Trump Thinks He’s Still on Reality TV, Doesn’t Know Fox News is an Entertainment Network

The fact that Donald Trump is suffering from a crushing array of delusional departures from the real world is unarguable. He regards himself as The Chosen One.” He believes that only he can solve America’s problems (despite the fact that he’s failed to deliver on his campaign promises), In his warped mind he knows more than anyone on every subject. And these delusions are separate and apart from his ceaseless lies (more than 12,000 so far).

Donald Trump TV Set

However, there is a common thread that weaves through much of the hallucinatory fallacies that clutter his emotionally and intellectually stunted brain. He has an all-consuming fetish with his perceived popularity. Crowd size seems to be a stand-in for his virility. And often his craving for attention is manifested in his obsession with polls. But unfortunately for him, they mostly reflect how bitterly despised he is by most Americans. Even polls from Fox News and his favorite ultra-biased pollster, Rasmussen, show him in dire straits.

But polls are just the political equivalent of a mode of survey that Trump has had much more exposure to: The Nielsen Ratings. His fourteen years as the host of a reality TV game show has permeated his world view. And it is the prism through which he sees everything related to his life and presidency. This contorted mindset produced a Sunday morning tweet attacking sitcom star Debra Messing:

Here Trump is renewing his competition with other celebrities while also wholly inventing their alleged admiration for him. (I’d bet the limit at the Trump Taj Mahal that Messing never called him “sir”). He’s also demonstrating that he gauges his self-worth by his comparison – not to other presidents – but to other Hollywood luminaries. That’s his benchmark of approval. What’s more, he measures the value of news media by the same criteria. It isn’t insight or knowledge or experience that validates the media. It’s ratings. Which is why Trump also tweeted this tribute to his pal Sean Hannity:

First of all, Hannity is not the number one show on cable television. It’s the number one “news” show on cable television, which is a much smaller set of programs. Secondly, Trump isn’t the “favorite president” of anyone but his glassy-eyed cadre of Deplorables. But more importantly, there is no significance to the fact that the Fox News Trump-fluffers in primetime have higher ratings than the rest of the network’s programming. There’s a reason that time is called “prime.”

What Trump is doing here is trying to rescue himself from some painfully idiotic comments made last week admonishing Fox for failing to be 100% adoring. In a fit of hurt feelings he ordered his cult followers to “start looking for a new news network” because Fox “isn’t working for us anymore.” This was his way of reassuring Hannity that he still appreciates his up-sucking.

Trump’s intense focus on ratings is evidence that he has never left the realm of television ranking and marketing. Nothing matters to him except for how he is perceived by the standards of Hollywood. That explains why the only thing that was important to him about his visit to the hospital in El Paso where shooting victims were recovering was making sure that everyone knew how much he was loved. He wasn’t. In fact every patient refused to see him.

Trump’s single-minded concentration on ratings is matched by the market positioning of Fox News. They place a similar weight of stature on numbers, rather than quality or honesty. That’s because they have long considered themselves to be part of the entertainment sector of television, not news. Their late, disgraced CEO, Roger Ailes, even admitted it, dismissing his news competition to tell the Hollywood Reporter that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.” And the product they put on the air proves that. Even the Fox News website promotes their programs as entertainment, rather than news. That particular promotion was for Tucker Carlson, who Fox thinks people should watch because he’s such an asshole.

Fox News has redefined television “journalism” by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same reality TV, soap opera packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists.

So Fox News is the perfect chronicler of the bizarre presidency of Donald Trump. They are, in fact, recording the trials and tribulations of a fictional character, that they helped to invent, as he stumbles through his sappily scripted, melodramatic existence. And Trump embraces that rendering of his White House antics. It’s playacting on a world stage. The problem is that for the rest of the world’s inhabitants it’s all too real and frightening and dangerous. This show needs to be canceled ASAP if the we want to survive until next season.

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

One more thing, just for fun: In October of 2009, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart covered this subject in a brilliant and hysterical segment entitled FOR FOX SAKE! Fox News defends itself against an attack by the Obama administration by explaining that most of their shows aren’t real news.” ENJOY!

Fox ‘News’ Embraces Trump’s Disgusting Lie that the Clintons Murdered Jeffrey Epstein

On Saturday the United States of America entered a new era of political shame and disgrace. Donald Trump, whose embarrassing behavior has humiliated the nation from the day he was inaugurated, dived into an ever deeper abyss of debasement. He lowered himself to depths never before imagined for a U.S. president by blasting out to his 62 million Twitter followers a reckless accusation, with zero evidence, that a former president, and political foe, was guilty of murder.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

Trump’s unconscionably grotesque charge that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton had somehow managed to kill pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in his prison cell is not only slanderous and unethical, it makes no sense whatsoever. After all, if anyone had the motive and opportunity to off Epstein it was his former pal, Donald Trump. The Clintons have been out of power for years, but Trump’s presidency, and freedom, would be on the line if Epstein talked.

That said, this wouldn’t be a good time to be casting aspersions on anyone without some documentation or testimony, even though that’s precisely what Trump has already done. And to make matters worse, his State TV affiliate, Fox News, has now joined Trump in spewing the very same ridiculous accusations. Jeanine Pirro, a Fox host and unabashed Trump-fluffer, brought up the subject on her primetime Saturday night program. And she made sure that her allegations were as explicit as they were unfounded (video below):

“We already know that Jeffrey Epstein had very high profile people like Bill Clinton flying on his “Lolita Express” airplane to his private island. Other people mentioned, there’s Prince Andrew, Sen. George Mitchell, Bill Richardson. A lot of people mentioned. So this is a guy who, to a lot of people I guess, would have been better off dead. So a federal criminal investigation might be looking at that aspect of it, might it not?”

Pirro asked this question of her guest, former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik. It should also be noted that Kerik is a felon who served time in prison for tax fraud and perjury committed while employed by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Kerik affirmed Pirro’s implied charges by speculating about the motives of whoever took Epstein off of suicide watch.

To be sure, there are unanswered questions regarding how a prisoner who authorities already claimed had attempted suicide was able to hang himself in his cell. But by wrapping these questions in ludicrous and baseless conjecture about the Clintons, Fox News is sinking to new lows. Of course, they have never been a credible news enterprise, having been founded by a foreign, right-wing media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a Republican campaign consultant (Roger Ailes). But they are now crossing the line from a disreputable conservative propaganda outlet to a crackpot conspiracy theory dispensary that is willing to abandon reality – and sanity – in order to suck up to the lying, loathsome, abomination occupying the White House.

The names that Pirro rattled off were predictably partisan. And it was surely not an oversight that she deliberately left out Trump’s name, although it has been documented to have appeared on the passenger list for Epstein’s flights. What’s more, Pirro never even bothered to mention that the two had been friends, and abusers of young women, for years. These days Trump is pretending that he and Epstein had a falling out, but he offers no proof of that. And if anything, it was probably over a girl they both had designs on.

So now Both Trump and Fox News have shamelessly peddled some of the most asinine conspiracy theories ever dredged up from the bowels of the Internet. And they have forever stained what was left of their already tattered reputations. The time when they are removed from the national stage cannot come too soon. And hopefully the country can heal the wounds they’ve so callously opened. Unfortunately, we’ll still be stuck with the idiot jerkwads who have been lapping up that slime.

[UPDATE:] The White House Senior Director of Alternative Facts, KellyAnne Conway, went on Fox News and shamelessly defended Trump’s retweeting the conspiracy theory BS. She claimed he just wanted to have everything investigated, including all the people who had connections to Epstein. For some reason she left out Trump’s name among those people. And while she was at it, she made a preposterous argument that the Epstein matter was a hoax and, therefore, so was the matter of Russia interfering with the election. Sweet Jeebus, make it stop!

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

Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Fox News Was Born 22 Years Ago Today to Corrupt the Free Press and Become State TV

It seems like only yesterday that America had a president who didn’t shout rhetoric he stole from Stalin that the media is “the enemy of the people.” But those days are long gone and have been replaced by a loudmouth ignoramus who hates the Constitution and does everything he can to turn his cult followers against it.

Fox News Lies

It was twenty-two years ago that Fox News made its debut on cable TV promising to “change the way you look at the world.” And if what they meant was that you would now look at it through the lens of lies and ultra-partisan right-wing dogma, they were right. The network was the brainchild (i.e. Rosemary’s Baby) of an Australian newspaper baron (Rupert Murdoch) and an American media consultant for the Republican Party (Roger Ailes). It took about five years before the cable channel caught on, but once it did it corralled all of the nation’s conservative viewers into a single pen where they could happily wallow in the mud of a deliberately dishonest perversion of journalism.

Today Fox News has morphed into what can only be described as the State TV arm of Donald Trump’s White House. It is a co-conspirator in his efforts to turn the United States into a dictatorship that serves the wealthy and corporatist classes of the country. And its programming appeals to a audience that has been expressly dumbed-down by two decades of pablum and soap opera style melodrama.

So Happy Birthday Fox News. And may there NOT be many more to come. The past twenty-two years has already inflicted more than enough damage on the nation and the viewers/victims (mostly our grandparents and high school dropouts) who became virtual fake news zombies. They are lost to us now, but with each new generation comes hope for a clear-thinking, propaganda-free future.

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

Kavanaugh to Be Interviewed On Fox News, the Network that Employed Multiple Sexual Predators

If you were looking for a sign that the Donald Trump White House is getting desperate with regard to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, they just showed their cards. Fox News has announced – and Trump tweeted a promo for – Kavanaugh’s appearance Monday night on Fox News with Martha MacCallum.

Fox News Alert

There could not be a clearer indicator of Trump’s worrying that his nominee is floundering and is at risk for an embarrassing failure. It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to go on television to advance his nomination and defend himself against allegations that haven’t even been raised in Congress or investigated by the FBI.

What’s worse is that the television platform chosen by Kavanaugh (or was it the White House?) is Fox News. That’s the network whose founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired due to multiple complaints of sexual harassment and assault. It’s the network whose biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was fired for the same reasons, after paying out tens of millions of dollars in hush money to his victims. It’s the network whose president, Bill Shine, was fired for his shoddy handling of those affairs and his enabling of the wrongdoers. Shine is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

With a history of such tawdry behavior by Fox News, it seems to be a highly inappropriate media outlet to try to whitewash Kavanaugh’s history of alleged abuses. And the choice of Martha MacCallum to interview Kavanaugh is also troubling. Obviously they didn’t want a man like Sean Hannity to do it. So they picked a woman who was one of Ailes’ first and most vigorous defenders. And it needs to be noted also that, while Kavanaugh is swatting softballs from MacCallum on Fox News, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford has more respectfully declined any television offers:

“As I am not a lawyer or a Senator, I am relying on them and you to ensure that the committee will agree to conditions that allow me to testify in a fair setting that won’t disrupt families and become a media tv show. […] I have received an inordinate number of requests to appear on major TV shows to elucidate further information, to which I have not responded. My goal is to return soon to my workplace, once it is deemed safe for me and importantly, my students.”

The distasteful decision to parade Kavanaugh and his wife on TV in the hopes of generating some public sympathy is more evidence of how Trump is turning the White House into a Reality TV presidency. It’s all about making impressions and convincing the American people not to vote them off the island. And on that score they are failing miserably. Polls show that a majority of people oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And that was before the latest charges were revealed. But if you’re moved by his revelation that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school, than you won’t want to miss this interview (Note: Kavanaugh being a virgin doesn’t make Dr. Ford’s allegations false. She never claimed that there was intercourse):

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

Trump’s Video Confessionals Bring the White House One Step Closer to the Reality TV Presidency

A few months ago Trump brought Bill Shine into the White as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. In other words, Minister of Propaganda. Shine is the former Fox News President who was fired due to his handling of sexual harassment at the network by Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and other big shots. Now he is handling the PR for a president with his own history of being a serial predator and whose nominee for the Supreme Court is battling similar charges.

Donald Trump

The presence of Bill Shine in the White House is unmistakable. His fingerprints are all over Trump’s public appearances and rallies that are now stage managed more carefully. They are located in more photogenic environments. And the access of the media is constrained to insure positive visual imagery, or at least political sterility. Shine is a veteran TV manipulator who learned his craft at the knee of Fox’s Godfather, the late Roger Ailes.

Shine’s propaganda pedigree is long-established. Before taking the reins of the network as president, he was the producer of Sean Hannity’s program. Hannity was so reliant on Shine that when rumors erupted about his imminent termination, Hannity exploded and whined that Shine’s departure would be “the total end of the Fox News Channel as we know it.” If only.

In his new position, Shine is exploiting the assets of his “star” whose resume is mainly littered with the gossip pages and reality TV. Trump spent fourteen years as the “host” of The Apprentice, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that he was a busy real estate magnate. No authentic billionaire businessman has that much time to spare on television pablum. The Apprentice was Trump’s job. So Shine is putting that experience to work by casting Trump in short films that have little substance or news value.

The closest thing that these presidential clips can be compared to are the moments in reality TV shows where a character is separated from the herd and speaks directly to the camera about some personal observations regarding the other cast members. On Thursday one these confessionals was posted to Trump’s Twitter feed that whined about China taking advantage of America on trade issues. Trump complained that China looked at the U.S. as “very soft touches.” And he made the point that he doesn’t blame China, he blames America. It’s the “Blame America First” doctrine.

The day before that, Trump posted a video of himself declaring his devotion to the victims of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Never mind that the victims of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico are figments of a “deep state” cabal to manufacture a fake death toll. This video features Trump’s pseudo-sincere ramblings set to an inspirational music sound track.

The day before that, Trump posted a clip thanking the first responders to Hurricane Florence, which he described as “a tough hurricane. One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.” Okay, so Shine isn’t perfect. But look at who he has to work with.

These are just the most recent examples of the Reality TV style infomercials produced by Shine and Company. Others include segments from Fox News programs of Trump-fluffing characters like Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Some of the videos just show Trump signing a big book that represents some legislation or executive order that he’s touting.

The one thing that all of these productions have in common is that they are all purposefully staged to put Trump in the best light possible. They give the President a public presence where he doesn’t have to bother with pesky reporters asking difficult questions. And of course, there is no opportunity for rebuttal or for any opinion other than the state sanctioned one mandated by Trump and his Propaganda Ministry staff. Shine is literally bringing Big Brother to the White House.

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

Shine’s role at the White House is to reproduce the sort of media tyranny that exists in Russia, North Korea, and that was pioneered by Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels. All of whom Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his admiration for. And Bill Shine is the person who is doing the most to help Trump realize his authoritarian goals with a reality TV flavor.

Fox News Enabler of Sexual Predators to Become Trump’s New Communications Director

The administration of Donald Trump is currently teeming with Fox News alumni serving in official roles and as outside advisors. They include National Security Advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, HHS Secretary Ben Carson, and Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Plus Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and Pete Hegseth are just a few of the Foxies that Trump relies upon regularly for counsel. And let’s not forget that Trump himself is a former Fox News shill. That’s right. He had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

Now it is being reported that Trump is close to hiring former Fox News president Bill Shine to be his communications director, a post that has been vacant since Hope Hicks left almost four months ago. Shine took over as president of Fox News after CEO and founder Roger Ailes was fired for multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. But shortly thereafter, Shine was also jettisoned for coddling and protecting Ailes and other Fox deviants.

UPDATE: It’s official. Former Fox News Executive Bill Shine Accepts White House Communications Role.

Shine may be the perfect communications director for Trump. They share much in common. In addition to their shared histories with Fox News, they both have long records of disrespecting women. Trump presently is facing allegations by at least sixteen women who say he harassed and/or assaulted them. Shine has not been accused of mistreatment himself, but he is widely viewed as having knowingly covered up sexual misbehavior and crimes. He’s been named in several lawsuits filed against Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. For instance, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros charged that Shine used private information to “to intimidate, terrorize and crush her career.”

Shine is also a close associate of Trump’s favorite Fox News defender and fluffer, Sean Hannity. And Hannity is reported to have actively pushed Trump to hire Shine. Prior to joining the executive ranks at Fox, Shine was Hannity’s producer. When Shine was first rumored to be on the chopping block Hannity freaked out. In response to the news he tweeted this:

Well, it was true, but FNC persists with an even more extremist agenda of facilitating Trump’s tyrannical aspirations and status as a racist cult leader. It is recognized by most observers that Fox News has transformed itself into a State TV enterprise serving only to advance White House propaganda. The bonds that link Fox to Trump just keep getting tied tighter with every day. Even Don Jr. has left his wife and five kids to date Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle.

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

In reality there is no practical difference between Fox News and Trump’s presidency. And with the possible addition of the Fox ex-president as the chief White House communications official, it is impossible to deny this unprecedented and unethical relationship between a president and the media. It is a parasitic perversion wherein Fox News slobbers over Trump with adoring tongue baths and targeted attacks on his critics. Meanwhile, Trump frequently tweets almost daily about what he’s watching on Fox News and even promotes their programming. At the same time he lashes out at all other media as “fake” news. One really has to wonder how Fox News can legitimately cover Trump considering their close personal and professional ties. But then “legitimate” would be the operative word, and one that is rarely associated with Fox News.

CNN President Blisters State-Run TV (aka Fox News) as ‘a Pure Propaganda Machine’

Two decades ago a conservative media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a right-ring political operative (Roger Ailes) colluded to form America’s first overtly partisan news network devoted to advancing a regressive agenda that favored corporations and the wealthy. And ever since Fox News has faithfully served it’s masters, all the while pretending to be “fair and balanced” journalists.

Donald Trump Fox News

For most of that time the rest of the media sheepishly approached Fox News as just another competitor. They rarely spoke honestly about how Fox was deliberately staining the one profession explicitly cited in the Constitution. Consequently, Fox got away with a lot of brazenly biased propaganda and managed to corral America’s Deplorables into a media pen where they felt safe and secure.

So it was rather surprising to hear CNN president Jeff Zucker’s criticism of Fox at the Financial Times’ “Future of News” conference on Thursday. He nailed Fox News in a way that few media executives have in the past twenty years. While nothing he said would be a revelation to anyone who has watched the network for more than two minutes, coming from a corporate media honcho it is borderline breathtaking. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:

    Zucker said that…

  • Fox News “is really state-run TV. It is a pure propaganda machine, and I think does incredible disservice to this country.”
  • “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”
  • Fox News “has nothing on” the Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
  • “I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine.”

In addition, THR reports Zucker saying that “Fox News has changed substantially in the last two years, following the departure of late founder Roger Ailes. He described the change at the network as ‘shocking.'” However the only thing that might have changed is that in the post-Ailes era the executives at Fox were much less skilled at spewing rightist bullshit. Their deceitful machinations are more visible and sleazy. That may be what drove long-time Fox contributor Ralph Peters to quit the network that he now says he is “ashamed” to be associated with. According to THR Fox News was invited to participate in the event but declined.

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s most dedicated defender. It serves as the personnel recruiting pool for the Trump administration. Among those tapped by Trump for White House posts were Heather Nauert, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. And just today Trump announced that Fox’s John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. And even his legal team is now being stuffed with Fox News personalities, including Joseph DiGenova and, maybe his wife, Victoria Toensing.

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

CNN is not without its share of journalistic failures. They were among the news outlets that plastered the airwaves with Trump’s thoroughly un-newsworthy rallies (rants) during the campaign. And they still host Trump-fluffing flacks who are only there to further disseminate Trump’s lies. However, there has never been a presidential administration that was so rife with media shills from a single source. The only people that Trump recognizes are those he’s seen on TV. And the only TV he watches is Fox News. So after a year in office he still behaves like an intellectually shallow reality TV game show host, rather than the president that our nation needs. Hopefully he will be voted off this island soon by Robert Mueller’s team of Survivors.

Popcorn Time: War Breaks Out at Fox News Between Shepard Smith and Sean Hannity

The undisguised, ultra-rightist biases of Fox News are all too familiar to anyone who is paying attention. Particularly since the election of Donald Trump, who has built the Fox Team into a partisan media border wall that works ferociously to defend him no matter how dishonest or disgusting his behavior. Trump even treats Fox as his recruiting pool White House personnel.

Sean Hannity Fox News

However, there is one outpost of semi-sanity on the network that occasionally diverts from the Fox gospel. Afternoon anchor Shepard Smith has been known to propound actual facts in contrast to the deliberate lies and propaganda that infect the rest of Fox’s roster. Notably, he presented a reality-based summary of the Uranium One issue that many Fox squawking heads twisted into a perverse anti-Hillary Clinton harangue. He has also offered a more compassionate view of victims of gun violence than is generally exhibited by Fox’s NRA shills. These sort of segments have made Smith the most hated man on Fox News by Fox News viewers.

Predictably, the news that Smith just signed a new, multiyear contract with Fox News has landed with a thud among the Fox faithful who have been clamoring for him to fired. And a recent profile of Smith by Time Magazine wherein he expressed some candid opinions about his employer and colleagues isn’t going to make them any happier. Smith differentiated his role as a journalist with that of the “entertainers” who populate Fox’s primetime:

“We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.” […]

“I get it,” he says, “that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there.”

Smith is right. And his characterization of much of Fox’s programming as entertainment is consistent with what Fox News executives have said. News Corpse reported in 2015 a variety of admissions by Fox that they are not really in the news business. Among them the confession that Fox founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes, gave to the Hollywood Reporter. He dismissed talk that Fox competed with other news networks, instead insisting that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.”

But Smith’s remarks did not go unnoticed by his network-mate, Sean Hannity. As the Fox host most fiercely infatuated with Trump, Hannity took offense at being trivialized as an entertainer. He tweeted this response to Smith:


[Note: Hannity deleted this tweet. But you can still see it here]

Smith never mentioned Hannity in his profile, but Hannity had no reservations making this feud personal. His indignation is hysterical considering that he broke none of the “stories” (actually crackpot conspiracy theories) he itemized in his tweet. He merely regurgitated them from other sleazy sources that feed his wingnut fringe fantasies (Breitbart, Infowars, Gateway Pundit, etc.). And then he has the gall to sign off with Fox’s brand new slogan, “Real News.” Fox posted a promo for the new tagline that warned “It’s about to get REAL.” Which kind of implies that it’s been bullshit up until now.

Another problem with Hannity trash-talking Smith is that Hannity himself has denied being a journalist. Or maybe this calmly phrased tweet was just misunderstood:


[Note: Hannity also deleted this tweet. See it here]

Inquiring minds want to know: If Hannity is not a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? It’s almost impossible to tell because he keeps contradicting himself. On his radio show last August he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later.

Poor Hannity must be terribly disturbed by how badly he is being crushed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lately. He was moved by Fox to directly compete with her a few months ago, but they may be regretting that now. All it did was affirm how weak he is as a TV personality. And while there are a lot of Fox viewers who would like to see Smith fired, there are many more American who would prefer that Hannity is sent packing. And you can help by signing on here: Stop Hannity.

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

Another Fox News Sleazeball Has Been Caught in a Sex Scandal with a 25 Year Old Co-Worker

If you thought Watters World was a documentary about Donald Trump’s adventures with hookers in a Moscow hotel, you’re mistaken, but understandably so. In fact, it’s a program on Fox News featuring Jesse Watters, who is also a co-host of the daily afternoon program The Five. Watters is best known for being a smug, smartass who did ambush interviews for Bill O’Reilly and allegedly humorous segments that were overtly racist.


Now the New York Daily News is reporting that Watters’ wife has filed for divorce due to his ongoing adulterous affair with a twenty-five year old co-worker, Emma DiGiovine. Watters has admitted his infidelity which he only reported to Fox News human resources after the divorce papers were filed. He and his now-estranged wife have twin six year old daughters.

Most companies have strict prohibitions against employees engaging in romantic relationships with subordinates on their staff. Generally it mandates termination of the superior employee who is in a position to abuse their power. Presumably, Fox News has the same policy. However, the response by Fox upon discovery of the relationship was to transfer DiGiovine to another program and let Watters off the hook entirely. Now he can continue leading classy discussions wherein he describes single women as “Beyoncé voters” who “depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care and they love to talk about equal pay.”

This is just the latest sex scandal at Fox News. Previously their founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes was fired after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Then their star host, Bill O’Reilly, got the ax when it became publicly known that he had paid millions of dollars in settlements to silence his accusers. Gee, Donald Trump only paid $130,000 (that we know of). Fox and Friends anchor Ed Henry was suspended for several weeks for having an adulterous affair. Fox business host Charles Payne was also the subject of harassment charges. And Watters got his seat on The Five by replacing Eric Bolling, who was fired for sending explicit photos to women colleagues at Fox.

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

This obviously isn’t a case of a few bad apples. Fox News is a breeding ground for perverts. It’s a haven for men who exploit their power to demean and control women. Or as former Fox News host and victim Andrea Tantaros said in her lawsuit, “it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” And now Jesse Watters has become the latest face of the reprehensible pattern of misogynistic behavior that is nurtured by Fox and its management. But he certainly won’t be the last.