Desperate and Delusional Trump Resurrects the Zombie ‘Big Lie’ of Voter Fraud

STOP THE MADNESS! It seems that Donald Trump is still pining away in his Mar-a-Lago bunker, trying to convince himself – and any fractured soul who will listen – that he really did win the 2020 presidential election, despite the fact every analysis in every state by every political party proves otherwise. He simply can’t handle being America’s Biggest Loser.

Donald Trump, King

Now, three months after Joe Biden was inaugurated, five months after the election, Trump continues to cling pathetically to his warped version of reality. Upon having learned that a group of conspiracy crackpots succeeded in getting the Arizona Senate to allow them to conduct a recount of the Maricopa County votes, Trump weighed in with his usual impotent bombast. In a press release (since he’s been banished from most social media due to his promulgation of pathological lies), Trump wrote that…

“So many people would like to thank the brave and patriotic Republican State Senators from Arizona for the incredible job they are doing in exposing the large scale Voter Fraud which took place in the 2020 Presidential Election. Their tireless efforts have led to a massive recount, ballot examination, and full forensic audit, undertaken by experts retained by the State Senate, with results to be announced within six weeks.”

For the record, Trump’s loss in Arizona is not in dispute. There were two recounts that validated the results. The election board, consisting of four Republicans and one Democrat, certified the results. The “brave and patriotic Republican State Senators” Trump is referring to are actually just a gang of partisan thugs hoping to discredit the American electoral process. That’s a goal that Republicans share with Russian operatives who have been trying to do the same thing.

There is absolutely zero evidence of any voter fraud, large scale or not. And this recount isn’t going to find any using legitimate methods. Unfortunately, they don’t intend to use any legitimate methods. The firm hired by the Arizona GOP Senate is one that has been conspicuously involved in some of the most bizarre conspiracy theories circulating in Trump’s QAnon infested world. Rachel Maddow covered it in depth on Thursday night:

Trump went on to whine that Democrats had “sent 73 lawyers to Arizona in an effort to stop this recount,.” Which of course wasn’t true. But Democrats did file a motion to challenge it. Trump further claimed that the Arizona recount would eventually result in fraud being discovered in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Once again, he has no shred of evidence to support any of that. However, he was pleased that the recount would be covered live by the brazenly biased purveyor of propaganda, One America News Network (OANN).

Trump’s press release went on to criticize Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, and the mostly GOP County Commissioners, who he alleged were all accomplices in the “scam 2020 Election” because, of course they are. And he insisted that “We must never allow this to happen to our Great Country again. [and that] I predict the results will be startling!”

Trump’s prediction is the surest way of knowing that the whole affair is corrupt. He certainly knows who the players are and has been given assurances that they will produce the outcome he wants. None of this, however, will change the outcome of the election. Biden will remain President and Trump remain pathetic. But it is just this sort of dishonesty that ignited the violence at the Capitol on January 6th. And Trump and his cronies seem to be anxious to have more of it.

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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.

Rachel Maddow Topped All Cable News Programs for the 1st Quarter of 2021

One of the more pompous predictions of the former guy (Donald Trump) was that without him “all forms of media will tank.” Although there is some truth to that in the sense that he attracted eyeballs in the same way that a bloody highway crash does. He insisted on constantly being the center of attention even if that meant making a fool of himself, which he did more often than not.

Rachel Maddow

However, what Trump failed to predict was the rise of progressive media and particularly MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Her performance has been a bright light in a media environment that has been shrouded by a global pandemic. During the first quarter of 2021, Maddow rose to become the number one cable news program, beating her competition on the prior leader, Fox News. For part of the quarter Maddow was the number one program on all of cable, not just cable news. She marked that milestone on March 3rd:

During the quarter Fox News was the biggest loser, having dropped 40 percent into third place behind both MSNBC and CNN. By comparison CNN was off 32 Percent, and MSNBC fell only 19 percent. It isn’t surprising that viewership was down this year. It was being compared to an unusually eventful prior year that was bombarded with profoundly significant developments like the pandemic, the second impeachment, and the presidential election.

This year by contrast has been languid, in the most pleasant way. President Biden has sought to make his policies the story, rather than himself. The ponderous presence of a psychotic narcissist has been banished from Washington, although it still emits it’s pitiful, emasculated roars from its new lair in Palm Beach. This sea change is a big plus for journalism. As Tom Jones at the Poynter Institute noted…

“Now, for the most part, Trump can be ignored. Which means stories that really matter can be covered. Maybe it won’t draw the audience we’ve seen in the past, but it will be important.”

The standings in the ratings are likely to be volatile in the coming months, Fox News may regain its leading post when viewers who abandoned it for more radical pastures (Newsmax, OANN) return. They may find those other outlets tiresome, specious, and devoid of substance. And Trump isn’t around to promote them anymore.

Fox’s CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, is confidant that Fox News ratings will increase because its viewers will appreciate Fox’s unethical commitment to right-wing propaganda. Murdoch recently admitted that Fox’s role is to be “the opposition” to Biden and the Democrats, saying “That’s what our job is now with the Biden administration, and you’ll see our ratings really improve from here.”

Maybe. But the fact that MSNBC and Rachel Maddow prevailed during one of the most competitive seasons in modern times is evidence that many viewers hunger for honest and informative reporting. Fox’s approach to journalism as an ultra-conservative confirmation bias generator can only succeed on a temporary basis. And its reporting will have no lasting impact anywhere other than in the minds of the indoctrinated wingnuttery.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Fox News CEO Murdoch Admits that the Network Opposes Biden – For Ratings

When Fox News launched twenty-six years ago, its mission was to advance the interests of conservatives and Republicans, and to serve as a partisan counterweight to credible news enterprises and honest journalists. While that was no secret, it’s founders – right-wing newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch and GOP media consultant Roger Ailes – pretended to be “fair and balanced,” a slogan that falsely implied that other news operations were not (and which Fox ditched four years ago).

Fox News, Joe Biden

This week Rupert’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, who is now the network’s CEO, spoke at a Morgan Stanley investor conference where he said the quiet parts out loud. Apparently, in the Era of Trump and QAnon, it is no longer necessary to veil their biases in cheesy slogans. Murdoch said that…

“‘The main beneficiary of the Trump administration from a ratings point of view was MSNBC … and that’s because they were the loyal opposition,’ Murdoch said of the rival cable network. ‘That’s what our job is now with the Biden administration, and you’ll see our ratings really improve from here.'” […]

“‘Seventy-five million people voted for a Republican president, sometimes in spite of his personality at times,’ Murdoch said. ‘That’s what we represent. We’re going to stick to the center-right. That’s where our audience is.'”

Murdoch was obviously making excuses for the fact that, since the election last November, Fox News has slipped to third place in the cable news wars, behind MSNBC and CNN. Rachel Maddow is now the number one program in all of cable, not just cable news:

However, Murdoch’s explanation is peculiar in that he is also admitting that Fox News is “the loyal opposition” to the the administration of President Joe Biden. That’s wholly inappropriate from a journalistic ethics standpoint. Plus, it implies that they were affirmatively supporting Donald Trump for the past four years. Of course, anyone with a functioning cerebrum knew this, but it was rarely stated explicitly in public by Fox News executives.

What’s more, Murdoch is also saying that the reasons for his network’s blatant bias is for ratings. That’s also improper in the news business, where truth is the standard to which honest journalists aspire. Truth, of course, was the first casualty of Fox’s mangling of the reporter’s craft.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Murdoch went on to concede the repugnant nature of Trump’s personality, or lack thereof. Yet he is still supporting him because of the voters he hopes to keep as viewers. Murdoch outright slams Trump’s noxious demeanor and, in the same sentence, declares that that’s what Fox News represents, and will continue doing so.

The position that Murdoch is taking is not acceptable for any enterprise that purports to be in the news business. And while he seemingly spoke for MSNBC, NBC didn’t appreciate that presumptuousness:

“A spokesperson for NBCUniversal News Group, which includes NBC News and MSNBC, said in response that ‘our role, and the role of any legitimate news organization — whether it includes an ‘opinion section’ or not — is to hold power to account, regardless of party.'”

And therein lies the difference between Fox News and its competitors. While other news networks may have opinions, they are based on facts and applied uniformly. At Fox News their overt negativity is always aimed the Democrats and the liberals whom they regard as enemies (as conveniently illustrated by Tucker Carlson) this week. Fox’s extreme political prejudice has even irritated other members of the Murdoch family. Lachlan’s big brother James complained about the “toxic” politics practiced by Fox News:

“Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years. […] Spreading disinformation – whether about the election, public health or climate change – has real world consequences.”

That pretty much says it all. And it comes from a source that is embedded well inside the Fox bubble. Unfortunately, James has nothing to do with the network any more, other than being a shareholder. But when Daddy Murdoch is “off the air” that may change. And then, so may Fox.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

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

Dr. Fauci Tells Rachel Maddow How the Trump Admin ‘Blocked’ Him From Her Show

The differences between the negligent, incompetent, and wantonly corrupt administration of Donald Trump, and that of the incoming Joe Biden administration have been evident in just the few hours that Biden has been President. The stench of ego-driven criminality has been replaced by the refreshing fragrance of experience and compassion. And America has heaved a massive, collective sigh of relief.

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Donald Trump, Anthony Fauci, Censored

Among those relieved by the passing of the Trump era is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the widely respected expert on infectious diseases. His presence on Trump’s phony Coronavirus Task Force – that was nothing more than a thinly veiled reelection campaign operation – was awkward, to say the least. He frequently had to cover his face in shame as Trump dispensed pure idiocy and flagrant falsehoods. Often he was ignored or even uninvited to the press briefings altogether.

Those times are over. Dr. Fauci was interviewed Friday for the first time on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show. It was the sort of enlightening hour of useful information that the public sorely needs during these troubling times. And Dr. Fauci was clearly pleased to have the opportunity to communicate with Maddow and her audience. In fact, he addressed his prior absence from the show during this exchange:

Maddow: Dr. Fauci…The country really trusts you in particular, but we’ve seen this sort of disappearance of, and sort of muzzling of, these other senior folks within the government. Do you think that we’ll have more access to you, both the press and the public?

Fauci: I’m positive of it. I’ve been wanting to come on your show for months and months. You’ve been asking me to come on your show for months and months, and it’s just gotten blocked. Let’s call it what it is: It just got blocked because they didn’t like the way you handle things, and they didn’t want me on. I mean it was just so clear when we sent it down. “Why would you want to go on Rachel Maddow’s show?” “Well, because I like her and she’s really good.” “It doesn’t make any difference. Don’t do it.”

I don’t think you’re going to see that now. I think you’re going to see a lot of transparency. You might not see everybody as often as you want, but you’re not gonna see deliberate holding back of good people when the press asks for them. We were assured that that’s the case. And that goes along with what you were mentioning before about different types of pressures that were put on. It was a tough situation. It really was.

Those gracious and honest remarks also reveal the dangerous censorship by Trump of critical information necessary for the preservation of life during a deadly pandemic. Trump never cared about the welfare of the American people, particularly if it contrasted with his own narcissistic self-interest. Dr. Fauci said as much in another interview on CNN (where he had also been barred by Trump from appearing) when asked…

John Berman: Did the lack of candor over the last year and lack of facts, in some cases, cost lives?
Fauci: You know, it very likely did… When you start talking about the things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, we are going to learn more and more about how unconscionably destructive Trump was for the nation and the world. And the damage he’s done will not be repaired overnight. But at least we won’t be seeing the sort of suppression and deliberate disinformation going forward that was so painfully prevalent while Trump was occupying the White House.

NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. And you can follow this surrogate Twitter account here. Thanks for your support.

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

Fearful Trump’s Extremist Attacks Are Escalating and It’s Only Going to Get Worse

There is an unmistakable stench of desperation in the White House that is spreading like a virus. Donald Trump may be as delusionally confident as ever on the surface, but his behavior is more reflective of someone consumed by fear and a grossly misperceived sense of victimization. This has lead to a new “scorched earth” reelection approach to attacking Joe Biden and a nastier, more toxic campaign strategy.

Donald Trump Zombie

Trump has plenty to be worried about. His negligent and incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has resulted in a tragic surge that exceeds anything seen throughout the world. The economy is in recession and more than 40 million Americans have faced unemployment. There is civil unrest in the streets of America protesting systemic racism, while Trump is advocating for Confederate traitors who fought to preserve slavery. And his reelection campaign is coming apart at the seams amidst historically low polling and abysmal approval ratings.

As Trump’s mental state deteriorates, his paranoia increases. He has begun administering “loyalty tests” to staffers in the White House and virtually every cabinet agency, including the Pentagon. He and his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) are entertaining bizarre election theories aimed more at soothing his fragile ego than winning in November. And he sees himself as tormented by everyone from former advisors like John Bolton (see his book here) to family members like his niece Mary Trump (see her book here).

Consequently, Trump is resorting to ever more drastic methods of extraction from the electoral Mariana Trench he has dug himself into. He is ramping up his attacks on Joe Biden with allusions to his mental health. That’s a treacherous slope considering that the American people regard Trump as more mentally unfit than Biden. He sat for what he probably thought would be a softball Fox News interview, but ended up getting fact-checked live by Chris Wallace. Trump was called out for his lies about Biden’s position on defunding the police.

However, Trump’s primary concerns are never about the issues that are most important to the American people. He is endlessly and exclusively obsessed with his own welfare and image. Which explains much of his recent outrage over the media’s coverage of his floundering campaign. following his disastrous cult rally in Tulsa, Trump tweeted…

Trump’s uniquely deranged notion that TV ratings are “the real polls” is a perspective that can only come from someone whose otherwise pitifully thin resume is dominated by having hosted a reality TV game show for fourteen years. However, even by his own measure, Trump is a pathetic loser. The ratings for his tongue bath – er, interview – with Sean Hannity don’t look so good when compared to the ratings for Rachel Maddow’s interview of Mary Trump. Hannity pulled in 5.11 million viewers, while Maddow drew 5.23 million.

“Maddow’s sit-down with President Donald Trump’s niece drew a record 5.23 million viewers to the show, leading every show on cable and broadcast in primetime Thursday. […] Thursday’s edition also claimed the largest viewership for a regularly scheduled show in MSNBC’s history.”

So does Trump still believe that these are the real polls? Or will this just incite even more outrageous tweets that defy coherent explanation? It’s most likely going to spur more intense “hyperbollocks,” which is my word combining “hyperbole” and “bollocks” to describe rhetoric that is both exaggerated and unfathomable rubbish.

Regardless, Trump’s warped sociopathy is bound to get worse as the honest depictions of his failures continue to batter him mercilessly. so prepare yourselves for his his attacks on Biden that will grow ever more unhinged in the coming weeks. He simply cannot handle reality, and thus reacts by inventing psychotic fantasies wherein he is infallible and omnipotent. Unfortunately, he also reacts with greater hostility and viciousness. And where that might lead between now and January 20, 2021, is both a mystery and a troubling concern for this nation and the world.

UPDATE: The Washington Post published an editorial that reveals that the “scorched earth” strategy described above has actually been documented and circulated in the White House:

“President Trump has launched a slash-and-burn campaign against an exaggerated caricature of his Democratic opponent, casting former vice president Joe Biden as a destroyer of basic freedoms and a threat to voter’s safety who would ‘let terrorists roam free’ and ‘abolish the American way of life.’ […] In new advertising, tweets and public statements that began to appear earlier this month, Trump has argued that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a harbinger of chaos and destruction, depicting a fantastical scarecrow largely divorced from reality.”

Hold on, folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. And Biden, his surrogates, and Democrats everywhere need to be vigilant and ready to respond.

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

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.

If anything is a “must watch” this is:

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.