stolen’ from him due to widespread voter fraud.”

Seriously? Half of Republicans, who presumably saw the videos of hundreds of StormTrumpers assaulting the seat of American democracy, climbing walls, busting down doors, breaking windows, vandalizing property, chanting death threats, and physically attacking (and killing) police officers, now believe the violent insurrection was “mostly peaceful”? What kind of brain damage is present for that conclusion to even be considered in passing?

There’s a reason that so much mass hysteria could be evident in this group of Trumpian criminals. They were lied to by both Trump and a deliberately dishonest propaganda disseminator posing as a “news” network: Fox News. Virtually every mention of the attack on Fox News excused Trump and included allusions to the mythical Antifa as the “real” perpetrators of the violence. Never mind that there was no evidence of that whatsoever and, of course, there was abundant video of what actually happened. There was, however, evidence of Trump’s collusion and planning of the Capitol melee.

For his part, Trump repeatedly incited this aberrant behavior by his cult followers, telling them just prior to the attack that “The Radical Left will destroy our Country if we let them.” During the assault Trump confessed his affection for the mob saying that “We love you.” And more recently, Trump visited with Laura Ingraham of Fox News for a bit of flagrant gaslighting wherein he claimed that “Right from the start it was zero threat [and all] hugging and kissing”

See? it was a Love-In! And except for the dead, and more than a hundred injured police officers, and the destruction of property, and the defiling of a democratic institution, it was celebratory occasion that Trump’s Klan will long recall with pride.

Fortunately, the Reuters poll also found that 59% of all Americans hold trump responsible. And eight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents “reject the false claims that the Capitol siege was ‘mostly peaceful’ or it was staged by left-wing protestors.” Nevertheless, the psychotically delusional beliefs of the GOP and the Trumpsters is a worrisome trend. And we must remain vigilant to prevent future episodes of violence and rightist mob offensives. No doubt Trump and Fox News are already plotting them.

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

Despite What Fox News Says, Democrats Won the Impeachment Debate

Donald Trump has secured a place in history as the only reality TV game show host to be impeached twice. He holds fully 50% of all impeachments for United States Presidents. And while the outcome of this second attempt by Democrats in Congress to hold Trump accountable for betraying his oath of office and his country was never in much doubt, his legacy will forever reflect his treasonous acts.

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Donald Trump Walking the Plank

The Senate is an august body that is often referred to as “deliberative.” That is less true in these modern times as hyper-partisanship has infected a cowardly confederacy of Republicans who ignored the fact-based evidence in order to express their blind devotion to a dishonest and disgraced demagogue whose lust for power very nearly brought down the American experiment in democracy.

However, the much larger constituency of the populace at large was not as easily misled as their senatorial so-called representatives. The latest polling of citizens on the question of Trump’s guilt diverges sharply from the survey of Senators voting in Trump’s impeachment hearing:

“Seventy-one percent of American adults, including nearly half of all Republicans, believe former President Donald Trump was at least partially responsible for starting the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters.”

So nearly three-quarters of the American people believe Trump is guilty. And while all fifty Democratic senators agree with the nation’s citizenry, only seven Republicans did. Even so, that still makes this the most bipartisan vote to convict an impeached president in history.

For Trump and his apologists to regard having lost a majority of 57% of the Senate is a bizarre twist on the concept of victory. Even GOP leader Mitch McConnell ultimately conceded Trump’s guilt. After the vote he described Trump’s behavior as a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” about which he said “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” Which makes his vote to acquit an exercise in flaming hypocrisy and cowardice.

It isn’t very often that poll respondents ever approach 71% agreement on any political issue. So it’s significant that a majority that lopsided has occurred with an issue as controversial as impeachment. And this unity (which many in politics and the press have been clamoring for) occurred despite the best efforts of Fox News to distort reality and thrust their biased propaganda down the throats of their eagerly deceived audience.

What this tells us is that Fox News doesn’t have the broad-based influence to which they like to pretend. In fact, the ratings for the impeachment hearings prove how weak Fox’s grip on the nation’s news consumers really is. For instance, CNN reports that “Fox fell below 1 million viewers during the afternoon coverage period. For comparison’s sake MSNBC averaged 3 million and CNN averaged 2.9 million viewers.” Fox News has been coming in third regularly since the election in November of last year.

Some pundits have been asserting that Trump’s hide was saved by the existence of an ultra-rightist network that was parroting his lies and propaganda. But the ratings show that that isn’t the case. Trump’s support among his cult followers was baked in before the Senate hearings began. The efforts by Fox to shape the debate were seen by only a tiny faction of already convinced devotees. And during much of the time leading up to the impeachment, the only news for Trump was bad news. His lawyers were embarrassing themselves and/or quitting. And Fox News shills were being caught in flagrant lies and/or getting fired.

In the end, Trump’s defense was a humiliating mish-mash of the sort of malarkey that was dispensed by Trump-fluffers on Fox and other wingnut media, and that used to appear in Trump’s now-canceled Twitter feed. And the ridiculousness of the Trump defenders wasn’t lost by credible and respected observers who commented on their ineptitude, as well as Trump’s grim future:

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

You Want Unity? Here’s Your Unity: 83% Favor Biden’s COVID Relief Plan

As the historical first of a second presidential impeachment proceeds, the most prominent argument by Donald Trump’s apologists is that the whole affair is divisive and that Democrats should “move on.” They plead for Democrats to embrace “unity” with Republicans, the party that has viciously maligned them for years and regards them as enemies. This call for unity by the losers who are supporting a criminal ex-president is, to say the least, convenient.

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Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

The Republican pretense of harmony is as phony as Trump’s spray-on tan. What they regard as unifying is capitulation to their agenda which was decisively defeated last November. In the eyes of the Trumpists, if Democrats don’t give Republicans everything they want, they will be accused of hypocrisy for rejecting the bipartisanship that Biden has been advocating.

The problem with the GOP stance – aside from being blatantly disingenuous – is that unity is not achieved by caving in to unpopular demands by the losing party. It is far more productive to be unified with the American people. And a new poll by CBS News affirms that the people – both Democrats and Republicans – are indeed unified behind the policies of progressives.

The poll asked respondents “Would you approve or disapprove of Congress passing an additional economic relief package that would provide funds to people and businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak?” The response was an overwhelming 83% favoring passage of the COVID relief plan.

There are very few polls with majorities that unified. And it was a bipartisan unity. When asked about the amount of the bill currently being discussed, 79% overall said it was either “about right” or wanted it to be more. Even among Republicans, 61% say the amount of Biden’s plan is either “about right” (34%) or “not enough” (27%). What’s more, the poll found that Biden’s approval was a solid 61% majority. For the record, Trump never hit 50% at any time during his presidency or candidacy.

Just because Republicans in Congress are more united with QAnon than they are with the American people – and even their own constituents – doesn’t mean that Democrats aren’t supportive of unity. Clearly they are united with the citizens of all political persuasions who want Congress to pass the relief bill and deliver the help that is so badly needed. it’s the GOP who needs to reflect on why they are not unified with either Democrats or Republicans. But don’t expect them to have the integrity for that sort of honest reflection.

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

Trump Plans His Own Ego-Soaked Farewell Party As His Approval Hits Record Low

In the few days left before Joe Biden is inaugurated the 46th President of the United States, Donald Trump is laying low, confined to the bunker in the White House. He has an empty calendar with no speeches, meetings, or Fox News interviews scheduled. So it’s likely that his last public address will the one he gave on January 6th, where he commanded his cult disciples to storm Congress, resulting in at least five deaths and his second impeachment.

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Donald Trump Rally, Sieg Heil

Trump has already announced that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. At one point he was considering staging a counter event to compete with the official ceremonies and to launch his 2024 campaign. But that appears to have been abandoned. Now, as he becomes increasingly despondent, Trump may be planning his own farewell to the White House that he always considered a dump. As reported by CNN’s Jim Acosta:

What a sad, pathetic shell of an impotent former reality TV game show host. If Trump goes though with this it will be ready-made for mockery and serve as a pre-written satirical script for Saturday Night Live. It would be impossible to keep from laughing while watching the biggest loser, who has twice the impeachments of any other president, paying tribute to himself as he flees Washington.

Just picture the spectacle of Trump luminaries like Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller, Roger Stone, and Rudy Giuliani (if Trump decides to pay him), lined up on either side of an orange brocade runway holding MAGA banners aloft, and “You Can’t Always Get Want You Want” playing in the background. Naturally, it will be covered only by Fox News, with Sean Hannity and Maria Bartiromo providing commentary to accompany a parade of celebrities including Scott Baio, Jon Voight, Roseanne Barr, and Ted Nugent.

Perhaps Trump will produce a video to recall his “accomplishments” of the past four years: Separating hundreds of children from their parents; erecting about four miles of wall on the southern border that Mexico didn’t pay for; befouling the environment; making healthcare less accessible and more expensive; alienating international allies; and killing nearly 400,000 Americans via his incompetent mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s a record of failure that will surely stand the test of time.

Trump’s self-exalting parade of narcissistic obsession will come at a time when his popularity reaches a record low. He has never approached 50% approval, but as he departs he just sunk to a dismal 29% in the Pew Research poll. The same poll found that a sizable majority of Americans (68%) “do not want Trump to remain a major political figure in the future.” About 76% (including 52% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents) say that Trump “bears at least some responsibility” for the riots at the Capitol.

So it is in that light that Trump is anxious to throw himself a party to celebrate his own awesomeness. This is going to be received with the same thrill of being informed of a positive herpes diagnosis. And it will also be the prelude to the next chapter in Trump’s latest impeachment as the Senate prepares to take up the matter in the days following. If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that Trump seems determined to make his exit from the world stage as humiliating as possible. Which is nothing less than what we expected.

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

IT’S A CULT! Poll Shows Republicans Trust Trump More Than Their Own Pastor

To those Americans who have not been indoctrinated into the Cult of Donald Trump, His appeal is bewildering. He is neither handsome nor intelligent. He speaks at a third grade level. And his emotional response to criticism is even lower. When he isn’t whining petulantly (a sign of weakness), he’s inciting violence. And he has a mortal fear of facts, as demonstrated by his award winning litany of lies.

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Donald Trump Messiah

That said, Trump’s feeble-minded cult devotees are thoroughly engulfed in his bizarre babblings. They have bought his wild assertions that he won the presidential election by a landslide, despite the absence of even a shred of evidence. His having lost nearly sixty lawsuits – many before Republican-appointed judges – doesn’t diminish their glassy-eyed reverence for Dear Leader. They are totally on board with his downplaying of the Coronavirus pandemic, even after the deaths of more than 330,000 of their fellow citizens, and over two million infected. They believe his every boast of abilities superior to those of recognized experts in the military, medicine, economics, and whatever else happens to wander through his sickly thoughts.

A new poll by NPR/Ipsos reaffirms what many have already acknowledged are cult-like attitudes that permeate Trump’s superfan base. The poll found that “A significant number of Americans believe misinformation […] as well as conspiracy theories like QAnon”:

“Forty percent of respondents said they believe the coronavirus was made in a lab in China even though there is no evidence for this. […]

“And one-third of Americans believe that voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election, despite the fact that courts, election officials and the Justice Department have found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have changed the outcome.”

The poll broke down some of the responses by political affiliation. Not surprisingly, Republicans most often were the ones that swallowed the nonsense conspiracy theories. A majority (53%) are opposed to “a smooth transition of power to the Biden administration.” That’s probably because most of them (71%) also believe that “There is a deep state working to undermine President Trump.”

However, when respondents were asked about who in public life they considered most trustworthy, the Republicans revealed just how deeply immersed in the crackpot swamp they really are. Naturally they don’t trust Joe Biden, or Dr. Anthony Fauci, or Rachel Maddow. But the poll shows that they trust Trump (76%) more than they trust their own religious leaders (72%).

The first rule of any cult is that only the Leader is telling you the truth. Everyone else is lying to you and means you harm. That rule has been absorbed by the Trump cultists. That mindset was especially prominent among those who “were Republicans and if they got their news from Fox News or conservative online outlets like Breitbart or the Daily Caller.” Fox News was this year’s recipient of the Misinformer of the Year award from Media Matters. However, Trump himself has had a love/hate relationship with the network for most of the year. Most recently he was nursing some imagined offense when he tweeted that…

It’s likely that Trump was watching Fox News when this video of Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff aired. Ossoff was questioned by Fox’s Peter Doocy when he launched a blistering attack on Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue:

That would have been more than enough to set Trump off. And when Trump is mad at Fox News his followers are going to hear about it. The result is that they are abandoning Fox in droves. Ever since election day, CNN has been regularly beating Fox News in the ratings. Consequently, we are witnessing the irony of right-wing Trump supporters boycotting the network that is actually fueling their political agenda. It’s a glorious spectacle that progressive hope will continue well into the new year.

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

Deluded Fox News Viewers Buy Into Trump’s Election Fraud Lies: Poll

On Tuesday the Supreme Court batted down yet another meritless election fraud lawsuit by Donald Trump and/or his sycophantic surrogates. To date Team Trump has lost more than 50 such cases. Yet he persists in pushing his evidence-free allegations despite his record of unprecedented legal failures.

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Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

On Wednesday Trump embarked on his regularly scheduled morning tweetstorm with a barrage of election related outbursts that share the common feature of being wholly removed from reality. For instance, Trump posted these examples of the articulate and coherent case he’s making to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters:

Well, that should settle it. Trump also tweeted his intention to intervene in the bogus lawsuit that Texas just filed that he falsely says contains “massive evidence of widespread fraud.” He tweeted his belief that “it was impossible for me to lose” because he won both Florida and Ohio, and because “the bookies” said so.

However, Trump is not alone alone in advancing this preposterous campaign to overturn the will of the American people. Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News) is right beside him with their patented brand of propaganda buttressed by flagrant falsehoods. And that relentless blast of bullpucky has taken its toll on Fox’s feeble minded viewers. A new poll by Daily Kos/Civiqs reveals that…

“…a large majority of Americans accept and acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election: President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump. But among people who watch Fox News … rejecting the election’s result continues to be the norm.”

A majority of Americans overall (58%) accept that Biden clearly beat Trump. That’s a conclusion they base on Biden having received seven million more votes and a 306-232 electoral college victory. But among frequent Fox News viewers only 18% accept that Trump is a loser, versus 63% who still suffer from the delusion that he won.

This is what can be expected when a deliberately dishonest media enterprise embarks on a campaign of lies to promote their own agenda. And the threat it poses isn’t merely a division between those who accept reality and those who cling to faith-based fantasies. Both Trump and Fox News have overtly incited potential violence on the part of disappointed Trump cultists. They have promoted fringe voices calling for “a civil war.” Just last week Fox’s Lou Dobbs attacked not only those who defend democracy, but even Trump’s own law enforcement agencies. Dobbs accused them of being…

“…a politically corrupt Justice Department in Washington, D.C. A politically corrupt FBI. And I don’t know if he is a dullard, a fool, or a liar, but the Attorney General of this country is not enforcing the law. And I don’t know what he thinks he’s presiding over, but I guarantee William Barr this, it will not be a quiet surrender of this constitutional republic.”

That’s how radically removed Fox News is from any semblance of sanity. And it is all on behalf of their Dear Leader whose malignant narcissism, and lust for greed and power, prevents him from honoring the traditional peaceful transfer of power that characterizes functional democracies.

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The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.

Trump Brags About Turning a Majority of Republicans Against Democracy

There are many things for which Donald Trump will be remembered. They include being impeached for his complicity with Russian election interference, caging children and separating them from their parents, wasting billions of dollars on a fake border wall that Mexico will never pay for, alienating allies, and driving the economy into a persistent recession. Wait, that aint all.

Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

Trump has also presided over the despoiling the environment, skimming millions of taxpayer funds for himself, wantonly violating innumerable laws, humiliating the nation with his hostile and infantile behavior, and, of course, being responsible for the deaths of a quarter of a million Americans due to his ignorance, incompetence, and deliberate mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s quite a legacy. But it is apparently not enough for Trump. He is using his final days in the White House to purposefully undermine respect for the most fundamental American principles. Rather than accept the obvious and decisive defeat that he was dealt by President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has chosen to malign democracy with repeated assertions that the election he so deservedly lost was “rigged” by an implausible cabal of Democrats, Republicans, press, tech companies, civil servants, and even members of his own administration whom he appointed.

Not surprisingly, Trump’s bitter and selfish defiance of reality has resulted in an attitudinal shift among his weak minded cult followers and Fox News junkies. The consequences have been affirmed in a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos. And Trump is so proud of the findings that he featured it in his Wednesday morning tweetstorm:

Needless to say, literally everything Trump alleged in that tweet is verifiably false. Some of it was even stipulated as false by his attorneys in one of the many court cases he’s filed. For the record, Trump is 1 in 24, a nearly perfect score of lawsuit losses. But never fear, according to his lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, losing is all part of his master plan.

The rest of his morning Twantrum was filled with baseless allegations that the Democratic victory was achieved by cheating, for which Trump has zero proof. Consequently, most of his tweets were flagged by Twitter as disputed, misleading or otherwise false. But that wrist-slapping hasn’t deterred him from continuing to lie. Nine of his 13 Wednesday morning tweets were also flagged.

The link that Trump provided in the tweet above led to the results of a poll that reveals the extent to which Trump has poisoned the political environment. It found that Republicans – Trump’s base – have abandoned any association with American democratic values. They are now a confederacy of anti-democratic subversives whose loyalty is only to their Dear Leader:

“Altogether, 73% of those polled agreed that Biden won the election while 5% thought Trump won. But when asked specifically whether Biden had ‘rightfully won,’ Republicans showed they were suspicious about how Biden’s victory was obtained. Fifty-two percent of Republicans said that Trump ‘rightfully won,’ while only 29% said that Biden had rightfully won. […] 68% of Republicans said they were concerned that the election was ‘rigged.'”

So a majority of Republicans share the delusional belief that Trump was the actual winner of the election. For that to be true, six million votes would have to be thrown out and the results from at least three states overturned. It’s a preposterous idea that has been nurtured by Trump’s relentless whining that he’s a victim of an extraordinarily powerful league of evildoers. His tweets scream out “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!” and “I WON THE ELECTION.” And his minions chant along blindly.

Let’s not forget to give due credit for this mass hysteria to Fox News, a network that Media Matters has documented as having “cast doubt on or pushed conspiracy theories about the election results at least 574 times” just since Fox themselves called the election for Joe Biden. That’s the sort of air cover that turns Trump’s babbling into a thick mass of dogma that coats the brain cavities of his Deplorables.

Make no mistake, Trump, Republicans, and Fox News are doing the dirty work for Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and other foreign adversaries who are thrilled to see the American people losing faith in their own government. It is an unambiguous act of treason. What’s more, Trump himself used to think so. In 2016 he said that Democrats who disputed the legitimacy of his election were a direct threat to our democracy.”

Democrats, however, were not disparaging democratic processes or voting systems. They were questioning the unsavory relationships between Trump and Russian operatives. Those relationships were well documented and overtly damaging. The only party that is openly hostile to American democracy is Trump’s Republican Party. And that will remain an obstacle to the healing of our nation for the new Biden administration.

It is, therefore, critical that the crimes of the Trump administration be investigated and prosecuted in order to exorcise the demons summoned by Trump and his cohorts. If there aren’t consequences for those crimes, there will be no deterrent for others going forward. And worse, there will be no moral standing for the prospect of American leadership as an example of democratic freedom.

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