UH-OH: Michael Cohen Paints ‘Grave Picture’ for Trump, Says Fox News Sr. Judicial Analyst

The testimony in the House Oversight Committee by Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen on Wednesday provided both fireworks and yawns. Much of what was discussed was already known, but was given more weight by the dramatic nature of a congressional hearing. The fireworks were mainly due to Republican efforts to malign Cohen while obediently defending the President and deflecting from any potentially bad news.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

However, there were some revelatory moments that could expose Trump to some legal jeopardy if they are confirmed by other evidence or testimony. The risks for Trump were so apparent that even the senior judicial analyst on Fox News noticed. Andrew Napolitano was interviewed by Neil Cavuto after Cohen’s hearing (video below). His observations were decidedly unlike those that might be expected on Trump’s favorite propaganda network. He began by addressing the coordinated strategy of the committee’s Republicans to portray Cohen as an incorrigible liar. “If he’s that kind of a monster, Mr. President,” Napolitano asked, “why did you keep him around for ten years?”?

That’s a good question. He might also have pointed out that if lying was such an unforgivable sin, then how can the GOP continue to excuse Trump, whose documented record of lying has exceeded more than 8,000 falsehoods since he took office. But it was Napolitano’s legal analysis that really put Trump’s troubled future into perspective. He offered a brief synopsis of the legal peril that the President may soon find himself in. The upshot, according to Napolitano, is that in Cohen’s testimony “there’s at least four potential felonies” that Trump faces. Napolitano said that:

[Cohen] paints a potentially grave picture for the president. If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true, then the President lied under oath. Because the President swore to the accuracy of his answers to the written question from [special counsel] Bob Mueller, one of which was ‘Did you speak to Roger Stone about Julian Assange?’ Answer: ‘No’

“If what Michael Cohen says is true about the President meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June of 2016, then he lied under oath, because he told Bob Mueller he didn’t know about it.

“The payments by Donald Trump, signed while he was president, to Michael Cohen, showing a debt to Michael Cohen. The President swore in his financial statements filed with the Department of the Treasury, he didn’t have any debts with Michael Cohen. And two months after he swore to the accuracy of that he starts writing checks of $35,000 a month to Michael Cohen. That extends the conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission of accurate campaign information into the President’s presidency.”?

If this were an analysis by a Democrat or a liberal pundit it wouldn’t be especially notable. But for the senior judicial analyst at Fox News to be pointing out these legal problems for Trump is rare and, from Trump’s perspective, worrisome. Not that Trump isn’t already worried. His incessant tweeting about “Witch Hunts” and his childish insults aimed at his critics is the obvious behavior of someone consumed by fear. In remarks Trump made about Cohen’s testimony from Hanoi, he reinforced that image of a cornered rat:

“He lied a lot, but it was very interesting, because he didn’t lie about one thing: He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.”?

Actually, Cohen never said that there was no collusion. He only said that he had no direct evidence of it, but that he had his suspicions. So Trump is still desperately trying to distort reality to fit his twisted version of it wherein he can be free of the frightening consequences of his unlawful acts. And if his precariousness legal status is so apparent to a Fox News analyst, then he truly does have something worry about.

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

Stuperbowl Interview: Dotard Trump Talking About ‘Intelligence’ is Downright Frightening

It’s Superbowl Sunday and the annual tradition of having the president give an interview to the network broadcasting the game is one of the few that Trump isn’t scrapping. Never mind that he recently told his press secretary “not to bother” with holding daily press briefings anymore. Trump agreed to sit down with Margaret Brennan of CBS News for a few minutes of lying and casting insults.

Donald Trump, Padded Cell

Among the atrocious outbursts in this interview were Trump’s remarks about what he had learned from negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His unresponsive reply was that she “doesn’t mind human trafficking,” and that “people [are] dying all over the country because of” her. Apparently he learned nothing as he stuck to his routinely hostile behavior of slandering his perceived enemies. But his childish acting out is evidence that he learned what he feels like to get beat to a pulp by a smarter, more experienced political opponent.

Trump also made some ludicrous assertions like claiming that the report by special counsel Robert Mueller exonerated him (Mueller has not published any report). And he admitted that stories about Secretary of State Pompeo talking to Mitch McConnell about running the Senate were true just seconds after calling them “fake news.” Then he characterized the fact that much of his cabinet consists of people serving in an “acting” capacity as a good thing because it gives him more flexibility. It also gives the nation a bunch of hacks who have never been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as the law requires. And he said that his indicted pal Roger Stone never worked for his campaign except for the time that he did.

There were a great many more examples of Trump’s deranged take on a variety of subjects. But perhaps the most disconcerting were those related to national security and his relationship with his own Intelligence team. When asked if reads the reports they prepare for him, Trump said that he did. But his responses revealed that that wasn’t true. Brennan asked him what he found wrong with those reports, and Trump gave this disjointed word salad of a reply: “I think- let me just say it wasn’t so much a report. It was the questions and answers as the report was submitted and they were asked questions and answers.”

HUH? They were asked questions AND answers in this report that wasn’t a report? He went on to provide provably false information about the presence of ISIS in Syria, saying they were ninety-nine percent gone. When Brennan pointed out that Republicans in Congress had just voted to repudiate his positions on abruptly withdrawing from Syria, Trump’s answer reached back to the GOP primary in 2016, where he bragged about beating the Republicans who ran against him. That, of course, had nothing to do with the question.

Shortly thereafter Brennan asked Trump if he is “going to trust the intelligence that you receive?” He gave a qualified “yes,” adding that “if they said in fact that Iran is a wonderful kindergarten, I disagree with them 100 percent.” No one ever said anything remotely like that. And in a direct rebuke of his Intelligence team, Trump said that:

“I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq had nuclear weapons – had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

Bush’s intel people told Bush exactly what he told them to say. They didn’t get it wrong. They lied at Bush’s direction. However, Trump is correct that he doesn’t have to agree with this Intel staff. But you have to wonder what the basis is for his disagreement. If he isn’t getting advice from them, from whom is he getting it? All we know is what he said next: “When my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is – if you don’t mind, I’m going to just go by my own counsel.” So far as anyone can tell, Trump’s counsel is either Vladimir Putin or Fox News – or both.

Finally, Trump also dismissed the advice of his Intel team when they told him that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to give up his nuclear capabilities. Trump disagreed on the basis of their personal relationship:

“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry. We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens.”

Seriously? Kim is a brutal dictator who murders his foes – even family members – and oppresses his people. But Trump gleefully brags about having “fantastic chemistry” with this tyrant? And this opinion comes long after their summit wherein Kim totally played Trump and has failed to deliver on anything they discussed at the time. In fact, Kim has actually expanded his nuclear facilities and arsenal.

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

The one thing that Kim has that Trump truly envies is the blind adulation of his people. And on that Trump openly expressed his desire for the same sort of cult worship from the American people. He isn’t going to get that. At the moment he is the most unpopular president of all time. And judging from recent events like his government shutdown and the arrest and indictment of his closest associates, that isn’t going to show much improvement any time soon.

Trump Freaks Out Over Cliff Sims: Nothing Screams ‘GUILTY’ Like Threatening a ‘Low Level Gofer’

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump. And they aren’t the walls that he is obsessed with building on the southern border. More of the criminal associates that comprise Trump’s inner circle are being swept up by the long arm of justice every day. And with each new arrest and indictment the evidence of Trump’s culpability becomes more apparent.

Donald Trump, Cliff Sims

The latest accomplice to Trump’s treason to face the music is Roger Stone. He has been a close friend and associate of Trump’s for decades. Now he has been charged with lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Trump’s defenders celebrate the fact that the word “collusion” isn’t spelled out in the indictment. But what do they think Stone was lying about? What do think he was threatening other witnesses about? What unlawful activity do they think he was endeavoring to obstruct?

As a result of this devastating blow to Trump World, the President is behaving typically frightened by another event that puts him at great risk. And consistent with his pattern of behavior, he is lashing out in desperation and hoping it takes some of the heat off. But his actions expose his abject fear.

Cliff Sims was Trump’s White House Communications Director for Message Strategy. That’s a post within the White House Press Office where Sims worked closely with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and Bill Shine. He held the position for about a year and a half, which is a lifetime in the Trump Administration. Sims just published a book about his experience (Team of Vipers) that is not sufficiently adoring of Trump. Consequently, on Tuesday morning Trump posted a tweet attacking and threatening Sims, who Trump now pretends he hardly knew:

This raises a couple of obvious questions. First, precisely how many gofers and “coffee boys” work for Trump? It seems like everyone who has written a tell-all book has turned out to be a nobody who Trump never met, despite all the photos of them together. And second, how does Trump know the book is boring since he surely hasn’t read it. He hasn’t even read the three dozen books he endorsed in his Book Club for Dummies.

More importantly, Trump’s tweet contains an overt threat. His reference to a “non-disclosure agreement” can only be interpreted as Trump’s intention of filing a lawsuit against Sims for speaking out. And that isn’t an idle threat. There is already a notice posted by Michael Glassner, the Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, announcing that “The Trump campaign is preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA.”

There are some obvious flaws to that legal strategy. First of all, how can they sue for a violation of a non-disclosure agreement if the the President himself is asserting that the book consists of “made up stories and fiction”? There is no violation if no truthful information is revealed. So either what’s in the book is actually true, or the lawsuit is null and void.

What’s more, non-disclosure agreements are not permitted for White House staff. That’s because they do not work for the President. They work for the United States government. So the government would have to be the plaintiff in the lawsuit. But the First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” The government can’t sue someone for exercising their constitutional rights.

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

So Trump is acting out in precisely the manner you might expect from anyone who is flagrantly guilty of serious crimes. He is trying to deflect blame to other less powerful subordinates. He is hoping that the public and the press can be distracted by his frantic gesturing toward some other shiny object. And he is pretending that he has no relationship with those who are implicating him, despite the fact that that relationship is public knowledge and well documented. It’s a sad and pathetic display of desperation that only makes Trump look more guilty. However, Sims should send Trump a “Thank You” note for helping to sell a few thousand more of his books.

Willfully Blind: Fox News Wonders ‘Where is the Russia Collusion?’ in Roger Stone Indictment

The walls continue to close in around Donald Trump and his criminal enterprise. And these aren’t the border walls over which he orchestrated history’s longest government shutdown. On Friday morning one of Trump’s longest known and closest associates, Roger Stone was arrested on seven counts that include lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Charges that Trump would be wise to study up on.

Donald Trump, Roger Stone

The arrest and indictment of Stone was not unexpected. In fact, Stone himself had predicted it in May of last year. Most observant followers of the Mueller investigation have known for some time that Stone was a target of the probe and that he likely ran afoul of the law. Even Trump acknowledged Stone’s complicity and praised him for clamming up about the case in a tweet that could have been written by an old-school mob boss:

Meanwhile, Fox News immediately went to work fulfilling their mission to shield Trump from any and all criticism. In a series of reports they downplayed any significance of Stone’s indictment, presenting it with exactly the same framing as Trump did in his knee-jerk tweet:

For the record, no one “alerted CNN to be there.” They noticed some unusual activity at the Grand Jury and surmised that an indictment might be imminent, so they sent a crew to Stone’s home in Florida. And you have to wonder which drug dealers Trump was referring to who were treated better than Stone who was released a couple of hours after his arrest. As for the “Greatest Witch Hunt,” it surely is the most successful with dozens of indictments and guilty pleas, some by top officials in Trump’s campaign.

Steve Doocy, co-host of Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, was dumbstruck by the charges against Stone. But more importantly, he couldn’t understand how anyone would see any hint of collusion in the charges against Stone:

“When you look at the seven counts from the Grand Jury – obstruction of an official investigation, false statements to Congress, and perhaps witness tampering – once again, where is the Russia collusion?”

Where is the collusion? It’s everywhere. It’s in each and every one of the charges Doocy just itemized. The obstruction of justice is specifically related to Stone’s efforts to cover his involvement in conspiring with the Russia-affiliated WikiLeaks to acquire and publish emails stolen from Hillary Clinton and her team. The false statements to Congress were specifically related to his denials of such involvement. And the witness tampering was also connected to his attempts to intimidate his co-conspirators into keeping quiet about these crimes committed on behalf of Trump.

The position of Fox News is remarkably tunnel-blind, even for them. Some pundits have even said that these indictments are good news for Stone and Trump. Because it’s always such good news to have one of your closest confidants arrested for multiple felonies. The narrative at Fox is that because the word “collusion” wasn’t spelled out in the text of the indictments, that there wasn’t any. But that is a fool’s interpretation considering that each of the indictments explicitly address the criminal conspiracy in Trump World.

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

No doubt Fox’s cult-bound audience will buy into their narrative, as will Trump. But that is a small minority of the population at large, and the more new revelations about the Russia probe come out, the more the American people are turning against him. He is currently sitting at record lows of approval (37%), and even his favorite pollster, the thoroughly biased Rasmussen, has him at 54% disapproval (46% strongly disapprove). So Fox’s viewers are, once again, living in a manufactured world that bears no resemblance to reality. They are going to be shocked when all the facts are finally revealed. Unless Fox claims that they are “alternative facts” and that it’s all “fake news.” Which you can bet on.

Donald Trump is Openly Engaging in Flagrant Witness Tampering, Like All Innocent People Do

There is a phrase in legal practice that is commonly described as “consciousness of guilt.” It refers to behavior by a defendant’s actions that proves he knew he was guilty. And Donald Trump is providing material for a whole textbook on the subject as he tries to malign special counsel Robert Mueller while vindicating the sleazeballs who remain loyal to him.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

In addition to his actions demonstrating consciousness of guilt, they are also a public display of the fear and desperation he is experiencing as the walls close in around him. But by acting out in this way he is ultimately harming his own legal position and even committing more crimes. This was noted succinctly by George Conway (husband of Trump’s White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway) who tweeted:

The federal codes referenced in that tweet address two violations of the law. First, any “endeavor to influence, intimidate, or impede” any officer of the court (Mueller) “in the discharge of his duty.” And second, “knowingly using intimidation” to “influence, delay, or prevent the testimony” of a witness. And these are the tweets in Trump’s Monday morning tweetstorm that Conway was reacting to:

Michael Cohen, of course, is a witness in the Mueller probe. Trump should not be passing judgment on him or recommending punishment. As for the charges being “unrelated to Trump,” is he referring to Cohen’s testimony that cites Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator? Or is he referring to Cohen’s testimony about Trump Tower Moscow? Those seem pretty related to Trump. Nevertheless, Trump is also accusing Cohen of lying to Mueller, a charge for which he has zero evidence. And if that weren’t bad enough, Trump is implicating Cohen’s family in these alleged crimes. And then Trump goes on:

It’s cute the way he puts “President Trump” is sarcasm quotes. But more to the point, Trump is hailing his pal, and notorious dirty trickster, Roger Stone, for having the “guts” to continue lying on Trump’s behalf. However, before getting in too deep, he may want to recall the Cohen once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump. Funny how reality, evidence, and the prospect of prison changes one’s mind. And finally Trump fired this one off:

What Trump might mean is that Mueller is “a much different man” than Trump thinks, or is able to comprehend. Trump’s disparaging remarks clearly fit the above criteria for criminal acts. He can’t support any allegation against Mueller for lying or encouraging others to do so. This tweet is simply a vindictive personal attack on an officer of the court. What’s more, it’s disrespectful of a lifelong Republican who has spent his whole career in public service, and is a decorated veteran. So much for Trump’s phony admiration for our vets.

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

One thing that Trump may have gotten right is his concern about a “band of Angry Democrats” There are at least 65,000 000 of them. And add to those the disgusted independents and woke Republicans. They are responsible for the walloping that Trump suffered in the midterm election last month. And they aren’t going to cover up for Trump the way the lily-livered Republicans did. With the House of Representatives flipping to majority Democratic control, some real oversight is about to begin. And the truth that Trump pretends to want will finally come out, whether he likes it or not.

Trump DID Collude With Russia – Says Former Fox News Chief Campaign Correspondent

It’s a day that ends with the letter “Y” so obviously Donald Trump is posting on Twitter about how the special counsel’s investigation of him is just a “Russian Witch Hunt Hoax” designed to frame him for crimes that he is totally allowed to pardon himself for (except that he isn’t).

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In today’s tweet Trump takes aim at his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions (again). Trump believes Sessions should have told him about his intention to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. Never mind that that would have required Sessions to know the future because there was no investigation at the time. Nor did Sessions have any idea that he would need to recuse himself, because that didn’t become necessary until after he testified at his confirmation hearing about meetings with Russians (which he falsely denied).

Now a new book is providing additional evidence that Trump and his campaign did collude with Russia. What’s makes this book significant is that it contains new revelations by “Campaign Carl” Cameron, formerly of Fox News. Cameron was interviewed by ThinkProgress and elaborated on some the things that are outlined in detail in this book: How To Go Viral and Reach Millions.

Cameron’s account included Trump’s connections to various Russian operatives, Wikileaks, and the corrupt data enterprise, Cambridge Analytica. However, much of the story involves Trump’s close association with the notorious dirty trickster, Roger Stone. According to ThinkProgress:

“‘Trump confidant Roger Stone’s success was having the connections and creating the opportunities for [Russian intelligence officer] Guccifer2.0 and other Russian groups to really start taking advantage of social media and pounding these negative memes that Hillary’s a crook, et cetera,’ Cameron explained to ThinkProgress’ Joe Romm”

It has been well documented that Stone was working with Julian Assange and Wikileaks to disseminate anti-Clinton propaganda and stolen emails. His relationship with the hacker Guccifer only exacerbated his complicity when it became known that Guccifer was a working for the Kremlin. Cameron further revealed that:

“The president, Roger Stone, and other campaign officials have put a lot of effort into lying about their meetings and contact with Russians linked directly to the Kremlin and its cyber attack on the United States. But they put even more effort into coordinating their message with the Russians. It will be up to Mueller to determine just how extensive that coordination was.

“As Cameron explained to ThinkProgress, a key goal of this coordination was to create opportunities for Russian intelligence and Russian trolls. The point was to viralize the anti-Clinton memes and narratives to suppress the vote for her.”

Despite the mantra from right-wing media (especially Fox News) that there hasn’t been any evidence to tie Trump to collusion, the truth is that the evidence is abundant and more than incriminating enough to sink Trump and his whole crime family. And this new contribution from someone who had a place of prominence in the Fox propaganda machine only makes what is already known even more damning and perilous for Trump.

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

Serial Liar Bill O’Reilly Of Fox News Advises Trump To Stop Lying – No Really!

In the latest episode of Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” (video below), the Fox News host tackled a serious issue. Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election was the subject. However, O’Reilly’s focus, like most Republicans, was more on White House leakers than on Donald Trump’s allegedly treasonous behavior.

Bill O'Reilly Fox News

O’Reilly began by whitewashing Trump’s association with unsavory figures like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. Stone is a long-time associate of Trump’s and Manafort was his campaign chairman. Both have disturbing connections to the unfolding Russian intrigue. But according to O’Reilly, they were merely incidentally associated with Trump. In fact, O’Reilly parroted Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer (Fibby Spice) who also downplayed those relationships.

The Trump messaging machine is trying furiously to distance him from potential criminal acts. O’Reilly’s mission was to dismiss the whole affair, saying he would “be surprised if anything comes of this Russia investigation.” Even so, he cited it as a reason for Trump’s reckless accusation that President Obama wiretapped him. That weasley excuse is an indication of how desperate they are for absolution. But it also leads O’Reilly to provide an ironic bit of counsel:

“In the future, the President would be wise to embrace only facts in his pronouncements.”

That’s a deceptively significant statement. First of all, it presupposes that this president doesn’t already embrace only facts. Of course, most clear minded observers are well aware that Trump is a pathological liar. But for a close personal friend like O’Reilly to concede that point is itself newsworthy. You have to wonder what other pronouncements of Trump’s O’Reilly believes are not factual. He certainly has never made a point of criticizing Trump’s honesty before this.

What’s more, having to advise a president to stop lying in the future ought to be a milestone of embarrassment. However, O’Reilly takes it in stride as if it were routine. That might be because O’Reilly himself has been a fount of lies for much of his career. For someone who calls his program a “No Spin Zone” he does more turns than a meth-addled ballerina. His show is a daily parade of dishonesty and misinformation. On a personal level he has “embellished” his resume as a war correspondent with provably false tales of heroism. And PolitiFact’s file on O’Reilly shows that 53 percent of his comments have been rated as “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.”

With regard to the congressional hearings on Russia, O’Reilly managed to lie in the introduction of his first guest. In a summary of the hearings he said that FBI Director James Comey “couldn’t confirm an investigation” of Trump’s connections to Russia. But that is exactly what Comey did confirm at the outset of his testimony. Additionally, O’Reilly never mentioned that it was his colleague, Andrew Napolitano, who provided Trump with the phony allegations that Obama employed British spies to surveil The Donald. On Monday Fox News reportedly put Napolitano on an indefinite leave. That also went unmentioned.

O’Reilly exhibited little interest in the Russia story. He was far more concerned with finding and punishing leakers. That’s like having your neighbor tell you there’s a dead body in your backyard, but then only questioning him about how he found out. O’Reilly went even further to say that “These leakers, they gotta be arrested. And we’re gonna deal with whether the press should be arrested too.” So it’s not enough that O’Reilly is a lying, flunky for Trump and his Russian pals. He’s also intent on imprisoning journalists and abolishing the First Amendment.

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

Campaign Ally Says Donald Trump Should “Turn Off” CNN’s FCC License (Which They Can’t Do)

Advancing the already stridently fascist policy platform of Donald Trump’s candidacy, one of his closest friends and political allies is now recommending that Trump put his boot down on the free press should he become president.

Roger Stone Clintons' War On Women

Notorious dirty trickster, Roger Stone, has made a name for himself pushing ludicrous conspiracy theories and offensive smear campaigns. He is a veteran Clinton-hater who once started a group he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. On the basis of that he later became a Fox News Contributor. (Media Matters has compiled a useful guide to his antics).

Yesterday, in an interview with Brietbart News, Stone floated more of his trademark trash in the form of advice for his buddy Donald Trump. In the midst of a tirade against CNN, which he said “is not a news organization, but an advocacy group,” he complained that at CNN “they turn you off” if you try to talk about the women in Bill Clinton’s past. But he has a solution to that problem:

“Frankly, when Donald Trump is president he should turn off their FCC license. They’re not a news organization. They’re about censorship.”

There is so much wrong with that statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that he could have been talking about Fox News and it would have been more accurate. But the larger issue is that advocating that the government take a roll in deciding which news enterprises should be permitted to operate is not only a violation of the Constitution, but an overtly oppressive tactic generally favored by tyrants. On that measure, it’s easy to see why Trump might be on board.

Trump has previously espoused similar nonsense. In February he threatened the New York Times, and other media outlets he assumes are biased against him, with lawsuits and the prospect of “open[ing] up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” And notwithstanding the fact that he can do that now if he actually had a case, he warned that these publishers would “have problems” if he is elected.

Another problem with Stone’s suggestion to de-license CNN is more pragmatic: It’s impossible. The FCC’s authority to regulate licensing is restricted to broadcast media (radio and TV) and they cannot revoke a cable news channel’s license because they don’t issue them. Broadcasters operate over the public airwaves, while cable channels are transmitted on privately owned cable facilities. So Stone’s counsel is not only unconstitutional, it demonstrates his utter ignorance of the subject matter.

Stone has a history of flagrantly offensive remarks that have insulted women and African-Americans. His racist and misogynist tendencies are often expressed openly. As a result he has been banned from both CNN and MSNBC. At Fox News they canceled a few of his recent appearances but have not formally banned him and he has not appeared in several weeks. That may be why he is resorting to fringe platforms like Breitbart to put out his repugnant message. Breitbart has all but officially endorsed Trump and there are credible allegations that Trump paid Breitbart for favorable treatment.

In closing the interview, Stone got to the point of his remarks with a shamelessly self-serving plug. He recommended that listeners get the “truth” by reading the book “The Clintons’ War On Women,” by Roger Stone. It’s a book that has been roundly rebuked by liberals and conservatives alike as being poorly written and sourced. But one thing it has going for it is that Donald Trump has made it his anti-Clinton bible. The diatribes Trump is currently spewing about Clinton’s past are all straight out of this book.

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

Listen to Stone’s interview via Media Matters:

Rush Limbaugh Warns Of “A Nuclear Explosion” If Donald Trump Is Denied Nomination

Conservative pundits on TV and radio have proven to be painfully bad at punditry. Their predictions are notoriously distant from the reality that eventually unfolds. Just think about all of the things that were supposed to either destroy America, or turn it into a commie hellhole, if Barack Obama was elected (or reelected), that never came to pass. But there is one thing at which they are quite good: Scaring the bejeebus out of the wingnut faithful.

Rush Limbaugh

So it is unsurprising that the monster-mouth of the right, Rush Limbaugh, is unleashing alarms over the prospect of the Republicans being thrust into a contested convention. The threat, as imagined by Limbaugh, is that disappointed Trump supporters will freak out if their messiah is not crowned by an obedient assembly of delegates. Limbaugh speculates about a scenario wherein Ted Cruz manages to maneuver the delegate vote to a second or third ballot and then prevail over Trump. In which case, Limbaugh warns

“If that ever happens, we are gonna see a nuclear explosion like you’ve never seen before. […] Holy smokes! The blowback that will happen then, the backlash? That will be the end of the Republican Party. […] It might make the Watts and Rodney King riots look like Romper Room when it was all over.”

This isn’t the first time that Limbaugh has presaged the end of the Republican Party. Two months before President Obama was reelected in 2012 Limbaugh said that “If Obama wins let me tell you what it’s the end of…the Republican Party.” Sadly, this was just another of the hundreds of times he’s been wrong. And during the same rant he was equally wrong when he said that…

“If Obama’s re-elected, it will happen. There’s no IF about this. And it’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be gut-wrenching, but it will happen. The country’s economy is going to collapse if Obama is re-elected.”

At some point you have to wonder if he is ever embarrassed by his perpetual idiocy. But back to the main point, this new spiel is just the latest threat of violence projected for the Republican National Convention coming up in Cleveland in July. Trump himself predicted riots if he arrived at the convention with more delegates than his opponents, but short of a majority, and was beaten out of the nomination by a better organized candidate. His stooge, Roger Stone, publicly declared that he would be distributing the names and hotel room numbers of delegates that didn’t fall in line behind Trump.

Limbaugh’s warning came with a caveat that if Cruz or Kasich or anyone else rose to assume the nomination it would not be due to, as Trump whines, a rigged system or someone stealing the election:

“It’s not because anything’s illegal. Everybody’s taking advantage of the rules. [but] The words would not be there to explain to people what happened […] and people wouldn’t put up with it.”

So even Limbaugh accepts that it is within the rules to lobby for delegate support and make a case to nominate someone other than the top delegate winner. But at the same time he reveals his opinion that his fellow Republicans are unable to understand the process and that they are too dense for it to be explained to them, leading to them resorting to mayhem.

What’s funny about this is that Limbaugh is so upset by the possibility of riots ensuing at the GOP convention. However, he had a completely different view a few years ago when he openly advocated for violence at the Democratic convention in Denver in 2008 in a tirade he titled Screw the World! Riot in Denver! he said that his dream was for…

“…a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that.”

So while Limbaugh had such fervent hopes for violence that never materialized (or was even plausible) at a Democratic convention, he is now fraught with anxiety about the potential for violence at a Republican convention. There’s a kind of karmic justice in that. It is also typical of right-wingers who so often use projection to disparage their perceived enemies, but later find themselves the victims of their own evil yearnings.

Today’s GOP (aka Gross Out Party): As Seen On Fox News Everyday

An aura of indecency has enveloped the 2016 election season with both politicians and pundits lowering themselves to levels heretofore unthinkable. This isn’t merely about the rough and tumble of bitter rivals locked in battle for electoral supremacy. It’s something far more decadent.

Donald Trump

Media Matters recently reported that notorious dirty trickster Roger Stone has been banned from CNN after his history of obscene rants directed at their staff was revealed. But this is not new behavior from Stone who once ran an anti-Hillary Clinton operation that he called Citizens United Not Timid (or C.U.N.T).

A few weeks ago Fox News slapped the hands of a couple of their contributors for “inappropriate” language on the air. Outnumbered co-host Stacey Dash slipped by saying that President Obama didn’t “give a shit” about terrorism. She was upstaged by Fox’s strategic analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who called Obama a “pussy” (ironic coming from a guy whose name is a euphemism for penis). They received brief suspensions, but returned promptly thereafter to continue with their snotty and inappropriate commentaries.

For the most part, Fox couldn’t care less that their pundits cuss and growl at Obama and other Democrats. In fact, it’s what they get paid for. In 2012 News Corpse assembled a top-ten rogues gallery of miscreants who were at least as repulsive as Stone and who are still pundits in good standing at Fox. They include low life hate mongers like Todd Starnes who likened peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters to terrorists; Eric Bolling who accused President Obama of engaging in class warfare that was “forged in Marxist Germany;” and Liz Trotta who joked about “knocking off Obama.” Fox also employed profane cretins like Erick Erickson who called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child molester,” and Glenn Beck associate Dana Loesch who volunteered to urinate on the corpses of fallen Taliban soldiers.

This flight from decency has been a staple of the Fox news culture for years. So it should not come as a surprise that it has resulted in a creature like Donald Trump whose profanity flows like explosive diarrhea. He has adopted the Peters principle and called Ted Cruz a “pussy.” He told New Hampshire businesses with off-shore facilities to “fuck off.” In a fit of phony bravado he recently said that he would “bomb the sh*t out of ISIS.” In short, he has demonstrated that he is a classless buffoon who shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of 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.

Now I’m no prude and naughty language doesn’t make me blush. But I still wouldn’t use it on a television news program or during a speech while I’m running for president. Context is everything, and there may be children in these audiences. However, the people who watch Fox News and profess to support conservative candidates are vocal about their adherence to Christian values and their insistence on forcing them on everybody else. They have made it a hallmark of their personal and political identities. So their tolerance for these sort of obscenities is a tall order of hypocrisy. And if they can’t manage to behave themselves they should STFU.