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.

Why Won’t Fox News Fire Tucker Carlson? Their Deplorable Viewers Will Watch Whoever Replaces Him

Following a week where Jane Mayer’s exhaustive New Yorker essay exposing how Fox News has transformed from a Republican mouthpiece into the propaganda arm of Donald Trump’s White House, the network is undergoing additional hardship due to its own embrace of doctrinaire hate speech.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

The primetime White Nationalist Hour of Tucker Carlson has long been a haven for bigotry dispensed by the most smugly arrogant blowhard on television. Carlson has the distinction of having been fired from three TV networks (PBS, CNN, and MSNBC). However, when he landed at Fox News (despite his previous bad blood with the network), he had truly found his TV soul mate, where he could blather incessantly about “dirty” immigrants and loving all Americans, even the Klan members.

Now Media Matters has unearthed some recordings of Carlson when he was a guest on a rather profane radio show hosted by Bubba, the Love Sponge. His rantings were among the most repulsively misogynistic tirades ever made in a public forum by a well known pundit. In the video compilation Carlson can heard blatantly defending a convicted sexual abuser and justifying child rape:

Subsequently, there has been an outcry for advertisers to boycott Fox News (which many are already doing), and for Fox to fire Tucker Carlson. For the moment, that doesn’t appear to a likely consequence of Carlson’s disgusting behavior. His response to the controversy was a brazenly unapologetic tweet that dismissed any acknowledgement of his grotesque commentaries:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

First of all, what Carlson said wasn’t “naughty.” It was obscene, hostile, and utterly contemptible. It was degrading and dangerous. There is no excuse for the nauseating views he disgorged over and over again. Secondly, his attempt to dismiss it as having occurred a decade ago are laughably hypocritical. He surely doesn’t have the same forgiveness for the North Carolina governor’s blackface photos in a thirty year old college yearbook. Or for the decades old philandering of Bill Clinton. Or for the forty year old remarks by Joe Biden that Carlson featured on last Friday’s show.

Finally, his suggestion that the solution to this problem is for his critics to come on his show and help boost his floundering ratings is grossly self-serving. Plus, it’s a lie that he’ll let “anyone” come on his show to confront him. His modus operandi is to entrap his guests with contrived questions of the “Have you stopped beating your wife” variety. And if they manage to get the upper hand, he interrupts them and cuts them off.

So Fox News is once again being faced with a public backlash caused by one of their noxious hosts. They are simultaneously dealing with comments by Jeanine Pirro, who delivered one of her patented teeth-gnashing, spittle-inflected assaults on Rep. Ilhan Omar that asserted she was anti-America and anti-Constitution because she’s a practicing Muslim. Fox News actually released a statement “strongly condemning” Pirro, but will likely do nothing else.

What’s funny is that they could easily fire Carlson and suffer little or no repercussions outside of the PR hit. The core Fox News audience has demonstrated through the years that they will watch whatever is on Fox, no matter what or who it is. It appears that one obnoxious, lying hate monger is the same as another. So Fox could jettison Carlson and replace him with Jason Chaffetz or Brian Kilmeade and no one would flinch. So why won’t Fox fire Tucker Carlson?

First and foremost, Fox News agrees with Carlson. The network’s mission has always been in alignment with just the sort of repellant verbal abuse that Carlson unleashed in the video above. What’s more, Rupert Murdoch has been a notoriously stubborn purveyor of right-wing media. He will hang on to failing properties for years with the expectation that sheer persistence will bring success. And he has a physical aversion to conceding that he’s ever wrong about anything.

That blind faith in always being right is something Murdoch shares with Donald Trump. And something else they share is the belief that – as Trump put it – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters. That appears to be the working thesis at Fox News where the carnage produced by Carlson, Pirro, and others won’t have any cost in ratings. So even though it would be easier to let Carlson go and plug in another wingnut bot, Fox will cling to his revolting personage and try to weather the storm.

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

Unfortunately for Fox News, that old method of doing business may not hold up in the future. The network has been bleeding audience, advertisers, and revenue for several months. Rachel Maddow is kicking Sean Hannity’s fat arse. And the more that Fox clutches tightly to Trump, the worse their prospects have been. So time will tell if enabling jerkwads like Carlson will pay off in the long run.

The Trump/Fox News Revolving Door Spins Again as Hope Hicks Takes PR Post at State TV

For the past two years there has been an unprecedented embrace between a media organization and the presidency. Donald Trump’s close association with Fox News began well before his election in 2016, when he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And throughout his occupation of the White House that relationship has only grown stronger.

Hope Hicks

On Monday morning it was announced that Trump’s former communications director, and official Trump Whisperer, Hope Hicks, was appointed the executive vice-president and chief communications officer for the new Fox, the remnants of the conglomerate that weren’t sold off to Disney earlier this year. It includes Fox News and Fox Business, two cable “news” networks that are conspicuously friendly to Trump and the Republican Party.

Hicks role at Fox won’t be especially different from her role at the White House. She will continue to promote Trump and the agenda of the ultra-rightist GOP along with her new colleagues at Fox. Those new colleagues include former Trump staffers Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, and Sean Spicer. However, they are all on-air contributors, while Hicks will be a top executive. And her appointment comes just as Fox News and the President are gearing up for the presidential election in 2020.

Of course, revolving doors spin all the way around. And it isn’t coincidental that many Fox Newsers have made the switch to the Trump White House. They include National Security advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. Even Fox’s former president, Bill Shine, is now working for Trump as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. In a less official capacity are Trump’s “Shadow Cabinet” consisting of Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. So the marriage of Fox News and the Trump administration is now sealed and consecrated before Rupert Murdoch.

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

Just prior to her resignation from the White House, Hicks testified before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. She admitted to telling “white lies” for Trump. In her new position her ability to lie will be unfettered by even the lax standards imposed by Trump’s White House. So going forward we can expect a new rainbow of lies that are consistent with the total absence of standards at Fox News.

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.

Fox News is Owned By Trump? According to Kremlin Correspondent Following Putin Interview

It’s only Tuesday and already Donald Trump has sold out the United States to Russia, our perennial enemy and the country whose military intelligence corrupted our democratic process during the 2016 presidential election. And by all accounts is still doing it. Trump’s betrayal at the joint press conference with Vladimir Putin could not have been more obvious and dangerous.

Donald Trump Fox News

The President of the United States actually said that he trusts Putin more than he trusts his own intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The reaction to this traitorous behavior was swift and nearly unanimous. Even many of the reliable Fox News shills veered from their customary Trump-fluffing to condemn the President for throwing America under the bus.

The exceptions to that were just who you might predict. Trump ran with his tail between his legs to be consoled by Sean Hannity at Fox News immediately after the disastrous press conference. And eager bootlickers like Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro came to Trump’s defense with nearly incomprehensible rationalizations for his glassy-eyed infatuation with Putin. And Putin himself chose Fox News as the network he would give his first post-summit interview to.

Which makes the following report from a Kremlin pool correspondent all the more understandable. Dmitry Smirnov is a journalist with the Special Corps of Komsomolskaya Pravda. He was covering the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki, Finland, and had this to say after Putin’s interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News (translated from the Russian in the tweet):

“Another gift to Trump: In Helsinki Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the American channel Fox News, owned by the US president.”

Owned by the US president? Not technically. However it is easy to understand how someone could have made that mistake. Fox News has been accurately described as America’s version of State TV. They feverishly defend Trump and shield him from any and all criticism. They tenaciously struggle to validate his glaringly evident lies. And they work furiously to smear his opponents and to advance crackpot conspiracy theories in order to misdirect the public’s attention from Trump’s abject failures.

But Trump doesn’t own Fox News. Rupert Murdoch does. Which is a distinction with very little difference. Murdoch is an unrelenting supporter of Trump throughout his media empire. He permits his “reporters” to post stories that are wholly lacking in facts, but abound in one-sided, extremist opinions. He even lets them act as Trump surrogates and mouthpieces at political events. That’s something that no reputable news organization would tolerate.

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

So the Russian correspondent was not far off base with his tweet. Perhaps the only thing that he got wrong was the direction of the ownership reference. It may be less accurate to say that Trump owns Fox News than to say that Fox News owns Trump. Either way, it’s an incestuous and unethical relationship that tarnishes them both – and hurts the media and the country.

Trump Invites His Boss (Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch) to State Dinner with Macron

Tuesday evening at the White House, Donald Trump will host his first state dinner. The guest of honor will be French President Emmanuel Macron. The rest of the guest list is apparently a state secret because the White House is refusing to release it in advance. However, the identity of one notable guest has been uncovered, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman and CEO of Fox News’ corporate parent, 21st Century Fox, named himself the top executive of the cable network after Roger Ailes was terminated for serial sexual harassment and abuse. His stewardship of Fox News has devotedly advanced the political aspirations and agenda of Donald Trump. So being the recipient of one these scarce invitations was easily predictable. In fact,, he may have ordered Trump to issue it. After all, Fox News virtually invented Trump’s political persona and provided the media boost he needed to get elected.

Anyone watching Fox for more than a few minutes will notice that their hosts and contributors are fawning disciples of Trump. But even more troubling is that Trump’s policies and public statements are almost entirely derived from what he sees on his favorite Fox programs. From when he first wipes the sleep from eyes in the morning to when he lays his head down at night, Trump is cramming it full of the Fox Doctrine.

Fox and Friends serves as Trump’s daily presidential briefing wherein he learns what topics he is supposed to cover for the day and what positions to take on those topics. And Sean Hannity provides Trump the unhinged fury he needs to attack his political enemies. Hannity is so close to the President that he has been called the “shadow” chief-of-staff. And of course, numerous former Fox News shills are now on the White House payroll.

So while Trump didn’t invite any Democrats to the dinner, and the media was similarly snubbed, Murdoch is attending along with what we can expect to be a who’s who of Trump’s cronies (donors, lobbyists, ass-kissers, etc.). When the list of attendees is eventually released it will interesting to assess it in view of this tweet that Trump posted in March of 2012:

And for a taste of the ideological synchronicity between Trump and Fox News, watch this:

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

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.

BUSTED: Fox News Caught Trying to Cover Up Another Sexual Harassment Scandal

The epidemic of revelations regarding men in powerful positions exploiting women for sex continues unabated. Two years ago no one would have imagined that so many high-powered public figures would be unemployed today due to such grossly improper conduct. And while Donald Trump actually admitted to criminal sexual abuse, the repercussions for such misbehavior were generally mild, if any.

Fox News Rupert Murdoch

As the volume and frequency of these scandals escalated, Fox News stood out as a den of iniquity. The network’s CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired for multiple incidents of sexual harassment. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was tossed out after the discovery of tens millions of dollars paid to secure the silence of his victims. Fox also jettisoned its president, Bill Shine; host Eric Bolling; Fox Sports President, Jamie Horowitz; and VP of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes, all for similarly abhorrent misconduct. Although there were numerous men ousted from prominent positions in a variety of industries, it seemed like Fox News was running an enterprise rife with sexual depravity and predation.

So it was a little peculiar last month when Fox announced that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, was leaving the company after eighteen years. There was no reason given and no further comment. There were no testimonials or teary goodbyes on the air. He was just there one day and gone the next. And it wasn’t until this week that David Folkenflik of NPR discovered what had actually happened:

“According to Rosen’s former colleagues, however, he had an established pattern of flirting aggressively with many peers and had made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer. And his departure followed increased scrutiny of his behavior at the network, according to colleagues.”

Folkenflik’s article goes into detail about Rosen’s deplorable activities. He also noted that Rosen’s affairs were exposed at a time when the network’s owner and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, was trying to play down the scummy state of Fox News. Murdoch told an interviewer at Sky News (which he also has part ownership of), that Ailes was the only problem at Fox, despite the fact that all the people and problems listed above were already known. Following Murdoch’s comments, the women of Fox News let it be known that they weren’t having it.

It appears that Fox News was deliberately attempting to suppress the Rosen story to avoid further embarrassment. And they nearly got away with it. But it makes one wonder how many other sleazebags were quietly shoved out, or how many may still be working for Fox. Sure, there are lots of vile men lurking around the offices of many companies. But is there any one company that has had as many as Fox News? It certainly speaks to the environment that Fox created for its staff and the corporate culture that seems to have tolerated the abuse and oppression of the women at Fox News.

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

Certified Nutcase Donald Trump Tries His Hand at Psychoanalyzing Steve Bannon

The fate of the world is shifting by the minute. On Tuesday Donald Trump was tweeting threats to Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea, and comparing the size of his “nuclear button” to that of Kim Jong Un. By Wednesday the battle royale was between Trump and his former friend and White House aide, Steve Bannon.

Trump/Bannon

A new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, presents a revealing look into the Trump White House. Some of the first publicly released excerpts show how Bannon really feels about the president he once served with such apparently fawning loyalty. And it’s not a pretty picture. Bannon is reported to have said that Don Junior’s meetings with Russians were treasonous and that Daddy Trump knew about them, despite his denials.

The book contains many other revelations that expose Trump as a flagrant fool who commanded no respect from those around him. Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox News, reportedly called him a “f**king moron.” And an aide tasked with explaining the Constitution described Trump as becoming bored and unwilling to continue past the Fourth Amendment. But it’s the Bannon comments that have caught the attention of Trump and, therefore, the media. Consequently, Trump released an official reply from the White that was as unhinged as anything we have ever seen from this acutely disturbed pseudo-president. He said in part:

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates. […] Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue.”

This is typical Trumpian behavior that he employs to distance himself from close associates he later turns against. Although the degree of unrestrained anger reflects someone shockingly unglued from rational thought. Often Trump’s wrath is aimed at those he regards as having personally betrayed him. Even when he initiated the break in the relationship as he did in this case by firing Bannon. Shortly after his termination, Trump had this to say about his former senior counselor: “Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone.”

Contrary to Trump’s outburst, Bannon was not merely a “staffer” on the sidelines of his presidency. Bannon was his campaign manager, and later the White House Chief Strategist with a seat on the National Security Council. In other words, the coffee boy. And Trump had a decidedly different opinion on the day that Bannon was released from his White House duties last August:

Just prior to his dismissal, Trump described Bannon in glowing terms calling him “a good person and I think the press treats him frankly very unfairly.” Now Trump asserts that Bannon has “lost his mind.” That’s a subject that Trump can claim some expertise on. Many psychiatric professionals have concluded that Trump is “too mentally ill to serve.” A group of psychiatric doctors and academics who met at Yale University found that Trump displays symptoms of a variety of mental illnesses, including antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders. That assessment agrees with others that found Trump suffering from “malignant narcissism” and an “inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality.” More recently, a doctor writing for The Atlantic noted Trump’s abnormalities in speech and movement that justified implementing routine mental evaluations for presidents.

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

Trump’s unbridled rage and fluctuating opinions are obvious symptoms of an acute mental disorder. And if something isn’t done about it soon, we can expect it to manifest in ever more perilous ways. That includes the potential for anything from continued soap opera melodrama in the White House to military conflicts and nuclear showdowns. And the more Trump feels threatened, either by former colleagues or special counsel investigations, the more dangerous he will become.