While America Hunkers Down, Trump Exploits the Crisis to Campaign for Reelection

Remember back in the olden times when there were Democratic primaries that dominated the news? There was a “Super” Tuesday and people were anxiously and excitedly exercising their civic duties to vote for the candidates of their choice. That all seems like so long ago. And now they are anxious for a completely different reason.

Donald Trump Virus

The remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential race – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – have purposefully put the brakes on their official campaign activities. That’s the responsible thing to do when a global pandemic has erupted and is spreading rapidly throughout the nation and the world. However, while the Democrats are acting responsibly, Donald Trump has chosen to behave in a manner that is consistent with his narcissistic psychoses. Even while the entire country is focusing on how to survive during these challenging times, Trump is focusing on himself and his own best political interests.

Let’s face it, Trump’s presence is utterly irrelevant at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups. Much of his comments are simply boasting about what he asserts are unprecedented accomplishments and victories that exist only in his self-serving imagination. And he insists on presenting an absurdly rosy scenario that ignores reality and dangerously understates the risk we all face. It’s one thing to offer hope, but another to deliberately mislead.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. That’s why he avoids any discussion of the hardships that the American people are enduring. and it’s why he so brazenly exalts himself and his phony achievements. These are nothing but extended political ads for Trump. They are also Trump’s replacement for the cult rallies that he can no longer have.

In addition to Trump’s cynical commandeering of the press briefings, he has likewise devoted his Twitter account to his reelection effort. In the past week Trump has tweeted hundreds of times. The vast majority of those have been retweets of two varieties: Fox News bootlickers lavishing undue praise on him. And messages from his Republican Senate comrades (more than 50 in three days). It is impossible to miss the fact that Trump incessantly retweets only GOP members of Congress bragging about legislation to address the health – physically and financially – of the American people. It’s as if there aren’t any Democrats working on these bills, despite the fact that they authored most of them.

The lengths that Trump is going to to make Democrats invisible is further evidence of his politicization of this crisis. He will need a Republican majority in congress if (gawd forbid) he is reelected in November. So these retweets are another thinly veiled campaign tactic on Trump’s part. Virtually every reference to Democrats on his Twitter feed is negative. That is not how a conscientious leader would work to bring the nation together in turbulent times.

The bottom line is that Trump isn’t interest in bringing people together. He’s only interested in extending his power and disparaging his perceived enemies. He may think he’s clever by trying to disguise his political ambitions in staged press briefings and innocuous tweets, but the only people he’s fooling are his glassy-eyed cult disciples and – unfortunately – some members of the press.

If the media were living up to the principles that govern a free press, they would cease to cover his briefings live. There would be nothing lost by taping the events and spending a few minutes fact-checking before putting them on the air. But it would prevent more disinformation from being disseminated to the public. And it would stop Trump from unscrupulously hijacking otherwise vital communications to get free ad time.

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

And then there’s this…..

Fox News Hits Record High Ratings of a Measly 0.8% of American Viewers in 2019

If there’s one thing we can learn from 2019 it’s that hostile, melodramatic lies can boost the profits of a flagrantly biased organ of propaganda like Fox News. The right-wing network abandoned all pretense of journalistic integrity (what little it had) in order to sign on to the Donald Trump White House’s perverse distortions of reality.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

The reward for Fox News was the undying devotion of an audience of willfully blind cult followers who agreed to believe only what they saw on Fox and heard from Dear Leader Trump. And their loyalty helped propel Fox News to the number one cable news network for the year.

Fox News – and their number one viewer, Donald Trump – surely celebrated this achievement. But as the year comes to a close it’s important to place this statistic in perspective. The numbers that produced this “victory” represent about 2.5 million viewers per night, or about 0.8% of the television audience on the United States. That’s not exactly a commanding presence of disinformed boob-tubers with eyes glazed over and chanting wingnut slogans.

Of course, any contribution to the thinly populated MAGA cult is troubling and can have negative consequences. But knowing that they are safely confined within the walled off world of Fox News makes their impact nearly irrelevant. The bigger problem with Fox is when they manage to persuade other news organizations that they have any credibility and use that to further spread their fabrications and slander.

The bragging rights for Fox News have always been the result of their having corralled all of the nation’s conservative TV news audience into their single channel pen. Meanwhile, all the other news networks are splitting up the rest of the viewers, which dilutes their total audience. But in 2019, just the combined numbers for MSNBC (1.75 million) and CNN (972,000) exceed the total for Fox News. So anyone who tries to argue that Fox’s numbers are proof of a conservative majority in the country are engaging in the same sort of dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News.

While Fox’s average numbers did earn them the top spot for the year, that doesn’t mean that they resided there the whole time with every program. In fact, Rachel Maddow beat her time period competition, Sean Hannity, for the entire first quarter of the year. She also won the months of September, October, and November. And both “Deadline: White House with Nicole Wallace” and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” won their time periods for the year outright.

The real ratings disaster for the year was, once again, Donald Trump. He remains the most unpopular president since modern polling began. Even his favorite pollster, the disreputable and biased Rasmussen Reports, has him underwater with only 46% approving. And a recent Fox News poll showed that a majority of Americans (53%) have an unfavorable view of his job performance. In addition to that, a solid majority of 54% in the Fox poll said that Trump should be impeached, with 50% saying that he should also be removed from office. So whatever influence Fox News purports to have by snagging 0.8% of the television audience, it isn’t having much effect on the views of the American people. And that’s something Trump will surely post an angry tweet about before long.

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

Fox News Ratings Continue to Sink During Month of Trump’s Impeachment Hearings

One of the most nauseating things about Donald Trump is how deliberately he has decimated the standards of honesty for the U.S. presidency. And while there is nothing he won’t lie about, his falsehoods are frequently employed to boost his own fragile ego. This is a man who began his term by lying about the size of his inauguration audience. He lies about his popularity among Republicans. He routinely lies about the attendance at his cult rallies. And lately he has been obsessed with lies about the impeachment hearings hurting Democrats.

Fox News, Titanic

Contrary to Trump’s plaintive whining, polls show that it’s his own approval rating that has suffered throughout the impeachment hearings. A majority of Americans still favor his impeachment and removal from office. But that isn’t the only downside for Trump World. His state TV propaganda network, Fox News, is also being dragged down by the loathing he has cultivated for himself and his Republican Nationalist Party.

The numbers for the month of November tell a tale of woe for Trump’s media minions. Year to year, Fox News viewership for the total day in the all-important 25-54 year old demographic declined 11%. That compared to MSNBC’s rise of 5%. Fox’s daytime ratings in the demo declined 5% (MSNBC was up 19%). And Fox’s primetime schedule featuring Trump-fluffers Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, dropped 12% (MSNBC was up 8%).

MSNBC’s strong performance was once again driven by Rachel Maddow. Her program handily beat Hannity with an average audience of 572,000 a night. Hannity, Fox’s top rated program, trailed with only 554,000. But she wasn’t alone. Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams all notched highs for the year in their time periods. Williams ranked No. 1 in his timeslot among adults 25-54. On the dayside, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was the most-watched cable news show at 4:00pm for the third straight month.

This is the second straight month where MSNBC’s growth outpaced Fox News. And it’s the third straight month that Maddow has topped Hannity. During most of this time the news has been consumed by contentious issues like impeachment and the 2020 election. Fox News has juiced its programming with live, interrupted coverage of Trump’s rallies (19 so far this year). But even that Trumpioid-fix for addicted Trump cultists didn’t keep viewers from fleeing.

Democrats should learn from this that they need to keep up the pressure on Trump. It’s not only educating the public about his criminal activities, it’s having a positive impact on impeachment in the polls, and on ratings for programs that aren’t afraid to tell the truth about Trump. Democrats need to ignore Trump’s impotent wailing about “witch hunts” and lies about how adored he is. He isn’t. And the more we point that out, the lower he sinks into the abyss of his own lies.

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

Thanks Trump! The Pumpkinhead President Scares Fox News Ratings Into an Abyss

The month of October has been a frightening experience for Donald Trump. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted on national TV that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had a nervous breakdown on Fox News. He was forced to reverse an idiotic plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his Doral golf resort in Miami. And his one bit of good news – the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – produced a paltry two point bounce in a poll by his favorite, ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen. Scary, huh?

Donald Trump, Fox News, Halloween

Trump was so terrified throughout the month that he fear-posted 104 panic-tweets attacking the fearsome chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. And as if the Offender-in-Chief doesn’t already have enough reasons to soil his trousers, the Trump-fluffing “news” network that he relies on to prop him up with worshipful propaganda, Fox News, fell on some hard times as well. The ratings for October reveal that impeachment has been good news for both America and Fox’s chief competitor, MSNBC.

The total day ratings for Fox News declined by a whopping 27 percent in the all-important 25-54 demographic, compared to October of 2018. In the same period MSNBC rose 12 percent. MSNBC also increased total prime time viewers 25 percent, and prime time demo viewers 16 percent.

This growth was driven by impressive gains by The Rachel Maddow Show, which was the #1 cable news program for the month among adults 25-54. Her show was up 13 percent, while Fox News’ Hannity declined 21 percent in that time slot. In total viewers Maddow was up 22 percent, compared to Fox’s 2 percent drop. She beat her direct competition, Sean Hannity, as well as Fox’s other prime time stars, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

These gains were also present in other MSNBC programs. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up 20 percent (Fox News dropped 22 percent). The 11th Hour with Brian Williams finished #1 in the 11 p.m. hour, up 25 percent (Fox News declined 31 percent). The Beat with Ari Melber delivered the network’s most-watched month ever in the 6 p.m. time period, up 34 percent (Fox News down 12 percent). Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was #1 in total viewers, up 13 percent (Fox News dropped 27 percent). All In with Chris Hayes was up 24 percent (Fox News was down 19 percent). Even the weekend had great news with total day gains of 10 percent (Fox News dips of 32 percent).

There could be several explanations for this powerful performance by MSNBC and the simultaneous collapse of Fox News. Trump’s impeachment might have stirred more interest by progressive news consumers to tune in more. At the same time, it might have discouraged conservatives from watching the news at all. But there’s another possible factor that drove Fox’s viewers away: Donald Trump. He spent a fair amount of time bashing his own own best media outlet and even telling his followers to turn off Fox.

For instance, after a Fox poll showed him losing to Biden, Trump tweeted that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck.” And then there was the time he tweeted that “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.” And not mincing words, Trump told his Deplorables that “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

It’s hard to determine whether Trump’s Fox bashing had any real impact on their ratings. But it isn’t hard to see that he is a fickle and vengeful narcissist who demands 100 percent adoration at all times, lest you be cast into the corn fields, aka TrumpScorn. However, it is more likely that television audiences were simply more interested in getting honest presentations of the news by real journalists instead of slobbering, glassy-eyed sycophants. And since a majority of Americans favor Trump being impeached and removed from office (even in that Fox News poll), even the opinion side of MSNBC would figure to be more popular.

If Trump has anything going for him at this time, it’s the “bloody highway crash” appeal that might cause viewers to tune to Fox in order to see exactly how his mental breakdown will unfold in real time. Sure, it’s morbid and gruesome, but hell, it’s Halloween. Everybody may just be in a weird mood.

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

Rachel Maddow Rides Impeachment to Ratings Victory Over Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity

In the week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Donald Trump is the subject of an official House impeachment inquiry, there have been some extraordinary developments. Trump himself blew a gasket and began flinging rhetorical feces at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and what he called Democrat Savages,” and even his faithful defenders at Fox News. Trump descended head first into paranoid rants accusing his perceived enemies of treason and assorted other imaginary atrocities.

Rachel Maddow

What’s more, the public has been rapidly accepting that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting his removal from office. Recent polls show a net 20 point swing in favor of impeachment. The Ukraine affair has the advantage of being quickly understood without the complexities of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russian and the 400 page Mueller Report that reveals criminality and obstruction of justice – if people would read it.

As the impeachment story heats up it is also having an impact on television news viewing. The past week saw MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spike significantly as she focuses on Trump’s tribulations. Among the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds, Maddow handily beat her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. Maddow averaged 586,000 viewers a day for the week, compared to only 550,000 for Hannity. This is good timing for Maddow whose new book – Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth – comes out today.

As the ratings and the polls consistently reflect the trouble Trump has caused for himself, he is becoming ever more desperate for the sort of flattery that fuels his tender ego. He typically finds it in the cultish sycophancy of Fox News and the utterly disreputable polling by Rasmussen. But lately he has been feuding with Fox and Rasmussen just reported a five point drop in his approval in the past week. Consequently he resorted to posting the results of an online poll at Breitbart “News.”

You might think it’s pathetic that Trump would rely on such a blatantly biased and unreliable survey of the crackpots who patronize Breitbart. But what’s even worse is that a poll taken in his own Twitter feed, with more than twice the number of respondents, has support for impeachment exceeding 90 percent.

It’s apparent that the movement to impeach Trump is only going to pick up steam as it goes forward. And along the way more people will be exposed to the facts offered by Rachel Maddow, while Hannity’s viewers slink off to the comforting seclusion of the underside of the rocks they call home. But this is no time to get complacent. Trump’s exploding derangement is going to spray psycho-shrapnel everywhere. And his most devoted disciples will even threaten civil war. In fact, both he and they and Fox News already have. So stay alert and engaged Resistors. This is just the beginning.

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

Fox News Smears Democratic Debate Host Rachel Maddow in a Fit of Hysterical Hypocrisy

The first night of the 2020 Democratic primary debate was a refreshing departure from the infantile politics of the Donald Trump era. There was no childish name-calling; no hostile outbursts; no hateful displays of misogyny, racism, or other forms of bigotry; no narcissistic delusions of grandeur; and no shameless lies. Remember when politics used be like that?

Rachel Maddow, Fox News

However, Trump himself was watching and couldn’t help injecting his unique brand of loathsome immaturity. He began with a typically whiny criticism in a one-word tweet that just said “BORING.” Probably because it lacked the histrionics of a kindergarten full of cholicky crybabies like Trump. And it went downhill from there. He later mocked a brief technical glitch that lasted about six seconds. And he followed that up with a fake video of the glitch.

It didn’t take long for State TV (aka Fox News) to weigh in with their own “fair and balanced” debate analysis. It consisted of a report by their media correspondent Brian Flood, and was headlined “PEACOCK PROPAGANDA? Media critics blast NBC over far-left opinion host Rachel Maddow’s role at Democratic debate.” It’s cute that Fox News still has the gumption to criticize other networks for being biased. But this report really stretched the boundaries of idiocy.

First of all, Flood quoted four “media critics” for his article. All four of them from ultra-rightist outlets that could be relied on to despise MSNBC and Rachel Maddow regardless of how they performed. They included Glenn Beck’s BlazeTV, the noxious Accuracy in Media, the venerable wingnuts at the Media Research Center, and the Daily Caller, a website founded by Fox’s own Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson.

Flood began his rant by lying about Maddow being “too biased for The New York Times.” In fact, the Times only indicated that they would prefer their reporters sticking to programs that were focused on news without opinion. Flood failed to mention that the Times had the very same restrictions on almost every program on Fox News.

Then Flood tried to portray Maddow’s debate questions as a “softball fest” because she asked about things like climate change and the report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Of course these are serious issues that every candidate should address. Particularly Democratic candidates because these are the issues that are most important to their constituents.

Holding candidates accountable on the subjects that matter most to the electorate is apparently being too soft according to Flood and Fox News. But then again, Fox is the network that has been working overtime to spin the Mueller report as having exonerated Trump when it explicitly said that it didn’t. And lately they have been frantically trying to sweep the latest allegations of rape against Trump under the carpet.

Finally, Flood posted a flurry of tweets that criticised Maddow and MSNBC. They included frequent Fox News contributors like Mollie Hemingway, Jonah Goldberg, and Dan Bongino. Every one of them are virulent opponents of all things liberal or Democratic. Is it any wonder that Flood’s article concluded that “media critics” were universally negative toward the debate? He didn’t bother to ask anyone who was independent or left leaning.

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

It would be interesting to see how Fox News would handle a Republican primary debate. But it doesn’t appear that we’ll have the opportunity, even though there is a credible candidate running against Trump. Bill Weld is the former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts, but he can’t even get a town hall or an interview on Fox News. Did they get an order from Trump to bury Weld? What do you suppose they are afraid of? Other than – obviously – Rachel Maddow.

Hannity Attacks Maddow and Winds Up Admitting that He and Fox News are ‘Fake News’

MSNBC just announced that their panel of moderators for the first Democratic primary debate will include Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, José Diaz-Balart, Chuck Todd, and Rachel Maddow. And as might be predicted, the last name on that list has already stirred some controversy.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Fox News

Rachel Maddow is unambiguously opinionated. Her program covers the news from a liberal perspective, although always dedicated to presentations that rely on factual sources. Whether or not it’s appropriate for her to be a moderator for a political debate is – well, debatable. But it’s MSNBC’s decision to make and her performance can be judged on the merits. That is, unless you’re Sean Hannity of Fox News. In which case Maddow must be preemptively denounced with childish nicknames (ala Donald Trump) like “Roswell Maddow” and absurd slurs that portray her as “left of Mao, by public admission” (an admission that exists only in Hannity’s cartoon brain).

Hannity devoted a whole segment of his program on Tuesday to this manufactured controversy, and brought in Sean Spicer and Jesse Watters to add their “unbiased” analysis (video below). Hannity led off by referring to Maddow as…

“Tinfoil hat-Maddow, the single biggest liar, conspiracy theorist in the country, the person that pushed the Russiagate lies night after night.”

Never mind that the role of “biggest liar, conspiracy theorist” has long been held by Hannity himself. He has pushed destructive falsehoods ranging from Obama’s birth certificate, to Pizzagate, to the Seth Rich murder, and to countless and malicious assaults on special counsel Robert Mueller. But Hannity was unable to cite a single alleged conspiracy theory promoted by Maddow. With regard to Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia, and his obstruction of justice, Maddow has actually broken stories that have held up over time. But that wasn’t the worst of Hannity’s drooling outburst. In response to the news of Maddow’s selection as a moderator, he offered a programming proposal of his own:

“Here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll have a debate moderated by me, the Great One [Mark Levin], Rush Limbaugh, Jesse [Watters] can join us, and Laura [Ingraham] and Tucker [Carlson]. How’s that?”

How’s that? That’s actually pretty funny. Hannity just slogged through several minutes of whining about how prejudicial and dishonest Maddow is, and thus unfit to be a moderator. So what’s his method of balancing out this partisan tilt? Countering it with his own flavor of prejudice and dishonesty. He is, in effect, admitting that he and his Fox News colleagues are as unfit to moderate a debate as he says Maddow is. It’s kind of like Hannity telling a schoolmate “You’re mother would win an ugly contest, unless my mother was a contestant. How’s that?”

For the record, Maddow already moderated a Democratic primary debate. Back in 2016, she was on a panel during a debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. At the time, Howard Kurtz of Fox News didn’t think she was the right choice. But he nevertheless said that “Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night.” And why wouldn’t she? She’s a Stanford graduate and a Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate in political science. Hannity is a dropout who rose to fame as a radio shock jock.

Hannity’s meltdown over this issue is typical of his bombastic response to everything that Democrats or liberals do, whether or not there is any cause. He is oblivious to the fact that a primary debate (as opposed to the general election) is a partisan event to begin with. He’d probably be shocked to learn that every one of those debaters are Democrats. And it’s not as if he and Fox News have distinguished themselves during their many interviews (aka tongue baths) with Trump, who is too scared to be interviewed by anyone on MSNBC or CNN. So much for being fair and balanced.

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

Snowflake Trump is Morbidly Afraid of MSNBC, CNN, While Democrats Hold Town Halls on Fox News

In the week since the redacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller was released, Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated what he really thinks of it. Although he said that it “totally exonerated” him, his actions belie his words. He has done nothing but criticize it and try desperately to discredit it and its authors. That’s not what an innocent person does to a report that he believes vindicates him.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper

Trump’s reaction affirms his overall state of mind, which is an all-consuming fear of what his future holds. He knows what he did and is terrified that everyone else is going to find out. Consequently, he has receded into his bunker and refuses to deal with anyone other than loyal subjects, cult rally attendees, and of course, Fox News.

This strategy of hiding under the Lincoln Bedroom bed reveals that Trump and his Deplorables still languish in a fantasy world where they believe that he is a pillar of strength. There has been relentless criticism of the Democratic Party’s decision not to allow Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate. The StormTrumpers say that Democrats must be afraid of Fox. To the contrary. They are aware that Fox News is an overtly hostile environment that only exists to denigrate them.

Nevertheless, several Democratic candidates for president have either already agreed, or are holding talks, to appear on a Fox News hosted town hall. There are big differences between town halls that are aimed a broad audience, and primary debates that are more narrowly intended for voters of that particular party. And every survey shows that there aren’t very many Democrats watching Fox News.

The list of Democrats looking at Fox town halls includes Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, John Delaney, and Michael Bennet. They would follow Bernie Sanders, who already did one and was immediately castigated by Trump for doing so. That’s a clue to what the others should expect.

What’s interesting about this is that while Republicans are quick to attack Democrats for avoiding Fox News (which obviously isn’t true), the same Republicans never bother to note that Trump is petrified of MSNBC and CNN. He has never permitted these networks to interview him as president. Trump’s abject fear is palpable. It’s why he constantly maligns the media in Stalist terms as “the enemy of the people.” He will not allow himself to be in a situation where he can’t control the dialog.

So Trump and his GOP cohorts in politics and punditry should STFU about Democrats going on Fox News. At least until Trump appears in a town hall hosted by Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, or even “Morning Psycho” Joe Scarborough. Or maybe Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, or Jake Tapper.

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

But don’t hold your breath. Trump won’t even sit for an interview with Fox’s Shepard Smith, Bret Baier, or Chris Wallace. That pleasure (?) is reserved exclusively for Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. These are Trump’s safe spaces where he knows he won’t be challenged or met with anything other than adoring sycophancy. And the contrast between the relationship between Democrats and Fox News, to Trump’s panic-stricken dread of MSNBC or CNN, shows who the real snowflake is.

Rachel Maddow is the #1 Cable News Program for First Quarter of 2019 Despite Trump’s Fox News Hype

The Rachel Maddow Show has achieved yet another milestone in her program’s ratings surge. She has been outperforming her competition since the midterm election last November. That includes staggering routs of Fox News and its primary Trump-fluffer, Sean Hannity.

Rachel Maddow

In a press release from MSNBC, Maddow is shown to have beaten “all other FOX News and CNN shows, according to Nielsen data from December 31, 2018 through March 28, 2019.” Furthermore, “this quarter was ‘Maddow’s’ highest-rated quarter ever in total viewers, averaging 3.07M total viewers at 9pm.” It’s a record-breaking achievement that demonstrates the audience appeal for an aggressively honest brand of reporting that respects the viewer and delivers facts that are well-sourced and documented.

The success of Maddow’s program was mirrored by much of the MSNBC schedule. The network’s Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5pm, viewing grew by a larger margin (17%) than Fox News, which actually declined two percent. The same goes for total day viewing that saw a nine percent increase for MSNBC versus a two percent drop for Fox News.

Additionally, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell bested its Fox competition in its time period to be the #1 program for the quarter in both the 25-54 year old demographic and total viewers. It also outperformed Fox by growing ten percent compared to a seven percent decline for Fox. And another bright spot for MSNBC was Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline: White House, which also rang in at #1 against Fox’s long time host Neil Cavuto. And the press release notes that:

“Multiple MSNBC programs also achieved total-viewer ratings highs, including weekdays during ‘MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin,’ ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Velshi & Ruhle,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Katy Tur,’ ‘MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi,’ ‘MTP Daily,’ ‘The Beat with Ari Melber,’ ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews,’ ‘All In with Chris Hayes,’ and ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell’; and Saturdays during ‘UP with David Gura’ and ‘Weekends with Alex Witt.'”

It must be especially painful for Fox News considering how hard Trump worked to promote his State TV division. At times it was impossible to tell whether Trump was the President of the United States, or of Fox’s Marketing and PR department. At one point in March Trump posted ten Fox News videos in one flurry of weekend rage-tweeting.

This quarter also saw the publishing of an in-depth expose of the clinging embrace between Trump and Fox News by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. Trump also came to the defense of two of Fox’s most offensive hosts, Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson, whose prafane and insulting rants have cost them most of their advertisers. The Democratic National Committee made a profoundly wise decision to ban Fox from hosting any Democratic primary debates. That decision was affirmed shortly thereafter by a survey that revealed the depth of Fox’s right-wing nuttery. Meanwhile, Trump kept tweeting what he thought was good news about his favorite network.

All in all, it’s another stellar quarter for MSNBC, a network that was once written off as an also-ran that would always trail the perennial leader. And for Fox News it’s a bitter humiliation as their relentless and biased advocacy for Donald Trump, and shameless lying about his critics, proves to be a drag in the ratings race.

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

Poor Fox News is Pathetically Bragging About a Few Days of Beating MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Fox News was once the dominant news network on cable TV. It was so far ahead of its competition that it seemed unthinkable that it could be challenged. That’s mainly because they corralled all of the Deplorable right-wingers into one barnyard pen, while the rest of the television news was dispersed across many other channels. But it was still a marketing angle they could use as a cudgel against their competitors.

Fox News, Rachel Maddow

In recent years that domination has has dissipated substantially. And particularly in the past few months, MSNBC has caught up, and quite often surpassed Fox news in the ratings. Rachel Maddow’s program has been crushing Sean Hannity, her direct time period competitor, on a nearly nightly basis ever since the midterm elections last November.

In what seems to be a reaction to the surging performance of MSNBC, Donald Trump took measures to prop up Fox News which acts as his personal, state TV mouthpiece for propaganda. He’s has fervently promoted his fave hosts including Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro. He even did so on Thursday night at his latest cult rally in Michigan. It’s often hard to tell whether Trump thinks he’s working for the American people or for Fox’s PR department.

Fox News has also started to boast about their ratings. They featured a story on their website’s home page that celebrated what they called “Maddow’s Deep Dive.” What makes this extraordinary is that this isn’t the sort of thing that any network does. When was the last time anyone has seen CBS or CNN make a story about their ratings a news item? That’s generally reserved for the TV trade press. But even more embarrassing for Fox is that they have to do this at all. They are effectively conceding that they have been the big losers of late and now are proud that they’ve had a few days where they aren’t in the ratings cellar. It’s an admission that they are underperforming MSNBC and it is therefore cause for joy that they came out on top for a while.

It should be noted that this “success” for Fox News is occurring just after the release of a four page letter by Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. The letter purports to be a summary of the 400+ page report by special counsel Robert Mueller. But it is a gross misrepresentation of that document by all accounts. And that includes the account of Fox’s senior legal analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who says that there is evidence of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the full report. So it’s natural for Maddow’s viewers to take a break from what can be considered a slow news cycle, while Fox’s viewers pile in to get their pro-Trump fantasies gassed up.

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

Whether or not this constitutes a trend in the ratings, or is a temporary blip remains to be seen. But the fact that Fox News was compelled to throw a party simply because they edged out Maddow – who rose from nowhere to become a giant killer – just proves that Fox is worried and has to brag about briefly beating a show that they used to ignore as unworthy of their attention. Maddow and MSNBC are clearly making Fox so nervous that they can’t even hide it. That’s great news for MSNBC.